The Next Step

Introduction

Your social networks say a lot about who you are. While being a teen you may create emails such as gamerkid4000@hotmail.ca or post some embarrassing photos and this is something you do not want when growing up and taking the next step in your life. Your life will begin to get very serious while you start looking for a career. You must make yourself look more professional and start to act like an adult. In this day and age, social media plays a big role in telling other who you are and having a good network is is a great way to start when taking the next step.

Networking using Linkedin and Facebook

LinkedIn Versus Facebook

LinkedIn and Facebook are both popular social networking websites. LinkedIn is business-orientated and mainly for professional networking while Facebook is created for the purpose of connecting to friends and family. LinkedIn contains a wide array of active candidates on their website making it far easier for recruiters to search for candidates. Facebook on the other hand, has nine hundred million unorganized, miscellaneous users. A user’s qualifications on Facebook are not easily identified as the qualifications on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s organized format highlights a user’s qualifications making them much easier to recognize. To build a good network, LinkedIn would be the better way to go as it is much more professional than Facebook.

Understanding What a Network is

Having a good network of people is crucial to getting a job. A network is anyone you know/talk with. Your friends, family, people you play sports with, your co-workers, the people you go to school with; these are just some of the many people that can make up your network. When searching for a job most people go to the online resources (indeed, craigslist, wowjobs etc..). But it’s actually the people within your network that can help you the most get you a job in the field that you want. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools you have to getting a job because it’s not just the people in your network that is being told that you are looking for a job, it is also the people in your networks network that can help you find a job. Recent statistics show that 70 percent of jobs in the last 5 years have been found through networking.

How to Maintain a Good Network?

Maintaining a good network for some individuals can benefit their career down the path. There are many ways that someone can do so. One of the most important parts to maintaining a good network especially when pursuing a career job is by trying to be as professional as possible. You need to be continuously making new connections while at the same time nurturing the relationships you have. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Write.

Create a newsletter or e-zine as a source of regular communication with your network.  Include articles that are an easy read and provide value to the readership.  Keep an updated mailing list to ensure that your newsletter reaches your entire audience.

  1. Express.

Express thanks, congratulations and fond wishes. Remember to send birthday cards, holiday cards, thank you cards, etc.  This is a great way to show the members of your network you care while keeping a regular dialogue with them.

  1. Update.

Every time there is a change to your organization, your work status or your contact details, broadcast it.  Use these life changes as opportunities to remind your network that you are there.  

  1. Telephone.

Mass media like e-mail and newsletters are great for consistent communication.  But enduring business relationships require much more.  One way to stay in touch and build stronger bonds with your network is to commit to at least one call a week.  These are people you selected, you should enjoy them.  So take the 15 minutes to half an hour it takes each week to keep the network alive.

  1. Socialize.

A great way to build and nurture your network and help people build theirs is to host an event.  This can be a random event at your house or a recurring event at a chosen meeting place.  This will provide an informal way to get together and connect the members of your network with each other.  If each member brings a member of their network, it will also help to significantly expand yours. (Arruda, 2009)

“Networking is a two-way street, and you can be of assistance to the people you may ask for help someday by finding out what they are looking for in their careers or personal lives.” (Essortment, 2011). This is explaining how once an employee recognizes the likes and dislikes of another individual, there are many ways to improve your networking by assisting the person with things they are interested in and relating to them more.  

The following is an inspiring and influential video that will provide tips on how to have a strong network.

Bad Networking vs Good Networking

There are many benefits to having a network, you have the ability to share your knowledge. Having a good network gives you the opportunity to receive feedback, and having others view your opinions differently is a great asset. Networking successfully will strengthen many relationships and build foundations for you in the future. Networking results in opportunities, due the relationships that you would have built. By networking on a regular basis, and pushing yourself to communicate with people you are not familiar with, you will become more confident when dealing with others and expanding your platform. Another benefit of networking is raising your profile, people will begin to know you and building a reputation for yourself will not be as difficult.

Having an unsuccessful network can be detrimental to your image, a huge part of networking is how you present yourself and how other people see you. If you network incorrectly it can destroy your reputation. If you are not networking correctly it can lead to a lack of opportunities and a lack of interest in you. Connections will be difficult to make, a strong network make for strong connections and in the world of networking connections are everything. It is also very difficult to raise your profile if your network is not done properly, it might seem like you are unreliable, unprepared, or that you do not have useful information.

It is always good to have strong and professional network and being honest is one way to create that network. The following video will give tips on how to be in honest in your network without sounding fake.

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The Interview: Tips for Success

Interview Tips

  1. Conduct research on the place of employment

A solid foundation of knowledge leads to success in a job interview. An applicant should understand the employer, the requirements of the job and the background on the place of employment.

  1. Review and prepare

An applicant should prepare responses to expected interview questions. The goal for the interview is to compose detailed, concise responses to the questions asked.

  1. Make good first impressions

This is an important step to gain success in a job interview. Be polite and offer greetings to everyone you are introduced to. Employers look at how applicants treat their staff members.

  1. Be confident

The key to success is the quality and delivery of the responses. By preparing responses to expected interview questions, the applicant will avoid long, rambling responses. An applicant should aim to keep responses short, to the point and provide solid examples.

  1. Body language

When the content of the interview questions are important, so is body language. Effective forms of body language include; smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening and nodding. Forms of body language that should be avoided are looking off in the distance, slouching, fidgeting and mumbling.

  1. Ask insightful questions

At the end of the interview, the employer will give the applicant a chance to ask questions. The applicant should prepare questions to ask before the interview which should add any additional inquiries that come up during the interview.

The Interview Process

The interview process is a critical factor in the job search process. The interview process typically occurs within three stages.

The first stage of the interview process is the screening interview. This stage begins from the time that a job is applied for. The potential employer will review the applicant’s resume which includes; education, experience and overall background. When considering applicants, an employer will review the longevity of each previous position, the reasons for leaving each previous position and the gaps of employment. When an employer finds a suitable applicant, the second stage of the interview process with occur.

The second stage of the interview process is the formal interview. After a potential employee makes it past the screening stage, there is a formal interview that is generally conducted in person. This provides the employer the first opportunity to interact with the applicant. The objective of this stage is for the employer to see how one behaves face-to-face. The employer will ask questions about the applicant’s experience and skills, work history and availability. It is also an opportunity to allow the applicant to see the organization, the work environment and meet the coworkers. At the conclusion of the interview, the third stage of the interview processed should be discussed with a timeline for the final decision.

The third stage of the interview process involves reference checking and negotiating the job offer. An employer may decide to check an applicant’s references before offering the job. As for negotiating the job offer, the terms being presented; start date, salary and benefits, job title, probation and holiday entitlement, are discussed between the employer and the applicant. During the stage, the applicant will be offered the job.

Tips on how to be a focused student

Many students have trouble staying focused whether it is in class or online. Different people have different techniques to keep themselves focused and avoid any distractions. Below are two different environments that students can be distracted and how they are able to avoid those distractions.

Eliminating Online Distractions

          No one wants to be distracted from their work, especially when working at home because family can be a big distraction. For example, they may decide to come into your room and ask for a favour, or ask you a question. This distracts you easily and you have no way of ignoring them because they are physically there asking you questions. If you were to be doing research and your family interrupts you, you could easily get off topic and forget your ideas. The way to avoid that would be to let your family know you are doing school work and need to be left alone. Sometimes while studying you may decide you want to play some music in the background that can either be a big distraction or a great way to focus on your work. However, you can get side tracked and end up watching videos on YouTube and one thing leads to another which could waste a lot of time. The best way to have music playing, is to have a playlist and avoid going back to YouTube and changing your song. Being on a computer while doing work gives you access to a lot of other things such as Facebook and Twitter. That can be another distraction to your work because it is very time consuming. So to avoid that you would just take breaks in between your studies and give yourself time to check Facebook and Twitter but only for a certain amount of time.

Reference: http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Distractions-Online

Eliminating Face to Face Distractions

          When it comes to eliminating study distractions when you are face to face there are several factors that come into play. When you are with someone who is constantly talking while you are trying to type a paper. You could kindly tell the person that you need to focus. One big one for our generation especially is our phones. It is way too easy to get caught up in a conversation when you are studying so I would say to put your phone away while you are studying. Music is another big one because for many of us we like to listen to music with anything that we do. If it helps you study that’s great but I personally can’t listen to music because it makes it difficult to focus on whatever subject I am trying to learn. While I am trying to learn about the structure of cells I can’t be listening to my favourite band because I will most definitely start singing the lyrics along with the song. Also just getting your head into the mindset that you are here to study is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome because when people together (especially college students) we sometimes get off topic and forget the fact that we are there to study, so constantly telling yourself that you are not here exactly for the social aspect of studying can help. I personally just constantly try to remind myself that I am in college for a reason. I can make friends along the way but I am here because I want a career in medicine. That fact to me right now is all that matters. Altogether the best and most effective way to eliminating study distractions, is recognizing what a distraction is.

Reference: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/the-age-of-distraction-getting-students-to-put-away-their-phones-and-focus-on-learning/

      The following videos provide many other useful tips that will help a student stay focused in school.