Getting to the Winner’s Circle

22 04 2014

quarter-horse-racing

I’m not that different from War Admiral, Secretariat, Chocolate Moon Pie or JB Rich & Rare. Some of those names you may have heard before, while others are names you’re seeing for the first time.  They’re all names of horses that have won races, big and small.  They all have two things in common.  Well, three, counting you.

In horse racing and in your career, there are two very important people that can help you become successful in whatever you do.  You’re responsible for yourself, but you also have superiors who are supposed to be there to help guide you to the road to success.  In the horse racing world, these are the Trainer and the Jockey.

The Trainer makes sure the animal has a healthy diet, exercises properly and has the tools they need to be successful aka make it to the Winner’s Circle.  When trained and treated right which includes diet, human contact/support, they’ll typically perform well.  When treated poorly, the horse can end up hurting or even killing themselves and/or others around them.

I’ve seen this time and time again.  Horses that would be deemed as those not worthy of the race continue to prove everyone wrong.  It’s not about the pedigree or the owner.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some excellent Trainers.  Trainers typically make good mentors because they’ve been there, done that.  They have real-world experience and can share their wisdom with you so you can ratchet up your training plan, ensuring you’re in the lead.

Who is your Trainer?

Are you on the right track or are you endangering yourself and others??

 

The Trainer also has a responsibility for the Jockey.  They’re little guys (or gals) who can have a BIG impact on the race’s outcome.  The Jockey is the person who steers and coaches the animal to the finish line.  The Jockey in your career is whomever you report directly to…the boss.  They have direct responsibility to make sure you have the resources you need to do your job in a timely, effective manner.  Jockeys that beat their horses to just come in first don’t get a lot of respect in my book.   Jockeys that care about their animal’s well-being and safety as well as its future are the ones that get paid.  You may not win today, but with the right Trainer and right Jockey, you’ll set yourself up for success.

Do you have what you need to WIN??

 

Lastly, it’s not about who gets out of the starting gate first (just don’t trip and stay in your designated lane.)  The fastest horse doesn’t always win.  There are many variables, which is why it’s so important to have a good Trainer, a good training plan, and a great Jockey.  Preparation and perfect practice (not just “practice”) makes perfect.  When you factor in all the components which include training, health, track conditions, weather, your opponents and more, surprises still happen.  Maybe that’s Lady Luck…good or bad.

What will you learn from Lady Luck??

 

BONUS: Related post: Take Off Your Career Blinders




4 Things You Can Do to Network With Impact & Results

8 04 2014

number-4

It’s no secret that networking can get you closer to the job of your dreams. You’ve probably heard this countless times from recruiters, mentors, and career sites like Campus to Career. You’ve heard networking is important. You know it’s important. But when you go to a networking event, are you the person who stands around the edge of the room trying to “blend in”.

Networking is about being noticed. It’s about getting your name out there and becoming known to other industry professionals. You have to be bold, and you have to stand out from the crowd. In my experience, even if you’re a reluctant networker, there are 4 things you can do that will make you appear confident, and help you network with impact and results.

1) Arrive early

When you arrive early at a networking event, you give yourself a significant advantage – you can see who enters the room and you can be the first to speak with them. Arriving early means arriving at the designated start time, or within 15 minutes of that. If you arrive late to a networking event, groups have already been formed and the people whom you want to meet are already engaged in conversation. Breaking into a conversation is much more difficult that starting a fresh conversation with somebody who has just entered the room.

2) Create an outfit that gets you noticed

When you walk into the networking event room, it’s your outfit and your body language that others will notice first. Instead of wearing colours that make you blend into the crowd, opt for high-contrast colours and bold styles to help you get noticed. Ladies, add impact to a simple black dress with a contrasting red or white jacket. And don’t forget about your shoes. A pair of striking heels can instantly change your attitude and confidence. Gentlemen, you can enhance a simple white shirt with high-contrast cufflinks in navy or black. Or, choose a white shirt that already has contrasting buttons or colour detail in it.

3) Be bold with your body language

Body language has a major impact on the first impression we make. By simply adopting powerful body language poses at networking events, you can immediately change your impression from meek and insecure to poised and powerful, regardless of how you truly feel inside. Confident body language stems from good posture. Hold your rib cage up and keep your head held high. When you hold your head high you expose your neck, the most vulnerable part of your body, and project to the networking crowd confidence and poise.

4) Use a quality business card case

A quality business card case is probably one of the most underutilised networking tools in Western countries, but will absolutely make you stand out from the crowd. When the other person sees you remove your business card from a proper case, they’ll know that you’re somebody who cares about the smaller details. When they see you put their card in your business card case, it signals that you hold them in high regard. A few moments of respect for a potentially important business contact can have a long-term positive impact on your career.

I invite you to try these tips at your next networking event. By implementing just one of these tips, you’ll be noticed a little more. By implementing all four of these tips, you’ll absolutely have more impact and get more results from that networking event.

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Kara Ronin!****

About the author: Kara Ronin is an international business etiquette expert and the author of the eBook, The Ultimate Networking Roadmap: Rise above fear to network with confidence and class. Visit her blog Executive Impressions to claim your free 7 Step Networking Roadmap and get fabulous tips on networking and international business etiquette.





6 Career Myths That Hold You Back

18 03 2014

Myths-and-Facts

Career planning provides the ability to see yourself, where you are now and where you want to go in the future. It helps you decide what type of work you want, determine the skills you need and discover the ways to get those skills. When considering what he wants to do, a person needs to understand himself through self-assessment, exploration of occupational prospects, making a choice, then setting goals and actions to build his experience, skills and knowledge. A job applicant needs to be able to prove her value to an employer if she wants to be hired. Choosing the right career fit for who she is and dedicating herself to the journey will make all the difference.

Although career planning is a rational systematic process, one also needs to be aware of the influences that affect career decision making. Lack of knowledge of career options and the world of work, the economy, one’s socioeconomic level, expectations of others, beliefs and attitudes we learn from our family, unrealistic self-expectations and career myths can derail the process.

What are career myths?

They are fictional statements or thoughts that can lead to career barriers or undesirable actions. For example:

  • The world of work is changing so rapidly that I can’t really plan for the future. Think about this. You wouldn’t start a trip without an idea of how to get there, would you? Have a plan.
  • Money is the most important factor when choosing a job. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing just because it pays well, is that the life you want? When you need money sometimes you don’t have a choice, but think about the long term career plan.
  • I should choose an occupation based on my strongest skills. You may be good in Math but what if crunching numbers all day is boring to you? You need to also factor in what interests you when making a career decision.  What’s your passion?
  • Family members and other adults know what career is best for me, better than I do. No one knows you better than you do, but you need to do some introspection to tap into what makes you tick.
  • Making an occupational choice is irreversible. A career decision is not irreversible. If you find you’re unhappy in a profession, go back to the drawing board and go through the steps of career planning again. Career development is a continuous process that recycles throughout our life as we consider the pros and cons of making changes. This generation will have several different careers over their lifetime.
  • There is one perfect occupation waiting for me somewhere out there. There are actually many different occupations that may be a good fit for someone.  Consider job shadowing to find the right fit. 

Beware of career myths, as there are more out there. Unfortunately, people buy into them and let them affect their decision making.

 ****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Sharon Gilbert!!**** 

Sharon Gilbert

 

About the author: Sharon Gilbert is a licensed career counselor and a former university career advisor and college recruiter. She has recently published Beyond Tuition: Career Coaching Your College Kid.  More information can be found at www.beyondtuition.com





7 Crucial Interview Tips

11 03 2014

job-interview (1)The job search brings with it a number of different tasks that you should be expected to have perfected or, at least, down pat before you can take on your new career. Those of course include making sure you’re qualified, writing a killer cover letter and résumé, and, of utmost important, nailing your interview(s). Interview tips have been covered several times here at Campus To Career. There are a handful of steps you should already be taking to ensure your success.

Here is a list of seven crucial tips that have been condensed from an exhaustive list of 30 posted over at Verizon. While many of them can no doubt be learned from and utilized, these seven should make you an absolute lock for whichever job you’re applying today. Now let’s get to the list!

  1. Look the company up on Glassdoor: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that you need to remember. Finding out about how your prospective employer runs through its Glassdoor account and reviews can help you realize what you’re getting into. You may need to dress more stylish, for example, or be prepared for some dry wit. Whatever the case, it’s the site is a goldmine for assisting you pre-interview.
  2. Check the Company’s Facebook/Twitter, too: Your potential employer’s social media accounts will give you an even better idea of what to expect, especially personality-wise. The aforementioned dry wit will come through in a more obvious manner, as will any other aspects of the company. Are they light–hearted? Conservative or liberal? You should find your answer here.
  3. Have Five Résumé Copies & References Available: You never know how many people will need a copy of your résumé and it also never hurts to have extra references readily available. Just think: What if one or two of your references doesn’t pick up when they’re called? You will want to have backup.
  4. Have an “Interview Prep Kit” Ready: Whether it’s in your purse, your briefcase, or your car, have a kit somewhere so that you can, say, deal with any stains, odd scuffs, misplaced documents, etc… You shouldn’t go overboard with this, so just make sure you have backups of stuff like stain removers, any makeup you wear, your résumé, and the like.
  5. Inquire About The Interview Format: There’s nothing wrong with throwing a quick question or two at the HR person you’ve been contacting to get a better feel for the interview. Some companies like to ask brain teasers and serve up riddles to see how you handle stress or critical thinking. You may not get a straight answer when you call ahead, but give it a shot.
  6. Have Five Top Achievements Ready To Discuss: Be sure to have some brief notes available that outline a handful of the best projects you have done previously. Be ready to talk about why and how they were a success, meaning you should have numbers, percentages, etc… at your disposal during this discussion.
  7. Have Questions Ready for Your Interviewee: At this point in the conversation (aka “the conclusion”), you should be prepared to have some questions for whomever it is you’re speaking with. This is where some of the previous tips—such as reading their social media pages—can really come in handy. If you’re looking to get into their marketing department, for example, you can have some questions what’s been successful for them, what their goals are, and so on.

Hopefully these seven tips will leave you feeling better prepared and ready to conquer your next interview. Best of luck!

****Campus to Career thanks Joanne Peters for this great post!****





3 Ways to Create Your Own Job & Not Get Steamrolled in the Process

4 03 2014

Artwork - Create Your Own Job

I’ve gone to school more than most people, and I’ve come to the conclusion that group assignments are the bane of all existence.

Seems there’s always the guy who barely participates, the woman who always has a strong opinion about everything, the overachiever who wants to get the entire assignment done in the first few days…sound familiar?

As painful as these experiences may have been for you, it turns out that working in teams is a microcosm of real life. As I reflect on my major accomplishments I can see that each one was reached with the help of other people. You can create your own job as an entrepreneur in your early to mid-20’s. It is entirely possible. If you want to succeed, however, I hope working in a team is part of your strategic plan.

I research entrepreneurs for a living, and I particularly love the bootstrap start-up that consists of two or three 20-somethings and a dream. I came across just such a team about 6 months ago when I was at a local business incubator. Two people on the team had been out of school for only a couple of years, and team member number three was about to graduate.

Commit to One Another

Point number one. Your team really has to be for one another rather than just being int it for the money. Chances are that this ship will pitch and yaw so much that you all will get seasick before the trip is over. And, it is pretty much a guarantee that this journey will not end the way you want.

Commit to each other, and commit to the long-term view. Imagine yourselves 10, 15, even 20 years down the line still in business together. It will probably be a different business than your current venture, and you will probably be making far more money.

Your current business will be distant memory. But your team can still be together if you commit to one another. Don’t treat this venture as just another group assignment that is over after 2 or 3 weeks of class. Winners win over the long term.

Push for a Larger Team

You may recall that I said I met this start-up trio at a local business incubator. If you don’t know what an incubator is, Google it.
You need this. Some incubators have physical space where you can co-locate with other start-up entrepreneurs. This provides an unparalleled learning opportunity that can dramatically shorten your learning curve, and can keep you keep you from making dangerous missteps. Chances are that your college or university either has access to an incubator or has one on campus.

Move to where the action is.

One of many things that you have going for you at this point in your life is that you are portable. Depending on the type of business you are starting, it may make sense to relocate.

  • Move to where the money is.
  • Move to where the people are.
  • Move to find more support.

Many new incubators are cropping up across the US. Several of which specialize in one type of industry. Blue Ridge Food Ventures, for example, is a kitchen incubator that is dedicated specifically to helping people launch food-related businesses.

Recap:

The 3 things that can help you create your own job are:

  1. Commit to one another
  2. Push for a larger team
  3. Move to where the action is

****For this fantastic guest post, Campus to Career thanks Jason Owens!**** 

Jason OwensAbout the author: Jason Owens researches and encourages entrepreneurs. His thought-provoking blog articles on overcoming entrepreneurial challenges can be found at JasonROwens.com.





4 Reasons Recruiters May Consider You Unemployable

20 02 2014

most-unemployable-majors%20Over the past few weeks, I’ve talked to over 100 college students about their careers. Most of them – despite a slightly better economy and for reasons we all understand – remain scared to death about their pending entrance into the workforce.

During these conversations, it became clear that the anxiety isn’t because they’re afraid to enter “the real world” …but aren’t prepared, yet, to enter the workforce. They simply lack the mindset necessary to make the leap from graduate to professional.

Here are the top four reasons why recruiters may perceive you as unemployable – and how, by deliberately focusing on each, you can turn these barriers into assets:

1. Confidence is King

“I am way more qualified than my peers. And smarter. But they have job offers, and I don’t. Why?” (said sheepishly with little or no eye contact and with slumped shoulders).

Recruiters have always been reluctant to hire those who fail to exude confidence; since the beginning of time recruiters have been measured by their ability to hire leaders and difference-makers. For candidates in our new economy, any failure to show sincere self-assurance – and the desire to compete at a high level – is death to their application.

The good news: you have the rest of your college career to gain the experience and prepare the skills necessary to overcome this issue.

Start now. Develop a dynamic, affable, confident job search style. Or, regardless of your talent or smarts, keep wondering why you are always the last kid picked for kickball at recess.

2. The Best Strategy is Rarely the Easiest

“I’ve submitted 275 applications on http://www.BigJobBoard.com… and haven’t received a single call-back.”

After hearing this same story over and over again for almost five years now… why do we still think this approach is an effective job search strategy?

Here’s my theory:

  1. Job boards are easy
  2. Networking (especially for us introverts) and research are hard work
  3. Human nature dictates we try “easy” first – no matter how ineffective and frustrating the end result

Ask millions of your unemployed or underemployed friends: easy doesn’t work.

3. The “Catch-22”

“I’m only a college student – but employers want me to have all this experience. But if no one will hire me, how do I get the experience.”

Bunk.

With no internships or volunteer positions on your resume – and without the development of soft skills through campus activities, clubs, fraternities or sororities, and much more – of course many recruiters looking for a “can do the job, right now” candidate – are going to pass you over. Even those with a 4.0 GPA counting on their academic excellence to carry them into the workforce are likely to soon face a cold hard fact: in many industries, your job seeking competition with a 3.1 GPA – the confident networkers with significant hands-on experience and abundant soft skills – is going to kick your butt in the real world.

Simply put, there is No Excuse for No Experience.

4. Failure to Learn

“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I can’t get a job offer.”

I DO know what you are doing wrong… you are not making enough effort to learn what you’re doing wrong!

Every draft of a wholly customized cover letter and resume, every application, every phone/Skype interview and every single face-to-face meeting is a golden chance to discover what worked very well, what part of the process you can improve a bit – and perhaps what went horribly wrong.

Self-analyze your job search strengths and weaknesses. Discuss the process with a mentor. Ask for feedback from the recruiters you meet during your job search and while networking. Otherwise, you’ve just wasted a golden opportunity to learn – and improve.

Are any of these four barriers of entry stopping you from being seen as ready-to-be-hired?

More important: between now and graduation, how will you make yourself more employable?

***For this fantastic post, Campus to Career thanks Mark Babbitt and the folks at YouTern!***

MarkAbout the Author: CEO and Founder of YouTern, Mark Babbitt is a serial mentor who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO.com regarding job search, career development, internships and higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce. A keynote speaker and blogger, Mark’s contributions include Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, Switch and Shift, and Under30CEO.

Mark has been honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors,” HR Examiner’s “Top 25 Trendspotters in HR” and CareerBliss’ “Top 10 Gen Y Career Experts.” Mark is currently working on two new books: “A World Gone Social: How Business Must Adapt to Survive (AMACOM, June 2014) with Ted Coine and “The Ultimate Guide to Internships (And Making Your College Years Matter Again)” (Allworth, September 2014). Contact Mark via email or on Twitter!





5 Things Every Fresh Graduate Should Know

13 02 2014

Graduation is upon us. In just a few weeks, you’ll finish class and set out into this wonderful world. Where do you start?? Here are 5 things every fresh graduate should know:

*********

thIf you think your hardships are through just because you graduated from college with flying colors, then you’re dead wrong. Life doesn’t start and end within the four corners of your classroom. Harder things are yet to follow and the best you could do right now is to brace yourself.

I also had a difficult time adjusting to a new life after getting my diploma. Still, I was able to pull it off and now I’m a proud member of the workforce. There’s a pretty big chance you’re going to experience that too! But worry not for knowing what’s to come is already half the battle. Without further ado, here are five things you should know about now that school’s over!

Experience is king
Don’t be surprised with the first tip and talk about the impossibility of you getting any experience since you’re a fresh graduate. The thing is, all of us were deceived back in high school. Teachers emphasized the importance of good grades too much when in fact, employers only value RESULTS. At the end of the day, you’re still going to be judged based on whether or not you have what it takes to do the job!

To put it bluntly, internships, making new connections to people who can assist you in certain work matters and even unpaid jobs have their weight in the urban jungle. Try doing any of them in case you’re having trouble getting employed.

Being money driven will destroy everything for you
As cheesy as it might sound, you need to follow your heart if you want to make it big. One way or another, you’re gonna find a way to earn money. However, there will come a time when you won’t be able to do the things you really want to do and that’s going to hurt… a lot!

Live a life with no regrets and find ways on how you could earn by doing stuff you’re really passionate about. Don’t be a slave to a high-paying job and then go home with a bag full of regrets. Remember that time waits for no one so, you have to make the most out of your life.

First impressions really do last
Dress up for the job you want or have and only open your mouth when you really need to. This isn’t school anymore! More often than not, you only have thirty seconds to close a deal or impress an employer. Thus, you have no choice but to do everything in your power to make sure that every precious second counts.

Moreover, try to be cautious when sharing stuff both on and offline. The things that you’re going to say and do will either make or break you.

Office politics exist
Indeed, the workplace is as crazy as the ones they show you in movies. There will be a lot of backstabbing and mudslinging. You’ve got to keep you guard up at all times or else you’ll be the laughing stock of your office mates.

Furthermore, always keep in mind that not participating on any kind of gossiping will make your life easier. The workplace is often filled with negativity. As the Bible teaches, if you’re not going to say anything nice then you’d best keep it to yourself.

Social media will be the end of you
Be it with Facebook statuses, Tweets or Instagram pictures, you need to be cautious when sharing stuff online. You’re not a kid anymore and that means immature rants and cursing are unacceptable. In connection with the fourth tip, save it for yourself when you can.

In addition to that, companies use their potential-employees social media profiles in order to know them better. The last thing you want to do is to create a “ghost” that’s going to stain your career!

College may be over but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning and growing as a person. You can’t rest easy just because school is over. Always remember that your graduation day marks the beginning of your new life!

For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Katherine Smithson!

Author’s Bio
Katherine Smithson is a budding copywriter who is trying to pave her way through the blogging realm. Through bestessays.com, she is currently venturing modern writing and blogging in different websites and someday be able to make a name in the industry of blogging and writing per se.








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