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Now that you’re earning, spend wisely

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

When you’ve been living on limited funds—whether an allowance from your parents, earnings from a part-time job, or some type of scholarship/stipend—it’s easy to go a little crazy when you start earning a decent salary in your first full-time job. However, a recent article from Yahoo Finance titled “10 ways recent grads waste money” provides a good reminder that financial security beings early! In today’s post I’m going to share some of the highlights with you, but I encourage you to take a long, hard look at the article to make sure that you’re not making mistakes you’ll regret down the road.,/p> One of the most important lessons from the article is that if someone else has been paying the bills all your life, you may not even know what reasonable expenses are. You may have shopped for clothing, but do you know what rents cost in the city where you live (or plan to live)? Do you know how much to budget for utilities? (Do you even know what utilities you will need? And if any of them will be included in your rent?) Do you know how to shop for groceries: how to choose a supermarket, how to choose healthy but reasonably priced food, how to choose...

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Let’s talk about negotiation

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you’re like me, negotiating for a salary is not a task to relish. However, it’s important to recognize that when you’re looking for a job, your ability to negotiate can be very useful and have long-term repercussions. When you’re offered a job, most employers are going to expect you to negotiate for salary. Even if it’s your first full-time job, it pays to ask for a higher salary than what you’re initially offered. Keep in mind these key points when preparing to negotiate. You should begin your job search only after gaining a good idea of the typical salary range for that job in that geographic area. There are resources that can help you do your research ahead of time (including professional associations and websites such as Glassdoor.com), so that when you do get an offer, you’ll know if it’s reasonable. Make your request for a higher salary politely. You will want to first say that you’re excited about the offer and the opportunity to work with the organization (assuming that those are true statements) and provide evidence to support your request for more money. Your evidence should come from reliable sources, but it can also be based on your experience in the field. If it’s your first...

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Networking on LinkedIn

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Networking, Uncategorized

According to various sources, something like 90% of all recruiters are now using LinkedIn as a key mechanism for finding prospective hires. LinkedIn itself report that more than 30,000 companies use LinkedIn to recruit new employees. What that means for you (if you’re looking for a job) is that you really need to develop a lot of LinkedIn savvy. I am far from expert at using LinkedIn, although I have had a profile for many years and I do have about 750 connections. If I were a intending to look for a job, I would learn more about the subtleties of using LinkedIn to best advantage. But instead, I’m going to identify some resources that can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. Neil Fogarty, writing for Virgin Entrepreneur, provides “15 tips: How to get the most out of LinkedIn.” This is a great place to start because it gives you some very basic advice about how to set up your profile. The suggestions are concise and clear, and should help you get off the ground if you haven’t used LinkedIn before. HubSpot’s blog writer, Pamela Vaughan, wrote “How to Use LinkedIn: The Ultimate List of LinkedIn Tips,” and I found it to be a very detailed and thorough overview...

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Networking Frogs

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Networking, Uncategorized

I recently ran across an article with a really catchy title, “Don’t be a Networking Frog.” It took me a minute to realize that this was a reference to the fairy tale of the Princess and the Frog and the idea that you have to “kiss a lot of frogs” before you meet your prince. The article is intended to help you discriminate between people who can really help you and those who are just “frogs” (but I’m not recommending you kiss any of them!). If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I think networking is one of the most important things that you can do to start (or improve) your career. In fact, in my book, Step 4: Create a Network has 14 tips to help you build your network, making it one of the longest sections in the book! The lessons in the “Don’t be a Networking Frog” article are valid: they’re all about give and take, listening to others to see if you can help them in addition to telling your story and trying to get their help. The author gives you 12 tips for figuring out how to recognize a frog, but you can also use that list to make sure that you...

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Overcoming your fear of networking

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

According to the National Institute of Public Health, 74% of all Americans suffer from “speech anxiety,” which helps explain why so many of us aren’t very good at networking. Today I’m going to provide some suggestions to help you get more comfortable with talking to strangers at networking events. The first thing to realize is that those strangers are at the event for the same reason you are: to meet new people and make new connections. And, statistically speaking, 74% of them are going to be as intimidated by you as you are by them. What this means is that if you make the first move—go up to a stranger and introduce yourself—the most likely response is going to be relief. This works especially well if you look around the room and find someone who is standing alone and/or looking overwhelmed or lost. You’re going to feel a lot more confident if you have thought carefully about what it is you are trying to achieve at the event and have prepared some “opening remarks.” Are you trying to get a job? Have a brief introduction that lets others know what it is you’re hoping for as a career. Are you looking for suggestions of good companies to work at?...

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Networking Advice

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’ve been thinking a lot about networking lately and wondering what other people think it means to “network.” There are so many different ways to network that I thought it might be a good idea to spend a little time considering some of the different options. Over the next few posts, I’m going to talk about networking skills in more detail, but for today I’ll give an overview of what I see as some of the basic ways to network, starting with a couple of the most obvious: Attend events specifically designed to create or foster networking opportunities. These include career fairs, meet ups, and meetings of professional organizations. Build your connections on LinkedIn by adding new contacts and asking for introductions. Connect through your family—parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins can all be sources for new contacts in your career field. Connect through your friends, and through their families! Connect through your neighbors, and through their families! Do volunteer work, and make friends with other volunteers. Join your alumni association. Go to public talks given by local business people hosted by organizations such as the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce. Join a service organization such as Rotary Club (or Rotoract, for younger professionals) or...

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