Final post

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As many of you know, this blog was created as a school assignment. After tomorrow’s online forum event, The Young Professional will be no more, as today is my last day of college.

From here, I’ll head to a three week work placement at Ronald McDonald House, then take a vacation in Chicago for a week and finally, use my professionalism to get myself a job.

I hope this blog has been helpful to you in the past year, I know it’s been extremely helpful for me. While I’m going to miss college and the wonderful people I’ve met in the last two years, I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds for me.

I’m going to keep my blog in case I ever feel the need to blog again, but for now, this is goodbye.

Thanks to those who kept up reading each week.

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Productivity — When you work from home

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Working at home seems like the dream situation — You make your own schedule, you can stay in your pyjamas and you don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic. However, it’s important to think about the drawbacks that come with your turning your home into your office.

Distractions
While some people say working from home is less distracting, it can often be the opposite. Can you hear your Netflix calling your name? No? Must be Facebook and Twitter, begging you to open a new window and scroll until noon. Bottom line is that it’s crucial to keep your mind occupied with work while you’re at home rather than fall behind.

Less teamwork
It can be really tough to brainstorm and collaborate with your co-workers if you’re not together for eight hours a day. Face-to-face meetings are ideal, so go out for lunch when you need to put your heads together. If distance is the problem, try Skype or FaceTime as an electronic alternative.

Too flexible
This one doesn’t seem like a huge issue, right? But having the amount of flexibility you have when you work from home can be a whole different ball game. When your family or friends know you’re at home for the majority of the day, they might not realize that you’re actually not available to them. Cue the phone calls asking you for favours, company or to run errands. Make a point to let people know that you working at home is that exact same as you working from your company. If it’s not an emergency, it’s not important from 9-5.

No tech department
Most companies have an in-house IT department waiting for our precious machines to call it quits. Unfortunately, when you work from home, you won’t have that wonderful asset. Before you’re in a situation where your electronics are frazzled, make friends in the IT department and keep their contact information in a safe place. You never know when you will need to pick their brain to save your productivity.

There you have it! Four ways to keep yourself productive when you work from home. Don’t forget, we’re still hosting our giveaway for a couple more weeks! Stay tuned for the Young Professional Day online forum/community on April 9.

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Interviews: The Preparation

5498329705_3a3059b478_b.jpgA lot of young adults think their resume is what gets them hired. However, the resume is just one step of the very complicated hiring process. The second step is sometimes a phone call, and then either and interview or an assignment. In larger companies, a second interview is not unheard of.

If you want to stand out in an interview, the best thing to do is prepare. Researching the company is the first step to preparing for the interview. Know the company’s values, their potential issues, the products they sell and even their goals. Finding out as much about the company as possible is the best way to impress your potential employees.

Next, find out information about the people who will be interviewing you. If you know a bit about them, it gives you the opportunity for small talk, to click and make more of an impression on them. If you can give yourself more of a personality, you’re making yourself more memorable.

Another great way to prepare is to set up Google News Alerts for the company. This way, if they come up in the news for whatever reason, you know what’s going on and can prepare for any questions that might pop up in the interview.

Prepare at least five questions for the interview and keep a backlog of questions, just in case the employer answers them during the interview. Questions that ask about corporate culture, the evolution of the role and other topics like that will show potential employers that you thought about the company and the job.

Lastly, the best thing you can do to prepare is read over the job description a few times before you go into the interview and think about situations in your life that helped you build some of those skills. I can’t count how many times that last step has helped me impress my interviewer, because I can show them how I fit the model employee they’ve outlined in the description.

Job interviews are scary, but being prepared and having a bit of confidence goes a long way towards getting yourself a job.

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Suit up, folks

11874970786_387ad4bdc4_k.jpgToday is a fun one! The right attire for a job interview. I’m not sure about you guys, but dressing up is something I have a love/hate relationship. There are so many ways business casual/business professional can go wrong and be uncomfortable, but you can also do it so right and feel like you’re in sweatpants.

We’re going to go through the five things you shouldn’t wear to a job interview.

Low-cut tops
This one seems obvious, but just don’t do it. If you have to think twice about whether it’s appropriate, it probably isn’t.

Ill-fitting clothes
Focus on having fewer clothes that fit well, rather than a ton of clothes that don’t fit you at all. No one is going to notice if you alternate between two blazers that fit fantastically. But people will notice when your clothes don’t fit, no matter if it’s clean or not.

Loud colours and patterns
Loud colours and patterns draw too much attention to you. You’re there to show off your work and skills, the last thing you want to break your opportunities is your outfit. Keep it conservative, and add some flair to your makeup or jewelry if you want to show some personality.

Short skirts
Short skirts in an interview signal an HR nightmare waiting to happen to your potential employer. Keep them to about knee-length and not too tight and you should be fine!

3-inch heels and up
They just aren’t practical. When you show up stumbling in too-high heels, you’re showing the potential employer that you value fashion over efficiency, and that’s a message nobody wants to give out.

For more tips on dressing for an interview, or some outfit inspiration, head to my Pinterest boards to learn more!

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Interview mistakes youth always make

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So you found the perfect job and you sent in your resume. Easy, right? Except they called you back and they want to interview you. That’s great! Except now you’re nervous. Now you have to talk to them about how great you are.

Terrifying.

Job interviews are always hard and it takes a long time for people to get used to them. Today, we’re talking about the three things you should do in/before a job interview.

Do your research
This one is huge. The one thing your future employers want to see is that you care enough about the job to actually research the organization. You should be able to talk beyond the basics, so instead of buying that perfect blazer, take the time to sift through their website, pick out the details that separate them from another place.

Ask questions
This is a tough one for job interviews, yet it’s an absolute must. If you don’t ask questions, you show a lack of interest, even if you’re thrilled to be in that position. Ask about corporate culture. Ask about how the role evolves. Ask something they aren’t likely to answer in the interview, and be genuinely interested in their response.

Humble yourself
Job interviews are about selling yourself and proving to a potential employer that you have the skills they need. But don’t forget to stay humble. Being great at every skill is useless if you have the personality of a blowfish. No one likes a person who loves to brag, so as much as confidence is important, don’t forget to talk about your weaknesses as well.

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Interruption

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By now, you’ve probably heard about this crazy giveaway we’re constantly talking about and I bet you’re starting to get a little curious as to what I’m talking about.

Well, in early April, we’re going to have a small event for young professionals across Canada. Rather than event, it’s more or less and online forum for professionals who want to share advice with each other.

On April 9, we’re creating a day in Canada for young professionals. It’s already been done by NATO, but we want to make it bigger. We want to create a community for young professionals to be able to share experiences, stories, and advice so we can all learn from each other.

On this day, we’ll announce the winner of the giveaway and have a final hurrah for young professionals.

I hope you’ll join me in sharing and starting the community we so greatly need.

Back to scheduled programming next week!

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#FeatureFriday — The Gurus

 

This week’s feature Friday is even more fun than usual! It’s not exactly a ‘feature’, but it’s pretty close, so we’re rolling with it.

This week, we’re learning about social media from the top 3 social media experts (in my opinion). Below, I’ll feature the expert, some advice, and a link to see their expertise for yourself!

Gary Vaynerchuk

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Source — businessinsider.com

Gary has created social media brands for PepsiCo and GE and has more than a million Twitter followers. He has a book and free advice on his website and he is a fantastic resource on social media.

“We get scared of what we didn’t grow up with. That’s just what humans do.” -Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee)

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Chris is a joker, but knows his way around social media. He has two best-selling books on social media and almost 300,000 followers. He provides a good example of mixing professional and personal life online.

“Don’t be afraid of being seen as weird. Be afraid of not being seen.” -Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) 

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Britt is a writer, producer, and businesswoman. She hosts a podcast that talks about the world’s authors, influencers, and entrepreneurs. She’s one to watch for her amazing writing.

“Sometimes saying what you’re feeling will be a relief not only to you, but those around you. Be kind but honor intuition.” -Britt Michaelian (@BrittMichaelian)

When in doubt, follow these social media superstars to find your answer.

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