Win At Halloween: Four Tips for Great Work-Appropriate Costumes


Halloween is your chance to show off your creativity to coworkers with an amazing costume. If HR gives you the thumbs up to dress up on October 31st, make sure that you are going to leave an impression… for the right reasons. Here are four things you need to remember when you are planning for the perfect work Halloween costume:

Keep the Dress Code in Mind When Picking a Costume

When planning your soon-to-be award-winning costume for Halloween, remember that while you have the opportunity to wear something fun and different to work, you need to take your work dress code into consideration. While your werewolf costume may not exactly pass as business casual, it should cover the appropriate amount of skin. Keep your “sexy” costumes for outside of work hours, and don’t wear anything that could be deemed inappropriate even with the relaxed rules of the holiday.

When In Doubt, Play It Very, Very Safe

Remember that just because you find something amusing or tasteful doesn’t mean that everyone else will. Because your office is an inclusive place, think twice before wearing a costume that could be even lightly be seen as offensive. Stay away from politics and other current events, as they have a good possibility to upset at least some in the workplace.

Props Can Make a Costume, But Leave the Fake Weapons At Home

Props are a great addition to any costume, but when it comes to your work, keep your fake weapons at home. People are sensitive to the threat of workplace violence, so even a very fake looking gun or sword may be taken the wrong way, especially when seen at a long distance. Don’t debate whether a weapon looks realistic or not, just keep them at home.

Make Sure You Can Still Work While Wearing Your Costume

While Halloween fun may yield a looser atmosphere, it’s important to remember that you will still need to get work done at the office. When planning your costume, make sure that you can still excel at your job. This means that you can talk, move, and answer the phone. Take into account everything you might have to do, from driving to sitting in a meeting, and make sure that your costume does not impede anything that you are going to need to do. Also, if you are meeting with an outside vendor during the day, make sure to pick a costume that you can easily change out of.

Want to Take Your Career to the Next Level? Become a Mentor


Remember that person who took you under their wing when you started in your profession and guided you through the first few years of your career? Whether they were a mentor in name or just in spirit, they helped shape you navigate some rough waters, and was a major factor in getting you where you are today. Now that you are established in your field and have a little experience under your belt, you have the opportunity to help the next generation of talent through your mentorship.

Why You Should Consider Mentoring

While the simple act of using your experience and expertise to help someone grow their career is extremely rewarding in itself, there are some other great benefits to becoming a mentor. For one, mentoring is a great way to polish your own skills. People often find that they learn more as a teacher than they ever did as a student or on their own. It can also help you develop your leadership and critical thinking skills. Mentoring also allows you to stay up to date on the newest trends in technology in your field.

How You Can Find Your Protégé

When it comes to finding a protégé, many companies have mentorship programs, so HR may be able to set you up with someone new to the company. If you have a new hire in your department, tell your boss that you would be interested in taking them under your wing so you can mentor them on a daily basis. Outside of your work, check with any professional organizations you may belong to, as they typically have outreach programs that offer mentorship opportunities. In addition, you can check out charitable organizations like Big Brothers or Big Sisters, as they are always looking for mentor volunteers.

Getting Started With Your Protégé

The first step to a successful mentoring relationship is to talk about your protégé’s goals and how they align with your specific expertise. This won’t just help you put together a roadmap for success, it also allows you to put on a focus on what you can help so that you can better use your time together. It’s also important that you establish norms regarding how much time you are going to be able to commit towards mentoring, and how your communications will take place. By establishing ground rules early, you will have a better chance of developing a successful mentor-protégé relationship.

How Giving Back Will Help Move You Forward


There are many ways to increase your chances for a successful job search, but there are few as rewarding as volunteering. Whether it’s a few days a week or just a few hours on a free Saturday, here are three ways giving back will help you move forward in your job search.

Make Great Connections

Studies have shown that you are up to 7% more likely to get a job when you know someone at the company you are applying to. These numbers skyrocket when you are referred by someone in Management. Volunteering is a great way to both meet people who are already employed, and to interact with local companies that will volunteer as groups. By working hand-in-hand with these individuals in a team environment, you won’t just be able to gain valuable connections for your job search, but they will also get to see you in action. This will make an impression on them that they will remember when it comes time to reach out to them.

Learn New Skills

Hiring managers like to read resumes where a candidate’s skills are shown through tangible experience. Volunteering is a great place to learn new skills that can be added to your resume. Whether you are able to learn a new computer program, or you take the lead on a warehouse project, this type of experience will add to your skill repertoire.

Fill Job Gaps and Beef Up Your Resume

If the work and experience you acquire while volunteering is relevant to the job you are applying for, you should include it on your resume. These additions to your job history can be especially beneficial to those who are currently out of work, as it can fill in what would otherwise be a job gap. Hiring managers want to see that you were being proactive while you were out of work, and a regular volunteering gig shows them that you were active while looking for a new job. Even if you are currently employed, volunteering on the weekend or evenings will make you seem like a more rounded candidate when the time does come to move on with your career.

To Drop Or Not To Drop: Will a Low GPA Ruin Your Job Prospects?


Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: you start the semester with a packed schedule, get a few subpar grades in one of the classes and then wonder as the last day to drop approaches whether it’s worth it to tough it out and try for a C or cut your losses and drop it. Just what will that C do to your future job prospects? Here are some things to consider when it comes to making this decision.

Your GPA Won’t Be An Issue Over Time, But It May Be Considered When You Initially Graduate

In the long term, most employers won’t be interested in your GPA. Proven skills and experience often trump other factors when it comes to hiring, so your GPA will not be a factor once you have a hearty resume under your belt. If your grades are impressive, then including GPA on your resume can help set you apart and may be used as a tiebreaker. So, if you have an impressive GPA, you should add it to your resume, but if you don’t, most employers won’t ask for it or wonder why you left if off. It’s also possible to be creative about how you present your GPA. Perhaps your Major GPA is higher than your general studies GPA, or perhaps your final year’s GPA is impressive.

Certain Job Sectors Care More About GPA Than Others

A good GPA is never a bad thing to have; there are some job sectors where it may factor more into hiring than others. For instance, a high GPA can be a valuable asset when it comes to breaking into the legal, accounting, or medical field. On the other hand, in job sectors like sales, customer service, and creative arts, your raw talent is bound to get more attention than your grades.

It Could Matter for Graduate School

If you are considering graduate school, GPA may have a greater effect on whether you can get into your target schools. The school you go to may also affect your career prospects, so it’s worth keeping that in mind when considering the impact of tweaking your schedule to achieve the highest possible GPA.


One Important Step in Your Self Improvement Routine You May Be Forgetting


When you are working on a self-improvement endeavor, it’s important to take a step back from time-to-time, and take stock of what you have achieved. Even when your projects are still works-in-progress, recognizing and celebrating your achievements is a key part of reaching your ultimate goals. Here are three reasons you should take time to celebrate your achievements:

It Allows You to Take Stock of What You Have Achieved

When you are always focused on the next goal, it’s easy to lose sight of how far you have come. Make it a point to stop every time you reach a mini-goal and look at what you have been able to accomplish to this point.

It Gets You Excited For Achieving Future Goals

Because self-improvement is a process, setting smaller goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal is important. Having these goals won’t just help better structure a long-term projects (a six hour drive is always less daunting when you cut it up into four 90 minute drives with breaks in between), but it will also allow you to celebrate what you have achieved, which will get you excited for achieving future goals. As you celebrate hitting your current goal, you’ll also condition yourself to look forward to the next celebration when you hit your next goal.

It Reminds You That You Can Achieve What You Put Your Mind Towards

Celebrating an achievement doesn’t just allow you to revel in what you have accomplished in the moment, but it will also serve as a reminder that you can achieve what you put your mind towards. Allowing this idea to stick in your head will come in handy if you start to doubt yourself in future situations. There is no better motivation to keep working on a project than to know that you’ve conquered challenges, in the past.

How a Small Shift in Thinking Can Change Your Life


Sometimes all it takes is a small shift in thinking to change your life. Here are a few great ways to shift your perspective.

Forget Who You Want People To Be, Learn To Work With Who They Actually Are

People have different values, ethics, work processes, and levels of enthusiasm. Instead of wishing someone did something differently, it’s much better to learn to work with them on their terms. While they may have a way of doing things that clash with how you like to get things done, you’ll find that once you accept who they are and what they do, things will go much smoother.

Relish Finding the Positives In “Negative” Situations

Bill Gates had the Zune. Steve Jobs had the Macintosh TV. The people who are most successful in life are the ones that can salvage the positives from a negative situation. If you find yourself reeling from a bad experience, look for positives that will help you grow. This won’t just help you better yourself in the future, it will help you see the present in a more positive light. It may be hard to do at first, but if you get in the habit of looking for positives, you’ll find yourself doing it all the time.

Be Generous

If you feel like you are dealing with a sea of negativity around you, don’t let it change who you are or how you do things. Be generous. Whether it’s your time, expertise, or money, give what you are comfortable giving. Not only will this make you feel good, but you’ll also find that generosity is contagious.

To Quote That Ubiquitous Disney Song, “Let It Go”

You know that Frozen song you heard a million times (10 million times if you have kids)? Along with being an earworm of a song, “Let It Go” also offers some great life advice. When something bad happens to you, or an experience leaves you less than satisfied, don’t dwell on it, let it go. It takes a little bit of work, but once you allow yourself to let bad experiences go, you’ll be a much happier, and driven, person.

Today’s the Day – Let’s Get Started on that Goal!


Whether it’s finding a new job, getting in shape or going back to school, if there’s something in your life you’ve been meaning to do (and who doesn’t have at least one something?), this is the day you get started. We know, there are plenty of reasons to wait, but here’s why you absolutely can, and must, get started right now.  

Start Small What Can you Do Right Now? 

Big life changes can be scary. Little tasks are easy. It’s OK to start small and build. The key is to start, so find any part of your goal that you can start on right now will do. It could be as simple as writing down your goal and sharing your plans with significant people in your life so that you’re committed to doing it.  Find the smallest thing that you can do right now and do it right now.  

Plan Your Next Step And Give Yourself a Deadline

Planning is important, but too much planning can be an excuse not to get started. You don’t need to have the whole plan right now, but you do need to have the next step. As soon as you complete a step, write down your next step, and give yourself a deadline to get it done. Before you know it you’ll have made real progress towards this goal that’s been lingering, and you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to get started on it. 

Don’t Just Celebrate the Milestones. Celebrate the Cobblestones. 

No matter how small, every step you take is progress towards achieving your goal. Allow yourself a moment to feel good and energized by each step you take. By acknowledging that you are taking an active step towards achieving your goal, you set-up a feedback loop that will keep you driving forward. Every time you celebrate a small step, you’ll see how much of a big leap you’ve made in your progression!