Posts tagged career advice
How to Handle Knockbacks like a Pro

I know how it works.

You’re busting your bum making your CV the best it can be, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and trying to convince yourself that:

1.       You ARE worthy of being hired.

2.       You CAN do more than you think.

3.       And to be fair, you’re pretty talented.

And then, just when you think you’re hitting the jackpot, what happens?

All the knockbacks come at once to tell you that you “haven’t been successful” and actually, you’re never going to get a job you want ever.

Or at least that’s how knockbacks feel, right?

These experiences can affect us really negatively. And worse, it sometimes turns us into a negative person.

Believe me, I’ve been there. But I’ve got a better way to deal with it.

Because there’s only ONE thing worse for yourself and your career than stupid, harsh, unexpected knockbacks, and that’s letting them define you.

This is how to handle job knockbacks like a pro. Ready to rock? Let’s do this.

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How to Nail Your First Day at a Brand New Job

If there’s one thing that’s up there as one of the most nervous moments in your life, it’s your first day at a new job. The night before is a whirlwind - you keep changing your mind about what to wear, you worry about everything that could go wrong and you wonder what you’re getting yourself into. The day itself arrives in no time and soon enough, you’re walking up to the front door ready to start your new career.

When I think back to my first day at the job I’m in now, it gives me goosebumps. I was so nervous for lots of different reasons. Worried my colleagues wouldn't like me, worried it wouldn't be the job for me, worried I would mess up and on and on.

Your first day at a new job is the start of a brand new adventure for you. And although it can be nerve-wracking, you can also make it a day to remember for all the right reasons. So here are some of the things you can do to nail your first day at a new job.


Wear Something You Feel Comfortable & Confident In

A company doesn't just hire you because they think you’ll be able to do the job well. They hire you because of who you are too. In the first practice interview I ever had at university, I was told by the panel how much they appreciated my honesty, and that reflected in how I dressed too. Since then, I’ve always worn outfits to interviews that make me feel like me.

Making a good first impression isn't just down to playing the part - it’s about looking the part too. I’m a girl who takes 15/20 minutes every morning to put my make-up on and I always plan what to wear the night before. Doing things and wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable will really help to relax you on your first day at a new job and help you walk in confidently.

Go in Strong

On your first day, you want to go in and show everyone why hiring you was the right thing to do. Show up early, give your colleagues a big smile and make conversation. Make yourself comfortable at your desk (but leave accessories and pictures of your cat to a minimum for now!) We spend a lot of our time at work so your first day is the best chance to get off to a great start.

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Behind-the-Scenes: A Journey down My Career Path so Far

My career series is something I love to run on this blog and after reading the results of my reader survey, I'm glad to be able to continue it. So when I saw this post from Anna, one of my guest posters, about her career journey, it instantly inspired me to write about my own.

I love hearing about a journey that someone goes on, especially when it comes to their career. It’s such an important part of my life and I understand the feeling of wanting to grow and develop yourself as you progress through different jobs.

When I left university four years ago, I went sideways with my career. It was a very confusing and difficult time for me – it wasn't until last August that I finally started moving upwards. Now that I'm turning 25 this year, I finally feel like I'm on track with my career and I'm excited for what’s to come. But I will also never forget the journey that I’ve been on over the past few years. And I felt like this would be the perfect thing to share with you today.

As a child, my mind was set on two careers - a teacher and a singer. My mum worked in a school so I grew up around that environment, and every Friday night, I’d sing along to Top of the Pops with my karaoke machine.

When I was at school, I liked most subjects. I especially loved English and it turns out that writing become my true passion. But funnily enough, what I do for my job today, I didn’t get taught in school. I never thought of myself as the creative type and I believed that for a long time.

When I wanted to study Drama, English and Media at Sixth Form College, my parents thought they were the perfect subjects for me. But the outside world believed that they weren’t “proper” subjects, and an A Level in Media Studies wouldn’t get you anywhere.

But I did them anyway and in 2009 I went to Lancaster University to study Linguistics and English Language. I learnt a lot, but it was actually my time on the Student Union as a Magazine Editor that made me realise what I really wanted to do – create magazines.

After a difficult time during my third year, I graduated with no plan. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I moved back home and found some freelance work to tidy me over. My confidence was shattered. But somehow, my family convinced me to follow what I loved and I enrolled on a Masters course at the University of Central Lancashire in Magazine Journalism. I started in September 2013 – and on my first day I met Tom. We’ll be celebrating our three year anniversary this September.

Today, I am a 24 year old Marketing Coordinator and part-time blogger. Here’s a deeper look into the jobs that helped me get there.

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Six Signs You Should Quit Your Job

Does your job make you unhappy? Are you constantly complaining about it? Do you always feel stressed? If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, it might be a sign that you need to find a new job. But how do you know when you see a sign? Some people are more aware than others when they need to quit their job. Others need to have it spelt out to them. So how will you know when to move on? I've done some research and picked out the top six signs that mean you should quit your job. Pay attention to them. They can be really helpful as your grow in your career.

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Career 101: Do Strong Women Intimidate Men?

When it comes to our career, there are many disturbing statistics for women. In America, women only earn 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Australia has one of the highest educated female populations in the world (source). But the gender wage gap has hardly moved for the past two decades. This means that some women return to work after having children for just $3.44 an hour (source).

I know this has started off as a depressing blog post. But that isn't my aim. These statistics don't describe the amazing things that women do. They don’t describe how many women work damn hard to make the best career possible.

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Career 101: How To Change Someone's Impression

“You can’t judge a book by its cover”. It’s a saying we all probably first heard when we were little, and one we’ve all grown up to abide by. I know I have. I’ve always had pride in giving people chances. This includes having an open mind when it comes to first impressions, because they really count. Whether it’s a date with someone or your first proper interaction with your boss. In all these situations we want to give the best impression. But what happens when somebody already has a certain perception of you? 

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Career 101: How To Set Realistic Career Goals

What do you want from your career? Creative adrenaline? A nice bank balance? An authoritative role? A relaxed lifestyle? We wouldn’t embark on a journey without a real idea of our destination. So why wouldn’t we do the same when it comes to our career?

Something I’ve noticed around the blogosphere lately and on Twitter  is how people are getting really fed up of hearing the words ‘dream job’. I recently spoke about how we’re made to think that we’ll all get our dream job, no problem – but it just doesn’t work that way. 

When I was job hunting I became so discouraged. I hadn’t set any goals, so I had nothing to work towards. Now I think differently.

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[Guest Post]: Oh Look How Far You've Come...

Today, I welcome a guest post to A Branch of Holly - the lovely Stephie from Tea In Your Twenties. I have had the pleasure of meeting this lady in real life and let me tell you - she is definitely the girl behind the blog. Chatty, open and someone you feel like you've known forever.

So I won't give anything else away. Just go ahead and read. But I will tell you this - she'll put a smile on your face.

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Career 101: Why It's Important To Think Big

So this piece of writing has turned out a lot differently to what I had planned originally.

You see, I tried to formulate this into a long textbook post. My aim when planning this piece of content was to talk with you and explain why thinking big is so important. Instead, I found that a few of the phrases I was conjuring up were much more poignant than endless paragraphs. These days, we’re being told that the longer our content is the better. But the truth is, sometimes a simple post works just as well. So I’m not here to give you the magic formula of how to reach your dreams. I’m not here to talk to you endlessly about what’s important and why. I think you already know. But here are a few words and phrases just to remind you that it is okay to think big.

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Career 101: What If I Don't Know What I Want To Do?

Picture the scene. You’re on the job hunt. You’re desperate to start work so you can start earning some money. You’ve got a degree in a certain field, but you’re not sure if you want a job based on that. Basically, you’ve got lots of great interests and a whole bunch of awesome skills but you’ve no idea what to do with them.

Welcome to the scenario for, probably, more than half of young people across the globe.

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Career 101: Basic Career Advice

Isn't it odd to think just how much of your life is made up by your career? Eight or more hours of one day may not seem like a lot, but when you think about doing that five times a week for a big chunk of the year, the feeling might start to change.

My career officially started in September so I'm still in the very early stages. But I've learnt so much about such a variety of things in just a short space of time. Which is where Career 101 comes in. This is a new series I'm introducing for A Branch of Holly. Our career is so important to us and because of this, there's no harm in having a helping hand along the way. So for the first instalment, I thought it would be good to go over some basic career advice. After all, it's always better to start at the beginning isn't it?

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