6.21.2016 0 Notes Post-Grad Thoughts from an #EverydayContessa

It is crazy to think the last time I wrote was in February.... #lifehappens
Regardless, a lot has changed since then. Cue the major realness: I quit my job, I graduated from college, but the biggest adjustment for me was my (temporary) move back to Rocklin. When I left home six years ago, I swore I would never be that person. I would never be the girl who goes off a creates a life and then moves back home.

Why? Frankly, I was mentally and physically exhausted. Drained. I poured my heart, soul and health into my job for years and it took a huge toll on me. It was a sacrifice to my personal life and my physical and mental health. As graduation got closer and closer, I felt myself getting disconnected from the root of why I loved what I did so much and I knew that I could not continue to sustain those feelings while being an effective team member. That's when I knew a serious change was imminent and looming and the control freak in me had to let. it. go.

At that point, I decided that this temporary move would be a means of refocusing and rehabilitating my mindset in the positive and motivational force that I loved about myself. I've spent a lot of time just thinking and focused on reinforcing personal relationships. It's been weeks since I've actually worked and the break was much needed. For the first time in probably my whole life, I don't have a plan.

While I thought my plan was a little off the wall at first, not working, spending time doing absolutely nothing in the way of professional experience or interning, I've learned a lot about myself and what I want my next steps to be. I finally filled out some applications and talked with some recruiters to get the ball rolling because I now feel ready (not rushed) to go back to adulting and killing it on my career path. I feel creatively refreshed and back to my growing adult self. 

Now that you know my story, I wanted to take a moment to share some post-grad thoughts and advice to all those who just graduated, will graduate in the future or those who just need a little nudge to get things rolling in the right direction, whatever that may be.

TAKE A BREATHER. There is nothing worse than rushing into something you may not be ready for. You'll feel overwhelmed, stressed and unprepared. Take a step back and just be. Re-inspire your creative energies, get a quick change of scenery whatever you need to do to feel refreshed.

DON'T SETTLE. If there's one thing I've heard and been told over and over, it's not to settle. Don't settle for the first job you're offered, don't settle if you feel like an opportunity you've been offered isn't really "you". Settling can set you up to feel like you just shrugged your career shoulders and so "oh well". You can do and be more and feeling like you just settled is not a good thing to feel, ever.

WORK FOR A COMPANY THAT MATCHES YOUR VALUES AND THAT YOU BELIEVE IN. This may seem obvious but if something feels off, you don't feel connected to the company after an interview or you don't feel like your vision or purpose aligns with the company's, don't do it. There are good fits and there are bad fits and if something doesn't fit you, don't sweat it. It's like purchasing an ill-fitting dress, you'll hate it, never wear it, and it ends up just being a waste. If you don't believe in what a company stands for, you'll constantly be at odds with the way things are handled or the way things unfold. Not saying that there's anything wrong with being the odd man out (this happens to all of us at some point) but recognize and stand by your values and don't compromise them just because you think it will put you at the right company. Chances are it won't and it will cause unhappiness. 

CONSIDER THE COMPANY CULTURE. Today, this is something either a company has or not. If it doesn't, or if the culture they have just doesn't match your vibe, it's going to be rough and you'll feel an immense lack of support. Toxic work environments are serious. I've heard so many stories from friends and even my sister about poor workplace environments where everyone is miserable, the job is miserable yet THEY STAY as a means of just racking in the money they need to get through school. Nooooooo. No x 1000. I can't even tell you how bad this is. It makes me sick just to think about it. Do not surround yourself with negativity, its contagious and clouds everything. Seek out a company known for its culture. You'll have more fun, feel more connected to the company and the people you work with, and you'll be more positive contributing to your overall health and wellness in positive ways. #allthepositivevibesplease

TAKE THE TIME TO READ SOME RESOURCES OUT THERE. There are tons of working women, new grads looking for jobs, and those stuck in creative or career ruts who need a change! Luckily, there are also a ton of professional sites and resources, plenty of great books and even places that offer free worksheet downloads or templates to help you get your groove back, ask the right questions, or tackle hard-hitting professional topics. 

One of my go-to sources is Career Contessa
They have tons of articles on subjects like salary negotiation, interviews with modern day Contessas in successful roles at leading companies, a classifieds area where they post jobs that might be interesting to their readers and so much advice! What's more is that they've created a huge following on their Insta (@careercontessa) where they post quotes, Contessa features, webinar alerts and more.  

You can share your own advice, questions, stories and motivation by using the hashtag #EverydayContessa on your posts to help spread the word and get connected to other individuals who may be feeling the same way about a career-related topic, have similar questions, or who even benefit from your advice or story or you can help by rooting on professional women everywhere with your motivation, which is something I love about the initiative.

Sending positive vibes to all career girls everywhere. May we continue to kill it in the professional landscape. 

x Jessica

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