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My Crazy, Chaotic, Twentysomething Life

16 Jul
My life right now.

My life right now.

I’ve been anxious all day.

And if I’m honest with myself, I’ve really been anxious for a couple of weeks now. 

And it’s not because I’m crazy…

It’s because every day, in the back of my mind, I keep telling myself, “hey lady! you have to write! you’ve abandoned your blog for a while.” 

And ughhh…I hate it when it gets to that point. 

But I promise you, it’s for good reason. There’s a lot going on in my life right now. 

I started a new job a month ago and I’m really loving it, which means that if I want to learn as much as I can so I can be awesome, it requires a lot of my time. 

So don’t think that I’m just dropping off the face of the earth just yet! 

I’m just having a crazy chaotic moment- and we all have those. 

But I have had the opportunity to write for Elite Daily recently, so if you’re interested, head on over to read my articles! 

What It Was Like to Break the Rules of My Catholic Family and Move in With My Boyfriend

This was a pretty personal post, but it was a story that I really wanted to share. Us twentysomethings feel a tremendous amount of pressure all the time from family, friends, the media, and sometimes, you just have to do what feels right for you. I chose an unconventional path, but there’s not one second I regret it. 

Why You Can’t (and Shouldn’t) Try to Escape From Your 20-Something Life

Another post on the overwhelming nature of our twenties, and how we really ought to embrace the hard times rather than just quitting. 

Enjoy! 

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4 Ways to Increase Productivity at Your Apartment

1 May

productivity-at-your-apartment

Now that I’ve graduated school foreverrrrr, I’m gunna have to learn to be productive at my apartment. It won’t be easy… with my super comfy couch and NetFlix so easily accessible…it’s so much easier to just lay back and be lazy.

But I won’t do that. At least, not ALL the time. I’ve still got tons to do and plenty of goals to reach, so if I can find a way to increase my productivity at my place, that would be kind of awesome.

In today’s guest post, Allie shares with us 4 ways to be a little more productive at home, and her tips are super helpful. Enjoy!

************************************************************

How many times has this happened to you – “I can’t focus on work from home” or maybe there are so many distractions, you need to go to Starbucks to get stuff done. While this might not be a big deal at first, in the long run, it could be harmful. What if the coffee shop is closed for the night, but this project is due first thing in the morning? Or have you thought about how much you could save financially?

Starbucks was my work place of choice whenever I wasn’t in the Trimark Properties office. I always bought a specialty Starbucks coffee and some type of pastry to snack on. Yes it’s delicious, but it starts adding up real quick. As a gal on a budget and watching her figure, I decided to find a way to utilize my apartment. I took the time to get my temp “office” or aka corner of the room set up, put up a few calming pictures, and voila! On average, it helped me save about $60 a month (that’s about $720 for the year!). Crazy right? Now that I have your attention, check out a few of these tips that helped make this happen:

1. Have a Designated ‘Office’ Space

It can be a small corner of the apartment or a whole room. The main thing is that you know it’s your working space. When choosing the office area, try to look for a quiet space, preferably not in a heavily used area where lots of people hang out and socialize. Once you have the space, set up an organizational system. Create a to-do list that prioritizes your workload, and get a filing system going so there are no loose papers floating around. Messy areas tend to overwhelm us and decrease productivity levels dramatically. Save yourself the stress and begin with a fresh start by having everything in order. Desks aren’t necessarily needed, but a place for everything in the room will lessen cleaning maintenance.

 2. Set Some Rules

Get a timer out and allocate the amount of work time before you take a break. Then, during the break, really treat yourself with a cookie or watching a short TV show just to let your mind unwind. Remaining calm and not overly stressed will help you focus. Also, it never hurts to let your roommates know that you’ll be working. If your roommates are nice, they’ll try to be quiet and won’t bother you until you come out of your work cave. Rules might sound like a strict standard to set, but they’re a great way to set guidelines to getting things done!

3. Apartment Décor

How is the lighting? What about the color scheme of your office space décor? The way you decorate, heavily impacts your productivity levels. Boost productivity by opting for lighter colors such as light blues, coral, and yellows to give the apartment a happy & fresh look. A little tip, avoid dramatic colors or patterns that could distract. The point is to find a color that will subtly motivate and not take up your attention. Then, let’s get some light in the office. Lighting sets the mood, and nothing says “get to work” like a lot of light waking you up! Mirrors are great ways of lighting up the room too.

 4. Inspiration -*Cue Rocky theme*

Get motivated and inspired to complete your projects. Before working, read some inspirational quotes and/or listen to music that will get you pumped. One of my favorites lately is Pharrell’s song, “Happy”… it always leaves a huge smile on my face. It’s important to be excited about being productive and knocking a few things off your to do list.

How about you? What do you do to keep you productive at home?

 About the Author: Allie Castillo is a marketing guru for apartments in Gainesville FL. She is a young 20-something professional and recent grad from the University of Florida. During her free time, Allie enjoys playing with her pet Yorkie, traveling, and baking.

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Your Cubicle Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly

3 Mar

So today I’m not writing anything fancy.

Nope.

Nothing soul-crushingly deep.

I just wanna talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now.

So here it goes…

Your cubicle doesn’t have to be ugly.

Not a teeny tiny bit.

It doesn’t have to be dark and gray and dreary.

And you know what else? It doesn’t have to look like a prison.

Instead, it can be fun.

It can be vibrant and uplifting.

It can be a reflection of your super-awesome personality if you want it to.

There’s been a lot of research lately about office design and productivity.

More and more I’m coming across articles that discuss office design and how it affects our mood.

So I guess I kind of think it’s important.

Probably because we spend more time in our office space than we do at home (sadly).

And I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time making sure that my home is comfy.

I spend a lot of time making sure that my home makes me feel good.

We buy things and re-position objects that we probably don’t even need and we do these things because it’s part of making our environment a positive one.

Our cubicle…our office space…it’s our second home.

So if it’s killing your mood and makes you feel awful, it’s probably time you do something about that.

I recently started making a few changes to my little lonely cubicle. Now it’s kind of cool.

pretty-cubicle-pretty-office-space

First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a quote fanatic, so I’ve got some awesome motivational posters that keep me somewhat sane when I’m having a really crappy day.

Blog Design 2

Then I’ve got these super cute items from UrbanGirl.Com. I don’t know what to tell you… My Jonathan Adler Block Calendar and LoLo Stanley Case… sure, they’re not essential, but they bring so much color to my desk and they just make me feel happy.

*Sidenote: The elephant, even though it’s pink, was bought because I’m a huge Alabama Football fan, so everytime I look at it I get excited for the season to start again.

Blog Design 3

Then I’ve got my shrine to all the important people in my life. Sorry mom and dad, I need to get a picture of you guys too! (Don’t hate me.) But anyway, it just makes me happy to know that outside of work, I’ve got so many positive relationships in my life, and THAT- on its own- gives me even more of a reason to want to work hard. Even though I’m working and I may not enjoy every second of every day, I’m working so that I can have the resources to make more memories with these people. (Because you know, you can’t go out and do awesome super-fun things if you’re totally poor.)

Blog Design 4

And then, finally, I’ve got my vacation corner. This picture of me and my man-friend was taken in Gettysburg, PA. We went up there a while back and it was such an incredible experience. Right under it sits my Panama City Beach snow globe. Again, we’ve vacationed there together and we’ve loved every minute of it. So my vacation corner reminds me that the world’s a lot bigger than my cubicle, and it reminds me to try to experience as much of it as possible.

Now it’s your turn! What do you love about your office space, and if the answer is NOTHING, then what are you gunna do to fix that?

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Why NOT Taking Time Off Is Stupid

11 Nov
watermarked-never-get-so-busy-making-a-living-that-you-forget-to-make-a-life

motivateddecor.wordpress.com

Some people never take vacation.

Worse yet, some people complain when OTHER people take vacation.

time off

The belief, these days, in the lovely corporate world -which P.S. I have no patience for- is that if your butt isn’t glued to your desk Monday-Friday 8 hours a day, you’re not a hard worker.

It’s a concept so sad that just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Then, it makes me want to punch someone.

In the face.

Repeatedly.

We’ve somehow gotten to the point where people are scared of taking vacation. People are scared of taking time off.

Why?

Because they’re afraid that if they do, they’ll be considered a slacker.

There’s Amy…she’s going on a cruise next week…OBVIOUSLY she’s not very committed to her job.

*Shake my head*

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that it’s very possible to be a hard-working super-awesome employee

AND

Someone who enjoys using their allotted vacation time.

It’s a beautiful concept, work-life balance.

Some people really ought to try it.

You know, I’m pretty sure we can go to work and be efficient and get things done and STILL have time for a life.

STILL have time for ourselves.

And STILL have time for our families.

I don’t think we should have to choose between work and a life, and I certainly don’t think we should have to feel guilty about it.

So now that the holidays are quickly approaching, talk to your boss about taking a few days off.

Even if it’s just one day.

Eat.

Travel.

See new things.

Enjoy a quiet day by yourself to unwind.

Make time for your family.

Make time for your friends.

Laugh at something ridiculous.

Yes, it’s important to do good work.

But it’s important to do good life too.

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How to Cut Back on Distractions So You Can Be Insanely Productive

30 Oct

noiseeeee

I’ve been overdosing on coffee lately and I feel like a zombie. I look at my to-do list and I want to cry.

School… work… 354 e-mails to read… it’s disgusting.

But instead of being productive, I find myself getting distracted and overwhelmed and then I have these anxiety-induced nervous breakdowns which really don’t help me get any of my work done.

And then, post-breakdown, I just feel bad because my wonderful boyfriend has to deal with me when I’m a crazy lunatic. Which is 95% of the time these days.

So basically, today’s guest post by Kevin Gannon is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you so much Kevin! You rock! Check out today’s post to read about cutting back on distractions, so you can be a fully-functioning member of society… NOT a crazy lunatic like me. ********************************************************************************

The fantastic team over at Copyblogger recently wrote about seven bad habits of insanely productive people and it instantly made me think about how productive I had to be in college. As an English major, I was balancing lengthy papers with day-to-day homework, reading assignments, and the like, all while trying my hand at writing for the college newspaper and blogs.

Needless to say, I got a lot done, but I also found myself getting wrapped up in distractions—bad habit #5 at Copyblogger—that made some of my assignments and articles take longer to wrap up than they should have. I mean, how often do you find yourself, say, firing up Twitter or Facebook on your new smartphone or tablet only to realize you’ve been browsing for like 20 minutes? I though so.

When my distractions got to be too much, I realized I need to make a change. And after doing some research, I found that my phone could actually help. Some of this is going to seem easy, others might seem impossible, but I know firsthand that these tips will help you cut back on being distracted and, as a result, make you more prepared for the workforce.

Find the Right Organizational App 

I always found myself wasting time as I transitioned from one task to the next. But then I found Wunderlist, and I realized how easy it was to keep up with my schedule.

The app looks nice and clean, is super-simple to use, and allows you to setup alerts so that you’re reminded in case you miss something. That might seem anxiety-inducing, especially for the to-do list haters out there, but once you get used to it, you’ll never go back to your old ways. You’re going to need to be more organized once you take on a full-time job, so this is key.

Get Confident and Know Your Priorities 

As I wrote earlier, I had my hand in a lot of pots during my college years. And even though I’m satisfied with how everything turned out, I will admit that there were times when I could have better prioritized. With everyone exclaiming their accomplishments across social networks, this can lead to the form of social anxiety known as “fear of missing out.”

In other words, you’ll feel like you need to do everything everyone else is doing. No, you don’t. You need to gain the self-confidence to be proud of what you’re doing and not worry about what your bajillion Twitter followers are up to this afternoon. With that confidence comes fewer distractions, too, because you’ll be more focused on your own accomplishments. This goes in hand with…

Schedule Some “Me” Time 

When you’re in school, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything, be it your social life, school work, internship, part-time job, or all of those. But what about the time you need to yourself? Don’t be afraid to schedule some well needed “me time,” and that goes for after you graduate too.

This time should be spent completely off the grid, aka get off the web and any kind of electronic device, so you can give your brain a rest. If you’re the creative type, this is especially helpful for sparking some new ideas. In other words, take a breather.

Hopefully this helps you make the transition from college to the “real world” smoother for you. Good luck!

This is a guest post by Kevin Gannon. He is a recent college graduate with an English degree, a caffeine addiction, and a passion for online journalism.

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How To Make Better Decisions

16 Sep

When I was younger, I almost killed my sister.

And that would have been a shame, because I really LIKE my sister.

Here’s how the story goes…

I was 7….she was 5… I was bored…and I had a GENIUS idea!

“Brittney!!! Come here!! I’m going to put you in the laundry basket and push you down the stairs! It’s going to be so much fun!”

At that time, she did whatever I told her to do, so she happily sat in the laundry basket and I then pushed her to her probable death.

About 2.3 seconds later, I had one of those “OH-CRAP” moments.

And as she nearly flipped upside down, she looked like this.

britt

(Yes, that’s my sister, and yes she’s going to kill me for posting that.)

Luckily, I was somehow able to stop her from flipping over.

Then I panicked and I did what kids do when they know they’ve done something awful…

I turned to my sister and pleaded, “DON’T TELL MOM.”

So in light of my failure to make a good decision that day, I’ve put together a few suggestions for making better decisions… and I hope they’ll be helpful.

1. Take Time to Think Things Through

Alright guys. Face it. A lot of us tend to make rash decisions. Not always, but sometimes. We have these lightbulb moments! and we think our ideas are fabulous! and we act, usually, without thinking too much about them.

Had I taken some time to think about pushing my sister down the stairs, I probably would have come to the conclusion that playing with our Barbies was a much better afternoon activity.

2. Seek Advice from People Who Matter

Now this is a big one. Had I gone and asked my mom what she thought about my wonderful idea, she would have ever-so-nicely told me that I was a crazy lunatic.

When we’re making decisions in life, no matter how old we are, it’s not a bad idea to seek advice from people who matter. From people with good opinions and insight. It’s a great way to get some additional perspective just to make sure we’re not missing anything.

3. Think About ALL Possible Consequences

Now I’m not completely positive, but I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t thinking about the consequences of my super-wonderful-great-fun idea.

The only thing on my mind was:

YAYY! This is going to be AWESOME.

So before we make decisions, it’s probably a good idea to consider ALL possible consequences.

What can possibly happen?

Who can this possibly affect?

What is this going to cost me?

Taking some time to answer these questions will make sure you clearly think about the possible negative consequences. Then, you’ll be in a better position to make a sane decision.

4. Ask Yourself WHY You Want to Do Something

Why you want to do something is a very important part of making a decision. So go ahead and ask yourself why you wanna do it.

If your answer is, “Oh, I don’t know. Because I’m bored.”

That’s a bad answer.

So don’t do whatever it was that you were thinking about doing.

You don’t make big decisions just because you’re bored.

Instead, go make yourself a sandwich or something.

5. Follow Some Kind of Basic Decision-Making Model

Although you might find it a bit dorky, it’s extremely helpful to follow a basic decision-making model.

Here’s one that I just learned in my leadership and decision-making class taught by the best professor I’ve ever had:

a. Define the problem.

b. Generate alternatives.

c. Decide.

d. Implement.

e. Evaluate.

Following some kind of logical reasoning when making decisions is a whole lot better than just doing things because you think they’ll be fun. Or because it’s the first thing you can think of. Or because you’re bored. Or just because it’s what everyone else is doing.

So from now on, whenever I have a big decision to make, I’ll think about the time I almost killed my sister and I’ll use some of these tools to make better decisions.

Because again, I do like my sister.

I’d be really bored without her.

Picture1

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Procrastination In Our Twenties & Why We Need To End It

27 Jun
ayearfromnow
 
I save EVERYTHING for the last possible minute.
 
And so the award for world’s biggest procrastinator goes to…ME!
 
It’s a terrible habbit, I know.
 
But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all kind of procrastinators. It almost seems as if society’s making the very act of procrastination quite acceptable.
 
Especially for us twenty-somethings.
 
We’re told a lie repeatedly…here it goes…
 
There’s plenty of time!  Don’t be in a rush!
 
We’re in our twenties…we have our whole lives ahead of us…no need to be in a hurry.
 
But here’s the thing…
 
When we think that we have plenty of time, we tend to do nothing.
 
Think about it…when we know that we have a week before that paper is due, we sit at home watching 100 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Imagine what happens when whe think that we have our WHOLE LIVES to do something, with no deadline in sight. At what point do we actually get up and write that paper? At what point do we actually start?
 
Think about all the ideas you’ve ever had.
 
How many of them have you actually made happen?
 
When I graduated college, I had so many dreams. I had so many ideas.
 
 I had so much that I wanted to accomplish.
 
And even today, there are still so many things that I say I want to do.
 
Write a book.
 
Take a month-long vacation to Europe.
 
Change careers.
 
But for how long have I been saying that I want to do these things?
 
For a LONG TIME.
 
And yet, nothing’s happened.
 
Because I keep convincing myself that I have my whole life to do these things.  
 
***
  
So at what point do we stop with all the talk and actually make things happen?
 
I really hope it’s soon.
 
Meg Jay, author of The Defining Decade, argues the same principle in her book, which I highly recommend to anyone in their twenties. Basically, she argues that people in their twenties have been convinced by society that it’s okay to delay adulthood. 30 is the new 20! 40 is the new 30! So does that mean that we get an extra 10 years to do nothing? Because I’m not a fan of that.
 
We’ve been programed to think that we don’t have to make decisions. Not now, at least. We don’t have to start thinking about marriage. We don’t have to start thinking about a serious career. We don’t have to start thinking about buying a house. And why? Because we have our whole lives to think about those things!
 
Well, how about we actually start living our lives? How about we actually start making decisions?
 
How about we actually start making things happen?
 
Because yes, it’s a lot easier to procrastinate.
 
It’s a lot easier to relax, and watch How I Met Your Mother.
 
But if you don’t start making moves now, you’re going to regret it later.
 
You’ll wake up 10 years from now and you’ll realize that all those things you wanted to do…you haven’t done them.
 
And that trip you wanted to take… you haven’t taken it.
 
And you’ll be sad.
 
Because you’ll feel like you’ve wasted a whole lot of time.
 
Then, you’ll get discouraged.
 
Then slowly, and sometimes even without realizing it, you’ll give up on your dreams.
 
Then slowly, you’ll accept that you never accomplished those things that you once wanted so badly.
 
So let’s not let that happen.
 
Stop procrastinating, and get to it.
  
Those things that you want, you can have them.
 
What’s stopping you?
 
makethingshappen

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Take a Break! You Need it!

24 May

timthumb

I’ve been struggling with a really annoying problem lately and I don’t know what to do.

I’m tired… ALL THE TIME.

And I hate it!

Someone please explain this to me…

I’m a CrossFit junkie three times a week.

I eat pretty healthily (I hope that’s a word).

And I’m 22 years old!

22!!!!!

So where’s all my energy gone?

I see people twice my age going out and having a great time and me…all I want to do is take a nap.

That can’t be normal.

In the three years that I’ve been working full-time, it’s almost like all the life has been sucked out of me.

I kind of want to cry.

But it’s not an unusual feeling, really. Research the negative affects of work and you’ll find the following:

Overload.

Burn-out.

Stress.

And then we wonder why so many people are dropping dead from heart attacks.

We work and we work and we work. And when we’re done with that, we work some more.

Because if we do stop, if we do take a break, we’re not committed.

We’re considered lazy.

We’re not the one the boss wants on her team.

I really wish that this attitude would change, though.

I wish that people would be judged by the quality of what they contribute.

Not by how many hours they work.

Because overload….burnout…stress…

I’m way too young to have to deal with that the rest of my life.

And if proving that I’m committed to my work means that I can’t take a break every once in a while for my own health…

I’ll proudly accept my title as Worst Employee of the Year.  

Now do yourself a favor and check out this AWESOME infographic about breaks and why they’re SUPER IMPORTANT!

And when you’re done with that…go enjoy your weekend! 😀

Why Good Isn’t Good Enough

25 Jan

Good-is-the-Enemy-of-Great

I think a lot of people find me annoying.

Okay… I KNOW a lot of people find me annoying.

You see, I’m one of those nerds who’s always reading some kind of self-help/improvement/learn how to do something better-ish kind of book.

I mean, really, if you’re ever at Barnes & Noble, check out the self-help section…that’s where you’ll find me. ALWAYS.

There…I said it.

Most people are embarassed to admit that. They think that self-help books are just for losers.

But you know what? Last time I checked, wanting to do something better doesn’t make you a loser. Instead, it makes you the kind of person that refuses to settle…you should be proud of that.

How many of you have good jobs?

How many of you are in good relationships?

How many of you are good writers?

How many of you are good friends?

If you are, you need to be careful. Yea, careful. Because the minute that you accept that you’re “GOOD” at anything, more often than not, you STAY good at it.

Now, I hear you…

“What the heck is she talking about?”

“Why is it bad to be good at something?”

Why???? Here’s why…

Because it means that you settle for “GOOD” instead of working your ass off to get to “GREAT.”

If you don’t understand this, you need to read Jim Collins’ book…Good to Great.

Actually, even if you DO understand this, you should still read it. It’s kind of awesome.

Although the book primarily focuses on companies and organizations and their need to strive for excellence in everything that they do, the concept is very much applicable to our everyday lives.

You know, when you’re BAD at something, chances are that you put a lot of effort towards getting better. But here’s the problem…when you get to being GOOD at it, you usually stop trying.

YES!!!! I”M GOOD!!! SUCCESS!!

But why are we stopping at GOOD? Why is GOOD suddenly the best that there is?

In terms of your career, for example, is it good? If it IS good, what are you actively doing to take it to the next level?

Did you forget that there’s a next level?

In terms of your relationship…is everything good?

It is?! That’s wonderful!

But again, what are you actively doing to make it better?

What are you doing to make it GREAT?

If we settle for good, we’re missing out on a whole lot of potential. And if we’re actually aiming for good, well…quite frankly, we’re not aiming high enough.

I’m a big believer in continuous learning…in continuous improvement.

And you know why?

Because the moment you settle for good, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage…especially if you’re running a company in a competitive market.

The moment you settle for good, that’s where you stay.

And meanwhile, overachieving nerds, like myself, are doing everything in their power to get to the next level.

And then, those people surpass you.

And then, you get left behind.

Yea, you’re GOOD…

Congratulations!

But not good enough.

5 Awesome Ways to Prep For Your Career While in College

12 Sep

Okay, so we’re in college. And all we really want to do is lounge around, skip class, hang out with our friends, and stalk fraternity boys.

But NO.

We’re told we can’t do that.

Instead, we’re told that we need to be “preparing for our futures”.

And how are we supposed to do that?

Oh, well, by interning and updating our resumes and attending corporate lectures about how to interview properly, etc., etc., more boring stuff, etc.

Okay, fine. I guess to a certain degree those are all decent ways to prepare for your career.

HOWEVER…

I think there have to be better ways to do that.

Here are some:

1. Travel

I don’t care if it takes you five hundred years to graduate school. If you do ANYTHING on this list, please, for the love of God and all things holy…

GO TRAVEL.

“Oh, but I don’t have the money to travel.”

Dude, if I catch you buying new rims for your car instead of going on a trip somewhere, prepare to be slapped.

No, but really, traveling is an amazing way to prepare for your career. Why? Because first of all, traveling helps you to discover so much about yourself. By experiencing time on your own in a new place, you’re taught how to handle yourself in new surroundings and ***newsflash*** in the workforce, the most successful people are the ones who know how to do just that.

They know how to adapt and survive.

Not to mention the fact that traveling gives you something to talk about with pretty much anyone. When you enter the workforce, until you get used to it, going to networking events and talking to your peers is going to be kind of…awkward.

You might feel like a loser with zero social skills.

You might in fact BE a loser with zero social skills.

BUT if you’ve traveled, you’ll have something to talk about and you won’t have to deal with those brutally awkward moments of silence.

You know how people with pets LOVE to talk about their animals?

Well, people who’ve traveled LOVE to talk about their experiences.

So do yourself a favor and if you ever have the opportunity to travel or to study abroad, do it. Please.

2. Join a Random Club

Yes, a random one. I don’t care what it is. Create one if you have to.

Point is, while in college, venture out of your comfort zone. Pick up a new hobby that you enjoy doing. Learn a new skill that you’d never thought of learning before. Teach yourself how to acquire new skills quickly because in the workforce, the people who advance in their careers know how to do this. A lot.

3. Reconnect With Old Friends

Remember that guy you sat next to in seventh grade who you thought was a total nerd?

Yea, call him up. Facebook message him. Ask him how he’s doing.

Then, do the same for all your old contacts.

I’m pretty sure that it’s safe to say that by the time we enter college, we’ve lost touch with most of our elementary and middle school friends. We may have even lost touch with our friends from our freshman year in high school.

One of the best ways that you can prepare for your career while in college is to work on building your network. The more people you know, the better. Yes, I’m sorry, most of the time, it’s about who you know. So know a lot of people.

Cultivate meaningful relationships because you never know who or what you’re going to need in the future.

Oh, and that nerd you sat next to? He might be kind of hot now.

4. Date 

Date a lot.

“Oh, but I don’t have time to date because I need to be studying so that I can get a 4.0 GPA so I can get the best job when I graduate.”

Sorry, I don’t buy it.

Dating in college is just as important as studying for a test.

Before you think I’m completely crazy, hear me out.

When you date people, first of all, you get to know yourself. You get to know what you like, what you don’t like, what interests you, and what doesn’t.

But most importantly, dating teaches you that sometimes things don’t work out.

I mean, sometimes you date someone for a while and then you realize that they aren’t the right fit. So you break up.

And it’s hard and it’s devastating and you cry.

Then you get back together for a day. Then you break up again and you cry some more.

But you know what? This is kind of a good thing.

Because the more comfortable you become with recognizing what works for you and what doesn’t, the easier it’ll  be for you to find your dream job.

Why?

Because jobs are like boyfriends and girlfriends.

And you should never settle.

5. Become Friends with a Weirdo 

Yes, we all know someone or some people who we consider to be weirdos.

GO BE FRIENDS WITH THEM!!

It’s imperative that we learn early on in life how to interact with people who aren’t like us.

For instance, I grew up attending private Catholic school and I’ll never forget that day, during my first year at work, when I was setting up the Christmas tree in the office.

One of my co-workers mentioned that she didn’t celebrate Christmas.

Whaaaaat?

Who doesn’t celebrate Christmas?

What kind of grinch is she?

Oh, she’s Jewish.

Epic fail.

A lot of times we forget that people are different from us. People think differently, they have different views, and they have different interests.

And that’s okay!

But the thing is that we’re not used to that. We’re used to surrounding ourselves with people just like us.

To prepare for your career, learn how to socialize with people that you wouldn’t usually associate with. It’s a great skill to have.

Because I promise you, in your career, you won’t get to pick the people you work with and the better you are at interacting with diverse personalities, the more successful you will be.

So just do yourself a favor and spend some time in college NOT stressing about studying and going to career fairs. Instead, learn a little bit more about yourself, other people, and the world around you. Those lessons are far more valuable.

A much better return on investment.

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