Category Archives: CAREER

#ThankfulThursday : Because I Love What I Do

July 28, 2016

On the day of my graduation, which was also my birthday, I had made the decision to leave my first “big girl” job — a full-time role that I had secured months prior.  Having already started there two-months before my graduation, I couldn’t continue forcing myself to stay any longer for reasons that I will probably disclose in the near future.

Do I ever regret leaving it?  Sometimes, yes.  If I had stayed, I would of had a great salary, my own place, be given the opportunity to travel and I would have learned a lot of new skills.  Also, I would have saved myself the trouble of going through that horrendous job hunting experience.  But, at the same time, I don’t regret my decision because it has made me a better person today.  Not only did I become stronger as an individual, I had gained confidence in my abilities, became more open-minded and learned how to change my negative attitude into something positive.  Most importantly, I wouldn’t be given the opportunity that I have today.

If you’ve read my latest career post here, you must already know that I was dealing with job rejections one-after-the-other.  Ironically, two-weeks after that post, I was reached out by a recruiter for a position within the marketing realm.  Having been there for six-months now, I am, officially, a Production Coordinator at an advertising agency.  Even though I had always thought I’d turn into a high-powered, PR specialist in the fashion world, it turns out that advertising brings about a certain excitement that I had not experienced in the PR world before.  With my new role, I’m continuously being challenged everyday, and is always on my toes.

But, by far, one of the reasons why I’m entirely enjoying my new job are my colleagues.  The partners do not micro-manage, thus treating us as equals.  Together, we help each other to learn and grow, which I am so entirely grateful for their patience when answering all my questions.  I, finally, found a place where I can see myself building a career from, and can really treat this business as if it was my own.

For the first time in a long time, I can actually say that I am entirely happy with where I am at right now, especially since I love what I am doing.  I am beyond grateful for the journey that has led me to my new role, and I can actually see where I’d want to go professionally.  I can’t wait to see where this will take me, and to share with you this new chapter of mine!

Image via Etsy

#TipTuesday : How To Deal With Rejections

January 19, 2016

I’ve consistently maintained a solid, positive attitude on here, especially about my struggles finding a full-time position in a competitive industry.  I definitely have a great support system, where my friends and family constantly encourage me to go after my dreams.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I am pretty much stubborn and won’t let anything go until I get what I want.

But, I wouldn’t be honest and real if I didn’t mention the grim side to all of this.  Right now, I am having a tough start into the new year.  I had spent the holidays, submitting job applications where I’ve received rejections left and right.  I even got a rejection email on New Years Eve!  Some carved out a moment of their time to chat with me; some liked me enough to move my application forward for an interview; some decided to take back those interviews; some decided to go forward with a different candidate; and some didn’t want to give me the time of day.

Rejections can leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated, especially the ones where you’re just inches away in closing the deal.  So, having had enough experience in this department check below to see how I respond to these rejections:

  1. Take A Moment To Pause.  One of the things you don’t want to do is to react poorly to a rejection.  Before you respond to the sender, you should definitely take a moment to wash away the anger that is probably flooding your body.  Participate in some breathing exercises, get a workout done, or even continue coloring in one of those adult coloring books.  For me, I would head over to one of my favorite spots in the world — the beach.  It doesn’t necessarily wash my disappointment away, but it sure helps me zone out from the rest of the world.  By clearing my mind, I’d definitely be in the right mindset to respond appropriately to the rejection.
  2. Let It All Out.  It’s also a good idea to find someone who you can vent to.  Typically, I will call my sister and give her a little rant of the situation.  At this moment, I don’t need any comforting, especially when all I’ve been hearing are, “it’s not the right job for you,” “something better will come along,” or “it’s their lost.”  The purpose of venting is to say whatever is on my mind, letting all that I have bottled up out.
  3. Respond Appropriately.  The worst thing you can do besides not responding back to the rejection email is to reply back in a very negative way, which is why I suggested steps 1 and 2.  By taking a moment to pause and letting it all out, you would already have cooled off and cleared your mind to respond appropriately to the rejection.  Politely thank the sender for their time and effort in interviewing you, and for giving you a chance to discuss your background and qualifications.  Always end things on a positive note — you will never know what other opportunities they may have for you in the future!
  4. Ask For Feedback.  When you are responding to the rejection email, make sure to ask for feedback.  It doesn’t hurt to ask why you didn’t get the job.  If anything, it shows the employer that you were serious about pursuing the position, and that you care about growing as a professional.  Also, there criticisms can provide insight to how you can better yourself for future opportunities!
  5. Accept It and Move On.  The most important part about accepting job rejections is to not take them so personally.  Employers are just looking for the best candidate to take on that role so you have no control over the decision-making process.  Once you get that rejection email, it’s very important that you accept it, and continue forward with your job hunt.

I hope my advice helps you in your job search, and if you need any guidance with the job hunt, feel free to check out my previous posts here.  Good luck to us all!

Image via Pinterest

#WisdomWednesday : It’s Never Too Late To Intern

October 14, 2015

Besides lacking the inspiration to write, I was also very busy trying to figure out my life.  Ever since I got back from my trip, I had to work out what my next move was.  It’s already been a year since I’ve graduated, and I am still looking for that job in the fashion industry.

So, in order to keep myself within the fashion realm, I got myself an internship.  I’ve recently started interning at a local pr agency in The Arts District of downtown Los Angeles.  The team here is amazing!  They definitely get the work done, and know how to enjoy themselves while doing it.  What I love about the staff is that they actually want to teach you the necessary skills needed in a workplace.

Here, I am maintaining the showroom, assisting with gifting, compiling clips from print and online features, tracking celebrity and blogger placements, and creating pitches for the upcoming season.  Even though I had experience in these responsibilities, I still feel as if I am starting over.  Regardless, I am definitely fortunate to be here, and I desperately trying to show them what I got!

It’s definitely never too late to intern.  When I was interning at my first showroom, I was working alongside a 33-year-old intern, who was changing careers.  So, don’t ever deny yourself an opportunity due to a number!  Even though most of these internships are unpaid, it will never amount to the new skills and experiences you’d be obtaining.  Lucky me, the agency that I’m interning with believes in educating those passionate enough to learn, not who is willing to fetch them coffee.  Like the owner says, “We aren’t that kind of agency.”

If you are going through a similar situation right now, please feel free to share your interning experience(s) below!

 

Happy Hump Day!

– Lori

#TipTuesday : Don’t Forget To Follow-Up!

October 13, 2015

One of the most important part of job hunting is to follow-up.  For some reason, people tend to ignore this portion of the process because they don’t believe it’ll make a difference.  I will admit, sometimes it doesn’t.  For instance, a friend of mine consistently followed-up on the status of her application for weeks, and never received a phone call or an in-person interview.  However, I also have a friend that did the exact same thing until the hiring manager finally gave in. The hiring manager decided to meet with him, and, eventually, offered him the job.

 

Typically, there are two occasions of when you should follow-up:

  1. After submitting your application for a position
  2. After meeting with the hiring manager in an interview

If you’ve submitted an application through the company’s website, it’ll be a little tricky to follow-up, especially when the hiring manager’s name and contact information is not listed.  You can call the company, and be directed to the recruiter in the HR Department, but I, personally, don’t recommend that tactic because it’s ineffective.  Instead, do some research.  Find out who the hiring manager is for the department you’ve applied for, and directly give them a call or an email.  With the resources we have today like LinkedIn, you should be able to find the person you’re looking for.  I even found people’s contact information on press releases!  Now, check below to see an example of a follow-up via email:

After an interview, it is highly recommended that you follow-up via phone or email. Try sending out an email once you get home from the interview, and do it no later than 5pm because that’s typically when people are out of the office.  If not, schedule an email for the next day at 10am (people are typically more responsive at that time) or give them a call. Check below to see an example of a follow-up via email:

One of the great things about following-up is that it shows hiring managers your persistence, and interest in the position.  So, don’t ever hesitate to send out an email every two days until you get a response. Like what my recruiter friend says, it’s better to pester them about it than sit around waiting.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a message below!

 

Good luck!

– Lori

 

P.S. ***Please note that you should NEVER copy these examples word-for-word.  These are merely samples of what a follow-up email looks like.  So, please personalize your follow-ups!***

 

Image via The Muse & Business News Daily

#TipTuesday : 10 Most Common Interview Questions

August 18, 2015

Your qualifications got you the interview so now employers want to see your personality and how you interact in an interpersonal environment.  In order to do a great job, you have to effectively communicate how your background applies to the position.  Base on how you compose yourself, it will then determine whether or not you’ll be a great fit for the company.

There are questions that tailor to the position, but, typically, employers all ask the same questions.  Here are the 10 most common interview questions I’ve encountered:
 

  1. Tell Me About Yourself.  For a recent graduate, start off with your academic background, and explain how the courses you’ve taken helped you acquire hands-on experiences outside of your studies.  Then, end your answer with how these experiences are applicable to the position you’re interviewing for.  Don’t take no more than 2-3 minutes on this because then you’d just end up rambling.
  2. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?  Be sure to have at least 5 answers for each of this.  Interviewers will sometimes ask for 1, 3, or 5 answers from you.  Many people struggle with listing their weaknesses, but not many realize that this is a great opportunity for you to WOW the interviewer.  Beware!  Don’t list out answers like “I work too hard” because that’s not a weakness at all.  List out your weaknesses, but explain how you’ve overcome them.  Provide examples from your academic and professional experiences to help back-up your responses.
  3. Tell Me About A Challenge or Conflict You Faced At Work and Describe How You’ve Dealt With It?  In some interviews, hiring managers will provide you a scenario and ask how you would respond to it.  This question can either throw you off or win you the interview, but whatever it is, you can easily prepare for these types of questions.  For example, if you’re interviewing for a customer service role, a lot of it entails dealing with unhappy customers.  Interviewers will typically ask how you would deal with that unhappy customer.
  4. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position?  Give an answer that does not belittle your current employer.  The last thing you want to do is speak badly of your current employer because the hiring manager will wonder if you’d do the same to them.  Typically, recruiters have advised to give answers that suggest seeking further opportunities and growth.   
  5. Why Do You Want To Work Here?  Do your research!  Find something specific and detailed about the company or organization that you’re interviewing for, and personalize it.  Again, don’t bad mouth your current employer — nobody wants to hear that.
  6. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?  Provide a specific answer to this question.  By giving an assured answer, the hiring manager will get a sense that you are mindful of your goals.  Thus, providing further insight to who you are.  Also, relate it to the current position and company that you’re interviewing for, but, of course, be honest about it.
  7. What Is Most Important To You In A New Position?  One of the most important values and factors in a work place that any job seeker has is the culture.  Another would be the support from the management and team.  Any answer within those lines are typically what has been said by most employees.
  8. What Are The Challenges You Think You’ll Face Here?  Find a specific challenge that you think you’re going to need more time to overcome than the others.  The most crucial thing is to always back it up with a “I know I will overcome it through hard work and persistence” kind of response.  Now, don’t give them a response where you’ll think the job itself will be a challenge…
  9. What Are Your Salary Requirements?  Again, do your research!  Check out Glassdoor for salary averages on a position within the company or organization.  Then, make your salary requirements off of that.
  10. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?  Never say no.  Hiring managers are not the only ones that should be asking questions, you should too!  I, personally, like to ask if they have any concerns about my qualifications because that way, if they do, I can address those concerns right then and there.  Most importantly, always ask what the next step of the interview process is.  I recommend being assertive about this because you want the employer to know that you really want this job!  In other words, always end it strong.

The most important advice that I can give you is to have confidence.  In order to do that, do your research, practice with a friend or family on these interview questions, and have your interview essentials ready in advance!  Confidence is key to your delivery, and it’s an energy that employers can’t get enough of.

Here’s a little clip from The Big Bang Theory to lighten up your spirits!

 

 

Good luck!

– Lori