Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Accelerate Your Career: Productivity Tips for Students

If you really want to accelerate your career, these simple strategies can boost your productivity, expand your network and assist you with the positions and roles you want in your professional life.

Network … network… network – this essential relationship building practice is essential to not only build your reputation and profile but also to assist you understand industries, hear of opportunities and get word out about your expertise. This life skill will help you learn more about others, more about yourself and this is how the really great jobs get offered. Develop your network before you need it.

Seek mentors – seek out people you can learn from, find someone you admire and determine if you can be their mentee. This will really accelerate your professional career and your personal development. Learn from their wisdom and experience.

Be an exceptional presenter – get great at this skill! Any chance you get to jump on your feet and present will build your confidence; show others your skills and open doors of opportunity for you. This skill is highly valued in the business world; this will quickly put you in a leadership position.

Create a plan – build your own business plan or marketing plan (remember you are the product), and stick to your plan. Write down your goals and place them somewhere you can see them everyday.

Be authentic – be yourself 100% of the time. People want to get to know you, they value honesty and integrity – be true to yourself.

Develop time management and organizational skills – regardless of where you work these two areas are valued by all employers. Identify areas you may wish to develop and seek help building your expertise in these areas.

Learn project management skills – this includes communication, planning and budgeting. Develop this skill early in your career and watch your promotions!

Be a veracious reader – consume books on multiple topics. Enjoy them, bury yourself in them and stay up to date on current thinking. Consult the New York Times best seller list if you want inspiration.

Be a phenomenal marketer – market yourself, your programs, your company, and your skills. Be your own publicist.

Get involved – volunteer, get involved in the colleague, alumni, community, serving in your local area. Whatever you are passionate about, find a way to get involved. Volunteer whenever you can as you make great connections, learn new skills and you even identify potential mentors or job opportunities this way.

Good luck! Applying these simple but effective strategies will take you time, but investing in them all will make you a valuable asset to any organization.­

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Productivity: How to Get Through Airport Security

My business takes me across the US and beyond most weeks and a regular part of every week is getting through the airport security line. Here are a few tips to help you make your time waiting more productive:

Print boarding passes out at home - avoid the long lines at the airport check in by printing out the boarding pass up to 24 hours before your flight. You can check your seat, change it if necessary and then print it out at home.

Get ID quickly - before I get out of my car or taxi I find my photo ID and my boarding pass and have them in my hands for the security agent the moment I meet them.

Get organized in your car or taxi - before I leave my car, rental car shuttle or taxi I pull out of my bag my laptop and toiletries bag. This way I don't have to open the bag again in the security line and I am ready and waiting to be processed.

Choose wisely - find an outfit you can wear every time you travel with minimum zips, buttons or catches that will allow you to move smoothly through the line without feeling like you are as you pass through the security sensor.

Wear socks or pantyhose - don't allow your feet to touch the floor of the airport and think about wearing some protection on your feet when you have to remove your shoes.

Choose your shoes well - find slip on type shoes that will allow you to quickly remove them before the security sensor and place them on when they have been x-rayed. Don't waste time feeling awkward trying to do up laces, zippers on boots or straps on sandals.

Minimize jewellery - find jewellery that won't set off the sensors, wear the same items each time you travel so it is one less thing you need to remove in the security line.

Ziploc only - make sure every possible gel, liquid and cream is in this bag. Save yourself time by complying with this rule to avoid bag checks and more wasted time waiting in lines.

Smile - understand these people are trying to do their jobs to keep us all safe, make their lives easier and your trip more pleasant by smiling at them and greeting them whenever you can.

Take reading material - some lines are very long at certain times in the day and times through the year. Be prepared to wait and take a book or magazine to help you pass the time. This is a great opportunity on catching up on all those journals you have been 'meaning to read'.

Apply these simple guidelines today and your next trip through security at the airport will be more productive.