Tag Archives: young professionals

Yea, This #AskHerMore Campaign is Pretty Freaking Awesome

23 Feb

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Last night I learned about the #Askhermore campaign, and as a young professional woman, I have to say that I couldn’t be happier about it. It freaking rocks.

So for those of you who are sitting there like, “what the heck is this #askhermore thing”… open up a new tab on your computer, google #askhermore, and then come back and finish reading this.

Okay, so why is this important? I think it’s pretty obvious. The #askhermore campaign is a movement that’s meant to raise awareness and to cause reporters to ask not-so-fashion-related questions on the RedCarpet. Instead of just commenting on the jewlery that’s being worn and the designer gowns, this social media campaign is asking that we place more emphasis on the amazing work that these actresses are doing.

Now sure, I’m the first one to say that I love fashion. I like pretty things. But do I think that the talent these women possess should have to be overshadowed by society’s interest in their ability to pick out a pretty outfit?

Not so much.

Us women are so much more than our outfit-coordinating skills. We’re smart. We’re powerful. We have tons to offer. And it’s a shame really that when we enter the workforce, we’re often looked at…up and down, the general perception being that a negative correlation exists between our intelligence and the height of our heels.

If we dress well, we can’t possibly be smart. If we’re fashionable, we’re obviously just trying to impress the men.

That’s really typically the general perception, and I’m telling you…it’s bullshit.

I’ve dealt with it before. I’m quite confident I’ll deal with it all my life. But I can promise you that I’ll fight it every step of the way.

Like the story I’ve told before about my college professor. Why is it that if I have nice legs I can’t be taken seriously?

So let’s start treating women like the well-rounded individuals that they are. Let’s ask women about the things that inspire them. Let’s ask them about their goals, their passions, their careers. Let’s ask them about the struggles they’ve overcome. Heck- ask them about the things that excite them. But don’t just ask them about their outfits. Let’s be a little more creative.

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3 Ways to Make Peace with a Job You’re Planning on Leaving

3 Jun

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Ready to leave your current job for your next big adventure?? Most of us have been there. But before you get up from your desk, march into your boss’ office, and throw your two weeks notice on her desk, it’s good to stop and reflect a little.

Today, Alison shares with us 3 ways to make peace with a job you’re pretty much done with…but they’re smart and strategic, and will likely set you up for even greater success in the future. Enjoy and let us know what you think!

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For many people there’s an uncomfortable space between realizing a job isn’t a great fit and landing that next big thing.  If this happens to you really have two main options.  You can spend your remaining weeks or months at your current job unhappily biding your time, or you can choose to make peace with this ‘in between’ time and use it to your advantage.

Here are three ideas that will help you cope with being in a job that you’re planning on leaving.

1) Connect to Your Why

The bigger picture reasons for sticking around at a job may slip your mind in the middle of a tedious meeting or a hectic commute, but there are plenty of tangible and intangible benefits to employment.  These include a paycheck, health and retirement benefits, references, continuity on your resume, connections to coworkers, and a place to go each day.  Which of these matters most to you?  

Dig deeper here for the most impact.  For example, what do your earnings help you pay for?  How many relationships are present in your life because of your work?  How much more selective can you be with your next employment choice because you aren’t feeling desperate?  By connecting to your why, you’ll have a touchstone you can lean on during those moments when you’re at the end of your patience.

2) Hone in On Your Fundamentals

People sometimes pick up unhelpful habits in an attempt to compensate for a less than ideal 9 to 5 experience.  Maybe you’re staying up late watching tv or grabbing one too many snacks to make it through your day.  See if you can make some small improvements to your schedule in your current situation to set yourself up for future success.

After all, your daily routines and habits will follow you into any job.  Consider what needs to be in place for you to have a great work week.  This could be as simple as developing the habit of laying out your clothes for the next day at night or making sure to get up and walk around at lunchtime.  Put a little extra effort into improving your fundamental habits now in preparation for your next career opportunity.

3) Keep Making Small Exit Strategy Efforts

Hopefully the first two ideas will help to improve your mindset and your day to day experience, but they aren’t likely to change the fact that you’re ready to move on.  Honor this desire by taking small, persistent actions to help you find your next opportunity.  

Since job searching can involve a lot of ups and downs, waiting, and uncertainty, you’ll want to keep your focus on the steps of the job search process that are within your control.  For example, you can affect the time you put towards networking, even if you don’t have command of when that networking will pay off.  By taking a proactive stance on developing your exit strategy you’ll be able to remind yourself of the fact that your current job won’t last forever.

The in-between period of being at a job you know you’ll be leaving can be a tricky space to maneuver.  Remind yourself of why you’re sticking around, improve your day to day experience, and keep working on your job search efforts.  Overall, hang in there, and be sure to continue to show up at your current job as best you can so that you’ll be able to leave on a good note. 

Alison Elissa Cardy is a professional career coach who specializes in helping men and women around the world figure out their career direction.  For more tips on improving your workweek join Alison’s upcoming Energize Your Workweek Challenge.  This challenge is a free weeklong event featuring 8 experts’ best ideas on how to have a better Monday through Friday. Sign up today!

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4 Ways to Increase Productivity at Your Apartment

1 May

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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!

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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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Why We Ought to Take Blogs A Little More Seriously

7 Apr

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For some reason that I’ll never understand, a lot of people in the wonderful world of academia tend to hate bloggers.

Maybe not hate-hate, but they certainly don’t take blogs seriously.

Because apparently, if you’re not published in some fancy-pants journal, your work isn’t  important.

Makes sense, right?!

Well, no. No it doesn’t.

So in response to all the blogger-haters out there, here are a couple reasons why blogs are awesome and should be given all the credit they deserve.

1. They Allow for Thinking at All Levels

No, you don’t need to have a PhD to have a thought process. Brains, people! Everyone has one! So to believe that only those who somehow publish their thoughts in a journal or a book are entitled to USE their brains, is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The awesome thing about blogs is that so many people with different perspectives get to provide insight on various issues. I mean, even kids (so long as they know how to type) can give their two cents on any given topic. And we ought to listen to what they have to say. Because blogging allows for us to learn from ANYONE, really.

You don’t need to be rich to blog. You don’t have to be the CEO of a company. You don’t have to have 53,000 Twitter followers. And you don’t have to have 5 diplomas hanging on your wall. If you have thoughts, you’re able to put them out there. And I think that this diversity in ideas and in thought patterns is absolutely invaluable.

2. They Create the Opportunity for Oh-So-Important Dialogue

You know that wonderful little box at the end of most blogs that lets you comment on what you’ve read? Well, it’s kind of the bomb. Because comment boxes allow us to engage in dialogue.

Communication… Something that a lot of people these days are forgetting how to participate in.

While I’m not knocking journals and books, I think that blogs do provide additional value in that they allow for readers to reflect on things that they’ve read, and then engage in that dialogue immediately. Sometimes readers disagree with what they’ve read. Sometimes readers love it! Sometimes readers decide to share their own experiences, and like #1, this allows for various shared perspectives.

So yes, I’m definitely a fan of the comment box!

3. They Provide Real-Time Analyses of Situations

This one’s easy. Things are always happening. There are issues and problems and conferences that people are attending and new thoughts that are being introduced every. single. minute. of every day.

And while yes, it’s great if you can talk about these things in a fancy-pants journal, here’s the problem…

Journals and books take SO LONG to publish.

With blogs, you don’t have to wait.

You can experience/witness something and open your laptop, write, and publish. All of this in less than 15 mins. Heck- you can even do it from your phone these days! You don’t even need a computer.

And in this society that we live in…where we want updates and information 24/7…blogs definitely help us stay up-to-date on recent happenings.

4. Easy, Simple, and FREE Disbursement of Knowledge!

Maybe you catch up on all your favorite blogs first thing in the morning. Maybe you do it on your lunch break. Regardless, throughout the day, you’re bound to come across a post that you absolutely love…something you know is worth sharing.

Now with a book or a journal, you can see something you like and you can recommend that your friends check it out, but it requires time and money and energy…which let’s face it… few people have these days.

But blogs are amazing because you can share thoughts and ideas in like 2.5 seconds! You see something you want to share? AWESOME! Grab the link. Copy. Paste. Post on Facebook. Post on Twitter. Send link via text, etc. Some blogs have made it so easy that you just need to click a button.

So yea, I don’t know about you, but I’m all about free knowledge. And if it’s simple and easy to access, even better.

5. Connections All Over the World

When I’m chatting with someone from New Zealand, that’s pretty freaking awesome! I mean, I don’t travel often (since I’m poor), yet it’s such a great experience to be able to connect with people from all over the world. Not only is it super-cool, but connecting with industry professionals who happen to live on different continents is also a great opportunity to expand your network. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll find yourself in New Zealand, unemployed, and the many connections you’ve  made over the years will provide you with opportunities that may otherwise not have been possible.

So, that’s it! Let’s stop hating blogs. Let’s stop hating bloggers. Because we all have something to contribute. And we don’t lose anything by gaining additional perspectives.

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5 Easy Ways to Make This Year Awesome

5 Feb

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It’s February already. Can you believe it?

It’s semi-depressing to me, really. 

Time keeps going by more quickly (aka…I’m getting old).

I kind of need to focus here, though…only 11 more months to make this year the best one yet.

So here’s the list I’m using to make sure this year is awesome.

Because to tell you the truth, I’m not settling for anything less than that.

1. Make Time For Travel

If you’re looking for excuses to not travel, there’s plenty. Can’t take time off work… don’t have any money… the kids are in school. Traveling isn’t just going to happen magically, and again, you can always come up with 5 different reasons why you shouldn’t plan a vacation. 30 years later though, you’ll regret not taking that trip.

Traveling is an important part of life. I really don’t think this whole giant world was made so beautiful for it to not be seen. So go out there, and see something. Anything. Even if that means driving an hour away from home to stay at a little bed and breakfast you haven’t stayed at before.

2. De-clutter & Organize

You know that spare bedroom you have that’s become a storage unit? Go clean it! What’s the point of having so much space if you can’t even use it? You really can’t have friends and family come visit if you can’t move in your own home. So fix that. 

Nothing makes me more anxious than when I look at my apartment and see that everything is thrown everywhere and there’s a huge mess. Sure, it resembles what’s going on in my brain, but it stresses me out to no end. When you take time to de-clutter and organize, you eliminate the things you don’t need in your life anymore. Maybe there’s clothes you don’t need. Maybe you’ve got 500 boxes you can throw away. You may even have some people in your life you can do without. So out with the old, in with the new. Make space in your life for things that  make you happy.

3. Stop & Reflect… A lot

We get so caught up in our everyday routine that we don’t take time to reflect on what’s really happening. We just go and go and go and go and then we get burnt out. And then we rest a bit. And then, we repeat the cycle. Reflection is the key to growth, so if we want to make our lives the best that they can be, every once in a while, we need to stop. EVERYTHING. Just stop. And then think.

What’s working? What’s not? Am I happy? Am I sad? Why am I sad? Is there something I’ve been needing to do? Why am I not doing it? What could I be doing right now to make things better?

When you actually stop and ask yourself these questions, you get to know yourself a whole lot better. Otherwise, you just continue your routine- which you very well might hate and not even realize.  

4. Make an Effort to be Social

This is big on my list this year because basically, I’ve become a hermit. I’ve got so much going on in my life that I don’t even have a minute to breathe. And when I do have a minute, all I want to do is sleep. All the time. Forever. Because I’m exhausted. So yes, I’ve become a bad friend and I don’t get invited to social functions all that much anymore. For good reason, though, because whenever I do get asked, I respectully decline. Go out to a bar? LOL, negative. My bed just looks too comfy.

But hello! I’m 23 years old! I need to be social. I need to make a better effort to continue developing the relationships that I have. I also *cringe* need to make new relationships. Make new friends?? Ugh that sounds so stressful. But I’ve got to. So this year, my man friend and I have made that a priority. We redecorated our place so that we can invite people over. Because we realize that without family and friends, life kind of sucks.

5. Find Something You’re Passionate About & Dive In

Purpose. You’ve got to have one. So if you want to make this year 10 times better than the last, try finding something you love and throw every ounce of yourself into doing that. Maybe it’s a social cause. Maybe it’s just opening up a book and reading. Maybe it’s learning how to cook. Maybe you’re lucky and it’s your actual job. Just find something that you enjoy doing. Find something that puts a smile on your face because you’re  doing something good or something challenging- something that requires personal growth.

When you’ve got things in your life that you look forward to, the daily grind seems a whole lot more bearable. So try to find these things, and when you do, don’t lose them. Don’t forget about them. Don’t stop trying. Because there’s so much that we can look forward to in life…so many things that we can experience. It would be a real shame to waste our lives doing nothing.

So tell me…how are YOU going to make this year a great one? I’m curious.

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Using Technology for Good

30 Jan

It used to be that we had to travel miles and miles to send a message.

Heck, people used to ride on horses for days to deliver a piece of paper (think about just how uncomfortable that must have been).

Smoke signals.

Telegrams.

Messages in bottles.

But today we’re lucky enough to have this beautiful thing called the Internet.

Let’s face it…it’s where we get most of our information.

Yea, there’s a lot of pointless stuff on the Internet. There’s a lot of focus on celebrity gossip and drama.

But there’s also really important stuff too.

For example, I love it when I come across amazing social media efforts conducted by organizations like Rotary.

Rotary has put together an amazing campaign – End Polio Now.

They’ve put together live tweet sessions, Facebook posts, and they’ve even had a video contest.

And they’ve done all of this because they believe it’s important to share this information with the public. They want people to know that we’re so close to eradicating polio, and that Millennials could very possibly be the last generation to see this terrible disease.

Now some people might not like these campaigns. They might say, “But helloo…I have no money…I can’t donate to your cause! Stop pressuring me.”

And I get it…trust me. I’m a poor broke college girl too.

But guess what!

It only takes 60 cents to protect a child from this terrible disease.

That’s it… $0.60.You can’t even buy a soda these days with $0.60.

On top of that, the beauty of social media is that you can easily spread a message for others to see.

You can share information with just the press of a button.

And you know what makes that so awesome?

By sharing the message with others, even more people who have the ability to donate might just hear about that cause.

So you can tweet about your favorite celebrity’s new boyfriend, or you can tweet about something bigger.

And by doing that, you can make a difference.

As a Millennial, your voice does matter.

We’ve come a long way since the days of horse and buggy.

Information is at our fingertips.

So there’s no excuse.

We can keep using technology solely for entertainment, or we can take responsibility for making a difference.

Because we can and we should.

And we can use this technology for good.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/80940373″>What will your generation be the last to see?</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user4516804″>End Polio Now</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Join in, Share your Voice, and Donate. Let’s make history together.

  • Generate Social Media Buzz – Share the video with your social networks and help raise awareness that we are this close to making history.
  • Give Financially – Visit EndPolio.org and make a donation. Just $0.60 can protect a child from the disease. Every $1 you donate to Rotary will be matched with $2 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35 million/year.

While this post has been sponsored by Rotary, I’m proud to serve as an ambassador for their End Polio Now campaign.

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Why You Need to Learn To Get Over It

20 Jan

I think I have  a memory problem.

I mean, I hope I don’t…but I’m a little concerned.

I have a really hard time remembering things that happened yesterday, and sometimes, when other people bring up things from the past, I can’t remember what the heck they’re talking about.

No, I don’t remember going to that party.

No, I don’t remember getting in trouble that night.

Ashley? Who the heck is Ashley?

So as I’m thinking about all of this while praying that I don’t have some kind of early-onset Alzheimer’s, I realize that although this really bad memory of mine is somewhat problematic, it’s also very much a blessing too.

Yea, it kind of stinks when I can’t find my keys.

It’s even worse when I can’t find my work badge.

But if there’s one really positive thing about my memory issue, it’s that I’m really not capable of holding a grudge.

Because I can’t remember that I was mad in the first place.

Or I often forget after a few days.

It’s a beautiful thing, this semi-amnesia.

When I think about it, I know a lot of people that get upset about things and stay upset for a really long time.

Heck- I know some people who’ve been mad their whole lives.

But that’s really not healthy.

The more I experience in my life, the more I realize that conflict is going to happen.

I don’t like it, but it’s a fact.

At some point, you’ll be hurt, and at some point, you’ll hurt someone too.

At some point you’ll be mad at your family, your friends, your boyfriend, your co-workers- your boss, even.

But that anger and that pain… it doesn’t need to hang around forever.

It’s just not good for you.

So if there’s one thing you really ought to learn how to do, it’s how to forgive and forget and move on.

AKA… GET OVER IT.

Because there’s nothing more damaging to your spirit than holding on to anger.

So if you want to be mad, be mad.

But only for a day or two.

After that, pretend it never happened, and you’ll realize just how much lighter you feel.

And that, at the end of the day, will make you much much happier.

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Millennials: Don’t Be Afraid to Operate Solo

19 Dec

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I think we’ve finally accepted it: being in your twenties can be slightly lonely. Lone-ranger status… a lot. I used to be one of those people who needed to be around 50 other people in order to feel happy. But as I’ve grown, I’ve come to absolutely LOVE the time I spend alone. Because we need it- for our sanity. And I also feel super-cool when I can get things done on my own. Today’s guest post from Jessica is perfect, reminding us that there’s nothing wrong with operating solo. Enjoy!

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What they don’t tell you about your twenties – the decade of late nights, traveling, reconnecting with high school friends and indulging in happy hours – is that it can get lonely.

Maybe you’re moved into your first apartment without roommates, or you’ve felt a creeping sense of self-consciousness at weddings and baby showers. Perhaps you’re newly single and feeling like you’re waiting at a stand-still, trying to navigate “real life” after college whilst friends are scoring awesome industry jobs and packing up for a new city. Regardless of the scenario, you’re beginning to realize that not all relationships – romantic or platonic, The Notebook-esque or General Hospital-worthy – will last forever, and that’s okay.

Because you have yourself to keep you company. And if you’re introverted, maybe that’s something you understood back in middle school the summer after your peers returned in September, extra mean and extra pimply. If you’re extroverted, maybe it’s something you’re only just coming to terms with now.

Learning to be comfortable with yourself and your thoughts is an understated and yet highly important skill. Knowing how to relish in “me time” is a serious benefit to your emotional and physical health. Relationships complicate and convolute your inward perspective, but being alone will teach you who you are and what you want; what gets you off and what makes you tick; what breaches your tolerance level and what fuels your passion. Introducing yourself to solo situations now will only help you to thrive in these environments as they crop up more frequently in the future.

Take Care of Yourself

Sure, you learned how to do a load of wash, use the elliptical and prepare a meal that wasn’t purchased in the frozen food section while in college. But did you ever try exercising without a gym or jogging buddy? In your 20’s, you should warm up to the idea of attending a class, taking a walk, or just hitting the gym without a friend, and create a workout routine that doesn’t require the coordination of two schedules. You should also stock your kitchen with all the basic essentials – cookware sets like these from Belgique are super affordable – and get into the habit of preparing a fancy-pants dinner for one. Bonus points if you eat it without the TV on. Every so often, don’t be afraid to venture out on your own to get your nails or hair done, and chat with your beautician instead of asking a friend to tag along.

Travel and Explore

Learn how to hail a cab, and take a train or public transportation on your own after mapping out your destination. Take a solo day trip somewhere. Hop in your car, or rent a Zip Car for the day, and drive out to some location or attraction a few hours from home, and spend the afternoon adventuring and sight-seeing. Take lots of selfies and just be present in the moment, taking in all of the new sights and sounds around you. One day, you may even have the guts to take a vacation alone with just me, myself, and I. Sound intimidating? Thousands of people do it every year, whether “it” means backpacking through South Asia, touring around with a group, or taking off for a few days to grab a tan and engage with the locals.

Socialize

Going out without a designated buddy doesn’t mean maintaining your solitude. If loneliness is what we’re trying to combat, then optimize every opportunity to go out and meet new friends and networks of people – just don’t be afraid to venture out alone initially. Attend a networking event or conference, or an introductory class just for kicks. It can be yoga, pottery, HTML coding, resume building, beer brewing; whatever floats your boat. And if you get asked to a party where you only know the person who invited you, go anyway! Tough it out for a few hours, or at least until everyone has warmed up with liquor, and see if you can’t have a good time with a new crowd.

Go to a movie. Make it a matinee, though, so you can prop your feet up on the chair in front of you and rattle your candy and slurp your Coke as loudly as possible. Accompany yourself to happy hour: dress cute, and bring a book or watch whatever game is playing. The sooner you become comfortable and embrace the ability to go out single, the more you will be able to experience when work, family, and conflicting schedules get in the way of plans.

Nights spent on the couch watching Netflix are comfortably easy, but too many of them will make you resentful and lonely. It’s important to get comfortable with yourself sans distractions in your twenties to help build confidence and develop self-awareness and efficiency. Don’t miss out on life because you’re afraid of operating solo – as you get older, you’ll be spending more and more time alone, and that can be a wonderful thing.

Jessica Herbine is a twenty-something PR and Marketing professional working in Philadelphia. She loves to read, write, attend theater performances, rock concerts, and go out for dinner and drinks. Find her on Twitter at @jessherbs, and follow her blog at http://www.100wpm.wordpress.com!

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Why NOT Taking Time Off Is Stupid

11 Nov
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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

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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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