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ExCon’22; The Most Awaited Conference for Initiative Groups

ExCon (Expansion Conference) is the only national conference for Initiative groups in AIESEC Sri Lanka. It paves the way for AIESECers in initiative groups to enhance their knowledge of AIESEC while developing them as emerging young leaders. At the same time, they can enjoy themselves amongst friends they virtually met and strengthen their network with AIESECers from different entities of AIESEC.

The Story Begins

It was then early March when AIESEC Sri Lanka came up with the initial plan to organize the ExCon. Twelve passionate people across the country were appointed to take forward this thought. The current situation of the country and the lack of experience for a physical Expansion Conference since 2018 appeared as the greatest challenges. The organizing committee, with the president Dulanda Yapa, recreated an action plan of execution. Amidst the crisis within the country, the organizing committee, along with the National Expansion Board (NEB), executed to launch of ExCon’22. Member Committee Vice President for Expansion Development and Outgoing Global Talent, Pium Pamuditha, gave guidance for conference planning.

The Day Before

Since the 27th of May 2022, at Lavanga Resort and Spa Hikkaduwa, the team deployed the creativity, leadership and teamwork of idealistic youth. They discovered the threats and bottlenecks and tried implementing new strategies to overcome them while delivering the best experience. Meanwhile, they do not leave behind the AIESEC way as they made the night out with jives.

What does ExCon’22 be?

The conference will primarily focus on enhancing AIESEC membership’s understanding of the AIESEC functions. It empowered individuals to discover the potential leader inside themselves who would guide the initiative groups to success. It will be a life-changing experience for them, in which they will recognize themselves as young leaders who transform the world and fulfilling AIESEC’s vision. Yet, this was the first conference experience for many members of the initiative groups. And almost all delegates agreed that this was their first physical experience.

Day One

Delegate registration began around 7.30 in the morning and started with an interactive icebreaker. It was mesmerizing to see around 100 delegates representing the eleven initiative groups from APIIT, IIT, Jaffna, KDU, NIBM, Rajarata, SUSL, Seagis, SLTC, UWU, and Waymba. Member committee president of AIESEC Sri Lanka Banuka Hathurusinghe initially welcomed the delegates and introduced the chair. Asitha Rajapaksha was the chair for ExCon’22, and he undoubtedly kept the conference inඋ a smooth flow. The sessions flew from delivering sessions from AIESEC essence, giving insights on the functions. And engaging in team activities where they got a chance to get to know members from other initiative groups. Teams got much space to embrace and experience the AIESEC culture. It included jives, shoutouts and the introduction of fun teams. Day one marked its end with the theme party under the theme of masquerade. 

Day Two

The second day was challenging for the initiative groups as they had to create a roll call for their entity. Educational sessions based on the relevant functions and a guidance session were based on the way forward for initiative groups. Day two gave more space for the delegates to clarify their doubts related to AIESEC. Most prominently, the initiative group presidents planned and received insights from the faci team. The expansion conference gave them space to gain a clear way ahead of their AIESEC journey. Finally, all the delegates traced their true potential while some acted boldly to speak, leaving aside their public speaking phobia. This act developed the confidence and self-esteem of all the participants.

ExCon’22 became a successful conference with tremendous support from the member committee, the National Expansion Board, and the effort of the organizing committee. But, not to forget the support given by Kolitha Dissanayake in handling audio technicalities, Chamith Guruge and Sandeepa Dias in photography, and Rashmika and Bimsara from the National Showcasing Team. The event would have been more challenging than expected if it were not for them. ExCon’22 made its end capable of delivering the team stand of the organizing committee “Transform Yourself”.

 

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Leadership, Lifestyle

Ultimate Guide to Escape Your Comfort Zone

Life is full of opportunities to step outside the comfort zone, but grabbing hold of them can be difficult.

 

The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition. Within their comfort zone, they utilize a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. Because of a lack of risk comprehension, many people hesitate to escape from their comfort zone. In contrast, the true potential leader manifests himself/ herself and the team by pushing the limits of their comfort zone and arriving in the zone of learning.

Within the comfort zone, there isn’t much incentive for people to reach new heights of performance. It’s apparent that people go about routines devoid of risk, but that doesn’t create any learning. Escaping from your comfort zone does not identify with your consolation but the fear you possess to evade your self-imposed barriers

 

The margin between comfort zone and adventure

The margin between comfort zone and adventure

Create a clear understanding of what is beyond your comfort zone

If you intend to escape from your comfort zone, you need to clarify the components that belong to your zone of comfort and zone of fear. Developing a clear vision of what you need to achieve will be an excellent start to understanding your true self. To identify these components on a piece of paper, draw a circle. Inside, you can mention the things you are comfortable with. Note what you prefer but what you feel, as some concern holds you back outside the circle.

 

Analyze your fears and weaknesses

To manage your fear of leaving the comfort zone, use the previous activity and start analyzing your fears and weaknesses. Perhaps you can understand the fundamental factor behind your anxiety and work on it. Try to define the reasons, whether they are fears or negligence.

 

Set goals purposefully where you have to invade your comfort zone limitations

The goal being to escape your comfort zone, you can set realistic goals amidst the zone of fear. For example, suppose you are afraid of talking to random people or have a fear of public speaking. In that case, you can set a definite goal of making fifteen friends at the end of a specific semester or to compere in a social welfare project conducted by your university or college.

 

Pushing the limits to reach success

Pushing the limits to reach success

Consider failures as your guidance

You must not allow success to get to your head, but you must also not let defeat devour your heart. Understand that things won’t always go as planned, which is entirely okay. When things don’t go as planned, it’s too easy for many young people to quit. But if there is one thing you should not do, it’s giving up since you will fail a lot. Failure, however, does not imply that your concept was invalid or that your dream was insufficient. Failure indicates that there is something to be learned or there is a different path to follow.

 

Initiate with small steps

Leaving your comfort zone might appear to be a daunting endeavour. Overthinking and planning too far ahead can be stressful, leading to procrastination. That is why taking the initial step and putting one foot in front of the other is critical. There will never be a “perfect time” to begin. As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu famously said, “A thousand miles begin with a single step,” Each move you take to venture beyond your comfort zone is a step forward. 

 

By leaving your comfort zone, you won’t leave yourself alone. But it will increase your resilience as you will face continuous uncomfortable situations, but surviving through them will strengthen your mental health. And you will reach self-actualization, as when our desire to become whatever we are capable of becoming. This is a personal development process and skill development to realize one’s maximum potential in life. Further, you will boost your self-confidence and ultimately have fewer regrets because you will achieve the life you dream of living.

 

You may see that escaping your comfort zone is not a nightmare, but you need to follow methodically for some actions. All you have to do is understand your strengths and weaknesses and be confident in your actions and results.

 

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Why LinkedIn is your key to professionalism

 


What is LinkedIn?

Linkedin is one of the world’s biggest professional online platforms. It is a key link to reaching people who have a well-educated background and skills. Linkedin creates direct interactions between people, companies, and institutions. It also connects the private and the government sector. It was created eighteen years ago. It’s very different from other social media platforms as It is made for professionalism. It mainly focuses on career development and professional networking.

Need of keeping an account on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most important application to get knowledge and information about a specific field. Most companies and institutions have accounts in this application. Thus, people can reach them well. Proper posting on individual profiles can give many companies access to them. Besides, employment rates have increased through this portal and companies can recruit better employees for their companies.
Currently, many job employers prefer a Linkedin profile rather than an ordinary CV.

Through LinkedIn, you will be able to share your achievements and know about the accomplishments of others as well. When you start a new company or organization, creating a Linkedin account will make the company accessible to more people.

Impact of LinkedIn on Professionalism

LinkedIn provides a platform to write blogs for content creators. It can help reach their content worldwide. Also, they provide ample opportunities to publish posts on anything like on other social media platforms. That can also show up on our profile. We can increase our connections and credibility in a special field with these options.

There is an option to join any group that will enable us to access new information and opportunities, also we can join groups based on our interests. Also, LinkedIn is a very easy and simple platform for finding jobs. Many people are using this platform efficiently. They are undergraduates, job providers, job seekers, organizations, companies, etc.
LinkedIn is an application that is used worldwide. Thus, it is an important tool for globalization. Failure to maintain a proper account or lacking a LinkedIn account can result in many scenarios of losses despite identifying quality employees. It has become very influential in the cooperate industry as many people use Linkedin today. Updating your Linkedin account with your in-time achievements pushes you upward in your professionalism.

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Excel at time management to boost productivity

“Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.” – Gary Keller

I often find myself locked up in my room with books and assignments scattered all over, but at the end of the day the amount of work I have actually completed is less than a handful. I’m sure this is the case for most of you. We tend to prioritize working hard over working smart and we fail to achieve the results we want. The key to being productive throughout the day is effective time management. Time management is a skill that needs to be learned and improved. It also requires adapting to new behaviors and disciplining yourself. It might sound like a tough route but once you adapt to a productive lifestyle, your success will be closer than you think. 

Assess how you spend your dayMan moving clock arrows and managing time. Free Vector

Before rushing into creating a schedule, you have to assess how you spend your day. Think about which time of the day you are most productive, how many hours you separate for studying, how often you take breaks while studying, what are the personal commitments you have, how many hours you sleep, and what are the distractions you come across. Evaluating your current lifestyles is the first step for effective time management. 

Create a schedule you can stick to

The next step is creating a practical schedule that you can follow through. Schedule your work during the time you are most productive and align other personal commitments accordingly. For this you can use a scheduling app that notifies you about the upcoming tasks for the day. Some people find paper planners work better. It’s up to you to figure out what’s best for you. 

Identify your priorities

Make a list of work that needs to be completed within the week. Then categorize the work as urgent, important, not important and make sure you schedule the urgent work before the rest. That will prevent you from being  stressed out  throughout  the week. Keep your priority list visible all the time so you can keep track of your progress.

Taking a break is a must

Always make sure that you allocate a healthy amount of time for relaxation and enjoyment every day. Having a harsh schedule with back to back work will drastically minimize your work efficiency. Separate time in your schedule as free periods so that you can resume your work with a fresh mind. 

Get rid of your distractions

The worst enemy that hinders our productivity are electronic devices. If you feel that you are reaching out to use the mobile phone every time you feel bored, keep your phone in a place that is not easily accessible. You can also put time limits to apps so that you won’t spend too much time unnecessarily on social media. Identify what distracts you the most and find a way to break free from it. Student using laptop in library

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. At the beginning it might seem hard to follow these steps but with time you will train your mind and body to become productive. Visualize the future you want to have and do anything to make it a reality. 

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How to design written content to attract your target audience.

I’m sure you have come across multiple Facebook and Instagram advertisements everyday. You usually scroll past them so quickly that you lose track of how many advertisements you have dodged. Surprisingly, sometimes you visit the advertised websites and end up adding items to your cart. The success of such an advertisement solely depends on how well the writer has presented the product to the target audience. From a simple Instagram post to a professional business proposal, the effectiveness of your final design depends on how well you have created the written content. Let’s dive in to see some tips and tricks on how to design written content that people can’t say NO to !

Know Your Audience

Just like considering the likes and dislikes of your partner before buying them a birthday present, you should know their interests, attitudes and values before drafting the content. Knowing your primary and secondary target audience is essential. Primary audience is your existing clients or followers, and the secondary audience is far more broader and includes anyone that will become a potential client. Hence tailoring your content in a way that directly speaks to your audience is the  first step. 

Understand your purpose

Before digging into the writing process, understand why you are writing. It can be either to engage your audience, educate your audience or convince your audience to take action. Having a clear goal of your content will be useful to generate leads, retain the existing customers and influence the future market. 

Language & Tone

Once you identify your audience, you have to decide on what kind of language you are going to use. If you are targeting  youth, try to use conversational and friendly language. If you are targeting the older crowd, use a language they can connect and build trust with. You can strategically incorporate emotion to the content to build a good rapport with the reader.

Keep it short & simple

Would you rather use words like ‘exuberant’ and ‘halcyon’ when you can simply say ‘excited’ and ‘calm’ ? Always try to keep the content simple and easy to understand. Make sure the readability of your content is satisfactory. Always keep your sentences as short as possible. Structure your content in a way that the audience can grasp the idea from the first glimpse itself. 

Tell a good story

A good story that resonates with your audience is the most effective way to connect with the reader. Storytelling is a strong marketing skill and when implemented effectively it can boost your target audience instantly. Telling a story through your content can automatically build purpose and win the loyalty of your audience. Keep it true and keep it genuine. Nothing can beat a great story. 

Be organized 

Written content for online marketing

If the reader doesn’t find the specific information they are looking for easily as they scan through the content, they will move on. Make sure that you arrange the content from the most important to least important information. Instead of using heavy paragraphs and never ending sentences, use bullet points and sub heading so that the reader can conveniently skip to parts that interest . Sub headings will not only allow the reader to navigate through the page but also help your content to rank higher in search engines. 

 

Leave them wanting more

No matter what kind of content you are writing, use a strong Call-To-Action in the end. You can include a video that will spark curiosity, add a third person the reader can contact for more information, or links to other related blog posts they can read. The main target of this is to promote the reader to share your content with friends and family. You can use action words such as ‘download’ ‘sign up’ ‘learn more’ and attach a link to complete your Call-To-Action. 

In the end it’s all about producing content that adds value to your reader. The size of your audience doesn’t matter, what matters is that your audience is listening. 

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