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IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW!

Walking through campus today reminded me of when I worked at the happiest amusement park on Earth. As part of the cast, my role contributed to the highlight of a lifetime for many, while not distracting from the moments. During their visits, guests shared their personal or collective biggest thrills, chills, challenges and happiest day in the sun. When their time ended, they left permanently touched, often changed, by the experience all the while, blind to what magical extremely complex operations happened behind the curtain.

Allow me to expand your mind suggesting that going back to school felt like not simply a full-circle moment, but what I think a circular moment in time feels like! With every great first and ongoing impression, every wise use of my time searching out great opportunities, and rubbing elbows with connected people I am not only benefiting my future ultimately, but also redoing my past at the same time.

Maybe the perm frazzled the well-laid plans I had at the time!

How many “If I knew then what I know now” moments do you look back on in college or life? I’m grateful for the opportunity to be back in the welcoming, familiar college environment. When I attended college, I went to classes, stayed up for a few all-nighters and hung out with my roommates. I truly did not go out of my way to find parties, mentors or career connections. Being fully submersed once again in the exuberant, hopeful and hungry energy of students, with the benefit of adult perspective, brought me full circle.

I greet my colleagues as we pass on campus, pausing occasionally to catch up – having been gone six weeks between assignments. Out of the corner of my eye I see the co-ed I was shadowing my behavior with other students or professors.  If asked, my shared wisdom to students is “It matters who you know.”  College presents the unique opportunity to not only increase the numbers of people you know face-to-face, but also the chance to expand your horizons and make the borders friendlier. While every student travels a similar path, individual’s life experiences and lessons learned along the way are invaluable. Also, never forget that “Lessons appear anywhere” and “It’s never too late to start.”

Anytime is a great time to start the rest of your life!

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JOB HUNTING IS LIKE ONLINE DATING

Morning coffee routine

Over coffee, my friend shared her online dating perspective with me, “When I show up for dates, if it goes well – fantastic! If not, then I have a new business contact.” I think she’s onto something.

As a current job-seeker, I’m eager, open to possibilities, and have a diverse background. I find myself torn between going steady with a reliable job or temping around. Plus, finding a job is very different now than when I first looked so I struggle with my approach vacillating between looking myself or using a service (don’t get me started on bar mixers).

For some companies I have created profiles detailing my positive qualities and hopeful work “must-haves.” Many limit your choices.  I post a friendly picture and if my profile has the key words that tickle HR’s fancy, I’ll get a “Wink” or “Joe Bossman is interested” email.  What I usually get are spammers who want money wired to their accounts immediately.

I primarily look myself, or trust my friends to set me up with something great.  I gather job listings and groom my resume to reflect what they are looking for hoping to land on top of the prospect list.  I never lie about my past, or change myself into someone I’m not to land a job, I simply speak their language.

At this cross-roads, I’m debating if I want a full-time, predictable job where I can build a foundation, grow together, have an on-going impact and create a long history.  I’d love the regular support of benefits, investment in my advancement, coupled with appreciation from their end of my faithful dedication to the company.

But get real, this is the 21st century.  Sadly, many marriages and jobs last only 4 years.  Living in a city where the possibility to freelance seems great (just a feeling, no statistic), perhaps I want the novelty of living for the assignment, constantly meeting new people, pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.  Aren’t we all more daring when we know that it’s short-term?

Hopefully, as with dating, the job will come when you stop looking and are least expecting it – since I’m blogging, not searching. What’s currently working for your search?