Professional Development "Self Care"

In media and among the influencer world the term "self care" is extremely prevalent.

I, for one, have grasped this concept and attempted to add rest and reflection in my life for my personal mental and physical health. Maintaining a good diet, exercising frequently, turning off devices at the end of the work day, and overall just listening to my body when I need to slow down or make a change.

Something NOT as prevalent in the self care conversation is attention to self care in the professional development / career development department. You may be wondering.... "what does self care even have to do with my career or my current job, etc?"

For me, self care is centered around intentional investment in oneself. Specifically, spending time or money on improving my soul or spirit. Just as it is important to take a rest day, exercise, and eat well, it is just as important to be filling your mind with ways to improve your communication skills, career interests, or even new found talents.

Some examples may be:

  • Take a writing course

  • Have coffee with a fellow industry expert / leader

  • Attend a seminar with a guest speaker focusing on something of interest to you

  • Pay to go to a conference or dare I say Boot Camp (slight Forth Boot Camp plug)!

All kidding aside, those investments in your development could change your entire thinking in your profession. It could even give you an edge above and beyond your coworkers. Lastly, it may even give you a push to jump out on your own or start that side hustle that's been in the back of your mind.

Go Forth and self care, people. What types of professional self care have you experienced and LOVED recently? Give us some ideas!

 

No Experience, No Problem?

The age old dilemma... "I need experience for this position but where am I supposed to GET the experience?"

Experience doesn't always have to be cookie cutter in a 9-5 job. Everyone has experience in something. Maybe it's a club or committee where you have a leadership role? Maybe you lead a sports team to a championship title? Maybe you had a part-time job in a different industry but the skills you learned are still applicable?

It's important to keep a running list of your skills and experiences so that when a job posts that is of interest to you, you can jump on updating your resume appropriately and quickly. Many candidates get discouraged when they see "3-5 years of experience required." Sometimes the job isn't a good fit and sometimes you have experience that would apply but you overlook it because it doesn't seem linear enough. 

If you are in college or recently graduated and keep getting discouraged by the "experience required" portion of the posting - I challenge you to dig deep and see where your non-traditional experience can provide reasons for being the perfect candidate.

Lastly - a good rule of thumb is if you fit 80% of the job description, you should apply! With or without the experience required. To tip the scale in your favor if it's an opportunity you're really jazzed about, consider writing a personalized cover letter to go with the resume and application. Cover letters are very under rated in today's job market but it could be the differentiating factor that the other candidates aren't doing!

Stand out, take a risk, express your experiences, and Go Forth!

What is an "Eff Yeah!" List?

The concept of an Eff Yeah! List is exactly what it sounds like - listing out things that make you say "Eff Yeah!"

When relating this to your career goals - the Eff Yeah! list is a list upon reflection of what makes you most joyful, excited, and proud? What did you accomplish that made you want to fist bump yourself? Was it in a professional setting or did you settle a difficult argument with a friend? Did you save up money for a trip? Did you speak to a group of people and win them over?

Professional accomplishments, personal victories, community opportunities, extracurricular hobbies? Think through ALL facets of your life over the past year!

Once you're Eff Yeah! List is created, what patterns do you see? Does anything stand out? Do many include speaking? Maybe many included story-boarding / white-boarding / brainstorming?

Take this list and dream up your next yes. You may look at this list and realize your current position is exactly where you should be. OR (!!!) maybe it shows you where you get your most joy and there's a spot on your team in a different department that would be a better fit?

For those of you IN the job search, this is the ideal exercise to narrow in on your dream job.

Find your Eff Yeah and Go Forth!