Do you feel like you’re drowning?
This is important because…?
You can’t ignore this
Your Biggest challenge
Is Privacy Management Even Possible?
Isn’t Privacy Our Right?
Not to be paranoid, but…?
This is important because?
- “80% of divorce lawyers use Facebook to find evidence.
- 65% of recruiters frown on job seekers who frequently use profanity in social media.
- 68% of hiring managers have decided to hire a candidate because of something they saw on social media.”
My point is simple. If you know people are going to check you out online, shouldn’t you try to put your best foot forward?
So, How do I do it?
- What is your area of expertise?
- Who do you want to work for? (Your target audience)
- What type of projects are you interested in?
Once you have answered those questions, you can begin to tell your story. Yes, you have a story. When you go to work for your clients as a Freelancer, you have a unique promise of value you’re going to deliver. That’s what you need to communicate.
The Story of You
- Blog Posting
Here is an interesting question. How can you learn the skills for a job that hasn’t been invented?
Why would I need to do that?
Here’s why. Futurist Thomas Frey estimates 47% of today’s existing jobs will disappear by the year 2030 (http://bit.ly/2w4whhN ). What that means for you is there is a roughly 50-50 chance the job you’re in today will be gone.
When it happens you will face 2 choices:
1. Be pushed aside into a lower paying job well below your skill level.
2. Become expert at skills required in this new economy, and hire yourself out as a Freelancer.
Your challenge today is you can’t afford to wait until your job disappears. When your job goes, it won’t just disappear from the company you work for; it will be gone from the economy. Without a developed skill needed in the new economy, you will fall into category one. And, there you will stay until you acquire those new skills.
Won’t there be new jobs coming along?
Yes, but…right now, no one knows what they are. Here’s what we do know now.
Robots and improved software technology are replacing people at an ever increasing pace. Robots and software can do predictable, repetitive tasks very quickly, 24 hours a day. What robots can’t do is think. The new jobs coming along will be those that require human judgment.
Your Challenge Today.
Start thinking today about what you want to do when your present job disappears. Do you want to stay in the same industry? Do you want to do something entirely new? Do you want to be a Freelancer in some area you’ve always been passionate about?
Start thinking about jobs in that field that need some of the following skills:
1. People management
2. Complex Problem Solving
4. Coordinating with others.
5. Emotional Intelligence.
6. Service Orientation
Get wild here. Use your imagination. Perhaps you can repair robots or find hiccups in software programs. Maybe you could be someone who helps decide what functions could be automated.
It doesn’t have to be that technical. You could become a Freelance journalist, or a copywriter, or an author.
My point here is that whatever you choose, you need to start your education today. Read books. Take courses online. Go to college at night. Do whatever it takes to be ready when the pink slip comes.
The New Reality
Here is an inconvenient truth about the economy of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We all must become lifelong learners. Human knowledge is doubling every 13 months and that time frame is getting shorter and shorter. Our education system can’t keep up. So, we are going to have to do it on our own. Here is the good news. Learning new stuff is a lot of fun.
Choose something to learn about. Start now. Then, you’ll be ready to move up and on when the big day comes.
Thomas Frey in his latest blog ( http://bit.ly/2yFqvos ) states that distraction management is one the 12 personal skills you will need in the future to be successful. Really? How did something like distraction management get to be such a big issue?
What has technology done to us?
In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. This was the first “smart” phone capable of carrying applications other than just phone calls and voice mail. At the time, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Now it seems to have grown into a many-headed, uncontrollable monster.
Smartphones now deliver text messages, email, twitter feeds, Instagram messages, video streams, and instant news updates. Phone calls and voice mail now are a minor part of the service.
Why is this a bad thing?
Turns out we are paying more attention to our smartphones and other electronic devices than is good for us. Frey, in his blog post says, “The average smartphone user checks their phone over 220 times a day.” In addition, “The average Millennial exchanges 67 texts a day. It takes 90 minutes to respond to email, most will respond to a text in less than 90 seconds.”
Here’s another quote from Frey, “An average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes a day perusing these networks.”
What this all adds up to is a state of constant interruption throughout our day. And…when we are constantly interrupted, our productivity declines. Drastically!
But, I’m a Great Multitasker
Well…maybe not. It turns out multitasking is actually bad for you. I wrote a blog on this some time back ( http://bit.ly/2iSvhoj ). In it, I cited studies showing multitasking decreases your productivity by around 40%. This means it takes much longer for you to complete each individual task.
Further, studies show multitasking increases stress and increases the chances you will make a mistake. Added to that, it turns out once you’re interrupted it will take about 25 minutes to return to your original task. http://nyti.ms/2AbTdu6 Talk about ways to waste your day.
So, How Can I Fix This?
Slow down. I know this sounds counter-intuitive. But, if you slow down and concentrate on one task at time, you will actually complete the task faster with fewer mistakes. Doing this will also increase your productivity because you will complete more tasks in a day,
Couple this with planning your day to control distractions. Here’s a good list to start with:
- Turn off your cell phone. Or, at least, put it on “do not disturb” and stick it in a drawer. Most calls don’t have to be answered right away. Set aside time to return calls twice a day. The same goes for text messages.
- Only read emails once or twice a day. Set aside time to read and respond.
- Shut down your internet browser. Again, pick times to review social media and news sources.
- If you are in an environment where there are other people around, find some soothing instrumental music to listen to with earbuds. Baroque classical or a program that promotes relaxing alpha waves is best. This shuts out background noise. Also, if others see you listening to something, it discourages them from interrupting you.
These time-consuming distractions will only get worse in the coming months and years. If you want to increase your productivity and decrease your stress levels, you have to start now to take control of your day and your workflow.
This Has to Change
Having Fun at Work
Why is Complex Problem Solving so Important?
Complex Problem Solving Defined
- Identify the problem. This is not always as easy as it sounds. The problem itself may be buried beneath a number of adverse effects showing up in a system.
- Identify the causes. These could be the task itself, or systems control issues, equipment, people, even personality clashes, or any combination of these factors.
- Look for solutions. Here is where human judgment comes in. You will evaluate possible outcomes and seek the one that produces the most desirable solution. Here you may wind up settling for the least bad outcome you can find.
- Make a decision and put it in place. Pick an answer and go for it.
- Evaluate feedback. Is your solution working? Or not? Use feedback to adjust your solution to achieve maximum results.
Here is the Opportunity
Just What is Critical Thinking?
- The ability to analyze the way you think.
- A self-directed way of thinking using high standards of excellence.
- A systematic, methodical approach to problem-solving.
- The ability to think independently.
- The ability to separate rational arguments from emotional ones.
Why is Critical Thinking Important to Me?
- Identify a bad or false argument.
- Build and present good arguments.
- Think better and more clearly.
- Develop the ability to see things in new and different ways.
- Question the status quo.
Here is the challenge. The human brain does not think logically. It makes most of its decisions on emotion and/or preconceived ideas. Having made a decision, people then go back and justify it with logic. What’s worse is once a person has made a decision they will defend it to the death, no matter how wrong it turns out to be.
How Can I Learn to be a Better Thinker?
The first blog post in this series ( http://bit.ly/2v8mXJm ) I listed the top ten skills necessary if you are to triumph in the ongoing upheaval in the worldwide job market. Today, I want to discuss the #3 skill, Creativity.
Why is Creativity so Important?
There is one simple reason why creativity as a skill is so much in demand. Robots and software technology can’t do it. Here is one area where human beings can beat the bots. Every time.
Freelancers need this skill to solve problems with new programs and procedures. Clients and different departments implementing new programs and services will require new solutions to problems that arise.
I have a favorite saying I think sums up the need for creativity in the business world. It comes from General George Patton, the famous tank corps commander in World War II. “The best battle plan in the world isn’t worth a damn after the first shot is fired.”
General Dwight Eisenhower also weighed in on this subject when he said, “Plans are useless, but planning is essential.”
Freelancers know this. When it all goes to hell, you’re going to have to get creative and think your way out of it.
How Can You Define Creativity?
I admit this is hard. Creativity is one of those things that everyone knows when they see it, but find it difficult to define.
Let’s take a shot at it. Creativity is:
- The ability to think outside the box.
- Coming up with something that’s never been done before.
- Applying old methods in new ways.
- Perceiving the world in new ways.
There are more. Here is a link taking you to a Copyblogger Post with 21 different definitions of creativity ( http://bit.ly/2jEEKTH ). (Hint… the list starts about halfway through the post).
Can I learn to be more creative?
How many times have you heard it? “I’m just not a creative person.”
Wanna bet? Actually, we all start out being very creative, and then we unlearn it. In 1968, a man by the name of George Land devised a test to measure creativity ( http://bit.ly/2ykJSzE ). He then gave the test to 1600 children, age 3 to 5 years, enrolled in a Head Start Program. The results were amazing. The 5-year-old kids scored 98% on the creativity test. He retested the same kids 15 years later. Guess where they scored? 12%. Adults given the same test scored 2%.
This means our society is teaching us to unlearn creativity.
So it’s really not an issue of learning to be more creative. It’s remembering how to be as creative as we once were.
The common misconception is that creativity belongs to artists, writers, musicians, and maybe a few computer geeks. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all creative. Like all skills, it is one where proficiency is gained by practice.
Remember the old joke? A kid carrying a violin case goes up to a cop in New York City and asks, “How can I get to Carnegie Hall?” The cop looks at the kid and says, “Practice, practice, practice.”
The best part is improving creativity is fun. A lot of fun.
I’m Sold. Where Can I go to Learn?
Online of course. Google “Learn to be Creative.” You’ll get more than a million results.
Now as for books? One of the best I have ever read on this subject is “The Artists Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity,” by Julia Cameron. I read this book when it first came out over 25 years ago when I wanted to begin developing my writing skills. I have reread at least 3 times since then. Don’t be put off by the title. This book is considered the seminal book on creativity. It’s for people in every walk of life seeking to enhance their creativity skills. There is also a great workbook that goes along with it I would recommend as well.
I have included links below if you would like to get these outstanding books. (Full disclosure, I am an Amazon Affiliate)