The Research Design Associates Blog

(young professionals)

10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Reputation

Pop quiz: What form of currency never fluctuates with the market?


Answer? Your reputation.


Your actions + what others say about you = your reputation. This small formula is the most powerful leverage you have in business — and in life, for that matter.


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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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Does multitasking make you stupid?

Digital natives are constantly switching attention from a variety of inputs. While rapid engagement with a variety of stimulation through multiple sources of web input, what happens to the “quiet” engagement. Where do we learn the skills necessary for the creative, insightful and inventive thought? How do we learn to lead and support leaders if we are mainly engaged in reception? Hopefully we’ll observe, collaborate and learn how digital immersion impacts education; gaining insights about development in the digital age. Otherwise, today's youth will wonder “What took you so long?”

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Business communications, social networking, leadership and concentrated creative thought

He warned that multitasking, immediacy and constant interruption may be the enemy of solitude, concentration and long stretches of time without distraction or interruption are essential to formulate ideas, to think flexibly, creatively, and independently. And yet the impact of technologies on complex collaborative problem solving, rapid access to information and the sparking of innovative ideas among those with a collective vision can generate remarkable knowledge. How do we accomplish these focused actions and interactions while adapting to the new socially networked norms? Older brains (or those on the grey side of the digital divide) are going to have to adapt to the opportunity if their institutional memory is going to be reliant to the future.

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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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Ageism Alive and Well

Whether or not we care to see it or admit it, people have impressions (true and false) regarding age. I try not to show my age in the office. I don’t want people at work to judge me based on my age. We have to work doubly hard to be taken seriously. How often can you go for a high-level job even if you have the ideas and gumption to be a success?

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