*This post was not paid for/by, endorsed, or sponsored by HP or HP Instant Ink in any way! I'm just a big fan :)*
Right now, having a printer is an indispensable part of my life. As a college student, I have to print papers, grading rubrics, syllabi, and so much more. I am also a freelance writer (if you haven't noticed) and I constantly need to print resources, invoices, and resumes (hire me!). So, as you can guess my paper trail can begin to add up before I notice it. Since I try to be as environmentally conscious as I can, it bothers me that I don't track the amount of paper or ink I'm using.
I recently purchased an HP printer so that I can print, fax, copy, or scan from the comfort of my home while keeping track of the resources I'm using. When I was going through the information that came with the printer (yes, I'm that nerd) I noticed a great offer! There was a little paper offering three free months of ink and since the printer came with ink that meant I was set for the next four months :)
While I'm writing this, I can't stop fighting the feeling that I should do something insanely cool to make up for writing a blog post about my excitement over free ink. Any suggestions? Backpacking the Chilean coast? Spontaneous trip to Amsterdam? Spelunking?
Anyway, it probably doesn't surprise you that I went straight to their website and signed up for a plan that fit my needs. The printing plan that you're eligible for will depend on your printer and how many pages you print a month but the plans range from free (like actually free for the duration of the life of your printer) to $10 a month. That's less than whatever streaming subscription your paying for, you know, the one(s) that keep you procrastinating when you're supposed to be doing productive things?
I've used up my free months and I've accepted it but, if you are interested in a free month with this ink replacement service you can click here to enroll and we'll both receive a free month of HP Instant Ink! If you're interested in learning more about the service watch the video below.
I wish I was a paid sponsor for somebody,
Tierra C. Watkins
You did it! You found a job, applied for it, and did an interview!?!? I know you're feeling pretty excited but remember that old expression: "Don't count your chickens before they hatch."
3/4 of the battle is won, young grasshopper but there is still more to do. You'll want to start by not allowing your head to swell to three times its normal size. Keep yourself grounded and continue to apply for other positions while you wait to hear back from the company that you've recently interviewed with. Based on the nature of the company and job that you applied for there may be some things you can do to follow up after the interview to ensure that you are a memorable candidate!
Send A Card
That's right. I said it. Do this archaic thing and you might just secure a job. Sending snail mail is becoming a lost art and some employers would find it extremely endearing and unique if you were to send a small little handwritten thank you note or card. If you opt to use this method, be sure that it won't rub that company in the wrong way. Also, try to send it as soon as you finish the interview so that they receive it within a couple of days and hopefully it will sway them from considering you as a "maybe" to full on "yes"!
Give Them A Call
Something I've started to notice as I've gotten older is that there aren't a lot of people who are willing to have phone conversations. In my opinion, it's just faster and easier to talk to someone instead of texting them. Some employers get so inudated with job applications that they forget to follow up with certain candidates. Don't let your name be one of the ones that slip through the crack! Call the company and ask to speak with the person you interviewed. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting with them and that you just wanted to follow up to thank them for taking the time to consider you for the position. Try to mention some of your key stats again and leave them with a smile or a laugh.
This method does not work for all employers because some explicitly mention in the job posting that they do not want to be contacted via phone about the job offer. Be sure to review the job posting before you call just to avoid any small mistakes.
Text or Email?
Ah the most basic but most convienent of all of these choices. It won't take you any time at all to send the person who conducted the interview a quick message a couple of days after the interview to just say "Thanks for the opportunity", "I really enjoyed meeting with you", and "I'm looking forward to hearing back from you soon!" Please take the time to check your spelling and include a signature so that they know who it is coming from and how they can get back in touch with you. Yes, it is already on your resume and the job application but repetition is helpful un this case.
Wait And See
You could also just opt to not follow up and just wait patiently to potentially be contacted by the recruiter. I mean, you'll have to do some waiting anyway...
This is as far as I can go with you on your job hunting adventure. I'm sure you'll be just fine and even if this position doesn't work out for you, I know that something will!
Fly High My Butterflies,
Tierra C. Watkins
Everyone does it, no one enjoys discussing it: job applications. These job applications usually lead to an interview (or a series of interviews). As someone who has been through this process many times, I'd be happy to share a few of my tips on these two aspects of the job hunt. Next week, be sure to return to my blog to read some of my advice on following up after an interview!
When you start looking for a new position, use something to take notes about your job applications and the contact infomation of the recruiting mangers/ job poster. I prefer using a notebook and pen but others prefer digital tools. Some of the best websites to visit when you're searching for the right opportunity for work are: Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Craigslist. Indeed is basically a job search engine and you are able to find positions based on keywords and other various preferences like distance, preferred time to work, and experience level. I personally recommend uploading a .pdf version of your resume onto the website instead of creating an account and using their resume template.
LinkedIn is another great resource to use due to its professional atmosphere and direct contact methods. I like to think of it as the Facebook of the business world. Lastly, although Facebook and Craigslist do not seem like places to look or work they have proved to be very useful in procurring employment. They each have a section of their websites that is dedicated to job postings.
Once you've decided on where to start you'll definitely want to consider utilizing a nice resume and cover letter. If you need help with either of those, please feel free to visit my pricing section and contact me for more information. Mention this blog post and I'll create or edit your resume for $15.00! To view some samples of my resumes, just ask :)
After applying the waiting and seeing begins, and it is tedious and anxiety inducing but usually after anywhere from one to seven days, you receive an answer! I used to have a hard time dealing with rejection but my dad once said, "What's the worst that could happen? Will they hit you or hurt you? Will they yell? Nope. The worst thing they can do is say 'No,' and those two little letters can't hurt you. Don't be afraid of the word 'No.'" More people need to be okay with the possibility of rejection.
However, if you are offered the opportunity for an interview, there are some things you need to do: research the company, decide what you will wear, prepare questions for the interviewer, and arrive early. As soon as you get the interview, be sure to add it to your calendar and set as many reminders as possible for it. Research the company and see what current staff and previous staff have to say about the work environment. During this time, also check out what they have said about the work atmosphere, attire, and general employee attitude. These observations will help you out a lot while you move forward in your search.
On the day of the interview, try to show up about 10 to 15 minutes early so that you have time to freshen up in the bathroom, maybe fix a clothing problem, or quickly call a friend to help calm your nerves. As you go through the interview, remember to smile naturally and to be your true self. You don't want to be an environment where your light is not allowed to shine, trust me!
If these steps have gotten you through the interview so far, be sure to come back next week to see what you should do after nailing the interview. Looking for some specific job application advice? I would love it if you contacted me!
Keep on keeping on,
Tierra C. Watkins
P.s.- The Glories of Adulting series will be written out of order and the #'s mean nothing...
I've talked to my friends about it. We've come to a consensus: Whenever you are happy and in a relationship, your exes (past lovers/ex-muse/whatever) shows up and tries to recapture what they once had. Don't you wonder what was running through their mind when they picked up their phone? Sometimes I ask. Sometimes, I even receive answers!
Looking back, I doubt that they were being completely honest with me (or themselves). Some could only vaguely remember who I was or why they wanted me (thank you inebriation). Although others, unabashedly let me know that their desires were of a more "animalistic" nature. Yet, there were a couple who could only remember the good times we had (even if there were NEVER any good times).
No matter the reason, whenever such circumstances occur, I decide to reflect upon my entire being.
"Oh my GOD! What did I ever see in them? How could I do that to myself? Love truly is blind. Why couldn't I be blind and talented like Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, or the Daredevil?!?!"
After the shock wears off, it's so easy to list the reasons that we can't be together and in my heart there is no yearning to return to what there once was. All I can do is be civil and direct in my response to the stupidity of this world and place my faith in a higher power.
Even though my friends and I can agree that we've all experienced this, none of us are entirely sure of how the phenomenon happens or what can be done to stop it. Truly, it isn't too much of a nuisance. They are just like mosquitos buzzing around in the late, hot, muggy summer days in Alabama: irritating and insignificant.
Just like the mosquito. they are annoying as can be but they don't stay around for long. As Valentine's Day is right around the corner, go to your nearest grocery store and purchase a fly swatter. There is a swarm of mosquitos most likely headed your way.
Tierra C. Watkins
It is not a known fact that everything will be okay. Things may not work out, you might not get that raise, someone could ruin some aspect of your day. It seems like it just gets harder and harder for us to accept that life is not a movie. There will not be any beautiful and random montages. As a matter of fact, some days will be unnecessarily long. Some kisses will require you to reach up to wipe that stray spit off of your mouth. Life is not perfect and neither are we, so as it surprisingly turns out, we have got to continue to try and work it out with this whole life thing.
I definitely have those moments when I want to completely give up but I know now that Life is shaped by what choices are made in those moments. Those moments when there are no groceries and no heat in your home. Those moments when you are in a situation you could never imagine you would be in. Those moments when your heart is caught in between your chest and your throat so none of your words and emotions can escape. When you find yourself in one of these moments, please stop and think and then choose to carry on. There is always someone willing to listen, help, hold, love, or whatever you need. There are billions upon billions of people on this planet. Darling, I KNOW someone will be there for you.
Once you get the assistance you need, whatever it may be, move forward! Plan, exult, reach for the skies and beyond. Pick yourself back up and continue on your journey. No matter where you are at in your journey right now, I can promise you that you're not done growing. We are all constantly evolving and gaining (or losing) various things throughout our lives (skills, goals, friends, family, the list goes on and on). This means that regardless of what you have been through or who helps you or how much help you receive, at some point, you will need to be able to maintain it by yourself. You will need to carry yourself the rest of the way (and it should go without saying that needing help every now and then does not make you weak).
Some kisses will be way too wet, some people will invade your personal space on the bus, your hair will be mussed when someone pulls you in for a hug, you might drop your carefully crafted ice cream cone because you are a little clumsy. There will be death, destruction (emotional and physical), and mayhem everywhere you turn. Your job is not to make sense of all this but instead endure it. Persevere and I know that somehow the Universe (or whatever greater power you believe in, if you choose to believe) and your experiences here on Earth will (fingers crossed) reward you for your effort.
At least this is what helps me cope with it all.
That's what this all boils down to.
Are the tools and ways you cope with negativity and adversity helpful?
Take some time to comtemplate this as we move forward into a new year and check in with yourself again and again. Stay on track with coping skills that are healthy and employ them when needed. You got this!
Wishing you all the best,
Tierra C. Watkins
It can be extremely daunting to become your own boss. Not only does it require a lot of passion, it requires a lot of self-discipline, self-care, and time management as well. Although I have only been a freelance writer for a short amount of time, I know that it is easy to get overwhelmed by everything. This list is a compilation of the items that I use to maximize my ability to create. Be sure to give them a try if you're looking for ways to enhance your freelancing experience or if you're going through a slump and need to incorporate some new things into your routine.
Google Keep is like that multipurpose pocket tool that every savvy outdoor enthusiast yearns for. I consider it important for self-care and time management purposes. It's perfect for those who are constantly having a variety of ideas and are in need of a place to store them. Google Keep can be used to create notes, drawings, lists, and reminders. You can also use it to store pictures and URLs for future reference. I love Google Keep because of its versatility. I use it for everything from organizing my grocery lists to setting reminders to review a client's paper. You can color code these items, as well as label them and share them with others. Trust me, once you start using Google Keep, you'll wonder how you survived before you downloaded it. You can find it at: https://www.google.com/keep/.
A calendar (or collection of calendars) is a basic necessity for anyone who wants to be on top of their time management skills. I utilize Google Calendar, Facebook Calendar, the calendar on my phone, and a paper calendar in my bedroom to ensure that I not only schedule things accordingly but so I can also recieve as many notices about important events and due dates as possible. I like having my virtual calendars because they are always available and easy to update. Plus, I love being able to color code my events and set up reminder notifications. I keep a copy of a paper calendar in my home so that I can take a quick glance at what I have to do before I leave the warm cocoon of my bedroom to begin the day. At night, I get to come home and cross another day off the list and if you're like me, crossing anything off gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment. Ahhhhh, good ole accomplishment.
I use Google Drive to convert clients' documents into a format that I'm able to work with (Google Docs--which automatically saves my work and provides some of the same tools as Word without the price tag) and then once I complete the assignment, I convert it back to the original documents' format and send it back in. Not only does Drive help me save time, it also helps me hone my self-discipline skills by allowing me to access a multitude of useful applications and organizational tools to get my life together. I also use Google Drive to create presentations, budget sheets, and as storage for the two books that I will eventually publish. Because Google Drive is cloud storage, you can use it on any of your devices no matter where you are. This is a definite pro for me because I can edit things while on the bus, or if I'm feeling lazy, I can just write a poem from the comfort of my bed while using my tablet. This tool allows users 15GB of free storage and access to a myriad of applications that rival Microsoft Office Suite. Why don't you consider using this free device to enhance your life? Visit http://www.google.com/drive/ to learn more or download it today!
Honestly, I've struggled with the thought of adding this site to my list. While Pinterest does ensure that I have a never-ending list of yummy recipes, natural hair remedies, and motivational quotes, I tend to get a little sidetracked by all of the information and spend a little too much time looking over everything. To be completely truthful though, I should mention that I am able to use Pinterest for self-care and time management techniques. I'm also able to save all of those techniques in indivudual 'boards' for viewing at a later date. I'm always gonna want to let the world know about a site as fun, easy, and informative as Pinterest. Go make an account right now? Go to https://www.pinterest.com to get started.
"Now go forth and be (re)productive." - God (?)
-Tierra C. Watkins
Sometimes life gets a little topsy turvy. It becomes harder to remember who you are and all of the things you want to accomplish. When you are tossed wayward by the seven winds and end up somewhere you never imagined you could be: put down roots, get nutrients from your surroundings, and bloom where you are planted. Now, I definitely now that this is easier said than done but believe me, it can be done. I have traveled a little and I have to admit, the only way to survive is to embrace your space.
Start by putting down roots. Go out and meet people, explore your area and find new places, see if you can develop new interests. Step outside of your comfort zone (or revel in it) and find some way to solidify your place in the soil. This is the most important thing to do when you are transplanted into a new area. Without roots, you will surely fail to grow and instead whither and die. Never forget that your roots are only in place to ensure that you are able to absorb good vitalizing nutrients from your surroundings.
Utilize your surroundings. Angle your leaves so that you can soak up all of the sun. Spread your petals so that a little gust of wind can jostle and tickle you. Use your community resources and events to find like minded individuals to connect with as well as potential employers and associates. As a freelancer, it is imperative that you spend time surveying and using your surroundings to establish relationships that can further your career and provide you with work opportunities.
Bloom, darling, bloom where you are planted. Persevere so that you can achieve all that you dream of. Make plans and follow through. Go out on little coffee or dinner dates to help reinforce those strong roots you established earlier. Manage your time wisely and be sure to take care of yourself. Don't just bloom, flower child, you can flourish.
-- Tierra C. Watkins