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

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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

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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

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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!

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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!

Let’s Commit to Get Better in September!

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September is International Self Improvement Month, so it’s time to start on the road to a better you. Throughout the month we’ll be sharing tips on how to make real progress on your personal development goals, but we’re getting you started with some general tips for easy and successful self-improvement.

Awareness

What’s holding you back? What do you want to improve? You won’t make progress without a plan, so make a list of areas that you would like to improve, and then rank them in order of importance and desire to change. This will give you a list of items you work on in September and beyond.

Reflection

Generally people know what they want to change, but they may struggle with actually changing. It’s important to understand what has held you back in the past so you can develop a plan to ensure success this time. For example, if you feel that you chronically overanalyze things, consider why you are doing this. Is there a root issue that may be worth exploring? Are you overanalyzing because you are afraid of taking action? By getting past service goals to root issues, you’ll begin to understand what you really need to change to improve.

Goal-Setting

Once you have a better understanding of what you want to improve, it’s time to plot out how you are going to go about working on it. Instead of looking at your path to self-improvement as one long road, split it up into specific goals that will help you measure your progress. Saying that you are going to learn a new language might seem daunting, but setting goals along the way to say certain phrases will allow you to make it more manageable. This planning will help you better structure your journey and give you little benchmarks to celebrate along the way.

Action

You can identify, reflect, and plan all you want, but unless you put it all into action you aren’t going to reach your goals. One of the biggest keys to self-improvement is to be realistic about what type of action you are looking to take and when you are going to take it. Don’t try and fit three months’ worth of work into a one month, as burnout is one of the main reasons why people don’t reach their goals. Have fun with your improvement and relish in what you are learning along the way!

Can you juggle work and school without completely abandoning sleep or a social life?

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We all get 24 hours in a day, so how can you balance everything you want and need to accomplish? It starts with being smart about how you spend your time and ends with creating a schedule that you can live and work to.

Put Together a Class Schedule with Work in Mind

It’s tempting to avoid those early morning classes. After all, that’s when the best- and-maybe only– sleep happens, but if you know you’re working evenings, it’s great to get all your classes done early so you have time to study and clean up before heading off to work. Conversely if you can load all of your classes into Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday, that can leave days where you’ll be available to work. While your needs as a student should trump your work schedule, if you can find a class schedule that is beneficial to both aspects of your life, wonderful!

Be Upfront with Your Work Management: Let Them Know What Your Semester Will Entail

Many managers will be sympathetic to the needs of a working college student, or at least be willing to work with you on a mutually beneficial schedule for the upcoming semester. Sit down with your manager and talk to them about what your upcoming semester will entail and what you can envision being a logical schedule. The key is to be realistic and don’t promise that you’ll be able to keep a 40-hour week while taking a full slate of classes. It’s better to be upfront about your needs so that you can put together something that management can be happy with.

Look for Jobs that Allow Multitasking

Some jobs require you to be active from the moment you clock in to the moment you clock out, but other jobs are more like caretaker jobs and may offer large periods of downtime when you could be working on papers or studying. Look for things like graveyard shift at a motel front desk, security guard, being a resident advisor or babysitting.

Plan Ahead and Calendar Everything

Even with your classes and your job, you’ll find that you’ll have some free time during the week to focus on studying. The key to making the most of this time is to calendar it specifically as study time or nap time or whichever of our core needs are likely to be suffering most at that moment. Look through your schedule and block out an hour or two, and then don’t let anything distract you from your schedule. Whether it’s in the morning, at night, or on the weekend, scheduling this time will help you use it wisely.

If You Find That Your Grades Are Suffering, Don’t Be Afraid To Reassess Your Situation 

Keeping your grades up is your most important concern throughout the school year, so if you find that anything is eating into your attempt to keep up with your classes you need to reassess things and take the appropriate action. If you find that your work schedule is making it hard for you to find time to study, or is leaving you a walking zombie because of a lack of sleep, do something about it before it gets worse.  Talk to your manager about reassessing your work availability. Helping you find the proper balance will be beneficial to them as the more focused, and rested, you can be at work, the better work you’ll do.

Busy Life? How to Gain Job Skills When You Don’t Have a Lot of Free Time

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Thanks to technology and changing market demands, job requirements are evolving at a breakneck pace. The skills that got you a job three years ago may not be enough to get an interview today, so you need to adapt and learn new skills to stay competitive. However, between jobs and family and other commitments, who has the time? Here are three expert tips that will help even the busiest person learn the new skills you need.

Find Online Courses That Can Fit Into Your Schedule

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of websites and online programs that are dedicated to teaching you skills specific for your field. While you may not have four hours at a time to complete a program, you may be able to do it in 20-minute increments. Also, be on the lookout for online colleges that offer classes with downloadable lectures and online testing, as they can not only teach you skills, but also give you written documentation of your achievements.

Make It a Part of Your Current Job

Many companies and bosses encourage learning and personal development because they recognize it makes employees happier as well as more effective and productive. Identify the skills you need, find a class that will help you gain those skills, and determine the time required to complete the class. Then present a plan to your boss for how you can fit that time into your current workload. Chances are, your boss will be thrilled to see you taking the initiative, and if it’s a paid course, they may even pick up the cost.

Prioritize and Calendar Your Key Commitments

There’s a saying that if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. Very busy people have very detailed calendars that help them get everything done. A quick look at your personal calendar will show that you do have pockets here and there where you can fit in segments of training. You may find that you have an hour before bed to dedicate to learning, or a few hours on the weekend. Block off these times and find a program that you can fit into it. Don’t try and multitask your training with other items, plan to take that scheduled time to focus on learning.