Are You Prepared for the UNTHINKABLE!


Many people thought and many people still think unemployment could never happen to them

We Are Living in the Age of the UNTHINKABLE

Working with the unemployed I see a lot of people dealing with the UNTHINKABLE! For whatever reason – lay off, plant closing, staff reductions, off shore sourcing, obsolete jobs, etc. – they no longer have a job.

Not only do they not have a job, they have not had a job for an extended period of time. They are dealing with the UNTHINKABLE.

Who ever thought we would be in an economy like the one existing today? For sure none of the supposed economic “experts”.

For sure there are people who say they saw the demise of the banking system or the trading houses; I am not so sure how much stock I put in their statements, but it is what some, at least, are saying. Even Alan Greenspan did not see this coming and admits not only did he not see it coming, it never even registered in his thoughts or planning.

Where Are You in Your UNTHINKABLE Thinking

Now we are fully in the Age of the UNTHINKABLE; where are you in your thinking and planning? Are you doing anything to prepare you if the UNTHINKABLE were to happen to you?

If you are like most people, your answer is NO. As a whole, we do not like to think about the UNTHINKABLE. It is easier to ignore and believe the UNTHINKABLE only happens to the other guy or the other family. It may get close, but it will never reach you.

This is ostrich thinking and no one can afford to have their head in the sand. Everyone is susceptible to the UNTHINKABLE. Everyone needs to have a plan as to how they would cope if the UNTHINKABLE were to happen to them.

How to Plan for the UNTHINKABLE

The first thing that must be done is to take your head out of the sand and look around. You must look for signs of the UNTHINKABLE coming in your direction. You must be:

      Open to things you do not want to hear.
      Open to things you do not want to see.
      Looking for things you do not want to hear or see.
      Preparing for changes you may not want.
      Looking for signs of change.

This all may sound ominous to you, but the reality is; if you are prepared you will have a plan. You may still be caught off guard, but by taking these steps you will be in a better position.

I will be examining these issues and what you can do to prepare yourself and your family in the event the UNTHINKABLE strikes closer to home.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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Social Networking – Are You Afraid Your Connections Will Steal Your Customers


Do You Need to Fear Your Connections Stealing Your Customers?

There are a lot of networking wannabees that are worried about competitors stealing their customers. They allow this fear to keep them from inviting or accepting connections and friends. Their belief is that by not inviting or not accepting they will prevent competitors from stealing their customers.

I understand what they are saying and where they are coming from; but is this really a legitimate concern or are they doing more harm to themselves than good? The reality is that being a networking wannabee with a few connections makes you more susceptible than if you had a large number of connections.

This may sound ridiculous, but let me explain. Whether you are on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other Social Network, as far as I know, your connections do not have the ability to directly or indirectly search or sort your connections. This means that someone wanting to search your connections or friends list must go through your connections one-by-one looking for possible customers.

A Large Network Makes Searching Time Consuming and Virtually Impossible

If you have just a few connections, this would be an easy task; if you have a large number of connections this would be a very labor intensive process. To me, this says that the larger your network the more protected you are.

Currently I have over 800 connections on LinkedIn, for someone to identify one of my customers would be a lot of work and I do not know anyone that would have the time to undertake that effort. I doubt that your connections would have the necessary time or inclination to undertake that type of task either. A large network can should include Network White Noise.

Creating Network White Noise

What is Network White Noise? This is a new term that I have coined and is the process of building lots of people into your network individuals that may or may not have an immediate networking value. Some of the people that you can add to create Network White Noise include family members, friends, former classmates, former teachers and professors, and others without a current business connection.

I call these connections Network White Noise because if someone is searching through your connections or friends list; these individuals will not have the value the searcher desires. Adding these people is one of the best things you can do to rapidly add Network White Noise to your network and therefore hide your clients and customers.

One of the best ways to continue your networking efforts, while still protecting the identify of your clients and customers is to create Network White Noise. Are you inviting friends, family, former teachers and professors, and other non-business related connections? If not, then why not start now?

I Am Shocked When Business Owners Ignore Social Media


I Am Amazed

I am amazed; I am shocked every time someone tells me that they want their business to be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or any other Social Media and then end with the comment saying they do not want to have that presence tied to them. All I can say is: What?

How can you be in Social Media where it is all about conversations, not dialogue, and not expect to be involved? Web 2.0 applications, which is what Social Networking or Social Media applications are, is all about conversations. That is why these applications were developed.

Anyone Making This Statement Does Not Realize That Social Networking Is About Conversations

Social Media is about conversations with your friends, customers, prospects, and others. If it is not you conversing with them; then who do you want doing the talking? Have you designated someone to talk on your behalf? Are you prepared to entrust these communications to someone else?

If this is a large organization, where the operations are no longer tied to an individual, it may make sense. But if you are a small or medium sized business, a professional, a consultant, or an entrepreneur; you probably do not have someone that you have trained and entrusted to talk for you.

Social Networking Is About the Conversations

The purpose of these communications is to build credibility, reliability, and trust; how can you do that and simultaneously remain anonymous? Are you afraid that a customer or prospect will say something you do not like? If that is the case you need to wake up, because they are saying those things regardless. At least with Social Media you have a chance to hear what is being said and respond.

Business Owners and Managers Cannot Ignore Social Media

Today’s world does not allow you to hide! Your business can be and actually is a target and thinking that by not being involved in Social Media will somehow protect or shield you is a mistake. Things are being said with or without your participation. Social Media has become the outlet for favorable and unfavorable discussions.

It used to be that the dissatisfied customer would tell six friends; today that number increases geometrically. The average person on Facebook has 130 friends. If they post something about you, favorable or unfavorable, on average 130 people will see or hear the message.

There is a YouTube video out about United Airlines breaking this guys guitar. Over 3 Million, yes that is an “M” people have seen this video. Last I knew it was even becoming a record.

You are now a member of the viral world so stop being an ostrich and get your head out of the sand. You need to be participating!

Always Something New to Learn with Facebook


Out of Commission

I have been out of commission for the past three or four weeks and not posting anything. No, I was not sick; I had moved into exploratory mode with Facebook.

I frequently spend my time looking at different Fan Pages and wondering; how did they do that? It is not always an intuitively obvious answer; I just know that the did something I have not seen previously and until I learn what and how; I cannot get it out of my head.

During the past couple of weeks I have explored the use of tables for two reasons. My primary quest has been to put more color on my pages. FB has a color schema that controls how things look and while I understand their intent, I like more color. Sure I can post pictures, but I want color in the font, backgrounds, etc.

I am not an HTML or web programmer, by trade, but I am moving in that direction because of the things I keep picking up. It’s just a level of dissatisfaction on my part that keeps me moving forward. Some programmers study new things because they want to be current with the latest technologies. My motivation is that I want things to look good so they get people to act.

Without action from your readers, you have nothing and I am not happy with nothing; are you? I am putting in the effort to create something that interests my readers and causes them to take action. Part of that process is making things pleasing to the eye; thus my quest for color.

The second reason I wanted to implement tables was to organize things on the page. Sometimes information has a tendency to flow off the page or to a position in less than desirable locations; why should we be happy with that? I know we can do better and that is what I am after.

I am enjoying the capabilities of Facebook and I see many things that it can do for my clients. I will continue to pursue new and interesting things that can be done to make exciting pages that promote action. Watch my page as I progress, let me know how I am doing, and if I can help you; let me know.

Now that I am perfecting or at least getting better at the table and color functionality; it has become an issue of continuous improvement. If you have something you are trying to do with your page; let me know and maybe we can collaborate.

Have a great day!

Do Not Go Outside the Box Too Quickly


Maybe Thinking Out of the Box Is All Wrong

We hear frequently about the idea of thinking outside the box and I’ve come to realize that maybe outside the box is not the correct term. Think of yourself as a picture. As with any picture you have a foreground object(s) and then the background. Look at the foreground object as your current job and the background as your skills that put you in that position.

Even if the foreground becomes fuzzy or fades; the background still exists.

Do You Define Yourself by YOUR Job, or Are You Defined by YOUR Skills

When your job becomes obsolete; does that mean that you become obsolete as well? If we are focused on the foreground that is an easy conclusion for YOU to reach. But if you look at the background as your skills, abilities, and talents that put you into the job you will see that you have many things working in your favor to continue moving you forward that are not obsolete.

The Assault on the Job Market

Over the past two decades we have seen the US Job Market assaulted by jobs moving off-shore, automation, business closings, and the recession to name some of the culprits. As a result the US has experienced tremendous job loss; some of which are gone forever. The workers that occupied the jobs that no longer must adjust. They cannot live on the hope that those jobs may return, because in the majority of cases they will not.

The job market is also being assaulted by the changes from employees to contractors or consultants. More and more employers are recognizing the need for flexibility in the workforce and one of the best ways to facilitate flexibility is with a temporary workforce. As such workers must be prepared to adapt again.

The change to a temporary workforce places increased pressures on the workers to continually be upgrading their skills and abilities to meet the demands of their prospective employers. Even while they are on assignment these workers must constantly be looking to the future anticipating the new skills that will be required when the assignment ends.

Restructure Yourself Based Upon What Made You What You Were; Not For What You Were

A few years ago Marshall Goldsmith wrote his book “What Got You Here; Won’t Get You There”. It was a book about advancement within an organization and the fact that the skills that caused your success in one position are not the same skills that will enable you to succeed in the next.

Today, the same can be said as you progress through your career. The skills that get you to one position may not be the same skills that you will need for your next opportunity. You cannot bank on your next employer needing the exact same set of skills as the last. You must be prepared to re-craft yourself to meet the needs from one opportunity to the next.

Can Your Organization Afford to Ignore Social Media?


Is Social Media a Phenomena?

Some people think that Social Media is just a passing fad; many are the same people that thought the Internet was a passing fad in the mid-late ’90s. Whether Social Media is a passing fad or not; you cannot afford to ignore it, because it will not ignore you!

You Cannot Ignore the Power of Social Media

Companies large and small are learning the lessons of Social Media. What they are finding is that Social Media provides happy and unhappy customers, clients, and patients with an opportunity to comment about products and services.

Participating in Social Media provides organizations the opportunity to respond to customers, correct misinformation, clear up confusion, and resolve issues. Left to its own device; Social Media can create major problems. Organizations must have a presence and monitor the information on the Internet that pertains to them.

I just read a Blog article by Augie Ray, a researcher for Forrester Seven Things Your Organization Must Do Because of Social Media. The article starts with the statement that when the Internet started businesses asked the question: What can the Internet do for my business? The question they should have been asking is: What can the Internet do TO my business? That second question must be asked today in regards to Social Media: What can Social Media do TO my business?

What is YOUR attitude toward Social Media? Do YOU look at it as a waste of time and a passing fad?

Passing Fad or Not Social Media Cannot Be Ignored

The reality is that Social Media cannot be ignored. Organizations whether they like it or not, have a Social Media presence. That presence can be created by the organization or the organization can leave it to be created by someone else.

If left to someone else the presence may or may not be what the organization wants. If it is not what the organization wants, they must take action to counter the negativity or correct the situation. Being on the defense does not allow an organization to work from its strengths; it is now playing by someone else’s rules.

An intelligent organization wants to play from its strengths and therefore must be proactive in the Social Media arena. Organizations cannot wait until they must respond, they must be building their presence from the beginning.

The world is changing rapidly and organizations must be changing along with the world. Look at the situation with Movie Gallery/Hollywood Video or Blockbuster. These are example organizations that have not changed with the times and have either lost the battle as in the case of Movie Gallery/Hollywood Video or are losing the battle as in the case of Blockbuster. Although these failures are not directly related to Social Media, they are the result of the Internet and new technologies.

Current failures related to Social Media include BP with the Oil Disaster in the Gulf; Nestle/Greenpeace over Palm Oil; or the potential disaster for Toys ‘r Us and the fact they ignore customer comments on their Facebook Page. The cost to these organizations in actual dollars, publicity, and public relations is huge; can you and your organization afford those problems?

Are You Talking To Your Prospects or At Your Prospects?


“You” Is The Word That Is Key To Your Success

The most important word when you are talking to your prospects and customers is “YOU”. I do not mean talking about you; I mean using the word YOU in YOUR communications as it refers to YOUR customers, prospects, or future employers. If your message is not using this word YOU are not connecting on the level YOUR customers/clients/patients and prospects want.

Look at the messages you create; are they process oriented or results oriented? Are they talking about what you can do for your future employers and customers; or do you spend your time talking about how you do it?

Your customers and prospects want to know what you can do for them. In addition to wanting to know what you can do for them; they want to know what you have done for others and therefore what they should expect from you. This is results oriented. This is talking to your customer.

Are You Process or Results Oriented in Your Communications?

If you spend your time talking about how you do things you are talking process and, although that is important, your customers consider it just that: talk. They want to know how THEY will benefit if they work with you and that is what YOU must be communicating.

Whether you are a job seeker, a professional, a sales person, a small business owner, or whatever; you must be able to convey your value based upon the results that you have achieved previously for your former employers and organizations or your former/current customers, clients, and patients.

Are Your Messages Focused On You or Are They Focused on Your Customers or Prospective Employers?

If your messages are not focused on prospective employers and customers/clients/patients the message must be changed. You want to impress those prospects with your stories of accomplishments and results. You want your prospects to be able to take your message and translate into results for them.

When your customer sincerely believes that they are first and foremost on your mind you are building your credibility, your reliability, your trust, and your brand.

Remember that facts tell, but stories sell! What is your story?