Breaking for the holidays

photo courtesy lance.solake.org

Written by: Lachelle Bender

After a long semester of studying and feeling completely and utterly jet lagged, a holiday break is the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep, binge watch your favorite Netflix series or just chill with family and friends. I hate to ruin it for you but don’t get too comfortable, because although your are relaxing with some idle time on your hands, now is not the time to just stop preparing for what is next.

photo courtesy of slideshare.net

Although you don’t want to think about next semester, it may be in your best interest to take a little time during your break to consider what your plan looks like for 2015. Questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • Do I have a plan?
  • What does that plan look like?
  • Have I updated my resume and social media pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, Etc.)
  • Have I applied for any internships?
  • Will having an internship help me in my plans after graduation?
  • Do I have the classes I need to be on track for graduation?
  • Have I searched the job market in my industry to see what hiring looks like today?
  • Who am I considering as a potential employer after I have graduated?
  • What is that company looking for in a candidate?
  • What professional organizations should I consider membership to that will position me for my career after graduation?

So while you are breaking don’t break too much. You can use this time to strategically make magic next semester or in semesters to come, if you take a little time to think about where you are now and where it is you want to go in the not so distant future. Enjoy your holidays, the lights, the parties, the festivities and the food. Just don’t forget to at least do one or two things mentioned on the list above.

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Entrepreneurship as a Career

photo courtesy of surgerycenetrrecruiter.com

Written By: Lachelle Bender

So you have spent four years studying and preparing for the career of your dreams. You’ve gone over your major with a fine-toothed comb, completing carefully charted courses, writing papers, working in groups, doing social learning projects and even interning for experience. Now you have come to a plateau of your collegiate career and think perhaps being an entrepreneur is more your style. Well there is a way to find out if being your own boss is in your future.

There are many tests that evaluate and assess your personality characteristics as well as your help you understand the journey to the correct career path for you. The Career Road Map is worth a glance if you are contemplating which path to take within your chosen field or industry. That would be a good place to begin your journey.

Do you want to know if you have the characteristics of an entrepreneur?  Here are a few ways to spot you inner boss:

  •  Being Self-Motivated: Independence. It’s the force that drives you to do things. Being able to start a task without supervision, your always finding ways to keep busy.
  •  Risk-Taker: Spontaneity in its rarest form is what sparks the entrepreneurial spirit.  “Big risks, big reward” is how a risk-taker thinks.
  • Flexibility and Accepting Change: A true goal-setter will know when it is time to adjust the plan and do so accordingly.
  •  Planning: Strategy is important and being prepared for unexpected situations keeps an entrepreneur on his/her toes.
  •  Networking and Relationship-Building: Working a crowded room gets you noticed. It’s about who you know and how you market your business.
  •  Strong Leadership Skills: Being able to have a vision and inspire others to help build it is a true trait of an entrepreneur.
  • Competitive Spirit: Winning is the only thing you have set your sights on.
  • The Willingness to Fail: Failure is part of success. The ability to get up and keep going is the mark of a champion.

These characteristics and many more can help you determine if you have the drive, commitment or sheer guts to be an entrepreneur. It definitely is not for the faint of heart.

There are many obstacles to face when being your own boss and starting your own company. Whether you decide to buy a franchise or start your business organically from scratch with your very own ideas, the process is no easy task. It takes a very special person to dedicate their time with very little monetary reward in the beginning.   Knowing if you have what it takes is only the small part. Doing the work is the challenge.

In your quest for the right career choice, you may just want to consider entrepreneurship. You can make you own hours!

photo by blogher.com

Related article Entrepreneur.com

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Thankful for The College Experience

 

Photo courtesy of imagemarkonline.com

By: Lachelle Bender

Tis the season for reflection, resolutions and gratitude. As we embark on the season filled with food, family and football we would be remiss if we didn’t reflect on our experience here at college. The prior years have come and gone, and we have made new friends, had new experiences and typed dozens of papers. All of these things have prepared us for an ever changing landscape that lies ahead of us when we exit those doors into the real world of competition,career validation and success in our own right. Before we think about the challenges we will face, we first have to give thanks for the opportunity to be able to pursue our life’s passions. We have to thankful for friends, family, mentors, faculty and professors who are also cheering for us to succeed.

Going to college isn’t just about typing papers and showing up to class, for some it is an opportunity to learn about ourselves. Learn what our strengths and weaknesses are and to challenge ourselves to carve out our most hopeful career goals. So as we enter into this season with turkeys, the smell of fresh pies baking in the oven and family returning from every corner of the country, also remember that college is a privilege not often afforded to everyone. Be thankful, be humbled and enjoy your holidays this season.

 

Photo courtesy of cafepress.com

 

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National Career Development Month

Photo by NCDA

By: Lachelle Bender

 

November is National Career Development Month. Originally known as the National Vocation Guidance Association, which was established in 1913, renamed itself in 1985 the to  the National Career Development Association (NCDA). NCDA promotes the month of November every calendar year with national contests to promote activities related to career development. Particularly its annual poster and poetry contest in its 49th year. Link for Entry Form  The idea behind the concept for National Career Development month, is to get you to take charge of your professional job search and engage with organizations that can help you in getting to the next stage of your professionals life. Getting involved is much more than just revising your resume or sending emails to potential employers. This is your chance to think outside the box when it comes to your future. If the old approach was not working, you can explore a new avenue and prepare to go into the New Year with a fresh perspective on how to go about your future career search efforts.

The NCDA provides services to professionals that provide, organize and structure career related events throughout the entire year. Onlinecollege.org suggests taking a career appraisal to assess where you are in career planning efforts. Being proactive prior to graduation is the best way to get a head start in the field or industry you are interested in.

There are a host of professional organizations that are available as support for your future endeavors. Professional organizations are there to assist and aid with a plethora of like-minded individuals within their network. Having access to seminars, events and career planning to address you career needs can be instrumental in your success. Find and join an organization and become a member this month to celebrate National Career Development Month, it could be a new step in the right direction for your career goals.

Not sure where to start with your creating a career plan for yourself? You should check out The Career Center’s Career Road Map. The Career Road Map breaks down each step of putting together a career plan in an easy to follow online program.

We want to thank The Career Center staff for all they do to promote and assist our campuses with fulfilling our career goals. We appreciate you!

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You don’t know what you don’t know (Anxiety in the last days)

 

Photo courtesy of emedicalguild.com

 
By: Lachelle Bender

Having a sense of anxiety is normal when approaching graduation. As the time grows near completion of college and your entrance into the workforce, you may find that you have concerns about your performance in your industry. Are you really prepared? Are you ready to step into the professional arena with your credentials in hand and armed with confidence and a sense of accomplishment?

The answer is YES! Yes you are capable, yes you are ready, yes you can compete in the industry. You have put in the work, you have earned the degree and you deserve this opportunity. The answer is a resounding YES!

Don’t let fear of inadequacy or inferiority hinder your progress. If you are feeling overwhelmed or have a sense of anxiety over what will happen next, know that you are not alone. Here are some things you can do to combat this negative energy

  •  Talk to your counselor, adviser or professors
  •  Talk to a trusted friend or relative
  •  Talk to a professional in your desired industry
  • Continue to research your industry

 

Photo courtesy of integritycoaching.co.uk

 

Don’t let fear consume you, take this opportunity to make the most of the time you have left, and make sure you end on a positive. Continue to work on building your resume and continue building valuable experience up until the day you walk across the stage. Remember to attend networking events and build professional relationships as well. That can prove to be invaluable in the way of gaining leads for opportunities that can lead to your dream job.

Here are some additional resources to help you cope:

Powering Through Your Quarter-Life Crisis, The Muse

Alan de Botten Ted Talk, A Kinder, Gentler, Philosophy of Success

You are ready, you have endured the process, you have not only accomplished your goal, you have flourished! Trust that process, believe in your abilities and CARPE DIEM!

Photo Courtesy carpedienwithjasmine.com

 


							
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Life After Graduation: From Campus Life to Real Life

Photo Courtesy of theurbanmoney.com

Written By: Lachelle Bender

Many of us have spent our college career preparing to become successful and fulfill our career goals upon graduation, not giving much thought to what our path looks like as we try to attain that coveted degree. Have you really thought about what life would really be like after graduation? Yes, no more late night term papers, no early morning classes, but to replace those nuances will be a daily commute, a boss and performance expectations. The stress of being a newbie in the field and all the insecurities that along with your new position.

Lets talk goals, budget, social life and life after college graduation!

Your career has been the focal point of your college career, now with school behind you, the task of moving forward into the professional world has become your reality. Do you have a plan as to how to go about climbing the professional ladder? You will be coming in as a beginner in the industry and want to not only make a good impression, but you also want to perform at a quality level. Continuing to learn and shadow peers within the industry will be important to your success, after all you are still learning and developing your skills and talents. It is important to continue to network and get involved with professional organizations within your field. Building solid professional relationships will be important even after graduation.

Maintaining your finances is a key component in your success tool belt after graduation. No you don’t have the expenses of books and tuition but for many of us, loans are a reality. Combining both loans and monthly expenses can be a challenge coupled with the sense of accomplishment you feel from accomplishing your graduation goals. It is important to create a budget, try to adhere to what is comfortable for you. If you are not a financial wiz or not savvy when it comes to are of finances, then ask for help. A trusted friend relative can assist you in making an outline of your expenses and the income you are earning and help you to establish balance between the two.

Photo courtesy of fundforngos.com

Finally, your social life! having an outlet for fun and friends has a very important role to play in your mental health and the overall balance we all constantly work to achieve. There may be instances where you feel torn between hanging out or getting a report done for your boss that you know will require hours of preparation on your part. Just like school you have to know when to say no and when to plow ahead with your main responsibilities. It could very well mean the difference between a promotion, a raise or being replaced.

These are just a few areas that you should consider when taking the next step into your future after graduation. There will be obstacles and challenges, there will be good days and not so good days but in the end balance and reward is what we seek to maintain when going from books to briefcases.

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What is Business Casual?

 By: Lachelle Bender

Fresh off the heels of another successful career event, we feel it’s only appropriate to cover some basic information so you are fully aware and prepared for future events to come. After all, looking the part is half the battle, right? Which leads to the question of topic this week, the difference between dressing business professional and business casual. Do you know the difference?

Business professional is exactly how it sounds: professional. This means suits & ties for men, and suits or skirts with jackets and plain high heels for women. But it’s not just the clothing that makes you look the part. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum (avoid costume jewelry), tattoos may need to be hidden, and piercings removed (unless they are in your ear). Refer to the Career Event Prep Booklet for a guide to appropriate attire.

Business causal is a term that is used frequently within many organizational environments. Although you may seem to think you have a very clear explanation of what it means, it can often have an ambiguous understanding. Business casual in it’s simplest form can best be explained as a form of attire that is less formal than what we understand as professional business attire. It is intended to give the appearance of professional businesslike work wear, without the complete and overall feeling of a stuffy suit. Here are some basic guidelines to know if you are dressed professional, business casual or casual when preparing for an interview or going to a career event.

Business Professional vs. Business Casual

photo courtesy of Midvale YSA


 

 

Even the color you wear sends a signal and gives a brief description about the mood you may be in, the attitude, and confidence levels. Here’s a color chart to help you think about your selection:

 Here are some fun facts:

These are just a few things to consider when trying to determine if your workplace attire is appropriate. Making a good first impression could very well mean an opportunity to land that interview or the career of your dreams.

Think you’re ready for that job fair or interview? Think you have a handle on what business professional is? Take this quiz by ProProfs to find out!

Business casual attire is on the rise and you should be in the know: The Business Research Lab Study.

The next time you are informed about an event or land that next interview, you will be armed with good information to Dress Like a Success!

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