Marketing Interview Update

Last week I had two interviews in one day.

One awesome marketing position – which I was a just a wee bit under-qualified for (sarcasm).
And a call-center job – which I was overqualified for.


I didn’t get either.

But I did learn two things:
1) Never schedule two interviews in one day.
2) I need more marketing experience.

And just the subtle realization that gone are the days when a college student can start from scratch at an entry-level position with no experience.

So, I’m setting out to work on volunteer marketing projects.

In fact, I have a marketing internship interview this Thursday with a great organization.  I really hope I get it.

Send me your well wishes – I’ll need them – and let’s hope for the best.  

In the mean time, do you need help with a marketing project?  Let me know!

What’s your best interviewing advice?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer & editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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6 Ways to Stay Classy This Election

Election Day was yesterday, but today is where all the aftermath happens on social media and in conversations with strangers.  Just in case you need a refresher, it’s important not to disrupt relationships on account of politics.

It’s an election.  Someone’s going to lose. Someone’s feelings will be hurt.  Here’s how to stay classy as the dust settles.

1.  Choose your outlet wisely.  Some people have family and friends on Facebook and random people on Twitter.  To express my personal political views I use Tumblr where I am more or less anonymous.  You probably have family or friends on both of these networks who do not agree with you.  Be wise about how you express yourself as not to alienate the other group.

2. Stick with the facts. If you are going to engage in political discussion with someone via social media, arguing rhetoric will get you no where.  Argue facts, not ideas and I bet you’ll be the smarter of the two.

3. Engage in private.  Some shots are personal, and unfortunately, also public.  If you are really interested in the conversation at hand, have a conversation with that person in private where you can express your views in a safe place.

4. Respectfully disagree.  Today you won’t be able to turn around without someone disagreeing with your opinion.  Today is also not the day to try to convince someone else of your opinion.  Voting happened yesterday. Let bygones be bygones and walk away from a disagreement going nowhere.

5. Wise up.  Although you probably should have done the legwork before the election, now’s a great time to learn about the candidates you voted into office – since it’s on the front page and all – so you can vote for them or against them in the next election. Be informed.

6. Wait ’til you get home.  Please, I beg you, do NOT engage in political discussion with your coworkers.  There is no scenario where this plays out well for you or for them.  Let them be, regardless of how you feel.

Remember, the people you engage with over social media are actual people.  They have feelings and egos just like you.  Think twice before saying something you’ll regret later on.  Keep it classy in the first place so you won’t have to apologize – because we all know how much apologizing sucks.

What are some other ways to keep it classy this Election Day?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer & editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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The 10 Freelance Commandments

Since a lot of college grads are underemployed, some of us are finding other ways to do what we love – and getting the experience on the way.  I don’t have to sell you on freelancing.  It’s a proven way to learn the business, gain clients, and build a network to a job you love.  That said, here are some pointers for the beginning freelancer that will make sure you start off right!

1.  Good work begets money.  Good work.  Not shoddy, inconsistent, lazy work, but heartfelt, insistent, take-the-initiative work.  Do your best at every opportunity you have.

2.  Always deliver work ahead of time.  A good way to do this is to plan how much time for the work is needed and set the deadline for 2 days after.

3.  Consider doing work for free (or at a lesser price) in the beginning, in exchange for a reference, referral, or testimonial.  I do this sometimes.

4.  Write thank you notes to people who do you favors (i.e. use your work for a publication).   If you can’t write it by hand, send an email.

5. Ask for a reference, referral or a testimonial in writing. A sample e-mail:

Hi Jill,

It was great working with you today on project ____.  I hope I helped you!

If you have a chance, would you write a short testimonial about how I did ____  for you?  It would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Adrienne

6.  Make a virtual portfolio.  A website or blog is perfect for this, especially if you have insights on a specific industry.  I use WordPress.com right now.  It’s a great resource for people just starting out. Buying a domain name is $20-30 and there are many good free themes.

7. Network with people in your field.  Join an organization that meets regularly and get to know the people.  Odds are, they know someone that knows someone who has a job for you.

8.  Become a mentee.  Find someone who has ever freelanced – who also wants to mentor you – and sit under them.  Mentors have great advice, help you make moves in unfound territory and can give you the confidence you need to step out!

9.  Build a questionnaire.  This step is crucial.  Often people are unsure about what they want or what exactly they want you to do.  A questionnaire is great for this.  It will save you time and hypothetical money. I have a brief one here.

10.  Get it in writing.  The last – the least fun – and the most boring is probably the most important.  Even if the work is minimal (and unless you’re just doing it for free), have both parties sign a contract.  If you don’t want to be formal, don’t expect them to pay you formally either.

Got any more tips for new freelancers? Write them below!

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer & editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.


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5 Career Lessons from “Scandal”

 

If you haven’t started watching ABC’s new hit show “Scandal,” you’re late.

Scandal features Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope – a hot, brilliant, do-gooder lawyer – who uses her leverage to help her clients manage the crises they’re in.  Written and produced by Shonda Rhimes – the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, it’s become one of the best shows on TV – and it’s not going away any time soon.  Rhimes just got afforded a full season order for fall 2012 thanks to some great ratings from viewers 18-49.  Best of all, Pope is based on real-life Judy Smith – a crisis management queen and former Deputy Press Secretary, based in D.C. who’s worked with everyone from George H. W. Bush to Michael Vick.

Here are five tips from Scandal that will help you go further in your career:

1. Image matters.  It’s no secret that Olivia is hot – and no one cares why she is.  Not only does her appearance add to her put together persona,  it helps her maneuver herself in the man’s world.

2. Go with your gut. Olivia’s gut is never wrong. Before you think too much, what’s that small voice in your ear saying to you?

3. Secrets will come back to haunt you & the consequences are real. All of her clients (and even the team themselves) are haunted by actions they took many years ago.  When a promotion is on their doorstep, it’s often threatened by old news that (unfortunately for them) would make good news.

4. You need leverage. Olivia’s relationship with the president is a lot of the reason why she can get away with what she does.  When her relationship with the president “ends,” everyone’s left wondering how she’s going to do her job. Then it’s revealed that she has another spade – the mystery committee. If you can gain some leverage, get it – without sleeping with the President.

5. Say thank you. Pope’s relationship with Rosen (US Prosecutor) is mutual.  She utilizes him but he needs her.  No matter how hard she is with him, she never forgets to say thank you for putting up with her trouble.

*Bonus tip:  Always deliver.  Olivia always makes good on her promise.

Check out “Scandal” this season.  You won’t like it, you’ll love it.

Have you watched Scandal?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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Let LinkedIn Write Your Next Cover Letter

Whenever I come across a great job opportunity online, usually I stop short of applying because of the cover letter.

Maybe I’m applying for a writing job or a marketing job, but for whatever reason, the cover letter becomes my roadblock.

Until one application changed that for me forever.

I was applying for a job with Pearsons – a national publishing house – and their online application had an option to link the application to my LinkedIn profile.

In the box where I could copy & paste my resume, was the summary of my LinkedIn profile – with my self-description, skills, interests, and notable past work history.

And then I saw it.

My cover letter.

With LinkedIn’s new quick recommendation feature (labeled “Skills & Expertise”), people you know and are connected with on LinkedIn can ‘verify’ that you have the skills you claim to have.  This is especially useful when you’ve been involved in organizations with people from college or post-grad and they know you can plan an event, write an article, or fundraise.

Take a look at your profile and see if you can make use of it.  It has definitely helped me get past the cover letter!

What are your best tips for cover letters?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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3 Things You Must Do Before Graduation

It’s October.  It’s officially the month of post-grad tests, job fairs, grad school applications and trying to boost your network before second semester senior year – so you can get a job.  Depending on where you are in this mess of a year, you might be worried, confused, or you could be doing alright.

I only have three tips for doing well this year.

1.  Network!  If you don’t know what you want to do after college, spend sometime networking with people you admire.  Apply for cool opportunities, jobs, and grad schools.  Talk to people.  Believe me, they definitely want to help you.

  • Use social media.  Find people on LinkedIn & Twitter who do things you want to do.  Ask them for an informational interview.  Get their advice.
  • Go to events and meet alumni.  Tell them what you have in mind.  Admire what they’ve done and tell them what you want to do.

2. Enjoy this year.  You’re only a senior in college once.  Spend some time with people you may not see for a very long time.

  • Take risks. Do some things you’ve never done.  Self explanatory.
  • Connect with your professors.  They’re professors for a reason.  They want to help you so spend some time in their offices.

3.  No matter where you are or what you’re doing a year from now, Know that you’ll be fine.  If someone had told me that I could live on my own in the city on a teller’s salary and have money left over – I wouldn’t have believed it.  But it’s true.  You’ll be fine in this bad economy.  If you have to take a job that you don’t want, take it, but never lose sight of your vision.   And you can do amazing things.  Just enjoy it – know that a year from now, you’ll be somewhere in the world making waves (because that’s just what millenials do =).

What’s your best tip for college seniors? 

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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5 Traits You Need to Be the Best at Your New Job

Being a newbie is awful.  Thankfully you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you adjust to your new job.

1. Initiative. Make yourself knowledgeable.  You have tons of questions right now.  Make yourself familiar with the resources available to you (i.e. Policies & Procedures).

2. Confidence. Be willing to take (reasonable) risks.  At some point you’ll have to own your responsibility.  Once you’re familiar with the general aspects of your work, don’t be afraid to take (reasonable) risks on the job.

3. Wisdom. Learn from others’ mistakes. ‘Nuff said.

4.  Intuition. Listen to your gut.  If someone asks you to do something that would jeopardize you or give you added responsibility for their work, don’t do it.

5. Humility. Utilize constructive criticism. Everyone hates Newbie Know-it-All.  If a co-worker offers a suggestion, it’s more likely they want you to improve and less likely they’re trying to control your every move.

BONUS: Work ethic. Never take shortcuts.  They will be found out.  Do things the hard way first.  Then find faster and more efficient ways to complete tasks after you’re more familiar with your position.

Being a newcomer on the job isn’t the most exciting time in life, but with a little effort, you’ll be settled in ASAP.

What other tips would you give newbies on the job?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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Signs You’ve Hit a Post-Grad Depression (Read: Mid-Life Crisis)

As soon as graduation was over my family and I packed up our cars and drove all my things to my grandmother’s house where I spent the next six months.  You see, I was heading to Ghana after graduation for a two week internship with a publishing company there and upon realizing that I actually needed to get a job, I came back to the U.S. to my part-time job at Carson’s and slumped, slowly but surely, into a depression.

Like Dean Anderson says, “Being depressed feels like the way things “really are,” not like a medical problem.”

Many people have a lot of things to say about depression, that it’s a mental trick, or if you pray enough, it will go away, but I don’t believe any of that.  You see, I didn’t know I was depressed.  I thought the sleeping all the time, the restlessness, the agitation and anxiety was just a normal part of myself that I’d hidden all these years.  I thought my body was just recovering from late nights writing for seminar, but it wasn’t just that.

I gained at least 50 pounds in a year.

I became a recluse and sincerely unhappy with the state of my life – with no plan to remedy my situation.

All of this and I never would have called it a depression.

Yes, there were some moments when I didn’t want to get out of bed, but me – a normally outgoing person – avoided everyone I knew.  It wasn’t until July of this year that I realized (with the help of relatives) what was going on with me.

So, I went to my doctor.

And as doctor’s normally do, she asked me what was wrong – and I burst into tears.  I just wasn’t myself.  And as doctors normally do, she offered me a prescription.  I didn’t want to use prescription drugs (because of the risk of addiction).  She mentioned an herbal supplement that has been proven to enhance mood – St. John’s Wort. And therapy.

I still haven’t taken her up on that therapy offer.

Recognizing the Signs Depression
You are probably dealing with clinical depression (which warrants a visit to your doctor for evaluation) if you have experienced 5 or more of the following symptoms (and at least one of them is among the first two listed), nearly every day for two weeks or more: 

1. Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy
2. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
3. Thoughts of death or suicide
4. Feeling worthless or guilty
5. Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early or sleeping too much
6. Unexplained decrease or increase in appetite, resulting in weight gain or loss within the last month.
7. Trouble thinking, concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
8. Extreme tiredness or lack of energy that interferes with your ability to work or take care of your daily responsibilities
9. Feeling restless, unable to sit still, or abnormally slow when moving

Source

Check out the rest of the article on the hidden signs of depression. I found it insightful.  As always, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others please call 1-800-273-8255 right now.

Have you ever been depressed? If so, how did you deal?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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How to be a Savvy College Grad (Even When You Don’t Feel Like One)

 

I graduated from college over a year ago and, needless to say, I’m not where I thought I should be.  You know, with my college degree and all.  I mean, some of my friends have great jobs that are right in their career path while others are in graduate school or even at home.  Yet, here I am – a teller at a bank (for now).

And truthfully, there should be no shame in my game.  I have a degree that I’m using, bills that are getting paid, family that loves me and friends that are true.  But still, there was a ginormous amount of adjusting I had to do in order to get to this point.

Maybe you’re gravy right now and are doing your best to get in shape, save and invest for your future, and make personal strides.  Or maybe you’re like me and you’re not where you thought you would be since you graduated. If so, here are some suggestions to help you get there:

If you’re having trouble paying them, put your student loans in deferment or forbearance.  This is usually pretty easy to do.  Figure out how much you’re spending on household bills, rent, gas, and food, and then factor in the cost of loan payments.  If you can’t stretch it, postpone it.  This should be a short-term solution because interest still continues to accrue on each loan daily. When you get a better paying job, get back to paying them quickly!

Get a roommate.  It’s a lot easier to pay the aforementioned bills when you’re splitting them.  You also don’t have to worry about buying all new furniture. Simple.

Exercise and eat healthy.  Stress caused by a transition – like graduating from college – might affect you mentally and emotionally.  Keep your body in balance by exercising and eating healthy. You’ll feel better and won’t dread those awkward moments when you run into someone from your alma mater.

This is a post I wrote the blog of professional career counselor, Steve Langerud. Read the rest here.

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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