Renting out a room or a whole property through Airbnb is an attractive way to make more money, perhaps alongside another business or job. But managing your property takes up Continue reading
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Once upon a time, job interviews were fairly straightforward affairs. They began with a handshake, consisted of questions relating to your skills and experience and if you’d done really well, they’d end on a smile.
Some markets have more hurdles to get over than others. If you have a scientific product idea, perhaps in health, medical equipment, food & nutrition or veterinary you can succeed in building a business if you plan well and cover all the relevant requirements.
Wednesday 31st October is Halloween! For many people, it’s a day that conjures up images of scary costumes, trick or treating, or a lot of sweets and chocolate.
But for someone who’s just landed a new job, Halloween could be a scary time for other reasons; saying the wrong thing to your colleagues, showing up late on your first day, or even the fear that maybe you’re not good enough for the job.
In the run-up to Halloween ,marketing, digital and technology recruitment agency Forward Role took to Twitter to find out what people were most nervous about when starting a new job.
While being late on the first day and messing up at work were concerns that the majority of people seemed to have, only a handful of respondents said they weren’t worried at all. Clearly, the new job jitters is an almost universal feeling.
However, facing your fears might be one of the most important things you can do when starting in a new role. Brian Johnson, Director of the marketing, digital and technology recruitment agency Forward Role, says: “Starting a new job is one of the biggest life changes you can make, so it’s no wonder that people can fear the worst. Luckily there are some great ways to combat those first day worries, that will allow you to enjoy the experience of starting a new role as much as possible.
“We’ve put together our ultimate success guide for conquering your deepest fears on that first day in your new job so that you can come out on top.”
“What if I’m late?”
This is the fear that topped Forward Role’s poll, and it’s a fairly rational one; with any new job, it’s unclear how long it might take for you to get to the office.
It’s a good idea to reduce the risk you’ll be late on your first day by doing a test run of your commute in advance. That way, you get an idea of which routes to avoid due to the rush hour traffic, or whether that 3-minute transfer between trains is actually long enough.
However, you might still hit standstill traffic on your first day, or your train could be unexpectedly cancelled. If you do happen to be running late on your first day, the most important thing to do is to communicate. Speak to your new company’s HR department before you start to make sure you have a number you can call in the case of a delay and let them know in plenty of time.
“What if people don’t like me?”
This is probably one of the biggest fears we all have on the first day of a new job but put into context, it’s a bit of an odd one. After all, on your first day, you’ll probably get introduced to a lot of people, so there won’t be enough time for anyone to gather a solid understanding of who you are.
That said, first impressions do count, but thankfully, it’s pretty easy to introduce yourself well. Be polite: it’s always safer to treat people formally at first and adjust how you speak to them as you learn more about them. Also, don’t forget to smile, even if you’re nervous. It’ll make you approachable and increases the likelihood that other people will get a good first impression of you.
If you want more advice on creating a good first impression, check out this great guide on how to introduce yourself by Kara Cutruzzula.
“What if I wear the wrong thing?”
If you’re not sure of the dress code, dress formally. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed: it shows that you care about coming across professionally.
Even if you’re pretty sure that the dress code is pretty casual, double-check with your new HR manager in advance. Leave nothing to assumption and there’s no chance of you missing the mark.
“What if I don’t know what’s expected of me?”
When you start in your new role, it’s normal to feel a little out of your depth, since you won’t be used to the way the company works yet.
However, it’s not okay to feel unsure of what’s expected of you.
Organise a meeting with your manager as soon as possible to go through any questions you might have. Write them down in advance and take them to the meeting: it’ll show your new boss that you care about using their time effectively.
Not only does this help you get clarity on specific questions you might have about your role but it also encourages your manager to be more proactive in being clear in future, saving you both a lot of hassle in the long run.
“What if I mess up?”
It might not sound very reassuring, but the truth is this: we all mess up at some point. And unless you’re working for robots, the people you work with will have messed up too.
You should embrace failure early on; otherwise, the fear of failure will make you hold back. By holding back, you limit your ability to be creative, which ultimately puts a cap what you’re able to achieve.
Embracing failure stops you from playing it safe, so you can bring value to your new company.
“What if there are unspoken rules I don’t know about?”
Every company has its little quirks. You won’t be able to figure them all out at once but you can accelerate the rate at which you learn them by asking your colleagues.
For example, you might notice a pattern in who gets teas and coffees in and when they do it. Rather than wait a few weeks to figure it out for yourself, ask someone in your team what the deal is. That way, you turn an unspoken rule into a spoken rule and there’s one less thing for you to worry about.
“What if I’m not good enough?”
This is probably the biggest, deepest fear you’ll have going into a new job.
It can come from all sorts of places. We live in a time when imposter syndrome — the feeling that your success is down to luck, not skill — is rife, so one of the best ways to get past this fear is to sit down with your CV or portfolio before you start your new job and read through it. You’ll remind yourself of all that great stuff you’ve achieved previously, and that you impressed your new employer enough to land the role.
Alongside this little confidence booster, you should ask for feedback constantly to catch any small errors you habitually make and nip them in the bud. Asking for feedback shows a desire to improve; it indicates to your new employer that your skill level is not limited to where it currently stands and that you will improve at your job over time. Be open with them about where you want to improve so they can provide the right kind of support and you’re not left struggling.
No one is 100% confident going into a new job — but that doesn’t mean you should live in fear. Understand that everyone is human, including you, and — importantly — your employer. Hold your head high knowing that they chose you for a reason.
If you can be fearless in your new role, you’ll tackle every challenge as they come with confidence and perseverance.
So go on: face your fears… and beat them.
Steve Thompson is the Managing Director of Recruitment specialist Forward Role Recruitment.
When you are asked to give a business presentation or speech, do you find yourself focussing on what might go wrong? It can happen to the best of us so let me share tips and techniques to overcome a range of issues: technical problems on the day, challenging audiences, the rollercoaster of Questions & Answers, and when your mind goes blank.
Studying epochs and industrial revolutions, and giving lectures on innovation to business people, I noticed some common traits that distinguished successful societies and states form unsuccessful ones. This observation fascinated me and inspired me to conduct a more detailed investigation. Further examination showed that in all historical periods the differences manifested themselves in four integrated elements: knowledge, systems for ‘embedding’ the knowledge into society, labour management, and money circulation.
The more I pondered, the more closely I studied the various remarkable historical facts and analysed the ideas of prominent scientists, the more question arose. How did we happen to come here, to our planet Earth, at all? At what point of our development are we now? In the process of gathering information, accumulating and analysing knowledge, and correlating scientific and historical facts with hypotheses and ideas put forward by philosophers of both antiquity and modernity, a unified logical system was gradually forming in my mind, which I have set out on the pages of Humanity’s Lucky Clover. On the basis of the system lies a model for assessing the success of development of this or that society based on analysis of the four above-mentioned elements: knowledge, society, business and wealth. I called it a Lucky Clover model.
Our Lucky Clover model is based on innovation cycles that rest on four elements that can be compared with the four leaves, because it is growing and evolving.
- Science as a source of discoveries and inventions;
- Society as the recipient and custodian of newly created goods; changing society determines the content and form of wealth at any given moment;
- Business practices (entrepreneurs who set up ‘innovative charges’);
- Wealth (capital, the material basis).
To have a successful innovation cycle, it is required that all four of its key elements – knowledge, society, business, and finance – successfully interact with each other and develop consistently. In other words, just as in nature, a plant can be considered health if the development of all of its leaves match each other agreeably. A healthy organism of this sort is a ‘lucky clover’.
However, any organism must fade after the flowering phase. This means that a new lucky clover must take root and emerge somewhere else.
The first leaf, knowledge, enables us to understand how the world works, and helps us to get new knowledge. Innovations are needed to ensure that new scientific knowledge is converted into production opportunities and brings commercial profit. With the arrival of profit, production grows, and as a consequence, so does people’s wellbeing. Innovation is closely associated with invention, with new ideas or methods, because it implies their practical application.
But knowledge alone is not enough, since it does not work on its own. To make proper use of it, high-quality human resources are needed, created in the presence of developed and well-functioning social institutions in society. Therefore, society is the second leaf of the lucky clover.
Human society is characterised by interaction between its individual members and group within social institutions. As it has been observed, there is a stable relationship between the density of settlements and the intensity of innovation-based growth. A greater population concentration expands the boundaries of the possible for brilliant minds that are able to generate remarkable ideas. The interaction between such minds increases the probability of useful discoveries being made and disseminated among the general public. It is exactly this that makes modern global market society valuable.
An invention is the creation or realization of an idea. Inventions are always plentiful, but not all of them come to be used in practice, and not all of them produce surplus product in the economy and provide added value. Some people must take this risk of implementing innovation. These people are entrepreneurs, people who form a special class, without whom the scheme does not work, and the clover does not blossom. Business is another leaf of the lucky clover.
The fourth leaf of the lucky clover is wealth or money, an element that brings into focus the interesting question about the measure to be used to evaluate the success of innovation. In modern economic theory, this measure is economic benefit, which performs the function of maximizing shareholder’s means, and also serves to achieve a satisfactory level of economic development (featuring sustainable annual growth, an acceptable level of unemployment, etc.) on the macroeconomic level. Different organisms have different survival strategies, but the main result must be continuation of life in a particular environment. If you want to survive, you will have to adapt. In the Lucky Clover model, money works as a kind of ‘amplifier’ by making it possible to obtain and combine resources to produce new knowledge and successfully take commercialized inventions to the next development cycle.
But not only the Lucky Clover model helps us to analyse the past, it gives us an opportunity to try to look ahead and think about what awaits us in the future, what our society will be like, what will surround us and make part of our everyday life, what will the next innovation cycle be about, and where mankind’s demographic development curve will go. It could be a link that gives us a hand to generalize our ideas about the past and take a look beyond the horizon.
Vadim Makhov has a PhD in Economics, and is a well-known entrepreneur and expert innovator. He has taken an active part in many innovative projects carried out by various Russian and foreign companies, and initiated the development of many new products. He founded the Bard Worldwide Investment Fund, which is concerned with the development of future technologies.
Strategy is a much-abused subject.
An online search of the word alone produces over 93 million references.
A similar search on a popular retail site shows that there are over 120,000 books written about it.
So, there is no shortage of opinion on the topic, but are they any help?
How many times have you bought an earnest book on strategy and not finished it because it was too long-winded?
A good strategy needs to be short, clear, and easy to understand.
Smart, and original if possible.
It is ironic that Mondelez, the company behind the much-loved Toblerone bar, has managed to prevent Nestlé from registering the shape of its four-fingered KitKat as a trademark – especially because the distinctive shape of Toblerone already benefits from this protection.
Babies laugh on average 400 times a day. Once you get to over 35 this has dropped to 15 a day – and, a recent US Gallup poll showed, we laugh less on a weekday than a weekend. Is this because we are at work and so often work is not fun? Is humour something that is no longer relevant in a politicised workplace? Or should leaders be thinking about the role of humour in their organisation culture and in their approach?
How many people do you know who’ve done a comedy course and dream of ditching their current job to become a stand-up? Comedy continues to be massively popular with audiences however the road to fame can be a hard one for comics.
Undoubtedly it’s a challenge for anyone but the very top acts to make a living. It’s great that someone like Bo Burnham can go from YouTube recordings to sell-out shows, but giving comedy away for free online isn’t sustainable for most comics.
So, where does the future of comedy lie? Will there be a dearth of diversity as only the ‘panel-show’-worthy survive? Or will breakthrough comedians catering to a wider range of tastes find their audience with the launch of new online comedy platforms?
Firstly, we predict that niche online streaming services, such as NextUp Comedy, will draw in new audiences who wouldn’t previously have considered themselves ‘comedy fans’. The online space doesn’t have the same barriers to entry as traditional comedy clubs which have had a reputation as stomping grounds for stag dos and groups of raucous friends egging each other on to heckle.
Watching comedy online is more flexible – people can do it in their own time, wearing pants (if that’s their thing). They can also take the risk of watching someone new without the humiliation of walking out of the room. This way they can discover new favourites that they will pay to see in person. As a result the ability to stream comedy will bring bigger and more wide ranging audiences into live comedy venues. That must be good news for the career-changing comedian!
Making a Living
Online video also provides greater longevity of individual shows for comedians. Imagine writing a full hour of carefully crafted material only to have it disappear after a month in Edinburgh. With much easier access to great camera equipment, when their shows are captured and preserved, new comedians will have a better chance of building an audience of fans, creating a new revenue stream, and developing a long-term comedy career.
With greater career chances for new comedians we will see a broader range of comedy. Giving airtime to a new ‘out there’ comedian in a club can be a risky move, and this caution has also been playing out on TV, where jokes that are considered potentially offensive or borderline are being edited out.
A favourite quote of mine is from the legendry comic George Carlin who said “’I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.” A lot of people yearn for comedy that pushes boundaries. We see it time and time again, with comedians like Bill Hicks and Frankie Boyle; pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable helps people laugh at the harsh realities of life.
By establishing online comedy as a major platform, viewers will have a choice over what comedy they watch and comedians (like you?) can be their true, unedited selves. Hopefully, this will contribute to a new golden age of comedy, where creativity and diversity are highly-valued.
See you on the The Comedy Stage?
Live comedy will always have a special place in the nation’s heart and since comedians like Michael McIntyre are filling huge arenas, there’s no reason why comics won’t become the headline acts at big arts-focussed festivals like Glastonbury. Festivals such as Bestival and Latitude already have dedicated comedy tents and are attracting big name comedians.
The idea of a specialist comedy festival, in the same way we have music festivals (in fields with tents etc.), may not quite work. However, I think the dominance of comedy at mixed arts festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe will lead to more cities hosting comedy festivals where they can utilise clubs, pubs, libraries and other community spaces as venues.
We already see this happening in Brighton and at the Camden Fringe. They may currently be only 10% of the size of Edinburgh but they have the potential to grow significantly. There are other places that could serve as great city-venues. How about Bristol?
Making use of technological innovation
Technology will help comedians spread their material further, but it could also change the very nature of their acts. Using props, sound and lighting, comedians already transport viewers into different worlds, whether it’s a childhood flashback or a surreal post-apocalyptic sketch. As VR, AI and augmented reality become cheaper and more accessible, I can imagine comedians using these technologies to transport the audience even further into their weird and wonderful minds.
So, far from technology leading to a dearth of creative comedy, I am optimistic that technology will 1) help give more new comedians a chance to succeed by putting them in front of wider audiences and creating a revenue stream; and 2) help comedians further engage their audience, find new fans, mix things up a little. With this comics can find their niche and continue to serve an important purpose in culture and society. And with everything that’s been happening in the world recently, we need more of you to give this a go!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SARAH HENLEY is co-founder of NextUp, a worldwide subscription video-on-demand platform specialising in stand-up specials. NextUp, described as is ‘The Netflix of UK Stand-Up’ (engadget), showcases the full spectrum of the live comedy circuit from sketch, character and storytellers, to gag merchants, observationalists and surrealists. As well as familiar household names, there are also acclaimed rising stars and circuit legends for you to discover.
NextUp members have access to recording tickets and exclusive discounts whilst comedians are supported through a 50/50 revenue share model. If you’re a comedian interested in being on NextUp, please get in touch.