The College Grad Guide to Looking the Part: “Bro” Addition

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

We have it instilled in us from the time we go off to pre-school, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Unfortunately, in the real world, an interviewer, recruiter, and employer can judge your look as soon as you walk through the door.

It’s probably easier for girls than guys to make the transition into what’s appropriate and what’s not. Besides, we’ve only been reading fashion magazines since the time we were 12. We pay attention to what our moms, older sisters, and quite frankly, every woman we pass on the street is wearing and how they’re acting. What looks good and what doesn’t:¬†We’ve got it down. We’re pros.

But for most guys, the switch from “college bro” to “meeting with the CEO” can be tough. Your clothes, your shoes, your hair: It all says a lot about the type of person you are. More importantly, the kind of employee you will be. If you dress sloppy, you’ll be categorized as someone who is a sloppy worker. It may not always seem fair, but it’s time to make necessary changes.

If you’re a recent college grad “bro”, or if you’ll be one soon, follow these tips to looking the part while still maintaining your manliness and personality in the process:

The College Grad’s Guide: “Bro” Addition:

1. Keep your hair trimmed and clean cut. It’s not to say that you have to totally conform to one hair style or another, but try to make it to the barber every few weeks or so. At the very least, run a comb through it in the morning, wouldya?

2. Think about the way you speak. Do you use words like “man”, “dude”, and “killa”? It’s time to listen to yourself in everyday conversations. The way you speak with your roommates and friends will greatly affect the way you speak to co-workers. Amp up your speech by cutting out inappropriate words and start thinking about the way you sound to others.

3. You become most like the people you surround yourself by – choose wisely. The people in your life greatly affect the person you will become. It’s time to cut ties with the people who are only interested in drinking from morning to night regardless of what they have to accomplish the next day. And, unfortunately, these might be some of your best friends. Making this change doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to your bros forever. Just take a step back and think about how much their influence has on you – good and bad.

4. Create friendships with people older than you. Chances are, you’re one of the youngest people in your office. This is a blessing, not a curse. Grab lunch or after-work drinks with some of your older co-workers. Associating yourself with those who are higher up and have more experience can only further your own self – professionally and personally.

5. Go shopping. Even if you have to “drag” your girlfriend, mom, sister, or best girl friend with you. Tell them it’s a day at the mall for you and that they are there to help you with your wardrobe. This won’t take much convincing so set a date and prepare your wallet because it’s time to shop for quality clothes, shoes, ties, etc. — Look good, feel good.

And guys, remember the best college grad guide rule of all:
Work hard – play hard ūüėȬ†

– C

7 Changes as You Grow Up

While finalizing some plans out loud for a friend’s upcoming wedding to a co-worker this morning, discussing travel time, weather, etc., she mentioned that this was the second wedding I had mentioned within the last few months. I shrugged and said, “Guess I’m getting to that age.”

Ew. That age? Who am I? But it’s true, after college graduation and starting to become a real, functioning human being, I guess we really are starting to get to “that age.”

While that age might not be a set age, and can happen at different times for anyone, there are some things we start to notice as we grow up…

1. Weddings
Your friends start to get married. You soon realize you’re filling your calendar with more save-the-dates faster than you can roll your eyes. All of a sudden it’s like, wow, when did we get so old?

2. Careers
Suddenly, your friends who you thought only majored in Netflix and Tequila are starting to find their niche in the real world and landing jobs.¬†And it’s exciting and scary and new, but at least you can relate to having similar schedules for once.

3. Happy Hours
Sure, you had them in college, but happy hours after a certain point seem to be filled with work colleagues and tend to be a lot classier than they were before you graduated. Age varies and… gulp, you actually kind of have fun without slamming down 16 tequila shots before that clock strikes 6 p.m.

4. Money
You start to realize that when you or your friends have plans, or want to take a trip, there’s no more “I can’t afford it” or “Maybe I’ll ask my parents to pay for me as a Christmas gift!” Everyone has their own income and making plans for a night or long weekend become easier than ever to say OK to.

5. Emails/Texting/Social Media
You email people more than you text. Or you call instead¬†Facebook messaging. It’s a whole new world beyond emojis and “K.”

6. Clothes
You come to the realization that maybe, just maybe 54 crop tops and 26 booty-shorts is a little much, and that you don’t really have places to wear them to anymore anyway. You stop shopping for quantity and you start aiming for quality. “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”

7. Friends
Like clothes, you’d rather have quality over quantity. You get rid of the ‘friends’ that you no longer see or feel a real connection with. You keep the ones who do. You make new ones – through work, organizations, etc. Some just plain drift away. You know you’re old when you can accept this¬†– that some people will always be around and that some people just weren’t meant to, and that’s OK.

Overall, no matter what changes you start to notice and how old you get, you’re always you and you can still throw back seven margaritas before that happy hour ends and you can still do The Wop better than anyone on the dance floor at the¬†next wedding you attend. Oh, and you still look good in those crop tops shoved in the back of your closet that you won’t admit you didn’t throw out¬†with the rest. You’ll still have money issues and learn to balance it between friends and time. Emojis will always be fun, age 14 or 42, and a smilie face will just have to suffice for friendly work emails.

If you’ve reached that age, don’t worry,¬†your dreams still have no barriers and your innocence remains.

“The best is yet to come.”

It’s More Than Just Talk. Communication Studies: “What do you want to do with that?”

No matter the major, no matter the university you attended, we all dread the terrifying question: “What do you want to do with that?” Unless you’re walking away with a degree in nursing or teaching (which come with enough terrifying questions of their own, god bless you grads), it’s hard to explain exactly what you picture doing with your life. It’s even harder to explain to your mother’s, cousin’s, son’s, wife who, in reality, probably doesn’t even care. But, because you spent the last four years or so perfecting this damn science, you feel that you at least owe it to yourself to have a good answer to this question (that if you hear one more time you might have to excuse yourself for another margarita), right?

The truth is, you probably don’t know the answer to this question. Or at least not an exact answer to this question (and if you do, the rest of us secretly hate you, don’t take it personally).

I changed my major once throughout my college career. This was a big deal, since I went off to school eighteen years young (it felt older then, trust me), knowing everything there was to possibly know about the world and the people in it (duh), and thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I was an Electronic Media major and I was so set on sticking with it.

I have never been more wrong.

I was in a department with professors who told me to leave, peers who fed off of competing with one another, and a whole lot of C’s at the end of my first semester.

Besides knowing that this was¬†not what I wanted to do with my life, I knew I was lost. I felt confused and distressed. The one and only class I looked forward to attending was my public speaking course, which my professor found as odd, seeing as how most of the kids have to take the class at least twice if they want a decent grade. I awkwardly had to sit through one girl cry herself through a speech, another run out of the room during, and one who – I swear, I could not making this shit up even if I tried – threw up immediately following. Let’s just safely assume they’re all nurses or teachers now ūüôā

Because I had found my newfound admiration for the College of Liberal Arts and every course, professor, club, and student that came with it, I made the official switch to Communication Studies in the middle of my sophomore year.

From the bottom of my heart, I can honestly say majoring in Communication Studies was the best, no, the greatest thing I ever decided to do.

If you’re a Communication major, you probably know that f-ing awesome feeling of saying the very last line of your speech. You spent an hour the night before in your bedroom mirror, or maybe in front of your roommates, perfecting the tone of your voice to say that ending, I know, I know. And you probably rocked it. You also well know the feeling of accomplishment when you hand in your twenty-five page research paper or your public relations campaign media kit. Damn, does it feel good to see your name on that cover page. You’ve never felt prouder than sitting in a gen-ed course on syllabus week and hearing the echoing moans of students around you when your professor announces that there will be presentations. Psh, you’re used to that stuff, it’s what you do. You’re probably also beyond familiar with all-nighters, group projects (which really should just be re-named “the biggest headache you’ll ever encounter”), and mental, sometimes even physical, break-downs from what seemed like never-ending many speeches, campaigns, projects, and research papers. I can’t help but to notice that some tend to look down on those who choose a path along the lines of Communications. And that’s because they’ve never experienced it. And damn, do I feel sorry for them. People see our major as something easy, a ‘get out of jail free card’, or even just plain unimaginative. They’ll never have that pride, that feeling of family within a classroom, or that connection to their degree. And that’s okay, because they’re probably in a major that suits them and their personality just fine. But we, we Communication majors know that fine just isn’t for us.

 

So the next time you encounter a Communication major, and you even dare to ask them, “What are you going to do with that?”, maybe they don’t know exactly what this field has in store for them, but you might want to be prepared¬†– because talking is what we’re good at.

 

 

– C

College was the pre-game to life. Hello world, this is me.

Hello world. I am a recent college graduate from the tiny, perfect, occasionally hell-like, Kutztown University. Forty courses, one internship, experimental all-nighters with Adderal, involvment with two campus organizations, a whole lot of tequila, endless papers, and a ton of memories later, here I am. I hold a diploma – well, will hold a diploma as soon as they decide to mail me mine… – that reads “BA Communication Studies” and a whole bunch of other crap w/a president or a staff member’s copied signature. I still think I should have minored in napping.

Is it just me, or did those four years go by a little too quickly? Don’t get me wrong – I was more than ready to leave. But now what? I’m back at home with my new roomies, mom and dad, applying to numerous jobs a day with a resume that may or may not be correctly formatted (because apparently there’s twenty-six different ways of writing one) and a cover letter that constantly has to be edited to fit this job description which I am probably not viewed as applicable for because you need two years of experience¬†in just gaining experience. Ugh. Remind me again why we always desired to grow up so quickly. If this is adulthood, I’m going to need more margaritas.

I have faith that my experience and hours of work over the past four years will eventually land me with a job. You should, too, so don’t panic. But over the past couple weeks of my new-found “adulthood”, I’ve come to realize a few things…

1. Finish the damn application. Even if it cuts into an hour and a half of your Netflix addiction. Maybe the company just wants to see who is willing to finish the entire application, because they’re probably the candidates worth an interview. No one ever said that applying to job postings was going to be easy – but in the end, it’s (supposed to) be worth it.

2. Networks are important, but never a guarantee.¬†Sure, you’ve spent the last half of a decade making connections. But just because your dad’s, co-worker’s, brother works at some company you’ve never heard of, and maybe even gets your resume to the top of the pile, doesn’t mean you have the job. Keep in mind that if you’re lucky enough to get an interview due to a connection of a connection, you better be prepared because to this interviewer, you’re just another entry-level,¬†college graduate.

3. Keep building your resume. Just because you’re done school does not qualify you as experienced. A company doesn’t want to hire someone who sat on the couch following their graduation date. Take initiative. Start freelancing, blogging, researching – whatever. A diploma is not an excuse to call it quits until an opportunity arises (which also does not happen by magic, go figure.)

4. Do not envy your peers who are seemingly “doing better” than you. Trust me, I know the feeling of seeing “Congratulate so-and-so on their new job” on your LinkedIn timeline. You’re thinking, ‘oh, please, I’m more qualified than her/him!‘ And so you may be. But hey, green was never your color and your professors prepared you that it is a dog eat dog world out here. There is no reason to feel discouraged.¬†If anything, be happy for those surrounding you and know that this, too, means there’s a fighting chance for you! Your time will come; just be patient and keep working your ass off doing what you’re good at.

5. Don’t stress. Don’t panic. Don’t spend too much time treading the water just to forget how much you’ve always loved to swim. Take every job application and every interview with a grain of salt, a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila (afterwards, of course). You are no where near as lost as you think you are. Your opportunity will come. Visit new places, learn a new hobby, dream big. Do all the things you’ve always wanted to do because now is your chance to do so. Twenty-something is not nearly as old as we like to think it is. You were lucky enough to walk away from four years (maybe five) of college with at least some of your sanity still intact, so don’t blow it now – no matter how many people ask you the terrifying question, “What are you going to do, now?” Tell them that you? You are on your way.

 

Happy job hunting,

– C