Archive, Featured, Opinion

What to do when you have no Idea what you want to do — Musing of an Unamused

Not all experiences moving into adulthood and the working world are the same. Musing of an Unamused leads us through their perspective of What to do when you have no idea what you want to do. All article credits go to the blog Musing of an Unamused. The original post can be found here: What to do when you have no idea what you want to do.

Article:

I have toyed with the idea of being an RCMP officer, a nomad, a teacher, an engineer, an actress, a massage therapist, and a psychologist. It seems like with every new profession I research there is another person saying. “Becca, just find something you like and stick with it”.

You think a 25 year old who spent 60 grand to go to university would have a set plan in place for their life. Nope, I watch those around me grow up, buy houses, have children, get married, and get full time jobs… and then there is me. After graduating I had waitressed, managed retail, bartended, and had jobs in sales. None of which I have been able to stick with for more than a year at a time. These were all temporary positions just killing time and making money to travel while I decided what I wanted to do.

I think the reason I have had such a difficult time deciding on a profession is that I can’t fully commit myself to anything I don’t love. I don’t like putting all my eggs in one basket because that means sacrificing all of the half filled baskets that contain cluttered hopes and dreams. Therein lies the bane of my contentment with employment. I am bound by my desire to do so many different things that it squelches any chance I have at succeeding in one field.

I was ranting to my friend Beth about this job situation the other day and she brought up an incredible point. She asked, “what makes you thrive, what makes you feel like you are making a difference?” For some people that is organizing, for others its assisting, leading, or service. This made me sit and re-prioritize because for me, work has always been about making money so I can enjoy my time outside of the office/restaurant.

The one consistent in all of my previous jobs was that I would walk into work and instantly think “I can’t wait to quit” or “can someone just pay me to exist?”.  By idolizing positions with a lot of cash flow I completely crushed any hope I had of being in a workplace that I enjoyed, leaving me bitter and negative. So, when I moved out west, I switched my focus and started looking at jobs that I could grow both personally and professionally in. I started applying to jobs I believed I was under qualified for and I started getting interviews at place where, when I walked in the door, I wasn’t just thinking about how many months it would be before I could leave and travel.

“Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire” – St Catherine

I love that quote, but I have to remember that the creation of who I am, as a functioning member of society, is going to take time and experiences. Its okay to experiment with different job positions. I strongly adhere to the philosophy that human beings cannot happily do a job where:

a) we are overqualified;

b) we aren’t affecting change or growth in some way;

c) there isn’t variety.

Finding your passion usually doesn’t just come in an epiphany moment. It is sacrifice, and hard work, and sifting through jobs that are completely wrong for you for a little while.

These last few years have been as incredible and life altering as they have been messy. I do not regret any time I have spent in transition. I am happy I took the time at this point in my life to figure out what I really have passion for rather than be 40 years down the road stuck in a profession that makes me miserable.

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If you like this post, read more like it on the Briefcase. For something similar read our article on 10 Tips for Surviving a Quarter-life Crisis.

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Archive, Business, Entrepreneur, Featured, Opinion

The Power of Entrepreneurial Thinking — Rachel Kellogg

All article credits go to Rachel Kellogg click here to read the original post: The Power of Entrepreneurial Thinking — cats coffee cardigans.

Few endeavours inspire me more than entrepreneurship. The idea of jumping off the safe road to start something meaningful, useful, and real just sounds so cool. As we move through the 21st century, entrepreneurship is gradually becoming the new normal. With the emergence of technology and social media, creative thinkers have more room than ever to look for gaps to fill with their innovative ideas. Even if you don’t want to start your own business, I think it’s a good idea to pretend that you do. This will help you unlock your creativity and figure out what it is that you can offer the world. Here are three ways to think like an entrepreneur.

1. Let go of the fear

The first step to thinking like an entrepreneur is to let go of the fear of self-employment in order to unlock your imagination. If you had all of the money in the world, if you didn’t have to work, what would you do? What would you start? What would you want to do for your ‘day job’? Would it be a hobby of yours like making clothes or painting? Would you dream of being a writer? Would you want to invest in a start-up? Write down what it is you deeply, truly, want and narrow it down to your top one or two ideas.

2. Find your niche

Now that you’ve brainstormed to see what it is you truly want to do, start reading about that industry. Chances are, the reading will interest you anyway because it is likely something that you are passionate about. Once you’ve done a bit of research, start looking for gaps. What is it that you are missing when you read about the industry? How can you offer something to fill that gap? Trust me you will find something.

3. Start something… no matter what

After isolating your passions and ideas and thinking about where your skills can fill gaps in the world… just start. It’s worth spending a bit of money on art supplies, a domain name, a new musical instrument, or design software to start doing what you love. It will be a fun hobby for you and will allow you to explore your passions. Remember, this is what entrepreneurs are already doing. And they’re making money off of it. You don’t ever have to launch your passion as a serious business, you can just do it as something to do. However, don’t rule out the possibility of eventually being able to be your own boss. The world is changing quickly, so it will work to your advantage to see where your unique skills will fit in.

“The world is missing something that you have to offer. What is it?”

Follow Rachel’s blog here: https://catscoffeecardigans.com/

Rachel Kellogg: I am a bilingual (French and English) PR professional in Toronto, I have a passion for creative branding, communications and marketing. I have successfully landed on-message media coverage in top-tier outlets throughout Canada and managed end-to-end digital campaigns.

Currently, I am a Bilingual Communications Specialist at Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation handling digital communications and all French-language communications.

I hold an Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Centennial College (2015) and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Toronto – Victoria College (2012)

I invite you to explore highlights of my work in media relationsinfluencer marketing/blogger relations and web/social media content creation.

Archive, Featured, Profiles

Profile: Kevin O’Finn

Name: Kevin O’Finn

Position: CEO

Company: HEADPHONES+

Fun fact about yourself: I enjoy kayaking on the weekends and love to travel.

What drove you to get where you are?

I was told by people that I wouldn’t be able to create something, that I would be unsuccessful. Their doubt only drove me to work harder. I used that negativity as motivation to make it on my own which resulted in my creating a new business.

Why have you chosen to do what you do?

While attending Marist High School, a professor had given us the task to think of an original idea that night and come back the next morning to present our pitch to the class. Not an easy task in a day, and after wracking my brain I really couldn’t think of anything.

That night, to blow off some steam, I decided to go for a run. I grabbed my shoes, my headphones, and, of course, my reflector when the idea suddenly hit me. Rather than runners having to decorate themselves in reflectors to run safely on busy roads, why not create the first pair of wireless headphone integrated with light up capabilities to keep runners safe at night. I continued to refine the idea to keep up with current headphone trends. The product needed to be wireless, in ear, and a safety staple for all athletes.  I had my pitch for class.

From there, I started HEADPHONES+ plus because it is something I am passionate about and I know it will be a life changing product for many night-runners out there.

Share a story about a major roadblock you faced and how you overcame it.

Because I held the product to a high standard of quality one of the first major roadblocks we hit was finding the right manufacture. Since the product has a key personal safety feature (the light) the team decided we could not accept mediocrity in manufacturing. It took time, dedication, and careful vetting in order to find that right manufacture. To accomplish this, we used a program called Weebly Promote to send information to potential manufacturers about our product. That is how we got in touch with a manufacturer based in Shenzhen, China. They liked our idea and they fit our quality requirements. With them onboard we now launch in Spring 2018.

If you had only one piece of advice for other young professionals from your experiences what would it be?

Whatever you put your mind to, know that you can create it. You are the only person stopping yourself. Anything is possible.

How do we connect with you (here you can put your LinkedIn, Website, etc)?

Website: https://officialhpplus.wixsite.com/plus1

Instagram: @headphones_plus

Twitter: @headphonesplus

Email: officialhpplus@gmail.com

 

Click here to read more professional profiles by the Briefcase.

Five Whys
Archive, Business, Entrepreneur, Featured

Five Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release

All article credits go to the Nouveau Professional click here to read the full post: Five tips for writing an effective press release (for students and emerging professionals). — the nouveau professional.

SUMMARY: Read The Nouveau Professionals 5 tips for writing an effective press release.

  1. Keep your lead short and compelling…
  2. Avoid hype…
  3. Remember the inverted pyramid rule…
  4. Be concise…
  5. Learn Canadian Press (CP) style…

Follow this link to read more about each tip and view a same press release!

Here is a great video explaining the press release in more detail:

Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

Archive, Featured, Profiles

Profile: Scott Asai

Name: Scott Asai

Position: Owner

Company: Growing Forward Academy

Fun fact about yourself: Disneyland addict. My family aims to go weekly. Last year we went 49 times!

Why have you chosen to do what you do:

I worked at a test prep company for about a year managing 30 full-time tutors remotely. Being new to the online education space, I treated my role as a paid-internship. I studied the industry and business model and once I realized I could build a better mousetrap I left the company and started my own. I love to build up people and programs so I’m excited about the future of this endeavor.

Share one of your success stories:

10 years ago when I started as an entrepreneur I pitched myself as an executive coach for Millennials. I was given a month contract and worked it into a 2 year one. My most memorable turnaround was with someone I worked with for 5 months. Initially when we met she was resistant to work together. In the end, I helped her earn a promotion, improve her communication skills and attitude. Instead of introducing myself to the next cohort of individuals I worked with, she sold them on her experience working together and she is someone I still keep in contact with several years later.

If you had only one piece of advice for other young professionals from your experiences what would it be?

Network like your life depends on it. Instead of making networking a goal, make it part of your lifestyle. You can never know too many people and you can always strengthen existing relationships. If you’re introverted, aim for quality over quantity. Use LinkedIn to connect with people, then call or grab coffee with local contacts. Your greatest career asset is who you know, not what you know. Technology isn’t changing that.

How do we connect with you?

Website: https://gfacademy.online/

LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/scottasai

Medium: https://medium.com/@growingforward

   

Archive, Business, Featured, Profiles

Profile: Helena Gandra

Name: Helena Gandra

Position: European Solidarity Corps – Communications and Advocacy trainee. Recently created my own fashion label.

Company: European Volunteer Centre, Brussels, Belgium

Fun fact about myself: I am totally crazy about football. Always good to break Stereotypes!

Today I want to talk to you about why I think risk and curiosity are the key elements to be successful.

Eight years ago I was getting on a plane heading into the unknown. I was 17 and about to go to Romania as part of an Erasmus+ School Exchange and after a three and a half hour flight I found myself on the other side of Europe for the first time. I remember the first impression clearly, the people, how they dressed, the food, and especially the cold weather. I had never seen snow in my life, this was a strange new environment and a bit of a culture shock.

When the exchange ended a strange feeling stayed inside me. I had been raised believing that my country was the best but now I wanted learn more about other parts of Europe. I wanted to know more about other people, their thoughts, their culture and why anyone would ever consider living in such a cold temperature.

I realised then that I had been bitten by the ‘curiosity’ bug. I have often heard the saying that curiosity killed the cat but I have also heard that cats have 7 lives. So really, at the end of the day, even if you are curious you still have 6 more lives to live. With that reasoning I decided to explore more of Europe and after experiences new cultures I decided to pursue a Bachelor degree in new city, London, United Kingdom, studying music composition. Most of my teachers thought that I was crazy, my friends did not really understand why I wanted to go but my family supported me even though they were afraid of letting me go. This was the moment when I realised, that no matter what anyone said or did, I wanted to explore and go abroad. This was my dream.

When you holiday you never really let go your own cultural habits to give place to new ones. But after moving there more permanently and fully immersing myself in the culture, London had changed me. The city had changed the way I thought, the way I dressed, the way I saw personal relationships, and even the way I spoke. For the first time in my life I was speaking a language that was not my own for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After finishing my degree this love for the unknown kept following me.

Continuing down my path of cultural exploration I moved to Germany to do a teacher’s assistant programme in a primary school. I found myself living in Hamburg not knowing a single word of German. I am not going to lie it was hard. I knew no one and didn’t speak the language, I could have easily quit at that point and gone back to Portugal. But instead of giving up on my dream I worked diligently to improve my German and make the most of my life there.

To fill my free-time I started reading and found that politics and economics peaked my interest. I realized I wanted to pursue them more formally and applied to study a Masters in European Studies at the Europa-Universitat Flensburg. At first I doubted myself considering I had no formal education. But here is my advice: never think too much, just go for it. If you think it is something you will enjoy and can work towards, even if you fail, at least you know you tried.

In the second year of my Master’s degree I was selected to do another Erasmus+ programme at the University of Wroclaw, in Poland. There I applied for an internship with Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank. At the time I was going through a hard breakup and was full of doubts, about personal relationships and about my goals. I started to wonder if anything that I did was making any sense. I was tired of others trying to influence my life and in this moment I promised myself that whatever I would set my mind to, I would do it. I focused, had a great interview and earned that internship.

While working for Credit Suisse my hard work was noticed and I received a phone call from the European Commission. They wanted me to do a bluebook traineeship in Human Resources that gave me the opportunity to relocate and contribute to my dream of exploring Europe. It was going into the unknown again, having never done anything in HR. But I decided to follow my heart and head to Brussels to start my new job. From there I moved on to a position in Communications and Advocacy in the European Solidarity Corps, a new initiative from the European Commission. Now I am the first Portuguese-European person in the Solidarity Corps.

Work hard, take risks, and go to new places. Life is whatever you want to do with it. Listen to advice, but never let anyone decide anything for you. If you are scared, if you think you will fail, there is only one way of knowing: try it! Even if you fail, nothing is worse than not trying. It all pays off in the end and that’s the advice I keep telling myself.

And, guess what? I just graduated in MA/MSc in European Studies!

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”

One piece of advice for other young professionals from my experiences:

Dare to follow your dreams and possibly fail. Keep in mind that attempting to live without risk leads to the biggest risk of all, the risk of not living.

Connect with me:

Website- https://hg2684.wixsite.com/youngprofessionals

Facebook- @HelenaGandraTheYoungProfessionalsWebsite

Instagram- @gandrahelena

Linkedin- https://www.linkedin.com/in/helena-gandra-395b8055/

Twitter – @Helena_Gandra