Across the Universe

New technologies have made it possible for individuals and businesses to communicate globally, but how do we make the most of this instant communication?

Looking back, I remember having to post a letter to a friend, family member or customer and thinking.. I wonder when I’ll receive a reply or acknowledgement to my invitation or enquiry? Patiently waiting for a letter in the post seemed normal and in a way, it was exciting to see a paper envelope addressed to you.  I remember as a kid buying decorated stationary and a special wax seal to close the envelope… boy, how times have changed! I recently wrote a 3 page story using a pen and actually got a hand cramp! Remember those?

Email technologies shortly followed in the late 80′s early 90′s and it was amazing to receive a reply within minutes or at least hours! How amazing to send a letter to someone and not have to lick an envelope or peel a stamp! Anyone in the world could receive a message from you if they had access to email and this my friends opened up a whole new world.

Wait, it gets better as you follow me through my time-line of wonder…  what about aol aim, msn messenger and yahoo instant messenger? These instant tools or applications that frequently came with your “free” email account allowed us to type speak in real-time to anyone in the world! No waiting, no stamps, no phone charges and no hand cramps! Some included video and microphone capability, but that was only the beginning.

Now we all know what happened after that, but I wanted to remind all of you where we began. Enter the big boys>> Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Four square, Flicker and now probably a hundred more to choose from. The world we live and work in has changed drastically… but do we make the most of it and how can we personalise our interactions?

How we have evolved:

  • We can see each other and talk to each other using our computers from anywhere in the world
  • We can network and refer clients to anyone in the world without leaving our home
  • We can let people know where we are in the world, share photos and offer reviews of a place or service
  • We can share everything, everywhere with anyone
  • We can even look for a job or recruit people without leaving our chairs..

What we shouldn’t forget to do:

  • Keep your personal life separate from your professional life (your clients don’t really want to hear that you “lost your lunch” on a night out)
  • Pick up the phone once in a while
  • Clean up your friends list, contacts etc (Do we really keep in touch regularly with 1000 people?) Keep relevant contacts and place them in lists if your connected on Facebook
  • Attend networking events to keep the face-to-face relations alive (You’ll also make new friends or contacts)
  • Stay in touch regularly with your friends and best clients (taking on too much social networking can harm your real-life relationships)

Most importantly… share, collaborate and partner with those local to you. Helping one another is the most positive and powerful way of communicating.

Tune in or tune out?

My morning commute to work is pretty much the same every day, but today I decided to observe people behaviour instead of checking my Twitter account for updates.  I scanned the area in front of me and found many similarities and many differences.

In the distance, a well dressed man was crying and I couldn’t help but watch carefully to make sure he was okay.  Did anyone else notice this?  Probably not… because most of us “tune out”.  Tuning out is a skill I think.. some of us just stare straight ahead into nothingness and focus so hard on nothing, which makes us feel invisible I suppose. Others “plug-in” to devices to drown out the travel noise and to avoid interacting.  A small percentage of us chatter to the person we’re travelling with and the rest us either read a book, paper or engage in a phone conversation for business or personal reasons.

I also noticed a guy smiling and talking to himself, but was he talking to himself or someone who wasn’t visible to me? What was going through his mind I wondered? Was he lonely, confused, lost?  At the end of the day, my observations disturbed me because there were far more people tuning out than in.

Remember the guy I mentioned who was crying?  I wondered what happened and thought to myself, would anyone muster up enough courage to ask if he was okay?  I didn’t and It bothered me.

The point is… how many of us engage with people in a public but non-social environment?  Do we help an older person when they’re struggling to lift a suitcase into the hold section? Do we say good morning or hello to the person we’re seated next to or in front of us?  How about offering the paper you’ve just read to a stranger?  In most cases… we stare straight ahead and “tune out”.

I don’t want to tune out… I want to tune in! Tuning in is even harder to do these days.  How can we as a society learn how to do this again, after we’ve been reconditioned by technology and modern behaviours?

We share this world with one another after all… we are thinking, feeling, responsive people… Let’s try to tune into the world just for one day and see what happens.

Thanks for reading,

Nancy

“The Tick Factor”

What makes you tick?

It could be personal or business related ticking, but everyone ticks in some way, shape or form.

What do I mean?  Okay… humour me here… ticking can be associated with an action, passion or purpose that makes you get out of bed in the morning.

Do you:

  • Enjoy helping people?
  • Love technology?
  • Get excited with the sheer thought of numbers, forms and charts?
  • Are you a serial net-worker and good at it?

Whatever your passion is… that’s the answer I’m looking for.

I’m not going to make this all about me or advise you on what the best “tick” is, because each of you have your own gift and purpose.

What I AM going to say is that it’s important to do what you love or what you’re really good at.  Also, life is too short to worry about what others think.  If you’re a people person, don’t let yourself get tangled in a life or career where there’s no social interaction.  The same goes for all the technical folk out there… some of you might not feel comfortable in an active social environment and that’s okay.

As long as YOU feel fulfilled and content, that’s all that matters.

I’d  like to mention that I have used all of my will power to avoid attaching links to the wonderful people I know who fit into the above categories! You know who you are and you should be very proud.

What makes you tick?

I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading,

Nancy

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my mother, whose birthday is today.  One of the last things she said to me is: ” whatever you do, just make sure you’re happy.” 

Secret recipe.. or is it?

As a job candidate, have you ever been told that you have too much experience?

There is no such thing as too much experience however; there are still some employer’s who are providing this feedback following an interview.  They might not use those exact words however; it could go something like this: “We felt that although you definitely met the criteria and we really liked you,  this role is below your level of expertise”.

What that says to the person applying is this: “After taking the time to apply, prepare and research your company, you do not believe that I’m serious about wanting this job”.

The employer may be thinking:

  1. This candidate won’t be full-filled in their role and leave if a better offer comes along
  2. They could be a threat to my job
  3. We’ll need to increase their wages sooner than the average candidate

The employer is entitled to think and feel that way, but having not given the right person a chance is a darn shame.

The truth is, the candidate is  disappointed because they never had the opportunity to prove that they could be an asset to the company.  Their confidence has probably taken a knock at this point too, for what they believed was a “perfect match” for them.   The best advice I can give is, keep going and believe in yourself … the right opportunity will come a long.

What can the candidate do to change  this outcome?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Clearly explain in your CV and/or application WHY you want the role including your reason for applying for a lower level position
  • Pace yourself and don’t be overly confident
  • If there’s an opportunity to pitch your position during the interview, do it
  • Thank them for their time and reiterate that you would be delighted to have the opportunity to join their company if successful

There are no guarantees with these suggestions, but they can only help.

Now back to the employer…. what they’re looking for is pretty clear within their person specification and guidelines but what they really need to take into consideration are these qualities and traits:

  • Positive attitude
  • Enthusiasm
  • Knowledge of the company and role
  • Previous core skills and experience
  • Will they fit into the company’s culture (This is very important)

I am a strong believer in corporate culture and finding the right fit for employer and employee.  The way to do this during an interview is to allow the candidate to openly “sell themselves” by asking the right questions.  Sorry to say that I do not believe in scoring sheets to interview people. Scoring should be reserved for games and this is not a game.. it’s your company’s future success and the candidate’s lively hood at stake.

Do you have a secret recipe for recruiting the right person?  I’d love to hear your techniques.

Thanks for reading,

Nancy

Learning never ends

Does learning ever end? Of course it doesn’t, which is why I felt discussing this topic was important.

I’ll briefly take you through the various stages of learning:

Birth>pre-school>primary school>secondary or high school>college/university followed by…. LIFE and WORK.

I think we can all agree that during every stage of life, we learn something… right?

The most important lesson in this is what we choose to learn well and how it forms our future as an adult in society.

How we cope with all of this information is another story all together…

Here’s a list of the types of things learned during the course of life:

  • Communicating
  • Trust
  • Team work
  • Leadership
  • Technical skills
  • Technology
  • Comprehension
  • Compatibility
  • Relationships
  • Love
  • Integrity
  • Change
  • Disappointment

I’m sure I could add many more, but you get the idea.

Each stage of our lives is a learning experience, from gaining a new relationship to a new job role. It’s up to us how we handle it.

It’s important to note that in both cases, we should probably keep an open mind.  We should not treat relationships as we did the last one, whether it’s for personal or professional reasons… purely because each one is different and we should learn what to do and what not to do from our previous experiences.

The same goes for a new job role.. we should be open to change. No job or company is the same and although we might have had a certain “comfort” or “way” of doing things in one job, it might not work the same in another.

A  friend/business associate reminded me of a great book that helps us realise the power of change. Check it out, it’s quite an eye-opener.

A positive attitude also goes a long way in life… instead of thinking “why do I need to know that”, you should be saying “I’d like to know more about that”!

Thinking, learning and doing is very healthy.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy