10 Lessons We Learned from The Office

By: Willow

I love The Office. I think it’s hilarious and I have watched it a million times. I think The Office can teach us a lot about how to behave, or not behave in an office setting. The following blog post is to show us the lessons we can learn our favorite characters.

Don’t be an idiot.
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Know how to use technology.powerpoint

Have people you look up to professionally, and try to be more like them.
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Have big dreams.
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Never stop trying.
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Don’t start a fire in your office. We learned this one two different episodes.
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Office Safety is important. Don’t do this:

Know that you’re not perfect. Don’t be full of yourself.
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Always be positive and look ahead to the exciting things in coming up in your life.
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Remember that you spend a lot of time at your office so no matter what happens, make the best of it.
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The Right Time To Be a Quitter- How to Act After You Quit

By: Willow

Now you’ve quit your job, take a deep breath. You were professional, you were to the point, you rocked it. So what do you do now?

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People will ask you why you quit your job, and you have a few options of how to respond:

You can lie.
I don’t recommend this one, at all. Lies always come back to bite you in bum.

You can tell the entire truth.
I don’t recommend this one either, most of the time. Just like imagining your desk flipping quitting scenario, telling a couple trusted friends or family members is therapeutic. Tell your mom, bff, significant other, or another trusted member of your inner circle. If you’re struggling to find someone to talk to make an appointment with a counselor at health services, honestly, even just one session could really help. Get out all the dirt, get out all your anger to someone you can trust, whoever that is. Why shouldn’t you tell the whole truth the whole time? There are a couple reasons: It makes you feel angry. Whenever I think about quitting my job I get upset, I don’t like being upset, it’s not fun for me, it won’t be fun for you. Another reason, you don’t want to be the person known for hating on their old boss. You might think it doesn’t matter, you’re only telling the truth, who cares? Things get around, I’m sure you know that. You never know who might be around to remember you as the jerk who couldn’t shut up about their old boss.

You can the short version of the truth.
I am not condoning lying in this post. I would like to repeat that, I am not telling you to lie. You can say something like, “It wasn’t a good fit.” Or, “It was time for a change.” If those things are true, they are perfectly valid answers. Remember, you don’t owe a detailed explanation to anyone. Some people may try to pry a drama filled story out of you, don’t let them. You’re also allowed to tell anyone who asks that you don’t want to talk about it, that is fine too. The big thing here is that even when you’re telling the truth it could still come off as bashing your boss, which is a huge no-no in the professional world. It’s another one of those things that will come back and bite you in the bum.

Remember that you had your reasons for quitting, and you made the right choice. Keep your head up, and take the high road. I believe in you.

Read the rest of the series: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Geran de Klerk

The Right Time to be a Quitter – How to Quit

By: Willow

A couple of weeks ago, part one of my three-part blog post on how to quit your job was posted, welcome to part two, How to Quit. Last time I talked about things to look for to help you figure out when it might be the time to quit your job. This post, is all about how to quit, as in how to have the meeting where you tell your boss you no longer want to work there.

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I’m sure you know that the big elaborate quitting scenes in movies are not the right way to quit your job, even if they are exciting to watch. Even though quitting that way could be detrimental to your career, it’s a good way to get your anger out, let yourself think about how you would elaborately quit your job. Practice it in the mirror or go over it in your head as much as you need to.  Act it out over and over, get all of your frustrations out, yell it into your pillow, whatever. Get your anger out at home. This is so important because you don’t want to be angry in your meeting. Maybe you’re not angry and can keep your cool, maybe you need to keep imagining you’re flipping the desk quitting scenario a few more times before you go talk to your boss. Once you have done that, you can start to plan your actual process of quitting.

When you are ready, set up a meeting time with your boss. You don’t want to go in randomly, you want to be able to mentally prepare, and you also don’t want to totally blindside your boss.

Know exactly what you are going to say. This is a big one. Don’t go in and just say “I quit see ya never.” Be prepared to have a conversation with your boss, state your reason, and say you’re resigning. Don’t say the word quitting, say either leaving or resigning, these words are less aggressive and will (hopefully) prevent your boss from getting defensive. Be prepared for some questions they may ask you, and practice answers beforehand.

You don’t owe your boss anything but two weeks notice. It is possible that your boss will try to make you feel bad, or not be satisfied with your reason for leaving. That’s not your problem, you don’t owe your boss anything, you don’t need to apologize. People leave workplaces, it’s a part of life don’t let someone guilt you into doing something that isn’t the best for you.

Don’t engage in petty behavior. We all live in the real world and know that sometimes adults, including bosses, don’t act like adults. Don’t allow yourself to get into an argument, stick to your story. If your boss says something rude and petty that makes you want to yell back, just say something like, “I am leaving because I feel this job is not a good fit for me,” or something along those lines. Don’t cave, when it doubt, repeat what you said the moment you started talking.

Eventually, it’s ok to just leave. If your boss will not stop badgering you, trying to make you feel bad, trying to make you stay, whatever, it is perfectly alright to just say, “thank you for your time, my last day will be next Friday.” You don’t have to spend an hour being yelled it.

As always, the staff at the Career & Internship Services office can help you with your transition, they can help go over what questions your employer might ask you, help you practice what you want to say, and help you get out all things you wish you could say without ruining your career.

Next time, we will cover how to act after you quit. Get excited!

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Geran de Klerk

The Right Time to be a Quitter, Part 1

By: Willow

At Career & Internship Services we strive to help students embrace their futures with confidence. We usually do this by making sure students have the tools they need to get jobs and internships. One important part of a person’s professional life, however, is leaving jobs. We usually don’t talk too much about this, but it is incredibly important and not easy. I recently quit one of my jobs and thought it could be helpful for others hear about my experience. Welcome to the first of three installments in The Right Time to Be a Quitter.

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There are so many reasons to quit a job. Here are just a few:

Moving
Obviously, if you are changing locations you probably won’t be able to keep your job, but it’s better to talk to your boss about it sooner rather than later. There may be options you are unaware of that will help you in your transition.

Health
This one can be hard. Maybe you have a physical job and you get injured. Maybe you have some mental health issues you need to take care of. Your health is so important, once again talk to your boss, they may have health resources you can use. Either way, your health is more import than your job. I know it’s hard to say that because it is not fun to think about not having a job, but if your job is affecting your health you can’t be successful in any part of your life.

Finances
Sometimes you can get more money at a different job. That is awesome, good for you. Remember to weigh all of the pros and cons of a new job including but not limited to money, if it is a good choice, there is nothing wrong with leaving a job to get more money, and there’s nothing wrong with (professionally) telling your boss that’s why you’re leaving.

Unhappy
The final reason I am going to cover is a little more difficult. Leaving because you’re unhappy. This is not easy. I know, because I just did it. It’s hard to know the right reason and right time to leave a job. When I started to think about leaving I went to my resources. The first was my mom, and she gave me some awesome advice: She asked me, “What could change that would make you want to stay?” And when I realized I could see no situation where I wanted to stay, I knew it was time to leave. I know that sounds easy, I was obviously unhappy and nothing was going to make me want to stay. But it wasn’t all bad because there were parts of my job I liked and co-workers and clients I was close with. So I found some other people to talk to.

I went into Career and Internship Services and talked with a couple of counselors there. It wasn’t the first time I had talked to them about my job and how discouraged I was. After talking through options, I once again realized that quitting was the right thing to do. I still had one more person on my list of resources, though, my closest co-worker.

Talking to a co-worker is tricky, it can be setting yourself up for failure. The last thing you want in a job setting is that your venting to your co-worker to get back to your boss, or even worse your boss hearing you want to quit from you co-worker before hearing it from you. I went to this co-worker because we were close, and I knew she would be a trustworthy confidant in this situation. If you have even an eyelash of a doubt that your co-worker might not keep your conversation between the two of you, don’t do it. It’s not worth it. I found it extremely helpful to get an opinion from someone in my situation, but be very cautious with what and how you say things to co-workers.

These were my resources, but yours may be different. No matter what, don’t quit on a whim. It is a big decision that takes planning. Fun fact, you can use Career and Internship Services for your entire life as a UMD alumni. So if you are ever thinking of quitting, you can call our office and talk to a counselor about it. It is important to remember everyone has bad days, once in a while you will come home from work crying, it’s just a fact of life. No job should make you miserable all the time, that’s the difference.

This ends the first installment of The Right Time to be a Quitter, tune in next time to learn about how to quit without, for lack of a better term, being a huge jerk and ruining your life.

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Geran de Klerk

What is Career & Internship Services Tabling?

By: Willow

One of the things I get to do a lot with my job at Career & Internship Services is help out when we table at events. We table at tons of different events: major/minor fairs, prospective student events, things of that nature. When I am tabling, I talk to people about all the great things we do at Career & Internship Services. 

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So what are those things?

We have a very extensive Graduate Follow-up Report and it is a great resource, especially for students in their first couple years of school. Looking at the Graduate Follow-up Report you can see how many people in each major have a job related to their major, studied abroad, had an internship, and so much more. You can see the average income of a major, and even get a full list of jobs people have gotten within a year of graduating UMD. Our Graduate Follow-up Report is a really wonderful way to explore different majors and what you can do with them.

At Career & Internship Services, we also do a lot to personally help students pick a major.When I say personally, I mean one on one, with a real person. We have several very qualified counselors who will talk with you and work through any questions and problems helping you to find the major that is best for you.

A common question we get while tabling is “what kind of internships do you have?” None. We don’t have internships. What we do have are ways to help you get the tools to get any internship you want. We also host job and internship fairs to help you find those opportunities. Essentially, we don’t give you the fish, we teach you to fish. We’re very philosophical like that.

We also talk about the top reasons freshmen visit our office, especially at prospective student events. When tabling, we also generally have at least one student, who works in the office, present. The students can talk about their experiences in their majors and the time they’ve been at UMD. We also get a lot of questions about why we have a Pillsbury Doughboy on our table. The simple answer, we got it from an employer and think it’s fun. In reality, it’s a great conversational piece.

A big problem I see at UMD is the misconception that Career & Internship Services is only for seniors, or students that are looking for an internship at that moment. That is just not true. The earlier you start the better off you will be. Stop in anytime.

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Keeping Up Your Motivation

By: Willow

It’s that time of year again, Halloween. Personally I love Halloween, but a big downside to this time of year is the crazy-ness of school. As much as I all like to think I’m a perfect student that never needs help this time of year, I always find myself getting overwhelmed and spreading myself too thin. So, I wrote this to help you remember how to keep your head up this time of year.

Now I know you already know these things, but it’s always nice to have a reminder before you become buried in tears and stress.

Ask for help. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Usually, professors are good people who want to you do well, if you tell them you’re overwhelmed – and not just looking for an easy way out, they almost always will work with you to find a solution.

Do your reading. I know it is so easy to skip it, usually no one will notice and you’ll survive, but when you don’t read for class you end up spending 4 days before your exam trying to figure out what you missed. And it’s horrible, so try to stay on top of it before you crumble under it.

Don’t work more than you can handle. It’s ok to ask for less work during a super crazy week at school. If you know you’re going to have 2 papers due and 3 exams in the same week, there is no shame in asking your boss for less hours. I know it can be hard when you have to pay rent and eat, but try to remember your main goal right now is to get an education.

It’s ok to say no. Did someone ask you to cover their shift at work? Or watch a scary movie on a weeknight? I know you want to say yes, but sometimes it’s far better in the long run to say no.

Go see a doctor if you need one. If you go to UMD, you have health care professionals available to you right on campus, it’s awesome. And you’re paying for them in your tuition so you might as well use them. Don’t forget about counseling, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Life is hard. Don’t make it worse than it has to be. Happy Halloween Bulldogs.

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From Peasant to Prefect: How to Make your Professional Life as Good as a Fairy Tale

By: Willow

Editor’s note: We’re trying something a little different for today’s blog post. Enjoy!

There once was a peasant who lived far away
She hated her job, she did not want to stay
So she asked her mother, “What do I do?”
Mother said, “Apply to jobs fast or you’ll turn into a shrew.”
“Apply to jobs?” Cried the peasant, I don’t know where to start.
“Don’t worry there is a queen up the mountain who has it down to an art.”

So she went up the mountain, it was a quite a big hike.
She arrived at the castle, it was such a great sight.
She knocked on the door, feeling nervous and shy.
A young man opened it shouting, “You are here, but why?”
“I must speak to the queen, I’m in great job hunting trouble”
“Well then I shall get the queen to help you on the double!”

The queen ran down the stairs, “Who needs my assistance?”
“This young girl,” said the man, “Do you think she can do the distance?”
“I believe in her greatly,” the queen replied, “Let’s get started.”
“I’m ready to work,” said the peasant, “I am nervous though, I might have just farted.”
“… Let’s ignore that, we have work to do.”
“I’m ready to start, and I ain’t no fool.”

“Well first thing is your resume, let’s take a look at that.
Oh! You have many skills and can wear many hats.
Cater your resume to the job that you seek,
Don’t be too flashy, but don’t make it bleak.
You need a cover letter for each application,
Something to make them interested without hesitation.”

“I guess I understand that,” the peasant replied.
“Stick with me,” the queen said, “I’ll be your guide.
Let’s start with GoldPASS, it is quite the site.
I’ll make you a profile, and you’ll see the light.”
The peasant found four jobs she was ready to apply.
But there was so much to do, she let out a sigh.

“Now don’t you worry, we’re halfway there.
I’ll tell you the rest, sit down in that chair.
Each job needs a resume, references, and cover letter,
I’m sure we can show them you’re quite the go-getter.
Think of four people who know you so well,
They should have many good things they are not afraid to tell.”

“Now that you have applied let’s talk interviews
They are quite exciting that I promise you.
Dress as nice as you can, you want to look well,
For your own value you are going to sell.”
“I think I understand, I’m getting this now,
I’m off to get a job, now I know just how!”

So the peasant went off to take on the world,
Her wildest dreams soon unfurled.
She became so many things through her long happy life
From teacher to dancer and even midwife.
So the moral of the story, as you can see,
Get help from the queen and fulfilled you will be.
*Author’s note, in this story the queen is a metaphor for the Career & Internship Services Office, stop in at SCC 22 and see us for your life to become a fairy tail!*

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