Enjoy the journey…

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After 12 short weeks and 10 blog posts later, one thing I’ve learned from my own writing is that while striving for independence and adulthood is great, there’s no rush to get there.

Each of our hardships and struggles, whether it is your long, complicated journey to land your dream job, or perhaps your endless search for your dream home, these experiences shape us, and make us that much stronger.

Had I just been handed a full-time paid position right out of University, I would not have been the person I am today. Through three internships, volunteer work, countless networking coffees and job interviews, and the millions of emotions that came with it all, I was able to learn more about myself and become a better person.

And as much as I want to own a house, my experience with renting has taught me a lot and prepared me for this milestone, whenever it may come.

I know that if I work hard, I’ll end up exactly where I want to be. My advice to you is to embrace every moment, because when you finally get everything you’ve ever dreamt of, you’ll have a lifetime of accomplishments to look back on, and there is no more rewarding feeling in the world than that.

Things may get tough at times, and you may be on the verge of a mental breakdown and want to give up, but don’t. It gets better and I promise you it pays off. Go after your goals and bear through the good times and the bad. One day you’ll look back and finally get to say, “I made it”.

I know one day I’ll have that dream home, my very own car, get married, have kids, get a dog, and own a cottage. Some of these dreams are closer than others. But it’s important to just take it one day at a time.

Never compare yourself and your accomplishments to anyone. We all have a different path to follow. We all have different goals, different personalities, different priorities, and we all approach opportunity differently. Do what is right for you and go at your own pace as you work towards your goals.

Looking back on my first post about defining what it means to be an adult – I look at my life now and realize this is it, I am an adult. We’re always going to be working towards something in our lives. We will always have goals and aspirations that we wish to achieve. Age doesn’t matter – it’s all about working hard and never giving up on your goals.

Good luck to you on your journey, and thank you for following my blog these past 12 weeks. I hope the advice I provided was useful and helpful as you strive to achieve all of your life goals.

Things to consider when moving in to your own place

Moving out of your parents house into your first condo or apartment is a mix of emotions – it’s a happy, sad, overwhelming, stressful, exciting, new experience. I was very lucky to have my parents support and guidance during the entire moving out process.

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There’s a lot of things you don’t consider about moving into your own place until you’re facing the situation head on. I’m going to share some advice based on my own experience earlier this year:

  1. Don’t have your heart set on one place

I was very lucky to get my condo without any issues, but I’ve heard a number of stories from friends and family members who faced competition when renting. They’d find the perfect place, and find out less than 24 hours later that it has been rented out to someone else.

Make sure to look at units in a few different buildings in your desired neighbourhood. Having options is very important, and you may end up finding an even better place for a more reasonable price – so don’t stop your search when you think you’ve found your ideal space to rent.

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  1. Don’t doddle

Relating back to my last point, if you find a place you love, act quickly and sign that lease!!! These things only take a few days to process, but when you’re waiting to hear back that everything’s signed and finalized, it can feel like an eternity. That being said, get those papers signed ASAP so you can move in to your new home.

  1. Shop wisely for furniture

If you’re lucky enough to have furniture that you can move to your new place, that is great news – it really saves you a lot of time, money and you can avoid a lot of stress.

I however was in a situation where I needed to buy furniture for my condo. My mom helped me find some great sales, and going to outlet stores definitely helped me save some cash. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to have nice furniture. I remember when purchasing my couch, there was another couch almost identical to it. The difference: one was real leather, therefore costing an additional $1,000. I didn’t see any need to spend the extra cash and went for the cheaper model.

If you have an eye for design like I do, I recommend putting a lot of thought into each individual item, but keep your budget in mind at all times. It adds up quickly, so don’t go overboard with your spending.

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  1. Give yourself time to move

Its an exhausting experience. Make sure you speak with your building management about the move in process, as you’ll need to book an elevator and have parking for your move in truck.

When having furniture delivered and setting up cable/internet – you will likely be given a 3 or 4 hour window for delivery. Make sure you have the time to book off work so you can be at your place for the delivery.

Note that these 3 to 4 hour windows can be exhausting and very, very boring, especially if you don’t have cable, internet, or a comfortable couch to sit on (since you’re waiting for all of those things to be delivered and set up, right?). Make sure you have a book or music with you to keep you occupied – and don’t forget to bring a snack if your fridge is not yet stocked up with food!

EDIT: A great tip from My So-Called Suburban Life blog: Never leave your moving truck unattended – last thing you need during a hectic move is for someone to steal something out of the truck. Might be good to have a friend or family member help out with this to keep an eye on things.

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  1. Once its over, its over….

….and you can finally enjoy living in your new apartment/condo! It may seem like a long, exhausting, overwhelming process, but once everything is all set up, it’s yours to enjoy! Throw yourself a little housewarming party with your closest friends to celebrate this new, exciting chapter of your life.

I hope these tips help! I was lucky to have my mom guide me through the entire process, but things got incredibly stressful at times. But it was also a very fun and exciting experience too, so make the most of it!

Discussion:

What tips do you have from your own experience moving out of your parents house into your first apartment/condo? Leave a comment below!

Owning your first pet

If you’re really trying to test the waters and want to take on more responsibility, I’d say owning a pet is a great way to do so. After all, there’s no better way to take on responsibility than having another living creature’s life in your hands.

I’m not talking about your family dog that your mom runs to the vet and cares for – I’m talking about your very own pet that you pay all expenses for and care for solely on your own.

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I don’t have my own pet, but like many of you, I have a family dog that I absolutely adore. As much as I love my family dog, I cannot wait for the day I get to purchase my own dog that will live under my roof. I’m so excited to take on the responsibility and have the companionship of a little dog full of love in my home.

There are reasons why I still have yet to get a dog. I’ve done a ton of research online, as well as speak with family, friends and neighbours about owning and caring for a pet. Here are some things to consider before purchasing a pet:

1. Money

Owning a pet is expensive. It’s not just the initial cost of buying a pet, a cage, toys, etc. You will have to factor in vet bills, pet insurance, food, and other possible expenses such as dog walking or daycare services.

You need to have some flexibility with your money to own a pet because they can be quite costly to own. Look at your monthly budget and see how much of your income you have left over after taking care of your own basic needs – if you’re just making ends meet to care for yourself, maybe you should hold off on purchasing a pet for a while.

2. Time

This is my primary reason for not owning a pet right now – I just don’t have the time. Working in an agency calls for long hours and my workday can be very unpredictable at times. Owning a dog right now is just not an option for me since I leave my home at 7 a.m., and don’t get home until after 6 p.m., if not later.

This means my dog would go hours on end without eating, attention, exercise, or going to the bathroom. A solution here is to get a dog walker or doggy daycare service, but that goes back to point #1 – no money!! Since I can’t afford these services, owning a dog with my crazy work hours would be cruel to the pet. Because of this, I know it’s important to hold off.

Also factor in emergencies – if your pet gets very sick and requires immediate care, are you able to take the time away from work to manage this? It likely won’t happen often, but it’s something to think about.

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3. Factor in your allergies

Turns out I’m allergic to cats and rabbits. And I didn’t know this until I spent an evening at my brother and sister in-law’s condo, and spent the night sneezing, blowing my nose, and scratching my watery, irritated eyes.

If you were considering getting a shedding dog, cat or rabbit, make sure you aren’t allergic. The best bet to avoid any complications down the road is to see if any of your friends have the same kind of pet you’re interested in purchasing. Spend a few hours at their place, or perhaps, see if you can pet-sit for a day or two. Hopefully, you’ll be in the clear, but it’s better to find out sooner rather than later, right? I can’t imagine returning a pet you love would be easy. Avoid the heartbreak.

4. Is your building pet friendly?

Last thing you want is to purchase a pet only to find out your landlord or property manager forbids you to own one in your apartment/condo building.

Make sure to have this discussion with your landlord or property management to ensure that pets are allowed in the building, specifically the type of pet you are looking to buy. For example, some buildings may allow small animals, but could forbid large dogs from living in the building. Again, this is another situation where finding out sooner than later is better.

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5. Are you mentally and emotionally prepared?

Owning a pet requires a lot of love and attention. The pet looks to you for everything – food, water, shelter, exercise, vet visits, and so much more. There are some pets that will require less of your time and attention, but all pets need to be nurtured and cared for. Make sure you are in the right mindset and are ready to care for another living creature. Be smart when making this decision and don’t make an impulsive decision without knowing the facts.

I know one day I’m going to get a little dog to call my own, but in the meantime, I have a great excuse to visit my family – so I can walk my family dog whenever I’m in need of a doggy companion 🙂

Managing your work-life balance

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When you first start your career, you’re ready to prove to the world (and to yourself) how devoted, committed, and hard-working you are. I’ve always considered myself to be very hard-working and determined to succeed. Because of this, I’m always willing to take on extra tasks at work when the opportunity arises, and I’m a firm believer in giving 110%, always going above and beyond.

I work in a field that is demanding of my time. Thankfully, I love my job and the company I work for, so I’m always happy to put in the time necessary to complete a task. It helps that my company puts a high value on work-life balance – something that has always been important to me. Because as much as I love my job, there is more to life that I want to learn and experience.

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Despite working in a demanding field, I’ve been able to manage a work-life balance that keeps me happy. Here are some tips to manage a work-life balance:

  1. Pick a job that suits your desired lifestyle

Different fields, and more specifically, different companies, will have a corporate culture that will determine the expected workload, and expected number of hours you will spend working.

Do your research on a company, and even ask these questions in an interview. We all want a job, sure. But if you were expecting a typical 9-to-5 job, and end up in a job where you are at the office every night until 10PM and find yourself working on weekends, you likely won’t be too happy with this.

Everyone will have different expectations on what they want out of their company’s corporate culture, so be sure that yours aligns well with the company you work at.

  1. Get the most out of your commute, no matter how long or short it may be

I’ve worked in several intern and volunteer positions where it took me over an hour to commute to work, transferring from subway to subway to streetcar to walking. It now takes me no more than 15 minutes to commute to work.

For me, I find my work-life balance is so much better with the short commute. I get home from work so quickly and still have the energy to go to the gym, meet up with a friend, run some errands, or cook myself a delicious dinner. For me, this is very different from when it took me over an hour to commute to and from work – after a long, long commute, I found myself with very little energy to do anything remotely productive.

Now, for some people, you might enjoy the long commute. I know a few people who get work done while commuting on the GO train, for example. So this may be a productive time for some people – the example above about a short commute is just my own personal opinion. I also want to highlight that if I ended up working far away from home, I would have purchased a car for my daily commute to and from work.

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  1. Make a schedule, and stick to it!

I use my calendar on my work email for everything – meetings at work, daily tasks, weekly reports, the usual. But I also use my calendar for personal items now, too.

I find for me, actually scheduling something into my calendar makes me more likely to complete the task. So if I schedule in my calendar to go to the gym for 7:30 PM on a Tuesday, I’m more likely to go if it’s in my calendar.

I highly recommend this, as it has proven to be a good motivator for me and has worked on several occasions in the past.

  1. Volunteer or join groups of interest

If you make a commitment to a volunteer group or interest group, this will become a priority for you to attend and make the effort to participate. This is a great way to expand your interests and you can meet some great people who have similar interests to you – making new friends or expanding your network can only be a good thing, so why not?

  1. We all need our down time, so don’t forget to rest

Despite having a calendar of activities outside of work, you will have days where you are extremely tired or have a horrible headache (I’ve had my fair share, that’s for sure!). I’ve experienced this enough to know that you never want to push yourself. If you feel like this, or perhaps you are experiencing a busy period at work and don’t have the energy to take advantage of your leisure time, don’t be afraid to just go home and have a quiet night in. Catch up on some of your favourite shows and enjoy the peace and quiet!

How do you manage your work-life balance? What are some activities you recommend outside of work?

Moving out: Should you rent or buy?

Recently, I wrote a blog post on staying at home with your parents vs. moving out. For those of you ready to move out of your parents’ house, you’re probably contemplating all of the options available. Should you have a roommate? Should you look for a place with your significant other? Where in Toronto do you want to live?

The biggest question for me was whether I should rent or buy. I went back and forth for months trying to figure out what was the right decision for me.

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Eventually, I made a bold decision and picked a path. I decided for me, right now, renting was the best move.

The main reason for this decision came right down to money.

With anything, you always want to make this a primary factor in a big life decision such as moving out.

I was only a few months into my career and knew I didn’t have the funds needed for mortgage payments, maintenance fees, property taxes, bills, and other added costs of owning a house or a condo in the city.

As a renter, I pay my monthly rent, cable/internet and hydro. Much easier to manage and I still have the ability to save up for a home to purchase one day.

The housing market in Toronto is crazy, and I knew I couldn’t afford this right now. Too much added pressure and stress that I didn’t want to deal with.

Some might say I should have waited a few years, stayed at my parents place to save more money so I could move out in a few years as a homeowner. I thought about this, and while this is something I highly recommend doing if you have that as an option, I knew I wanted to move out and begin being independent. This was my decision and I have no regrets.

Don’t rule out renting as an option – it’s a great way to learn how to be independent.

And remember, if you have issues with neighbours, the condo/apartment building, the neighbourhood, or any other factors out of your control, you’re only locked into a one year lease. Keep that commitment, and after this you can start looking at a new place to rent. If you hate your condo/home as an owner, the process to sell or rent out will be much more complex and require more of your time and energy. Renting gives you a lot more flexibility if you are dissatisfied with your current living situation for a way out.

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Now that I’ve discussed the perks of renting, I wanted to share some insights on becoming a homeowner. In order to do this, I interviewed my colleague, Emily, a millennial who recently purchased her first home with her husband.

Q1: When did you move in to your home?

A1: Received the keys in August 2014, but didn’t move in until September 2014. We had to upgrade our wiring first since it was knob and tube – our insurance provider gave us 30 days to update the wiring in order to be covered so we opted to get that done before moving in.

Q2: What was your situation before buying a house? Were you renting? Living with your parents?

 A2: We were renting in a similar area to where we ended up purchasing our home.

Q3: What were some financial tips and tricks you would recommend for millennials eager to purchase their first home?

A3: Save!!!! Also, make sure you plan your budget for a house in advance. We thought about things like what could we afford if one of us lost our job or received a pay cut if we changed industries – my husband was looking to move into a different field.

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Q4: When did you decide you were ready to buy a house? (emotionally, mentally, financially)

A4: It happened a lot sooner than we planned. A family friend was a real estate agent and she set up email updates with house listing within our proposed budget. We received these for a few months and just went to the odd open house on our own to get some ideas of what was on the market and what we could possibly get for our budget – based on the list prices. We later met with a real estate agent that my brother-in-law had used to buy/sell his house. He tailored the listings we were receiving to be more specific to what we wanted, but we continued to look all across the city. He also sent us the selling price for some of the houses so we could see the jump it took and be a bit more prepared when it came time for us to actually make an offer on a place. He arranged a few showings for us where we went to some really bad houses to look at the things we would REALLY want to avoid – aka termites, rodents (gross!!). Over the course of a few months we went to see a number of houses with our agent and eventually started putting offers in on houses we liked. I think we offered on about 5 or 6 houses, in some cases losing by over $200K!!

Q5: Did you face any hurdles during the home buying process? (i.e. applying for a mortgage, down payment, bidding wars)

A5: We bid on probably 6 houses. The house we ended up getting, the seller was really motivated to sell – she had problems with the neighbour. We presented a bully offer before the selling date along with one other couple. I’m guessing ours higher and we won. Had it gone to offer date, we likely would not have got it – that was the case with all of the other houses we offered on.

Q6: What advice do you have for millennials looking to buy their first home?

A6: Hmmm….it’s really tough these days. I continue to look at other houses on the market, especially in our area to see what they’re selling for and what you get for the price. It’s shocking the difference from two years ago to now. That said, I’d suggest keeping an eye on the market so you know what you can get for your money. You might have to look in different neighbourhoods than you originally planned or might need to do prepare yourself to put in some hard work or putting up with a less than beautiful space until you’re able to afford to renovate.

I’d also recommend not overextending yourself to get the “perfect” home. It’s a big investment and you want to be happy with your choice, but I’m not sure it’s worthwhile spending more than you can afford.

I hope this has provided some perspective on becoming a homeowner. The great thing about Emily’s story is it provides some hope that millennials can in fact become homeowners in Toronto – it’s not entirely impossible.

Whatever you decide, remember to keep your finances in mind and plan things out. Speak with financial advisors, your parents, your family, your friends… get as much advice as you possibly can. Learn what other people have done and the reasons behind their actions, because it may help you put things into perspective for yourself.

I also came across this YouTube video from Estate of Mind, which also provides some great insights on renting vs. buying:

Discussion:
What are your thoughts on becoming a homeowner in Toronto? Would you choose to rent or buy? Or, if you’ve already moved out – what prompted you to choose to rent or buy?

Purchasing a car vs. public transit

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with living in Toronto is getting around the city.

Lets face it: our roads are incredibly congested and our public transit is not in the best shape. This makes getting from Point A to Point B a nightmare at the best of times.

As a busy millennial with a demanding job and tons of errands to run outside of work, a source of transportation is vital. Thankfully, living in a neighbourhood where there is a grocery store and other basic necessities makes things a little easier, but sometimes I need to get out of my little bubble of a neighbourhood and explore the rest of the city.

Between our congested roads and a shotty transit system, we’re left contemplating whether we should rely on transit to get us around town, or if purchasing a car is worth the investment.

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As someone who has used transit to get around the city for school, internships, volunteering, work and leisure, I have some great insights on the perks of taking public transportation.

  1. You will save money

A new car will cost you thousands of dollars to purchase. And then you have added expenses to deal with such as parking, maintenance, gas, insurance, and the list goes on.

Transit will only cost you $141.50 per month for an Adult Metropass. If you need to find ways to save money, public transit is a perfect solution.

  1. If you don’t have far to go, don’t bother with a car

One thing I always kept in mind when looking for a job was location. I told myself if I landed a job that was easily accessible by transit, there is no need for a car. However, if I ended up working outside of Toronto (i.e. Mississauga, Oakville, Markham, Newmarket), I would have 100% purchased a car. Mind you, if I did this, I would not have moved out (keeping my budget in mind!!)

I ended up getting a job at a place that takes 10-15 minutes for me to commute to by public transit daily, so the decision for me was easy.

It is also important to keep in mind if you spend a lot of leisure time outside of the city. All of my friends and family live in the city, most of whom are just a few subway stops away. If you spend your weekends trekking to Aurora or Scarborough, you may want to evaluate if you are up to taking transit that often. A friend of mine has her own car because she travels up to her cottage almost every weekend.

My advice here: transit is great when you’re travelling in and around Toronto, but if you plan to travel further, you need to evaluate if you have the time (and patience) for taking transit very often.

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Since I’ve never owned my very own car, I wanted to get some great advice and tips to share from a millennial who recently purchased their first car. My colleague Leanne kindly accepted the offer to be interviewed on her car purchasing experience and has shared her story with us:

Q: Did you decide to get a used car or new car? Why did you decide to go this route?

A: We bought a new 2016 Volkswagen Golf. After speaking to family and friends who own cars, my partner and I ended up going with financing a new car, rather than buying a used car or leasing a new/used car.

There were a few reasons for this:

  • Budget: We determined that our monthly budget could support the addition of car payments, insurance and gas
  • Maintenance costs: We felt more comfortable investing in a new car versus a used car due to the potential for more up-front maintenance costs; depending on the age and state of the used car, we might be faced with more maintenance costs in the first few years
  • Convenience: Given our busy schedules and lack of vehicle, we didn’t have the flexibility to hunt around for used cars; going to a dealership accessible by the TTC was helpful

 We chose the baseline model, rather than the more expensive ones with the bells and whistles.

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 Q: What financial tips do you have for millennials looking to purchase their first car?

A: First and foremost, I’d recommend doing your research to determine if purchasing your first car is something that can fit into your budget. There are a number of variables to consider, from buying new vs. used, to insurance costs, to parking and gas, so it’s important to look at all of these factors. Look online and speak to friends and family – and be flexible. Your first-choice vehicle might not be feasible within your budget. 

Q: Owning a car in the city is expensive (parking, permits, insurance, gas, maintenance, etc.). Do you have any advice for managing these costs? Were you aware of these added costs before purchasing your car?

A: The high cost of owning a car was the main reason why my partner and I lived in the city for four years before purchasing our car. We didn’t feel comfortable exhausting our budget on car ownership, so we waited until we both felt more at ease taking on the additional costs.

My biggest piece of advice would be not to rush into purchasing a car if you don’t necessarily need one. Wait until you have more flexibility in your budget before diving in. 

While some of these costs are harder to control, but there are some steps you can take to cut some costs. For example, though I now own a car, I often weigh the costs of driving somewhere in the city compared to taking the TTC. If driving – and paying for parking – will far exceed the cost of transit, I’ll opt for the TTC. I also chose a small hatchback car that is fuel-efficient, so I’m not spending an arm and a leg on gas.

I’d also recommend carving out some time to research insurance quotes. There is a benefit to shopping around if you’re cost-conscious as you may be eligible for a discount on your premium for various reasons, including being an alumnus of a post-secondary institution.

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Q: How often do you use your car vs. the TTC? (How do you commute to and from work? Weekend outings? etc.)

A: I still buy a Metropass and take the TTC to and from work every day, unless I have a client meeting outside of the city (which is normally once per month). The cost of parking is too high to warrant driving to work, not to mention the negative impact on the environment. We generally use the car for errands in the evenings (grocery store trips are much easier now!) and on the weekends to visit friends and family outside of the city.

Q: The TTC connects the city through subways, busses and streetcars. In a city that is so easily connected, but also so congested, do you find your purchase was worth it?

A: The biggest benefit to owning a car has been our increased ability to see our families and friends. Both my parents and my partner’s parents live in the suburbs, as do many friends – and having a car means we can pop out for a visit on the weekends more frequently than we could taking public transit.

One of the other motivations was the cost of car rentals. I’d been using car-sharing for a few years (which is not that cheap!), and also had to rent a car for numerous weekends each year. Renting a car in Canada is not very affordable, nor is it convenient, and the costs of car rentals were adding up and creating logistical issues in terms of parking.  Rather than continuing to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars each year on rentals, we decided it was time to own.

Well there you have it! I hope this post has helped shed some light on whether or not purchasing a car is a smart decision for you right now, or if transit will do the trick in getting you from Point A to Point B.

I hope to one day get a car, but right now, I need to continue saving up money so this can one day fit into my budget.

Discussion: Are you a car owner? What advice do you have for millennials weighing the pros and cons of purchasing their first vehicle? Do you feel transit is sufficient and cars are not necessary when living in the city?

How to land your dream job

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Is it possible?

Finding a job these days is hard enough, without the added pressure of finding a job you absolutely love.

My own experience is living proof that it is 100% possible to land a job that you love to go to every single day.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, it takes a lot of time, energy, hard work and dedication to land that dream job you long for.

For many of us, we complete our undergrads and hope for the day we land a job in our desired field. Unfortunately, it might take longer than we hoped to get there. This can make us feel very discouraged.

I’ve been there – that feeling after sending out dozens of resumes and never hearing back – it downright sucks.

It wasn’t until my post grad certificate program that I realized I was doing the job search all wrong.

During my post grad, my professors took the time to teach us not only what we would do in our jobs, but how to get a job in the first place.

Here are some tips from my own experience – I promise you it is worth a read because this worked for me, meaning it could work for you too!

  1. Meet up for a networking coffee

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If you’re a student or a recent grad, capitalize on this as much as you can. Send out emails requesting to meet with people for “informational interviews” who work at companies you are potentially interested in working at. I can tell you now, not everyone will respond, but some will. You’d be surprised how willing people are to pass down their words of wisdom to a bright, young and aspiring professional.

During my post grad, as well as the months following my completion in the program, I met with several professionals in my industry.

It is great to have this network when you are ready to start applying for jobs. You never know who someone may know – if you really impress them and they hear of a job opening, who knows – they might just recommend you for the job. 🙂

*Tip: Treat a networking coffee as though it is an actual interview and dress in business attire. Come prepared with questions to ask – they are taking time out of their day for you, so make sure to be prepared ahead of time. And always, always, always remember to follow up with a “thank you” note to show your gratitude.

  1. Industry related groups and events are a must

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What better way to meet professionals in your industry, right? Don’t just join a group for the sake of joining it. Go to the events. Network with people. This is all about building your own personal brand and it is truly the best way to do it.

I can tell you from my own experience that this is worth your time and energy. I myself made some great connections through industry events – one of which led me to the job I have today.

  1. Volunteering and internships can really pay off

My sister in-law is a perfect example of this. She volunteered at a non-profit that she truly cared about and ended up landing a job there not long after. This is because she knew the staff and when a job opportunity arose, they knew how hard working and dedicated she was to the organization. Of course, she still had to interview against other candidates for the position, but I’m confident that her volunteer work is what really separated her from the crowd.

Even internships can pay off, too. You may get hired on by the company permanently following the internship, or perhaps your manager at your internship will introduce you to some of their industry connections.

  1. Continue pursuing your education

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I honestly don’t think I would have ended up where I am today without my post grad program. Continuing my education after finishing my four-year undergrad was a no-brainer for me, and it really paid off. My post grad program really helped me find my own path and what I wanted out of a career.

My advice to you before going back to school is to really do your research. Find a program that you are incredibly passionate to pursue and invest all of your energy into this. Remember, your professors could also be a great source for jobs. One professor of mine connected me with some recent grads of my program who all landed great jobs and were following their passion. Don’t underestimate the value of continuing your education after your undergrad.

 

The main point I am trying to get to with this post is to stop submitting resumes online. Some people might have had success with this, but I’ve never met anyone who has done so. Remember – your resume is going into a pool of resumes – hundreds, if not thousands. Having that personal, face-to-face connection is what will help you succeed in your job search.

Network, network, network!!!

It pays off, I promise you. Good luck in your search and getting one giant step closer to landing your dream job!  🙂

Discussion:
Based on your own job search, what has worked for you? What are your opinions about applying to jobs online?