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!

Common Interview Mistakes

The top three interview mistakes most entry level candidates (or anyone) makes!

1. Be yourself

Understandably many people tell you be "be yourself" when entering an interview setting. Although it is important to stay true to yourself during an interview when it comes to your values, morals, experiences, etc. - it is also important to read your audience and cater your delivery to who you are speaking to. For example - you would tell your life story differently if you were talking to your 5 year old niece, your grandparents, or your college professor. Read the room and cater your tone of voice and body language to fit the environment.

2. Let the interviewer do the talking

A major misconception many people fall for is to let the interviewer talk. Many people in HR who are interviewers are talkers however, that does NOT mean they actually want to be the one talking. They want to feel that they can't get a word in because the candidate has so much to say about themselves and about the job. If you are speaking to a recruiter who is going on and on try to pivot the conversation to a question you have about the role and try to get the content of the conversation back to you.

3. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Indeed you want to be prepared for your interview. You want to research the company background and current news. You also want to prepare to speak to certain topics on your resume and prepare to answer questions why you would be the perfect candidate for the job. What no one tells you is to prepare for the unwanted, unfair, and inappropriate questions. Prepare to answer questions such as "why is this your second job in two years?" "do you plan on having children anytime soon?" "why do you have tattoos?". These are the questions that will help you to dodge questions that you couldn't even fathom being asked. You still have a decision to make if you want to work for certain companies but at least you're prepared for the best and the worst.

Go Forth into your interview future and knock 'em dead!

Beat the Resume "Filter" Game

We've all been there. You see your dream job, you're the perfect fit, you want to apply as soon as possible!

There is a small pause in your spirit as you realize - R E S U M E (!!!) - panic instills. In order to apply, you need to submit this dreaded document that isn't nearly ready for submission.

"When is the last time I updated it? Where does it even live on my hard drive? How will I ever carve out some time to revamp and update and sell myself etc. etc. etc. ETC."

There are indeed a couple quick tricks to not only update your resume with your most recent information but ensure it doesn't get filtered out of the wide world web and lands in the lap of your future employer.

  1. Pen to Paper, First: That's right, I said it. Get a pen and paper out and jot down all of the fun, interesting, impressive things you're doing now in your job or have done in the past. It's helpful to write it out before typing directly into your resume. This allows your brain to not overly scrutinize the grammar, spelling, context, etc.

  2. Everyone Gets a Number: And by everyone I mean everyTHING. Take each of your bullets that you wrote on paper and make sure you have something quantitative to include. For example, instead of: "Assists in firm's new hire on-boarding processes" - "Led X number of new hires through orientation and on-boarding sessions resulting in 100% retention after first year"

  3. Keep it One Page, People: I think this goes without saying but as you add more content from your current role be sure to remove the least important and impressive information to keep your resume to one page. Additionally, be sure you save all of your drafts. You never know when the experience you're deleting could be a perfect for a different job submission.

  4. Reuse THEIR words: Okay, okay, okay. This is the main piece that many people do not know. In order for your resume to float to the top of the internet submission filters, try to incorporate key buzz words listed in the JOB DESCRIPTION within your own resume experience. You have these traits already, you just need to explicitly show them from your experiences where you've displayed it. This one is a little known secret, please - use it!

  5. Convince Them You're a Real Person: This point is something I've learned from the best resume reader I know, my mother. She reads resume after resume after resume in her career and her nugget of knowledge is to always include something FUN and authentically you in your resume. Make it something that stands out and makes the reader think, whether this person is a good fit or not, I want to meet them in person. For me, under my "Interests" category I include that I am a Wheel of Fortune Fanatic.

I hope these 5 fast tips to beating the resume game gets you one step closer to achieving your dream position. 

Go Forth!