The Research Design Associates Blog

(successful 20 something)

Give Me A Break

As a young professional, I've found myself in this crowd at early stages of my career. Wanting to feel productive, as well as to feel like I worked as hard as my friends purported to. As time went on and I felt myself burning out, it concerned me that this could be the case so early on in my working years. I do stand by what I recognized that everyone needs breaks. Let's take a page from our childhood selves and go enjoy some play time, a nap, and maybe even some ice cream.

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Youth in Revolt: Reversed

As a young businessperson, it’s encouraging to be reminded that your efforts and your voice matter. As it turns out, over 50% of the world’s population is under age 27, which puts me just barely in the minority at the tender age of 28. Regardless, it’s eye-open to recognize this statistic and not take for granted being young. The World Economic Forum joins forces with communities to identify, mentor and empower the leaders of tomorrow.

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Business Comfort Zones

Recently, my business world grew exponentially by winning a bid to partner with a national association. After the excitement wore off, it dawned on me how many things it entailed that were outside of my comfort zone. That included spending a lot of money to prepare for the three year commitment and launch of the program; having to hire an outside marketing person; needing to create and prepare for my company’s very first trade show booth; and most of all, needing to speak to an audience of about 400 people.

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Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

They say, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ and this speaks to the power of habit. The older we get, the more set in our ways we remain. This only adds to my point that the older we get, the harder it is to trend away from the lessons of our childhood to ‘not fail’ and find whatever means are necessary to ‘succeed’. What some of us realize is that ‘to succeed’ in the professional world by maintaining a paying job in-and-of-itself doesn’t always equate to satisfaction. If one chooses to move from that path of perceived success to the world of the entrepreneur, where ‘failure’ becomes a much more likely possibility, it’s challenging to believe in yourself, face the fear, and more so, to overcome the hesitations and questions of your support system who generally were also raised to fear ‘failure’

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I have so much on my plate, they begin to get mashed together. I also find it makes it challenging to give any one thing your full attention when you’re constantly thinking about what’s next. Strapped to our smart phones, feeling pressure to ‘prove ourselves’ in the professional world, while simultaneously maintaining social relationships, community involvement, dating relationships, and/or family, it can add up to leaving you feeling rushed.

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Talking To Your College-Aged Self, An Interview

While certainly it's not always been any easy ride, I've never felt like I've been so true to myself in my work life before. To make your own schedule, be the one holding yourself accountable, and build a brand that lives or dies based on your efforts is nothing short of invigorating. So, while it's not 'secure' to work for yourself in the start up years, it certainly feels good to know the uncertainties in-and-out and do everything in your power to make things successful. "Top 10 Non-Negotiable" list for myself of my job and work environment

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Online Business Etiquette

I’ve received your emails and was too busy to answer. I genuinely believe it’s rude to ignore someone’s email if you know who they are.Generally speaking, younger people grew up with computers and smart phones and as a result are glued to our devices. Therefore, not only will we respond to emails, but we will do so almost immediately. It seems that older generations tend to sit on emails for longer and/or not respond at all. Whether it’s his/her perception of prioritization or lack of importance, this tends to be the result.

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Managing the New Technology and the New Employee

How can one integrate the existing company workers with the new technology and the new hire. The growth of computing and internet capacity in the past 30 years has allowed the decentralization of management and the decreased the value of large size as a requisite for competitive success. Today product development and innovation can take place where the talent and creativity are and not be restricted to corporate headquarters. Increasingly the talented and highly educated workforce located well beyond our shores. This allows small business from around the world to enter markets previously closed to them.

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Fool me once...

"I'm sorry, I've just been burned too many times before to make any changes." Even though I'm in a shadier industry than most, I'd imagine I'm not the only one who hears this excuse when trying to forge new relationships with businesses. I often say my ideal client is someone who's been burned in the past by a competitor because it helps them to see my value. But, there's always the flip side: the reality that the person who's been burned was actually torched, or run through the coals one time too many.

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