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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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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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“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…)

Let’s Talk: Don’t Suffer the Agony of Job Searching Alone

I have spent the last two months attending counseling on resumes, cover letters and interviews; applying for jobs online, and meeting with employers. I have heard sayings such as “when you don’t have a job, it is your full-time job to search for one,” and “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I figured, it can’t be that difficult, you just put in the time and, like school, you apply where you want, they realize your merit and bam! you’ve got a dream job that you’re passionate about and pays really well… How naïve of me. I have agonised over cover letters and resumes, with each application requiring 5 hours of grueling preparation. I have been faced with rejection time after time, and all of it has had a mental toll on me. Coming out of McGill, I have hardly had to prove my merits because they were there clearly posted on my transcript. I had rarely been rejected for research or VP positions that I had wanted. Now, I am stewing in self-doubt, doubting my credentials and my ability to work, and I am unsure of what kind of work I want to do. In order to snap out of it, I have found that the greatest way to get my spirits up is to relate to others. Here are 3 groups of people that are helping me piece out this time in my life.

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Towards Better Communication: Nonviolent Communication

Communication is at the core of all relationships, including work relationships. Most people quit their jobs because of the work environment, not due to the job itself. A recent study by Accenture reports the top reasons for quitting a job in America are disliking one’s boss (31%), a lack of empowerment (31%), internal politics (35%), and lack of recognition (43%).

This phenomenon reflects our collective need for better emotional intelligence and communication skills. One tool that has been useful for me is nonviolence communication (NVC). The “nonviolent” in NVC refers to communicating in a way that does not result in harm. In other words, it means communicating without the use of guilt, humiliation, shame, coercion, threats, and moral judgments, among other things. NVC follows a process of (1) observation, (2) feelings**, (3) needs, and (4) requests. (more…)

How I Made a Choice: Where to Study and Work?

Choosing a city

In my “Who we are” blurb, I mentioned that the first choice I made for my future was choosing to stay in Montreal in order to find a post graduate job. It seems like an easy choice to make because I was born and raised in Montreal, but it took a lot of exploring and reflection to come to this conclusion. Here are the main factors of my decision: (more…)

How to Have a Cup of Coffee

CFMcGill Connect (the Ten Thousand Coffees networking platform) is taking off and people are seeing great results. It makes it easy to break the ice and ask professionals out for a meet…because in being on the platform, they’ve agreed to be open to meeting. It’s engaging, interactive, easy to use and incredibly resourceful. There’s even a tinder-esque feature that can randomly show you profiles based on your interests.

I love it. It’s tech-savvy and progressive and so easy to use. Although, it can be nerve racking. Especially for those of us just starting out. I know a lot of people that think talking on the phone is weird, let alone contacting a stranger to sit down for life chats about their ambitions.

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Behind the Screen: Seeing McGill Social Media from the Inside

socialmedia (1)Recently, my boss did something saintly. It really hit her one afternoon that I love writing and social media…and she knows social media writers. To be honest, I was incredibly flattered that she read any of my pieces at all. She ended up contacting major social media McGill staff to see if they would like to meet with a humble, young blogger. Much to my appreciation, they accepted.

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EXPERTS WANTED: Evolving Expectations at the Entry Level

81bw6nzlhcl-_sl1500_Millennials will tell you that entry level jobs want you to have 30 years of past work experience, 4 degrees and your own famous non-profit charity. Starting out means more contribution than it does learning experience and growth nowadays, so how can we compete?

I wanted to explore this idea, and the reason why Entry-Level jobs want you to enter with a near-genius expertise, in comparison to the generations before.

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What I Do “Exactly”

2Everyone seems to ask what I do, “exactly”. Alumni Relations Assistant seems like a vague title over top of a mountain of miscellaneous tasks.

I respond in saying I’m a gopher. You know like, “Go for this..” and “Go for that…”.I rather like the phrase and think it fits, as my job has a certain malleability that anyone beginning in an assistant 9-5 position can relate to.

I’ve tried asking my other coworkers that Work Study with me and they seem to run into the same problem.

“We kind of just do a little bit of everything.” I’ll explain what this means.

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