Friday, July 24, 2009

Promising Young Youth

I spent this morning with two of my staff members and 171 high school students... in one room... for 90 minutes. They were loud, they were silly, sometimes they weren't paying attention so we had to blow a whistle and throw them candy... but boy were they inspiring.

Each year the Career Services Center in conjunction with Marquette University's Public Affairs Office hosts students from the Earn and Learn Summer Youth Internship Program.

I always say that the best part of my job is having the privilege of hearing students share their personal goals and dreams. These student participants were no exception.

The workshop we facilitated walked them through a series of activities helping them contemplate their interests, skills, and values and how those fit into careers.

Asking someone to think about and share a dream career (one you dream of doing without worrying about skill level or income) is often tough. These students weren't shy at all... here are some the goals and dreams they shared. I hope they inspire hope as well as laughter for you as they did for me.

  • Move to Africa, learn how to build drums, move back to the US and open a drumming shop for making and learning to play African drums
  • Marry LeBron James
  • Become a professional musician and teach at the college level
  • Become a scientist who works on stopping the spread of AIDS
  • Join the police academy and become a detective in New York City
  • Own a $7 million home and charge people to come see the inside
  • Become a medical doctor and open a free clinic in the neighborhood where I grew up
  • Open a residence for teen mothers that includes a clean, safe place for them to learn how to best care for themselves and their babies

We have so much promise in our youth. We have so much promise in ourselves as well. Never stop pursuing your dreams!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What NOT to do

This morning I was interviewed by a reporter for The Wisconsin Radio Network regarding etiquette and mistakes people are making in their job searches.

While I find the most egregious acts of indiscretion tend to get the most hype; therefore they seem so commonplace, it is the common mistakes people might be making that could be keeping them unemployed.

It's often fun to share these appalling stories only to help us feel that we might somehow be superior and therefore have a better chance of securing the position.

If this is what you need, then read this: 43 weird things said in job interviews.

But remember this advice: your skills, experience, and professionalism will go much further in getting you the job than some outrageous stunt to stand out. Be yourself, be creative, but don't get caught up in being known as the____________ guy/gal (fill in with outrageous activity such as scooter, crazy hat, singing resume, subway sandwich wrapped in resume, baby shoe...)

Well you get the idea. And if you don't get the idea, then call us to schedule a mock interview. We'll get you headed in the right direction!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Simple Things Make All the Difference

In the workplace, there are always a million things happening at any given time. You have reports to complete, clients to speak with, political drama to tend to, and so on. One thing to remember is that, despite all these huge things that may be going on at any one point, it is the little things that can shape perception of you in the office.

Little things are just that; small, seemingly inconsequential things that aren't terribly important. One such thing that many people have been guilty of over the years is clicking "Reply All" instead of just "Reply". I've worked at a place before where someone clicked reply all seemingly every time they sent an email. Most of the time it wasn't a big deal at all, but it was certainly a little obnoxious to get repeated emails that had nothing to do with you. This person was not a bad worker by any means. In fact, that person was very capable with what they did. The sad truth is that, because of a small mistake like that, people took this person far less seriously than they otherwise would have.

Make sure at whatever job you have that you take care of these little things. You don't want to garner a reputation because of something ultimately inconsequential.