“Remodeling” Your Career in 2022

Career & WorkplaceLinkedInResumes

Today, while mindlessly browsing through social media, I came across an article containing a list of home trends that “are on their way out”.  Since I have just recently updated several areas of my home, I was intrigued and moved forward with reading, hoping that one of my remodeling projects wasn’t on the “out” list. I had only read a few snippets of the article when my mind wandered back to work, and I thought about what types of job search and resume trends have also been sent to pasture over the years? The following are some of the “ins/outs” to be thinking about as you embark on your next career “remodeling” project.

Your Resume:

In: Career Summary

Out: Objective

Starting at the top of your resume with the word “Objective” that tells the reader what you are “seeking” in your next career move is a big no-no, and OMG, so bland and boring. Just don’t. Instead, craft a compelling, leadership-focused, and keyword-saturated career summary that packs a punch and pulls the reader in wanting to learn more about you.

In: Accomplishments

Out: Daily job responsibilities

While you were hired to do certain tasks, those are not all that should be on your resume. Today’s resumes need to be accomplishment- and not task-focused. Use your career history section to show readers the impact you made in your past roles. Did your efforts result in revenue generation? Improvements in efficiency/productivity? Sharing the results of your work on your resume only enhances the reader’s understanding of the potential you have and the value you can offer in future roles.

 

Your Online Persona:

In: Presence on LinkedIn

Out: No presence on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s premier professional networking site for a reason – it works. Whether you’re actively seeking a new job or just trying to build your brand and connect with peers in your field, LinkedIn is where you need to be. Sign up for initial services is free, and if you need additional features and can afford them, LinkedIn has them ready for you. Be sure you fill out all relevant sections to build your profile, and make your content engaging so that it builds your brand appropriately and markets you for you jobs in your field.

 

Your Job Search Acumen:

In: Networking, Recruiters, Resume Distribution

Out: Sitting by the phone

So many of our clients tell us that they aren’t getting calls for interviews. So, we ask, what are YOU doing to put yourself out there as a viable candidate? Just applying for a job doesn’t always do the trick. You need to apply, follow-up, and keep looking until you start hearing back from companies and actually have interviews set up. Even if you get an interview scheduled-that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job. It’s up to you to keep applying, networking, etc. until you land your dream job. Sitting by the phone day after day waiting for a call from the one company you applied to will only result in frustration and more than likely, no further along in your job search. Find a recruiter, network on professional sites like LinkedIn, and just get yourself out there. If you don’t know where to find a recruiter on your own, find a company that offers a resume distribution service where your resume can be sent out to literally thousands of recruiters in a matter of minutes.

YOU control the pace of your search and the number of places you apply. Make a list of companies and track when you applied, if you heard back, interview schedules, etc. If you are unemployed, your job search should be treated as a full-time job and deserves focus and time to get you to the next level.

 

Where to Find Jobs:

In: LinkedIn, Networking, Online Job Boards and Employment Sites

Out: One source shopping

Don’t just peruse your local newspaper (although many still do have a “Help Wanted” section) to look for jobs. Go online! Talk to your colleagues, family, and friends. Ask if they know of openings! Look on well-known job search sites and see what’s out there. Join groups and set-up alerts to be notified when a job that matches your skills/qualifications becomes available. LinkedIn has their own “Jobs” section to peruse. Use it to see what is available in your field/area. Have a specific company you’re targeting? Go directly to their website-you still may be redirected to another job search engine to apply, so make sure you apply per their instructions. If a job posting says “don’t call”, then don’t call. Always follow the application directions, because if you don’t, you may eliminate your candidacy up front. If you don’t have access to the internet, go to the library and use their tools/internet to look for jobs-just remember to completely logout out of any public computer so your personal information is not compromised.

 

Your Ability to Navigate the Job Market:

In: Knowing someone on the inside.

Out: What you know and what you have done will automatically get you in the door for an interview.

You have heard the saying “It’s not always what you know, sometimes it’s who you know…”? People would not still be repeating this phrase in the job market if there wasn’t some truth to it. In today’s competitive job market, many companies have a candidate in mind even before they post a job. YOU want to try to be that candidate. If you have a friend or former co-worker on the inside of a company you’re targeting, reach out to them. If they can give you some inside information to get you in the door – that’s great. Just be sure your contact has a good reputation with the company leadership. Otherwise, your credibility as a viable candidate may have just gone out the window.

As you are “remodeling” your career path, be sure the tools you are using and trends you are following are not outdated, so that you can optimize the time and effort you are putting forth as you pursue your dream job. If you are struggling with your career remodeling project, hire a professional. You would do it for your home improvement projects–why not for your career improvement projects?

 

 

Updating Your Resume in 5 Quick Steps

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Has this happened to you?

A company you’ve had your eye on for a while suddenly has an opening. You are perfect for it. Not only are you perfect for it but it’s the perfect role for you. More seniority, increase in pay, remote work options, family-oriented, and so on.

You open up your documents and realized you haven’t touched your resume in eight years. Ack!

It can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

First, work from your most recent information, gathering what your job titles have been, what you’ve actually done in these roles, and what your career progression has been in those eight years. List your daily responsibilities, and what you were brought in to do.

Next, here are the top five things to quickly address:

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁. What impact did you have on the company? How did your role impact the bottom-line? What contributions did you make? Were you a decision-maker? Provide examples.

𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗮. Numbers and percentages prove your quantifiable contributions and success. A chart or graph is a great visual and works well if you have strong numbers. Have you helped increase revenue? Expanded the client base? Come up with a solution that cut costs, reduced risk, or played a key role in something? Talk about it and use numbers, when possible.

𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴. While some advanced formatting and graphic formatting is visually appealing, don’t clutter up your resume so much that it turns the reader off. Keep the format clean and consistent. Add bold where needed to differentiate daily responsibilities from accomplishments or to point out a key company name, etc. Finessing your format is so important. Having the right amount of formatting in combination with strong content creates a visually impactful and interesting read.

𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲. The no. 1 complaint I hear from recruiters is that the candidates applying for jobs aren’t a fit. Make sure you have the skills necessary for the position. If you don’t, don’t try to squeeze yourself into a role that isn’t meant for you. It only annoys the recruiters, and your resume will get permanently tossed.

𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗴! This is your chance to sell yourself and show what you can do. It’s OK to talk yourself up. You’ve earned it. You are the product, so show off what you’ve done and how what you did is unique and valuable to the next company. This is not the time to be shy or to step down and let someone else take the credit for what you’ve done. Strut your stuff!

Once you’ve got these basics covered, writing the rest of your resume should flow pretty easily for you. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

 

7 Skills to Acquire During Quarantine That Can Boost Your Resume

Career & WorkplaceGuest Posts

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s been under some level of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions over the last several months, you’re probably starting to feel a little restless these days. You’ve organized the garage, participated in virtual happy hours, and run out of stuff to stream — now what?

Whether you’re on the job hunt after becoming unemployed or you’re just on a mission to find something bigger and better, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll show you some ways to resolve both your boredom and ramp up your resume during quarantine. From certificates to skills, read on to find out the top seven things you can do to boost your resume without ever leaving your couch!

  1. Web Design and Management

When employers think about the qualities of a good employee, the words “driven,” “self-motivated,” and “passionate” often come to mind. So, what better way to impress a potential employer than by showing off some self-taught skills? With a little help, of course…

In the digital age, experience with web design and management is an invaluable skill worth reaching for. And thanks to the same technology, it’s easier than ever to learn how to build, design, and launch a website at your own, self-guided pace. What’s more, your practice site can become your very own living portfolio where you can host your resume, work samples, contact details, social media links, and more.

Here are some of the top-rated online web design courses and platforms to choose from:

  • Webflow University
  • UDemy
  • SkillShare
  • Coursera

If you want to build from templates rather than code your way from the ground up, you might check out user-friendly platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix.

  1. Visual Design

If you’re looking for a career in the creative realm, a great way to boost your skills is to get hands-on with design. Photo editing, illustrating, and designing page layouts are just a few of the things you can learn using the Adobe Suite program.

  1. Language

Knowing how to read, write, and speak in another language is always a great skill to have, no matter what kind of work you do. In fact, many workplaces will pay employees more if they know a second language, especially if it’s a language commonly used in the region.

What’s more, learning a foreign language opens the door for more travel opportunities and could even present the option for you to work abroad if you’re interested.

Thanks to the convenience of mobile apps and increasingly easy user interface, learning a new language while you’re on-the-go or at home is fun and easy to do. Check out these popular apps to get started:

  • Duolingo
  • Babbel
  • Busuu
  • Memrise
  • HelloTalk

 ProTip: As you start to learn the foundations of a foreign language, you can start to expand your learning tools by watching foreign films or television shows, cooking from foreign cookbooks, or reading books in a new language. If you’ve been looking for ways to stay entertained during quarantine, learning a language is one of the best (and most productive) things you can do!

  1. Social Media Management

It’s no secret that social media practically runs the world as we know it these days. From Instagram and Snapchat to TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, there’s a social network out there for everyone; there are even social networks for career seekers. Heck, you might even be a member of all of the above!

Whether you’re in the marketing and communications world or just have a passion for social media, there are plenty of ways you can leverage your social skills in the workplace. Learning how to craft custom content, engage with users, and monitor performance can open the door for new job responsibilities and give your resume the added edge it needs to make it into the final round.

The best part? There are tons of free resources out there to help you get started:

  • For video storytelling, check out Social Creators
  • For social media and digital marketing in general, try Acadium
  • For help with Facebook ads, visit Facebook Blueprint
  • To learn more about ad performance, use Google Analytics Academy
  • To learn the foundations of content marketing, check out Hubspot Academy
  • For information on scheduling content and increasing engagement, try Hootsuite Academy
  1. UX/UI

UX, or user experience, applies to a lot of different industries and professions, including web design, software development, and product design. In essence, UX is the practice of improving a user’s experience with a product, whether that means button placement or page hierarchy on a website, the functionality or packaging of a product, or some other aspect that alters how a customer interacts with a product.

Interested in UX or UI? Check out these resources:

  • DesignLab
  • Xterra
  • Career Foundry
  • Interaction Design
  1. Public Speaking

Almost nobody likes to do it, but nearly every employer is looking for someone who’s good at it. That’s right, we’re talking about public speaking. No matter what field you’re working in, chances are, there is some element of public speaking necessary in one way or another, whether that’s through in-house presentations, project proposals, PR, or just team collaboration.

If you’re not ready to jump up in front of a classroom of people, learning the foundations of public speaking online may be your best bet! Coursera, Forbes, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning all offer virtual courses in public speaking.

 Bonus: Not only will public speaking skills set you up for success within a workplace environment, it can also help you gain the confidence and knack to nail your next interview.

Wrapping Up

While life in quarantine seems to only drag on as the months move by, there are plenty of productive things you can do with your time. By working to build your professional skills online, you can ramp up your resume, increase your value as a professional, and keep yourself occupied and engaged.

Feel free to use these seven tips and resources as a guide to get you started, and don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section!

Sophie Sirois is a writer based in San Diego, CA, currently writing content for 365businesstips.com. With her Bachelors of Art in Strategic Communication behind her, Sophie began working in the content marketing sphere and has been crafting unique, informative, and click-worthy content ever since.

Did Coronavirus Send You to the Unemployment Line? How One Candidate is Bouncing Back

Job Search

Adam has spent the last 10 years building a successful career as an innovative Information Technology Manager for a major Tier 1 automotive supplier.  Due to the Coronavirus pandemic hindering our country’s automotive industry, Adam is currently on furlough, receiving unemployment benefits to help make up for some of his lost income, and is truly wondering if he will even have a job to go back to when his organization reopens, or if it will reopen.

While Adam knows that he is well-liked by his current employer, he still needs to prepare himself for the fact that his furlough/unemployment status may become permanent, and that he will probably have to start looking for a new job.

Knowing that he will be joining hundreds of candidates looking for new jobs in a competitive field, Adam will have to go back through his 10+ year career and start strategizing his way to a successful job search.

As we have worked with professionals like Adam for years, here are some key steps Adam will be taking as he begins a new job search:

  • Start with the basics – a resume that is written by a professional resume writer. Years ago, resumes were just a piece of paper that outlined a candidate’s career history; today’s resumes are strategically-written marketing tools that don’t just document each job worked, but are more focused on targeting specific jobs and industries, using a candidate’s accomplishments, experience, and skills. And yes, many employers will still want a cover letter to accompany the resume. Hiring a professional will save Adam time as well as will ensure that his career documents are up to par with other candidates who will be competing for the same jobs.
  • Establish a presence on LinkedIn and start networking. LinkedIn provides job seekers endless ways to market themselves, find jobs, and connect with specific companies and industry leaders. Adam needs to ensure that his profile is current, appealing, and contains the right information to position him for IT jobs in markets not only in the automotive industry, but in other industries, as well. Tip: recruiters wouldn’t be using some of LinkedIn’s premium search features if they weren’t finding quality candidates for their clients through the site.
  • Expand the search by looking for jobs/companies outside your current industry. IT candidates are needed in almost every industry in today’s professional world. Adam will need to be open to using his skills and experience in a field outside the automotive market.
  • Brush up on interview skills. Chances are when Adam does get called for an interview, it will be done via Skype or Zoom, or some other teleconferencing system. Even in a remote setting, he will still want to prepare for this interview as if it is a “in-person” meeting. Having a resume, list of his biggest career achievements, and answers to common interview questions by his side during the interview will help him to be able to speak confidently and with ease as he uses solid details to communicate why he is the best candidate for the job.

Whether our current economic crisis has you currently unemployed, furloughed, or preparing for a potential job loss in the near future, you can use the above tips to ensure that you, like Adam will be ready to take on whatever lies ahead in your career, and will find a job and success in your professional life.

Using Keywords to Create a Compelling Story on your LinkedIn Profile

Social Marketing/Online Branding

If you are currently employed or actively seeking employment, chances are you have already established a presence on LinkedIn so recruiters and hiring managers can find you (and if you aren’t on LinkedIn, then quit reading, sign-up on the site, and then come back to this article). My question is…what are you doing/including on your profile to ensure that you actually can be found? Are you networking in industry-specific groups?

Making connections with colleagues in your field? Applying for jobs? Whatever you are doing, you need to ensure that your profile contains quality content that communicates your value and markets you effectively for the jobs you’re applying to. How do you do that? It all starts with saturating your content with targeted keywords and keyword phrases that are in line with the skills and qualifications hiring managers and recruiters want to see when looking for candidates in your field.

LinkedIn is actually a large database that uses certain fields to sort information on user profiles. Utilizing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies (i.e. keywords) on your profile is how you will get “selected” during database searches.

Keywords are just what they say they are  – “KEY” words that you need to have on your profile to not only be found in candidate searches but also to show that your skills match the qualifications companies are looking for.  Here are a few areas of your profile where it is so important that you are using keywords, and not just any words to tell your career story.

HEADLINE:

Your headline is located just below your name, so it is seen immediately when somebody clicks on your profile. You have 120 characters (yep, that’s it) to pull the reader in to want to learn about you-make the most of that space.  Note: LinkedIn automatically uses your current job title in the headline when you sign-up so check to make sure that is what you want on there. Otherwise, you need to change it immediately. Use keywords that are relevant to the positions you’re applying.

For example, instead of “Sales Manager at Acme Products” (which may be your current job title), make your headline “Business Growth Executive: Sales & Operations Management, Revenue & Territory Expansion, Branding, Account Development“.

You have just used 119 characters to tell the world what you can do and not just what your current job title is.

ABOUT section:

Once the reader sees your amazing headline, the next step will be to find out more about you in your profile’s “About” section.  LinkedIn allows 2,600 characters in this section-plenty of opportunity to tell your career story.

Think of your “About” section as you would a cover letter, tell a little about yourself and your career trajectory. Include some quantifiable highlights and your keyword list, or a list of core competencies.

This is an ideal section to get the most bang for your buck when you are trying to get the right keywords for SEO purposes. Be creative and clear when using keywords to share your best attributes.  Don’t just put “Management”, instead use “Global Operations Management”.  You have the space, you just need to use it to your advantage to effectively market your skills and competencies.

SKILLS section:

You only get 50 entries in this section, so it’s imperative that you make each one count.  As with your “About” section, you want to use the right keywords (skills). Instead of “Leadership”, try “Executive Leadership”.  Not only does that tell the reader that you are a leader, it also tells them what level of a leader you are! Are you in HR?  Do you really want to consult and not just be in one spot?  Then add “Human Resource Consulting” as one of your skills.

Once you start putting information into this section, LinkedIn will automatically give you some suggestions as to other skills you may want to use that are related to your field.  If the skill fits, use it. Try to fill this entire section, but if you can’t, don’t try to fill it in with soft skills or fluff.  Your skills must appear relevant and dynamic–fluff won’t help you get found during an SEO search.  Hint: you can always look at the profiles of some of your colleagues to see what industry-specific keywords they are using in their “Skills” section.

The bottom line…the “key” to increasing traffic to your online profile is to ensure you are applying effective SEO techniques and strategies. Use the right keywords in the right places so that you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters looking for candidates in your field!

 

Job Hunting: Best Practices for Today’s Job Market

Guest PostsJob Search

A fortunate few never actually look for jobs: they are recommended by colleagues or recruited by former co-workers. For the rest of us, here’s a toolbox of best practices to make job-hunting easier and more productive.

Personal Branding is Part of the Process

  1. DO have a recently-updated resume. Have it reviewed and reworked by an expert.
  2. DO have a recently-updated LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional-looking headshot.
  3. DO make sure the dates and titles on your LinkedIn profile match your resume.
  4. DO ask for recommendations from those who know you and your work well.

Online applications are changing.

Let’s say you are a pharmacist and you spotted a LinkedIn job posting that looked like a perfect next role, but there’s a catch – you need your LinkedIn profile updated. Forbes wrote that more and more companies are asking to include a link to LinkedIn profiles. It is wise that before you start applying for an online job posting, your own profile should be updated too.

 Where to Begin Your Search

  1. DO pick 5-10 companies you admire and for whom you think you’d like to work.
  2. DO your research online on each company, find a common connection, and ask for an introduction. LinkedIn is a great resource for this.
  3. DO invite people in these companies for a quick cup of coffee near their office. Say something like, “I’d love to hear what you like about working at X. Can I buy you a quick cup of coffee?”
  4. DO ask people you trust for a recommended recruiter who can help you.

 Networking for Your Job Search

  1. DO let friends and family know you’re looking for a new job.
  2. DO attend Meetups in your field of expertise.
  3. DO look for and join LinkedIn groups in your profession.
  4. DO expand your personal network by taking part in volunteer activities. Make sure to choose a cause that you truly care about.

How to Use Company Websites

  1. DON’T rely only on applying to jobs online unless your skills are in high demand.
  2. DON’T regurgitate your entire resume into your cover letter if you’re using one. Keep it simple.
  3. DO try to find an advocate inside the company as well as applying online.
  4. DO tailor your resume to the job, highlighting the most important skills.

New to the search. 

A jobseeker or maybe a new graduate may be searching for better employment. The perfect fit to get the right connection may be to check job boards online, especially for those who are looking in the finance field. Right now, this is a booming industry with an array of jobs for job seekers. Finance Jobs wrote that it helps if seekers explore their options to get the job that fits their skills.

 Stay the Course

  1. DO look for a job before you need one. 411 is easier than 911.
  2. DON’T get impatient. Depending on your salary, it can take 6-10 months to find the next right position.
  3. DO take consistent action so you feel empowered.
  4. DO take good care of yourself physically and emotionally.

Looking for the right job is tough, but it gets better. 

Once you’ve dealt with a couple of bumps while job hunting, you will eventually reach your goal of finding that next job. Though it doesn’t stop there. Beginning a job, whether you are new to the field or not, still takes adjustments. Pitfalls are intimidating in a new environment, says Psychology Jobs. Remember this: the velocity of your search should be the same as when you have a job.

 Adding Velocity to Your Search

  1. DO find ways to help others along the way.
  2. DO assume that things are working out for the best, keeping a positive outlook.
  3. DO stay curious and open-minded. That job that doesn’t seem to be a fit could end up being the best one in your career.
  4. DON’T allow yourself to become bitter, angry, or desperate. These attitudes are a repellent, and people pick up on them, even when they can’t pinpoint what it is about you that is off-putting.

Your job search can be a trial, or it can be an interesting and exhilarating adventure. By deciding to take the long view, asking for help along the way, and refining your job-hunting skills, you’ll be giving it the attention it deserves. Happily, your results will reflect this.

Post written by Katherine Davis for ProfessionalResumeServices.com

 

Top Tips and Techniques for A Successful Job Search

Guest PostsJob Search
c-level personal branding
c-level personal branding

Searching for a job is a crucial part of your professional career. It isn’t just about simply submitting a copy of your résumé to a recruiter and then waiting for a call. Because of the ever-growing influx of job seekers everywhere and the impact of the internet in our society, the process of job searching has changed a bit. Job searching nowadays is online and network-based. It’s a matter of using the resources you have at your disposal to get hired. And if you don’t have enough weapons on your arsenal, then you will have a tough time landing a job. If you’ve just hit another dead-end on your job search, then consider another plan of action. Here are some top tips and techniques for a successful job search to help you in crafting a job search strategy.

Take a Path to Self-discovery

First up, you must discover yourself. Do a detailed self-analysis to determine your skills, interests, achievements, ambitions, values, and potential. All of these are factors essential in finding the right job for you. Once you have found out what you really need and want, then it will be smooth-sailing from there. The next steps rely on what you find out in this process.

Adapt Your Résumé

Take as much time as you need to focus on writing a tailored résumé specifically targeting the job(s) you wish to apply for. Make sure that every important detail is mentioned clearly. Give the recruiter a chance to know why you are the best candidate for the job. Remember that most online job hiring posts can get pretty crowded, particularly a high paying job with good benefits, so the recruiter should be able to identify the skills you define at a glance on your résumé.

Find the Right Match

Find a shoe that fits. Since you have already discovered your needs and wants, it will be easy. Follow your interests, values, and skills to find the appropriate job to apply for. Do the necessary research and learn about the companies that you are interested in. See which ones have a suitable job offer that checks off the boxes on the list of your self-discoveries.

Be Proactive in your Approach

The normal thing to do after you’ve sent out your applications is to wait for a response from the recruiters. Do not do that. Although there is some truth to the saying “Good things come to those who wait,” you have to remember that we are living in a modern world. Instead of waiting, go out there and go after the things that you want.

Capitalize on Your Network

As cliché as it sounds, being able to “name drop” on your résumé or cover letter can elevate your application to the top of the pile or close to it. Make the best out of the network that you have to land a job. Reach out to former colleagues, team leaders, or supervisors to see if there is a job vacancy that they are aware of. If you just got out of school, you can ask your family members or friends if they can recommend you to a company.

Track Your Job Search Processemployment

The good thing about recruitment nowadays is that it’s done online. In the era of smartphones, it’s easier to keep track of your job search activity and applications. Keep tabs of all the applications you’ve sent. This way you’ll know which ones to follow-up one, what responses you’ve received, etc.

Set Your Goals

And last but not least, remember to set your goals, weekly or daily. This allows your mind to be an active participant in your job search. Make sure that you set attainable and measurable goals, which you can look back on in the future as a way to track your progress.

Author’s Bio: Rosette Monell works as a human resource personnel in an Asian firm. Aside from her job, she’s also a freelance writer who talks so passionately about public relations, different work ethics, and culture. On her free days, she likes to spend time alone with a good book about career building in one hand and a warm cup of tea in the other.

Leadership Tools for Executives Seeking New Opportunities

Career & Workplace

 

Taking on a new leadership opportunity can come with undue stress surrounding the demands and qualifications of the role. Familiarizing yourself with the common tools executives use to operate at their full potential can make a major difference in your confidence entering the new position. Use the strategies listed below to give yourself a head start on your new career step and get you ready to be the best leader you can be!

 Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making

Every individual has a different skill set and expertise that makes them fit-to-hire within given leadership roles. Leadership responsibilities can be some of the most demanding, and can require the right kind of professional characteristics and skills to reap beneficial results. It calls for prompt and accurate decision-making and strategic thinking to devise the right solutions for issues that may arise internally and externally, as well as the ability to be innovative and find creative solutions to complex problems. Supporting innovation amongst employees and team members is also crucial to gain a wide set of perspectives and expertise, and resolve issues that depend on broader or more focused thinking.

Strategic thinking is another attribute that allows for the design of forecasting and prevention methods that combat possible challenges. It can be used by leaders to address internal team changes, concerns, advancement opportunities, and to instill proper conflict management and resolution strategies. Strategic thinking also applies to external factors by helping to monitor competitors entering the market and determining the best course of action internally to address new demands and differentiating factors. This can lead to more forward-thinking production planning to remain relevant and on top of changing trends to be a market leader.

To determine whether or not you are a strategic thinker, review these qualifying characteristics:

  • Strategic leaders do not try to fit the mold. They think outside the box, even if it is unpopular to do so, to take calculated risks.
  • They learn from their experiences to implement tried and true improvements and prevention methods that could yield better results.
  • They push themselves and their teams to accept new challenges. They believe in their team, having full confidence that their efforts will lead them to success.
  • They keep a positive attitude, seek opportunities, and seize them. They do not let fear of failure dictate their actions, but instead, push past comfort zones to seek better results.
  • Strategic thinking leaders are forward-thinking influencers. They influence decision-making and set a purpose-driven example by driving team members to trust the process, and believe in what their leaders are striving toward.

 Management Strategies and Tools

Technology is making waves in modern business, demanding new leaders to familiarize themselves with the right tools that get the job done. The main role of tech-based tools in leadership is to keep projects and strategies organized and easily accessible. They also provide data collection to further streamline leadership decision-making and forecast future trends that could impact the internal operations.

Managing financials is one of the major responsibilities bestowed upon leaders, so having the right organizational tools to manage financial information is key to accurate project planning, payroll, and budgeting. Management tools like ERP systems include modules that cover all major aspects of financial management. Familiarize yourself with these tools taking the business world by storm to bring in a fresh perspective on ways to properly utilize its features to improve operational productivity, better outline future project plans and forecast possible budget constraints.  CRM software can also be used for external operations to ensure that all client relationships stay organized and production meets their demands to remain competitive in your company’s given market.

Managing tools do not always consist of tech-based software, but can focus on team building strategies as well. Research varying ways of engaging employees to learn their individual strengths and weaknesses and adjust your leadership approach accordingly. For example, introverted employees may prefer more authoritative leadership, while more independent team members may prefer the opportunity to engage in knowledge and power-sharing methods. With this knowledge, you can build a more effective team and connect with employees on both personal and professional levels to build trust. Be sure to be genuine, open, well-informed, and accessible to team members, and share your credentials to instill their confidence in your direction. Be goal driven to find purpose in everyday work and influence your team to seek shared goals by acting as a coach. Do not assume you have all the answers, and take employee input and ideas into consideration. Studies show that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization.  Modern leaders are transforming traditional leadership by supporting collaborative, authentic, and creative work environments where professionals can flourish and share their expertise on a fair and even playing field.

 Training and Team Building

Proper leadership training will most likely take place post-hiring, but it is still good practice to review the training materials and process prior to acceptance of the role. Begin by learning core leadership practices and processes, and understand the different leadership styles  to determine which you identify with most. These styles consist of:

  • Autocratic Leaders…create clear strategies and expectations and perform decision-making processes on their own. These leaders are prone to micromanaging, and this style is the least desirable.
  • Delegative Leaders…allow teams to make decisions together with a collaborative style.
  • Participative Leaders…balance between the first two styles of leadership. They provide guidance and set standards for their teams, but take into account ideas, feedback, and input from team members in decision-making processes.

Having a grasp on ways to train prospective team members is important. Recognizing each individual’s specific skills and strengths will help you delegate  tasks accordingly and can result in higher levels of efficiency and productivity. If a team member wants to broaden their skills in order to take on new challenges, determine a comprehensive training program that offers both in-person and online courses that are accessible and can be completed in a timely manner to get your team up and running as promptly as possible. A communication strategy also helps with training initiatives by opening the flow of information from team members to leaders, and supplies transparent feedback and insight into training offerings to implement improvements in problem areas. Clear communication also creates channels to review goals and timelines to ensure the team is up-to-date on current deadlines and processes.

Building motivation amongst team members requires realistic goal setting and recognition of both small and large achievements. By outlining a goal- orientated strategy, team members are able to envision their role in making impactful decisions and innovative thinking to develop calculated action that brings the team closer to its common goal. As a leader, you need to set an example and remain transparent about expectations and team or process changes. Team building activities are a great way to keep all team members informed of these changes, and allows for recognition to be shared regarding milestones and accomplishments. 35% of professionals surveyed in a recent study found that gratitude and recognition boosted their overall productivity. Fostering positive morale and motivation helps keep you and your team members happy, productive, and moving forward toward common goals.

 The Future of Leadership

Keeping a weathered eye on the leadership horizon before applying to a new role is key to understanding where leadership techniques are headed and if your skill set and personal attributes align with future demands. With the adoption of automated tools, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies changing the game, the pace and rate of change is increasing. This can easily become  overwhelming when trying to evolve a strategy and team to meet or surpass these demands. Team skills and expertise will need to reach higher standards and be tech-driven. The need for technology knowledge is key to growth and steady positive performance. Overarching goals and objectives are based on these future trends and market demands, so perform in-depth research on up-and-coming leadership tools that may be seeing a digital transformation in coming years. Boost your own skills to remain competitive amongst other candidates and prepare yourself for being a leader in a tech-driven world.