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Tag Archives: Blogging

Where to find new content for my blog?


Blogging IdeasEven though you are super excited about the subjects that you are blogging on, you will find yourself out of ideas after certain point. I guess, that’s what happened to some of my colleagues, who started blogging with me as a part of one of our MBA class, and quit blogging after few months. Though I have continued blogging from past 3 years, the path was not that easy. On various occasions, I found myself without any major ideas to blog about, and thought of stopping to blog altogether. The issue I was having was ….. I was unable to come up with new content every time. My life is not that boring, but I work a full time job and normally interact with the same people for the same kind of work. Thus, it became challenging to find out different content for my blog. And hence, through this blog I am going to provide you with  my experience on how I overcame that situation, and how I was able to find out different content for my blog.

Keep learning: The most simplest way to keep learning is through reading. By reading different experiences and mistakes of other people, you can avoid doing the same mistakes that they have done in the past. Let’s assume, if you read an article and don’t find anything interesting to blog about, then don’t be discouraged. Now, this is the extra knowledge that you have, which you can use it anywhere. Opportunities are endless. But yeah! If you are seriously looking to expand your blog, then you might want to read the blog related materials. For example: If I were to have a photography blog, I would subscribe to different photography magazines, blogs, books, etc., and I might read photography related materials online as well. Let’s say, you are not that of a big reader, then its ok too. In this world of multimedia, you can find interesting stuff related to your blog on YouTube, Vimeo, TED Talks, etc. Yeah! You might need to develop a habit to watch these videos regularly to come up with new content, but you don’t have anything to loose here. The only thing to gain is the knowledge. 

Observe yourself: Though this is a very simplistic approach, it’s very difficult to understand. Let me explain. Few years back, I also thought that my life was boring. I was meeting the same people, and doing the same work. I had a 8-5 job, and I was happy. But it didn’t give me much content to write about. Thus, I had to depend highly on my readings, which took me a long time, since English is not my first language. But few years back, I started looking myself from an outsider’s perspective. I go home every day, and analyze my recent achievements, and how did I achieve them. Boom! With this idea in mind, I always found myself new content. From interacting with people to leading my team, I was full of content without realizing it. This approach didn’t just gave me new ideas on how I can increase my number of blogs, but it also gave me a different perspective on my work, and how I can improve what I was doing. Sometimes, it takes us self-analysis before we can look at the same problem with a different angle. 

Provide advice: As my blog became popular, and I got some reader base, lot of people started instant messaging me for advice. If you already have a blog, then you know what I mean. People asked me all sort of things from how I would resolve their situation to how they disagree with my opinion on a given blog post. Though I liked having that discussion with them, I was not utilizing those discussions to the fullest. And I quickly realized that…..if I turn these communications in to a blog post, then I will not only answer my reader’s questions, but it will be out there for everyone to read instead of just few people whom I was communicating personally. And within few weeks, it became a big success. I got few guest posts on my blog, and I was able to share some of the ideas, which I gathered from my discussions with these people. By providing advice to people through your blogs, you will not only answer their questions, but you will also get a reader base, which is interested in your specific subject.

So, next time when you think about giving up blogging, please go through these ideas. I hope, you learn from this blog, and don’t stop sharing your knowledge. By the way, do you have any other ideas through which you have found new content for your blogs? If so, please share it with me here.

Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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Few tips to keep your Resume current while working


I have seen many people in my career, who only updates their resume when they are in the process of finding a new job. I would definitely recommend against this practice. With the current market place, one should keep his/her resume updated at all times. If an unfortunate thing happen to you, then you will be ready with your latest resume in no time. In order to keep your resume up-to-date, following are few things that I would recommend you to do………

Keep your recommendations updated: Do not just wait for someone to write you a recommendation. If someone (for example a friend, colleague, professor, customer, or client) praises you for your recent work or assignment, you might ask this person: “Would you write me a short note restating that so I can include it in my resume or LinkedIn Profile?” The chances are….. they will be happy to do so and they might even like your initiative to keep your profile updated. If they reply that they’d like to write you a note but are very busy right now, you can offer to do a draft of the note, which they can edit, put on their stationery, and sign. In this way, you are not becoming a burden on them and still getting your things done.

Update your resume as you go: In addition to asking for recommendations, you can also add to the items in your Resume by creating them. Let’s say, you are in the same job from last 2-3 years, but your responsibilities keep on changing. In this case, you want to make sure that you keep a note of all of your job responsibilities somewhere. I would recommend you to keep your resume located somewhere on the cloud using something like ‘Windows Live’ or ‘Google Docs’. In this way, when your job responsibilities changes or you take on more tasks, you can go ahead and update your resume right away.

Create work artifacts as you go: I would recommend you to keep a personal folder in which you can keep all of your documents or artifacts. By artifacts, I mean…..something that you created during your coursework at school or during your employment at your current company. Few examples would be….. Scanned copy of your performance review, project plan that you might have created, any framework diagram, or any documented e-mail showing your accomplishments. These documents will prove very handy during your job interview. Imagine if you were interviewing a candidate for one open position in your team, and he comes to an interview well prepared with all of his achievements documented. I am sure, you are more likely to hire that person as compared to any other person without documented proof of success.

I hope these tips will help you to keep your portfolio up-to-date with the current artifacts. If you have any other ideas through which you can keep your portfolio current, then please feel free to share it on my blog through your comments. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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What should you not have in your online Resume?


ResumeIn my last blog post, I have provided you with some tips to create your online portfolio, but I forgot to discuss what you shouldn’t put in your online portfolio. While you want to maximize the reach of your online portfolio by putting as much information as you can to find new opportunities, there are few things that you should not put there. Following are my recommendations…….

Don’t include personal information: This goes without saying….. Never put your personal information on your website (or Blog). For example: Your age, birth date, etc. Actually, I would also recommend you to remove your birthdate from your social profile as well. There are various online data mining sites, which can collect your information from different public websites and gather all information at one place. Thus, putting key personal information out from your portfolio is a wise decision.

Don’t put private information: Let’s say, you have a PDF format of your performance reviews from your past employers, and you did a really good job there, and now you want to show that to the world. Please do yourself a favor, and DON’T DO THAT. Of course, you can carry your past performance reviews with you during your interview to strengthen your case, but it’s a really bad idea to put it for everyone to see. I would also not put any personal conversation that you had done with your Manager over the internet. Let’s say, you have many documented e-mails to prove that you did a really good job at your work, please keep a hard copy of those documents and show it during your personal interview, but don’t make it publically available.

Don’t put your company related work: Most of you must be working at some company, and most of your work must be related to the company that you worked for. You might want to include these artifacts in your online portfolio to strengthen your future employment chances, but please don’t do that right away. Please ask your employer/management, if it is ok to upload these documents online or not. Sometimes, you might be unknowingly violating any copyrights by making those documents public. So, make sure to ask your HR Department, before you make any document public. Let’s say, if all of your work is related to your company, and still you want to show that to the world, you can do that too. Edit that work, and make it as generalized as possible, and then run by HR to see if you can upload that to your website now. Once you get your employer’s approval, there is no harm in putting those artifacts on your portfolio.

Don’t put confusing documents: If you have any project documentation that you have worked on, and you want to include that in your online portfolio, then don’t do it right away. Any portfolio item that needs context and explanation to be understood is not likely to be a very powerful document in a Web-based portfolio. You can insert little text boxes that attempt to explain the relevance of the documents, and you can even try using voice-overs to explain how the documents demonstrate your important points, but it’s not the same as being there yourself and responding to questions that the viewer might have. Thus, leave out those specific documents that must be explained to communicate the message effectively.

I hope these tips will help you to create a better online presence for yourself, while controlling what goes online and what doesn’t. If you have any other ideas through which a person can control his/her online image, then please feel free to share it on my blog through your comments. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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What should you have in your online Resume?


ResumeThose days are gone when we used to pass our business cards to someone, and they would keep them in their contact list. In the world of Outlook and e-mails, it is required to have your online portfolio. Some people won’t feel comfortable putting themselves out in the public, but those people will be at a disadvantage in their job search due to the competition. Thus, I would recommend everyone to have their online portfolio. And following are few tips to create it…….

Use free services: When I recommended my friend to create his online portfolio, he told me that it’s a waste of money. Well…… You don’t have to spend any money on your online portfolio at all. You can use various free services like Windows Blog, Google Blogs, WordPress, etc. These free services will let you create your blog for no cost, and then you can add different pages to your blogs. For example: A page to demonstrate your work experience, a page to demonstrate your references, and a page to provide a way for other people to contact you.

Include your contact details: Most of the people will refrain of putting their personal information out on web, while other people don’t have any issues with that. If you are one of those people, who don’t feel comfortable sharing your personal information on your website (or blog), then you can create a form for someone to contact you or create an another e-mail account through free services of Gmail or Yahoo, and put that e-mail address as your contact information. In this way, your personal information won’t be compromised and your contacts have a way to reach you.

Include your work experience: If you are looking for a job, then this added page is a must in your portfolio. This page can basically act as your resume, which can be searched online. Make sure to be as detailed as possible. Unlike your resume, which should be of certain size, you can provide as much information as you want on this page. So, why not make the best use out of it? Let’s say that on an airplane or at a social function you happen to strike up a conversation with someone for whom you might like to work. To get this person more interested in you, rather than just give her a business card and probably never get a call, you could also give her a Web site address for your portfolio. And with this ‘work experience’ page on your website, they can get more information about your experience before talking to you the next time.

Include your references: Let’s say, you are a contractor/consultant then this page becomes very critical for your portfolio. Of course, you need to take permission from your references to put their name on your website as your reference, but it is worth it. Imagine, if you were called for an interview and the person interviewing you asks for your references. In that situation, you can just point him to your online portfolio and lead him to think that you are some kind of a genius who came well prepared. If you have already few recommendations on your LinkedIn then you can either copy paste those there or provide a link for people on your ‘reference’ page to go to your LinkedIn account.

I hope these tips will help you to create a better online presence for yourself, while protecting your privacy. If you have any other ideas through which a person can enhance his/her online image, then please feel free to share it on my blog through your comments. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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