Tag Archives: Business

7 reasons why it’s important to keep learning at work

Are you feeling like you’re going through the motions at work? Do you feel like you’ve mastered your role and there’s a lot more to learn? Are you being denied the opportunity to learn? And, worse of all, do you dread Monday mornings and live for the weekends?


If you have any of these feelings, you’re not alone. Lack of training  and other opportunities to learn is a key reason why employees are unhappy with their job, and the reason why they eventually leave.

If you’re not growing or learning anything new, it might be time to leave, says an article from Forbes.com. “…when you’ve outgrown the position and there is no opportunity for advancement–or you seem to work the same job day in, day out without any opportunity for growth, even though you crave more–it’s time to get out.

Here are seven reasons why learning at work is essential to your happiness.

1. It’s important to stay current in your career to prevent stagnation. Stagnation has killed many a promising career. We are naturally inquisitive beings who require mental stimulation. People who allow stagnation to set in end up hating their job and perhaps making those around them miserable as well. We must avoid stagnation at all costs. here are six reasons why:

2. The landscape of the labor market is changing rapidly. Employers are paring back on apathetic employees and sticking with those who demonstrate an ability to grow with the company. In other words, they’re cutting out the dead wood. They want hungry, lean, ambitious workers. This is simply the trend of the present and future, and it makes complete sense.

3. You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be. Forget for a moment that you don’t make as much as you’d like, or that you find it a bit odd to read work-related literature before bedtime. (Guilty as charged.) Keep in mind that when you stop bettering yourself, you essentially stop reaching the goals you strive to obtain.

4. You’re a role model for your colleagues. The more effectively you work, the more effective your colleagues become; the better the company or organization for which you work becomes. You are concerned with the success of your company. You want your colleagues to feel the same. Success for your colleagues and ultimately the company won’t come unless you are proactive in your quest to become better.

5, You are judged by your expertise and performance. If not by your boss, you’re judged by the customers who depend on your service or products. When you can’t keep up with the demands of your customers, you have become stagnant. You shrink into the shell of self-defeat. Don’t give up on your goal to be the best in your area.

6. When people ask you what you do, you’ll want to tell them with enthusiasm; have a glint in your eye and excitement in your voice, when explaining the job that offers you stimulation and challenge. Some interviewers ask the question, “What did you like most about your last job?” When you can’t answer that question, you come across as someone who wasn’t challenged and motivated to perform. And that’s your fault.

7. The final, and one of the most important,  reasons to learn at work is preparing yourself for future employment. One thing employers are looking for is increased responsibility at your former job. Have you stayed idle, or have you shown the willingness to do more? Think about your future in this precarious economy.

Staying current in your job may not be a priority of your employer. It may require that you read literature on your own, or take a college class on your dime, or reach out to other experts in your field. It may seem implausible at the moment, but if you think about how damaging stagnation can be to your career, you’ll either make the effort…or find a new job.

11 reasons why we are a community on LinkedIn

communityTwitter has been called a “community.” It’s an appropriate designation for this open-ended platform that asks, “What are you doing and thinking?” Twitter is a place where people go to talk, offer advice, ask questions; but mainly talk–and all within 140 characters, including spaces.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, isn’t heralded as a “community” as much as a professional network, where people connect for business and job search possibilities. But a community?

Although LinkedIn doesn’t promote itself as a community of followers who want to know what you’re doing, LinkedIn is a strong community from which my close connections and I derive many benefits. Here are 11 reasons why LinkedIn is a strong community.

  1. We help each other. Whether its posting an article that points out important information on the job search or answering a question from a connection or providing advice on professional branding or generating sales leads; LinkedIn is about making people better.
  2. We celebrate each others’ successes. Nothing satisfies me more than to see someone land a job or announce a speaking engagement or gain some business. A community celebrates the successes of its members.
  3. We don’t disappear. My reliable connections will rarely drop off the face of the earth, not to be heard from for months. If they take a reprieve, I’ll write, “Great to see you again on LinkedIn” upon their return. Occasionally people need a break.
  4. We join and participate in groups.  At the moment, for example, I’m engaged in a group discussion which has been going for approximately two weeks. There are 40 responses multiple “Likes” to the discussion I started. It’s a nice conversation that’s taken a life of its own. Being a member of groups is truly a feeling of community.
  5. We are professionals. “Fun” is a word associated with Twitter. But LinkedIn?  I love LinkedIn for its professional business approach to online networking which is devoid of conversations you’d find on Twitter. To me, LinkedIn’s approach to professional networking is fun.
  6. NofoulWe enjoy LinkedIn’s reputation. In almost every article you read, LinkedIn is lauded for its use by recruiters and hiring managers to find talent, not to mention its use for relationship-building in business. No foul language or inappropriate conversation allowed.
  7. We display professional photos. The majority of the members in my community understand the importance of a professional photo. I will not accept in invite from LinkedIn users who don’t have a photo; it’s pet peeve of mine.
  8. We keep no secrets. Honesty is my policy when it comes to visiting someone’s profile. In my community most people feel the same. For those who don’t, I ask why? I don’t bite.
  9. We blog. Many members in my LinkedIn community blog and eagerly share our posts with each other. We find this a great way to demonstrate our expertise. I enjoy reading the works of my community and commenting on their opinions.
  10. We update on a regular basis, as well as communicate in other ways, such as “Liking” and commenting on updates. People in my community know I’ll thank them for visiting my profile (related to #7) by simply writing, “Thanks for stopping by.”
  11. We reach out to each other. My connections in my community are bona fide ones, because we reach out to each other via phone, if long distance, or in person. Twitterers converse online without the pretense of networking face-to-face.

These are but 11 reasons why LinkedIn is a community. When I think of it as a community, I think of my connections who appear on my homepage on a regular basis, reminding me of the impact they have on my LinkedIn involvement. Thanks I say to those who contribute to my community.

5 ways to connect with LinkedIn members; the good, bad, and the ugly

connect on linkedin

I was speaking with someone who asked me how he should connect with people on LinkedIn. Together we looked at what I consider the best way to connect with someone (through someone’s profile), but there are four other ways I showed him how to connect with others on LinkedIn.

So how might one connect, you wonder.

Through someone’s profile–the best way

This is the best way to connect with someone. Why? Because you actually take the time to read the person’s profile to see if you want this person in your network. I happened upon someone who does very similar work and is a career-advice blogger. I had to connect with him.

You find someone’s profile by searching for him/her using LinkedIn’s awesome search engine or selecting that person from “People You May Know,” found at the top right-hand corner of your homepage. You’ll see the box below, where you’ll indicate how you know your potential connection.

LinkedIn asks you how you know this person. Of the seven criteria, David and I are in the same LinkedIn group. Great luck. As I don’t qualify for any of the other criteria. What I dislike is when someone I don’t know tries to connect with me as a “Friend” when they don’t know me. Claiming to be a “Colleague,” “Classmate,” or “We’ve done business together,” Also ruffles my feathers when none of it’s true. But being in the same group/s means we’re like-minded.

Important note: always write a personal note similar to the one you see in the box below. To send the default message is poor laziness.Direct connect

Through an introduction–proper but slow

This is considered proper etiquette when you want to connect with one of your first degree’s connections. You ask your first degree to introduce you to the person with whom you’d like to connect. A LinkedIn purist may believe this is the only way to connect, but I think this policy is a bit extreme, as well as taking a long time to accomplish.

Go to the desired person’s profile and choose Get introduced next to the Send Inmail button. This will bring you to a command that asks you who should make the introduction.

Craft a professional message, understanding that the person making the introduction might send your message straight through, along with a message of his own. If your intention is to ask to connect, your wish may be granted, but this method usually takes longer than it would to simply try to connect.

The person I chose as an example is not in any of my groups; thus I would not feel good about trying to connect directly…unless, of course, I indicate he’s a “Friend” and in the not beg his forgiveness.

get introduced

Who’s visited your profile–getting around the default message

Everyone I know is curious about who’s visited their profile. Aren’t you? You can, with impunity, connect with anyone who visits your profile and discloses their identity.  What I mean by this is you don’t have to state how you are related to said person…and you can still write a personal note.

I’m a bit conflicted with this method of connecting. While I don’t believe one should have to request an introduction every time he/she wants to connect with someone, I do believe there should be some relationship, such as belonging to the same group.

Who's visited your profile

Mass mailing-invite–for beginners

Like a tooth ache, you’re reminded on every page that you can send an invite through your e-mail contact list. Simply click on the icon to the immediate left of your photo to see a command like the one to the right. Select your e-mail provider, follow the prompts, and connect to your heart’s desire.

This is one of the least effective way to connect, as it doesn’t allow you to send a personal note. I’ve complained bitterly about people who just connect willy-nilly.

However, if you’re just starting out, you may want to use this way to connect.

connect 1

From your phone–the ugly

If you’re on the fly, you can connect from your mobile device. The LinkedIn app makes connecting on your phone as easy as clicking a button…literally. This is the epitome of laziness–here I go again–as there is no option to write a personal note.

I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees to avoid using this method and, rather, wait until they’re sitting at their computer so they can connect using the first or even second method. I also tell them if they want to connect with me, they’ll need to include a personal note, which most of them neglect to do. Oh well.

The good, bad, and the ugly

There you have five ways to connect with people on LinkedIn. You may call me old fashion for choosing the first method, visiting a person’s profile, to connect. Or asking for an introduction. At the very least connecting with people who’ve visited your profile. But to connect with someone through a mass e-mail or by phone is pure blasphemy.

Introvert tip – top 3 innate strengths for public speaking – guest writer, Patricia Weber

Public Speaking2Because I am a workshop facilitator and responsible for disseminating job search advice, I must be cognizant of how I deliver my workshops, not simply the content.

One of my favorite connections on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter, Pat Weber, has written a great article on how introverts can be effective public speakers because of their innate strengths. I have included it below in its entirety.

This communication tip is written by Patricia Weber for the readers of Communication Weekly.  Visit Weber’s website www.prostrategies.com.

The recent post,How to overcome the fear of public speaking, had me thinking about how introverts could take advantage of who we are naturally and begin to see themselves in another light.

Public speaking for anyone in business is one of the best ways to attract clients in your community. Workshops and presentations are ways to deliver your message that reaches many people at one time. When you hone your message what you will find for example is, if you get into one Rotary, other Rotary groups will add you to their speaker of the week agenda. When I left my company “job” in 1990 I didn’t realize introverts were hindered to use one of the best marketing tools available – public speaking. Hone your message to where it delivers valuable content, and then, people become interested in tracking you down to talk with them about what you really do. It’s client attraction at it’s best.

If you want to, you can eventually be a paid speaker. But let’s take public speaking for introverts and consider top three innate strengths we have for a solid foundation to make it work easily. Whether you are giving a company presentation,  or delivering a sales presentation or even found yourself in the enviable position of being asked to speak in front of a professional organization. Certainly we have more strengths but let’s start right here.

If you already believe introverts must be poor at public speaking because they lack the social skills, consider at least two things: first, as an introvert you already have many natural tendencies to be well-received on the platform and second, more demanding audiences today want to see evidence of this from the speakers they listen to.

#1 – Analytical tendencies are needed to prepare and present.

Know your audience, know your topic, be creative. Research of the audience and topic is naturally satisfying to introverts. Just as planning uses the front of the brain, introverts will find up front preparation adds to the success of a well-received presentation. When you are researching your topic, you’ll also be kick starting your creativity. Relax and savor your planning tendency. Audiences love prepared speakers just as they love the people who can speak eloquently extemporaneously. You can do this!

#2 – Listeners want you to say something important.

Audiences don’t want to hear small talk; they want to hear what is relevant for them. Yes; we might as introverts want to learn how to insert some humor, since it is something that bridges even the most serious, or dry topic, to where the listener wants to hear your message. Encourage participation to build the rapport between you and even just a few participants. And handling just those few potential difficult participants, well that is a must. But in the end, if you want a presentation score of 10 and a paycheck as a paid public speaker, our advantage of innately speaking only what is important, gets us 80% there.

#3 Be the observer, not the participant.

Introverts observe and listen before commenting. Speaking in public allows you the chance to observe, listen and then make a conscious decision of how to continue or which direction to go with a well-planned presentation. Just what are you observing for? How engaged is your audience? Are they taking notes, nodding their heads, asking questions? These are behaviors easy enough to – dare I say – do at the same time as you are speaking! With your intuition highly tuned, give yourself permission to observe the reaction of the audience to know if and when to make a presentation adjustment.
These are just a few introvert natural strengths; many extroverts have to learn these very characteristics. This means we already have a solid foundation for public speaking. Do we have to learn some other pieces? Of course; but that’s no different than anyone else needing to learn what they don’t have.

What do you think about bringing your strengths to the party of speaking in public? Are you willing? Because you are ready.

About Patricia Weber

Patricia Weber, www.prostrategies.com, leads and inspires the sales reluctant to discover their courage for that breakthrough for ultimate success. She is an internationally recognized expert on radio and in print as a Business Coach for Introverts.

Weber is a Coachville graduate, a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and a two-time award winner of Peninsula Women’s Networker of the Year (only the second member in its 28 years to receive this award twice.)

– See more at: http://communicationweekly.com/2013/01/introvert-tip-top-3-innate-strengths-for-public-speaking-patricia-weber/#respond