New Year, New Dreams

I am THRILLED to announce (to the 5 people that actually read this blog) that I am gainfully employed! WOOOHOOO! I landed an entry level position in project management with a very well respected Birmingham, AL advertising agency! The agency was started in the 50′s which gives me flashbacks of Mad Men ( which I am currently in season 4) and an excitement that only a fresh futuristic agency can.

My role in the agency will be tough and to quote my new boss “not glamourous” and I am totally ok with this. I’m the new kid on the block, low man on the totem pole, and basically the one who has got something to prove. I am so ready to get in there next week and remind them why they hired me! The opportunity to learn so much from others while challenging myself professionally is making me giddy with excitement!

While this blog has served me well the last few months I have a new chapter to start and in turn, a new blog. I haven’t picked my ad girl angle yet or come up with my witty (hopefully) new blog title, but be on the look out because this girl is joining agency life. : )

I am excited to see where this opportunity takes me and thankful for the timing and significance after all these months. By far my BEST Christmas gift this year.

The Waiting Game

Why is it that every time you have a preliminary interview and they tell you it’ll probably be a week or so before you hear back from them, and it is ALWAYS longer than what they say. If you’re like me, waiting on pins and needles all the time, this waiting game will start to mess with your head!

Did they like me?” “Should I have laughed at that?” “I could have explained that better? Maybe? No, I was fine.” “They hated me!” “I got this! How could they not love me?!

All these have probably run through my head at one point or another and since I am currently in the middle of like 5 waiting games, I often find myself torturing my mind with these thoughts.

Now, I know that hiring often gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile because of a typical busy work day but it is absolutely maddening to the interview-ee. I must check my e-mail like 30,000 times a day, as well as creep on my LinkedIn views, and jump every time my phone rings. What an awful game the waiting game is.

The worst part? There really is nothing that I can do about it except realize it happens and everything will work out in time. Even if it is a loooooong time.

So, as I sit here writing this, I am currently waiting for a promised phone call and have to tell my self to be patient, graceful, and play the game.

So May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor. ; )

Cheers, To LinkedIn!

You know, LinkedIn really is quite wonderful.

These past few weeks I have been trying to step up my networking efforts and LinkedIn has helped me be able to get a leg up on my competition. Now when I see a job posting that seems interesting on-line I can just search the company on LinkedIn and see if any of my connections have connections at the desired company.

I have had this happen 2 or 3 times. It’s exciting and adrenaline inducing for me, I feel better knowing that there is someone on the other side who has heard of me and can promote my capabilities to the right people, hopefully helping me to land the job.

I am blessed to have two wonderful mentors from my time at Samford University and they have become my go-to gals for networking in the Birmingham area. All it takes is me shooting them a quick e-mail about a company or any connections and PRESTO they almost always know someone or find someone who does have a connection at that company.

And this is not just my mentors doing this for me, I have had professors recommend me recently because I went and did my research on LinkedIn. I guarantee that taking two minutes to go and search a name of a company on LinkedIn will help you network better and give you a better chance for getting considered, much more than just sending it into the “black hole of death” known more formally as the HR e-mail link. : )

So thanks LinkedIn! You are a tremendous ally in the war on joblessness in America!

AND if you happen to want to check out my LinkedIn page just pop over to the About section!

Cheated.

I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I feel a little cheated by my university for not preparing me well enough to land a job in this market. I mean, I get on job boards and start reading through the requirements or job qualifications and I’m always stopped at things like:

“Photoshop experience required” or “InDesign training needed”

These are just examples of areas that I personally come up short in but they seem to be so prevalent in job postings I read that I begin to wonder why none of my classes in all my fours years covered stuff like this? I speak only for my fellow marketing majors but it just seems like they are some big curriculum gaps that need to be covered, because apparently it is imperative to have things like Photoshop or InDesign in this biz.

Hitting the books is important and collaborating on group projects is as well but I think there is something to be said for the need in schools for more hands-on practical learning. Sure, maybe that’s what internships are for but there is no guarantee there that you’ll be getting the quality you need to feel competent in these areas that professors skip over.

I in no way blame only my university solely, because I’m sure there are others out there guilty of the same offense. Too much time spent in the books and on projects and not enough on the practical. Heck! We as students don’t even know what’s “practical” at that point and we trust our professors to show us. Then we get out in the real world and feel like we missed something, something BIG. Such a frustrating feeling!

So what’s left? The sense you feel a little cheated?

This is why I made sure during my exit interview from college to share my thoughts and concerns about the program, with people of authority, in hopes of fixing the problem. Oh and there is the thought of teaching myself the things I “missed” out on, but we’ll see how that goes. ; )

The Mantra

“No risk no reward, No guts no glory, You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” 

Pick any which one of those quotes and stick to it. Mine happens to be the latter, but find a mantra that speaks to you and your heart. Finding a job can be straight up scary! So having a simple reminder of courage will help remind you of your purpose in life right now and give you renewed enthusiasm when everything in the world seems to be dragging you down telling to settle or give up.

Having a mantra like one of the quotes listed above is just a short and sweet way to give yourself a pep talk. And you’ll see in your attitude and energy.

So, “Stay the course, keep the faith” and all that JAZZ and adopt a mantra!

Hey, Pinterest’s Quotes section has got to be good for something, right!? : )

Hokey Pokey

Don’t you just wish sometimes that there was a Poke button for e-mail?? Just like the poke button on Facebook, the button would allow you to say, “Hey! Look at me!” or “Remember me? Yeah, still here”.

While the Facebook poke is often code for something else (that I will not discuss), the pure intentions of a way to get someone to notice you, without speaking, are still there.

I have found this following inconvenience to be true countless times, that when I e-mail someone and they acknowledge my e-mail and promise to reply at a later date with more details to come but somehow manage to not follow through. What. A. Drag.

You are now forced to do one of two things:

1. Absolutely nothing- Mission NOT accomplished, do not pass Go and collect $200.

or

2. Give them a virtual “poke”- a friendly yet firm reminder that you do in fact still want to hear back from them at a reasonable point.

The problem is this second choice can lead to a myriad of awkward situations depending on how the other party ended the e-mail. Sometimes coming up with the right “come back” is an exhausting tedious task and makes you feel like literally “the most annoying person on the planet.” (A persons worst nightmare when networking.)

So, what’s a person to do when the e-mail counterpart has fallen through leaving them empty handed and confused? Risking the awkward reply should always be chosen over saying nothing, but wouldn’t it be some much easier if we didn’t have to say anything at all…

All we would need do is simply poke them!

Problem solved, and you’ve barely lifted a “finger” : )