10 Tips for Time Management Within the Workplace

May 24, 2017 / no comments

On average, we spend 8 hours a day at work. We show up at 9am, and leave by 5, that’s 480 minutes, or 28,800 seconds! Yet we complain that there is never enough time in the day. We’re rushing to complete tasks at 4:30 because we desperately want to leave on time. Soon enough, we realize it’s 6 p.m, and we still have work to finish, that we later put off and say we’ll get to tomorrow. It’s a vicious cycle that occurs in every workplace, regardless of what industry you’re in. It’s up to you as an individual to find tips and tricks, so that we can be our most productive self at work.

As a Project Manager, it’s my job to be efficient and organized. Here are 10 tips that I use to manage my time more productively, which I hope you find helpful. Continue Reading…

How to Make the Most Out of Your Internship

November 1, 2016 / no comments

Internships have become more popular in the last couple of years. In order to gain more experience, students are constantly searching for internships to advance in their field of choice, and gain experience. Internships are a unique opportunity to determine what you are interested in, what you are good at, and even what you need to work on.  In this growing industry, more and more people are interested in digital advertising, branding, and social media, and Co-op internships are a good opportunity to find out if it is the right field for you. Being an intern myself, I have learned so much about the industry and the way it functions.

There are many different ways to succeed in the workplace, but since an internship is the time to learn, there are three specific tips that will make you stand out. After completing an internship, these are traits that I believe are essential for succeeding. Continue Reading…

Writing, Uninterrupted: the Rise of Distraction-Free Writing

December 10, 2015 / no comments

Here’s an idea; hop onto your preferred search engine right now, and run a search for “distraction free writing applications.” Almost immediately, you will be greeted by a vast selection of applications which can help “mute” your desktop. The idea of cancelling out all of the potential distractions on your screen is a growing trend in the world of online writing — based on the idea that writing in its purest form is based on a complete lack of distractions.

photo cred: lifehacker.com

photo cred: lifehacker.com

What has taken so long for these applications to really take hold, though? The answer could be that distraction-free writing tools give you the opportunity to cancel out the influx of other applications available on your computer. It’s not just writing applications available to the average internet user, but countless other apps to help your organize your life, schedule your time, and do anything and everything in between. Given the sheer number of options, applications that “tune out” these potential distractions are in-demand — instead of adding to the mess of business, distraction-free writing tools are replacing the variety of options with only one option: to write, and then to write some more.

While there is no lack of options to do some distraction-free writing, there are certainly some that stand out from the crowd. Consider some of these apps before you undertake your next manuscript, screenplay, or blog:

Draft 

photo cred: ghost.org

photo cred: ghost.org

Draft offers an aesthetically pleasing interface where you can cut out distractions. The added twist is the Hemingway mode, which doesn’t allow for editing on the fly. It forces you to type without using the backspace button, only allowing for editing after the mode has been disabled. Hemingway mode is meant to facilitate the flow of writing, without the at-times debilitating process of going back and tweaking everything you’ve already said.

Hemingway Editor 

hemingway editor

photo cred: brit.co

Hemingway Editor began as an easy way to evaluate whether or not your writing was “plain language” enough — allowing for an instantaneous knowledge translation exercise. The application itself also offers a useful interface for writing, which combined with the evaluative aspect of seeing how relatable your writing is, provides for a unique and productive experience for writers of all kinds. We all want to be understood, after all.

Calmly Writer 

Calmly Writer is another attractive application that allows for distraction-free writing. The twist for this app is the fact that it provides a laser-focused approach to the writing process, highlighting the specific paragraph you are currently writing. It focuses on exactly what you are writing in that moment, and allows for better concentration.

This is just a taste of what’s going on in the world of distraction-free writing, so don’t be afraid of experimenting and trying out new applications as they are released. Every writer’s process is different, so it is important to use exactly the right medium to express yourself.

Personal Branding in the Workplace

October 15, 2015 / no comments

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As children, we think about what or who we want to become when we grow up. Maybe it’s a rock star or a fire fighter–or even a superhero! As teenagers, our imagination becomes a little more pragmatic and we begin to think more sensibly. ‘Maybe, I’ll become a doctor or a lawyer, even an investment banker’. But, as years pass and we enter adulthood, nearing the end of our academic career, the nightmare that is commonly referred to as ‘the real world’ begins to sink in, anxiety rises and we ask ourselves: ‘What the hell am I going to do with my life?’

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As many people have experienced, it’s not always easy to answer this question. Maybe it’s because people are still trying to find themselves, figuring out who they are and what they like. Thus, the answer to the question isn’t the problem, but the question itself is. It’s too overwhelming and scary to think about what we have planned for the rest of our lives. So instead, let’s tone it down and think basic. Ask yourself, ‘Who am I? What makes me different? How do I want people to see me?’ These are the most authentic questions we can ask ourselves. Everything we do is somehow founded upon these basic questions. For example, when an entrepreneur decides to start his/her own business, he/she has to figuring out their corporate identity; what sets themselves a part from their competitors, how to humanize themselves and build relationships with consumers and how they want to be perceived in the public eye. Thus, in many factors of life, we go back to the beginning and ask ourselves these types of questions. We can also use the answers to these questions to develop our own personal branding. Now that you know what you want–how do you sell your brand to a potential employee, client, or boss?

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Moreover, these are the basic questions of self-identity. By figuring out the answers to these questions, we uncover our passions, interests, hobbies, and eventual life goals. These revelations are what will help guide you to the second chapter of your life, when you begin to think about real world issues like: ‘What type of job do I want?’ By understanding your identity and your personal brand, the opportunities are endless. Your journey has only just begun.

How to Foster a Good Company Culture

October 1, 2015 / 2 comments

Photo cred: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/

Cultural Fits > Experience

Someone once told me that a smart person can learn anything, so don’t focus too heavily on experience as the sole motivation for hiring a new employee. Hiring someone who corresponds with the culture of your company and would mesh well with the already present employees is (arguably) more important than hiring someone with a stacked resume. Why? One bad hire can disturb the flow and function of an entire department, or even worse, the entire company, whereas a good hire can add something positive and valuable to the company that may have been previously lacking.

Assign a ‘Director Of Culture’

Assigning the responsibility of Director of Culture to an employee may seem obvious, but ensuring that someone is directly responsible for organizing all company events and cultural happenings is key for boosting employee morale. Knowing that there is someone who is putting the employees first and organizing events for their enjoyment is a crucial factor for nurturing a positive company culture and happy workplace. It also works to show that the company is putting its employees first by showing that they care about employee satisfaction and team building.

Photo cred: http://www.khoslaventures.com/company-culture-and-downtown-las-vegas

Collaboration is King

Cultivating an environment that encourages teamwork and collaboration is vital for creating a positive company culture. Opening the lines of communication between departments by promoting cross-departmental coordination not only fosters a workplace that welcomes learning and employee growth, but also helps employees understand each other better through various modes of collaboration. Teamwork within an organization ensures that all parties involved understand that they are working towards a common goal, and this goal unifies employees. Collaboration between employees builds the understanding that your employees are a cohesive team, rather than a bunch of individuals who happen to be employed by the same organization.

Social Recruitment- How You Can Use It to Your Advantage

August 13, 2015 / no comments

The Social Job Search

The market is saturated and the competition is tough. If you are a job-seeker in this day and age, social media has most likely become a central part of your search. Whether it’s tapping into LinkedIn, following job prospect accounts on Twitter or watching for great company shout outs on your Instagram feed, the best way to stay connected with who is hiring is through social. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 79% of candidates are likely to use social media to find jobs. Among younger workers the number is even higher: 86% of people in the first 10 years of their career said they are likely to use social media in their job search (via Hootsuite).

Recruiters Are On Social

Coming from personal experience in my early job hunting days especially looking to find a career in social media, LinkedIn and Twitter I found to be the most useful platforms to find new opportunities. Increasingly recruiters are looking to LinkedIn to search specific keywords and use geo targeting filters to find potential candidate for jobs. Even if you aren’t necessarily looking, LinkedIn is a great tool to showcase your career accomplishments and increase the strength of your profile so that you may be found and offered opportunities you didn’t even know existed.

Social media not only allows you to showcase your experience and skills, but allows employers to gain a better glimpse into your lifestyle and values. Fitting into company culture is a crucial component for many companies and often trumps experience in some cases.

So how can you use social media to find your dream job?

  1. Clean up your online persona– think like a recruiter, the first thing they are going to do is Google you, what are they likely to find? If it’s something you wouldn’t want your mom to see, chances are a recruiter wouldn’t either. That being said be sure to update all of your social profiles regularly, especially if you claim to be the next social media guru. Keep your resume up to date on LinkedIn and use an appropriate headshot across all platforms, at least while you’re in the job hunting phase.
  2. What are the current employees saying about the company– there are great websites like Glassdoor where former employees give feedback on their experiences with the company. Instagram is also a great view into a company’s corporate culture and the people you might be working with. If employees are happy about where they are you will often find them posting photos of office potlucks, outings and company happenings.
  3. Soak it all in- if you’ve found the place you know you defiantly want to be, follow that company on all their social feeds to stay updated with what’s going on. Following companies you love and would want to work for on social media will keep you motivated and in the loop of the kind of people they are looking for.

The social sphere is a big, wide open space that offers endless possibilities and connections. So flex your social muscles, create meaningful conversations and connect with companies that will challenge and inspire you.

Career Tips from the Social Sphere

July 16, 2015 / one comment

The Young and Aspiring

Career advice for young aspiring digital marketers is like a gourmet block of fine cheese imported from France for mice. As more graduates enter the work force each year and digital marketing is moving at the speed of light, often the roles that new graduates are applying for are redefining their qualifications and needs every day.

As a young digital marketer myself, working in the industry has really made me appreciate those who are always challenging the landscape and coming up with new and inventive ways to make our industry even cooler. Lately I have been scanning through LinkedIn like I would have with Facebook 5 years ago, I’ve found that becoming a young professional has changed my interests from “what you did on vacation” to “what is Twitter, Airbnb, and Snapchat doing now?” Lately I have been making some great connections over LinkedIn and Twitter with like-minded individuals who love to share content about up-and-coming trends in social and where mobile is heading next.

Career Tips for the Socially Connected

Connecting and communicating with all of these great contacts has lead me to some amazing career tips from seasoned pros in the field that have truly inspired me. So to all those entry-level, digital savvy warriors out there thinking where do I start and is it just me- take it from me everyone has struggled and there is no defined path to success. But with the Internet, proper hashtags and a lot of hard work and determination, you can reach your goals.

Here is some great advice that I have found online lately through my personal social sphere:

  • “If you want something then do it. Everything you have learnt through your education will play its part. Nothing is wasted, just a part of the journey”.- Vanessa Harvey @VYogaLife
  • “BE PERSISTENT! It took me 9 months of interviews with 3 different resumes and 4 different managers, a presentation and multiple phone calls to land only a 3 month contract. But I was doing work I was passionate about so it was worth it”. –Trevor Ellestad @trevorellestad
  • “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal; you have to go for it. But it takes hard work and dedication and you might not always get what you think you deserve. It doesn’t matter. Handle yourself with professionalism and remember that in business, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Mind your reputation and the rest will come.”  Aliza Licht @AlizaLicht  from Leave Your Mark
  • “The straight and narrow is not the only path to success”.- Sophia Amoruso @Sophia_Amoruso  from #Girlboss
  • “A day off, doesn’t have to be an off day”- Kendall Cramm @kcramm93

Using Your Social Media Profiles as a Resume Boost

May 13, 2015 / no comments

Importance of Social Media for Your Resume

I’m slowly learning being in the digital marketing industry, especially social media it is more important how your social profiles and website look rather than your traditional resume.  Employers are more often than not using social media networks to find the right candidate, rather than going through resumes. Although it is important to maintain a proper resume, it is becoming even more important if not already as to how you conduct yourself on LinkedIn, Twitter and more recently Instagram.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your professional tool that shows employers and connections that you mean business. Your profile is basically a digital resume showcasing your past jobs, responsibilities and how many people have recommended you on your skills. If you are seriously looking for a job keeping a polished LinkedIn page is your best bet at getting noticed and taken seriously. Not only does LinkedIn have millions of members which translates into millions of possibilities for connections, your profile also shows up in Google searches. When someone Google’s your name you want to ensure your professional profile comes up polished and well-kept and not an embarrassing Facebook photo, Google likes that.

Twitter

In the social media community management world, employers often want you to submit your Twitter handle. This allows them to see your thoughts, what brands you follow and care about, and how your content writing skills look in 140 characters or less. If you’ve become an emotional “tweeter” may I suggest not doing this and use your Twitter account to start conversations with brands or reach out to social influencers in your space to show that you are in the know.

Instagram

With the viral popularity of Instagram, employers may look at your account to see who you are as a person. The saying goes “pictures or it didn’t happen”. Instagram let’s employers briefly see into your life, what activities you participate in and how you see the world. Corporate culture and how you fit into a company is becoming more important than whether you have the right skills. If you are serious about making it in the social media industry, you better be on Instagram and you better know how to use the right filters.

The best advice I can give for people looking to dive into a social media career are;

1) Clean Up Your Social Profiles

Facebook photo albums of parties when you were 18 were fun but it’s a blast from the past that can be kept private.

2) Care About Who You Are Connecting With

Follow and engage with brands and companies you care about. Creating a personal community you are proud of will show potential employers you know how to manage their communities.

3) Create a Website, Landing Page, or Online Profile

Yes the profiles you manage live online and are available for anyone to see, but when employers are looking for the perfect candidate pulling the best stats from a profile or campaign you worked on will make their job a lot easier.

Why Companies Are Still Ignoring Your Emails

May 1, 2015 / no comments

Photo cred: @Ash_o_lee

Emails for Emails

It can be extremely frustrating to email out canned response emails every day, or even just a simple email that requires an immediate response (one that you’ve been waiting for, for weeks now). So why are they ignoring you?

When someone ignores your email at work it can be easy to take this personally, but you have to realize that many people receive hundreds of emails a day. Your email might have been labeled as “unimportant” or disappeared into the black hole of the ‘Inbox’ folder. So how can you make sure that someone looks at and responds to your email in a timely manner?

Tricks to Get Your Email Noticed

There are different tricks that you can use to make sure that your email stands out from the rest. Although a quick response is never guaranteed, at least you can improve your chances.

Five tips to perfect your emails are:

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Photo cred: blog.lifeinstyle.com.au

1. Make sure the subject of your email is in CAPS

If the subject of your email is written in capital letters, it will stand out in an overwhelming mail inbox.

E,g, Details about the marketing campaign VS. DETAILS ABOUT THE MARKETING CAMPAIGN

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Photo cred: www.tellemcampaigns.com

2. If your email is extremely important or requires an immediate response, make this clear

If you have an email that you need answered ASAP: let the CEO, employee, client or secretary know. Label your emails accordingly.

E.g. IMPORTANT: INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRIP

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Photo cred: www.buzzstream.com

3. Make sure you personalize the email

If you are sending out canned responses or multiple emails throughout the day, your emails might lack personality and personalization. This is key in order to entertain the reader of the email and show that you’ve been paying attention. People like it when you get their name right. They also like to see that you’ve been paying attention to their company.

Try adding something you read about the company recently in your email if you are trying to pitch a company, or comment on a recent conversation you had with the person you are emailing.

E.g. “Hey Jane, I remember when we last spoke you said that you were having a big dinner at your house for the holidays — hope that went well! I was thinking about you and your company and how you’d be perfect…”

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Photo cred: blog.smartsourcerentals.com

4. Keep the email short and sweet

When you are trying to get a hold of a busy person you have to be aware that a long email is extremely overwhelming for them to look at. Keep your emails as brief and as clear as you can make them so that you get your point or question across effectively. People are more likely to respond to your email faster if you cut straight to the point.

E.g. “Hey Sue, I was wondering if you could take a look at the Facebook account for B-Incorporated today. Please make sure that everything is seamless and in-line with what you were looking for. Thanks, A.”

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Photo cred – www.myfaceicons.com

5. Create a quirky email signature

Sometimes it’s the little things that really grab people’s attention when it comes to emails. Try spicing up your email with a daily quote at the bottom or a mantra of yours. It can really personalize your email and give the person you are emailing a hint of who you are as a person. In the end, an email is reaching another human being – not a robot. You can also add a picture or cartoon of yourself too.

E.g. Jane Retter

“Art is anything you can get away with.” -Andy Warhol

So if your emails are getting ignored, don’t take it personally! People are people and we all lead busy lives. These are five tips that you can use on a day-to-day basis in order to perfect your email skills and get the timely responses that you were looking for. Change up your email style to see what works for you and always remember that you are emailing a human being, like yourself. What would make you open and reply to an email on a busy workday? Ask yourself this before you click ‘send’ and good luck!