Force Quit on your Losing Streak

Almost a month in, and I’ve stuck to the most important of my new year resolutions: to grow in faith. At the end of last year, I was at odds with relationships in my life and wanted to turn everything over to God. Not only would dedicating the New Year to God bring me closer to Jesus, I felt doing so would also give me the answers I needed to mend the troubles I was having.

2017

In order to hold myself accountable, I made a list of 12 people in my life I wanted to either improve my relationship with or needed to forgive; I make a similar list of 12 topics I wanted to focus on, in order to be a better Christian. I decided I would consciously pray each day for the person I dedicated that month to, and would read specific scripture each day addressing the topic of the month.
The list included subjects such as my parents, my sister, specific friends, my desire for a boyfriend, and working to overcome the negative perception of news. Topics included forgiveness, jealousy, worry, judgment, and being enough for myself.

What I’ve learned in my first month is that both mending and growing relationships, with people and God, takes time. I approached the resolution with optimism and was quickly rewarded with lines of open communication between me and the person I chose for January. But praying and reading the Bible does not automatically grant me positive mending every day. I’ve learned this is a process – there will be days I feel I’ve taken a step back. Yet, overall, I feel more complete. In just one month, a peace has overcome me. While I know there will be days and months full of ups and downs in 2017, I also know I have a God that I can always turn to. And as I grow in this journey, I hope to learn how to better listen and hear His voice, in all the times I turn to Him.

 

Disclaimer: I have not stuck to my resolutions to practice French twice a week or practice piano three days a week.

Brand yourself

During my year-long job search, I’ve learned a few things; it doesn’t matter if you have the skills listed in a job posting, employers are looking for more than just someone who can fulfill each bullet point. A few years back, Forbes reported, millennials stay at a job, on average, less than three years, and will have 15-20 jobs during their lifetime.

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This job-hopping trend has created the need for workplace culture – or an environment that will entice employees to stick around. Often companies will brag about free break room snacks or flexible working conditions, like the ability to work from home a certain number of days each week, in order to come out on top in the minds of recent graduates.
So how to employers determine if a certain candidate would be a good fit with the company and its workplace culture? By exploring how you brand yourself.

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Below are three places you can brand yourself online that will catch the eye of employers.

† Start a personal blog

Personal blogs are both a great way to show off your writing skills and what’s on your mind, but don’t use this outlet the same way you did your 5th-grade diary. Research and write about something relevant to the industry you are looking at entering. What changes are leaders making and how are they making them? What are consumers interested it and how are they reacting to the changes? In the communications field, I’m constantly looking for new ways to tell and share compelling stories. Social media and multimedia are popular among consumers, but I’m also concerned with how to engage my audience, such as through the use of mobile apps.If you don’t feel confident enough to tackle an industry-related post, you can write about a less serious but still professional topic, on something that may interest your employer, its employees, or its clients. Think about community events or volunteer opportunities that encourage involvement.

You don’t want all your effort to go to waste. If you ever wonder why some posts or writers gain such popularity, leaving you with less love, check out “The Science Behind What Content Goes Viral.”

Here’s a list of reasons why people are drawn into certain personal blogs:

▪ The post sufficiently covers the topic it addresses. Puny points don’t speak well of your ability to write long-form, thorough content.
▪ It evokes strong emotion. People are more likely to engage in your post (comment) if they are surprised, humored or angered by it. Feel good posts are great but what can a reader say about a positive post that can’t be summed up with an emoji?
▪ It educates your readers about a topic. If your post is interesting or causes the audience to think, it’s more likely to gain devoted readers that discuss topics with you.

† Utilize social media

It probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t post drunken photos to Facebook or Instagram, but creating an online presence that shows your personality is important because it allows your audience to get to know you.

▪ Share your blog posts on Twitter.
▪ Update old friends about your life on Facebook.
▪ Post a picture of your afternoon at a museum to Instagram.

† Complete your LinkedIn profile

Employers are obviously going to be interested in your work history, but the social media site also allows you to add classes you’ve taken, hobbies you enjoy, and volunteer experience onto your profile. All those little “extras” help tell a more complete story of who you are, and whether you’d be a good fit with a company.

Find yourself looking for a new job? Try boosting your resume and cover letter game with these non-traditional methods.