Post-Grad Unemployment Anxiety Tips: 2021 Edition

Post-Grad Unemployment Anxiety Tips: 2021 Edition

POV: You’ve just started post-grad life, you’re unemployed, and anxious to know how things are going to work out. It’s understandable! You’re in a season of big change. Until this point, you’ve been going to school for most of your life, where you’ve been constantly told what to do and when. Now you’re starting the job search, which may feel out of your control, but it’s not! You may be looking for someone else to employ you, but you are still in charge of creating your own path. You just have to rely on your knowledge, capabilities, and decision making to lead you into a career and lifestyle that you love. 

My first piece of advice – control what you can. Maybe you can’t control who will hire you or when, but you can control your routines, attitude, work ethic, and effort put into your search. 

Before anything else, use your free time to do some soul searching before making big decisions. Before you enter the job pool, make sure that you know what you want. Know what you’re passionate about, the tasks you like doing, the strengths you possess, and which careers support and accommodate the lifestyle that you’re looking for. 

Set some post-grad goals and/or create a post-grad plan. Make a note of short and long term goals in all aspects of life, not just career. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Will you be trying to purchase your first home? Will you be starting a family? Where do you want to live? 

These will obviously change over time, but accounting for your other life goals can set the tone for your ideal job. For example, I know that I want to make my own schedule and be present with my family in the future, so I’ve chosen a career that allows me to work from home and be my own boss. 

Treat searching for a job like it’s your job. If you don’t want to spend months looking for employment, you’ll need to put in sufficient time and effort. Block off a certain amount of hours during the day and solely focus on job searching during that time. This way, you’re prioritizing over procrastinating. 

Set routines. If you’re going to treat the job search like a job in itself, you need to plan your day around it! What else do you want to accomplish? Set a routine for when to wake up, when to get your exercise in, when to start “work”, when to socialize, etc. 

Do at least 3 productive things every day. More than likely, you won’t instantly find a job. And sometimes, searching without results can feel discouraging and unproductive. So make sure that you’re doing 3 things every day that make you feel proud of yourself, then write them down! That way, you’ll have a record of your progress. 

Find a temporary job until you find the right one, if necessary. If you are in a position where you need to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from – find a temporary job. It may not be glamorous or your ideal position, but it can get you through until you do find your end-goal career. 

Give yourself grace during this time! This is uncharted territory for you, and you won’t instantly figure out the lay of the land. You don’t have to have everything planned out or immediately jump into an extremely successful career. Take a deep breath and use this transitionary period as a chance to discover yourself and your wants! 

That’s all that I have for you! Just keep one last thing in mind: Don’t live for the future. Plan for the future, but make sure that you are present and enjoying the life that you are currently living. What’s meant for you will come in it’s own time! xoxo



How to Become Time-Efficient & Productive at Work

How to Become Time-Efficient & Productive at Work

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Time management is a huge factor in working smarter. It doesn’t matter how much motivation you have.. If you can’t learn how to optimize your time, you will always be working harder. 

Here are the two scenarios.. 

1. You are super driven and motivated. You want to get a million things done in a day. You have so much on your mind that you can’t decide what to do first. So, you spend a lot of time twiddling your thumbs trying to figure out what’s next. Or, you go back and forth between tasks more than you should, and you get whiplash from running around everywhere. 

2. You aren’t naturally motivated. If you don’t have to do it, you won’t. You prefer to chill and not do much, so when you do decide to give your time to something, you want it to mean something. 

Either way, people want to make the most out of their efforts. So this blog post is all about directing those efforts into something useful and productive, so you can be able to move onto the next task or return to the couch as soon as possible. Let’s dive right in.. 

Having to-do lists. These lists are essential for differentiating what’s most important,  remembering all the tasks you need to complete, planning, and staying motivated to cross things off the list. 

Planning ahead of time. Planning is literally the most important factor of being time efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis.. 

  • Goals for the week: What I’d be proud of myself for accomplishing at the end of a week. How am I going to get these done? 
  • Tasks for the week: What I have to do and when.  
  • Daily tasks and schedule: More detailed schedule of what I’m going to do and when.
  • Content calendars: These are the major “projects” that I work with, but you can adapt this to whatever job you have. 

Creating outlines. Especially if you work in the social media world, this is essential. Have outlines written for your blog posts ahead of time. Have a basic format/background to the photos that you post on Instagram.. Again, you can adapt this to whatever you work with. Basically just have a guideline of the components that you want the project to have. 

Eliminating distractions. You hear this all the time, but for a good reason. If you’re playing on Facebook, talking to your co-workers, staring at the wall.. You aren’t getting anything done. Don’t procrastinate, it’s going to have to be done eventually. 

Have time limited tasks. Maybe you don’t have a boss telling you when a project is due, but you should be giving yourself those guidelines. Having a deadline gives you a timeline with a specific amount of effort involved to get it done. If you don’t have any goals, you will most likely take 2 times as long as you could, just because you don’t feel like you have to.  

Do the most important thing first. Doing the most important thing first allows you to have all the time that you need to complete that task without the rush. 

Don’t try to multitask. Like I said, trying to do a million things at once is harder because you have to switch gears and think differently about each small project. Just knock out one at a time, so you don’t have to catch yourself back up.

Do things ahead of time. Rushed = poor quality. That’s all I’ll say about that. 

Frequently assess what’s working and what’s not. Something that may work one day, may not work the next. Be able to learn what works best for you in that moment, and then adapt. It’s not a “one size fits all” situation. 

Figure out how to motivate yourself when you don’t want to work. Even if you are the most motivated person on the planet, you won’t be on your best game every single day. There will be times where you just won’t want to do it – so figure out your game plan for convincing yourself to pull through. I always say “If I finish ___, then I can do ____.”

Take breaks. Taking breaks still improves your productivity. Think of yourself as a battery. It needs to recharge to be able to work efficiently. Have a 5-10 minute break every 2 hours. Take your eyes off the computer, drink some water, grab a snack, take a little walk.. Give yourself a refresher. 

Fuel yourself efficiently. I’ve been the girl who shows up rushed and running in at the last minute with no sleep, the monster I drank that had so much caffeine I was shaking, no breakfast, etc. That’s NOT the way to go. Sleep a good amount, eat before you come to work, wake up early and get some exercise to put your body and brain in motion, etc. You will thank yourself later. The productivity difference is shocking when you are fueled correctly. 

Alright, so there are all my tips for staying super productive in the workplace. These are all habits that I’ve adopted over the years, meaning I did not do them before. I used to be a freaking mess. But being prepared and planning have made the world of a difference! 

Planning is literally the most important factor of being time-efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis.. 

How to Make Money As A Small Blogger With Less than 3k Followers!

How to Make Money As A Small Blogger With Less than 3k Followers!

So, you don’t have a huge following – but you still want to make a business out of something you love? Girl, I got you! Everything on this list can be done, no matter how many followers you have. Let’s get into it!

1. Become a brand ambassador. This is probably the easiest way to make money! When you’re a brand ambassador, you’re most likely going to promote their products on your social media (or personally sell through DM’s, friends/family, etc) for a commission on the products.

For example, I’m a brand ambassador for Plexus, a health and wellness company. I can promote the product however I’d like, but whatever sales I make for the company, I make a commission off of. Additionally, with my company, if you bring other ambassadors onto your team, you make a commission off of that as well! If you have an interest in joining my team, check out this page! 😉

2. Join Amazon Associates. With Amazon associates, you’ll share links of your favorite products to your followers. Those links will be customized for you, and you will make a commission off of every sale that you make.

So, let’s say I made a blog post promoting my 10 essentials for college. As long as those products can be found on Amazon, I’ll add my customized links in the post, and then whoever reads my blog can click on the link and make a purchase. Once they make a purchase, I make a commission.

3. Create a product! Think about your niche. What could you create that would help others? I’ll give a few examples:

4. Sell a service! What are you good at? Here are a few ideas..

5. Reach out to brands for collaborations. I’ll be honest, you won’t always get a response, let alone a good response. But, it’s always worth a try! I suggest starting with small or local brands. You also need to make sure that you stand out in the crowd. Why should they pick you out of the thousands of people contacting them? There are plenty of templates online for reaching out to brands, so check those out before you send your message!

6. Leave your contact information in your social media bios – brands will sometimes reach out to you! They may gift you a product for a promotion, allow you to make commission, or even sponsor the post!

But hear me out: Making money shouldn’t be the main reason you’re blogging. I promise, from personal experience, money making doesn’t come easily or quickly.. So make sure you’re in it for the right reasons. You also need to make sure that you’re only promoting products that you genuinely believe in and use! You want to build a trusting relationship with your followers, and if people can’t trust you, they’ll unfollow you!

I also advise you to treat building your following like a full time job.. at least until you hit a couple thousand followers. It’s definitely possible to make money before that, but in all honesty, it’s not super easy. Patience is key, friends!!

That’s all I’m gonna share for this post, but shoot me a DM on Instagram @carmenreynolds and let me know if you try any of these methods out!

45 Productivity & Personal Development Journal Prompts

45 Productivity & Personal Development Journal Prompts

When I started my personal development journey, it honestly wasn’t intentional. I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew I had a lot of room for improvement, but I didn’t know where to start. I was in a really bad place with my mental health but I didn’t know how to pull myself out of the struggle.

It’s so amazing how the world works. One day, I randomly decided to read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I saw the picture of the book on someone’s Instagram story and I thought the name was super intriguing, so I randomly bought it without looking at reviews or even knowing what it was about.

That’s where I started my journey. I read about her ability to accomplish so much by being intentional with her life. She created habits, reflected often, wrote her goals down, and so much more. So here I am, sharing how I’ve adapted that to my life.

None of these prompts should be a one-and-done, you should reflect on them as often as you can! Some can obviously be done less than others, but at least try to do these every couple of months. These are the prompts that I attempt to do at least once a week, as well as a few others. Enjoy!

Prompts

– When do you feel genuinely happy? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How can you make this a regular occurrence? 

– What would you be able to accomplish if you woke up an hour earlier?

– At the end of the day, write: Tomorrow, I can do a better job of ____ by ____.

– Write down 5 things you’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. How can you accomplish these goals? What can you be doing every day, week, and month? 

– What are 10 things you love about yourself? 

– What are 10 things you want to improve upon?

– If you could do one thing, knowing you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? What’s holding you back from trying now? 

– Who do you look up to the most? Why? What qualities do they have? How can you be more like them?

– Think of a really hard time in your life. What could you have done to improve the situation, or your mindset about it?

– How did that shape you into the person you are today? How did it make you better?

– What do you want to be known for? If you can’t think of anything, name 3 qualities.

What’s something that you love to do? Something that you can do when no one else is around, something self sufficient. If you can, I’d shoot for something that doesn’t require being online.

– Pick a day, and make it your “productivity day”.  How can you use this day to plan in order to make the rest of your week go smoothly?

  • Ex: meal prep, planning tasks for each week day, writing down your schedule, etc.

– Write down 10 things that you wish you had. There’s NO limitations on what you write down, so dream big. Let those things be your motivation for putting in the work every day.

– Write down what you’re thankful for, especially the things you may usually take for granted.

– What are 5-10 non-materialistic things that you wish you had or hope you’ll have in the future?

– What distracts you from being productive? How can you eliminate the distractions?

– What are 5-10 things that you can instantly go to when you’re having a bad day?

– What are your favorite self care practices? How can you start doing them on a regular basis?

– What are 5 things that you love about yourself and your body?

– Think about your future. What scares you? What makes you excited?

– What do you look for in a close friend? Why do you value those characteristics so much? Do you possess those qualities?

– What are your coping mechanisms? Are they healthy? If not, what can you switch to?

– Write a letter to someone who you need to forgive or get closure with. Even if you don’t actually send the letter, “tell” them how they made you feel. Say what you need to say to give yourself closure.

– Write a list of 10 things you need to remember during difficult times.

– Write down some of your recent accomplishments.

– How are you right now? How do you feel? Why? – Be honest with yourself. Really think about this question.

– Write about something that you’ve been holding onto for a while. Something that you’ve “put away” for a while. Let yourself process the situation, write down your emotions, and figure out how to move on from there.

– Describe your future “dream life”.

– What’s something you’re worried about? Why? Are your fears actually rational?

– When’s the last time you did something for someone else?

– Write up a new morning routine. What do you want to include? In what order? At what times?

– What are the most important things in your life right now?

– After writing about what’s most important to you: Are you giving those things the attention that they need? If not, how can you be?

– How can I be using my free time more wisely?

– If I had more free time, what would I accomplish? How can I make that a reality now?

– Create a mental health tracker.

– Describe the closest 5 people to you. What are they like? How are they serving you? Are they taking anything away/stopping your progression?

– Am I embodying a positive or a negative person? Do I look on the bright side and try to find the good, or do I find myself dwelling on the things I wish I could have or fix?

– Are you enjoying what you’re doing? This applies to all aspects of your life. Do you like your job, friends, partner, normal activities, etc.

– Are you jealous of anyone? If so, why? What do they have that you don’t? If it’s something you truly want, how can you change your life to accommodate that priority?

– Name 5 habits that you’d like to quit.

– Name 5 habits you’d like to begin.

– What do you do when you’re unmotivated? How can you force yourself to become motivated? If you need some help, check out my post: The Lazy Girl Guide to Staying Motivated.

– Picture your best self. What is she doing every day? What are her qualities? What’s she accomplishing? How do you start showing up that way?

So, that’s what I’ve got for you! If you decide to start a specific journal for personal development and want more prompts, just look on Pinterest for some other ideas! That’s where I get my inspiration to write.

Make sure that you go through these prompts with plenty of time and an open mind for genuine reflection. Make the best of it! xoxo

8 Ways to Succeed with Online Classes and Work

8 Ways to Succeed with Online Classes and Work

Our BFF Coronavirus has forced most people into doing school or work from home.

Personally, I love it. I’ve always chosen to take a class online if it’s offered. I love getting to make my own schedule and I really love not sitting in a lecture.

But I know that’s not the case for everyone. I’ve seen so many people concerned about how they’ll pass their classes or how they’ll even motivate themselves to do the work.

So.. I figured I’d write how I’m able to do really well in school, especially with online classes.

Here are some of my tips!

Tip #1: Know when you work best – I function best from the morning to early afternoon. My mind feels fresh and I have more energy. On the other hand, at night, I’m extremely tired and have no motivation after the day. Obviously, that could be completely different for someone else – so just figure out when you work best and do it then.

Tip #2: Set a specific school/work schedule. No matter if you’re doing school or work, you need to set your work into sections. With school, I would say section time between your classes or assignments. With work, separate the time between the tasks you have to do.

Here’s an example for both:

Tip #3: Plan Ahead. Every Sunday, I look at my class schedules/work and write down everything I’ll have to do for the week. From there, I’ll section off what I need to do each day. When I do this, I make sure to do the assignment/work days before it’s actually due. That way, if something comes up or if I truly can’t find the motivation one day, I’ll have the space to take a break.

Tip #4: Work at a desk. I don’t know about you, but “working from my bed” is like code for saying I’m about to fall asleep. Once you get into a comfy spot, it’s super easy to get distracted. You’ll get tired, check your phone, turn on Netflix, etc. So – work at a desk. Putting yourself in a working environment enforces your brain to get in a working mindset.

Tip #5: Get rid of the distractions. Put your phone on do not disturb. Turn off the TV. Don’t do homework in the room where all of your friends are hanging out.

I also don’t recommend eating while doing work. Maybe it’s just me.. But I’ll end up focusing more on food than the assignment. Again, might just be me.. I don’t know.

Another thing that’s helpful for me to get rid of distractions is listening to music. Oddly enough, I can be distracted by silence (you know when it’s just too quiet?) or other noise – so music helps me solve both of those issues.

Tip #6: Study the same as you would for an in-person class/meeting. This obviously pertains more to school, but could go for work meetings as well. Just because things are online doesn’t mean that they are easier. Sometimes you won’t be able to check Quizlet. Sometimes tests are timed really quickly so they know that your answers are only coming from memory. Just study the same as if your exam was in person, and you’ll be good. I mean, you go to school for a reason.. You want to actually learn the things that you get a degree for.

Tip #7: Communicate. Email your professors (or boss). Talk to a coworker or someone else in your class. Make sure that you have the same resources and abilities that you would in an in-person class setting. Professors are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most of the times that I’ve emailed professors questions about assignments or a syllabus not looking right – they’ve apologized to me because they had it set up wrong! Just don’t be nervous to communicate.

Tip #8: Reward yourself. Use your reward as the motivation. You want to watch a few episodes of Vampire Diaries to see if Elena picks Stefan or Damon? Great. Do you work first. Once that’s done.. Go crazy.

Alright, that’s all I got! Online classes & work can be great once you learn to motivate yourself and manage your time right. Good luck everyone! 🙂

Surviving the Academic Part of College

Surviving the Academic Part of College

My freshman year, I never went to bed before 4 am, I waited until the absolute last second to do work, forgot about assignments, never studied until cramming the night before a final – you get the point. 

I’m now ending my senior year with a 3.7 gpa, and I plan to take an internship, while still graduating a semester early. Funny how things change, I guess. But I promise you, it wasn’t by luck.  

So what made the difference? 

I started by making friends. If making friends has been easy for you in college, congrats. It was hard for me in the beginning, I felt like nobody wanted to be there, so nobody wanted to talk. But I started to pick one person in each class. I’d sit with them everyday, get their number, study with them, etc. This helps because you can ask a friend a question when you’re too embarrassed to ask the teacher, you can collab on homework, be instant partners for group projects, etc. 

… I actually study. In the past, when a teacher would assign readings for homework, I’d laugh. I’d never do it, and then when it came to exam time, I was never the one laughing. I crammed months worth of readings into a night or two.. and nobody retains information like that. I eventually just realized that I am truly here for academics, I’m not paying for school to forget everything. 

I figured out how to separate work and play. Like I said, I don’t pay to frick around. I don’t skip an assignment to go out, I don’t watch TV while doing homework, and I don’t study in large groups because I know that I’ll just talk. I’ve made the separation between these things because when I fully concentrate, I retain information better and get done faster. 

I keep other aspects of my life in check. I try to sleep around 8 hours a night. I wake up every morning at 7 to do some type of exercise. I used to believe that waking up earlier would just make me more tired, but the exercise actually gives me more energy and focus for the day. I keep my room clean to give my mind clarity, I make sure I do things that make me happy, etc. When you don’t have your mental/physical health in check, it makes school 10 times harder.. I promise. 

The most important factor: I learned to plan and organize. 

Weekly: I write down all of the due dates to my assignments, then I write down the days that I would *ideally* complete them by. Daily: I write down all of the tasks I have to complete. Even the obvious ones, like go to the gym or take a shower, just to keep myself in a routine. 

I’ve started to complete my assignments 2 days before they’re actually due. I started doing this because sometimes.. life happens. If an event comes up, I’m sick or having a bad day, whatever it may be – I’ll have a grace period to get myself back on track. 

I go to class. Funny how it has to be said. Most of my classes have strict attendance policies, so it’s not an option anyway, but I’ve learned that you can miss out on so much by skipping just one day. You can miss a pop-quiz, your teacher can change the due date on an assignment, you miss out on important information, etc. I know it sucks, but just go. It’s worth it. 

Remember that you pay to go to school for a reason, and that reason isn’t to sleep in, fail a test, or ditch study sessions for frat parties. Go get your degree and make a frick ton of money.. Then you can throw your own parties, take vacations whenever you want, and sleep in however late you want.