How To Find Your Perfect Job

perfect jobI never wanted a job that was just a job. I always wanted to be one of those people who was an example of ‘if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life.’ Who doesn’t?? College students focus too much figuring out what job they want and not enough time on identifying the qualities of life they want in that job. If I ask a student what job they want, they usually don’t know but they wish they knew what they wanted to do. However, if I asked a student if they wanted a job where there could travel, they would have an answer. If I asked a student if they wanted a job that would allow them to climb the corporate ladder, they would have an answer. In order to figure out your dream job, I suggest you first think about the qualities of your perfect job. From that list you can then identify careers and specific companies who may be able to fulfill those qualities. Figuring out your dream job will also help you figure out what major you should declare. A lot of you “undeclared” folk should especially create a lit. If you need some ideas see my personal criteria for my perfect job below:

Criteria for my perfect job
• Work with intelligent/educated people (I always want to learn from those who are smarter than me)
• Have work/life balance (that weighs heavy on the ‘life’ side)
• Complete small projects – to see accomplishments quickly
• Be able to see change (seeing change that I did motivates me for the next project)
• Ability to advance within the company (I’m a climber, I need to always have something to work towards)
• Training opportunities for employees (Again, I always like to climb and improve)
• Work with people (I can’t sit at a cubicle and stare at a computer screen all day)
• People bale to provide people information that I have, that will benefit their life (I want to advise people)
• Have a mentor (it’s helpful for your personal health to have someone you can vent to, with the door shut)
• Opportunities to give back to the community

Make your list today! Feel free to use some of my criteria.

Start Building Your Resume!

Resume

While there are many ways to create and build your social brand online through linkedin, twitter, e-portfolio’s, personal website, etc. i still believe in the power of a paper resume. When you apply for internships and jobs you still upload your resume or hand it to an employer at a career fair. Of course you’ll have the links to all of your online portfolios on your resume, but your one page resume is what an employee browses first. If they like what they see they will then do more research on you and browse through the rest of your information. I always tell students, and I’m sure I’ve said it in posts before, your GPA and your MAJOR are ONE LINE of your resume. There is A LOT more space to fill in on that piece of paper. It’s great that you were president of National Honor Society, captain of the soccer team, head lifeguard at the beach, and babysat the same kids for 4 years throughout high school however, campus recruiters don’t care about that. They know how much opportunity and experiences are available on a college campus and they want to see that you are taking advantage of those experiences. How do you start doing that? Here are some tips on jumping into the ‘experience’ world and start building your resume now!…even as a Freshman in college.

1. Join a club – This is the most obvious one. Clubs look great on a resume and are extremely useful to your college experience. You will network, meet alumni, possibly attend conferences, get active on campus, meet new friends and if you get involved early on, as a freshman or sophomore, you’ll have a much better chance of holding a leadership position as a junior or senior. Employer’s LOVE seeing leadership on a resume.

2. Talk to a professor – Ask them if they know of an opportunities for you. Ask them if they know of something that you may be interested in. When I was teaching freshman I had a student come ask me this. I had been a part of the campus for 6 years at that time and I knew the in’s and out’s of the campus so when she said she wanted to get involved I knew exactly where she would do well and what department she should apply for a student job in.

3. Find the Career Services office – Go into career services and introduce yourself. You want they to know you! Also ask them if they know of opportunities for you. Freshman, there are opportunities that are specifically for YOU – sophomores, juniors and seniors cannot do them. There are programs specifically for certain ages and you may miss them if you sit around and do nothing. Also – ask them if they have someone who can review your resume or if they have services to learn about how to create a resume and start revising!

 

New Years Resolutions for College Students

celebrating

 

New year, new you!  First off, sorry for being MIA for so long.  The Holiday’s got busy and the 8 day cruise my best friend and I treated ourselves too kept me away from my lovely laptop.  In fact that’s a new years resolution you should all consider – save up some extra $ and plan a getaway with friends for a long weekend during the semester.  Sunshine, a beach chair and a good book is a necessity for a hectic college lifestyle.  Now with a new year comes a new slate (kind of like starting freshman year).  In case you’re having trouble creating your own new years resolutions, I’ve jotted down some ideas that you are more than welcome to take.

1.  Get organized!  Throw out clothes, shoe’s, old notes, notebooks, old makeup, clean up your life!  The problem with cleaning out your room is that you pick up things you’ve never used or clothes you’ve never worn and say “i’m sure i’ll use this or wear this one time.”  Then sure enough nothing gets thrown out.  The trick here is to pick out the things you DO use and wear often FIRST, then with whatever is left over is stuff you probably don’t need.  Get rid of it.

2. Don’t procrastinate.  How many times have you heard this?  Probably enough to get you annoyed and procrastinate even more to make a point.  Yea, well don’t do that.  Get a big old fancy 2013 planner and use it.

3. Get good grades.  This may sound cheesy but write out your class schedule on a piece of paper and then next to each class put (loud and clear) what grade you want to get by the end of the semester.  Hang that piece of paper next to your desk so you can see it every day.  The power of writing down a goal is wonderful!

4. Build your resume and land a great summer internship!  It doesn’t matter what year you are, anyone is capable of being a successful intern.  Internqueen.com is a fantastic resource, you don’t want to miss out on great internships around the country and tips on how to land you dream internship.

Here’s to your best year yet!

 

Attention Leaders!

Don’t always lead – its good to follow sometimes.  For all of you born leaders who think you need to take charge in every situation, it’s important to know that it’s okay to follow.  In fact, it takes some stress off and it teaches you to have trust in others.  What better place to step back for a minute than when you’re in college – the time to mix it up a little and try out new leadership techniques (yes, following others for a time or two is a leadership technique).

Step | Back

 

Choosing a Major

You are annoyed, you don’t want to think about picking a major, life would be much easier if someone just told you what you are good at.  An easy conversation starter at college is “what’s your major?” and while it has successfully started a conversation  it has once again reminded you that you have no idea what you want to study, that everyone else seems to know, and the wave of confusion and frustration sweep over you once again.  I may not be able to solve this problem and it may take you much more time to figure out what you want to major in.  In fact, you may just get fed up and pick a major by throwing a dart at a list of majors your school offers (not a bad idea you think) because you are simply running out of time and the pressure from your advisor and parents is forcing you to just choose anything.

Rest assured you do not need to panic – you do not need to know right now.

Choosing a major is not the same thing as choosing what you want to do with the rest of your life.  It simply means what you want to do with your life upon graduating.  Heck, I was an accounting major and upon graduating I never once took a step in the doors of an accounting office.  Take off some of that pressure because your major will help you with your first job but studies show that most people will change careers about four or five times over the course of their lives and there is no major that exists that will prepare you for that.

That brings me to my advice/things to think about when picking a major:

  1. What things in life excite you?  Think about the times during your day when you have the most fun. (Don’t think too hard, if you have the most fun picking out an outfit – admit it!  You can tailor a major around anything)
  2. Make a work criteria list that you would want (i.e. manage people, easy work life balance, 9am-5pm, work alone, no travel, fast pace) if this is the case yet you’re telling yourself you want to work in finance, you need to realize that your wants don’t match up to a career in finance.  These are now things you can ask your advisor about or bring up with employers during interviews or informal meetings on campus.
  3. Go to the admissions office or the registrars office and pick up a course catalog – it has all the majors your school offers and classes you will take within that major.  Do some research.
  4. Meet with professors.  Many of them have worked in the field that they teach.  Ask them what the career is like.
  5. Finally….suck it up and pick something.  You don’t want to waste your time in college.  Pick anything that you even remotely enjoy (you don’t have to love it).  Once you pick it you can then use the remainder of your time at college working to get an internship and eventually a job.  This may sound pushy but you all need to understand that once you pick you major it doesn’t mean you miraculously get handed a job in that field.  Picking your major is the first step.  You will need to use the time from when you declare that major to the time when you accept your first job offer to build up that lovely piece of paper we call a resume.  So yes… if you’re still complaining because you have no idea what you want to study my kind words of advice are…. suck it up and throw a dart.

With | Love

{GMS}

Are You Moral?

Morals are a common classroom discussion.  Why do we have them?  Do we need them?  How are they formed? Are you a morally good person?  During a discussion with students most people agreed they were consciencious of life around them and they knew right from wrong.  But…

How many of you know the first name of the person who cleans your bathroom at school?

Learn their name, say hello.  In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do it smile and say hello.

Be | Good

What if Your College Didn’t Give Diploma’s

Every student who attends college will put in varying amounts of effort yet every student who attends college (and passes all their classes of course) will receive a very expensive piece of paper and a handshake from their Universities president at the end of four years.  There are some days you just don’t feel like putting in the effort, some days you don’t feel like going to that guest lecturer (it’s not required so who cares) because no matter what, as long as you pass (with a C or an A ) you will be handed your diploma.

Would you do college differently if you had to go for four years but you were not given a degree?

What would you work towards during your four years if you don’t have that expensive piece of paper to work for?

What would you try and get out of college if you had to go but there was no such thing as a bachelors degree?

Think about it… after your four years at college you walk up to an employer and hand them your resume.  You did four years of college.  The person next to you only went to high school but it’s been four years since they went so you’re both the same age.  Under the ‘Education’ line on your resume you both have High School Diploma (remember there’s no such thing as a college degree).  Who will they hire?  Answer: they hire the other person.  Why?  Because you spent four years partying and just going to class.  They spend four years traveling, doing mission work, community service, they attended conferences, and held part time jobs here and there.  You get angry… you just spent four years at college!  How can they not hire you???  The thing is, you had every opportunity to do what they did.  Why didn’t you take it?

Think about college now.  What will you try and get out of your years at college if you weren’t handed a diploma at the end?  You might think…. well what’s the point of college then if it’s just all about experience?  Well, there are many reasons academically, socially, growth, etc but for the purpose of this post…. the point of college is that you get spoon fed the opportunities to do the same things that the ‘non-college-goer’ did while they had to research and work their butt’s off to find and create those opportunities.

You are lucky!  Don’t waste what you are given.

Building Your Resume From Scratch

Everyone wants to be at the top of the mountain but nobody wants to climb it.

School has started.  For those of you who are returning college students, ‘welcome back!’  For you new freshman, ‘welcome!’  For you new students, even you returning ones, you might look back on all you have done throughout high school and pat yourself on the back.  You may have been class president, a class officer, member of an honor society, member of an organziation, you won the community service award, you were captain of your varsity sports team, maybe you were even valedictorian, or won a college scholarship because of how super smart you were in your science classes in high school.  Well, let me first off say ‘congrats’ and then let me say ‘your high school success or lack thereof doesn’t actually matter as you make the transition to college.

You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are today and yes, now i am going to tell you that it’s time to start over.  Did you enjoy being successful in high school?  Did you dislike being a bum and now you want to revamp your life?  Either way you have to start back at the bottom and work your way up.  Freshman, this is your time to!  Returning students, it’s never too late to get started.  The majority of your schools will probably provide an involvement fair at the beginning of the semester.  Go to it!  Learn about different organizations and just sign up for one.  If you go there with too much enthusiasm and sign up for a bunch of groups you will overwhelm yourself and probably not attend any meetings.  Find one group you like, sign up for it and attend their meeting.  Help with one project in that group and work on it until it is accomplished.  Then, onto the next project.  What do we call this????…..climbing back up!