Considering your future in the world of work, it’s not uncommon to find yourself utterly bewildered by the sheer quantity and diversity of roles available in the job market. Many of these roles require training or qualifications, which constitute a large investment of both your time and money. To ensure that you’re working towards a career that’s meaningful and wholesome, it’s best to choose wisely from an early stage in your working life in order for you to always get the most out of your working life, enjoying every day you spend in the job. Below are four ideas help you select a meaningful career.
Speaking truth to power and making public issues that ought to be, journalism has always been regarded as a noble and esteemed vocation. While the pay doesn’t necessarily reflect the hours you put in, the variety, excitement and fast-paced action is what attracts people to the world of journalism. There simply isn’t a comparable job that’ll keep you curious and on your toes for decades. To get into journalism, you’ll need to read and write extensively, and you’ll benefit from a degree or qualification in the discipline.
Another esteemed and well-regarded job, teaching is seen as one of the most rewarding and varied vocations out there. Again, you’ll need to complete courses of training in your desired discipline – whether that’s primary-age teaching or higher education lecturing – and you’ll need to feel confident in the materials that you teach. As well as transferring knowledge to the younger generation, you’ll also be a role model for hundreds, maybe thousands of children over your long career. That’s where you really extract meaning – and pride – from your day-to-day job.
Giving care is often lauded as one of the most compassionate and meaningful jobs in the world, and it’s no wonder, really. You turn up to work with the sole purpose of making life easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable for those under your care. It’s relatively simple to convert your caregiving tendencies into a nursing qualification – simply find online Nurse Practitioner programs in Virginia to see if you’re eligible to take up a course and build the necessary skills to take to the hospital floors with a wisdom that’ll only grow as you care for patients in need throughout your life.
A wide range of jobs fall under the ‘public service’ umbrella. Those include the emergency services – everything from ambulance drivers to firefighters and the police – through to the military, the civil service, and other public office roles. Whatever you feel most drawn towards, you’ll always be happy in the knowledge that your job is serving your community and your nation – a source of pride and meaning that’ll guide you to success in your vocation. Naturally, the wide range of job opportunities in the public sphere require a wide range of qualifications – but some, like policing and the military, take those without formal qualifications.
The four jobs listed above should give you adequate thinking space to consider your next move into a career that is truly meaningful: day-in, day-out.
In addition to all the practical aspects of running a business, entrepreneurs are also human beings with problems just like everyone else. These issues may start to affect how well you run your business, or make it hard for you to see where you’re going wrong and what you need to do to correct it. This weakness can become a new business venture for yourself if you take up coaching on the side.
Business coaching is about combining the analysis of the business and how well it’s performing with an appraisal of a client’s thought processes, beliefs, and emotions, and then discovering how one is affecting the other. Sometimes business owners are their own worst enemies, and by pointing out the effect their actions are having a business coach can make a tremendous difference to their personal happiness as well as their profitability.
Most accountants will go through accounts at least to some degree with their clients, explaining what the figures mean and how well the business is performing overall. However, as a coach you could be doing far more. Accounting software can produce such detailed and precise reports and forecasts that it’s a waste not to make use of them. You can spot where prices should be changed to maximize profits, lines to drop, lines to expand, and a wealth of valuable information that would increase profitability quite significantly. Rather than just filing your completed accounts, a good business coach could dig deeper into the data and show them where they could be taking action to reduce costs and increase net profits.
Business owners often struggle with the marketing side of their business. They might have a great product at a perfect price, and still be making little in the way of profit because no-one knows they exist. There are so many elements involved in running a successful marketing campaign, and the tactics that would be best for one business may not be as effective as for another. A good business coach can combine the analysis of a client’s accounts with a forecast illustrating the potential benefits of making changes to your marketing strategy.
Managing time is critical if you’re to maximize the influence you have on the fundamental workings of your business. It’s not always easy to see where you’re wasting time in your own daily routine, but as a business coach can spot all the ways in which your client could gain time and avoid spending it on tasks they don’t need to.
For example, if they are managing their own website maintenance and backups, as a coach you could point out the advantages of using a managed hosting service like Onyx.io, which would free your client from the bind of performing routine tasks like backing up their site, as well as improving the security. Identifying how they can manage their day more efficiently could not only save them a great deal of time, but improve their working life, as they will be able to focus their attention on more interesting issues like marketing campaigns.
A good business coach is one that helps support a business’ process and its people, making it a very profitable career to get into.
The problem usually occurs, because people don’t understand the difference between an outcome and an output. There is a BIG difference between the two. In our work with clients, we have found that these two ideas are often misunderstood. The “stuff” people create does not, in itself, constitute an outcome for the business. Every email, meeting, presentation, or experience that they create is just one thing by itself. It’s an output. But if they know what outcome they are trying to achieve, then all of the outputs become vehicles to drive the desired outcome.
Outcomes keep everyone focused on what’s most important for an organization and provide a way to measure whether they’ve achieved a desired result. Put another way: if you can’t connect your work and your outputs to a measurable result and outcome, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
Maintaining an Outcome-Based Mindset
An outcome-based mindset leads people to focus on results first, and outputs or actions second. When they identify the desired business result(s) first, they can then identify the tasks necessary to achieve them. For example, a salesperson for a large technology business, who is accustomed to orchestrating deals with a Chief Information Officer (CIO), would head into the first call thinking about how to have a conversation about the CIO’s role, challenges, and pressures she is facing, so that she finds value in the conversation and agrees to another meeting to explore how his company can help her. To be prepared for that outcome which will then lead to the larger outcome of making a sale, the salesperson has to be conversant in the CIO’s business. He’ll have to do some planning to learn about what other opportunities or contracts are already in play between the two entities. He’ll need to research where some of her challenges might be coming from, by reading annual reports. Some of those steps may lead to outputs — a discussion document or a whiteboard, for example.
But the outcome — agree to another meeting, to move a potential opportunity forward, to reach a shared vision of how his solutions can address her problems, is always what that salesperson has in mind. Focus on the wrong thing—such as selling her something she doesn’t need or spending too much time talking about his company or products—and she’ll become annoyed and feel like her time is being wasted. The outcome then becomes unreachable. When people are outcome-based, they always have the bigger picture in mind. Always. They make decisions about outputs and tasks based on whether or not they move them forward toward the outcome.
Maintaining a Group Output Mindset
Thinking in an outcome-based way can be an individual mindset, but it also can be a group mindset. It can even be an organizational or functional mindset. We believe strongly that having an outcome-based mindset is what makes all the difference in the work we do with our clients. The specific, measurable outcome becomes the north star that always helps us navigate.
Winning with Radical Outcomes
It’s arguable that there are many types of outcomes in business. The salesperson example shows outcome-based thinking for a single large deal.
And while a single large deal is great for that salesperson, there’s nothing radical about such an isolated example. By itself it doesn’t produce a major business impact. But what if someone could help 50 salespeople learn how to think and plan the way he did with the CIO? And 50 salespeople started closing large deals, repeatedly and consistently, because they knew how to have valuable conversations with their customers? Or 500 salespeople?
Radical Outcomes are tied to complex, high-stakes initiatives that yield tangible results. Examples include increased retention rates, improved acquisition rates, increased revenue, reduced costs, process improvements or efficiencies, increased profitability, increased word of mouth, increased conversion rates, and more upsell and cross-sell opportunities. These are or should all be measurable and quantifiable.
Here are the basic criteria that differentiate a Radical Outcome from something that is just run of the mill.
Executive Level, Cross Functional Stakeholders are involved. To drive change in the business where the impact is truly felt by customers, executive sponsorship is needed, usually because there will be so many different groups involved in working toward the outcome that it requires someone at the executive or business unit level of an organization to provide the endorsement of the initiative.
Results are achieved over time. Every executive wants change to happen “yesterday,” yet even so, it takes time for an organization to adapt and change, especially when the change itself is radical. Urgency defines the need for these changes, even ones that seem impossible to make. Most executives therefore expect to see roadmaps or plans that show how a change will take place, and they also expect to see consistent progress toward the outcome.
Results must be measurable and tied to the outcome. One of the most difficult things we’ve seen when clients are facing Radical Outcomes is determining what to measure so that progress can be conveyed against the outcome. Knowing that a change won’t happen overnight is one important guideline. Knowing what to measure and in what time frame are two additional guidelines.
The good thing about setting these guidelines? You can show the impact of what you have created. You can also more readily and accurately identify gaps and make the changes needed, quickly, in an agile manner, to meet the business outcome.
Radical outcomes actually make common sense and are comprised of tangible results. They’re the product of scope and scale, and something the executive level group is constantly envisioning. Imagine what would happen within your organization if you started having conversations about Radical Outcomes instead of just creating more stuff.
About the Author
Juliana Stancampiano, author of RADICAL OUTCOMES: How To Create Extraordinary Teams That Get Tangible Results is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Oxygen. For more than fifteen years, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, both in them and for them. Her firm’s clients include Microsoft, DXC, Delta Dental (of WA), Starbucks, F5 Networks, Avaya, and Western Digital, among others. Her in-depth experience, along with the research that Oxygen conducts and the articles she has published, has helped to shape the perspective that Oxygen embraces. To learn more, visit: www.oxygenexp.com.
If you’re a business owner, you have likely heard about how social media has a way of spreading the word about your business, even if you no clue on why or how it achieves results. Although it can take a lot of work to maintain a number of social media accounts, the overall benefits for your business are innumerable.
It is well within your reach to use social media if the correct strategies are implemented. If you’re standing at the side-line watching your competitors take center stage by using social media to boost consumer interest, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be jumping on the bandwagon too.
Here are a few top reasons as to why you should be using social media as a method to grow your business:
1. Gets the word out about your business
Firstly, social media helps spread the message about your business and gets potential new customers talking about your product or service. You will gain plenty of recognition for your business and gain a platform to talk to your target audience. This will build trusting relationships that are crucial for business success.
Your followers and fans are likely to spread the word to their own contacts about your business if you make a good impression, which should go on to grow your customer base considerably.
2. It’s cost-effective
Unlike other forms of marketing, social media offers great return on investment – which is an important characteristic for any business.
Due to the changes in algorithms on Facebook , which is now favoring personal posts, you will need to make low-cost advertising part of your financial plan. These adverts are designed to promote your product or service to reach a large quantity of your target audience.
Learning how to budget effectively for marketing campaigns can be difficult, as you don’t necessarily know how effective they will be in the long-term or whether your finances are being put to good use. Many business owners choose to enroll onto a finance course to learn how to succeed in a technology-based world and understand the impacts of financial decision making, by studying an online MBA in Finance.
Many businesses spend so much money on failed marketing techniques, that they aren’t left with many funds to grow their business in other departments. Rest assured, social media has been proven to have a winning combination of cost-effectiveness and success.
3. It’s extremely popular
Social media is growing exponentially in popularity and users of every age have accounts across a variety of platforms as a way of connecting with friends and finding out the latest news. Facebook has an impressive 1.7 billion users active each month and is most often the starting platform for small businesses looking to grow their following.
However, other platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram are all used to grow the interest of a business. Instagram for example, has 1 billion active users per month and tends to generate business interest with the use of influencers. These accounts are paid to promote certain products or services to their own follower base, with the intention of generating traffic to the business account and website.
Employees can do the minimum, or go the extra mile, and the difference between these two levels of performance, multiplied by the number of employees, can make or break a company. And when your employees are going the extra mile, it means they are engaged, and engaged employees don’t leave.
Losing employees is costly, especially if they are your best ones. Not only do they take specialist know-how and client relationships with them, but often straight to one of your competitors. And if you are operating in a context of skills shortages, which many companies are, you simply can’t afford to lose those skills you know are going to be impossible to replace.
The key to overcoming all of the above issues is culture, because as Peter Drucker famously said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Making sure your company culture is one that engages and retains your best employees is an ongoing endeavour, and there are three proactive steps you can take to build it:
1.Turn your company into a cause
Make sure you have a vision that is ambitious enough and inspirational enough to become a cause that employees rally around and makes them want to go the extra mile. Engagement for engagement sake will only ever bring short-term results; engagement around a cause, however, will keep your employees motivated for years.
Most companies have a vision, but with confusion rife around what a vision actually is, rarely do we find one with that essential emotional ingredient that makes employees put aside personal agendas for a collective one that appears much more attractive.
2. Set a minimum standard for people management
“People don’t quit companies, they quit their bosses”. How often have you heard this said? And how often on exit interviews do we find it to be true! This simple fact, disheartening as it might seem, is exactly the information we need to change our company culture.
By focusing on our people managers, and equipping them with the skills to better manage their relationships with their subordinates, we can minimise the loss of good employees because of bad management.
Giving feedback, for example, in a way that motivates rather than demotivates employees, is a skill in short supply among today’s line managers, but is something that can be easily taught and quickly put into practice.
3. Make Confidence a daily discussion
Confidence is discussed regularly in sports, because the sporting world knows that it is critical – that difference that makes a difference when athletes and sports people need to find that elusive next level of performance.
Confidence is multi-faceted and often misunderstood, but when discussed and worked on regularly, will make a huge difference not only to your employees’ performance but also their motivation. When employees are engaged, they will stay with your company, but you don’t just want them to stay, you want them to offer you their best performance possible. Confidence is the thing that moves them from commitment to action and gets them through turbulent times.
Creating a culture takes time, but results in a workplace where employees can give their best, making them feel good, and benefiting the company bottom line.
When you focus purely on Engagement, the tendency is to look to extrinsic and largely superficial motivations, such as gym memberships, extra holiday and shopping discounts, which only drive short-term results.
Investing in culture, however, addresses the more long-term and intrinsic drivers of human motivation – the need to grow as a person and make a difference – and sustainable Engagement, and employee retention, is the return that investment brings!
About the Author
Karen J. Hewitt, author of Employee Confidence: The New Rules of Engagement, is an Engagement and Culture Change specialist who is fluent in five languages. Her book is a finalist in the Leadership category of the Business Book Awards 2019.
For information, please visit this link