Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Things that Go Bump in the Night: Imposter Syndrome and How to Fight It

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

It’s the time of year when ghosts and ghouls are everywhere to be found, when witches fly by the moon and Hocus Pocus is playing on repeat on the Freeform channel, so we’re here to tell you about one of the scariest things that you may come across in your career: Imposter Syndrome.

Think of imposter syndrome like a vampire – it vants to suck your self-confidence replacing it with self-doubt. It’s the monster sitting on your shoulder telling you that everything you know is wrong and you’re in way over your head … and it’s fairly common with as many as 70% of high-achievers reporting that they’ve felt this way before.

To be able to help banish these negative thoughts, it helps to understand what really is happening with Imposter Syndrome. It’s not a newly made up diagnosis that was created just for millennials, it’s actually been around since 1978 when two researchers at Georgia State University coined the term in an academic paper when studying high-achieving women. It being 2017, though, we understand that this isn’t just a phenomenon affecting women and we can all suffer from it.  But how can we shove that monster back into the closet like we will all the other Halloween decorations next week? Here are five tips to help beat that baddie back: 



As we said above, while it was originally believed that imposter syndrome only affects high achieving females, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t and that it’s nearly ubiquitous in the work force. Take comfort in the fact that your boss has probably felt imposter syndrome before, as has the person who sits next to you, and the person down the hall. Knowing that you aren’t alone can help you speak up for reassurance from your boss that you’re doing what you need to do.




Having a strong support system that knows you and knows your work will only help in the long run. Oftentimes Imposter Syndrome strikes because we fear that we aren’t as qualified to do a task and friends and mentors can help put into perspective that even if something is a reach, we are perfectly capable of handling it based on our successful track record.



Halloween is a time to put on costumes and act like someone else for a night, and that’s good practice when dealing with Imposter Syndrome too. How would you act in that meeting if you felt confident that you know what you’re doing and deserve to be in that room? Go into that meeting and do that.



Work is busy and there’s always something to do and even a person who is overly attentive to every detail will make a mistake. If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s easy to make every mistake into a mountain when in reality it’s probably much closer to a molehill. Own it and apologize and work to make sure that it never happens again – in time, it’s likely that you’ll be the only one who will remember that incident in the office. Don’t let one mistake kill your confidence, and don’t give into the idea that that mistake will define your career.



If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome because you’ve recently gotten a promotion or taken on a new role, be up front with your supervisor or a mentor about what you’re most concerned with. Ask them for advice about situations or seek out personal development courses online, in the community or through your Human Resources departments. Bonus points if you’re open with your team and ask for their help in clarifying something you don’t understand fully – it will help build good will with them and foster more of a team environment rather than a solely one-way street between a boss and employee.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

South Bend Needs to Think Big or Get Left Behind

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO Comments (0)

The regions we are competing with are thinking big. They are making key decisions to position themselves to beat us. They want to attract the talent we are seeking. They want the companies we believe would be a good fit here. And they wouldn’t mind stealing a few of our existing employers or top employees.

We’ve got to keep pace. That includes maintaining what we’ve got and attracting new people and companies to help grow our economy. New housing and job opportunities will help. Better schools, strong neighborhoods, quality entertainment and recreation opportunities all contribute. Quality of place improvements, like those in the Regional Cities program, should spark population growth.

Our investment in infrastructure is also an important factor. Enhancements to U.S. 31, U.S. 20 and Interstate 80/90 all play a big part in getting people to and from our area. The airport plays a vital role because of its easy connections to major markets in the United States and around the world. And rail will play an increased role in the future in the movement of both freight and people.

Our business community believes passenger rail could be a big advantage in our effort to compete as a quick connection to one of the largest economies of the world. The South Shore railroad has plans for several improvements that will get a trip from South Bend to Chicago down to 90 minutes by 2020. The trip currently takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

I believe 90 minutes is key. When analyzing commuting patterns and the type of businesses and people that have been attracted to areas within 90 minutes of major metropolitan areas, I think it can be a game changer for our area.

I hope people who live in Chicago will work here, and people who live here can work in Chicago. A quicker ride means a better connection to arts, entertainment and cultural opportunities that exist in the Chicago area.

As the project details are developing, neighbors near the South Bend airport — current home to the eastern most South Shore station — have reacted to the uncertainty and attempted to put the brakes on the project. The neighbors wonder if the 10 minutes of time savings are worth it at the cost of relocating some homes west of the airport. If all the communities along the way took similar approaches, we would never get to 90 minutes and never realize the full potential.

City officials have now pressed pause, too, and gone back to the drawing board with consideration of relocating the South Shore station either downtown, near the Honeywell factory south of the airport or another location. I was just in Washington, D.C., and fear this latest uncertainty could impact our ability to tap into federal funds.

Downtown gets studied every few years. We anticipate it will be ruled out again as it has been many times before because it’s cost prohibitive. The Honeywell location isn’t ideal either, for the same reasons the nearby Amtrak location isn’t ideal. That location isn’t as easy to get to and presents limited development opportunities near the proposed station.

I think the airport is a good fit for the South Shore station. I believe the development opportunities available to the west of airport are a real advantage and ultimately makes the project about more than just moving people back and forth. Like our competition is doing, we have to think big about this once-a-generation opportunity and move forward.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ttrip to DC Worth the Effort

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

Last week I visited Capitol Hill. I try to go out to Washington, D.C., at least annually to connect with our legislators and their staffs and visit about issues important to businesses in our region. This year, I was joined by about 100 other business leaders from throughout Indiana.

Major policy issues like tax reform, trade, health care and infrastructure topped our agenda. We arrived during the launch of the tax reform discussion and on the heels of the latest breakdown of health care reform talks. Though health care is stalled, we’re hopeful tax reform moves forward yet this year and that in early 2018 Congress does something with infrastructure.

We haven’t run into anyone that loves the current tax code and system. I think there is general consensus from both sides of the aisle that improvements are necessary. Early drafts have inspired some strong feelings about who might benefit most from changes. The devil will be in the details, and the months ahead will inspire passionate debate about where those best fixes are located. In the end, we are hopeful meaningful reform moves forward.

Infrastructure is high on our priority list. On the day we visited, U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, along with U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, were sharing with President Donald Trump the importance of Indiana projects that include the South Shore Railroad upgrades that would lead to economic growth in northwest and northcentral Indiana. The South Shore double track project and the airport relocation project remain top priorities of the local business community. Federal help will be needed to accomplish the goal of a 90-minute South Shore commute from South Bend to Chicago, and vice versa, by 2020.

The trade discussion is a little like tax reform. Most would agree some improvements to the current system are necessary. With Americans able to consume only about 5 percent of what we produce, trade is vital to the success of our businesses.

During our visit we also discussed immigration, business regulations, national security and the deficit.

Some wonder whether such a trip is worth the time and energy. Congress has low approval ratings and people are increasingly frustrated by the partisan bickering that can dominate the news. Will they listen? Will they be able to come together to work on any meaningful legislation? Does my opinion matter?

I’m convinced it does and it’s worth the trip. I plan to go each time I have the opportunity. I’m still in awe of the history and love to see the places I’ve heard so much about since my early days of history class. Each time I’m there, I learn new things about the men and women who have worked hard to advance the interests of our country.

Our local contingent of Rep. Walorski, Sen. Donnelly and Sen. Young have each been generous with their time and all seemed happy to see and hear from friends back home.

All three have talented teams around them too. I’m amazed by the knowledge of both our legislators and their staffs on very complex issues. I don’t know how they keep it all straight.

Also Published in the South Bend Tribune

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Five Ways to Better Your LinkedIn Profile

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)



profile, but rather to share relevant information in their industry for some time now, but it’s probably the social network that you think of the least when deciding where to post updates about your life. The rolodex network can be useful for more than just finding your next job, it’s a great place for professional growth and improving your online presence. Just remember, that you get out what you put into your LinkedIn profile; therefore, it is important to approach LinkedIn strategically. Here are five things you can do today to create a stellar LinkedIn profile.

Go Back to the Basics

Whether or not you are seeking a new job or career change, people are still looking at your profile. Therefore, it is important to keep it updated. Take time to update your current and past job descriptions, update your headline, check for any grammatical errors and update your profile photo. Sometimes, going back to basics is all you need to refresh your online presence.

Personalize your URL

When you set up your profile, the url will read, “” followed by random numbers and letters. However, this can be changed to have your first and last name after the slash. Not only will this look better for cosmetic purposes on your business cards and email signature, but it makes it easier for people to find your profile. To change your URL simply navigate to your profile, go to “edit contact and personal info,” click on the pencil icon and look for the option to change your URL.

Give and Ask for Recommendations

If you have worked with someone who positively impacted your company or a co-worker who led a project, let them know you appreciate them by giving them a recommendation on LinkedIn. Also, if you successfully completed a project, implemented a new program at your company, or are seeking a new job, ask a past or current colleague for a recommendation. Remember to click “allow on my profile” because if you don’t, LinkedIn won’t allow others to see it.

Share Relevant Content

Gone are the days when people used LinkedIn just to have a professional online presence. Still, many people don’t share anything. LinkedIn is a great opportunity to share updates happening in your industry, exciting news for your company or a community event. This is a great way to start a dialogue with your connections and make new connections. As always make sure your content is relevant – keep the cat photos for your personal social media profiles.

Follow Relevant Influencers

LinkedIn allows people all over the world to connect – this includes the opportunity to follow key influencers within your field of work. Want to learn more from your favorite economic development blogger? Have a nonprofit you want to partner with? You can follow them on LinkedIn to receive additional information from them, ask questions and comment on their posts.

There are countless features you can use to better your online professional presence, but start with these five tips and you’re on your way to improving your LinkedIn profile.