Sneak Peek on Next Week’s YPAF from Leigh

YPAF is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting a career and conquering your twenties. This week Cindy from Twenty-Something Condition shared her thoughts how life can throw you for a loop even if you thought you had it all planned out. On Monday, August 9th we will hear from Leigh from  SimpLeigh OrganizedHere is a sneak peak…

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I have had the special and unique privilege of being asked by Katie at AskTheYoungProfessional.com to offer up a guest post giving advice to those in their 20’s.Being that I am approaching my mid 40’s, I had to dig deep to think about life in my 20’s. The advice portion came a little easier due to the fact that I have an 18 year-old stepson. I just envisioned myself sitting down and giving him some life lessons.

So without further ado, here are 10 tips I would offer to my son and hopefully they will be helpful to a few of you “young’uns” out there also. 🙂

1) When thinking about your future goals, begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself “How do I see my life in my 40’s and 50’s?” Every decision you make should be pointing you towards that vision.2) Consider a volunteer or intern position in your desired field to determine if it is a right fit for you. If not, try something new. Love what you do!

For the full article and the next 9 tips from Leigh, tune in Monday morning at 9am for the full post. 

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Public Display of Affection Insurance

The following post is a guest post from XO, Bettie, a finance advice blog from Tumblr. Bettie shares her story of how she learned the importance of renter’s insurance.

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My man thought it would be romantic to throw rocks at my window (à la The Rolling Stones) to announce his arrival.

Click! Click! THUD! My computer monitor was scarred from this public display of affection.

Now I don’t think my renter’s insurance payments were a waste of money…because even though I don’t own my apartment, I own my things in it!

My landlord has insurance for the building (and my broken window). My renter’s insurance insures my possessions within my apartment. Plus, if anyone injures herself within my apartment and she sues me, the insurance company will handle the claim (and pay up to the limit of my policy, less any deductible)! Handy with my monthly wii tennis tournaments. Ace!

Renter’s insurance gives me financial assurance, regardless of what happens to my expensive-to-replace set up in my apartment.

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Bettie’s Bio:

My friends and I jabber about the ins & outs of all sorts of taboo things…but never money. Society assumes that every working girl knows how to properly allocate her paycheck or has Daddy-Dearest subsidize it.

But not anymore! Join my fabulous & frugal journey to become financially literate.

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UR LIFE: 4 Ways To Create Your Own Happiness

The Following is a guest post I wrote for The Urban Realist.

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UR LIFE: 4 Ways To Create Your Own Happiness

Emerging adults can be bogged down by the daily routine. It can be easy to lose a sense of happiness. There are things in life no one can control, but there are also areas that you can control. These areas you do control can even trump those that you don’t. In order to be and stay happy, here are four areas you can control to overcome the negative obstacles that come your way.

1. Sleep- Drowsiness can easily put you in a funk. Using additives like coffee and 5 hour energy to perk up with caffeine can’t give you the same “ready-to-go-ness” as actual sleep can. Try going to sleep earlier. Your mother was right, nothing good happens after midnight, so take advantage of that time to sleep! On the other hand, too much sleep can be detrimental as well. Mornings provide a time of being productive before you slam into that 3 o’clock wall. (Hint: Going to bed early should help soften that 3 o’clock wall.) Sleeping in can cause you to rush, leading to a more stressful morning and upsetting the rest of your day’s schedule. A simple solution can be waking up just 5 minutes early to make sure you start your day on time.

Read the full article here at The Urban Realist.

How to Create a Bio

Whether you’re looking for a job or already have one its helpful to have a selection of bios ready to go. Here you will learn how to write a bio and the three types to have on hand.

Bio Rules and Formatting

1. Know Your Audience

Just like a resume and cover letter, you’ll want to write your bio according to the purpose of the bio or who is going to read it. A company profile bio should contain only work for that company. LinkedIn can focus on your main career experience and goals, but may also highlight additional areas you work in. An author’s bio for blogs and/or articles you write most commonly include your work related to that area, but can also include what you do full time.

2. Be Specific and Concise

Being specific and concise with your bio will keep it short and easy to follow. Instead of saying worked in management, say what type of management. To be concise narrow down what accomplishments and experience you want to include. Choosing the three most impressive achievements is a great way to decide on what to include.

3. Write in Third Person

There is some debate about whether or not writing in the third person is always necessary. I personally like writing in the third person for my bios, especially when my bio is going to be featured on a site that is not mine. Look at examples of other similar bios that you’re writing for. If most of them are not written in the third person, then I would suggest writing in first person.

4. Edit, Edit, Edit

Be sure to proofread your bio at least three times. Ask a friend or colleague to look over it. Having someone else read your bio is a great way to see if it flows nicely and conveys what you wanted.

5. Keep Updating

Keep your bio up to date. If you start a new job, add it to your bio. The same goes for new accomplishments and other experience. It’s a good idea to go back to review your bio every 3-6 months. Keeping your bio up to date also shows your professional progress and keeps your written professional appearance fresh.

What to Include

1. Full Professional Name

You will want to start your bio with your full professional name. My full first name is Katie, but if it was short for Katherine I might choose to start with Katherine Robinson. Although, if you name is Patrick but you have always gone by Pat, then it is acceptable to use your shortened name as well. The key here is to keep consistency and stay professional.

2. Current Position(s)

Include the position and company you currently work for. You may also include, depending on what you are writing this bio for, side job or projects. For example, I include my Production Assistant job at Sesame Workshop and this blog, Ask the Young Professional.

3. Most Important Accomplishments

In addition to where you currently work you want to talk about your accomplishments and experience so the reader will understand where your expertise lie. Like stated above, choosing three accomplishments to include is a good number to aim for. Limiting yourself to three also helps keep your bio concise.

4. Contact Info

It is common practice for the last line of the bio to include your contact information. There are numerous ways to do this. Some include an email address and twitter handle. Others hyperlink to a LinkedIn profile, website or other social media.

5. Something Unique and Personal (Optional)

If you have room in your bio you can write some fun unrelated work facts about yourself. It can show off some of your personality and can add an unique way to stand out. If someone has something in common with you or thinks one of your hobbies is interesting it may be an easy for the reader to remember you.

Types of Bios

When someone asks for your bio they may have a size requirement. It is good to have these three bio sizes prepared.

1. One Sentence Bio

A one sentence bio can be used for an email signature, profile caption or a “one liner” for a profile featured on someone else’s site. To keep the bio short and not a run on sentence limit your self to the use of your full name, current position and one or maybe two accomplishments.

2. 100 Word Bio

Someone may ask for a 100 word bio simply because of their own limited space or perhaps there are other bios to be featured along side yours. 100 words may seem like a lot, but you’ll quickly fine it difficult to keep within the restriction. Try taking out description words to be more precise and use only the work related to the use of the particular bio.

3. 250 Word Bio

A 250 word bio is great for creating a full image of who you are, what you can do and what you can offer. Use the space to give more details about projects you work on and your responsibilities at jobs. This is also a great opportunity to select key terms to describe your current position and career path.

Here are some helpful articles I used to write my bios:

Do you have a bio? What helped you write your bio?

Young Professional Advice from Friends – Cindy

This is a  Young Professional Advice from Friends post written by Cindy at Twenty-Something ConditionYPAF is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting a career and conquering your twenties.

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When I was a kid, I think I was under the impression that there were only three possible career paths: Doctor, Lawyer, and Teacher. I chose Teacher. Since that moment, I’ve been one of those people with a plan. You know, the usual: graduate high school, go to college, get a degree in my subject area, and pursue a Master’s in Teaching. But one thing I’ve learned in my twenties so far is that even those annoying people who have their whole life planned out sometimes get thrown for a loop.

I was sticking to plan fairly well until I decided to uproot everything after college, get married (to a wonderful guy, I might add) and move with him to Saudi Arabia so he could take a job there. All of a sudden my graduate school applications were useless, and my plan seemed somewhat derailed. How would I become a teacher now, when I had no teaching credentials and no experience? I resigned myself to being patient and enjoying the adventures that would come with living abroad. My career could wait.

Well, fast-forward a year and I have just finished my first year of teaching, in the international school where I was lucky enough to get hired despite my lack of experience. This school hired me because they were desperate, but in the process they made my dream come true and offered me the learning experience of a lifetime. Essentially, the life change that I thought would hold me back from starting my career actually jump-started it. I had to endure some challenges of course, including lack of technology, a long morning commute, and ridiculously low pay. But these days I think that’s what twenty-somethings need to be willing to do in order to really shake things up and get their careers moving.

When I decided to become a teacher many, many years ago, I made a plan. But life got in the way of that plan a bit, requiring me to take a step of faith and work at a less-than-ideal school for practically nothing. In your field, that might look like taking an unpaid internship, moving to a new city, or taking that job you know you won’t like forever, but that will be a step towards getting you where you want to be.

Things don’t always go according to plan, so change the plan. Be willing to make sacrifices. But just make sure you keep moving forward. The results might surprise you!

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cinderslut tileCindy is a twenty-something English teacher currently living in Saudi Arabia, where she enjoys drinking coffee, questioning the theocratic government, and coping with whatever crazy adventures life throws at her. She keeps in touch with her three best friends, the Naughty Princesses, via their blog The Twenty-Something Condition.

Sneak Peek: YPAF from Cindy

Young Professional Advice from Friends is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting a career and conquering your twenties. This week V from Borderline Adults shared her poem about being a young professional in her twenties. On Monday, September 2nd we will hear from Cindy from the Twenty-Something ConditionHere is a sneak peek…

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When I was a kid, I think I was under the impression that there were only three possible career paths: Doctor, Lawyer, and Teacher. I chose Teacher. Since that moment, I’ve been one of those people with a plan. You know, the usual: graduate high school, go to college, get a degree in my subject area, and pursue a Master’s in Teaching. But one thing I’ve learned in my twenties so far is that even those annoying people who have their whole life planned out sometimes get thrown for a loop.

I was sticking to plan fairly well until I decided to uproot everything after college, get married (to a wonderful guy, I might add) and move with him to Saudi Arabia so he could take a job there. All of a sudden my graduate school applications were useless, and my plan seemed somewhat derailed. How would I become a teacher now, when I had no teaching credentials and no experience? I resigned myself to being patient and enjoying the adventures that would come with living abroad. My career could wait.

For the full article and great advice from Cindy, tune in Monday morning at 9am for the full post. 

Take Charge of Your Genius to Survive The Identity Crisis

Recently I watched the TED Talk “Your Elusive Creative Genius” by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert talks about a problem we, as a universal society, have accepted; the concept of the emotionally unsound artist. Too many creative minds are distraught with deep, negative and destroying thoughts. Gilbert points out that this acceptance and numbness to this reality is wrong. There doesn’t have to be an “emotional risk” for creative minds.

In her TED Talk speech, Gilbert talks about how creative minds can and should keep moving forward with their work after the passing of what might be their biggest and only success. I thought Millennials and young professionals could easily apply Gilbert’s teachings from the TED Talk to the threat of an identity crisis.v We may not all have the emotional risk of being a creative mind, but we all do have the emotional risk of succumbing to the pressures of being a twentysomething emerging into adulthood.

As a young professional there are many pressures in our lives – career, finances, self-improvement, and personal lives. We can be negative about our current job, apartment, bank account, or whatever our current situation might be. We worry about the future. Asking ourselves, “Will I ever be successful?” “Will I ever make something of myself?” These are similar dark thoughts to that o father creative mind Gilbert refers to.

After what Gilbert calls her “freakishly successful” book, Eat, Pray, Love, many people would come up to her and ask,

Aren’t you afraid you’re biggest success is behind you and you’ll never be as successful ever again?”

Gilbert admits this is a terrifying thought and a very possible one. Twentysomething young professionals have a similar thought wondering how they will find a job, advance in career, find a husband/wife, how they will be able to afford things like a house, etc. It is possible we may fail and not knowing is absolutely terrifying. That’s the reality.

To find a way to move forward in her career Gilbert knew she needed to create a “protective psychological construct” to create distance between work and anxiety. I believe twentysomething young professionals also need to create this construct between themselves and anxiety.

In Gilbert’s search for finding a way to create this construct she looked back at past societies to see if they had a better way to deal with the emotional risk of creative minds. This search lead her to Ancient Greece and Rome. At this time people didn’t believe creativity came from within a human, they believed it came from the “divine attendant spirits of creativity.” They believed it was an out of body source or creature that came “from a distant and unknowable source for distant and unknowable reasons.” The Greeks called this creature a “deity” and the Romans called them a genius.”

When a performer had a moment where the genius would provide a glimpse of divinity through the performer the crowd would shout, “Allah! Allah!” “Allah” meaning God. Later, through the lost of pronunciation and culture, “Allah” became “Ole”. “Ole” is still something we shout today a sporting games when an athlete does something amazing or to support our favorite team. People used to understand where this talent, ability or creativity came from. The origin of the source was just lost over time. The Renaissance is where the idea of creativity coming from an inner source of the individual person came to be a new concept. Gilbert believes that is where we, as a society, went wrong.

If creativity does come from a genius and not somewhere within the individual then an immense amount of pressure is relieved. We also can’t be corrupted by pride if we cannot take credit for the talent(s). The good, or the bad, performance would be attributed to the genius. Everyone would understand that concept and accept it. The emotional risk would be taken away from the creative minds because they would not drown from the anxiety.

If we young professional can accept that there is an uncontrollable big picture we will be free from our pressures and anxiety as well. I personally believe my talents were given to me by God for a reason. I do not know the big picture, I cannot control what happens in my life, but I can use my talents to the best of their ability. For me, utilizing my talents and performing them to the best of their ability is my acceptance to the big plan and a thank you for receiving the talents. I accept i have no control or notion of what’s to come but i work as hard as i can with what I have. Whether you believe there is a genius, a gift from God or some other unknowable source, I believe acceptance is the key for young professionals to avoid their emotional risk and taking charge of their identity crisis.

After explaining the idea of having a genius, Gilbert goes on to explain different ways creative minds have dealt with this genius. Poet Ruth Stone told Gilbert about when she was younger and worked in the fields how she would literally feel the ground tremble beneath her. Every time Stone felt this tremble she knew it meant she needed to get to a piece of paper and pen fast. When the tremble caught up to her it felt like a windy storm was streaming through her. If she got to the paper and pen in time the poem would flow out through the pen and onto the paper. If she didn’t catch Stone said she felt the storm pass through her as it went off in search of another poet. During the moments when she almost lost the storm she would reach out with one hand as if to grab the storm by the tail and slowly pull it back in as the other hand wrote the words. Stone said that in these instances the poem would come out flawlessly, but completely backwards from the last word to the first.

Gilbert had a chance to interview musician Tom Waits for a magazine pieces years ago. Waits shared a story with Gilbert about one of his encounters with an outer body source. Waits said he would hear an enticing beautiful melody that would be his inspiration, his storm. One time he was driving down the freeway in LA when he heard this enticing melody. Waits anxiety started to creep up inside him again, worrying that he had no way to capture this melody and it would haunt him forever. Instead of allowing himself to be engulfed by his anxiety Waits looked up to the sky and said,

Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you, otherwise go bother somebody else today.”

Stone’s and Waits’ interactions with these out of body sources of inspiration helped change their work process for the better. They were able to release themselves from the emotional risk, the anxiety. They didn’t have to feel regret about missing moments to capture a poem or a melody. Gilbert said she herself was saved by this practice of interacting with the source. While writing Eat, Pray, Love she said she encountered one of these dark moments of anxiety and instead of succumbing to it, she took Waits’ approach. She spoke out loud towards a corner of the room about how if this book wasn’t a success it wasn’t entirely her fault. She showed up for her part of the job and she expressed how it would be great if the source or genius would show up for its part.

Millennials and twentysomething young professionals can change their work process and thought process by using these methods. I think the first step is to accept. Accept the reality that we do not have control and we do not know what the future holds. Then we each need to find an individualized way to deal with this reality any time anxiety and negative thoughts emerge. You can go with the talking out loud approach, or something different – praying, meditating or talking to a counselor.

Creative mind or not, be grateful for when your inspiration and your moment comes. When things finally align and you understand the big picture a little better, be grateful. Before, during and after your genius allows a glimpse of divinity to shine through you, show up to do you work. Show up every day and give it your all.

“Don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed for just one moment through your effort then ole. And if not, do your dance anyhow and ole to you nonetheless. I believe this and I feel like I must teach it. Ole to you to you nonetheless just to have the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

How will you take charge of your genius to control your identity crisis?