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Posts Tagged ‘Cristofoli-Keeling’

From EHarmony to Indeed: How can dating experience guide your job search?

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

It seems to be the tragic plight of finding love. Most of us have been there—one person thinks they’ve found their dream relationship, but the other party isn’t so sure.

It can be similar in the job search as a candidate might think they’re interviewing for their dream job, while the employer isn’t as smitten with the prospect, or vice versa. Ultimately, what we’re all looking for is the sweet spot where the employer wants the candidate as much as the candidate wants the job, and in dating terms one searching soul finds another.

Determining Your Strategies

While some people choose to accept the first job they’re offered to gain experience in a field (even if they don’t consider it ideal), others may elect to hold out for a position that may come later in their desired field. Similarly, some desire to refrain from dating until they’ve found an ideal candidate, while others will date someone for the experience, knowing they will never be a long-term partner. So, should you ‘swipe right’ on every profile and apply to every job posting, or should you focus on the occasional stand out? Is one option better than the other when looking to land your first job? Not necessarily, but determining a personal strategy will serve you well.

‘Creeping’ Productively

Whether it’s LinkedIn or Instagram, healthy ‘creeping’ could aid your search. Most people are guilty of the occasional perusing of a new love interest or ex’s social media, and this same concept can be true in the job search. Following position openings, field-related thought leaders, and organizations that you admire can be a great way to gain both a better understanding of the field you are interested in and connect with other like-minded individuals. ‘Creeping’ on a potential employer can give you good insight into their background, what they deem important, and the kind of work ethic they expect.

Although it may be overstated, maintaining your social media can be even more important than viewing others. Just as you would be more interested in a dating profile with a picture, LinkedIn reports a similar finding, “LinkedIn profiles with professional head-shots get 14 times more profile views.” Try to view your social media as an outsider would, what perceptions first come to mind?

Taking The Advice Of Others Carefully

A job search is a very personal thing. Just like dating, every person you encounter will give you their personal opinion, story of their successful job search (or marriage), plea for you to stay in the area, or their 5 step plan to being employed. They will share their dominant narratives with you like, “when you stop looking you’ll find the perfect spouse or perfect job!” But, at the end of the day, the question remains: what are you looking for? They can’t determine your non-negotiables, and their ability to find one spouse or one job does not deem them an expert. Stay true to your goals.

Young at heart.

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Lauretta Taggert of St. Paul, Minnesota gives new meaning to the phrase ‘young at heart’ by becoming an exercise instructor at age 100. While most of us accept the trials of aging, Taggert attributes her vitality to a positive attitude and never letting her hair grow gray.

How often do we get caught up on the mundane day-to-day tasks and forget to enjoy life? Lauretta reminds us that we can live life to the fullest, no matter what our age may be. As a society, we have become obsessed with anti-aging and looking and feeling younger. The media tells us that we have to stop the hands of time in order to feel confident in ourselves. Millions of dollars are poured into marketing campaigns every year on the latest anti-aging creams that are supposed to ‘rewind the clock’, but is that really what we want to do?

We have lost respect for aging and the wisdom that comes with it. The more time we spend on earth, the more we grow from the past and develop into better people. Should your life be defined by your biological age, or how young you feel? At what point do we loose ourselves in this fixation with youth, and forget how beautiful aging really is?

The older we get, the excitement we once felt as children when our birthday arrives becomes replaced with dread and fear. Why is that? Very few people get to celebrate a 100-year mark on this earth like Lauretta, so why not celebrate every year that we are given the chance to make more memories? With every year that passes we gain more experiences that make our journey complete, and that should be celebrated. We get to choose what we do with our life, so let’s make the most of it. Take the time to do the things that make you happy, and never forget to stay young at heart. In the words of Charles Dickens, “To a young heart everything is fun.”

Is working from home still the future of business?

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

A flexible work environment is currently one of the most valued aspects of a job. Employees want to be able to work from home, make their own schedules, and find harmony in work-life integration. In recent years, many companies have made a transition to more flexible work schedules and an increased number of remote employees in hopes of cutting office costs, boosting moral and productivity, and attracting new talent. Although many companies have had success, some are finding there are unforeseen downfalls to this latest business trend.

IBM recently announced they’re discontinuing their popular program that allows employees to work remotely. Ironically, IBM was a pioneer of remote work technologies and structures, so the announcement was surprising to many of its remote employees. IBM believes that bringing employees back to the office will improve collaboration and accelerate the pace of work, and they’re not alone. “IBM may be part of a broader rethink of remote work under way at large companies, as corporate leaders argue that putting workers in the same physical space hastens the speed of work and sparks innovation,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, as these companies implement such decisive actions against the remote work trend, they’re taking a risk. Especially when other large companies, such as Aetna, are drastically expanding their work-from-home programs. Many employees, especially younger talents, list flexible work schedules and the ability to work from home as one of their most desired job benefits, putting these companies at risk of missing out on new talent.

However, while employee satisfaction and morale are certainly important, companies must find a balance that ensures work processes are as productive as possible. And while technology allows us to accomplish a lot, it simply doesn’t replace a human connection. Collaboration and communication are more fruitful and productive in person. There’s so much you get out of an in-person meeting that simply doesn’t yet translate on an email, phone call or via Skype, such as body language and the collective energy of progress. So while a remote job position is convenient, it may be a dying trend of the past, instead of the future of business as predicted.

Opinions are like assholes.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Eduardo Salles is a realist illustrator known for creating brutally honest, yet often funny and ironic, comics about modern life. His illustrations bring to light the harsh realities of our society – from brutal truths about social media to the reality of humanism and relationships today. In the illustration below, Salles perfectly summarizes five of today’s popular social media sites on signs with a single sentence. For example, the Twitter sign says, “We are offended by everything.” However, the last sign he includes is not about a social media site; it’s about the “real world”. This real world sign appropriately says, “Your opinion does not matter.”

Everyone with a social media account has a platform to share their opinions with the masses; it doesn’t matter whether those opinions are solicited and/or valuable. And while people have always been vociferous on social media, it seems the forceful sharing of opinions has only increased as a result of the 2016 presidential election. But how does that practice and attitude translate into our “real world” lives?

With people spending an increased amount of time on social media sites, the line between the “real world” and the social media world may be blurring. It seems as though many people have adopted the idea that they should get to express their opinion and have their personal needs met in both worlds. We’re especially seeing this more in the workforce. CEOs, HR executives and company leaders have expressed frustration with younger employees feeling entitled to sharing their opinions and having their demands met, despite their lack of experience and seniority. Companies are experiencing pressure to constantly work collaboratively, solicit employee input, and meet employee demands. While this can be a positive tactic in some cases that increases employee retention rates, there has to be a line drawn at some point. Employees need to understand that an office isn’t equivalent to a Twitter account. The harsh reality is, their opinions don’t always matter. Everyone cannot always have a ‘seat at the table’ and the opportunity to share an opinion – nothing would get accomplished. Everyone disagreeing and sharing opposing viewpoints on social media has certainly not been productive or positive, so why would anyone think it would work well in the real world?

American musician Allan Sherman said it best… “They sit there in committees day after day, And they each put in a color and it comes out gray. And we all have heard the saying, which is true as well as witty, That a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.”

So while interacting in the world of social media… share away! But if we want to be productive in the real world it’s time to accept that “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one” and sometimes they just don’t matter.

 

Starbucks is discontinuing its best product – the original coffee shop experience.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

There are a lot of places to grab a good, quick cup of coffee; and Starbucks is certainly one of them. However, Starbucks’ skyrocket to success wasn’t a result of its coffee. Since opening in 1971, Starbucks was inherently different from most coffee shops because it focused on creating a community experience and human connection. Howard Schultz’s (Starbucks chairman and long-time CEO) vision for Starbucks was a place for conversation and a sense of community. A third place between work and home. And the mission of Starbucks is ‘to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.’

For years, this idea of focusing on the customer experience and human connection was evident in Starbucks locations throughout the world. In 2008, Annamarie Ausnes, a regular Starbucks customer who suffered from polycystic kidney disease was in need of a kidney transplant. Her Starbucks barista, Sandie Andersen, noticed a change in Annamarie’s sunny disposition. Usually, Annamarie was friendly and upbeat; sharing stories of her grandchildren and even bringing Sandie vacation souvenirs. When Sandie asked what was wrong, Annamarie shared her story and need for a kidney. Sandie immediately got a blood test, and when she found out she was a match, told Annamarie that she wanted to donate her kidney. A few months later, the kidney transplant was a success!

But Starbucks has begun to lose sight of its fundamental roots that are responsible for its success – good coffee and a human connection. Today, the focus on relationships and customer experience is taking a back seat to convenience and speed. The main objective has become ‘how quickly can we get customers through the line’ with very little interaction between customer and barista. This has only been intensified by mobile ordering, which further moves the “experience” to focus on convenience. Now a customer doesn’t even have to talk to an actual person to get a coffee – how is that inline with the mission of inspiring and nurturing the human spirit?

Starbucks has not only lost sight of its focus on the experience, but also its commitment to its core products. Starbucks coffee is coveted because of its reputation for being a quality, high-end, valuable product. However, through its newest promotions, Starbucks has offered its prized coffee to customers for free with the purchase of non-fundamental menu items, such as sandwiches. What kind of message does it send to give away a prime product that was once viewed as valuable, all to promote an average breakfast sandwich? If the coffee is so invaluable that it can be given away for free, how can Starbucks continue to justify its higher industry prices?

If a consumer wants a breakfast sandwich and coffee fast, why wouldn’t they just go to McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts or any of the other countless fast food options focused on speed and convenience over quality and customer experience? Without the commitment to customers and human connections, Starbucks is no longer a treasured community experience – its just another humdrum fast food joint that will start to seem severely overpriced, without its unique vibe and prime product status.