Gen Wise Perspective

Gen Y's perspective (pun intended) on our journey through work, life, and everything in between.

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Can You Help Us Change the Laws on Stalking?

When Jackie and I read Gini Dietrich’s blog post sharing her personal story about stalking, we were both shocked and sickened by the terrifying situations that stalking victims endure. The worst (and probably scariest) part is that, in almost every instance, the police told these victims there is nothing they can do until an attack happens.

The other hard truth we learned is how often stalking occurs. As Gini’s post states, “In the U.S. alone, 14 in every 1,000 women of 18 and older are victims of stalking.”

Jackie and I both knew instantly we wanted to get involved and help change the laws on stalking.

This month, Danny Brown’s 12for12K highlights Jodi’s Voice, an organization started in honor of Jodi Sanderholm, a victim of stalking.

Watch this video to learn more about the issue.

Here are a few other ways you can get involved with the cause:

A very special thank you to Gini Dietrich for sharing her story and her post.

Are you real world ready?

The quote to the right of this was one that I kept with me throughout college. I printed it out, and had it in my planner every year of my college duration. It taught me to never look back at my mistakes and to keep looking forward.

At this time last year, I was a senior at Loyola University. Currently in a state of panic, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life once graduation came. Fast forward to a year from then, and I am seeing friends of mine deal with the same situation. The feeling that you have no idea where your life will be in a month is one of the most terrifying feelings in the world. So how do you deal with it?

If I could give current college students any advice for the next month of their life, it would be these four things:

Look everywhere for opportunities.

When you are searching for a job, don’t stick to job boards. Look for jobs anywhere and everywhere you can. I found my job at Walker Sands from an email blast that a Loyola professor sent out about the opportunity (who received the job posting from Jackie, and the rest is history 🙂 ) Having said that, you never know where you can find a job. Always keep your eye out. Twitter will be your BFF in the job hunt. People post jobs constantly on Twitter, so talk to them when you see opportunities that fit. Most old-school college teachers will tell you that is crazy, but those are usually the ones who do not even understand what social media is. Sites like Media Bistro and Career Builder are great as well. Also, check with your University career center. They may have resources that are sent directly to your school.

Don’t freak out if you don’t have a master plan set up.

Let’s say all of your friends are landing great gigs, and you are still searching. Don’t panic or give up hope. Keeping a positive attitude and talking to positive people is essential. Don’t let your mind talk you out of it. Take it one day at a time. It will fall into place when it needs to. If you need some inspiring words of wisdom, go here.

Find mentors, and talk to them.

If you don’t have a mentor, now is the time to connect to one. Mentorships come naturally, so talking to people with similar interests and values will help you to build mutually beneficial mentorships. Having someone that you can share and vent to about the frustrations of a job search is vital. If you ever want advice from me, shoot me an email, tweet, or comment here. I am happy to give advice, and I know Jackie is as well. We were both in your shoes this time last year. We understand. No question is silly. Ask away.

Enjoy the ride.

Even though you will be stressed out, overwhelmed, and not knowing what to do – enjoy every minute of it. Stay out late with your friends. Do everything you want to do as a student before the time is up. Have no regrets. Why? You worked your ass off for 4 years, and you will spend the rest of your life proving your degree was worth it. So rock on.

Here are a few other resources for students/soon-to-be grads:

There are thousands of blogs and sites out there that will keep you inspired and positive. Let me know what your favorites are. I’m always looking for new reads.

How well are you interacting?

“Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go. Every time we waste that opportunity, every page or sentence that doesn’t do enough to advance the cause is waste.” – Seth Godin

If you didn’t know already, I absolutely adore Seth Godin. This quote instantly grabbed my attention with the line, “to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them” – and lead me to ask myself, how well am I interacting?

Throughout my first three years of college, I didn’t really have an active presence on the internet. I made a Facebook my junior year as a means of keeping up with friends and family, but other than that I didn’t do much besides schoolwork and the occasional search YouTube for funny videos. My senior year was when I knew I needed to start interacting with people on the internet and getting to know others in the industry outside of my inner circle of connections.

And then came my senior capstone. I knew I wanted to find out more about the advertising world, but had no idea where to start looking for people to talk to. So I turned to Twitter. It took one day for me to search through hundreds of different users, and I made an instant connection with Sheri Strykowski and Lisa Hickey. Both did interviews with me, and gave me some of the best insights into the industry I have ever been given.

So how did I do it?

I did my homework.

Before I even approached them, I knew I had to do my research. The last thing you want to do is reach out to someone without taking the time to see who the person is. Don’t let your first impression to them be a negative one. Take the extra time and do your homework. See what they do for a living. Look at projects they have worked on. Research. Create Space even made guidelines to searching for Twitter users.

I followed up, but I didn’t stalk them.

There is a huge difference between being persistent and being a stalker. You want to follow up with people, but you also don’t want to reach out to them every day if you don’t hear anything. Remember that people are busy. They aren’t constantly tied to their Twitter account, or any account for that matter. Give them a few days.

I thanked them for their time.

Sounds crazy, but I have come across countless people that forget the power of those two words. If someone gives you insight, knowledge, or a new way of thinking – let them know. You would be surprised at the impact those two words will make. The basic idea of showing gratitude for someone’s time is essential in any industry. Take a look at these thank you note tips for writing.

This simple example is one of hundreds I have experienced. Each day, I am inspired and influenced by so many people that I interact with. Showing the person you are talking to respect and keeping the relationship informative and positive between both parties is key.

Where would we be without you, Twitter?

In case you didn’t know, today is Twitter’s 5th Birthday. Since Jackie and I are such avid fans of the site, it only made sense that we give it a shout-out today.

Via freshtutorial.comAlthough there are millions on the site, I still come across Twitter haters (or “non-believers” as I call them). If you still don’t see the value of Twitter, check out this infographic from ViralBlog:

A co-worker at Walker Sands is currently testing the waters herself in a 30-Day Twitter challenge. Read all about it here. If you are looking to start a Twitter and have no idea where to start, give myself or Jackie a shout-out on there. We’d be happy to introduce you to the site.

Happy Birthday Twitter!

What’s the best way to stick to New Year’s resolutions?

With the Christmas rush finally at a close, it’s time to start looking ahead to the new year approaching us. Like many, I usually have huge goals for myself in January, but come March they are all just distant memories. This year, it’s time to make some attainable goals and stick to them. Since I needed solid advice for sticking to my plans, I turned to my Twitter friends. They gave me some awesome tips, check them out here:

Bex Allen

“Make ’em small and make ’em with a buddy.”

Christa Marzan

“Last year, I did some blog posts about how mine were going. Announcing them publicly normally guilts you into keeping them.”

Ashley Haynes

“1) Make it reasonable & reachable 2) Get someone else involved – partners are good to push each other!!”

Seth Drury

“Try to find some group/partner resolutions to follow or share your list with friends in order to keep the goals in check.”

Jenn McTigue

“If you tell a lot of people what you want to do you’ll have to do it. Picture yourself achieving your goal before you go to bed and you’re more likely to achieve it.”


“Take it on a day-to-day basis and expect to falter, dont think that if broken once, twice, etc that means you’ve blown it.”

Angie C.

“Tell someone else about your resolution so that way you have someone that can help you with it or motivate you with it. Or for me if someone knows what I want to do and loves the idea I would hate to let not only myself down but them as well.”

Sarah Haverkamp

“Decide on a resolution that is attainable. Also surround yourself with people who can support you in sticking to your goal.”

An P

“Set one goal, that is the best way.”

Matt Lindner

“Be very, very specific with what you want to accomplish. Has to be a change in your life that you’ve needed to make. It can’t be something that’s impossible, otherwise you’ll give up way before and wind up just as unhappy.”

Keith Stoeckeler

“Write them down and post where you can see the paper daily. Track your progress (probably an app for that). Also important to give yourself small rewards to appreciate your progress thus far and keep yourself motivated for completion.”

Elliot Volkman

“I find setting a timeline and making goals help.”

Brian Santiago

“My best way to keep my New Years resolution are Post-Its……I love em! I stick em in random places to remind myself daily!”

So even if you aren’t making resolutions this year (like my friend Paul), you could still use these tips for any type of goal setting. My personal tip is to stay positive no matter what. If your goal isn’t turning out the way you planned, maybe you should look at how you are approaching it.

Thanks to C Falco for helping me get the word out about this post!

Good luck everyone and Happy New Year! : )

Do you use your social networks for social good?

Today’s blog post is inspired by one of my favorite social media/PR correspondents, Sarah Evans. Sarah, who is one of the most social, kind hearted people in the industry, heard about the fire that destroyed Eva’s Bridal in Oak Lawn Illinois on Wednesday. She decided to not only Tweet that she would loan out her own wedding dress to a bride in need, but also set up a Google Document where people can come and add their bridal gowns to the list, loaning them out to brides who are now left without dresses. Right now there are over 300 people on the list to loan out their dresses.

This heartwarming story lead me to think – do you ever use your social networks to help out others?

I’m not saying you have to start tweeting about things you aren’t passionate about just because you think others will appreciate it, but look at your personal profile and ask yourself: what image of myself is the internet seeing? You may think you have your social networks under control, but what does the world see? It’s a great thing to stop and think about. So before you tweet that complaint about your burnt bagel, maybe just tweet something positive that’s happened in your day. And besides, do you really want to be known as the person online who complains about everything? Having a positive voice on the internet can only lead to greater things.

This concludes my public service announcement for the day. Everyone have a great weekend!

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