Archive, Business, Entrepreneur, Featured, Lifestyle, Monika Brkic, Opinion

Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace

Check out this clip from Simon Sinek on “Millennials in the Workplace”. Simon touches on the struggles millennials face due to their upbringing and the battle of dealing with workplace stresses. He focuses on how technology, social media addiction, and growing up with participation awards have affected an entire generation of the working population. Highly recommend taking the time to listen!

 

 

What are your thoughts on what Simon Sinek presented? Do you agree or disagree with the arguments he brought forward?

Business, Entrepreneur, Featured, Monika Brkic, Opinion

Realistic 2018 New Years Resolutions for Young Professionals

New year, new me? Have you broken your new year resolutions yet? How many times have you promised yourself you would change in the new year but have broken your resolutions by February? We are all guilty breaking some resolutions but here are three that we are taking in 2018.

 

Speak Up More in Meetings

As young professionals we sometimes feel overshadowed by the wisdom and knowledge of more senior professionals. This year I am trying to force myself to say my opinion, stop fearing the idea of looking “stupid”, and make sure my voice is heard. People will forget the mistakes you made but they wont forget the great ideas you continually bring forward. 

 

Spend More Time Reviewing Mistakes

It is easy to want to quickly correct and try to distance yourself from mistakes made at work but this year I want to work on learning more from them. Start asking myself what were the actions that lead me there, how can I correct them in the future, and what step can I put in place to keep them from happening again.

 

Start Celebrating Achievements

We are all our harshest critics and especially at work we can become overly critical about our performance. Take the time out of the day to celebrate the great work you were able to accomplish. Don’t be afraid to humble brag about that new awesome project or the presentation you just nailed. This year be proud of yourself and celebrate the work you do!

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.

Follow Musing of an Unamused.

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.

Have a comment? Leave it below!

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

 

Archive, Arts & Sciences, Lifestyle, Michelle

Winter Office Wears

The Jacket

The most useful jacket in a women’s wardrobe, is a beautifully fitted leather jacket. Pair it with a cute turtle neck, leather leggings, a little bootie and toss your best hand bag on and you’ve got yourself an edgy but chic winter office look.

(Leather Jacket: Vero Moda, Blue Turtle Neck: Eileen Fisher, Leather Leggings: Dynamite, Black Booties: The Bay, Handbag: Kate Spade)

The Splash of Colour

Tired of your everyday jean and dress pant? Every woman needs a splash of colour and design in their every look. It can be as simple as a red hand bag or as chic as a black and white polka dot pant with a red band. Pair this with some classic pieces like a black shirt, knee high boots, and a leather jacket and you will be ready to take on the day in style!

(Leather Jacket: Vero Moda, Black Shirt: Melanie Lyne, Knee-high Boot: Le Chateau, Polka Dot Pants: Melanie Lyne)

The Sweater Dress


The best part about summer is being able to wear dresses all the time, but why can’t that be the best part about winter too? Get yourself some awesome winter dresses, whether it be a big cashmere turtle neck dress, or a simple sweater dress. They are easy to throw on in the mornings, especially when you’re in a rush! Pair them with a nice pair of tights (colour dependent on the dress) or leggings to keep your legs warm, and accessorize with a great knee high boot! Get the perks of wearing a dress and staying warm.

(Dress: Seven Sisters, Knee-high Boot: Le Chateau, Tights: The Bay, Purse: Gucci)

Get something similar:

 

Photo by Nina Uhlíková from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-adventure-beautiful-climb-287240/
Archive, Lifestyle

2018 Travel Trends

Looking to book your 2018 trips? Look no further! Marta has got the latest 2018 travel trends covered. Click below to read more:

Here is what to expect in 2018 as per the latest Virtuoso Lux Report and other industry experts. Plenty of food for thought for fellow hoteliers to turn trends into packages. Skip The Parents Multigeneration travel is in full swing including “skip-gen” trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on a special adventure, leaving the parents behind […]

via Travel Trends 2018 — Marta Warren

Archive, Business, Entrepreneur, Keelin Elwood, Lifestyle

10 Tips for Surviving a Quarter-life Crisis

Remember the Golden Era? Yeah, you know which one I am talking about… the ‘Television Era’. Pre-2007, before Netflix began streaming. Remember how easy it was to decide what to watch?

No?

Let me take you back for a second: you are home alone, the remote clasped tightly in your hand, instinctively protecting it from being torn away. You can finally watch whatever you want. Absolutely anything at all… of all 27 channels you have. You flip through them all, twice just to be sure. Two things peak your interest Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds. You pick Criminal Minds (obviously). Your choice was easy. You make popcorn, you have a great night.

In mere minutes you weighed your two options and decided what you wanted to watch. There was no issue. Fast-forward now to the present; the ‘Netflix Era’. There are countless streaming sites, with thousands of shows and movies. How will you ever choose? There is just simply too much. The horror!

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I am avidly convinced that as a general rule people get overwhelmed by too many options. In 2017 we spend hours browsing various streaming sites just for one half hour of TV show satisfaction. It’s frustrating, exhausting, and frankly just makes people want to give up.

The transition from childhood to adulthood is basically the same. As a child you have limited options. These options may be limited by your parents, your peers, your location, your family’s finances and so many other variables. As kids and young adults we make the best choices we can with all of those limitations. But really when it comes down to it, you only have 27 channels.

Then something incredible happens and we get that first job, that certificate, that degree, or that first apartment. And at first, it is the most fabulous thing in the world. But then our tiny, limited world suddenly gets cracked open and we enter the ‘Netflix Era’ – Adulthood. The ‘Netflix Era’ is, at first glance amazing. There are so many options, there is so much wonder, so much potential… and then it all becomes so overwhelming. What shall I choose? Do I really want to go to med school? Should I get a puppy? Why is everyone else doing so well? Do I even want kids? Did I pick the right career? Am I happy? And oops, rent is due.

Enter: the dreaded quarter-life crisis.

According to LinkedIn research 75% of 25-33 years olds have experienced a quarter-life crisis. So, for anyone denying the existence of quarter-life crises, you just wait because it will come. Personally, my quarter life crisis started about a year ago. Now, mind you, this is a QUARTER-life crisis. It’s a lot milder than a mid-life crisis. So no, it did not consist of me buying a new corvette or quitting my job on an impulse. It was still tough though.

For those of you who have not experienced a quarter-life crisis (yet) here is what it looked like for me:

  • Impulse dropping quite a few dollar bills on a college course I was not ready for
  • Consistent existential dread
  • Deciding I wanted to become ‘Instagram famous’ (and somewhat executing on it)
  • Flipping between the #fitlife #fitfam and laying on my couch for hours and binge watching Scandal
  • Questioning every single life choice I have made since the day I was born
  • Freaking out about not knowing where my life is going (tip: no one does by the way, at least not with 100% certainty)
  • Seriously considering just moving to the arctic

But I made it through! Ish. I made it through, ish. I wouldn’t say I have moved completely past it, but I am definitely out of the thick of it and this is what I have learned:

My Ten Tips for Surviving Your Quarter-life Crisis:

  • Love yourself, your friends, and your family. Lean on them for help and advice because you will need it.
  • Use social media, don’t let it use you. Rule of thumb: if you are on social media and seeing everyone else’s success and happiness is making you feel miserable about your own life, social media is using you. Shut it down. If you are using social media to communicate and share experiences with friends and colleagues, you are using it. Keep it up.
  • Practice deep breathing. Lucky for me (ha!) a few years pre-quarter-life crisis I suffered from some pretty rough panic attacks. Those relaxation techniques really came in handy for those tougher crisis days.
  • If you are about to spend a large sum of money sit on it for at least a day. When people feel overwhelmed they can make rash decisions. If one of those rash decisions is a large unplanned purchase, take at least a day.
  • Give yourself nice things. You work hard, treat yourself a little. And remember, nice things don’t have to cost you anything. Your ‘nice thing’ can simple be a relaxing night in.
  • Sample some of the options you are considering. Thinking of upheaving your life and moving halfway across the globe? Visit first. Change is great, and at almost any other time in your life, I’d say go for it! But quarter-life crises might trick you into wanting things you really don’t just because you feel trapped or overwhelmed in that particular moment. Make big decisions carefully.
  • Remember who you are. You can get lost sometimes.
  • Work out. However you can. It helps with stress relief and providing clarity.
  • Actually make decisions. I subconsciously put off all decision making. It’s a personality flaw I am well aware of, and am working on. But there is power associated with actually making a choice, relieving yourself of that stress, and following the decision with action. Actions propel you forward (and out) of your crisis.
  • Follow through on your decisions. And if you find out along the way that you don’t like your choice, change it. There are plenty of options.

Adulthood is like Netflix. It’s wonderful and overwhelming, which can cause panic. But the panic subsides and you can eventually pick a show to watch and a purposeful life to live.

Because really, who would want to go back to 27 channels?

Have your own tips? Share them in the comments below.

Archive, Business, Entrepreneur, Featured, Opinion

Never Too Much, Always Enough

Inspiration

Thank you to Hannah Wiser for letting us re-share her story. Follow Hannah as she over comes obstacles and finds confidence in the corporate world. Read the full version by clicking here!

One of the hardest parts about being a young professional in the world of 8-5 corporate life is finding your own identity, and even further, being comfortable in that identity. I spent 6 long years in undergrad..(yes, you read that correctly…) mostly because I had no idea what in the world I wanted to do […]

via Never Too Much, Always Enough —

Archive, Business, Featured, Keelin Elwood, Opinion

Stop Sorting: Why Email Folders Have Got to Go!

I am always slightly envious when I see a near-empty desktop with folders left-justified and aligned. Or when I catch, out of the corner of my eye, an outlook with an empty inbox (does this even happen?). I personally have tried to organize my desktop and inbox on several occasions, but the habit never stuck.

For reference, my desktop:

Image of all the folders on Keelin's messy desktop.

It’s not that I couldn’t do it, it’s just that I found it relatively pointless. Now to each their own, but I feel strongly that, for me, sorting emails and files just isn’t on my priority list.

So why don’t I sort my emails, or my desktop, you may ask? Here were my top three reasons for ditching the folders.

  1. I am a little bit of a perfectionist. My folders all needed the perfect titles, and the content of my emails needed to fit perfectly within those buckets. If they didn’t I ended up going down a folder-creating rabbit-hole to ensure the perfect structure for my outlook.
  2. It was wasting my time. Some people have come up with brilliant folder systems that really work for them and save them time. Some people… not me. It was not working for me and I had other things I wanted to do with my time, none of which included sorting my inbox.
  3. I always had to search for the files anyways. Even after all of the different folder set ups I tried, I was still primarily using the search bar to find what I was looking for. And if I was already just searching for what I needed, what was the point of wasting time on folders?

In the end ditching the little folder icons was worth it for me; it saved me time and headache. So if this resonates with you, give it a try. Let the chaos ensue. If it doesn’t and you are a veteran folder-guru, please share your wisdom and techniques in the comments below!

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Archive, Featured

About The Briefcase

The Briefcase’s mission is to share the experiences, work, and lifestyles of young professionals across the world.

To succeed and grow, one must be willing to learn. Our hope if to fill this Briefcase with invaluable knowledge and experiences from the young professional community so you have that knowledge where ever you go.

To accomplish this we would like to incorporate as many professional profiles and articles as possible. If you would like to contribute an article or be the subject of one of our Young Professional Profiles please contact thebriefcasemag@gmail.com or click here. The Briefcase strives to be an online magazine for you by you.

You are already on the path to growing in your profession and as a person. You’ve learned so much along the way already, and there is so much more to come. The thing is, all of it can feel heavy sometimes, so let us be your Briefcase.

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Archive, Featured, Opinion

Opinion: Networking

Oftentimes as young professionals we connect with more experienced folks in our industry hoping to leverage their skills and expertise. We want a mentor. We want their insights on the work we are doing. Or we just want to further connect within our industry’s network. Now all of those things great, and will help you develop in your career, but as young professionals we constantly forget that relationships are a two way street.

Now, some people are abundantly generous and will give their time and insights without asking for anything in return. But we, as young professionals, do have something to offer as well. We need to remember that we can also bring something to the table. In most instances, to truly build effective, long-lasting relationships both parties have to put in work. Giving back is the glue that holds relationships together. And as professionals in our 20s and 30s we have so much to give. Whether it be new perspectives and ideas, some tips on social media, or just lending an ear, we have plenty to offer. 

Bring value to the table, contribute, collaborate, and engage in all of your relationships and they will be all the better for it in the long run.