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Infrastructure modernization has become critical for governments looking to serve citizens in the digital era. To provide services and programs that improve the lives of their constituents, local, state, and federal government agencies are undergoing digital transformations to take advantage of new technologies that enable them to harness the power of the cloud.
Yet while technology can help government become more effective, change of this magnitude doesn’t happen overnight. Based on myriad factors, different governments and government agencies are at various points in their digital transformations. Many will need to take a look at how they currently work and embrace technology that will help them scale their efforts and fulfill their commitments to constituents.
Here’s a look at how these digital transformations are enabling government agencies to reimagine how work gets done and redefine how they serve their citizens.
Automation Saves Time, Spurs Innovation
Government bureaucracy is known for the inordinate amount of paperwork required for the operation of any given department or agency. Workers spend time on meetings, paperwork, email, and data collection and reporting that they could be using to work on future activities and programs and more effectively serve other goals as well, according to a survey by the Governing Exchange.
Thanks to automation, this is starting to change. According to a recent report from Deloitte Consulting, the past year has seen a shift from government agencies experimenting with automation to implementing it across the board — a shift that is saving government workers thousands of hours previously spent on processing data and data entry. Now, employees at agencies leveraging automation are able to spend time on more valuable, mission-critical work to further innovation and better serve constituents.
As government entities rethink how work gets done, some are turning to a work execution platform to track, automate, and manage their operations and processes from end to end. A work execution platform enables government workers to automate data collection and other processes and workflows to move work forward more effectively and efficiently.
Governments Collaborate to Serve Constituents
Digital transformation can also help facilitate collaboration between different government entities, improving programs and services to better the lives of citizens. Governments that are able to work together to quickly, effectively, and securely share the resources, budget, or information needed to solve big problems can better serve citizens and communities at many levels.
One example of intergovernmental collaboration is evidenced the Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study, which looks at how state chief information security officers can succeed in overcoming the top challenges of implementing effective cybersecurity programs. In order to meet critical security controls that protect privacy around healthcare data, state Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies worked with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to successfully secure funding in order to put in place the recommended Minimum Acceptable Risk Safeguards (MARS) for systems that interact with Medicare and Medicaid data. This additional funding provided state HHS agencies with the resources needed (in addition to their state IT budgets) to further their digital transformations.
A common platform that serves as a single source of truth for an organization can help facilitate collaboration and reduce friction. Smartsheet Gov is the only work execution platform in the FedRAMP marketplace. It offers fast user adoption and seamless, secure sharing that helps organizations to easily collaborate and break down silos across departments and agencies — or even between federal and local government — to drive the best results for citizens. Through the use of data collection forms, Smartsheet Gov also enables agencies to quickly capture information across departments and regions, so they can analyze and act on the latest information.
Smart Cities Serve Tech-Savvy Citizens
In addition to digital platforms, governments are exploring and embracing the internet of things (IoT) and other innovative technologies as it applies to communities. Smart cities create a digitally connected environment to help governments better serve citizens.
Features of smart cities might include “smart meters” that enable public utilities to help citizens save energy or conserve water, and road sensors that track traffic patterns to support infrastructure development. This type of innovation can help local governments reduce spending and improve efficiency.
More comprehensive initiatives are in the works as well. For example, the Greater Phoenix Smart Region, seeks to bridge the gap between innovative technology and the needs of communities and policy makers through a partnership between the public sector, educational institutions, and government entities to create, advance, and adopt smart city technology “that improves the quality of life for all citizens.”
To plan for these complex initiatives that bridge the public and private sectors, as well as academia, a work execution platform can help drive the effective collaboration and transparency needed to manage innovative approaches to governance.
The task of living an intentional life focused on things that matter is enormously complicated these days by modern propaganda.
Commercials, advertisements, and marketers work tirelessly to convince us that products manufactured on assembly lines will make us happier. But in reality, these unnecessary purchases separate us from our dollars and add stress, burden, and obligation to our lives—they do not bring happiness.
The goal of Madison Avenue is to distract our desire. Their messaging changes our attitude from “That’s extravagant” to “That would be nice” to “I want that” to “I need it.” They are so subtle at their craft we hardly realize we are being brainwashed. Subconsciously, they take control of our desires, our checkbooks, and ultimately, our lives.
To stop letting advertisers dictate our lives, we must make firm moves to counter their assault. Here are ten steps you can take today:
1. Realize that happiness is not an item to be purchased, it is a decision to be enjoyed. Beware of destination addiction—the belief that happiness will be realized in your next purchase. The dopamine rush from a new purchase is immediately fleeting. Happiness is a decision to be made… it is not for sale on Amazon.
2. Identify what advertisements are trying to sell you. The emphasis in advertising has moved away from fact-based proclamations to creating associations in the mind of the viewer. Advertisers appeal to our subconscious desires (status, sex, prestige, happiness, appearance, self-esteem, identity, or reputation) and fears (loneliness, security, weaknesses, uncertainty). Be aware of their strategy so you will not be fooled by it.
3.Buy things for their usefulness, not their status. Purchase items for their ability to meet your needs, not their ability to impress your neighbor. Apply this principle everywhere, but your house, your car and your clothes are good places to start. You don’t have to live like everyone else. In fact, you’ll probably be happier if you don’t.
4. Limit marketing messaging. Unsubscribe from email lists. Cancel junk-mail. Mute your radio/tv during advertisements or better yet, stop watching television altogether. Enjoy outdoor recreation (biking, exercising, hiking, gardening, camping) or occupy your mind with reading, art, conversation, philosophy, or meditation instead.
5. Recognize your trigger points. Are there certain stores that prompt unnecessary purchases in your life? Products, addictions, or pricing patterns (clearance sales) that prompt an automatic response from you? Maybe there are specific emotions (sadness, loneliness, grief) that give rise to excess consumption. Identify, recognize, and understand these weaknesses. This is one of the most important steps in taking back control of your actions.
6. Count the hidden cost of purchases. The price of purchasing any item is not limited to the sticker price. Our purchases always cost more. They require our time, energy, and focus (cleaning, organizing, maintaining, fixing, replacing, removing). They prompt worry, stress, and attachment. Each purchase takes up physical space in our homes and mental space in our mind. Henry David Thoreau said it best, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Look beyond the price tag.
7. Practice gratitude and generosity. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. When we stop focusing on the things we don’t have, we are better able to appreciate the things we already do. This mindset shifts our passions away from the promises of advertisers. Equally important, generosity reminds us that we already have enough and brings greater fulfillment and satisfaction into our lives.
8. Embrace the sharing economy. The Internet has brought many new opportunities to us. One of the most important is the emergence of the sharing economy. Whether people are sharing homes, vehicles, tools, toys, or clothes, there is less need today for ownership than ever before. Ownership is being replaced by relationship—and that’s always a good trade-off.
9. Enforce a 30-day wait period on major purchases. Avoid regrettable judgments by implementing a month-long waiting period on items over $100 (or pick a dollar amount more applicable). This cooling period will provide opportunity and space to better answer these questions: “Do I really need this?” “Will it make me happier in the long run?” “Are there any subconscious motives to this purchase?” and “Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?”
10. Do more of what makes you happy. Your possessions are not making you happy. Once our basic needs have been met, the happiness found in consumerism is not noticeable. Instead, find what it is that truly makes you happy and do more of it. I find my happiness in faith, family, friends, and contribution. Your list may differ slightly. But either way, owning a whole bunch of stuff is almost certainly not on it.
The only release from the influence of marketers and a consumerist society is to exit—to decide that enough is enough and the relentless pursuit of possessions will never lead to an intentional life. The first step is to be intentional in overcoming it.
Writing and reading can turn into full-time jobs in the content marketing industry. Recent years have brought new job roles. Specialists become more and more essential in digital advertising, branding and inbound marketing departments. If you consider a career change, you can turn to professional reading and writing. You will share content and decipher the secrets of social media and how to create and engaging audience.
We have compiled a top of the best 7 jobs in the content marketing industry. They are usually available in digital marketing companies, advertising agencies and even online startups. Before we begin, keep in mind that other applicants will compete with you for the job. Some of them are highly experienced in the inbound marketing field. Others stand out for impressive projects they have completed. You should have a complete application file prepared for each potential employer. Find resumes and cover letters resources, along with guidelines and tips to emphasize your traits and background!
7. Content Writer
As a content writer, you create fun and engaging articles on given topics. You follow a brief set of indications, which includes tone of voice, key word insertion and article length. Once you start writing, you can let your imagination run free and exploit numerous fields and information resources. You compile your findings and add them a personal note through your writing. Then, you move on to another subject and experiment with new writing styles.
Salary: According to PayScale, content writers earn $42,042 per year in average.
Career potential: Most specialists have less than 20 years of experience in content writing. You can specialize by becoming a tech writer or a creative copywriter (we will discuss this job below). The common career paths lead to content and marketing management.
6. SEO Specialist
The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist develops and/or implements a strategy to maximize the potential number of visits of a website. You don’t get to write a lot. Yet, this job allows you to play with words, and discover the public’s concerns and interests. You also find new communication paths between a website and its public. You can become a SEO specialist even as an entrepreneur regardless if you research enough and take online specialized courses. The job teaches you to learn how to grow your website based on searches.
Salary: SEO Specialists usually earn around $44,000 yearly in the USA.
Career potential: You can become a marketing manager, a business development director or a SEO director after some years of experience.
Reading enthusiasts can become either book editors or online proofreaders. Both jobs involve reading content, checking spelling and grammar and verifying information and sources. A proofreader thoroughly verifies content from writers in a digital marketing agency. The book editor works in a publishing house and works by project.
Salary: Proofreaders with less than 5 years of experience can earn around $34,000 per year. The book editor usually earns $50,000 yearly. Bloomberg LP is one of the top employers in the field and offers proofreaders salaries of around $120,000 per year.
Career potential: Publishing house employees can later become editors-in-chief. However, proofreaders can become copywriters, copy editors or tech writers.
4. Social Media Specialist
Social media specialists create and implement marketing and communication campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and others. They measure results and develop guidelines based on the brand’s audience. Simply put, as a social media specialist you begin the day with a fun and attractive short text on a brand page and see how your public responds.
Salary: A regular social media specialist with a few years of experience usually earns around $45,781 every year.
Career potential: Experienced social media specialists may become communication managers or even brand managers.
3. Web Publisher
Web publishers analyze platforms and make changes to a website’s content. They update, design and create online content. As a web publisher, you may occasionally write and even edit content you receive from specialized colleagues. Also, you will study website specs and find ways to make it more responsive, friendly and intuitive.
Salary: The average pay for web publishers lies around $69,010 every year.
Careerpotential: If you are fond of learning technical information, you may become a front-end website developer after a few years’ experience. The creative side of this job might make you an online marketing manager.
Copywriters create persuasive ads, taglines and any advertising content for online and offline campaigns. Working as a copywriter involves plenty of creativity and understanding a brand and its public. You will create short and long-sized content which is adapted for all types of campaigns and products. You will deliver a brand message through words accompanied by images.
Salary: Copywriters earn on average $49,000 per year. Some of them receive bonuses based on their deliverables. These can go up to $6,000.
Career potential: After becoming a senior copywriter, your career path might lead to marketing and creative management.
1. Content Strategist
The content strategists gather data from the brand manager and SEO specialist. They develop a plan for the content and evaluate former plans. They need to make a coherent and persuasive message for a brand, which is visible in the online world.
Salary: The average salary of a content strategist is $60,000 per year. They usually also receive bonuses and profit shares.
Career potential: The career path of content strategists leads to marketing management.
These 7 reading, writing and editing jobs are essential in online marketing campaigns and/or advertising agencies. Find your dream job in the above list and start researching!