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”.

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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!

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Job Interviews: Why They Can Be Awkward, Stressful and Disappointing

Interviews typically happen in different stages; phone, in person and follow-up. In some cases, the company may just require a one time meet and greet, others can be more extensive. I’ve been through them all multiple times and can say with full confidence that every one is different. And to be even more direct, some are just really fuckin’ weird.

I’ve heard horror stories, and also witnessed some, so I wanted to talk about some of my experiences on here and reiterate that I didn’t let these rare occurrences discourage me from continuing my job search.

Over the summer, I had applied to what seemed like a really modern and upcoming marketing firm, and was super excited to get a call back that they wanted to conduct a phone interview.

Now, in the past, the phone interviews I’ve been selected for basically consisted of the representative of the company providing more information about the company and position, as well as some general questions such as, “Where have you been working since graduation?”, “What provoked you to apply for this position?”, “Do you have experience?”, etc. The conversation is generally short and they do most of the talking.

So, when I picked up the phone for this interview, I was a little thrown off when there were three other people on the other end.

It began quite normal for the first few minutes until they threw curve ball at me asking for my criticism in regards to their Instagram page. Luckily, I had checked their page out prior to the interview, but how are you supposed to respond to a potential employer when they ask for your honest feedback on their work?

To be honest, I thought maybe it was a trick question so I tried responding with a double-sided answer subtly, but they didn’t like my response. I don’t even remember how I worded it but basically I told them that they had good content but too many posts with just quotes and words.

Don’t ask for criticism if you can’t accept it.

Then they continued to ask what brands I followed on Instagram. I was stumped. I mostly follow friends, families and select celebrities and maybe one or two clothing stores that post frequently about sales.

At this point I couldn’t wait to get off of this call and luckily, it didn’t go much further.

About a month later I received another call for an in-person interview at a different company for the position of a Marketing Assistant. The only thing on my mind after leaving was: pyramid scheme.

Walking into their lobby, something immediately felt off as they were blasting techno music at 9 AM on a Monday and the first thing you see walking in is a ping pong table.

The interviewer came out, greeted me and escorted me to a room with nothing inside with the exception a table and two chairs. I felt like I was in an interrogation room.

The interview lasted maybe under 10 minutes and he didn’t once ask me anything about myself or my background, yet thought I was a “great candidate for the role” and asked me to come back again tomorrow for a second round of interviewing.

After he basically sugar coated that this was a door to door sales role and began talking about some irrelevant YouTube video, I knew I was never coming back. There were red flags everywhere.

Although I was desperate for a job, I wasn’t this desperate.

The third one I want to talk about was when I interviewed for an Administrative Assistant position in a corporate headquarters for a bank. I didn’t even remember I had applied because at this point in my job search I was just shooting out resumes everywhere, I couldn’t keep track of who I was sending them to anymore.

The woman who called me basically hyped me up primarily only talking about the pay and benefits, which were extremely enticing. And although she thought I was great candidate for this position, the two women I interviewed with 2 weeks later in person, did not.

It was an extremely awkward interview followed by two written tests which I was not forewarned about. Definitely bombed the one.

There were a few more interviews that followed that last one which were all relatively normal but required more experience than I had, but it’s okay because I persevered and found the position I’m currently in now and I’m very appreciative.

Lesson learned that you’re not going to land every job you interview for and sometimes, you probably luck out by not getting the job. If there are obvious red flags from the start, don’t take it and get yourself into something not worth your time, there’s always going to be something better down the road.

In addition, there are some really useful tips and advice for interviewing on the internet and my best advice is to just be prepared, research the company you’re applying to, print your resume prior to the interview, over dress, and most importantly, be yourself.

Good luck to anyone going through this frustrating process, it will be worth it in the end!

 

 

 

 

 

Side Hustles: Why You Should Have One

I first heard the term ‘side hustle’ while reading Ann Shoket’s millennial guiding book, The Big Life  , and it’s a term that has stuck with me since then. Typically, a side hustle is a way of earning extra cash outside of your primary income, which I think is great and incredibly smart and responsible especially for those of us in our early stages of adulthood without the responsibility of kids or running a household. However, Shoket has her own terms and conditions surrounding this term that seems to be on the rise.

Get a Side-Hustle. The idea that one job can be your everything feels so dated, doesn’t it? Sometimes you need a day job that pays the bills or gives you security, even if it doesn’t feed your soul. That’s when you need a side-hustle—a project you work on to put yourself in charge or build new skills in your career. This is how you pay yourself in self-respect.”

I think the idea of this is incredibly inspiring, especially in today’s society, and urge all of you to give this some serious consideration.

I, myself, do have an actual side hustle in it’s truest form, a second job at a local restaurant and brewery, that provides me extra cash outside of my bi-weekly paycheck from my 9-5. Which is awesome considering the loans that need to be paid off, the monthly bills, attempting to lease a car, and all other expenses life has to drown us in.

Even though that side hustle was intended for its primary purpose, it’s turned into much more than that because I genuinely like what I do when I go there and I’ve also made so many new friendships.

So, if you’re contemplating finding your side hustle but hesitant because you might just feel like it will make you more miserable than your existing job while also taking time away from leisure activities, find something that works for you; try different roles out, or, best case scenario, find a way to make money off of something you already love doing.

This recommendation brings me to my next point of my other side hustle, the one not entirely intended for extra cash.

I started this blog about 18 months ago and I’ve watched it progressively grow which has been super rewarding in regards to many aspects. In contrast to my side hustle that compensates my bank account, maintaining this website compensates areas of my life that lack substance. It helps me improve my writing skills, enhances my time management and organization, provides insights into social media and sharing, and pays me in self-respect. This website is minimally profitable, but with more views I get, the more money I potentially earn. 

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I’ve read that other people’s side hustles often include playing music in clubs, dog walking, organizing book clubs, life coaching, and blogging, among other things.

Sometimes our jobs, especially early on in our career can leave us feeling undervalued, bored and passionless. Finding a side hustle can help with all of that.

We all have hobbies, so why not find a way to turn the things you’re passionate about into profit or productivity? And even if that’s not possible, it’s nice to work at things that make you feel good, inspire you and reward you in different ways.

If you do have an existing side hustle, comment below, I’m interested to hear different answers! Cheers!

 

It’s Always Darkest Before The Dawn

The best kind of happiness is the kind that comes into your life when you least expect it. Between toxic relationships, endlessly job searching for months, anxiety, 2017 wasn’t the easiest year. But just like everything else, pros and cons go hand in hand. Although I struggled from time to time this past year, I also had a lot of great opportunities to experience and I’m so grateful to reflect on the better times because good always outweighs the bad.

I had the chance to visit a few new cities, spend a lot of time on the beach, read new books, focus on myself, start a new job and develop new friendships. I’m happy about everything good that has come my way, but I’m not entirely sad to see 2017 come to a close and I’m more than happy to embark on 2018.

As many of you know, I’ve had a difficult and defeating time seeking full-time employment this past year, which I know some people can relate to and I wish you all the best of luck in your process! However, I do not have to continue my search as I accepted a full-time offer right before the holiday. When accepting the offer over the phone, I literally said to the woman, “This is the greatest Christmas gift I’ve ever received”, and there is so much truth behind that.

The past few weeks, knowing that this is the last of my excessive free time, have been so stress- free and relaxing. The weight I feel has been lifted from my shoulders, from both external and internal pressures to find a full-time job, is indescribable.

As the saying goes, good things take time, and I guess time is what I needed. The past year and a half as post-grad have definitely been unconventional from the outside looking in, but I feel I’m right where I’m meant to be. I’m learning that as you get older, people’s opinions of your choices become more and more irrelevant, and I think that’s something everyone should keep in the back of their minds. I think my biggest regret of 2017 was caring so much about what everyone else thought and ignoring what I actually cared about. Maybe it’s easier said than done, but it’s an empowering feeling when you finally conquer this tactic.

Even though it’s just a change in date on the calendar, a new year can be an opportunity for change, growth and fulfillment. Although I don’t have a resolution, and I don’t normally do, I’m definitely more committed than ever to focusing on me in every way, shape and form. Whitney Port posted an Instagram that resonated with where I am right now and I couldn’t love it more.

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She captions the quoted picture with “Loving yourself isn’t only the greatest revolution, but the greatest resolution.”

Wherever you’re at in your life, don’t forget to love yourself. If you’re in a tough place or confused or lost, just remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn, as Florence and The Machine says.

Happy New Year!