Followers Don’t Equal Influence or Support

There must be something in the water these days. The number of times I have had someone say to me that they aren’t really worried about making a sale or getting promoted because they “have a huge following on social media,” is driving me bananas.

I’m not sure when social media followers earned such a high ranking of influence in our society, but let me clear something up for you – followers do not equal influence or support. This is especially true when you are working in a traditional job.

Obviously your social media friends, followers or hoards (you know those requests you approve because the numbers count!), can play a role in your overall career, but they are not worth much at face value alone. Since their value is vastly different in a traditional job versus any type of business you start, I’m going to break their value down separately.

Social Media Peeps in Traditional Jobs

It seems ludicrous to think that social media followers can influence a promotion or new job… and for the most part, you’re right. The number of friends you have in any one outlet, is not going to be an active influencer in your overall success. I hate to break that news to you… well, honestly, my old-self can’t believe I have to. But I digress…

Your promotion-ability within a company, is mostly driven by your capabilities, delivery and likeability at work. Being able to put together and showcase the hard and soft skills. Getting the right influencers on your side within the company will always pay off more than having outside people talking about your awesome.

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How to Get Along with Annoying Coworkers

We will forever be working with at least a few annoying coworkers. And depending on your personality or work style, you may “see” annoying attributes in more people than not.

The goal here is to stop spiraling down the annoyance drain when you have to interact with these people — especially if that annoying coworker is your boss.

From someone who finds little things more annoying than not, here are five ways to get along with super-annoying coworkers — making your work life a whole lot easier.

1. Make a Game Out of It

You can probably point out the various levels of annoying for each of your coworkers— so why not turn that knowledge into a competitive game for yourself? This is an easy way to redirect the angst around your frustration and get some entertainment value out of the situation.

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What It Means to Be Professional

It was my first day in a real corporate job, I was wearing my business professional (you can’t go casual on day one) outfit, ready to conquer the world. I looked the part, acted the part, but was not feeling the part. I was in the “fake it ‘til you make it” phase of my career – trying so hard to be “professional.”

I’m not really sure where I got the impression that I had to be buttoned up at all times when at work, but it had a long-lasting impact on my career and overall “self.” We are inundated with nuggets of advice like “dress for the job you want,” and act as if you are already in the next position. Decent advice, but how does it all fit into your idea of being “professional?”

I went along with the set expectations of the professional working world – wearing black pants with a suitable blouse daily, answering emails instantaneously, and using acceptable pen colors and notebooks. In other words, I complete erased my own identity at work in the name of being professional.

Looking back, I often wonder if my unhappiness in my corporate world originally stemmed from having to hold back so much of myself, in order to climb up the ladder. I was just so tired of muting my personality and love of color, to live up to someone else’s idea of being professional.

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Learn to Get Along with HR

Being able to forge a healthy relationship with Human Resources — ahem, HR — is a critical step in the development and growth of your career path. But often, people tend to duck and hide or flee the path of HR for the fear of receiving bad news.

Here’s the thing: if you are the one ducking and hiding, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build an important relationship with a key influencer. Not to mention, you’re hurting HR’s feelings.

It’s easy to get along with HR — if you approach it the right way. They want to be friendly with the people they support… up to a point. But at a minimum, they want to get along with you. Here are five ways to get along with HR:

1. Remember HR Is Made of People

This is easy to forget because the perception of HR is of cold, calculating old ladies ready to kill your career aspirations, but the HR department is made up of people. They come to work for the same reasons you do. They have families and lives and their own dreams.

People make up HR — and just like other people, they want to be liked and respected. The easiest way to make a connection with your HR partner is to treat them as you would any other person.
Say hello to them when you cross paths in the hallway instead of scattering. Ask them how their weekend was at the water cooler as you would with your cube-mate. Remember that they’re people first, HR second.

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5 Ways to Make Your Entry-Level Job Better

No one likes starting at the bottom – and yet, to build your career, you have to start somewhere. Your first real job may seem like a waste of time or a noose holding you back from what you’re supposed to do. But it can be so much more.

My first “real job” out of college was working at a jewelry manufacturing company in account management and sales – also known as doing everything that no one else wanted to do. Including, ahem, putting price tags on the items and stringing pendants. It was as bottom as you can get.

It was miserable, I’m not going to lie. I felt entitled to do more, be more, to not be the grunt person. And that’s where I went wrong. I was so wrapped up in how much better I thought I was than the job, that I missed many important lessons that I had to relearn later in my career.

When you’re in an entry level job, you can make it better than it sounds – and here’s how.

1. Plan your next two steps

I’m a fly-by-the-seat kind of gal for most things, but when you are just starting out in your career, having an idea or hope as to where you want your career to (realistically) be in the next two moves, is critical. It’s too easy to be aimless when you don’t quite have enough experience to be known for something, and are just too recent a grad to know nothing.

When you have your career plan in mind, you can start creating your map to get there and begin learning the tools and lessons you need for each step along the way. Know that your steps will probably change – and that’s ok, it’s about starting with a vision.

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