So, you’ve landed a new job – congratulations! However, your hard work securing the interviews and contract is just the beginning. Your next challenge will be to work on making a stellar impression on your colleagues, clients, and boss.
But since judging the line between overconfidence and timidity can be tricky, we’ve put together a handy guide to standing out in your position. You’ll be gunning for that promotion in no time!
Master the art of “friendly professionalism”
Sure, it’s the quality of your work which will prove your value more generally, but leaving a positive impression in the workplace also depends on how well you relate to your co-workers and boss on an interpersonal level.
Leverage your newness to reach out and make connections. Ask questions; show yourself as enthusiastic and curious, but not overbearing. Prove to your colleagues and superiors that you can be both friendly and professional.
When you’re judging how much is too much, remember that every workplace is different. You might have landed your dream job in a new country and are ‘starting’ over culturally. Especially if you’re starting a new position overseas, you should watch for a different office culture than what you’re used to. You might want to sit back and quietly assess for a couple of days before climbing your way up the ladder.
Demonstrate your openness to feedback
The ability to take on and apply constructive feedback is the leading sign of a self-starter. Not only will you impress your boss with your readiness to better your working skills, but you’ll also learn how to build up the layers of resilience and perseverance which you’ll need to sustain you through rougher weeks.
It’s easier said than done, but try not to take feedback personally. Separate your personal character from your work achievements, create a bullet-point document of the advice and criticism you’ve been given, and endeavor to work on those weaknesses in the future.
Show your versatility
No CEO has ever gotten to where they are by adhering strictly to their job description. To prove to your employers that you’re capable of much more, let them know that you’re ready to take on fresh challenges.
Whether it’s a new client, a new training program, or even the chance to take up a role as the office social organizer, saying a tactful “yes” to new work-related opportunities will get you pushing the limits of your job description (and so pushing onto your boss’ radar).
Work on your leadership skills
One of the first things people look for in new employees is their leadership potential.
Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean bossing others around, either (which you might not have space to do in your current position, anyway). You can exhibit your ability to lead by bringing your working group together in cooperation, and by proving your keenness to help others out when they need it.
Focus on making an impact in person – not online
Contribute meaningfully on the office floor and through action, not just by participating in email threads or spending all your time promoting your LinkedIn. Personal branding goes further than digital profiles: prove to your officemates that you’re an invaluable face-to-face contact by opting for an in-person chat over an internet message, and show them how intelligent, engaged, and motivated you really are.
Just work hard
You can try all the tricks and shortcuts in the book, but if you’re going to follow one overarching principle, let it be the tried-and-true precept that hard work pays off (if not immediately, eventually). Avoid petty coworker competition, make the most of the hours you’re on shift, aspire to improve every day, and you’ll probably start to stand out without realizing it.
Allison’s work on a diverse range of topics including career, travel and lifestyle can be found on various sites, and she has previously collaborated with business sites such as Omega. To see more of her published work, visit her Tumblr profile.
The gender gap in many a life sphere is a tale as old as time, and one that is finally being challenged more than ever – one dedicated, professional woman at a time. Since 2014, as many as 163 million women have started their own business, which is certainly a step in the right direction, even though the world has yet to enable the same opportunities for both genders. This slow, but significant upward trend, which shows more women in the business ranks, has also changed the overall entrepreneurial landscape.
Bringing about social changes
In many developing countries, women’s primary concerns do not include business funding as much as they include feeding their children and providing them a chance to be educated. However, organizations such as “Women United for Change” exemplify how a little can go a long way in helping women in impoverished environments build their own financial independence. As little as $50, in fact.
Specifically, this money goes to educate women who cannot afford schooling for themselves, and these 18 months of training are not only designed to better their lives, but to help them make a difference in their communities. Research of these programs shows that their impact spans all the way to reducing domestic violence, and women earning more relevant roles in their societies.
Increasing funding opportunities
Initially, statistics were staggeringly negative when it came to the amount of money which went into women-driven initiatives to start a business, as the majority of investments would go to all-male entrepreneurial efforts. Now, however, with more and more women calling the shots and turning a profit, there has been a slight shift in priorities – hopefully, we’ll see a much greater one in near future.
Women who understand the entrepreneurial struggles of their fellow business owners have started numerous funding opportunities to diminish this gap. For example, Vicki Saunders and her SheEO’s Radical Generosity aim to bring interest-free loans to women to start their own business ventures.
Allowing innovation to thrive
It’s a fierce world out there for women entrepreneurs, but an even fiercer one for ladies with the ambition to dive into the world of creative businesses. The competition is without a doubt one of the greatest hurdles, but up until recently, women also struggled to find the right tech support for their creative endeavors. Where there’s a need, there’s also an opportunity to enable change.
As the modern business tides are changing, it has become possible for women to implement, for example, fashion ERP software solutions that aim to simplify the numerous intricate processes of running your own label. With more technology on their side, women can automate a great deal of their daily tasks in order to focus on creative accomplishments and grow their brands.
Empowering female leadership
The existing climate of male-dominated leadership serves both as a suppressing force for women and as a driving force that has actually enabled women to show their true abilities in the leadership roles. A study conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman delivered impressive data showing that women are, in fact, more efficient than their male counterparts in the roles of power.
It seems that this negative climate has inspired women to push against suppression to earn the same level of respect and authority that is a given for men across various industries. Currently, there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of women and men leaders, as only 24% of senior positions are actually filled by women. However, with such studies and more initiative being taken by women, this is bound to change, as it is already changing the perception of women in leadership roles.
Changing the essence of business
As more ladies join the business ranks, the entire business sphere is changing from its very core. Women in power are able to hire other women, thus providing more jobs to competent females all over the world. The cycle of positive empowerment continues, as women also introduce more innovative solutions, and then use their profit to bring about more meaningful changes through charity work and other forms of social activism.
With more women stepping up to the mark with brilliant ideas and bold initiatives, the world has yet to see more female entrepreneurs not only making it big and turning a profit, but making a proud statement for all ambitious women out there – it’s time for change.
Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She has written for as long as she can remember. She is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.
If you’ve ever met a Japanese worker, you know what commitment and discipline mean. These people have something in them. That something makes them immune to distractions. No matter how hard they work, they seem joyful and fulfilled. We’ve seen this attitude in Japanese kids when cleaning their own schools, we’ve seen it conveyed through the soccer team at the 2018 World Cup, and we’ll see it in almost every Japanese person we meet.
What do these examples have in common? It’s the concept of ikigai.
Iki means life, and kai means achieving expectations and hopes. Ikigai is often translated as “the reason for being.” It’s the focus on that particular reason that reflects itself in everything you do.
But this is all philosophy. What does it have to do with entrepreneurs?
A lot! Your professional development is only an aspect of your personal development, and both these aspirations are encompassed by your ikigai. In terms of professional growth, ikigai means achieving the highest levels of engagement and productivity while reaching job satisfaction at the same time.
Ikigai is a combination of vocation, profession, mission, and passion. When you discover it, you’ll not only be aimed towards personal achievements, but you’ll also inspire your team to be more productive. Oh; now we’re getting somewhere, aren’t we? Making teams productive – that’s something all entrepreneurs can benefit from. So why don’t we dig a bit deeper in the concept of ikigai?
Discover Your ikigai and translate it into your business
Since we’re trying to relate ikigai to your business practices, let’s focus on these questions:
- What do you love doing?
- What are you good at?
- What does your audience and the world need?
- How can you combine all answers to the questions above? This final question will lead you to a purpose that brings value to society and fulfills your personal aspirations.
In other words, think of the mission statement of your business. It reflects what you love doing, what you’re good at, and what the world needs.
That’s the ikigai, the reason of being for your organization. When you’re trying to motivate your employees, that’s your starting point.
Encourage each employee to discover their own ikigai
The social media expert in your team should certainly know how to get around social media. That’s what the company needs. However, they should also love these platforms and the idea behind them. That’s what an employee needs to achieve job satisfaction. They have to love what they are being paid for. Finally, the results of their actions should be useful for the audience they are directed to. Everyone should gain some kind of value. That’s ikigai – seeing the bigger picture that encompasses the results of your actions.
- First, share your own ikigai, and the way you conveyed that concept throughout your business.
- Invite each employee to share their own ikigai. Why did they opt for this career? How does it make them happy? How can they use their ikigai to make the company better? You can you turn this into a training session, which will prompt people to discover their purpose.
- Meaningful conversation about life’s purpose will help the members of the team make better connections. They will feel they are working towards a greater cause, and they will understand each other better.
Ikigai: The ultimate way towards job satisfaction
When your employees discover their ikigai and relate it to their work, they won’t shorten their working hours. This won’t lead to an instant increase in their salaries.
The transformation, however, will make them happy to come to work every day. The motivation will result with greater productivity, and the improved productivity levels will lead to organizational growth. Ultimately, each individual within the business will benefit from that growth. Isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?
Silvia Woolard is a professional writer at Best EssaysAu and novice entrepreneur from Phoenix, AZ. She mostly writes and works in a field of popular psychology and marketing. You can follow Silvia in her Twitter.
Being an entrepreneur is tough and time consuming. When you first start out, all the responsibilities of your business fall on you. R&D, marketing, business development, partnerships, human resources, accounting – pick a thing, you’ve probably done it at some point when it comes to growing your business. All of these immediate needs make it easy to prioritize your growing company over everything else. But by getting tunnel vision and focusing only on your company’s website at the expense of your own, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
As an entrepreneur, you obviously know you need to provide the best product or service possible. However, creating an incredible customer experience and figuring out how to grow your business likely dominate a lot of your time and energy as well. You know you need to gain exposure to potential customers, but also cultivate relationships with existing ones. This is where having a personal website as an entrepreneur or owner of a small business comes into play.
If you’re a huge company like Pepsi, your brand recognition does a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to growing the business and connecting with your customers. There are also a considerable amount of resources you can put behind your efforts.
When you’re just one person starting out, you need every advantage you can get to connect with consumers and expand your company. Trust is essential if you want to develop long-term customer relationships.
If you’re trying to grow your business as an entrepreneur, a great personal website can help you reach your goals in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
It creates another way for potential customers to find you
By investing time in creating a personal website, you develop one more way for clients to find you and your business. Your personal website can passively and proactively direct leads to your company’s website, which is always a good thing.
While your website should be focused on you and your story as an individual, think of it as a tool to get people interested in your business venture. Even if your company isn’t featured prominently on your personal website, make it available if they’re interested. From featuring your company’s social handles, to including links back to company pages within your own blog posts, make it easy for visitors to get from your site to your company’s.
It humanizes your business
The numbers say it all, customers have to trust a business in order to engage with them and remain loyal over time. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that humanizing a business by showing the actual faces behind the company can go a long way in encouraging that trust.
Your website should be an authentic expression of who you are. And if you succeed in that, there’s no doubt that this alone will win and keep customers for your business. It can also be a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from competitors. So be true to yourself, make your mission clear, and customers will naturally look at your business as an extension of you.
It makes gaining press and partnerships easier
Once your business starts to grow, you can expect that more eyes will be on both it and you.
As people start to look you up online, what they find can have serious impacts on you and your company.
Think about how you feel when you look someone up online and find that they have a great personal website and strong personal brand. “Reassured” is a pretty common reaction. A clean, well-designed and informative personal website makes potential partners much more likely to do business with you because this reinforces their perception of you. A successful partnership is all about trust, so get things started on a good note.
Your solid online presence will also make you a more legitimate choice to be featured in a publication, which can be a huge source of growth for any small business. It helps show that you know your stuff, and that you’re approachable and engaged in your industry. Take the first step by creating a great personal website that you can be proud of.
It’s time to get started!
While these certainly aren’t the only reasons to get started working on your personal website, they are some of the most compelling that can make your life as an entrepreneur a whole lot easier. As you can see, your personal website is an extremely high-leverage way to help existing and potential customers connect with you. As an entrepreneur actively trying to grow a brand or business, this is crucial.
By creating your personal website you can cultivate a sense of trust in your customers and partners just by being yourself! So get started building your personal website today to help your business grow tomorrow.
Sabrina Clark is a proud Marist College alum with degrees specializing in public relations, business administration and Spanish. While at Marist, she co-founded the Marist Student Entrepreneur Network to support students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Upon graduation, she accepted a marketing position with a tech startup focused on the home improvement industry where she managed integrated marketing, sales and strategic partnership initiatives. She is excited to now be a part of the BrandYourself team and help sculpt the future of the online reputation management industry.
Multitasking is a notion that is vaguely defined as the ability to perform more than one task at the same time. Many people would describe themselves as savvy multitaskers, but talking on the phone while sprinting to your next meeting with coffee in hand hardly qualifies as multitasking. This is a common reality for most of us.
In order to be a true multitasker, one needs to be able to perform at least two tasks that require serious mental focus and concentration, and according to multiple studies published from Forbes, Psychology Today and even The Harvard Business Review, the myth of multitasking has been debunked.
Multitasking and the demise of focus
Based on more than half of century’s worth of cognitive science as well as more recent studies on the phenomenon of multitasking, it has been concluded that the so-called multitaskers actually do less and miss information. What does this mean in real-life terms? Well, multitasking isn’t so much doing several things at the same time as it is undertaking several tasks and switching from one to another. While this may sound like the road to success in theory, the practice isn’t as smooth and peachy.
Namely, when one decides to re-orient to their primary task – let’s say creating content, writing up a business proposal or working on a design – it takes 15 minutes for the brain to ‘get back in the swing of things’. This is true even after a minor distraction such as reading or responding to an email. Your efficiency levels drop to up to forty percent, and what’s even more concerning is that your long-term memory suffers, and creativity, which is inextricably linked with productivity. Even in less creative fields, it is also reduced.
So, in the words of Psychology Today, while you may be taking pride in watching a YouTube clip, answering an email, and talking on the phone, what you’re actually doing is ‘stepping on the gas then hitting the brakes, over and over’. In effect, this means that you are actually straining your brain and stretching its abilities, and not only will you not get the job done properly, but you will also start to feel lost. Even more importantly, the article mentions activities that don’t even require that much attention. So, if you are failing at completing minor tasks properly, what do you think will happen when you undertake several more serious and mentally demanding ones?
What is the alternative?
’s pretty straightforward – you need to stop multitasking and focus on one job at a time. This is the true key to productivity. As strong women in the business world, we want to make the most of our day: do our primary tasks and do them impressively well, conduct conference calls and answer emails, have a decent lunch and perhaps even an invigorating exercise session. The good news is, you don’t need to multitask like a mad woman to achieve all that in the course of one day. You simply need to develop excellent organizational skills, take advantage of the 24 hours that have been bestowed upon you and know exactly where your priorities lie.
Even better news is, most companies today offer great flexibility. Whether it comes in the form of shorter working hours, which have proven to actually increase productivity and even more importantly make you a happier worker, or the ability to work from home when you’re not on your A-game, flexibility is the key to productivity. So, please stop trying to do several things at once and start delegating your time smartly. There are numerous types of professions that the Digital Age has ‘spawned’ (and this isn’t a negative thing), such as freelance copywriting, social media management, doing paid surveys online, or doing freelance design work, that provide you with the flexibility you may need in your life. This is great in case your lifestyle and other commitments make it difficult to take on a 9-to-5 office job, but even these jobs require your undivided attention.
However, there is a catch to every profession. Being tied to an office desk may come with a set of perks in the sense that there are probably fewer distractions, which is not the case when you’re working from home. The good news is, as with everything else, even in the freelance or working-from-home scenario, there is a way to avoid this pitfall – practice. Practice makes perfect. Very few people are born with mad organizational skills, but this is where imposing self-discipline comes in. Write down your daily obligations in a planner, list them according to their importance and start scratching them off one at a time. The sense of achievement will be incredible – ticking one task off is more motivating than the false sense of achievement multitasking could ever provide. You’ve actually finished one thing, and can go about another feeling less and less burdened as the list becomes shorter.
How does one keep their focus?
Yes, if you’ve been trying to multitask, the transition to single-tasking may be difficult. If you’re working for a corporation, or are actually a lady boss running her own company, take the advice from a manager in the tech industry. If you have a group of people to lead, lead by example. Give them your undivided attention and they will eventually follow suit. Another amazing productivity ‘hack’ is imposing boundaries. This manager’s advice is to ask everyone to close their laptops during a meeting and put their phones away, but this can be applicable to employees and freelancers as well. If you’re working from home, for instance, try to keep your phone away and don’t open your email while you’re committed to your primary task. Take time to rest before switching to another task and give your brain a little reboot time.
Now, the last piece of advice may be the most effective, but it may take time for it to ‘stick’. Encouraging the ‘be here now’ culture, which is actually one of the pillars of mindful living, takes time to master, but it comes with great benefits. It requires a conscious effort to be constantly committing to the moment and drowning out all the distracting factors. One of the best ways to achieve this state of mind is by practicing meditation, so if you feel like you have trouble with time management and overall focus, definitely give meditation a try. It will lead you down the path of mindfulness and your levels of productivity are bound to spike. Lesson: leave multitasking in the past and start living in the present.
Sophia Smith is an Australia-based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about the latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly about beauty- and fashion-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Viva Glam Magazine, How to Simplify, Whytt Magazine and Carousel.
You can find out more about her writing by following her on: Facebook Twitter Google +
Yes, your workspace should be functional and practical for you and your employees, but its role to reflect your brand is equally important. Your employees, as well as visitors and clients, see the workplace as an extension of your business philosophy, so you should step it up when it comes to the design elements. This is an important part of building your brand identity and making everybody feel comfortable and aware of your core values.
Here’s how you can achieve that!
Pay attention to the overall layout
It’s important to note here that one approach doesn’t fit all, meaning that your company’s unique traits and purpose will to some extent affect the way you manage the office layout. In other words, if your company values privacy and confidentiality, of course closed doors will make sense but, on the other hand, a cutting-edge tech firm will need open space for all the tech savvies skateboarding around. Maybe your company stands for democratic values, in which case accessibility will be important to incorporate. If your brand wants to stand for creativity and playfulness, a quirky, whimsical shared space with community building game rooms will make perfect sense.
The power of color
Psychological properties of colors are widely known and are frequently used in workplaces. When deciding where to start regarding the choice of colors, take a look at your company’s logo – its colors could serve as the base, just don’t be afraid to widen your palette.
Even though bright colors are known to attract attention, attracting clients shouldn’t be your first priority here, as bright colors can be overwhelming for people who actually spend 8 hours in this workplace. Instead, opt for a mix of neutrals and muted hues that compliment the colors of your brand.
Another option is to consider what kind of emotional environment you want to create and then focus on colors known to contribute to creating that kind of atmosphere. For example, yellow, orange and red are the ones to go for if you want an energetic and creative working atmosphere. Deep purple is for a royal and luxurious environment, while soothing colors like light blue and green create a relaxed and calming ambiance.
Find the right furniture and decoration
If you are trying to convey a modern and forward-looking approach as your company’s philosophy, modern design elements should prevail in your workspace, dressed in your company’s colors but also with soft textures, making anybody who’s using it feel comfortable. In case you would like a more natural and relaxing approach to work, incorporating greenery throughout the offices will instantly refresh the whole space and add a cozier touch.
It’s also a good idea to strategically place your credentials around the space, as well as your company’s achievements and milestones. These details build trust and credibility with your clients and demonstrate your expertise while simultaneously inspiring fellow employees. Moreover, your logo should again be a way to advocate your brand and your business philosophy. Even before entering the workplace, you can make a strong impact on anyone if you consider outdoor led lighting to accentuate a big 3D wall logo at the entrance, and then again in the central part of your workplace. In general, there are many ways of branding the workplace by using decorative items like a mural, graffiti or sculptures in the offices.
Enhance creativity with a relaxation area
Every company’s philosophy is partly about creativity and innovation, but they won’t exist in a workplace where employees don’t have the chance to relax and find inspiration. One way you can ensure this, is to provide an outdoor space where they can spend their lunch break or take some time to step away from the cubicle. Spending too much time indoors won’t do much for their creativity, so try hard to create a nice outdoor space, ideally with a small garden or at least a lot of plants hanging from the walls, accompanied by big, comfy furniture.
In case you don’t have an outdoor space, provide large windows to let as much natural light as possible and use materials and garden items that will make your employees feel closer to nature.
Another easy way to boost creativity is by facilitating brainstorming in the office – install magnetic whiteboards and glass partitions in conference rooms and meeting areas with good acoustics – that way, creative juices are free to flow anywhere in the workplace.
All in all
Your office needs to be the embodiment of your business philosophy, meaning that every element in it can play its part in creating the picture you want everybody to see. Take your time and don’t be afraid to get creative and bold – give your unique mark to the workplace.
Stella is an art historian,entrepreneur, conscious consumer and a proud mother. She can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement/DIY projects.When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book.