I know it has been a while-so over the next six weeks I will be blogging about social media as I continue my educational journey and learn some cool new skills 🙂 Be inspired, have fun, and ask any questions you’d like!
A year ago I was posting tips about finding the perfect job. This August I am writing to tell you that I have been at the most amazing job for a year. Last August I was hired on as a part-time event coordinator and it has been a learning experience, a total blast, and I feel really lucky to be enjoying my life after college!
Some things I have learned this past year:
- Be respectful and polite to everyone. Being nice makes it harder for people to be mean to you.
- Bubblegum in your son’s pocket will ruin clothes when it hits the dryer.
- Invest in good fitting, well made, practical, and color-coordinated pieces of clothing.
- Don’t call people who have been dead for two years. Know your information before picking up the phone.
- There is always something to do.
- Have fun, work hard, and be verbally appreciative of others hard work.
- You can have too much caffeine.
- Your attitude is important. So is being genuine.
- Balance, balance, balance your work and home life. Both are necessary.
- Everyday is a new learning experience.
- Do not stick your arm in-between two bars and try and tag your child (when playing tag at the play ground) he will fall and you will end up with a huge bruise.
- Buy a garbage can with a self-closing lid after coming home a dozen times to your old garbage can knocked over and picked through by two adorable dogs.
- Be thankful for where you are, where you have come from, and the possibility of where you are going.
- Wear good looking (but cute) shoes!
- Laugh at and with yourself when you do something silly.
- Last, but certainly not least, Be open, communicative, and able to learn from daily experiences without feeling shame or regret at not being perfect.
Best Wishes as the year progresses—
I knew that starting my job search right out of college would be a strenuous endeavor, but I didn’t think it would be this difficult. I don’t even think that I have it as hard as some of my peers-I’m only looking for a part-time position and they have to competitively fight for a full-time position that pays well, has benefits, and is in the area they live in or an area they don’t mind moving to. I’m just looking for an office where I can share my creativity, hard-working team-player attitude, and bubbly personality (with a reasonable salary attached of course!!) I have kept in contact with friends from school who instantly found positions, and others who are over a year out and still not working. Oregon doesn’t have the best climate for finding you dream job, but it certainly isn’t the worst.
I read article after article about making myself more marketable, and I keep up with tweeting/fb/linkedin/pinterest (although that might count as a personal category-since I heart pinterest!!) and I’ve revamped my kick-booty portfolio to really reflect my abilities and style. I think that it is super important to let a potential employer see who you really are, in order to find the best fit for you and for the company. However, I understand the need to find a job to pay-off the thousands in student loans most of us are sidled with:)
Recently I went to an interview and I swear I feel so nervous, when I know I shouldn’t, and I can’t formulate the sentences the way I want, nothing seems to sound as intelligent or competent as I hope–and yet the interview was pretty successful. I found out that my references have been called, and I remembered to send the critical and polite (remember those manners people!!) thank-you note. I am really excited about the opportunity that might be mine. I feel like I’m on Design Star and it’s down to me and another girl and only one can win—I hope it’s me covered in confetti:) Plus I have decided that even if I don’t get the position I had a great experience and feel more confident about interviewing in the future. I just want the right position-somewhere where I can share and grow, interact with others, and really enjoy what I do, not asking for much am I?
What do you do to stay positive and continue growing while you search for a new job? I’d like to have an interactive “share” session where we can share our best ideas with each other on a globally available plane:)
My first tip is to: Have a “digital application packet” ready at all times-in case you find a job you really want to apply for. Put it in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere. In my google docs I have a few general cover letters that I adjust for each job, a current resume, and a list of references. I plan on uploading a digital copy of my portfolio too.
My second tip is to: Only email a pdf copy of your information so that it is more secure and can’t be changed easily.
My third tip is to: Have a few seasonally appropriate and business attire appropriate outfits ready to be put on with a short lead time. I’ve been asked to come in for an interview four hours from the time the company called me. I didn’t have my dry-cleaning back and I wasn’t prepared. Be prepared!
My fourth tip is to: Practice giving answers to general interview questions. Highlight your strengths, your experience, and start to feel confident that you will use the wording you want without flubbing it up!
My fifth and final tip is to: Realize that this is a process, and not an easy one. But, you are a confident and capable person who deserves to find just the right niche at just the right company, at just the right time. Every time you interview you get a chance to improve, to start over with people who don’t know you-but want to, you’re possibilities are endless if you will open yourself to the experience.
As always, I welcome your comments and look forward to hearing from you! Best of Luck on your search!
As a new graduate I have officially started my job search and I’m always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd of applicants as I spend the time and effort in my pursuit of the best career fit possible. I’ve scoured the web and found the top things you should be doing and should not be doing as you interview for your first out-of-college job experience:
1. Do NOT encourage your parents to call on behalf of you. This ploy does NOT work and should be avoided at all costs. It may seem like a no-brainer but recruitment consultant James Callander says that it is a, “growing trend that he cannot understand what they are hoping to achieve.” Not only does having your parent’s call- make you look incompetent to an employer it also undermines your achievements and lessens your accomplishments. Be an adult. Stand on your own two feet and show this world your moxie.
2. DO apply for positions you are interested in. You have no chance of getting the job you want if you don’t try. However, it is important to apply within a timely manner and make sure that the resume or application packet is tailored to the position’s requirements. You’ll have a better chance at that first interview if you’ve done your research and meet or exceed what the company is looking for.
3. Do NOT L-I-E! Many candidates feel the need to “enhance” or straight out lie about the qualifications they possess in order to get through the pre-screening process. If you don’t have the skills-don’t say that you do. Use integrity. Employers will check your information and you don’t want people in your industry discussing (discretely or indiscreetly) your unsavory character. Be strong, Be honest, it may take longer to find the right fit but it will be yours because you earned it. Just remember that old saying, “Cheater’s never prosper.”
4.Do dress appropriately for the interview and be polite to everyone you meet. When I worked as an administrative assistant part of my duties included greeting potential employees and then giving my opinion of the person to my boss. You never know whom you are meeting and I believe in treating everyone with excellent manners. That person sitting in the receptionist chair could be the boss’ wife, son, or sister, and you can bet that if you are rude to her/him your chance of that position just went out the window. In that same position I sometimes couldn’t believe what people would wear and then I’d hear the office gossip after the candidate left. Be professional, but appropriate for the company.
These are my top four. I encourage you to not be discouraged as you step into one of the worst job markets this country has seen. But rather look at the road as a journey of possibilities, with the stones of failure and success touching the bottom of your feet as you walk into your future. Best of Luck-my fellow graduates.
As always I appreciate your feedback, comments, or any questions you might have.
Sometimes, as we age, we forget to notice the little things that can bring joy; the smell of a sunshine filled day, the sound of laughter, a project that used to intrigue us but now is so “normal” it barely hits the radar, a crisp Granny Smith apple, or the endorphin rush a good workout fills us with. We have stopped living an authentic life and instead we are cruising on auto-pilot waiting for the next day filled with tasks and commitments. Some people might tell you to look at the life you have and be grateful for it, and I agree with that sentiment, but I also think that it is important to look at what is causing you to check-out and miss-out on the things that used to make you smile and then find a way to renew your passion for life and fall in love again with who you are, where you are, and find a renewed sense of purpose for the short number of years you have here on earth.
1. STOP LIVING IN THE PAST
Someone who is stuck reliving “glory days” or memories cannot be fully present in the “here and now”. At some point you have to let those bits go so that you can focus on what you have now, where you are now, and how to obtain your goals in the future. No-one ever said letting go of your past would be easy, but by engaging yourself now you are open to the possibilities that are available. Let go of the past and live now, love now, find the things and people that make you better and enjoy the gift you have been given.
2. READ A BOOK BEFORE BED
Studies show that in order to truly shut our brain down for the night and encourage a good sleep pattern we need to disengage from electronic stimulation. By reading a book, you are encouraging your body to slip into a more relaxed state. Plus there are a ton of great books available ( I prefer borrowing from the library but you can also purchase them via online-I appreciate the deals you can get at Amazon for new or used books or at a retail store like Costco, Walmart, a local thrift shop where most books will be a few dollars!!, or join abook swapping group.)
Everyday, including this moment right now, you are “plugged in” to an electronic media device and in some ways these instruments have taken over our ability to engage with ourselves and with other people. On Facebook I have friends who will post that they are taking a “break” from online living, kind-of like a vacation, and then when they come back they post all the wonderful things they had time to do, and each time I read one of those stories I am glad for that person that they found something to draw them out, out of the comfort of a recliner with a remote and computer! Unplug from your cell phone for a whole day (preferably not a work-day:) )-I’m not asking you to get fired!! I’m encouraging you to remember what it felt like before technology was mobile, when a cell phone was huge and a luxury most of us didn’t have, forget about the notebooks or ipads, and turn off the tv-just enjoy yourself. Take a hike, take a walk, visit a friend, host a fire pit party, wash your car, do something, anything that requires you to get out and moving.
4. FIND A HOBBY
Pretty self-explanitory-find something you like to do, have wanted to try, have a friend that already does, something you see on the internet, or read about. Find something new or old to try and go for it. Use sites like Groupon and Living Social to find inexpensive ways to do a trial run of a new activity at a reduced cost.
It is scientifically proven that volunteering or engaging in altruistic activities enhances mood, helps and encourages others, and can give you more self-confidence. Plus, who doesn’t like to find an organization that they have a connection to or are passionate about. Be a member of your community. Be a beacon of shining inspiration and enjoy the rewards that you receive from being kind to others while in turn utilizing your skills to help others.
6. ADOPT A PET
I advocate for adopting pets from local animal shelters and non-profit organizations if you are in a stable position with time, energy, finances, and appropriately sized pet for you living condition. There are over 327,000 pets available on Petfinder right now. Local animal shelters are desperate for forever homes for dogs, cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, rats, snakes, and more. Shelters nationwide have seen a 30% increase in number of animals being surrendered as the economy became more difficult. By adopting a pet you are not only helping save an animals life, you are also prolonging your own. Pets are great companions, terrific workout partners who won’t care if it rains or not, and can become a part of your family. Pets ROCK:)
7. SAY YES
Frequently I find myself saying no, I just don’t have time, I’m too tired, not my thing, blah blah blah. What I really need to be saying is YES to opportunity, YES to the learning experiences being offered, and YES to living my life to the fullest. I look at people who live that way and I admire them, sure I feel a little jealous of their freedom, but I also realize that I don’t have to be extreme. It could be something as simple as my husband asking me to go to Home Depot with him-all I have to do is say YES! Making changes can be stressful, overwhelming, and uncomfortable but by saying YES we are giving ourselves permission to enjoy the unknown, the freedom to trust ourselves, and the gift of an open horizon.
Stop talking so much and listen to what others are saying. Listen to your mate, your partner, your best friend, your elders, your children, your co-workers, the bus driver, the checkout lady, the doorman–find out what they have to say and who they are. See the world through a different set of eyes and appreciate the beauty of the gift of expanded sight.
9. DE-CLUTTER YOUR LIFE AND HOME
Clutter on the “outside” is a sign of clutter on the “inside”. We live in a society that is disposable. Everywhere you look you are encouraged to purchase a new item, to upgrade, to buy buy buy. But, in reality we don’t need more stuff, what we need are useful items that ease our lives without overtaking us. Do an inventory room by room and see if you can get rid of a few items from each space. Do you have 15 bottles of partially full shampoo? Do you have clothes you don’t or probably won’t wear? How much are you kids playing with the toys enveloping their bedrooms? Simplify. Get rid of the clutter and feel lighter, feel cleaner, and less stressed.
Put on music that makes your heart sing and wiggle it. It doesn’t matter if you suck or are great at dancing, there is just something about movement that encourages a smile, a laugh, a silliness that kids have that we adults seem to have forgotten. It’s not lost, you just misplaced it. Find it. Then Dance in your living room, your bathroom, your kitchen, on the way to the subway, in a club, wherever the mood strikes you-let the music lift your spirit and bring that beautiful smile back to your face.
Find your inner happy and fall in love again with yourself-because you are pretty great, you deserve to be happy, and by living for now and for your future, you give yourself the greatest gift of all-the ability to be happy and the freedom to enjoy living a more authentic life.
As always I welcome your questions or comments-I love hearing from my readers!
You may have noticed that i have recently made some changes to my blog. I’ve updated the background, tried to fix any errors I’ve found, and am rebranding myself with a common name through many multi-media channels. You can now find me by looking for ORheatherlee. I liked my HeatherLee77 name tag but found that because it was such a popular name in the 70’s (yes-I know I’m dating myself!!) that it is hard to brand myself across a broad spectrum of channels. ORheatherlee seems to be a better option and it applies to me in every sense:)
Thanks for your patience as I navigate this transitional time.
Sorry for the gap between postings. I actually started a few but never finished them, and then I was busy finishing up my last bits of school, worked as a temp, family stuff, yada yada:) But, I am going to try to post at least once a week by Friday about a variety of topics and as many original pictures as I can take. I am in my last term (with one class) at the University of Oregon and I am so excited to finally be “almost done”. I’ve started expanding my social media profile even more to become more well-rounded, and have added a twitter account (find me #ORheatherlee) (I thought it would be a pain in the behind, but I actually enjoy sharing quick blurbs of info and seeing others blurbs/links). Next up I want a Pinterest board:) and am hoping that by June I will find a “work” home. I feel really positive about the upcoming opportunities and can’t wait to meet more people and garner real world experience as I continue on my journey. So enough with the quick catch-up. It’s time to blog……………………
I wanted to give a quick list of my go-to stocking stuffer ideas. Since I’m a parent I don’t like to load my children up on candy (I know, I know-total meanie!). I also don’t want to spend a ton of money on stocking stuffers. When I was a kid my parents put oranges, nuts, socks, small toys, a chocolate santa, hair ties, and other small inexpensive items in our hand knitted (by my grandmother) stockings. My children don’t have hand-knitted stockings but I try to keep to some of the traditions I learned as a child. I believe in tradition and love the spirit of Christmas as it is shared. Here are some of my tried-and-true best (inexpensive) stocking stuffer ideas:
1. Stainless Steel BPA free water bottles. Everyone can use one of these, kids love to have their own color, and you are gifting an earth-friendly product. This will take you to the manufacturer website but Costco has a three pack (red/silver/blue) with optional neoprene covers for only $9.97! You can’t order them online through Costco’s website, but there are warehouse locations across the United States.
2. Nail polish. My daughter is a girly-girl so I love to put in fun items that I know she will get a lot of use out of. Buy a good polish that won’t easily chip and has a good amount of coverage. There are lots of options in every price range. Here are my top three pics.
- NYC– (1-2$ per bottle!) bargain basement price, great color, quick dry, and available in major retail chains across the country!
- Nicole by OPI– (7-9$ per bottle) great long-lasting color, love the mid-price range, lots of fun colors, available at major retail chains, and excellent coverage!
- Dior– (19-22$ per bottle) smooth application, great colors, available online, and still not too expensive!
3. Toothbrushes! I always give my children extra toothbrushes in their stockings. It’s a fun inexpensive item they will definitely use, and they always get a new color.
4. Chapstick/Lip balm/Lip gloss- Another small useful item that can be personalized (by flavor and brand). My fav. lip gloss to give is Victorias Secret-(5-7$ tube) not too sticky, tastes great (fun flavors like bubble gum/ coconut/ cherry blast/ lemonade), and it lasts!
5. Lego kits-Lego is a name we have all grown up with and the company keeps coming up with great ideas. I like the small sets (there are different kinds to choose from, ie: Ninjago/Pirates of the Carribean/Constructor/City) The small sets range in price from 5-12$ each. Your little (or big) builder will enjoy adding to their collection.
6. Itunes giftcards! Super easy to purchase (sold in major retail stores and grocery stores nationwide) and with kids and adults so computer and internet savvy now, the itunes giftcards are something I find to be a big hit:)
7. Wristbands (3-8$ per pack) My kids and their friends are crazy for these synthetic rubber bracelets. I’m listing the Oregon Duck bandz, but they can be found online with all sorts of teams, causes, and messages.
8.Chocolate Santa. (6-13$ each) We have a local chocolate company that makes the best chocolate out there:) I highly recommend Euphoria Chocolate company, located in Oregon. Or, hit up a local chocolatier in your area for the best selection!
9. Picture mousepad. I’ve never heard a complaint when someone receives one of these. Costco photo center ((I swear I don’t represent them in any way-I just shop there and find the photo services easy to use:) )makes it easy to order a photo mousepad with the uploaded picture of your choice delivered directly to your home. The entire transaction happens online and cost under $10 shipping included! If you don’t have a Costco card-many other retail outlets and online companies like VistaPrint offer similar services.
10. Thank You notes- I still believe in the joy and social nicety called “thank you notes”, yes, handwritten. If you include them in the stockings then you won’t forget to buy them after the holiday. Nothing gets put off, it’s easy and convenient. Plus, anyone who gave the kids a gift will appreciate the time and care the kids put into writing and mailing a note. Manners still count:)
Hope this list has helped inspire you to make your stocking stuffers fun, colorful, and useful!
Happy Holidays from our family to yours—-