5 Ways to Set Goals That Will Make You Happier

24 09 2013


Guest post by Greg Weiss, Founder of TheFirstFewSeconds.com

You’ve probably set goals for yourself in the past. Maybe you met them. But how did you feel while you were working towards them? How did you feel afterwards?  Concentrate on setting goals that make you happy – you’ll be much more likely to achieve them, and you’ll enjoy the process as well. Here’s how.

1. Set goals that make you happy now.

Avoid goals that are about your happiness 6 months from now. Choose goals that make you happy now, today, where you are. Does this mean your goal should be to watch as many Modern Family episodes as possible? Not quite. But it also means that you shouldn’t set a goal to be 50 pounds lighter and in your dream job half a year from now. Instead, perhaps you could set a goal to only watch Modern Family while walking on your treadmill – or only watch Modern Family after you’ve sent your resume out to 10 different jobs. See the difference?

TIP: You won’t keep your goals if they require you to sacrifice something now for more happiness later. We’re just not wired that way.

2. Don’t let fear be your motivation.

When your goals are based on fear, they probably don’t make you happy. Here’s an example: the rent is due, and you’re afraid you won’t be able to cover it. So you set a “goal” to make $1000 by the end of the month. And then to meet your goal, you wind up accepting a job or taking on a project that doesn’t really meet your long-term goals, and you’re miserable.

TIP: Don’t allow fear to be the driving force behind your goals. Yes, it’s important to pay the rent. But don’t equate that short-term need with your long-term goals. 

3. Don’t set goals you can’t control.

The worst goals are the ones most of us set around January 1st of each year: I’ll lose weight! I’ll make more money! These aren’t things that you can control. Instead, you can set a goal to exercise for 15 minutes daily, or apply to 15 carefully researched jobs each month. Those goals give you something to check off. You can, at any point during the month, assess how you’re doing.

TIP: It’s far more motivating if you set goals that are independent of external factors – more dependent on what is controllable.

4. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.

The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals: goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and time-oriented.

  • Specific means clarify exactly who, what, when, where, how, and why. For example: I will send my resume out to 3 jobs each day by 2 pm.
  • Measurable lets you see how you’re doing. If you’ve sent out 3 resumes and it’s not 2pm yet, you’re on schedule. If you haven’t sent out 3 resumes and it’s after 2, you’re behind. Get back on track.
  • Actionable goals give you concrete assignments – in this case, sending out a resume. (The flip side is a goal like, “Get a new job.” What’s the action you take?)
  • Reasonable goals are those that can actually be accomplished. Sending out 3 resumes daily if you’re not currently working is reasonable. Sending out 25 resumes daily is not.
  • Time-orienting your goal gives you a deadline.

TIP: If you can’t measure it, then it’s far too vague to be a goal you can attain. As the saying goes, what gets measured, gets done.

 5. Choose positive goals over negative ones.

When your goal is “lose 15 pounds,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Beyond the fact that the goal isn’t S.M.A.R.T., it’s a negative goal, so you’re moving away from something. A goal should be about moving forward – for example, “exercise for 30 minutes every morning at 6am.”

TIP:  In addition, make a point of phrasing goals with positive language – a goal should be about you want to do, not what you want to avoid.


greg weissAbout the Author: Greg Weiss is the Founder of TheFirstFewSeconds.com.  His entire career history has focused on marketing and people, helping people relaunch and accelerate their careers.


The Power of Gratitude

19 09 2013

Hi there. I don’t normally post more than once a week on Campus to Career, but sometimes normalcy is interrupted by very good things. I’d like to share a short video with you that highlights some of the BEST career advice I’ve ever received. I don’t think the introduction could get any better than that, so check out the video below from Sallie Krawcheck, owner of 85 Broads and former Wall Street executive, as she talks about the power of gratitude in your career and why spending time with your family can make you more innovative and productive.

I’m grateful to have you as a reader of Campus to Career. Thank you for all that you do. Have a WONDERFUL day!

5 Do’s & Don’ts When Applying for Your First Job

17 09 2013


Guest post by Brittany Thorley

Applying for university or college courses can be a challenging experience for first time students – especially when mastering that personal statement. After leaving the comfort of education and making the transition from campus to career, the skills, tips and tricks learnt during those days or even weeks spent painstakingly crafting the perfect personal statement for your college application don’t have to be wasted , instead you can put these to use when applying for your first job in your chosen profession.

We have devised the 5 essential dos and don’ts of personal statements and demonstrated how these will come in handy when tackling your first job application…

Don’t Fill Your Application with Clichés

Just like your college administration team, your potential employer is likely to loathe clichés, and unfortunately these are very common across job and university applications. Remember tutors and employers have heard it all before and grow bored of phrases like “I’m an excellent listener, “I am an enthusiastic individual” and “I have the passion and drive…”.

Instead of making these sweeping gestures, be prepared to use your experience to demonstrate the qualities that make you a success, discuss circumstances where you have gone the extra mile to prove your communication and listening skills are second to none or talk about an instance that shows real passion for the industry you wish to progress in.

Want to know why you really need to apply online? Click here to find out!

Do Boast about Your Skills

Showing a certain level of confidence in your skills, qualities and experience within your career or education is highly recommended, especially when it comes to getting your foot in the door when submitting your cover letter and resume. It is a competitive world out there and employers want to recruit a skilled and confident candidate that they can rely on. Many personal statement examples show students doing all they can to stand out and showcase what makes them better than the next student, and your job application should be no different.

Don’t have much job experience? Click here for some great tips on how you can overcome this in the job interview!

Don’t Tell Porkies

Whilst it is important to show your skills, telling lies or making wild claims about your experience or qualifications is a step too far that tends to land candidates in hot water. Be trustworthy in person and on paper by giving the facts and figures behind your application.

Do Use Your Personal Experiences

It’s not just examples of your professional experience that make an application stand out – how you have been challenged in your personal life can provide the perfect anecdote for an application and really show the real you. However, make sure you don’t use this rule to share your life story or place a bid for sympathy, instead use your personal experience to demonstrate how it has influenced your professional progression or simply made you a stronger person.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Individual You Are

Whether you are crafting the perfect personal statement or cover letter, the aim of both of these documents is to sell you! The first step to selling yourself is to be true to your personality, for example, don’t use pretentious language if it isn’t you or if you’re known for your humour show it in your application. Putting your personality on paper as well as your personal and professional experiences is the key to success when filling out an application for your dream job.

About the author: Brittany Thorley is from the Personal Statement Service, this UK-based service provides professional assistance to students with personal statement writing advice and personal statement examples.

The 3 “P’s” to Interview Like a Pro

10 09 2013

interview-success-300x198Are you ready to interview? Ready to compete? The time to get in the right mindset… is now.

To make the most out of every job interview opportunity, and jump way ahead of the competition, consider delivering the three “P” statements: Purpose, Preparation and Polish!


Dress the part; set your shoulders back; extend a firm handshake; and state your purpose:

“My name is Thomas Smith, I am here for the 10:00 interview… and to secure the Social Media internship.”

Nine times out of ten, your Purpose statement will not only get you a warmer welcome, you’ll immediately set a positive tone for the entire interview.


Duly impressed, the recruiter will begin their locked-in interview process. “Tell me about you?” followed by “What is your greatest weakness?” or something similar. Eventually, they will get to “Do you have any questions for me?” When they do (or preferably even before they do) deliver your Preparation statement:

“I do have some questions about the company and my role, please…”

For dramatic effect, take out your professional notepad that contains your list of prepared questions… the kind of questions not found in the annual report or on Google – something real. An example: “What do you enjoy most about working here?”

And whatever you do, don’t turn your Preparation statement into a question about you! At this point, “What are my chances of being offered a full-time job with this company” will be perceived as self-indulgent – and cripple the momentum of the interview.


This is my favorite… because it wins more interviews than anything else you can do or say. At the appropriate moment, state:

“I’ve taken the liberty to…”

For instance:

  • “I’ve taken the liberty to… draft a social media strategy we can execute”
  • “I’ve taken the liberty to… construct an analysis of our competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.”

No matter how you finish the Polish statement – you’ll be talking as if you mentally already have the job, show you’re not afraid to start the work without prompting and are the right person for the job.

Bonus Tip!

In each of the statements and examples above you’ll notice that not one of them contain the words “you”, “your” or “they”. Instead, we use inclusive words to state our intentions: “our” (“…our competitors…”), “we” (“…we can execute…”) and even “my” (“…my role…). This little change in your approach implies you already belong there, are already thinking like a member of the team – and make a HUGE difference in the mindset of a recruiter fatigued by “blah, blah, blah” answers.

Use your Purpose, Preparation and Polish statements (the “3Ps”) and move your job or internship search dramatically forward!


For this post, Campus to Career thanks our friends at YouTern!

mark-babbittAbout the author:  A passionate supporter of Gen Y talent, YouTern CEO Mark Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and Under30CEO.com regarding internships, emerging talent and the current job market – and was recently honored to be named to GenJuice’s “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors” list.

The New Professional Etiquette: Video Job Interviews

3 09 2013


Guest post by Chris Williams

Many job interviews these days are being held via video chat on platforms like Skype. Being interviewed on the computer often throws people for a loop. Certain things need to be considered for video interviews that do not factor in to face-to-face interviews. In order to have a successful online job interview, follow these tips:

Don’t Fall Prey to Technical Failure

In order to avoid buffering when using a home Internet connection, use an Ethernet cable (also make sure everything is plugged in correctly). Anything you can do to eliminate buffering is a plus – so try relying on a DSL or hardline connection instead of Wi-Fi. If necessary, you may also want to use a headset with a microphone to conduct the interview. This will keep feedback from your computer’s speakers from disrupting the flow of the interview.

Prepare the Scene

You want your background to reflect positively on yourself. Make sure that nothing around you is distracting or unprofessional. Adjust the lighting so that it is flattering. Natural light is the best light for softening features.  You want to angle the camera so that it shows the top half of your body. It should come down at least to mid-chest. You do not want to show your whole body, but you also don’t want to just show your head. Make sure that the interview setting is a quiet setting. If you’re at home with kids or pets, head to a different part of the house where you have more privacy. If you still feel that won’t provide the privacy you need for your interview, ask a neighbor to watch the kids while you’re being interviewed or head to a friend’s house where you won’t be subjected to all the distractions of your own home.

Dress for Success

Just like an in-person interview, you want to dress to impress the interviewer. You want to wear professional clothing and stick to traditional business attire – suit, jacket, appropriate shirt or blouse. Women should keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum. Men should be clean shaven or have their facial hair neatly trimmed.

Practice Interview

It is a good idea to have a friend conduct a few practice interviews with you online. Tell your friend to be brutally honest. Use this process to make sure that your lighting and sound are okay, and to check that everything looks good from your friend’s end.

Arrive Early

Just like a traditional interview, you want to arrive early to let the interviewer see that you are professional and serious about the job. You should sign on to Skype ten minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin.

Eye Contact

Just like a traditional interview, eye contact is very important during an online interview. The best way to demonstrate eye contact online is to always look directly into the camera during the interview. No matter how difficult it may be, try to avoid looking at your image on the computer screen. You will appear engaged and confident if you stay focused on the camera throughout the interview.

Be Energetic

An online interview is susceptible to lag time, which can sometimes weaken a person’s natural charm and charisma. Try to be energetic on camera to make up for any possible computer influences. Just like you would in an in-person interview, be sure to smile consistently, speak clearly and have good posture. If you project an enthusiastic image while you are being interviewed online, it will go a long way toward making a great impression on the interviewer.

Chris Williams is a freelance marketing strategist and writer who loves covering issues related to non-traditional students and career transition.