College Anxiety is Normal.

Whether you’re halfway through your program or just considering full-time education, anxiety is actually normal.

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Unrealistic or excessive worry and fears or guilt
  • Stomach upset, diarrhea, excessive dry mouth
  • Dizziness, chronic tension headaches
  • Racing heart, muscle tension.
Have you tried to cope in any of following ways?
  • More caffeine
  • Procrastination or avoiding contact with classmates or teachers
  • Drinking your worries away
  • Tackling other large unrelated projects
College Fear Anxiety

Anxiety can make you feel alone, but you’re note.

You may be tackling anxiety issues. If exams, assignments and classroom study make you feel anxious, just remember that you’re not alone. Anxiety—especially in college—is actually completely normal. What matters is how you cope.

Strategy #1 – Tackle the Source

Open your emails. Explain to your instructor what’s going on in your life. Make a plan to tackle your to-dos and keep yourself accountable. Communicate if you get stuck. Avoidance often makes anxiety worse. Open communication can help you adjust to the workload that comes with full time classes.

Strategy #2 – Take a Break

Work out. Take a walk. Catch up with friends and family. Watch a movie. Meditate. Read a book. Take a bath. Indulge in whatever ritual you enjoy because sometimes taking a few hours away from the source of your anxiety is enough to come back with fresh eyes and a new approach.

Strategy #3 – Treat Yourself with Compassion

Change is stressful. College can cause anxiety even among people who thrive on learning challenges. Remember that what you are feeling is valid. Don’t try to be perfect or fixate on your mistakes. The important thing is to be open and honest with yourself and keep moving forward towards new experiences.

 

 

9 New Year’s Resolutions for your Career

Whether you’re looking for a 2015 career makeover, or you’d just like to iron out some kinks in your professional life, these 9 New Year’s Resolutions for your career will set you on the right track to make this year your best yet.

1. Identity your skills

Are you a logical, detail-oriented person or a natural communicator? Would you rather work at a creative start-up or a multinational corporation? Take stock of your skills and your preferred work style with these free quizzes.

Human Metrics – Jung Typology Test

What Career is Right for Me? – Assess your skills, interests, style, and values

Rasmussen College Career Aptitude Test – based on your own skills assessment.

Focus Diagnostic – based on what motivates you at work.

2. If you hate your job, make a plan

If you dread going to work each day, you’re not going to do your best work and you and your employer lose out. You need to make a change. That might mean changing your role, taking time off, finding another job, or going back to school.

3. Go back to school

Maybe you need to refresh or upgrade a single course, or maybe you need to consider college, university, or a trade. If your career is stalled out, education and skills training is an excellent option for increasing your confidence and making yourself stand out to employers.

4. Practice work-life balance

Whether your goal is to see more of your friends and family, take more trips, develop skills or hobbies, or just reduce your stress, it’s important to maintain work-life balance. Set up clear boundaries and goals for time spent doing things that have nothing to do with work.

5. Manage your social media presence

Lock down your Facebook to ensure everything you post is private to control what employers and clients can see. This is important because it shows both discretion and tech savviness, which is valuable to employers. Here is a how to guide from Wired’s Wiki. Consider other social media outlets you use and see if there is anything you wouldn’t want your boss or clients to see.

6. Eliminate bad habits

Are you always ten minutes late? Do you check your phone constantly in meetings? Do you leave dirty dishes in the staff room sink? Do you procrastinate on large projects, or check Pinterest or Reddit when you should be working? You might want to break those habits now before you hear about them from your boss.

7. Augment interpersonal skills

Are you a strong communicator or could you use some improvement? Whether you’re working with difficult people, or practicing being assertive, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on your interpersonal skills. Knowing how to communicate effectively with all your coworkers (yes, even the difficult ones) makes you valuable, diplomatic, and effective.

8. Challenge your beliefs

The things we believe about ourselves aren’t always true. We might believe we can’t change a certain habit or that we can’t learn a new skill. Embrace opportunities that challenge your beliefs about your limitations and you will be surprised what you can accomplish, both personally and professionally.

9. Build a comprehensive strategy for how to handle your career in 2015.

Review the last year and make a realistic, actionable plan for how to set your goals in motion this year. Here’s an excellent example from Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Happiness of Pursuit”.

Copyright Bill Waterson, Calvin and Hobbes.

Copyright Bill Waterson, Calvin and Hobbes.

 

Have a safe holiday and a happy new year from everyone at Saskatoon Business College.

 

7 Signs You Need a Change in Career

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to take stock of our personal and career goals and decide if you need to make a major career change.

1. End of weekend dread

Whether it’s Sunday evening or Thursday night, the end of your weekend fills you with dread. You start to wonder if you could get away calling in sick with food poisoning or a great-aunt’s funeral.

2. A monkey could do your job

You don’t feel skilled or appreciated at your job, which leaves you feeling expendable and sometimes frightened about your job security.  It’s important for your long term satisfaction to feel like your work is meaningful and contributes to the betterment of the company.

3. Working for peanuts

Money isn’t everything, but it does pay the bills. If your job isn’t paying yours, it’s time to figure out how to cut your costs, upgrade your skills, or change careers altogether. You’re the only person who can ensure you’re paid what you’re worth.

4. Envy of friends

Do you force a smile and a hearty “congratulations!” when a friend or relative tells you about their job or accomplishments, all the while seething with envy? Do you cringe when you see people with less experience get promotions and raises and opportunities for travel and great perks? Don’t let that resentment eat away at you.

5. You feel trapped

Are you able to learn new skills at your job? Can you plot your next career move and how to achieve it, or is your employer happy to keep you exactly where you are, with no room to grow?

6. Toxic workplace culture

Maybe it’s your boss, or just one terrible coworker. Maybe it’s the entire company culture. A workplace is toxic when there is constant tension, little positive communication, and no trust. Over time, a toxic workplace culture can have a negative affect on your behavior, your goals, and even your mental and physical health.

7. You can’t see your future

Can you imagine yourself with the same job, or even the same company in one year? How about five? Or ten? If you can’t visualize yourself growing with your company, it might be time to consider a change.

 

…but don’t quit your job in search of some vague, perfect, ideal job that may not exist. No matter how much you might love your job, there will always be challenges and difficult people.

4 Signs a Career in Mining is Right for You

How do you know if a career in mining is right for you? Answer ‘yes’ to these four simple questions.

1. You want a professional job that with a leading international corporation

Mining Industry Business Specialist

Ever thought about a career in mining?

Working for large companies can be positive if you’re looking for benefit packages, flexibility, opportunity for growth, and lots of structure. On the other hand, all that structure can mean a lot of red tape, and sometimes a corporate culture that leaves you in the cold. Give some thought to what kind of work environment you’re looking for and what’s a dealbreaker.

2. You want to earn more than other people in your field

In Saskatchewan, as in the rest of the world, a career in mining can end up paying more.  For example, an Accounts Payable clerk working for a major mining company or a key part of the mining supply chain, can expect to earn 44K to start—more than 8K more than the national average for the same work in other industries. Mining industries are keen at attract the best employees and are often willing to pay wages that reflect that.

3. You want jobs in demand

Mining has traditionally been a cycle of boom and bust but new opportunities are always available, both in Canada and abroad. Mining experts like Alex Fallon say that the two staffing challenges they face are attracting qualified engineers and knowledgeable professionals with an understanding of the industry. These two groups are always in demand.

4. You want to learn about business, risk, and mining.

People who attracted to careers in mining need an appetite for risk and an aptitude for business. They need to understand logistics, communications, and health and safety management. Young professionals with this specialized knowledge are uniquely placed to excel, both in the mining industry in Saskatchewan, and across Canada.


For more information on a professional career in Mining, check out SBC’s Mining Industry Business Specialist program, developed in part by SREDA President & CEO Alex Fallon.

The 12 Best Free Apps for College Students

Make the most of your time in college with these 12 best free apps.


Productivity

OneNote/Pocket/Evernote/Google Keep

All these apps collect all your notes, lists, reminders, recipes, homework, photos, voice recordings, and more. You can access from phone, computer, and tablet. All of them are free moderate users and some are free even for users who require a ton of storage. They are similar in their functionality and so which you choose is a matter of preference but in general MS Office users prefer OneNote; Pocket is best for folks with a lot of online reading; Evernote has more features and functions and Google Keep works well for serious Android users.

OneNote |Pocket |Evernote |Google Keep

Evernote elephant

Never forget


Storage and Backup

Dropbox and Google Drive

Known your files are secure and backed up in the cloud. Store personal or work documents, photos, movies, music and more and access them from your phone, computer or tablet. Dropbox has a much larger upload limit while Google Drive allows users to create, upload, and download docs, spreadsheets, diagrams, pdfs, videos, and more.

Dropbox | Google Drive (video)

 Agendas and Lists

Any.do/Wunderlist

Create and curate lists and schedule reminders, share with others, and schedule your day for maximum productivity. Try both apps to see which one you prefer.

Any.do| Wunderlist

Share your lists

Harness your lists


Budgeting

Mint

There are no runner-ups when it comes to free, secure personal finance software. Plug in all your financial info to create a budget, find ways to save, and be alerted to suspicious financial activity on your cards. This is an award-winning tool to track and manage your income and expenses.

Mint

Mint dot com

Manage your money intuitively


Reference

Dictionary.com/Wikipedia

Both are terrific references. Dictionary.com is your portable word and spelling reference manual, while Wikipedia provides brief, reasonably accurate overviews of complex ideas and topics for further research. Both are free to download.

Dictionary.com | iPhone | Android

Wikipedia | Android |iPhone


Relax

Calm

Sometimes you feel overwhelmed. Practice Guided or free meditation along with an optional how-to so you can take anywhere from 2-30 minutes out of your day, recharge, and live in the moment.

Calm

Calm app

Take a deep breath

Are You Technophobic? How To Turn Your Fear Into Power

Do you feel like modern technology is moving to fast?

Do you feel anxious at the thought of being asked to learn a new program at work?

Do you think people today are far too reliant on technology?

Do you feel out of the loop around people discussing apps and software?

Have you given up trying to keep track of the latest and greatest in new technology?

laptop fear

How confident do you feel?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you just might be a technophobe.

You might not think that’s such a bad thing, but it can have negative consequences in other areas of your life. Consider the following ways this might currently or one day impact your life.


internet fatigue

Social Media isn’t all or nothing.

At work

  • Increasing anxiety that you are out of touch and might become obsolete.
  • Fear of learning new technology that your company has mandated.
  • Dread that you are too old or uninformed to keep up with the pace of change in business.

At home

  • Fear of missing out on new conveniences designed to improve your home life.
  • Anxiety at the thought of your children learning technology you don’t understand.
  • Concern for the safety and security of your child’s welfare online.
  • Fear of scamming, hacking, phishing, or other digital crimes.
  • Loss of confidence in your ability to learn that can bleed into other areas of life.

 Fear of technology is mostly about attitude. It can further broken down into several very valid, real fears that everyone experiences.

Laptop freak out

Don’t let fear overwhelm you.

  • Fear of change – resistance to new ways of doing things.
  • Fear of feeling stupid – desire to disguise our ignorance about things we don’t understand.
  • Fear of aging or losing relevance – feeling our wealth of information is not longer valuable.
  • Fear of technological dependence – worry that we will lose our current skills and become overdependent  and incapable of ‘unplugging’.
  • Fear of failure – fear we will overcomplicate our lives, ruin systems rather than improving them, or that we will attempt to learn something and fail.

The good news is, technophobia is possible to overcome.

It is a self-limiting belief that we choose to fulfill when we give in to the belief that we can’t learn something new or that our ignorance is virtuous.

phone tech fear

It’s all about trial and error.

Here are some strategies for challenging those self-limiting beliefs and gradually becoming more confident in the way we engage with new technology.

 Technology isn’t all or nothing. It’s a buffet.

Even people who work in tech for a living don’t know everything about it. They choose to learn only about things that interest them or might improve their lives. Reading a little about new and widely available technology, like phone or computer apps, can help you learn how certain kinds of software can make your life easier without overwhelming you.

You can’t wreck it and it won’t wreck you.

Good news for technophobes — it’s not easy to break it. Your phone, your tablet, your computer, your modem – pressing buttons you’ve never pressed before, or fiddling with different settings won’t wreck anything. If something happens you didn’t intend on and you can’t reset your tech, odds are that someone else knows how and would be happy to put it right. Likewise, people don’t become mindless, tech-obsessed zombies overnight. Let technology be a tool in your life that provides shortcuts so you have more time to spend on the things that really matter in your life.

Challenging your comfort zone benefits other areas of your life.

When we push ourselves out of our daily routines and habits of thinking, it not only builds new pathways and circuits in the brain, but it also challenges the beliefs we have about ourselves and our capabilities. When we learn something new, especially if challenges us, we find ourselves empowered to do other difficult things we aspire to attempt.

Use technology to answer your questions.

Here’s a secret. Most techies are not necessarily more knowledgeable about the tech they use, they’re just better at knowing where and how to solve their problems. Googling specific questions “How to reset zoomed iPhone screen” will yield plenty of answers. YouTube also provides many tutorials so you can follow along and pause when needed.

Imagine yourself as an explorer.

Encountering new tech can be overwhelming. Sometimes there are dozens of program buttons with no explanation. Many young, tech savvy users don’t actually “use” every program on their phone or computer. Sometimes everything is disconcertingly simple you it’s hard to figure out how to make the tech DO anything. In both cases you need to play around and try different things. Learn how to close or escape functions and programs and then try everything twice. You won’t break it. You’re just learning, the same way every other user does.

Prepare for lifelong learning.

Technology doesn’t cease to evolve just because we stop keeping up with it. Nor is it all or nothing – just because you’re not an expert doesn’t mean there’s no point in paying attention. There are so many benefits to challenging your own beliefs about yourself and about technology. Continuous learning improves your brain function and your confidence.

 

Do you live to work or work to live?

Have you heard the phrase “work-life balance”? It’s not just corporate speak for juggling our personal and professional lives perfectly. It’s crucial to remember that balance is important, but everyone’s priorities are slightly different when it comes to “work-life balance”—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Ultimately you have to understand why you work in the first place.

Are you the type of person who lives to work, or the type who works to live?

working woman

Hard work can definitely pay off.

Live-to-work types of people often believe it’s very important to love one’s job. They are driven and often energized by professional accomplishments. They might enjoy the thrill of turning a profit for their company, or they might have a deep personal investment in working for a cause. These people not only have to believe in necessity of their work, but they become disenchanted if their work requires them to do something they find meaningless or unethical. People who live to work even talk about their work differently. They often strive to have a “career” instead of just a job, and they are more likely work on “projects” than “assignments”.  They believe hard work, creativity, and professional achievement are extremely important in their lives.

So what kind of person lives to work? It depends on who you ask. This type is sometimes characterized as the workaholic family man, but this is an outdated perspective. Many men and women, whether they are in professional fields or not, can be described as living to work. There is also a perception that young people—specifically Gen Y—is not interested in working hard and paying their dues. However, studies have shown that many members of both Gen X and Gen Y consider meaningful, ethical work to be vital in their professional lives.

Break from work

There’s nothing wrong with preferring this to the office.

Work-to-live types have a different philosophy. After all, everyone needs a paycheque and only a lucky few have the luxury of doing having a fun, glamorous job. As far as these folks are concerned, it’s important to be realistic, play to your strengths, and do what’s necessary to keep the money, benefits, and vacation time rolling in. There are more important things in life than work. There’s family and friends; fitness, hobbies, and adventures. Anyone who has dozens of professional projects on the go can tell you that something’s got to give, and that something is usually downtime. People who work to live would rather keep their heads down at work and plan for their annual vacation, or forgo overtime to spend time with their kids, or practice for the upcoming marathon. It’s not that they can’t work hard. People who work to live use their jobs as a means to an end, while people who live to work find their jobs an end all on their own.

It’s often true that very young people work to live, since they have not had the opportunity or experience necessary to engage in work they find meaningful. Working to live has less to do with how young or old someone is, or their economic class, and more to do with where they derive pleasure in their lives. If traveling or training or weekends at the cabin are more important in your life than a major acquisition or breakthrough at work, you might just be the kind of person who works so they can live the life they desire.

It’s tempting to look down on whichever work philosophy we don’t subscribe to, and think those people are boring obsessives or lazy clockpunchers, but that’s both unfair and an oversimplification.  Few people are entirely one type or the other, and it’s normal for one person to transition from one type to another over the course of their life. Someone who is young and has the freedom to work as much as they like may strive to get ahead and then scale back once they have a family. Raising their children and having flexibility might be that person’s highest priority. As their child matures, they might decide to go back to school or try something new for work they’ve always enjoyed and suddenly, the might live to work all over again. One way is not better than the other. Different lives require different priorities.

Family matters

We don’t all have the same priorities – and that’s okay.

It’s important to understand which category you (mostly) fall into, so that when you’re planning your personal and professional life, you are realistic about your desires and your goals. Will you be happy at a job where you might be asked to work most weekends or receive emergency calls at three in the morning? Probably not in you work to live. Will someone who lives to work be happy receiving more money and benefits to be given dull projects or work for a company he or she find unethical? Maybe in the short term, but in the long term they want a career they can be proud of.

So think about what matters most in your life and why and see if you can answer for yourself whether you live to work, or whether you work to live.

5 Great Ways to Demonstrate Experience to Employers

Today’s economy can be tricky. You need experience to get the job, but without doing the job, you can’t get experience. Sound familiar? Here are 5 ways to break away from the Catch-22 and demonstrate experience to employers.

  1. Showcase school projects where you learned crucial skills. These might include leadership, analysis, critical thinking, problem solving. This is a great way to sell less practical experience. If you make a great impression on an instructor, consider asking them for a reference to bolster your resume.
  1. Highlight unrelated job experience and what you learned. It’s not about lying or padding your resume, it’s about reminding potential employers to think critically about skills you’ve earned in other industries. For example, you’re not a restaurant worker, you’ve trained and supervised a staff of 20 with a yearly revenue of 2 million.
  1. Understand the importance of networking. You’ve probably heard that the majority of vacant jobs are not publicly posted. Most people find networking to be an awkward, even nerve-racking experience, but like most social skills, it gets easier with practice. After all, sometimes it really is more about who you know.
  1. Craft a portfolio of your achievements. This could contain work or school projects, awards and recognition, glowing letters of reference, certifications you’ve earned, or relevant projects from your personal life of which you are particularly proud. Having a portfolio handy means keeping a file together and handy so that when an employer asks why are you the right candidate for this position? all you have to do is open a page on your portfolio to demonstrate your value.
  1. Consider what have you done outside of your job and education experience that could be valuable. Most employers are thrilled to hear that you volunteer, raise funds, or otherwise participate in your community. Job seekers with volunteer experience demonstrate cooperation, communication skills, leadership, and passion for their community.
5 ways to demonstrate experience

Put Your Best Foot Forward

5 Biggest Resume Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Saskatchewan is changing. Saskatoon and Regina are growing. And everyone who’s looked for work in the past 10 years has committed a few of these resume mistakes, but don’t despair. Once you know what employers are looking for, the callbacks will start rolling in.

Your resume mistakes

  1. You didn’t proofread it.

When you’re sending out dozens of resumes a week, it’s easy to cut corners and skim instead of proofreading properly. But if you send a resume out with spelling mistakes or typos, you may as well not have bothered at all. So take the extra ten minutes and make sure you’re making the best possible first impression.

  1. Your resume isn’t tailored to your employer

Yes, it’s a lot of work to tailor your resume for every job you apply for, but in today’s economy, it’s also completely necessary. First of all, your competition is submitting a tailored resume and if you submit a generic one, don’t expect a call back. Secondly, you know those online applications a lot of companies make you use to apply? They contain software designed to weed out generic resumes by searching for specific keywords mentioned in the original job posting. Your generic resume will never even make it before a pair of human eyes. And finally? It looks lazy. If you’re applying to a job you even kind of want with a generic resume, I can guarantee there are at least twenty other applicants who want it badly and aren’t afraid to tailor their resume to get it.

  1. Your resume highlights duties instead of accomplishments

Unless you’re applying to your very first job, employers know that you had responsibilities at your previous position. Imagine you’re looking for a job in marketing and your resume says you “managed the email list.” Now imagine your competition’s resume says “increased email subscribers by 20% in six months”. Who do you think gets the job? (Just don’t lie! Finding a way to highlight your contributions and just making them up are totally different things and you WILL get caught and it won’t be worth it.)

  1. Your resume lacks specifics and vague doesn’t sell.

In the above example we said used a timeline and a measurement of improvement. Canada’s job market can be very competitive, so it’s important to demonstrate that you’re not just going to be another warm body at the office—you’re going to improve the company. You demonstrate this by taking those duties you’ve transformed into accomplishments and making them specific but truthful. You can think about this a number of ways. Did you ever save the company time or money? Did you develop new practices or reorganize something? Were you ever recognized, even informally, by your supervisors? Did you solve any problems? Did you help the company achieve its goals? What made you really great at your job?

  1. You don’t understand the point of a resume. (Hint: It isn’t to get a job)

The point of a resume isn’t to get a job, it’s to get an interview. So what’s the difference? It’s crucial not to overload your resume with every possible detail. Your resume starts to look like a wall of text. Even if employers have time to read it, why would they want to interview you? They already know everything about you. So provide some relevant details about your education and experience but keep it as brief as possible. After reading your resume, you want employers get excited and feel they have to meet you because you could be exactly who their organization needs.

 

 


 

Other resources for job hunting:

CanSask 

SaskJobs.ca

For Newcomers:

Saskatoon Newcomer Information Centre

YWCA Saskatoon

Saskatoon Open Door Society

 

How to Change Your Life with SMART Goals

We’ve all made choices in life we regret and most of us have dreamt of a fresh start. It’s important to remember that no matter where you went wrong and no matter how overwhelming a major life change may seem, you are never stuck. The key is to look at the big picture. Take your greatest goals and aspirations, and break them down into small, manageable chunks.

Don’t underestimate the importance of setting concrete, realistic goals. Everyone wants to win the lottery and retire to a private island, but real goal setting involves taking small, actionable steps and making them a habit in your life.

In order to ensure your success, it’s important that your goals meet a few criteria. One great method of evaluating your goals is the SMART method.

SPECIFIC – The more specific you make your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Consider “lose weight” vs. “lose five pounds this month”, or “get a better job” vs. “enroll in an accounting class and apply for that bookkeeper position”. Vague goals can seem impossible to fulfill but specific goals can become part of your daily routine.

MEASURABLE – Ensuring your goal is measurable helps keep you on track. If you know you need 70% on all those accounting tests, you know you need to study. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to get exercise and ensure you’re filling up on fruits and vegetables. Breaking a large goal down into measurable steps can be motivational, since you can see yourself getting closer to achieving your goal every day.

ACHIEVABLE – You need to be realistic about your resources. Do you have the time, energy, and finances to achieve your goal? Can you get them? Figure out who can help you to achieve your goals.

REALISTIC – Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Expect the best but plan for the worst. If you don’t account for hiccups along the way, you may find yourself easily discouraged by minor setbacks. Make imperfection part of your plan.

TIMELY – It’s useful to give yourself a set time-frame in which to achieve those goals. If you leave the deadline to achieve your goal completely open, it’s easy to procrastinate making important decisions or actions and lose track of all the progress you’ve made. Setting realistic deadlines and holding yourself to a schedule is the best way to ensure you achieve your goals.

Above all, take it one day at a time. Forming new habits or making a major life change is challenging. If you lose sight of your goals one day, get back on the horse the next day. Give yourself the benefit of a fresh start, and be kind to yourself. You’re choosing to invest in your future and that’s always a good thing.

Goat Setting the SMART way

No one starts at the top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on SMART goal setting:

University of Victoria

Vancouver Coastal Health

Heart and Stroke Foundation, Saskatchewan