Education, Life

4 Fantastic Tips for Summertime Students

July 7, 2015
Summertime studying

They call it FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. And when you’re in school, FOMO is never stronger than during summertime. It seems like the whole world is on vacation, and it can be tough to choose between schoolwork and hanging with friends. But looks can be deceiving, and it’s important to remember why you’re in school to begin with. Taking a step back to remind yourself of what your top priorities are can help you find the willpower to keep moving forward. Consider these important aspects of staying strong in your studies this summer.

1. Earn respect by saying no.

When someone is on a diet and they choose not to eat cheesecake, people respect that person for their self-control. And the healthier that person gets, the more people admire them for maintaining their diet. The same goes for school. You might have friends who pressure you to skip your schoolwork and join them for a summertime activity, but the truth is people will also respect you for saying no if your reason is to provide a better life for yourself and your family. That respect increases when you can finally declare that you’re graduating, and that you’re starting a new job. So remember, you might be missing out on a little this summer, but soon your summer vacations will be better than ever.

“I’m doing what I know I should do now, so I can do what I’d like to do later.”

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Education, Life

Summer Challenges: Being a Student with Kids

July 6, 2015

Remember how exciting it was to get out of school for summer break? Those were the days. And as your kids go through the same excitement, there’s a new challenge to face as a parent if you’re a student: “How do I handle being a parent and a student this summer?” There’s no doubt this is a challenge, but there may be some helpful resources1 for you.

Reach out for help.

If you’re a student and you’re trying to figure out how to juggle parenting and studying, your school may be able to help. Look for counselors or advisors to reach out to for advice. They may be able to help you find childcare services, transportation and other resources to assist you with your needs. Continue Reading…

Careers, On the Job

Making a Professional Impression: Phone & Email

July 3, 2015
cellphone chord image

If you want to make a professional impression at your job or in a job interview, consider these these helpful tips. Your cell phone settings and your email address do make an impact on your image.

Cell phones are a big distraction for people at work. Employers claim that they employees may lose up to 50 percent in productivity because of cell phones.1 Many employers, especially in healthcare, do not allow employees to use their cell phones at work and some may even prohibit employees from bringing them into the facility. Only use your cell phone on breaks or at lunch, otherwise remember, they are paying you to work, not text. If you’re going to an interview, turn your phone off or leave it in the car.

Phone ringtones, alerts, alarms.

Having a unique ringtone can be fun, but if your favorite Jay-Z song starts playing, it may not be work appropriate.

  • Tip 1: It’s best if you don’t have your phone with you at work, but that may not always be practical.
  • Tip 2: The next best option would be to silence the phone or put it on vibrate with no sound.
  • Tip 3: But, just in case you forget, you should still set the ringtone to a standard ring (with no words or music).
  • Tip 4: Also, if you do receive texts through the day, pick a plain and relatively quiet message notification.  Nothing breaks concentration like a tweedy-bird that whistles every few minutes. Your co-workers will appreciate your politeness.

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Education

Tips for Online Discussion Boards

July 1, 2015
Colorful collection of thought bubbles

Why should you participate in your class online discussion board or forum? In a traditional classroom, as students, we talk to our classmates before class begins, sometimes during the class, and then again as we leave the classroom. In some instances, our instructors will even discuss their thoughts and opinions before class starts. We learn a lot from one another, such as tips for studying the material, pointers that our classmates have discovered, and helpful information that we just may have overlooked. In the online environment, we are bringing that tradition into our virtual classroom through discussions. Consider these tips for online discussion boards.

Answer the whole question.

As a student in an online class, you will learn a lot about the discussion topic by reading what your peers are posting. You should make sure you are providing details to all parts of the question in your post. A good rule is to rewrite the question so you can refer to it, making sure you are covering all parts. This will help you focus on the entire discussion question. For example, if your discussion asks you the pros and cons of making peanut butter fudge, make sure you are adding information about both aspects. It’s important for your learning, as well as others. If you only gave the pros, others would only get a one-sided view of making peanut butter fudge. It’s always good to look at other angles to help you gain a better overall understanding of your topic. Discussions will help you learn the topic better and apply in your career.
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Job Search Advice

References: They’re Like Yelp for Your Resume

June 29, 2015
hand holding up pinky finger

Ever made plans to go to a restaurant only to have your mind changed by the reviews online? Or maybe you’ve been on the fence about whether to buy something until a friend said such great things about it that you went online and ordered it right away. Other people’s opinions matter to us, and that is why references can be your greatest secret weapon. References are like Yelp, for your resume.

The References section of the application is the employer giving you the opportunity to assemble the perfect team of reviewers to help them make decisions when they aren’t 100 percent convinced that you’re the person for the job. Your references are your advocates. They are people who believe in your character, abilities, or proven track record of reliability. Choose wisely. Understand what role your references play. Make sure you have your references’ approval to list them, make sure they know what position you’re going for, and make sure they sound good on the phone. The last thing you want is an employer to have a poor experience with a reference. Your references are a reflection of you. Make sure they show the best possible professional side of you.

“From an employer’s perspective, if you pay attention to detail by preparing your references, you’re also likely to show attention to detail when working with patients.”

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Careers, On the Job

8 Ways to Manage Your Workday

June 26, 2015
multiple sticky notes make an image of a light bulb

No matter that type of environment you work in, chances are you have a myriad of tasks to complete on a daily basis. It can feel overwhelming knowing you have so many tasks to do and only 8 hours in which to do it. Here are a few suggestions to help manage your time wisely.

1. Wear a watch.

This may seem simple and maybe even silly considering we all have smart phones that give us the time. However, every time glance at your cell, you run the risk of finding a distraction with the constant notifications and new texts and emails flooding your inbox. A watch can help you stay on task, while your cell rests out of sight.

2. Utilize Outlook Calendar or iCal.

Use any calendar application that allows you to log not only meetings and deadlines, but daily tasks and projects as well. Take it old school with a day planner if you are more of a visual person or if you want to physically write down items that need blocks of time allocated for completion. If you have a super important task that needs done, schedule time to do it, rather than hoping you can squeeze it into your day. Print off the calendar and carry it with you to meetings so you are aware of what is next on your daily schedule.
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On the Job

Focusing in a Loud Office Environment

June 25, 2015
illustration of people with thought bubbles, multiple colors

Whether it’s a co-worker singing or taking a conference call from their desk, working in an open office environment can sometimes be distracting and disturbing to your work day. If you’re looking for ways to focus on your work without straining your professional relationships, try the following tips.

Use headphones.

Although it’s still noise, picking your favorite calming music may be less distracting than your co-workers. Some people also find it easier to concentrate when listening to music without words, so maybe try classical music. Internet radio stations are a great source for all kinds of genres and styles of music.

Go for a quick walk.

If you’re feeling frustrated or unable to complete your work, sometimes going for a quick walk will help clear your head and help you refocus when you get back. Also, by the time you return, your co-worker may have wrapped up their distracting activity.

Snack on some chips.

The loud chomping may help drown out the noise and help you concentrate.
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Job Search Advice

How to Overcome Interview Anxiety

June 19, 2015
Questions mark that looks like woman's profile

I spend the majority of my time coaching women through the career launching process. We work together on all the little things that come BEFORE the interview; everything from knowing all the different job titles they’d be qualified for, to how to navigate most hospitals’ human resources departments, to how to introduce themselves to local offices in case those offices decide to hire in the future. Once we are able to find an office who is interviewing, some of the women I work with start to feel really anxious, they start to feel like they are about to be judged and are almost certain that the judge will not be kind. I’ve had women actually avoid my phone calls for months because they are so afraid of the voice of “the judge” that they fear they will face in the interview. The Interview is just the door though.

The interview is like the door that Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) has to go through in order to make it to Wonderland. The movie isn’t about the door at all. The movie is about something altogether different, but her willingness to adjust herself, to make herself bigger or smaller, to notice what’s working and what isn’t, is what gets her through the door so that the REAL story can start. A favorite columnist of mine, James Altucher, says:

“Anxiety is the doorknob. The doorway leads to change. But you have to open the doorknob first.”

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Job Search Advice, On the Job

Your Rights as an Interviewee/Employee

June 24, 2015
gavel and stethoscope

As a Professional Career Service Advisor, I often hear employers asking illegal questions of myself and the graduates I coach. As a job seeker, you should know what an employer is not allowed, legally, to ask you. In fact, it could give you an advantage by declining to answer.

Read through the information below. You have the right to know your rights.

“How old are you?”

Don’t answer that. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967(ADEA) protects individuals age 40 or over from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protection is applicable to employees as well as job applicants. The ADEA also stipulates that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person of his/her age, with respect to any term, condition or privilege of employment. This includes hiring, training, job assignments, compensation, layoffs and terminations.
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Job Search Advice

Preparing for an Interview: Key Questions (Part 2)

June 23, 2015
question mark that looks like woman's profile

As a Career Advisor and unofficial life coach who helps recent graduates, I’ve learned to pick up on some of the most important questions employers want to know. I’ve spent more time talking to employers after the interview than most of us ever spend getting interview feedback in our lives. I coach grads with no experience, with severe anxiety, with no confidence, with physical hurdles, and with no professional “etiquette know-how.” I’ve found that helping people get interviews before their mind is right is pointless. Not only is it pointless, it’s much more stressful and discouraging than it needs to be. In order to interview well- you need to be able to answer these questions for yourself. Your mind/character is your strongest asset. Decide now to develop your strongest asset. Work through each of the major questions that employers REALLY want to know:

Who are you?

Can I trust you?

Will you bring my office more respect?

Do you care?

Will you bring my office/company more respect?

The new bottom line in health care is that people don’t go to the doctors any more JUST to fix a problem. They go to figure out what the problem is and who can solve it with the highest level of care. In environments like this–TRUST is the most important kind of currency any office can have. Where Trust lives, Respect paved the way. Are you going to be the kind of person that makes sure to pave every interaction with respect? Are you going to be the kind of person that your team can count on to build trust in every interaction, even when no one is looking? Or are you going to be the kind of person that does the minimum required to maintain your own self? The kind of person who tells patients enough to make them go away, but not to actually help them?
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Job Search Advice

Preparing for an Interview: Key Questions

June 22, 2015
question mark that looks like woman's profile

As a Career Advisor and unofficial life coach who helps recent graduates, I’ve learned to pick up on some of the most important questions employers want to know. I’ve spent more time talking to employers after the interview than most of us ever spend getting interview feedback in our lives. I coach grads with no experience, with severe anxiety, with no confidence, with physical hurdles, and with no professional “etiquette know-how.” I’ve found that helping people get interviews before their mind is right is pointless. Not only is it pointless, it’s much more stressful and discouraging than it needs to be. In order to interview well- you need to be able to answer these questions for yourself. Your mind/character is your strongest asset. Decide now to develop your strongest asset. Work through each of the major questions that employers REALLY want to know:

Who are you?

Can I trust you?

Will you bring my office more respect?

Do you care?

Who are you?

One of the toughest questions to answer, especially if you haven’t interviewed in a while is “So tell me about yourself”! That’s when many of us stumble all over our words and start telling our personal life story- which rarely helps us (link to article about what employers are legally allow to ask). If you know your goal ahead of time: to show them a professional, driven, extensively-trained individual looking for stable and long term work with an office that allows you to contribute and to grow, it gets much easier!
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