Category Archives: Careers

The Life & Adventures of a Post-grad: 1 Year Later

What happens once you graduate? You think you have a set plan, and then life happens. In the accurate words of Taylor Swift, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time…It’s miserable and magical.” Welcome to the life of a twenty-something. Written by Juliet Rocco

100_3615A year ago, I was running around campus getting photos with friends, trying to steam the awful wrinkles out of my graduation gown, and saying goodbye and good luck to everyone.

I was lost in the moment of excitement and the incredible high that comes with achieving something great. As my name was called in front of hundreds of people and I waltzed across the stage, I realized that this milestone moment just concluded four years of my young life. I was done. I was now an official graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Before I knew it, the ceremony and celebrations were over, and I was thrust out into the real world, that place professors warned us about. I didn’t really have a plan after graduation besides moving back home and finding a job in the city.

This is when things became difficult and I learned that just because you had internship experience, a good GPA and strong references did not mean you would be rewarded with a job offer right away.

Eventually, through great networking and lots of prayers being answered, I did make it to the big city. Still, this took time. Trial and error is something I’m learning a lot about.

My friends and I have careers now, and it’s kind of strange being in this “grown-up” world from time to time. I sit on the bus each morning in my hour-long commute to New York City and think about how many great opportunities await me. There’s so much freedom now, and it’s exhilarating.

I love my job, I love the people, and I make enough to support myself. That’s something I’m proud of. My student loans take a bite out of my paycheck each month, but don’t devour it. (I’m basically paying enough back to the government so they can buy a nice car)

I’ve been in my twenties long enough now to realize it’s perfectly okay if you don’t really have any set plans, just let things fall into place. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. Things work out (or don’t) for a reason. I can look back to where I was a year ago and be proud of how far I’ve come since then.

I often wonder what I’ll be like 10 years from now…and then quickly stop because that starts to freak me out!

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The 12 Stages of Job Hunting (Told Through Gifs)

It took me 5 months after graduating college to land the right job. Good grades and work experience almost didn’t seem like enough. Here’s what I went through in a 5-month period that I’m sure would prepare any future college grad for the adventure that lies ahead. By Juliet Rocco

1. It’s time to enter the big bad world. The first thing you must do is sit down and try to remain calm while you figure out life after college.

1. It’s time to enter the big bad world. The first thing you must do is sit down and try to remain calm while you figure out life after college.

2. Once that lightbulb turns on, you head to the job boards! (Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, Zip Recruiter, Creative Hotlist, it goes on…)

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3. When the job title and duties don’t align. i.e. “Get coffee and supplies for the office, train people on iPads, schedule traveling plans.”

3. When the job title and duties don’t align. i.e. “Get coffee and supplies for the office, train people on iPads, schedule traveling plans.”

4. You fill out countless applications online and become an expert at cut/copy/paste functions

4. You fill out countless applications online and become an expert at cut/copy/paste functions

5. There’s a point where you probably send out over 50 applications and think there’s no response because your email is some kind of black hole time warp

5. There’s a point where you probably send out over 50 applications and think there’s no response because your email is some kind of black hole time warp

6. You get a phone call or e-mail asking to set up an interview!

6. You get a phone call or e-mail asking to set up an interview!

7. You’re afraid you’ll say something stupid in your phone interview though

7. You’re afraid you’ll say something stupid in your phone interview though

8. Then it’s time to go through 2 or 3 more interview rounds if they like you, sometimes meeting for a few hours each time. Remember how many other people want this job as badly as you do

8. Then it’s time to go through 2 or 3 more interview rounds if they like you, sometimes meeting for a few hours each time. Remember how many other people want this job as badly as you do

9. You get a call or an email back saying you didn’t get the job

9. You get a call or an email back saying you didn’t get the job

10. You start to wonder if you’re ever going to find the right job…

10. You start to wonder if you're ever going to find the right job...

11. After months of grueling interviews and playing the waiting game, you finally get the perfect offer!

11.  After months of grueling interviews and playing the waiting game, you finally get the perfect offer

12. Congrats, you can pay your bills now!

12. Congrats, you can pay your bills now!

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Why Your Office Needs a “Happy Wall”

Through a dinner conversation with my parents, I learned about a simple idea that became revolutionary in changing the work environment for my dad. I hope this leaves others inspired to create their own “Happy Wall” at work. Written By Juliet Rocco

officespaceI was having dinner with my parents and my dad was telling me how he got started in his career. He had been hired as a consultant in the growing field of computer science and IT by the early 80s. This was his first real job and while he was thoroughly capable of completing the tasks at hand, his supervisor approached him with a new challenge.

The supervisor explained to him, “Bob, you’re a really outgoing and energetic person, but a lot of the people in this office are more quiet and introverted. Find a new way to communicate with your group to get them to open up.”

Challenge accepted: He headed to the utility closet soon after, searching around through the supplies before he found a giant blank poster. He pinned the poster up on the wall with the words “Happy Wall” across it. He then sent a mass message to his group explaining the purpose of the wall: Post anything that makes you happy or that you want to share with the office on this wall.

A wall is born: People in the office loved it, more than he or his supervisor had expected. They were posting pet photos, baby photos, jokes, drawings, quotes and anything that was, well, happy. The group grew closer and the wall grew bigger, so much bigger that a “Son of Happy Wall” had to be created because the other had been completely covered in a matter of months.

After working as a consultant for more than three years, my dad was ready to move up and onto his next journey with a different company. He wanted to take a piece of the Happy Wall with him, but everyone had grown so attached to it.

I couldn’t help but laugh while he was telling this story, but at the same time, a lightbulb went off in my head. Why don’t more offices have Happy Walls? People often feel tired and unhappy with their jobs either because the work is monotonous or they don’t like the people they work with. My dad was able to take a group of closed up techies and turn them into extroverts in the workplace.

Takeaway: There’s more to your job than just the work you produce. It’s also the environment that you are surrounded by and that can either promote or deter productivity. Having a Happy Wall could be the answer to your dull office job woes.

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