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12 Questions for Mentoring Success

May 17, 2019


The articles frequently say that mentors give advice and sponsors give opportunity. This isn’t always the case. Based on my experience and research working with hundreds of mentors and thousands of mentees, I have found that the most successful mentoring relationships are rooted in a two-way dialog where mentors and mentees ask each other (and themselves) questions that result in career-advancing insights and opportunities for the mentee. Here are some examples.

Questions Mentors Should Ask Their Mentees

  • What do you want to achieve for yourself, your team and your company? This question allows both mentors and mentees to zoom in on specific strategies and behavioral changes that are in tune with the mentee’s goals. It moves the conversation from general to specific.
  • Why is this goal important to you, your team and the company? In asking this question, the mentor is doing a non-threatening reality check. He or she is helping the mentee assess if the goal is worth the effort needed to make it happen.
  • What difference will achieving your goals make? This question opens up a big-picture discussion about what is likely to happen when the mentee’s goals are achieved. It allows the mentee to assess the potential impact personally, professionally and corporately. It’s not uncommon for possible negative outcomes to surface (e.g., more time away from the family). These are not necessarily deal-breakers, but they are needed eye-openers.

Questions Mentors Should Ask Themselves

Too often mentor/mentee relationships are defined by the mentor telling the mentee what to do. In my experience, these are the least successful relationships as they tend to be short-lived and disappointing. For best results, mentors need to think of themselves as listeners and sounding boards, helping their mentees broaden their horizons. Asking themselves questions like these will help mentors successfully fill those roles:…

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5 Reasons Remote Teams Are More Engaged Than Office Workers

May 15, 2019


But what about for businesses? In an effort to retain talent, attract candidates and stand out in today’s tight labor market, more organizations than ever are allowing members of their teams to work from home some or all of the time. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the pattern will continue, with 73% of all teams having remote workers by 2028.

What’s less clear is the impact of these arrangements on organizations’ bottom lines. Do remote environments impact worker productivity? Is it possible to nurture both flexibility and increased engagement within your organization?

The short answer: yes. Remote workers regularly meet and exceed objectives, identify new processes, and contribute to company culture just as much as anyone in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. In fact, they tend to accomplish more. According to a two-year study by Stanford University, remote workers are, on average…

  • 13.5% more productive than their office-based counterparts,

  • 9% more engaged in their jobs, and

  • 50% less likely to quit    

This may seem counterintuitive, but the stereotypical image of a virtual worker – someone sitting around in their pajamas, prone to distractions, and in desperate need of a shower – has little basis in reality. Instead, imagine a diverse community of empowered, autonomous, and entrepreneurially-minded professionals.

Consider a few reasons why remote, at-home working arrangements increase team engagement – and, by extension, organizational productivity:

1. A remote workforce is a more inclusive, higher-quality workforce

Common human resources wisdom states that engagement starts with recruitment. To maximize job satisfaction (and therefore, job performance) you need to hire the most qualified, relevant candidates. Unfortunately, businesses are frequently limited by their local talent pools.

Call center positions, for example, are typically entry-level jobs with high rates of turnover. It’s not that employers don’t care, …

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Red Flags to Watch for When Hiring a Freelancer

May 13, 2019


Sometimes you get what you pay for and other times, you don’t. Over time, it is possible to build a reputable pool of freelancers that you trust and can work with easily.

Yet, finding freelancers when you don’t have any experience, or are looking for new talent, is difficult. Luckily, there are a few red flags to avoid when hiring freelancers, no matter their specialty, that can save you from hiring someone who may not fit your company for whatever reason. Below, members of YEC share the key red flags they look out for when reviewing freelancer profiles and resumes.

1. Unrealistically low rates

Wise men say you get what you pay for. If the rates are too low, this should cause suspicion. There is the reason why their service is so cheap, and you won’t save any cash by hiring an under-qualified person. You might even spend more money on fixing all the mess they’ve made. Always hire based on the value that a freelancer can bring to the table. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

2. Hourly rates

Hourly rates versus rates based on deliverables are key red flags for me. Whether I’m hiring an attorney, a programmer or a contractor, I always make sure they charge me based on the final completed project. I stay clear of professionals who charge by the hour as there is little accountability for their time and I find I often end up getting invoiced to death for incomplete work. – Thomas Minieri, Minieri & Company

3. No pending jobs

You might be hiring a talented freelancer to outsource to an already reviewed their rating and work done. However, if they are as good as they say they are they will always be in demand and already working on multiple projects. Being

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How to Hire the Right Personal Assistant for Your Startup

May 10, 2019


If you own a business and have created a website for it, you know there’s a lot of work that goes into it. It’s essential that you choose the right personal assistant because they can make or break whether or not your company runs smoothly.

You want someone that understands what you need and can help you get where you want to be, but this is impossible without first doing a little research and scoping out your options. You don’t want to go with the first candidate that seems like a good fit; instead, take the time to hire someone who has both the soft and hard skills you’d want any employee of yours to embody. Hiring the right person could result in increased user engagement, improved lead generation and more.

Here are a few tips to help you hire a personal assistant that’s right for you and your startup.

Determine your biggest time-wasters

Having a written list of all the tasks you spend too much time on and don’t add to your income’s ROI can help you determine if you even require a personal assistant in the first place. It’s worth it to take time to document how you spend your time on an average workday so you’re aware of what time is being wasted and could be used more productively.

Depending on your startup, there could be several areas of your business you could choose to outsource, including:

  • Social media: Creating social media content, planning upcoming social campaigns, scheduling posts, etc.

  • Scheduling: Making schedules, confirming appointments, making outgoing calls, etc.

  • Content planning: Brainstorming topics for your blog, website copy, email marketing, product descriptions, etc.

  • Management: Taking over bigger tasks that directly deal with business such as inventory and sales.

  • Customer service: Directly dealing with customers by answering

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20 Top Career Paths for the Tech Geeks

May 1, 2019


Are you looking for an attractive career opportunity to pursue? Keep on reading and find out some of the best career paths that will work best for you.

1. Data scientist

By being a data scientist, you will need to understand the algorithms behind data science, engineer data sets and communicate solutions that are tailor-fitted to the specific needs of the client. You can work with big brands and you can also choose to pursue a freelance career if you are seeking freedom. To start with, check out MastersinDataScience.org’s Data Scientist Guide and learn how the latter can help you build your knowledge and skills to be able to pursue an opportunity in data science.

2. Computer systems analyst

In this modern age of business, companies rely on the use of computers. Therefore, they will need an expert with the main responsibility of evaluating and improving the computer systems in an organization, making sure that it is fool-proof. According to Forbes, the median salary is $78,000 and the demand for this position is expected to grow as much as 22% from 2010 to 2020.

3. Software developer

When we talk about jobs for tech whizzes, being a software developer is one of the first things that come into mind. If you are good at programming and creating software solutions that will meet the needs of an organization, you are in for a treat. Some of the specific job roles include coding and testing new software, troubleshooting existing software, and collaborating with the stakeholders to develop the right software.

4. Mobile application developer

In an age when people are always on their smartphones, there is a huge demand for a mobile application developer. Basically, you will need to develop a mobile app that satisfies the needs of a business. You …

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