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job hunt

Tips for Nailing Your Next Job Search

Posted in Career by

In case you missed the (very brief, easy to miss) announcement, I recently landed a new gig! It’s going to be a real challenge for me, but I’m excited to take it on and move to Nashville, TN (funny that the girl who has so deeply rejected the south is now moving even further down the country!) After months and months of looking for a new position and a job search that felt like it would never end, I landed a gig after making lots of adjustments to my search.

Read, read, read. I love The Muse, Levo League, The Prepary and Mashable for articles on how to prepare for interviews, hints for how to get into a recruiter’s head, and sometimes they’ll even post job openings. (These websites are real click bait for me – in opening them only for the sole purpose of linking out, I have seven articles bookmarked for later!) Many of these sites (particularly Prepary and Levo) offer worksheets that walk you step by step through perfect interview answers and offer suggestions on how to answer tricky interview questions honestly and personally.

Find mentors. If you can’t find mentors, find inspiration. Sometimes it can feel like you don’t know how to take the next step in where you want your career to go, and having a mentor (or several!) can help with that. You’ll be able to pick their brains about how she got to where she is, if a job switch is in your best interest, and she might pass leads on to you when something is sent her way. Levo League now has a mentor program where you can interact with industry leaders and ask questions in a Twiter-style Q&A format or attend virtual “office hours.” If you can’t find a mentor, there’s plenty of inspiration to be had out there! I love Marie Forlero’s outlook and inspiration and the way she leaves me feeling empowered after every post.

As far as the actual process of the hunt itself, my best tip is to look every single day. Look in places you don’t think the competition hangs out in (there are lots of Twitter feeds that post openings in certain industries or cities, and many people don’t see craigslist as a reputable source), look on the obvious websites (LinkedIn, Indeed, company websites), and read the paper local to the city you want to move. I found my new gig on – of all places – craigslist, at a point where I was feeling very discouraged and getting no calls back. It was advertised at a much lower hourly rate than I could have accepted and called for job duties I have experience in, but don’t think all fit into one position, so I was clear throughout the interview process with what I expected of the job and what sort of package I needed. And if there’s a particular company you want desperately to work in, become and expert on them, read all the interviews and articles on them you can, and try to find a friend on the inside – that way, you’ll hear about upcoming openings before the rest of the job hunters.

Read more…

August 18, 2014

April Recap & May Goals

Posted in Living by

april recap may goals

Where is this year going? Seems like just yesterday I was celebrating New Year’s, sick on my couch with the flu. Anyway, let’s take a look at my April Recap:

  • PR at NWH YES YES YES! 2:57:30! Now onto 2:45 🙂
  • Stick to my budget pass – I went over, but not horribly, especially given that I paid $34 for parking while I was in DC -_- I never remember to budget for parking because at home, I know all the tricks to not pay for it.
  • Cook at least once a week check
  • Bring lunch at least four times a week/only eat out with someone else check, as long as Starbucks doesn’t count
  • Pay $500 to my student loans check paid $525.37. 
  • Walk to work once a week big fail. It’s not warm enough at 7:30 yet to even think about walking.
  • Max out moving fund fail not really sure where I thought I was going to find an extra $1300 to get there in one month…
  • Go to Ohio for Easter (and snuggle the shit out of my new little nephew<3) fail, I had an immovable doctor’s appointment on Good Friday so I didn’t go
  • Stick to my new nutrition plan (AKA the Beyonce life plan) check. I ate really well.
  • Calibrate all my electronic devices, clean up Dropbox check. Cleaned out the “downloads” folder on my work computer (nearly two years of font downloads, Photoshop brushes and admats…) and cleared out my overly full Dropbox
  • Try something new at the gym pass. I signed up for spin this Saturday, though, so I technically signed UP in April… I also made a friend at the gym, so that counts as something new, right?

I had a real come to Jesus moment with myself while updating my spending for the month when I realized how much I spent on food (spoiler alert, I went over by DOUBLE somehow. This might explain why I ate really well.) I’m surprised that I was able to pay so much to my loans this month and technically the last $100 payment hasn’t come out of my bank account yet, but it’s already posted on the loan system, so it counts… right?

May goals

  • Only go to Starbucks once/week
  • Spending freeze – no retail shopping
  • Run 75 miles
  • Pay $850 to my student loans
  • Retail spending freeze
  • Get my portfolio built
  • Apply to 20 jobs
  • Pay my dental bill and fax in the paperwork
  • Update medical paperwork

Starbucks is my little treat to myself. Sometimes I don’t go for two weeks and sometimes I go every day, but I want to cut back to no more than five times this month. That part should be easy – it’s the retail spending freeze that will be really hard. I want to sock away some cash to travel a bit this summer and, obviously, take bigger cracks at my student loans this month, so cutting back on food and shopping is where I’ll find that cash. I’ve been in application hyperdrive as of late, and I’ve broadened the locations I’m looking in. Originally I thought I wouldn’t be able to move to California, or I wouldn’t be able to move there solo – but I don’t care anymore. I need that sun and sand. I’ve been pushing off some sundry paperwork that I don’t feel like doing (updating contact info, faxing in receipts, etc) but that needs to get done this month.

How was your April? Are you ready for the summer sun like I am?

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May 1, 2014

Moving While Nobody’s Looking

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It’s no secret that I have been trying to move (basically since I moved south.) I was unhappy for a lot of reasons, I was upset about the lack of social scene (I’ve been here for 1.5 years and basically have two friends), and being eight hours from my closest family members has weighed on me much heavier than I expected. One of the places that I had been focusing my search was Northwest Ohio (where Sixx lives). It’s a beautiful area, has more sports/music jobs than even I realized, and is driving distance to both my parent’s house and my southern Ohio family.

A lot of things have changed in his life in the last two months (all of them I am SO THANKFUL for) and now he wants to move to a place we vacationed to a few years ago that I actively remember him saying, over and over, how much he hated. Regardless, he’s pretty set on moving there this month, and asked if I want to move with him.

I’m torn for a lot of reasons. Obviously, I’m not making any sudden movements without having a job and moving fund in place. It’s not a city I have seriously considered moving to (even though I loved and we have a lot of friends who are there,) and it’s much farther from my family. Despite what he thinks, jobs will probably be harder to find, or at least much more competitive, in our field. AND, I have been second guessing myself lately. Blame it on a gym high or the fact that I saw Dallas Buyers Club this weekend, but I’ve already been considering switching career paths into something fitness-related or back to HIV/AIDS research and activism (in my former life, I was an African Studies/Public Health student.) I’m also torn because the things that I like about my city now I REALLY like, enough to want to stay. (When he asked what those things were, my answer was “the gym… and my favorite gym teacher.”) Plus moving is super traumatic on me and even a cross-town move takes a lot out of me.

Life being what it is, I know this won’t happen – but May would be my “ideal” move month. My lease will be up, my free gym time will be up, and the season at work will be over. But obviously, life doesn’t ever work according to my plan. In the meantime, I’m trying to convince him to come squat at my place for a little while. I’m the one with a career, and I know we aren’t “together” right now… but we’ve been talking a lot about getting back together. Funny how growing up has changed him and made him realize everything he has lost.

So that’s what’s been on my mind lately. Lots of making plans that are months ahead. I’m sure I’m moving in 2014… I just need to figure out how to make it happen.

January 6, 2014