Networking Comes Back Alive.

It took a few weeks to get there, but professional associations and companies are rapidly developing and offering virtual content to replace the face-to-face options that rapidly vanished as COVID-19 took over.

Networking is always important to career success – and even more so during economic downturns.  If you are not already receiving Croixstone’s weekly issues of #FreshStart which focuses on bite-sized nuggets to fuel your career + kick-start your week, subscribe today to keep abreast of the latest strategic networking opportunities + more.


Make the Downturn Work For You

“The best companies do more than survive a downturn.  They position themselves to thrive during the subsequent upturn, guided again by a number of broad objectives.”
– Harvard Business Review (Febuary 2009)

Do you know where the opportunity lies for your company (and/or your career) during this time of great uncertainty?  In this blog post, we focus on the opportunities that await those determined to make the downturn work for them.

13 Massive Companies That Started During a Recession

“…if history proves to be any sort of reliable predictor, recessions have actually served as the launchpad for some of the world’s most incredible businesses.” – The Startup (Medium)
  Learn more here.

Turn Massive Challenges into Meaningful Change + Opportunities.

Accenture has done a remarkable job of effectively packaging insights from the firm’s experts in a simple and straightforward way to help organizations turn massive complexity into meaningful change.
Learn more here.


Career Tips + Strategies for Experienced Professionals

More than 500,000 people in North Carolina have filed for unemployment in the weeks since businesses starting closing down due to the pandemic.  This equates to 10% of North Carolina’s workforce.  And the picture is certainly challenging in South Carolina, too.  Last week, WalletHub released a study that compared unemployment claim increases in USA states for the week of March 30, 2019 to the same week in 2020.  North Carolina’s unemployment claims rose 4282.7% year-over-year (7th highest in the nation), while South Carolina’s claims rose 3931.2% (33rd highest in the nation).

With the rise in unemployment, we have curated links that have relevance to professionals – especially those who are experienced in their career paths.

It might be time to think about a career change.
Times of crisis can fuel pivots in your career path. This article provides terrific insights and is aimed at professionals in the 50+ age range.
Click here.

LinkedIn has free resources to help with job search strategies.
11 free courses to help you build a job search strategy, lean on your professional network, and improve your interviewing skills.
Click here.

Why losing a job deserves its own grieving process.
The loss of a job triggers grief.  Understand the grieving process and use these 3 tips to get into a productive mindset.
Click here.

How to prepare for the future of work in uncertain times.
Some great career tips from Forbes on how to use the disruption created by the pandemic to take control and future-proof yourself.
Click here.

How to train your mind for high-pressure situations.
Tips from an Olympic Coach to help you excel during interviews, negotiations, etc.
Click here.


Links to Navigate the NOW Normal.

In last week’s blog post, we provided a list of links to help consultants, job seekers, and others navigate the “now” normal.  In this week’s post, we provide additional links with a focus on networking. 

8 smart ways to keep networking while you’re stuck at home.
The wisest among us are not letting the quarantine stop mission-critical networking.  Fast Company magazine shares 8 tips from a networking guru.
Click here.

How to network in the age of Coronavirus.
A marketing & branding consultant shares her advice with Ladders.
Click here.

The dawn of the virtual happy hour.
Happy hours haven’t gone away.  They are still going strong, and they definitely fuel networking.  Learn more via Forbes.
Click here.

Virtual happy hours are boosting morale at work.
Chief Executive magazine provides additional perspective on the virtual happy hour trend.
Click here.

10 tips to secure your Zoom video calls and meetings.
Stay safe with these helpful tips from cybersecurity advisory Joseph Steinberg.
Click here.


The NOW Normal.

Life has changed dramatically for all of us in the Charlotte region over the past couple of weeks.  Given the vast uncertainties we’re facing with COVID-19 and the economy, the Croixstone team isn’t quite ready to call these times the “new” normal.  We prefer to think of our current state as the “now’ normal.  

Whether you are presently employed or seeking your next opportunity, COVID-19 is causing all of us to think, and act, differently. The following links are designed to help you navigate the “now” normal.

Learn about consulting.
Join Croixstone + the Charlotte Chapter of the National Black MBA Association for a virtual Zoom meeting/webinar on “The Business of Consulting.”  Joining us will be leaders from Deloitte, The Kaleidoscope Group + The Graybeard Partners.  Wednesday, April 8 from 6-7:3pm.
Grab your tickets here.

Learn how consulting revenues may be impacted by COVID-19.
Yes, the consulting industry is being impacted.  Source Global Research has surveyed hundreds of consulting firms from across the world to gain insights.
Click here.

Find a job.
Your best strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic might be to focus on short-term solutions.
View this Fast Company article to learn more.

Learn more about collaboration tools.
Inc. magazine has compiled a comprehensive list of tools including pricing.
Click here.

Learn how to stay productive + connected while at home.
LinkedIn is offering 16 free professional development courses on Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom and more.
Click here.

Learn Zoom basics.
Zoom experts host interactive, live training webinars daily.
Sign-up for free or watch a previously recorded training session.
Click here.

Take your Zoom skills to the next level.
Learn 13 Zoom video chat tips, tricks + hidden features.
Click here.

Learn how to run a virtual meeting.
An executive recruiter shares 8 cardinal rules for successful virtual meetings with Forbes.
Click here.

Access a library of COVID-19 resources.
Check out the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s “COVID-19 Resource Portal.”
Click here.

Learn how to lead during a crisis/downturn.
5 great tips from Chief Executive magazine.
Click here.

Find your right work-from-home playlist.
LinkedIn is now on Spotify with a variety of playlists curated for the varying times of your career journey.
Click here.



What it takes to become a successful management consultant.

Last month Forbes published a great article that provides a high-level overview of the management consulting industry, and what it takes to succeed as a consultant.

Because the article is written from the vantage point of a consultant who is embedded in the traditional management consulting model, there are aspects that don’t apply to Croixstone’s disruptive business model.  Our consultants, for example, don’t travel frequently, and Croixstone doesn’t deploy a proprietary methodology.  

That said, the article nicely captures the core work of a management consultant along with the skills and expertise you need to succeed.

Read the article here.