Conversation Starters Oct20

Conversation Starters

Wondering how to break the ice when you meet a new person at a networking event or are stuck beside someone on an airplane? Not sure how to take your conversation beyond the classic few “how are you/who are you” questions? Tuck a few of these intriguing, next-level questions in your back pocket, and you’ll be perfectly prepared: How do you make decisions when the stakes are high? What do you think is better – to be considered nice or to interesting? A living legend. Who comes to mind for you? If you won a huge sum of money, what would you no longer do? Who is your worst imaginable marriage partner? What do you consider to be the best work you’ve done? Are the best five years of your career ahead of you or behind you? Is there a piece of music you consider special? Why? Who’s the most creative person you know? Tell me about the first car you ever bought? If you could travel to the past in a time machine, what advice would you give to the 12 year-old you? Who has offered you the most useful career advice? If you had to live somewhere else, where would you live? What makes a person a good travelling companion? Tell me about a decision you made that has had a major effect on your life? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a pair of shoes? (Did they end up being your favourites?) What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday? Did/do you have a nickname – what’s the story behind it? If you could create your own nickname what would it be? If you could revisit one day in your life, which day would it be? Would you rather...

HER-oic Networking Jan10

HER-oic Networking

Fresh. Fun. Friendly. That seems to be the new mandate for women’s networking groups in Vancouver – the city with the infamously difficult social atmosphere – as a new generation of women leaders make it their business to connect women (online and off) with new ideas, positivity and a little fun too. Indeed, traditional networking can be a pretty tough nut to crack. Even with career experts lauding its many benefits and big-name CEOs crediting their successes to mentors, it’s hard to know where to start. And for some, the costs associated with membership in the city’s larger networking groups can make them financially inaccessible. It’s with these frustrations in mind that several new women-focussed business groups are popping up around Vancouver: 10-years ago, the Downtown Networking Association (DNA) launched out of a local law office to bring a new mix of diversity, work and play to women’s networking. Today, they host regular lunch and dinner networking events at Vancouver’s hottest restaurants. Then came along, the fashion-forward ladies behind Yes!Vancouver, who’ve artfully tied together networking and the social good – each and every Yes!Vancouver event directly benefits the international women’s charity, Dress for Success. And now, there’s another small group gaining traction with its urban appeal, hip branding and ability to connect – the locally-founded, Pink Tank Group. I checked in with founders Reagan Burwash and Lorena Laurencelle to learn more about them and here’s what they had to say: “Our goal is to create a community of success with all the fabulous local women in Vancouver,” explain co-visionaries, Reagan and Lorena. Reagan, who first sketched out the beginnings of the Pink Tank model with support from her manager at Dermologica, wanted to zero-in on a different kind of networking group – one that focussed on education and community at the cross-section of the social and professional. Lorena, who happens to be a colleague, joined in soon after to...

Love Monday #38: Social Reading Nov25

Love Monday #38: Social Reading

Too many I-don’t-cares on your morning news feed? Social media can be a powerful tool, or an equally mighty time-waster. A well-stocked (and edited) social network should be a daily motivator, not an emotional drain. We love tuning into our @SmartSavvy Twitter feed to see what awaits us each morning (and throughout the day). It’s stocked with opinions, news, laughs and ideas that help shape our own. Your daily reads online should dial you into opportunity and help you connect offline too. Here’s what our network’s been tweeting about this #LoveMonday: Reinforce your CMO staying-power with this fool-proof guide on what’s next for the C-suite, co-authored by @Domain7’s @ryanhanawalt and @WiderFunnel’s @chrisgoward via @bcbusiness … 160 hours of work per week is almost a non-measurement when it comes to how hard you actually work. But, when you’re burning the midnight oil, do you ever ask: who and what it’s all for? Is it for approval? Job security? Admiration? This writer @Guardian says, for him, it’s about the money – no apology. “I am not naturally hard-working, but if you pay me, I will do a good job.” … Daily laugh: 25 frustrating things about being an extrovert. (We liked #2, #4, #10, #13, #22) … What does it take to call yourself the Jane Bond of Innovation – and get away with it? We found this inspiring profile of blue-chip guru, Nilofer Merchant via @networkinginvan. Here’s how she nails networking without being annoying. …. This one made us think: Expediting equality through government-imposed gender quotas for the boardroom. @Virgin’s for it. What do you think? Spark...

The Anti Networking Event Nov20

The Anti Networking Event

The whole purpose of networking (meeting new people, expanding your horizons, creating opportunity) is made 100% better when like-minded individuals get together to share ideas, discuss ideas and even generate new ideas. The anti-networking event delivers just that. If you’re feeling a little ho-hum about the standard networking scene, why not try one of these career inspiring, creativity fuelled and good-energy magnetizing events right here in Vancouver? Benefits of the Anti-Networking Event: –       Instant material: no wondering what to talk about (anti-networking events bring people together for a defined learning purpose). –       Practice engaging with and participating in idea exchange/creation (a skill you can bring back to the office) –       Meet amazing people who will inspire you (and actually get to interact with them) Here’s our top anti-networking events in (or coming to) Vancouver for 2014:   PetchaKucha Night PechaKucha is the bottom-up answer to the top-down TED approach. Speakers of all stripes and sizes follow the same, simple 20×20 formula: 20 images shown for 20 seconds each, all set on an automatic slide advance. That way, presenters know: there’s no turning back, no lengthy thought-detours, just the chance to talk along to their images – and make every second count. Note: If you want to catch the last PechaKucha of the year in Vancouver, you’ll have to ask fast: it’s tonight. At only $15 per ticket, you get to hear from 10 outstanding speakers. But if you miss it, worry not. PechaKucha will be back in 2014. http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/vancouver   Le Bon Mot Book Club You’ll have to find an “in” for this invite only book club-on-steroids, but if you get past that hurdle you’re bound to have one unforgettable night. Started by Leah Costello of West Vancouver, Le Bon Mot book Club brings mega-authors (i.e. Freakonomics author, Steve Levitt)...

Be Brilliant with People Oct25

Be Brilliant with People

There’s no saying that goes, “Make every email count,” but maybe there should be. LinkedIn says we spend up to 28% of the day reading and responding to emails on our smartphones – so they’ve decided to give mobile email users everywhere a superpower: information. This week, LinkedIn announced the release of its latest mobile-busting strategy – a new app called LinkedIn Intro that integrates LinkedIn profile information directly into your iPhone’s Mail app (or Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and iCloud—no Exchange support at the moment). The app embeds LinkedIn information, like profile pictures and headings, seamlessly into the body of an email, just below the subject line. Take a look: A simple one-click drop-down menu then allows you to view even more information, like employment history, mutual contacts and education. You can even add people to your LinkedIn network straight from your email – all without leaving ever opening another screen. Techhive offers a really good summary of how Intro works here. As someone who gets cold-emailed (is that a thing?) often, I can see how a little extra information at one’s fingertips would be useful in helping people “be brilliant with people.” Basically, Intro lets you tie in all kinds of relevant business and personal information on the fly, as if you were attentively following along – all along. In those terms, the handiness of the app could potentially set LinkedIn up to be a permanent appendage in the daily email exchanges of many – and no longer just a static website waiting for visits.  That is, except for the fact that’s it been met with some (ok, A LOT) of skepticism. The question going around (and around) is this: Would you proxy your email to get LinkedIn headers? Security researchers have taken issue...

Give your LinkedIn profile a speed-makeover Sep11

Give your LinkedIn profile a speed-makeover

As summer meet-ups and after-work drinks turn into more formal fall networking events, now would be a good time to take action on cleaning up your LinkedIn profile. Why? I can’t stress it enough: your LinkedIn profile is without question one of the first places new contacts, clients, and co-workers will look to get the 411 on who you are – personally and professionally. A few days ago, I was inspired when Vancouver marketing blogger, Rebecca Coleman, shared her own motivation for seriously updating her LinkedIn profile. She included a helpful infographic detailing a step-by-step process for improving your profile, which she advises you do every 6 months or so. When you have a few hours to dedicate to the cause, I highly suggest you follow that guide. It’s comprehensive, for sure, but so worth it. In the meantime…because I, for one, am sill in the midst of back-to-school madness and fall reviews, I thought I’d share this simple 3-step LinkedIn audit that I use to help last-minute applicants put a quick polish on their profile prior to interviews: Get your LinkedIn profile ready for fall networking: You can follow these 3 easy steps for an instant professional makeover of your current LinkedIn profile – before you hit the conference floor. 1)   Does your profile follow best practices of the visual web? That big wall of text you call your LinkedIn profile – that’s a good way to look out of touch. Give your personal “landing page” a quick marketing overhaul and break up lengthy blocks of content with eye-catching images and videos embedded right into your work history and summary sections. As said on Techlicious.com: “this is a great opportunity to let prospective employers see your crowning achievement…[though] a wide range of formats including PDFs, Power Point Presentations, pictures and videos.” Visual Profile Checklist: Include photos...