Let The Air Out of The Failure Balloon

Let The Air Out of The Failure Balloon

When optimism gets beaten down

Freshly graduated from college, most people set forth with anticipation in their shoes and optimism in their hearts.  A month or two goes by and the only thing they’ve found on their trails is a string of unsuccessful job applications. As anticipation wears away day after day, the fear of failure creeps forward to try and steal optimism’s place.



What is the fear of failure about?

Not yet achieving what you want and never achieving it are two completely different things. So different they might as well be on two different planets. Nobody gets it together right away. Everybody has a period of unemployment and that fear of failure is existential dread getting fat by feeding on itself.


What is failure?

Failure is the lack of an attempt. That’s all it is. And the very fact that you’ve been rejected by anything means you tried. And it means you learned. You’ve only ever really failed if you learned nothing and didn’t change up your tactics in response. Every job rejection isn’t simply a rejection, it’s just a lesson on how to improve. So improve!

Just another no

This advice works just as well for dating as it does for careers: the worst anyone can say is no.


“No” doesn’t mean “you are destined for dismal failure and life as a disappointment to your parents.” “No” just means “not right now, not here.” That’s all. You can apply again later. You can apply somewhere else.
Maybe you got beaten out by someone more prepared and experienced, maybe you weren’t a right company fit, maybe the other candidate had more experience. The point is, “no” is just a word. Don’t worry about it. “yes” is another word, which you’ve got a 50% shot at every single time you give it a shot. So just keep shooting!


What is the future?

The future is everything from right now until you die. Every second, every minute, every day, all contained in that word. When existential dread leads you to say things like “I have no future” stop and think how ridiculous that is.


One job rejection when you’re 22 has nothing to do with the vast majority of that winding, twisting path ahead of you we call “the future.”


The only thing that can put a roadblock in front of that future and cause delays and setbacks is you if you’re not doing your very best RIGHT NOW. And Right now is all you’ve got control over. So go ahead and control it.


Make a Great First Impression With a Strong Cover Letter

Make a Great First Impression With a Strong Cover Letter

The job you’ve been waiting for has come up! Your resume is polished, personalized for the position and ready to go. You have researched the company and you feel great about your chances. You know how important first impressions are, so you want to make a great one. Your first impression with any potential employer is your cover letter.


The interviewer should be able to assess exactly why you are such a great candidate based on the cover letter. To ensure that, you need to make sure you cover these three things.


Explain yourself

Catch them right off the bat with a hook of some sort. Tell them something fabulous about yourself to grab their attention. Tell them about recent successes and how you plan on benefiting this company. Be the opposite of Dear Sir or Madame I would like to present myself as a possible candidate for the upcoming position…


The music behind the words of your resume

Your resume is a cut and dry explanation of your experiences and accomplishments. The cover letter is where you get to embellish. It’s where you get to explain exactly how you improved things at your previous company with concrete statistics. And how your experiences teaching English on the other side of the world are exactly what this PR company needs.  Gung-ho as you may feel about your potential don’t give in to the temptation to go on at length. Respect their time and attention span and stick to the highlights. You want to capture their attention so they are intrigued enough to meet you. You can dazzle them with the rest of what you want to say in person. Which brings us to our next point.


Ask for the interview

Great as your intro was and spot-on your accomplishments, statistics show that people who actually ask for the interview in the cover letter are twice as likely to actually be invited in for that interview. “I welcome the chance to meet with you in person to discuss how I can benefit…”


Enthusiasm and confidence are the impressions you want to leave them with.

Common Job Search Mistakes

Common Job Search Mistakes

If you’re on the job search, life is tough enough as it is. Unemployment is never a walk in the park especially when you also have to consider your budget and expenses. Don’t make your job search any harder than it already is. Avoid these job search mistakes.

Have a Plan

Don’t go head long into your job search with a bunch of resumes and start throwing them at store fronts and receptionists. You need a plan. What kind of job do you want? Where do you want to work? Do you know anyone who has contacts there? Is your resume up to date? You need to address all of these things before you even start your job search.

Professional Email

You’re resume might be impressive, but the quickest way to torpedo an offer for an interview or job is if the hiring manager has to send the invitation to snugglesNhugs42@hotmail.com. Make sure your resume is professional. Something as simple as your first name and last name with a period in between will work.

Tailor Your Resume

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to send the exact same cover letter and resume to each and every job you apply for. You don’t have to have totally different resumes and cover letters, but you should tweak both for each different job. Call out specific skills mentioned in the job ad and focus on the skills you have that are part of the job you’re applying for.

Don’t Focus Only on Posted Jobs

If you only look for jobs on job boards, you’re missing a huge opportunity. As much as 80% of jobs are never posted on online job boards. Take time to talk your friends, former colleagues and even family members to see if they have any leads for you. A personal connection can be key to landing a new job.

Always Include a Cover Letter

More important than tailoring your cover letter for each job, is just including one. Even when the job listing doesn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, include one anyway. The cover letter is a personal introduction and will help the hiring manager get a better sense of who you are.

Research the Company

Chances are, if you get an interview, your interviewer will ask you what you know about their company or why you’d like to work for them. If your answer is a blank stare, you may have just missed out on a great job. Find out what they’ve done, where are they headed, and think about how you could be a part of that.


These small mistakes are all easily preventable. Make sure you’re not making one of them.

If You Want Different Results…

If You Want Different Results...

If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, how can you expect different results? The first time I heard that line was during a conference call with a group of salespeople. As far as I knew, it came from Doug, the man who was running the call. Later, I read a variation of it somewhere online. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I then realized the words weren’t Doug’s. Since then I’ve seen variations of it more times than I can count. It’s been attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and many others.


The line is referred to and repeated so often because it’s one of those statements that makes you stop and think: “That’s right! If I want to see some change in (fill in the blank) aspect of my life, then I can’t just sit around and wait for that change to show up. I’m going to have to BE the change!”


The Positives and Negatives

Like so many things in life, you do things with positive outcomes, and things with negative outcomes. For instance, brushing your teeth. Most people brush their teeth at least twice a day expecting to maintain healthy teeth, and for the most part it works. However, some people don’t bother brushing their teeth regularly and are surprised every time they go to the dentist to hear the sound of the drill.


Tooth brushing might seem like a simplistic metaphor to use to illustrate a life lesson, but some things are just that simple. If you consistently get the results you’re looking for, then keep doing what you’re doing. Go further and fine-tune your endeavors. Figure out exactly what brings in those positive results, intensify that and KEEP DOING IT. However, if nothing is happening and you’re doing what you’ve always done in the hopes that things will change, then settle in because you’re in for a long wait.


Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

Oftentimes we hope or wish things were different. We might go so far as to think positive thoughts and visualize a different life for ourselves. But hoping, wishing and visualizing  aren’t going to make one speck of difference if you don’t get down to the basics. If you persist in not brushing your teeth, no matter how much you visualize the dentist not picking up his or her drill, nothing is going to change.


Look at an aspect of your life that’s not unfolding to your satisfaction. You might believe you’re doing your best. That you are unflagging in your persistence. That might very well be true. But sometimes it’s not a matter of how hard you work.  Sometimes it’s a matter of completely rethinking your approach and changing things up.

Walk, ride a bike, drive, parasail, skip, give yourself permission to take the road you’ve never taken and see where it leads. Ask people who’ve succeeded at what you’re trying to accomplish and incorporate their advice. You may not get to where you want to go right away, but at least you’ll get somewhere different, and with enough persistence you’ll get yourself pointed in the right direction.


If you’re happy with the way things are going then keep on doing what you’re doing. If you’re not happy, then it’s time to change things up!

Tough Interview Questions: Tell Me About Yourself

Tough Interview Questions: Tell Me About Yourself

Tell me about yourself

It’s an interview question you’ll face almost every time. Usually one of the first. It sets the tone for the rest of your conversation. And you don’t always have a lot of time to make the right impression. So how do you nail the first question of your interview?

How do you begin? With where you were born? Where you went to school? What your hobbies are? The problem most people feel with this interview question is that it’s so vague. What is the interviewer looking for?

Focus on What You Bring to the Job

Even though the interview question sounds conversational, don’t forget to focus on the things in your past and work history that make you an ideal candidate for this job. Your interviewer wants to get to know a little bit about your personal life, but if you haven’t connected that to the job by the end of your answer, your interviewer will have checked out.

Don’t Over Share

This is just like meeting any person for the first time. You don’t need to put all your cards on the table right away. While describing your interests and who you are, avoid touchy subjects like politics or religion. These things have nothing to do with how well you’re suited to the job, and you never know if the opinions of your interviewer might clash with yours.

Likewise, don’t feel like you have to share more than you’re comfortable with. Family and other personal information is just that, personal.

Keep it Short and Sweet

The last thing you want to do is start your interview off by boring your interviewer. If you try and tell your interviewer everything you’ve done in your life, this is exactly what will happen. Keep your answer to this interview question short and simple. Talk about your interests, where you’ve worked, what you’ve done and how all that makes you perfect for the job you’re now interviewing for. Keep your interviewer interested and excited to find out more about you.

The Raise Conversation

The Raise Conversation

No one likes to talk about money. Conversations about money have a tendency to get awkward and can often lead to arguments. This is true in our daily life and our work life. But at some point, money needs to be talked about. At some point, you’re going to want to make more cash. Asking for a raise can be one of the more nerve wracking things you have to do at work. To give you the confidence you need to ask for a bump in pay, we’ve put together some helpful advice on when and how to ask for a raise.

When to Ask for a raise

One of the most common questions about asking for a raise is when to do it. If you’re new to a job, how long should you wait before bringing it up?

In an article about asking for a raise, Forbes suggests “Maybe this seems old-fashioned, given how often people change careers—but in my experience, I’ve found that the one-year mark still seems to be the standard by which most managers distinguish the “probational” employees from the veterans.”

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but something to be mindful of. Think you deserve a pay increase before that one year mark has passed? You better have some good reasons why.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to when you should ask for a raise is how the company, and your position with company, are doing. Is the company growing? Did it just land a huge client or post great earnings? This would be an ideal time to ask for a pay increase. Did a number of other employees just get let go? Is the company asking you to bring your own coffee to work to save on costs? Maybe wait a little while before you ask about getting more money.

How to Ask for a Raise

Knowing how to ask for a raise is as important as knowing when to ask for one. To start off with, have a sit down with your boss. Asking for a raise isn’t a conversation to have near the water-cooler.

Depending on the situation, you might be tempted to start with a complaint about how you haven’t had a raise recently or that you’re making less than others in comparable positions. Opening with a complaint, or complaining in general is going to do one thing; kill your manager’s interest in the conversation.

Focus on the work you’ve done for the company, the growth you’ve helped achieve and the ways in which your role with the company has developed. A raise, like any business, is all about the numbers. If you can show that you’ve helped those numbers grow you have a much better chance at getting the raise.

An Offer Too Good to Refuse

The best thing you can do to ensure you get the outcome you want is research. Research what others in your position are making. Getraised.com, Salary.com and Glassdoor.com are all great places to look. Knowing what others are making gives you an idea of how much you can ask for.

Also be sure to make an “I’m Awesome” folder. Keep track of your accolades and present them in your meeting. As Matt Wilson writes in The Globe and Mail “If you can go to your boss and say that you are responsible for huge numbers and possess knowledge that is irreplaceable to the operations of the business then your boss will be forced to pay you to keep you happy!”

Getting the Raise
Asking for a raise starts long before you sit down to talk about it with your boss. It starts with research into other positions like yours. It continues as you build up a case for yourself, stockpiling your accomplishments and abilities. Getting the outcome you want is helped by asking at the right time. Getting a raise is all but guaranteed when you are able to make an offer too good to refuse.

Not Getting A Proper Sleep Affects Every Aspect Of Your Life

Not Getting A Proper Sleep Affects Every Aspect Of Your Life


Do you just feel like falling right back into bed every morning when you wake up? Need ten cups of coffee just to function? Then we think you might need a sleep intervention.


Not getting a proper amount of sleep can affect every aspect of your life. It can slow your thinking, hinder your memory, make it easier to get sick and even cause depression. And worst of all, it may prevent you from having the energy and determination to search for jobs! We don’t want any of that stuff to happen to you, so we’re going to tell you how to make the most of your good night’s sleep.


The Four Stages of the Sleep Cycle

You should understand a few things about sleep before you try to improve its quality – namely what sleep cycles are and their stages. So first off, a sleep cycle is a 90 minute cycle of four stages: two REM (Rapid Eye Movement,  caused by dreaming) and two non-REM. People generally need five or six cycles to feel well rested, so that’s what you should aim for. If you can’t fit all of them in, it’s possible to feel adequately rested on just three or four, but you need to wake up at the right time.

Stage 1
– A very light sleep. The body is either easing into a shallow sleep from a deep one (stage 4), or easing into a shallow sleep from wakefulness. People are easily awoken at this stage with very little side effects. It’s about 10-15 minutes long and is the window we want to wake ourselves up in – but we’ll get to that later.


Stage 2 – In stage 2 your body is preparing for deep sleep. You’re less easily awakened here and your heart rate slows, and body temperature drops. Waking up isn’t terrible, but it’s sort of disorienting.


Stage 3 & 4 – These are your stages of deep sleep: 4 being much deeper than 3. They’re when the REM sleep sets in, and quite difficult to wake from. If you are awoken from stage 3 or 4, you’ll feel grumpy, groggy and disoriented. These make up the bulk of your cycle, and you do not want to wake up from either.


Get Sleep and Don’t Wake up Grumpy!

Waking up during stage 3 or 4 in the morning because of your alarm clock is probably why you hate mornings so much. So lets change it up!


Knowing that each cycle takes about 90 minutes to arrive at completion, and that the average person takes about 15 minutes to fall asleep, you can calculate the best time to wake up from whenever you want to go to sleep. Remember, you’re aiming for stage 1, which lasts 10 – 15 minutes, so you want to wake yourself up 5 or 10 minutes after the end of your last cycle.


If all that sounds a little too complicated, don’t worry! We’ve linked a sleep calculator down below, which will do all the math for you!


If that doesn’t help, consider turning your phone off or putting it to airplane mode at night. (Your phone gives off tiny electrical pulses some people are sensitive to ). Also rather than reading from a screen at night to back to a paper book. Studies have shown that LED screens have the same effect on the brain as caffeine.


Hopefully that will help you sleep through the night from now on and always be at your best at work or that early morning job interview!

Use this handy Sleep calculator to help you figure out exactly what time you should set your alarm.