Tag Archive: post-grad


Like many people out there, I got a job right out of college, but felt in some ways I had settled and was capable of achieving much more in life. After almost two years, I was unfulfilled in a job that didn’t push the boundaries. It was time to make my mark in the world. Prior to leaving my job, I set up a system to organize my job search efforts, gain exposure through social networks and implemented a system to collect information vital to my search.

Evernote

One of the most useful note taking apps out there. I am obsessed with Evernote and use it for everything from recipes to drafting blog posts. When it comes to your job search, Evernote allows you to keep track of your search efforts by capturing, categorizing and will be a useful reference to prepare for your next interview.

Capture companies you want to work for, jobs you want to apply to and those you haven’t. Add tags to each note to categorize for future reference. After you have a collection of notes, take a look back on your progress.

Track what types of jobs you apply to and what industries you are interested in. Looking back will give you insight as to where you came from and how your preferences have changed.

Prepare for interivews. Type up targeted Q & A’s prior to each interivew and brainstorm for at least an hour in preparation. Collecting your thoughts, drafting hypothetical scenarios and answering the tough questions will give you the leading edge in a competative job market.

For more on how to use Evernote, check out tutorials on Cameronplommer.com .

Instapaper

For your job search, use Instapaper to capture relavent articles and blog posts for tips, hints and inspiration. There is a lot of useful info out there for career development and coaching. Find it. Use it. Just by doing your research you will be already ahead in the game.

Instapaper can be used anywhere, even without a nearby WiFi connection. As long as the article was previously downloaded in the app, you will have full access to it at any time. Perfect for airplane mode, traveling abroad or in remote areas.

LinkedIn

Stay connected with college professors, colleagues and build your online resume. Today almost everyone who is looking for a job or has one is on LinkedIn. I included it in my list as a reminder to stay active on LinkedIn and try to spend equal if not more time on this network than on Facebook and Twitter. Join groups on LinkedIn, participate in discussions, make connections and engage with others in the same industry.

Brazen Careerist

Join the conversation. Become part of a network of career bloggers, companies and amazing career resources. As part of the network, you can attend webinars, virtual career fairs, get career advice and take training courses to learn a new skill or ramp up old ones.

Incorporate these apps and networks into your job search efforts and you will be one step closer to finding the next rewarding opportunity in your career.

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The Beginning

Pressure. That’s all I felt in the months approaching and following my graduation date from college in 2009. Pressure from others, but mostly from myself. Who would I become? How would I start my professional career? Who was I ? Those are the questions I asked myself everyday at the end of 2009 and after the new year.

Asking these questions was my first mistake. Too wrapped up in the questions I was suppose to ask myself, the right way to start a career (according to conventional wisdom) I fell back on what I thought I SHOULD do.

Sometimes plans don’t work. Even backup plans fall through. You determine your destiny. Not chance or luck. I found myself following the rules I had set for myself.

Allergic to risk. Failing to fail. Aiming for perfection.

You’re Hired

The day I got a job offer I was overwhelmed with feelings of relief, ambition, success and a hint of fear. My professional career had officially begun.

Background checks, screening, new hire orientation and classroom training entered into my life. I spent three weeks in Baltimore for training. The first months of work were filled with textbooks, learning entire computer systems and dreaming of finally having a cubicle to call home. Not exactly the life I envisioned or the career I had set in mind before graduation.

I learned the ropes, passed tests, graduated from training, released from my mentor and and was on my own. I became a worker bee. It was all about the numbers. I followed the rules, exceeded performance and quality standards. Error free. Risk adverse.

Months went by and then another year had passed. Is this what I went to school for? Am I happy? What am I achieving? I woke up one day realizing I had settled. My worst fear had come true and it was only my fault. Paychecks became more important than my dreams and ambition to challenge the status quo. My passion had disappeared. What had happened to me? I was not being true to my character.

I felt like I had joined the military in some ways. I became absorbed with exceeding the numbers, saving my paycheck and waking up at 5 a.m. for another 12 hour day.

Making Moves

After spending two weeks in Europe for a much needed vacation I had planned my whole life, I realized it was time. I was just living through the motions. Making my bosses happy, processing claims and collecting a HUGE paycheck.

My 25th birthday was quickly approaching. How did I get to 25 so fast?

Two weeks before my birthday I woke up. I asked my bosses for new roles, challenges and projects to move forward in my career. I had proven myself time and time again, but there were no opportunities to grow. Leaving my federal job was the hardest decision I had ever made. I walked away from my large salary, life-long friends and my federal career, but I was ready to move forward. I knew moving forward would be hard, stressful and nerve-racking at times. I was pulling myself out of my comfort zone and diving head first into the unknown. Moving towards my new career and redefining my future without rules or deadlines. You never know what you are capable of until you push yourself to the limits.

Where Am I Now?

My passion is alive. Enjoying the moment. Being a better daughter, sister and girlfriend. Challenging myself and the status quo.

I refuse to settle in life. Challenge is what I live for. Be bold. Make moves.

If you don’t like something about yourself, your life or who you are spending your life with, change it. No more excuses.

Who am I? I am a person who works hard and plays hard while making history. I do the first two everyday and will spend the rest of my life striving for the third.

Life Lessons

Perfection does not equal success. If you are perfect, you will never learn from your failures. Failure is the first sign of success. Never compare yourself to others. Do what is right for you, not others. Be allergic to bull, even if it’s coming from your own thoughts. Don’t settle for average.  Remember the past, but move towards the future.

I define myself by what I do. I am a blogger, entrepreneur, paddle-boarder, adventurista, foodie, photographer and thousands of things. But the one thing I REFUSE to be is average. Be your OWN definition of exceptional.