Lindsay Olson

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Are You a Good Fit for Your Job?

What is Good.Co? from Good Co on Vimeo.

Workplace culture is an important factor when considering a job change. Recruiters hear it constantly when sending in a candidate who looks great on paper and the interview feedback is simply “great experience, but gut instinct says he’s not the one”. That’s the classic case of the poor culture fit feedback. Studies have shown that bad culture fit is one of the main reasons new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job, it will cost a company an average of $50k each. Moreover, two out of three Americans are disengaged at work, costing billions in lost productivity.

Now, thanks to a new social network and self-discovery platform, Good.co, you can find out in just 15 questions your professional and personal personality traits and see if they match up with a potential employer’s profile.

Not Another Boring Personality Test!

The questions aren’t your run of the mill boring aptitude questions. You’ll be asked if you’re more like Justin Timberlake or Eminem or if you would rather be a character on Friends or Survivor.

Not what you expected, right? And yet these 15 little questions help the intelligent software determine your traits in your professional life, which can provide you with valuable insight into how you work with others.

And speaking of the software, it’s pretty sophisticated. The website says it uses 20 years of psychometrics research, as well as “high-velocity statistical models and the ultimate crowd-sourced culture graph.”

Once you get your Archetype (and you may be a combination of more than one), you can connect to your LinkedIn profile to see how good a fit you are for your current (or past) position.

How to Use Good.co

Good.co has about 400 company profiles and growing. You can use it to see how compatible you are with certain companies. It’s also very interesting to check how compatible you are with your colleagues. Looking through my personality assessment, I found myself nodding in agreement with most of what it said. My results revealed I am ⅓ straight shooter,  ⅓ mastermind, and ⅓ strategist. Then I compared myself to my business partner, which interestingly showed we pretty much get along, but have some areas of conflict. And we do… as I’m sure she would agree. Knowing how compatible/incompatible we are can help of smooth out those rough patches and be more understanding of each other.

Good.co is currently in Beta. If you are interested in signing up and taking a look at your profile, you can use this code: goodcolindsay

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Creating Professional Resolutions for the New Year

2013 Creating Professional Resolutions for the New Year

It’s a new year and a fresh start. Whether you’re looking for your next career move or are angling for a promotion at your current job, take a moment to create resolutions for what you want to accomplish professionally in 2013.

Take Stock of Where You Are

Are you where you want to be professionally right now? Do you feel like you’re churning your wheels and are ready for the next thing? Do you think you’ve outgrown your current role? These are all important to take stock of when creating your professional resolutions at the start of a year.

Write down all your major professional accomplishments over the past year. Include any new skills you gained, promotions granted or new job secured. It can be beneficial to start by looking at all the great things you’ve done.

Now consider what you want to accomplish this year. Be Realistic If you just got a job promotion or a raise, you might not realistically be able to expect another one this year.

And if you’ve been angling for a Director position, you might need to come down to Earth and realize your resume doesn’t yet stand up to the job requirements.

When creating goals for yourself, it’s important to have a realistic view of what you can feasibly do in the coming year. That being said, you also need to make your goals just painful enough that you have to work hard to achieve them.

Consider Your Options

If you’re unhappy in your current role, consider the possibilities. You could: ask your boss for more responsibilities in an area you’re more interested in present your case for a promotion apply for another job in your company apply for another job outside of your company It’s not enough to say “I hate my job.” You need to then determine what you will do to change the situation.

Once you do this, create action steps to make your resolution a reality. For example, if you think you deserve a promotion, find out what the role you want to take on requires in terms of experience and skills. Then assess your experiences and be honest with yourself about where you fall short. Find the opportunity over the next few months to develop those areas.

Once you feel you’re ready to present yourself as a qualified candidate for the role to your boss, set up a meeting. Discuss the achievements you’ve made in the past few years and pitch him on how you’ve worked hard to get the necessary skills and your accomplishments.

That Being Said…Write it Down on Paper and Share!

Studies show that writing down goals can help increase the chances that you achieve them. Sharing them with someone else can help you keep on track. So give yourself every opportunity to make them become a reality.

Keep your list of resolutions on your desk or refrigerator where you can see them every day, where they will serve of a reminder of what you are working toward. Then when you achieve them one by one, you can mark them off your list!

I’ve come up with a few of my own resolutions – particularly around productivity.

As a mother of a toddler and a baby, this is the spot in my personal and professional life where I need to find more harmony and less guilt.

  1. Spend more time talking with professional contacts and colleagues, and less on email, Facebook, and other places where interaction is limited by “likes”, retweets, and send buttons. Relationships are the key to my business. While social media definitely enhances the relationships and keeps me connected, more one-on-one time with individuals will pay off in the long run.
  2. Focus on specific tasks without interruptions. Stop wasting time by “multi-tasking”, disconnect from the internet and focus on the given task. I know I will be 100% more productive if I minimize the distractions, shut off email and the cell phone, while working on projects.
  3. In addition to expanding Paradigm Staffing, I want to branch out our public relations job board, Hoojobs, into other geographical markets outside the United States and launch at least one new job portal for other industries. What are some of your professional goals for 2013?
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Finding Work Life Balance in PR

5751301741 aa8463e472 Finding Work Life Balance in PR

This is a post by PR columnist, Alison Kenney.

Working in PR can be stressful. [Case in point: once again, PR made the ‘most stressful jobs’ list.] As PR professionals, we are providing a service to our clients or managers, and like other service providers, our work must cater to these clients. PR work is also opportunistic – meaning we have to stay on our toes, since opportunities can arise at any time.  The folks at MediaBistro’s PRNewser have five more reasons why PR is so darn stressful.

Sometimes the work we do is for a great cause – or our work gives us great satisfaction. However, most PR professionals (like other working professionals) seek “balance” between their work in public relations and other parts of their lives. How do we balance this stressful work with other demands and interests in our lives? Here are several approaches:

Forget the word “balance” – Really, it’s unrealistic to literally balance your time and spend an equal number of hours at work and at personal activities. Instead, experts at WorkLifeBalance.com advocate focusing on achievement and enjoyment. Their definition of Work-Life balance is “meaningful daily achievement and enjoyment in each of the four life quadrants: work, family, friends and self.” Is this attainable? In an online interview, author Aliza Sherman said, “Stop using the word ‘balance.’ My co-author Danielle Smith and I like to say that ‘balance is a mythical bar that we hold over our own heads, and just when we think we’re getting close, someone moves that bar.’” Sherman prefers the word ‘juggle’ and says, “As moms with businesses, we juggle. We can’t be at 100% as a mom or as a business owner at the same time. We have to give ourselves a break, forgive ourselves for not being ‘perfect.’ It isn’t about balance, it isn’t about perfection, it is about doing our best and having the conversations at home to create the system that works for us.”

Just Do It – Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg made headlines (again) when she revealed that she leaves the office at 5:30 pm every day. We know PR is stressful (see above) and it can be tough to carve out personal time when the phone is ringing, but it’s also easier to do if you set a routine and make your schedule a habit.

Listen to your inner Buddha – Lori Deschene who blogs at Tiny Buddha offers these 6 tips for creating work/life balance so that we allow ourselves “sufficient time to create [our dreams] – while also allowing space for relaxation, spontaneity, connection, and the simple act of being.”

Take care of yourself – Exercise can help eliminate the negative effects of stress. It’s also a great way to clear your head for better decision-making. Although it can be tough to get started and/or to make time for regular exercise, investing in your health is truly the most important reason.

Learn from others – Is there someone you know who epitomizes work/life balance and seems to “have it all”? If so, take that person out for a coffee and ask them how they do it. Find a work/life balance mentor and build your own support network in the process.

Set boundaries – We’re really talking about time here, and how we spend our daily 24 hours. In order to reap the most achievement and enjoyment from those hours, we have to learn to say no to some things so that we can focus on and prioritize other activities.

Evaluate your work life balance – Measurement is a favorite topic in PR. Like some PR campaign objectives, our work/life balance goals can be tough to measure. Start by charting your accomplishments; don’t just look at what’s left on your to-do list – be sure to note the successes.

Any other tips for balance PR work with the rest of life?

Alison Kenney an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience. She is based on Boston’s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She writes a bi-monthly PR column on LindsayOlson.com. You can find her at www.kprcommunications.com. Learn more about Alison Kenney.

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Baby Names and Careers

app36579712554617751 Baby Names and Careers

Baby naming has been one of the most conversed topics in my household over the past few months while awaiting our first baby's arrival. My husband and I looked through all the books, asked our friends, family, and strangers for input, picked out a few ourselves, and ultimately settled on none. This went on for months.

For me, choosing my baby's name was a big decision, something she would be attached to for the rest of her life. Screwing this up was not an option.

We couldn't seem to agree on any name until the very end. It turned into a game to suggest the most ridiculous names possible. But seriously, I hated most of his choices. My choices were, of course, all awesome.

Our decision was based on a few factors. First, we live in Argentina, but I'm from the United States and he is Argentine. Our options were endless, both in English and in Spanish. I felt it was important to choose an 'international' name, or at least something easy to pronounce in Spanish and in English, especially since our children will have tri-citizenship. My mother would kill me if she couldn't say her granddaughter's name correctly. And since our daughter will be raised in Argentina, I didn't want her to run into issues with Spanish speakers constantly pronouncing her name wrong or having to spell it out 5 times before getting it right (like being a 'Lindsay' in a Spanish-speaking country).

We decided to write out all of our name choices, even if the other didn't like it. We ended up with:

Julia
Fiona
Celia
Simona
Faustina
Juana Antonia
Brisa (translation: breeze)

A couple of days before her birth, we finally agreed on Julia.

So why am I telling you this story?

Laurie Ruettiman got me thinking about this again a few days ago when she brought up the baby naming topic on her blog

My One and Only video

My One and Only move

, Punk Rock HR. She asked her readers their opinions on baby names and how it affects their future career options. I'd encourage you to read the comments for some interesting insight.

I sprung many of these questions on myself during our naming process. How could our name selection influence our daughter's potential career options when she enters the workforce? Does a non-traditional or an ethnic name influence the opinions and assumptions of the evaluator? Equally qualified on paper, looked at side-by-side, one candidate named Julia and the other named Faustina or Juana Antonia, who would be called in first? Would it even be an issue?

Talk to me. Am I crazy for forbidding my husband to name our next child Viento (translation: Wind) because I fear he may be passed up for a future job opportunity by some jerk who thinks his name is too far out there?

My parents almost named me Sunshine. My mom wanted to call me Sunny for short. Luckily, someone talked them out of it, but I've always wondered if being named Sunshine would have affected my disposition.

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