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Lessons from a Caeer Hopper: Do Your Research

I have always been one to ‘wing it’ when it comes to job opportunities. I was naive to think the most important factor of my work was that I was having fun; the money would come later and everything would be fine. What an idiot I turned out to be. 

I cannot stress enough how much you need to research your future employer before making a decision. Google them, check out their LinkedIn page, find out where their offices are, who and what kinds of people work for them, or search latest news. Anything and everything will help as you collect information about a job you’re thinking of applying to. 

Listen up: know the facts and approach every career decision like a business woman. The more you know, the smarter you’ll be at taking up a job offer. Check sites like Glassdoor and Indeed for company reviews and salary ranges, know tax deductions and benefits packages, learn how much of your pay check will go towards these taxes and benefits so you know your potential true income at the end of the day. 

Dig deep and discover yourself. Ask yourself what type of worker you are. What kind of office environment do you want? How would you fit in? What are you awesome at? What do you suck at? The more you know about yourself in the work place, the clearer your answers will be. 

Have a question or topic you want me to discuss? Shoot me a note on Twitter @NadineNajla .

Stay tuned for my next tip: Write it down.

Lessons from a Career Hopper: Get a Mentor

I really, really, really wish while I was wrapping up my university days that someone told me to stop for a second and think about the impact of my decisions. I had my share of high-stress jobs during college and I was ever so confident about my game plan when I graduated, I even lucked out with securing a job in my field only a few weeks after I left campus. I took so many internships and went after so many freelance gigs so quickly, I didn’t stop to think financially and professionally what my future would be. I wish I had been smart enough to take the time and seek out guidance and advice from a mentor at that time. 

Looking back at my professional career, I can see so many mistakes I could have avoided had I had a mentor or a career coach. I’ve learned my lesson though - I’ve made mentorship a top priority in recent years so that I can always have people surrounding me with positivity, encouragement, and a shared connection that has guided me to making better decisions. I view my mentors like my fairy godparents: I treat them with respect, admire their work ethic, and show the love back for they will watch over me every step of the way as I climb the ladder. Even more so, get a mentor that will be honest with you and present facts about opportunities you’re pursuing from a research and experiential standpoint. 

Mentors can be people (get someone on your side!) you work with. Is there a co-worker who really stands out for you that’s always super helpful or goes out of their way to welcome you in every project? Reach out to him/her! Mentors can be someone you know through your online universe. For me there are plenty of people that I consider mentors who I only know from their online identities: be it their Twitter feed, their blog, or articles they share. The content they are constantly pushing resonates with me and I can always go to their sites for more advice. However you find one, grab them and never let them go. 

My next tip: Do your research.

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Lessons from a Career Hopper

If you have been following my Twitter feed recently, you may have noticed a stronger tone of opinion. I’ve become openly vocal about practices, policies, and experiences in the work place and beyond that have deeply affected not only my own career outcomes but many of my peers and colleagues. Many of the issues I’ve faced are directly related to being young and a ‘lady’. But instead of focusing on the negatives, instead of coming from a place of “no”, I feel inclined to pay it forward to those of you who perhaps are entering the workplace or looking for a new way to up your career game. Really, I want these posts to be words of wisdom.

Below are my tips and lessons for career-focused ladies:

  1. Get a mentor
  2. Do your research
  3. Write it down
  4. Stay relevant

I will be posting one tip a day over the couple of days so make sure to check back for more info. 

Next up: Get a mentor

Have a question about my little biz lessons? Tweet me @NadineNajla

Now go conquer the world!

My Take on Corporate Culture - Teams Should Be Like Minions

I’ve become increasingly interested in the sociological aspect of corporate culture, and I’m playing on the idea that any team should be like minions. This is how I feel [for the most part] when I’m at my day job.

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Yes, you read right. Minions.

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Despite the high pressure we’re constantly under, we love to laugh.

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Even at the most immature things..

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Everyone is a little weird in their own way, and that’s okay. It works for us.

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I’ll be honest - I’m probably the weirdest one of all,

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but if I fit in a place with everyone else’s version of ‘uniqueness’. 

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We get excited about the things we’re trying to accomplish.

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We love watching our plans fall into place,

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even though things don’t always go according to plan.

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We support each other,

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we fight each other even more,

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and one always takes it too far [usually me].

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The people I work with are amazing,

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so I salute them. 

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Corporate culture is what makes work places effective and unique.

The workplace should not be something that people dread every day. Employees should look forward to going to their jobs. In fact, they should have a hard time leaving because they enjoy the challenges, their co-workers, and the atmosphere.

The difference between being a team and just a bunch of individuals is that the individuals see themselves as separate from each other. Helping others is forced because you normally operate on your own projects, or your own part in a larger project.

Teams work together on all work related projects and help where necessary. It doesn’t matter who gets credit for what because you accomplish everything together. You’re knit together, not separated.

Jobs shouldn’t provoke stress in employees. While the work may be difficult, the culture shouldn’t add to the stress of the work. On the contrary, corporate culture should be designed to alleviate the work related stress.

In conclusion, banana.

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"This is a triumph of the teen-girl aesthetic approach to the world: that you surround yourself with images that you feel reflect who you are or who you want to be. This used to be derided as narcissistic or derivative, but aesthetic curation is now a widely popular, socially accepted, and venture-backed phenomenon … And in the digital era, the teen bedroom has glass walls. Everyone can weigh in. ‘When your picture is “liked” and commented on, it is a great boost of self-confidence and brings along much gratification.’"

Your Digital Marketing Agency is Ripping You Off

Relevancy. Anything a digital marketer does has to be relevant to your business. In other words, if we are working for a bicycle shop, any content we post should be related to bicycle shops. We would look for bike sites on the web and work to post content there on behalf of the client. There’s no reason to waste time talking about a bike shop on an astronomy or zoology site.

The same rule holds true with digital media. If customers follow your business on social platforms, it’s not because they’re interested in your favorite cookie recipe or the fact that one of your employees got a new puppy. They want updates and info that are relevant to the product or service you provide.

But too often, in the quest for something that will go “viral,” social media marketers will pump clients’ channels full of ‘social media fluff’. Pictures, polls, jokes, questions and other nonsense that doesn’t have anything to do with the business or the market it serves. This content exists simply because there is space to fill and a pressure on marketers to fill the space with something, anything.

Over the past year or so I’ve seen one particular horrible marketing agency push hard on social media, saying that you need to be posting all the time - but can never seem to come up with anything themselves. Want to know why? Because its labor intensive for the agency to come up with these posts and they get to charge you for it. They also get to charge you a fee for media booking, and you better be damn well sure they are charging you a fair fee and optimizing your ads.

Don’t believe me? If you are paying an agency to do digital for you, take a look at your Facebook page. Of all the posts they are doing, how much interaction is really happening as a result of that post? How much business are you getting as a result? A post with relevant content about your business that is linking to your site has value and could generate business.  A post that is Fluff talking about nothing whatsoever has no use and you are paying your agency dearly for it. If the engagement is bad, then that’s a direct result of your ad bookings.

There may be many good reasons for your business to be engaged on social channels. But you have to have a reason to exist there, and you have to demonstrate that reason daily with relevant, insightful content that enriches the lives of your fans. If your marketing firm can’t deliver content on that level, then they are the only business benefiting from your digital  presence.

My Most Anticipated Games of 2014

Here’s What I Have to Say About That

Excuse my language, but if I have to hear another fucking response to another response about how terrible the Lebanese government is, how Hezbollah, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.S.A and/or Israel are the planting car bombs in Beirut, or listen to entitled douchebags say that green aliens coming from another planet and landing in Beirut are ruining the country, I am going to punch someone.

This country is different now than it was five years ago. It was different then than it was ten years before. Before that, guerrillas were killing each other based on religion, and every intelligent mind fled the country for their life.  Before that there were intelligent minds hanging out on the beach and clubs smoking dope, doing lines of coke and thinking about what to make out of this country. Before them came the people that built the city, changing its landscape and creating what was once “The Paris of the Middle East”. This country - much like an animal - moves, breathes, changes and evolves and will always move and breathe and continue to evolve, but not if people continue to act as if they have an IQ that doesn’t surpass that of a goldfish.

There are parts of this country I hate. Recently, almost all the time I feel unsafe. The bomb that happened today was unbelievably awful. The bomb that happened last week was absolutely sickening. But I want to do something about it. I want to do more than post a stupid picture saying “I am not a martyr,” because there is no value in that. The people dying because of these car bombs aren’t martyrs. They are fucking victims!

Mohamad Chatah was not a martyr - he was an extremely intelligent person who was murdered. The people who died with him are innocent bystanders who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. They aren’t martyrs.

There are times I’ve called ISF on my late drive home, just to have them them not respond. I’ve stepped over disgusting things in every town from my area to Beirut, but I can’t call the police. What are the the police or army going to do to correct outrageous and disgusting behavior that is so common here, when they themselves act like pigs on the street?

I’ve lived in Lebanon for 12 years and there are people who have lived here longer than I have; there are people that have lived here less. All my friends and family have left, but I’ve stayed here because I love so many things about this country. Some of them have changed, just like some of the things I loved about the U.S. have changed. It’s a fact of life.

Given its  history, change in Lebanon happens slowly. Things people love will be lost. Things people hate will bubble to the surface. Things will keep changing. Instead of using energy to hate on all the things “going wrong” with this beautiful, interesting, evolving place, we should focus on the things we like and work to affect real change in those areas. Tweeting about how you are not a martyr doesn’t make you any less of a victim - it makes you as useless as the people sitting in that parliament supposedly representing you. It’s all useless talk.

There are plenty of concerned citizens of this country, there are even a few decent politicians, and if we learned anything from Mohamad Chatah’s death, it’s that we have thought-leaders that we should seek out and support, because not every person who is politically affiliated is an entitled dewchbag. 

No country is perfect. Not the U.S, not the United Arab Emirates, not Lebanon. But please, please, can we please stop the finger-pointing and whining and fake anguish? It’s just stupid, and if you act like an idiot then you’re country is going to treat you like one.

Content Marketing is a growing and powerful way that businesses of all sizes can use to reach their customers. As compared to traditional advertising, the focus is not to “interrupt” the user with a brand message. With content marketing the goal is to educate the potential customer, engage with them, build a relationship, and draw them closer to the brand.
How are Companies using Content Marketing?
To implement a digital media strategy, the types of tactics being used by businesses include:
Social Media (79%)
Article Posting (78%)
In-person Events (62%)
eNewsletters (61%)
Case Studies (55%)
Blogs (51%)
White Papers (43%)
Webinars/Webcasts (42%)
(see the rest above)

Content Marketing is a growing and powerful way that businesses of all sizes can use to reach their customers. As compared to traditional advertising, the focus is not to “interrupt” the user with a brand message. With content marketing the goal is to educate the potential customer, engage with them, build a relationship, and draw them closer to the brand.

How are Companies using Content Marketing?

To implement a digital media strategy, the types of tactics being used by businesses include:

  • Social Media (79%)
  • Article Posting (78%)
  • In-person Events (62%)
  • eNewsletters (61%)
  • Case Studies (55%)
  • Blogs (51%)
  • White Papers (43%)
  • Webinars/Webcasts (42%)
  • (see the rest above)

Why Your Facebook Page Reach is Going Down

If you manage a page on Facebook, then you’ve noticed recently that your organic reach has gone down quite a bit. It’s not just you: Facebook is has been quite transparent in telling marketers that they have to advertise to get their reach back. This is probably the first time they admit it.
This report from Facebook (via Ad Age) is not really breaking news for those of you who know your way around Facebook marketing.

"We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site." This means that Facebook will be heavily prioritizing paid placements over organic ones.

Further down the report, Facebook suggests that marketers should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.” So, who needs fans when you can pray for people to troll your advertising on said fan page?

Social media marketing was never really free, so I’m not in the least but surprised. Now that Facebook has FINALLY told marketers Organic reach doesn’t work on Facebook so please, puh-lease buy advertising,” then it’s time to kick every social media marketer, media-buying people and community managers in the a** and tell them “You better optimize these ads right and get me the best out of my dollar.”

Here’s Facebook’s pay-by-play:

Who else sees the Sinister Six in the trailer?

This video is amazing, and very intelligent. It breaks down exactly how the social aspects of human beings have evolved and transformed, showing how we’ve regressed from a social standpoint.

The trailer is finally out! I’m so excited!

"The Internet rewards the curious. I don’t think it has as many positive effects on the incurious. If you just go there to follow Justin Beiber around, it’s not necessarily going to expand your intellectual world. No disrespect to Justin Beiber."