Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Change with the times or they'll change without you

A perk for being a Boston College employee allows me the opportunity to take free classes. I'm taking a Marketing course right now and I'm in the midst of writing a paper on a case study of the Levi Strauss Co. Baby boomers: remember them? They were the super cool jeans you wore out on the town when you were a kid. Well, after researching this case study, I found out why the cool factor didn't stick with the jeans through the 90's and into the 21st century. The Levi Strauss company didn't change with the times. Therefore, the times up and changed without them. The baby boomers became parents and "mommy jeans" were about as cool as hangin' with your mom on a Friday night. Secondly, the level of variety that Levi's offered was slim. The new generation wanted choices. What did all this mean for Levi's? Their branding took a turn for the worst and so did their sales.

History does tend to repeat itself as today there are similarities with companies who aren't changing with the times, the social media times that is. If you're reading this blog, you're most likely in the know of the social media world and it's aggressive impact on business today. Yet we live with such a span of generations, the social media knowledge can be far different between the 20 somethings and the 50 somethings in the work force. So what's the consequence of someone who's out of the loop on social media yet trying to market their business effectively? Well, for all intensive purposes, the consequence is most likely lower visibility and lower profits. We need to go where the customers are, and they aren't the eyes in front of a magazine or ears next to a radio. Chances are, they are at a computer screen on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. The many companies who have been able to embrace this fact have done well and will continue to do well. Those who refuse to get on board may face an imminent downfall. (unless of course their only clientele also refuses social media) What are some of your favorite brands and products out there? Try googling them and see where they come up. Do they have a facebook page and a twitter account? If the answer is yes, you can bet they'll be sticking around for a while! Ahh, back to paper writing I go, but thank you for allowing me to think out loud.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How many contacts on LinkedIn do you have?

I was reading a post on Graduated Learning's blog the other day regarding LinkedIn contacts and how many is too many. So, how many is too many or is there such a thing?

It all depends on how you use LinkedIn and how you benefit from your contacts. I'm of the school of thought that says you should only connect with people with whom you've had enough correspondence with that should your name be dropped, they would know who you are. I have a handful of contacts who I barely know and haven't actually had a real conversation with. While it's rude to turn down a connection invite, is there a point to connecting with people you hardly know? For instance, several weeks ago I was researching a company I was interested in applying to for a job. I noticed a friend of mine is connected to an employee there so I asked for an introduction. My friend's response was that she doesn't really know this person and they probably wouldn't remember her should she contact her. So, I can't help but wonder how that's helpful.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

My day at The Mass Conference for Women

Image courtesy of Mass Conference for Women

I'm home from the Mass Conference for Women which was held at the Convention Center today in downtown Boston. I went in early this morning, as many mass women did, not knowing exactly what I would get out of it. I left satisfied and with a renewed sense of optimism and confidence in myself, my life and my career. Now I just hope that elated feeling lasts!

The Highlights from my point of view:

1) Tory Johnson: A NYT best-selling author, CEO and GAM contributor, her career advice is up there with Oprah in my opinion. I found her inspirational, yet down to earth and reachable at the same time. When she was done speaking, she wasn't whisked away in some limo, but I was actually able to talk with Tory at her booth later on in the day, letting her know how in awe she left me. She asked her audience "When was the last time you felt like a rock star?" You can do what you love and you should. So many women, myself included, get down and out about our achievements and feel that we'll never make our dreams come true. If anything, we'll settle for a life that is just ok. But we don't have to. Find what makes you happy and go do it! If you don't know of her or her organization Women for Hire, go look her up! She is a great motivator.

2) Suze Orman: I didn't go in being a huge fan of the financial genius, and to be honest, all I could think of when her name was thrown out was the SNL parody they do on her (which is quite funny) I must say I was a bit star struck when she spoke and I found her to be quite inspirational as well. Not just in the money field, but she encouraged us as women to reach for our dreams and told us the "only thing stopping you is you".

3) Marcus Buckingham: Oprah's career guru was only so many feet from me today as I listened to his awesome speech on life and "living your strongest life" He's got great data to back up his claims, so definitely check him out and his book!

4) Brittany Bergquist: Haven't heard of her? That's probably because she's only 19 years old yet has done more for the world than most women twice her age. When she was 13, she and her younger brother saw a news segment about a solider in Afghanistan who rang up a cell phone bill that equaled about $18,000. He was trying to keep in touch with his family and lent his phone to fellow soldiers for the same reason. She felt for the soldier and consequently created the non-profit Cell Phones for Soldiers which has now received over $2 million dollars in donations and over 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers overseas. You go girl!

All in all, I may not have left with good concrete job interviews or contacts, but I feel inspired and sometimes that's all you need. Looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are you ever done working on your resume?

How many of you would say you are continually working on perfecting your resume? Do you ever find a point where you think it's perfect?

I've found in the last few years that while looking for a job, my resume goes through so many revisions and not only do I end up with several different versions, but after sending it to employers, I continually update and re-work. The work of making it better is never done!

I've also found that asking for help from family, friends and professionals can sometimes be more than I hoped for. In the end, even if it's perfect, there will always be someone who has a different idea of how it should look. The same is true with employers. No matter how hard you work, there will always be some hiring manager who feels it isn't presented in the way they'd like.

To prevent yourself from over-dosing on resume advice, start with a few people, maybe one friend and one professional. Then put it down for a few days and look back when you have a fresh set of eyes. You can only work so hard, and if you allow an opinion from everyone, you will be glued to your desk forever!

What do we think about this?