Archive for the ‘top 5 list’ category

Does your city inspire you?

October 21, 2010

This past weekend, I ventured to the Big Apple for the first time. I had this preconceived notion from movies and Law and Order reruns that New York was this HUGE city with a gajallion people and that I would feel like Macaulay Culkin in Lost in New York. That couldn’t have been farther than what I felt. I actually felt like home. The city felt welcoming, almost like I belonged there.

Now I’m not saying I’m moving to New York tomorrow or anything (just yet), but the city, without a doubt, inspired me to dream big in my life decisions. Work projects, personal relationships, evening jogs, I feel like I’m actually putting forth more effort in order to produce the results I want.

Does this sound crazy? Does your city (or any city for that matter) ever inspire you?

Here’s what I’d loved about New York:

1. People- There’s not really a typical look for a New Yorker because the demographics are so diverse. And the amount of people meant that I was rarely bored.

2. Attitude- The aura of people in New York was not the stereotypical loud-mouthed asshole. People were confident, but not obnoxious. Vocal, but not rude. Yet striving for the best life they could possibly achieve.

3. Food- China town, street vendor gyros, foldable pizza and authentic ethnic food from wherever my heart desires.

4. Unity- After 9/11, I was told by a friend that New York became a new place where people were caring and generally looked out for one another. The “city of one” energy is definitely present.

5. Lights- Bright lights have always made me feel comfortable. It probably stems from being on stage at dance recitals or something. Bright city lights signify bright future and opportunities to me, which, obviously, I love.

In honor of my love for a new change of urban scenery, I’ve created my ode to New York with pictures from circlebox blog.


Meatless Mondays are still going strong

October 11, 2010

I have to admit, it has been difficult to keep this Meatless Mondays promise that I made to myself. It has, however, made me much more observant of what I put in my body, which is why I wanted to start this thing in the first place. It’s also forced me to try vegetarian options at restaurants I normally would have passed on. Over the past five weeks since I’ve began this adventure, I’ve learned:

1. Tomatoes are good, I mean really good. I was always a tomato fan, but now I’d say I’ve crossed over into the obsession realm. I eat tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, sliced tomatoes with cucumbers and light ranch and good ole plain cherry tomatoes on the reg, not just on Mondays.

2. I look forward to Mondays now…because of sushi. As I’m driving home from work on Mondays, I call my favorite local sushi restaurant for a take out of one California roll and one Alaskan roll, hold the wasabi. The trick to find a local sushi restaurant you actually like, and, yes, it may take some time. My advice for finding a good sushi spot is that you get what you pay for- it may be worth it to spend a little more money. Once you find one you like, ask about lunch or weekdays specials.

3. My body actually craves vegetables. Especially after I eat something sugary, I can feel my body wanting something leafy, something green, something healthy to balance it all out. Thought veggie cravings were some sort of pregnancy-only myth (Nope, 112% positively not preggers), but I kinda like the feeling that my body naturally reaches for asparagus.

4. Meat tastes so much better when it’s forbidden. I appreciate my Tuesday night steak dinner and my Thursday lunchtime turkey sandwich 10 times more when I know there is a time when I can’t have it. You want what you can’t have, right? Same principle works with Channing Tatum.

5. My lunches are more interesting. Lunch is my biggest meal, mainly because I’m running around after work and I wake up too late for breakfast. Thus far, my Monday mid-day cuisines have included butternut squash soup, Zoup’s lemon lentil soup, Unagi rolls, avocado spring rolls, salmon Caesar salad, Veggie Jimmy John and Panera’s roasted tomato and broccoli cheddar soup. Not too shabby. Veggie options can be exciting and flavorful, who knew!

Anyone else trying the Meatless Monday trend? Or have any vegetarian recipes I should try? Leave them in the comments section, please and thank you.

*Image Source:

Interview tips that you haven’t heard yet

May 7, 2009

First off, let me say congratulations to all graduating seniors. That being said, let the job hunting begin! No doubt you’ll receive tons of advice from friends and family (if you haven’t already from your professors) about what to do and not to do at job interviews, most of which are probably common sense. Here are my personal interview tips that may not be so obvious:

1. Spit out your gum– I, honest to God, went to my first job interview out of college with gum in my mouth because I forgot to spit it out when I pulled into the parking lot. I overheard myself referred to as “the gum chewer” as I walked out of the interview. Lesson learned.

2. Dress according to your industry– if you’re interviewing for a job in a creative industry, why would you dress in a black suit with a white shirt? Add some color! Even if it’s with accessories,  a little color can go a long way to express your creativity and make you a memorable candidate, which is the whole point, right? Just don’t go overboard.

3. Ladies, wear closed-toes shoes– …and don’t think peep-toes count. Nobody wants to see your toenails when you cross your legs. Just because your flip-flops have heels does not make them appropriate for an interview.

4. Are you sure there’s nothing in your teeth? Did you miss a button when running out so quickly this morning? When asked if you need to use the restroom before the interview, take that opportunity to do a double check… just in case.

5. Send thank you notes… to everyone– Only a third of interviewers say they receive thank-you notes from candidates, so you’re already ahead of the pack if you send any, but some interviews can be held with several different interviewers. Get everyone’s card and send them all thank-you’s, extra points if you send one to the lady at the front desk, she may be having lunch with your interviewer very soon.

Have confidence, be prepared and good luck!

5 Questions Your Boss Will Ask You About Social Media

April 30, 2009

Suggest adding social media to your marketing budget and here are 5 questions you are bound to get from your boss:

1. What’s so special about it?

What’s so special about quarter-page B&W newspaper ads that are almost always printed blurry? Whether we like it or not, newspapers are a dying medium and everything’s going digital. Reach these online markets in the best way possible. Social media is a way to market in a smart, direct and personal way that has been producing increasingly effective results at a staggering rate. Do the research, you’ll be surprised.

2. Isn’t it expensive?

Social media is one of the least expensive tools you can use in the marketing industry. Most sites are free or have minimal costs for upgrades or optimal accounts. Even if you’re in the mindset of time=money, you’ll still be getting your dollar’s worth. 

3. Who is going to manage it?

Large and small companies alike are joining the social media revolution by using their own marketing team or advertising agency to run their social marketing executions. Depending on what your goals are, it is very possible to start implementing a program with a single social marketing employee aka me.

4. How does it produce results?

Like I mentioned earlier, the stats are there. Social media can generate higher sales simply by creating brand awareness and communicating services and promotions to a specific or general audience. The good news is that social media is continuing to grow and it’s not just for college students anymore- I was on the bus yesterday into downtown Chicago and overheard two Golden Girl-aged women have a conversation about who they’re following on Twitter.

5. When can we start?

Here’s where you can say: Right away! Try not to be surprised when a raise comes your way for suggesting such a great idea.

Top 5 Ways to get more connections on LinkedIn (for beginners)

April 23, 2009

You’ve accept the invitation, you’ve created a profile and you have 1 connection. Now what? First of all, let me congradulate you for getting this far and actually taking the first step into social media by signing up, but the whole point of social media is actually being social. Here’s how you can get more connections and continue to build your network:

1. Search out past and present coworkers– LinkedIn is a professional networking tool, so it makes sense to start gaining connections by adding your professional relationships. Make a list of 10-20 coworkers that you’ve had acquaintance-level or above-average connections with and search for them. If they have a common name, use the advanced search tool at the side to refine the location. Don’t be afraid to add bosses, managers, secretaries, clients, entry-levels and interns- you can benefit from connecting with all types of people in all types of positions.

2. Search out friends and family– Same deal as point #1. Cousin, uncles, grandmas (way to go grandma!), moms, mom’s friends- all great connections that are bound to have contacts in your field. Add away! I think I still have 20+ outstanding sent invitations.

3. Moniter connection update statuses– Your homepage basically gives you a status report of your connections everytime you log in of who your existing connections have recently connected with. More than likely, you will know some of these people. Log in every once in awhile to see if you can make any new connections.

4. Invite non-LinkedIn members to connect– Have a coworker that is a social butterfly? Send them an invitation to connect! If they know a lot of people, they can benefit from joining an online network and can, in result, benefit you.

5. Make sure you are available to connect with– Review your privacy settings to make sure you are easily accessible to others. Also, keep your contact information up-to-date in case any new connections would like to contact you.

Even if you aren’t currently looking for a job or new clients, continuing to build your network is a great tool to have when you are wanting to stay updated with trends in your industry and stay connected with the people of both your professional and personal life. Its not as hard as it looks- honestly, it seems like I gained 100 extended connections overnight by just connecting with my list of 20 coworkers.

Top 5 Tips for Upcoming College Grads

April 15, 2009

I just did my taxes, March Madness just passed and it’s constantly raining, which can only mean one thing- it’s April and college graduation is springing upon us shortly. With the way the economy is, I really don’t envy college seniors and the career decisions they are forced into making, however, I can offer some advice being a graduate myself just 2 short years ago. Here are my top 5 tips for transitioning into the real world and landing your first job:

1. Review your facebook page

Remember all those frat parties and football games? I’m sure some more than others. While it felt like a good idea at the time to document every moment with your digital camera, you are now tagged in 500 pictures of you at all points of inebriation, which is a big turn-off to your future employers. It is an absolute fact: companies DO research their interviewees on facebook! I’ve done it myself! Take some free time to delete or untag yourself from inappropriate pictures. Also remember to go through your bios- if your activities include drinking games and “being fratty”, you may want to make some adjustments.

2. Get Linked In

Since you’re already on the computer to make your Facebook profile “job friendly”, take a few minutes to create a professional profile that can capture the attention of future employers in your industry. A continually growing favorite is LinkedIn, however, there are several other options that are more industry specific. Because you won’t have a lot of work experience, be sure to list position titles you’ve held in clubs and organizations as your previous jobs. The sooner you start to network online, the better chance you will have at connecting with a recruiter and setting up an interview. *Make sure to double and triple check your spelling since there is no spell check device on the site.

3. Review your connections

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” and it couldn’t be more true. These days, the way to get in the door is to market yourself out to other and connect with people in the industry. If you have no idea where to start, start small. Start by reviewing your family’s Christmas card list, find anyone in your industry? Call them up! Your parents’ friends are great people to interact with about open positions, resume building, industry leaders, new corporations and other professional advice since they are often seasoned professionals who have worked in their field for 10 years or more.  Other starting off points for networking can be high school friends, college alumni and neighbors. Be ready beforehand with a list of questions about your industry so they can point you in the right direction. Continue to grow your connections from there and repeat. *Be sure to keep their contact info organized in your OWN address book for your reference, although Mom probably wouldn’t mind the phone call home every week to ask for your contact’s information for the 3rd time.

4. Create Networking Cards

While you’re continuing to network, people will ask you for your contact information and it would be considered bad form to write it on a cocktail napkin, even if you are entry-level. Order networking cards- they’re business cards for people looking for jobs. You can include your name, email address (avoid your postal address), phone number, social networking site URLs, personal blog and/or online resume link. Also, be sure to include the (general) title of the position you are looking to obtain so people know who to send the information on to. A set of 500 can cost only $20- a small price to pay to set you apart from your competitors. Pictures or logos can also be added for an additional fee.

5. Move out!

I firmly believe that everyone should live on their own for at least a year before they are 23 and hopefully all of your networking and preparation will make this step possible. When you live on your own (roommates or not) you are able to get a sense of Independence by paying your own bills, buying your own groceries, fixing your own leaky faucet, etc. Gaining responsibility in your personal life will give you great experience for taking on responsibility in your professional life. Make the financial sacrafices, find some cheap furniture and get to it!

Congratulations to all of you who are graduating this Spring and good luck in starting your future!

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