Communication is

Today’s topic is COMMUNICATION… I am big on communication within my personal and professional life. But today, I need to speak on professional communication. As a professional that has the responsibility of managing and communicating with others in the workplace, it is your civil duty to take responsibility for your own communication skills. If you suck at communication and you know it, everyday you should work on becoming a better communicator.

Here are a few tips on how to be a self-starter and enhance your communication skills

  1. Ask for feedback from your co-workers and direct reports

Constructive criticism makes us better as people and professionals. Never be afraid to ask for feedback. Early on my career, I had a manager that schedule weekly project update meetings with me. Once a week we would sit down and go over the status of all my project. My manager suggested we give 2-way feedback during each meeting. This opened the door for her to give me constructive criticism, and meet to give her feedback as my manager. I really respected the dialogue we shared during those meetings.  We were two amazing black women in a corporate office. We did not always agree, but we were a unit. We had a balance and understanding on communication between ourselves, which made the work environment comfortable and easy.

  1. Listen to the feedback you receive

There is no point of asking for feedback if you don’t plan on taking it in. If you receive negative feedback, analyze it. Ask yourself? Why would you get negative feedback? How can you apply changes to improve? This is where accountability comes into place. If you get negative feedback, its up to you and only you to adjust accordingly.

  1. Use google, find resources that can help you improve professionally

Many companies do not invest in training anymore. The classroom doesn’t teach interpersonal skills. Communication skills are developed overtime, and they may change over and over again. If you need training for e-mail communication etiquette in the work place, google it.  There are online resources available for just about everything in the world we live in today. There are articles, YouTube tutorials, lecture videos, and many of them are free. It is up to you to find what you need to improve.

  1. Set goals for yourself

Goal setting helps keep you accountable. Making small goals will also help you ensure you improve. I would suggest short term goals that challenges you to improve each week.

  1. Celebrate your improvement

After every achievement, celebrate yourself and your improvement. For example, if your goal is to enhance your formal e-mail etiquette, and you improve of the course of a month- treat yourself.

 

 

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The 31- Day Challenge!

It’s November 1st, and the 31-day challenge is over.

October was the beginning of me taking control of my career. I am a few months away from finishing graduate school and I have the power to take control. The 31-days of Applying Yourself challenge was successfully and I am proud of myself.

Let’s recap….

October 1st, I challenged myself and you to take control of your career and seek growth. The challenge was to apply for a desirable positions each day of the month. The goal was to get an interview and take the necessary steps towards growth in your career.

Each day I sat behind my computer searching and applying for the “next big thing” in my career. Within this month I received a few follow up phone calls and e-mails, even more rejection letters, and two interviews. I used my resources to update my resume and LinkedIn profile. I developed an application tracker to keep track of the company and position I have applied for.

So what’s next…

I will continue to apply myself. I challenge you to continue to apply yourself. The opportunities are out there but no one is going to hand them to you. You have to work for it. As these 31- days come to an end, I am still motivated to grow my career as a professional. So, now I will go back and follow up on those pending job applications, search for more positions that may be a great fit for me, and network through LinkedIn to get connected with the right people.

Don’t Give Up! Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and your career will not be either.

If you have any questions about the challenge and how I did it, I’m happy to share…. Just Ask!

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TTYL

The Job Seeker

Hello Friends,

I am 25 days into the “Apply Yourself” 31-day challenge, and it has been a challenge. But I will not give up. I actually have a few updates from this challenge. If this is your first time reading about the “Apply Yourself” challenge…. Go read my last posts.

Within the past few days, I have received a rejection letter, a follow up notification on a job opportunity, and an interview invitation. That’s right! The goal was to get an interview, and I got an interview. But the challenge is to apply to a job each day for the next 31 days. At this time, I have applied for 25 desirable positions and keeping track of everything using an excel spreadsheet.

Now, let me tell you about my interview. The interview was short and sweet. The interviewer asked me questions related to my qualifications, but did not extend the opportunity for me to ask questions in return. The interview process was explained as a three step process. First step being the preliminary interview, a shadow /observation day, on to a more extensive team interview. Lastly, I was given a brief scope of the business. This is when I realized it was a SKAM. Yes, a JOB SKAM! The information I was given in the interview was completely different from the job description and company website. Normally, something like this would discourage me, but after the interview I actually felt proud of myself. I went on a interview. I was polished and professional. Although I will not be taking the job, if offered. It was great practice for when the next interview. I feel very prepared for my next interview which will be at the end of this week… wish me luck!

In my last post, I told you about upgrading my LinkedIn account to a premium account. My LinkedIn account is flagged as a Job Seeker. The features of this account include advanced search tools, access to a wider talent pool and ability to InMail people who you are not connected with. So far I have been using the InMail a lot. When I find a job on LinkedIn I’d like to apply for, I use the InMail tool to send the recruiter a message letting them know my interest for the job. Not only have I used LinkedIn to find job to apply for but also Indeed.com, and CPGJobs.com.

Recently, I found some great reading material for the application process and preparing your resume. I will put the link before. I also have been reaching out to some mentors and pass co-workers to get feedback on my resume and cover letter. You know there is always room for improvement in those areas.

So far I am enjoying the process of this challenge and I can’t wait to share my interview experience with you …

Until next time,

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https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-job-search-tips-that-are-so-basic-people-forget-them

No Interviews Yet, But Still Applying!

Hey Friends,

I am 14 days into the  31 days of  “Applying Yourself” Challenge. If you don’t know what I am talking about, stop right now and go read my last blog, “Apply Yourself”.

So far I have applied to 14 desirable positions in the marketing field. It has been confirmed that all 14 applications have been received. Most times when you apply to a job online, you receive a confirmation email from the HR department. Now-a-days it’s all automated. I have not heard back from anyone yet. But I am optimistic and it is only Week 1. I understand that most companies post jobs for a couple of weeks and sometimes months before they start the reviewing process. So right I’m playing the waiting game for the jobs I have applied for and I will continue to apply myself to more jobs as the 31-day challenge continues.

My goal out of this is to get an interview. An Interview is the first step. If you get an interview, you are doing something right. Interviews are a big deal. If this 31-day challenge gets me one interview I will feel accomplished. If this 31-day challenge lands me a new job opportunity, I will feel like I’m on top of the world.

The other day, I was thinking of ways I can  boost this 31-day challenge. Add it to, somehow! Not just apply for the jobs but seek out the job. I decided to upgrade my LinkedIn account to a premium membership. It’s a free 30- day trial and $29 a month after the first 30 days. I wanted to test out the benefits of being able to InMail other LinkedIn members that I do not have direct connections with. Also, be able to have a larger scope to who’s viewing my profile and get some insight on job postings from LinkedIn. Hopefully this will help guide me in the right professional direction for this challenge. So far I have looked up people from the companies  I have applied to, introducing myself a letting them know I’m interested in joining the company.

Over the last couple of days, I have revised my resume and cover letter. Just re-wording some things and making everything look polished. This upcoming week, I plan to start following up on my submitted applications. This process will be interesting because everything is done online now. So, I have to do some research to find recruiters and HR contacts. But following up on an application with an e-mail of interest speaks volume to the leadership you can bring to the company.

One thing I also wanted to share with you is how I am keeping track of everything. I developed an Application Tracker in Excel. This is where I list the Company, Applied Position and Reference number, along with the date I applied. I also have a column for Associates contacted. This is where I list the individuals I have reached out to concerning the job. As well as a column for Application Outcomes, so I can keep track of when I hear back from each company. If you are currently taking this 31- day challenge with me or are thinking about doing so in the future, I would be happy to share a template with you. Just comment below or email passionlockedblog@gmail.com.

See you all next week with new updates!

featured image: Copyright Sihuo0860371/iStockPhoto

Apply Yourself!

Hey Friends,

It’s October and I’m taking control of my career. My goal this year is to get a job. I have a job, but I’m looking for growth in my career. I mean that is why I’m going through 1,000 years of school, it seems like.

But at the beginning of this year, I was in contact with a company that I thought was going to hire me. It would have been the perfect opportunity for me at this stage of my career. After getting the typical phone call, “We decided to go with another candidate with a bit more experience”, I got really unmotivated. And for months I didn’t apply to any more jobs. But the end of the year is near and I still have a goal to achieve. I am going to do what I have to do on my part to make sure my goal is met.

So I am challenging myself to 31 days of Applying. I’ve already started. Basically, I’m going to do my research and seek jobs that will be a growth opportunity for my career, and apply. To support this challenge, I have updated several versions of my resume. I have developed cover letter, what I believe to be strong. I have composed a formal document of professional references. Lastly, I have prepared work samples just in case they are requested.

If any of you are looking to find a new job, gain career growth or simply make a career change, I advise you to join the challenge. Throughout the month I will give weekly updates of this process and what outcomes I receive.  If any of you have been through this process, please share your story.

Talk to you all next week with my first 31 days of Applying update.

Career Coffee Bar

Hello Dear!

I have something from my weekend that I want to share with you all. I was super excited about it and still am.

So, Saturday morning, I hosted a CAREER COFFEE BAR. It was an idea that crossed my busy ol’ mind one day. The idea was to get my friends together and do something productive. Confession – it was only one friend  LOL

Okay let me tell you how this happened. I had this big idea in my head to host a Career Coffee Bar, where my friends and I gathered together to help each other with our career goals. I mean we help each other with so much more… make up and hair tips… dating advice… fashion tips… never anything about our career goals. So, Why not?

The Career Coffee Bar is designed to use your friends to analyze your experience and help you explore new venture to achieve your career goals. I plan on hosting a grand event with all of my friends and friends of friends, but first I wanted to test this theory of excitement. I mean I get excited about the lamest things and my friends don’t.

IMG_3966 2My good friend Myeesha (@paix_bebe) was my testee on Saturday. I made a fabulous sausage egg and cheese quiche. I prepared juice, hot tea and coffee. We sat at my breakfast table (yes, I have a breakfast table) like adults with our resumes and laptops out. The conversations wasn’t about what we wanted to do that night, or what new guy we’re seeing, or even if our lip stick was poppin’ or not… The conversation was about our goals and it wasn’t boring. We wrote out our aspirations and goals. Then we reviewed each other resume and searched for opportunities that each of us could benefit from. I even found some new LinkedIn groups to join and learned how to endorse my connections. The goal was for me to help Myeesha find new ventures to explore as she seeking to further her career, and she do the same for me. In this little amount of time, I feel like we got so much accomplished. It even helped me form a plan to work towards my career aspirations.

I can not wait to host a larger event with more friends and their friends!!!

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By the way, Thanks for stopping by PassionLocked. Don’t forget to subscribe, like and share. And I will see you back here next week.

 

#RESUMEGOALS

Hey lovely!

Every time I scroll down my IG time line, I am bound to see at least 3 #RELATIONSHIPGOALS post. I must admit it use to give me those, “why can’t I find a good man” thoughts. But now I just laugh, because I know that everything that glitters ain’t gold. So while my peers are all over social media with #RELATIONSHIPGOALS, I’m singing Beyoncé’s song Sorry #IAINTTHINKINGABOUTU and focusing on my Resume Goals.

So let’s talk about it. Resume Goals? What are they? Why are they important?

Resumes are a powerful tool. I don’t think there any legal job you can get without a resume. So your resume is a reflection of you. Employers see this one sheet of paper before they see you. As a young professional I find myself constantly updating my resume and LinkedIn profile. At this point in my career path, I do not have an resume objective on my resume, but my career objectives are listed on my LinkedIn Profile. Resume objectives are important to know and understand but not always share.

The number one resume objective is to obtain the job. But that’s not what you want to say to a hiring manager. So, your resume objective needs to be specific to the job. It needs to be short, sweet and to the point. This statement should address what you plan to accomplish with the company you are applying to or at least where you plan to lead your career within the company.

Okay so here’s an examples. Say you’re a college grad with not much experience but looking to start a career path: Resume Objective– “Highly-dedicated and driven business graduate seeking entry level associate brand manager position with The Coca- Cola Company.” This statement is strong because it is specific to the job being applied for and the company. By stating that you are a college grad, it let’s the hiring manager know who you are… You are a recent college grad with less experience but seeking opportunity. It’s fact and sounds better than just saying, “Recent college grad seeking entry level employment.”

Resume objective can be fun and creative. It’s all about how you sell yourself. In the hiring process you HAVE to have something that sets you aside from all other applicants. While at the entry level stage you lack experience, you’ll need to be creative about how you sell yourself. Think about Legally Blonde lol. Remember how girl printed her resume on pink scented paper. I wouldn’t recommend doing that. But in that situation it worked for her. She was creative and made her resume stand out in any stack of white paper printed resumes. She got the job. Now, I challenge you to develop your Resume Goals. Be sure to keep it short simple and sweet. Make sure its relevant and specific. Remember, the main focus is how you can benefit the company.

#RESUMEGOALS

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If your looking to change the game in your professional development process and are seeking guidance, PassionLocked can help you. For Resumes, Cover Letters, Thank You Notes, and LinkedIn Profiles email kznuriddin@gmail.com.

Take Control: LinkedIn Edition

Happy April Fools Day!!!

So it was brought to my attention by some of my closest friends that “LinkedIn is only for real professionals”. That’s not true. I browse LinkedIn just as much as Facebook and b99d589f310e7464dde712be96911073Instagram. I constantly update my profile and always endorse my connections and write recommendations. This is like my one social media account that is public and google friendly. I want people to see this, because I want to advance in any opportunity of interest that comes my way. I constantly check my feed for the latest industry articles, seminars, events, webinars and whatever else I may find. I mean, I thought everyone did this. But I guess not. So today, I’m going to explain LinkedIn profiles to get each of you on board.

First things first, your profile picture. This is not Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of that other stuff. This is a professional app. So my advice, keep it simple and sweet. A friendly little head shoot, in a nice blouse or top with a blazer. Remember, other professionals like CEO’s, hiring managers, administrative assistants will see this photo before they meet you. Make a good impression. I’d suggest loosing any facial piercing, wild colored hair, and dramatic makeup.

Now the core of your profile is your professional headline, location, industry, employment history and education. This information is viewed at the top of your profile right next to your profile picture. Your professional headline should set tone to who you are professionally. If you work in the Marketing industry this is where you display what you do. Marketing can be many things- Advertising… Branding… Category Management… Consulting. So, this is where you reveal your area of expertise. For instance, my professional headline reads “CPG and Merchandising Professional”. That’s what I do, what I have experience with and what I desire to continue to do with my career. By displaying your current/ previous employers and education you are opening yourself to different connections. This way you can connect with ex- co-workers, current co-workers, and even future co-workers. You can even connect with people you went to college with and their connections. This is where the networking comes into par.

The meat of your profile is your summary, work and volunteer experience, and projects, even courses and honors/ awards. This is where you sit yourself on a bookshelf and shine bright. This is where you sort of brag on yourself. Now the Skills &Endorsements, and Recommendations come from your connections. That’s right, other people get to brag on you are well. This is where people you’ve worked with can give you public recognition, for you hard work, for your dedication, and for what you do best. Recommendations are not easy to come by so cherish the ones you get and remember to return the favor. You also get to endorse people, as they get to endorse you, this is displayed towards the bottom of your profile. These endorsements are based off your skill ability. If you are a Store Manager, your connectors may endorse your training skills, or inventory management skills, or your budgeting skills. This allows your visitors to see what you’re made of, new connections can see what your current connection see in you… professional!

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Alright! I think you’re ready to get LinkedIn! If you’re to take control of your career, your LinkedIn profile is where you should start. Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday!

For professional assistance building or updating and managing you LinkedIn Profile contact Khadijah Nuriddin via email kznuriddin@gmail.com for advising.

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