Don’t Become a Wallflower…Use Your Sonar!

Have you ever been to a networking meeting and felt completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that are attending and thinking – how I am going to meet the people I NEED to network with?

I have been traveling down to NYC the last couple of months and have been attending the NY Tech Meetup’s which have been awesome. I have loved all the presentations, but there are hundreds of great people to meet and sometimes I don’t know where to begin!

At July’s event I was really impressed with a new start-up called Sonar, which lets you connect your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts and then allows you to see people you’re connected to who are in the same location radius. How COOL is that…. I thought this was an app that I could leverage greatly at every networking event, because usually I go into a networking event filled with new faces to meet. I immediately downloaded this app right then and there!

Since July I have been experimenting with this new way of connecting. With Sonar by my side at networking events, I can go into a room and feel more at ease knowing industries people work in, what they do, and how I’m connected to them. This is a tool that I wish I had over a year ago, right after I graduated from college and jumped right into attending events alone.

Going into an event, for anyone, can be a bit nerve-racking at times. For me, it was a challenge to find the right people within the same industry to target and connect with. For some events if it was possible, I would research who was going and what they did. Great for small gatherings, but at a large event it was like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

The Sonar app can guide my way through a room, and make it easier with just a few clicks to find industry-related people that I can network with in person. It can also be a great conversation starter by letting the person know what friends you have in common.

Sonar, Sonarme, Mobile App

When I was at a recent NYU Women in Startups panel, I got a Twitter shout out from another Sonar user, stating that we had 85 similar connections. He was sitting in the same event as me, and looking to network. (Unfortunately my phone has its own mind, and decides which Twitter messages should appear on my home screen!) If I had seen his Twitter response sooner, we would’ve had a great conversation about startups at the panel…We are looking to connect at the next NY Tech Meetup. I’m excited to go into the next meetup and have a connection already introduced, out of a large roomful of 700+ new connections waiting to be found by Sonar.

It’s amazing what technology can do now! Sonar is an app that helps you make introductions to people who are connected to you in all different degrees. Now you have no excuse becoming a wallflower at events! Sonar is a dynamic tool that I’ve used to leverage all of my connections on social media in specific locations looking for new people to network with. How will Sonar build your network?

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Assistant Marketing Manager at Whiting Consulting.

The Entrepreneur Age is Limitless!

entrepreneur, startup, "job search", entrepreneurship, "business dveelopment", "small business"

I recently read an article in the NY Times talking about how the job market for teens this summer was limited.

I remember thinking about summer jobs. In my family we had one car growing up. I know that sounds almost crazy in this day and age! That issue, however, created some challenges in my job search. For example, the nearest mall was about 30 miles away (another crazy thought in this day and age; being 30 miles away from a mall!) so working in retail was not an option. But, if I wanted to buy the stuff I needed as a teenager (clothes and music) I needed to find a job. I turned to babysitting. Now that I think back to it I see so many similarities to starting my own business as an adult. I leveraged my parents to reach out to their friends (networking) and started from word of mouth. Pretty soon I had my regular families that I would work for. I also landed a work-study job after school to supplement the babysitting income.

I think this is the perfect time for our teens to go out and create work for themselves. There is plenty of opportunity around our communities; we just need to be a little creative. In our neck of the woods we need kids that would cut the grass or weed gardens. The average price to have your grass cut is about $35/yard. A teenager could charge $20-$25 and get most yards done within 1-2 hours. Kids can make a good hourly wage and then if they do a good job build their network and bring on new clients. There are many opportunities out there: Walking dogs, yard work, painting, etc. The key is to identify the needs within the community and then offer those services. Young families are busier than ever and any chance to get some help is greatly appreciated. Summers are so busy that I know I would love and extra pair of hands around for these odd jobs.

So leverage this opportunity to develop your business skills and get out there and have some fun. The kicker: You will make some money at it too!

Photo credit: fooyoh.com

My HRevolution Adventure!

The Importance of Career Nights

Career Night, Career Fair, Job Fair, College, Networking

Recently, I volunteered to speak with local students at SUNY Geneseo about how I came to where I am now as a small business owner. To my surprise, many of the students were very curious and enthusiastic about their future job search and the processes involved.

What really caught my attention was that there was a freshman in the room already interested in learning about what is ahead of them! This student realized the importance of learning and researching careers early on in the process, because it is a lengthy one…something that’s not a last minute task!

Starting this process early on can lead to internships throughout the college years, and can also lead to securing a job before graduation! A recent U.S. News article, Brighter Job Outlook for Class of 2011, by Katy Hopkins stated:

“Despite the improving job prospects, the job market remains competitive. Students should be more proactive in their job searches and flexible with short-term career goals, some counselors advise.”

Career nights are a time to network with local employers, which could possibly lead to an internship in the future. Listening carefully during the presentations will help you develop in-depth questions to ask afterward. Be sure to grasp every tip about becoming successful in the business world as soon as you can!

It’s never too early to learn about what’s out there and what the real world has to offer. You might discover a hidden interest or talent that you never knew you had before!

With the slowly increasing number of employers attending career fairs, I encourage all college students of every class level to attend career nights because it’s never too early to start networking!

 

Photo credit: Champlain College

What I Wish I Knew about the Real World Before I Started Working

What do I wish I knew about the Real World before I started working? As a Brazen Careerist member, I thought I would contribute to the JobSTART101 blog series, where they asked members this same question to answer in their own post. So here are my thoughts…

In my college business program, I learned a lot from my classes by applying myself in team projects that connected to real businesses or people. These projects focused on active student participation and engagement with different activities in the classroom. Professors who gave me team projects where I had to come up an entire marketing campaign was the closest I was going to get to real world similarities in a classroom environment.

Being in the real world for six months now (wow time flies!); I’ve realized the only thing that I didn’t really focus on was how connected everyone is with each other within specific industries. Networks are so vast and reach all corners of the world, confirming that it is a small world after all!

Continue reading

GenYired: Top Weekly Posts for Gen Y

 This week’s GenYired consists of blog posts for Millennials who are curious of what statistics say about our generation in the workplace, and tips to help Gen Y with their career adventures. Enjoy!

  1. 8 Ways to Dissolve Your Career Fear

    When you want to aim for getting that dream job you always wanted– consider these few steps that can help enhance your search process. It’s best to jump into a job search with a plan of attack, rather than going with the flow. U.S. Money describes how to search for your dream job the right way.

  2. Gen X Driving Social Networking at Work — Not Gen Y, Citrix Online Study Finds

    Gen Y: Do you think that our generation shares more information via texting? This study by Forrester Consulting found the numbers between Gen X, Gen Y, and the Baby Boomers in technology in the workplace. Find out each generations’ thoughts about business meetings- who finds them least efficient?

  3. 36% of College Grads Wish They Had Picked a Different Major

    Are you happy with your college major?  A recent survey found that 1 in 4 people are unsatisfied with their degree and where they are now. More statistics were found whether if people could find a job related to their field.

  4. Gen Y- Rock with Lessons Learned

    These 23 lessons from Skills Coach, Kate Nasser, can help any Millennial grow into a future leader!

    Post written by Julie Skowronek, Marketing Coordinator at Whiting Consulting.

8 Steps to Jump-Start Your Personal Brand

Jumping, Leaping

One of my favorite quotes about personal branding conveys a strong message in simple words:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”

–Jeff Bezos, creator of Amazon.com

You should always keep this quote in mind when networking, because it will have a lasting positive effect on the creation of your personal brand. The quote above holds much value to live by for any job seeker, especially within Generation Y.  If you haven’t put much thought into developing your personal brand- think about what are the best things to focus on to get people to say what you want them to about you when you leave the room?

With the brutal competition within the job market, the recent college graduates in Generation Y have more concerns to face in the job hunt…standing out. A recent article written by Dan Schwabel, founder of Student Branding Blog, mentioned that building your brand takes quite some time and early effort to earn results. So what should a Gen Y jobseeker do to build a personal brand with a lasting impression online and offline? Here are a few methods to help get you started in developing your personal brand: Continue reading

A GenY Perspective on BlogHer ’10

BlogHer 2010 Conference NYC Hilton New York

Three months ago at my graduation from college, I would not have believed someone if they told me that I would be attending a women’s blogging conference! Before then, the term “blogging” was not in my vocabulary.  I never thought I would blog to have a voice and influence others. After three months in my current position in social media, I attended the BlogHer 2010 conference in New York City on August 6-7th for women (and a very tiny percentage of men) to share ideas, engage in discussions, and network. This was my biggest networking event to date, and I met a lot of intelligent women (and men!) whom I had the opportunity to have fascinating discussions with.

BlogHer 2010 Newbie Breakfast NYC Hilton

BlogHer '10 Newbie Breakfast

While my mother (who tagged along with me on my adventure to NYC) romped the crowded streets and museums all weekend- I was in panels taking notes on great blogging tips, conversing with other passionate bloggers, and carrying around a 10 lb. SWAG bag that wore out my arm!

BlogHer 2010 SWAG NYC Sponsors

A sneak peek into my massive SWAG Bag!

I never realized before just how many people were passionate about a small, but rapidly growing niche in media, until I arrived and was at the BlogHer breakfast with all the attendees. I’m amazed at how vast the women’s blogging community is, and according to BlogHer founders- it keeps growing dramatically in attendance each year since 2005. This “power of community” feeling was a first experience for me. The vibe was everywhere I looked! Women were helping each other and sharing knowledge of how they can further build relationships and develop the sense of influence for their audience.

BlogHer 2010 Panel Session Blogging Layout

BlogHer Panel Session: Good Blog Design- The Role of Layout In an Online Medium

From the weekend, I reflected upon how everyone had the opportunity to give their “30 second elevator” speech to spark influence– including the brands that sponsored BlogHer. What I learned from my past marketing classes is that women, mothers in particular, have the biggest rate of influence in the economy amongst their friends. I got to experience this ‘influence building’ process first hand by walking around the expo with all the exhibits. All of the brands sent their best representatives to develop a trusting relationship with the women, especially the mothers. They know that the mothers do the most shopping in the household, and therefore have the most influence in the market. By providing information about products and services in person, and sharing the experience of sampling a new product, the brands made a huge and long-lasting impact on the attendees.

I had the opportunity to speak with the P&G External Relations representative, Anne Westbrook, about how P&G was there to provide helpful content and also become a trusted source for mothers to go to for household products. Their focus was on the kids who grow and develop with these products, and also the focus on the “look and feel” of products such as: Crest, Febreze, Tide, Olay, Pantene, and Scott Tissues. P&G realized that the consumers at BlogHer have bigger voices being a part of the media as bloggers and brand advocates, which influence a large community both online and in-person.

From a GenY perspective, it was wonderful to meet so many experienced bloggers and learn how they got to where they are now within the social media community. Never before have I seen in action the power of influence and word of mouth to such a large degree! The impact which one voice has is immense, once that trusting relationship is established at such events as BlogHer.

7 Ways to Build Unbreakable Trust



Admit it. We’ve all did it before, even subconsciously- make snap judgments of people. First impression IS everything, but how do you convince a stranger away from the negative impressions and leave a trusting one? I heard author Nicholas Boothman speak on CBS Morning News about his book, Convince Them in 90 Seconds or Less. Curious, I wanted to give it a read, and found that it gives the best advice for making those first few seconds of meeting someone into a lasting relationship builder.

Ever walk into an interview or a networking event and thought of any of the following:

-Just be yourself

-Don’t be nervous

-I hope they like me

If your mind only focuses on these few examples and not what you’re doing, it can start you off in the wrong direction for your first impression. By leveraging the seven pointers below from Nicholas Boothman that will all change! Continue reading

2010 Graduates: BE Prepared!


Many of the current college graduates haven’t had any luck securing a full-time job yet with the condition of the current job market. As a recent college graduate, many more classmates than I expected with a Business Administration degree are looking for full-time jobs, rather than going to grad school for their M.B.A.  I couldn’t figure out why, if they had very little previous experience in the field they were looking at, or didn’t take the initiative to be continuously searching while finishing the end of the semester. According to a Michigan State University survey, there was a 40 percent decline in job prospects in 2009, but hiring has increased by 5.3 percent for 2010 college graduates with careers in the accounting and engineering industries, as stated by NACE. With the steadily increasing amount of jobs available in the market, one has to be able to stand out ahead of their competition if more graduates are simultaneously flooding the market searching for these additional jobs. An increased effort is needed to take a little step in job searching and preparing to be able to secure an interview. Continue reading

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