5 Tips for Job Searching in the Big World

5 Tips for Job Searching in the Big World

For those of you who didn’t land the dream internship which turned into the perfect full-time job offer before walking across the stage and receiving your college diploma, know this: you are not alone, and you are doing just fine. (If you did in fact have that awesome internship turned full-time position, congrats!) If you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed or discouraged during your job search, check out these 5 tips I’ve adapted to my own life during this transition to make it a bit more enjoyable:

  1. Know your worth

This is so important, and I cannot stress this enough during this vulnerable time. Over and over again it is easy to compare ourselves to our peers and see all the qualities we don’t have. We read job postings only to conclude that we are not qualified enough. We go through intense interviews only to realize the person(s) on the other side of the table are comparing our answers to their 20+ other applicants. We are continually asked, “How’s the job searching going?” only to give a mere “Still going” response. I don’t know about you, but these are frustrating situations for me. Know that society will try to label your worth based on your current position/accomplishments, and know that you are worth so much more. Continue to stay positive by reminding yourself of all your awesome, unique qualities and make sure to show them off in your resume and cover letters!

  1. Adapt a Schedule

No more school, no work…sounds like I get to sleep in until noon, right? WRONG. Job searching is now your full-time position, congratulations. Having a schedule helps me stay motivated. Granted my schedule may look a little different than someone who has an office job with my increased flexibility (ha, okay, definitely way more flexibility) but I still hold myself accountable to complete tasks throughout my day. This includes, X number of job applications, follow up phone calls, in person office visits, etc. I’ve found it helpful to keep a list of all positions I’ve applied to, date & time I made a follow up phone call, and log whether I’ve heard back from the company. (Note: No, I was not always this organized. I realized this when I received a follow up phone call from a company I never remembered applying to because their information got lost in the 20+ other job apps from that day. Save yourself the same embarrassment, guys.)

  1. Get outside your comfort zone

Apply to that utilities company. Consider taking an internship. Get out and network. Although it may be hard to see this time as a blessing, it is. I have been able to research and open my eyes to many different types of work and learn of companies I never knew existed all because I a) have the time and b) want to know of all my possible opportunities. Don’t sell yourself short. Apply to that job halfway across the world, what have you got to lose? Walking outside your comfort zone will introduce you to people you never would have met beforehand. Keep those connections and add them to your network.

  1. Personalize all applications

Does every application need a cover letter if the employer doesn’t specify to include one? Yes. Worst case scenario, they don’t look at it. Best case scenario, you are seen as an overachiever and they hire you on the spot (or call you in for an interview immediately). Spend the extra 5 minutes and just personalize your application. I get it, it’s tiring. I’m not saying you need to custom write each cover letter and develop a new resume for each application (super overachievers, go for it); however, if I were on a hiring committee, I would appreciate seeing some personalized cover letters instead of a cookie cutter format that is not specific at all.

  1. “Happiness is…”

One of my best gals, Maggie, once told me she made a list full of all the things that makes her happy and if she was ever feeling down, she would go to her list and pick something to do. Job searching is stressful. Make sure to add a little (or a lot of) happiness to your life. This could be as simple as driving with your windows down blasting your favorite tune, catching up with friends over drinks, or planning a weekend getaway. The point is, create a balance between all the stress and make sure to give yourself a well-deserved break every now and then.

 

Good luck my fellow job-searchers, hopefully these 5 tips help make your days a bit easier. Have any other secret tips you recommend? Comment and share your knowledge!

Swiss Chocolate, Andorra Mountains, and Catalan Traditions

Swiss Chocolate, Andorra Mountains, and Catalan Traditions

It’s been quite some time since my last post, I’ve been busy experiencing so many things! Here’s a look into this crazy journey I’ve been blessed with: 

 

 

I witnessed a part of history! This is the first time there has ever been a 10 person tall human tower in El Vendrell–so cool! (The first platform of people is underneath all the people at the bottom of this photo, crazy right?!)

 

 

Morning runs are never fun, but I try to find the beauty in them one way or another.

 

This is how Sergi and I typically spend a portion of each night before dinner..a little wrestling and tickle fights. 

 

Typical food for La Fiesta de Castanyes (celebrated Oct. 31 instead of Halloween) Panallets (left) and Castanyes (right). Cristina taught me how to make the Panallets and then I had the opportunity to help all the mamas at school prepare the Castanyes for a fiesta. So fun! 

 

 

 

Obligatory picture when you find your name somewhere…this happened to be at a cute hairdresser shop in Zürich.

 

Real traditional Swiss fondue, YUM. 

 

Sunshine & happy vibes all around with these sweet friends ❤

 

 

Zürich is artsy, fun, hip, and full of all the happy vibes.

 

Joan was my partner for all the carnival rides in Vendrell!

 

 

November 1st, All Souls Day, is a public holiday here. Since it was on a Tuesday this year, October 31 was also a “bank holiday”, allowing most people to have a 4 day weekend! (Having so many holidays is definitely something I will miss when I go back home.) My host family took me to Andorra for the long weekend, and wow. Part of me felt like I was back in one of my CO mountain towns, we even spent a morning hiking to see breathtaking views. This was a place I wished I could have explored more–Andorra, I’ll be back! 

 

 

 Hiking Estany de Les Truites in Andorra

 

 

 

This is Montserrat, a beautiful creation of rocky mountains and the Santa Maria de Monserrat Abbey. 

 

 

 

This place is very popular for people from all over the world to come visit so I’m glad we stopped here on our way back from Andorra!

 

 

Because this is such a holy place, many people spread ashes of loved ones over the edges or drop flowers down the mountains.

Cristina and I at Montserrat 💜

 

 So, if it’s not typical to celebrate Halloween here in Catalonia, what did I do? Well, I had a great family meal with the whole family (including grandparents) and the next day we went into the forest looking for mushrooms. Never in a million years would I have thought this would be a hobby in here, but it is actually pretty fun. Because it is a hobby so many people enjoy, it gets competitive. You don’t want people to know where you found your mushrooms, so you need to hike fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

The weather is still nice enough here to enjoy walks along the sea. I always enjoy a little vitamin sea 🙂

 

I enjoy lunch dates with my sweet friend Roser! Vegetarian restaurants, the sea, and laughs are always included.

 

 

Overall, life is pretty fab and I’m just trying to soak up my last few weeks here ❤

Back to School, Back to Schedules

Back to School, Back to Schedules

 

Hi Friends,
 
Here’s a quick update of what life has been like in Santa Oliva.
 
 
Both Joan and Sergi are back in school, yay! Not that I didn’t love spending the whole day with them, but I think they’re glad to be back with their friends and I’m glad to have a little more structure to the day now 🙂 However, these little monkeys have a pretty crazy school schedule from what I’m used to. They have school in the mornings from 9:00-12:30, then I pick them up for “La Comida”, lunch time. Then I take them back to school at 15:00. Yup, that’s right, they have a TWO AND A HALF HOUR lunch break, how crazy?! In the afternoon they have school from 15:00-16:30, and on some days they have extracurricular activities. Joan hasn’t started any yet, but Sergi has fútbol (soccer) and English classes. 
 
 
Both kiddos are so fun to hang out with, and they have very different personalities. Joan is such a good teacher and really likes music. Sergi likes to cuddle and play with me at the park. They’re even speaking English more with me! 
 
 
But the boys aren’t the only ones who is back to school, I am too! I have Spanish classes once or twice a week. I can have simple conversations with Cristina now and am able to translate with the kids better too. Slowly getting there! 
 
 
Most used words this week: Escuchas por favor, ¿Qué haces?/What’re you doing?, & Adios chicos (for when I say we’re leaving and they don’t listen to me haha)
 
Loving my time here in Spain, each day I feel at home a little more. Headed to Barcelona this weekend, I’m excited to go explore! 
 
Stay tuned for more,
 

 

Xoxo Anna 

Before You Go: The Basics

3 Travel Tips

Planning a trip can become very intimidating. All of a sudden your to-do list becomes a daunting task list as it continues to grow. However, fear no more! There’s only 3 things you need to do before you start your journey.

Transportation

I suggest you always buy all transport tickets in advance. This will help cut down on costs because it will allow you to purchase your airline tickets at a cheaper rate, or if you are traveling by other means (train/boat/bus) it will help you budget better and not stress about incurring all your expenses at once.

Booking transportation in advance also gives you an exact time frame for how long you will be in your travel spot. This is necessary for arranging where you will be staying, and how many activities you will be able to accomplish in your new destination.

For traveling by air, I suggest using Google Flights. This website will find the cheapest options for which days you want to travel by comparing all airlines simultaneously.

For traveling by bus, I recommend Student Agency. They travel via large busses which are very similar to Greyhound busses here in the U.S. I always felt very safe through this company and their prices are also very low if not the lowest I could find in many countries.

What are the main attractions?

Sometimes people pick a destination by blindly pointing at a map and don’t really have a plan or any points of interest to see. While I fully support this spontaneity, I also think it’s a good idea to pick at least a few points of interest or places you would like to go.

It is a good idea to pick your top 5 places to see/activities to do. This helps ensure you have a bit of a focused plan, but not an overwhelming list. Having prepared a small agenda allows you to enjoy your time there and be realistic. By not packing your schedule full, you now have extra time to sit and soak up the culture. In addition, a less full schedule lets you account for unexpected travel plans such as walking by a restaurant you want to try, missing busses from one activity to the next, and travel fatigue. Do yourself a favor and plan for this extra time ahead!   Personally, I really like TripAdvisor. I suggest using this site for big cities because it can show you in ranking order what are the most visited/need to see places in your area.

In figuring these out ahead of time, you may be able to save some costs by buying special tickets in advance or making reservations online.

Living Arrangements

Whether you’re staying in a hostel, hotel, or couch surfing, its best to have these accommodations locked down ahead of time. Like transportation and sight-seeing activities, it will also help you budget in advance and possibly save you money.

When booking, take note of:

* Location. Is it within walking distance of the places you want to go? If not, if it near public transportation that is easily accessible?

* Customer reviews. I have never taken anything so seriously in my life (only being slightly over dramatic about this). This is an absolute must! Make sure you read the good and the bad reviews, and take note of the date of those reviews. Has it been awhile since the hosts received a good review, or even any review in general? Are customers reporting the same issues with the host or room? Be cautious, but also be aware people who post reviews generally either had a wonderful experience or a horrible one.

* Amenities included. For me, I don’t need a whole lot of extra perks; however, I would recommend looking into a few “necessities” :

o WiFi or Internet connection. This is helpful to let your loved ones back home you have arrived safely as well as provides communication between you and other travel partners. In addition, it helps you to connect with your host more conveniently if issues arise.

o Baggage Holding. Most of the time hosts and hotels want you to check out in the morning so that they can prepare the room for the guest coming in the afternoon. What happens when your flight/train/bus out of the city doesn’t leave until later that day or during the night? It is good to know ahead of time if they will be able to keep your baggage for you (you might have to pay a little extra) or if you should pack extra light/in backpack form so that you can carry your belongings with you throughout the day.

o Use of kitchen? In many hostels, there will be a common area with a kitchen. Hosts encourage travels to use the kitchen because it helps promote community within the travelers, and it’s a great way to help you save money! Furthermore, some hosts will provide breakfast to their guests which is such a blessing! On top of helping you save on extra costs, they will introduce you to their favorite foods or bring you foods from their favorite bakeries.

* Coed rooming? Single Rooms? First, you need to establish your own comfort level. This is very important for you to enjoy your time in your new destination, because the last thing you need to worry about in a new place is your own personal security when you’re sleeping at night. Are you okay with sleeping next to 20 other random strangers? You might be sharing a 2-3 person bunk bed or you might be sleeping in a small cot within an arm’s reach of the person next to you.  Most hostels are very community orientated and very safe. When I traveled to Dublin, Ireland with a group of girls, we stayed in a 16 person room and had a great time! If this is out of your comfort zone, that’s totally okay! Just look into places which have options of single rooms, or 2-4 person rooms that are easily split between you and your travel group. These smaller rooms are quicker to fill up, which is another reason to book in advance!

For hostel arrangements, I suggest using Hostelworld or for renting out apartments/homes, I suggest using Airbnb.

Review

Well friends, now it’s time to explore! Once you have your transportation, main attractions, and living accommodations all set, you have so much more time to adventure when you arrive in your new travel spot!

Have other “need to know” travel tips? Comment below or shoot me an email at acmcconnell10@gmail.com. For more travel tips, stay tuned for more blog posts and follow @mcconnellanna

3 Things to Keep in Mind With Global Advertising

3 Things to Keep in Mind With Global Advertising

When expanding a product or service from one market to another, especially across different cultures, several precautions need to be taken in order to create brand and product awareness.

Does your product fit the same needs?

During my time abroad, I had the opportunity to listen to Andrej Murdas and Barbora Kratochvilova who work in the marketing department of Procter & Gamble. They told us of several challenges they faced when trying to take the P&G product “Safeguard” to Sub-Sahara Africa. Here, in the U.S., we primarily use Safeguard soap as hand soap. In their new African markets, people didn’t have different types of soap for specific purposes. Instead, soap was used for all types of washing: handwashing, bathing, clothes-washing, and it was even used as deodorant.

Safeguard wasn’t selling in their African markets. P&G hadn’t expressed to the people Safeguard can in fact fit all those needs. If your target market is unaware of how your product can serve them, your base of soon-to-be-consumers will quickly dwindle. Make sure the audience is fully aware their needs will me met.

Is your message lost in translation?

After you establish the product has the ability to meet the consumer’s needs, it is crucial your marketing efforts are translated properly. This doesn’t mean typing your slogan into Google Translator and then copying and pasting what the internet tells you. Check out these brands and see how well it worked for them.

Instead, you need to do your research. Make sure you understand the clear definitions of the words you are translating. To minimize any hiccups that might occur, it would be best to have a person translate the message for you, preferably a native speaker. For more translation tips, please check out Freedman International, a global marketing company.

 Culture affects the promotional mix

We, as marketers, need to firmly understand the culture of our new market in order to promote our product in the most effective way.

The United States is a very individualized culture, where as countries in Africa thrive off of community.

This is key to know for commercial advertising! Americans know when commercials come on the TV we will be informed of a product or service, and many times that is when we tune out to stop listening. We already know someone somewhere wants us to buy something. However, when I first watched commercials from other countries, I noticed how much their culture determines the advertisements. African culture is composed of stories, vibrant colors, community, and often dancing. So, this is what is incorporated into their TV commercials as well, just watch this Pepsi commercial . 

 

Summary

There are many more factors which need to be included and considered when expanding outside of your home market, but identifying the need-set, translation, and understanding culture are some of the most fundamental and crucial challenges that need to be met.

 

What else do you think is important to be considered when going outside your borders? Share with us in the comments below.

For more tips and strategies, follow @mcconnellanna