Be Productive & KILL IT At Work

Okay let’s face it…we all have days where we feel like we’re not being productive at work. I know I do! Over the years I have realized that there are some key factors to lowering the likelihood of those feelings creeping into my workday. Follow these tips and you will be productive and KILL IT at work:

  • Review your schedule for the following day. If you know what to expect tomorrow, you won’t be surprised or caught off guard when you forgot about that important meeting or that long email you need to send in the morning.
  • Get a good night’s rest. Sleep is more important than you realize. Studies have shown that young adults who sleep 8-9 hours a night are the most productive.
  • Eat a full breakfast. (I’m at fault for this one). Seriously, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Think about it…You’ve been asleep for 8 hours. That is 8 hours that your body hasn’t received any nutrition. Start your day with a glass of water, some protein and fruit.
  • Have an ongoing to do list. Keeping a checklist can increase your productivity throughout the day.
  • Place a printout of your schedule on your desk. It is a constant reminder of what you have planned.
  • Keep yourself accountable. Let your team know what your goals are for the week.
  • Take a walk. It’s healthy to get out of the office and take a break in the fresh air.
  • Set up a creative and positive environment. Fill your cubicle or office with items that you like and inspirational quotes.

Try some of these and see which ones work for you! I hope you find this post helpful. If so, like and share.

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Get Noticed As A Leader

Being a leader is more than just possessing a title. It is owning your responsibilities, being self aware and and saying “hell yes” to the journey you are partaking in. Here are some tips for young professional leaders:

  1. Admit when you’re wrong
    A young professional leader can admit when they made the wrong decision. You earn more respect.
  2. Take responsibility for the good and the bad
  3. Research outside of work
    Read books and stay current on trends that are relevant to your industry. You should be the one who walks into work with a great story or idea. Not the other way around.
  4. Stay organized
    Keep your office or desk clean and tidy. If you weren’t in the office would it be easy for your coworkers/staff to find what they needed.
  5. Know when to speak up
  6. Know when to listen
  7. Be prepared
    Never walk into a meeting unprepared. Know what your schedule for the day is before you walk into the office. Know what big meetings are going on and if anyone is going to be out.
  8. Learn about your competitors
  9. Remember people
    This one is huge! In my current position I hear a new name every day, a new donor and new family. Making a quick note and jotting down who that person is important to making a connection with them in the future.
  10. Don’t overwork yourself
    Take a vacation when you need it. Others can tell where you are overworked and they respect when you need a mental break. I’ve taken days off to lounge and veg at home or to catch up on laundry and go grocery shopping. Take time for yourself. Your job can wait.
  11. Pay attention to detail
    Details are soooooo important. Whether you’re writing an email to one person or creating a presentation for a group of your bosses. One misspelled word or misaligned paragraph could distract someone from your whole presentation. It just doesn’t look good. Not paying attention to detail says “I didn’t care enough to recheck my work”.
  12. Brush up on your writing skills
    It seems that millennials with great writing skills are few and far between. From writing emails to drafting speeches.
  13. Carry good vibes
    People love to be around positive people. You don’t choose who your coworkers are, they are chosen for you. So at least be a positive person that they don’t mind being around.
  14. Be yourself!

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Nonprofit Success Secrets

Working for a nonprofit organization can be very fulfilling and challenging. It is common to encounter new streams of work that you were never exposed to or don’t have much experience dabbling in. Here are some tips I’ve learned along my nonprofit journey that are guaranteed to lead you to success:

Fundraising

1. There is ALWAYS money to be had in the nonprofit world.

You just have to look in the right places.

2. Reach out to any connections you have or think you have.

If you know that your aunt’s old boss’s cousin is a famous actress on that one show, give it a shot and try to reach out. You never know when you’ll get lucky and get a new donor.

3. Ask family and friends to donate to your nonprofit organization.

It’s a write-off and even if they don’t donate, at least they’ll be aware that you’re raising money. They may keep an eye out for any possible donors.

4. Focus on reaching a higher number of donors rather than the initial donation amount.

Spread the word and the money will eventually follow. Build your donor base within the community that your nonprofit organization serves. The more that are aware of your mission the more potential for new donors.

5. Reach out to large corporations.

Most have a foundation/nonprofit department. You usually have to fill out a grant form and then they review it.

Networking

1. Relationships are everything! It can mean the difference between getting the $100,000 grant or not.

So go out for that extra drink, stay a little longer to mingle after meetings and ALWAYS have your business cards with you.

2. Walk into a room representing your nonprofit organization, not yourself.

3. Get involved in the community in which you work.

Attend community events and volunteer for other organizations. The more people recognize you, the more relationships you’ll have the possibility of creating.

4. Cold call other nonprofit organizations.

Most will be willing to help your nonprofit organization. They may not be able to donate money, but partnering with organizations could lead to money down the road.

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Marketing

1. Gear your marketing materials towards each target audience your nonprofit organization may serve.

The marketing materials for volunteers should have different content than the content created for your donors.

2. Hire an intern to do your marketing.

Interns are eager to gain experience, they are free and most are current on trends in social media and marketing.

 

Let me know which success secrets work for you!

XOXO,

 

Elyse

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Resume Tips

A resume is like a selfie. Do you remember the first selfie you ever took? You probably had a double chin, horrible lighting and it was blurry. That’s kind of like writing a resume.

It is a direct reflection of your accomplishments and experiences. But as a young professional, you need to practice writing to get a couple of edits under your belt. Here are 10 resume tips for all young professionals to follow:

1. Save as a PDF

If you don’t save it in this format you run the risk of alignment and words shifting during email or depending on the application the employee uses to open the document.

2. File name

Remember that the employer can see the title of your resume document. Play it safe and save your resume as “First Name, Last Name, Resume”
Ex: “EricaBrownResume”
NOT: “Teachingreume” or “2ndjobresume” or the classic “resume”

3. Cover letters are better

Delete the objective statement at the top of your resume and opt for taking a few more minutes to write a cover letter. Taking the time to express the reasons why you are a good fit for the position gives the employer a sneak peek at your writing skills and passion for the position.

4. Keep the format simple

No color, No funky fonts and NO run on sentences. Clean and concise is the way to go.

5. Tailor your resume for each job

Employers can tell when you’ve went on Indeed and searched “marketing” jobs and clicked “apply” to every job on that page. Take some extra effort and do some research…

6. Use keywords from their website

When researching the company you are applying to, pay attention to mission statements and values. Keep an eye out for words that are repeated throughout their website and incorporate a couple of them into your resume.

7. Use a variety of verbs

Instead of beginning every bullet point with the same word, change it up and use a different action verb
Ex: Analyzed, Directed, Collaborated, Specialized

8. Don’t write “References available upon request”

If they are interested in hiring you, they will ask….DUH!

9. Proofread!!!!!! Proofread!!!! Proofread!!!!

How dumb would you feel if you were’t considered for a job because you misspelled a word or forgot to add a space? I’ve thrown resumes in the trash because of this carelessness.

10. Then have someone else proofread!!!!

Because once again, how dumb would you feel?

Follow these resume tips and you’re guaranteed to be on your way to success in your career.

XOXO,

Elyse

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To Do’s Before You Turn 30

It’s never too late to get some accomplishments crossed off of your bucket list before you turn the big 3-0.

1. Travel to another country: Save up some money and make a pact with a friend to go on a trip. Experiencing a different culture can open one’s eyes to what is really important.

2. Raise your credit score: Your twenties are for figuring out how to survive on your own. Now it’s time to prepare yourself for the future. A high credit score is VERY important when you are planning to purchase a car or house. I use CreditKarma.com to keep myself on track. Try it out!

3. Start a retirement account: I started a retirement account when I was 28…Let me tell you…It’s never too late to think about your future. Set up to have a certain amount transferred into your retirement account every month. Trust me, it adds up. For all you boss ladies out there, Check out Ellevest “Invest like a woman, because money is power!”

4. Invest in your future: Open an investment account to set some money aside for your future. I started small with my first account and had $50 taken out every month. I now have thousands saved up!

5. Move out and don’t move back in with your parents: It took me a few tries to get this one right. But I finally did it.

6. Date the old fashion way: I’m sure most of you have tried online dating…why not go back to the old fashioned way? Try it for 3 months and see if you get any good dates out of it. Frequent church, coffee shops, trendy restaurants/bars and creative events (art walks, museum openings etc.).

7. Buy a car: Your car is probably going to be the most expensive thing you own before a house. So choose the right one. When I decided to buy my first car I walked onto the car lot, looked around for 3 minutes and pointed at a car and said “I’ll take that one”. I didn’t give it too much thought, but you should LOL

8. Adjust your style: Every decade of your life deserves a new look. Freshen up your closet, get a new haircut and put a little more color in your life. People love people who love themselves.

9. Have a morning routine: Create healthy habits that include waking up earlier, working out and eating healthier. They pay off and after only a week you’ll notice you have more energy and are WAY MORE productive.

10. Get familiar with politics: You’re almost 30, you should know where you stand on important topics! End of conversation.

11. Volunteer: What are you passionate about? Use VolunteerMatch.org to find a nonprofit you can donate your time to. Not only do you feel good about yourself when you help others but you will learn so much about yourself.

12. Take care of your skin: If not now, then when? Your skin will thank you for giving it a little more TLC than your normal routine.

13. Workout regularly: I have yet to set up a consistent workout schedule but it is on my list. I have 6 months until I turn 30….the clock is ticking.

14. Donate money to a cause you care about: Once you find a nonprofit that you love it’ll be easy to donate money to their cause (and it’s a tax write off 😉

15. Start a side-business: Everyone could use a little side cash. Figure out what you’re good at and feel something online or offer a service in your free time. You never know where it could take you!

16. Go skydiving: Live a little!

17. Go to your favorite childhood concerts: I always regret not going to an N*SYNC concert, so now I take advantage of all the opportunities I get to go to concerts. Buy 2 tickets and invite a friend. You won’t regret it!

18. Buy a cook book and actually use it: You’re going to be 30, you should know how to cook for yourself. And eggs and bacon don’t count. May favorite cookbooks are Cravings by Chrissy Teigen and The Grand Central Market Cookbook

19. Take a self defense class: Not that anyone is trying to kidnap a 30 year old but women should always know how to defend themselves and it also counts as working out.

20. Join a club, broaden your interests or immerse yourself into an existing one

21. Live on a budget: Budgeting comes natural to a lot of people…not me! I’ve downloaded spreadsheets, apps and nothing has been able to put me in my place. I finally got tired of seeing a negative sign in my bank account so I began to create goals for myself and keep myself accountable. Finances can be a very personal topic but I found that being accountable to someone helps when you need a little nudge in the right direction. Find someone in your life that you trust and ask them to mentor you in the financial aspect of your life. Talking about money doesn’t need to be taboo!

22. Have a loose plan: I’m sure like most women in their late 20’s, we all had a plan in our mind of what we wanted our life to look like and the goals we wanted to accomplish. Have goals but loosen up you plan a little to let life happen.

23. Start saving for a house/apartment/condo: You will always need a roof over your head and once you get tired of seeing your money disappear into the black whole called “RENT” you’ll start to get an itch to buy your own place. Call a Real Estate Agent that you trust and start the process of investing into your future. A year ago I met with my good friend, who is a Real Estate Agent and she connected me with her broker. We all sat down and once he ran my full credit report he showed me where the holes were in my finances and gave me the exact steps to take to purchase property in my best financial state. Call your agent today! What could it hurt? Knowledge is definitely power in this scenario.

24. Focus on your career: You are either knee deep in your career or you keep bouncing around not knowing what the hell you’re doing with your life. Either way take a moment to write out some clear goals concerning your career. How much money would you like to b making? Are you happy with the work you do? If these don’t align with your current state then something needs to change.

25. Read more: Check out my lists of FAVORITE READS AND LISTENS.

26. Get a mentor: Mentors are the most underutilized resource! Reach out to someone you admire and is doing something similar to what you’d like to do…and ask them for advice! They will most likely be flattered to assist you and give you their insight. Take the free support and get an insider’s perspective.

27. Travel alone: I have yet to travel alone because I’m a chicken but it is on my to-do list. Anyone heard of For The Love Of Travel? Check them out! They are a travel company that organizers and offer affordable trips for young professionals.

28. Run a marathon: Train with a friend and feel the wave of accomplishment when you cross that finish line.

29. Stop complaining!

30. Be happy! Because at 30 you should know who you are, what you want and be happy with all of that!

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