career

3… 2… 1… GO!

Make a to-do list
Write it down! You’ll know what you want to achieve, what you need to get done. That way you can work task by task and check things off.

  • Prioritize and break it down — larger tasks can be extremely overwhelming, so that shit break it down.
  • It’s easier to prioritize what to do now vs. later.
  • It makes it less daunting, more achievable and manageable. 
  • Avoid: Overwhelming yourself, don’t stress yourself out about all the things you need to get done. Just write it down and don’t think about it until you’re actually working on it.

Why do you want to do it
What’s the reason behind it? Use it as fuel to motivate you! It’s good to focus on the good feelings when you achieve something, how completing a task makes you feel!

  • What are you gaining from it?
  • Is it to get the grades you want or require?
  • Is it for a career you’re trying to get?
  • Give yourself a reason!
  • Avoid: Being unrealistic, feeling like you have to be perfect. You just work on being you!

Start with something small
If you’re feeling frozen, start with something small to get the ball rolling! 

  • Make your bed, have breakfast, check your emails!
  • You’ll feel like you’ve already accomplished something and it will give you the boost you need to kickstart on your major tasks!
  • Avoid: Getting caught up in all the little things, at some point you have to make the switch — priorities! 

Touch it once
Aim to at least touch each task on your list once!

  • Take 2 minutes to get started, who knows, once you’ve started you might end up finishing the entire thing!
  •  At least if you just start it, you’ve already gotten somewhere. 
  • If you keep doing that, you’ll eventually slowly progress each task!
  • Avoid: Only spending the minimum time on all tasks then thinking, ‘oh, I’ve touched each one, I can go have the rest of the day off’… NO! Go back and do it again, and try stick to one for awhile! But don’t forget to take breaks!

Have the correct mindset
Have you ever asked someone ‘how do you find the time to…’, well it’s all about utilizing the time you have.

  • Use your time in productive ways — listen to book whilst you shower, revise your notes while you catch up on your favourite tv shows!
  • Just do it — just start, once you’ve started you’re halfway there. Plus, you’ll thank yourself later!
  • Be easy on yourself — don’t feel bad about yourself, if you’ve procrastinated all day so what. Think of it as you needed some downtime for yourself. Go into tomorrow with goals you want to achieve and if you feel tempted to procrastinate, take a moment to think of why it’s important for you to get it done.
  • Make studying fun — treat yourself on your accomplishments, study in groups, listen to music, make your notes look fantastic, just whatever!
  • Be optimistic — instead of saying ‘I think and I hope’ say ‘I can and I will’.
  • Avoid: All negativity, you don’t need it. You know what you’re capable of so what’s stopping you? 

Analyze your lifestyle habits
Look at your lifestyle as a whole. The decisions you’re making can actually affect your productivity level.

  • Are you getting enough sleep? This is a MAJOR priority not matter what.
  • Try going to sleep earlier and wake up earlier — by getting a good nights sleep you’ll feel refreshed, motivated and like you’re ready to achieve more of your tasks.
  • The food you’re eating, water you’re drinking — is there enough nutrients to fuel your body? By fueling your body with good, healthy foods you’ll get good outcomes.
  • We need to fuel our bodies so we function properly, don’t become fatigued and are able to excrete all the toxins from our bodies. 
  • How can you expect your body to be productive for you if you’re not treating it well? Take care of yourself!
  • Avoid: Going to sleep late and straining your body. Don’t stay up late on social media, and I know you want to catch up on your fave tv shows but we all know how good sleep is!

My professor talked about how women aren’t used to asking for things in the work place, such as raises, because we’re conditioned to downplay our achievements and hold off on asserting our value. She discussed how, even now at this stage in her career (a published doctrate), she shakes when she askes to be considered for a raise and about the first time she was really successful at getting one. After class I asked her what she asked her boss and she winked at me, took me to her office, and asked me to take notes.

She said she practiced this technique like 5 times in her office before she requested a meeting with her boss. I’m gonna share it with you guys because I really loved it.

You start off by thanking your employer for their support (whatever that means in the context of your work environment).
You then say that you would like to take some time to discuss next year’s salary.
You say, allow me to refresh your memory regarding some of my accomplishments or contributions from the past year, and you present a written summary of all that you’ve done.
You close by saying, I hope that next year’s salary reflects this list of contributions and you thank them for their time and see yourself out.

I just loved how she made it seem so much less daunting of a task. She said not to underestimate your achievements as women have a tendency underreporting what they’ve done.

The fact that she shared this with me really meant a lot as well as women really need to be there to empower each other and help guide each other towards success. So if you end up using this, let me know! I want to see how it works for you ^_^.

Like A Boss: Writing A Resume

Resumes are possibly the hardest things you’ll ever write. Who knew one little page could be so problematic? Here are some of my tips on writing an effective resume: 

  1. The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview NOT a job!
  2. Formatting is HUGE! 
    1. You will want to use 1-inch margins all around (if you have a lot to fit use 0.5 margins all around).
    2. Do NOT use Microsoft word templates. Recruiters can spot these a mile away and most of them don’t scan well.
    3. Use bullet points instead of long block paragraphs.
    4. 12 pt Times New Roman is always a safe bet.
    5. Centered at the top should be your name in all caps with your city, state, zipcode | phone number | email underneath (this is for U.S.). 
    6. All your dates should be aligned to the right side of the document.
    7. Your sections should be in bold and should be: education, related academic experience (if applicable), work experience, volunteer experience, acknowledgements, skills. You can rearrange these sections depending on which you think are stronger. 
  3. Content is IMPORTANT 
    1. Use parallelism in your bullets. For example they should all begin with action verbs (think: managed, conducted, analyzed, derived, and so on). 
    2. Use similar wording to what they used in the job description. If in the job description they mention analytical skills 3 times your resume better say “developed analytical skills by…” somewhere.
    3. A good way to structure your bullet points is to start with what you did, followed by how you did it and ending with why you did it.
    4. If you don’t have much work experience you can totally use projects you have done in courses that directly relate to the job or internship you are applying to.
    5. CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESUME TO EACH JOB YOU APPLY TO!! 
  4. Printed Resumes
    1. Use nicer quality paper (think slightly heavier paper or paper with a higher cotton percentage). 
    2. Make sure the paper is not wrinkled or has any kind of damage to it. 
  5. NO TYPOS
    1. Recruiters receive many more resumes than they care to look at. Do NOT get tossed in the trash pile because of a simple typo. Read and reread your resume to make sure it is error free! 

If you want someone to give a quick once over to your resume feel free to send it my way! 

Survey suggests millennials aren’t lazy and entitled. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

  • Millennials can’t seem to escape the notion that they’re of a lazy, spoiled, entitled generation.
  • But a recent survey revealed that millennials are, by many metrics, much harder workers than older generations — even when it comes at the expense of their personal lives.
  • The survey found that millennials are more likely to pass up their vacation time, even though they typically receive fewer vacation days than their older colleagues.
  • Nearly half of millennials surveyed said it was a good thing to be seen by one’s boss as a “work martyr” or someone who shows “complete dedication” to their job. Read more
A Guide to Writing Your Resume

I recently took a very helpful youth professional development course and learned some great things I’d love to share with everyone. This post will be especially helpful for first time resume writers, but there might be something in it for everyone. 

1. What is a Resume? 

A resume is a brief summary of your abilities, experience, and skills. It’s essentially a personal advertisement for your professional career, an opportunity to convince the employer that you are worth interviewing. 

  • The average employer will only take about 15-20 seconds to read your resume.
  • It’s important that your resume is neat so the reader can find important information quickly. 
  • Limit the resume to one page. 
  • Standard font size is 11-12, but you can play with the font or margins to fit everything. 

2. Headings 

  • Start with your personal information at the top of the first page (name, address, phone number, and email address). 
  • Keep the header centered and your name on top in BIG LETTERS.

3. Education 

  • If you are still in school or have little professional experience, this will likely be the first section in your resume. 
  • Document your education and graduation year.
  • Include the location (city, state), but do not include the school address. 
  • If you attend a school with a College Preparatory Curriculum, you may list that as a bullet underneath. If you are taking Honors or AP classes (or an international equivalent), feel free to list that as well. 

4. Professional Experience 

  • List your work experience in reverse chronological order - start with your most recent experience, and work backwards. 
  • Include the employer name, city, state, and position title for each. Again, no addresses.
  • Record your dates of employment consistently, using a format like June 2016 - August 2015, or 6/15 - 8/15. Staying consistent will make your resume professional. 
  • Place current jobs in the present tense, past jobs in the past tense. 
  • Write short phrases, not full sentences (”performed experiments”, not “I performed experiments”). Start each description with an action word that describes your skills, responsibilities, or accomplishments. 
  • Make sure you are specific about your responsibilities and don’t undersell yourself!

5. Skills 

  • Most commonly listed skills are computer programs and softwares you are comfortable with, and languages you are fluent/proficient in. 
  • Be honest! If you say you’re fluent in Spanish and you’re not, but your employer hires you for your Spanish abilities…. someone isn’t going to be pleased. 
  • List skills that are relevant to your job - patience might be a good skill for working with children, while organized might be more suitable for an office setting. 

6. Honors & Awards/Extracurriculars

  • List any honors or awards you have earned, including a brief explanation if the nature of the award is unclear. 
  • List any activities that you have been involved in, making sure to include years of participation (again, be consistent with formatting). These can be in-school or outside-of-school activities.

7. General & Miscellaneous

  • Some safe fonts: Times New Roman, Garamond, Calibri, or Book Antiqua.
  • Make sure your email is professional! This has been repeated to death but it’s so, so, so important. 
  • Likewise, if you list your personal cellphone number, make sure your voicemail message is appropriate. When in doubt, just revert back to the standard voicemail greeting. 

I hope this was helpful for anyone just starting out with their resume. Please share this for those who need it. Best of luck! 

- Ellie 

2

’’[Alan]’s a classy guy. He’s really nice. […] But at first I was kind of scared of him, despite how nice he is. […] I did say hello to him [at Leavesden Studios while filming], but didn’t talk to him as such. I did at the premiere after-party though, which was nice. Later [I] found out my mum had approached him earlier and had exactly the same conversation. Awkward. […] I told him I was terrified that my nose was far too small for the part [of Severus] and he said, ‘Don’t worry. My nose was exactly the same size as yours when I was your age.’ I’m not sure if it’s true, but at the moment, at that time, that was very important to hear!’’ — Benedict Clarke (Baby Severus Snape) on remembering Alan Rickman [x]

5 secrets to a launching successful startup company

Quietly daydreaming about starting your own company? Before you get too excited, though, you should know what you are up against: About half of small businesses do not make it to their fourth year.

We looked at businesses that soared and failed, and listened to serial entrepreneurs about what they wish they had known when they were starting up. Here are their secrets.

If you are a sole proprietor, find B2B partners — don’t reinvent the wheel. 

You may be offering your one-of-a-kind rum-dipped peanut-doodle cookies to market, but that doesn’t mean you need to build your own store and construct your own vending machines to sell them. Better to rely on existing infrastructure and expertise.

Be prepared: It will take longer to launch than you think — and there are no days off.

Contrary to what Tim Ferris is selling, there is no four-hour workweek for budding entrepreneurs.

“No one ever told me that I would be trading my 50-hour workweek for a 100-plus hour workweek when I first started my company,” Roger Bryan, of Enfusen Digital Marketing, told the Muse. “The one piece of advice I would give new entrepreneurs is to plan on investing all of your time and then some if you plan on being successful.”

Protecting yourself from liability — and getting insurance — can’t be an afterthought.

If you are selling food and someone gets sick; if you are giving advice and someone loses money; if you are selling a product and it is defective and hurts someone — you are liable.

Setting up a limited liability corporation separates you (and your personal money and assets) from your company’s money. Someone cannot come after your personal assets when trying to sue the business. 

Competition is good and advisers are a must.

Startup activity is growing: Entrepreneurship, as measured by revenue and number of employees, is up in 2016, according to the Kauffman index of startup activity. That follows an upward swing that started in 2015; in 2014 the startup activity index was at its lowest point in the last 20 years. This should motivate — not discourage you. 

Marketing isn’t what you think it is.

Let’s say your business is struggling and you have a little extra cash. Should you put it toward marketing or investing in technology? The smart money is on technology — and innovation.

Read more about all of these tips

Whenever I finish a work, I always feel lost, as though a steady
anchor has been taken away and there is no sure ground under
my feet. During the time between ending one project and
beginning another, I always have a crisis of meaning. I begin to
wonder what my life is all about and what I have been put on
this earth to do. It is as though immersed in a project I lose all
sense of myself and must then, when the work is done, rediscover
who I am and where I am going.
—  bell hooks, Teaching To Transgress
Law of Attraction

I think this life philosophy called the Law of Attraction would be beneficial to many people, especially as we almost begin the new year. 

What is the Law of Attraction? 

It is essentially the “like attracts like” mentality where positive thoughts attract positive energy while negative thoughts attract negative energy. You can manifest your dreams. 

Do I believe in it?

I do believe in it. I think a lot of change starts from the mind, and everything else in life progresses from there. Especially now in my life, I have realized a lot of negativity has attracted more negativity especially with the people around me. Also I found myself never accomplishing goals because of the negativity surrounding them. For example, me wanting to lose weight never really happened because I kept telling myself I would never be as thin as that girl and tortured myself with the obsession to look a certain way. 

How does it work? 

You can start with repetitive positive thoughts or even visually through a dream board of all you want in life (dream career, partner, family, etc.) 

Some Tips to Manifestation 

  • Focus on your goal and be very specific- Write it down even if it makes you remember it. Just make sure you see it every single day. Ask yourself the reasons why you want these specific goals.  
  • Make a gratitute list- Appreciate all the things you have, and don’t focus on the things you don’t have because in the end there will always be something that someone has over you. So don’t worry to much about others and focus on you!
  • Make a worry list- Never worry about those stressors again. Write them down as a form of closure. 
  • Meditation- This may not be for everyone but it can definitely help soothe the mind and clear it for more positive thoughts. There are a bunch of apps and YouTube videos out there that can help guide medication sessions. 
  • Pretend you have what you want- This is actually mentioned in the second video (linked below). Pretend you have it and the universe will eventually let you have it. 

These are a few Law of Attraction videos that explain the philosophy very well. 

Here’s to a new year and a new, healthy mind. 


Cheers,

Zoe