Career Corner

Looking for that perfect after-school job or planning for a part-time summer job? Or maybe you are lucky enough that you don’t have to get a job until you are an adult living on your own. No matter your situation, finding the right job is tough, especially in today’s competitive market. Stay on top of everything you need to know to land the right job for you!

And find great advice from inspirational, driven girls just like you who have succeeded in their job or career dreams or have started their own business! When you hear their stories, we’re sure you will keep working toward your own goals!

Have a Way With Words? Here's How You Can Put Your Writing Talent To Good Use


Are you naturally gifted when it comes to the written word? Perhaps you’ve been told from a young age that you excel in this area, and teachers and parents have commented on how you’d make a fantastic author. While writing is something that you can continue to improve on all the time, some people are naturally eloquent with words and find it easy to put thoughts to paper. If this sounds like you, chances are you want to nurture and expand on your gift, and are on the lookout for ways you can become more well-versed as a writer. Here are a few ways you can go about it.

Blog

Blogging has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and that’s because it’s so flexible. A blog can be anything you want it to be: it can be used to document your life, it can be used to share your knowledge on a topic with others, many businesses even use them to promote their site and products. It’s free to sign up, and once you do you have this incredible platform where you can express yourself any way you like. As well as improve your writing skills, blogging will also encourage you to improve your photography (even if it’s just with your smartphone- you need beautiful pictures for your posts after all!) You’ll learn the basics of coding and HTML and can even use free online editors to design and create your own banner and graphics. When you’re writing regular content for your blog, you will quickly find your ‘voice.’ This is something that you never get to do in formal, academic writing, with blogging you can just be yourself. You’ll expand your vocabulary, improve your writing and have fun in the process. Blogging also has a fantastic social side to it, you can speak to other likeminded individuals on platforms like Twitter. Join in with group chats, and even attend meetup events.

Write a Journal

Unlike blogs which are generally public, journals are for you rather than for an audience. The benefits of journalling have been well documented, they can help improve stress, evoke mindfulness and even improve your IQ. Because they allow you to explore your feelings they can help you to improve your emotional intelligence too, this is your ability to understand the feelings and emotions of others. Which is of course a fantastic skill to have in life! We’ve all experienced troubling times, and when your mind is racing, it’s difficult to make head or tail of the situation. Writing things down can really help you to work through and understand any issues that you have, and it can be extremely beneficial for your mental health. The practice of writing every day will certainly improve your writing skills, even if you plan on no one ever reading the journal you

Write a Book

Have you always dreamed of writing a book, but put it off as something to do when you’re a little older? Don’t delay, writing a book now while you’re young could be the best time to do it. Sure you don’t have as much life experience as someone older, but your thought processes, creativity, and imagination right now are bound to be incredible. When you finish education and get into the workplace things can get a little monotonous, and you might find that creative spark you once had dwindling unless you really invest in nurturing it. You could always start your book now and continue to work on it over the years if you don’t feel like it’s quite there. Either way, there’s nothing stopping you as a younger person.

Do Some Freelance Writing

Many students choose to get a part-time job while they’re still in education, so they have their own money to spend, and aren’t living entirely off their parents. But instead of going out and working in a shop or fast food joint, why not do some freelance writing? Many websites will require you to take a short test before you can sign up, but if you get through and are good enough, this is an excellent way to earn some money in your spare time. You get to make some cash, improve your writing and do something you know you’re good at.

 



Deciding On A Career Once You Enter "The Real World"


It can feel rather patronizing when adults tell you throughout your life that you’ll understand things once you enter “the real world”. It’s important to remember that the things you’ve been learning throughout your education do help you in the real world far more than you may be led to believe by things you read or see in popular culture. It’s also important to remember that you don’t only have one path available to you. More importantly, you don’t have to stick with the first job you choose. This is a journey, and you need to learn about yourself; look at your skills, and apply them as you see fit. Here’s some inspiration to help you decide on a career whether you’ve just graduated or you’re graduating in a few years.

 

Think about what you want from your first job.

Don’t cave into pressure. When you graduate, some of your friends may find jobs instantly and others may be in the same boat as you: unsure of what they want or unable to find the right job for them. Don’t choose any old opportunity because you feel like you “should” have a job. Don’t settle just because you feel like you’re lucky to have been given any chance at all; you’ve just graduated, and you have a skill set for which most employers are desperate. Understand your worth, and take some time to think about what you want from a job. Make a list of your requirements.

 

There’s more to an industry than what you see on the surface.

This is a crucial piece of advice to take on board. You might have studied French but you don’t want to be a French teacher or Math but you don’t want to be a “boring” mathematician. In both cases, you’re only looking at the surface. Linguistic skills can be used with foreign relations in governments, and mathematical skills can be used in all manner of exciting careers. You might consider job sites which are recruiting for finance because the stereotype of working in a bank or calculating figures in a dull office cubicle are both only looking at aspects of the industry on a surface level. You could help with the financial aspects of an organization you care about deeply; perhaps there’s a charity or an ethical business which does work that means something to you.

So, if you have a mathematical brain, you don’t have to resign yourself to a dull office job because you feel like that’s what you “should” be doing; you could become a forensic analyst or conduct statistical tests for important government organizations. If you have a creative brain, you don’t have to resign yourself to a non-creative job because “there are no jobs for artists”; you could do graphical design for an advertising firm or write promotional material for a big business. There are so many levels to so many industries out there, but the search for that perfect position can only start with you actually searching.

 

Keep learning.

Never stop learning. This doesn’t mean you should go back to college, but you should always be developing your skills. Education was the first rung on the ladder, but there’s so much to learn out in the adult world. Soak up every skill you can from your first job, even if you know it’s not something you want to do forever. All experience is still experience. You’ll be surprised to see what you can learn even from being involved in an industry which you don’t want to be your future industry of employment.



Meet Author Ellen Langas


 

Ellen Langas is the author of the Girls Know How series of books that encourage tween readers to explore and pursue the careers of their dreams. Check out her website at www.girlsknowhow.com

 

R: How did Girls Know How get started? What gave you the idea for it?

E: When I was young, there were few female role models who held career leadership positions. I had trouble imagining myself in a variety of roles. Even though I was an honors student, my parents and teachers didn’t encourage me to explore careers.  Fortunately, a teacher saw my potential and encouraged me to consider career options and develop skills and attitudes that would serve me well in the workplace. As my career in marketing unfolded, I wanted to pay that encouragement forward. I realized how encouragement by just one person could change a life. When my daughters Stephanie and Veronica were young, they loved chapter books, and that’s when I realized that books would be an ideal way to introduce a variety of career opportunities in a fun way, creating characters and situations that girls could identify with.

 

R: Can you tell us about your books and/or give an example or summary of one of them in particular? What is the purpose of them? How do they inspire young girls?

E: The Girls Know How series encourages girls to explore and pursue the careers of their dreams. My latest book, Super Science Girls! explores the exciting world of science through the eyes of Sylvia and her best friend Kristen, who dream of winning the middle school science fair competition together. That is until Indra, the new “it” girl at school, tries to win Kristen’s friendship and undermine their plans. Sylvia finds herself on the outside looking in as Kristen gets swept up into Indra’s cool world of fashion and friends. She discovers that sometimes things aren’t what they seem, as she learns the rewards of perseverance, the meaning of friendship and that being true to oneself is more important than winning. In addition, the book introduces experiments, the scientific method, women in science, plus activities and Girls Want to Know interviews. Each book includes a character based on a real-life role model. In Super Science Girls, one of the characters is based on a young science enthusiast who started an online maker show at the age of eight! Other books in the series introduce journalism, construction, and teaching. Books can be ordered, and free activity sheets can be downloaded, at girlsknowhow.com.

 

R: What did you do prior to starting your company?

E: I’ve spent my entire career in the marketing and communications field, and am an entrepreneur at heart. I had the good fortune of working at QVC, Inc. during its start-up. I began as an on-air program host and later became an officer of the company. It was exciting to have a hand in building a company with a team. My experience there was the perfect springboard to start my own company, NouSoma Communications, a public relations and branding company. Among our wide variety of clients, we have attracted many companies and brands that share our philosophy of supporting girls and women to pursue their unique goals. Having my own company has given me the flexibility to develop Girls Know How, which is my passion.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

E: Through my company and book series, I hope to continue to provide inspiration, encouragement, and opportunity for girls and women to realize their dreams. For Girls Know How, I hope to expand our relationships with schools and organizations by providing career adventure workshops. I look forward to expanding my role as a youth career education advocate and writing more books for the series. I love to hear from girls to learn what careers they want to read and learn about next. I also hope to produce Girls Know How stories for video, TV or Internet. In my career, I look forward to learning more about digital technology innovations, and personally, I’d like to carve out a little more time for exercise and playing the piano.

 

R: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

E: I remember playing very creatively, setting up pretend restaurants, shops, and offices. I’m sure my mother cringed at the mess I would make, but I loved creating elaborate settings with whatever I could find. I could play for hours. I’m sure that was the beginning of my entrepreneurial spirit. I also loved to perform and organize home-spun shows. I think play is a wonderful way to spark imagination.

 

R: What advice do you have for the girls that are reading this article?

E: It’s never too early to consider what you want to pursue as a career. I recommend exploring whatever interests you.  Some tips include:

  • Read about fields that interest you. Interview or job-shadow people who work in the field and absorb as much as you can.
  • It’s important to start developing the skills that you will eventually need in the workplace. Good time management, communication, teamwork, leadership, and organizational skills will help you on the job and in every-day life.
  • There are plenty of ways you can develop skills at any age such as working at a part-time job, volunteering with a non-profit organization, taking a leadership role in a club, joining a sports team, helping with household chores, job-shadowing, and even starting your own entrepreneurial venture.

I want all girls to know that with hard work, perseverance and passion, they can achieve anything to which they set their minds.

 



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