Activate An Effective Personal Brand

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Ben was stuck in his dead-end job as a waiter at the local restaurant in town. By day, he was known as the nicest, more courteous server in the area. By night, Ben attended a local college with the ambition of starting his own social media serves. Ben understood stereotypes and bias. People had the tenacity to put individuals in pigeon holes with their biases. Therefore, Ben started building his online personality with writing insightful articles about social media and running a video blog. He wrote an e-book about social media that received Internet acclaim.

He quietly started a radio talk show. With his persistence, Ben started seeing his effort pay. The restaurant was packed with a bus of college students headed to a convention. Ben was helping out the servers with the big crowd. Suddenly, there was a big commotion in the crowd that involved Ben. Another server came to get the owner about this situation. The owner was afraid that Ben had done something wrong. He didn’t. These college students from out of town were overwhelmed with excitement in meeting the online celebrity “Ben the eWriter.” His online presence had repositioned his personal brand. 

With the impact of the Internet and social media platforms, like Facebook, working professionals can reenergize or rebrand themselves in a matter of minutes. In fact, individuals can actually reposition themselves into new careers with the right strategies.  In today’s job market, people need to understand the concepts of personal branding and how to develop their own personal strategy for employment.  In this discussion, we will examine the concept of personal branding. Individuals will learn how to reenergize yourself and make gain more influence in the process. 

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LinkedIn – What It Is and Why College Students Should Care – Guest Blogger

College is a beginning. It is a time and place to begin to learn who you are, what you want and what is possible. College is also a place that the institution can teach you a lot, but what you learn yourself is even more important.

College taught me how to take tests about things I can’t for the life of me remember now in classes I couldn’t possibly see as relevant to my degree.

Yet what my college did not directly teach me, that I learned on my own, was balance. I had a full load, was on the dance team, participated in the theatre and worked a part time job. I had to learn how to balance all those things in eventually earning that degree.

It is also a place that, for many, will serve as the last step before entering the “real world” – after graduation getting that “real” job.

Although many universities and colleges have career centers to help you with that task – and they are wonderful, take them up on all the help offered, there is also something you need to learn in order to help yourself: marketing.

Before you graduate you need to begin to market yourself because once you are out in the ‘real world’ you are going to be thrust into sales. You are the product and the company. You have to learn to sell yourself to potential employers and pretty much anyone in a business sense that you meet in order to secure a position. That last part is called networking. Continue reading

Valuing Servant-hood for Today’s Leaders

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When I was growing up, my mother was the youth director of our church.  In elementary school, there are pressures about being cool.  I was an active church member (and yes, a choir boy in the literal sense).

My mother expected her children to be the model young person, which involved participating in church required activities.  For me, that meant participating in morning worship where the youth were required to lead devotion periodically. A call for volunteers would go out to the youth.  Of course, most of my peers felt comfortable rejecting those requests to participate. Continue reading

Mapping Out the Right Job Process for 2013 College Grad

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Picking the right job candidate is not easy.  I was given the task of recommending college students for summer employment for my organization.  I promptly pulled together a team of both seasoned professionals and recent college grads to make the job selection.  We reviewed more than 100 resumes and interviewed several candidates.  We had to make these selections quickly.

To my surprise, I was flabbergasted at the lack of employment preparation for by some people.  For example, some students did not have the correct phone number listed on their resumes. We did not have time to waste tracking down candidates.

In one situation, we had called a prospect to interview him but missed him on our call to set up an interview.  He called us back with a list of times he was available to be interviewed.  In other words, he expected us to work our interview schedule around his.  Needless to say, we did not call him back.

In other cases, we contacted prospects and asked them two basic questions: (a) why did they want the job and (b) what separated them in terms of skills and abilities for the job.  In some cases, the students could not answer those questions.  I am sure in hind sight; they would have understood that those types of questions would be asked.

We were fortunate to land two quality candidates.  The team continued to be concerned about the lack of understanding by these college students about the job interview process.  Because of this, we developed a job strategies checklist to provide universities and college students for our campus visits or university interactions.

Sadly, these miscues in understanding the financial climate and the hiring process of employers could jeopardize their future.  In this blog, we will examine the current economic crisis and how students and parents can better position themselves for more employment opportunities.

The current economic forecast looks bleak in the near term for college grads and those preparing to graduate in 2013.  The U.S. Labor Department estimates that the unemployment rate for recent college grads between ages 21 to 24 has averaged over 8%.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, recent grads will probably need to settle for low-level positions.[1]  In fact, about 52% of employed college grads under age 25 were not working jobs that require a college degree according to a Northeastern University economist.[2]

College grads and current students must find alternative strategies to overcome employment obstacles. Rising tuition costs, a stagnate economy, and lack of career advancement continue to haunt ambitious young professionals.

Seasoned professionals are too cautious to retire early due to the uncertainty in their own future with the rising health care costs as they age.  In fact, getting a college education appears to be a big liability and financial load for students.

As the clock struck midnight several days ago, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans jumped from 3.4% to 6.8% until Congress can change it.[3] Some estimates conclude that the average college student will see an additional $2,600 cost for his or her loan.

According to the Project on Student Debt, two-thirds of 2011 college graduates had an average debt of more than $26,000.  Consequently, millions of college grads will see themselves carrying massive college debt loads with dim hopes of finding jobs in their majors.

Columnist Hadley Malcolm summed up this situation best, “Like countless Millennials across the country, they find themselves tethered to that debt load, stuck between the desire to become fully independent adults and not being able to afford the financial and cultural milestones traditionally associated with young adults.”

Employment opportunities have changed because the hiring processes have changed, yet most individuals do not realize this fact.  A process is defined as any part of an organization that inputs and transforms them into outputs in hopes of greater value to the organization than the original inputs.[4]

Robert Jacobs, Richard Chase, and Nicholas Aquilano, authors of Operations & Supply Management, note, “Understanding how processes work is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of a company.”

Yet, understanding the hiring process would be an asset to college grads who are competing with their college peers and seasoned professionals.  For most college grads, this reality makes it vital to find a good, well-paying job.  Yet, most people are in the dark about the job strategies necessary.

Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that employers have shifted their expectations on prospective employees: “With an abundance of workers to choose from, employers are demanding more of job candidates than ever before…To get a job, you have to have that job already.  It’s a catch-22 situation for workers – and it’s hurting companies and the economy.”  Regardless of where you stand on today’s college students, it is clear that some intervention is necessary if they are to be successful in this troubled market.

 

With the increases in college debt and decreases in significant job opportunities, both college grads and college students must understand today’s hiring process. Additionally, with the rising cost of a college education, parents cannot afford to idly sit by and watch their child wander aimlessly through college.  Individuals can help themselves by becoming knowledgeable in all aspects of the employment process.  The road will not be easy, but planning will create the right environment for success in the future.

Please discuss employment processes that have changed since you graduated. Provide valuable employment strategies to recent college grads and current college students. 

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

 


[1] “Class of 2013 faces grim job prospects” by Annalyn Kurtz

[2] “Class of 2013 faces grim job prospects” by Annalyn Kurtz

[3] “The cost of student debt loan” by Hadley Malcolm

[4] Operations & Supply Management by Robert Jacobs, Richard Chase, and Nicholas Aquilano.

 

Guest Blogger – Career Opportunities in Operations Management

Prof. Green had asked me if I could write something for the upcoming MBA graduates. I am happy to oblige because, in my opinion, a career in operations management is very exciting and full of opportunities.

There are a few important things to keep in mind as you start searching for a job in the field of operations management. Don’t be hasty Aim to find a job that will give you most responsibility. While the position will come with a learning curve, it will also make you a more valuable employee in the long run.

Let’s examine the following charts from Career Builder to give you a further look into the career of operations management:

Please take a look at the charts, before you read any further. Try to absorb the meaning behind the numbers.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Does education plays a large role in compensation? 

Does experience plays a large role in salary?

What is notable about the industry and compensation graph? 

Take a few minutes to think about these questions and see what hidden information those numbers hold. The ability to read between the lines is one of the most important things that an operations manager can do. This is something you will need to do on a daily basis.

Now that you’ve done the exercise. Let’s delve into it.

First, let’s notice how education gives you a large edge in salary compared to experience in this field. If you are getting MBA or Masters in operations management, you can pat yourself on the back. It would take you 20 years of experience to get a slightly lower salary just by working. This is of course a rough, aggregated date, but what it really says is: education will get you a higher position that will give you a higher salary compared to just getting experience in the field.

Under the ‘Compensation based on Industry’ chart, you can see that between the #1 industry (Health care) and the #6 industry (Aerospace and Defense), the salary gap is $30,000 a year (or  approximately 36% less), just based on one factor: field. All fields are not equal. Making a proper selection of what you want to do in the ops career and focusing your job search on one or two specific fields, is not only smart thing to do, but mandatory.  

I have good news for all of the aspiring operations managers. There’s a very high demand for your services. It is one major in business schools that a lot of people and even students don’t think about or even know about and yet almost every business has a need for it.

 This results in a high demand for operations managers. Unlike finance majors who continue struggling after the crash, demand for operations managers is still growing due to the increasing complexities of supply chain, online logistics, international trade and a number of other factors. The higher the complexity, the more there is a need for a person to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

According to Career Builder’s current statistics, for every 87 job seekers, there are 100 openings in operations management field.  This is a huge discrepancy in supply and demand; especially in the economy we are in, where in some fields there are hundreds of candidates for one position.

As operations managers entering the workforce, you have one of the best job opportunities available to you. This is why you should focus on the field that can get you further, give you the most experience, and will give you the most room to grow. Be aware of what’s happening in the job market.

Follow where the new trends are moving, keep your fingers on a pulse and you will not be disappointed with a payoff in terms of great job and bright career path.

Please comment on this topic and provide the guest blogger with meaningful feedback. 


Artyom Malkov is the author of “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management.” He is one of the founders and the current CEO of OperationsManager.com.

 Artyom has an MBA in Operations Management from New York’s Zicklin School of Business.  When he is not handling the day-to-day business at OperationsManager.com, he consults companies on the best practices and trends in operations management.