“Social media is the driver of our world! How has it changed the world of work?”

Social media has become an indispensable share of our personal as well as professional existence. While posting pictures of what you eat has never benefited anyone, there’s definitely something which can. If one follows a strategic approach, social media can prove to be a great tool in advancing one’s career and accessing interesting work opportunities.

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While we are constantly posting, sharing, tweeting and re-tweeting, on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, putting social media handles on your professional page can help attain larger access to possibilities in the career domain. Ann Erezi Agha, the HR Business Partner at MindTheGap, Africa, shared interesting insights and highlighted great tips on how the youth can advantage from leveraging social media to advance their careers.

If you missed the live chat on Twitter, last month, here’s what it was all about..

By teasing the topic of leveraging social media with the online community of job seekers, young entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses, the Nigerian youth were driven towards the impulse of using the same platforms which they had been using for years for personal gratification, this time, for work related purpose.

While Ann shared that there have been stories of people who grew from the lowest position to unimaginable heights in their career, the most important part is the effect of social media and the role it plays on Careers and the future of work. To quote Ann’s words, “Every career has gone digital. Without leveraging social media, you have no identity and you occupy no space,” it can be justified that building an online presence is very important, today! She rationalized this by saying, “If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t exist in today’s world.”

So, what does Career and Career Advancement really mean?

According to Ann, a career is ‘a progressive path to a problem solving endeavor!’ While we talk about career advancement all the time and are looking forward to achieve it through the realm of internet and the plethora of potential it promises, it is important to understand the concept of advancement from someone successful, who has gone through the varies of challenges which the professional sphere poses. For Agha, career progression is “the process of making progress to better jobs.” Ann explained, “It is moving ahead progressively or climbing the corporate ladder!”

Agha shared how social media has enabled women around the world to be seen, heard and appreciated. She believes that in the future, women’s identity will increase as they will be able to showcase to the world what’s inside of them. Ann has encouraged the youth to determine a career path by mapping out a strategy for consistent career growth, in her simple words, “Work the work!”

There are social media rules to be followed. Know the rules and stick to them.

Here are some amazing guidelines which Ann Agha numerated for the online job seeker and entrepreneur community. Read on:

  • Be selective about what you share, build identity round what you do!
  • Be real and accountable! Fake profiles can boomerang, so if you aren’t real, it has a way of coming back to you.
  • Pick your Platforms. There are various platforms but choose the right ones that are relevant to your career.
  • Develop valuable relationships. As it allows you engage with people and develop relationships online.
  • Enhance your thought leadership. Share your expertise and knowledge with your industry.

Lastly, the MindTheGap Project Admin inspired the community to “Publish a post, start a revolution and be consistent!” She exclaimed that if utilized properly, social media is not a villain. “It can turn you into a star!”



Why Job Seekers need to consider workplace culture?

Job profile and salary are not the only things to be checked when looking for a new job. Workplace culture also plays a very important role. But, people mostly prefer to consider just the salary and the additional benefits and they forget about the most important aspect of any company and that is its work culture.

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Office culture depicts how employees perceive a business. Many companies are putting much effort to make their employees feel happy and comfortable at work. Therefore, if you are looking for a new job, you must definitely consider the culture of the workplace they work in. Let’s discuss some of the essential points why job seekers should consider workplace culture.

1.) Reflects Company’s Value

Office culture can be referred as the extension of company’s value. Knowing the about culture at the office, applicants get a sense of that company’s environment and how will they be able to fit into the environment and how helpful such environment would be.

2.) Hard Skills Do Not Take You Too Far

Hard skills are no doubt most important thing that you require to get a job. But these things cannot take you too far when you cannot work in the culture of the office. For working in a new office, a worker should be able to align his soft skills with that of the company.

3.) You Will Happier

This is the most important aspect of knowing about the culture of a workplace. When you feel happy at your workplace and there is all positive energy around you, then you tend to improve at you work and work with your full efforts and energy.

Therefore, it can be said that a positive environment allows you to have positive waves around you. And, in a happier environment, efforts are more and so is the output. Good culture cannot solve all the problems of a workplace, but it solves all the problems that required.

What Makes a Good Manager?

A manager is not just a post. It is a responsibility to carry on the functionality of the office in a very smooth way. A good manager is someone who is able to blend into the background and small changes easily. Being a good manager means leading and setting an example.

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As a manager, you have to work on people’s expectations and therefore it is considered one of the toughest hobs. But, there are several tricks that will help you be a good manager successfully and you will be able to manage all your responsibility well. Let’s discuss some of the characteristics that make a manager.

 1.) Motivates People

A manager takes care of the environment of the office and motivates people to increase work efficiency. Motivating people helps them to work harder and also stops them from going elsewhere. Motivation is something that makes an employ stick to the organization after having a bad day.

2.) Makes Clear Directions

 Defining specific objectives and outcomes is something that is needed to be done by a manager. He must communicate to the staff clearly, delegates responsibilities, keeps check and control over the environment and ensures the proper working of the staff.

3.) Effectively Develops Staff

A good manager utilizes the skills and potential of the staff members and develops their skills through appropriate learning activities. Empowering staff by sharing control of resource and responsibilities is one of his main roles.

4.) Exercises Good Judgment

Exercising good judgment makes the characteristics of a good manager complete. He defines and clarifies issues, gathers facts, commits to the course of action and also chooses the most appropriate action to be taken based on the amount of information available.

5.) Acknowledges the Work 

This is one of the main characteristics of a good manager. He acknowledges the works of his staff and doesn’t take the credit. He is like the conductor of an instrument that orchestrates the music so that each and every element plays well.

When being organized translates to being productive!

Perks of being organized have been informed to us since our childhood days, when we were asked to put back our toys, pack our bags according to the school’s timetable, and be on time. Organizing is the key to management and good management is the door to better production.

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What is being organized?

Is being organized decodes into keeping a clean work table, having a fixed time to check the mails, finishing work before the end of the day? Not so much! There is much more to being organized. Following are some qualities which would help you better understand the meaning of the word.

Five Characteristics of an organized person:

Self-Driven – organizing means managing work and initiating is the first step to it. A self-driven person knows when to start with a strategy that can help him/her to take better action on the task. A motivated person is more reliable as he/she will tackle the things himself or will ask for support without the need to poke him again and again for completing a task.

Effective- Knowing when and how to deal with a problem/task is a habit of an organized person. For example, if you keep the toys back when the child is still paying, it disrupts the child’s play, wastes your time and your child’s time as he will have to go back and pick the toys again, and it will not even serve the purpose of cleaning up. Being able to figure out the right time to handle a situation is important to be organized.

Diligent- Organizing means being able to address a problem before it becomes an issue. For that one must know the problem first. Only a person, focused on his/her work will be able to identify the problem, efficiently. Keeping on track, managing distractions, and staying focused, is all a part of being organized.

Resourceful– An organized person is able to use even limited resources to provide good results. He/she keeps the attention and efforts on making the most of the time, and saves it by not going through everything again and again. He takes time to understand, research and follow-up. He knows where to save files for easy access, when to delegate work, and how to prioritize.

Flexible- One of the most important qualities of an organized worker is being open to changes. Any sudden issue can arise, or an urgent work may come up. A person must be able to cope up with deviations by being able to manage several tasks at once, knowing what to put off for later, and being able to rearrange and even re-plan.

Why more organized means more productive?

When a person is more organized, he/she is automatically more productive. An organized person is able to finish more work in less time, with fewer resources, and without the need of others at every minute. An organized person knows how to manage through deadlines, when to delegate work to others, which tasks to complete first, and when to take a break to refresh the mind. This creates a pattern of effectiveness with short breaks that inspire creativity, thus putting in innovation and quality in every task.

How companies measure your work:

Your boss is measuring your work all day through, with not just quality and quantity, but also the process you chose to follow and the time you took to complete a task. If you are offering an amount of work in more time than expected, and even if the quality of the work is good, your boss will take more time to decide on a promotion for you! The key to being organized is to provide good quality work in less time, without hassles, and through a method that is justified as the right method for that plan. All these points relates to what your boss feels about you being productive.

Here’s what you need to do!

In order to enhance your organizing skills, develop managerial qualities, and improve the production of work, you need to follow a procedure that is fool-proof. Follow these simple and effective steps to be organized:

1) Understand the needs of the project.

2) Pay attention to the deadline.

3) Do fast research.

4) Think of a strategy.

5) Address the problems that could arise.

6) Make a reliable plan.

7) Delegate as and when required.

8) Follow up for updates and feedbacks.

9) Analyze the result before deliverance.

10) Don’t forget to mention the innovations/ideas/interesting concepts you thought of for the project.

P.S. Take credit! After all, why not?!


Why women should break the rules at work to get ahead?

Remember the times when you look around in the office and there are men..men filling out log registers, men operating the machines, men taking a meeting, men giving presentations, men laughing on sexist jokes at lunch, and men wasting precious work time! Men do as they please, and it suits them! What about women?

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Women work as you please!

Since the past century, we have noticed that more and more women are applying for jobs, getting jobs, managing work and home well (definitely, better than men) as well as coming forward as thinkers, leaders, and speakers, with a purpose in their voice, and an idea on their tongue. The noticeable number is still a small amount. Why is that? Women are afraid to do as they please!

Men are defined by their qualities, but women are defined by their personality. Although, every woman has better managerial skills than most men, and is better at time management, team building, as well as communication and presentation skills, women at work are lagging behind. That is because they are afraid to do beyond what they are asked to do or more than what is required and expected from them.

Why women must break the rules?

When we see a man leading other group of men, we see leadership. When we see a woman leading a group of women, we see threat! Why are women always asked to raise their voices, fight for their rights, or prove their worth at work and everywhere? Women have already broken the rules set my men for them to stay at home, but there is still a need for more!

With the ongoing fight between men and women for centuries, the world has noticed a very interesting phenomenon. The clock has been ticking for millions of years, but rules were broken only at times it struck women with the opinions of anti-feminists and male-chauvinists. As many times as a woman has raised her voice, at least one man has stood up to silent her, resulting in many other women to raise their voices louder in support of the first one. Then the drive goes away, until another woman is silent. Do we need to wait for such moments?

Office going women are faced with the challenges of proving that they deserve as much as the other half of the population is getting, in terms of money, respect, position, and power. In order to get attention and move ahead in a workplace which had been dominated by male population just few years back and even so now, women must start to learn the rules of the corporate world in order to break them!

What does breaking rules mean?

As women have become more and more aware of their capabilities, thanks to the men who made it a point to discourage, disrespect, and disdain women, they have also become more aware of the fact that job, power, money is all related to their value in this world. Here it is no suggestion that a woman with these things is better, or will automatically be respected, but she certainly has the capacity to influence many and support millions who are not able to stand for their selves.

As and when women stop doing what they are meant to do, expected to do, or are asked to do, they would start delivering the kind of work which talent, capability, and responsibility, asks for. That is when they will actually prove their worth, not through strikes, or fights, or talking about women’s rights, but through actual commitment which their companies will value and reward.

Which rules to break?

Most women are drawn towards perfectionism. They are afraid of judgments if they fail, of made fun of if they pose an obvious question or suggestion, of gossips about trying to impress the boss if they work hard, of being called arrogant and bossy if they delegate work, of being the only woman in the pack of male managers, of not being able to give their hobbies enough time, etc …does all this bother men? NO!

Women need to break their own rules to get ahead in the corporate world. Mark your steps with confidence, fearlessness, and commitment to greater things. Break the rules that are holding you back and rule the corporate world with your hidden capabilities!

What to do When the Job is Perfect, But Not the Culture

Your job fills a larger part of your life. You have to spend at least 8 hours a day at your workplace. In this case, what if the culture is not good? What you have the perfect job for yourself. You current job is your dream job and it’s everything that you always want. But, what if the culture and the environment of you office is not right? In such case, most of the people choose to look for a new job.  But, leaving your dream job behind is never a good option. There are other ways as well that can help you tackle such condition.

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1.) The Culture is Bad or Just a Few People

This is something that can be really confusing and irritating. You have to figure out if the entire culture is bad or it’s just a few employees. Sometimes it happens that there just a few apples that spoil the bunch. In this condition knowing the truth becomes very important. If you think that there are just a few people who are making it difficult for you to work then you need to talk to senior authority about the problem. Or, you can engage in a serious talk with the person.

2.) What If the Culture is Most Upsetting to You?

It’s very important for you to identify what exactly about the culture makes you frustrated.  This way, it will be helpful for you to make the best for your current job and to avoid such things in future. In this situation, you have to be more make the balance and go accordingly.

3.) Happy at Office?

This is the biggest question to be answered when talking about the culture. If the environment you are working within is not good but is not affected your work and mood then it might be ignored. You can carry on with your work and ignore everything with professionalism.

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Five Ways to Get Stoked for Mondays

Sunday is not complete Sunday. It’s Sunday till 6 pm and then it becomes pre-Monday. The feeling that Monday is closer pops up and you have it mind that you have to go to office the next day.  The entire enthusiasm of weekend drops down and you are covered the feeling of going to work. This is something that starts to make you hate Mondays. But, you cannot always hate Mondays as you have to work and work. Hating Mondays will take you nowhere and will stay unenergetic at your work and thus you always reduce your own productivity. Therefore, you need to be excited about Mondays to be active at your work. Let’s discuss the ways that would help you get stoked for Mondays.

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1.) Prioritizing is Good

As Monday is the first day of the week, you have a list of things to do at your work. Your inbox might be stuffed with what to do list and you are choked at a point for what to do and what not to do. If you do not want to be all messed up at this point of time then you should start priorities thing in the Sunday evening. Dedicate some time to what to do, make a list and set priorities.

2.) Plan for the Week

When you are done planning for the Monday, you can also make a list for the week. This will give you a feeling that you are not entering a hopscotch week. When everything is well planned, it makes you feel good and you are active for the week. Making the list in the Sunday evening, helps you know what to do and what not to do in the next week and therefore you will be stoked for Monday.

3.) Scheduling will Help

You might not have complete idea about your work but there are certain things that you definitely know. So, when you know what things are there ahead, you can make a proper plan and schedule activities. And, in case you have any about what might happen, you can defiantly leave a space for that happen. You can also leave some space for some unexpected work.

4.) Have a Happening Weekend

When you end your weekend on high note, you fell refreshed and active to work. You can dedicate a little time to planning on Sunday evening and enjoy the rest of time. Visit your friends, have a get together or do whatever makes you feel happy. When you spend the weekend this way, you feel and energetic and freshened up the next day.

5.) Punctuality Makes a Difference

Being punctual is good. Reaching office on time gives you a sense of accomplishment and that helps you start the day in a positive day. You feel you have done something good and therefore you do rest of the work positively. Being a little earlier is also going to help you. When you reach early, you take some time to organize thing that helps entangle your work.