Friday, May 29, 2009

Whatcha Gonna Do With Your Life?

I know exactly WHAT I want to do, it's more of a question of WHERE I will start my career. Similarly to many students out there, I am now stepping out into the unknown. I have my Master of Education degree, I have completed my time at Marquette and I have no idea where I will find a job or when I will find one. Despite being an amazingly wonderful support network, the staff at Career Services can't create jobs for me out of thin air.

A few weeks ago I was terrified of the idea of unemployment. I couldn't imagine my life without 14 hour days spent on campus. I'm a planner and I didn't have a plan. Like I said, terrifying.

Thanks to my wonderful support network assuring me that I will be OK, I finally came to realize that some time to relax wouldn't be so bad. Then I started piecing together a plan. Once I get home I will be volunteering with university career center and hopefully working a part time job at a sporting goods store. I will finally have time to visit with family and friends and not have to cram them all into a 48 hour weekend. I can read books, I can run, I can take up yoga, I can cook, I can spend so much time with my 1 year old nephew that he'll finally remember who I am! Most importantly, I can recharge my batteries so that when I do find that job I will be 110% ready and even more apt to appreciate employment. I will also have time to really focus on my job search. The idea of sitting on my sister's couch doing nothing was terrifying but I'm really not the "do nothing" type.

So if you are caught in a similar situation, my last advice as a Marquette Career Advisor is to do what you need to do to stay motivated and focused but take time for yourself. Be the absolute best, most positive volunteer or part-time employee another organization has ever seen! You never know where it might lead you. Unemployment isn't as scary as it seems. It's another time to learn a life lesson and focus on what is important.

And visit the Career Services Center. They're patient and understanding of all situations. I don't know what I would have done without them. They are open all summer and still want to help you too!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Resume turned Road Kill

For the last few months I have had a blue flash drive on my key chain. This important piece of hardware is home to all of my job search materials and as of just a few weeks ago, all of my final projects for graduate school. I have constantly been telling my coworkers how relieved I'll be to be done with school and employed so I can finally remove that flash drive from my key ring. I kept it there to stay organized and to avoid having to commute 20 minutes if I forgot a paper that I needed to print at school.

This past weekend I was running errands and got a phone call later in the day from an unknown number. My poor blue flash drive had fallen off of my key chain in a parking lot. Needless to say it looks like computer hardware road kill and was likely run over by a few cars before being found. A very nice man picked it up and was able to upload my resume in order to find my phone number and return it to me.

There is a lesson to be learned in all of this. I did in fact just backup all of the files on this flash drive last week so, in reality, I did not need it back. It is extremely important to backup important documents for school or your job search! Save your resumes and cover letters and job search spreadsheets in multiple formats in order to avoid a momentary heart attack when you realize your precious blue flash drive has turned into road kill.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We're on Twitter!

Hope everyone's having a great summer so far, whether its in an internship, a "real" job, fun summer work, or travelling to places throughout the world.

Being the hip, happening people that we are, we've finally joined Twitter. We'll be updating it each workday, and if you're lucky, maybe even sometimes on the weekend with quick tips, interesting articles, and alerts about what is going on in our office. Sign up and follow us (@MUCareerChatter) for even more great insight than you get here at the blog, just more concise!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

People are Getting Hired and 55 Ways to Get More Energy

With all of the headlines college students seem to be bearing the brunt of this bad economy.

Each day the Career Services Center staff receives e-mails, phone calls, and drop-ins from students who are now employed and have been engaged in their job searches since early spring. These students have availed themselves to the many resources and support provided by the Career Services Center. I'm not saying we're the magic bullet to finding a job, but every resource helps.

The point is, students are getting offers, are being accepted into post-graduate volunteer programs, and are getting into graduate/professional school. It's not easy, but it's not impossible either.

Call us today for an appointment at 414-288-7423. We can talk by phone if you have already left the Milwaukee area. We're here to help you succeed.

In the meantime, I'm sharing this great post from one of my favorite daily blogs, Zen Habits. This is actually a guest post on Zen Habits from Greg Go.

55 Ways to Get More Energy

Here are some of my favorites but check out the whole article here with explanations and how-tos. Learn about the book 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.

2. Rock out loud.
5. Have a piece of chocolate.
7. Hit up the water cooler for inconsequential banter.
9. Wear brighter colors.
10. Take a power nap.
11. Flirt.
20. Sniff some citrus.
23. Play to relax.
27. Stand up, stretch and take a couple of deep breaths.
28. Get your world organized.
29. Look on the bright side.
34. Listen to tunes while you work.
41. Get a massage.
45. Take a walk outside.
48. Have a laugh.
52. Get a good night’s sleep.
54. Socialize.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What About Professional Organizations?

Have you ever been reading something and you suddenly see a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms in front of you? Sometimes these will just be simple abbreviations, like SCUBA. If you're reading something related to careers (and since you're on our blog, I tend to think you might have that inclination!), there's a good chance that the acronym is in reference to a professional organization.

Of course, the question then becomes, why would I join one of these professional organizations? If you recall an earlier post I made, I talked about how getting involved with groups in your realm of interest can benefit your job search process. I'd like to believe that you have a considerable interest in your field of choice. Involving yourself in professional organizations in your field will help you to build connections and network with people of similar interests. Get involved on a committee or sub-committee within your organization. The more you involve yourself, the more ingrained in the industry you will become. Additionally, your own personal knowledge level will increase considerably by working with professionals from other companies.

The best part about professional organizations in terms of a job search is that you can truly get involved at any point in your career. Many colleges have campus branches of professional organizations. For example, there is a chapter of the American Marketing Association here at Marquette. Getting involved with these groups now might be able to give you a leg up when it comes time to find that first professional position. But even if you don't join while you are in college, you can still jump into that world later in life. And as any student has met with me can attest to, I'm a huge proponent of giving anything a try at least once, because you never know if that experience will be the one that ultimately pays off for you.

If you need assistance finding a professional organization that fits your interests, Wikipedia provides a good starting point. It's not exhaustive though, so if you don't see the one for you, let us know and we can help, or simply google "professional organizations (your field)". I'd bet you find something...

Monday, May 11, 2009

No Internship? No Problem!

Now that all of you are done with classes for another academic year, most of you are set to work in one manner or another over the summer. While those of us in the "real world" work year-round, and therefore basically always know what we're going to be doing during the summer, the average college student spends a good portion of their spring semester seeking out a summer position.

Usually what many students, and especially sophomores and juniors, are searching for in the summer is an internship. These positions are desirable because they give students a chance to work with a company and gain experience in their field of choice. They also are increasingly becoming a primary method for companies to acquire full-time talent.

But what if you don't have an "internship"? Are you doomed to a life in your parent's basement?

Well, maybe, but it wouldn't be because of that. It's not just about having the intern title on your resume. Look at what skills your desired field requires. Once you identify those, you can find any sort of summer position that will help you hone those skills. BusinessWeek has a great article on this with examples of students that have turned "regular" summer jobs into a valuable piece.

Sure, the intern title is great, but remember what the ultimate goal is. As long as you can put yourself in position to get that job after graduation, you'll be on the right path, fancy title or not.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Clique Clack

Remember back in high school when everyone had their own little clique? Whether it was the football team, the actors, the smart people, or anything else, everyone seemed to gravitate to their own specific group. Well, guess what, as much as you might have hoped that all that was left behind, odds are you'll still see these dynamics in the workplace.

What you need to do, as a new professional, is to try to position yourself outside of these cliques. You don't want to get labeled as "one of the slackers" or something along those lines because of who you associate with. There are many different kinds of cliques in the workplace, and you should familiarize yourself with each of them. Observe what takes place each day for the first couple weeks, and identify what the general office opinions of the different groups are. Ideally, you'll notice that your workplace doesn't have established cliques, and you can proceed on with your career.

Try to make sure you integrate yourself with everyone in the office. You might have your favorites, which is natural. If you can build an environment where everyone is open with their colleagues, your productivity and longevity with the organization will likely grow as well. It won't be easy, but its a great thing to practice as you grow in your career.