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.


IT Transformation Best Practices

CEOs and CIOs are under constant pressure to improve operations and adopt new technologies.  The allure of “Cloud” and “Digital” can create excitement and executive approval to launch a project.  Success, however, is always a challenge, and there is no shortage of advice and thought-ware on the subject. David Frost, a Charlotte-based digital transformation leader, believes that new digital transformations can still learn from past technology transformation.  To learn more, Read the White Paper Here


LinkedIn Skill Assessments

LinkedIn recently announced its latest feature to help professionals showcase their skills.  The professional networking site has rolled out LinkedIn Skill Assessments, a new way to validate technical skills.  Robin Ryan, a writer who covers baby boomer careers for Forbes magazine, has published a helpful article that explains this new LinkedIn feature. 

Read About LinkedIn Skill Assessments


North Carolina Tech Race

WFAE in Charlotte recently aired and published a story that caught many by surprise.  The story revealed that Charlotte is on pace to surpass Raleigh-Durham in the number of tech jobs that each metro area holds.  Seven days later, Lowe’s announced that they will be building a new 23-story global technology hub in Charlotte’s South End and adding as many as 2,000 new tech jobs to the Queen City. Read WFAE’s story here


Write a Winning LinkedIn Headline

Ever wonder how to write a LinkedIn headline that will get you noticed?  The following are key messages and tips on how to use your LinkedIn headline to advance your personal branding objectives.

  • The headline is the section on LinkedIn that gets searched the most.
  • Your job title is not necessarily the right, or best, headline.  You have the ability to change your headline beyond the default that LinkedIn uses (your title).  Be purposeful in choosing the right headline.
  • The headline has a limit of 120 characters so plan your text wisely.
  • For consulting, consider spotlighting what you do and who you help.

Read Forbes magazine’s full article here for more details and examples.


LinkedIn for Baby Boomers

LinkedIn is an essential tool for all business professionals to use. There is both art and science to building and sustaining an impactful LinkedIn profile, and the navigation between these two elements can be tricky – especially for highly experienced professionals.

We love that Forbes magazine has published the first article in a brand new series of articles named “The Baby Boomer’s Guide to LinkedIn.” Read the first article in the series that presents strategies baby boomers can deploy to fight age discrimination on LinkedIn.


LinkedIn Live Launched

LinkedIn recently launched its first live video tool, giving people and organizations the ability to broadcast real-time video to select groups or to the LinkedIn world at large.

Launching in beta first in the U.S., LinkedIn Live (as the product is called) will be invite-only. In coming weeks, LinkedIn will also post a contact form for others who want to get in on the action.  Learn more here.


A Virtual View of the Skills Gap Dilemma

According to the just-released 2018 Employer Needs Survey, 50 percent of North Carolina businesses report hiring difficulties and 60 percent of NC STEM-related and manufacturing companies experience the same. A recent Deloitte study estimates 2.4 million positions may go unfilled over the next decade.

Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR) [collectively called XR], are being used to address the skills gap behind those numbers. Charlotte-based Lowe’s finds VR particularly useful for simulating the numerous home environments a sales or service representative may encounter. Global shipping giant DHL Supply Chain reports an average 15 percent or greater improvement in productivity in its warehouses utilizing AR glasses, while also reducing onboarding and training time by 50 percent.

What does this mean for employee training? Read more on:  A Virtual View of the Skills Gap Dilemma.

About Our Guest Writer

Lorraine Russell is President/CEO of Room to Focus.  The firm provides the tools and content to help companies increase training retention, attract digital natives, and reduce time spent onboarding and facilitating routine training.