pieces of advice

Traveling is something really special. There is something nostalgic about it. When traveling, you experience culture, indexfood and people. Traveling is about the adventure just as much as it is about finding yourself. With that, I want to introduce you to Amanda. She is one of my sorority sisters who has an awesome job; not only does she encounter new lives an save people she travels. Amanda is a traveling nurse and her life is filled with many new experiences. Below Amanda writes about a few things that resonate with her and I think these things will resonate with any 20-somethings. After reading this blog post, I hope you leave with this: travel much, travel often – make it happen no matter the cost.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Pass It On

guest blog presented by: Amanda Bentz
You can find Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaRoseBentz; insta: amanda_rose_021, make sure you follow her

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde

I recently came across an article online titled “100 Pieces of Advice from 100-Year-Olds.” Intrigued, I found myself reading the collection of genuine, honest and somewhat humorous pieces of advice gathered from a collection of people who have lived a century. After reading advice on exercise, diets, marriage, pets, money, jobs and attitude, I paused on one that resonated with me.

 “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.”

Traveling has always been a desire of mine. I will always appreciate my roots and my small town upbringing, but I can’t help but wonder what else is out there? What am I missing if I pass up an opportunity to travel to a new location? This fueled my dream to become a travel nurse and relocate to a new hospital every three months. However, this form of travel doesn’t require extra money to be spent on my end. It’s the traveling that I want to do while I’m in a new location that costs money. As a 23-year-old with no dependents and a stable income, I feel like I am ‘young and able’ to travel. But shouldn’t I be focusing on paying off my student loans and saving money for my future?

Budgeting money is a stress that many people deal with. It’s a necessity to thrive in today’s economy. Everyone treats it differently, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s always a worry. We spend a lot of our money on tangible things that we use every day that benefit us such as groceries, clothing, gas, transportation, heat, cable, internet, etc. These are things most people consider a necessity. But traveling? That’s something that people can do without. What do you get out of traveling anyways? A week here, an extended weekend there – what’s the purpose?

“Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” This is my favorite part of the advice. Experience is one thing that can never be taken away from you. By traveling to new locations, we experience new things. Food, people, culture, climate, lifestyles, history – the list goes on and on. I believe that experiencing these things opens your mind and allows you to grow and develop as a person. That is something money cannot buy. That’s why I think this man is advising us to ‘make it work’. How do you do that? Well, I challenge you to figure it out.

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt

3 types of interviews

Matt is on the hunt for a job. After a few interviews we got caught up in talking about the structure of an interview. Is there something that can make or break it? Is it better to have it over the phone rather than in-person? Do you like to see someone when interviewing? There are so many variables when it comes to an interview. I asked Matt to write a blog about interviewing and the different types of interviews.  In the interviewing process, Matt has experienced 3 types of interviews. I think this is an important post to read. When going into an interview: phone, in-person or otherwise, it is nice to know what you’re going to expect. Matt does a great job telling you all about these structures.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

interviewing

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

Over the last few months, I’ve vigorously been sending out job application after job application in the hopes of landing not just an interview, but also a new job in general. I was lucky enough to get a few interviews (still waiting to see if I got one of the jobs), but only a few. Tough job market, eh? Anyways, I’m here to talk about the three different types of interviews that I’ve had in the past couple months, the things that make them unique, and my personal opinions on all three of them.

The first interview I’m going to discuss is the phone interview. Now, I actually had two of these with two different companies. I felt fine after each of them, but I ended up not getting either of them. Oh well. No worries. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the phone interview. For me, I have a hard time hearing people on a cell phone and I sometimes have a hard time talking on a cell phone (Kendal Ann knows this first hand). I also feel like phone interviews are a very impersonal way of getting to know someone, but that’s just me. I understand that phone interviews are a great way for a potential employer to briefly get the background on the interviewee, but I feel like the only way to really get to know someone is by speaking to them face-to-face or in-person. (Yes, there’s a difference between the two) Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I think that phone interviews can really put a hindrance on whether or not a candidate would actually be a fit for a specific position because of the lack of personal and visual contact.

My next type of interview up for discussion is for all of you techies out there, the video-conference interview. A few months ago, I was an intern for the Tennessee Smokies Double-A baseball team located outside of Knoxville, Tenn. Both of my interviews with the Smokies were via Skype and I thought that they both went very well (obviously, I got the internship). But, it was a whole new experience for me doing an interview like that. The first interview of the last job I interviewed with was a video-conference interview and I felt like the potential employer and I made a great connection because I was actually able to see them and witness the reactions to the answers I gave in response to their questions. That type of personal contact in an interview really helps boost your confidence if the interview is going well, which really helps throughout the course of the interview. There are a few technical difficulties that can go wrong with videoconferencing software, but hopefully that’s not the case. There is one tough aspect of video-conference interviews that I experienced and that is the little delay that happens after you finish talking. There tends to be a few instances when one person interrupts the other, but always remember your manners and let them say what they’re attempting to say first. You can always go back and add whatever you were going to say after they’ve had their turn to speak.

Finally, the third type of interview is the face-to-face interview. These are my personal favorite because there aren’t any kinds of technical snafus that can occur. You’re sitting across the table from the interviewer, you can hear them well, you don’t have to worry about a delay in between when each person speaks, you can judge their body language in comparison to what you are saying and most importantly, you get to start building a relationship and a rapport with a potential employer who just might be your next boss. This type of interview is easiest for me because I’m such a people person as it is. I love meeting new people, talking with them about anything and everything and also learning their story. Everyone has an interesting side to them and during this type of interview, you have the opportunity to see that interesting side of the interview. But don’t forget, they also have the opportunity to see that side of you as well.

Since I’m such a people person, I prefer to do interviews face-to-face. But not everyone may prefer that. I’m interested to hear about your favorite way of being interviewed.

 

title discrimination

young professional

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I am part of a listserv that often time posts jobs. Today, a job was posted that stated the following: “This position offers a young professional the opportunity to work for a growing  firm.” Alright, I thought nothing of it. Later, I see an email that turns into a mass chain email exchange about the words “young professional”. As a young professional, I never thought of these words as discrimination or derogatory. Personally, I use the fact that I am a young professional to my advantage. This allows me to share a fresh perspective and innovative ideas.

Most organizations and universities have a disclaimer that reads: The XXXXX is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status in the provision of its educational programs and services or employment opportunities and benefits.
Now I understand that It is against the law to discriminate against any job candidate based on age. Now, I learned from the email exchange this discrimination of age (and I am assuming: ace, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, or veteran status) not only applies to the hiring practices as well as job announcements. This person went on to say:  When I see ‘young professional’ I understand it to mean ‘someone we can pay less.’ I don’t believe that to be the case at all.
Allow me to argue that the phrase “young professional” is used all the time. This is a phrase I am proud of because I am a young professional.  Essentially, saying young professional is stating the job is an entry level or just reaching a mid-level position; however, it doesn’t reflect any type of age discrimination or bias.  Generally, it is used because this type of position is meant for someone new to that particular sector and offers them a chance to learn, grow, and move up into roles with higher responsibility.
I am proud to be a young professional. The words young professional defines me just like the word veteran or seasoned defines someone who has been in the work-force or a profession longer. These defining phrases don’t need to define us. These phrases allow for the best person to enter a position.
I am interested in knowing your thoughts. Young professionals weigh in on this subject, do you think this is considered discrimination?

rants & raves of a job

Almost two years ago my life changed; I met Patrick! (Dramatic entrance, I know.) I met Pat through a friend, and I knew we were going to hit it off. After a few months gap in our friendship, due to him being at grad school–he made his way back to DC. Needless to say, I was beyond tickled! Pat got a job a IBM and was joining the real world as a consultant. Now, I couldn’t be more happy for him–what an awesome job opportunity post education, but the one thing that get’s get down is his lack of availability, but that’s not going to deter me from being his friend, heck that makes our friendship stronger! Once you read this post, you will understand exactly what I mean. So, here’s to Pat and his #LifeOfAConsultant, him writing this blog, and well just to our friendship!  Sit, back, relax and enjoy the blog!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#LifeOfAConsultant

guest blog presented by: Patrick Kotary
You can find Pat on Twitter: @Kotary; insta: patrickkotary, make sure you follow him!

In March 2013 after three colleges, two degrees, and one small bank account, I started my professional career with IBM Global Business Services. After just 7 months though I can honestly say this job is never what I had expected my first big grown up job to be growing. Until the ripe age of six I wanted to work at the mall so I could eat lunch at Sicilian Delight everyday – a pizza place at Sangertown Square Mall; my immature palate thought it was the best food ever, but I digress. Needless to say my aspirations only went up from there. I had the classic dreams – teacher, astronaut, news anchor, race car driver, the next Ward Cleaver, and POTUS were just a few (the last two are still on my list). Until about a year ago I never considered being a consultant for one of the world’s largest technology companies.

My friend Lizzie told me IBM was recruiting for consultants at our school, Clarkson University. I hadn’t given that career choice much thought, but after her persuasion and hearing that if you were hired you were sent to Orlando for a few days to celebrate, I said let’s do it! So I gave it a shot and was hired! I was one of the few extremely fortunate people who were recruited and hired during my last semester of graduate school. While I watched others hunt for jobs, I spent my last two months before the real world soaking in rays by the Gulf, baking, and watching the Barefoot Contessa. As Ina would say, “how easy is that?” All that time though I kept thinking, “I don’t know really what I’m going to be doing come March.” You see, consultants bounce from project to project in different roles – one day you could be on a project as technical resource and the next you could be running financial reports on another. You’re in a constant state of motion, meeting new challenges regularly – something I love doing. Whenever I was asked what I was going to do at IBM I would say, “I’ll be consulting. Companies hire us to come in and solve problems for them.” Now is that broad or what?

Despite that uncertainty I started my first day as a consultant on March 4th, 2013. I had a busy first two weeks in training – one in Herndon, VA and one in Baltimore, MD. Week three was when things got most interesting because I was staffed; I started my first project assignment as the Project Management Assistant at a company in Spokane, Washington. 2,080 aeronautical miles from my home in Northern VA. For about 7 months I travelled back and forth between the Washingtons – out on Mondays and home on Fridays. That’s about 5,000 miles a week (there isn’t a direct flight) – about 135,000 miles total. Like everything this unique lifestyle has its pros and cons.

The Pros:

Status.

Hi, my name is Patrick and I’m addicted to travel status. I am a Delta Platinum Medallion, a Hilton Diamond Member, United Elite Silver, and Starbucks Gold for many years to come. Status is a beautiful thing. First class is the only way to fly.

Seeing new sights.

Instead of going back to NOVA every weekend, I sometimes took alternate weekend travel. New Orleans, Los Angeles, upstate New York, and Florida to name a few.

Try new things.

As previously mentioned I like new challenges, so knowing that week to week my job changes is very exciting.

Foodie’s heaven.

Being in new cities is a dream for foodies like me. In 7 months of working I can count on one hand the times I’ve eaten at a chain restaurant. I love trying new foods.

 

The Cons:

Tired.

I was constantly changing time zones and had some difficulty putting my body on a hybrid system. Thanks to Kendal Ann et al though, I was able to stay on PST time on the weekends back east #DCNightlife

Travel numbness.

Air travel has lost its glamour for me. There was a time when I loved flying and thought it was the best experience ever. I now feel like I’m getting on a big dirty bus with smelly people. Also, hotels no longer stand for vacation. All I can think now is, “How many people have slept (and done other things) in this bed before me?”

Long workdays.

Because of travel, my office time is limited. To make up for this, I spend about 11 hours a day M-T at the office. Lunch is usually at my desk.

Relationships – lack thereof.

This job is not great for relationships. Even though I am extremely handsome and debonair, many don’t want to be with someone if he’s only around 3 of 7 days. I can respect that. I’d rather someone NOT like that than ENJOY having me gone all week.

The #LifeOfAConsultant continues. In a few hours I’m boarding a plane home to Dulles from my new project city… San Francisco, California. It’s an exciting life I lead working for IBM and I love it. I’m young, single, and free, so why not? For now, I’m not the next Ward Cleaver and I’m fine with that.

I urge you all to get out and see what this beautiful country and world has to offer.

acing an interview

phone or in-person

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Interviews are one of the most important things for your career and for yourself. An interview can make or break an opportunity. From my experience there are a few must-dos and don’t-dos during the interview process.

Must-dos

Research the Company

Know the basics of the company you have an interview with. This could be your job. Don’t you want to know what you are getting into? Don’t waste your time or your potential employers time. It’s simple. Know basics, locations, about us and a mission.

Participate, Practice, Practice

let’s be honest, practice makes perfect. I don’t think you should ever turn an interview down. You always need practice. Ask a friend to grill you with a few questions before your interview.

Prepare

Same deal for preparing. There are many ways to prepare. I like to research the company, have some friends throw questions as me, and look up questions to see if I could answer those as well. There are a million ways to prepare, you just need to find what works for you.

Be Calm

Don’t stress out. I know this is easier said than done. Stay cool. Don’t be nervous. If it’s a phone interview, maybe you need to have some notes with you or walk around– fine do that. Maybe during an in-person interview you are moving around to much, focus on something in the room– and NEVER look at the time.

Ask Questions

Ask questions. Simple, right? Ask meaningful questions. I’ve been told that some questions make or break and interview. As a rule of thumb, don’t ask anything that you can do an online search for. Ask thought provoking questions. Ask questions that you can relate back to what you were speaking about or what you were asked earlier.

Dress to Impress

I really don’t want to explain this one any further. Go into that interview wearing your Sunday Best! Knock this out of town with your looks and attitude. Dress like this even if you have a phone interview. Your outfit will translate through with how it makes you feel. And don’t forget to smile…

Smile

Smiling, it shows your happy and excited to be here! An outfit is never complete without a smile.

Send a Thank You

Always follow-up with employers. It’s important to do this. Leave a lasting impression in their mind. This shows a different part of your character and I am sure you can never go wrong with a thank you note.

What Not to Do

Show Up Late

This is just bad form. Didn’t your mother to tell you to be on time? What makes this different? Heck show up early! Show up, show them you are excited about this position.

Not Preparing

Not being able to answer the question “What do you know about this company?” might just end your quest for employment, at least with this employer. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an “About Us” section on most company websites.

Dress Inappropriately

Dressing inappropriately can work both ways. You will certainly want to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for a summer job at your local theme park or as a lifeguard, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire. If you aren’t sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office to see what they are wearing.

Poorly Communicate

Shake hands, make eye contact– both of these will exude confidence. You should be engaging with the person you are speaking with. By doing these things you will let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position – before you even answer an interview question.

Bad Mouth Past Employers

It’s sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don’t know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot… You also don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren’t the best.

Forget to Follow Up

Afraid you didn’t make the best impression? Are you sure that you aced the interviewed? Either way, be sure to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position and the company. Not following up can make a bad impression.

 

Go get ’em tiger! I hope these tips helped you out. You will ace your next interview!

let’s get weird

austin, texas bound

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Ladies & Gents a DC family member of mine is making the move to Austin, Texas. I hear everything is bigger there, so it has that going for it. In the past, a few friends visited have said remarkable things about Austin: music scene=dope, food=texmex, atmosphere=amazing. Honestly after these reviews I can’t see her not being happy. She’s going to love it and I’m beyond excited for her. I just hate to see her go. I asked Kimmy to write a little post about expectations, so without further ado here it is:

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guest blog presented by: Kimmy Rohrs
You can follow Kimmy on Twitter: @kgibbler; insta: kgibbler, make sure to follow her!

but, seriously let’s get weird, Austin

So I’ve recently been informed that I’m being relocated to Austin, Texas. Dream come true, right? I think so. I work for a software start up and while there are a few bumps in my road, I’d say I’m pretty frickin’ lucky. Job right out of college, benefits, flexibility, booze at work. Now moving to Austin? I couldn’t be happier.

Given all the buzz we socialites hear about Austin, I’m beyond stoked to see for myself what it’s all about. My musical interests run the gambit and I try to be as open minded as possible. Culturally, I prefer a forward thinking, liberal town with great hills for running, slow-food beliefs, and a hot as balls climate. Below I’ve listed my expectations for this ‘grand’ place and once settled in I plan to comment on my thoughts with true experiences to back myself up.

Perceptions/expectations:

  • music EVERYWHERE
  • bars with the most diverse/local beer selection imaginable
  • sexy people with even sexier tatoos
  • forward thinking food behaviors with a tex mex bias

Stay tuned yawl!