Tag Archives: telecommuting

Staying Productive While You’re Snowed-In

Stay productive while snowed-in!
Stay productive while snowed-in!

Many of us along the Eastern seaboard – and in areas across the country – are stuck inside after record-breaking snow, resulting in slick streets, icy roads, and general weather yuckiness. Sure, we would like to go out and make snow angels with the kids, or catch up on some guilty pleasure TV (cue the Housewives of whatever city), but the truth of the matter is that we still have to work despite the weather.

So, here are five tips to keep you focused and productive while you are stuck indoors working.

Play first, then work

If you are like me, snow is actually a welcomed friend that I’m happy to see. So, to shake off the excitability and get focused, allow yourself time to revel at the winter wonderland for a few moments, including calling your loved ones to commiserate, and then get your workspace ready and operational. Having satisfied the kid inside of you before getting to work, you can reduce the urge to stray away from work.

Prioritize your day

You probably prioritize work responsibilities anyway, so tweak your agenda to include unanticipated interruptions, scheduling a play date for the kids because school is closed, shoveling the sidewalk, impromptu office teleconferences, and altered project due dates. If you are the most productive early in the morning, work on the most complicated tasks, or the assignments that take the most time to complete, at the beginning of the day.

Give yourself a break

For some people, working solo at home means that they can work nonstop with little interruption. That means progress, right? Sometimes, it can lead to burnout, brain freeze and frustration. So, schedule brief reprieves during your home-day workday. Take a coffee or tea break, make sure you have a bite to eat for lunch, and give those fast fingers a break from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Stay connected

Staying connected with co-workers and team members while working from home during bad weather creates camaraderie, and keeps you on task. Checking in also helps you stay in touch on project updates, gain management input, and inspire collaboration through trading ideas in a more relaxed environment (your home!) and one-on-one conversations that may not happen during a normal day at work.

In addition, if snowy weather gets you down, staying connected to co-workers can help ease the effects of cabin fever.

Establish a routine and stick with it

Discipline can be tough in the best of circumstances. Staying on task when working alone at home can test your resolve, so it is a good idea to establish a work routine – especially if you anticipate being at home for more than one day – to help you keep on track with expectations from your supervisor, client, and colleagues on your project team.

Do you have any tips that help you productive during a wild weather shut-in? Share in the comment section below, or Tweet us using #ATSSnowDay

EDITOR’S NOTE: This entry was originally posted on December 9, 2013. It was updated on March 2, 2015.

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think It Is

In developing a SWOT analysis, business owners are taught to identify and evaluate the venture’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Often, these entrepreneurs detail what they know about the competitors, and devise plans to upstage, or eliminate, the threat to the company.

Edge out the competition
Edge out the competition

But, what if your competition isn’t who you think it is?

I am not trying to diminish the importance of knowing which companies provide similar products and services in your city, or online, and how your company can prevail as the leader in the industry. Of course, the savvy – and successful – entrepreneur needs to know these details. My focus is on a potential threat you probably never even thought about as a competitor; but, one who could ostensibly hijack your brand, big ideas, and business.

A few months ago, while visiting my hometown, I decided to have a leisurely coffee at a large chain eatery. During my visit, I was exposed to a rather loud and lively conversation during which the main speaker talked about how she gave advice and insight to a local resident running for office. She also shared some additional inside information about the machinations of the local campaign process, the perceived successes and failures, and then predicted that the person probably wouldn’t win.

As I sit here enjoying a wonderful coffee while writing this post, at a different eatery in a different city, I am on the sidelines of a conversation between a web designer and company owner, who wants to gain the advantage over her competition. As they discuss unique website visits, preferred key words to entice visitors, and other strategies, I wonder if business owners realize that discussing truly sensitive information, such as client data, unique processes, and marketing strategy, can potentially have an adverse impact on their companies, if the wrong person listens at the right time.

Today, staff meetings, exploratory assignations with potential partners, and job interviews often occur not at the office, but in open environments, like the local coffee house or restaurant. It is only natural to raise our voices to be heard over the din in a crowded restaurant. Unfortunately, the result is that these folks often speak in tones that make innocent diners eavesdroppers. My solution when encountering this situation is to put on my earphones and listen to music, blocking out the noise, and keeping my eyes on my own work, so to speak.

What about those who continue to listen to gain information? These potential competitors could have a detrimental impact on the business, which will likely never know about it, until it’s too late.

Have you ever experienced this situation? Leave a reply below.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

 

5 Questions with Get My Mom a Job

The founder of Get My Mom a Job, Michele Unangst, was our featured guest on the Women’s History Month spotlight on The Strategy Sessions radio show. She highlighted services offered by Get My Mom a Job, and shared tips for job seekers. We’re continuing the conversation with Ms. Unangst about her own career trajectory, skills every jobseeker should possess, and what drives her work at Get My Mom a Job.

5 Questions with Get My Mom a Job

Michele Unangst, Founder of Get My Mom a Job
Michele Unangst, Founder of Get My Mom a Job

ATS: What was your professional experience before starting Get My Mom a Job?

Michele Unangst: My professional experience, in particular, my Human Resources and Management experience, comes from a multitude of sectors: Healthcare, Retail, Marketing, and now being self-employed.  However, it is has been my direct services in hiring for a multi-client healthcare facility that I gained most of my experience in running a company from all perspectives, from start-up, financial planning, budgeting, to the art of finding and retaining quality employees.

My experience over the last 20 years has been diverse, but my true calling has been to become an entrepreneur.

ATS: During the show, you talked about the pitfalls to avoid on the resume, including using clichés and generic objectives. What are three additional thins jobseekers should avoid including on their resumes? 

Michele Unangst: The biggest mistake – the number one thing I try to relay to all of our clients – is that resumes should be accomplishment driven, meaning that most people give a biographical history, outlining their job functions.  That simply falls flat with employers. Job candidates need to start showing off their accomplishments for all of their places of employment.  Why?  It is simple – when an employer sees your resume, they can view the accomplishments and relate them to how they can use you and your achievements within their company.  You are “connecting the dots.”

It is critical that potential employers don’t assume.  So, it is your job to relate directly to them and how you can solve their problems and be an asset if hired to work at the company.  Don’t wait to do that in the interview, you may never get the chance.

ATS: In addition to Get My Mom a Job, you also started Get My Dad a Job, and Get My Vet a Job. Why is it important to you to extend your reach into those areas?

Michele Unangst: First, the reason why I separated all of the companies was to speak directly to those job seekers.  I feel that too many of the job boards are impersonal, or have “one size fits all” scenarios; that doesn’t work.  Men, women, moms, dads, and Veterans all have different wants and needs in a job and career, so why not speak directly to them? The sites are more than just jobs; it is about connections – a place where Veterans and their families can get the special attention they need and want.

The same goes for the other sites. The needs of a Veteran are going to be vastly different than that of a civilian, men and women alike.  The site and its solutions must reflect that.  The same goes with moms and dads.  The sites are set up so differently than typical sites; it is social, connecting, and solution driven.

ATS: What are some specific skill sets that every jobseeker should possess?

Michele Unangst: Without question, the ability to communicate.  Now, don’t think this is a cliché.  The ability to communicate is an art, not a science.  Communication is about persuasion.  The more persuasive we are in interviews, networking, and social media, the more successes we will have.

Jobseekers should be current, especially when it comes to using social media.  The ability to see beyond just posting pictures and the sphere of influence you can have, as a person and company, is important.  People need to remember that social media sites are the ONLY places in the world where you can communicate internationally for free.  Take advantage of it.  Understand it.  The more current in being a social media maven you are, the greater the skill set or success tools you will have.

ATS: How has your career influenced the work you do at Get My Mom a Job?

Michele Unangst: My career was a preparation for this moment in time.  I have always had a passion to “Be, Do, and Have!”  I want to be disruptive.  The more disruptive my company is, the more success other people will have.  For years, millions of people have struggled in the world of employment, yet NO company has been progressive enough or willing to make real changes to the model.  Companies (employers) have, but not employment portals.  We are forcing that change.  We are creating the solutions that will have a profound impact on families, communities, and companies for years to come.

My career, leading to this point, was to take everything I have seen and heard, and apply it.  I can craft a business and opportunity like no other, because it is the model I would use for myself.  It solves a problem.  Most companies forget their roots, and their role in solving problems for people. I have seen it firsthand.  That is what I want to do: help one woman, one mom, one man, one dad, one veteran to civilian at a time.

Connect with Get My Mom a Job

Website: www.getmymomajob.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/getmymomajob

Twitter: www.twitter.com/getmymomajob

Email: michele@getmymomajob.com

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

Women’s History Month Salute on The Strategy Sessions radio show: Get My Mom a Job

March is Women’s History Month and The Strategy Sessions salutes the  contributions of Michele Unangst, Founder of Get My Mom a Job, on the next episode of the show.

Listen live to our interview with Michele Unangst on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. EST.  Joining us from the Get My Mom a Job office in Arizona, she will talk about her path to entrepreneurship, how she became an expert on telecommuting career opportunities, and how Get My Mom a Job is helping thousands of women realize their career goals.

Listeners can listen LIVE or download the episode on iTunes by visiting www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions. To view The Strategy Sessions #FBQuestionOfTheWeek, visit www.facebook.com/TheStrategySessions.

Michele Unangst, Founder of Get My Mom a job
Michele Unangst, Founder of Get My Mom a job

WHO:

Michele Unangst, Founder and President of Get My Mom a Job and author

Kesi Stribling, Host, The Strategy Sessions radio show

WHAT:

The Strategy Sessions Radio Show

Episode: Women’s History Month Spotlight: Michele Unangst, Get My Mom a Job (http://tobtr.com/s/6187937)

WHEN:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. (EST)

LISTEN:

Listen LIVE or download the podcast on iTunes by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions. Listeners may call into the show studio with questions for Michele Unangst at (347) 539-5143, email talkback@ksgsc.com, or post questions on http://www.facebook.com/thestrategysessions. Twitter hashtag #TheStrategySessions.

Online Links:

Get My Mom a Job

Get My Mom a Job (Twitter)

Get My Mom a Job (Facebook)

ABOUT THE STRATEGY SESSIONS

TSSLogo2013Originally a virtual interview started in 2005 featuring local leaders in business, The Strategy Sessions has evolved into a respected radio show on BlogTalkRadio that features top strategists in business, entrepreneurship, careers, youth, women’s issues, community, and health. The Strategy Sessions airs live on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 11:00 a.m. ET, and is hosted by career, marketing, and business strategist, Kesi Stribling. One of 300 featured hosts of the more than 16,000 shows on BlogTalkRadio, Kesi employs her hallmark interviewing style to cultivate innovative and engaging conversations with guests, including leaders of the U.S. Small Business Administration, AAA, Ladies America, LifeLock, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, American Express, DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the American Heart Association, Lockheed Martin, and Internships.com. For more information, or to download the podcast, visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions.

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.