Tag Archives: Twitter

Do less to achieve more

Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry, Smartphone, PC, Laptop, Tablet, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Connectivity, Globalisation.  Real time, face time, 24/7 do it now time.  All these tools were in invented to make us more efficient.  Did they work?  Do we achieve any more, or are we just doing more?

We live in a world of go, go, go.  It never stops.  We are fearful, stop and pause for breath and something will pass us by.  We cram so much in, or at least try to, that we have devalued downtime.  I am talking about real downtime, not lying on the couch, smartphone in hand tweeting, connecting, emailing.  I am talking about peaceful, restful, real, downtime.  Re – charging.

When was the last time you woke up in the morning off the back of 8 hours uninterrupted, beautiful deep sleep and leapt out of bed fully refreshed, full of ideas, creativity, energy?  Imagine just how productive you could be, how much you could actually achieve, instead of just do.

We have forgotten how to switch off.  I have forgotten how to switch off.

Regular readers know of the value I place on the excellent TED talks.  Here is yet another.  Ariana Huffington, Co – Founder of www.huffingtonpost.com delivers a short yet highly thought-provoking presentation on the power of sleep.  Give yourself permission to watch it.  Then go and take a nap.  You’ll feel all the better for it.

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Filed under Lee Cooper

What will you do differently?

What will you do differently in 2011?

For me it’s easy.  I have a poor attention span.  I am too easily distracted.

At any one time I have a countless browsers open, each one with the promise of further engagement, conversation, opportunity.  You can never be lonely as a Recruiter.  The only asset you have at your disposal is your network and I work relentlessly to engage with, communicate with, stay in touch with and grow mine.

Even then I don’t succeed as much as I would hope or wish.  Every connection has a story to tell, something to say that should be listened to intently, is a link to someone, is a door that could open to who knows where.  Who knows when they might need me, or when I might need them?

Phone, mobile, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Skype, this blog, they are all tools for me to reach out to the wider world and I need them.  Indeed I love using them.

So what’s the problem.  Well none of the above, they are all business critical tools.  My problem is email and in particular the multitude of devices I use to check them.  PC, Laptop, IPAD, Iphone (other brands are available!).  I am not alone.

Every ping of the inbox and vibration of the hand-held brings the promise of future riches.  I check (sorry that should read checked) my email first thing in the morning, last thing at night (even in the middle of the night).  I feel a desperate need to respond to every enquiry, question, suggestion.  For me engaging in the conversation is what it is all about.  I can’t resist.

I start each day with real focus and great intentions.  Then those little pings start and my day takes on a whole new path.  Not any more.  I have made a change.  I check my email first thing, at lunch and last thing.  I prioritize those that are critical and leave those that are not.

I need to be proactive and reactive in my day.  The trouble for me was that I was getting to be too reactive and not proactive enough.  Those things that I want to do, that I am passionate about, that I must do, require of me to focus on the proactive.  So that’s my change.  It’s hardly revolutionary but already it’s working.  I feel better and I am getting things done.  I am no longer slave to the latest email.   I have razor focus, I am sharp.  I am achieving.

How long will this last?  Believe me I am committed to seeing this through.  I am a whole 3 hours in to my working day and so far this is working brilliantly!

So what will you be doing differently this year?

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The privacy debate outcome…….

Of all the blog posts I have written to date, the issue of social media as a recruitment tool and in particular how this impacts on privacy was by far the most emotionally charged.  I sort opinion on a wide range of platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to discussion forums on LinkedIn as well as the poll on the blog.  The results of the poll were conclusive, with 76% of you voting the German Government is wrong to restrict the use of social media in hiring.

From the discussion forums the comments were wide-ranging.  Some argued for the rights of employers on the basis that if an employer is to make that investment in you then they should have every right to know as much as they can about you before making that (expensive) decision.  There was an over – riding sense that references are worthless.  The world is now so litigious and very few are prepared to offer any decent insight or opinion with respect to an employees performance, behaviour and attitude in the workplace.  Social media has given employers the opportunity to open the window and peer in to a prospective hires world and employers would appear to be appreciative of that opportunity.

Many on the employees side argue that the gap between professional and private is becoming ever more blurred.  There is in some cases resentment from employees that employers should even consider “snooping” on what takes place away from the workplace.  However the over – riding consensus was that we have a choice.  We can choose what to publish, we can choose what remains private and what is for public consumption.  We can choose who we connect with, who we engage with and who we have as friends.

It would appear the majority resent or are at least suspicious of any form of government intervention, mediation or regulation.   Employers and employees should have the right to choose.  Treat us like grown ups.  Some will behave like grown ups, some won’t, but that is their choice.  Social media is by the people, for the people.  Freedom of choice is good for all.

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Filed under Hiring, Social Media

You are what you say you are

I was once very cynical about the idea of personal branding.  Not so much the idea as the phrase.  It struck me as jargon, the latest in a series of expressions that would eventually morph in to something new, in much the same way as Personnel became Human Resources became Human Capital (a simply dreadful term).

However the more I think about it, the more I like it.  Understanding your personal brand is more critical than ever as you strive for career success.  If finding a job is all about sales, personal branding is all about the marketing.  Social media and the internet is the vehicle through which to promote your marketing messages.

Your email address.  What does it say about you?  What do you want it to say about you?  Think of the impact on your job application as your CV and covering note arrives in the inbox of the Hiring Manager from funstartshere@beermonster.com?

You have a choice as to what email address you use, choose it wisely.  How appropriate it is to the image you want to associate with your personal brand?  How will it resonate with your audience?

What about the words you use in your mail?  How do you start?

Communication has become increasingly informal, it doesn’t mean we should get lazy.  Hi, Hello, Good morning / afternoon, do you include a name and personalise your message or do you start with nothing at all?  How do you sign off?  Kind regards , Best Wishes or a good old-fashioned Yours sincerely (I can’t remember the last time I saw an email signed off like that!).

Take the time and trouble.  That’s the point.  That’s what the Hiring Manager wants, to see you took the time and trouble.  Make it relevant to your audience, it will say much about you to the person on the receiving end of the communication.  Whilst nothing is guaranteed, it will certainly improve your chances of being shortlisted.

It is difficult to get much by way of a meaningful reference these days.  The first thing I do as a recruiter before engaging with a candidate is search for what I can about them online.

I google, youtube, linkedin, facebook, twitter, whatever I can to find out as much as I might need to know about you.  Why?  It is because my clients are doing it.  I need to check you out because my client will.  I need to know what they are going to find and what it might say about you.

WHEN SOMETHING IS ON THE WEB, ITS ALWAYS ON THE WEB.

When you make the decision to upload a video of your latest Saturday night exploits, stop for a minute to consider the impact that this may have on your career prospects.

I am not suggesting you shouldn’t post it, just simply consider who you will want to see it.  If you don’t want me to see it, don’t put it on your wall without first considering the privacy settings.  Even then remember, your friends can and will forward things on that portray you in a less than positive light.

WHEN SOMETHING IS ON THE WEB, ITS ALWAYS ON THE WEB (Somewhere, even if you can’t see it anymore).

What about your user name for your online profiles?  Does PartyBoy resonate with your audience?  If so, go for it.  If not, go back to what message you want to promote about your brand.

I am not suggesting for one minute that we are not all deserving of a private life and certainly one that we can live offline, without the spotlight of 24/7 social media.  We all have a choice.  Think about your image, your personal brand, the message you want to give out and be consistent and relentless in that consistency.

There is much to be learned about personal branding and the impact it can have on your career.  The expert online is Dan Schawbel and his excellent http://www.personalbrandingblog.com

Look him up today, its well worth the visit.  Tell him I sent you!

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Filed under Careers, preparation, Social Media