This was originally for an interview/guest post that fell through and I really wanted to share it with you so here it is.
Tell us a little bit about your blog/business
I’m a Millennial Life Skills Coach. What are millennial life skills, you ask? Its that subset of skills, events, and knowledge that you’re expected to learn while in high school or college, but didn’t. Its job searching, resume creation, career development. But its also time management, staying out of debt, planning for the future and managing stress. My services focus largely on the career development portion of the life skills, but I believe in a holistic approach to all situations, and that includes the lasting quality of your life.
What inspired you to start your own blog/business?
I’ve been working in the workforce development field for most of my professional career. It’s kind of all I know how to do. I am a recently Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and decided when I came home it was time to work for myself through my people.
What were the first steps you took to put your dreams into action?
I came up with a name, and promptly bought the domain. You have to. To be more serious, I came up with a business plan. I need to know how many clients I need to make the income I’d like. I need to know where to find my clients, and how to get them to trust me to help them change their lives.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge is finding clients. The internet is wide and the options are many. Standing out as an expert, and developing a relationship with your audience is key.
What is your favourite thing about running your own blog/business?
The time and effort I put into it directly correlates with my income. If I spend no time on it, I make no money. When I reach out to people, they respond and we start to work together.
What could you/your blog/your business not function without?
I feel like I really stepped up my game when I created funnels for my mailing list. It allows them a chance to get to know me better, learn more about my services, and feel connected.
What keeps you motivated and focused when things get tough?
There is a resiliency that all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers come home with that intrinsically keeps you moving full steam ahead. Nothing will ever be has hard as those two years were, and so I know I will succeed if I just keep going.
What one thing do you wish you had known before you started out?
I kept seeing webinars everywhere and wish I had really started with them before I got everything set up and then decided it was the missing link.
What does the future hold for your blog/business?
I’m getting ready to launch 3 Millennial Life Skills Labs, based on the core foundations of my coaching practice: Gratitude, Empowerment, Success. We’re all at different places in our lives and need different kinds of support. Each of these labs focuses on developing our skills to be gentle with ourselves, understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and being indispensable.
Finally, tell us one random thing about yourself!
I live in Alaska, and I’ve moved back here three times. Everytime I try to leave it calls me back home.
Jessica F. Walker is a Millennial Life Skills Coach, resume guru, RPCV, author, and general Jill-Of-All-Trades. You can find her coaching business at jessicafwalker.com – sign up for the Labs waiting list at millenniallifeskills.com.
5 Amazing Interview Tips you probably don’t use
Interviews are probably the most stressful part of any job. Which is to say, getting the job is the most stressful part. You’re sitting there in front of someone, or worse, a group of people, sizing you up, judging your every move, and deciding whether or not you’re good enough for them.
Well, for starters, I want you to put their thoughts aside. You can’t control what other people think. You can only control your reaction to the situation at hand. You can also control how you present yourself. But today I want to talk about 5 Interview Tips you probably haven’t used, or things you’ve probably stumbled over in the past. All companies are different, and having their own way of going through these questions. But you can plan for the anomalies by being prepared.
When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” and you say, No!
DON’T EVER SAY NO! ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. You can what the interviewer likes about the company, how they would describe the culture, or what some of the challenges someone in the position you’re interviewing could face. You want to present yourself to the interviewer as the person to solve the problem. You can’t do that if you can’t identify a potential pain point. Other questions include,
What is the team like that I’ll be working with?
What are some important organizational issues I should be aware of?
One of the greatest tips anyone taught me about interviews, is that it doesn’t have to be a one way street. You can ask questions too. It can be more of a conversation instead of an interrogation. If you ask questions, it shows the hiring manager/team that you’re engaged and that speaks volumes to them. But those questions should be meaningful. After all, you are considering spending several hours of your day, and potentially years of your life with this company. You should make sure its a place you want to spend your time.
Another one of those questions that will be asked in one form or another is: What is your greatest Strength, and/or Weakness? Do you have an answer prepared? Because you should!
Being able to answer this question, confidently and without hesitation shows that you are self aware. It also shows how you think about yourself. It gives the employer an idea of how those qualities will fit into their team. But there is no right or wrong answer. The good news is employers will almost always ask this question in some form or other, so as long as you have a plan of what to say you’ll knock this question out of the park.
Why do you want to work here?
I know your first instinct is to rattle on about the amazing culture, and benefits that the company provides, but employers are not their to serve their employees. They’re there to serve their customers. If your values don’t align with that company, then you need to reconsider why you want to be there. You’ll be miserable if you’re vegan, taking photos of overpriced jerky all day. But almost as important, you need to use this opportunity to tell the employer why they would be a fool to not hire you. Just make sure you don’t come off like an asshole when you start humblebragging.
Don’t tell them you’re looking for more money. That isn’t going to help them out at all.
We’re prepared to offer this much for the position. If we make you an offer of employment, is that acceptable?
Only you know what your time and education and experience is worth. Research the salary for the position before you go in, but make sure you take into consideration other important factors like, Retirement accounts, health insurance, tuition assistance, company matching programs, and other benefits that greatly add value to your overall salary.
If you want more than what you’re offering, you can start out asking more about the responsibilities of the position, and if there is ever bonuses for good performance. If the potential bonus makes up the difference in your expected salary range, then good! If not, then you have to let them know. “That is a little lower than I was expecting for a position of this responsibility. My most recent positions started me out at (insert number here), and I am currently earning % much more after (years) of experience. If you extend an offer to me, I’ll consider it, but I do have a couple of other interviews coming up soon. I’d obviously prefer to work here, because this company aligns with my values so well, but the other places I’m interviewing at meet those requirements as well.
This is probably about as passive as it gets. If you’re not into being passive, just say it. “No, I’m not interesting in working this position for that level of salary. I’m looking for a more this-to-that range.“ Either they’ll meet your price or they’ll walk. If you’re prepared to let the job go over salary negotiation, then good for you.
The really weird questions like, What type of animal are you? Or Would you rather go Right or left? Or the logic questions that posit difficult puzzles and you have to figure them out.
These questions are designed to see how you’ll fit in with the team. There really is no right or wrong answer to the weird questions. (Okay, some of them have very specific answers, but bear with me.) Be honest. Try not to hesitate when you answer. And be clear about your opinion of the thing, whatever the thing is. It is better to have an opinion than to not have an opinion.
As for the logic questions, the employers want to see how you think. If you don’t know the answer after the ask, then the assumption is they’ll want to watch you work through it. They want to know how you break down problems, and find the solution. Don’t be afraid of this! If you are afraid of the logic/puzzle questions, find a google, and figure them out. Sometimes its not your strong point. I wouldn’t pass that test. But I’m not here to pass those tests, I’m here to help you pass them.
Do you need a life skills coach?
Do you need a life skills coach? How do you know if you need a life skills coach? When I was younger, I went through a crazy period where I was actually homeless for a year. Long story short, while I was in a transitional living program, each week they taught us life skills. Sometimes it was about cooking. Sometimes it was budgeting, or what good customer service looked like. They taught us about credit and healthy relationships. A lot of it was how to plan for the future, whatever the future may bring. They taught us these things because no one else did.
Maybe you are in a much more supportive environment. Maybe you even have a pretty good handle on the big things in your life. But I’m willing to bet there is something you’re not happy about. Maybe its your addictive spending habits, or partying. Even though you read blog post after blog post about budgeting, you always seem to end up hella broke just before your next paycheck.
Or maybe this isn’t you at all. Perhaps after college you had big plans for yourself but they somehow got deferred. Are you terrible at setting boundaries? Or perhaps you’re trying to figure out to move into the next step of your life but its fuzzy and complicated. Your friends aren’t any help because they’re in the pit trying to figure it out too. Its time to change your life.
Lets be honest; we’re all in a place where we’re trying to figure out what happens next. You are not alone there. I understand it feels impossible to move forward when there is so much holding you back.
That’s where life skills coaching comes to play.
If you’re feeling held back by barriers, confused about which steps to take next in your life, or wondering how you’re going to make all your plans come together, a life skills coach can help you navigate that process. You get to decide what you focus on during your sessions. If you only want to talk about how shitty your boyfriend is, your life skills coach is there to listen and to offer constructive solutions. They are there to support you and your dreams and goals. It’s like having a caseworker who is solely looking out for your best interests.
Life coaches are filled with advice, active listening skills to make sure they’re really guiding you down the path you want to take for yourself, and support.Your life skills coach is there to help you create a plan with action items so each day you know you are one step closer to achieving your goals.
So how do you know if you need a life skills coach? If any of those scenarios applied to you, you could need a life skills coach. Are you ready to change your life with someone who will help you navigate the tough decisions without making them for you? Are you ready to change your life with someone who will help you create a plan with actionable items that you can follow every single day?
If you’re interested in learning more, you can go to this link, sign up for your free Goal Setting sheet.
If you’re ready to see if we can work together, learn more about my coaching services here: One-On-On Millennial Life Skills Coaching Services.
Thank you for being here today. Sign up now.