7 Costly Mistakes That Can Be Avoided By Brand Research

Branding strategies can make or break an organization. There’s a lot that goes into developing a successful brand, and the best companies around the world put substantial time and effort into brand development and image. Creating a successful brand requires time and research commitment and is an ongoing strategy that can yield amazing results.

However, small businesses at the start of their inception can potentially create crucial branding mistakes during their initial stages of development that costs them a lot of customers, money, and time. Even major brands make big branding mistakes, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Amazon’s Fire Phone.

Brand research services for positioning strategies, brand mapping, and perceptual mapping can help you, whether you’re a small business or a long-time market player, to avoid pitfalls and the costly mistakes of failed brand positioning.

Common Branding Mistakes by New Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Do you remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1995? You might not because it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest failures in the history of the company. It didn’t offer what it promised, a true VR experience, resulting in incredibly low sales and quick removal from the market. What about Amazon’s Fire Phone in 2014? It only lasted one year because of its limited availability and features that didn’t resonate with audiences. Even major companies like Nintendo and Amazon have to be careful about product or service branding that can tarnish their reputation and result in massive profit loss.

Even small branding mistakes can cost a company. Not only will your efforts and time spent towards planning to be lost, but you will have cost your business a lot of money and even potentially tarnish your reputation permanently, which can be completely devastating for the longevity of a brand.

Below are seven mistakes that you can avoid when it comes to brand positioning so that you learn more about them and avoid them altogether:

  1. Lack of Competitor Research
    You have to learn about your competitors if you want to be successful. How do they position their brand? What types of products and services do they offer? How are they perceived in their respective industry? How are they succeeding? Do you have a potential opportunity in the market where they do not? You don’t want to identically replicate your competitor’s strategies. But you do have to learn everything there is to know about the successes and failures of your competitors so that you know how to uniquely position yourself in the market.
  2. Brand Messaging Doesn’t Suit Target Audience If you can’t develop a brand message that fits with your target audience, nobody is going to buy from you. You have to learn everything about your target audience like demographics, what they like to buy, where they shop, what times of the day or times of the year do they make purchases related to your offerings, what colors motivate and drive them to make purchases, what parts of the world are they located, how does culture affect purchasing, and many more.
  3. Failed Market Study
    Effective market research needs to be obtained about how people are reacting to your brand, products, or services. Survey analysis can be obtained to further your market research and understanding, or a complex study of social media research and analysis can help you to understand how people review or perceive you in the market. If you don’t analyze feedback from your customer base, you will be making a costly mistake in your brand research initiatives.
  4. Association or Dissociation with Events and Motives Just because you want to create a product or service or build your brand around a particular design or niche space in the market, doesn’t mean it will be successful. You can’t just build and sell tablets just because iPad’s are popular, create a bottled water company because you feel people will always need to drink water, or design makeup and cosmetics because there is a popular trend in that space this year. You have to delve deeply into your brand research strategy to truly understand the reasoning behind purchasing decisions and product and service popularity.
  5. Inconsistent Corporate Identity Everything about your brand identity has to make sense, from the colors that you choose to represent your company, to the logo and fonts that you use throughout your campaigns, to the style of writing, tone and messaging that you implement to speak to and reach audiences. Everything has to remain consistent so that people understand your brand values and what you are offering them. If you fail, you could spend a lot of time rebranding and causing confusion to your audience and miss a lot of opportunities.
  6. Poor Product Packaging

    Product packaging is the first thing people see when looking at your brand, whether they are online or physically in store locations. Everything from materials, graphics, size, shape, and color all are important elements of packaging designs. You could spend a lot of money rebranding your packaging if your product performs poorly. On the other hand, you might spend money rebranding your packaging when it isn’t even necessary and have to revert back to the way it was. Effective brand research is going to help you understand the best elements and packaging designs that will help your company thrive.
  7. Making the Wrong Impression If you are selling premium services, you don’t want to use commodity branding. You will deter audiences from your brand. There is a reason why so many fast food restaurant chains use the colors red and yellow, like Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr., and software companies use blue and black like Intel, IBM, Apple, or Google. People associate certain attributes to particular products and designs. People won’t understand what you are offering them if you make the wrong impression. Pay particular attention to detail and use the right research and analysis to make a lasting impression that makes sense with audiences.

How Brand Research Can Help

Brand marketing research is integral to the success of organizations in the modern world. In fact, no business out there that is successful in today’s market leaves home without brand research.

Brand research improves your competitiveness, visibility, and messaging and can help your business take a strategic position in the market using proven data from effective research and analysis services. Here are some of the major benefits of effective brand research:

  • Integrated Metrics: You can see the impacts of your project decisions and forecasts with measurable and tangible results.
  • Allocate Market Spend: Understand how to make investments that will lead to successful outcomes.
  • Identify Competition: You can not only find out who your competition is, but you can find out how and why they are successful in the market, or even discover how to position your brand in areas where your competition is lacking.
  • Develop Accurate Strategies: Create informed decisions built on a foundation of research and analytics with a better understanding of market developments, pricing, and positioning.
  • Capture Target Audience: Better understand consumer behavior and create effective marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Brand Perception: Truly understand how audiences feel and react to your brand, products and services.

Effective Brand Research for Organizations Across Industries

Research Optimus (ROP) has top research and analyst specialists who are tenured in market research, business research, customer analysis, and brand research services that provide the required insights to take the appropriate steps towards building effective and long lasting business brand awareness, brand marketing, and positioning strategies. Apart from services like market research, product research, and risk analysis, contact our team today to jump start or further advance your journey into brand research and obtain the targeted insights you need to avoid branding mistakes.

By: https://www.researchoptimus.com/

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Decision Analyst

An introduction to brand strategy, and the tangible and intangible elements that make up a brand. And a brief discussion of the questions of to ask in order to focus and improve your brand strategy. Learn More: https://www.decisionanalyst.com/servi…

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Productivity Tips to Help You Work Smarter in the New Year

Here are some highlights from Amy Landino‘s appearance on Agorapulse’s weekly Facebook Live show. You can also view the entire show if you like (and which we recommend!).

Onward to the productivity tips!

1. Broaden Your Creativity

“See what you can make fly, so that you can observe the results of it and then any success that you have, duplicate that or figure out what that looks like.”

Establish a steady (not frantic) pace

“When you have a content goal, and let’s say it’s to have a weekly show on YouTube, which is industry standard. If you started weekly, you’re doing really well. As a matter of fact, YouTube would tell you to start with once a week. Don’t do more than that!”

Try new things

“I like to compare it to carpool karaoke on the set. On these night shows that we start to see on YouTube that work, it’s because you test them on the show. That’s their testing ground, and then what ends up flying ends up being their huge success online.

“That could also be true for the actual show itself, like what they become known for …

“Maybe you become known for a segment, but you have to build that segment out.”

2. Write Out Everything  

“The procedure for that for me is we have to write everything.

Embrace documentation

“Obviously, everything has to be documented, from all the talking points that we need and any other basis we have to cover it or sponsor it or stuff like that.

Establish deadlines

“And then we’re reverse-engineering what the deadlines are. When is the video to go out? When does it need to go to certain approvals? What days are those approvals? When do you film? When do you edit?

“Everything is just a reverse-engineering of a deadline.”

3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Reverse engineer deadlines to avoid feeling overwhelmed

“And so I do like to look at what are all the deadlines for a month and then reverse engineer the filming. If I can do at least two videos in one day to make the most of hair and makeup, it pays off for me because I don’t have to go crazy and get ready to film so many times in a month.

“That takes a lot of careful planning and making sure that you’re covering your bases and making the time.

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Use your time wisely

“Scheduling is a very big passion in my life. I believe we can all make better use of the time that we have.

“And so if you want the content to be good, I do think it needs to be timely.

“It’s amazing how even a video that’s very well-planned, sometimes just when it’s made too far in advance, even on my channel, it just doesn’t fly the same way as it would if it was like this idea that we came up with and got out like traditional YouTube culture.

Give yourself enough time

“But you do need to give yourself enough time to create it.

“So maybe not looking too far in advance but looking at a monthly level or from a monthly viewpoint of what are we trying to get done and when are we going to do it, especially if you’re hiring people to get this kind of stuff done for you.

“You’re definitely going to want to schedule that as well. So it’s pretty obvious that you would then have to schedule whatever you have to do as it pertains to that content.

“But going on a week to week basis with those videos would be really difficult if you’re thinking, we’re going to do this again, I gotta do this, again, I gotta do this.

“Again, if you can kind of knock out for marketing and content creation, just a certain period of time in that month, and then all the other logistics to follow, just have to get done in time for the deadline, you’re in pretty good shape.

“So I do a lot of batching whenever possible.”

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4. Take Notes and Outline

“The places I spend my time are Evernote for a lot of outlining and note-taking.

Amy Landino productivity tips for social media managers

“But Instagram and Twitter and YouTube are like my main situations because absolutely everything that I’m doing has to do with the feedback that I’ve been getting from my community.

“There’s no reason to write a book unless people want it. There’s no reason to create a video unless there’s some way to convey a message or a tool or a tactic that people wanted.

Practice the art of listening

“And so I have to be listening to all the time. Otherwise, I’m just creatively dead because I specifically make my videos for a specific person and for a specific community, so I need to go to them a lot, especially when a video goes out.

“You watch and see, like, what spawned from this conversation like, Where do we go from here? What follow up questions are to be had? Because that’s probably a great follow-up to this video.”

5. Embrace Talking About the Same Thing a Lot

“I think one of the hardest things for people when they’re creating content is getting out of their head about talking about the same thing all the time.

“I actually love getting that comment from like the random troll every once in a while, like, Oh, my gosh, you talk about the same thing all the time.

“My answer to that is: Yeah because I’m an expert.”

Cultivate your expertise

“So if you are feeling that you’re talking about the same thing a lot, you’re an expert.

“And people usually need to hear what you’re saying a lot for you to make a change if that’s the type of content that you create.

“No matter how many times I feel like I’ve said something, there’s always another way to put it. Because I still get the same types of questions all the time.

“The reality is everybody thinks that their problems are different from everybody. We all think our problems are special and different. But when you really break it down, we’re all talking about the same issues.”

source

6. Give Yourself at Least 15 Minutes Every Morning

“At least allocate 15 minutes to start your day on your terms. You’re going to be better off for the rest of the world because they’re going to be pulling at you for the rest of the day.

“So I’m unbelievably passionate about having my ‘me time’ in the morning. I’m an introvert; I just need that moment because I know that I have to be on the rest of the day. It’s just a part of the gig. And so I take that for myself.

You just have to find what works for you and that was probably the final passion behind this book was everything online is really outlining what you should be doing in the morning. I don’t like the word ‘should.’ I shut down when people save them.

“And so to me, it’s what works for you, and just covering the bases.

“Get that little bit of time it might just take for you to feel like you’re up for that day, and make the work around what your season of life is at that moment.”

By: Veronica Jarski

In Conclusion

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Brian Tracy

The most successful and wealthiest people all practice the habits I am about to share with you on a daily basis. Adding these daily success habits to your own routine will contribute greatly to your achievement. http://bit.ly/2wHVsEs If you want to set yourself up for success, you must create an effective to-do list. Use my ABCDE Method Checklist to plan your days and weeks more efficiently than ever before. Click the link above to download my ultimate prioritization tool for free. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” @BrianTracy (Click to Tweet: http://ctt.ec/9bdah) ___________________ Learn more: Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

Career Strategies: The 5 Deadly Phrases To Avoid In The Job Interview Process

When it comes to the job interview process, whoever tells the best story wins. But certain phrases and ideas can short-circuit your career plans. Are you really able to have the kind of leadership conversation your job search deserves? When it comes to creating the career conversation that leads to consideration, avoid these five show-stoppers in the interview.

If you argue for your limitations, they are yours.

Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  1. When Is Honesty NOT the Best Policy? – do you ever find yourself saying a version of this phrase: “If I’m being honest…”? TBH, that phrase is honestly hurting your chances in the interview process. Here’s why: if I need to call out the fact that I’m being honest right now, doesn’t it make you wonder if I’ve been honest with you up until this point? Why did I wait until now to get real and spill the T? Actually, in the interview, honesty is the only policy that works. Highlighting the fact that you are getting to the truth, but only just right now, can arouse suspicion and make people wonder why you aren’t full-on honest all the time. If you are a person of integrity, honesty is your default setting. Don’t create unnecessary suspicion. “To be honest…” is a filler phrase – like “umm” “Uh…” and “like”. None of those fillers are very satisfying in the job interview. So be really honest with yourself, and leave out the words that don’t serve you.
  2. The Fault Line – don’t cross it. “It was her fault” is the kind of blamestorming that can take you out of the running. Why? Because companies hire people who can overcome limiting circumstances. People are imperfect, nobody has a team of 100% superstars and circumstances often create difficulties in the office (that’s why it’s called work). How did you get past the obstacles and limitations – even if one of those obstacles was Jessica in Accounting? Phrases that blame people and situations point out your own limitations – what you couldn’t tolerate, tackle or transform. Focus on the story of how you overcame challenges, how you helped others to be better, or how you picked up the ball when somebody else dropped it. Remember, other people don’t need to be bad in order for you to be good. Concentrate on how you solve real problems – including personnel problems – by taking responsibility instead of laying blame.
  3. What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You – do you know how to answer an interview question where the answer is, “I don’t know” or “No, I don’t have that skill”? The fact is, no one can know everything. And not everything can be googled. Saying “I don’t know” isn’t a phrase that can NEVER hurt you – because it’s an honest and real response! The phrase that’s really dangerous? Trying to fake it until you make it! Don’t create a fiction around your skill set, ever. Any phrase that feels like fiction is one you’ve got to avoid.
  4. Disconnection is Deadly – Considering questions about skills or experiences you don’t have: are you able to connect your interviewer to a relatable topic – something that you do know, that might be supportive or helpful? For example, if the CIO says, “Do you have Salesforce Administrator Certification?” and you don’t, what do you do? Do you just say, “Nope!” blink twice and wait for your next mistake? Find a phrase that pays by connecting to what you do have: skills, talents and desire for the role! Point out the other experience or to action you can take to get what’s needed. “I don’t have the Admin certification but I went to Dreamforce [the company’s major annual conference] the last two years in a row. I’m very familiar with the software – let me share with you the experience I have and my training so far. If that certification is important, I can put together a plan to gain that credential in short order. Do you think that plan would be a requirement if I were to get this role?” Always connect your answers back to your interviewer, the company’s goals and your ability to work hard in the job – those things are always part of your story.
  5. Ultimatums – an ultimatum is a statement of what you won’t tolerate, usually phrased as a demand. Ultimatums reflect terms that you will or won’t accept, period. By definition, ultimatums point to your lack of flexibility and adaptability (two characteristics that might be useful for a new hire, wouldn’t you agree? Why would you demonstrate that you lack these two key qualities?) Now some ultimatums are important: “I won’t tolerate racism on my team”, for example, points to your beliefs and values. But “I won’t work on weekends” or “I need every Thursday afternoon off, or I can’t work here” is really pointing out your limitations. Look for phrases like “I can’t accept _______”, “I won’t allow that” or “That just won’t work for me.” Because if it won’t work for you, maybe you won’t work for this company. Every job interview is a negotiation. Once you get to “yes” you can decide if you want to take the job or not. You’re in the interview to explore your options – why start cutting yourself off from possibilities? Does it help your career to present demands and requirements, or are there other ways of looking at the situation? Is your ultimatum a personal preference that you’re clinging to, like a security blanket, or a statement of your integrity, values and work ethic? It’s better to keep your options open if you really want the job. Know the difference between uncompromising values and limiting statements that knock you out of the running. Keep your options open. Find out what’s really on offer and make a business decision to see if it fits for you. Ultimately, what you will and won’t accept is your decision, but arriving at that place without ultimatums is a smart way to frame the conversation.

The best interview is the most authentic, where you speak from your heart about the solution you can provide. By creating a dialogue with your interviewer, you build the conversation that matters most in your career. Don’t short-circuit your skills with ultimatums, filler phrases or fear of the unknown. The interview process is a journey of discovery. Your story – and the way you tell it – will guide you towards your next destination.

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I write about the changing nature of the leadership conversation, and how communication creates the connections that matter. Recognized as the U.S. National Elevator Pit…

Source: Career Strategies: The 5 Deadly Phrases To Avoid In The Job Interview Process

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“Tell me about a difficult situation or challenge you faced in a workplace” By asking this question, employers are trying to see how you (A) take charge in handling a challenging situation, or (B) collaborate with your coworkers as a team to solve a conflict. They want to know if you have critical thinking and problem solving skill, how you approach the problem and the level of responsibility you take in challenging situations. It is very important to make sure that you use an example that demonstrates your ability to handle difficult situation. So do not mention about when you elevated the responsibility. Rather, talk about times when you stepped up and took a leadership position by collaborating with your coworkers. In order to construct effective story, use PAR model and follow the 3 steps. 1 Problem: Identify the problem. What was the issue? 2 Action: How did you and your coworkers analyzed the problem and took actions to solve the issue? 3 Result: What was the positive outcome in result of the action? By following PAR model, you can frame your story well. Watch the video to see example answer and start constructing your answer. Jobspeaker is a FREE service to help job seekers find better jobs. Login today!

The Real Reasons Why Job Seekers Are Not Given Feedback

A common complaint and cause of frustration and irritation for interviewees is the absence of feedback after their interviews. It wasn’t always like this. In the past, it was standard protocol to provide feedback and constructive criticism to candidates. The hiring manager or human resources professional would diplomatically let the applicants know what they did well and the areas in which they need to improve upon.

The feedback was freely given with the best of intentions. The advice would consist of some positive aspects and, when justified, helpful critiques of the candidate—with respect to their skills, relevancy of their background and performance within the interview sessions. This would prove extremely helpful and productive if the person was invited back to partake in additional interviews. Even if the job seeker was turned down, they’d be provided with guidance so that they could perform better when they interview again somewhere else. The candidates could advantageously implement this vital information and constructive criticism.

This information relayed to candidates is important for them to conduct a self-assessment to ensure that they are presenting themselves in the best possible light. It’s similar to a batting coach in baseball who helps you improve upon your swing. His advice may not always be positive, but the goal is to make you a better baseball player.

Unfortunately, time’s have changed and this no longer applies to the present. In the current job market, feedback is offered sparingly—if at all. There is little-to-no feedback or constructive criticism offered. If you’re not accepted to proceed in the interview process, it’s rare to get a rejection letter or receive any input and advice from the company as to why you were unceremoniously passed over.

All the niceties and politeness are gone. You will now only hear from human resources if they want to move forward with you; otherwise, you get the silent treatment.

Here is why this happens.

Too Much Data

There has been a rapid proliferation of job boards, job aggregation sites (like Indeed and Glassdoor), Google for Jobs and corporate career pages. In addition to the ubiquity of jobs posted everywhere, everyone has a smartphone with them at all times. This combination makes it easy to search for jobs and easily apply. Many job seekers take the not-recommended approach of submitting their résumés for dozens of jobs—a large portion of which they’re not suited for, but want to give it a shot nonetheless.

Corporate talent acquisition and human resources professionals are deluged with résumés. Even with the applicant tracking systems that corporations have, it’s too much to handle. It becomes virtually impossible for the company to get back to everyone who submits their résumé. You may get a canned email response to your résumé or applications, but that’s about it. Don’t expect any meaningful color on whether or not you’re deemed a good fit for the job or company.

Fear Of Lawsuits

In today’s litigious society, companies are concerned about saying anything at all to candidates that could possibly be misconstrued. They are especially scared to give negative feedback to candidates out of fear that it might be misinterpreted as discrimination.

Something relatively innocuous said by an interviewer could be interpreted as sexist, ageist, racist or any other form of prejudice. Corporate executives are deathly afraid of costly, time-consuming lawsuits ensuing.

There is also the concern over a social media backlash because of something an employee said to a candidate. All you need is one disgruntled, denied job seeker to post his or her outrage on Twitter and it could go viral—irreparably damaging the company’s reputation. Not offering any feedback is a safer legal and public relations strategy for the company.

Stalling For Time

There is a belief by corporate executives that there is an abundance of qualified candidates. They erroneously believe that if the HR department waits longer, they will eventually find the perfect person suited for the role for a cheaper price.

They’ll keep you hanging on in suspense. The company doesn’t furnish you with an answer about your candidacy or offer a critique because you’re technically still in the running while they’re secretly holding out for a better candidate. They don’t want to say anything to make you bail out of the running—since they want to string you along and may ultimately want you if nobody better comes along. This is also a big reason why some interview processes tend to take so long.

Downsized HR Departments

The financial crisis wreaked havoc on all corporate departments, especially non-revenue-producing ones like human resources. Senior-level—higher salaried—HR people were downsized and replaced by more junior personnel.

Technology has also displaced many HR professionals. So, now there are fewer HR employees dealing with considerably more work. They simply don’t have enough time to respond to you and provide an evaluation and assessment of your talents.

New Expectations

The current generation of HR people only know the new, no-feedback milieu and perpetuates the status quo. This is a generalization, but many younger professionals are not comfortable picking up the phone and holding conversations with candidates, especially if it is not good news. They are equally uncomfortable holding a one-on-one conversation with a job seeker telling them that they’re not getting the job.

Third-Party Outsourcing

It has become a trend for companies to outsource their recruiting functions to third-party vendors. In this HR model, recruiters employed by another organization—who are kind of like mercenaries—are placed on the premises of many different clients. These are usually short-term stints. These types of recruiters, as you can imagine, have no vested interested in providing feedback to candidates, since they’ll be somewhere else in a couple of months.

Rudeness

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but we are living in a time period in which people are not that nice to one another. It’s become the norm to be rude and ghost candidates.

We’re in a tight job market and companies complain that they can’t find people to fill their job openings. Their laments are ironic and tone-deaf as their very own actions of denying feedback alienates, discourages and blows off potentially perfect candidates.

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I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: The Real Reasons Why Job Seekers Are Not Given Feedback

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Job Search Strategies and Techniques – How To MASTER Your Job Search • FREE Sample Resume Template – The 6 Second Resume: https://heatheraustin.online/free-res… Ready to take it to the next level? Get the Career Advancement Toolkit TODAY: http://careertoolkit.win/ Have you submitted your resume and cover letter countless times and you still don’t have the job offer you’ve been waiting for? Are you looking for strategies that will accelerate your job search and help you land your dream job. If so, tune in, because in this video, you’ll learn 5 job search strategies that will help you tap into your professional network and fast track your job search. Watch this video to learn how to master your job search. The 5 job search strategies you’ll learn include: 1 – Use LinkedIn to network with others in your industry. 2 – Get your career documents ready. 3 – Develop your 30-second elevator pitch. 4 – Conduct Informational interviews. 5 – Follow-up. Videos I promised to share: LinkedIn Job Search Tutorial 2018 – How To Use LinkedIn To Find A Job https://youtu.be/Ox_ohqsIMAM Elevator Pitch Example – How To Create A Personal Elevator Pitch https://youtu.be/wVYyCUwDFhE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE VIDEOS LIKE THIS: https://goo.gl/WB86Ta Share this video with a friend: https://youtu.be/h_04pmxmHQc Join other professionals just like you striving to land higher-quality career opportunities: #TheCareerClub on Facebook – a private community: http://bit.ly/TheCareerClub CONNECT WITH ME: • https://www.professoraustin.com/https://www.instagram.com/professor_a…https://www.facebook.com/ProfessorAus…https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-a… For more videos on how to improve your #jobsearch: Job Hunting Tips – Fastest Way To Get A Job | Job Hunting Secrets | https://youtu.be/UD1ps4HU9Do Executive Job Search – 7 Steps to Land a Senior Management Job | Linda Raynier | https://youtu.be/EkP8Oc0Fl38

What Microsoft Japan’s Successful 4-Day Week Suggests About Work-Life Balance

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Topline: Microsoft’s Japan office experimented with a four day workweek in August, resulting in a 40% productivity boost, with over 90% of employees reporting they preferred the shorter week⁠—which aligns with previous studies that show greater work-life balance makes for more productive employees.

  • In addition to a burst of productivity, Microsoft Japan reported it used about 23% less electricity and printed around 59% fewer pages during the experiment.
  • Microsoft Japan will conduct a second experiment over the winter and will encourage more flexible working, but it won’t include the shorter work week.
  • But previous studies show that giving employees more flexibility increases productivity; a New Zealand company permanently adopted the four day workweek in 2018, after a trial resulted in a 24% productivity increase.
  • The Harvard Business Review reported that a Chinese travel agency experienced a 13% productivity boost when it allowed call center employees to work from home.
  • In the U.S., a 2017 Stanford University study found the average worker is willing to give up 20% of their pay to avoid their schedule being set with short notice, and 8% of their pay in exchange for the option to work from home.
  • A work-from-anywhere program for patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office showed productivity gains of 4.4%, according to a 2019 working paper by the Harvard Business School.

Big number: 80 hours.That was the length of a required workweek for 25% of Japanese companies in 2016, according to CNBC.

Key background: Japan’s culture of overwork first made headlines in 2015, when a Dentsu employee died by suicide on Christmas Day after working excessive overtime, and again in 2017, when a Japanese reporter died after clocking 159 hours of overtime the month before her death. Since then, prime minister Shinzo Abe has introduced “workstyle reform” to Japan, including an annual cap of 720 overtime hours per person. Although workstyle reform’s intent is to get big companies to improve their productivity internally, the Japanese government acknowledged the burden of overwork might be passed onto small and medium businesses as a result.

Today In: Business

Surprising fact: As a result of their brutal working culture, the Japanese coined the term “karoshi,” meaning “death by overwork.”

Tangent: Despite studies that show benefits to the four day workweek, it’s not universally favored by executives. Some owners have employees work on Friday when there’s a holiday the following Monday. Others have reduced vacation time to make up for the extra weekly day off. And one Portland, Oregon tech firm experimented with a four day workweek before returning to a five day schedule, because the owner realized a shorter week meant its competitors had a leg up.

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose, and xoJane.

Source: What Microsoft Japan’s Successful 4-Day Week Suggests About Work-Life Balance

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After spending August experimenting with a four-day work week in a country notorious for overwork, Microsoft Japan said sales per employee rose 40% compared with the same month last year. The “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019” saw full-time employees take off five consecutive Fridays in August with pay, as well as shortening meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes and encouraging online chats over face-to-face ones. Among workers responding to a survey about the program, 92% said they were pleased with the four-day week, the software maker’s Japan affiliate said in a report on its website on Oct. 31. Japan has been struggling to bring down some of the world’s longest working hours as it confronts a labor shortage and rapidly aging population. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to make workplaces more flexible and reduce overtime has drawn mixed reviews. The summer trial also cut costs at Microsoft Japan, with 23% less electricity consumed and 59% fewer pages printed compared with August 2018, according to the report. Some Microsoft Japan managers still didn’t understand the changes in working styles and some employees expressed concern that shorter workweeks would bother clients. Microsoft Japan plans to hold another work-life challenge in winter. Employees won’t get special paid days off, but will be encouraged to take time off on their own initiative “in a more flexible and smarter way.” Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm TICTOC ON SOCIAL: Follow TicToc on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tictoc Like TicToc on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tictoc Follow TicToc on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tictoc Subscribe to our newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FJ0oQZ TicToc by Bloomberg is global news for the life you lead. We are a 24/7 news network that covers breaking news, politics, technology, business and entertainment stories from around the globe, supported by a network of Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists across 120 countries.
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