The Importance Of Finding Out Who You Are While Job Searching

13 02 2009

This Wednesday was a very self-fulfilling day for me as I met with the Career Center at the University of Denver.  I attended DU for four years before I graduated in August 2008, where I was unsatisfied with the services provided from the Career Center from day 1. The services were half-ass, and not marketed at all to students. The career fairs were beyond disappointing, and the online career website was basically useless as it had less than 25 employment opportunities searchable for the state of Colorado. 

Since graduation, I tried working in the financial planning industry where I quickly realized that sales and building my own book of business was not the place for me to be happy or successful. As a result, I have spent the last four months learning more about myself as an individual since college seems to teach you all about the books, but little about yourself. I will admit I fell into the category of ignorant college students by assuming that when you graduate you not only will know the path for your future, but you will also have a very good job waiting for you. 

As I have learned this is not the case at all, in fact I graduated having no idea what I wanted to do as a career and I most defiantly did not have a job lined up. I understand that I graduated in to a recession, which does not help my case. However, I cannot describe the pain and trouble I have found myself in finding that “right” job. I didn’t say dream job on purpose, but from trying financial planning I realized it is important to find a job that will lead you in the right direction to your future goals. 

You might ask how I have been discovering myself and why I feel that it is important. Finding who I am was very challenging, as I believe that people continuously change and grow. Who I was in college is very different from who I am today, and more importantly who I want to be in the future. Please do not get me wrong, I think it is very important to live all different parts of life as together they build up to who you are at the moment and in the future. Getting back to my personal story, when I was in college I studied abroad my junior year with Semester at Sea. This is a ship that travels around the globe stopping in 10 different countries, mostly third world countries. This was an adventure in my life that I never thought I would forget because I grew so much as an individual; however, when I returned back to my life in Colorado I slowly acclimated to my old life forgetting the person I grew to be and loved. A month ago Semester at Sea hosted a reunion voyage where 50 students from my voyage attended including myself. This was where I remembered who I had been during my semester at sea: a fun, caring, helpful, adventurous, intelligent, giving individual – all qualities I am proud to have associated with my name.

While sitting in my apartment searching for a job it is very important for me to remember who I am, or how I like to describe myself. It is very easy to get down while looking for a job, so remember who you are is crucial. As I remembered how much helping others was important to me, I thought that many other students from DU are most likely living jobless like me, with no help of the career center. This is why I thought it was important to contact the career center and offer help making their services more beneficial to both students and alumni. The director of the career center listened to my presentation this week, and glowed over the work I had put into helping out. She took fault for many of the mistakes the career center is making, and plans to make many changes.

While looking for a job and discovering who I am, I created my own job for myself which has helped me connect with many professionals as they are impressed with the work I have done for the University of Denver. My moral of my job search is keep in mind who you are. It is impossible to job search all day, so be yourself and it may even help you with your job search and connection with other professionals! 





25 Things About Yourself

3 02 2009

For the past few days on Facebook, I have been receiving “chain letters” from my friends. The introduction says:

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

I usually over look these e-mails but it seemed as though all of my Semester At Sea friends were participating, and I didn’t want to be the odd man out. I am very happy I did take time to fill out 25 things about myself as it reminded me who I am. As a recent college graduate, I felt as though I started to loose my identity. I no longer know what I am supposed to do (previously I always knew I would be attending school the next year), I no longer know where I should be living, I basically started questioning every part of my life. Though the 25 things I wrote about myself do not answer my question about my future, it reminded me of key point of what makes me who I am. Here is what I came up with…

1. I am currently unemployed, and hating it! Not because I need the $$ but because the days are so damn boring!

2. I keep myself busy watching the soap channel to waste my day away while looking for jobs. 9-11 beverly hills 90210, 11-1 one tree hill 1-3 the OC…and I love them all

3. I secretly think that the characters on all of the above shows (and many more..the hills, lipstick jungle, 90210, privileged….)are my friend, and I love to gossip about them.

4. Actually, I secretly like to gossip about everything…or should I say listen to gossip. Its not nice to spread it!

5. I have lived in three different countries ( and I think that is enough for me)

6. I have traveled to over 22 countries, and I want that list to continue to grow. I was once told to never let your age be a larger number than the number of countries you have traveled to. LIVE BY IT!

7. I will one day return to the MV as a life long learner. I refuse to not travel the world again, even if it is to countries I have already been to.

8. I take sleeping pills which make me PASS OUT. If you try and talk to me after I take them, it is not unusual for me to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence or even worse…a word!

9. I like music, but I don’t know anything about it! Singers, bands, songs…don’t even bother asking me a question about it, I defiantly will not know the answer. 

10. That scar on my chest…it’s not from surgery but rather in gym class in middle school. we were practicing fencing and I refused wear that ugly white outfit because it did not match my hair-band….unfortunately my partner got me right in between the boobs. 

11. I love girly things such as manicures, pedicures, massages, and shopping. I also don’t mind when males like these things either. In fact, I like it because it gives me more friends to do the things I love with.

12. I believe that things happen for a reason. You make choices in life, but ultimately things happen for a reason.

13. I love the warm weather, however every city I have lived in has cold weather. Tans make me feel beautiful and sexy, and the sun makes me happy!

14. My family is the most important thing to me. I tell them everything, and one day wouldn’t hate living near them.

15. I can be successful in life, and I will. I will find a job that allows me to rise like a star! But eventually I want to be a mom and work hard at building a great family like my parents did for me.

16. I enjoy food, all kinds of it. My favorite foods as a kid were not spaghetti and meatballs like most kids but rather salami, pickles, and lobster. 

17. I have lots of best friends and favorite things. There are too many good things in this world to limit yourself.

18. I hate making decisions unless something really matters to me. Otherwise why piss other people off?? Yes I am a people pleaser, can you imagine that?

19. I have emotions, and lots of them. Crying is a pass time for me.

20. I love boys and fall hard for them. Am I at the age where I should say men??? 

21. I have always hated playing “games” when it comes to guys. You either like me or you don’t and vis versa. I would rather spend time doing fun things with the person rather than pretending I don’t like them.

22. I have always said that I would rather a few close friends rather than a lot of friends. That is true, but I really would like a few close friends with a lot of other friends as well. I usually hate being alone and would like to spend most hours of my day with people I like. 

23. I used to think writing about myself was hard, but this was pretty easy. I guess I have become a stronger person who is not ashamed of who I am.

24. I hate surprises and am terrible at giving them. I like to know what is going on!

25. I love adventures, learning, and trying new things. Thank you SAS!

Take a few minutes and try it yourself. I am sure it will remind you of many things you have forgotten about yourself, or have pushed to the back as life is very busy. The most important thing in life is yourself, so I advice you to do this and make yourself happy by remembering who you are!





Standing Up To Authorities

2 02 2009

When growing up, kids are told to respect their elders. When in school, students are told to respect their teachers. When at work, employees are told to respect their boss. How long does this continue? What happens if you do not believe in what your authority is doing? My life rule is to speak your mind – in a respectful manor. 

I recently graduated from the University of Denver, a private university. With that being said, you would think that the career center would be a great facility for students and alumni as it should have great connections with the community and alumni. However, this is far from the truth – the University of Denver Career Center absolutely SUCKS.

For years I heard how disappointed students were in the services provided by the career center, but it did not personally affect me until my third year in school. It was then that I decided it would be wise to get an internship, so I ventured over to the career center where my journey of disgust began. They were awful, unable to help with anything.

For the next two years I continued to work with the career center hoping that one day they will be able to help me. This never happened. It has now been six months since I graduated and I am still pondering how it is possible for a university to provide such poor services. As a result, I wrote a letter to the director of the career center explaining my disgust in their services. I spoke up to those who I should have been respected, in hope to change the future for University of Denver graduates and alumni.

I have a meeting in two weeks with the directors of the career center. It is then that I will provide suggestions of ways to alter their program in order to make it more successful. I have collected short quotes from over 30 alumni who also feel the services are substandard. I have also included a previous article I wrote “5 Things I Wish I Knew In College That Would Help Me Network Today” in hope that the career center will make this available for students, or at least share the information provided. 

Bellow I have included the letter I sent to the director. Please read it and decide if you believe I disrespected my authories or if I spoke up respectfully in order to make a positive change. What would you have done in this situation. Or more importantly, what would you do in a situation that is close to home for yourself? Use your voice, express how you feel. One day you might sit down with the person you feel is doing something wrong, and be able to change the future for others. 

 

Hello,


My name is Jessica Goodman and I recently graduated in August 2008 from Daniels. As a student I was very disappointed in the career center as I never found it to be helpful. The career fairs were substandard, especially for a private university. I have always felt that the HRTM and Accounting schools were the only schools within Daniels that have an adequate program to help their graduating students find jobs. 

I am not writing this letter to complain; in fact, I am writing this letter to help. I feel very passionate about helping upcoming graduates find a job in this tough economy as I know it is possible. Since August, I have experienced two different jobs, and I have been offered many more. Though I did not stay with either of these jobs as I realized very quickly that they were in an industry I was not interested in, I still know that it is very possible to get a job today. 

The University of Denver is a well respected university with unbelievable education. It seems as though for a school with such great academics, it lacks in helping to put their students in the great companies and positions they have worked hard towards. As a University of Denver Alumni, I found myself going to CU Boulder’s career fair as the opportunities presented were endless. I would love to help DU raise their standards of what the Career Center can offer to their students. I know it is possible to improve the Career Center and the future of the University of Denver students. 

To show my commitment I have written an article on “5 Things I Wish I Knew In College That Would Help Me Network Today” which I have attached to this e-mail. I have recieved great responses in reference to this article which can be seen on my website http://jessgoodman.wordpress.com/ and on BrazenCareerist.com I would love to sit down and discuss some of my ideas of how the University of Denver Career Center can be improved. However, if this is not felt to be necessary the least I ask (for the sake of DU students) is you offer a copy of my article to students, or at a minimum the advice included.

I hope to be an assistance in the future as I feel the need to help my fellow peers.

Regards,
Jessica Goodman




How Important Is Money?

27 01 2009

It is fair to assume that everyone would agree with the statement “money is necessary to live”.  But how much money is truly needed? Of course that depends on the life an individual desires. It can be as simple as food and shelter, or as extravagant as luxury houses and all the fine things.  There are many people in today’s world who have been fortunate enough to be born into money. However, that is not the case for the majority. Most people have to work long hard hours in order to make money to support themselves and their families. 

The question I ask is this, would you rather spend time enjoying life doing things you enjoy with the people you love? Or would you like to work long hard hours in order to make lots of money in order to support those you love? The answer is not clear cut for most people. Most people would like to have the best of both worlds, making lots of money while enjoying quality time doing things they love with people they care about. But lets be honest here, unfortunately this is close to impossible.

As a female who is entering into the business world, this is a question I asked myself. I was very fortunate growing up as I was able to enjoy the finer things in life. I always wore brand name clothing, ate at nice restaurants, and was able to travel the world. Now being 22 years old and starting to think about life without financial support from my parent, I have been presented with a challenge of deciding what life I want for my future – a life where I can enjoy myself and live moderately, or a life where I work hard in order to live the extravagant life in the far future. 

Not too long ago I heard a story about a man who chose to work the long hard hours in order to live an extravagant life when he retired. This man was in his mid 50’s and has lived his past 30 years in an office behind a desk. He thought it would be well worth while as he pictured him and his wife traveling the world with no financial concerns in their future. Unfortunately, this man was diagnosed with cancer years before he ever thought of retiring. He did not survive this tragic disease, and left his family with money, but not many memories as he was always working so hard. This man was also never able to enjoy what he had earned as he focused too much on his future. 

This story saddened me as the man never got to experience what he was working so hard to get. From this story I have come to realize that living in the moment is crucial. No matter which lifestyle I choose to work toward, I know that I am going to take time for myself. It is possible to work hard and still do small things for yourself. I don’t want an unfortunate tragedy to not allow me to experience what life is all about.





5 Things I Wish I Knew In College That Would Help Me Network Today

23 01 2009

Building a network sounds pretty easy? All you have to do is gather the contact information of those you know. You might even go one step further and ask for referrals from your friends and family. But what happens when you are recently out of college and you live in a different state than your family? Things become a little more difficult!

I have gathered some advice for college students nearing graduation. Take it or leave it, I just wish I was told all of this prior to graduating (and if  it was given to me, I would hope that I would have taken it seriously because we all know college students priorities are sometimes off balanced.) 

1. Keep a close connection with your professors

GROSS, I know you college students are thinking peverted right now. But seriously, your professors are teaching higher education because of their knowledge and experience. They most likely have countless connections in the industry of the subject they teach – and most likely in other fields. Become close with your professors, they really aren’t scary and they can be very helpful! Start discussing future career plans with professors when you are in their class because that is when they know you best. You may not know what you want to do, but who better than an expert to help you.

2. Get experience

Get out in the field and get your hands dirty! Internships are a great way to get experience as a college student. If money is not a concern another great idea is volunteering with a company you are interested in. If you build a good connection with them, and already have experience, you just might have an offer on the table waiting for you at graduation. How sweet would that be?! Without experience you are ALMOST useless. Not to say you can’t get a job out of college, but it will make the already hard task 100% harder.

3. Start networking prior to graduation

Some of your peers are going to be the next big thing in the business world. Get to know everybody and do not make enemies. There are also many professional associations (for every industry and market you can think of) that love young adults. They hold events, conferences, and provide guidance. If you ask me, it would have been nice to have all these connections ready for me when I graduated rather than spending my first few months out of school networking.

4. Expand yourself

You may think you know what you want to do in life, but chances are you don’t. With our generation, we jump jobs like crazy. Explore all different industries and positions while you can. It is like the saying “if you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it” I think that is one of the greatest things about generation Y, none of us know where we will end up, its a ongoing adventure! 

5. Be Professional

I know Facebook is a fun website to tool around on but be appropriate. I am a huge advocate of Facebook being used for fun and other social media websites being used for professional needs. However, there are many people who do not see eye to eye with me. No matter if it is on Facebook, a blog, or even in person – be appropriate. You never know who is around. I am not saying don’t be yourself because that would just be lame, but I do recommend thinking before you act. 

This might have sounded a little like a school lecture or even worse like your parents, but I am far from that! I am a 22 year old recent graduate (August 2008 ) who wishes she would have been this knowledgeable a year ago. I graduated right as the economy was burning up in flames which has not helped my cause of finding a career, but I truly believe that the reason I am still unemployed is because I was oblivious in college to the importance of networking and experience. Lucky me three months out of college and I just know think I know what I want to do…I doubt you want to be in my situation so use that brains that you are spending so much money on educating, and start networking. Your brain will thank you when you graduate and it does not become a couch potato- trust me.





Today’s World Is Like A Merry-Go-Round

23 01 2009

Do you ever feel like you are spinning on a merry-go-round when you are actually sitting still? In today’s world everything moves so fast that it is hard to take a breath and comprehend what is happening.

Can you remeber 10 years back? or 15? Though I was a young girl back then, I am wondering how we all functioned without Smartphones, PDA’s, wireless internet, and SOCIAL MEDIA. With technology constantly improving, it makes me wonder where we will be in another 10 or 15 years. Today, it is not unusual to read newspapers online (who needs to waste the paper with the whole green movement), for a young adult to not have a landline but only a cell phone, for a 12 year old to have their own cellphone, and for CEO’s of companies to be blogging online during work hours. This would have been unheard of even 5 years ago!

What does all this technology mean? There have been many critics who say that generation Y  lacks personal communication skills as we have grown up using computers and technology. I can remember being in 7th grade and locking myself in my room everyday after school so I could have privacy while chatting on AIM. This became an everyday occurrence and started scaring my parents as they had no way to control or idea what I was doing online. My father went to the extreme of making an AOL SN and talking to me as if he was just some random guy. This was the only way he was able to understand my generation (and make sure I was not doing anything bad or dangerous as I am his little girl.) Now about 10 years later I find that I am still introducing my parents to different types of technology, but I must admit I have found that the older generations who are still in the business world are pretty adaptive to this new hi-tech, quick moving world we are in.

As soon as you think you have figured out how to use a new gadget or website, another one comes out. Everything comes and goes so quickly in our world today, therefor making it is hard to grasp everything. I sometimes wish I had a remote like in the movie “Click” where I can pause my life. Just imagine all the mistakes you have made in life because things are going so fast, and if you had just one moment to look around and think about your options you may not have made that mistake. This can relate to online chatting as you may have typed so fast you made some spelling or grammatical errors, or maybe you responded too quickly and typed something you didn’t want to send. OOPS! Or maybe this happened in the office where you forgot about a deadline and turned a project in late. Or maybe in college you were too concerned about getting sloshed the night before that you forgot to attend class the next morning. 

It seems to me that life is moving so quickly, and I am scared that I am going to miss out on something important. I am a very adventurous female who wants to live life and enjoy it too. I realized that it is not the little things in life that matter, but the big ones that are meaningful to you. Find a hobby, a career, a friend, a foundation or ANYTHING you are passionate about and embrace it. Have good memories with or about the things that you are passionate about and don’t waste your time over the petty little things. There are too many things going on so quickly in todays world that one needs to grab on to what they are interested in and let the rest keep spinning in circles on the merry-go-round.





Where does Facebook fit in social media?

23 01 2009

Facebook may be a very successful social media website, but is it being used to its fullest potential? And is it even being used for its original purpose?

I am a recent college graduate who knows just about everything you could want to know about Facebook plus some. Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, the year I left home to go to College. This was great, I was able to stay in touch with all my friends from back home! I remember the excitement as new universities joined the network, it meant we could connect with more friends. 

For most young adults, Facebook is a way of life. Facebook has done a great job connecting young adults with past friends, new friends, school friends, friend’s of friends – or in other words everyone. It has become a great network for young adults to share photos, plan gatherings, talk online, sell items, join groups, or share anything else about one’s life that he or she so desires. 

Now I am not going to complain about Facebook, because as I write I have another browser open to my Facebook page. However, now that I am out of college and I am exploring the social media world, I have realized how much Facebook is lacking. There is no professionalism on Facebook at all, though I find it humorous when older generations join thinking it is a good networking site. Facebook is all about fun, there are inappropriate pictures of many members, there is foul language written on many people’s walls, status’ usually relate to being hung over or being sexiled – none of which a business professional wants to see from their employees or future employees. Most other business social media websites I have been investigating seem to be more focused on the work world, helping individuals grow, or helping businesses strive (except for myspace, but we will not go there).

I have realized that Facebook lacks career links, forums, serious conversations, question asking, and most importantly expert’s advice. There is no comparing of Facebook to websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and BrazenCareerist as it seems as though the creators had  different visions, or at least the websites have taken different paths. (Facebook was started solely for Harvard students and then quickly expanded. I think it would be fair to assume that originally Mark had a more professional path envisioned for facebook and its Harvard students)

As a recent college graduate that is now entering the work world, I feel as though I have a good understanding of  all different social media websites. I believe that these websites fit into two different categories: business and fun. Though they are all social media networking websites, Twitter, LinkedIn, and BrazenCareerist and other business networking sites are all very professional, more formal, and very informative. On the other hand, Facebook is entertaining ( I am still not sure how we entertain ourselves on it for hours, but we do!) and social. There is no real connection to Facebook and the business world except for keeping in connection with old contacts. Facebook had the potential to be a great business networking site for college students entering into the business world, but instead it has taken a turn and has become a jungle gym for high school and college students to play around and waste time on.








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