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The Aspire2Higher Movement-Summarized

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As we close the year 2012, I thought it was an opportunity for me to provide clarity to my followers/readers on the A2H Movement.  This blog/business and movement began about 3 years ago and has gained a minimal support. In order for a movement to be GREAT, those involved must be clear about the PURPOSE & GOALS.

summary

The goal of the A2H movement is for people to begin thinking differently about work.  Another one of the goals for the Aspire2Higher movement   is to re-define traditional careers in people’s minds!  The key take away from this movement is, not to allow your own fears (nor fear & judgement from others) to prevent you from re-defining traditional and creating your own success!

The Aspire2Higher Movement is about possessing some key elements of success, some of which includes having Unapologetic Ambition and Taking Charge of your Career!  We are not all born with the ability and resources to be young moguls right away….but I believe we are all born CAPABLE and become GREAT LEADERS AND ENTREPRENEURS through PERSISTENCE of GOOD HABITS and VISIONWORK!

I want EVERYONE who works to have the same enjoyable yet challenging experience I have had in my career journey. Imagine if EVERY person in the world went to work HAPPY about the CONTRIBUTION they were making to the world.  I believe this is possible and this movement will take us there!

HOW CAN YOU….Themovement

  1. You have already taken the first step by reading this blog.
  2. The next step is by spreading the word!  Tell all your family, friends and colleagues about our efforts to infiltrate our society with the ASPIRE2HIGHER MOVEMENT!  Those of us who already have defined VISIONWORK, and UNAPOLOGETIC AMBITION in working towards your VISION….it is our job to tell others how the gain that same sense of “Career Self Esteem”, which is the A2H mentality.
  3. If you are struggling to define your MISSION, & VISION, reach out to us and we can help you in developing your “message” and discerning your VISION.
  4. To further the movement please also talk about it on social media using the following #hashtags: #A2H #Visionwork #Aspire2Higher  Continue to learn and share dialogue on our Facebook Page and PLEASE follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

To all those with questions and fears I say…….TRUST THE PROCESS-and sign up for A2H services.   These things are part of defining what your purpose, passion, and contribution will be.

 

~Aspire

Social Media Can Make You Smarter!

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We all know that social media has been around for both personal and business use for several years already. Yet, I am still surprised by how many people still underestimate and under-value the depth of social media. There are still way too many people challenged by social media like it’s the modern-day rubik’s cube!

Even within my professional network of people with varying levels of education, many lines of work within multiple industries, I hear from folks who think they have no use for social media. That boggles my mind! EVERYONE, no matter what level of experience, or type of work can benefit from using social media….if used appropriately.

I will take this even a step further and venture to say that EVERYONE CAN LEARN from social media!

For example:


Educators/College and University faculty/professors
can not only use social media to engage their students outside of the classroom, but they can also use social media to share their published research, to read other relevant publications, share course updates via Facebook and gather information through social bookmarking activities.

Television personalities, producers, or writers can use social media to communicate with their audience. With social media they have a way to hear directly from them about what they want to watch or what they don’t wish to see on television. However, there is also opportunity for tv producers/writers and the like to engage in dialogue with each other about the industry through specific LinkedIn groups or TV network Facebook pages.

Medical Professionals, such as doctors & nurses lab technicians and physicians assistants can (and do) use social media for very practical reasons, like scheduling appointments and sending reminders or invoices. What some may not know is, that there are several social networking sites and uses specific to the healthcare field. Some medical professionals are using social networking sites to conduct case studies, share stories and help each other solve medical cases!

These are just a few ways that a variety of professionals benefit from using social media. But as I mentioned earlier in this post, I believe that social media is not only fun and engaging, but it can make you smarter. I for instance, used social media to discover how to blog. I use social media everyday to read about what’s happening in the world and what is relevant in my line of work. I use sites like Twitter to stay up to date on issues that would affect my life and my work. With the creation of social media, people’s access to learning has grown drastically, however, the average user only views and shares pics with their immediate connections. Well, I’ve always believed that when you know better you do better, so I challenge you after reading this to DO BETTER with social media! I want everyone who reads this blog post to find a new way to use one of your favorite social media sites TODAY!

I declare today, that no matter what you do for a living, YOU can learn and even advance your goals through intentional social media use. If the best brands in the world can use social media for business…why can’t you? If the President of the United States can advance his goals through social media….why can’t you? If a single mother, working at a small private college can use social media to grow a business….why can’t YOU?

Well, I say you can. I challenge anyone who reads this post if you cannot think of a reason or a way to use social media to get smarter, to advance your goals or to improve your work, CHALLENGE me to help you! Post on the Aspire2Higher Facebook page the reasons why you CANNOT use social media in these ways or if you feel that you CANNOT use Facebook in your specific line of work, and I will personally respond with suggestions!

Now go forth and get smarter with social media!

STOP Cross-Posting! Why content should vary across social media platforms

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MY SOCIAL MEDIA RULE OF THUMB: AVOID THE CROSS POST(STATUS/TWEET, ETC.)

I am of the belief that when using various social media platforms (sites) one should have clear and distinct purposes for the audiences on each site. Overall, your social media message, images and “digital footprint” should be consistent across all sites, but not all social media sites serve a “social” purpose and or audience.

Some prime examples of cross posting are:

1. That person who has linked their Twitter account to Facebook AND LinkedIn

We all know people whose tweets appear on Facebook and vice verse. Occasionally, this is understandable, especially if there is an important message or announcement to communicate to your audience/followers/customers, etc. However, if you use Twitter (or Facebook) as a personal site where you are trash talking, voicing your opinion and talking to friends while you are watching TV-perhaps those tweets and status updates should not be accessible to potential employers and recruiters on LinkedIn.

2.  The Self Promoter or the Over Sharer

Everyone also knows a person who posts on ALL their social media sites only things that are happening in their latest endeavors! Those who’ve started selling jewelry, or want you to attend their latest event or buy their new music and post those requests on ALL social media platforms without any creativity to draw you in.   There is also the person who shares all their thoughts and feelings on life and their day to day interactions on Facebook and carries on a conversation (or even argument) via Twitter! Do they not realize you can send Direct Messages to people in ALL social media sites?

The Rationale for My Rule of Thumb:

OK, considering that each social media site has a different description, mission and/or purpose, why would you use them all identically? Also answer this, would you speak to all your friends, relatives, colleagues, associates, co-workers, etc.  in exactly the same ways? I should hope not.  In order to use social media most effectively, you should be keenly aware of your audience across each social media platform.  When using these sites, you should have clear goals, even if those are goals are as simple as staying in touch with friends.  What’s even more important is understanding the use and functionality of each site you are on and how most others are using these sites. Why be one of the only people on Linkedin who is mindlessly sharing what you are listening to on your Ipod?

While some of my younger readers might not be ready to use social media professionally, its never too early (or late) to learn how to communicate professionally in person or online.  It is also never too late to begin cleaning up or clarifying your social media presence.   To help you jump-start your social media clarification process, learn more about the who, what when and why of social media sites and their users.

Below is a link to an article from leading technology and new media company Mashable.com. The article, posted in early March, has a great Infographic of a demographic breakdown of all the most popular social media sites.

http://mashable.com/2012/03/09/social-media-demographics/

Here is a posting that gives a quick & dirty break down of all the most popular social media sites and who is using them and WHY?HOW you should use them.

http://www.businessinsider.com/which-of-these-facebook-and-twitter-things-are-actually-worth-your-time-2012-1#only-use-google-if-you-want-to-talk-to-strangers-about-things-1

And just for good measure……Aspire2Higher Personal & Professional Development Services does provide a Career Based Social Media Package!

Best of luck to those who are attempting to tell a clear, consistent and professional story on social media!

Twitter Chats!

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Good evening everyone!

Join me TONIGHT on Twitter for the 1st Aspire2Higher Twitter chat of 2012!  So, in case anyone is wondering- A Twitter chat is a group of people with similar interests, goals, jobs, hobbies, etc. who all “meet”  at a designated time (9pm) to talk to each other about a specific topic.

Here are the deets:

Time: 9:00pm
Place: Twitter

How to get involved:

To join the chat….log-in at 9pm and say hello  using the hashtag (#)  #A2Hchat.

If you’d like to ask a question send me (@stephaspires)  a direct message with your question & I can pose it to the entire group for feedback. Or, I can just respond and we can discuss using the above hashtag.

Tonight, let’s discuss the benefits & challenges of linking your career & your passions!

Talk to you soon!

Aspire2Higher 2011 in Review

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Aspire2Higher (A2H) Blogging Year in Review report (provided by WordPress.com)

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times just in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

I would like to take this time to THANK all the readers, subscribers, followers and occasional viewers of this blog for your part in this year.  I can only attribute the (slow) steady growth of the Aspire2Higher Movement to supporters and readers.

There are some specific sites that continue to drive traffic to my blog:

These sites are where some people found out about Aspire2Higher…..and I thank you!

Some other cool info…..I had a few visits/readers from the UK and from Canada….how exciting! And the most popular or highly viewed posts on the blog in 2011 were:

VisionWork: Creating my own vision board

A Day in the Life of a Career Counselor  and

3 Essential Skills for ANY Career

Again, MANY THANKS to my friends/readers! I promise to offer more posts like those listed above in 2012.  To view the full, colorful & graphic report with more details about the blog, click the link below!

Click here to see the complete report.

~~Aspire2Higher (A2H)

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Aspire2Higher!

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Sending warm wishes to you…my extended family and Aspire2Higher readers. I write this post to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

As I wind down on this Christmas day that I shared with my children and close family, I thought I would share with you some reflection.  I’ll start with a question…..

Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas this year?

As most of you know, I am the mother of 2 small children.  Well,this year those little ones had some very specific Christmas wishes.  While “Santa” did supply lots of fun presents for our family, once I thought about it, my kids hardly got anything on their lists’.  What I also realized as our day ended was…they didn’t even notice!  Imagine that…..they didn’t really get what they wanted yet they are quite content with what they have…….AHA!!!

Lightbulb Moment:

Oftentimes, we don’t get all the things we want in L.I.F.E but what’s important is how you feel about and what you do with what you have!  This is a key take away from the Aspire2Higher movement.  All that I’d like you (and myself) to focus on are the key elements that make up Aspire2Higher.  This movement is about the journey to achieving dreams. To embody the elements of Aspire2Higher we must focus on the here and now and stay grateful for where we are on the journey.  If my kids had expressed anything less than gratitude for all the things they received for Christmas, I would have been inclined to take it all away from them. The principle is the same for our jobs, our lives, our gifts & talents, our careers, our desires. etc.  If all we can do is complain about our current position or our possessions, why should GOD or the universe continue to give us anything?

However, the premise of the Aspire2Higher movement is upward mobility for your personal & professional self.  It is about having Unapologetic Ambition, but this can be done graciously and with hard work in the role or current state your life is in.  No matter where you are….YOU have the capacity to ASPIRE for more…no one can take that from you. My L.I.F.E is not perfect, but I am so content with what GOD is doing in my life now because I know that I am moving forward on my Aspire2Higher journey.

As we prepare to begin a new year, consider joining me. Let us all embark on this journey together. There will be days that “Santa” doesn’t grant every wish on our list, but we have to be ready to stay prayerful and grounded through that time while still moving forward.

Here’s what I commit to publicly:

  1. I will communicate with you through this process-Via this blog and via #Aspire2Higher Twitter chats (every 1st Thursday) so bring your questions & thoughts!
  2. I will share resources- I commit to Aspire2Higher workshops, seminars and at least one full day conference (before mid 2013) to empower others with skills & knowledge

I’d LOVE to start this before the New Year kicks in! Some people lay low for the last week of the year, but if you are open to it….I am open for business!  I am offering to organize and facilitate ONE SEMINAR OR WORKSHOP THIS LAST WEEK of 2011!!!  If you are in  (or around) Philadelphia….let me know if you are interested by leaving a comment below….AND if you are outside of Philadelphia..we can SKYPE you in! 

For now, Merry Christmas & Aspire2Higher!

Stephanie & kids-Christmas 2011

 

 

A Day in the Life of a Career Counselor: The Conclusion?

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Although I am no longer being paid a salary to dispense career tips, I plan to continue to do so via this blog. There are many ways to define career counseling as a “job”, but I think like a career counselor naturally and apply that thought process to what I do, even in my current position as Director of Diversity for a college.  A career counselor doesn’t just help people find work, so if anyone is reading this because they are curious about “A Day in the Life of a Career Counselor” I would suggest reading the Princeton Review. They offer a thorough overview of what a career counselor does.  Since people still ask me questions about making career moves, I will write responses to those questions through this blog series.  I will also continue to write this blog series “A Day in the Life” from a different perspective.  I plan to write about my career questions and issues as an example of Creating Your Own Success in your Career Development thus being your own Career Counselor

So with that said, I have a TON of issues to discuss, but what are YOURS? 

Let's talk about your path!

Use this blog as a place where you can ask anything. Are you unsure if you are in the right career? What are the career options for someone with your set of skills and qualifications? Is there a career or industry you are considering and want to know how a career counselor would tell you to prepare for it? Would you guys like to see a blog posting where I take a resume (or CV)  find skills and make career suggestions based on the resume? I am giving this blog series to you! 

Don’t know how to reach me? Let’s turn Thursday evenings into “A Day in The Life of a Career Counselor” chats. I will put my career counselor “hat” back on to answer your questions; give you insight into your career quandaries, etc. Let’s talk about it all! Got problems with your boss? What do you do to solve it AND keep your career intact?  So, every 1st Thursday of the month I will devote to talk with you about all these things online. Let’s start an Aspire2Higher Twitter chat!

How it works:

  • Log on to Twitter.com the 1st Thursday of the month at 9pm

(You don’t have to have an account to follow the discussion, but you’ll need one to take part)

  • Tweet your questions to me by ending your tweets with #Aspire2Higher

(Example Tweet: Q. How do I tell my boss I’m looking for another position? #Aspire2Higher)

  • I then tweet answers to your questions using the same format, and others can chime in with their tweets too!

Well, until November 3rd, I’ll update you with my career antics. In the meantime gather your thoughts, questions and challenges and Tweet me on November 3rd at 9pm!

 

All the best,

Stephanie AKA

Aspire2Higher