Why All CEO’s Value Education Above All Else

It’s important to know how to run a business in the modern world. While in centuries past it might have been sufficient to be the only retailer of a certain good in your area, now you must likely compete with several businesses in your city just to stay afloat. All CEO’s and leaders of businesses value self-tuition over all, and this is for a good reason. In order to develop and progress in manner that most affords positive and continual development, the ability to discern between good and bad information is paramount.

This means that understanding where to draw these parameters is one of the most advantageous intellectual battles you can take care of in the life of your firm. After all, ideas are the generators of business, and without them your efforts would quickly fade into irrelevance. Here are a few reasons as to why continual self-development is so important as a business leader:

Historical Understanding

Understand the past, and you can predict the future. At least in part, and to the degree that is worthwhile. In noticing patterns and being able to scope out the tastes of a market, you might just develop or market a product perfectly in line with the innovation-hungry and novelty-interested tastes of a market. This might even help you develop practices that make more sense. For example, studying ecommerce history could give you a more inclusive attitude about how to adopt certain accommodations in future, and try to tailor the direction of your business in a compatible tandem with that.

It also allows you to see the current historical significance of your product and firm as a whole, and try to tailor this to become more appealing in future. Those without a good knowledge of history are doomed to repeat it (as they say,) meaning that taking care of this can arguably provide benefits on many levels, from the customer base to your staff to your upper management.

A solid historical understanding might also mean reading and analysing case studies of previous businesses (like yours,) that tried and failed. This can inform your understanding, as the wise amongst us learn from those around us.

Blind Spots

Blind spots are always there for us ignore. No matter how competent or well-read you are, they will occur. This lessens your ability to serve in all roles as a business leader, or to make effective decisions. With the correct education in new and growing fields relating to your business, you can lessen this impact. You might not be able to completely protect against this, but you can surely become better at discerning the difficulty and acting upon it.

For example, learning how online transactions are usually conducted might allow you to systemize your approach to accepting them in your business, despite being a perfectly store-led company until now. Times seem to be changing faster than ever, and with the right educational refinement, you can keep up with all of this.

So why not make an effort towards educating yourself today? Revolutionizing your business and potential success might demand nothing less.

 

How Can Graduates Increase Their Chances Of Getting A Job

Graduating college and finally reaching the end of your academic career is a monumental event that can leave you feeling proud and accomplished. However, after this euphoria has passed, you must settle down and focus on putting your degree to use. The unfortunate reality is that as beneficial as a college degree is in helping you advance in your career, there is a negative trend in getting a job after graduating from college.

While some markets are substantially more challenging to land a job in after college graduation than others, you can take numerous steps that could potentially bolster your chance of landing a first job. Remember that searching for a job is a full-time job itself. If you want to be successful in your effort, you need to focus diligently on it and apply the right strategies and techniques.

Self-Marketing Starts With the CV
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essentially translated into a “course of (one’s) life.” Do not be fooled by this definition. You definitely need to use a CV to articulate your accomplishments to a potential employer and to specifically explain why you are a great candidate for the position, but your information needs to be customized and targeted. Understand what the company’s motto is and what is the corporate culture. Focus on what the company values and look for connections between your experiences and its culture or values.

You essentially want to craft a CV that beautifully illustrates all connections while also hyping up how valuable you would be as a new addition to the team. Remember to customize each CV. It can be detrimental to send a generic CV out with each resume.

Don’t Ignore Your Soft Skills

You may have minimal real-life work experience in your specific industry, but that does not mean that you do not have specific soft skills that companies may value. Soft skills are the hardest to learn. All of your non-industry job experiences, extracurricular activities and even personal experiences may have enabled the development of those skills.

Identify what you learned from each experience. Did being a Lacrosse Team president teach you leadership skills like motivation? Find a way to communicate these skills to a hiring manager through your resume in a unique way. Everything you’ve done during college can be beneficial, no matter if it is an internship, part time job or a on campus position.

Remember that many resumes use the same overused and worn out words. Be creative in your use of words as well as in how you explain soft skills through real-life examples.

Tidy Up Your Facebook Profile

It is increasingly common for employers to learn more about potential applicants through their Facebook profiles. Your Facebook profile essentially can be seen as an extension of your resume, and it gives hiring managers a more well-rounded view about who you are as a person. Many college graduates need to spend time sprucing up their Facebook profile so that it portrays an ideal candidate. Look at your profile honestly through the eyes of an employer to identify things that may need to be removed.

There are some specific areas of a profile that may be overlooked. For example, analyze the pages and groups that you follow. Eliminate questionable ones and consider adding a few that are related to your profession. Delete photos that are not desirable and think about posting a few that present you in a more professional or mature light. Even if you update your privacy settings, ensure that your profile and cover photo are suitable and even professional. Keep in mind that it is a small world, and there is a possibility that one of your friends could be your employer in the future. Cleaning up your profile today is a smart idea, but you also need to focus on making smart, mature posts in the future.

Make the Most of LinkedIn

Many college graduates do not yet have a LinkedIn profile, but 70 percent of employers use this platform to learn more about candidates. Some even use LinkedIn to find candidates who have not yet applied for a position. Remember that LinkedIn is an online extension of your resume. All information on your resume should match your online profile, including dates and details.

In order to craft a professional profession on LinkedIn:

  • Add a professional header and headshot.
  • Create a solid profile summary and an eye-catching headline.
  • Use the profile to show off, but always remain professional.
  • Review and customize your LinkedIn URL.
  • Include all achievements, recognitions and awards.

Build Networks

After you have spent adequate time updating or creating your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, take the additional step to Google yourself. Pay attention to photos or other items that may require updating before you draw attention to yourself through job applications and networking.

Once you believe that your online presence is professional and mature, use the Internet to network extensively. This includes joining LinkedIn groups, following companies on Facebook, connecting with professionals who you know and interacting with professionals in other ways. Remember that you can even post articles related to your field that could get the attention of hiring managers. Writing references for others is also another way to get more attention yourself.

A Final Word

As you can see, there is more to getting a first job after college graduation than simply emailing a few resumes to hiring managers. Be flexible about jobs that you consider. Look for any jobs that are in your field as they will at least serve as a foot-in-door experience, and this includes lower-paying jobs. Getting some experience in your field could be a stepping stone to an even better job down the road.

About the Author:
Michelle works from home and writes articles about various topics. She loves her keyboard on a rainy day, but she also loves being outdoors in her free time. She often daydreams of visiting new places and works on making those dreams come true. Her magic? Cycling in the woods.

3 Ways You’re Jeopardizing Your Business’s Security

As a business owner, you entrust your employees with sensitive and valuable data numerous times and in various ways each day. Your customers, likewise, entrust you with their data and personal details.

While you might think that the entire system is set up to work flawlessly, the reality is that data security in your business may not be quite as effective and perfect as you might think. In fact, you may face numerous risks and issues with data security on a daily basis that you may not be aware of and that may even put your customer’s vital data at risk.

When you understand more about these potential risks, you can take action to improve data security in your company.

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Photo Credit: Pexels.com

1. Employees Lack Education and Training

According to a 2015 survey performed by Insider Risk Report, as many as 93-percent of valued employees surveyed, who had access to a company’s vital or sensitive data, stated that they used a high-risk activity that put that data at risk. This could have included something as simple as using a weak password or not changing a password frequently enough or sharing a password with someone who they shouldn’t have shared it with. While these may have been unintentional or seemingly harmless risks, they were nonetheless risks to the company.

As an employer, you must observe and understand what your employers are doing wrong in the area of data security. In addition to observing risk factors in this area, you must take the additional step to correct the behavior and to adequately train them in the proper data security methods.

You should be aware that most of your employees are not maliciously trying to circumvent safety and security protocols, and most of your team usually wants to take the proper steps to keep data secure. However, they may not be aware of what the right steps are. It is up to you to properly train them and to provide them with the tools to keep data secure in the most time-efficient ways possible.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

2. Outdated Technology

At times, new technology is introduced rapidly, and it can be challenging to keep up with all of the changes and innovations as they occur. More than that, some business owners have a false conception that security hinders business growth. This type of thinking actually carries a certain risk because it does not promote the use of new and more advanced security features that may currently be available and that may be most effective for the business owner to use.

As a business owner, it is important that you stay updated as much as possible with the latest innovations available in the marketplace. You should always ensure that your hardware and software products are properly supported and compatible with the security features that you are using. Spend ample time learning as much as you can about authorized access to data, taking screenshots, analytics, forwarding data files and more before implementing the use of new technology and security features. This will help you to make full and ample use of security features without concern of negative impacts associated with its use.

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Photo Credit: Pexels.com

  1. Keeping Sensitive Data

The unfortunate reality is that all businesses have sensitive data that malicious sources may want to target. Regardless of the size of your business or the type of business that you run, there is a possibility that your business may be targeted through a ransomware attack.

For example, a public institution, such as a hospital, police office, school or government office, may have access to a huge number of public records. This could include public records that contain profiles on the general public and that could be breached for malicious purposes. Another example involves e-commerce businesses, such as luxurious brands. A ransomware attack could target the high-end customers of a luxury brand so that the customers’ personal information and, with that, material possessions are at stake.

Any time a customer’s vital and sensitive data is jeopardized, the person stands to lose a considerable amount of money, and fraud is always a concern as well. Your primary goal should be to protect the privacy of your customers. Therefore, you should avoid collecting data that you do not need, and you should not store data that you do not need for too long.

More than that, you should encrypt all data that you have possession of in the most secure fashion possible. Generally, this involves the use of SSL certificates or other highly secure formats. Remember that a data breach can impact your business’s reputation as well. Customers may no longer trust your business if you cannot safeguard their vital and sensitive data. This could have a long-term and negative effect on your business.

To Recap…

Business security is of vital importance regardless of the niche or industry that you work in. You need to focus on all aspects of business security, and you must take steps to safeguard data at all levels. While you need to train your employees about data security and how to properly safeguard and encrypt data at all levels, you also need to take steps to prevent ransomware attacks and use SSL certificates with vital customer data. Now is the ideal time to take a closer look at your data security efforts and to make upgrades and enhancements. If you notice any areas that need to be improved and enhanced, now is the time to do so.

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88.

 

Educate Yourself on the Top Career Choices

Whether you are looking for that first real job out of college or you are thinking about changing careers after all these years, what role will your education play in all of this?

For many people looking to improve their career situations, education plays a major role when all is said and done.

That said how do you know what type of education is best for your career aspirations?

Although it may seem like a simple choice to choose this or that line of degrees, keep in mind that educations and careers are almost always influx. As a result, what you get today in terms of an education may not suit you even a few years down the road.

Meantime, while some careers (medical, accounting etc.) will always be there to fill jobs due to the needs of the public, others have come and gone over the years.

So, how can you educate yourself on the top career choices for the next few years, not to mention secure your educational needs?

Researching Your Options is Critical

In order to best serve both your education and career requirements, keep a couple of pointers in mind:

  • Jobs – First and foremost, it is all but impossible to survive in today’s economic climate without a good job. Yes, many people do get by one way or the other, but it can prove quite difficult. There is a good chance you know (maybe even yourself) a number of people working not only a full-time job, but holding down a part-time job or two on the side. In most cases, those individuals are doing it not out of choice, but instead out of necessity. Whether it is increasing rents or mortgages, increasing health insurance costs, the ever-increasing expenses for gas and utilities etc. the list could go on and on. While you may love the career you are currently in, does it calmly pay all your bills at the end of the day? If not, the time for a better job (notably in terms of salary) may be a necessity come 2017. Do your research to see which careers offer the most, that is in terms of money, healthcare benefits etc. In doing so, you will be better educated as to where you career aspirations may be headed;
  • Schooling – If the need for more schooling is necessary either right out of high school or down the road for a career change or career growth, where do you start? While it may seem rather easy to choose from a list of schools, many people will tell just the opposite. The preferred approach to take in selecting the best school for your career is typically lots of research. Whether you go on to work in the educational field itself with young students or hundreds of other professions, researching your options is critical. Unlike several decades ago prior to the Internet, most of that research was done via magazines and brochures, radio and television advertisements, and even word-of-mouth. In today’s digital age, most students out of high school or those looking to advance their educational requirements are using the worldwide web. By doing so, they can visit countless educational institutions, learning much of what there is to know about them. From the curriculum to the average student-teacher ratio, you can learn lots of valuable information by visiting respective college and university websites etc. 

Being an Educated Employee

As important as your education certainly is, it is also critical that you are educated in terms of your career options, especially as they pertain to 2017.

Once again, the Internet can prove to be a great resource tool for any and all such information.

Seeing which careers seem primed for now and down the road will help you in your decisions, both on education and jobs.

When you are an educated individual, both with degree in-hand and with what’s going on around you, your ability to grow and support yourself will reach new heights.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and education topics on the web.

Are You Hiring the Best Talent Possible?

Running your business takes plenty of time and effort; two things you know can get the best of you. That said another important trait one has to have in overseeing a company is making the best hires possible.

Part of doing that revolves around analyzing each and every person coming through your doors for an interview.

You have to look at myriad of factors, including:

  • What does this person potentially bring to my company?
  • Will their personality mesh with the employees already here?
  • Is this an individual that has shown leadership skills at other jobs they have had over the years?
  • Do I see this individual being a major cog in my business five or even two years down the road?

Just answering those four questions can be challenging enough, especially since you do not know the individual other than the few minutes you have met with them.

So, how do you really know when all is said and done if you are hiring the best talent possible?

Education Can Never Be Taken for Granted

cont_edOne of the keys in hiring and retaining sound employees is making sure they not only have a strong educational background, but the willingness to want to further their educational skills.

As many companies are demonstrating these days, the ability to further one’s education is as important as ever.

From learning the latest in technology skills to improving one’s understanding of financial or human resource talents, there is a never-ending list of job traits that employers want their workers to have and grow upon.

In demonstrating leadership with a masters degree, you want employees that can offer your business a number of important managerial skills. Some of these include:

  • Problem solver – No matter how much time and effort you deploy into making your business run as smoothly as possible, problems are going to arise from time to time. Instead of employees turning to others on how to lead your business through these challenges, you want people who will take the bull by the horns and lead. While some personalities are just not cut out to be leaders, you want to try and identify those individuals ahead of time, not putting someone in charge of a department or a major task with your business that simply doesn’t have the skillset to lead. Those employees willing to roll up their sleeves and solve problems are the ones you want in charge;
  • Understanding personalities – Face it; no workplace is ever going to be 100 percent perfect. Some personalities simply are not meant to be together, though that does not have to cause chaos in your workplace. Leaders know how to bring out the best in other employees, even if some of those workers don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. At the end of the day, everyone under your employ should be dedicated to doing what is best for the business, albeit personalities aside. Hiring leaders to get that very job done is another priority you need to focus on as a business owner;
  • New ideas – With running a business, there will always be a need to come up with new ideas in order to stay one step ahead of competitors. Having leaders on your team who understand this concept is critical. It can be very easy for employees to just show up for work on a daily basis, go through the motions for eight hours, and then head home for the day. Leaders come to work each day with the notion that you must always be willing to push the envelope. Sure, some ideas (whether they never make it to the table or are implemented and yet fail) will not prove to be the answer to your needs. The important fact, however, is that you have leaders who are willing to try and improve your brand, not be satisfied with just the status quo.

As you can see, these are but three of the numerous skills that your leaders must exhibit.

The next time you or someone in your company sits down for an interview with a prospective employee; get a feel for whether or not that individual could be a leader one day within your organization.

If they could be, he or she will be one of the best hires you will ever make.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

Engagement Inside and Outside the Virtual Classroom Critical to Success in Online Ed

As the non-traditional student demographic continues to grow, the demand for greater programmatic flexibility grows with them. Increasing numbers of colleges and universities have launched online programs, but what does it take for a program to truly be considered high quality?

In this interview, Nancy Rubin shares her thoughts on what it takes to deliver a truly engaging experience for online students, both inside and outside the immediate learning environment.

Read my post on Evolllution