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Skills to Develop Today, So You Can Use Them Tomorrow

University teaches you an immense amount of invaluable information. Most of us go into it thinking we will learn everything there is to know about our degree, so that we can apply the new knowledge and know how to get the job done, and get it done well. But the truth is, your classes provide much more than just the information you will need, as important as that is. You also develop a wide variety of skills that, as you continue your education and enter the workforce, will serve you well, and provide you with a basis for so many of the things you will do later in life.

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How to Capture a Dream

Life has been very good to me lately. Several things that I only dared to imagine are now realities. One of these dreams is a paid job as a writer with a flexible schedule. Here, I try to identify the key moments that helped to manifest this vision into reality.

Dreaming is part of the work. It’s almost impossible to work towards something that you cannot envision. For me, this dreaming was simply wanting to be a skilled writer. I felt my writing skills had stopped improving since high school. So, as soon as I had sufficient free time and mental space, I started looking for opportunities to write within the McGill community. (more…)

How to Handle Rejection – Lessons from Distributing Flyers

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a flyer distributor or a fundraising canvasser? I know that most often than not, my first reaction when I see a canvasser is to avoid them. For these workers, rejection is a daily reality inherent to their work, and finding a healthy way to manage rejection also becomes crucial to their work and their well-being. For the rest of us. rejection is a fact of life that we will all face at one point or another, in life or in work. The past two weekends, I worked as a flyer distributor on a busy downtown street. I’d like to share my experiences with a focus on how it has helped me find a more balanced and healthy perspective on rejection.

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Make The Most Of It

There are many words that can be used to describe me. One that I get often is “indecisive”. But I disagree. Well, I don’t disagree (I can see that I’m not helping my case here) but I agree in certain aspects. When it comes to extracurricular experiences though, I do disagree. Yes, I’ve done a little bit of everything, but that wasn’t a result of indecisiveness. That was because I wanted to experience everything. After all, how do you know that you don’t enjoy working in a particular field until you’ve actually worked in said field? In the long run, this logic bode well for me…but I did often find myself in positions that I knew were a little mundane for me after the first couple weeks. And let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been there. So what do you do when you have a month or two left in a position that you’re not enjoying? (more…)

A Balancing Act Between Prestige and Preference

There is nothing wrong with being career driven, in fact it is admirable and encouraged to have a goal that you are actively working towards achieving. Taking every opportunity that you come across and seeking out ways to make yourself stand out as a candidate when applying for positions, through your education and experience demonstrates an immense amount of motivation and dedication. However, while this “do whatever to be successful” mindset can be very productive it can also be detrimental, as one may become too robotically focused on what will “look good” on their resume, resulting in an unintentional ignorance towards equally beneficial opportunities.

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My Take on Interviews and How to Kill Them

I am going to start by saying that interviews are horrible. I believe that they are a terrible way to judge someone’s character and ability to work well. It is understandable that no one would hire a stranger without having met them first, but interviews have become mortifying interrogations that are as stressful as exams. They require tremendous skill and so much practice. That being said, becoming good at interviews is in everyone’s reach as long as time and effort are invested. I have been both lucky and unlucky to have been called into quite a few interviews in the last 4 months, since graduation, and here are a few tips that I would like to share about the process.

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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…)

Diary of a Cruise Ship Girl

I was an inexperienced, dependent girl from Montreal when I chose to make a change. In the summer of 2011, I made the decision to work abroad on a cruise ship as a Seasonal Youth Counselor. When I arrived onboard the Norwegian Pearl in Seattle, I quickly realized that my lodgings consisted of three roommates living in a small room and food that was so greasy it looked like it came right out of the oil tank at the bottom of the ship. It was a new, fast-paced life that involved lots of energy and constant awareness. I came into this novel environment, having no prior ship-life experience and knowing no one. Originally, when I applied for the job, I assumed I would be ready to step outside of my box and tread water in the real world. I thought that this job would give me the independence that I needed in my life, but I was very wrong. Many co-workers immediately labeled me as the “weird new girl.” I received no eye contact, no friends, and rare enjoyments. (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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