Imagine | Create | Inspire
My Holiday Focus
Terrible Tourist
           So I’ve been in Nice for about 5 days now. In this short period I have already seen and experienced so much, and met new friends along the way. Unfortunately for me I have focused this trip towards my studies, that’s not to say that I am done with exploring this beautiful city.

           I have been on many adventures as you could say in last couple of years, with each one playing a major contribution in my life. It has been a complete eye opening experience that has shaped my very perception of the world around me. I feel quite grateful for the opportunities that I have been able to undertake and have learned to not take things for granted.

           One thing in particular that I have been focusing on lately is really developing my learning capabilities and working hard on learning as much as I can. I really did take my education for granted when I was younger, and I feel I could be further at this point. However that’s not to say I was not enjoying what I was doing at the time. My occupation itself is highly competitive but I feel the society in which I grew up in, competitive is an understatement. The opportunity to be paid is seldom available, the opportunity to do so is underrated and the ability not to is a luxury.

           I am currently studying here in Nice, and that’s what I intend to do. I could easily categorize this trip as a holiday, with the incredibly blue beaches and beautiful scenery not making it any easier. I aim to use the courses that I am enrolled in, Luxury Brand Management and Business Strategy, to help round out my degree. I’d like to think that I possess the entrepreneurial spirit, but have discovered that I have a long way to go in this regard. My efforts have now been steered towards learning the fundamentals so that I may adapt them to my current and future situations.

           Nice has been nice (had to be said) and I look forward to really diving into my studies for the next three weeks, and making sure that I leave no stone unturned.
Don’t waste the opportunity to develop customer relationships with engaging users on social media.
Street Wise
           Let’s talk about missed opportunities, and in particular opportunities for businesses to create and develop customer relationships with those actively engaging with a company and its products. Firstly every business should thank the great minds who developed the concept of social media. It is a fantastic tool for users to post their thoughts and ideas on their daily activities. From a business and marketing perspective, it is a great way to see how consumers interact with their products and services. Not to mention it is free.

           I’m going to use a current example that lead me to further researching the impact social media can have on understanding the consumer market. I recently posted a tweet to Microsoft asking “@surface was wandering if the surface 3 keyboard would work on my surface pro 2.” I now know the answer of which many stores have told me otherwise (for those wandering, it does, I tested it). I was quite annoyed to the fact that I did not receive any response, whether it was the answer to my question, a link to where I would be able to get more info, nothing. Now that I come to think of it more, it was a wasted opportunity to potentially develop a new customer relationship.

           In such a competitive world it is more and more important for businesses to use all tools available to help communicate with its customers. Social media has provided a platform that allows organizations and businesses to do just that, with an added bonus of being in real time. Responding to queries such as mine can help support the customer, and more importantly provide the customer with a public positive experience. I mention public as many other people who might have also inquired the same thing have the opportunity to see this on the public forum.

           On the other hand, doing the opposite can also provide a public negative experience. Customer will also be able to see that your company is not supportive to its customers (as if customer support already isn’t a big enough issue) but they may also see the quite often negative outburst that generally follows. We’ll say this article is my negative outburst, I’m constructive in my feedback.

           Businesses need to further understand how social media marketing can help them collaborate with engaging customers. With this sense of engagement meaning customers become participants, those acting in an open, participative, social environment. These customers have taken a personal interest and their time to voice their opinion whether it be on their own personal social accounts, on blogs, forums and so forth. This engagement process is broken down into 4 different building blocks:

Consumption: the initial act of a person downloading, reading, watching, or listening to digital content. One must do this before they start commenting or liking something.

Curation: the act in which one sorts, filters, rates, reviews, comments on, tags and or otherwise describes content. These responses to content makes it more useful to others.

Creation: the next act by a user is generating and offering content that they have created themselves. The beauty of this is that customers do this freely and as social media has grown more and more often.

Collaboration: the final act in which encompasses consumption, curation, and creation and forming what we see as online communities. The previous acts can be seen as singular actions, where this final act is the idea of bringing this all together to create social media.

           The combinations of these acts can lead to two different avenues. By joining as part of the collaboration process you can provide your business with the upper hand as you communicate the likes and dislikes of your products and services with the customer. You may be able to support them by leading them to a solution, or take on their views and adjust accordingly. Secondly those collaborating with the product are then more like to engage on the next step which is trial, buy and advocate your products. For more information on business engagement with social media I encourage you to read “Social Media Marketing” by Dave Evans.

           With the unfortunate example that I had encountered with Microsoft, who may read this article and adjust accordingly, businesses and individuals alike should participate and engage with each other more. If you would like to consume or curate on any of the content I have created and collaborate you can find me on most sites under the username tmagilldotcom.

Take the high school approach to getting your emails in order
Street Wise
           So today I did a massive clean-up, a digital clean-up. If I knew how much time it was going to take I would have probably have cleaned the house, top to bottom. I was thinking if some of those files were a sandwich, maggots were the least of my worries.

           Firstly I started with the desktop. Who reading this has just thought, I will save this item on the desktop so I can access it quickly and then just left it there. Like an old bookshelf brushing the cobwebs off I started moving them back, I even had a folder on the desktop called “desktop cleanup“ from where I had last tried to clean it.

           Now, what was worst then that was my “downloads” folder. This is more like buried treasure, you can really go back through your (internet) history. Filled with photos, documents applications, you name it. If you’ve searched for it, it’s probably here.

           Finally it came down to my emails. I on average get roughly 1300-1500 emails a month. From every website that I’ve subscribed to, constant updates from social media, barrage of work and work applications and finally the miscellaneous, which as it sounds is anything and everything else.

           Here are some tips for your email so that you hopefully don’t have to go through the same pain. Don’t let me get you wrong, you may have to do some initial dumpster diving but if you do these little things, hopefully it won’t get too bad in the future.

Start Off Clean
           First things first, I’m the realest. And to truly make sure that you don’t end up in this situation is that you need to start off fresh. You can go with my approach and sift through years of build-up. Alternatively if you don’t really care what’s actually on your emails (and computer), you can burn it all. I mean delete it all.

Check Your Settings
           With your social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn you should go through and check to see what you get email notifications on, and turn them off. If your phone has push notifications and you’re constantly checking these pages anyway, you don’t need a second or third reminder that some random has commented on a link that you were tagged on.

           It was amazing the amount of websites that I had signed up to, it was a reflection of all the hobbies and fazes that I had ever gotten into. Find that unsubscribe button and click away. I noted that I get about 1300-1500 emails now, however before this step, I would be tripling this number.

Folder Up
           Now this is the clincher that will get everything back to normal. It’s the equivalent of buying new books and containers and the appropriately named folders at the beginning of each school year. Now just like each subject of class here are some folder names that you may include:
  • Accounts - This is for all the initial emails for when you sign up for a website, also include password resets and anything that may have a member number attached.
  • Appointments - This is for all your appointments and request for meetings. Think of this as your in-email calendar, especially if you’re also struggling to keep your calendar together.
  • Finances - This is for any purchases, statements, payslips, or love letters from your bank. Though the next two may also be considered financial as it involves your money, it helps when searching for specifics later.
  • Purchases - Now this is optional, if you’re a serial online shopper like me this is a good place to store any online receipts, shipping information and confirmations.
  • Tickets - Again optional, if you find that you are attending lots of events, then you should create an additional folder. It is also great if there was any other additional emails in regards to you having to get those tickets.
  • Trash - If you are a hoarder like me and can’t see anything let go, think of this as your online recycling bin. You’ve thrown it away, but it’s there just in case.
  • Work/Personal - If you’re using a personal email, label it work, if it is a work email, label it personal. Though you should try not to cross these emails together, there is always a few that slip through. This way you can keep these two worlds separate.
           So if you are sick of seeing the pages and pages of emails in your inbox, or ever had trouble trying to find that event ticket, or that overdue notice, fear no more. Take the high school approach to getting your emails in order.
Settling Into Work
       So it’s my third day at work, currently sitting in the office with an actual coffee, a meal that I don’t quite know what’s in it, whilst I continue to slowly prod along with the work that was given to me. All in all I feel like I’m starting to settle in.

       I was lucky enough to get a workplace that is only a 10, 20 if I stop off for some Babi Mantous, minute walk away from my hotel. Which is not bad, considering some of the interns have to travel up to an hour to get to work. However, walking distance means a pain in the arse when it starts raining.

       The city itself is something else. The amount of people infinitely increases the chances of something interesting to happen. For those who say Asians are bad drivers have no idea. I was sceptical at first but considering what they have to put up with, it’s amazing that I haven’t seen a car crash. I thought New York was bad.

       But nothing beats going for a stroll and soaking in the culture. The food here is too good not to try. I am surprised I haven’t gotten food poisoning especially seeing that some of my meals have included an Octopus Kebab and Chicken Paws. I fairly sure it was supposed to say feet.

       However I shall get back to work and continue working on my designs.

Early New Years Guilt - My preparations for the Resolutions.
Forever Paid
      So once again it‘s been a fair while since I‘ve posted. A lots happened since and I‘d like to think that I have slowly progressed to be where I want to be and better understand where I want to go.

      The last few days (weeks) as I have been on holidays have been, well a holiday. I always find it important that people should take the time and step back away from their work. Night time for rest, weekends for fun and holidays to do the things you wouldn‘t normally do.

      However, as many of us do, the Christmas period seems to be an extra period of indulgence. With Christmas ham, merry drinks and (too) many sleepless nights I‘ve developed a sense of early New Years guilt. Each morning thinking that the gym instead of the pub is where I should be going.

      And as I do most Mondays and especially not just after this two week binge I have been on, I plan to get a kick-start on my New Years resolution. To get ahead its best to prepare and the spend the days leading up to it getting ready that way you aren‘t spending the new year organizing instead of achieving.

In Incremental Steps:
      Sudden shocks in your system are not healthy for you and its makes it easier for people to slip into their bad habits again. Remember you should never quit anything cold turkey.

Get More Active:
      The gym has taken a back seat to the banquet feast that comes at this time of year. Exercising not helps you lose those extra sizes you added to your waist but to help clear your mind and focus better.

Get More Creative:
      Nothing helps ideas flowing and expand your thought process than too tap into your creative side. I miss picking up the pencil and formulating my ideas into visual representations. It‘s one on the main reasons I got into this field.

Read and Write More:
      Now I‘m not one for reading, I think the only books that I have managed to successfully read cover to cover would have to be the Harry Potter series. I do plan to start however slowly, reading more articles and writing more posts, just like this one.

      For me, the upcoming year, will inevitably play significant part of the development of my career, I only hope that I am prepared to be able to seize every opportunity.
Social Media for your Career
      Social Media is a medium that allows you to share your opinions, and at the same time advertises who you are. Not many people understand when they post the various pictures of themselves that it builds the portfolio that others perceive them. This is not just the people around them physically but the online community as a whole. This means that it is not only your friends that see how you look after a big party but your classmates, distant cousins, some guy named Paul living on the opposite side of the world and more importantly potential employers and companies that you may wish to work with.

      Information is now so readily available that the average person can not only the find an individual or company but research their inner workings and what makes them who they are. This can be beneficial and works both ways, employers may have the opportunity to look at your profile and assess you by the amount of pictures of you and your cat or your tireless rants about your personal political leniency but you can do your own research and look at how the companies that you want to work with are going, what’s trending, how their employees are behaving and so on.

“A career is not something that is chosen when an individual leaves education, but rather something that is built through life” - Longridge, Hooley, Staunton 2013

      Employers want people who are plugged in and want to know who they are. Gone are the days when you used to ask what you could do for the company. You have to be proactive and state what you can do for them, with what their currently doing and issues they are currently facing. With most to all companies now having some form of social media presence, it’s easier than ever to start getting in contact with who you need.

Here are some tips to manage your online presence:

Don’t spread yourself to thin
      With the wide range of social networks out there many people who try to stay up to date and current, end up signing up with too many networks. Unless you do it for a living, more than three to four networks are generally more than enough. You do not want to wear yourself out. These tools are used to only help compliment what you are currently doing, not to overtake your day job. You should choose the platforms that convey your skills. General socialites stick to facebook and twitter, designers with Behance and job seekers or companies with LinkedIn. If you are unsurem you should only join the largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

Know your Audience
      You must understand who you want to target on each of your social networks. As you gain more friends and followers, you may lose track of who is reading your updates and posts. How many of your work colleagues are you connected with? Do you consider them reading your posts when you upload that picture of you at the other end of the beer bong?

Limit Self-Promotion
      Remember, being humble in your career extends to your presence online. Though it is important to self-promote it is only beneficial in moderation. No-one likes to connect or befriend people who are self-involved. You will soon see that your follower numbers will drop. The best way to promote yourself is to promote others. Connect personally with those who spent the time connecting with you, it helps with creating goodwill and a connection, as well as distributing value based on what you have to offer. It goes two-ways, you promote someone, and they will promote you back.

Be Consistent and Recognizable
      Much similar to not wearing yourself to thin, you also should be consistent with your posting. It is very important when it comes to any self-promotion or marketing. This can be as simple as using the same image for your profile across all networks. You want people to be able to recognize you no matter what page they are scrolling on. However consistency is the key, not only your pictures, but your (user)name, fonts, colours and your overall message or elevator pitch.

And Don’t Forget to Network
      They are called social networks for a reason. This should not obviously replace your normal interactions in the real world, but they are a great way in getting to meet new people and having the opportunity to give that first impression and that first impression can help you towards that career goal of yours.

      Be creative in your approach. With the current available technologies then the original paper resume is not all that is required and is now often quite boring to read, especially for those who have to read a hundred to a thousand a day. Stand out and be creative, you don’t have to be tech savvy, you only need the skills and efforts that you use on a daily basis to get that perfect snapchat or Instagram photo correct. Here are some creative examples;
Dear Lisa Rudgers
Nick Belling Video Resume
Back to the States to the Home of Coke
Terrible Tourist
           I have just spent the last five days in the city of Atlanta Georgia for a conference, the National Campus Leadership Experience, in which I was representing Australian Relays at the homeplace of that bubbling beverage that is now more commonly known than the word “hello.”. With only 1 day to submit my application and a little bit of luck, I was told three weeks prior that I was to fly over with the addition of doing a presentation of how Australia Relays.

          My travels started Thursday the 8th in which I began with a train trip to Sydney as preparation for the longest non-stop flight, Sydney to Dallas, (The return, which I am currently on, Dallas to Sydney via Brisbane is longer). Roughly sixteen hour flight later I land to what is only an hour later and then the mad rush to get through customs to get to my connecting flight to Atlanta. Panic had set in when I arrived with only thirty minutes to board my next flight and I was a couple hundred people behind to get through customs. However a few loud comments later I was able to skip a lot of lengthy lines. Silver linings I suppose, a movie (Silver Linings Playbook) amongst others that I watched on the flight. Seeing as my last flight was with United, where there were no screens in front of us, to Qantas where there was a video collection to rival most current modern day pirates, I had no issue with the long flight. I never had issues flying with United but I can definitely see the difference, though the service and leg room is still pretty much the same. Either way you’re stuck in a metal bucket.

          Roughly twenty seven hours of travel later I finally made it to the Wyndham hotel and conference centre, where the conference was to be held. After a quick shower it was out for a bite to eat and to put faces to the names of those who helped me with getting overseas. Trying to avoid the urge to sleep so that I could ease the transition and avoid the dreaded jet lag, I had my first rehearsal of my presentation. It was clear at this time that I had not actually fully read through it, they took pity though for my lack of travels. I was still just trying to get used to the weather, a heat to rival Australia with the added pain of being ridiculously humid. Not a massive fan of heat in general and however like most States I have visited, they were experiencing unseasonably extreme weather.

          The conference itself was very enlightening. They say that Americans do it bigger, and Relay for Life is no exception. Considering there are no major gatherings at all for the Relay in Australia this hundred odd person gathering was only the warmup to their thousand plus summit they have in a month or two’s time. Not only that this was their summit for high school and collegiate (in other words on campus) only, something that Australia has yet to establish and something that I soon to change.

          The whole event was inspiring to say the least. To see so many people volunteering their time and efforts for a single cause is quite seldom seen. With each day packed with multiple sessions divided into both general sessions and work breakouts, the conference was over pretty quickly. Each general session shared the theme of inspirational talks that covered all areas of relay including; what relay is and its current works, it’s purpose and how it helps those, the people involved, relay on a global scale (my talk), technology advancements, further action and inspirational talks. While the breakouts were designed to help educate and shape its participants into more learned leaders and have the tools and resources to create and manage their own teams. By the end of the third day it was more than just learning, it was the bringing together of a nation. It was completed with a Luminaria Ceremony to truly engage the depth of the ACS’s impact and then brought back to life by the youthful exuberance of one of relays youngest ambassadors.

          After the conference I was able to spend an extra couple of days in Atlanta to go do some sightseeing before trekking back. With the advantage of a City Pass I was able to see some of the more prestigious tourist attractions including the Coca Cola factory, Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, CNN, a Atlanta Braves game and infamous American Cancer Society Headquarters. Most of these places showing the rich history of Ted Turner, and more emphatically the power of Media, Marketing and Advertising. There was a slogan in the Coca Cola Factory that stated the Coke would be able to sell without any advertising. Then staring at the various giant billboards and their participation with most to all sporting events I could not help to think that advertising played a major factor in its success.

          Finally I would like to finish this post with a tribute to Dr. Goody Klatt. During the conference we were unfortunately informed of his passing and his loss of battle to stomach cancer. He was the founder of relay and it was his motivation and vision to start the first relay back in 1985 where he ran around the track in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours. The fight against cancer has been severely shortened by his efforts and without him we would not be in the position to be able to finish the fight.

          “Celebrate the survivors; remember those who lost the battle and FIGHT BACK! We all need to CELEBRATE MORE BIRTHDAYS and by relaying we keep the HOPE alive through education, community involvement and fundraising for ongoing research. I love you all!” -- Gordy Klatt
Working cohesively as a Team
Why Not RFL
      The first workshop for Day 2 was aimed at helping the volunteer committee students to:
  • Identify their Vision
  • Create a plan for building a whole committee
  • Develop plans to meet short and long term goals.
      Vision cannot be explained from one person to another. “Vision without action is just a dream, Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with Action can change the world.” Our first activity was to create a vision board of what we want for our relay in the future. The idea is to see what the goals are of the individuals, as these are what drive people and to why they participate.

      Next was to help change from having a whole committee to a WHOLE committee. Not the idea that the committee doesn’t have enough members, but also that members are diverse around the entire campus. Consider yourself how wholly involved you are within your university, group or society. Diversity among different interests, clubs and communities allows you to have a wider and vast knowledge of your own surroundings. It’s these personal connections among different groups that encourages growth in your workplace.

       way to become a WHOLE, is team bonding and cohesion. Without it, it creates an environment where working together is can be difficult. Being able to connect with other members in your team requires being able to get to how you all are connected and why you are working together to achieving the same vision and goal.

      Being able to see this is an integral part of working cohesively within a team. By establishing common goals and understanding how each member engages as part of a team can provide a comfortable and rewarding environment, making it easier to achieve your common goals.