Category Archives: Career Coaching
Ilanz, Graubuenden, Switzerland

Have-Done-Diaries are a great tool to boost your productivity. It is the opposite of the To-Do-List and was promoted by my coach educator Boudewijn Vermeulen. Like me, Boudewijn used to work in a consultancy company, and he also coached a lot of lawyers. He knew about our ridiculous hours and how we were always trying to multitask to get more done in a shorter time frame, but you probably have experienced this situation yourself.

It’s 6.05 AM, and you are just getting out of the shower… Your hair is toweled up, and you light two candles. You get into your meditation pose and close your eyes. Then you realize that you have not set your alarm. So you get up and get your phone from the bathroom where you were reading an interesting article about the entrepreneur scene in Europe. Then you see that you have three new messages on WhatsApp…

At 8 AM, you realize that you’re late, and you hardly remember to take your train ticket, your badge, your purse and sunglasses, and whoosh – you’re out of the door. You remember the candles, open the door again, blow them out, and while you run to catch the train, you think: “Didn’t I plan to meditate?” Sounds familiar?

We have so many distractions nowadays (ugh! … I overcooked the pasta while writing this) that I often wonder how people get any work done. Have you ever caught yourself in the last 24 hours thinking, “What am I doing right now?”. We have programs and routines that do not seem to require the same brain activity as real challenges. 

Often we are just keeping busy, but our output is not that relevant.

I saw several people walking on their Sunday stroll the other day, and they all talked to someone on the phone via a headset. They did not just get a call. They planned to use their walking hour to speak to someone. I sometimes combine routine activities with other activities too. For example, I would watch a video or listen to a podcast while ironing. It works very well to combine such activities.

However, it does not help me to create. I prefer to mono-task and give my full attention to the task, even if it seems mundane. I want to give my brain time to reflect and digest the input, it receives during the week (and believe me, there’s a lot of input). My creative side suffers when I don’t give my brain time to digest, reflect and organize. 

Unfortunately, with Social Media, I have such a love-hate relationship that I really need to discipline myself to get off them.

If you constantly feel that you are not getting enough relevant work done, I urge you to try the Have-Done-Diary.

1) Write down how you spend your time by using a “Have-Done-Diary”

I find the easiest way to do this is by having a notebook (I mean, the old-school paper version) next to my laptop or computer, which only serves this purpose (and other creative ideas running through my head). You can add everything and anything you have done during that day, even this: “Sat down on a bench and enjoyed the sunshine on my face.”

If you want to improve your productivity you can also add the Pomodoro method to this productivity hack and write down what you worked on for each Pomodoro.

2) Join our RockMeRetreat

After the RockMeRetreat, you will apply practices such as the weekly reflection exercise. Invest only fifteen minutes per week, and you will be amazed at how much more you achieved than you thought possible. The thing is, if I don’t gently encourage you to do this, you’d rather spend those fifteen minutes watching cat videos. 

If you are feeling in a rat race or stuck in the same recurring story as if you are in “Groundhog Day”, you will profit from joining our RockMeRetreat.

Please share this post with all your lab rat and corporate clone friends. They will thank you for the productivity tips! Now, go get that notebook so you can start trying this method. 

Then call Angie to discuss your participation in the RockMeRetreat and TADAAA! Now you can write down “Had a talk with Angie about the RockMeRetreat and registered for the retreat in November – Sounds like this is going to be so fun AND useful”!! It’s that easy! 😉

This year we will offer the RockMeRetreat from 17 to 23 November 2022 again at Haus der Begegnung which belongs to the monastery in Ilanz. I hope you will join us there. The atmosphere in the mountains is rather stimulating and at the same time emanates peace.

I will be happy to set up a meeting with you to discuss your participation and goals for the RockMeRetreat.  

Kind regards,

Angie Weinberger

Back to School – Seven Virtues for Purpose, Performance, and Productivity

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/my-favourite-productivity-hacks-seven-tips-to-claim-back-your-diary/

Immersive Experience

Richard Harvell, a Bestselling Author and Publisher, and Diccon Bewes, the very famous author of “SwissWatching” and other books about living in Switzerland as a foreigner contacted us to announce this great pilot project they are conducting. They will hold an all-inclusive cultural integration retreat weekend in Bellinzona on 17-19 June and thought we might have the most suitable candidates to benefit from this exciting experience!

Cultural integration has been proven crucial to the success of an expat’s assignment, but it has often been overlooked. This kind of crash course (it’s not a course really, rather a touristy weekend where you also learn lots!) allows the participants to learn about their new setting in an informal and enjoyable way. This transition period (from the moment you decide to accept the assignment, to the preparation, to settling in your new place and job) is stressful enough; this weekend is designed to help you ease in and be ready to bounce back. Employers will also benefit from this retreat: having better integrated and less stressed employees prepared to become more efficient faster can only be positive. Switzerland has long struggled with this challenge, and Richard and Diccon are here to make change happen!

Registration is now open here.

Is there anything I could help you with?

Here’s the thing with social media. Everyone keeps telling you that you must be on social media to develop your brand, but what nobody is telling you when you are a newbie is how much work it actually takes to develop a personal brand on social media. I’m not talking about being featured on posts that your employer (and their big marketing team and budget) developed to attract more clients. I’m talking about you and me as human beings. We thought about your struggle and came up with the Social Media newbie series to help you understand LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, but we got stuck in the detail ourselves and I realized from the questions you are asking that you might still wonder: What for? Is it worth my time and money? So, I thought that today we should take a step back and revisit why it is worth having a digital media presence and share with you again my top seven killer tips for job seekers and solopreneurs (and those of you who share my vision of becoming digital global nomads).

If you are not on LinkedIn you must either be a trust fund baby or you live in Germany. I have encountered job seekers and freelancers, who still believe that they can thrive in today’s world without a digital presence. In short, they refuse social and professional networking as they feel they will be stalked or annoyed by others. I started with online networking on XING in 2004. Before that “networking” for me meant person-to-person. I would regularly have lunch with different internal and external colleagues to find out about what is going on in their line of work. In the early Millenium, the lunch date roster was your “dance card” and showed how popular you were.

It was almost embarrassing to lunch alone and if you were booked for several weeks this meant you had made it. It was part of the culture of that organization, but networking helped me to understand background stories, to build trust, and get support on a variety of topics. Remember that in Germany, Switzerland and other “Coconut” cultures we tend to be very task-focussed and have to invest in building relationships actively.

If I look back, I also pulled my team members, trainers, providers, and friends of my network. The network expanded to external contacts and it got harder to maintain when I left Frankfurt for Zurich, but I started to build a new network, which helped me to build and maintain a start-up in a rather difficult economic environment. If I was looking for a full-time role now, I would certainly try and source it through my network. If I am looking to hire an intern, designer, or specialist I am going to rely on my network. We are teaching the idea of leveraging your network to find a job in Switzerland rather than only applying online in our HireMeExpress program.

I know that you might be afraid to put yourself out there and have people laughing at you or trolling you or giving you negative feedback and comments. How do you even deal with that when you are already fragile and full of self-doubt on a daily basis?

Would it help you if I told you that I still go through the same fear and anxiety? Would it help you if I said: Yes, there are weird people on the Internet and many of them just want your money…but what if 10% of those following you, reading you, hearing you need to hear exactly what you have to say? What if there is one person out there who, like me lost half of their family in a tragic accident and thought they would never, ever recover from that? What if one woman that you speak to just lost her child or her husband and needs to hear that it will be okay and that you are there for her? What if there is one person listening to you who is about to commit suicide because they are so desperate and you tell them that they are loved and they hear that and they reconsider.

What if what you have to say is important for one person only?

Don’t you think it’s worth is?

Don’t you think it is worth half an hour of your time?

I’ve updated the seven killer tips for developing a digital media presence for you and I am here for you in case you want to talk to me. You are loved, you are safe, and you are among friends here. I’m sorry, if I have not available enough for you in the past.

1) Focus on the Platform where your Followers hang out.

In all likelihood, you will meet most of your followers on LinkedIn if you are in a professional field like banking, accounting or human resources. If you are a creative writer, you might want to focus on Twitter because this is where readers will gather their information. On the other hand, if you provide makeup tips on short videos you should focus on Youtube. As a photographer, you want to be on Instagram. Try not to overwhelm yourself by joining all platforms as one. In case, you don’t know where to go try Facebook first. Despite my love-hate relationship with Facebook, it’s still the platform that rules them all.

2) Develop your own blog so you have a digital home base

In times of social media, it is hard to understand why you need to have your digital home. Imagine it this way: When you are on Twitter it is like you are attending a huge networking event where you exchange information with colleagues and potential clients. If you want them to look at information (“content”) that you produce you have to invite them to your “home”. And when you host a party at your place you have to give people directions on how to find you and a good reason to party with you. When you go to a party you don’t expect to be asked to buy something or pay for your beer, right? So, when you start out you would probably provide some of your content for free until you have a followership. Then you can move to a membership model. A membership model guru is Stu McLaren.

3) Selling Online will take longer than face-to-face

The Internet is full of offers and scams. Before anyone wants to give you their email ID and bank details you will need to have their trust. You can develop trust by being a helpful source of information and by solving people’s problems. You can also build trust by being personable and by avoiding any sales touch in your content and copywriting. You can provide helpful advice and invite people to join your party, but you need to remember that building trust online is step-by-step process that takes mastery. You can follow Amy Porterfield and Ash Ambirge for further advice.

4) Constant Self-promotion is a Turnoff.

Instead of promoting yourself, you should promote other people’s work. If you help others you will not come across as a big-headed egomaniac, but someone who cares about people. There is a point where you can also show your own work, but it needs to be in the context of solving a problem for your followers. For example, they might need a checklist or a how-to-guide that you can provide when you often hear them ask you the same questions. I read that there is an 80/20-rule where 80% of the posts should be valuable content, 20% you should promote your brand. So, in the case of your personal brand you should talk about your work, what you have achieved and other stuff related to your greatness for max. 20% of your posts.

5) Vet and Check the Information you Share or Like

A retweet does not always mean that you endorse the opinion of the tweeter, but at least you can verify that the information is genuine, up-to-date and that links are actually working. If you are like me, you probably don’t read everything you would like to read, but you know where to find the trusted sources and where to be skeptical. Check out our previous post on Digital Media Literacy and good online research practices if you need more help. 

6) Encourage Others to Have a Voice

I know many people who suffer from “imposter syndrome” and who are modest. It helps once in a while when you tell others that their work is helpful and that you are actually reading their updates or their input. Instead of expecting others to support you, you can do a lot more to support others. Be a giver on social media. Learn why this is important by reading and following Adam M. Grant.

7) Check in with Your Purpose Batteries

A Digital Presence is great. If people deal with you in real life or on a call, they should be positively surprised by your genuine interest in them. One of the reasons for lack of trust nowadays is that everyone is putting their own interest in front. Many people have a hard time accepting support because they are not used to genuine help. They are used to being cheated and pulled over the table and you want to stand out. Are you not happy with your digital presence because you haven’t identified your purpose yet? 

If you need my support, please schedule a meeting with me.

Kind regards

Angie Weinberger

Attention through Roses

What beautiful sunny weather, we have had the chance to enjoy these last few days! You might, as I do,  make a point of benefiting from the last golden rays of the sun to soak up as much vitamin D as possible before the days become even shorter. Who doesn’t need that energy to accomplish everything that needs to be done, everything you want to do?  You might be in a position right now where either you are worried about losing your job, or you are already looking for a new job (or any kind of work). Maybe you have even been looking for a while already. Perhaps you feel it’s time to update your resume and your job searching skills, just in case. Anyhow, I thought you could use this reminder from my older publication, “The Global Career Workbook,” on how to get a Swiss recruiter’s attention.

Getting a Swiss recruiter’s attention is almost like asking her out on a date. 

When you write a cover letter, you want the other person to like you and find you attractive enough to read your resumé. The cover letter is your appetizer, and the resumé is your main course. If you get to the interview stage, then that’s like having dessert on the first date. And after three interviews, you might get kissed. I mean, you might get the job offer you are longing for.

Don’t spoil the Swiss recruiter’s appetite by presenting the main course in the cover letter.

Imagine you are on your first date, and your counterpart tells you for half an hour how great they are. Rather boring, right? You zoom out of the conversation and wish to run away. The same is true if a recruiter reads your whole resumé already in the cover letter.

What could you do to make the conversation more interesting?

Cover letter writing is an art. With modern technology, applicants often do not see the need to write a cover letter these days, but in my opinion, it is the most artistic part of a good application. Emphatically,  in Switzerland, IT’S A MUST.

Many recruiters want to read it. They would like to see that you made an effort to get that interview. I receive considerable amounts of cover letters, and most of them sound like they were copied from a textbook. Nobody gets excited reading some sort of ‘copy and paste’ write-ups, void of personal touch.  Only the more personal ones gain my attention. They have to be personal, crisp and show me who you are.

Here are rules for fresh cover letters:

  • Use the correct name of the recruiter instead of Sir or Madam. Take out time to research the recruiter’s name. This portrays you as serious. Make sure you also spell the names of references correctly. Be respectful and address recruiters formally.
  • Make the letter appealing and nice-looking by using one font only and adhering to standard letter writing style in the country you are applying to.
  • Speak about the needs of the other party before you speak about yours. This is so important because the prospective job is about what you can bring to the table.
  • Find a personal connection between either you and the company or you and the recruiter. Maybe you use one of their products, or associate positive feelings with the brand because of a personal story.
  • If you copy and paste (which is not a good idea in general), please check that you did not use the wrong company name or contact person. It helps to read the letter out loud.
  • Use active language and complete sentences. When I say active language, I ask you to use more verbs than nouns, avoid passive constructs and keep sentences short.
  • If you are not an English native speaker, check your translation and let a native speaker review your grammar. Most recruiters get irritated when they find grammatical errors in cover letters.
  • Be brief and stick to a maximum of one page. Five paragraphs are sufficient.
  • Add your contact information in the last paragraph, especially your phone number and email ID. Make sure your email sounds respectable, and the name is memorable. Email addresses like ‘sexynancy@gmail.com’ are not acceptable.
  • Avoid slang and casual writing style. You are a professional, so behave like one! Even if you are from Generation Y or Z, remember that this is a letter and not a chat. The person you want to date might be the age of your parents.

Here’s to the sunny weather, boosting your energy to take that next important step: preparing your application file. I hope these tips help you write the best cover letter you can write to catch the Swiss recruiters’ attention, get to the “dessert” stage, and get you the job you are hoping for! 

 

HireMeExpress 2022 – Pre-Workshops for all Club Members

I will teach you insights on 

Workshop No. 1:  Partnering Masters – Building Effective Relationships

Workshop No. 2: Powerful Missions – Having a Voice in a Sea of Noise

Workshop No. 3: Persisting Mindsets – Designing Work to Support a Global Lifestyle

 

All invites will be shared when you sign up on our HireMeExpress list

*****

Reminder: Sign up here to find out everything you need to know in order to land a job in Switzerland or another market you are not familiar with. We will send you our 19 Fresh Resume Checkpoints and further material such as videos. In case you have any questions you can email us via angela@globalpeopletransitions.com.

NABEHA LATIF

Everything you Need to Get Started on LinkedIn

GUEST POST BY NABEHA LATIF

With all the world going digital and businesses indulging more in online servicing, communications and social interactions have therefore been more of a hot spot, especially with the likes of LinkedIn helping now Freelance and stay-at-home workers connect and grow themselves.

LinkedIn is by no means a new platform or in its early stages, a well-established and maintained social platform for business-minded individuals and professionals. However, does being a professional on LinkedIn or being a veteran on the site mean you have the best profiles out there? Not at all! Much like everything else, each passing moment calls for a new development that brings multiple changes to the platform. So this brings up the question, how do you get the professional and sleek-looking profile to stand out?

As an ever-growing platform, certain aspects call for a sturdy base for an end-user, and such can be obtained by adding on and working around a few LinkedIn Must-Haves to boost your profile out into the digital world. LinkedIn requires each individual to start off by creating their own profile, but that’s where the majority of the users leave it. There are so many options, tips, and tricks to get the most out of your profile and make it attractive.

1 – Use your Real Name

Your name and title should be exactly how it is in your real life. Please refrain from using nicknames or pseudo names, just like you won’t dare on your resume. LinkedIn is a professional site, full of professionals and businesses looking to get the most of out their work. Hence, keeping it professional yourself will help you get on the bandwagon, people are looking for solutions, not gimmicks!


       
2 – Use A Professional Headshot

At a glance, your name and photo are the most commonly viewed piece of information regarding yourself. Adding a professional headshot provides the first visual representation of you – do your best!. Remember, it will make your profile seven times more likely to be viewed by others.
       

3 – Optimize Location

Setting your location as accurately as possible helps businesses and other people look for the ones around them, so optimize yours to the best it can be. It’ll help you network where you will work geographically.  It doesn’t apply to Freelancers/Digital Nomads yet I would recommend you to stay honest regarding your location as preferred by the clients/companies.

4 – Profile Headline

We often wish to see a trailer of an individual before we get to know them for a better understanding, your LinkedIn Profile Headline is just that! You’ve got 110 characters to aptly describe yourself professionally.

5 – Industry Alignment

Looking for a business to match your skill set? You’ll need to be more visible, to make that happen. With the right words and by being specific about your industry, you’re paving a way for potential employers and connections.


6 – Get Connected

At its core, LinkedIn is still a social platform and what do we do on social platforms? Get social! Getting “LinkedIn” the site is part of the name. If you don’t have enough LinkedIn connections, you simply might not show up on as many LinkedIn searches as a 2nd-degree connection as you should.

7 – Be Reachable

It should be easy to find you on other social networks. This is crucial in checking your credibility as a person.  Provide your email address and do add links to Twitter/Facebook even if you don’t use them in a professional capacity.

Flex a little: Add items to your profile, such as projects, test scores, courses, patents, certifications, and volunteering/causes. Looking for work? 42% of hiring managers surveyed say they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience.

Make it Easy to Get Hired on LinkedIn

Now that you’ve got your head above the crowd, how about we get yourself on stage? With the basics covered and brimmed with your details, let’s get into the nooks and crannies to make it a tight seal.

  • Stacking up on Experience: Work on adding more experience and skills. Being a Swiss army knife in this regard with tons of skills and expertise in your repertoire will help you stand out as well as be a prominent prospect for anyone looking to hire  Here are a few suggestions: Social Media, Newsletters, Copy Editing, Web Content, News Writing, Speech Writing, SEO, Email Marketing, Creative Writing, Online Journalism, etc. You can further add Knowledge Management, Learning Management Systems, Talent Management to represent your teaching skills.
  • Tell Us About You: The basics will help lay the foundation, but you’ll need to ice the cake to make it look pretty! Show examples of your work, i.e. Youtube or Vimeo videos, presentations from Slideshare/Prezi/PowerPoint, documents from the scribe, word.
  • Vanity URLs: Create a vanity URL to make your look sleek and extra presentable. Use a customized URL like linkedin.com/in/JohnWick rather than linkedin.com/pub/john-wick/4a/z89/145/
  • Consistent Posting: Make it a weekly habit to post, comment, and endorse your connections on LinkedIn. Update your status on a regular basis. Share thoughtful/insightful news within your industry.
  • Endorsements: Endorsements may likewise influence how you show up in LinkedIn searches made by users looking for similar people or results. Multiple billion endorsements are given out since LinkedIn’s initiation (10 million on a daily basis)! A normal number of endorsements per LinkedIn client is five. It is a simple method for being better in search results than expected!
  • Polish Your Achievements: Add accomplishments, publications, blogs, certifications, and licenses. Bring out those tidbits of information and experience you have under your belt, even a little goes a long way!
  • Recommendations: Get recommendations and endorsements on the skills from colleagues/friends on LinkedIn. That’ll help people trust your skill set more once it’s endorsed by other individuals. On LinkedIn you’ve got to establish your credibility, so get on the grind and ask for them!

NABEHA LATIF
Digital Media Consultant

About the Author

Nabeha Latif is a Digital Media and Branding Consultant who specializes in leveraging online marketing channels to achieve desired goals. Since after her majors in digital marketing, she has collaborated with names like UN, Ali Baba Inc, Uber, UNESCO, UNDP to name a few. She is also actively involved in providing business development services related to marketing.

Additional Resources

Have you ever dreamt of being your own boss and opening your very own food business or culinary establishment? Whether your dream is a restaurant, a bakery, a bar, or a coffee shop – here are four useful tips to help you set up your business in Switzerland. 

#1 Decide on the Location

If you decide that you want to start a gastronomic business, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is where to open it. The right location plays a significant role as you are participating with many other businesses for customers and they might not allocate value to taking a long way to your shop. Especially as most of your customers will probably be walk-in customers. However, you should also not invest too much into the rent of your location. This link might help you to get a feeling of the differing rent prices across the country: 

https://www.alle-immobilien.ch/en/rent/trade-industry/subcategory-restaurant/

 

#2 Create a Business Plan

To not get lost in a crowd of culinary establishments it is important to work on a business plan that lets you stand out from the rest. To achieve this, you will need to think of a unique selling proposition. You could think of what kind of customers are likely to purchase your products in the location you have set on before. Are there rather people that might for example need a quick coffee on the go or will your customers be happier with a full menu set up?

 

#3 Legal Requirements Needed

This point might be one of the most cumbersome ones that also takes a lot of time to handle. All cantons will require an operating license and a hygiene concept for self-monitoring also called the HACCP concept (Hazard, Analysis, Critical, Control, Points). This concept should be personalized and adapted to your business. The following link will lead you to a HACCP Template:


https://gastropedia.ch/hygienekonzept-erstellen-selbstkontrolle-in-der-gastronomie/65/

Moreover, depending on the canton you will also be required to hand in further documents and certificates. These might be a host patent, a capability statement, a retail approval for a liquor pub (in case you will sell alcohol), and in some cases, you will have to undermine an assessment regarding food hygiene and addiction prevention. Where you get all documents and have to hand them in is listed in the link below:

https://www.wirtepatent.ch/de/wissen/bewilligungen-gastronomie-145.html

https://www.wirtepatent.ch/de/wirtepatent-3.html

 

#4 Create a Budgeting Plan

Finally, budgeting is an important topic and you should definitely create a detailed and well-thought-out budget plan to avoid any surprise costs. Furthermore, you should prepare yourself well for pitching your idea to your investor as they will also ask unpleasant questions for certain. For this event, you can also set an appointment for a personal consultation concerning the financing of your business. 

https://gastropedia.ch/finanzierung-gastronomie/1862/