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Your Career is Calling.

How to slay the job market and become the professional you were destined to be.

Adventure awaits, Professional! Whether you're seeking employment for the first time (even amidst a pandemic), eyeing a new career path, or counting down the days until retirement, we’ve mapped out all of the steps—as well as the skills—to conquer every stage of your professional journey.

So dust off that weathered resume, overcome your competition, beseech your current or future employer for that raise, and uncover those hidden company benefits. These skills—and more—are just a scroll (ahem, below) away.

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Getting Started

Humble Beginnings

"Friend, you have a mind to work, do you?"

- Homer, The Odyssey

Whether you’ve just graduated from college or have decided to pursue a new career, congratulations are in order. Exciting times are ahead …albeit occasionally nerve-wracking ones.


It can be difficult to navigate the professional world! Odds are, you’re not completely sure how to land the job you want, and you may not even know what profession suits you best.

Fear not, aspiring professional. We’ve got all the tools below to get you moving in the right direction.

Before you start applying for jobs, a good first step is to craft your story. In professional-speak, your story is your resume. Writing a resume (or building a portfolio) can be a daunting task (especially if you’re not much of a gloater). But your resume can make all the difference in helping you rise above other candidates (especially in the time of say, a pandemic). Be sure to take time to ensure it’s working in your favor.

Experience is a necessity for almost any job. If you have experience in your preferred industry, that’s great! But if you’re fresh out of college or changing career paths, then how do you gain experience? One of the best ways to fill out your resume and/or gain relevant experience is by volunteering. Volunteering can help you find work that serves you well in future positions. It also shows employers that you’re committed to gaining valuable experience.

Once your resume is in order, and you’ve listed your experience, it’s almost time to start getting in touch with people. Sending off your resume to potential employers can only do so much. That’s why a cover letter is your best chance of making a solid first impression. Don’t just provide a bulleted list of qualifications and experience. Use your cover letter as a tool to build a connection with the person reading it. Be sure to state why you’re qualified, but also express what makes you unique.

Remember, it’s never too late to make a career switch and find your true calling. Yes, gearing up for the job hunt is tedious and time-consuming. A lot of work goes into pitching yourself, and it’s not always easy. But putting the work in now will pay you back ten-fold when you begin to apply and interview for open positions.

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You Landed an Interview

Rising to the Occasion

"And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared."

- Homer, The Odyssey

Congrats on landing an interview! You’ve stood out amongst a vast pool of applicants, so you should be proud. While you’re likely excited to have your foot in the door, there’s still plenty of work left to do.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to job interviews. Acing interviews is a skill that you’ll likely improve over time. As you learn how to best frame your work experience and personal interests, you’ll receive better feedback from employers. Don’t be discouraged if your first job interview isn’t perfect; you’re bound to learn from the experience and be better the next time around.

The best way to feel confident before (and during) your interview is to do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the position as well as the company that’s bringing you in. Take the time to thoroughly review the responsibilities of the position. Think about how your background and skill set would serve you well in this role. Interviews are all about proving your worth to the employer and demonstrating why you’d be the best person for the job.

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They Made You an Offer


"Few people attain the praise of their great sires…"

- Homer, The Odyssey

If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve received a job offer! Once you’ve finished celebrating, you’ll want to consider a few things before signing on the dotted line, even if the offer is for your dream job.

When you get the good news, whether it’s via email or phone, avoid providing an immediate response. There’s no rush in giving an answer. You’ll want to take some time to work through the details before accepting your offer. Negotiating your salary is something a potential employer expects you to do. There is no reason to feel weird about pushing back and making a reasonable counteroffer. If you make a solid case for yourself, your potential employer will be sure to hear you out.

That being said, every company is different, and some employers may not be as flexible when it comes to their offer. Even if you’re not able to negotiate your starting salary, you should absolutely ask about other incentives like a signing bonus, paid time off, retention bonus, or stock options. If everything in the offer letter looks good, go ahead and accept that position!

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Remember: Employee Benefits!

Reaping the Rewards

"A home, lands, riches you should have from me if you could be contented here."

- Homer, The Odyssey

Once you begin your new job, you should understand the benefits the employer offers. Employee benefits are a major part of any job. From a 401(k) Employer Match that helps you build your savings faster to HSAs and FSAs that cut down the out-of-pocket costs, there’s a wide range of benefits your employer may offer. Taking advantage of these benefits can help you start saving for retirement well before it’s time to call it a career.

While not a “benefit” of your new job per se, make sure you take the time to properly fill out your W-4. It’s important to not rush through it, as this document tells your employer how much tax to withhold from your paycheck: withholding too much or too little can both have implications, so you want to be sure you’re making a decision that minimizes any surprises come tax time.

A job offer that comes with a high salary is great, but employee benefits are arguably more valuable. Many employers will offer health care plans with either a high deductible or a low deductible. Both can help you reduce your monthly payments and save money over time. Direct deposit is another major benefit that can give you immediate access to your paychecks and help you avoid costly fees. Your employee benefits can often improve your financial position more than your salary alone. That’s why you ought to take advantage of your benefits to the fullest extent.

You may be starting your new job. You might be exploring your benefit options during an open enrollment period. Whatever the case may be, you should always know what type of benefits you have access to. Asking your employer for a detailed overview of your benefits is never a bad idea, especially if you think you’re missing out on major perks.

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Once You’re Employed

Forging Onward

"For too much rest itself becomes a pain."

- Homer, The Odyssey

Life moves fast. That’s why it’s important to look around every now and then and consider how you’re feeling on a professional and personal level. It’s easy to get comfortable in your current position and feel bogged down in your day-to-day responsibilities. However, advancing your career should always be in the back of your mind.

Career advancement looks different to everyone. For some, it means staying competitive, constantly learning, and being the best employee possible within the current position. For others, it comes in the form of asking for a raise or applying for a promotion. For others, it means looking for a new job or even changing industries. Thinking about how you’re feeling in your current position and where you’d like to go will help you determine the best ways to advance your career.

It’s also important to strike a healthy balance between your work life and personal life so that you don’t burn out. Whether that means taking a vacation or making more time for your favorite hobbies, be sure to prioritize your own well-being above professional aspirations.

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Retirement in Sight

The Adventure Continues

"There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep."

- Homer, The Odyssey

Retirement is a major life change that may feel strange at first. The average person spends more than 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work. It’s only natural that retirement can be a shock to the system.

If you’ve been putting money aside for retirement, you might be in a place where you won’t need a source of income. The luxury of ‘freetirement,’—having the freedom to do what you want, when you want— opens up a world of possibilities; you can pursue interests that you may not have had time for while working. Or, you can experience parts of the world that you’ve been meaning to explore.

But many people end up missing work once they’ve retired. It might sound crazy, but it’s true. If you feel like you have too much time on your hands, there’s nothing wrong with seeking a post-retirement job. Not only will working part-time help you stay busy and feel good about contributing to a workplace, but you’ll still have more time on your hands to do what you truly love.

Keep in mind that just because you’re not working doesn’t mean you can’t be a mentor to someone else. You likely know plenty of aspiring professionals, all of whom would love to tap into your wisdom and experience in order to progress their own careers. Not only can you help people you care about advance in their careers, but you’ll likely find it rewarding to serve as a mentor in this stage of life.

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