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5 New Year’s Resolutions Every Young Professional Should Make

31 Dec

Ah, what a year 2013 has been. If you’re anything like the majority of the population, you’re probably looking forward to the new year, and with it, a fresh start. But instead of making the standard resolutions this year, like eat better, lose weight and save more money, try these 5 ideas: 

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1. Forget the Fear: How many things have you not done in your life because you were afraid? Whether that’s going out for a new job, telling your boss you’d like a raise, or even saying hello to someone new at a networking event, it’s time to lose the fear and just do it. Especially if that fear is a fear of failing. Those who have succeeded have done so by being courageous and taking the “risks” that others wouldn’t. In 2014, let go of fear and take a chance. 

2. Make New Friends: A lot of articles going around suggest putting down the phone and living in the now in 2014. I challenge you to take it a step further–put down your electronics and put yourself out there, meet more people, make more friends. Success in many industries, including public relations and advertising, is all about who you have in your corner. Surround yourself with people who motivate, encourage and inspire you. In 2014, make friends with people who are smarter, more successful and more motivated than you are. It will rub off.

3. Work on Your Personal Brand: We live in a #digital world, and because of that everything you do online is going to follow you IRL (in real life). How do you want your boss and future co-workers to view you? Your social media profiles is an extension of who you are–put your best foot forward and show everyone the best you possible. There used to be a thing called a diary, which no one else was meant to read. If you must get it off your chest, put it there. In 2014, clean up your social media profiles and appear more professional in your online activities. (See: “How social media can help (or hurt) you in your job search” via Forbes)

4. Find a Mentor: The most important lesson I have learned thus far in my career is that the only way to achieve maximum professional growth is to learn from someone who has already done it. Find someone already in the job that you want and study from them, ask them questions, take the good with the bad and learn from their experiences. If you’re still a student, use that student card! Kick the fear (see #1) and email someone you admire, ask them if you can take them to coffee to ask them questions about their career. In 2014, find your footing by studying someone else’s footsteps. 

5. Learn to Work Well with Others: Yes, we all hated those group projects in school. But, guess what? Group projects happen every day in real life. In fact, your career will undoubtedly be built on the ability to work well with other people. Learn how to play well with others. Observe how others work and understand how best to communicate with them. Teach yourself how to lead a group, and when to sit back and let others lead. Great leaders know how to bring the best out of those they work with. In 2014, practice collaborating with others to produce the best work you can. You cannot succeed alone. Trust me.

Lastly… HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2014 be the best year yet.

Have others you’d add? Comment below!

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Networking Challenge: One a month until graduation

3 Mar

I have recently embarked on a self-imposed networking challenge. 

With the realization that college is over in less than a year, I decided it is about time that I start growing my network here in San Diego. Outside of my current internship, I have set myself the goal of meeting at least one (ideally two) public relations/marketing professionals in San Diego per month until I graduate in December. 

So far, the San Diego community has responded with enthusiasm. By the end of next week, I will have already met with three professionals this month alone. Everyone I meet with is extremely receptive to setting aside some time to sit down and chat with me. We talk about the general aspects of public relations, my aspirations and how I can accomplish my goals for the future.

As of now I can say that this quest has been extremely beneficial to me in terms of figuring out what steps I need to take between now and graduation in order to land a job in December. There truly is no better way to learn about a field than from professionals who spend their lives in it. This experience so far has been absolutely invaluable to my professional education.

Students: Try this out for yourself. The student card is an extremely valuable asset. Once you graduate from college, people are not going to be as receptive to sitting down with you to talk about your future career path. Get out there and meet the people who have been in your shoes and have lived to tell the tale!

Professionals: If you are interested in meeting with me and imparting some of your knowledge on willing ears, feel free to contact me at Samafetian@gmail.com or tweet me @SamAfetian. My goal is to talk to everyone and anyone who will talk to me. I believe you all have something to teach me and I want to learn it as soon as possible.

5 tips for Building an Online Portfolio

20 Nov

If you are thinking about building yourself an online portfolio, you should! Many professionals and professors have recommended that university students and young pros should build an online presence for themselves. Having an online portfolio is the perfect way to do that. Having your own URL also sets you apart from the hundreds of other resumes floating out there.

Here are five tips for building an online portfolio:

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Advice for journalists from ABC reporter Kerri Ritchie (Australia)

3 Oct

Though Australian Broadcast Corporation reporter Kerri Ritchie works out of Melbourne, her advice is absolutely universal.

If you’re an aspiring journalist, this is a must read. 

(This article was originally written for and published by upstart Magazine, an Australian publication for emerging journalists.)

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Google +: The missing link?

30 Jun

The Google+ launch has the social media community in a frenzy! An enormous demand prompted the lucky invitees of the new social media program to open the flood gates on invites, which was eventually suspended by Google. Everyone wants in (including me) and here is why:

Is Google+ the Missing Link in social media?

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Networking: The only way to success

7 May

In this day and age the only way to success is networking. Time and time again we have been told this by professors, professionals and even our parents. It is a message disseminated in so many different mediums that we almost become desensitized to the word. Networking.

We utter it in interviews, in casual conversations. We go places, we talk to people. We get business cards.

But are you networking? Check out these definitions of networking and what it should mean to You: 

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