Earlier this year I was speaking at the Los Angeles Times CareerBuilder Expo on The Inner Journey of Career Transition. I was talking about discovering what you are truly passionate about, and bringing that passion to your work. A gentleman raised his hand and asked a question that went something like this:
So I understand all this passion stuff, but what do you do if you just need to get a job in order to pay the rent?
This question was illuminating because it highlighted the fact that there is some confusion about changing careers. A true career change is rarely accomplished as a result of desperate circumstances. It requires introspection, exploring, researching and experimenting and cannot be rushed.
Here are some other differences:
Job transition is something that is often accompanied by a sense of crisis. Not always, but often a job transition is launched because of 1) being fired, 2) company downsizing or reorganizing, 3) an unpleasant situation that you need to leave immediately. Anger, grief, self-doubt and resignation often accompany it. You probably didn't want the change, but you got it anyway.
A career transition is something that takes place over time often 2-4 years. It is planned. It often grows from an emerging dissatisfaction with the situation and a commitment to do something about it. It is often accompanied by a longing for something more. If career transition is an evolution a natural growth, job transition is a revolution quick and painful.
Let me be clear if you are in a job transition situation, you need to get your business handled. Get a job. This is not the time to worry about your next job being your dream job. In fact, you can be sure that your next job won't be your dream job, because you will be seeing new opportunities through rose- colored glasses, hoping that you have found your next thing and avoiding any doubts you have. You will be prone to rationalization. Successful career transition requires that you make decisions from a place of clarity, not desperation to pay the rent.
So that is exactly what I told my questioner make sure that your rent and bills are paid. Then begin doing the work that is needed to launch a real career transition that has a chance of succeeding.
You’re at college. You have your first entry level job. But you are completely lost.
The paperwork can be very overwhelming for anyone, and especially if you have never worked before or you have only worked for daddy. Beyond the paperwork though, there is also many more expectations that might not even be disclosed to you by your supervisor.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Fill Out Your W-4 Correctly
Before you start working, your new employer will hand you a scary looking tax form called a W-4. Don’t toss it in your bag and forget it–this little form will help determine how much you owe in taxes at the end of the year.
The most confusing (but important!) part of this form is the “Allowances” box, where you enter a withholding number that tells your employer how much they should take out of your paycheck to pay towards taxes. If you don’t have them withhold anything (or enough), you will owe a ton of taxes at the end of the year. (Guess how I know that?)
Not sure what to enter? Don’t worry!
Walk the Line
You are being paid, so good work is not optional.
Now that we’ve got the scary tax stuff out of the way, on to the rest of the basics–the things that will make you look good to your boss (which can obviously lead to more responsibility, a promotion, or at least a good reference when you move on to greener pastures).
These are pretty obvious, but they can make a big difference!
You probably didn’t have a resume before you started college. You may not even have one now. Despite hearing constant talking about the importance of a resume and how to make a “strong” one, you continuously put off making your own, thinking you don’t need one. Well, you do need one and you need to keep it updated frequently.
Before college, you had very little, if anything at all, to put on a resume. A job at McDonald’s isn’t much to brag about and you sure didn’t need a resume to get that job either. You have moved up now though and it is time to be serious with your job search. In order to get serious, you have to have a working resume. A resume for a college student is very simple – it usually just lists your name, your contact information, what you are doing in college and any work experience you may have. Something I didn’t mention and you probably didn’t think of is college involvement.
College involvement can pad your resume to be the one-page length that employers like to see. Even if you list organizations you are a member of or hold positions in, and they have no relevance to a job you are applying for, it still shows commitment and pads that resume space. You don’t want to leave that kind of stuff there long term after graduation, since you will need room for internships and other related work going towards your career goals. But for a college student just starting out, this will be just what you need to have a great resume. Find useful help on students Q&A platform that is provided by the StudyFAQ.
Your involvement in those organizations and other groups on campus changes though – and so should your resume. Keep it up to date you get new jobs and leave old ones. It is a lot easier to do it when it happens than to try to do it all senior year, right before graduation, when you have to have it done. Keep that resume updated and you’ll be a lot happier and a lot more likely to be employed down the road!
Relaxation means sun, fun, and money. For most students, money doesn’t come easy, and spring break is a great way to drain the bank account out of the black and into the red.
So, wow can you still have fun on spring break, but avoid going broke? Here’s some ideas:
Staycation: Staying home might not seem like a great way to spend spring break, but give yourself the week of, while enjoying your own city. Take the time off of work, put away the books and enjoy what your town has to offer. Visit the local hot spots, museums, parks, recreational activities and restaurants. Give yourself a spa day and allow yourself to relax at home. Avoid email, phone calls and the books and give yourself a staycation.
Camping: Camping is a great way to have a fun time without spending a lot of money. Many outdoor stores will even allow you to rent the essentials such as a tent and sleeping bag rather than purchasing your own. Overnight fees in most canyons are free, or less than $20 for the night. All you need is a group of friends, some firewood and a cooler and you’re good to go.
Road Trip: Road trips are slightly more expensive than camping, but definitely cheaper than airfare. If you can, borrow a larger SUV or van and fill it with friends in order to split the cost. Try to stay in hotels that have kitchens so you can make your own breakfast and pack your own lunch.
Use your network: Do you have a friend or family who lives somewhere else, or has a timeshare or a beach house? It can’t hurt to contact anyone you think might have access to a cost-cutting option. Staying with relatives might not seem appealing, but it might be a great way to get away without spending your savings on a hotel.
Vegas: There are few places that you can get a cheaper room than Las Vegas. Spring break usually offers great vegas packages, and if you can road trip there, you can save on airfare. If you’re able to avoid losing cash on slot machines, you can have a great week away without breaking the bank.
Avoid the Weekend: If you plan on traveling, try to fly on a Sunday and come back on Thursday, before the weekend rush. If you’re willing to adjust your travel plans by just a little bit, you can save hundreds by traveling on less-busy days.
Start Saving: If you have big dreams of spring break week in Cabo, prepare now. Save enough money in advance by budgeting, planning for hotel, airfare, food and misc. travel expenses. Put aside a little money each month so you’re not spending the rest of the semester living off of ramen noodles and pancakes.
A great holiday can create memories that last forever, but it’s not worth going broke or blowing your student loan money on one week of entertainment.
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Author Jose Williams
My name is Jose, I am an author of this blog and writer at StudyFAQ College Questions platform. I am an experienced biker, audiophile, Metallica fan and collaborator. Performing at the fulcrum of beauty and elegance to craft experiences both online and in real life. I'm fueled by craft beer and tortilla chips.