Grandma knew the importance of brand management. In Grandma’s days, children were not allowed out of the house with holes in their underwear for fear of the proverbial ambulance ride. Housewives cleaned thoroughly under their beds and chesterfields lest dust bunnies be discovered and whispered about. Business owners were careful not to do anything that could alienate their local customers. Grandma and her compatriots did brand management by instinct, although they called it protecting one’s reputation. Small-town living made brand management a matter of every day survival. The Internet is moving us back to the imperatives of small town living. We are in a global village where reputations can be ruined at the speed of light. The examples are numerous: an instant of road rage, captured on traffic cam, forever brands the corporate executive as a lunatic. An ill-considered comment forever brands the politician as a moron. A funny caption on a Facebook picture forever brands a job seeker as a problem-drinker. Fortunately, we seem to be taking heed of these brand accidents, and many of us are paying attention to our online footprint. After years of social media and e-mail debauchery, we are re-learning the value of circumspection. At least, some of us are. I was once CC'd on an e-mail to a local volunteer about a dispute the sender was having with a recreational sports organization in which they were both involved. The e-mail was angry and inflammatory, and verged on slanderous, but anybody who has experience with volunteer-run sports leagues will recognize it as par for the course. What was unique was that the sender elected to CC dozens of other people who were not involved in the dispute – myself included – and signed the e-mail using her professional position as the owner and president of 25-year old small home services firm. This business owner had done the e-mail equivalent of going out with hole-filled underwear - exposing her dust bunnies and alienating her local customers. While I’m sure it was emotionally satisfying in the moment to craft her e-mail and press the send button, it was clear the sender did not consider the long term impact of her e-mail message. She had just announced to nearly one hundred households in her target market, as president of her company, she was somebody who was prepared to resort to mud slinging and petty tactics. And, as Grandma will tell you, a reputation once ruined cannot easily be mended. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Out of work? Out of luck! That is probably how you feel as you sit in front of your computer, hour after hour, day after day, submitting one application after another. Maybe you even look forward to getting job rejection emails because it is some response at least.
Even if you are looking for a job while employed, you may feel a strong sense of rejection when not selected for an interview or offered a job after an interview—especially if it has been a few months or you have had a few interviews without an offer. It is also likely you feel isolated (even invisible), especially if you aren’t working. At work, even if you weren't buddy-buddy with your co-workers, you were likely acknowledged in the halls or other common areas with a smile, nod, or at least a non-verbal acknowledgement that you exist. At home, alone in front of the computer, it is easy to become demoralized.
Work also provides us with a large part of our sense of selves, which is something you may be missing if you are in the middle of a job search. How do you think of yourself? When asked to introduce yourself, don’t you most often say, “Hi, my name is _______. I’m a ________”? Sitting at home alone for a few months may underscore the fact that apparently you aren’t a (fill in the blank).
As adults, our work serves to structure the rest of our lives as well. When we sleep, eat, play—everything revolves around our work schedule. If you aren’t working, you may fall into bad habits that are not helping you feel any less rejected or any better about yourself or your situation. If you are working, you may not being doing your best on the job. If you aren’t, maybe you have started sleeping in, not getting dressed, skipping meals, and/or not going outside. Did you brush your teeth today? How about your hair? If you aren’t working, are underemployed, or struggling in a position you hate, you may not feel as confident as you once did. This lack of self-confidence often feeds into the sense of rejection and demoralization—sending you into a negative spiral that can be a challenge to climb out of.
Think about how you feel about your current situation as objectively as possible to better plan for your future. Having a plan and some next steps outlined can go a long way toward helping you out of this negative spiral.
So, what else can you do? Here are a few tips for dealing with job rejection:
1. Set Realistic Short- And Long-Term Goals
Long-term goals give you something to focus on and look forward to. Short-term goals ensure you are moving in the right direction and moving toward your long-term goals. Daily goals will get you out of bed in the morning.
2. Do Your Best
Do you approach your job search by sitting in front of your laptop, hour after hour, searching for openings and submitting countless applications? Maybe you have completely given up and are just going through the motions, not even convinced you are a good candidate. Take the time to customize your resume and write disruptive cover letters to stand out to employers. That way, you will be one of the few selected for an interview (and hired!). The extra time and effort has value, and it can help you will feel like you are really doing something meaningful.
3. Change Things Up
Don’t do the same thing every day. Search for jobs one day, follow up with hiring managers on another, and dedicate one day to networking. Don’t forget to eat, sleep, get dressed, exercise, and go outside every day. Make your own schedule and stick to it!
4. Make Sure You Have The Skills You Need
How hard can a job search be? Believe me—you don’t know it all; no one does. Read blogs, articles, and/or books about career planning and job searching. Explore your field or potential occupations to determine if you need more skills to be competitive. Read articles or watch videos related to your desired job or about job searching and interviewing every day.
5. Garner Support
You may already feel bad if you are not contributing financially to your household. This makes it hard to ask for help. But you can't do it alone. Ask for help outside of the family if need be. Reach out to friends, old co-workers, and church or community members. You need someone who will listen to your ideas and give you feedback.
Chances are you probably know how to network, but maybe you are too dispirited or you don't see the value in it. Nonetheless, it is a necessity and can result in your next job if you make the time and effort to contact and maintain connection with others. Join a LinkedIn Group or volunteer. It is most important to start and continue to get out there and meet people. Maintain your connections!
7. Get Creative
If you are just going through the motions or are focused on replacing the job you lost, you might be missing opportunities. If you feel that you must have a specific position or salary before considering a job you may be missing out on some great prospects! Look at every relevant job posting and make an interview bucket list. If you do this intermittently, you will have a better indication of what jobs are offered and you may discover a new direction that is perfect for you!
8. Be Realistic
You may own a home. You may be comfortable in your current location and may have loved ones nearby. But if there are fewer opportunities, you may also want to think about moving to where there are jobs, or consider applying for remote positions. In order to minimize job rejection, you need to make sure your expectations are realistic given your current circumstances. If not, it's time to think outside the box.
By employing these tips, you will reinforce the fact that you are doing everything you can to improve your circumstances, boost your self-confidence, and put you in a position to get noticed by more employers for more positions. Give it a try—it can only help. Good luck!
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I have seen business roles defined in ways that confuse many individuals because of the close connections to other positions. These may be the same roles that you have questioned during your professional career.
Join me in this series of articles where I'll take you through what differentiates some of the current business roles, along with a vivid example to demonstrate. Let's get started.
What Is The Difference Between Digital Transformation & Change Management?Transformation Digital - Free image on Pixabaypixabay.com
Let's first define digital transformation. I like the definition that Salesforce uses: "The process of using digital technologies to create new – or modify existing – business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation."
So, what's change management? You'll receive different replies depending on who you ask. For example, project managers view change management as the process of obtaining approvals for project scope, schedules, or budget changes. IT professionals look at change management as the process for approving, testing, and installing new hardware or software. Prosci, the global leader in change management solutions, views change management from an organizational and people perspective. Their definition of change management is "applying a structured process and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome." For purposes of this discussion, we will focus on the organizational perspective.
The Most Magical Place On Earth And Digital TransformationDisney Castle, SingaporePhoto by Jorge Martínez, instagram @jmartinezz9 on Unsplash
Now that we've defined digital transformation and change management, let's start with a great example of a company that successfully implemented a digital transformation. But first, let me challenge you to guess who the company is. I'll give you a hint: their motto is "The Most Magical Place on Earth." You guessed it. The company is Disney World.
The Disney MagicBand, introduced in 2013, was part of a robust technology revamp to the guest experience, allowing guests to manage their reservations, make payments, and access their hotel room. Continuing on their transformation journey for guests, Disney announced in March 2021 the MagicMobile service, which operates like the MagicBand but on a mobile device. Disney indeed has reimagined their business in the digital age to meet its customers' changing needs.
As George Westerman, MIT Center for Digital Business, says, "When digital transformation is done right, it's like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar."
Microsoft's Reinvention Through Organizational Change
Now, let's look at Microsoft's change management relative to the organizational structure. When CEO Satya Nadella came onboard in 2014, he announced that its ability to change its culture would be a leading indicator of its future success. This type of message coming down from the CEO is both powerful and essential to successful organizational transformations.
As he shared his new mission, one of the key changes he wanted to champion was to create a more collaborative and imaginative environment. He would do this by first removing the barriers created by a siloed approach. And thanks to Satya's leadership, Microsoft has been successful in its organizational changes, as shown in its stock prices and employee morale. Continue to watch Microsoft as they change and adapt to the markets they serve.
Sarah Clayton, Senior Partner at Korn Ferry, shares, "Few things are more important during a change event than communication from leaders who can paint a clear and confidence-inspiring vision of the future."
Change Management Interlinked With Digital TransformationChange neon light signagePhoto by Ross Findon on Unsplash
As you can see, organizational change management is vital for the successful implementation of digital transformation initiatives. While each term has its unique definition, the very nature of digital transformation necessitates change management protocols. Think about the Disney World example. When they executed their digital transformation to MagicBands and MagicMobile, they prepared their organization for the change, crafted their vision and plan, implemented the changes, and embedded the changes with their processes and, most importantly, their culture. They continue to review progress and analyze results to ensure they are providing guests with the ultimate customer experience.
Digital transformation will continue to be an essential strategy for companies and their C-suite teams, especially if they want to remain competitive in this rapidly changing environment. Take a look around and watch the companies that embrace change management. These companies view change management as an essential tool that ensures a successful digital transformation.
P.S. If you liked this article, check out the previous article in the series that explains the difference between strategies and operations.
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Four million people. Four million people quit their jobs in August of 2021. The Great Resignation is real and it is at a tipping point.
But here's the problem: of those four million people (and plenty others), I can tell you that—sadly—millions of them are going to end up back in the hourly jobs or the type of work that they hate.
Before Quitting Your Job, Find Your Purpose To Unlock Your Career Potential!
The reason why millions of people will end up back in a job they hate is because of one simple thing: if you don't understand how to break down who you are as a professional, what kind of work you prefer to do, what kind of companies you're attracted to, and how to connect the dots around that, you will not find more satisfying work. You will not find your purpose.
Eventually, bills are going to pile up. People are going to be stuck returning to jobs that will make them more miserable than the jobs they quit. Unless you do something about it. Unless you manage to find your purpose and finally unlock your career potential.
Want To Learn How To Unlock Your Career Potential?
Attend my FREE 1.5 hour training "Unlocking Your Career Potential So You Can (Finally!) Find A Job You Like" where I'll show you my four hottest techniques that I've perfected over 20 years as a career coach to help people unlock their career potential.
Here's what you'll learn:
- What kind of work you should be looking for based on your lifestyle and needs
- How to identify the kinds of companies you would be happiest working at
- Which of your skills you should focus on leveraging in a job so that you feel happier at work each day
- How your personality impacts what type of work you should be looking for
So, if you're one of those people who has been a part of the Great Resignation, and you're saying, "I don't know what to do next, but I know I don't want to do what I was doing," come join me. Let me show you what you need to do to find work that actually makes you happy.
This training is going to blow your mind. I'm going to show you things about yourself you never understood as a professional, and you're going to wonder, "Why didn't they teach us this in school? But the good news is, I'm teaching you now.
Interested? Sign up for my FREE training today!
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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I am reminded how grateful I am, not only for the people around me but that I have the opportunity to run my own business. One of the benefits of running a small business is that it gives me the ability to donate to causes that matter to me, and find ways to help build community, and show others the benefits of charitable giving.
Good KarmaPhoto by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Giving back. It's just a good thing to do. Seems simple enough, maybe too simple, but if your business is in a place where it can give back in a meaningful way, I highly suggest it. A study from the Cleveland Clinic on giving found some surprising health benefits that include lower blood pressure, less depression, lower stress, increased self-esteem, and overall greater happiness. Who wouldn't want all of that?
Great ExpectationsPhoto by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
Millennials make up the largest generation in the labor force and will grow to 73 million strong in the US by 2025. With that clout comes expectations and buying power, but we will get to that in a moment. If you want to attract (and keep) top talent, they need to feel that they are working for more than just a business. They want to know they are making a positive social impact. According to a recent study, six out of ten millennials say that a "sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer." Employees respect companies that are trying to bring positive changes. It makes employees feel good and increases their emotional attachment to their employer. So, if you want to hire better talent that is happier, more productive, and stays with the company longer—you might need a giving strategy.
Bad Reputation?Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash
Before you make a purchase, do you read the reviews? I know I do. So, having a good reputation in business works the same way. People want to do business with "good" companies. Your brand is only as good as people perceive it to be. Charitable giving is an easy way to let the world know what you care about and that you are willing to put skin in the game to make a change for the better. A 2018 study found 88% of Americans say they would buy products from a company leading with purpose. Add that to the fact that millennials now have disposable income and massive buying power. People, especially millennials, care about what they support with their money. Brand loyalty is harder to come by these days but, it can be won through impactful purchasing when you build a relationship with your customers. Champion a cause that people care about and there is a pretty good chance your giving efforts can generate both revenue and goodwill.
Tax DeductionsPhoto by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
This one is pretty straightforward. As a small business owner, I hear a collective "Yes please!" when it comes to tax deductions. Typically an LLC can deduct up to 50% of adjusted gross income, but be sure to consult your tax professional regarding your specific situation and the organization you choose to donate to.
Give StrategicallyPhoto by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash
Most businesses get requests for donations to various charities pretty regularly. This kind of piecemeal giving is fine, but will probably never be more than one-directional. To truly maximize your efforts, you need to be strategic in how you give.
Finding a cause that will align with your company values or goals is a great place to start. Cisco is a good example of strategic giving on a large scale. Cisco created a free educational program to train high school students to be computer network administrators. This did two things: it gave job opportunities to high school graduates and helped the company alleviate a potential growth constraint.
For small businesses, and smaller budgets, it might require a bit more work to find strategic charitable alignment but it is worth taking the time to do. And the beauty of aligning your giving with your brand is that you can decide to do whatever you want—start your own foundation, simply give to a nonprofit, or even volunteer your time. The possibilities are practically endless.
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