How do we obtain the skills Employers wish we had?

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How do we obtain the skills Employers wish we had?

Want to know what college students seem to hate? Group Projects, 8am classes and speaking out in class. This isn’t something I’ve discovered through secondary resources or my own extensive research, rather, this is something I’ve observed on a daily basis. The bad news is that many of these dislikes and habits are beginning to take a huge toll on our professional development.

The fact is that one day soon, we will all more than likely have to get up for work before 8am (GASPS), collaborate with a team (oh no) and speak up to stand out. So why not start sharpening those skills?

FoxBusiness.com recently published an article that details the ways in which the academic behaviors of Millennial has been hurting their chances of impressing Employers. “Managers have an overall negative view of young workers, and point to their lack of soft skills regarding communication and interpersonal interactions, time management abilities and willingness to work as a team.”

Let’s change this and prove them wrong. The majority of us are well versed in the realm of Social Media, but we’re beginning to focus too much on the speed, not quality, of our communication. Challenge yourself to interact more face-to-face and for the love of all that is mighty, STEP away from your smartphone. Challenge yourself to be just as bold, as you would in your tweets, during your next interview. Employers want to know that you can help boost their social media marketing strategies or present to an e-board with confidence.

“Showing up is half the battle”, “The early bird gets the worm”…These quotes offer very valid points! Challenge yourself to make it on time to class and meetings. Doing this will tell co-workers that you respect their time and instill a sense of healthy urgency. You can’t get anything done unless you show up. Your college professor might not get on you but your employer wouldn’t hesitate in firing you for poor time management. Get in the habit now and it won’t be so difficult post-graduation.

Lastly, get used to group projects. There’s a reason they are so popular. You’ll have to work in a team in almost any job setting. Instead of assuming things won’t get done, start things off with a positive attitude and be dependable; your team will follow in your steps. Employers desire leaders who also know how to be productive within a diverse team.

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The Only Bottom Line that should ever exist…in Retailing

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The Only Bottom Line that should ever exist…in Retailing

I’ll have to admit to something. When I first read that major Accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Cooper, partnered with a retailing consulting agency to forecast trends for 2015, I was a little skeptical and excited. After all, at first glance, what would PWC know about retailing, consumers and ultimately where they were headed? It turns out they know a lot more than just auditing and tax.

I would have to agree with Dr.Meyer, my retailing professor, when I say that my favorite trend for 2015 was number 15; the Triple Bottom Line Scorecard. Why? Because it concisely summarizes what a retailer must do to stay in business. With this rule, people and the planet take the stage with profit being the last major piece in keeping a happy retail business. With the rise of content marketing and consumer involvement, it’s no wonder that retailers should focus on determining not only the needs of their target market but also their wants and desires, to which they should learn how to satisfy them with convenience and value. As retailers focus on understanding their “consumer persona”, they shift from being a “store that sells things that they want you to need” to a “store that sells things that you need before you even realize you need them.” Other important people that a retailer should focus on are their employees. After all, your employees are the driving force behind your business and should be paid fairly, treated with benefits and rewarded. It’s quite simple, the better you treat your employees, the better your business will perform and operate. Attracting and maintaining an excellent workforce will do wonders for your brand loyalty and retention…just imagine employees who feel so passionately about their employer that they would go out of their way to share experiences with prospective customers! Now that’s powerful.

The last piece of this trend involves how retailers will begin to focus more on their sustainable efforts. Most consumers are at least aware of the global impact that companies have and want to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. The majority of consumers lie in the “light green” section; they feel the need to do something but aren’t too sure what to do. It is best for retailers to recognize this need and capitalize on it, while also learning how their business impacts the world. As a compliment to sustainability efforts, companies can also lend a helping hand to humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Consumers feel as though they don’t have the power to make a huge improvement in the lives of barefoot children within 3rd world countries, but TOMS will do it for them while adding value and a sense of gratitude to their products. Seeing a company do good for the world will attract consumers indefinitely and inspire them to build up your brand through word of mouth marketing. In his famous TedTalk “Start with Why”, Simon Sinek says that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it…” 2015 will be the year that retailers and consumers alike will understand and practice this ingenious piece of advice.

Digested Branded Content on the Web; how it’s changed and where it’s going

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Link: Digested Branded Content on the Web; how it’s changed and where it’s going

Oh the joys of finally being within your major! Once junior or senior year comes along, we can all finally breathe a sigh of relief since we actually enjoy and are able to relate to what we are learning! My internet marketing course has brought me to certain articles I feel are worth sharing…

Contently.com recently published an infographic that showcased just how much the good ol’ USofA is leisurely plugged in. The article explains the value in content marketing and why most consumers will enjoy the shift in marketing practices due to major changes in behavior and online consumption.

Some of the statistics are obvious; content needs to contain a visual in order to be more effective, while others are more surprising. For example, the fact that 70% of US consumers listen to the opinions in blog post and discussion forums literally made me gasp ( I know, I’m a bit dramatic).

Surprising or not, it was refreshing for me to see the evidence of a changing behaviors in the digital world that is shaping the way marketers look at consumers. Content marketing has insured that we the consumers, are the priority rather than the selling point.

Take a look at the infographic (it’s visually captivating AND extremely informative) and comment with your thoughts! Does any of this information surprise you?

Is Search Changing ?

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This week has been dedicated to learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), this article caught my interest by claiming that Google is the last place consumers go to for news…do you agree? Is Facebook or Twitter your first stop for pertinent information?

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It recently dawned on me that I do far more searches away from Google than I do on Google.  I’m not talking about a factor of  2 to 1 or 3 to 1. My off Google searches out number Google searches by at least 10 to 1 on a daily or weekly basis .

How can that be ?

It’s because Google is late on everything. The latency on Google information relative to searches on Twitter (or hosts to the Twitter Firehose), Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, Facebook (although declining because they changed the search of public pages to hash tags), is long and important.  Just a few short pre twitter, pre app years ago we could depend on the fact that if the information was important to even a small segment of the population someone would put it on a website and it would be indexed by Google and made available…

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Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort

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Thought provoking post from shark tank billionaire, Mark Cuban, on why following “your passion” may not be the best advice…what are your thoughts/comments?

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I hear it all the time from people. “I’m passionate about it.” “I’m not going to quit, It’s my passion”. Or I hear it as advice to students and others “Follow your passion”.

What a bunch of BS.  “Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.

Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing.  We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.

Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around.  How many were/are there ? Why did you bounce from one to another ?  Why were you…

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10 Career Related things to do when it’s Freezing outside

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It’s that time of the year folks! Time to brace ourselves for obligatory weather app screenshots and trending weather updates from every social network! While it is more than likely colder on the other side (hopefully you’re not thinking of Los Angeles) you probably want to avoid or limit your time outside. Here are a few productive ideas that’ll give your career a boost!

1. Get Carded…with a business card that is! Be the Networking King/Queen and always have your info ready on a card complete with your photo.

2. Follow the leader: On Twitter & Facebook, start following companies, organizations and notable figures in your chosen field.

3. Get Mentored: Schedule a coffee date with someone you know who snagged the internship you’ve been dying to know more about.

4. Clean up your Act: Double check your Facebook and Twitter to ensure that no inappropriate material has made it through.

5. Get Organized: Clean up anything! Your room, your computer, your planner,etc. Being organized means having clearer goals and objectives.

6. Use what you have: With your school’s Career Center, alumni can still utilize it, and gain valuable advice from the people who live and breath everything career.

7. Set-up your LinkedIn: It’s not just for Business Majors! Set up your professional page to learn about job opportunities and broaden your network.

8. Make an appointment: Through your network, find someone in a job position you can see yourself in and ask to job shadow them.

9. Find a job: Part time jobs can help you develop really important skills like customer service, multitasking and time management.

10. Motivate Someone: After gaining a mentor, use your success to motivate and mentor someone else (preferably a peer). Plus, a little bit of competition never hurt anyone!

Google’s “Here’s to 2013”: Happy New Year!

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The holidays are the perfect time for Ad agencies to play with our heartstrings while encouraging laughter/tears (at the same time!) and instill hope and inspiration.

Google’s “Zeitgeist: Here’s to 2013” is definitely my favorite end of the year ad. The commercial addresses the one question we all secretly ask; What does the rest of the world Google? Complete with snaps of the most read about moments of 2013, Google reminds us of the American spirit that continues to strive and inspire after loss and love. They also highlight global trends, with a map that shows you what were the most searched terms in your exact area.

Coming up in second, Apple’s “Misunderstood” follows a humble family during the holiday season; frolicking in the snow, baking holiday cookies and sharing the seemingly precious family bonding moments…albeit one family member who can’t seem to keep his nose out of his iPhone. Completely identifiable right? As millennials, we all have that one family member who refuses to put their smart phone away during supper (or maybe even we’re the culprits). As emotionally driven Apple commercials usually go, the young man ends up surprising his family with a collection of intimate photos and videos that he has secretly been acquiring the whole time. With the giving holiday spirit in mind, Apple shows us just how they strive to bring value to every family by allowing every iPhone user the opportunity to share what matters the most when it’s most convenient. In this new technological age, It was great to be reminded of the fact that smartphones can do exactly what everyone seems to think they don’t…bring us closer together.