Why Every Job Should Be Considered A “Real Job”

Traditionally, to simple-minded, ignorant people, a “real job” would qualify as something doted as successful like a doctor or lawyer; something that took a great deal of effort to achieve. Even worse, today most people associate the term with anything that pays you a salary or provides some type of health benefits and/or a retirement plan. Or any type of job that requires a degree and has you sit on your ass 40 hours every week.

But let’s not forget that that true meaning of the word ‘job’ simply means anything in which one receives payment for performing some type of service.

So, when did it happen that some roles in the working sphere became classified as a real job and others simply viewed as, “not a real job”?

This term is offensive, untrue and utterly mind boggling that people differentiate jobs into these two categories.

The term also brings along people who assume things about others working in certain industries, such as they probably don’t have a degree or they have no motivation. Again, untrue and offensive.

As someone who works in both the service industry and the cushy 9-5 lifestyle, I can say that both industries are very much real jobs and should be viewed as equal, and the former even more so than the latter.

Most alternatives to a regular office job require physical demands like being on your feet all day or carrying things for hours on end. While those inside an office sit most of the time, although they too can become mentally exhausted, it’s not as physically demanding as the job of a bartender, plumber or nanny, for example.

When you’re working in the service industry, customer service, taking care of children, working a blue collar job, or anything outside of the 9-5 sentence, odds are, you’re busting your ass everyday and for probably over 40 hours a week.

You may not have the same schedule or lifestyle as those who may be office workers, nurses, teachers or whatever profession deems them as having a “real job”, but you’re definitely working equally as hard, if not more.

Where you work, what you’re doing, the pay check and any added bonuses, do not define your worth. If you consider it work or feel like you’re doing something you’re passionate about, or even if you’re just content about, it’s a job, and it’s your job. Most importantly, it’s a real job.

If you come home from work feeling tired, it’s a real job. If you come home form work with money in your pocket or a pay check, it’s a real job. If you come home feeling like you did something for someone else, it’s a real job. If you come home from work feeling physically or mentally exhausted, it’s a real job.

Whether someone is a nanny, a bartender, server, tailor, hair dresser, or gas station attendant, they’re making an honest living and they’re doing it on their own terms in respect for their own happiness. There should be no kind of negative or misconstrued connotation associated with their job titles in our society.

Our time is valuable, and how we choose to spend it everyday, and how we choose to earn a living, is a personal decision that is not up for judgement or criticism.

I don’t know when people, especially those recently emerging to the working world, became so snobby about titles and paychecks, but it’s certainly bothersome and pretentious.

And just to shed some light on the fact that those with these pretentious opinions are those who are miserable at their “real jobs” who do mindless, repetitive tasks without any purpose, don’t have any real conversations with their co-workers and complain about how boring their jobs are, all because they fell into the pressure that society put on them to “get a ‘real job'”.

Anyway, maybe the next time someone is serving you drinks, cutting your hair, filling your gas tank, painting your house, watching your children, or all of the other things that you never give a second thought to, remember that you wouldn’t have any of these things fulfilled if it weren’t for those who don’t have “real jobs”.

Alternatives to the 9-5 Sentence After Graduating

The idea of going to college for four years to emerge with the promise of a full-time job is a fading dream, vision and goal of today’s millennial’s.

Instead, as a community of confused post-grads, most are seeking alternatives that could last them two to three years before jumping into the black hole of 40 hour work weeks, regimented lifestyle, and most importantly, responsibility.

It’s true that (on paper) we have the rest of our lives to work, so why should we rush it? Of course there are other reasons to seek full-time employment other than just a pay check. It’s the more responsible choice for incentives such as a 401K, health benefits, paid-time off, resume building, establishing relationships, networking, etc. And for some people, this is exactly what they work toward during their time in college. For others, they want more time to do other things besides work, things that are fulfilling, memorable and meaningful. Although the people around them may not agree, like their parents, it’s important that everyone have the option to take a path other than the 9-5 sentence immediately following college graduation.

Traveling is a big alternative. In a way, the 12 years leading up to college graduation has prepared millennial’s for this. We spend a large portion of our education learning about all there is to see and do in this crazy world, it’s only right to seize the opportunity to actually experience some of it instead of just reading about it. In addition, if you’re like me and living at your parents, it’s also a good time to travel financially as you may not be paying rent yet.

Some may also incorporate more schooling into their travels by working towards a master’s degree or doctorate internationally, which is both productive and adventurous. Traveling can also bring perspective into your life and open up different opportunities that may not have existed otherwise.

Taking an internship instead a job right away is a common choice that I’ve been hearing about more and more from recent graduates. Sometimes it can also be necessary if you’re determined to enter a certain field. Whether it be paid or unpaid, sometimes you have to take this route, especially when your job search becomes discouraging.

Volunteering can be a common venture for some. Whether it be a week, month, or a year, there are so many different programs, both domestic and international, working with different organizations that are always looking for more hands. This is a good opportunity to gain some perspective as well as defer your loans while you figure out what it is you really wish to peruse. Also can’t hurt to add it to a resume…

Working a part-time job while working on job applications is something everyone should consider. If all you do is fix up cover letters, send out resumes and compulsively check your inbox in the hopes of getting an interview, you will drive yourself mad. Fill some of your time with a mindless job with people your own age, while also making some cash. The job search can be longer than expected, I can tell you that first hand, and I’m sure many would agree.

Going back to school is popular, whether it be to advance your degree in what you studied in undergrad, or, completely changing career paths and going back to study an entirely different subject. But, this leads to more debt (for most people) which is something I’m personally trying to avoid.

Or, if you went and got your given degree and never want to succumb to the 9-5 lifestyle, as many choose not to, that’s more than okay too. I think the most important choice you can make is just to choose what makes you happy even when others don’t always approve or agree with your decision.

There are also so many alternatives for people to ponder, these are just a handful of choices. If you have any other ideas, please comment below!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Local Book Drive: Help Me Raise 600 Books for The Children of Philadelphia

Reading has always been a part of my life in some shape or form; whether it be for the use of education, research or leisure, it’s had a way of shaping my life. However, there is a lost generation of readers in today’s society.

I believe reading is fundamental for everyone, but primarily for children, adolescents and young adults. The society we live in is constantly progressing in the technology industry, and between social media and television, reading has taken a place on the back burner, but I’m one of many hoping to change that.

This spring, I am partnering with Tree House Books, a local non-profit organization whose “vision is to see that every child in Philadelphia has access to books and every opportunity to pursue their dreams. We are on a mission to grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers.” 

Founded in 2005, Tree House Books classifies themselves as a Giving Library and Literacy Center in North Philadelphia with a dual purpose to provide free books to the community, and Out of School Time (OST) programs that increases literacy skills, and promote a lifelong love of reading and writing in children from their earliest moments, through high school, and beyond.

More specifically, I will be working within their Books in Every Home campaign which is on a mission to give deserving families in Philadelphia access to books who may not have otherwise. A statement on their website that I can fully support is that they understand that most of a child’s learning goes beyond a traditional school setting and the need to encourage and inspire reading in homes is crucial. However, these children are attending schools that do not have lending libraries or may be low-income households that cannot afford to purchase books to bring into the home. And that’s why I want to help achieve their goal of distributing 75,000 books in 2018 throughout the city, surpassing their total of 67,000 in 2017.

Reading was always so easily accessible to me either at home or school growing up. I love getting lost in the words of an author, living vicariously through characters, learning something new, expanding my imagination far past the words on the pages.

More than that, reading can have other long-term effects such as improving focus and concentration, enhancing memory, expanding imagination, healthier alternative for entertainment, language development, increase of knowledge, and long-term academic success.

 The 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reading test results demonstrate that far too many young people continue to read below grade level. Sixty five percent of all U.S. fourth graders scored “below proficient,” which means that they are not reading at grade level. Only 35 percent of fourth graders are reading at or above grade level. In addition, 64 percent of eighth graders are reading below grade level, whereas 36 percent are reading at or above grade level. Still, these statistics do show an improvement at both grade levels. In 1992, 72 percent of fourth graders and 71 percent of eighth graders were reading below grade level.  – U.S. Department of Education, “The Nation’s Report Card,” 2013.

For more staggering facts about he literacy rates in our nation, visit this site:

http://thencbla.org/literacy-resources/statistics/

This book drive is small step for me, however, it is one that can have a large impact on families throughout Philadelphia, but I need your help.

My goal is to collect 600 books to donate to Tree House Books within the next 6 weeks.

Tree House is specifically looking for all children’s books, classic literature used in schools, and African-American literature, but are accepting all books, with exception of encyclopedias, as they can find a home for every book, or they can keep them in their giving library in North Philadelphia.

Alternatively, if you do not have any books you wish donate, but still want to support the organization, you can make a donation on their website!

Contact me via this post, by email at keoughmeg1@gmail.com, or by phone if you have my number if you wish to donate some books or have any questions! You can also drop off locally at either Bishop McDevitt High School in Wyncote, PA or The Borough Brewhouse in Jenkintown, PA. I truly appreciate any and all donations in my effort to help bring literacy back!

*And don’t forget to celebrate World Book Day on April 23rd!*

 

 

 

 

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: What Am I Doing Now?

Long time supporter of Paul Angone’s writing and voice to those feeling lost in their twenties, I’m no less pleased with his latest release, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties!

IMG_2142

Sometimes we need to hear the harsh truth of reality when facing life’s continuous obstacles, sometimes we need to hear others share their real-life stories to be able to relate, and sometimes, we need to reflect on our own life to be able to better ourselves and increase our happiness and well-being, which is exactly what Paul’s new book provides.

If you’ve never read any of Paul’s previous publishing’s, I highly encourage you to do so, but if you have, you’ll know that his style of writing is relate able, humorous and helpful in times when we can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

101 Questions is an integrated guidebook for those in their twenties, an uphill battle that feels almost impossible to win at times. But as an advocate for the millennial generation, Paul poses questions that we’re all thinking in our heads, and some that we’ve never thought to ask but should.

IMG_2137

Whether you’re an avid reader or a read a book once a year kind of person, this book suits you. Even more, it seems to be targeted for those in their twenties, but Angone also makes a note that this book can be beneficial for those of you in your thirties and beyond as well. The lay out and design of this book make it super easy to read fairly quickly but also provides the opportunity to just read specific chapters if you wish, as you don’t necessarily need to read every chapter to be able to get to the end. ( You should read every chapter though because they’re all super insightful!) This set up is similar to his first book that was published, 101 Secrets for Your Twenties, which is when I first found hope for my post-grad life through Paul’s voice and writing.

In the opening introduction, there’s a statement that resonates so well with me, it’s uncanny; and for those of you who have followed me along on this blog, I’m sure you can feel the same. Paul writes in relation to the plunge after college graduation, “I felt confused, afraid, and alone-those visions of making a difference while making a lot of money quickly changing into just making it through another day. In these dark halls, I’d occasionally bump into other twenty-somethings, clearly as confused as me and muttering, I don’t belong here.

IMG_2144

Paul’s vision of what he imagined life after college to look like is probably similar to what all emerging graduates expect. But the harsh reality is that 9 times out of 10, it’s not and it’s up to us to work hard, persevere and have faith that things will work out.

I think that Paul’s approach in this book to stimulate us to reflect and questions ourselves as a way to achieve a fulfilled life and overcome obstacles is genius. Although his other books provided great insight and advice on adulthood, this one focuses more on who we are on a more personal level and what we can do to change.

The questions are categorized into four sections throughout the book which include:

  • Adulting to win: Thriving in the big picture and small details of adulthood.
  • Careerish: How to build a career that is meaningful (while making you money).
  • Relationshipping: Dating, marriage, networking, friendship, mentoring, oh my!
  • Signature Sauce: Uncovering where your passion, purpose, and calling collide.

IMG_2147

With all of that being said, some of my favorite questions from his new release that really got me thinking have been dispersed through picture within this review.

I encourage you all to read this book, use this book, and recommend this book because the community of confused millennial’s, lost post-grads, and worried adults is larger than we can even begin to know. But being a part of, or having a sense of community along this bumpy journey is something that everyone could use whether they realize it or not.

Below, I have provided various links to which you can purchase this book. Please share any and all content relating to the book whether it be this review, someone else’s review, posting pictures of your book, or even writing your own review!

** If you order from Moody Publishers use the coupon code: Questions40 to receive 40%off PLUS free shipping on orders of $25 or more.**

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, I can’t wait for another book of thoughts from Paul Angone!

Moody Publishers

Target

Barnes and Noble

 

The Pros and Cons of A Snow Day

First day of spring and a snow day! Well, who doesn’t love paid-time off? I sure as hell do. However, that’s not the case for every employed person; some still have to work, or work from home, or some don’t make money for that day, or they may eventually have to make this day up. Here’s a list of my opinions on snow days sorted by the pros and cons!

PROS: 

-In the likelihood that you don’t have to work from home on your snow day and get a free day off, then this has to be the biggest pro! It’s like a vacation day to do absolutely nothing.

-Even if you do have to work from home, at least you can do it in the comfort of your pajamas and bed. The bright side is you’re still getting paid and don’t have to leave your home.

-Food & drinks. You can day load with friends or family, either at home or at a local bar, make a ton of food that tastes so good but is so bad for you at the same time, or a combination of both.

-This makes the week go by so much faster! Returning to work tomorrow with only 2 more days until the weekend is a godsend.

-Relax, relax, relax. Snow days for me are the least stressful days. I can catch up on some shows, do some online shopping, nap, read, etc. I have no one to entertain and I don’t have to feel guilty about laying around in my pajamas from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.

-Not have to deal with your co-workers for 24 hours. I think we can all be thankful for this.

CONS:

-Not having a snow day. Commuting to and from work in this weather has to be incredibly frustrating and slow moving. Hopefully most companies can sympathize with this or at least let you out early! Obviously if you work in a health professionals field or public safety, you probably have to go regardless, but hopefully the day is pretty easy.

-Not having a free day off from work is unfortunate in this case. I remember in my last full-time position, the owner closed the company for the day but we weren’t eligible to work from home and he wasn’t willing to pay us for the day unless we made up by staying an hour late for the eight days following. Which was pretty much bullshit since it wasn’t our decision not to come to work.

-In another case, some people do have the availability to work from home, which I’ve never done, so I can’t say what it’s like, but it’s definitely still a bummer having to work from home even if you are getting paid.

-If you’re in the same position as me and still living at home, snow days can be somewhat boring if you are looking to drink and get drunk. The only two drinking partners I have under the same roof are mom and dad which isn’t too appealing. Snow days in college were 10000x better.

-You could be living alone which I can imagine would be pretty boring.

-If you’re a teacher, all of these snow days are most likely getting added on to the end of the year which I’m sure isn’t ideal as your summer is repeatedly becoming delayed.

-Shoveling. Can’t say I’m a victim to this labor, but most of my guy friends are so I sympathize.

Whatever you’re doing on your snow day today, if you were lucky enough to have one, stay warm & try to make the most of it, because it’s back to work tomorrow!

 

23 (Odd) Questions Asked By A College Grad

Researching new conversation topics surrounding life after college, I came across this article form The Odyssey Online which was published in 2015, that adheres to some questions we find ourselves asking after graduation.

However, there were a lot on here that seemed unnecessary and easily answered with the help of a search engine. Not judging… This list gave me more of a laugh than anything, but some questions are valid.

I’ve listed the 23 questions the author posed and provide my own answers and comments separate from theirs.

1) How do I fill out a FAFSA? If you grew up in the last decade surrounded by social media and technology, you’re a part of a digital age and probably college educated, you can teach yourself.

2) How long is it socially acceptable to continue to use my parents’ Netflix account? If you’re still living at home, or even not, use the shit out of that account. I can’t imagine your parents charging you for Netflix rights and usage.

*The fact that this was your second concern is somewhat alarming.*

3) How do I file taxes? Turbo Tax makes this easy! Step by Step instructions are included in your purchase.

4) What is a tax deductible? Should I be saving every single receipt? For me, this term is like one of those words that you know what it means but can’t put into words how to define it or describe it. So, turn to Google please. Also, I don’t think you should be saving every single receipt. You’re not going input every single receipt for your $3.49 coffee you get every single morning.

5) Do I have to get my own phone plan once I graduate? This all really depends on how your parents want to handle it. They can either kick you off their plan or allow you to continue to be on theirs and write them a monthly check for your share, which is what I do.

6) How exactly do I pay back my loans? There is no right answer here, you just have to pay them.

7) How early do people start getting job offers? Depends on your field of study, what type of job you’re trying to get, how early you start applying, etc. Some people get offers before they even graduate and others, like myself, don’t get one until one and a half years after graduating.

8) How early is too early to accept a job? If I’m still interviewing with other places, how long is it acceptable to leave the other person hanging while I decide? Typically, if a company offers you a position, there will be a time limit for your acceptance or rejection. But if you’re still in undergrad and already getting an offer, you should probably take it.

9) If I move to another state, how do I search for housing? Or find roommates? Is it weird to live alone? The internet is your friend, take advantage. 

10) Is it weird to live near campus if I stay here? I still will have a lot of friends on campus, but I don’t want to be the creepy alum who can’t just leave. There are people over the age of 25 still living on campus and working towards a Bachelor’s degree, I promise that you won’t be the weird one.

11) How expensive are regular season tickets compared to student season tickets for sports games? Can I still purchase student tickets and just stand in the back? Sporting events was never a concern of mine, but I’m sure the price difference isn’t too steep unless you went to a college with one of the best teams in the league. 

12) Is it acceptable to still use my student ID to get discounts places? I’ll still be a poor *post-grad* college student paying back loans. Yes, yes, yes, yes. 100 times, yes. Use that ID for any and all types of discounts until someone calls you out for it.

13) Do normal adults go out after work for happy hour a lot, or it is just a Friday thing? Do you go with co-workers or does this violate some sort of rule? Happy hour can be any night of the week you want (or need), sometimes it might be an every night thing depending on the type of company you work for. Most likely you will go with co-workers, it’s easier to get to know them in this setting rather than sitting in awkward silence in the break room.

14) Do I have to wear dress pants at work when it’s business professional or is it okay if I wear dresses and skirts that are professional? I think you answered the question yourself. As long as it’s professional and pretty conservative, not inappropriate, wear whatever you feel is acceptable.

15) What do post-grad people do with their free time/weekends? I mean, you work from 9-5, but then what? You don’t have homework or anything to do. What do do with your free time while now? You go out and do stuff with your friends and/or family, you probably have hobbies and watch TV. There’s a lot you can do with your free-time. This doesn’t change much in your transition from college to post grad.

16) How expensive are gym memberships/personal trainers? Really? Moving on.

17) If you’re moving to a new place, how do you make new friends/date outside of work? I still live in the same city I’ve lived my entire life so I’ve never had this issue, but I can imagine you do things like dating apps, join clubs or work out classes, etc. Here’s an article to help with that:  https://post-gradlife.com/2017/06/07/making-new-friends/

18) Also, if you move to a new place, how do you figure out all the fun places to go? What if you work with old/lame people? Do you go out alone and attempt to make friends there or what? Yelp is probably pretty helpful with this. Social media probably has a lot of insights. And also this is question is kind of the same as the last.

19) Where can you get cheap kitchenware? Look for deals. Walmart will probably be your best bet though because of those roll back prices!

20) What’s the best way to find a new dentist or doctor? Ask friends or people in your community, read up on reviews posted online, call your insurance provider, etc.

21) Is it bad to take vacation time during spring break season and go on a spring break with my friends? That’s what spring break is for!

22) What is the best way to build credit? If you’ve already taken out nay type of loan or you use any type of credit card, you’re already building credit. Some additional ways would be financing or leasing a car, taking out another loan, etc.

23) What do I claim on an I-9? How do I fill out a W-2? How much do I have to pay in taxes? Both of these forms are pretty self explanatory once in front of you, but if you’re still sure, ask HR while filling these out. As for taxes, you won’t know how much you have to pay until you know how much you’re making, and more realistically, until you see your first pay check.

If you’re a graduating senior and have more questions in your head, more realistic questions, please feel free to comment below!

Cheers.