July 27, 2017

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You Need a Day Off…So Take One!

Lengthy vacations aren’t in everyone’s budget and sometimes even a staycation is difficult to plan–there’s just too much work to be done. If that’s the case, a random day off may be just what you need. Think about it: a sporadic Wednesday where you can stay at home or go to the spa or get some chores done or just binge on Netflix. And you know what? You shouldn’t feel guilty about it! Here’s why:

  1. Those vacation days are going to waste.
    If you know for a fact that you won’t be using all of your PTO this year (and it expires at the end of the year), then all the more reason to schedule a monthly personal day. That time is there for you to use–don’t lose it!
  2. It’s not the end of the world.
    Sometimes a day away from the office seems unimaginable. The emails will pile up! The projects will halt! The reality? It won’t. In the worst case scenario, everything will be delayed one day. Life will go on.
  3.  Other people take time off…
    You may feel guilty every time you step out of the office, but plenty of other people take time off with no regrets. Learn from them instead of envying them. We all need a break now and then.
  4. Your happiness matters!
    If you’re burned out and unhappy, you have to step away–even just a day can do wonders. Take a Monday or Friday off so you can make a three-day mini getaway out of it. You have to put yourself before your career because you can’t succeed unless you’re in tip top shape.
  5. Other people will understand.
    Not only will others likely be supportive–they will totally respect you! So put up that out of office message, don’t check your email, shut off your phone, and start relaxing. You deserve it!

Image via Pierre Wolfer/Flickr.

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July 25, 2017

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5 Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter

If you haven’t hopped on the podcast train yet, you’re missing out. Podcasts are the perfect antidote to a long commute or a boring workout–and you’ll learn a ton along the way. Here are some of the top podcasts out there. They’re addicting…don’t say we didn’t warn you!

TED Radio Hour 
If you love TED Talks, you’ll love this podcast. It features people who are experts in their respective fields and are filled with passion. Get inspired.

Tim Ferris Show
The author of the 4-Hour Workweek and the 4-Hour Body continues to hack his way through life in this podcast. He interviews the most successful people in the world to better understand their habits and what makes them tick.

Radiolab
Another podcast for the insatiably curious, Radiolab tackles topics with a science bent. Each episode ranges from 20 minutes to an hour or more on everything from nuclear warfare to forests.

Freakonomics Radio
Just like the books that made Freakonomics famous, the podcast is filled with riveting information. It covers relevant topics from politics to health. You’ll surely glean some knowledge that’s perfect for water cooler chatter.

The School of Greatness
Another inspiring podcast where you’ll hear from the most successful minds in business, entertainment, and athletics on how they got to be where they are today. It’s hosted by former pro athlete Lewis Howes.

Image via Daniel Antunes/Flickr.

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July 20, 2017

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Moving For a New Job…Yay or Nay?

You found the perfect job opportunity and got a great offer…but it requires a move. It could be a move across town, across the state, or across the country–it’s all disrupting your life and your family’s life. And moving isn’t cheap. What if you don’t like the job once you get there? What if you dislike the new town? What if you totally regret the move? It’s not an easy decision to make.

So how do you know when to take the leap and move for a job? Ultimately, you’ll have to go with your gut and take a leap of faith after long discussions with your family. But these questions can help you decide if this opportunity is worth relocating for.

  • Can I afford the cost of moving and/or is the company willing to pay relocation?
  • Can I afford to live comfortably in this new place?
  • Is this move not only good for me, but good for my spouse and kids too?
  • Are there other job prospects and opportunities in the area for me and my spouse?
  • Have I done my research, which includes visiting the area for more than just a day?
  • Have I connected with others who live there to see what it’s really like?
  • Am I feeling very confident that I will like this position and learn a lot along the way?
  • What will I be leaving behind or losing from this move (that couldn’t be found where I currently am)?
  • What will I gain from this move?

Image via Daniel Longoria/Flickr.

 

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July 18, 2017

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I’m Not Landing any Job Interviews…WHY???

When you desperately want or need a job, there’s nothing worse than radio silence. How could you possibly get no response?! It’s so easy to let the depressing thoughts sink in. “I’ll never get hired,” you tell yourself. Well, it’s time to pick yourself back up and give a serious assessment to your efforts. If no one else is providing you with feedback, you’ll have to provide it to yourself. Answer the following questions honestly, and hopefully they’ll help your job search progress quickly and smoothly.

  1. Am I personalizing each cover letter and resume?
    When you’re applying to dozens of jobs, taking the time to personalize everything is completely overwhelming. Sadly, you don’t have a choice. Don’t bother applying for a job unless you have spent a considerate amount of time putting together the perfect package for application. This is your first impression–don’t blow it! Go for quality, not quantity.
  2. Have I reached out to any human beings?
    It can feel like your resume is being sent into an Internet black hole. In a way,  it is! You need to make some personal connections during your job search. For example, apply online but then reach out to an employee or hiring manager via LinkedIn to learn more about the position. Or grab a coffee with a friend of a friend who also works at that company. Personal connections are the best way to find a new job.
  3. Am I applying to the right kind of positions?
    Realistically assess where you are in your career right now. Have you been applying to positions for which you are overqualified or under qualified? Again, we’re searching for quality, not quantity here. Search for job descriptions in which you feel like “That’s me!” not “Maybe that could be me.” Don’t waste your own time–or the hiring manager’s time–by applying for jobs that you fully know you won’t be hired for. There’s something out there for you. Find it!

Image via zellchan/Flickr.

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July 14, 2017

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When it Comes to Career Decisions, Only YOU Have the Answers

Whether you’re a fresh college graduate who’s searching for that first job, someone who’s looking to leave a well-respected position, or a seasoned professional who wants a career change, these decisions are s-c-a-r-y. You feel like the rest of your life could hinge on a single choice. You wonder if you’re choosing the right path. You’re afraid what others will think about you.

So what do you do? You ask for advice. You look to what others have done in similar situations. You consider what’s expected of you. But there’s one problem with this strategy: there is no right or wrong answer. Only you know what will make you happy. Only you know what you really want to do and why you want to do it. Only you will deal with the consequences.

Every successful career person got to their success through a different path. They had different backgrounds, a different network, different schooling, different experiences, and different life skills. There is no concrete obvious path that can be emulated for success. This knowledge should be freeing! It means you can choose whatever path you like–regardless of what others think–as long as you feel it’s the right path for you.

Here is what successful people actually do have in common: things like hard work, determination, passion, and positivity. If you have these things, you will go far no matter what path you take. Good luck!

Image via James Mellor/Flickr.

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July 11, 2017

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Why Summer is a Great Time to Break Bad Habits

One of the biggest perks of summer is that it comes along with a laissez-faire undertone. That means people may duck out of the office a few hours early on Fridays, holiday weekends extend into the week before and the week after, and its generally acceptable to very slowly and surely re-acclimate yourself after a vacation. What could this mean for you? Three months of a slightly easier schedule. We’re saying that slight reduction in stress is the perfect opportunity to try something new…like breaking bad habits. Here are a few ways to spend your summer season:

  1. Get up earlier.
    If you’re one of those people who hit the snooze button, start breaking your bad habit during the long days of summer. You’ll feel more compelled to hop out of bed when the sun is already shining and it’s a beautiful day. Use that extra time in the morning to start up a morning exercise routine or to tackle a number of other things: chores, hobbies, etc.
  2. Give up caffeine.
    I know, I know. There’s nothing better than a large iced coffee on a cold summer day. But if you’re trying to break your caffeine habit, warmer weather can help. You’re less likely to crave a steaming mug of hot coffee or tea when it’s 90 degrees outside, and the sunny mornings should be a natural stimulant to get yourself moving. Try a morning exercise routine instead.
  3. Take on a hobby.
    Let’s face it — it does seem like there are more hours in the day in the summer! It’s because it’s lighter for longer, which means you probably find yourself doing many more weekday after-work activities during the summer than the winter. When the sun sets at 5 PM, it’s too easy to go into hibernation mode and stay inside to watch TV. During the summer, use these “additional” hours to do something you’ve always wanted to do but felt like you’ve never had enough time for.

Which bad habits will you break this summer? And which good habits will you start? Comment below!

Image via Mike Lewinski/Flickr.

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July 7, 2017

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5 Reasons Why You Need to Take a Vacation

School’s out, summer’s on! This season is the perfect time to take a trip–so why aren’t you? If you can’t remember the last time you took time off for yourself, it’s time to set your priorities straight. You need a vacation, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. That vacation time is there for a reason. So, use it! You don’t even need to travel far–a staycation spent exploring your own city works too.

  1. Vacations can prevent a major burnout.
    Time away from your desk not only clears you mind–that clear thinking often spawns fresh ideas and a reinvigorated spirit! Vacations are ripe with inspiration. Studies have found that well-timed breaks can often make you more productive, not less.
  2. Time off may make you feel happier.
    Many studies have found that time spent outdoors–be it ooh-ing aww-ing over natural wonders, sticking your feet in the sand, or soaking up sun (with sunscreen of course!)–can make you feel more positive.
  3. Planning is half the fun. 
    The anticipation of an impending trip is one of life’s greatest joys! Studies often find that the planning process may even bring more joy than the trip itself. Having something to look forward to can help you better balance your time and put you in a better mood.
  4. It will reinforce your priorities.
    We can all agree that a happy life has a balance between work and relationships, family, and friends. But if you don’t make equal time for those things, your priorities are misaligned. When your actions and your priorities align, you’ll find happiness. Prioritize that family or friend time and don’t feel guilty about it.
  5. People will miss you.
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? A week away is always a nice reminder to your coworkers and bosses about how valuable you are! Just be sure to cover all your bases before you hop on a plane. You don’t want to leave your team hanging–and you don’t want to worry about checking emails while you’re away either.

Image via Patrick Benny/Flickr.

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July 5, 2017

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3 Reasons Why You’re Always the Runner-Up

You know the drill: “We really loved you… but we offered the position to someone else.” How frustrating is that?! Even though they’ve provided no critical feedback, it’s hard not to feel majorly bummed out. If you’re consistently getting this kind of phone call or email, it’s time to take some action. Here are a few things the other candidate may be doing better than you.

  1. Close strong. Really strong. 
    Afraid you’re going to come off as desperate? You’re not. Reiterate your interest in the job position at the end of the interview. Lay it all out on the line! And then reinforce that again with your follow-up letters. Send those follow-ups within 24 hours to really show that you’re especially interested and willing to accept the offer if it’s extended to you.
  2. Don’t show a shred of doubt.
    Maybe you haven’t quite hammered out the details of your commute or you’re not positive this is the perfect career step for you just yet. Keep it to yourself! Job searching and interviewing is a stressful time. Debate these concerns in the privacy of your own home, not with the person who is interviewing you. Don’t give them a reason not to hire you. You can always turn down the job offer if need be!
  3. Show your personality.
    The people interviewing you will be your future co-workers and bosses. Don’t be so buttoned up that they never get to know you. Make a personal connection with each interviewer. Be friendly and positive. Ask questions that spark interesting conversations. Share ideas and dreams and thoughts and plans. Let them know you’re a real human being, not just a resume!

Image via Dallas/Flickr.

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June 29, 2017

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4 Things To Do Before Your Summer Internship Ends

Summer internships are in full swing! Sure, you’d rather be on the beach, but hey, you’re one step ahead of all your classmates who are simply getting a tan. It will be worth it in the long run. Here are four more things you can do to make this internship experience even more valuable. Before the internship ends, be sure to…

  1. Get a recommendation.
    When it comes time to search for a job (or even another internship), you’ll need a referral. Get a verbal or written confirmation that your internship boss would be willing to do this or–even better–get them to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. If you’ve done really well, you may even have a handful of people in the organization that you’ve networked with who’d be willing to help.
  2. Make some waves.
    We all know that the best resumes feature results as opposed to a simple list of job duties and responsibilities. Whatever project you’ve been tasked with, find a way to translate how it impacted the business’s bottom line with dollars, impressions, percentages, whatever! Prove that you’ve made an impact no matter how little.
  3. Get connected.
    Whether it’s through email, phone calls, or LinkedIn, start establishing a relationship with the connections you’ve made so they can carry over beyond the internship. That way you can stay top of mind when and if a full-time job does open up upon graduation. Be sure to express your interest in future opportunities before leaving.
  4. Take inventory.
    What did you love about this position, this company, and this industry? What didn’t you like? The answers to these questions can better guide your schooling, your future internships, and your job prospects. Every opportunity is a learning experience. It’s not easy to figure out what you want to do in life so start diving deep now.

Image via Silvia Maggi/Flickr.

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June 26, 2017

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These Quotes About Career Success Will Inspire You

We look at legends and leaders throughout our history and can’t help but think: wow, aren’t they lucky? However, they’d be the first to tell you that it took a lot more than luck. Reading the following quotes is a nice reminder that success doesn’t come easily. It’s time to get to work!

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

“Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream.”  – Marlon Wayans

Image via catherinedncr/Flickr.

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