After experiencing a layoff, you are bound to feel a whirlwind of emotions. One of those emotions may inevitably be “lost.” However, today we’re here to provide with at least one concrete route to take after experiencing a job loss… and that is… returning to school! Whether you do so to further your education or completely shift industries, each provide their own set of awesome advantages and outcomes.

Furthering Education…

  • Advancing your Degree: Especially in the business industry, it is easy to fall into the feeling of being stagnant in your career. Often, you can advance a decent amount right out of college! However, those who are seeking true executive titles often feel the push to further their degree in order to achieve these roles. If you are someone identifying with that career “plateau,” now may be the perfect time for you to increase your skills and qualifications through an advanced degree.
  • Picking up New Skills: New skills, both in the form of soft and technical, are unmatched assets in setting you aside as a qualified, capable employee. Even if this means just taking one new introductory class on a topic you have no prior experience with, adding new skills or certificates to a resume is a key to achieving new and subsequent successes!
  • Refresher: 10, 20 years out of college… where has the time gone?! If you are far enough removed from college to begin forgetting professors, course titles, or the components of your degree then this is a perfect time to enroll in a few refresher courses! Not only will this make you a stronger employee, but it will allow you to stay up to date with how courses are taught and the key topics and skills required to stay ahead of your industry.

Changing Your Career…

There are few times in your life when you will be truly placed with a turning point, fork in the road opportunity to assess your career. However, if you’ve just endured a layoff, this is your time. Take a step back and truly evaluate how satisfied and fulfilled you feel when completing your current work, finishing projects, and working on the teams you are a part of. If you dread heading into the office, live “5 days for 2” (the weekend), or don’t feel challenged, this may be a great time to initiate a complete career 180! If hearing this excites you, but you aren’t quite sure how to even begin a career transition, make sure to tune into our next article where we will map out starting steps to get you right on track!

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With the number of bosses that you will have throughout your entire career, it is more likely than not that you will run into a few that you just can’t seem to jive with. So, what do you do to keep your job and maintain a collaborative environment? Keep reading the exact tips and tricks you need to reach an effective compromise!

Handling Conflicting Views:

  • Implement the 24-hour Rule: Especially for those unavoidable days when nothing seems to be going your way, remember the value of the 24-hour rule. Although you might feel agitated or frustrated in the moment, by allowing yourself a day to cool down, you will be able to asses any given situation with a greater understanding of someone else’s perspective and with a clearer mindset. After 24-hours pass, you are in a much better position to take the action you believe is appropriate. This may mean confrontation, an assessment of what went right or wrong, the initiation of a discussion with your coworkers before management, etc… it’s all better than yelling out of initial anger!
  • Taking Stock of Your Strengths and Weaknesses: In order to get to the bottom of the conflict between yourself and your boss, circle back to your own strengths and weaknesses to find the root of your emotion. Are you being tasked with projects that take advantage of your strengths or weaknesses? Is your boss providing you with responsibilities because they see your true value and potential? Have you expressed areas of improvement with your manager? Tackling the root of your feelings by identifying why a given situation is making you upset will allow you to see the bigger picture of why you were given the work in the first place.
  • Preparation is Key: Before you initiate a discussion with your boss to tackle the conflict, make sure to do some prior research. Having the ability to enter a conversation with concrete examples of the gaps you’ve seen, or what has been causing your disagreement will make for a far more productive conversation. This is also a great way to prove to your boss than you’ve done your homework, have a basis of belief and key points to target for potential change.

In addition to these tips, make sure to always be cautious of your tone (avoid being accusatory!), facial expressions, body language, and pace (take a breath and slow down!). Conflict, as we know it, is a part of life that we cannot avoid! So, learning the strategies to handle it appropriately is your key to success.

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As a college student, I have felt a desire to explore different areas of the United States on numerous occasions. After all, internship experience is now treated as a near necessity of achieving a job post-graduation, so what better time to step out of your comfort zone than during a temporary summer period? Keep reading to find out some of the benefits of stepping outside of your regular environment here…

Traveling for the Summer…

  • Temporary Commitment: As we noted above, the benefit of knowing that your “new life” has an expiration date can be, at times upsetting, but often a great relief and motive to explore. Most internships span 10 or 12 weeks, a time period long enough to allow you to gauge what it would be like to live permanently in a new city or state, but short enough to be able to cope with an environment that may have been different than you’d hoped. There are few other times in your life where you will have the ability to escape your regular life for a short time frame, so make sure to keep this opportunity in mind when navigating different roles!
  • Developing Independence: While college is undoubtedly a phenomenal resource which allows student to experience independence for the first time, living on your own in a different city will provide even more opportunities for maturity and growth. Likely, you will be placing yourself in an environment without the cushion of dozens of friends, familiar professors and buildings, and even restaurants and coffee shops! For that reason, you may find yourself with new, unexpected responsibilities and opportunities: navigating grocery shopping, finding outlets of relaxation, new exercise routes or studios, seeking new friendships or mentors, etc. This is an amazing time to put your skills to the test!
  • Dream Company: At least in my experience, I’ve found that some of my “dream” companies are located solely in California, New York, Austin, etc. So, if leaving your hometown for one summer may allow you to pursue your absolute dream role, this is the time to do so! Not only will working for a company that you’re passionate about make the summer more enjoyable and fun, but it may allow you to explore an area of the U.S. that you hadn’t even previously considered!

We hope that after reading this you are more confident in each opportunity you are presented with. After all, each summer is only a temporary time commitment! So, the pros absolutely outweigh the cons in this situation. Good luck and happy recruiting!

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In several business industries: finance, marketing, real estate, risk management, and insurance, just to name a few, recruitment season starts off heavy in early September and wraps up right around this time. So, if you are a student who had your mind set on a certain position but has an offer in a completely different area of business, this article is for you! Should you accept the offer even though it came as a “random,” unexpected opportunity? Find out why we think you should here!

Benefits of an Unexpected Internship…

  • Any Experience Helps: In the future, you will undoubtedly find yourself in this similar job search. Whether this internship offer relates to the summer after your sophomore year, spring semester, summer after junior year, or even as a senior, the experience you gain from any office or corporate setting will provide you with concrete skills to utilize in your next career exploration. Especially in regards to technological skills, it is invaluable to become immersed in any company’s operations and see how universal programs such as Excel, SPSS, SQL, etc. are utilized on a day-to-day basis.
    • Extra Note: With additional experience comes, even if subconsicous, a newfound level of confidence when advocating for yourself in informational or professional future interviews.
  • Recognizing New Interests: In the same way that you will find yourself developing unexpected new technological and soft skills, an internship outside of your academic or career “norm” may help you to identify new areas of interest! Whether this means a new software-focused role, consumer packaged good, industry, culture, workload, creative skill or any function of a business operation, exploring areas outside of your major and experience proves an extremely useful asset! It is crucial not to become stuck in one role throughout your life, so keep an open mind to all positions even if they seem far “out-of-the-box.”
  • Networking!! Once again, at Esquire and in the entire business world, we encourage you to always, always network! Connections are the driving force of this industry and it is essential to continue working to grow them. You never know when that one random connection from seven years ago may become your foot-in-the-door at your dream company. So remember, working in an office in a role you did not expect may lead you to achieving your dream role down the line by utilizing the network you worked to cultivate!

Regardless of your decision, we hope that you now have a few new ideas to keep in mind when making your final decision. Good luck, and happy recruiting!

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In our last blog, we taught you about the importance of being able to advocate for yourself in a professional environment. Today, we’re here to showcase some of the key reasons why you should also work to be a fantastic advocate of others. Keep reading to find out how and why you should do so!

How to Advocate for Others…

  • Provide with Concrete Evidence: When you are advocating for someone else, remember that you are also putting yourself on the line by showcasing your opinion and the strength of your beliefs. For that reason, make sure to be able to identify and layout specific reasons as to why this person is qualified for a new role, project, promotion, etc. By doing so, you are providing concrete evidence and solid reasons to allow your audience to envision this person in a new position or role.
  • Speak Clearly and Without Bias: In relation to our point above, being able to provide concrete evidence and pinpoint specific traits of others will allow you to appear completely unbiased and clear in your opinion. Especially if you are advocating for a close friend, family member, or mentee, it is essential to helping the person that you can speak to their qualities as a professional instead of someone you have a close relationship with.
  • Always Mean It! We hope that this goes without saying, but always remember that your opinion is highly valuable and should be used in cases when you are most strongly opinionated! Advocate for others when you are sure of both your opinion and their qualifications. Do not feel pressured to speak for someone when you feel that they may need more practice, time, or skill development before advancing to a new position or workload. Always speak up when you mean it and when it matters.

Why You Should Advocate…

  • Reciprocation! Undoubtedly, you will encounter numerous advocates for yourself throughout your life. One of the greatest reasons for supporting others is in returning the favors that are done for you! Remember that people stepped up and often out of their comfort zone because they believed in your capabilities. When you feel the same for someone else, make your opinion heard.
  • Opportunities: You never know when you may find yourself working on a team either with or for someone you’ve supported in the past. Even more so, you never know when this same person may advocate for your promotion to or on their team as well. Keep in mind the opportunities associated with networking, and as a result, often advocating and supporting others.

It is crucial to your own fulfillment to be able to support others and contribute to their happiness as well as your own! Keep in mind throughout your career these people you feel passionate about supporting and confident in their qualities.

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Click here to learn how to advocate for yourself!