Category Archives: Career management

Yes, It’s Possible To “Network” Without Being A Jerk


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Your network, as they say, is your net worth. Connections, as we know, create value

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Great tips about networking in this article published in FastCompany

Working hard and smart won’t help you develop your career without connections.

It is in fact not that hard to build and maintain a valuable network of professional and personal connections. Just follow two fundamental rules:

  1. Be Genuine.
  2. Stay in touch.

Related articles : 

See on www.fastcompany.com

Finding Happiness as an Expat Wife


See on Scoop.itInternational Career

Are you struggling with life as an expat wife? InterNations shows you how to avert an identity crisis and how to find happiness as an expat wife.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Maybe you took a break to raise your children or manage an expatriation or both, but now you feel it is time to find a job.

It is always better to know in advance what are the job market and regulation to get the right visa but if you got noticed of your new destination at the last-minute it is not always possible.

You can take this transition time as an opportunity to explore in-depth your skills and talent and find out what you really want to do.

Not all expat wives are happy with a “demotion” and want to have same or better career while living abroad and acquire intercultural competencies that international employees and global managers need nowadays.

Using a career and transition coach who lives in your place has numerous advantages especially for building your brand, helping you design resumes, supporting your networking efforts with local professionals and elaborating job search strategy that matches local job market.

See on www.internations.org

 

Age 5: Your First Career Mistake


See on Scoop.itInternational Career

Watch this video and learn why you need to go back to being a kid if you want to find real career happiness!

Anne Egros‘s insight:

What did you answer when you was a kid to this question : What do you want to be when your grow up ?

Most of the time your answer was to please and impress the adults that counted most in your life.

As adults, chances are high that we pursue a career to impress others. Not because we truly follow our passions.

Pause and think about it and be honest with yourself :  what do you want to say when someone ask the question : What do you do ?

Is this really what you love to do ?

Are you living someone else dream ?

Who do you want to impress or please as an adult ? Your boss, spouse, friends, etc?

Watch the video and think about what will be your life if you could do the job you truly  love ?

Are you ready for a career change ? Contact Us and find out.

Get A Personal Brand Assessment On Twitter Using Twylah


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You Are What You Post  Online !

If you are looking for a job or you are starting a business, it is time to consider Twitter to build your personal brand. If you are already using Twitter for building your reputation online, it’s time to look at the value of your brand.

Based on the frequency and date of your tweets, Twylah creates a dynamic, engaging, navigable website of your Twitter content, organized by topic.

Have a look at my page : http://www.twylah.com/AnneEgros

Most recently Twylah has launched a “Brand Assessment and Action Plan” to understand how your tweets are aligned with what you want to be known for, in other word with your personal brand.

  • Is your Content Focused ? Choose the right key words for the rig audience
  • Are You Consistent ? Maintain visibility requires you to tweet frequently about  your top brand messages
  • Is what you post has resonance ? You have high resonance when your content fits your target audience

Watch the video from Eric Kim, CEO at Twhylah for more details:

I also discovered WeFollow, a utility created by Digg creator Kevin Rose that helps users find online experts  who have same shared interests providing you a source of relevent content for your brand.

What Do You Think About Twitter To Build Your Reputation ?

Dear Leaders, Personal Branding Is Not About YOU, It Is About People You Serve


I have preached for a long time what is written in this article from Forbes: Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign. Developing your personal brand is essential for the advancement of your career and development as a leader.

Personal branding is more than just promoting the brand calls YOU. It is important for leaders to clearly communicate about their values to attract talent, engage current employees and other stakeholders inside and outside the company.

By cultivating your professional image via the content you post on various social media platforms, you can help other people as much as they can help you by sharing ideas or getting feedback from customers.

The relationships you develop online should be  based on a 2 way communication style without promoting yourself.

The choice of the social media depends greatly on your target audience, don’t waste too much time to be everywhere to increase your SEO.

Which leaders do you know that have successful personal brand ?

Wanted: True Global Business Leaders !


What makes a business leader a true global business leader?

One of the most important mission of a business leader is to improve bottom-line results by having a clear vision, shared values and a mission statement that inspire, motivate and engage employees .

The job of a true global leader is the same as any business leader except that for companies operating globally those executives MUST integrate in the company strategy the cultural differences in customers’ preferences and local social rules to lead employees across borders.

Developing cultural Intelligence is key for global leaders who usually share same curiosity and interest in other cultures, do not judge but have a thirst to learn cultural differences.

Cultural intelligence cannot be learned by simply visiting different countries for few weeks, learning languages, attend cross-cultural webinars or read books.

Cultural intelligence is acquired by being exposed directly to cross-cultural  challenges at work and everyday life, preferably with family.

Regarding following spouse and children, too often their role in the expatriate executive’s performance and success is overlooked. From personal experience the working partner and the following family members face totally different challenges.The addition of the two experiences deepen the acquisition of the local culture.

The executive team should reflect the diversity of the company’s customers and employees. Unfortunately there is still the “white men” , ethnocentric leadership style that is most prevalent today, except for companies such as America-based Coca-Cola or German-based Henkel  that have long history of having a multicultural top management team.

In a previous article why white men can’t lead  I gave several references gathering evidence that today’s leadership models, although they may differ from person to person and method to method, generally have a common bias toward Western or European-influenced ways of thinking.

How To Develop True Global Business Leaders ?

Future global top executives must manage their career both horizontally across functions and countries and vertically starting by spending some time being one of the front-line employees (sales and customer services, research or manufacturing for example). They can acquire knowledge in the same company if this one has a good global talent development program but most global executives have experienced different companies and various industries.

This practical experience is needed to develop the skills of a global leaders because “global” does not only means cross-cultural leadership but also to have a holistic view of the company as a whole entity including:

1-A strong corporate culture: Company explicit and implicit rules and guidelines, leadership style, vision, values, mission

2-Local cultures: Countries and regions where the company operate:  Language (verbal and body language), religion, cultural values and  norms, communication styles

3-Each individual team member’s own culture, values, beliefs, set of norms

To develop cultural intelligence you need to be a chameleon who is able to change its color to reflect its environment. Usually it is mandatory to have lived several years abroad, in at least two totally different cultures, across different continents, speak minumum two languages including being fluent in business English.

Effective global leaders must create TRUST regardless of ethnicity or country of origin by actively listening to everybody’s ideas before making a decision concerning the introduction of a new product or service in a foreign market.

Here a great video illustrating the process of acquiring cultural intelligence: 

:

Are you a global leader ? Please share your story on how you became one

Make Yourself a Global Asset


Slogan of the SKOLKOVO Executive MBA (Moscow RUSSIA)

Slogan of the SKOLKOVO Executive MBA (Moscow RUSSIA)

Read “Make Yourself a Global Asset” via Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

In this article, Anna Tavis, head of talent and development at Brown Brothers Harriman champions global experience over education as the key to success in global business.

I agree with her an international executive MBA program is not enough to make you a global executive, the same way that you don’t learn swiming by studying how world champions win a gold medal at the Olympics. You need to get wet and get tough challengers.

You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world more and more connected everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

Do you want an international career and become a global executive?

You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: This is valid for career planning in general but most specifically if you want to win the global talent war you need to plan ahead, learn new languages, get exposed to different cultures via international working assignments. Be prepared to shift every 3 years and chose emerging markets before expats become a commodity in those countries.  No matter how old you are you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and online through many specific forums.

Keep learning in a large variety of topics every day is also key to become a global asset as you need to be highly flexible. Switching job functions from R&D to marketing and operation management is mandatory as much as living in various countries.

Related article: Why White Men Can’t Lead ? (zestnzen.wordpress.com)

See on blogs.hbr.org

How To Network Like A Pro!


What is the Definition of Networking ?

net·work·ing, noun”:

Definition:

  1. The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business
  2. The establishment or use of a computer network

If you are mastering the art of networking the classical way, involving in person meetings, business cards  and phone calls,  then you know how to turn contacts into connections that will help you get your next job or win your next business deal. Right ?

WRONG !  

If you are a great connector and know how to make the most of your connections through traditional in person conversations, it is not enough anymore. If you don’t know how to use social media to engage people on a personal level by being part of online communities such as Linkedin, then you are simply out of the networking game. Since 2004, when the term social media was first used, people want to do business with people they trust and share similar interests beyond work but without necessarily being in some kind of physical contact via phone, video-conference or in person.

In the digital age, aka, the internet world, you cannot be a networking pro if you don’t know how to leverage your online presence to attract the right people who will help you reach your professional and business goals as well as your personal projects.

I think today, even the most stubborn executives admit they need some kind of presence online, they might no become social media artists,  but they know that personal branding is not a buzz word and actually it is a pretty old concept that first appeared in 1997 in an article published in Fast Company Magazine, from  management guru and author Tom Peters:

“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” -Tom Peters

If you want to become a more confident and engaging person to establish effective relationships both online and off-line, start following those 3 steps:

Step #1: Create A Brand Called “ME”

What makes you unique ? In a global economy in crisis, every job seekers and businesses must differentiate themselves to stand out of the crowd. The only constant today is change and very fast change in our highly connected global world. To win the global war of talent you need to know who knows you and how you are perceived. What is your reputation online? Are you in control of what people find when they Google “your name” ? What is your unique value proposition ?  Do you know what your competitors have to offer ? What gives you a competitive edge ?

In a previous post “Me Inc, Brand Yourself and Find your Ideal Job”I have listed the five steps to help you build your personal brand .

The materials to build your brand can be identified through the same process of strategic planning used to market products or services. Make a “SWOT” analysis starting by various assessments of your core personal  values, the principles that guide your life, your life purpose or mission, your vision, what are your strengths, weaknesses ? In which environment do you thrive ? What is the type of boss or ideal client you want to work with ?

It is important to be really YOU, authenticity is key, don’t try to be someone you are not but discover who you really are using tools that uncover hidden talent and what intrinsically motivates you.

For more in-depth understanding of personal branding  I recommend you to connect with Dan Schawbel recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times and author of the #1 international bestselling career book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.or how to build a powerful brand to achieve career success. Check his Personal Branding Blog too.

Step #2: Identify Who Is Your Audience

It is tempting to be everything for anybody and everybody but this doesn’t work. As the leader of your own brand you must inspire the people you want to attract. What is it about you that is appealing to people who want to buy from you or hire you ? You need to change shoes and imagine being in those of your potential customers/employers. This is very important because the way you package your experience in your resume or select social media platforms depends on how your audience is listening and communicating about their professional and personal  interests.

If you want to learn about your target audience, start LISTENING first : search  key words used by people interested by your expertise and thought leaders.  Invite those people to connect on LinkedIn and see what they talk about and how they interact in specific groups (you can be part of 50 groups on Linkedin). Use Q&A, start a Twitter account and read other people’s  Tweets.

The same way an HR person or a hiring manager will get information about you via Google, you can learn a lot about companies by connecting with the employees online. If you want to learn about a specific country before accepting an international assignment, contact expatriates and locals who live there. Once the contact is made online, try to follow-up by a phone call or Skype or meet in person to share about your needs and how you can also return the favor by helping those who helped you. Do not hesitate to contact people you don’t know. People online are much more open to connect and talk to you even if you are a perfect stranger. Read more about How to Connect With People You Don’t Know 

Step #3 Engage your Connections Through Meaningful Conversations

Once you have an idea of what your prospects’ interests are,  then you can start defining your goals and make a content marketing  strategy to help you connect with the right web audiences. You can use any kind of platforms such as blogs, videos on YouTube, Google + or images on “Pinterest to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, Use online content curation tools such as Scoop.it to gather and disseminate knowledge in the topics your audience is interested.

You need to choose carefully your content strategy based on the specific goals you want to achieve. For example, If your goal is to increase you ranking in search engines like Google, then maybe it is a good idea to start a professional blog and comment in other experts’ blogs. Do you want to identify and invite new contacts ? then start a debate in a Linkedin group discussion. Maybe you want to demonstrate your capability to engage consumers online as a marketer ? then build a Facebook fan page and try to attract active followers on Twitter.

Whatever you need to do, be consistent about the image you want to project. For example do not use your personal Facebook  profile to broadcast your personal life. You may use your personal Facebook page to show a more casual image  of yourself but avoid venting your frustrations, be negative in general, don’t share your political or religious opinions and keep private things that are too personal.

Always assume that anybody can potentially see everything you post online and once out there it stays FOREVER !

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Are You The Invisible Man ?


Invisible ManAre you looking for a job and getting sick reading about personal branding, getting advises on “how to stand out of the crowd” or people talking about how to engage your target audience ? Worst do you get irritated by stupid buzzwords like “niche” or “influence” ?  Well if this is the case you are not alone:

According to the US Department of Labor, The number of unemployed persons in the United States is 12.8 million in February 2012. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent. In Europe,  France and Italy have 9.7 and 9.3 % respectively and Germany 6.3 % (data January 2012 from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

For sure the economy is tough but people who find a job nowadays are those who know they cannot be average, they know themselves very well, they are able to tap into  every single experience they have to identify how and why they can be competitive,  what skills they have or need to acquire that are in high demand.  But it is not enough, the reality is:

If you are not visible online you are essentially invisible when it comes to being found by anyone who might be looking for someone like you.

The paradox of the current jobs economy is if unemployment seems awfully high, more and more employers are complaining they can’t find the talent they need. In September 2011, The Economist published a special report on the future of jobs called “The Great Mismatch”.The paradox is that in some sectors it is hard to find good talent .

So I am sorry for job seekers who don’t get it, but you need to work hard to become highly visible in a positive way, use personal branding tools and inbound marketing techniques to “sell” your unique talent and value to a specific group of people who are willing to hire you and not your competitors.

Since I started using social media about 10 years ago via Linkedin, blogging then Twitter, Facebook or today via Pinterest,   I know successful professional people don’t wait to be laid off to build their personal brand and attract people to grow a solid network of connections both online or off-line. Executives have now realized they need a personal brand online too as they are not immune to being laid-off. Even presidents like Obama or Sarkozy use social media like Twitter for their election campaigns in the US and France this year.

If you choose to remain invisible, Linkedin made a search on 135 million profiles and listed the top 10 buzzwords used in United States in 2011 . Use them if you want to be boring, average” and ignored:

  1. Creative
  2. Organizational
  3. Effective
  4. Extensive Experience
  5. Track Record
  6. Motivated
  7. Innovative
  8. Problem Solving
  9. Communication Skills
  10. Dynamic

If you want more inspiration to avoid being identified by intelligent softwares used to scan online resumes, try to add the Top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA – 2010

  1. Extensive Experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial

“Personal branding is about building a credible online presence that reflects our unique style and values and carves a niche for us personally and professionally on the Internet. Inbound marketing is about generating quality content directed to your target audience. Oscar Del SantoPersonal Branding & Inbound Marketing: Why the Mix Works

You cannot build a personal brand overnight,. it takes time and it is hard work, much more harder than writing a perfectly boring resume. All you have to do for that  is to make an extensive list of all your diplomas, each experience, even when you were a scout, your skills and most importantly ignore what your potential employers need and what your competitors do. Then you will be sure to never get noticed and remain invisible.

START BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND BEFORE YOU NEED TO

Related article: Invent Your Future Job:  Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global

Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global


The fast-paced changes of our societies have affected all industries and is changing the nature of work for the next 10 to 15 years. There are three major challenges for the workforce of the future increasing pressures on organizations to become innovation centered, highly productive and a magnet for global talent :

1-Shifting demographic patterns: Over the next 10 years, the world population is expected to rise from the current 6.83 billion to approximately 7.7 billion, with most of the growth in emerging markets generating  high economic growth. We already see an aging and declining population in developed countries with slow economic growth.  U.S. and European businesses are dealing with the challenges of a multi-generational workforce with three distinct generations Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Employers will need to develop highly individualized solutions to accommodate the career needs of each generation. We will not see long careers of 10 or more years in one company but maybe 6 years with either functional or geographic changes every 2 years. The youngest  generation  will probably have 15 to 20 jobs during their career and multiple jobs at the same time because that is what they want to do.

2-Rapid technology changes: From nanotechnologies to neuroscience discoveries, many new technologies will be developed and globalization will continue to drive the utilization of advanced mobile technologies reshaping the workforce with increased telecommuting,  virtual  teams and overall more work flexibility.

3-Economic globalization  In our information overloaded global work environment, knowledge is not a competitive advantage anymore as it goes out of date extremely fast and anybody on earth with an internet connection has access to it in real-time. The critical skills to be successful in the new working environment are vision and  foresight.to anticipate or respond to change very quickly, make wise decisions and take action now to create a better future.

More than a year ago,  I had the chance to listen to Seth Godin “live” in a promotional event in Antwerp about the launch of his book “Linchpin”. I collected about 10 very interesting new ideas from his speech that I posted on a blog : “TOP 10 Seth Godin’s Quotes Made in Antwerp, Belgium. April 1, 2010”

Seth Godin is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. His idea about our current economy is that the current recession is a “forever recession” because it’s the end of the industrial age, which also means The end of the average worker (Read more : article )

Nobody will ever be the only one on the market AND people have an infinite ways to access information. Humans evolved from Hunters, Farmers, Workers and now they have to be Artists-Seth Godin

HOW DO YOU BECOME UNIQUE  ?

1-You don’t need to become somebody you are not. Your uniqueness has to be authentic, you need to know who you really are, what is your dominant character, talent, personality, skills, strengths, what motivates you, what’s your passions in life ? How is your  business acumen and leadership style ? Can you summarize all those information in a compelling story for potential employers or clients?

2-You need to remove blocks that prevent you to excel at being truly you: fears, unmet needs, negative self-talk, lack of training and anything that is holding you back.

3-You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: No matter how old you are, how life has treated you in the past, how much money you have or how many debts, you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. You need to let your right brain expresses emotional intelligence and free the artist in you. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.

BE SOCIAL, BE GLOBAL !

You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world smaller and smaller everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

You cannot claim to be a global leader if you have visited many countries as a tourist. It is like learning swimming in a book, you need to get into the water and get wet .

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and of course online through many specific forums and social media.

Continued learning in a large variety of topics every day will become mandatory.

Where do you see careers heading in 2012 and beyond ?

 Have you invented your future yet ?

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