Top 10 Skills To Survive in the 21st Century (Infographic) – No 2 Top Tweet

Image Credit:  eLearning Infographics

Image Credit: eLearning Infographics

Our number two top Tweet for 2013 was this infographic by eLearning Infographics that demonstrates the type of skills needed to survive in the 21st century.

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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Work Burnout in A Virtual Team? Here’s How to Avoid It

(Image Credit:  B2C)

(Image Credit: B2C)

The workplace of today is ‘always connected’ and yet, strangely, often disconnected with the prevalence of technology and global virtual teams. With mobile devices keeping us plugged in anytime, anywhere, it’s easy to keep on working, and working, and working, until you lose all sense of balance and separation between work and personal life. The to-do lists and inbox never seems to get any shorter, and you may never get to know your team in person. Enter the age of Burnout Culture in the Virtual World. Where you are always just one click away from your never-ending projects, but you’re working on them in isolation. Here’s some quick tips on how to avoid work burnout in a virtual team:

(Image Credit:  Mother Nature Network)

(Image Credit: Mother Nature Network)

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Related:

- By Julie Yamamoto

3 Ways to Beat the Monday Morning Blues

Image Credit:  Sudarshan Srinivasan, Chakraascope

Image Credit: Sudarshan Srinivasan, Chakraascope

blue Monday (noun) – a Monday regarded as a depressing workday in contrast to the pleasant relaxation of the weekend (dictionary.com)

Do you ever experience the Monday morning blues? While the prevailing definition seems to be about the contrast of the first workday of the week (Monday) versus the relaxation experienced over the weekend, the Monday morning blues can also be about other things as well, such as facing a long ‘to-do’ list for the week and feeling overwhelmed or simply feeling tired. Here are 3 ways you can beat the Monday morning blues and ensure that you have a good jump-start on your work week:

1 – Get a good night’s rest on the weekends too

It’s easy to get off-kilter over the weekend just because you can. Stay up late watching movies and then sleeping in late or taking naps in the afternoon over the weekend is a sure-fire way to get out of sync for the workweek. Sticking to the same schedule, regardless of the day of the week, will help you feel more rested and energized throughout the week. Plus, the bonus is, if you get up early on the weekends too, you’ll have more weekend time to get things done or enjoy your time!

2 – Spend ‘quiet time’ every morning

Before you jump right into work and your long ‘to-do’ list, why not spend a few minutes of quiet time first? Grab a cup of coffee and sit out on your front porch, or wherever your best ‘quiet time’ place is. Before you read the newspaper, before you go to the gym, before you do anything really. Just a few minutes of quiet time to center yourself and collect your thoughts before you start the day. Call it ‘quiet time’ discipline, and use it however you like – to meditate, journal, or simply listen to the birds greet the morning. In our fast-paced lives, where 80% of the world’s data was created in the last two years, and people are acquiring cellphones at a pace 5 times faster than the growth of the human race, when do we take the time to stop and smell the roses? It’s important.

3 – Prioritize your ‘to-do’ list

One thing about Monday mornings is that you are facing a whole week’s worth of a ‘to-do’ list, or things that you really feel like you need to accomplish. Even if you haven’t written it down, you generally have an idea of what you think you need to accomplish this week, and it can be overwhelming.  Also, since your list might be really long, your Monday Morning Blues may also be taking into account that you won’t really have any breaks that week as you try to slug your way through that long list.  So take a few minutes to prioritize that list and lay out the most important goals you need to accomplish for the week.  That way, you will not only feel energized by the direction you’ve layed out for the week, but you will also feel great as you check off each item on the list.  Plus, as a bonus, since you are clear about accomplishing your major goals for the week, you will feel much better about taking small breaks throughout the week also, which will help to re-energize your thinking and creativity as well.

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Related:

- By Julie Yamamoto

Why Are There Still So Few Women in STEM?

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Graphic credit: IBM in ‘Helping Women in STEM Thrive’

At the Solvay Conference on Physics in 1927, the only woman in attendance was Marie Curie.  Today, there are still few women who pursue a STEM degree or career (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).  In the US, only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s are awarded to women, and only 14 percent of all the physics professors are women.  Globally, only 30 percent of women, on average, participate in STEM fields, both private and public.  A Yale study published last year demonstrated that a young male scientist applying for a STEM job in education is viewed more favorably on average than a woman with the same qualifications and offered a salary nearly $4000 higher. (All facts sourced from 1 and 2 below in ‘Related’ list).

IBM is investing in women, whether new to the company, previous employees or current employees. It is providing support through mentoring and networks that can create a foundation for a career path towards technical leadership roles.  Watch the Technologista YouTube series (below) for an inside glimpse of what women at IBM are doing, and learn more about women at IBM here.

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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

Women in Technology at IBM – Rejecting the ‘Expected’

technologista2IBM continues the Women Technologista series this week with two blog posts.  In the first one, IBM Senior Vice President and WITI Hall of Famer, Linda Sanford, talks about ‘Nurturing the Next Generation of Technologistas‘.  She talks about how studies have shown that women are naturally more collaborative and better at listening, two tenets for building strong teams and that teams with at least one woman outperform male-only teams.  However, women still hold less than one-fourth of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs, so how do we best tap into and grow this innate talent pool?  Mentorship is vital. Female-executive support groups and increased participation in industry associations, along with formal training and inclusion programs, would also help.  Read more on the Internet Evolution site.

In the second post, Stefanie Chiras, PhD, IBM Manager of System & Technology Group Design Center, shares how she learned to reject the ‘expected’ when she was 10 and her father told her they were going to fix a car transmission.  She said “I can’t do that,” and he replied without a pause, “People do it every day. You can certainly do it once.”  The advice, and the fact that they did fix the transmission, stuck with her.  Half the challenge is overcoming apprehension and preconceived notions.  As for advice from her own career path, she echoes some of the tenets found in the recent IBM Study of Insights from Women Executives, which are:

  • Stay visible
  • Plan your career
  • Integrate work and life

Read the full post, Rejecting ‘The Expected':  One Woman Engineer’s Story on the Huffington Post.

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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

Must Read: What Makes a Leader? One Crucial Factor

Most people in the workforce know a story (or two) about a highly intelligent, highly skilled candidate who was promoted into a leadership position only to fail. Many also can tell a story about someone with solid—but not extraordinary—intellectual ability and technical skills who was promoted into a similar position and then soared.

In other words, it can seem like identifying individuals with the right stuff to be leaders is more art than science, says author Daniel Goleman. After all, different leaders’ personal styles vary widely: some are subdued and analytical; while others spend more time promoting their agendas and themselves. Just as importantly, different situations of course call for different types of leadership.

In this classic piece from Harvard Business Review, Mr. Goleman explains that the most effective leaders are all alike, however, in one crucial way. What is it? 

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About the author:

Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. Emotional Intelligence remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 18 months. The Harvard Business Review called emotional intelligence “a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea”. The book was named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by TIME Magazine. In addition, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Accenture Insititute for Strategic Change have named Goleman among the most influential business thinkers.

How to Turn Weaknesses into Strengths

We all have weaknesses, and we

tend to try to work on eliminating them – on changing ourselves in order to become better. But for most people, change is very difficult.

In this LinkedIn.com post by Likeable Media CEO Dave Kerpen, he asks: What if instead of trying to eliminate our weaknesses, we embraced them for what they were? What if your strengths were merely hidden in your weaknesses? In other words, it’s a matter of perspective, and you can look at things in a different way: how to turn it around.

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Follow Dave Kerpen on Twitter

Dave Kerpen

Author and CEO Dave Kerpen

- Posted by Regan Kelly

You’re Doing It Wrong: 9 Mistakes You’re (Probably) Making on LinkedIn

What separates the master networkers from the amateurs? The former tend not to make these 9 mistakes – 9 things that many are doing wrong on LinkedIn, and more importantly, how you can fix those mistakes.

Linkedin candy- By Greater IBM favorite Jeff Haden at Inc.com.

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Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business. Follow him: @jeff_haden

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What would you add to this list? Tell us in the Comments.

– Posted by Regan Kelly, Editor/Community Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

4 Big Tips for LinkedIn Endorsements and Skills

In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn endorsements are here to stay. Why not make the most of this network feature on your profile?

Linkedin candyIn this fascinating piece from Careerealism.com, here’s why: Using this section wisely is essential, because LinkedIn has now made it searchable by recruiters. So if you want to maximize your chances of attracting hiring managers’ attention, start doing these four things today.

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What do you think of LinkedIn’s endorsements feature? Do you think endorsements are helpful? Let us know in the Comments.

Is Your Job Search Making You Look Out of Date? 5 New Rules You Need to Know

by Susan P. Joyce, career expert, Work Coach Cafe

I hear from many “older” job seekers these days who are frustrated with today’s job search process.  They are convinced that their “advanced age” (30, 40, 50, 60, or more) is causing them problems.  I think they could be right, but NOT, perhaps, for the reason they think…

Although I do not doubt that age discrimination exists, I know that other things could be negatively impacting these people.  It basically comes down to looking – and being - out of date, using old-fashioned job search techniques.

job hunt 685x1024 Top Job Hunting TipsIf you are over 40 or it has been more than 3 years since your last job hunt, you are probably unaware of how much recruiting and hiring practices have changed recentlly, particularly with the growth of social media and also with the tough job market we have been experiencing.

The 5 New Rules of Job Search

Regardless of age, being out-of-date is a very common problem and not, fortunately, an insurmountable one.  Here are some things you can do to address the issue, and become more up-to-date for your job search and your job.

1. Focus!

One of today’s “problems” is too many opportunities!  Studies have shown that we humans are almost paralyzed when we have too many choices – which TV show to watch (when you have hundreds of channels), which coffee to order (when it comes in dozens of variations), and on, and on, and on…

Going to a job board and entering only the location is asking for over-load.  Waaayyy too many choices!  I just typed “Chicago” into Indeed, and it showed me 57,000+ jobs!  Yikes!

To make your job search more effective, focus on 1 or 2 job titles you really want and the employers you would like to work for.

2. Bring Your “A” Game!

The way you handle this whole process of applying and interviewing for a job is viewed as an example of your work – which it is!

Use great care with all of your interactions with an employer or recruiter.  Take the time to craft your best response rather than hurriedly attaching your resume to a one-sentence email with a subject that simply (and very unhelpfully) says, “Resume Attached” or “Applying.”

Standing out from the crowd in a positive way is NOT optional.  Leverage the technology currently available, and you will also prove that you are not out-of-date.

  • Resumes
    Resumes have changed substantially with the availability of technology.  An old-fashioned resume stamps “OUT-OF-DATE” on your forehead! Most employers expect that you can use word processing software well enough to customize your resume and cover letter specifically for them.   Generic work-history resumes don’t often work well today.

  • Networking
    Studies show that the person who is referred by an employee is hired 5 times more often than the stranger who simply applies.  So, focus that networking on your target employers (or a class of employers).

    Find those former colleagues who you worked with well in the past.  Or that great boss you had 2 jobs ago.  Where are they working now?  Are they hiring?

  • Interviewing
    Be very well-prepared.  Expect to be asked, “So, what do you know about us?” and have a good answer ready based on your research on the employer’s website as well as what Google and LinkedIn show you.

  • Prepare positive answers to unusual interview questions, particularly for any “soft spots” you have, like gaps in your employment history, being fired, or anything questionable about your recent work history that could raise concern for an employer. Also, of course, have answers ready for the standard interview questions, like “Why do you want to work here?”  ”Why should we hire you?”

3. Be Visible!

Being invisible is like another OUT-OF-DATE stamp on your forehead!  Employers use search engines to research job applicants more than 80% of the time, according to recent studies.  They are looking for “social proof” that you are who you say you are, have done what you say you have done, would fit in well, and understand how to use the Internet for business.  If they don’t find that corroboration, they move on to the next candidate.

If you Google your name and find nothing about you on the first page or – at a minimum – the first 3 pages, this is a problem! Yes, it is better than having photos of you drunk at a party, but a lack of online visibility brands you as out-of-date (unless you are in some sort of super-secret profession, like spy).

It also makes you vulnerable to mistaken identity.  Oh, that person who has the same name you have and stole money from his or her last employer isn’t you?  An employer doing a quick Google search would not know it wasn’t you, and, most likely, they would not take the time to find out.

4.  Join LinkedIn!

LinkedIn is an excellent venue for managing professional/work visibility.  LinkedIn is usually # 1 – or very near # 1 – on any search of a person’s name on a search engine.  And, YOU control what it tells the world about you!  Your LinkedIn Profile needs to be 100% complete (LinkedIn guides you through that process), and then it will provide much of the “social proof” most employers are seeking.

LinkedIn will help you reconnect with those former colleagues, co-workers, and bosses, and give you opportunities, through Groups and Answers, to demonstrate what you know.

The Greater IBM Connection on LinkedIn

5.  Pay Attention!

Set up a Google Alert on your name.  Pay attention to what is visible about your name when someone does a search.  When something bad appears, you can bury it with other positive content, or you may be able to get it taken down.  If something can’t be removed, be prepared to address it in an interview or, even, in a cover letter or your resume, if appropriate.

Onward!

Catch up with these New Rules so you don’t look out-of-date because looking out-of-date is probably hurting you more than your age.  The good news is that by becoming more up-to-date for your job search, you’ll be more up-to-date for your job!  So, you should be more successful once you land.  We’re never too old to learn something new – it keeps us young!

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Greater IBMers, what would you add to this? Share your lessons learned in the Comments.