Tag Archives: advice

Your Job, Your Choice.

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Seth Godin once said, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

The more I read, and reread that quote, the more it becomes entrenched in my brain as an idea that everyone should live by, hanging on to each word as a true testament for living the life we actually dream of living. Why?

We live in a world where the majority of our time is spent at work. Making money, paying bills, and living in a sea of college debt. I’m going to guess that 80 percent of our time is spent
working in order to live comfortably, while the other 20 percent of the time is spent doing things that we feel rewards us for all our hard “work”.

For some of us, that 20 percent is spent on a beach in the Caribbean, while for others it’s being at home where we can hypothetically relax, unwind and not think about… you guessed it, work.

Godin has a point, though. What are we escaping from, and what decision did we make that put us in a position where we feel we need to “get away” from the life we created?

In a conversation I had with my Dad over the weekend, he brought up the recent pool of
applicants entering the job field – millennials. In other words, yours truly. He had a subtle
trepidation about the number of incoming resumes with what some might call, career jumpers. Five months here, three months at XYZ, and seven months working abroad. Not to mention the switch from Finance to Fashion to Food Security.

With great curiosity, he inquired not only about job stability, but also about candidate
trustworthiness, fearful of how quickly someone can walk away from a permanent position. My response seemed to be somewhat defensive, but truly reflective of the society I’ve been brought up in.

In honest fashion, I told him if he was looking for someone who would be there long term to try increasing the number of years of experience required for the position — inevitably an older
applicant. The difference between hiring someone from Gen Y and Gen X is substantial, it just depends on what the job is and what the position means internally for the company.

Gen Y has been raised by Gen X, living with the hope that we can grow up and land our dream job – and we really believe it. That doesn’t mean we are going to end every job within a few months, unsatisfied with the position, reluctant about the field and angry about the pay.

However, we are naturally drawn to expect more from the companies we get hired by, and if we feel unfit or unhappy by the position, we aren’t afraid to make a change. We’ve begun to
understand that the 80 percent of our time is valuable. Too many times we see individuals land in a position, working countless hours for something they actually hate. They’re unhappy, but
reluctant to make a change.

I think the greater mistake is not recognizing you have the potential to control your own
happiness, and find a job that doesn’t have to be called work. Of course you’ll have some days where you can’t wait for the day to end – but don’t settle for that on the everyday. Ultimately, we want to be recognized for the talent that we have, instead of filling a job that really is meant for someone else. In my opinion, this is just a natural progression of the job market.

Maybe I am just optimistic, but at the same time, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole.

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Landing the NYC PR Internship

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“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” –Thomas Jefferson

Last week was my first week of missing a post in quite a while, and to be honest, I felt lost. I take my blog seriously for so many reasons, but most of all, it’s a chance for me to connect with my readers. So, I’m back and I’m hoping you’ll like the reason why I was gone!

As many of you know, I am originally from Toronto, and lately I’ve been focusing on my Masters full-time. However, after living in the city for close to 10 months, I started to seek out positions that would allow me to gain new experience. I was consistently looking for more to do (I love to be kept busy)! I think it’s important to possess a readiness to be busy in an industry like PR.

The process was long, and it’s never easy finding the right job! Now the search is over, and I’m happy to share with you that I’ve been offered an incredible opportunity at a marketing and public relations firm in the heart of TriBeCa. So now that I’ve been placed into a role, I felt as though I should share some takeaways with you. Whether you’re a recent grad searching for a summer position, or a current student that’s still hunting for some experience, I’ll share with you some tips on the process!

Be patient. Everyone knows the job search isn’t an easy process. It requires a lot of patience to sift through job descriptions to find something that suits your needs and abilities.

Be proactive. Rarely will you be sought out for a position without having applied to the job in the first place. If you’re in the process of searching for an internship, don’t delay the application process. Fix up your resume and start applying as soon as you are ready to find a job.

Be committed. Again, the job hunt is never easy and can take up a lot of your spare time. If finding a job is a priority or top goal, be sure to allot a time frame throughout your week where you are committed to searching for positions. An hour bi-weekly probably isn’t going to help you secure a position.

Be resourceful. Use your network. As PR professionals, we’re taught that forming relationships and making connections is an essential asset in our career. You’ve probably already begun
establishing a good network throughout your undergrad. Use this network you’ve built for
yourself to help facilitate the process. Ask your mentors for advice, or to keep you informed of any positions in the field that they might hear about from their fellow colleagues.

Be confident. It’s easy to get defeated by missed opportunities or never hearing back after
applying for a position. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of candidates are up for these
positions, and not everyone is going to be suitable for the  job. Always have faith in your
abilities and accomplishments. Your skills will shine through in the right position.

Be mindful. It’s easy to apply for a number of positions all at once, and at times the process
begins to be monotonous. It’s important to keep in mind that you are searching for a position
that not only fits you, but also making sure you’re a fit for the employer. Sometimes just
applying for a position for the sake of finding a job may not always be the best strategy.
You’ll gain experience from positions that you are truly meant to work in.

Other thoughts? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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PR101: When the going gets tough, keep going.

image-87Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am a huge proponent of keeping yourself motivated.
One Heel Ahead exists for that reason. It’s a reminder for you to push yourself one step
further, and embrace new opportunities. However, sometimes you will face challenges that
test your patience. Maybe you’ve taken on too much at work, or you’re having disagreements with a fellow colleague on how to frame a pitch. Either way, sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder that things are going to be okay. Here is a brief PR pro’s guide to staying focused!

  • Take it outside. A little fresh air will remind you that life will go on.
  • Ask questions. If you’re confused, or seeking clarification, ask questions to get a better
    understanding of the task at hand.
  • Re-evaluate your eating habits. Skipping breakfast? Sometimes jumping off on the wrong foot is your first problem. Take a step back and see if your lifestyle may be impacting your mood.
  • Listen and learn. Take advice from your mentor, or seasoned professionals that you
    look up to. It helps to talk it through with someone who may have been in your position at one time or another.
  • Give yourself a break. “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” You’ll be surprised how refreshed you feel when you allow yourself some time to relax.
  • Talk to family or friends. If you live away from home, reach out and talk with someone that’s close to you. Perhaps a familiar voice will help you refocus and give you the
    motivation you need.
  • Always remember you’re doing the best that you can. Everything can’t go right all of the time. If you’re staying positive, and trying your best, that’s all that matters.
  • Take to Twitter! The PR community is a close-knit group on social media. Everyone is
    overwhelmingly supportive, and always willing to lend a hand. Sometimes all you need is to talk with someone who knows exactly how you feel!

You’re already half way through the week, so keep looking up!

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