Monthly Archives: November 2016

4 Things I Wish I Did Right After College

right after college

“Shoulda, woulda, coulda”. We all have moments in our lives that we wish we could do differently, or alter somehow. In the end, though, all we can do is plan for a better future, right?

Personally, there are plenty of opportunities I did not take right after college that I wish I had. Now that I’m older, I appreciate the things that I took for granted at the time, things like internships, living at home, and the opportunity to start a side gig.

Despite this, I am ultimately grateful for the path I did take. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here relaying all my mistakes to 24 Seven readers in hopes they make wiser choices! Trust me, if I knew then what I know now I would have done quite a few things differently like…

#1 Pursued an internship

Once you enter the real world, you will quickly realize that experience is an invaluable quality. Real-life, hands-on experience is what sets you apart from other candidates when applying for a job fresh out of college. The best way to get this experience? Through an internship.

As I was going to school to be a teacher, in the back of my mind I thought, ‘I’ll just graduate with a degree and get a job at Chanel’. Little did I know that getting an internship at a luxury fashion brand is extremely difficult, let alone trying to get hired full-time with no experience!

Internships are the best introduction to any industry you may have an interest in. You not only get your first taste of the working world, you also get to learn the ropes of the field you’re hoping to get into. You may also realize at this time that what you thought you wanted isn’t actually all that great when you’re living it.It is so important to learn as much as you can about a company, starting from the bottom all the way to the top, because you gain a greater understanding and appreciation. This knowledge will in turn, help you properly align yourself so you can build your resume to get the dream job you want out of school.

#2 Got a recruiter

A recruiter is something I didn’t even know existed until I came to 24 Seven looking for a job! I was under the impression you had to pay a recruiter to help find you a job and as a recent grad I did not have the money for something like that. Now I know it’s quite the opposite and recent grads are high in demand at a recruitment agency.

As a recent grad or someone about to graduate, your skills are fresh, you’re ambitious, and you’re ready to take on whatever challenges are thrown at you. Companies strongly take this into consideration when they’re hiring, but one might not know that unless you worked with a recruiter.

#3 Learned more about freelancing

Our 2016 Salary Survey reported 22% of Freelancers will increase their rates between 10-20%, we can only imagine what the stats will be next year, (take our 2017 survey today)! Freelancing is the next major wave on the job front and it is a great way to get your foot in the door of any industry right after college. Typically the relationships you form from freelancing will help carry you throughout your career.

One of the biggest challenges I  found when I was fresh out of college was building the right connections. But if you learn about #2 sooner rather than later, you’ll learn recruiters have all the connections you need. In fact, it’s their job!

#4 Saved my money

Saving your money is a key component upon entering the “real world” on your own. You need money for living expenses like food, rent, and home necessities. You also need money to fund any side gigs or potentially further your career through online courses.

You also need to have money saved in case you don’t land a job right out of college. When you start saving money while you’re in college, this will set you up for later in life when you start thinking about retirement, starting a family, etc. A saving account will give you a nice emergency cushion to fall back on so you can take the time to figure out where you really want to be rather than rushing to any job that comes your way.

 

It’s never too late to change direction or uproot your current career path, even if you’re well out of college. The sooner you figure out what direction you want to go, the sooner recruiting companies like 24 Seven can help you get there.

Are you a recent grad or in college? If so, check out our job openings today! 

Written by: Brittany Johnston

Career Over Coffee: Moz Founder & SEO Consultant Rand Fishkin

careerovercoffee_moz_randfishkin

SEO this, Google ranking that. It seems today that if you want to stand out in any industry you need to know about SEO! Whether you’re a job seeker, world renowned brand, or entrepreneur, Moz’s founder, Rand Fishkin offers insider SEO information you don’t want to miss.

Q: Briefly describe your background. 

I used to be in web design, but wasn’t very good at it. After some nasty debts and some poor business decisions in the early 2000s, I pivoted to SEO consulting, and then SEO software/tools in 2007.

I’ve been in Seattle my entire life, and that’s where we built Moz’s business. Technically, I was born in New Jersey, but my parents moved out west when I was 3 months old, so Seattle’s really the only home I’ve known.

I’m also a college dropout, which I suppose is a popular choice with entrepreneurs these days 🙂

Q: How has SEO proved beneficial to your career, what specific ways has your business grown because of SEO?

Moz has definitely eaten its own dogfood. Early on with our website, I began writing about topics in the SEO world, and discovered I had knack for making complicated topics easy to understand. That skill enabled me to build up a large amount of content on our website that earned rankings, links, shares, and engagement, helping us rank well in Google, which began driving thousands of visitors from search each day over to Moz.com. These days, we’re getting north of 3 million visits a month, and about 30% of those come from search!

SEO is awesomely powerful because it sends people who are looking for something precise right to the page on your site that can help serve them. That traffic is often much more highly engaged than other forms of referring traffic (like social media), and much more likely to convert.

Q: Best practices for SEO are always evolving, how do you stay current on the tricks of the trade?

I read. A lot! And of course, at Moz, we also have large scale data tracking efforts like Mozcast.com that let us see what’s changing in the search results, as well as a rich community of contributors and SEO professionals asking and answering questions every day. Following some good SEO folks on Twitter is also immensely helpful to me.

Q: SEO can be very confusing especially for anyone new to marketing, do you have any suggestions on getting your feet wet?

First off, I’d make sure that SEO is something you’re willing to invest a lot of time and energy in (or a lot of resources for a good consultant or hire). SEO is a very competitive practice – there are only a few spots on Google’s first page, and the organizations that invest heavily are going to be the ones that win, so this isn’t an area you can skimp on. If you do decide to focus on SEO, be patient – results take a long time. That’s because you need to create compelling content that earns engagement, a brand that earns links, a process that becomes a flywheel for ranking signals, and often, a lot of technical investments into your site, too.

If all that is something you’re ready for, check out this free Beginner’s Guide to SEO or, if you prefer video, I filmed a free SEO class with Skillshare that may be useful.

Q: What are you reading?

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I almost always stick to fiction.

Q: Do you have any examples of companies you’ve seen succeed because of their SEO strategy?

Absolutely! Yelp, Tripadvisor, Amazon, Metacritic, Findlaw, Realself, Avvo, RetailMeNot, and hundreds of others sites have built their customer acquisition base on SEO.

 

What’s your biggest challenge or question when it comes to SEO? Tell us in the comments!

Written by: Brittany Johnston

3 Things to Consider Before Taking a New Job

things to consider before taking a new job

When you feel valued, respected, and fulfilled in your job, it is natural that you will be inclined to tell your friends, about your job satisfaction (which is great news for employers). After all, many adult conversations usually go along the lines of, “How are you? How’s work?”

We want to be able to brag about our jobs, not complain about them, but how do we get to this point?

Before you accept a job make sure you understand the responsibilities of the position, the company’s mission, and the cultural environment to ensure your happiness in the role. Our annual Salary Survey revealed that 74% of workers reported authenticity as a top aspect of company culture. So, here are 3 things to consider before taking a new job:

#1 Make sure your best interests are at heart

No one wants to feel like they’re another cog in the corporate wheel. Employees want to feel like the companies they work for really care about them.

So how do you go about finding this ideal company? Well, like most problems, start at the beginning. During an interview, ask questions that will give you a feel for the corporate environment. You can ask questions like how involved is the CEO? Or, what role do employees play in shaping the company? When you work for a company that is driven by its employees, your performance will be at its peak and the company culture will be solid.

Be clear about your professionals goals, and make sure they match the opportunities available to you in this new position.

When you see current employees giving their best, read positive company reviews, and get the answers you’ve been looking for, you can rest assured knowing you’ve found a company match.

#2 Assess empathy level

Every employee has a story and every employee is going to experience challenges in both their professional and personal lives. You want to find a company that is willing to show compassion and empathy toward these situations. Pinterest, for example, offers new parents the chance to ease back into a work schedule that suits them and their new family.

As hard as we might try to keep our professional and personal life separate, the reality today is that we’re experiencing more of a work/life blend. This may be why 79% of workers reported a company’s attitude toward work/life balance impacts company culture substantially.

Another great way to find out about a company’s level of empathy is to ask what the interviewer loves most about his/her job. The answer will tell you about the types of people employed there as well as the company overall. If you can form a meaningful relationship during the interview, it’s likely that this feeling will translate to the company as a whole.

#3 Ask about autonomy

Nothing is worse than feeling constrained at work. How creative you can be on a project, what you can say on social media, and how you’re expected to interact with customers and coworkers varies from company to company. Granted, there is a degree of professional etiquette you must maintain at work, but you  still want to be able to express yourself freely to some degree. You want to work for an employer who trusts you to be “on brand” in your own way.

When employers give the option for autonomy, it’s empowering. When we feel empowered, we produce our best work which in turn creates a positive and successful work environment.

The potential of a new job is exciting, and terrifying at the same time. You want to make the best decision for yourself and carefully examine the areas that contribute to your happiness. Of course, there are many other things to consider before taking a new job but sometimes the less obvious aspects turn out to be the most important.

 

What do you consider before taking a job? Tell us about it in the comments!

 

Written by: Brittany Johnston

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