Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Important Reasons Why Public Social Media Profiles Can Actually Help You Land the Internship or Job

The Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly

Going into my junior year of college, I had what I call a social media revelation.


At the time, I was on the hunt for the perfect summer internship opportunity when I was contacted on LinkedIn by a man who was impressed by my detailed profile.

Though I was definitely flattered I had been contacted by someone I had never met or spoken to before, I had been told that my account was impressive before. Including by LinkedIn's constant "All Star" profile reminder whenever I logged in to my account.

The real surprise came when the man — Alan Katzman, the Founder and CEO of Social Assurity — told me that not only was my LinkedIn account impressive, but my entire digital footprint was, too.

Digital footprint? Was I leaving a little trail behind me on the Internet? While flattered, I could not help but wonder whether or not my then-private accounts were being seen by everyone and if so, how?

Because of our e-meeting or digital introduction, I began my summer internship with Alan and eventually made my accounts public. The biggest lesson I learned:

Many millennials "hide" their social media profiles instead of leveraging them.


This struck me because I had never thought about using my social accounts to elevate myself before our meeting. While I didn't have any incriminating photos of me out there, I always thought having my accounts set to private was just... well, safe.

What I learned, though is that keeping a profile public, however, can actually be very beneficial to those on the job or internship hunt.

Here are just a few of the reasons why it is helpful to have a public social media profile:

1

Recruiters look for potential employees who are professional, well-rounded, and would get along with the members on their teams. Having access to social media profiles adds an extra oomph to that 1-page résumé you've sent them — almost like attaching a more authentic cover letter

2

Public profiles tell prospective employers you have nothing to hide. If hiring managers go to search for you after looking at your résumé and see your private profile, they could lose interest or raise questions.

3

The Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly + Courses to Help

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The Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly + Courses to Help

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The Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly + Courses to Help

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The Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly + Courses to Help

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The Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly + Courses to Help
Statistics Courtesy of Social Assurity

Below, see how Social Assurity can help you leverage your hobbies, personality, and likability to impress those who are looking at your social media.


Important Reasons Why Your Social Media Should ALWAYS Be Work-Friendly

Social Assurity works to help elevate your online life, offering social media Audits and Assessments, LinkedIn assistance, Twitter networking services, Social Media bundles, and more!

Because I am so passionate about using social media to leverage myself (especially while I'm searching for my next job), I want to encourage you to do it, too! So, Alan was nice enough to give an exclusive coupon code for The Millennial Sprinkle readers to use on any of the courses or resources offered at SocialAssurity.com:


Use code SPRINKLE25 for a 25% discount at SA!

(*I have not been compensated in any way for this post, all opinions are my own)

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15 Must-Follow Girl Bosses for Your Everyday Inspiration: Versatile Blogger Award

15 Must-Follow Girl Bosses for Your Everyday Inspiration: Versatile Blogger Award

When I received an email with the subject line "Versatile Blogger Award," my heart leapt. Award? Me? Are you SURE?

It took a second and third time of reading the email before I actually realized I was, in fact, the correct recipient.

The email itself really was a beautiful reminder of just how wonderful it is for others to be able to find and appreciate my content as much as I enjoy creating it. I am forever appreciative of my very small corner of the Internet and all of the wonderful gems who read my weekly sprinkles and share, comment, and/or like them.

I am beyond flattered and grateful to have been nominated for and awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Lucy of the fabulous travel blog Lucy Williams Global. Thank you so much, Lucy!

Nominees/Awardees

Of course, as per the rules, I hope to give other bloggers a similar feeling of gratitude by gifting some of you with this peer-nominated honor.

While the idea of making a list of 5,102,936 bloggers who deserve this was incredibly simple, it was definitely not quite as easy to narrow it down to just 15. But, I eventually decided to nominate and award the Versatile Blogger Award to the bloggers below, whom I have grown to truly admire (in no particular order).

1. Bria of Tendril Wild
2. Kayla of Gen Y Girl
3. Emily of Spire & Co
4. Courtney of The Family Ma'am
5. Monique of The Indie-Lancer
6. Rachel of The Confused Millennial
7. Rebecca of Fieldhouse Kitchen
8. Kit of KitStanwood.com
9. Mary of The Candid Millennial
10. Brielle of The Gilded Bellini
11. Chelsea of The Millennial Miss
12. Danielle "D" of Be You & Thrive
13. MJ of Keeping Up with MJ
14. Layne of Short & Sweet
15. Sydney of MsSydney.com

For all different reasons, you ladies deserve this little reminder that you are all absolute bosses.

7 Things You Should Know About Me

1. I am a middle child. I have an older sister and a younger brother.
2. I have an absolute obsession with my two German Shepherds, Trooper and Vita.
3. Whenever I eat something salty, I have to have something sweet (or vice versa).
4. I danced from the time I was about 3-years-old until my senior year of high school.
5. While I've always loved Christmas, I have developed an obsession with the holiday season over the last few years.
6. I'm terrified of bugs and dark water.
7. I graduated from Fordham University in 2016 with a degree in Communications & Media Studies (focus in Journalism). A few months after graduation I decided to finally start my blog to help other millennials who have gone or will go through the things I am experiencing now.

Rules for Nominating Others for the Versatile Blogger Award

If you have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, it's your turn! Spread the love! (Remember: all who have been nominated automatically receive the award and can add a button to their blog).

1. Be polite! Show your gratitude for the person who nominated you by thanking them and providing a link to his/her blog.
2. Then, nominate 15 bloggers you admire (with incredible writing, photography, videography, design, and/or other skills) and link to each of their blogs.
3. Email each of the bloggers you nominated so they know of their nomination.
4. Finally, share 7 facts about yourself so others get to know you!

Who would YOU nominate?


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why You Should Take Your Time When Carving Your Own Path

Why You Should Take Your Time in Carving Your Own Path

Now, I am by no means an expert with all the answers on how you should live your life. I can barely decide what I want for breakfast every morning let alone tell YOU how to spend your time, but I have been feeling quite strongly about this for a while and think my personal experiences may at the very least help one person.

From one millennial to another, I want to remind you of one thing: if you don't absolutely love your life currently, you can and should do something to change it.

Whether it's shifting your career, hitting the pause button on your current journey to travel, starting that side business about which you've been dreaming, moving to a new city (or country!), prioritizing which relationships are working for you, or taking a few steps back to regroup, you can do it. It's all possible.

Why You Should Take Your Time When Carving Your Own Path

No, I am not suggesting you do anything drastic or up and quit your job this second (unless, of course, you want to...). But I am asking you to erase those pictures others have drawn for you of how your journey "should" look or how much money you "need" to make in order to live your best life. Because, frankly, it's all BS.

Remember when we were pre-teens thinking about how our lives would look when we were in our twenties and thirties? HA. Yikes...

Very few of us can actually say our lives are exactly as our younger selves imagined they would be.

Because as you grow up you learn there is no one size fits all. If you're dying to be a successful entrepreneur, DO IT. If there's a travel bug inside you, TRAVEL. Do it while you're young and there is nothing holding you back.

Why You Should Take Your Time When Carving Your Own Path

Yesterday I was on the phone with a mentor of mine who reminded me exactly why I had taken the time to breathe this summer. "Haste makes waste," he told me.

BINGO! The pressure to find a job just to have one right out of school is REAL and pretending you have everything figured out the second you step foot in the wild (aka post-grad life) is IMPOSSIBLE.

Slow down. *What do you mean slow down? There's no time for that!* Coming from a girl who desperately needed a minute to slow down and did, you can! And you'll feel better if you do.

The last few months have been exactly what I needed — a growing experience in its own way. Though at times it has been a little boring compared to the fast-paced New York City lifestyle I was used to, it has helped me realize that by slowing things down, I have actually allowed happiness and success to catch up to me. Everything seems like it makes much more sense.

The fact is simple: you cannot make more time. What you do with that time is up to YOU and only you and if you don't have to rush, don't.

Because life is a journey not a race, so take the time to do what makes your soul happy.

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Why You Should Take Your Time When Carving Your Own Path

If you could do anything right now, what would it be? What's stopping you?


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

7 Courses I Wish They Taught In College and Where to Actually Find the Resources

7 Courses I Wish They Taught In College and Where to Actually Find the Resources

Trying not to get teary eyed while writing about college is nearly impossible, to be honest. It's been over a year since graduation and thinking back to those four years of my life gives me all the feels.

Saying I am grateful to have gotten so lucky is the understatement of my life. I chose the perfect school for me, I made the most incredible friends, I had the best internship experiences, and developed some of the most incredible relationships with mentors.

It was truly more than I could have ever imagined. And looking back on my college experience there is nothing I would change. But I would have added one thing.

Surprisingly, my friends from high school who each went off to different schools all agreed on this.

While we all felt fully prepared for the job search and actually entering the workforce post-graduation, we all bonded over the fact that there were definitely several extremely necessary topics we weren't taught.

Together, we came up with a list of courses we wished we could have taken in college — some more tongue in cheek than others — to make transitioning into "the wild" a little less challenging.

Below are the classes we wished were offered and resources to help us now.

1. The (Ta)X Files: How to File Your Taxes

This one was a universal favorite among the group of my girlfriends. No matter what your major is in college or what future job you'll have, everyone has to file taxes (unfortunately), so learning how to do so is extremely important — not to mention the law.

It sounds like a total bore, I know, but having a course or even a single seminar on the topic would definitely have cut down the number of hours it took me to research and actually file them anyway.

Here's a helpful resource to learn about filing taxes: Filing Your Taxes with the IRS


2. The Science of the Excellent Credit Score

Yikes. The (sometimes) good ol' credit card.

Credit scores, especially for those who are paying off student loans, are really important! Learning how to keep an excellent CC score and what to do if it starts to slip toward not-so-great is vital. "Start building your credit score early" is what I kept hearing, but how do I do that if I've never learned? Research, yes, but that doesn't always help with all the questions.

Here are a few great resources to help you with your credit score(s): Credit Karma Tools and Resources & Credit.com's "What Is a Good Credit Score?"

3. Negotiating Salaries 1000


Everyone at some point in his or her career has to negotiate a salary and it is something for which we can absolutely prepare. Whether it's with a mentor, co-worker, close friend, or professor, we can all grow together.

Here's a useful resource to help you negotiate salary: Career Contessa's "WEBINAR Salary 101: How to Negotiate for More"


4. Asking for a Raise 2000


Following up on the hypothetical course above: Wouldn't a quick rundown on how and when to appropriately ask for a raise be helpful? I mean, according to PayScale, "only 37% of millennials have ever asked for a raise." Why is that?

Let's combine the "Negotiating Salaries" and "Asking for a Raise" topics and just get real about our financial future and earnings potential.

Here's a vital resource to read if you want to ask for a raise: Your Office Coach's "How to Ask for a Raise"


5. Do I Really Need Life Insurance? Truths of the 401(k) and Other Benefits

When I got my first job contract post-college graduation, I read literally every word thinking I was going to miss something important in the fine print. Looking back, it probably was not all that necessary, but what did I know about a 401(k) or whether or not I was supposed to opt in for life insurance? Short answer: nothing and the contract taught me just about as little as I knew.

Is there a right or wrong/smart or dumb way to do this or is it just preference? THESE are the questions.

Here's an invaluable resource for finding all of the answers about your 401(k): CNN Money's Ultimate Guide to Retirement


6. How to Make Friends When You're Not Constantly Surrounded by People Your Age


Obviously this one starts the section of the list that is a little extra tongue in cheek. Of course I don't actually think any university must teach this, but I'm also not saying I would hate it. Making friends while in school is far less complicated than trying to meet them once you're out, but it's also not impossible.

Speaking from personal experience, I have made new friends at conferences, jobs, and by bonding with those of close pals.

Here's a great list of ways to make friends in "the wild": "7 Easy Ways to Make Friends After You Graduate" by Brit + Co


7. Where to Find a Date 1001

The bottom line is simply that the dating scene is completely different once you've graduated from college. Whether you plan a date in the back of an UberPOOL (yes, a friend of mine did this recently) or you meet at an office Christmas party, it's just different now. So, where's the manual?

Here's a list of rules of dating in "the wild": Bustle's "21 Rules of Dating After College"


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7 Courses I Wish They Taught In College and Where to Actually Find the Resources

What's one thing you wish you knew before you had to start 'adulting'? If you're still in college, how can we help you?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

11+ Essential Skills Bloggers & Online Business Owners MUST Add to Their Résumés

11+ Essential Skills Bloggers & Online Business Owners MUST Add to Their Résumés

For those of you who know me or who've followed my blogging/social journey these last few months, you may know that I decided to leave the hustle and bustle of New York City after a year living there post-college to focus on a few things:

1. Saving some money,
2. Freelance writing and blogging, and
3. Slowing down, relaxing, and traveling a bit.

So, once my 9-5pm schedule died down and I was no longer on the same schedule, I knew I had to set summer goals for myself (you can join me as I check off each of these challenges) to ensure I didn't just become a couch potato — or, I guess, a beach chair potato.

I wanted to be productive while feeling like I was also getting the relaxation/summer vacation I hadn't gotten since high school.

Little did I know, by changing my job title to freelancer/blogger, I was changing it to much more than that. My new title was also becoming site manager, website/graphic designer, coder, writer, editor, photographer, photo editor, social media marketer/manager, sales rep, analyzer, and more.

Needless to say, I will definitely be upping my résumé game before applying to jobs at the end of the summer. Here are 11 skills any blogger/online business owner can add to a résumé (and should ASAP):

1. Site Management

Whether you began as a one-woman (or man) team or are still running it all on your own, you are a site manager, so never forget to flaunt it because that is pretty pretty impressive.

2. Website/Graphic Design

You know that site logo you worked hard to perfect? How about those Pinterest graphics? Or those unique layouts you use for desktop vs. mobile? These things didn't just appear out of nowhere, they exist because you are as much of a designer as the next professional. So open your Word or Pages app and update that résumé to include "Design" in your "Skills" section.

3. Coding

Oh, if I had to count the number of times I've had to open the HTML section of my site to fix some part of a code, I would be here for hours. Whether it's basic coding or intense STEM shenanigans, you are absolutely a coder. Don't shy away from adding coding to your list of specialties.

4. Writing

You don't have to write full articles to include writing on your résumé. In fact, there are so many forms of writing that go into the creation of a website: blog posts, about me pages, photo captions, quirky social content, emails, you name it... If you do one of these, you, my friend, are a writer!

5. Editing

Being the site editor is one of the most important parts of creating and operating a brand online. As the overseer of many things, editing content is not above your realm of duties, so make sure you note that in your already impressive résumé.

6. Photography

Whether you personally take the pictures for your blog/business site with a professional camera or you simply use your smartphone for some quality social media photos, you have photography skills.

7. Photo Editing

Brightness turned up, whites enhanced, colors contrasted, saturation increased, you name it — you have photo editing experience. Even if it's not with Photoshop (or maybe it is!).

8. Social Media Management

Chances are your blog and/or business spans across several social media sites and running all of them and growing a following is not an easy feat. Managing (and juggling) Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and whatever other channels you have is a task you do on a daily basis. Make sure to highlight it!

9. Social Media Marketing

Not only do you have to grow your following on your social media accounts, but you also have to get people to read your content, buy your products, or both! And 9 out of 10 times social media promotion is the way to do it.

10. Sales

For those of you who sell products and/or resources through your site, you have developed a valuable skill set. Selling something of great value and succeeding in the creation of sales is a skill that helps make you stand out from your future (and current) competitors.

11. Analytics

If you're anything like me, you check your site's analytics constantly, making sure your posts are doing well and your page views are not decreasing rapidly month to month. Being able to analyze your site's traffic and engagement is vital in ensuring success for all sites, so having this skill on your résumé is equally is so valuable.

+ MORE individualized skills

Depending on what your brand/business specializes in, you can add even more skills to your ever-growing list. Comment below with some of the skills you would also add along with the ones above.

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11+ Essential Skills Bloggers & Online Business Owners MUST Add to Their Résumés

Do you have other skills that you learned through building your personal brand and/or running an online business?

Friday, July 7, 2017

How to Master the Perfect 60-Second Elevator Pitch for You and Your Personal Brand

How to Master A Perfect 60-Second Elevator Pitch for You or Your Personal Brand: As Told By an Expert

When it comes to creating your personal brand, you can stop nothing short of having everything covered. You're often a one woman (or man) team working on everything.

But, having social media accounts that speak to you and creating content you believe in is not always  enough.

Part of growing your brand is being able to partner and collaborate with other brands and people like you.


If you read my last post you know I went to BlogHer17, one of the "world's largest conferences for women online content creators, and the brands, media, and fans who want to connect with them."

Among the slew of valuable information I gathered, I was able to meet with a lovely expert, Sanja Gardasevic, at the Domain.ME booth who helped me craft my perfect elevator pitch.

Not only were her tips and tricks helpful for me as a blogger, but they will definitely be lifesavers when I prepare for that dreaded "So tell me a little about yourself" moment at the beginning of most interviews.


But, instead of sharing the information with you in my words, I wanted Sanja, Content and Campaign Manager for Domain.ME — who taught me how to create my pitch for The Millennial Sprinkle — to share her expertise with you herself.


How to Master A Perfect 60-Second Elevator Pitch for You or Your Personal Brand: As Told By an Expert

Here's how Sanja says you can craft your perfect 60-second elevator pitch, too:

Taylor Mead: Why is a 60-second elevator pitch so important?
Sanja Gardasevic: Just imagine how many people brand representatives meet during the course of one conference. We are talking about hundreds. And most often, the people they meet are very similar to you. They blog, they have an audience they care for, they know and love the brand. So what makes you different? This is where the 60-second elevator pitch comes in. You have to explain who you are and what you do in a way that will make the brand representative want to know more.  The same thing goes for HR managers, potential partners, and/or random acquaintances. You never know which opportunities a new person in your network can bring.
TM: What should you cover in your 60-second elevator pitch? Can you walk me through the process?
SG: There are five questions you should answer in your elevator pitch.

          1. What's my best angle?

                    Think about what makes you special, what you are known for, whether that's your niche
                    topic or the mediums you favor. For example, when it comes to Taylor, I would
                    emphasize her storytelling skills.

          2. What's my differentiator?

                    Think about what makes you different from all other bloggers in the room. For you
                    Taylor, that would be your background in journalism and the fact that all your messages
                    are coming from a perspective of a young woman navigating new responsibilities that
                    come with adulthood.

          3. Whose eyes are on me?

                    Think about who is your audience, why do they follow you and why are they important
                    to to the brand. Be as specific as possible. Share the demographics and if you have data,
                    all the better.

          4. What's my purpose?

                    Share why you do what you do and how your brand fits that picture.

          5. What do I want to do next?

                    After the pitch, comes the follow up. Tell them why you approached them and what you
                    want to do next. Perhaps you can share where to find the best examples of your work,
                    ask for a 15 minute meeting to talk more about partnership opportunities, or send your
                    personal website where they can find out more about you and all that you do. Get them
                    while they are hooked.

TM: Before answering all of these questions, what should you do to get started?
SG: The most important thing is to know what you want to achieve with your elevator pitch because it will change based on the people you are pitching to. In addition, you have to be aware that the goal of a pitch is not to say everything there is about you/your blog, but to capture attention. This means you have to be ready to cut all those flowery description you love so much and be succinct and specific.

TM: Are there specific words/adjectives/verbs that help make a pitch stronger?
SG: Forget about passive voice. Keep adjectives and “happy talk” to a minimum. Other than that, there aren't specific worlds I would suggest you to use because the whole point is for your pitch to be unique, original, and true to your brand.

How to Master A Perfect 60-Second Elevator Pitch for You or Your Personal Brand: As Told By an Expert

TM: What is the most important part for individuals to remember when trying to stand out to brands?
SG: This may seem like a no brainer but you would be surprised by the number of messages we get from people who don’t really get what Domain.ME is. So first, do your homework. You have to communicate  the value you can provide for the brand and the only way to discover what that value is is to really know that brand. Know their business, target audience, and corporate values.

TM: If you could give one other piece of advice to millennials navigating early-adult life, what would it be?
SG: Keep learning and keep moving forward. Find a mentor and be a mentor. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, it will never come: act now.

TM: What are some of Domain.ME's most helpful resources for those preparing for an interview or networking event?
SG: Once you grab someone’s attention, the next step is giving them a way to find out more about you and follow up. Having a personal website that will serve as a personal hub of sorts and combine all your online profiles and content in one spot is a great way to do that.

Domain.ME is a domain name provider that allows you to create a unique, safe identity online with a domain ending in .ME. We can provide you with the space you need to build your personal brand and create a captivating online persona that’s a direct reflection of you. For example, my personal website is on www.sanjagardasevic.me.

We are constantly creating educational materials that can teach people how to build their personal brands, online and offline. I encourage you to check out our blog and see what you can find there.

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In your personal pitch, how would you say you stand out from the crowd?


Thursday, June 29, 2017

6 Surefire Ways to Stand Out at Any Conference or Networking Event


6 Surefire Ways to Stand Out at Any Conference or Networking Event
Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Florida: BlogHer17
The following post contains affiliate links. More information is located at the bottom of this post.

Here's the thing: attending conferences and networking events can be very intimidating, especially if you're a first-timer. But, that's totally normal!

I know from personal experience that these things can be a little anxiety-inducing. I mean, often times you don't know anyone and (let's face it), "selling" yourself to brands, companies, and even individuals with similar interests can be quite nerve-racking.

But, as Serena Williams often quotes fellow-tennis champion Billie Jean King (and we were reminded of repeatedly at #BlogHer17), "Pressure is a privilege." And it really is so true.

"Pressure is a privilege."


Whether you are the most extroverted or the most introverted person in the world, there is one thing that will help to alleviate some of that pressure: preparation.

Here are 6 surefire ways to make sure you stand out at the next conference or networking event you attend:

1. Bring business cards

This is something I definitely learned the hard way, so please save yourself! The awkward "I actually forgot mine" excuse doesn't really hold up when someone asks you to give them your business card. PLEASE, if there is one thing you take from this post, let it be this: always go to conferences and networking events with a stack of business cards. Even if you don't use them, the small price to make them is far less costly than the embarrassment of realizing you are totally unprepared.

*IMPORTANT: At a previous conference I attended we were given the advice to not throw our cards around! While it's important to have business cards, you do not have to give one to every single person you meet. It's more valuable to begin developing a relationship than it is to simply hand out your card to everyone. Create relationships with people and give those you genuinely form a connection with your card. This let's them know you want to stay in touch.

Try VistaPrint, for example, starting at $9.99 you can get 500 business cards (not an affiliate link, I literally just really want to help you with this, it's incredibly important no matter your age!)

Or! Print your own and avoid waiting for shipment.

2. Prepare a 60-second elevator pitch

At the most recent conference I attended, I was actually able to sit down with a professional from .Me to create my perfect 60-second elevator pitch. The idea here is to practice telling someone all about you and "sell" yourself in just 1-minute.

Not sure where to start? Try using these tips from Forbes (note: the same steps can be applied when forming a pitch for talking to brands or individuals with whom you hope to collaborate).

3. Know what makes you "you"

Ask yourself: How are you different from others in your field? How does your background or experiences make you special?

Answer these questions and any other "stand out" ones, flaunt those differences, and show them why you are the best at what you do.

Uniqueness is invaluable.


4. Show a genuine interest

If there is one huge mistake I have found people making, it's showing a lack of interest. It is, of course, only human to drift off occasionally mid-conversation with anyone, but it is so important to listen when meeting others in your industry. While listening seems like such a basic thing to do, you'd be surprised by how many people don't and end up asking a question that was just answered.

Instead of thinking about what to ask next, let the conversation flow organically and see where it goes. Additionally, make sure the conversation isn't all "me, me, me" and more balanced. Use their name, ask them questions, respond to their answers, and you will likely form a wonderful connection.

5. Remember: quality over quantity

Do you think it's a good mentality to go into a conference or networking event with a stack of 500 business cards, hoping you hand them all out before the end of the night/event? Right answer (at least in my very strong strong strong opinion)? NO! No no no. Please no.

The goal of any conference or networking event is to develop real connections and no one could leave with 500 genuine connections.

Instead of focusing on the number of business cards you hand out or how many hands you have to shake, count the number of names you truly remember and friends you make. Those are the people who will be helpful to you, not the nameless faces you cannot recall at the end of the night. Because the truth is:

If you can't remember them, they won't remember you. Give them a (positive) reason to remember you.


6. Follow up

When all is said and done, follow up with those who really made an impact on your experience. Thank them, even if via social media and let them know (or remind them if you already have) you want to stay in touch.

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6 Surefire Ways to Stand Out at Any Conference or Networking Event

As previously stated, this post contains affiliate links. For more information about Sponsors, please visit the The Sprinkle Blog's Disclaimer page.

What are some of your tips for networking and/or attending conferences? What do you still hope to learn?

Monday, June 19, 2017

8 Ways to Challenge Yourself In Summer 2017

Here's to Summer 2017: Your Unofficial List of Challenges

When I left my job at the beginning of May to prepare for my next adventure, I made a promise to myself.

What I wanted was a few months to relax, travel, and think of how I wanted the next step of my journey to look, but what I didn't want was to sleep my summer away, stay in my pajamas every day, and eat my weight in junk food. Because all of those things, honestly, are just too easy.

I promised myself I'd live in balance: Be productive, yet relaxed; travel, but also enjoy time at home; write, without allowing it to feel like "work"; et cetera.

Of course, though, some of these "rules" I made are easier than others. Rainy weather often makes me want to stay in my pjs and binge-watch Netflix all day & increased humidity does not make me any more motivated to get moving.

So, just as people often write down yearly resolutions, I decided to create a list to hold me accountable AND I'd love for you to join me.

Together, let's kick butt this summer. Here are my challenges to... us (but mostly me):

1. Maintain a steady schedule.

I am so used to waking up around 8am to get to work Monday-Friday, but without a 9-5, life can become a blur. What day is it again? KIDDING... But, seriously - I never want to forget what day it is, because that's when you know you're not on any sort of schedule. Waking up at the same time, setting daily priorities (especially on the weekends), and going to bed at a normal hour (something I need to fix), are all a part of a healthy and steady schedule.

2. Stay healthy.

Getting sick happens and since my immune system is fairly nonexistent (at least in the winter), I'm bracing myself to beat the heat and the colds. By taking daily vitamins, eating a balanced diet (or almost balanced + a little extra room for my sweet tooth... but cut me some slack), and staying active every day, I think I've got this in the bag.

3. Wake up early every day.

This will definitely be easier once I stop going to bed at 3am, but summer technically hasn't started yet, so just you wait. My goal is to wake up every day around the same time (time TBD) and just a little bit later on the weekends. I will keep you updated on how this goes as this is definitely one of the biggest challenges for me on the list.

4. Get a good amount of R&R.

Key words here are "good amount." Rest and relaxation is important in moderation each day, but these are by no means the only things I will be doing each day. This R&R is a commitment to investing time in myself, but knowing when enough's enough. See above & below for important tasks if you're ever wondering "Well, what else should I be doing?"


Here's to Summer 2017: Your Unofficial List of Challenges

5. Collaborate with someone new.

Collaboration will look different for everyone, but whether it's working with a coworker to get a job done better, faster, and stronger or teaming up with a fellow blogger/creative to work on a new project, now's the chance! This summer, I hope to collaborate with other bloggers or brands to create something I haven't tried before.

6. Make a new friend.

This one is tough because making friends after college is well hard. But between attending conferences and traveling, I hope to meet new and interesting people along the way, some of whom I might be able to call my new pals.

7. Do something that frightens you.

You know the classic quote about "nothing good coming from comfort zones?" (or whatever it is, you know the one) Well, I'm going to step out of mine and do something that frightens me. What will you do that frightens you?

8. Travel somewhere new.

I will be traveling to a few different destinations this summer, but one place for sure I have never been: Nashville, Tennessee. Here's to hoping there will be other spots checked off my travel bucket list.

WILL YOU TAKE THE CHALLENGE?

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Here's to Summer 2017: Your Unofficial List of Challenges

What else would you add to this list? Is there one promise you made to yourself this summer that you hope to achieve?


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Here Are 7 Simple Ways To Invest In Yourself Every Day (+ Checklist)

The following post contains SHOPSTYLE affiliate links. More information is located at the bottom of this post.
Here Are 7 Simple Ways To Invest In Yourself Every Day (+ Checklist)
Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California — The 2017 MAKERS Conference

If there's one thing for sure, it's that investing in yourself — whether it's time, energy, and/or money — is always worth it.


I know, some of you are probably thinking "ALWAYS?!" And my answer to that is simple: yes!

I use the word "invest" because you are not a short-term commitment. Devoting yourself to making "you" happy, enriching your future, and nurturing your relationships is so so important. But, as I've said time and time again, happiness looks different for everyone, so what you choose to invest in will likely look different as well.

For me, I've made it my commitment to use my next few months of "down time" to grow both personally and professionally. I've made it my goal to attend several leadership conferences throughout the summer, travel, stay active every day (which involves a lot of bike rides on the beach), and write every week.

Because... isn't one of the most important investments we can make (if not the most important investment) in ourselves? Whether that means finally buying yourself that domain name you've been wanting for your website/blog for the last year or taking a "lunch break" to go get that massage, I say DO IT. As long as it's within reason, that is...

Here are 7 simple ways you can invest in yourself today and every day (and the things on my wish list for each):

1. Pamper yourself

Okay, so I know I am certainly not the only one who enjoys a good pampering. Whether you have the money to splurge at a salon or not, this is not an impossible task. Trust me, there are options! I know because I have a Pinterest board of hair/beauty inspirations and DIYs. Because no matter what your situation may be, you can pamper yourself. Can't go to the nail salon? Buy a bottle of nail polish! Don't have the money to buy a bath bomb? Make one from the stuff you already have at home! No matter what, you deserve that time to be pampered, even if it means just soaking in a hot bath.

If you do have some extra cash to spend, here are a few options for your spa day (ones I am DYING to try soon):


2. Jot everything down

One thing I find extremely helpful and cathartic is journaling. Though I admit, I normally write down most of my thoughts, questions, and ideas in the Notes app on my iPhone, I have always hoped to one day be organized enough to put everything that's ever crossed my mind in an adorable journal. But, whether it's in a notebook or on your phone, writing down or typing out your daily feelings is really beneficial.

I mean, common, look at all of these options. I've got to kick the iPhone habit:

3. Get up and move

If you're anything like me, the word "exercise" doesn't really get you motivated. But, even though I'm not a gym rat (except for maybe a week here and there every 2-3 months), I do love getting my body up and moving. My personal preferences? Anything active that doesn't feel like "exercise." Paddle ball on the beach, bike riding, roller blading, ice skating, jumping on a trampoline, hula hooping, dancing, walking — you get the picture. No matter what your personal preference is for getting your blood pumping, do it, even if it's for 20 minutes per day.

4. Practice yoga and/or meditate


5. Do something for which your future self will thank you

Yes, I know, this one is very vague, but that's because everyone's future looks so different. If you could do something today that would make your life easier or better tomorrow, a week, a month, or a year from now, what would it be?

6. Make a decision on something about which you have been indecisive

I feel like most of us have those things we have kind of forgotten about or we keep pushing aside because we don't really have to make a decision about it just yet, but it's getting to the point where it looks like it just may not ever get solved. Try to remember one thing you never made a decision about in the past and make that decision. Don't have something you've ever left undecided? That makes one of us! Collect $200.

7. Take 30 minutes to do something you love

In the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes is really not a lot of time in the day, so setting aside half an hour to focus on your hobby is not an unreasonable thing to do. No more, "I don't have time to read." By making it a priority each day, it will become part of your daily routine and feel like less of a luxury and more of a priority.

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Here Are 7 Simple Ways To Invest In Yourself Every Day (+ Checklist)

As previously stated, this post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated for any purchases made through this post. For more information, please visit the The Sprinkle Blog's Disclaimer page.

How do you invest in yourself? What activities do you find make you the happiest?
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

13 Badass Articles You Must Read To Help You Thrive In All Aspects of Life

13 Badass Articles You Must Read To Help You Thrive In All Aspects of Life

There are moments in life when we have questions.

The good and the bad in life is that we will likely never know the answers to everything — no matter how much the Internet tells us. Many times the answers to our questions are not simply just fact vs. fiction because some questions can only be answered through experience.

No, Google can't send us to Dictionary.com for a straight-forward answer to "Am I doing the right thing in this situation?" but it can bring you to sites where writers have gone through similar things. Who have already experienced it.

It seems kind of like cheating your way through The Game of Life, but the beauty in it is knowing that, while we are still on our own to experience the world, we are never alone.

Think about it: often millions of others have gone through the very things that worry us, cause us fear, leave us uncertain, or even make us excited, so why not see how they can help? After all, we're all in this together.

That's where reading others' personal testimonies matter most to me and why I am constantly pinning content to save for later and to circulate the very things that help me, so in turn, they help others.

Below are 13 pretty badass articles that will help you thrive in all aspects of life, from women who know sh!+.


LIFE

1. "You Know Saying 'No' Is Important For A Healthy Life. Here's How To Actually Do It" by Alena Gerst, mindbodygreen
2. "How to Cultivate Purpose During Difficult Times" by Aleah Eileen Milliner, Darling Magazine

HEALTH & WELLNESS

3. "The Only Thing You Need To Know About Stress" by Penny Carroll, Collective Hub
4. "Why You Need to Slow Down (and How to Actually Do It)" by Chelsea Becker, The Everygirl

LOVE

6. "The Best Love Advice I’ve Ever Received" by Dr. Shannon Kolakowski, HuffPost

13 Badass Articles You Must Read To Help You Thrive In All Aspects of Life

CAREER

7. "6 Ways To Use Body Language Like a Boss (Literally)" by Meredith Lepore, Levo
8. "How To Write An Email (No, Seriously)" by Molly Erman, Girlboss
9. "5 Effective Ways to Curb Your Work Anxiety" by Fairygodboss, SheKnows
10. "9 Ways To Negotiate The Raise You Deserve - And Get It" by Moira Forbes, ForbesWoman

MONEY

11. "Five Things You Need To Know About Investing" by Sallie Krawcheck, Ellevest
12. "These Apps Will Find All the Money You Forgot You Were Spending" by Deena Drewis, Girlboss
13. "50 Easy Ways To Save Money" by Kayla Buell, Gen Y Girl

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13 Badass Articles You Must Read To Help You Thrive In All Aspects of Life

Which one of the articles above was most helpful for you? Are there other articles or books that have helped you thrive?


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