Category Archives: advice

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Networking (Guest Post)

Young entrepreneurs try especially hard to become the next big thing, often failing at the first hurdle. However, only those with true entrepreneurial spirit have the ability to brush themselves down again and face the pitfalls, and learn from their mistakes.  If your ego can’t take this, then maybe have a look at what you want from a career.

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Should I Pay Down My Student Debt or Save More?

For the past twelve months I’ve been weighing the merits behind saving whilst I pay down my student loans versus throwing as much as I can at my outstanding balance and leaving my savings account to flat-line.  And when I say savings I am talking about long-term savings here (ie. retirement).  There may be a valid business case to save up for a car while you pay down debt (or even borrowing more to buy a car sooner).  As we’ll soon find out, you just need to be sure the return outweighs the cost.

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TNG Speaks up in the Workplace

6 Months Ago… I was happy.  Happy that someone had finally given me a chance.  Happy that I had a home.  I was Over the moon.  My mother was proud.

5 Months Ago… I was clueless.  There was just so much to learn.  I was scrambling against the curve.  Making juvenile mistakes at every bend.  And my colleague was being a pain in the ass about it.

4 Months Ago… I was insecure.  Doubting where I had put myself.  Would I enjoy this?  How did I end up here?  Where would I go?  Who would I become?

3 Months Ago… I was depressed.  I couldn’t even lie to myself anymore.  I had no passion here.  It had become a job.  Not a career.  But where would I go?

2 Months Ago… I stuck my head out.  People around the office were talking about something I had an interest in.  And I made it known that I wanted to be a part of it.

1 Month Ago… I helped convince our risk-loving CEO that we drastically needed to hedge our FX exposure.  He gave me permission to purchase $160,000,000 in call options.  The largest single hedge ever taken out in the company’s 20-year history.

2 Weeks Ago… I could have saved the company $450,000 if they had taken my advice.  Instead they paid someone else for theirs, and lost it.

Today our CFO told me that I’d go far.

A lot can happen in six months.

How to Impress Companies at Career Fairs

Ah yes, the career fair.  Let’s trot along a series of stalls where we will learn nothing more about a graduate programme than what could normally be attained by visiting the company’s website – the widely accepted view, and an easily accepted one at that.  But being a graduate and unemployed, I cannot afford to take this stance.  I’ve got to pull out every stop I can if I’m going to remedy this situation.  

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Never Tell Your Parents Where You’re Applying To. Here’s Why.

It’s good to see other parties out there fighting the good fight for us.  Found this nice little endorsement compliments of Bloomberg.com

Millennials, perhaps more so than any other generation besides the baby boomers, already have a reputation. Recent reports suggest they lack a work ethic and rely too much on parents, some of whom have been accused of calling employers on behalf of their job-hunting sons and daughters.

On a positive note, Millennials are also known for their interest in jobs that allow them to make a difference in the world by having them perform community service or create projects that support sustainability.”

Guess we’re better known as the Generation Y-bothers to some out there.  Queue the Morgan Freeman voiceover.  They may be lazy… but one day, they will change the world.  Solid backseat thinking there.

The problem with that analysis stands right up on its own two feet without the need for a helping hand.  The generation rely too much on their parents.  The parents have been accused of… calling employers?  Well obviously the problem is bad facking parenting.  It’s not the kid’s fault he wasn’t forced out the door at the age of 6 to get a paper route and learn the value of a dollar.  And before you ask, yes I was forced out the door at the age of 6 to get a paper route (a joint venture with older siblings).

What I actually like about this article though, is that to recruiters who actually believe this stereotype, I look that much better.

Applying to Investment Banks the TNG Way

Today I will do something foolish. That’s not something out of the ordinary. Just last week I found myself taking apart my PC and vacuuming out a good two years worth of dorm room dust bunnies. But unlike risking the unsubstantiated claims of what happens when vacuum-induced static meets circuitry, today I will be exposing a delicate part of myself to a practice commonly attributed to by many to be self-confidence-suicide. Today I will begin applying to investment banks.

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A Guide to Applying for Graduate Jobs

Recently I was asked by a North American friend for some advice on getting a head-start in the graduate job market.  Yeah, I asked the same question.  Why me?  Needless to say, I was flattered.  The following is based on my response.

The process is a hard one indeed.  And it’s tough getting your foot in the door.  The competition for graduates today is very different from what it was before the recession.  Back then, graduates shopped for jobs.  Now, we take what we can get.  Therefore, the bar has been set much higher.  So you have to try that much more harder to set yourself apart from the competition.

My CV and cover letter have taken many forms over the years and I’ve made countless re-edits and new drafts.  It is a continuing process, but you begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t.   But there is no real method to churning out a foolproof set that applies to every recruiter.  Each one has their own preferences for what they want to see.  Many don’t even read cover letters, however, a proportion of those won’t even look at you unless you’ve submitted one.  It’s a tough and confusing game.  But don’t fret, there are ways to stand out and get noticed.

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