CAREEREALISM Career Advice & Job Search Magazine Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:51:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This is weekly program whether career expert J.T. O'Donnell reviews skills and techniques needed to succeed in your career. She also answers question live from our views. Tune in Tuesdays at 1pm ET on to join our weekly Career Q&A! CAREEREALISM clean CAREEREALISM (CAREEREALISM) Career Q&A with J.T. O'Donnell CAREEREALISM 4 Outdated Resume Tips You Should Be Avoiding At All Costs Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:47:29 +0000 Not all advice is good advice. What worked a decade ago probably won't work now. Here are some outdated resume tips you should be avoiding at all costs!

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Not all advice is good advice. Here are some outdated resume tips you should be avoiding at all costs!

1. “Your resume should only be one page long.”

Two pages is currently the ideal length for resumes. It allows you enough space to be thorough without the information getting buried among itself. Certain positions in the medical and academic fields require a CV (curriculum vitae), which is typically longer because it includes research, publications, or other items that the position asks for. Two pages is a good length for resumes, though.

Related: The Worst Resume Advice I’ve EVER Heard

2. “You need an Objective Statement.”

When we started learning about writing resumes, our career counselors, parents, and teachers deemed this to be a “must.” But times have changed and the objective statement often ends up being a waste of precious resume space. After all, you only have two pages to gain a prospective employer’s interest and persuade them to pick up the phone to schedule an interview. Your objective when sending your resume to someone or submitting it to an open position is implied in the act itself—you want to be hired for the position you have expressed interest in.

Instead of an objective, use that space to add a customized link to your LinkedIn profile and explain any employment gaps that you may have. Doing this gives the recruiter more information and eliminates the risk of them passing on you because of a concerning gap in your employment history. Some recruiters will call to ask you about them, but some will just move on to the next.

Also, the client could have instructed the recruiters to send the resume to them if the candidate had a legitimate reason to explain the gap (e.g. finishing a degree, taking care of a sick relative, etc.), but not respond to any that are unexplained because of the quantity of resumes they already have to sort through.

The bottom line: You probably won’t know who your resume will get in front of or what instructions the recruiters were given, so it is a good idea to cover your bases.

3. “Include ‘References available upon request’ in your resume.”

As with the objective statement, this is implied and the space could be used for better purposes. So far, I have not come across a candidate who refused to provide references when asked for them.

4. “You need a traditional resume.”

With the fierce competition and wide array of job sites, forums, professional networking sites, and so on, the need to set yourself apart from others has been steadily increasing. As a result, businesses have gotten more social and interested in one’s ability to market themselves. This is evidenced by the emergence of all those “Create your personal brand” advice articles geared toward job seekers and any professionals looking to advance their careers.

The creation of non-traditional resumes reflects this idea as well. Although I do advise keeping the bullet point format because it is easiest to read, you can include narration and even a quote from one of your LinkedIn recommendations to spice up your resume. For instance, I have a quote from my former boss on mine and the feedback I have gotten thus far in interviews is always positive. A few have referred to it when I mentioned my work with him. It is a great credibility-booster and is also the only item that is in color (just the brackets around it), which helps it stand out.

If you are planning to submit your resume directly to a company’s website, have a simply formatted version as well (Times New Roman, no bold or underlining, spaces in lieu of indents, standard bullet points or dashes, no images or text boxes, etc.). Many employers, staffing agencies, and recruitment firms utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS), which will jumble any unrecognized formatting into plain text.

With that said, a resume is not everything you need for success in your search.

There is a discussion on whether LinkedIn profiles and similar websites will phase out the use of resumes entirely. I do not think that will happen any time soon. What I am sure of, is that job seekers need to supplement their resumes with a professional online presence. LinkedIn is the main network for this, but Twitter is also a great place to build a professional presence by tweeting articles and videos about your industry that other people would find useful. Some savvy job seekers have leveraged other social networks to further their careers as well, such as Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest.

However you conduct your job search, don’t get discouraged. Keep moving ahead. I wish you the best on your journey to the next step in your career.

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10 Must-Haves For The Budding Entrepreneur Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:26:08 +0000 Have a great idea? What to start your own business? Here are the 10 components you need to focus on order to succeed as an entrepreneur.

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One of the most common terms in the high-tech world is “serial entrepreneur.” These are the people who just left one venture and, without taking a breath, moved on to their next one. Thanks to the extensive experience and knowledge they have accumulated, they are able to consistently establish start-up companies and sell them for tens – even hundreds – of millions of dollars.

Related: 4 Reasons To Quit Your Job To Be An Entrepreneur

These entrepreneurs have developed a method that proves itself time and again, so they know exactly what to do to establish their next start-up. However, sometimes even serial entrepreneurs fail and are forced to close their companies. That said, this scenario is uncommon compared to entrepreneurs at the outset of their first venture.

In this article, I will review the 10 components you need to focus on order to succeed as an entrepreneur:

1. The Team

The first and most fundamental element that investors look at is human resources. Take into account that your partnership is no different than a marriage, and these are the people with whom you are going to be spending many hours of your time, so it is highly advisable that you and your partners get along well. It is very important to define roles clearly so that everyone knows their area of responsibility.

2. Intellectual Property

If you and your team are considering registering a patent or other protection for the technology you have developed, don’t hesitate. A patent is your company’s most significant asset. In 20 years time, when the patent expires, there will already be an alternative product or service that’s much more advanced than what you are offering today. Therefore, it is advisable always to stay up to date and have a finger on the pulse of what’s happening around you. If you want to remain relevant, you need to examine how the company fits into the direction the market is taking.

3. Competitive Advantage

First of all, you must perform in-depth market research to determine who your competitors are and what they have to offer. Then, focus on what the company does best and what its added value is for customers. The best way to do this, even before you build your work model, is to go out and talk with as many potential customers as possible, understand what their real needs are and how you can provide them with the service or product they need.

4. Business Model

At the end of the day, you’re in this to make a living. Once you have identified the needs of your potential customers, you need to brainstorm with your whole team and identify the best, most effective way to maximize company profits. Most investors will demand that you demonstrate a source of income that is as stable as possible.

5. Go To Market Plan

After you’ve succeeded in building a sophisticated business model, it’s important to determine ahead of time the strategy you wish to use for capturing the market. How you plan to attract customers to the company? Who are your customers? What market segment you are targeting (developing countries/first-world countries)? What is your strategy for international market penetration? Are there are any regulatory restrictions in certain countries you wish to reach?

6. Clear Milestones

It is very important to set both short- and long-term goals and objectives. Determine the stages of development you’d like to see in the company in the next few months, your top priority at present, and what the company should focus on the near future. At the end of each period, assess whether you met the objectives and goals you had set. Similarly, you should set goals for the more distant future, that is, where you see the company five years from now.

7. Business Plan

You’re probably asking yourself what the difference is between a business plan and a business model. Well, after you’ve managed to raise funds for your venture, what is your next step? It is very important to plan carefully and map out an exact plan of what you are going to do with the money. It is important to prepare this plan before you raise the capital so you can assess the amount you need to raise (sometimes raising an amount that is too high can harm the company, let alone raising an amount that is too low).

8. Experienced Mentors And Consultants

Today, entrepreneurs with no prior experience have a very hard time setting up a successful start-up without the guiding hand of the serial entrepreneurs, whose experience plays a crucial role in acquaintance with the market and prediction of market trends. Therefore, at every step of the way, it is very important to consult with and obtain the guidance of experienced mentors, and build a Board of Directors that is as strong, smart, and experienced as possible.

9. Motivation

The secret to a successful venture is to work in a field that you love. You need to wake up every day with dedication and a relentless passion for your work (the army taught us to be single-minded and driven), and exhibit unbending resolve around your employees and your team. At all times, you should be thinking about how you can improve your company and make it better so that it offers even more value to its customers.

10. Timing

Some say timing is everything. Sometimes there are products that are ahead of their time. A great example of this is the Israeli company “Better Place,” which was a fantastic idea, just ahead of its time. Therefore, you must be as objective as possible and ask yourself whether right now is the right timing to pursue your venture. Of course, a little luck never hurts.

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How To Customize A Cover Letter For A Specific Job Opening Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:14:44 +0000 You found your dream job! How do you make sure that your resume is even seen? The answer: by creating the best cover letter possible. Here's how.

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It’s finally happened. After months of searching the job boards, you’ve found the job you have been waiting for. All that’s left is to send in a resume and get that face-to-face interview, and the job could be yours.

Related: 4 Inside Secrets To Writing A Great Cover Letter

The question now is how do you make sure that your resume gets you chosen? How do you make sure that your resume is even seen? The answer: by creating the best cover letter possible.

Make The Cover Letter Specific To The Position

Recruiters, in more cases than not, spend a little time looking at a cover letter before deciding if they want to go ahead and read the resume. Your cover letter is like a sales page, and you need it to really speak to the person in charge of hiring. You need a cover letter that lets them know that you are the ideal candidate for the position and that you are more than qualified and capable when it comes to handling the job.

So, how do you do it? You tailor the cover letter to the job itself. If the company has mentioned four things they are looking for in the ideal candidate, you make it clear near the beginning that you possess all four qualities or abilities and explain how or why this is true.

Try to match the language the company uses in case they utilize filtering software to select potential candidates. Explain what makes you a great fit for that specific company, and make sure that you have done your research into their brand and into the way they present themselves so that the tone of your cover letter is in line with the general tone of the company itself. If a company is innovative and fun, you want to use different wording than you would for a company branded around professionalism and tradition.

Tailoring your cover letter doesn’t have to be a difficult process, but it should involve some research. Really get to know the brand behind the company you want to work for, and strive to create a resume and cover letter that match that brand. It not only helps you stand out, but it shows the company that you are a good fit for their ideals and their style. Your cover letter is your ticket to the next step in the hiring process—make it count!

Want to know more? Here are three secrets to creating an interview-winning cover letter.

Writing a compelling cover letter not your best strength? That’s OK! We can help use the strategies above and many more to create an interview-winning cover letter for you. Get the cover letter help that you need now.

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6 Ways To Secure A New Job Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:13:59 +0000 The traditional approach to finding a new job has been to look out for advertisements for roles you fancy. Here are a few ways you can secure a new job.

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The traditional approach to finding a new job has been to look out for advertisements for roles you fancy. However, there are other ways you can go about securing that ideal new role.

Related: 10 Ways To Network Your Way To A New Job

Here are a few ways you can secure a new job:

1. Recruitment Agencies

Contact a number of recruitment agencies, ensure they have your resume and other details, explain to them what you are looking for in terms of your next role, and keep in regular contact with them so they know you are still looking.

Ideally, the agencies you register with would be a combination of those that specialize in your business sector and larger agencies who might handle a greater number of vacancies. Agencies that specialize in your business sector can advise you on ways you can make yourself more employable. Some of the best agencies include PrideStaff and UltimateStaffing.

2. Job Websites

A large number of internet job sites and job boards now exist such as Monster, The Muse, and FlexJobs to name just a few. Typically these include lists of vacancies that you can apply for in the traditional manner. However, they also allow you to post your resume and other details so that employers and recruitment agencies can search for suitable candidates.

Get to know the sites that employers and recruitment agencies in your business sector look at, and then post your resume. Pay special attention to job boards in your preferred sector. For example, if you’re into tech, then technology-focused job boards such as Dice should be your go-to site. And don’t forget Craigslist which is always jam-packed with jobs in your area.

3. Personal Websites

Why not take the approach of posting your details on the internet one step further, and make use of a personal website? You may already have such a site; if not you can set up a simple site or blog at very low cost or even free. Use the site to post brief details of your career and your skills, knowledge and experience. Think about keywords you could use on the site. For example, you might want to come near the top of a web search that involves the title of your profession and your location (i.e. ‘financial adviser New York’). Ensure the site includes your contact details.

Sometimes it’s the more intuitive, off-the-cuff strategies that can really cause a stir and make you stand out. Even if you’re applying for a job with a traditional resume, ensure you include a link to your blog to display your passion for the particular sector.

4. Networking Websites

A number of websites focus on building work-based contacts, such as LinkedIn. You can send invitations to people you’d like to become a part of your network and, if they accept your invitation, you can then send messages to them at any time. In addition, you don’t need to keep up-to-date with the career moves of your contacts, as their profile will follow them around from job-to-job. A website of this nature will also allow you to post your resume and other details, and allow other users to search for your profile.

5. Previous Employers

Another approach you can adopt is to ask people you have worked for (or with) in the past whether they know of any opportunities. If you leave an employer, there’s probably a good reason, but a number of people return to a previous employer later in their working lives (the company could be offering an attractive role, or a new role might not have worked out).

Your previous colleagues may have moved on to other roles themselves, and they may be able to assist you in securing employment with their current company. Even if they are not in roles that allow them to make recruitment decisions, they can often provide valuable information to their employer’s human resources department about your skills and abilities – a kind of informal reference.

It pays to keep tabs on where some of your former colleagues work now. Sometimes, an entire business department closes and every employee within that section is made redundant – this happened regularly in the UK financial services sector during the 2000s. In these circumstances, try and get the phone numbers of a few people who held management roles within the department, or try and maintain dialogue with them via a business networking site, or even a general social networking site.

6. Networking

There are a number of ways you could build a network of business contacts. When you are looking for a job, these may then be people you could ask. Simply being part of a network and having people know about your skills and experience could result in an out-of-the-blue job offer! Networks such as BNI are great for mixing with influential, local professionals and you can often visit your nearest group without having to commit to join.

Examples of people who could form part of your network include:

  • Clients – If they use your services, it follows that they trust you and value your skills and knowledge
  • Suppliers – Again, if they are willing to supply you, that could also indicate that they have a favorable impression of you
  • Industry colleagues – Try attending industry events, such as seminars, or getting involved with the appropriate trade association, and get to know people in other companies in your business sector.

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Top 5 Must-Dos When Working Freelance Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:00:06 +0000 Whether you’re a freelance writer, artist, or photographer, the creative industry is a competitive one. Here are some must-dos for freelancers.

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Freelancers are most common within the creative industry, as a freelancer has the flexibility and independence to be able to take on very versatile and exciting projects. Versatility serves as fuel for creativity.

Related: Resume Problem: How To List Freelance Jobs?

Whether you’re a freelance writer, artist, or photographer, the creative industry is a competitive one, and it’s becoming ever more important to stand out.

5 Must-Dos When Working Freelance

Here are the top five must-dos for freelancers in the creative industry.

1. Create A Brand

While everyone has to sell themselves for a career, a freelancer must sell themselves and their skills on a daily basis. The longer it takes you to get your message across, the more likely you are to lose the potential client’s attention.

Creating your own brand gives you the chance to communicate your skills and what makes you different from your competitors in one clear and easy to understand message.

Be sure to take a look at what your competitors are doing, what people in your industry are talking about to see if your particular skill fills a need, if there are any threats to this industry, where the opportunities lie, and what weaknesses you have which need work. Basically, remember to do a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis before creating your brand.

A brand isn’t just about a good looking logo and an easy to remember catch phrase (although this does help). A lot of research needs to go into the process.

It takes time to build up the awareness of a brand, but you need to work out what you are selling, why you are selling it, and what makes you different from everyone else before focusing on what design your brand should have.

2. Online Presence

Your online activities are a big part of building your brand’s reputation. So, it’s important to make sure what you do online is in sync with your overall branding.

Your website or blog gives you the chance to build your reputation as an industry expert. Don’t just talk about yourself though. See what others are doing, and discuss oncoming trends or industry changes. Adding your expert opinion to an industry update or new trend helps you show off your knowledge of the industry. Once you have given your expert opinion, remember to share your updates via your social media profiles.

Remember to consistently work on your online presence, and provide potential customers with up to date contact information, as well as projects you have worked on or are working on.

3. Engage

Remember to engage with your audience, whether online or offline. If someone asks you a question, even if it’s through your social media or as a comment on your website, be sure to give them an answer as soon as you can, even if it’s just asking them to contact you through a another means (i.e. via telephone), so you can give them a more in-depth response.

You can also engage with people through your work (i.e. as a photographer), you can create a photo book tailored to your online reader’s interests, which they are then likely to buy via your website. Be sure that this project is in line with your brand, though.

For example, if you’re a wildlife photographer, consider creating an annual photo book for your general audience themed on the most ferocious animals you photographed. If you’re concerned about the printing costs of such a project, consider using online publishers with print on demand services.

4. Network

This is relevant for every career path, but it becomes even more relevant for a freelancer, as a contact from a networking event, especially a creative industry networking event has the potential to turn into a long term customer. Search the web for networking events in your local area, as well as in your creative niche, and be prepared when you go.

This means have your business cards on you, as well as some examples of your work via a business book or portfolio. However, only use these tools if the person you are talking to is interested and asks to see these. Networking isn’t about forcing your details on people, but about making a real connection with people. You may discover a like-minded freelancer with whom you can compare notes.

5. Know The Rates

When you charge clients for your services, make sure that you are asking for the going rate. It’s important for you to cover your expenses and make a profit, but make sure you aren’t overselling or even underselling yourself.

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LinkedIn Endorsements Vs. Recommendations [Aired 4/21/14] Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:58:03 +0000 In this episode of LinkedIn Labs, J.T. discuses the difference between LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations and explains why they are both useful.  

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In this episode of LinkedIn Labs, J.T. discuses the difference between LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations and explains why they are both useful.


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7 Secrets To Mindful Career Ownership Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:47:52 +0000 Are you on career autopilot? It’s costing you a happy professional life. Take this quiz to see if you are guilty of not taking mindful career ownership.

The post 7 Secrets To Mindful Career Ownership appeared first on CAREEREALISM.

I recently wrote a post over on LinkedIn about the power of Mindful Career Ownership. It’s the idea that, as a business-of-one who is fully responsible for my career success, I must create a business plan to hold myself accountable that will also guide me to achieve what I want.

Related: 10 Reasons Happy People Get More Job Opportunities

In my experience, a lot of people out there today are on career autopilot – and it’s costing them a happy professional life. For example, take this quick quiz to see if you are guilty of not being mindful enough in your career:

  • You find yourself pondering your bad luck and how it has held you back from reaching your career goals.
  • You catch yourself saying, “If only this would happen…”or, “If I could just get…,” and other wistful ideas that would solve all your career problems.
  • You get on social media and feel upset when you see colleagues and friends who have more career success than you. Especially because, deep down, you don’t think they’re that smart or deserve the success they have.
  • You’re convinced you have tried everything you can to get ahead and that your situation is stuck. Your hands are tied and there’s nothing else you can do that might make a positive impact on your situation that doesn’t require outside help (i.e. a lucky break, a gift, etc.), which you can’t seem to get anyone to give you.

If you answered “yes” to even one of the above, then you should be focused on Mindful Career Ownership.

7 Secrets To Mindful Career Ownership

To become more mindful, you need to start with a founding principal: you are not an employee. You’re a business-of-one who is in business to sell your unique combination of personality, skills, and abilities to employers. Once you embrace this fundamental shift in how you should view your career, you can start to unlock the secret of Mindful Career Ownership as follows:

1. Know how you save or make money

A good business owner is mindful of the fact that nobody will buy from them unless they create enough value to justify their cost. You need to be able to clearly articulate to employers how you can save or make them enough money to validate the cost of hiring you. Otherwise, you’re at risk of being replaced by someone who can do it better, faster, or cheaper.

2. Always have some “awesome sauce” for your clients

Companies love to get the best bang for their buck. Employees who come with “awesome sauce” are really businesses-of-one who recognize going above-and-beyond to give a little extra can increase your perceived value. Everyone, especially employers, loves to get more than what they paid for.

3. The first day of your new job is also the first day of planning for your next career move

Once you land a job, you don’t put your career development on the back burner. You need to immediately start planning for the next achievement. The more focused you are on moving forward, the more effective your actions will be in your new job. There’s no standing still for a business-of-one. You must always be thinking about how you will grow and create more value going forward. In the words of my entrepreneurial father, “If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying.” The same applies to careers.

If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying.

4. Never put all your business in one basket

Just because you take a full-time job doesn’t mean you should assume it will be there for as long as you want it. As a business-of-one, you should try to diversify yourself by A) networking within your industry on a regular basis with companies that could use your talents. And B) start a hobby career or some freelance work to ensure you could make money in the event of a sudden loss of income. Both of these actions will ensure you can recover from the unexpected job loss.

5. Set big goals, but keep them ‘under wraps’ initially

Your business-of-one should have clearly defined goals that are slightly beyond what you think is possible. You should stretch yourself to achieve more than you think you can. You need to be challenged. That being said, you shouldn’t announce those goals publicly right away. You need time to fine-tune the game plan and to get things going. Once you are on track and the plan is in motion, then you can selectively start to share your goals with key allies. Don’t tell the world. It only opens you up for criticism and negativity from all those people out there that don’t want you to succeed.

Instead, connect with a core group of peers and mentors who will support you in your efforts. While you’re a business-of-one, you cannot run your business alone. Picking strategic partners is a vital part of the road to success.

6. Practice gratitude conditioning daily

Training your brain to recognize all you have accomplished takes practice. You must commit to meditating for at least 15 minutes each day specifically focused on the wonderful things in your life. More importantly, you should use that time to compliment yourself for doing the tough work it takes to succeed. As a business-of-one, you are the employee and the boss. Be a good manager and take time every day to recognize your progress. You must be internally motivated through positive thinking – which can only come from you.

7. Never stop taking calculated risks

As I pointed out in this LinkedIn article, a big part of career success and getting what you want is consistently trying to hit every opportunity (and challenge!) that comes your way. You must swing at many pitches, most of which won’t be down the middle, knowing much of the time you’ll strikeout.

However, eventually you’ll get better and make contact. As the famous pro hockey player, Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Being a successful business-of-one means you keep taking chances so you can experience, learn, and grow from them. Do it enough times and you’ll see the results you are looking for, whereas if you stop trying, you can virtually guarantee you won’t achieve your career goals.

Are You Ready To Be A True Business-Of-One Owner?

Some of you will read this article and never give it a second thought.

Others, might be kind enough to share it with their friends, fans, and followers on social media, but then it will fade from memory.

Only a few of you will take it to heart and recognize that Mindful Career Ownership is no longer an option, but rather, a requirement for finding the career satisfaction and success you want and deserve.

To those cherished few, I offer some final advice: You will not be able to do this alone. You must seek out resources to help you stay accountable. Otherwise, you will not stick with it long enough to form the habits needed to succeed. Don’t be shy. Don’t be embarrassed by your desire to want more for yourself. It’s not selfish or narcissistic to care about building a more meaningful and successful career.

When you do, you’ll be able to do more for others. You’ll become the person you want to be, and that will give you the power to give back and make a difference. Don’t lose your courage. If reading this made sense, get out there and become truly mindful of what it takes to own your career. You’ll be glad you did!

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5 Common Fears Of Recent Grads Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:00:41 +0000 Life can slap you in the face once you’ve left college. But you can still have fun! Here are solutions for these common fears of recent grads.

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Life can slap you in the face once you’ve left college. Suddenly, you’ve got real commitments to keep and deadlines to make, you can’t skip classes just because you partied too hard on Tuesday night, and spending every day in sweatpants? Fo’get about it.

Related: 11 Job Search Commandments For College Grads

Sounds pretty dull, huh? But it doesn’t have to be! Here are some solutions for these common fears of recent grads:

Fear #1: Being Tired All The Time

It’s weird, isn’t it? You could stay up until the wee hours in the morning, sleep for two hours, and somehow still make it to class for your big presentation. After college, this seems like an unthinkable feat. Why? Because, chances are, you were able to come back after your presentation and snooze for a couple of hours before your next class or activity.

Unfortunately, most workplaces haven’t passed a nap time policy yet (unless you work at Google!). So, how do you deal? How can you still go out and have fun without feeling like a zombie at work?

Solution: Learn to manage your sleep schedule.

Avoid that groggy Monday morning feeling by creating a consistent sleep schedule. As long as you keep your sleep schedule consistent, you will not only sleep better, but you won’t drive to work half-asleep.

Fear #2: Being Too Busy To Go Out With Your Friends

Yes, once you have a full-time job, life can get pretty busy. It can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need/want to do. How on earth are you going to be able to go grocery shopping, do your laundry, make dinner, catch up on your favorite shows, take the dog out, spend time with your significant other, read your book, clean the house, go out with your friends, or just spend some time relaxing when all you have is a few hours after work? This seems impossible!

Solution: Create a weekly tradition.

Whether it’s a Taco Tuesdays, date night on Wednesdays, or bowling on Thursdays, choosing one night during the week to consistently hang out with your friends/significant other is a great way to break up the week. Not only that, but it gives you something to look forward to while you’re at work!

Fear #3: Losing Your Community

Since you were little, you’ve always had the opportunity to meet new people and see your friends on a regular basis – school was a community of people your own age. So, what are you supposed to do after you graduate? How are you supposed to meet new people? Where can you find a new community?

Solution: Join an organization, club, or volunteer program.

Joining a local club or organization is an awesome way to learn a new skill, meet new people, and just have a little fun after a long day at work. Think about activities you’ve always wanted to try in college but never got around to doing it. Did you want to try a Zumba class? Fencing? Writing for the local paper? Figure out something cool you want to try and see if it’s offered somewhere near you.

Fear #4: Never Having Any Time To Do Anything, Ever

When you were in school, you got HUGE chunks of time off, and everyone around you had the same time off. Winter vacation, Spring Break, summer vacation… It was awesome, wasn’t it? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly work this way for most of us in the working world. So, how does a recent grad adjust?

Solution: Break up your vacation days.

Instead of taking the whole week off, take a day here and there. You’ll have a shorter work week and you’ll feel like you’re getting more out of your weekend. Win-win!

Feeling guilty about taking time off? Don’t you dare! Take advantage of any time off you can get while you’re young. Before you know it, you’ll be knee-deep in life and you won’t be able to just leave on a whim.

Fear #5: Not Being Able To Find A Job

This is probably one of the biggest fears of students and recent grads today. And why wouldn’t it be? They’re constantly bombarded by negativity about the “real world.” Family and friends might say, “The job market is flooded, you’re never going to get a job,” or “Just get the first job you can find – whether you like it or not – because you’ve got to pay off those massive student loans with something.”

Doesn’t that make you excited to get out there? I didn’t think so.

Solution: Sign up for The Happy Grad Project!

Well, good news – they’re all wrong. You CAN find a job you love and create a life that makes you happy. If you’re worried about your future – not finding a job, not being able to support yourself, or not being happy after college – check out this special project we’re doing for recent grads!

Introducing The Happy Grad Project

During the month of May, CAREEREALISM will feature practical advice on what it takes for young professionals to find a great job and create a life they love, along with real stories from grads who have achieved happiness after college.

When you sign up for The Happy Grad Project (it’s free!), you will receive/have access to:

  • Over 35 high-profile experts and influencers sharing their positive and proactive strategies for success after college.
  • 4 info-packed live webinars focused on the best ways for new grads to get ahead.
  • Weekly video classes called, LinkedIn Labs, designed to help grads leverage the most powerful career tool online.
  • Stories from real-life “Happy Grads” on what they did to fulfill their career dreams after college.

You CAN go out into the “real world” and create a life and career you love. You just need a little advice and inspiration to get you started!

To sign up for the Happy Grad Project (it’s free!), click here!


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#1 Mistake People Make When Trying To Meet New Friends Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:00:20 +0000 People make a common mistake when they're trying to meet new friends and make valuable connections. Are you making this networking mistake? Find out!

The post #1 Mistake People Make When Trying To Meet New Friends appeared first on CAREEREALISM.

If you’ve just moved to a new city, or feel the need bring a breath of fresh air to your social life, then I want to share with you a technique that I call the “join the team” technique.

Related: 9 Cheap Ways To Network In A New City

It’s a great way to quickly meet new, and interesting people. You can use it if you’ve just moved to a new city, or if you just want to make some new friends, and expand your social circle. It works particularly well if you’re an introvert or if you hesitate to go out of your way to meet new people. The counter-intuitive thing about this is that it seems like it’s going to take a lot of time, but it’s actually the opposite.

Don’t Make This Common Mistake When Trying To Meet New People

People make a common mistake when they’re trying to meet new connections and make friends. They think that they can go to places like bars and clubs to do it. They go to places where they have nothing in common with the other people.

It turns out that that’s the hard way to do it. As most people go there to meet the friends they already have, not new ones.

Friendship works in a way where you need a context or an environment, where a new friendship can emerge. You need something that brings you together, like a local community, an interest group, some sort of event, or private party.

It’s much easier that way, as people go there expecting to meet new friends.

This means that if you want to meet new friends, you need to join a local community. The problem there is that you have to remember to do it, you have to motivate yourself, even after a long day, you need to work up the courage and go out to meet people… this is why the common advice of just “join a club” doesn’t work.

However, if you apply the technique I’m about to teach you, you can make it inevitable to meet new friends, it will become a natural part of your life; you won’t need to motivate yourself to do it. Here is how…

  • Step 1: Find a one or two communities or clubs near you. Look for them on, Facebook groups,, or a Google search.
  • Step 2: Attend one of their events to see if the people there are the kinds of people you want as friends.
  • Step 3: Go to the person or team who organizes their meetings, introduce yourself, tell them that you like what they’re doing, and that you would love to volunteer with some help. Don’t overpromise, only commit to doing something you actually have time for.
  • Step 4: They’ll probably be glad you asked and give you something s to do. All you’ll have to do after that is show up to the events and do what you promised you’re gonna do. Again, don’t overpromise.

Here’s why this works…

  • Reason #1: If you’re hesitant about meeting new people, this will give you sort of an excuse, sort of a legitimate reason to step up and meet new folks.
  • Reason #2: If you do this, you’ll instantly be seen by the people in that community as someone who provides value, someone who is generous enough to put some of his or her time to help the community.
  • Reason #3: People are curious about who’s running the thing, who’s organizing the events… and if you’re one of the hosts, people come to you and try to get to know you. You won’t have to make a lot of effort, as people will be all around you.
  • Reason #4: Here is the magic: You know how much motivation it takes to go out of your way, and out of your comfort zone to meet new people. When you commit to helping a community, you’re set. It removes that friction from your life, you won’t need motivation to go out and meet people, you’ll just do it.

At first, you’d think that it would take a lot of time to pull this off… but it’s actually the opposite. In one event, you could meet one, two, three, or sometimes, seven interesting people. All you’re doing is investing one or two evenings per month, and in return, you’re meeting a lot more people than the average person.

Learn More

If you want to learn more techniques like this one, and have the tools to meet, connect, and make friends with the friends you want, I recommend that you get in my Free Social Skills Newsletter.

Best of luck!

-Paul Sanders

Related Posts

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#1 Secret To Making New Friends As An Adult
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How To Quantify Your Accomplishments On A Resume Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:30:25 +0000 Many job hunters say their accomplishments aren’t quantifiable - but they're wrong. Here are some ways to quantify your accomplishments on a resume.

The post How To Quantify Your Accomplishments On A Resume appeared first on CAREEREALISM.

Many of the job hunters I work with tell me their accomplishments aren’t really quantifiable. They just aren’t in jobs where they can say, “Saved the company $4 million a year… ” If you have those numbers at your fingertips, by all means use them. If you’re like most of us, you need other ways to quantify your accomplishments on a resume.

Related: Top 15 Words HR NEVER Wants To See On Your Resume

For example, your company may require a 40-hour week but you regularly work unpaid overtime to help out another short-handed department or contribute to a special project. Your job description may include interacting with customers, but you were chosen to fly out of state for a customer meeting. Compare your performance to the goals set by the company itself.

When you report how you exceeded those goals, you have quantified your accomplishments.

You can also quantify accomplishments by measuring your company against other companies and measuring your position in the company against that of your co-workers. If you’re applying to a large corporation, your job in an international company with $5 billion in sales gives you an advantage over a candidate who works for a local company selling $1,500 a week.

Consider, too, how you rank against your peers.

Do you have seniority in your company, is your output higher than the company or industry average, or did you win an award for your performance or have you received more promotions in a shorter time?

You don’t have to lead an effort to take credit for its success; your contribution should be noted in your resume. Perhaps your most important contribution is a matter of attitude.

Consider your soft skills (the ability to meet deadlines, work in a team or independently, communicate complex ideas, placate customers). Relate an occasion where those skills made a difference to your company.

Testimonials are another way to quantify your accomplishments. If internal or external customers thanked you for your help, ask them for a written testimonial that describes your actions and the results.

Your bosses may have indicated your value to the company by assigning you a project, including you in client or executive meetings, recommending you for training or asking you to make a presentation. Give these indicators of success prominence in your resume.

Your accomplishments are varied and so are the ways to quantify them. If you feel hesitant to quantify your achievements—or you aren’t even sure you have achievements—give me a call. I’ll help recruiters understand how highly you rate.

Want to work with the #1 Rated Resume Writing Service in 2013?

If you want to cut your job search time and make sure your resume is noticed, then check out our Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call me at 800.909.0109 for more information.

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