Category Archives: Personal Development

Can ‘mindfulness’ help us to perform better at work?

Mindfulness…everyone seems to be talking about it, and it’s a word that can create mixed feelings. While some see it as a New Age, trendy but useless concept, others believe firmly in its ability to create happier and more productive employees and leaders.

Over the past few years, Google, Intel, Adobe, Apple, LinkedIn, Goldman Sachs, the NHS have brought mindfulness and meditation to the workplace. In our fast-paced, high-tech world, it seems companies are increasingly turning to mindfulness to help employees cope with the growing stresses and pressures surrounding them.

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5 best business books to read this summer

I don’t know about you, but now’s the time that I begin to research my summer reading list. It’s an annual task that I really look forward to doing, and throughout the year I’m forever adding books to my ‘want to read’ list on Goodreads. Primarily I listen to the recommendations of like-minded friends and peers within the industry, but I also like to keep track of literary awards and take note of books that have been well reviewed. Bill Gates’ reading list, for example, is a continual source of reading inspiration, and particularly when I’m looking for non-fiction or business suggestions.

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5 things to do in the first month of a new job

While ultimately it is the responsibility of a company and employees to welcome onboard a new member of staff, there are also some important steps an individual can take within the first 30 days of a new job, to ensure it’s a smooth and positive process. Of course it’s common to feel nerves and excitement in equal measures, combined with the renewed enthusiasm and aspiration that come with a fresh career start. It’s great to convey the fact that you’re raring to go, but it’s important to temper this with the acknowledgement that you’re a new entrant and have a lot to learn about the organisation and culture, regardless of your level of seniority. This will help to earn the respect of your colleagues over a period of time, and ensure that you find your natural fit within the business.

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The case for working to become a thought leader

I just got off the phone with a business owner who agreed we should NOT work together.  And we both feel great about it!  I was talking to her about thought leadership and what it would mean to have her very best content in print and in the public domain.  She said she was not really interested in that, and she’s not willing to put the time and effort in.  We agreed to disagree and ended the conversation amicably.

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6 LinkedIn influencers worth following in 2017

LinkedIn has recently undergone a big refresh, bringing its newsfeed far more in line with Facebook and other social networks, showing trending stories that are curated by human editors and algorithms. Users can un-follow and hide posts easily (just like Facebook), but interestingly, Pulse, its daily news and publishing platform, is now more tucked away than ever it seems, although also available as a standalone mobile app. This makes it even more important to seek out the influencers worth following, so that you will never miss a post by them.

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The rise of part-time freelancing, and how it could work for you

The number of individuals taking on part-time freelance work, on top of their full-time job, is sharply on the rise. According to a recent study by LinkedIn, “side-gigging” (as it tends to be called in the US) is growing more than three times faster than full-time freelancing. Furthermore, the share of users within top professional fields who are undertaking top-up freelance work has more than doubled in the past five years.

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Five ways to keep your job search a secret

January is one of the best times of year to begin a job search. After the Christmas shutdown, key decision makers have finished their vacations and are around for hiring, new yearly budgets are available and fresh projects and clients are beginning. For these reasons and more, now’s the time to be getting your CV out there if you’re looking for a change of role or career in 2017.

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The reading habits of the successful

Christmas is just around the corner and this brings with it the chance to curl up with a book that might have been sitting on your ‘to be read’ pile since the start of the year. While I usually manage to read daily, it’s often just before I go to bed which I’m sure is the case for many; opportunities to read during the daytime are few and far between. This makes me wonder how some of the world’s busiest and most successful business people find the time to read so voraciously and plough through several books a month. Surely they’re not sat in bed every night reading until 3am? Or are they?

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10 practical ways to improve yourself professionally

You’ll need yourself at your best if you want to succeed in any type of job. Of course, no one is born perfect, so you’ll have to go through some trial-and-error before you start noticing your mistakes and improving upon them. You shouldn’t feel discouraged because you made some mistakes; you should look at them as lessons for the future! Luckily, there are ways that you can improve yourself without having to learn through errors. Here are 10 practical and proven ways to improve yourself professionally!

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10 thoughtful ways to welcome a new employee into your company

First impressions count for a lot, and we only get one shot at it. Have you ever begun a new job, only to find that your workspace wasn’t properly prepared for you, IT hadn’t organised your logins and no one had been officially assigned to greet you? Beginning a new job can be an incredibly isolating and nerve-wracking experience, and even more so if it feels like no one is expecting you. Helping a new employee to feel welcome and part of company culture can make all the difference and be instrumental in encouraging them to deliver their best from day one.

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10 meaningful quotes by Bill Gates – the world’s second richest man

Successful businessman, entrepreneur, self-confessed ‘geek’ and philanthropist Bill Gates is a bit like Marmite. While some love him for his achievements as an entrepreneur and his contribution to technology, others who maybe aren’t Microsoft fans, find it tricky to connect with him on any sort of personal level. Famously publicity-shy and socially awkward, he has never  had the easy appeal of Richard Branson, for example; but he’s an individual to revere for not only his business and technology conquests, but also the work he’s done for the world’s disadvantaged. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation boasts assets worth $37.1 billion, which Gates has personally contributed $28 billion to, as well as working full time for.

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10 Ways To Build A Winning Personal Brand

Personal branding is nothing new. Julius Caesar’s three-word mantra, ‘Veni, vidi, vici,’ clearly demonstrated his winning-at-all-costs persona. Politicians have successfully developed and packaged their brands to win votes and build coalitions of political power. Today’s marketer, networking aficionado and job seeker find even greater pressure to build a personal brand given the digital tools that are widely available for branding and marketing a personal image and philosophy. However, some young people baulk at the idea of becoming a brand because it seems impersonal. The struggle to develop an identity influences many people to scream, ‘I’m not a brand; I’m a human being!’

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5 TED talks on inspiring leadership

Leadership is a significant issue facing not just business, but the world in general, at present. In the business world particularly, times are changing, and workplace hierarchies have undergone some massive shifts in recent years, paving the way for more distributed forms of leadership. Today’s rising generation of workers are showing preference for flat, collaborative organisational structures, with few hierarchical levels and looser leadership. Google has championed this business model for quite some time, on the basis that it helps to attract more talent and allow for more rapid business growth.

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5 ways to ensure you are consistently operating at your peak

5 ways to ensure you are consistently operating at your peak

The Christmas season gives many of us a chance to take a break from routine, spend time with the family and recharge our batteries. As January looms and the start of a new year is upon us, it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and set goals for the year ahead. That sense of a fresh beginning and new challenges has never been lost on me, and now is a good time to be evaluating whether you’re consistently performing at your peak, or whether day-to-day distractions and the demands of others are too often getting in the way.

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8 books famous business people swear by

8 books famous business people swear by

At this time of year, there’s nothing I’d love more than to be lying by a pool, with an iced coffee in one hand and a book I’ve been longing to read in the other. Nowadays, my reading time is whatever I’m able to grab, on the train to a meeting, while supper is cooking or when the kids are in bed. But I read religiously every day, and always have done, as it’s my source of escape from the daily grind, and the place where I go to learn more.

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These phrases will affect how people perceive you

These phrases will affect how people perceive you

The Oxford English Dictionary has just been reprinted with more than 500 new words and phrases. With September 2016 being the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth, the quarterly update has marked the occasion with many new entries connected to his writing. These include splendiferous (“humorous word for splendid”), human bean (a “humourous alteration” of human being) and scrumdiddlyumptious (“for those occasions when scrumptious simply won’t do”). Language is constantly changing and our individual uses of language reflect our outlook, generation, view of the world and how pessimistic or optimistic we are.

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10 blogs to read for business inspiration

Reading is my biggest source of inspiration. For years it has been part of my daily routine, as I’ve found it’s the best way to fuel me through the working week. In part this is due to my journalist background when it was critical that I read to keep ahead of the game; but since then, it’s a habit I’ve maintained, and there are some trusted blogs and online sources I turn to regularly for their insightful content and ideas. At times when my productivity is slipping, taking a 10 minute break to read a new post on one of my favoured blogs is often all I need to drive me through the slump.

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What is ‘Presence’, and how can you get it?

What is 'Presence', and how can you get it?

At an ‘Executive Presence’ workshop I was running recently, the corporation’s chief council stood up to make a few introductory remarks. She recounted how while talking to a recruiter she listed all the qualifications she was looking for in her next hire, and she concluded with “presence”. There was a pause, and then the recruiter replied, “presence, well that will definitely cost you more”. Wow, I thought, people are finally figuring out that presence itself has value; it’s a commodity.

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Want to become a part-time entrepreneur? Here’s 4 ways to find the time

When Katy Tuncer decided to launch Ready, Steady, Mums, a fitness business aimed at new mothers in the UK, she didn’t leave her day job at a consulting firm. Similarly, Gabe Haim and Ryan Schlotter, who launched their own micro-brewery outside of New York City, didn’t leave their jobs working at a car dealership. Like Katy,they liked their day jobs and they appreciated the financial rewards and the stability that came with full-time employment. They also didn’t want to put their families’ lifestyles at risk for a chance at building something of their own.

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5 TED talks that will help to inspire and reinvigorate your career

Do you love the job that you do, or is it just ‘okay’? If you’ve been working in the same profession, or job, for 10 years or more, it’s likely that you’ve become a little bored or disillusioned with certain aspects of it, and maybe your output is no longer your best. Often we continue to ‘make do’ simply because we worry that making changes could be risky, or push us too far outside of our comfort zone.

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20 habits of truly brilliant presenters [infographic]

20 habits of truly brilliant presenters

Learning how to deliver an effective presentation is one of the fundamental business skills that many of us will develop as we grow in the workplace.

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25 daily habits that are killing your productivity

Habits killing your productivity

Some days it seems almost impossible to be productive.

There are beeps and buzzes coming from your phone and calendar notifications on your laptop for upcoming meetings. These are just a few of the distractions that small business owners and employees experience on a daily basis. To fight the distractions and stay on top of things we try different productivity hacks. Most of the time they’re ineffective.

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