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Overused Terms You Should Avoid on LinkedIn Profile

June 27, 2017 in Careers

Linkedin-Mistakes

Millions of professionals are active on LinkedIn with each one of them seeking to attract better career opportunities. It is this desire which encourages them to use seemingly attractive words in their profiles. However, a significant number of them often end up using terms that have now become fairly common and do not contribute to making their profiles better.

If anything, these overused terms push them further into the background and make their profiles look a part of the herd. So, to make your LinkedIn profile look better rather than seem a part of the pack, here are few of the overused terms which you need to avoid:

Specialised

This is the most commonly used word. But what does it actually mean and how does it add any value to your profile? As a professional, you specialise in some of the tasks assigned to you. But does it mean you won’t do anything else in which you aren’t specialised or unwilling to specialise in new things? Avoid this word as it restricts you. Instead, give examples of what exactly you’ve achieved in some of the roles where you feel you have achieved specialisation.

Leadership

Although leadership is a desired skill, how would you justify it with by just stating it in your profile? Leadership is something which is demonstrated and not propagated. Instead of using this term in your profile, subtly mention the examples from your professional life where you led a team to achieve outstanding results.

Passionate

It’s good to be passionate but not so good to highlight it. Your prospective employers will be interested in you achieving the results, with or without passion. So, this word is something they would ignore.

Strategic

“Strategic” is another overused term that renders little value to your profile. Almost everyone on LinkedIn these days uses this term, which has made it very common. Firms that seek to hire you will not pay much attention to you being strategic or not. They will look for someone capable of following the strategy of the company. So, give them examples of how you structured your execution to match the strategy of your current and previous organisations.

Experienced

The number of years you have worked and responsibilities you have handled reflect your experience. You don’t have to highlight it in your profile. Those looking at your profile are smart enough to gauge your level of experience. Instead of using this word, show something that demonstrates how you have achieved something positive from your experience, such as rewards and recognitions throughout your career.

Other overused words

These include focused, expert, certified, creative, and excellent. None of these means anything unless you have examples to show. You are an expert only if your employer acknowledges it, so do you have any testimonials from your superiors and peers to prove it? The same is the case with the other words.

The above overused terms do not contribute to making your profile any better. To the contrary, they only make it look monotonous and boring. Instead, mention your achievements and testimonials from other LinkedIn users, especially your current and ex-bosses.

How to Work Less and Get More Done

June 26, 2017 in Careers

Increase Productivity

Almost everyone feels pressed for time. Only a few always seem to have time for everything, including leisure activities. So how do they have so much time available? Don’t they have anything to do? The answer is simple. They manage their time better.

Often, people equate working long with working harder. This is a misconception that most in the corporate world have. But, various researches and studies have stated that the maximum anyone should work mustn’t exceed 50 hours a week. As a matter of fact, working for 70 or even more hours a week doesn’t result in any more productivity than working for 55 hours.

So, the key to achieving maximum output is to do more while working less. Let’s find out some of the key factors that will help you to achieve it.

Get rid of distractions

That’s the first thing to do while working. An alert on your mobile of a message or an email or constant notifications on your computer of emails distract you. Instead, allocate specific time to check the messages and emails. Don’t respond to each one of them as and when they arrive in your mail or message box. It would only drag your mind out of your work and hamper your productivity. Ultimately, you’d feel you’ve spent so much time and yet achieved a little output, whereas, in reality, you spent most of the time checking out messages rather than working. Avoiding distractions will allow you to have a complete focus only on the task at hand.

Disconnect from work

Disconnecting from work every day in the evening and on the weekends is as important as working with a complete focus on the task at hand. You can only concentrate if you have the mental strength and energy. And, it can only happen if you disconnect from the work and give your mind the necessary rest it deserves. If a complete disconnection is not possible, fix up specific slots on weekends to check messages or respond to something very critical.

Prioritise

Not everything is equally important. The principal of 80:20 states that 20% of the things we do have 80% importance, while the remaining 80% things constitute the remaining 20%. So, to do more with less, focus on that 20% which will deliver your maximum value.

Introspect

Introspection allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It enables you to check what you’re good at and what needs improvement. Do it when you’re disconnected from the work so that your mind will not be distracted by more pressing matters.

Wake up and sleep at the same time

Your mind and body will perform optimally only when you follow a schedule for waking up and sleeping at the same time every day. Also, ensure that you get adequate sleep.

The above methods are some of the most useful ways to increase efficiency and keep you focused on work. By practising them, you will be able to generate maximum output with the minimum input of time and efforts.

Why Start-ups with Female Founders Grow Faster?

June 20, 2017 in Leadership

Women Founder

Workplaces have witnessed a significant growth in women workers. And, yet a large number of them don’t have top female managers in the same proportion as the women employees at lower levels. Even start-ups have very few female founders, at around just 14%.

However, the same research which puts this number at 14% also states that among the start-ups that have a growth trajectory of more than 100%, the number of female founders is much more than their male counterparts. This proportion increases further in the case of new firms with a growth rate of more than 200%.

So, what’s so special about female founders that helps start-up enterprises grow faster and what it means for companies that don’t have a female founder?

Below are the reasons that evaluate why the female founders are more successful.

Diversity

Diversity plays a vital role in the success of the business. The number of women in the management significantly impacts diversity. A higher proportion of female founders and managers leads to more successful companies, which is evident from the fact that their presence results in an average of 10.1% Return on Investment (ROI) per year as compared to 7.4% ROI of those firms with fewer or no female members.

This finding clearly indicates that more women at the top lead to the generation of more diverse ideas, which further improves critical thinking and decision making. The same is also true with not just gender but also racial, ethnic, and other forms of diversities. However, when these different types of diversities are combined with gender diversity, the results are outstanding for the enterprises, especially the start-ups where decision making is more critical than larger firms. It is because one wrong decision can annihilate the start-up which isn’t as resilient as its larger counterpart.

Balanced Approach

Working women are more adept at striking the right work-life balance. It is because they have to juggle their responsibilities at home and work. In comparison, men prioritise work over personal lives. However, it also means that they spend most of the time at the workplace not only working but also socialising.

Women, on the other hand, have to balance various responsibilities. It makes them more effective when it comes to prioritisation and focusing on work so that they can meet their obligations in time. Therefore, when women are the founders of a start-up, they’re better at prioritisation and execution focus. They are more likely than men to have a balanced approach to all the factors of running a start-up.

Willingness to prove themselves

This factor also plays a critical role in the success of women-led start-ups. The presence of gender bias and glass ceiling can’t be denied even now. Women have to face these adversities and fight stereotypes to succeed.

Their struggle gives them the strength and motivation to prove themselves in a world dominated by men. Hence, as founders of start-ups, women work with more perseverance, resilience, and a never say die attitude.

The above factors play vital roles in making female founders and their start-up ventures more successful than those headed by men. It’s also an important lesson for start-up founders, investors, and managers that to grow fast, they need to have the right representation of women.

How to Know if You are a Follower or a Leader?

June 19, 2017 in Leadership

Leaders vs Followers

Leadership is not a designation. It’s a manifestation of certain qualities. And, no matter what you do in life or what your job designation is, you’re a leader if you have leadership qualities.

But, how do you know whether you’re a leader or a follower? Let’s take a look at the key attributes that differentiate leaders from followers.

Going beyond what’s needed

Whether you go beyond your regular duties or just feel satisfied once you’ve completed them is one of the best tests to determine if you’re a leader or a follower. Good followers follow orders and do what is needed of them. Finding a good follower with the right ethics is difficult.

But, it’s even harder to find a good leader, who’d not only accomplish the assigned task but also go way beyond it to contribute to the group, team, or the organisation they’re a part of.

Flexibility

Leaders are flexible. They manage change efficiently and also encourage others to change. Followers usually show stubbornness and resist change. This is where leaders play a critical role in changing not only themselves but also their followers.

Decisiveness

In your daily life, including professional life, you’ll face several unexpected challenges. At times, you’ll have to deal with ambiguity and take a call. This is where leaders act differently from followers.

They are decisive and take the responsibility when things go wrong. Followers tend to seek approval for every decision.

Confidence

Confidence is closely associated with decisiveness. Leaders are confident of their decisions even if they may go wrong. They believe in their skills and abilities. To the contrary, followers need constant reassurance and support from their leaders to realise their potential.

Followers require external support for gaining confidence, while the leaders gain confidence from their inner strength.

Conviction

Leaders will always stand up for what they believe in. They have a strong conviction to stick to their decisions even in adversities. It is not always the case with followers, who change their decisions to please their superiors.

As a leader, you will have to stand firm if you believe that you are right. Firm conviction is a mark of a leader.

Pleasing everyone

You can’t please everyone every time. A leader knows it. A follower doesn’t. At times, you’ll have to say no and displease people. But, it’s always better to stay focused on the things that help you reach towards your goals.

Leaders don’t fall into the trap of people pleasing, especially if it takes them away from their objectives.

Humility

Real leaders are humble. Followers focus on accolades and recognition, whereas leaders focus on goals. They don’t brag about their achievements or accolades as these are only small milestones for them.

Humility is also essential as it enables leaders to adopt a level headed approach, which further helps them to think clearly.

The above qualities define the differences between a leader and follower. To check whether you’re a leader or follower, introspect and measure the presence or absence of these traits.

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