LinkedIn’s New Feature

LinkedIn has nearly 400 million users all around the world, networking for everything from advice to new careers. They are well known for using algorithms to suggest these potential business connections and jobs based off of the information in your profile. However, now LinkedIn is using more data analytics for a new platform – job listings.

Now you can see more data about the company, who works there and how your application compares to previous applicants. You can even see who in your own network is connected to people in the company and connect to those in between. When is this rolling out? The new look will be available to about 10% of LinkedIn’s English audience today to people in the U.S., Canada, India, the UK and Australia. LinkedIn will be expanding this feature into other international regions early next year.

LinkedIn had recently made a huge improvement to their recruitment products so these revamped job listing are the perfect compliment for anyone that is looking to hire – great use of their wide database. I would imagine that they were thinking that creating a better job-hunting experience could pay off to more use in the future caused this development. There are dozens of places to look for jobs online so they seem to have a clear understanding that they need to go above and beyond basic capabilities in order to stand out.

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Obviously, certain features will only be available in their Premium package. This includes more insights about the company and wider hiring policies such as the company’s growth rate, average tenure, top schools and companies it hires from, etc. The only thing that I’m not sure about is if employees have the chance to opt in to be listed in job postings or if LinkedIn or maybe even the employer will manage it. Either way, it sounds like the Premium package gives you access to really good information to help determine if you are a good fit before even having to go about the hassle of applying.

I think that it is smart of LinkedIn to use its strength in big data to build out a stronger platform. These features will only increase the usage of its services, resulting in an increase of revenue. Who knows, maybe next year the “Who’s viewed your profile” and “Who’s viewed your posts” will be revamped as well!

Everyone is Too Busy

Being busy is the new humblebrag. It starts at work, but it also extends to family and personal activities. People that categorize themselves as busy think that doing so makes themdownload (1) in-demand or praiseworthy. They need to re-evaluate.

There is pressure at work, home, school, events, volunteer opportunities, friends, family – it all drives us a bit crazy. As you read that sentence and saw something in your own life for each of them, you probably thought, “How am I going to fit all of this in?” That is the sign that you are too busy.

At different times in our lives, there are different priorities. Some stay and some go. However, from time to time, it is very important to evaluate your schedule to prevent you from becoming too busy.

Stop

Over-committing is the quickest way to get yourself off-course from achieving what you care most about right now. Don’t put anything else on your to-do list. Take a step back from everything – you need to gain clarity. Do what you absolutely must for a week and cut everything else out.

Evaluate

After you have slowed down and caught your breath, you are ready to evaluate your current state. Time management is a zero-sum game. The only way that you can fix a broken schedule is by making sense of where you currently stand. Write a list of where and how you are spending your time. Then, write down everything that is on your mind, your schedule and weighing you down.

Prioritize

Now it is time for a fresh start. What is the most important task for each day to get closer to your goals? What do you value most? In essence, ask “why” you do each thing instead of “what.” Using the list that you just made above, circle or underline five items that are the most important and the five activities that contributed the least to your objectives.

Go

Once you know what matters most, you can get going again with less weigh on your shoulders. Start each day with confidence involving what you will accomplish and why. Remove events that don’t align with your high-level goals. Only add obligations that have a clear connection to what is most important.

There is no need to humblebrag about how busy you are. Find the joy in each day and appreciate your life.

5 Tech Skills that You Need for Your Career

Take a moment to think about how different your job or industry was in the 1980s or 90s. You job may not have even existed then. In the past 3- years, things have changed very rapidly. In the early 90s, being able to use Microsoft Word and Excel meant that you had advanced computer skills. Now, people don’t even list those skills on their resume because they are too basic.

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Every single career field is changing – if it isn’t, it is going to become obsolete. You can expect your career to be affected so take a look around now at what technologies are creeping up on you.

I believe that these 5 key skills are what you need to succeed in the near future and not become outdated.

 

  1. Understand Data

You don’t have to be a data scientist, but every field benefits from big data and analytics so get familiar with the concept and how it works. Research what kinds of data your field is collecting as well as what is being used and applied. Learn enough to understand better and how to ask the right questions.

  1. Cyber Security

This can make or break a company. No matter what your position is within a company, being aware of cyber security protects you, your company and your customers. This includes everything from keeping track of your ID badge to follow IT’s recommendations when choosing a password, but it could also keep you from being a weak link in the security chain.

  1. Social Media

Every company has social media and more and more, they want employees on all levels to be brand ambassadors online. Even if you aren’t asked to, companies are not afraid to fire individuals who post embarrassing or illegal things to social media. Know what your company’s privacy policies are; the more you know, the more of an asset you are to the company.

  1. Understanddownload the Cloud

If you haven’t yet, you will soon enter the cloud. More and more often, businesses are storing their data as well as internal and external apps in the cloud. Learn about how cloud computing works and where your company data is stored to help keep it secure.

  1. Video Communications

Video conferencing is here to stay. Job interviews, webinars, training etc are all placed over video such as Skype more and more frequently. While in these high pressure situations, you don’t want to be the one who can’t get their microphone to work. Make sure that you know how to use your video communications program so that you feel comfortable using them when it really counts.

How to Hire the Best Talent Right Now

Talent is the lifeblood of your company, so recruiting is one of the top jobs for any executive or entrepreneur. There are three macroeconomic factors that are converging to make hiring more difficult for companies – the stronger economy, the large increase in demand for technically skilled workers and the booming freelance economy. Let me explain my points.

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Growing Economy

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in September, which is the lowest level since April of 2008. The low unemployment rate and healthier economy puts pressure on salaries. Median household incomes have consequently increased by 5.2 percent each year. However, low unemployment means that talented employees have more options than ever. If you’re like most companies, you have seen an executive respond with a counteroffer to avoid having a key employee “poached.” This has happened more and more frequently over the past few years.

Explosion of Tech

As our economy becomes more and more driven by technology, the skills needed to manage this new world are more valuable than ever. Software plays a very important role in fields that are not traditionally considered tech such as food, retail, real estate and transportation. That means that hiring tech-savvy workers is more of a challenge. Talent agencies for programmers now exist to hire out the best of the best on a model similar to the agency model for Hollywood stars.

Freelancing

A recent study by Edelman Berland and Upwork found some surprising statistics about freelance workers. The amount of U.S. workers who do some sort of freelancing has grown by 700,000 just in the past year and constitutes for 34 percent of the workforce. There are almost 54 million Americans that freelance and this trend has no signs of going away. For some people, this is just an evening job like driving a car on the weekends or putting together a mix of part-time traditional work. A shocking finding is that over 40 percent of U.S. freelancers don’t have a boss at all – they are entirely self-employed and freelancing is their primary form of income.

Freelancing appears to be more of a choice than a necessity. They enjoy the greater flexibility and many of them are actually making more money than they would working for an employer – 78 percent said that it took a year or less to exceed their previous income.

In a tight labor market, the smart professionals are realizing their options go beyond traditional employment. Smart companies will have to do the same and follow the talent as it embraces the freelance economy.

A New Kind of CEO?

Last week, Twitter’s new CEO Jack Dorsey had a big announcement for his employees in which he appropriately informed them via tweet. Dorsey decided that he would give a third of his stock options to all Twitter employees – that’s approximately one percent of the total issuance with a market value of $197 million.

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This is an unprecedented act of generosity and I believe that this should serve as a valuable lesson for leaders. Why?

  1. Retaining the company’s most valuable asset

Intellectual property, exclusive customer contracts, unique service offering, differentiated market locations are all assets that companies value. However, each of them require employees in order to maintain, enhance and commercialize that value. Dorsey has realized that his workforce is Twitter’s most valuable asset, which is why he gave them the options grant as a retention incentive. An employee’s options grant is usually broken into percentage blocks, with each block vesting annually over a number of years. This is an effective long-term tool to keep his people happy.

  1. Boost the morale of employees

It gives his employees a performance target to help structure they’re daily activities. More importantly, it transforms the employees into company owners. Then employees feel more valued and also gives them a sense of all being apart of the Twitter team if they didn’t already feel it.

  1. Culturally focused team

Dorsey’s leadership also sets a strong tone of conduct across the whole organization. Employees won’t forget this surprising demonstration of generosity towards them. Now there is a Twitter DNA of teamwork, generosity and consideration.

  1. Telling investors that they matter

Shareholders matter, no matter if it is a start-up raising venture capital or a publicly traded company that is accountable to its investors. One of the amazing aspects of Dorsey’s gesture is that his block of options isn’t dilutive to its current shareholders. That means that Dorsey’s stake in the company was already publicly disclose so the amount of his options grant was already considered into the stock purchase decision of existing shareholders that already bought the stock.

Dorsey could have had the company issue a new block of six or seven million options for employees that would have been dilutive to shareholders, but instead he pulled from his own resources. That is a remarkable act of stewardship and leadership – the new visionary CEO. Do you think that other leaders and CEOs will catch on and follow suit?

Productivity Tips for Professionals

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In today’s age we are more connected than ever, which means that we are communicating more, which means that we are doing more. Time is our greatest resource, but also the one that we lack the most. The solution is to become more productive in the time that we do have. Here are some things that I try to do to perform my best throughout the day.

Breathe In & Out

Comfort is key – that is why you have to make sure that you feel good and relaxed before beginning any new task and even during it. Spend 30 seconds on medicating or even just drinking a cup of water. Think about it as giving you more “space of RAM” to be concentrated again.

Write It Down

Write every single one of your tasks down on colored paper with different tones. Organize them by priority and set deadlines. Not only will this help you stay on track with what is most important, but you will be able to quantify your jobs and really see what your day will look like. The colors also help to relax your brain and give you fresh energy.

Utilize Your Driving Time

Prepare for your day even before you are in the office. Think about what is already planned and get an idea of when you want to work on certain tasks. If you take a train to work, then you can even actively change meeting times to ease up your schedule so that you enter your office with a peace of mind.

Seek Help

You don’t always have to finish every task by yourself. Find colleagues or friends that can help prepare the essential information and material for you by the time you turn back to the job.

Call People

Most of us are impatient, including myself. Rather than waiting for someone to read your email and reply with the possibility of miscommunication errors, just pick up the phone. This way, you get more direct and correct information and gives you the opportunity to ask more questions that you probably wouldn’t write in an email, afraid that they would go unanswered if there are too many.

These are simple things that you can easily integrate into your work habits that will make your productivity increase and overall, make you much less stressed and more ready when you arrive for work. What other ways do you improve your productivity?

Network Like You Mean It

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Business networking isn’t all winging and wining, business cards and elevator pitches. Most people don’t even like networking. I get it, after a long work day, the thought of having to make conversation with a room full of strangers seems like another big chore. However, the negative stigma to business networking has to stop because it is vital to the progression of your career.

Time after time, the most successful people that I meet are also the best networkers. They realize that business networking is a tool and they have found a way to make it work for them. Now, it is no longer a task for them and they can do it with ease. Just follow these three tips to get yourself started.

  1. It’s not formal anymore

First of all, there is no rule that says that you need to network over a glass of wine in a hotel ballroom and exchange business cards. Networking can happen whenever, wherever and however you want it to happen. It can take place at a birthday party, during a workout or volunteering with your family on the weekend. Pick your favorite activities and find groups that share those passions and join them. This will help make you feel more relaxed and naturally confident – you’ll find yourself making better, more positive impressions.

  1. Set measurable goals

I know what you’re thinking, what kind of goals? Here you go: At the beginning of each month, write down a number of events that you want to attend over the next 30 days. Feel free to vary them according to work and personal commitments. Next, select which industries or organization that you want to network. What do you hope to achieve? Meet new people, learn best practices, promote your business? Decide and keep a running log of your progress. You’ll be able to maximize your time and energy because you won’t feel the need to go to every event invitation that you receive.

  1. Maintain relationships

Remember that meeting someone once doesn’t mean anything. The relationship happens during the follow up. To help support this, keep a list of the people you meet with details such as their work, interests and anything else that will help you remember the connection. Make your first email to them memorable, something that will make them think or laugh. Review this list of people every three months and reach out to them again, share a resource or invite them to another networking event.

It is not about the number of people you know, but how well you know them and even more important, how well they know you. Don’t waste any opportunities, get going!

The Trend That Will Affect Us All

The future may be hard to predict and sometimes we guess wrong. However, there is one trend that will have a big impact on everyone’s business for not only the next few years, but possibly the coming decades. One thing that we cannot deny is that tomorrow, we will be older than we are today. Changes of demography can have very important political, economic and military consequences.

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Let’s take a look at Europe and Japan first. Recent statistics are showing that populations in these two countries are having fewer children – they are also facing a distressing level of youth unemployment. Some worrisome implications of this is a less experienced workforce that will need to financially support a larger elderly population. Meanwhile, Europe is having a huge migration crisis. Who will make it to Europe, where will they settle?

Competitiveness will be at a high in mature economies like Japan and the United States. The workforce will be older, healthcare costs will be higher and there will probably be less pension benefits.

I know what you’re thinking – “What about China?” Many analysts have been betting that China will take up the demographic slack and be the growth engine of the future, but that is not the case. Sure, right now Chinese citizens are relatively prosperous, but China’s one child policy is beginning to take its toll. The smaller number of the next generation is going to have to support a much larger pool of aging citizens, just how it is in developed countries. The Middle Kingdom still accounts for a large proportion of the world’s population and mainland China will still fuel world growth economically. However, the pace of this growth will vary province by province.

As you can already see, companies will need to be creative and find new innovative business models that can take advantage of the shifting demographics of their operating countries’ populations.

The growth in the world will come from countries like India and Africa – this is where the big opportunities lay. Over the next decade, African economies such as Ethiopia, Tanzania and Mozambique are predicted to grow as fast or even faster than some recent Asian countries. However, we must keep in mind that problems like corruption, political instability, poor education and lack of infrastructure could slow or limit growth.

Overall, these shifts in demography will not cause a decline by any means. There will be room for new business opportunities across industries, especially healthcare.

3 Ways to Have a Bigger Impact

The theme of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative was “the future of impact.” I began to think about what we can do as individual lePartnerships-Are-the-Future-of-Impactaders to create a better world for the next generation. There are many different ways to go about this, but I do believe that there are three fundamental changes that we can make. If we implement them into all tasks, big and small, I think that we can create some positivity for our future.

GIVE BACK

Everyone, successful or not should give back. It isn’t just the right thing to do, but the gratification that it gives you is like nothing else. Volunteering creates shared value for everyone – whether it is employees, customers, partners or shareholders. When a group of people join together to take on an environmental or social issue, they take on much more than a few hours of their time. They can address an immediate need, but also put attention on a long-term solution, no matter the challenges. Every effort to give back makes a difference in someone. That someone will turn around and impact someone else or some thing in a positive way as well. Giving back has a multiplier effect, remember your one action is not alone.

MENTORSHIP

Mentoring young people around me is something that I have always naturally done, probably because I had it done for me. Besides my parents, I have had many other brilliant mentors that have shaped me into the person that I have become. My favorite part of mentoring others is watching them grow and realize that they are capable of great things. Us, as mentors are an invaluable resource that can ignite a mentee’s ambition – so we need to take advantage of it and lead them to opportunities we know they can handle.
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I am a firm believer that everyone has something to learn from someone – yes, even your mentees. I think that by working with others, especially from diverse backgrounds and interests, we can achieve so much more. By simply having the commitment of working together, two people or a group of people can create a new way of thinking that can have better impact on the future than you could have had alone.

Very early in my life, I was taught the importance of “paying it forward” and I believe that these three steps should serve as reminders of how we can have a lasting effect on the world and its future leaders.

Do It, Ask Questions

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb

Handsome businessman daydreaming of his business future

I was recently in a meeting with a CEO of a very successful company, one that I look up to. In the middle of the meeting, someone mentioned something about retail in China. He immediately perked up and began asking a number of questions. There’s no doubt that this man is a successful professional, but yet when you found something that he did not know very much about – he asked questions and learned. We think of good professionals as working hard, inspiring others, negotiating well, but another critical quality that I think we need to keep in mind is that they aren’t afraid to ask questions. I think that asking questions shows some further good attributes.

Confidence

No one is really a know-it-all and it is never a good look. Asking questions shows others that you are confident enough to admit when you don’t know. This enables you to grow, just like the CEO did.

Openness

When you ask questions, the dynamic in the room changes. When you are no longer the big dog in the room, others are more likely to open up and ask questions too. With everyone better informed, better decisions can be made.

Preparation

I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t asking questions show a poor command of the subject?” Well, not really. If you have a series of questions to ask in every meeting, it shows your team that you are on top of what is going on in the business and where there are gaps.

Sales

This might sound a little counterintuitive to you, but it is actually a sales strategy that works. When I first got started, young and naïve, I learned that asking questions is a great way to sell yourself and your company. By doing this, you let others feel empowered and shows that you are interested in their passion. They are more likely to trust you and want to work with you.

If anyone ever seems upset that you are asking a question, they are not true working professionals. Show them what a professional is by showing how asking questions makes deeper connections and boosts your career. At the very least, you will leave a meeting knowing more than you did before, which is never a bad thing.

Remember, asking questions shows confidence, openness, preparation and will be a great addition to your sales strategy.