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five year career plan

How to Create Your Five Year Career Plan

Why is it important to have a five year career plan?

Planning five years ahead can seem like an overwhelming task. However, a five year career plan is an important tool that will help you reach both your professional and personal goals. Creating a detailed outline of what you want to achieve will make this an easier feat and bring you closer to actualizing your dreams.

How to create a working five year career plan?

Brainstorm

The first and most important step in creating your plan is envisioning where you want to be in five years. Start by brainstorming and writing your thoughts down. Think about what you would like for yourself and where you want to be in life. Would you like transition careers, receive a promotion, go back to school, pay off student loans, or start a family? If it is a career-related goal consider what motivates you, your skills, and your experiences.  This stage is all about the big picture, nothing is off-limits when it comes to your goals!

Select your goals

In this phase, you begin to narrow down your focus. Look at the list you created and identify what is most important to you. Five years is a long time, but you can’t get everything done! It is a good idea to stick to a shortlist with five goals at the most. The goals you select should be both specific and tangible.

Steps using smart goals

The next step is to break-down your long-term goals into smaller goals. You should create a separate list for each goal. A good role of thumb is to come up with a SMART goal for each year. These yearly goals will serve as steppingstones for achieving the big picture.

Live it out

The final step is to live out! Remember to keep up with your goals and track your progress. Before you know it you’ll have accomplished your five-year career plan.

6 Work Habits You Should Have

Having effective work habits is important for your professional growth. Developing good work habits involves establishing repetitive activities that add value to your day. In the long run, good habits increase productivity, job satisfaction, and your odds of receiving a positive performance review.

Good Work Habits to Have

Set Clear Goals

Establishing clear goals gives you something to work towards. Having goals will keep you on track to achieve business objectives and give you motivation. A good idea would be to use the SMART framework to create realistic and impactful goals.

Stay organized

Being organized is very helpful in the workplace. This involves keeping your workspace neat, creating a to-do list and prioritizing projects. This will help boost productivity and ensure that all projects are done in a timely manner.

Take initiative

Taking initiate is a great way to stand out in the office. Being proactive shows others that you are driven and willing to work hard. Incorporating this into your daily routine will surely impress your coworkers and manager.

Be a problem solver

When a problem arises, no one likes a complainer. Look at problems as a challenge and brainstorm solutions. This will help you have a better outlook on the day and boost positivity.

Practice emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions and the emotions of those around you. This is useful in the workplace because it builds interpersonal, collaborative, and trusting relationships with your coworkers. In turn, creating a happy and team-driven environment.

Incorporate overall wellness

Maintaining your health, both mind and body are very important. Make sure you get enough sleep, take breaks when you need them, eat healthily, and move around throughout the day. Being healthy will help keep you at the top of your game!

Habits don’t form overnight; they take time and practice. Start small with one habit and continue to add on more as you become more adept. In doing so you are sure to see positive results in the long term.

Tips for Making the Most of LinkedIn

Everyone nowadays uses social media, and one of the most important social media platforms for job searching and your career is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional network, nurture leads and connections, and potentially find a job. With over 500 million users, it is important to optimize your profile to stand out. Here are some helpful tips to make the most of your LinkedIn page.

Tips for Using LinkedIn

Complete your profile

Firstly, it is important to make sure every section of your profile is filled out, including the about section. Be sure to write an informational and attention-grabbing summary because is the first thing users will see when visiting your page. You can do this by including keywords, your career history, and your future intentions. Be sure to give it some personality!

Be active

Having a profile is not enough, you need to be an active member of the community. You can do this through sharing interesting content, commenting on other user’s posts, and posting about industry trends. This will help make your profile visible, spark engagement with your content, and attract new users to your profile.

Make the right connections

Expanding your network for the sake of having a ton of connections is not necessarily the best route to take. You want to make sure your connections are meaningful and mutually beneficial to both parties. A good rule of thumb is to connect with people you know, other employees in your company, professionals in your industry or a relevant industries, and recruiters or users with a human resources role.

Send personal messages

A way to stand out is by sending personal messages to others. This is useful when requesting a connection or just to stay in touch with an existing one. Sending a simple friendly message can go a long way!

Request Recommendations

A recommendation from a colleague or boss attests to your skill set and makes your profile more unique! Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation to post on your page. You can ask for skill endorsements as well. The more recommendations and endorsements you have, the more reputable your page is.

Stay up to date

Lastly, stay up to date! Continue tweaking your profile and making it better, commenting on industry trends, and sharing your own updates. Staying active will keep you on your connection’s feeds and let them know what you are up to.

LinkedIn is a great networking tool and every professional should make the most of it. When properly used it can help propel your professional development and career!

Want to know more about networking and social media? Try How to Utilize Social Media in the Job Hunt or 3 Practices for Effective Networking

5 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

A well crafted resume should convey your experience, skills, and accomplishments. However, recruiters sort through hundreds of applications daily, so it can be a challenge to make your resume stand out from the rest. Below are five helpful tips to ramp up your resume and help you get that interview!

Tips to Make your Resume Stand Out

1. Customize It

Customizing your resume to each job you apply for is very important, and can make a big difference between getting an interview or not. To do this, take a look at the posted job description. Note what personal and technical skills the employer is looking for, what experience is required, and if there are any skills that are “preferred but not required.” From there, you should tailor your resume and frame your experience so it closely matches the job description.

This is also a chance for you to add keywords to your resume. Do some research and see what topics are trending in your industry, what the company you are applying for values, and their over-arching business goals, then try to incorporate these to make your resume even more unique.

2. Describe Your Achievements

Now that you have identified what the employer is looking for, think about how you meet that criteria. The experience section of your resume should not simply just list out the duties you performed in your last position. Ask yourself what you have accomplished and how you exceeded the expectations of the position, and include that in your description.

3. Quantify Your Success

The next step is to quantify your success. Numbers stand out in a resume and offer tangible results. Doing this wherever possible makes your resume more unique, descriptive, and concise.

For example, if you description says: “Attract and develop new business accounts through cold calling.” You could quantify it by instead saying: “Attract and develop new business accounts through cold calling 50 prospects per day with an average success rate of 35%.”

4. Always Write a Cover Letter

If there is an option to submit a cover letter, do not ignore it! The cover letter is your chance to further explain your skills, tell the hiring manager why you are a good fit, and to show off a bit of your personality. Make sure your cover letter is relevant and well-crafted.

5. Use your network

Lastly, after submitting your resume, reach out to your network. Knowing someone within the company and having them put in a good word for you can result in the recruiter taking extra time to look at your resume. A good way to do this is to look at your connections on LinkedIn and see if anyone you know is working for the place you are applying to. Shoot them a message and see where it goes!

Recruiters are the gatekeepers to interviews and your resume is the key! Having a standout resume gets you one step closer to getting the job!

For more information related to the job search try: 5 Best Ways to Get Hired

5 Tips for Giving an Interview Presentation

So you’re interviewing for your dream position, and you made it to the final interview round. All that’s standing between you and a new job is a presentation on why you are the most qualified candidate for the position. This can be a very intimidating concept however, with these presentation tips you can effectively communicate your idea while keeping the attention of your audience to get the job!

What’s the Purpose of an Interview Presentation?

Asking candidates to give a presentation in an interview is a common way for companies to assess someone’s abilities. The interviewer wants to make sure you will be able to deliver and is looking for qualities such as communication skills, organization, and topic knowledge.

Tips for an Effective Presentation

Giving a compelling presentation is a craft. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or newbie, you can continue to hone your skills. Here are some useful presentation tips no matter what level you’re at.

Understand your audience

Keep your audience in mind when you are making your presentation. Who is it for? What questions will they want answered? What form of communication do they respond best to? Be sure to consider these questions and incorporate elements of them in your presentation. Also, put yourself in their shoes and see if there is anything that is unclear or uninteresting, then adjust your presentation from there.

Follow the 10 – 20 – 30 rule

This idea comes from Guy Kawasaki. The rule states that you should have no more than 10 slides, your presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes, and you should not use a font size less than 30 point. This is an important rule to follow in order to keep your message short and concise. You will quickly lose your audience if you deliver your message in a roundabout way with saturated slides. Just highlight the key details!

Consider your tone

It is very difficult for people to listen if you are using a monotone voice, so be sure to switch up your tone. Use your tone to convey emotion, such as getting a little louder for something that excites you. Also, be sure to project your voice. This helps to hold the attention of the audience and ensures that everyone can hear.

Engage your audience

Engaging your audience goes beyond simply making eye contact. You need to work the room! Giving a presentation is your chance to emotionally appeal to your audience. Show your audience that you care about the topic and tell them why they should to. Also, if the environment is right don’t be afraid to throw a joke in, your audience will appreciate it.

Include stories

Presentations aren’t just about stating cold hard facts, you can make it more interesting by incorporating anecdotes. Furthermore, your presentation as a whole should tell a story. Think about how the facts you are presenting led you to arrive from point A to point B. Humans respond positively to storytelling and find it more relatable and easier to remember.

Check out interview tips or more of the PLS Career Blog!

5 Secrets to Master Supply Chain Visibility

The 3 main goals of supply chain visibility are 1) to reduce business and supply chain threats, 2) to improve performance and service, 3) and to identify inefficiencies and opportunities in the supply chain. 

Supply chain visibility refers to the knowing where products and materials are, at any point in time, in the supply chain. It’s a fundamental part of enhancing logistics functions and results in monetary and time savings. However, supply chain visibility is limited.

41% of E2open survey respondents reported that their supply chain visibility extends as far as tier one relationships with contracted manufacturers. Supply Chain 24/7 supports that result, noting that about only 30% of companies have automated data and event monitoring and/or have optimized process capabilities in place.

According to Jeff Dobbs, executive at Diversified Industrials and partner with KPMG, “obtaining real-time visibility across all tiers in the supply chain can significantly increase speed to market, reduce capital expenditures, and manage risk.” He also mentioned that moving toward a demand-driven supply chain is probably the single most important step a manufacturer can take.

So, how do you create visibility in your supply chain?

By following these 5 steps, you’ll be on your way to reaping the benefits of supply chain visibility:

  1. Define what visibility is for your organization.
  2. Work with your partners and suppliers to set expectations of data analysis.
  3. Implement technology and gather necessary information.
  4. Set KPIs.
  5. Analyze data, identify ways to optimize processes and reduce inefficiencies.

Transportation management software is an easy and efficient way to get started as it supports shippers by automating processes, managing data, and monitoring operations.Big_Data_Call_Out_Caitlin.png

We’ve heard enough about creating supply chain visibility, but what are the benefits of it?

  1. Reduce forecasting error and overall costs
  2. Increase data-driven decisions
  3. Boost productivity and efficiency
  4. Improve safety, optimize freight moves
  5. Deliver higher quality products and service

With supply chain visibility, companies can focus on best management practices, specifically in resiliency and efficiency. Real-time data is valuable in order to mitigate risk, notify customers or partners of delays, and drive the ability to make quick decisions. Visibility brings real value to the supply chain, expands operational consistency, creates actionable data, manages processes, and improves performance.

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Click Here for Logistics Management Best Practices White Paper