Archive for November, 2013

Doing Good, Doing Well: The Power of Intention

Posted on November 21, 2013 with No Comments

Sprout in cupped hands, surrounded by soil

‘So much to do and so little time to do it!” This could be the slogan for these times with endless deadlines, constant connection, and the relentless question: “so what are you going to do with your degree?”

Yes, there are many steps to take in your career action plan.  Experience + career + experience + networking + experience…  And yet, we also need a sense of our own value & values to guide us or else the steps are scattered and become merely check-offs on a to-do list.

To steer the course of your own life, pay attention to intention! A goal is something you want to achieve. An intention is the way you want to live your life.  For example:

Goal: Get a job. Intention: Do meaningful work in the world.  Intentions express what guides you through your daily actions in support of small and big goals.

Here are five ways to claim your direction:

  1. Clarify: What matters?  People? Issues?  Doing your best?  Giving back? Paying forward?
  2. Focus: Keep your intention in mind as you move through each day.
  3. Activate; Take daily actions that demonstrate your commitment & intention.
  4. Share: Talk with others about what drives you to find others with which you can work.
  5. Acknowledge: Express your gratitude for people and interactions that support you, your intention and your career/life pathway.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

~Holly

How to Negotiate Your Salary

Posted on November 14, 2013 with No Comments

Handshake

This past year, mint.com, a financial planning website, conducted a survey and created an infographic called, “Wage Wars: How Men & Women Negotiate Salaries.” Through their survey they found that 37% of men and only 26% of women negotiate their starting salary after landing a new position. Not only is there a gender gap, but the numbers are substantially low. So, what can you do to help yourself land a job you’re excited about, but most importantly a salary you deserve? Use the 4 tips listed below to help negotiate your next salary:

  1. Research. By using a few different resources, you’ll want to research salaries within your career field and within the geographical area to help you identify a number or range. In addition, you’ll want to consider the number of years of experience you have, the cost of living and how the team can benefit from your skills and experience to meet the need of the job.
  2. Let the employer state their number or range first. Letting the employer state their number first will allow you more room for negotiation, but remember, you’ll have to defend your reasons why you need to counteroffer.
  3. Know your worth, and not just in dollars. You’ll want to consider other “benefits” you can negotiate with including; vacation time, flex time, bonuses, stock options, etc. Regardless, know your worth and have a bottom line.
  4. Keep calm and control of your emotions. Negotiating a salary can be filled with a lot of emotion, so do your best and leave your emotions at the door.

~Danielle

Savvy Seniors: Start “Relationship Building” Today!

Posted on November 7, 2013 with No Comments

Alyson Welch at Machu Pichu

Alumnae Alyson Welch shares her networking experience and advice

What role has networking played in your career exploration and job search?

Networking has played a huge role in my professional development.  Four years ago, I moved to Madrid, Spain and had no idea what I was going to do.  After a few months, I found a job and two internships through networking—through a friend of my mother-in-law, a college contact and a previous internship supervisor.

When we moved back to Vermont almost three years ago, I was concerned about finding a job. I started identifying companies of interest and looking for contacts at these companies.  In three months, I met with four people from Tetra Tech ARD, all referred to me through various contacts (a former UVM professor, a college friend of my husband’s and a friend of a friend that I met at a birthday party.)  When a position opened up at Tetra Tech ARD, I eagerly applied and used the knowledge I had acquired through networking to help write my cover letter and prepare for the interview.

Networking can be a bit intimidating.  What has helped you network effectively?

People are much more willing to share information and provide advice than to give you a job. If you are just looking for information, it’s easier to ask people to chat.

I’m kind of shy, so it’s a little intimidating to me to reach out to people that I don’t know. I’ve tried to challenge myself and send emails or call people, thinking that it’s always worth a shot.  I actually don’t like the word “networking” as it sounds sort of insincere.  I prefer to think of it as meeting people and building relationships that are mutually beneficial. Keeping this in mind makes networking – or relationship-building – more organic and, to me, rewarding.  People were very good to me during my job search and I’ve tried to do the same now that I have a job.

What advice might you give to a senior who isn’t sure how to begin their network?

Keep your request to meet short and simple. Be prepared and have a list of questions ready. Ask people to suggest other contacts. Remember to thank the person. Keep track of who you have met and follow up from time to time.  Try to keep your network alive.  Invite the people you have met to connect on LinkedIn

Also, use LinkedIn to identify UVM alums in your field and reach out to them. Check with professors, co-workers and family/friends to see if they might recommend professional contacts. Think about who is already in your network – maybe your aunt knows someone.  Never doubt the importance of any connection—even if someone is not in your field, you never know who they might know.

The most important thing to do is just start networking.  Once you start, you’ll gain momentum and it can even become fun.  Moreover, I am confident that networking is the best way to ultimately find a job – especially one that you’ll like.

Alyson Welch
Project Manager at Tetra Tech ARD

Want to learn more about networking? Join us for:
Seniors Lunch and Learn: Networking Made Easy!
Wed. Nov 13, 12 pm, the Hub

 

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