InfoSocialMedia

Like it or not, during the last decade, social media has become part of our lives. It’s been ten years since Facebook was first launched (and 8 since Twitter’s birth) and we thought it may be a good moment to take a second and pay attention to some facts and figures about the importance of social networks on the current European society.

More than 3 out of 4 homes are connected to the Internet, 97% of which have a broadband connection (DSL or fiber-optic). According to this, it’s not a surprise that as much as 62% of European citizens between 16 and 74 years old use the Internet on a daily basis, and that percentage climbs up to 88% when we focus on the younger ones.

Let’s stop and wonder, how skilled are european internet users? In an attempt to shed some light on it, Eurostat made a list of 6 basic Internet skills and asked individuals how many of those activities they had done at least once during the past three months (used search engine; sent mail with attachment; posted messages to chatrooms/newsgroups or online discussion forum; made phone calls; done peer-to-peer file sharing or created a web page). People who had carried out 1 or 2 of these 6 Internet-related items, are consider to have low Internet basic skills; people who had done 3 or 4 of these activities, are considered as medium-skilled, and people who did 5 or 6 of them have high basic Internet skills.

What about social media? According to Eurostat Survey, 43% of all european (and 88% of the students) participate in social networks for private purposes –even when the penetration rate varies from one country to another.

With more than 194 million active users, Facebook is the most popular social network in the European Union, and it’s also the most popular in each and every country, when considered separately.

There’s no doubt Europeans love food and fashion –these are the top industries on Facebook considering the number of fans. Is it a surprise that travel is not among the top 8 industries?

Some of these figures may seem more or less obvious; others, can be revealing. What do you think about them?

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Photo: jeffsmallwood (CC)

 

“Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”  –Jeff Bezos

Whether you like it or not, you already have an online personal brand. Most of what you do online (and also many things you do offline) is on the world wide web–and traceable. So, in order to build up your online personal brand, the first step is to Google yourself and learn what people can find out about you. Is that the image you want the whole world to know?

If not, follow the steps to make sure you build a great personal brand:

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Are You A Team Player?

Posted by | September 3, 2014 | Tips



 

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Vince Lombardi

In Catalonia, we have a very special tradition called “castells” (“castles” in English) in which a group of people attempt to build a human pyramid with their bodies to create pre-designed structure that may reach up to 10 floors.

“Castells” are a wonderful example of team working.They rely on their “colles” (group) which consists of people from different cities and backgrounds. The collas must have people with different body types: from strong men in charge of holding the “pinya” (base) to the “enxaneta”, a small girl or boy who crowns the tower and salutes the crowd. As you can imagine and see on the picture, the effort of each and every component of these groups is essential. If someone fails, the whole structure comes down.

Like “castells”, startups are a “colla” a group of people working together to “fer pinya” and achieve common goals — The success of the individuals lies directly on the success of the company and working as a team is the only option.

But not everybody is capable to be a good team player –some people feel more comfortable working on their own. Are you a team player?  What are the main skills needed to be part of a team? I’ve gathered a short list of qualities every good team player should have:

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10 Benefits of Working From Home

Posted by | August 27, 2014 | Tips



telecommuting

Photo: Cameron and his officemate by Sean Dreilinger (CC)

Some people would jump at the chance of working in the comfort of their own home and others would simply detest it. Back in February 2013, Yahoo put a controversial halt to that option. Yahoo’s president and CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting for employees and rocked the business world in the process. What was her argument? The memo read that in order to “become the absolute best place to work”  there had to be a focus on communication and collaboration hence why they had to work “side-by-side”.

More than one year after, Mayer’s decision is still discussed in business blogs and magazines such as Money, Forbes and the like. The main point seems to be that in a globalized world, where most people have broadband internet connections at home and where so many communication tools are available at the reach of a click, it is reasonable to discuss if the traditional office is still the best possibility.

On the other hand, those against remote working use to argue that physical interaction promotes creativity and productivity. I wonder, is this true for the so-called Facebook Generation?

Of course there are pros and cons to working from home and Marissa Mayer had her reasons to defend on site working, but at Jobfluent, we are proponents of the benefits of merging your home and work environments.

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How To Ease Back Into Work After Vacation

Posted by | August 20, 2014 | Tips



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Photo by Anna Loverus

 

Vacations are the best thing ever. Oh dear! Sun, piña coladas, beach waves or exploring a new city – there’s no question having free time from work is simply delightful. But, as with everything in life it always comes to an end.

As Elbert Hubbard said: “No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.” I know going back to work after your free time is stressful but I am here today to give you hope. It’s not that bad. Cheer up! It’s time to shake off the sand and get over the holiday blues.

Follow these steps and you’ll find it feels good to be back on track!

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Why Should I Join a Startup?

Posted by | August 13, 2014 | Tips



Startup companies come in all shapes and sizes, from the abundance of social networks; Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon etc. to the Swedish music service Spotify. It seems hard to believe that all of these globally recognised companies were once a startup, but  if their small teams could make it happen, what’s to say the startup you’re employed by won’t too?

A startup company is designed to grow very rapidly and although the idea of working for an already established large company is appealing, being a part of a startup organization is so much more rewarding and opens up many doors for opportunities.

Are you in two minds about what career path to take and find yourself asking why should I join a startup? At JobFluent, we’ve come up with 16 reasons to answer that ever so common question.

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What is the absolute worst thing about celebrations? For me it’s gift shopping. I just never know what to get and many doubts blur my judgement: too expensive, too cheap, too childish — well you get the point.

I think we’ve all felt the same at some point. Wouldn’t you just love to know exactly what to get and even have it ready to be gifted with a super nice design? Well, with Giftry you can!

Want to know more? I was able to meet Brandon Wright, founder of Giftry and he was super kind to tell me what’s cooking on this awesome new Barcelona based startup. Let’s find out!

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Dress code sign at the entrance of the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand. Autor: Sodacan. CC

The increase in the number of startups and online businesses has given rise to a new dress code with regards to business attire. Some refer to it as “startup casual”, others don’t give it a second thought – it’s simply wearing what you feel most comfortable in. You’re putting in some serious hours to launch the startup to stardom, so you might as well not feel restricted in any way. Right?

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project manager

image: Vancouver Film School (cc)

 

Project management is not an easy task. According to Gartner Survey, 70% of organisations implementing PMOs report that project success rates have improved significantly as a result.

As a project manager, you’ll be in the middle of a triangle formed by the company’s management, the staff and the clients. Your responsibilities will include costs, schedules, workflow and customer experience –and you’ll have to make the right decisions to make sure everything runs smoothly.

To tackle a project management position, you will need technical knowledge (depending on each particular project), a business-oriented mind and great social and communication skills.

Knowing that, expect the hiring manager to focus the interview not only in general topics, but also mainly on behavioral questions –the type of questions you have to answer using your own previous experience i.e. asking about your reactions to specific real life scenarios.

In order to prepare for this interview, it would be good to start recalling your experiences and creating your own story. Ask yourself: which projects have you worked on and what problems you encountered? How did you face those problems? What decisions did you make and what were the results?

Aside from that mental exercise, you will have to really research your prospective employer and wonder about the kinds of questions you will be asked for this specific role.

To get you started, we have prepared a list of 10 questions you may get asked in an interview for a Project Manager position. Let’s go through them.

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Say you’re looking to purchase a new computer…now, imagine having all the local offers for computers available to you from the tip of your finger. Sounds ideal, right? Ofertia is making this come true

At JobFluent, we wanted to know more about this fast-growing startup, so I seized the opportunity on the last Barcelona Startup Fair and got to talk to Thomas Roggendorf, co-founder of Ofertia. Want to know more? Check out this interview.

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photo: madrideducacion.es.  creative commons

photo: madrideducacion.es. creative commons

 

A little while ago, I told you about my personal experience with teleworking and staying productive when working from home.

Yes, there are both good and bad things about working remotely, it is not always the same and it definitely doesn’t always have to be a coffee and pijama kind of setting (in fact, you shouldn’t allow for that to happen that often!). As more and more startups result to a remote team, we have to think about what the future holds when it comes to working spaces and we have great news! If you are a freelancer, a startup or even a student looking for an office, Coworking spaces are your best alternative!

While working on The Growing Startup Scene of Europe infographic, we learned that there are currently 1600 coworking spaces in Europe and that the number DOUBLES every year according to The Startup Europe Coworking Assembly.

Coworking spaces all have one thing in common: they provide a space, with a desk and other office like amenities to make it possible for you to complete your tasks. But many have special and interesting offerings that could make you cry of joy. And…since the only way we can really get to know the spaces is by visiting them and unfortunately, I’m still not able to visit all – I decided to “web” travel through many of the hottest cities in Europe in search of the coolest alternative places to work, their location and their perks!

So stay tuned for The Ultimate List of Coworking Spaces in Europe… this is Part I.  Tag along with me!

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For the last couple of years, there has been a lot of talk about the startup scene in the capital city of the first European economy. Opinions are divided –while some experts think Berlin rocks, others point out some lacks and dark spots. Truth be told, Berlin’s startup scene has experienced an fast-paced growth and it has already become the first startup hub in Germany, outdoing Hamburg, Hesse, and Bavaria.

More new businesses are started in Berlin than in any other German Land (128 new business per 10.000 residents) and according to a study by McKinsey & Company, by 2020 Berlin could deliver more than 100,000 new jobs thanks to startups.

Berlin entrepreneurs are highly educated (86% of them have a Masters or PhD) and a total of 5.3% of Germany’s adult population are actively trying to set up new businesses (nascent entrepreneurs) or were owners or managers of firms that were no more than 3 1⁄2 years old (young businesses).

The incubator/accelerator scene has experienced an amazing growth during the last years and by December 2012 there were already 20 incubators based in the city. In 2012, German and international venture capitalists in Berlin invested EUR 133 million in startups.  On the other hand,  Sharedesk.net lists around 60 coworking spaces in Berlin.

What do you think? Can Berlin become the biggest international startup hub in Europe, surpassing cities like London and Paris?

We have looked for some facts and figures about Berlin’s startup scene and gathered them together in an infographic, take a look and let us know what your thoughts are.

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Whether you’re looking to find out more about the best marketing tactics for your startup, or you’re looking into management styles or entrepreneurship, you need a base of exceptional advice to work from. Here are our list of must-read blogs for startups, based on the niche topics you may be interested in.

Entrepreneurship & Management

1. Both Sides of the Table is actually an all-rounder startup blog, but it’s got a great deal of exceptional advice to offer from a preparatory point of view. For those who are in the process of setting up a startup or have perhaps failed and are looking to try again with some new tactics; this is a great blog to refer to. Advice is based on the personal experience of Mark Suster – two-time entrepreneur, investor, and mentor at Techstars. Topics include advice on choosing investors, writing business plans, common mistakes that can be avoided, working with lawyers etc.

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1. Brooklyn Apartments Device copia

Last month, we had the opportunity to meet many startups and professionals at the 5th edition of the JobFluent Barcelona Startup Job Fair. It was a blast. We exchange thoughts, CVs and business cards.

I was able to catch up with Naveen Sharma, who is responsible for marketing and business development at Lodgify. Curious about what they do? Read more below.

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