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life after college

Will You Still Be Employable In a Decade?

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If you think back to around ten years ago when it came to things we had in the home or in the workplace, it has all been transformed. Smartphones were brand new, apps were not yet a thing, and flexible working and open plan office designs were not commonplace. And when someone mentioned ‘the cloud’ it was assumed they were talking about a storm that was coming. All of these things, along with plenty others, have changed how we work and the kind of jobs that we are doing. Technology is changing at a fast pace too, meaning there could be many changes still to come.

How can we make sure that our skills are still relevant and that we are going to be employable after finishing college in a couple of years or even this time next year? It is going to be hard to completely predict what working will look like then, as we know things can change so quickly. Which is why making yourself marketable, educated, and able to adapt is really important. Then it makes it much easier to move with the times, change jobs when required, and get the jobs that you are applying for.

So with all of that in mind, here are some of the things that you need to be doing to make sure that you can keep up, and still be employable, even if it is a few years down the line. Being prepared for what comes next, or even being one step ahead of what could come next, is a great position to be in and will help your employability no end.

Pay Attention To Specific Industries

It can be hard to know where you want your career path to go, unless you have had a clear decision for a while. But one of the best things to be doing is to look at the best ways to keep up to date with the chosen industry or career path that you have chosen (or a few of the industries that you want to look at). Are there particular resources, websites, or other publications that you can be accessing to get the information that you need? Stay apprised of the industry (or industries) that you have an interest in going into (or that you’re already working in). It will be a huge benefit to do so.

As well as that, it can be a good idea to keep on top of other industries and watching out for innovations and new ways of doing things. Things like that aren’t going to be limited to just one industry, in most cases, so it does help to keep your knowledge up on what is happening in various industries; it can make a difference. For instance, if you want to work in finance, then it could be also worth looking at the marketing and advertising industries, as things that they implement are likely to follow in finance, for instance. Find what is relevant and then you’re going to be ahead of the game when it comes to how employable you are going to be.

Stretch Your Skills

Even when you’re starting out in a career, or ten years down the line, it can be easy to just get a little complacent with your work and skills. Your job can almost become a little autonomous to do, and that doesn’t mean that you are stretching yourself, learning or growing. And when that stops, it does make work much more dull for you, as well as make you less employable, as you’re not developing in other ways. So being able to stretch your skills, to keep learning, and doing more, is always going to be a good thing.

You may have an idea of the training that could help you in your career. But if not, then it could be worth looking somewhere like the Laurier online degree programs to see what else you could be studying and it if could be worth doing a masters. If you’re an undergraduate at the moment, then focusing on one thing at a time is a good idea first. But from there, the word is your oyster and a masters could help you, as well as doing other studies alongside your work. As well as formal education to improve skills, it can be a good idea to put yourself forward for things to help you to ‘stretch.’ This could be taking on a role of responsibility at work, or volunteering to take a specific project on. It gives you more experience, as well as more practical ways of demonstrating what you are capable of, should a job change come your way.

Document Development

At a basic level, keeping track of all that you do and making a note on your resume of the things you are learning and doing is a great thing to do. You have the memory and evidence of all that you have been able to do. Any classes, courses, and opportunities to develop should all be documented so that you have the proof of what you have done, and can recall it when you need to. When applying for jobs, it is going to help. You could also try your hand at blogging or even podcasting so that you can develop a small online presence, and it will help you to develop yourself as a brand, if that is what you want to do. Not only that, but it is very relevant. By doing something like that it helps you to show that you’re up to date with technology and the way that business and online marketing is going, as examples. Plus, it is something that is giving the chance to do something different to everyone else. So again, when applying for a job, it can help you to stand out, and help you to be more memorable.

Check Up on Your Skills

Just because you are qualified in something, it doesn’t mean that you’re instantly going to be an expert. And if you have something written on your resume that you haven’t used for years, then it pays to check up on your skills. What can you do to test your knowledge on that or recall your learning? Much like we do with ourselves and our health, as well as with cars, and our homes, we check them over from time to time, to check that no major cracks are appearing. As well as keeping up with that you already have in place, it is a good idea to check on your other skills from time to time to see how you can be honing them so that you’re able to do more and more and improve. So allow yourself some time, take stock of what you are doing, or what you should be working on. Then take the time to reevaluate so that you are all learning and growing.

Try Something Out of Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever told yourself that you’ll be unable to do something because ‘you’re not that kind of person?’ For example, have you avoided doing certain things at work as it would mean that you have to use a certain piece of equipment and ‘you’re not a techy person?’ But whatever is holding you back can be easily dealt with when you have a plan to deal with it and have a plan step out of your comfort zone. For instance, if you feel intimidated by technology, then you’re not going to get too far in the modern world we live in, and the modern businesses that we have. But stepping out of your comfort zone can mean that you are able to do so much more at work, as well as mean getting involved with more projects, and just generally improving your skill set. It won’t be technology for everyone, but we will all have something that can hold us back from doing what we want to do.

If your aim is to be ready for the future and ready for longevity in your career, then it will mean doing some things that you’re not too keen to do, or things that you might not feel prepared to do. When you embrace it, embrace change, and make changes, you will be setting yourself up for great things. Remember that as soon as you let fear stop you from doing things, then it will mean that you are putting a pause on your career, as it can mean certain skills are not being used and will almost become redundant. Keep challenging yourself in the right ways, and it will help your career, and help you to make sure that your career can be as good a decade down the line. Sometimes we can become so focused on keeping things neat and tidy and all in a box, that we forget to step out of the box and see that there is much more out there that can help us.

I hope you enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

October 17, 2018
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What Life After College Is Really Like?

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If you’re reading this then we can only presume you are gearing up to graduate. You’ve ordered your gown and you’re only days away from throwing your cap in the air (read: staging an Instagram snap of you throwing your cap in the air). It’s an epic feeling. You have graduated college. You’re buzzing with pride, glee and, quite possibly amazement.

However, you can also sense another emotion bubbling away under the surface, one that you don’t recognise, and that is anxiety. Yup. You’re about to enter the big bad world of adulthood. But in order to give you a padded landing, we have come up with some truths about what real world is really like.

Ignore What Grumpy People Say

Look, we’re not going to pretend that the real world is all strawberry milkshakes and unicorn rides on the beach. It isn’t. However, it can be fun if you make it fun. Invariably you are going to meet grumpy people who despise their life and that their job and believe they work five days a week just to enjoy the next two. Ignore these people. Your job can be fun, it can be meaningful and your weekdays can matter. It is an attitude decision you make.

The Paperwork Side Of It Sucks

You really have to stay on top of it, though, trust us. There will be things like taxes, 401K enrollments, dealing with private student loans that will help you consolidate your college debt, healthcare forms, paying rent on a tiny apartment, Netflix emails about how the monthly fee has gone up again and just about everything else you never knew existed. Well, it exists. So get on top of it early so that it becomes manageable.

Don’t Make Comparisons

Everyone that graduates college will have that one friend who moves to New York or Chicago or LA and lands the best job ever, making the whole job search seem a doddle. You will pretend you are mega proud of them – while actually hating them a bit – because within a month they have started making more money than both of your parents combined and you are forced to watch this through the stained glass of social media. Don’t. Don’t make comparisons. Just live your life as best as possible.

You Will Be Labelled Unfairly

You are part of the Millennial Generation, being labelled unfairly is part of it. You don’t have to put up with it, though. Those that label you in this way invariably need you. These people are just a little scared and intimidated, that’s all. They haven’t heard of the latest tech trends like Yammer and they admire your desire to give your life meaning. So be humble, ask lots of questions, be willing to learn and be willing to help. You don’t know everything, so don’t act like you do; it will sting you.

Your Major Will Not Matter

This is a realisation that shocks most recent graduates who end up getting a job that has absolutely nothing to do with their college degree and that life skills are far more important. Try not to worry about this too much, though. You are going to be in employment for around 40 years. That means you will have plenty of time to cement your career and degree in holy matrimony, or indeed find out you actually quite like the divorce and that your degree was almost entirely pointless.

I hope you enjoyed the post!

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

May 25, 2017
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Why Take An Internship?

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College is a rewarding experience. It will provide you with the skills and qualifications required to enter the profession of your choice. It will also expose you to a variety of interesting people and experiences, which will add value and meaning to your life. However, one thing that academic study doesn’t always provide is a taste of the working world. This is where internships come in.

Many college courses, such as accounting degrees and certifications, media, and advertising, etc., will provide an opportunity to take an internship during your studies. If this is offered, it is something you should consider carefully for the following reasons.

It Will Give You The Edge Over Your Competitors

When you apply for a job, chances are hundreds of other people will also apply. The job market is crowded, and it is competitive. All those other graduates who have similar qualifications will be entering the industry at the same time. If you don’t have any work experience to draw on and discuss in your interview, you will be at a disadvantage. Life after college can be tough, and it’s hard to get onto the career ladder. Don’t limit your chances by missing out on valuable opportunities.

You Can Try Out Different Roles

Internships are a great way to test whether you enjoy doing a specific job. The good thing about these programs is that you will be exposed to several different roles. So you can try each for size and work out what you enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. Often we have an idea of a job in our head, but when we actually do it, we find that it’s not really for us. So an internship provides an opportunity to try out different roles before we fully invest.

Increase Your Skillset

Internships immerse you in the world of work. You have to be there by a certain time and adhere to accepted rules. You also have to navigate your way through office politics and learn how to communicate effectively with others. These are skills that are not always covered in college courses. Embarking on an internship will equip you with new skills to add to your resume.

An Opportunity To Observe

When you start a new job, you will be expected to hit the ground running and earn your keep. There will be little opportunity to observe others and see how they deal with various work situations. An internship provides you with this opportunity. You will be learning on the job and will have time to ask questions and observe coworkers through a typical day.

Boost Confidence

Starting a new job is nerve-wracking for everyone, even experienced workers. When it’s your first job, it can be even more intimidating. However, if you have an internship under your belt, you won’t be starting from scratch. You’ll have more of an idea of what to expect, and it’s likely that you’ll have some experience of different roles. This provides a big confidence boost.

There are numerous reasons to take an internship. They help boost confidence, expose you to a variety of roles and increase your skillset. If you have the opportunity, embrace this experience. If you don’t, your competition will.

I hope you enjoyed the post!

Thanks for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

February 4, 2017
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