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3 Steps to Striving Through Uncertain Times – Living your Questions

The feeling of uncertainty is hard to describe, but we have all felt it. It can be the doubt that inhibits action, the lack of conviction in a particular choice, or the ambiguity surrounding the future. We will all go through phases when everything familiar seems to change – starting a new career, moving to a new city, losing a loved one, starting a new relationship. For some people, graduating from university is one of those times, specifically graduating without any specific plans.

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The Worst Interview Ever: Ridiculous Questions With No Good Answers

A few years ago, I applied to work as the head coordinator of a summer day camp. I had worked at day camps since the age of 13 years old, and I was 23 at the time. I woke up early, got ready, put on my good pair of pants, threw on my genuine smile, and headed out the door. I sat in the waiting room for a good twenty minutes until a nice woman wearing a red dress, approximately 5’6, 40-years-old, escorted me to a tiny office room in the back of the first floor.

At first she left me in the room and closed the door. Paranoia sparked the neurons in my brain and I looked up and down at the grey, old walls in front of me. My nerves excited themselves as I waited, and waited, for the interview process to commence. (more…)

Books For Direction In Your Career

 I have been lucky to have mentors who have been advising me during my job search. One of the pieces of advice that I have received was to read a number of books to help me frame my mind during the hunt. Here are two books that I would recommend for someone reflecting on their career path at any time during its progression.

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Do We Categorize to Live, or Live to Categorize?

As a society, and as a world, we put people into boxes. We categorize them. It’s easier than putting people on a spectrum. It’s accessible and fast to categorize; so accessible, in fact, that we go overboard. We jam-pack individuals and divide them. For example, the “bigger” people go here, the “smaller” go there; the “beautiful” go here, the “ugly” go there; the “happy” go here and the “depressed” go there. We divide one another, simply by categorizing ourselves. It’s easy, it’s fast… but also ineffective.

How to Negotiate a Job Offer – Workshop Overview

Life is full of negotiations and compromises. However, when we think about negotiating a job offer, the stereotypes of greedy, bossy and uncommitted people quickly surface. Many people fear that negotiating a job offer will lead to tension in the workplace, or even cause them to lose an offer*. Consequently, many people shy away from negotiating and from asking for a better work experience for themselves. To help us navigate the complexities of negotiating a job offer, McGill’s Career Planning Services (CaPS) hosted a workshop called “Negotiating Your Academic Job Offer” on March 30th, presented by Dr. Niem Huynh, as part of the Academic Career Week. Here, I summarize the main strategies for negotiating a job offer.

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An Unexpected Trip to Thailand – Relearning to Trust Myself

Diligent monkey who stole my water bottle

I often hear people say that they love to travel. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in China and have already experienced a culture different from Western culture, but I never saw the appeal – or rather the benefit – of traveling. I couldn’t understand how escaping one’s own life to find meaning in a stranger’s life could benefit the traveler once he or she returns home. Interestingly enough, through a series of events, I found myself solo-traveling in Thailand for the past two months. My experiences were far from what my biases predicted.

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Grades Matter, but Experience Matters More

Why does it seem that being successful at school means employers will be lining up at our doors to hire us when we graduate? It’s not true! If we have no job experience, we are at the bottom of the hiring pool behind candidates who have already been part of the work force for several years. Retrospectively, if I had worked hard at finding unpaid or even paid experience in my field, instead of just focusing on excelling in the classroom during my studies, I feel as if I would have been better equipped for the job search now. (more…)

The Perks of Being a Public Speaker: How To Not Suck

I’m a teacher; a new one, at that. But, even I know that the ability to speak well in public is a big “pro” in life, at school, at work, and especially during interviews! As University students, we’ve all been through the occasional oral presentation. I’ve never been one to be nervous about speaking in front of others, but I do understand the butterfly-feeling in your stomach before you go up to give a talk. I get it. It’s hard. Societal pressures make it even harder. Is my hair tied up right? Do I look okay? Oh, gosh…these pants make me look fat. Am I wearing the right shoes? Will I forget any of my lines? Oh, crap…I hope I didn’t forget to print something. What if I can’t keep eye contact with the audience? Are people judging me? These are just some of the questions that may go through your mind before you get up there to do your presentation. (more…)

“So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

 

Source: Google Ngram

When we look at people who are satisfied with their career, we will often see that they are passionate and love what they do. Successful people may be passionate, but does solely following your passion lead to success? As a young, inexperienced, and slightly restless university graduate who can no longer hide within the structures of student life, this question has been yearning for an answer. (more…)

Music Can Temporarily Help Your Stress Levels

Being a student isn’t easy, but yet…you knew that already. That’s nothing new. Stress consumes all of us, student or not; from societal pressures, to school, to work, to relationships, to daily life, we learn to cope in different ways. For me, music heals my soul. Every time I’m stressed, I put on my favorite new songs, and within minutes, I calm down. I don’t zone out from the real world, but I do become entranced by the music to my ears. It’s amazing what music can do for you.  (more…)

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