Missouri State University
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Suit Yourself

A fun summer job AND valuable career experience? Yes, it’s possible!

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Grace and a coworker watched the sun rise over Lake Michigan on the last day of their summer job.

Written by Grace Smith, junior creative writing major and office assistant for the Career Center

Last November, I was in my junior year of college, in a major that doesn’t have obvious career prospects, and a desire to work in a highly competitive field. That is the life of a creative writing major who wants to work in the film industry. I needed to find ways to build up my résumé, make myself more marketable, and probably most importantly, gain experience in this daunting field.

I needed a job for the summer that was at least somehow related to the film and television industry. Except, here’s the thing. Internships in film and television are not abundant but are highly competitive, especially during the summer. Thousands of students, just like me only more qualified, are applying for probably a grand total of a few dozen internships. I applied for more than 30 internships, mostly at television networks and film studios. I didn’t care if I had to live in Los Angeles for a summer, paying a ton in rent and earning absolutely no money, making copies and getting coffee for semi-important people. I just wanted to do something—anything—related to my field. I did not want to waste another summer doing a job that wouldn’t help me at all in my career.

I was on a mission. Step Number One in that mission: Find Openings. I was an RA, and I had told my residents over and over again to go to the Career Center, and yet I never had. So, that was my first course of action. I left with pages of information, dozens of sites where I could look for internships and sample résumés. I had an action plan.

Step Number Two: Apply Everywhere and Often. Every single day I looked online for internships. I was not very selective. Anything that was remotely related to my field, anything that I had the tiniest amount of experience in, I applied for. I had copies of my résumé and cover letter, not just for each company, but for each individual position I applied for. I had to make a file on my computer to keep them all straight.

Step Number Three: Wait and Hope. This one was probably the hardest for me. I was never a patient person.

Step Number Four: Repeat Step Number Two. It was March now. Most of the positions I applied for were still open, so I had no reason to expect to get a call from any of them, but like I said, I was never a patient person. Finally, I remembered a site that I was told about in my months-before visit to the Career Center, which should have been my obvious first visit: JobTracks. A job searching database specifically for MSU students. Why hadn’t I visited before? I will be honest, though, when I did finally go to JobTracks in late March, it wasn’t with much hope. I figured it would mostly be jobs in and around Springfield, and what is here for people like me (a lot, apparently, but I learned that much later). But, still I looked. I was shocked to see that there were hundreds of jobs listed. Still, I thought to myself, there are probably no jobs for me on here. Still, I looked. And I saw this one job posting. It was for a Resident Assistant/Faculty Assistant at a film camp at Northwestern University, the National High School Institute. It was a job where I’d get to be an RA, which I had been for a year and loved, and I would get to work with a bunch of awesome young filmmakers.

I applied. Less than a week later, on March 31, I got an email asking if I could have a phone interview the next day. The following Tuesday I had a second interview on Skype. On April 15, I received a job offer.

This job ended up giving me one of the best summers of my life. I worked with 80 high school students who were all crazy smart and crazy talented. My coworkers were incredible. I even got to be a faculty assistant in the screenwriting classes. I’m a crier naturally, but the last day, when all the students left, I cried nonstop all day. My last morning, I sat on the beach of Lake Michigan with one of my coworkers and watched the sunrise (there is a picture on my Instagram to prove it), and I knew that summer would be one that I would not soon forget.

The experience that I gained working at NSHI was invaluable. The things I learned, the relationships I formed, the experiences I had. My job this summer was not just a really fun summer job. It was a learning experience. It was an opportunity to work with some really amazing people. And most importantly, it was a really fun summer job that gave me experience for my career, which is pretty much the most anyone can hope for.

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Your career path may be a winding one

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In the debut episode of Joseph Liu’s podcast, CAREER RELAUNCH, MSU alumna shares her perspective of “Pursuing Work You Enjoy.”

Written by Kelly Cara, Co-Founder of V-Life and Missouri State University Alumna

Two years ago, I packed my things and moved to Austin, TX, to attend culinary school. To some, this was not an obvious career decision. From age 3, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but my experience as a Medical Explorer in high school changed my mind. I decided to try out a business major in college, but I felt out of place and switched to English. That was a better fit and led to work abroad teaching English with the U.S. Peace Corps. Still trying to figure things out, I earned a master’s in experimental psychology, worked in a behavioral health hospital, then taught statistics and became the Assessment Research Coordinator for Missouri State University. At the age of 32, it was apparent my career path was blurry at best.

I always envied people whose career trajectory was a straight shot. When asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” some kids really do know, and they happily become that very thing for life. For others, the path is not so clear or direct. Most of us will have several different careers, and hopefully, we will enjoy all of them. If the enjoyment runs out, though, we have to make a choice.  Stay or go?

To test myself, I asked, “What would I do if I had a million dollars?” If I didn’t have to worry about money today, what would I do with my life? The answer surprised me, but instinctively and immediately I responded, “I’d go to culinary school.” I’d always loved baking but never considered working in the food industry. However, I had considered, very seriously, a career providing people with practical ways to live better, healthier, and happier lives. That was even the focus of my entire graduate school experience. If I was going to culinary school, it would have to be a different kind of school that focused on the healing and nourishing properties of food rather than merely taste and appearance. Luckily, I found the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts – a health-supportive program in Austin, TX.

Two years later, I have started my own lifestyle wellness education business, V-Life, and everything is coming together:  entrepreneur (business background), marketing materials (English background), motivating clients, data collection, and accounting (psychology and statistics background), and health-supportive food demonstrations (culinary background). Looking back, my winding path seems straighter than I thought.

Listen to Kelly’s conversation with Joseph Liu, subscribe to the Career Relaunch podcast, and learn more about Kelly’s business, V-Life

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Building your professional accomplishments folder

Written by Amie Case, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.

Need an easy way to keep track of all your professional and career-related accomplishments?

Student Project
Projects you do for classes or organizations provide strong evidence of accomplishments

It’s easy! Start a brag folder (also called a sunshine folder, I-love-me file, or master list).

A brag folder is a great way to remember details from your experiences for future reference. Although you may think you will never forget the specifics of a challenging and important project, a year from now, the details of that outstanding accomplishment might be difficult for you to recall.

By keeping a record of your accomplishments, both career-related and personal, you will be able to illustrate your experiences more powerfully on your résumé and during interviews. While the résumé includes a summary of the accomplishment, the interview enables you to provide more details by telling the story of that accomplishment.

Where do I start?

Collect your brag folder contents in one location for easy access. Before you develop your folder, ensure that the method you choose will be easy for you to maintain:

Offline: You can use an ordinary handwritten journal, notebook, or a file folder or large envelope to gather clippings, cards, and memos.

Online: You can use a word processor or other electronic documentation method. If you don’t want the hassle of backing up your file (and you need to back it up in multiple locations each time you make an addition), you can just create an email folder and send yourself emails.

What do I include?

Nothing is too great or too small to include in your folder. If you have weekly meetings with your supervisor, and you discuss completing a simple task, jot down the specifics to add to your list. If you did something that you know was a personal challenge for you, make a note of the steps you took to overcome the challenge.

Need help jogging your memory to start your brag file? Here are some examples of material you could include:

  • Situations, challenges, problems, and tasks in which you took action and achieved a successful result
  • Qualifications and talents that add value to your performance
  • Proof that you can successfully perform job functions
  • Current and previous work experience to include summer jobs, work-study, temporary, and volunteer positions of any kind
  • Educational experiences to include internships, group projects, and study-abroad programs
  • Conferences, events, organizations, and societies in which you have participated
  • Interests and extracurricular activities 

What should I write?

Details make your accomplishments believable and convincing. Consider grouping your accomplishments into three categories: STARCAR, or PAR.

Sample STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Results) statement:

Because my department trained new employees by having them shadow and ask questions of other employees, many new hires felt confused by conflicting opinions and unclear expectations (Situation).

My supervisor asked me to create a training manual that would include comprehensive instructions for all of the procedures used in the department (Task).

I made a list of the procedures that needed to be included, wrote instructions for the procedures that I perform, interviewed each employee, resolved conflicting information, and created a training manual complete with a table of contents, clearly divided sections, images of forms used, and an FAQ page addressing the most common concerns and confusions (Action).

Since the training manual enables new employees to learn the procedures more quickly, the employees are able to assume responsibility more quickly and with higher level of confidence. The previous job shadowing method of training often took a couple of weeks before new employees felt comfortable. However, with the documentation, new hires feel comfortable within a couple of days. The manual also resolved conflicts that established employees had with some procedures (Results).

Sample CAR (Challenge, Action, Results) statement:

I was halfway through my internship, and my supervisor still had not given me the images I needed to complete the book I was supposed to design. Not only would this prohibit me from producing a finished project by the end of my internship, but it also significantly reduced the amount of work I was able to do for the company. In short, I was twiddling my thumbs (Challenge).

I did what I could without the images, and then I stayed busy by creating other projects for myself such as designing new marking materials and developing a website (Action).

Although I never received the pictures I had been promised, my supervisor was impressed with the marketing extras I presented and was surprised and very grateful to have a new website. I completed my internship successfully and was praised for my initiative (Results).

Sample PAR (Problem, Action, Results) statement:

The student lounge coffee station was not being monitored, and our donated coffee and supplies were disappearing quickly and randomly. Multiple times, we were not aware that our stock was low until we had run out completely (Problem).

I created and implemented a series of documents to track coffee donations and supplies that were going in and out of the stock room. I trained all student workers on proper documentation procedures (Action).

Coffee supplies remain constant because we know where everything is going, how it is being used, and when we need to replenish inventory (Results).

Strong evidence makes a strong candidate

During the job-search process, we make claims to employers of our expertise, experience, knowledge, and skills. Because the brag folder contains the evidence that support these claims, you’re able to quickly and easily access details you may have forgotten. Using specific examples to support your claims will make you memorable and credible to employers. You will highlight and emphasize your accomplishments and strengths that best suit you for the position you’re applying for.

As an additional advantage, a brag folder also provides a good boost of confidence when you look back and see the accumulation of your achievements, even those that were just class projects.

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Learn and practice networking skills at the Speed Networking Event April 27

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Learn and practice networking skills at the free Networking Event on Wednesday, April 27.

What does professional networking mean? Many people think it’s only for job seekers, but networking—which basically means developing relationships—is an important skill to learn as we begin developing our professional life. This includes planning and learning about careers, gaining experience in our chosen careers, and searching for permanent positions. People who are most successful in finding jobs tend to use their network to gain more connections and advice.

Those connections we make in the early stages of networking may be the same connections we maintain throughout our careers. Plus, those early connections may lead to more and more connections, and thus our network expands. Therefore, networking is an important skill to use throughout our professional life. Our network contacts may help guide, advise, and mentor us. In turn, we can then help others.

On Wednesday, April 27, Speed Networking EVENT will teach participants how to network, explain the benefits of networking, and give participants the opportunity to practice networking.

Co-sponsored by the Career Center and Alumni Association, the Speed Networking Event enables students and alumni to meet and learn from approximately 50 networking mentors, comprised of alumni and local professionals from a variety of career fields. Along with speed rounds, there will be open networking and free food.

When attending this event or any other networking event, present yourself in a professional manner: dress professionally or, at the very least, wear business casual. This might involve wearing a suit (and tie), or dress slacks with professional shirt, or khakis with a nice polo; women may also wear a professional suit, skirt, or dress.

This event is free, but registration through JobTracks is required. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn and practice your networking skills.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Plaster Student Union Ballroom (3rd Floor)

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 20

 

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Meet the Career Center’s new graduate assistant

Written by Theresa Lydon-Lorson, career counseling graduate assistant, Career Center

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My name is Theresa Lydon-Lorson, and I am a 2014 graduate of Missouri State University. I have my Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies, and I am currently pursuing my Master of Science degree in secondary school counseling.

I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis and graduated from Eureka High School in 2010. I was involved in band for most of my educational experience, and I seriously considered pursuing a career in music education. I played bass clarinet from sixth grade until my sophomore year of college. I loved marching band in high school, and I was the drum major during my junior and senior year. My love of band continued through college, and I marched tenor saxophone in MSU’s Pride Band my freshman through junior year.

The time I have spent at Missouri State has been fantastic. In August 2010, I began as an undeclared major, but by the beginning of my sophomore year I had decided on a degree in religious studies. I was drawn to the department because of the professors and their intense knowledge and interest in the field. Whether I was taking a course on Apocalypses, Buddhism, New Religious Movements, or Suffering and Meaning, the professors made it clear that they cared very deeply about what they were teaching. They fostered my interest in world religions, cultural consciousness, and meaning construction/existential thought. This environment made the religious studies department so engaging, and I was very fortunate to have been able to get my bachelor’s degree studying a subject that was so fun, intriguing, and important.

After my time spent in the religious studies department, I knew that I would have to work toward a master’s degree that would aid in my employability. I knew several of my classmates in religious studies had gone on to pursue master’s degrees in counseling, so I looked into the counseling program at MSU and thought that it could be a good fit. What really drew me into counseling was the fact that I never had a great connection with any of my school counselors; for me, many of my teachers during my K-12 experience filled the role of a counselor and were able to help me through the difficulties that young adulthood provides. It is my goal to be a school counselor who is approachable, understanding, and empathic. I am looking forward to doing my school counseling internships next fall and spring and hopefully finding employment in the St. Louis area soon after graduation!

My career experience, up to this point, has included work in data entry, retail, and fast food. Working as a graduate assistant has been a dramatic shift from food service, but I love being able to work with students and not constantly smell like French fries. Doing career counseling at the Career Center is such an amazing experience in which I am becoming incredibly prepared for my future as a high school counselor. I am very excited for all of the things I will learn during my time here, and I know that they will be invaluable in my preparation to become a professional school counselor.

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12 LinkedIn etiquette tips

In-2C-128px-TMWritten by Amie Gant, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.

Because having good etiquette on social media can positively impact your professional development, knowing what to do and what not to do on each social media platform is crucial. Actions that are completely acceptable (or unacceptable) on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms might actually be sinking your chances of making the connections you need on LinkedIn for that dream job.

LinkedIn has its own set of rules. Here are 12 you may not be aware of:

  1. It’s not creepy to connect with individuals immediately after only talking to them for 10 minutes at a conference. While normally this might be perceived as being desperate, on LinkedIn you’ll want to send that request instantly so they don’t forget you.
  2. Turn off your activity when you’re updating your profile to avoid bombarding your connections with dozens of updates.
  3. Don’t ignore recruiters even if you’re not searching for a job. Leave that door open for future contact by thanking them for reaching out to you, and let them know you’ll remember them if your situation changes.
  4. Always customize each connection request, and never click on the blue “Connect” button while scrolling through a search or “People You May Know” list. The blue “Connect” button only lets you personalize your message when you are on someone’s profile.
  5. Don’t be afraid to connect with someone who either works at your dream company and or is in a position where you would someday like to be. However, make sure you double-check the person’s contact policy for any messaging requests.
  6. Don’t connect with a hiring manager even if your interview went well. It’s unnecessary and makes you appear overconfident.
  7. Endorse people only for skills you know for sure they have. If you endorse someone just to be nice, when you don’t truly believe the person is skilled in an area, you are reducing the effectiveness of the system.
  8. It’s okay to ask for endorsements from people who have worked closely with you or who have seen your abilities first-hand.
  9. Write awesome recommendation requests, and detail the specific highlights you are looking for.
  10. You’re not obligated to recommend people who are less than deserving. Don’t ignore their recommendation request, but instead, send them a private message such as, “I’m not the right person to give you a recommendation, but I wish you good luck.”
  11. Know when to use the “Remind” and “Withdraw” While it’s okay to “Remind” someone who you know won’t mind a friendly nudge, never “Remind” someone if you only know them professionally or if they are higher ranking than you. In those cases, use the “Withdraw” button after your request has gone unnoticed for a few months.
  12. Feel free to remove recommendations you don’t like, and don’t neglect to thank people who have recommended you.

To read more tips on LinkedIn etiquette, visit TheMuse or contact the Career Center to schedule an appointment with a Career Resources Specialist who can give you a quick review and tips for your LinkedIn profile.

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Everyday tips for the aspiring leader

Written by Amie Gant, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.

Students raising hands
Students develop leadership skills simply by taking the initiative in class discussions and projects.

According to Job Outlook 2016 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), leadership is currently the most desirable attribute that employers look for in potential candidates.

While there are traditional and non-traditional students alike who have acquired years of leadership experience through jobs, volunteer work, and the military, there are many students who have not yet had the opportunity to gain leadership experience.

These students with little or no leadership experience are likely to be overlooked during the hiring process, even if they are viable candidates in other areas. There are many ways to build and strengthen leadership abilities. Here are a few suggestions to start:

  1. Raise your hand. When a professor asks for someone to answer a question in class, or to take charge of a group project, take initiative and snag that leadership position! It may not seem like much, but each time you answer a question or step forward to accept responsibility, you are building foundational leadership skills.
  2. Volunteer your time. A great way to gain valuable experience is to volunteer to a local cause that matters to you. Most volunteer-based organizations are short on paid employees, so don’t shy away from the leadership roles—there will be plenty of them! Learn more about volunteer opportunities through Missouri State’s Community Involvement and Service.
  3. Join an organization. Get involved with an organization you are passionate about, then take on positions within the organization that will push you to stretch your comfort zones. Learning to manage events and delegate tasks to a team are skills that will serve you well in the future. Learn more about campus organizations through the Office of Student Engagement.
  4. Gain potential in sports. Actively participating in sports can accelerate leadership potential. Sports instill hard work and perseverance that can inspire and motivate you as well as providing leadership roles along the way. For information on intramural sports, check out Campus Recreation’s Intramural Sports.
  5. Recognize the leadership qualities you already have. If you have ever planned a family event, babysat a younger sibling, taken care of a neighbor’s home and pets for a weekend, or worked at a summer camp, you already have leadership abilities. Reflect upon other areas in which you were in authority—you might surprise yourself with what you’ve already experienced.
  6. Complete a big project. Commit to a big personal project and see it through from start to finish. By learning to lead yourself, you will become more comfortable in that position and realize what it takes to inspire others.

Some of these recommendations may be outside your comfort zone, but the more you practice leadership activities, the more comfortable you will become. The key is to start small and develop your leadership skills a little at a time. Be a #LeaderBear.

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Why December is a good time to job search

Written by Amie Gant, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.

business woman in red dress smiling
image: GraphicStock

If you’re like most of us, the holidays are a time to slow down and take a good, long break from our hectic schedules. However, if you’re currently searching for a job, you might consider letting the holiday season help you kick-start your job search. While the holidays are notorious for their dramatic drop in hiring, don’t let this dissuade you from your search. The majority of job seekers consider the market to be “dead” during the winter festivities. Quite the contrary; December is actually the best time of the year to apply for jobs, and here’s why:

You’ll have less competition.
Because of the numerous job seekers who adopt an inactive, kick-back-and-relax attitude during the holidays, job seekers who remain active in their search will often find an open door with no waiting line. Because fewer people are applying for positions, it will be easier for you to stand out from your peers. The lull in applicants will allow recruiters to spend more time reviewing your résumé, and they will pay special attention to you in longer interviews.

Companies have left-over money in their yearly budgets.
There are open positions. In addition to the positions that naturally need to be filled, many companies have extra money in their budgets that they’re not aware of until the end of the year. This opens new positions and new hiring decisions. Generally, companies will post these new positions at the beginning of the new year, so getting noticed during the holidays will place you way ahead of other candidates.

The holidays provide excellent networking opportunities.
The holidays are an optimum time to network at company and community parties and events. Whether you are meeting new people or reinforcing your existing network, approach the topic of your job search lightly. You might mention the companies you’re targeting and that you would appreciate any thoughts or ideas at a later date, but then swing the conversation back to eggnog, and let it be. If they can help you, they will remember you. A lengthy conversation about your job search will only disrupt the holiday cheer. Be professional, but warm. Remember, although it’s a party, you’re on display, so minimize your alcohol intake and dress conservatively.

Reinforce your current network with holiday cards.

Write a heartfelt and appreciative holiday card to your professional contacts. While e-cards are definitely easier to send, taking the time to handwrite a personal note will make it more meaningful. Sending seasonal cheer to your professional contacts can have career-changing effects that may lead to internships, mentorships, freelancing opportunities, and job offers.

You should send cards to:

  • Current and former supervisors
  • Co-workers
  • Mentors and role models
  • Miscellaneous professional connections

In your card, refer to specific instances when your contact supported you. Don’t use the card as an opportunity to request a favor. Instead, express your gratitude for the positive influence they have had on your career. It will reinforce your relationship, and the next time you reach out for a favor, they will remember that you took the time to wish them happy holidays.

The holidays are a great time to slack off, and if you choose this route, you’re not alone. But if you’re interested in fast-tracking your job search, December is the time to do it. What better way to start the new year than with a new job?

Missouri State University Career Center holiday hours
By appointment only: Dec 14 – 18
Office closed: Dec 19 – Jan 3
By appointment only: Jan 4 – 8
Regular walk-in hours resume Jan 11.

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Feel the burn? How to recognize and overcome burnout

Written by Amie Gant, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.

Burnout image
Burnout can negatively impact your academic performance and work.

Semesters are long and overwhelming. For many students, instructors, and professors, this Thanksgiving

break can’t come fast enough. Exams and large projects are due every week, and there never seems to be a moment to come up for air. Whether you are a first-year undergraduate, or this is your last year as a graduate student, burnout can and may have already happened to you.

Being burnt out can have serious effects on your academic performance, your work, and your personal life. If you’re not on the lookout for the symptoms, it might be too late before burnout hits you at full force, slowing your progress to a crawl, weakening your sense of happiness, and detrimentally affecting your academic and work success.

Burnout is natural and happens to everyone. Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • constant fatigue or always wanting to sleep
  • tired of classes or hating work that previously interested you
  • no longer putting effort into assignments
  • procrastination
  • loss of interest in hobbies
  • never enough time to do anything
  • unorganized
  • difficulty managing stress
  • poor eating habits
  • lack of exercise
  • anger, cynicism, and uncertainty

If you answered yes to one or more, you may be experiencing burnout. Why is this happening? Burnout has numerous causes, but here are a few reasons:

  • an overload of assignments
  • a major life change (moving, starting a new job, getting married, death of a friend or family member)
  • monotony at work
  • constantly hanging around the same people (whether you like or dislike them)
  • doing the same activities repetitively
  • remaining in a high-stress environment for an extended period of time

You can conquer burnout and become focused and feel energized again. It won’t happen overnight, but keep in mind that you didn’t reach this point of exhaustion in one day, or maybe even in one semester. Here are six things you can do to alleviate the feelings of burnout:

  1. Eliminate the source. This doesn’t mean to drop out of college or quit work. Sure, a large portion of your stress may stem from classes and work, but they aren’t the only reasons you’re overwhelmed. Take a step back and really dig deep to figure out the additional stressors weighing you down. Sometimes a change of place is good, but don’t make a hasty decision and walk out in the middle of your shift unless you have a guarantee that doing so won’t create financial hardship or damage your work reputation.
  2. Reverse your routine. Change it up! If you normally rush to open your social media apps every time you’re on break, try drawing or reading a book instead. If you always eat out, find a cool recipe and make it yourself. If you use a tablet or a laptop for the majority of your writing, try writing with pen and paper once in a while. Constantly drive the same way to and from school and work? Find an alternate route. The point is to do something unusual in your daily routine.
  3. Make time for you. If you don’t have time to enjoy anything, try cutting back on your number of commitments. While putting others’ needs before your own is generous, doing it constantly can be exhausting. Being active and involved is wonderful as long as you’re not spreading yourself too thin. If an obligation is not a priority right now, try doing something to alleviate your stress instead, such as exercising or finally working on your long-lost hobby you haven’t picked up all semester.
  4. Prepare your own healthy meals. It’s often difficult to wake up 20 minutes early to pack a healthy lunch, or even to prepare a meal the night before. This may cause you to resort to grab-on-the-go, low-nutrient foods, which in the long run will only increase your fatigue and unhappiness. Eating food with the nutrients your body needs will increase your mental clarity and boost your energy levels to help you power on.
  5. Move, move, move. If you sit for hours in class, or have a job that doesn’t require much physical exertion, try to take frequent breaks. Walk for five minutes. Move! Smell the fresh air! Look up at the sky! If you truly do not have 30 minutes in a day to spare for exercise, try spending five minutes doing pushups or squats. Find something that you like and then do a little bit at a time. The more you move, the more energy you will have throughout the day.
  6. Get organized. Use a planner to write out your deadlines so you don’t have to keep track of everything in your head. Make a prioritized to-do list and cross off the tasks as you complete them. Be careful to keep the list achievable. Do only what you can work on today and schedule the rest for tomorrow. By prioritizing your day, week, and month, you can easily focus on one task at a time, instead of becoming overwhelmed and losing track of 20 different projects.

The semester is almost over! Keep your mind sharp and your attitude positive. It will make an enormous difference in your academic performance, your work environment, and your life as a whole. By learning to recognize when you are getting too exhausted, you will be able to re-strategize your way of life at school and work to prevent future bouts of burnout.

For help and advice for overcoming burnout, visit the Counseling Center.

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Terrified by job interviews? Overcome your fear and boost your interview confidence

Written by Amie Gant, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.

What can be scarier and more stressful than Halloween’s haunted houses, ghosties, ghouls, and zombies? Job interviews. However, the more you practice and get familiar with the process, the less terrifying interviews may become.nervous interview

Mock interviews provide a constructive way to reduce your stress and anxiety about interviewing. The Missouri State University Career Center offers mock interview sessions to students and alumni. The benefits of these mock interviews are numerous and can dramatically increase your chances of acing your next real-world interview.

All interviews are stressful, and even though it is just a mock interview, it is easy to become nervous. What better way to work out your nervous tics than in a pretend setting? Thankfully, practice really does make perfect. Sign up for mock interviews, and keep practicing until you are comfortable with the interview process. You will be surprised at the enormous difference this will make in your performance. You will do things right, and you will do things wrong. Just take a deep breath, and be yourself. Remember, it is better to make a blundering mistake in a pretend setting than in a real-world interview.

A mock interview will prepare you to answer tough questions, and it will give you pointers on how to present yourself professionally and personally. In a real interview, no one will tell you what you did wrong, and you may be left wondering why you didn’t get the job. At the Career Center, you will receive on-the-spot, constructive feedback. You will learn what you did well and what you need to improve. This is your golden opportunity to ask questions and to fine-tune your interview techniques before the real-deal interview that will make or break your chances of being hired.

At the MSU Career Center, your mock interview will be video recorded and put on a flash drive (please bring your own flash drive) so you can see first-hand how you appear in an interview setting. It’s sometimes painful to watch (who wants to see themselves mess up?), but the video can be an invaluable tool in helping you correct your errors.

You may not have realized that you were waving your hands as you talked, or that you kept touching your face, pushing your hair out of your eyes, making awkward expressions, or doing some other distracting movement. After watching the video, you will be more conscious of what you need to work on, and you will be more likely to succeed.

So, if you cringe at the thought of being recorded, relax. No one has ever died from watching their interview recording, and in the long run, you will be glad you did.

Set up your mock interview by calling the Career Center at 417-836-5636.

DID YOU KNOW?

You can also practice phone and Skype interviews. To schedule a phone interview, please contact the Career Center. You can access practice Skype interviews via InterviewStream on your free JobTracks account. InterviewStream features virtual mock interviews with expert tips and advice to assist you with your interviewing development.

HEADS UP!

Mock Interview DayThe Career Center is hosting a Mock Interview Day for all majors on October 23, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the PSU Ballroom West (3rd floor).

This event is staffed with local employers to provide students with an opportunity to go through a 40-minute mock interview session.

If you plan to participate, make sure you dress professionally and come with your résumé handy.

Register for Mock Interview Day:

Students need to register for Mock Interview Day, but the event is FREE.

For students: To sign up, please upload a copy of your résumé to JobTracks and select a time slot. For more information, please contact the Career Center at 417-836-5636 or CareerCenter@MissouriState.edu.

For employers: To participate, please contact the Career Center at 417-836-5636 or CareerCenter@MissouriState.edu.

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