Tag Archives: self help

Four Ways Millennials Can Be Happier Right This Minute

23 Jun

happy-happiness-millennials

So tell me, are you happy?

Like, honestly… happy?

Do you even know what happiness is, really?

Or are you like most of us… stressed out all the time?

Do you spend hours in your room crying because life isn’t working out the way you thought it would?

Because if the answer is yes, I’m going to tell you right now…you gotta stop doing that.

Our twenties are a mess.

A legit freaking mess.

We’re constantly stressed out and confused and don’t really know what to do with our lives.

Then, the real-world welcomes us with an even bigger slap in the face.

We’re suddenly wearing five different hats…

We’re suddenly juggling 700,000 responsibilities at once…

Of course, it’s stressful.

And it sucks.

Big time.

Mostly because we’ve been taught our whole lives that things are supposed to get better as time goes by.

Not worse.

The older we get… the happier we become. So we’ve been told.

Because, you know… when we get older, we graduate college and we get awesome jobs and we get married and we have the cutest kids and everything is wonderful.

That’s the story we’ve told since before we can remember.

But the truth is this…

We don’t just somehow get happier.

We don’t just wake up one day and feel happier.

It doesn’t happen like that.

Happiness isn’t a given.

It takes work.

It takes time.

And most importantly, it takes some serious self-reflection.

So in the meantime, while you’re figuring out what makes you happy and what doesn’t, here are a few things we can all do to make our lives a little bit better…

To make things a little more bearable…

Because we really can be happier.

Right. This. Very. Minute.

And I refuse to accept anything other than that.

1. Stop living in the future  

Today isn’t tomorrow. Today isn’t five years from now. Today is today, so enjoy it. Sure, we should all have dreams, but we need to make an effort to stop living our lives completely in the future. We spend so much time thinking about and planning for the future that we often miss out on so much of the present. Focus on what’s in front of you. It’ll be gone before you know it.

2. Stop buying so much stuff

Money lets you buy things. And sure, things are great. But you know what’s even better? People. Relationships. Experiences. Stop spending so much money on things that’ll end up in the trash next year. You know you don’t need half the things you have in your closet. Instead, save money. Give yourself that peace of mind. Instead, use that money to visit your family. Use that money to travel. But infinite amounts of clothes and shoes and electronics? Such a waste.

3. Stop seeking everyone’s approval

You can’t get everyone to like you. There. End of story. Now stop trying to please everyone. Do things for yourself. I promise you, it’s probably the best thing you can do right now if you ever want to live a happy life.

4. Stop second guessing yourself all the time

Ugh. Should I? Shouldn’t I? But… what if…all these questions ultimately lead to inaction. Listen to your gut. Learn to trust your intuition. If you want to do something, do it. Because if you second guess every move you want to make, you’ll never go anywhere, and how absolutely lame would that be?

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Guest Post: No, I’m Not a Student- On Being Taken Seriously at Work as a Young Professional

19 Aug

age-doesn-t-matter-unless-you-are-cheese-or-wine-anonymous-women-s-babydoll-shirt-in-white_design

Today’s Guest Post was written by Kelly Konevich. As a young career counselor, she’s encountered some older workers who…well…think she looks like a baby. And as a result, they often question whether or not she’s capable of doing her job. So in today’s post, Kelly offers a bit of advice on getting others to take you seriously…despite your Gen Y status.

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I’ve never been much of a suit kind of gal, and as somebody who works in higher education, unless I become a dean (someday…), it is not expected that I’ll ever really have to be, aside from the occasional employer meeting or as a conference attendee.  Although I do believe in the mantra “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” I tend to prefer bright colors, blouses and ballet flats to suit jackets, button ups and heels. But I’m sure to always present myself in a professional and appropriate manner.

As Gen Y’s, we are often accused of being too casual both in attitude and in dress, and although I’m not rolling into work in my wet bathing suit, I noticed that some faculty, students (more so alumni) and staff were always surprised when they met me for the first time, “nice to meet you, gosh, you look like you could be a student!”  Thank you for the compliment (?), but I’m not.  After checking with my supervisor and confirming that I was, indeed, dressed professionally and appropriately for my office, I began to wonder if other younger professionals were getting similar responses.

The answer was an overwhelming, “yes!”  One friend of mine who works in finance said that her credibility is often questioned by older clients, and another colleague in education confessed that some parents question her experience.  As Gen Y’s we’re new(ish) to the workplace, but if we were hired, that means we’re fit for the position.  I’ve come up with these 3 tactics to crush the credibility doubters:

1. This goes without saying but, dress like a pro.  Take a look around your office and those who are in positions you’d eventually like to be in and see what they’re wearing. Copy them (assuming it’s appropriate).  Although I would stick out like a sore thumb in my office if I wore a suit, I always make sure I look put together and professional, and when I’m teaching or meeting with an older colleague, I kick it up a notch and throw on a blazer and some nice shoes (guys: just have a tie in your office).

2. Know when to speak up/know when to shut up.  If you’re extroverted (like me), you may find yourself chomping at the bit to give your opinion at staff meetings. I know with myself, it is uncomfortable and even a struggle to not speak up.  Make sure what you have to say is thoughtful and warranted.  Ask yourself, “Can I rationally back up my opinion?  How will this better my department?”  If you can articulate both those question, then speak up.  Similarly, if speaking up makes you uncomfortable, in the words of Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In!  You were hired because your manager believes you have something to contribute.  It is natural for you to be uncomfortable, but recognize the only way people are going to hear your ideas, is if you put them on the table.

3. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and then seek it out.  I work with a wide variety of clients ranging from undergraduates and Ph.D. candidates to alums.  I am a self-proclaimed generalist, not an expert in any industry.  When working with a client or asked a question in a class I can’t answer, I answer honestly, “that’s a great question, I am not sure, but I will find out for you and get you that information.”  Nobody likes a know-it-all and I certainly don’t know what kinds of job searching databases, if any, are out there for biophysicists, but I can certainly ask around, find out and get back to you.  People appreciate honesty, it gives you credibility.

Kelly Konevich is a twenty-something Bostonian attempting to balance work and play in a traditional college town.  Career Advisor at Northeastern University, social media enthusiast and glitter aficionado. Follow her on Twitter @kellydscott4.

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