Bi-Weekly Resource Round-up Vol 9

Hi Everyone,

We’re excited to announce that we have updated the portal with a cleaner and simpler look! It is now easier than ever to create projects, manage your projects and create brand buckets. Let us know what you think!

Sam Ryan
… and the rest of Team Flocksy!

Featured Team Member of the month:


Let us introduce you to Whitney, who is a Project Manager here at Flocksy

Hello Everyone!
My name is Whitney, and I’m a Project Manager here at Flocksy.
I reside in the western suburbs of Chicago with my 2 year old son, Luca, and our dog, Joplyn. Outside of work, we enjoy being outdoors, listening to music, having impromptu dance parties…

To learn more about Whitney go here
 
 

How to Improve Your Email Open Rate

by Flocksy writer David Galstyan  
One question many marketers ask themselves is “how can I get my emails opened?” While there are plenty tricks out there, we recommend a thoughtful approach that focuses on communicating with those subscribed and giving them something valuable or tangible from the beginning so it pays off at the end.    continue

How To Set Small Business Goals

by Flocksy writer Rachel Estes
  If you’re looking for help with how to manage and set goals for your small business, now’s the time to get a hold of it. The key to setting goals for a small business is to keep it practical and easy at first… continue  

Five Steps For Achieving Diversity And Inclusion In The Workforce

by Flocksy writer David Galstyan
  To get a sharper picture on society it’s important to increase diversity among our professional circles by thinking outside the box about who fits into our social groups.    continue

How To Have Secure Passwords

by Flocksy writer Sarah Sartin
  How secure are your passwords? Maybe you think they are good enough, or you don’t see any reason someone would try to hack little ole you. Yet, in this modern society everything has basically turned over to digital. You need to protect yourself, so here’s how   continue 

Seven Ways To Build Trust Through Social Media

It’s not surprising that with so many choices today, customers put a premium on loyalty and trustworthiness. The average Internet user sees six to ten thousand ads daily. In that same time frame they visit social media an average of one hundred forty five minutes.

It’s safe to say that if consumers spend nearly a fourth of their day on an activity, it behooves businesses to make contact with them there. Social media has become one of the most important places for businesses to connect with consumers.

It’s vital that those businesses approach customers honestly. It’s important to build a healthy relationship that’s entertaining, transparent and responsible.

There are seven sure ways businesses can build trust on social media. These methods aren’t silver bullets that work in a day, but they’re good habits that help guarantee success.

1. Provide Quality Content

Having a good product is always a good place to start. In terms of information, your product is your content. Whether the intention is to entertain or inform, the content needs to be of a quality that shows visitors your business is serious.

That means text must be well written, well placed and properly sourced. Images and sound must be clear and pertinent, with all rights cleared. The content should be useful to visitors. It should engage them in a way that makes them expect and want more.

Having good content makes a business appear to be an authority on a given subject. If done properly it can make that business appear to be a leader, a resource that outdoes its competitors.

2. Encourage Interactions

Don’t make communication a one way street. Use the interactive capabilities of social media to engage, inform and instruct consumers. Respond to questions quickly and encourage debate. Have a strategy in place to take advantage of your interactions. Lead generating ads and email campaigns are ways to develop a relationship.

Ask users for their opinions, and let their responses become a source of valuable content for you. Stay engaged by posting visitor reviews and client testimonials. When your customers see they have an actual place in your world, they’re more likely to trust you. A sense of community builds quickly when you’re involved in a dialogue that includes multiple interactions with your patrons.

3. Maintain Transparency

Let your customers know what you’re doing. Be upfront with them about what drives you. Tell them where you get your supplies and information. People don’t expect your intimate details, but they don’t want you to keep important secrets from them.

If you’re having troubles that are making your business suffer, let people know about it. They can’t stick with you through the hard times if they don’t know you’re having them. On the other hand it’s a good idea to be vocal about your successes. If your company worked hard and got another round of funding, let people know.

Spread the word when a windfall comes to you; let customers know when your business performs unusually well. People like a winner and enjoy being part of something that works. It’s not that you’re looking for a pat on the back; it’s just good to let customers know where you stand in relation to the rest of the field.

4. Display A Consistent Brand

Trust is built by consistency. You can’t be cold one day and hot the next. If you’ve shown you support a product, methodology or service, you can’t simply make it unavailable unexpectedly. If people come to you and see you have a certain way of doing things, you mustn’t suddenly adopt a whole new approach.

Even if you upgrade or relaunch your business, customers should still be able to identify your brand. Likewise, don’t say one thing but then do another. Your actions have consequences, and so do your words.

A business builds its brand over time, and the power of time is consistency. Once you become known for a way of doing business, people know they can trust you to deliver.

5. Be Original

Trust your own thoughts and your own ideas. No matter what sources or materials you use, the way you do business will be unique. Even a franchise duplicating a process used by thousands of venues will speak in the voice of its owners. Let the personality of your business shine through.

Social media is made for exhibiting a certain persona. The more your business takes direct ownership of its branding and presentation the more visitors will believe what they see is the real you.

6. Show Social Responsibility

Let people know you care about the world you inhabit. This can be anything from championing social causes to advocating changes in your industry. Consumers say time and again they prefer dealing with a business that shares their core values.

More than seventy eight percent of the public wants businesses to be involved in social issues. Another eighty seven percent make purchasing choices based upon shared beliefs with a company.

7. Work Openly With Colleagues

Get like minded businesses to partner with you and speak on your behalf. Praise from a third party carries more weight than tooting your own horn. Do joint ventures with other businesses, especially if it provides a benefit to your customers.

These liaisons paint your business as a thought leader and influencer. More importantly, the combined Internet linkage of the participating businesses carries your brand further than it can travel alone.

How Can You Know If Graphic Design Is The Career For You?

There is no disputing that graphic design is one of the top jobs to look out for in the coming years. Demand is increasing every day, not to mention that graphic designers earn a decent wage of between 18 and 30 dollars per hour, depending on the experience.

An average of $45,000 a year, all you need is a computer, and you can work from anywhere in the world in your pajamas if you want to? It sounds like pure bliss but let’s back up a little.

Choosing a career path is a major and life changing decision. You either end up loving your job, or you dread having to work every day. If you end up with the latter, you have two options: change careers and start over, or swallow the bitter pill and continue to be miserable anyway; both are terrible options, in my opinion.

However, all of this can be avoided if you take the time to explore your options and figure out which career is the best fit for you. But how can you know if graphic design is the right option? We have some ideas to help you figure that out.

To start, ask yourself the following seven questions before deciding whether graphic design is right for you.

Do You Mind Sitting For The Entire Day?

Graphic design is not an active job. Unless you need to go for a short walk to get some inspiration or stretch, you’ll be spending the greater part of your day in front of your computer with hardly any movements and little to no interactions with other people. It could be a bonus for some, but are you okay with it? 

How Do You Deal With Criticism?

As a graphic designer, People will analyze, judge, and comment on your work. But not all will be positive. What no one tells you is that no matter how brilliant you are or how many years of experience you got stuck up under your belt, you will not be the perfect fit for every graphic design task, and not every customer will be satisfied with your work. You must grasp that, it is ultimately about the clients, not you.

You and your clients must share the same vision, which may take two or three attempts. This means that if you want to pursue graphic design, you must have plenty of patience and be willing to learn from every instance of criticism. If criticism isn’t your forte, graphic design isn’t for you.

Do You Have An Artistic Bone In Your Body?

Let’s face it. Not everyone is a creative person. It’s a bummer, but it’s the truth. Unfortunately, most young people are led to believe that all you need for a thriving graphic design career is a computer and a few software programs like Photoshop. Not at all.

Graphic design is basically a form of art. It would work be best if you had a natural eye for design and the ability to discern what looks visually pleasing simply by looking at it. A naturally talented graphic designer can easily break out of a creative jam by drawing inspiration from the most insignificant sources.

Are You Prepared To Learn For The Rest Of Your Life?

Is the thought of a never-ending learning loop appealing to you? If not, it’s time to consider a new career. It is of little significance if you have a degree in graphic design or have worked in the profession for a few years. Every day, every project is an opportunity to learn something new.

You’ll be expected to keep your knowledge and skills up to date to keep them time-proof in an ever-changing industry. Otherwise, new design software and trends will develop in the next several years, rendering your skill obsolete.

Can You Keep Strict Deadlines?

Whether you work full-time or freelance, the world of graphic design is intense and fast-paced, and designers are expected to keep pace; otherwise, you’ll lose the majority of your clientele to your competition. If you’re serious about getting into graphic design, ensure you have excellent time management skills because you’ll be required to meet stringent deadlines, which will allow you to keep more clients and earn more money.

Can You Handle Tedious Work?

You won’t have the luxury of picking and choosing whatever projects you want to work on at the start of your career. Nevertheless, you’ll need as many jobs as possible at this point to build your portfolio and polish your skills. While some projects will be thrilling, others will be boring and repetitive.

Regardless, you’ll need to approach them with the same level of competence and professionalism as you would with your favorite projects. So, if such a situation comes, will you find the zeal and motivation? If you can respond yes to that question, graphic design could be a good fit for you.

Are You A Team Player?

Being a team player is an important skill if you want to thrive in any field, and graphic design is no exception. While you may be allowed to work alone on a minor project, larger projects require teamwork to achieve the best results. Expect ideas, opinions, and insightful comments, all of which you must accept graciously.

Wrapping Up

How many of the questions did you answer affirmatively? If you failed in one or two, don’t give up just yet; take some time to do some soul searching and contemplation. You might find that you’re cut out for graphic design, After all.

6 Reasons Why Your Company Should Hire Military Veterans

The job industry is always changing in 2021. Every other week, there are new services, new products and a wheel of ever-evolving skills that are sought after from global companies. 

Businesses may find it difficult to keep up with finding qualified candidates in their industry, simply due to not knowing where to look or not being confident that they can find the appropriate talent within a sea of new industry developments and expectations.  

Has your company, though, thought to investigate one of the most untapped, but perhaps the most skilled, resource? The best talent that you can possibly employ is…our Military Veterans.

That’s right! as employees, veterans bring incomparable skill set and expertise that will add value to your company in ways that you might not have even thought possible.

Please read on and see the 6 reasons below as to why your business should hire military veterans.

1. They Are Quick Learners

Your dream employee may be someone who you don’t have to spend a lot of time training from scratch or walking them through repetitive processes. Well, Veterans are trained to make snap of the finger decisions in order to keep safe or when working with new skills or ideas.

So, if you need someone who is comfortable performing under pressure, veterans may be the candidate for you. For example, if you have a customer service or project management team who are always working on high stakes projects for customers, a veteran will be able to effectively blend in, transferring their knowledge of how to stay focused and organized within a busy environment.

Also, if you’re looking for help in your warehouse or shipping dock, veterans are able to learn the ropes quickly.  People who have operated tanks, troop transports, cranes and other heavy equipment in combat situations is most likely going to do an awesome job within your physical labor or transportation operation.

2. They Value Teamwork More Than Anyone

When it comes to teamwork, veterans probably know more than anybody the importance of comradery between groups in order to be effective. Vets work within a structured unity daily and understand that a well-rounded team is most important with successfully reaching goals.

3. They Respect Company Safety Protocols 

Health and Safety protocols are a daily part of everyone’s job, especially in 2021. With the help of thorough physical training that veterans are required to go through throughout the year, veterans are respectful of company’s protocols put in place to protect the staff. Due to this, Veterans are also equipped to recognize or point out any security threat, whether that is intrinsic or extrinsic, within the company’s parameters.

4. They Value Inclusion.

When veterans are in the field working side by side with their comrades, race, gender or ethnic background is an afterthought.

Veterans can be Great influences on how companies should respect coworkers and employees as people first, regardless of factors such as religion, origin or background. Their presence can promote inclusivity and diversity amongst the company and a reminder to treat people kindly no matter their varying economic statuses for political views. That can bring a calming and open aura to the office. 

5. They Are Tough. 

For a vet, being in the middle of a combat zone, or going through a rigorous training course, requires endurance, stamina and immense critical thinking skills. In order to have gotten through the day, veterans knew that slacking was not an option. In the work environment, veterans will navigate the day with that same thought process.

To them, every task has a purpose, and they want to see a goal through to its completion. Those in the military are hardwired to be mental tough, thorough and accurate, no matter if the task seems too difficult. Why wouldn’t you want someone like that on your team?

6. They Are Ahead Of The Curve With Technology 

Veterans are exposed to varying types of cutting-edge technology while in the military, which is one of the reasons why they thrive in this sector.

Since the military invests millions into technology each year, many veterans gain valuable experience in this industry. Every day, some military members are involved with learning and working with state-of-the-art technology, which will serve them well once they integrate into the civilian world.

So, not only will veterans have highly-sought-after skills that your engineering company needs, but you will have a brand-new team member that is detail-oriented and self-disciplined because of their uncanny ability to problem-solve and work under pressure.

Seven Strategies For Effectively Maintaining Stress In The Workplace

Workplaces are officially starting back up again after their prolonged downtime due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re going back to work and find yourself stressed out and don’t know what to do, there are a few simple strategies and tips you can participate in to reduce your stress.

Stress is natural and happens to most everyone, especially at work, but that doesn’t mean you just have to live with it without doing something. Follow these tips and strategies to effectively reduce the stress you feel at your workplace.

Keep Perspective

One of the worst parts about stress is the hopelessness it may make you feel. People usually feel much smaller and completely insignificant when they’re feeling stressed, which can lead to a spiraling effect of more stress and greater isolation.

It’s important to keep yourself and your life in perspective when you’re feeling stressed. You can go over what the best- and worst-case scenarios are for any given situation and find the sliver lining in the emotions you’re currently feeling. You can also look back to find other situations which felt worst than what you’re currently experiencing to cheer yourself up.

Maintain Control

Another common response to stress is to completely let go of the things you can control and start to feel bad for yourself all the time. It’s important to avoid this pitfall and remember that you still have some control of the situation you’re experiencing. Don’t tell yourself that everything is hopeless and that you must have others to help you out of the spot you’re in.

This can lead to spiraling and discourages you from taking account of the situation. While you can absolutely call on friends and families for help (more on that later) don’t feel like they’re obligated to solve all of your problems for you. It’s important to find yourself in the midst of your stress and relax yourself.

Just Breathe

On a more micro level, there are a few things you can do which will be immediately rewarding. The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and simply breathe in and out. This will help calm your nerves and make your body more relaxed.

Relaxation is a great way to counter stress because the two are essentially diametrically opposed. It’s incredibly difficult to feel panicked when you’re calm and breathing in and out in a measured and conscious manner. Take a few minutes to empty your mind and remind yourself that it’s not as bad as you think while you’re breathing.

Ask For Help

Once you’re sufficiently relaxed for the time being, you can take it upon yourself to ask for help. There are plenty of people in your life who are willing to help you through tough times, such as your friends and family members.

You should have a closely knit network of friends and colleagues so that you can turn to them whenever you’re feeling stressed or insignificant. There’s nothing like the comfort and touch of a good friend to keep you sane and move you through your day in a measured and calm manner. Never be afraid to ask your friends or family for help.

Develop A Course Of Action

In addition to calming yourself and asking for help, it’s important to understand that your stress will be mitigated if you have a plan of action for your day and life. Making plans greatly reduces stress because it helps you calm down further and signals to your body that the situation is in your control.

Plans and schedules also help keep your mind off of what you don’t know or may be stressed about during the day. You can make a plan during your breaks or throughout the day and stick to it to keep yourself calmed and stress free.

Develop Your Own Strategies

In addition to these strategies, you can make your own plan about the best course of action to take for yourself. You can devote yourself to a project that you’ve needed to do or meditate at your desk. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress because it gets your endorphins running and helps adrenaline escape in a healthy, measured, and controlled way.

Whatever you choose to do, there are several ways to help yourself relax and keep calm. You should stick to the activities that help you and discard those that may not be doing anything that you can see or feel.

Make Positive Relationships

While you can always go to people you know and trust when you’re feeling stressed, you can also make new relationships at work or at other locations throughout your day. Keeping your heart and mind open to other people will help you destress and combat any feelings of inadequacy.

You should try to stay off your phone during the day and pay attention to what others are doing around you. In addition, you can start a mentorship program or become a protégé. Being molded by someone else’s hands is a great way to feel in control of your life and help you destress.

Seven Tips For Enhancing Workplace Collaboration

Workplaces are returning to normal, and managers are reconnecting with employees in real time and in person again. Colleagues are also coming back together and relearning how to work together again for the betterment of the team and the company.

This process can take some getting used to but there are many tips and techniques for speeding up the awkward return to work that can help your workplace become more productive and efficient than it was even before the pandemic ran across the nation. If you’re looking for a happy and collaborative workplace, try these seven tips and techniques.

Have A Common Purpose

Nothing rallies troops together like a shared goal or purpose, and it’s no different for workplace employees. You should bring your employees in on the first day and remind them about your company’s values and vision for the future.

You can inspire them to work productively by giving them a goal to strive for and a hypothetical future to look forward to. Employees are much more likely to make a meaningful contribution if they believe in the vision of your workplace and can see their hard work doing great things in real time.

Make Friendships

Another technique that inspires employees in the workplace is the belief that they’re working with people they can trust and rely on. In order for this idea to take shape, you need to foster friendships within the workplace and attempt to have your employees see eye to eye with each other on a number of topics.

Of course, you can’t force people to be friends, but you can instill a culture of friendliness and dependence for multiple people working on the same team. Your employees will be more engaged when you use this method, and they’ll work harder and faster knowing their friends are depending on their efforts.

Use A Corporate Social Network

Social networking is not just for your customers. Your employees like to social network to and you can take advantage of this love by allowing them to hop on a corporate social media page and engage with their colleagues and supervisors.

Many companies have found that social media networks boost the productivity and engagement of their employees and lead to better and more consistent work across the board. This works because social networking will make your employees feel like a part of the team and like they’re contributing to something meaningful.

Make Reflection Key

Just like in an individual’s life, reflection is often the first step to improvement and the cement used as the foundation to a better and more productive life. You should hold retrospectives for your employees and allow them to voice their complaints and positive messages about the work the office has been doing over the last few weeks.

You should record these sessions and take notes about the things that are on your employees’ minds. This recording and the notes you take will help you give direction to their frustrations and positive feedback and allow you to show them what they could be doing differently from week to week. Introspection and retrospection are two key ingredients for collaboration and engagement.

Establish A Culture

This is a fundamental idea that many businesses today struggle with. Corporate identity is often put first, and employees struggle to find themselves with the confines of the business mentality on a daily basis.

You can nip this fear and frustration in the bud quickly by giving your employees a culture to rally around and engage in without feeling self-conscious or fearful. Once you establish a culture of high-quality work and confidence, your employees will follow suit, and they’ll collaborate in an easier and more relaxed manner.

Be A Top-Down Leader

One frequent mistakes many managers make is to lock themselves in their office and focus on tasks that may not be as important to their direct employees. While you obviously have to keep an eye on your outside responsibilities and make sure your bosses are happy, your employees should also feel like they can talk to you at any time of the day.

If they’re feeling swamped or beaten down, they should be able to enter your office and talk to you about it. Managers are with their employees in a personal way, walking among them and making sure everything is going smoothly. Taking just a half-hour out of your day will go a long way in helping your employees with the task at hand.

Highlight Strengths

Finally, one of the best ways you can manage and make sure your employees are collaborating together well and frequently is to highlight the strengths of each person in your office and delegate in turn. No one person is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. If you can find and accentuate the strengths of your employees, you’ll be one step closer to bringing the office together and making sure everyone is doing their best work at all times.

Technology Advice And Tips While Working From Home

The Covid-19 pandemic may finally be winding down in most areas of the country (and hopefully it will stay wound down) but people all over the nation are still working from home. The new normal is apparently here to stay as many individuals as possible across the nation have been working from home for over a year and there appears to be no signs that they’ll stop anytime soon.

Indeed, the time is still right to learn all about your new digital workspace and take advice on the best tips and tricks to successfully work every day. If you’re still working from home, here are the seven best tips for staying connected and focused with technology.

Keep Your Data Secure

It’s incredibly important to have a secure Wi-Fi connection from your house. If your workplace didn’t provide you with a Wi-Fi connection, you need to stay on top of your own, ensuring you have a password put in place to stop others from stealing your information.

There have been many attempts at theft by neighbors and others who know people who work from home and have easy access to their work secrets thanks to unsecured Wi-Fi. Your work should provide you with a way to stay safe and secure if you have to work from home and handle confidential and classified information at the same time. Don’t trust public Wi-Fi and always keep your passwords a secret from those around you.

Use Technology For Idea Storage

If you’re working in an office that has recently moved online or are managing that same office, there are a number of problems that can arise in the span of a few days. Workflows will be disrupted, and new routines will have to be thought of and implemented as employees become accustomed to their new working environment.

The workload and workflow can be streamlined, however, by using the technology available at everyone’s disposal to make changes and keep track of notes and differences in the two workplaces. You can use your laptop and other technology to capture and organize ideas and processes which may still be new to your workplace easily.

Utilize Video Messaging

One of the largest changes that’s been made in the recent year is the idea of using video conferencing to work through problems and connect with teams in a more consistent and unified manner. Platforms such as Zoom and Loom have been made the norm and have allowed employees to share and discuss ideas in an easy and time-sensitive way, without wasting many resources or disrupting their daily routine.

You should always be recording your screen when hosting a video conference because this is the easiest way to remember what was said and when. Video conferencing technology also allows you to go back and replay what you may have missed in the meeting easily.

Videos Are A Must

If you’re having trouble adjusting to your new workspace and flow of progress from your home, Loom can help you in another way as well. There are dozens of how-to videos and training sessions on the platform, as well as FAQ videos about a number of subjects, mostly pertaining to working from home. You can use this technology to help guide yourself through your new circumstances and connect with your colleagues or employees more easily and fruitfully.

The best part is the affordability, as there is a multifeatured free version of Loom available to employees and employers. Use this technology to become accustomed to working from home and giving yourself an easier time with the work you have to do on a daily basis.

Don’t Fall Prey To Phishing

Phishing and phishing attempts are almost as old as the internet itself. When someone tries to phish you, they’re usually trying to get you to click on a link and provide them with personal and extremely sensitive information. They then use this information to access personal resources such as your bank account and other private entities you use. Your workplace can be the victim of phishing attacks to if employees and colleagues are not careful.

You should know the signs of phishing: the e-mail you receive will come from an unofficial from address, it may seem urgent or dire, and it will almost definitely include a link to an obscure website. The text may also be poorly written to weed out those who won’t fall for the attempt from those who will. Make sure you’re wary of these attempts and don’t yourself or your company fall prey.

Back Up Your Data

Finally, you should regularly back up your data to ensure no progress is lost on your work. Computers and laptops can malfunction and shut down at a moment’s notice, and you may end up losing dozens of hours and hundreds of files’ worth of information from your laptop if this happens to you.

Your files can also become corrupted, and hackers can gain access to your software if you don’t back it up often. You should keep additional copies of your work in a secure location and make sure your work computer is frequently updated to make sure none of these negative outcomes are met.

How To Network Like A Pro: An Essential Guide For The Budding Social Butterfly

Are you a creative type? Are you looking to grow your business and your personal network? If so, this blog post is for you. I’ll be sharing my insights on how to be more social and build connections that will help propel your career forward and give you the opportunities that come with it.

It’s not just about meeting new people and shaking their hand. Networking is building relationships with other professionals who can help you grow your business or career in a variety of ways—from introducing you to potential clients to hiring you for a project.

Know Your Niche

The first step when trying to find ways to network as a creative is establishing your niche, that is, what your unique talents and skills are and the audiences that are looking for your expertise. Make sure to take the time to brainstorm. The more specific and distinct your niche is, the better.

Your Professional Profile

Your niche should be reflected in your personal website, online portfolio, and LinkedIn profile. While you may not know exactly who’s looking at these places yet, you can narrow your search by looking for keywords related to your niche in the content on these spaces. What companies in your field are hiring? What opportunities are most desired? What are the differences between your skills and the skill set of others?

Vigilance

When developing your personal network, it’s pays to stay vigilant, especially if you’re a freelancer. It’s important to always be on the look out for new opportunities. There are many things you can do to expand your network and get the chance to meet new people. And while you can never make a connection happen by sheer luck, you can definitely turn luck in your favor by staying open to opportunities and showing up. Being in the right place at the right time can make all the difference in the world.

Ways To Connect

If you’re looking to connect with creative people in your area, here are a few tips on what to do.

Local Meetups

Take the time to visit a local meetup group or conference that caters to your skills and expertise. Meetups allow you to learn new skills in a social and relaxed environment, all while interacting with others in your field. You’ll make valuable connections with other creative people, potential business partners, and can learn skills that will aid your job search in the future.

Once you’ve visited one or more meetups, then start reaching out to people in the area. Reach out to individuals on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Find out about opportunities that are relevant to your area of expertise.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is a great place to start. Look for groups that focus on your specific niche, then join a few. The more people in a group, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet people and make new connections. Be sure to stick to the group’s approved rules and avoid groups that spread fake news or present questionable connections.

Other Professional Networks

Networking groups are similar to meetups in the sense that they allow you to connect with other creative professionals in your area. Unlike the meetups, however, you’ll be interacting with people on a professional level and not just a social level. In addition, consider joining associations, guilds, and even non-for-profit groups in your area.

Blogging is another great way for creatives to make connections with other professionals in the field. Blogs provide a platform for creative individuals to connect with each other and share ideas, thoughts, opinions and more. The blog also provides readers who may be interested in your services an opportunity to learn more about you online, instead of meeting you at a networking event where you’ll be less likely to get quality time alone.

In sum

Some would say that the creative industries are a giant game of “who do you know”. It’s true — you have to make connections. The key word here being “make” as any good networking guru will tell you: it takes work and making a name for yourself can be difficult.

Stay open to the opportunities in your area and field of expertise, and remain willing to foster new connections by developing the skills you will need when they’re called for. The more specific you are about who you are and what you’re looking for, the more likely you’ll be able to find it.

Remember to know your worth. Most creatives start out working for free, for exposure. It’s important to realize that while this is an inevitable part of the journey, there comes a time when you’ll need to be paid for your hard work. You are no different than any other professional, know what deserves compensation and don’t settle with anything less.

How To Enjoy Work

Everyone wants to enjoy their work. No one wants a job where every morning feels like a punishment, or you got to work watching the clock in anticipation of the day’s end. “Thank God It’s Friday!” should be an exultation at the end of the week, not heartfelt thanks for being freed from a criminal sentence. Enjoying a job isn’t just available to people who are ‘living the dream’. Most work has some sense of fulfillment. It’s usually only a matter of having the right perspective to find it.

What Makes A Job Enjoyable?

In order to find pleasure in your work you must ask yourself “What makes a job enjoyable to you?” Do you enjoy variable hours? Do you like a particular type of work? Is it stability you crave? Do you need to show your creativity? Whatever questions and answers you have, you should be honest with yourself. Examine your motivations, and be sure your problem doesn’t lie within. If you’re being truthful, you’ll understand what it is you want. Understanding your needs is how you begin to get enjoyment from your job.

What Makes A Job Unpleasant?

Once you know what you really want, you can identify what’s standing in your way. There are several reasons why a person doesn’t like their job. Any combination of these reasons might help you understand what you must do to turn things around.

Type Of Work – You may not enjoy the type of work you’re required to do. Maybe you never did, or perhaps you did once but don’t anymore.

Poor Work Environment – Is the job site too chaotic? Is it dangerous? Are there unpleasant smells? Don’t underestimate how much an environment impacts how you feel about what you do.

Difficult Job – Is the job too hard for you? Is it physically taxing? Do you have the skill set to do the work? Be honest with yourself if you’re not up to the job. Maybe you can rise to the occasion, but first you have to know where you stand.

Inadequate Pay – Are you financially stressed? It’s hard to feel at ease when you have money worries.

No Room For Improvement – Does the job feel ‘dead end’ to you? You must see some future in your job, even if it’s only for the near term.

What Can You Do To Enjoy Your Work?

If you’ve identified the problem, then you’re looking for solutions. Here are seven things you can do to start enjoying your work.

Know What You Want From Your Job – Whether this is your dream job or a temporary position there was a reason you went after this job in the first place. Even if it was only to make money to make ends meet, you had a purpose when you applied for the job. You began to fulfill that purpose as soon as you got employed. Relish that accomplishment. Don’t expect more from the job than it has to offer.

Have A Manageable Schedule – Don’t let the job overwhelm you. It’s natural to spend at least a third of your waking day on the job. Use that time wisely, and integrate it properly with the rest of your life. People feel resentful when they think they’ve lost control of their lives. Don’t let your job become a convenient excuse for why you’re not doing the things you enjoy. If you balance your leisure time correctly, you won’t feel like the job is a punishment or a burden.

Get Along With Your Coworkers – There should be no one at your job you despise or resent. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but good manners go a long way. Show respect to your coworkers and demand it in return. At the end of the day it’s all just business. Everyone has a job to do. Keep it professional, and keep the personal to yourself. A job is more enjoyable when everyone works within the boundaries.

Don’t Make Work Problems Bigger Than They Are – The world doesn’t come to an end because there’s a problem at work. Most issues aren’t life or career threatening. Don’t fall for hyperbole or exaggeration. It’s easy to feel an issue is insurmountable when it’s right in front of you.

Be Clear About Your Job Duties – Know your place and the place of others. Do your job and encourage your coworkers to do the same. If you have a boss, get them to clearly define what you do. Politely insist that you not be made to over perform. It’s fine if you want to go above and beyond your duties, but that shouldn’t be a requirement. It brings a sense of fulfillment to perform a job well, but you can’t experience that if you’re being overworked.

Improve Your Skills – Empower yourself to do a better job. No matter what you do there’s always a way to become better at it. Even if it’s a job that doesn’t excite or challenge you, you’ll feel better if you become more proficient at the job.

Take Necessary Breaks – Rest is vastly underrated. Neuroscientists say that an exhausted person is more physically impaired than someone who is stumbling drunk. Give yourself mental and physical breaks. You’re not a machine. You have to rest and play as well as work.

Top 6 Characteristics Of A Positive Work Environment

We know what it takes to do the technical sides of our jobs, but one of the main factors that influences how employees feel about work is the overall environment. A work environment encompasses not only the work itself, but other factors such as the relationship with co-workers, managers, organizational culture, training, and development.

A positive work environment provides motivation for the employee to get through the day with as little stress as possible.

If you need help on how to foster a positive work environment, or if you need to know if you currently work within a positive environment, we’ve got you covered. Below are 6 characteristics of a positive work environment.

1. Positive Values

To start, an organization needs to promote positive values to attract a culture of honesty and ethics. A great mission statement is a good place to start. Have frequent meetings about your organization’s philosophy, mission, and values to make sure that your employees know that the company cares more about its workers than just referring to them as numbers. A company that is dedicated to sincere business practices recognizes the need to provide a positive work environment for their employees.

2. Open Communication

Every great relationship revolves around open communication and transparency, and your relationship with your work colleagues is no different. 

Open communication allows a safe space for employees to feel that what they have to say has value. Creating an opportunity to have these open discussions helps to get people involved and allows them to share their views and perspectives on how to achieve company goals.

If you are a manager, it is important to get together with your staff during meetings to discuss the organization’s philosophy, mission, and value from time to time to ensure that everyone knows that they offer more to the company than just their service.

3. Work-Life Balance

For us to be successful at our jobs, there must be a healthy balance between work and our personal lives.

When we have balance, there will be little to no feeling as if you are spending more time at work than you are with your family or friends outside of the office. Make sure that the days you have off work are truly your days off. Recharge from a workday by practicing self-care and doing things that make you happy. 

4. Training And Development

Due to ever evolving technology, it is important that organizations provide training courses for their employees. Not only does training and development courses keep employees on top of their A-game, but it also gives them access to skills that they can use outside of the company as well. 

An organization that is focused into pouring constant training and development into their employees is a company that sustains and enhances the productivity of the organization.

5. Rewards For Hard Work

Positive reinforcement toward employees is a must. I mean really, it is nice to come into a job knowing that if you successfully reach a goal or complete a task, that you’ll get some type of recognition for it. 

A company should have a system in place where they reward employees with gifts or special perks when developing and sharing cool ideas or innovative solutions. Keep in mind, rewards often come in the form of bonuses, money or even gift cards, but it doesn’t necessarily always have to be financial. 

6. Strong Sense Of Community

A solid team makes it easy for individuals to feel like they are supported. An organization should encourage teams to develop a habit of being vocal about expressing any new innovations, thoughts, or changes that they’d like to see within their department.  Teams should consider doing trust building exercises  together at least once a week to foster the feeling of community and openness.