April 21, 2014

Get Your Careeranista On

With my impending graduation in sight, I am always looking for tips and tricks for the job search (hence my latest blog post from last week). It's a really hard adjustment, college to post graduate life. There are a lot of new rules, new opportunities and an entire new routine that you have to become accustomed too.  

It's really scary, not knowing what's going to come next and hearing mixed reviews about job hunting, having and keeping a job, and life after college in general. A lot of people love it, some people are indifferent to it, and some just down right hate it. I'm terrified of not knowing how to operate in the real world but thankfully, there are resources out there to prepare you.

I feel like I've been mentally preparing for the real world for the past year now and I owe a lot of that to Levo League. It's always been my #1 career resource and after having my dream internship there, I learned so much it's insane. 

There are other resources as well and I'm truly thankful for them. One of those resources is a new book "Careeranista: The Women's Guide to Success After College". I was sent a free copy for review by the author, Chaz Pitts-Kyser. I'm always up to read a new book, especially one that is going to benefit me.

I really didn't know what to expect when I first started reading, I thought it'd be like other career books I've read but at a hefty 272 pages, I was overwhelmed with tips, tricks, information and good old advice. 

I've read a lot of career books, articles, and blog posts but nothing has made me feel as confident as this book did. I've been dealing with a lot of stress and fear about the real world and succeeding after graduation but this book 100% made me feel better. If that's not a reason to read it, I'll just have to give you more.

This book covers everything from cleaning up your social media profiles to dealing with sexual harassment in the work place. It goes from beginning to end, to when you're looking for a job to what to do when you want to switch jobs. You're able to get every bit of a career advice you'll ever need in these pages, which is wonderful.

By definition, according to the book, a Careeranista is "A smart, sophisticated, success-driven young woman committed to carving out a career she loves." Who wouldn't want to be defined as that?



The book was divided into parts: Becoming a Careeranista, Succeeding as a Careeranista, Questions of a Careeranista, and Handling a Careeranista's Biggest Obstacles. I feel like this makes it a lot easier to know which sections are most important to you. 

There were definitely some highlights for me, a lot which occurred in the first section "Becoming a Careeranista" because that's the stage I am at in life. 

Within the first chapter, I'm taken back because the advice is so detailed; Chaz advises all young-ins to create a career plan early on in college; map out where you want to go, what positions you want to hold and ultimately where you want to end up. Having a plan such as this will help you gear your path in the right direction and always give yourself a certain amount of time for each goal.

Sticking to the path though is not always as easy; there are always going to be bumps that throw you off. "There are multiple ways to get to a destination" so it's okay if you lose sight of the original goal. 

Some hardcore advice she gives in the book is as follows: think outside the box as you job search, expand your horizons because there are "plenty of places nurses work besides hospitals" (EYEOPENER) 

The next part of the book that blew me away was the informal job search strategies. Some of these I already knew but some were brand new to me. It's nice to know that there are other ways to get a job besides Linkedin and Monster.com. I will definitely be using some of these new strategies in my search.

Another great tip? Follow up on job applications! If you email someone your resume and cover letter, email them two weeks later to make sure they got them. I really need to start actively doing that.

There were other features throughout the book that caught my eye; there was an inspirational quote at the top of every chapter (which I'm always a sucker for), there were sample questions and email layouts when necessary, so you have a step by step guide of what to do. There were also other ladies personal stories and advice included throughout the book; those were titled "Diary of Careeranista"; it was nice to get a different perspective. 

A few other highlights of mine: Resume and Cover letter guide and resources, 20 points for a better interview, what kind of research you should do on a company before an interview, and real world myths.

It was really nice to have a detailed description of what you expect and should do in every situation, for example--what you should do when you have multiple job offers. I read a lot of articles and blog posts on careers but having it all in one nifty little book and being extremely detailed in it's advice. 

Everything after part one is about what happens when you get the job; how you should act in the work place, how to manage your boss, how to deal with co-worker conflict, and how to stand out. It's all very useful information and advice. Once I score a job, I will definitely be referencing back to this.

Altogether, this book kind of changed my life. It changed the way I'm looking at my job search, my career, and life after college. For the next two years, I fully believe I will be obsessively reading and referencing this book.

If you're on the verge of graduation or need some helpful career advice, take a gander. You will not regret it.


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