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.

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.