A Beginners Guide to the Job World

Happy professional journey everyone!  Have you made it out there in the world, or are you just starting out?

What’s your shtick, speciality or   job role?

Job roles   are used in business as a way to identify your purpose within a company   and  level of authority, but what do they actually mean and are they communication barriers when trying to build professional relationships or generate business?

To me, a job title/role should be a way of defining what you do in the organisation and provide you with clear tasks to follow, which will hopefully aid your professional success and add value to the company that employs you.  Simple, but true.

Questions that I’ve asked myself in the past when I was just starting out in my career:

1) Why do I feel    nervous when  contacting a company director or owner? After all, they are people just like us.. right?

2) How do I encourage senior   level people to return my call or email? Should I entice them with “an offer that they can’t refuse?”

3) What IS the right approach?  Am I saying something wrong or not using proper etiquette?

My wish back then and sometimes even now is for an answer… a logical one…. one that would cure my curiosity so that I no longer need to ask why.

I’m a relationship building type of person and to me that means that everyone  is a potential customer.

The top 3 things you should   do:

  1. Seek knowledge in your role to build confidence (always ask questions)
  2. Prepare your own script to use when making phone calls (in your own words)
  3. Research the company you’re calling (It shows that   you care and are not a “drone”)

In general, businesses that grow organically are much more likely to succeed in the long run. This means they have received recommendations based on  service, professionalism, integrity,trust, quality etc.  (Many,many test runs) by people.. just people.

Of course we all understand that those in senior positions have a lot on their plate and delegate representatives from within their company to deal with certain calls, emails and queries however; communicating is always the best way forward. I would like to keep you motivated by providing   a nice little list of young successful people who made it to the top-level of their game before they reached 20.

Personally, I have a lot of respect for MD’s, Directors and Owners of companies who answer their own phone on occasion and “get their hands dirty” so to speak.   It simply means that they have not lost touch with their customers and their staff for that matter because without them , a title   is simply   Mr or Mrs.

Present yourself and your company in the best light and you’re likely to succeed.

With respect

Hands-on

People who need people

happy employees

Curious title… yes!

I’ve always been drawn to people, both in life and as part of my career.  They interest me, intrigue me and yes, sometimes disappoint me. As  an optimist, I am not here to focus on the negative, but I do want to raise the awareness of the “good stuff” for those who would benefit from a little self-awareness and improvement. I’m the observer and the people watcher, which  has served me well over the years.

Let’s talk about the “good stuff”, respect and admiration for just a moment. Over the course of my career, I have encountered many types of people:

  • genuine
  • curious
  • helpers
  • Loyal
  • competitive
  • Driven

For me, I prefer working  with the first 4 types. Don’t get me wrong…being competitive and driven can be great but there is a time and a place for it and you need not forget about the people you work with.  Cut-throat is not my style and it drains my “good energy”.

I recently saw a post on LinkedIn, quoting the type of work practice and ethos I’m into, so I shared it.

T.E.A.M

  • together
  • everyone
  • achieves
  • more

It’s that simple and so true. Let’s use Sir Richard Branson ( inspirational  leader) as the example… he’s an extremely successful and powerful entrepreneur who develops ideas into businesses that for the most part, have excelled. Did he do this alone? No. He sought advice, created his support team and ensured that everyone worked together for one common goal>SUCCESS.  He motivates and rewards his teams too, which is why and how he has done so well.  So the next time you hear a story or read a story about dear Richard, know that he picked and lead his teams well to get where he is today.

When you consider how much time we spend at work each day and week… our rituals and experiences need to be positive don’t they?  Yes there are targets and yes there are objectives but for me, a business cannot and will not succeed if their people do not support one another. Would you like another  benefit of working together? Okay… what about learning from one another? Each person that you encounter in  your  workplace  has a different style, level of knowledge and expertise in a company or if they’ve been doing it a while, their sector. It’s not a competition, it’s a learning experience. I myself have learned from people 10 years my junior and 20 years my senior.  Make someone feel good and ask how they would go about doing a task you’re about to do.  You will probably learn something great, but you will also make your co-worker feel needed and trusted.  Everyone started somewhere, everyone needs help and guidance no matter the level and people do genuinely need people.

Streisand
Thanks for reading! Hands on 🙂

If keyboards could talk

shocked face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to a fellow blogger who provided some very interesting ideas for my next blog, which you’re about to read.

We have officially reached the height of the computer age and if I had to guess, nearly 80% of our day is spent clicking and clacking on keyboards, tablets and smartphones. Yes, we’re hooked and it would be difficult for the majority of us to “disconnect”, without having a darn good reason.

Your keyboard is your friend right?  Abandoning it would be impossible with a PC and nearly impossible with a tablet or smartphone (unless you solely use voice recognition) and we all know how well that works. So I ask you, if your think about conversations, work emails, texts, surfing and tweeting during the course of your day, how would your keyboard describe you and your habits?

Are you gasping or thinking now?  Our actions using technology to communicate these days is almost automatic and perhaps this is difficult to answer.  Really think about it… perhaps I can share first.

I confess, I’m a key banger because I exert passion and determination when expressing my thoughts. (my co-worker’s will back me up here) I clack more than I click (meaning that I find it easier to communicate using a full keyboard, instead of a gentle click of a smartphone key)

Now getting back to what my keyboard may experience.. probably a lot of re-typing and back spacing because I never go with my first draft even with an email. My less productive clacking might see me posting random thoughts on Facebook like we all do. Perhaps something along the lines of “out to dinner with the hubby tonight” or “I can’t wait to see this show”. I also notice that my messages are delivered with a lot of (x’s and lol’s), which means I am generally a happy and loving person right? Maybe I’m just being polite or using proper techie etiquette. (except for work of course)!

We find ourselves communicating this way a lot, sharing our fun experiences, life events, expressions, frustrations and sometimes even sad moments. Our keyboard knows it ALL but never judges except when it notices that a few key letters have nearly faded. This can only mean one thing.. either you are really fond of those letters or these letters are half of your secret password, which unlocks many precious places. This might tempt us to change them, but we don’t because we will surely forget them! If only our keyboards could talk.

Stay happy^ Hands-on

#Facebook vs Facetime the battle of social

Image

 

Before you start to think that I’ll be comparing Facebook (global phenomenon)  and Facetime (Apple’s clever version of Skype), I’d like to say up front and honestly this is not what my article is about.

If you have chosen to continue reading… wonderful and welcome to my thoughts.  If you were slightly disappointed, please do not despair…I think you’ll appreciate what I have to say.

Moving on… it is becoming increasingly obvious that social interactions are happening more so in a digital format, rather than face-to-face.  I think we can agree that for the most part life, work and travel has us “plugged in” at all times and I for one feel a bit weary for a re-charge in a totally different way.

How do you feel about social interactions face-to-face vs social media interactions? Is my not so obvious title starting to make sense now?    Good!

There are certain benefits to both and I’d like to list a few of the benefits of communicating in person:

  • Eye contact-essential for trust
  • Expressions-essential for communicating how you feel
  • Understanding personalities
  • Clear instructions with few misunderstandings
  • Suggestions with instant hands-on actions
  • Questions with debate in “real-time”

Now a few digital benefits:

  • Global communications
  • Aids creativity
  • Helps those who are less comfortable with face-to-face
  • Ideal for the technology industry
  • Enables flexible working

I’m sure you might add a few of your own and I would love to hear them out of interest! (This means comments are welcome)

Social technology can also save an enormous amount of time and money, when you consider the travel and preparation for professional interactions however; let us not forget that all humans need social contact to survive in this world.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to “unplugging” with all of you sometime

Hands-on 🙂

Look into my eyes-tips for connecting

eyes

They say the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul…. I truly believe this.

In fact, the realisation of this in my lifetime has proven itself time and time again both in my personal and professional relationships.

I ask each and every one of you who are closely attached to a significant other, whom you love and adore to test this out!  Look deeply into his or her eyes and think about what you see.  You might be thinking “what am I looking for?”  Well… I’ll tell you what you should look for:

  • Sparkle
  • Warmness
  • Love
  • Respect
  • Infinity (where there is no end)

and most importantly, this person should be looking back at you and you should return the favour of the above.

Now if you apply this rule to business, obviously you’re not looking for love but rather a genuine, honest and non-threatening professional connection.  I’ve listed a few traits to look for and a few to avoid.  I like to end things on a positive note therefore; I’ll start with those you should avoid first:

  • Shiftiness
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Disconnection
  • Shallowness

You’ll know how to recognise these traits when you experience them. Think about when you attend networking events… there may be some people who you meet and think to yourself later, nope.. didn’t connect with him/her so I don’t think I’ll contact them.  TRUST your instincts.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Sincerity
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Openness

and of course, always pay attention to see if they are looking back and connecting with you.  Genuine folk have no problem making eye contact with other people.

I do not profess to be a psychologist or an expert in this field, but I have lived, experienced and tested this in my life so why shouldn’t you?

Thanks for reading

Hands-on 🙂

Learning the Alphabet

I have recently been struggling to come up with a blog topic for  several weeks and thankfully,  a recent email from my brother prompted this article.

We both write blogs for personal and professional reasons and so the question and challenge is: How do you improve on your blog style to generate interest? (more readers)

As I tossed and turned last night, I started to think of the key elements that make ME want to read a blog and as you can probably guess, the alphabet has something to do with it. (one letter in particular) P… the beginning of many (P)owerful words.

What draws me to read a blog in it’s entirety and decide to share with others?  The answer is simple and contains several key elements all beginning with the letter “P”:

  • Personality-you must let your personality shine through… almost as if you’re in the same room with your reader and telling them a story. (Be yourself, a blog is not a user manual)
  • Pictures and photos-people are attracted to visual things that help them  imagine the story.  Take an ordinary book for example, raise your hand if you have purchased a book that contains pictures or photos… do you wait until you reach the chapter that contains the images or do you find yourself skipping ahead to have a peek? Have I made my point?
  • People- You must include a human in your story… someone to relate to even if you’re only talking about yourself (Consider your audience)
  • Passion-without passion for your subject, your blog will only be words… express yourself in an animated way so that your readers can almost hear your voice. If you don’t have a subject to write about, wait until you do.

There are many blog writer’s out there that profess to be experts and some of them are actually quite good, but a blog is your story.. it’s personal and poetic, it can be popular and perky but most of all it’s powerful because it communicates and teaches others about you, your knowledge and many other subjects that can now be shared across the globe by a simple click of a button.

Thanks for reading!

Hands-On

5 tips about how not to sell

We have all experienced the act of selling and being sold to in our lives.  The question is when do we like being sold to?

As consumers, we receive countless phone calls and marketing leaflets encouraging us to buy or rather “act now” because you don’t want to miss this deal.  What some salespeople and companies don’t realise is that regardless of their targets or quotas, the customer has to need or want the product or service.  Competition is tough, but not that tough where companies should feel the need to pressure their staff into selling something that a potential customer does not need or want. Even companies that we do business with sometimes miss the point of valuing their existing customers.

My husband and I recently received a letter from our bank, stating that they have tried to contact us on several occasions to no avail.  The account manager did not even provide his full name, only his initials and as for trying to contact us.. they only had our mobile numbers, email addresses, home phone number and an on-line banking messaging facility to do this…. hmmmm this was obviously a ploy to get us to arrange an appointment to “review” our services hoping that we will buy more.  This is sadly the standard way that a lot of companies are managing customers these days, but is it the right way and what are their competitors doing? Maybe we would have contacted them if their approach was more personal.

When I was a kid, the biggest running jokes were the encyclopedia salesman and of course the stereotypical used car salesman.  In most cases, these salesmen were “groomed” to persuade the customer that they wanted what they were selling, without finding out what they actually needed or wanted. Countless families ended up with a set of bulky, dusty books that quickly became outdated. (my family were one of them)  What do I remember from these antique paperweights?  The pictures of course and being one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to carry the box of bulkiness when we moved to another home.  As for the used car salesmen, well.. you only have watch the movie “Used Cars” to know what I’m talking about.

So without further ado, here are my 5 tips on how NOT to sell:

  1. Do not treat selling as an art-  (You may be a sales genius, but leave the art factor to Michelangelo please)
  2. Do  not hustle your customers- (I know this is quite a harsh statement, but customers will only remain loyal to you if you provide an honest service, quality products and good value for money)
  3. Do not treat sales as a transaction- (Yes, it is a transaction however; if you are purely treating it as a transaction you are  missing out on providing a good customer experience)
  4. Do not treat selling as a science- (Okay, for some it may be considered to be a formula or experiment relating to the perfect way to seal the deal, but try thinking more about how you will continue to keep the customer coming back)
  5. Do not guilt your customers into buying- (Informing your customers that you will win a holiday in the Caribbean for two if they buy your product or service is well…. wrong and I’m sure you’ll agree)

Now for those of you who know me, it’ll be quite clear that I’ll be finishing this blog off on a positive note…

Here is what selling means to me:

  • Selling is finding out the customers need and then filling it
  • Selling is all about relationship building
  • Selling is about trust
  • Selling is coming to a mutual agreement

By the way, I like being sold to if the salesperson has done their research and really cares about what I want or need.  That’s not an Art..that’s a Skill.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy