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New Grad? Here’s 10 Spot-On Tips for Job Hunting via A Beautiful Mess

9 Jun

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This article by Trey George from A Beautiful Mess has some wonderful advice for new grads and seasoned professionals considering new career moves. We’ve included highlights below, please click here to read the full article on their blog »

1. Identify your strengths, not just interests
First, you need a clear definition of yourself as a worker. Your interests are simply what you like to do, whereas your strengths are what you can offer an employer. A company only cares about your interests insomuch as it improves what you can offer them. Plus, if you start with your strengths, you open yourself up to positions you might’ve otherwise overlooked. Read More »

2. Keep the resume prioritized and concise
There could easily be a whole post about resumes. But above all else, lead with the most important information, and only make the resume as long as it needs to be.

3. Network, network, network
Where do your friends and family work? Find companies where you might fit and excel. Then, find a connection to someone with hiring power/influence. You have to find a way to get your resume to rise above those online forms they make you fill out, and nothing does that better than word of mouth within the company. Read More »

4. Informational interviews
Here’s a networking tool. Don’t overlook a company just because they’re not hiring. If you’re able to track down a valuable contact there, see if they’ll set up an informational interview to talk about their company and the kind of employee they’re looking for.

5. LinkedIn
Believe it or not, when it comes to job hunting, LinkedIn is far and away the most useful social network. It prioritizes sorting people by the company they work for. You can find a company you love and then find a person that could connect you to it. I’ve had several job recruiters find me because of it.  Read More »

6. Never overlook internships or any chance at experience
The more experience you have, the easier you make the job hunt. In general business, experience wins over education every single time. I’ve seen college dropouts with ample freelancing/contract experience get the job over people with their masters. So if you’re looking to break into a field, consider an internship. Or start freelancing for some of your friends’ small ventures or needs. Offer up free services. Employers aren’t going to ask how much you got paid to do it. They just want to see what you’ve done in a real-world situation.

7. Take any opportunity to show you care
Every piece of extra effort is noticed and appreciated. If you’re applying, definitely write a custom email (or cover letter) for each company. We can always tell when it’s copied and pasted generically. Dress up for an interview or meeting. Do your homework on the company. Learn about their values, culture, news, or just anything you can find online about them. Make it really clear you want the job. Read More »

8. Think of an interview like a conversation more than an audition
Yes, they need someone with the right skills, and the interview will mostly center on that. But more than hiring a functional set of skills, they’re hiring a friend—someone they’re going to have to be around for 40 hours a week. Ask a lot of questions about the job. As far as you’re concerned, they’re experts about the company. Make them feel like that, and be sure to show your interest in what they’re saying. Follow the rabbit trail down any tangents they want to go on. Make them laugh. I promise if they enjoy the conversation, they’ll remember you. Above all, be comfortable.

9. Follow up
This is an easy one. Again, you’re dealing with busy people. It’s very possible they didn’t get your email with your resume. Or if you’ve already interviewed, and it’s been a couple weeks, check in and see where they are in the decision-making process. Anything you can do to elevate your name a little helps. Read More »

10. Be patient and try not to get your heart set on one job
You will find several jobs that you think are the one, the kind that get you daydreaming. Most of them won’t be. You will not get the vast majority of the jobs you apply for. And don’t be discouraged by that. It’s just a game of numbers. Keep applying. Keep trying. I’ve applied for hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in my life. It can take months, a year, or in some cases, years. You might have to take a lesser job while you continue to hunt. The only way you can guarantee you won’t get a job you love is to stop trying.

Read the full article from A Beautiful Mess right here »

Follow Fridays : Molly Suber Thorpe {Calligrapher}

6 Jun

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We here at European Paper Company are always in search of lovely stationery inspiration. Today, we wanted to begin a new series sharing channels of our most artistic, brilliant, and motivating geniuses we love. To kick things off, we’re featuring Molly Suber Thorpe of Plurabelle Calligraphy + Design Studio‘s Instagram feed. Follow her for some of the most delightful modern calligraphy techniques and one of the most adorable studio cats we’ve ever seen! Catch her Instagram right here »

Feeling inspired?

Shop Fine Stationery »
Shop calligraphy »
Shop art supply »

Happy weekend, stay inspired paper friends!

Summer Stationery Faves

29 May

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Hello, summer faves! We’ve gathered pieces we couldn’t be without, like bright stationery, academic planners, best sellers, and travel-savvy picks. Shop this collection :
1. Every paper-loving scholar needs a Moleskine Academic Planner »
2. Jet-set & stylish Luggage Tags »
3. Pocket-perfect Fisher Space Pens »
4. Brilliant, happy G.Lalo stationery sets »
5. BACK IN STOCK! You can finally grab your Goran Notebooks from Palomino »

 

Traveling this summer? Lucky you, we’ve curated a fun travel shop, too!

Notes & Quotes : Chuck Close on Inspiration

4 Apr

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Gardening Must-Haves {for Paper Lovers}

27 Mar

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Ready for spring gardening? Green thumbs around our office can’t wait to dig in! We got together over a cup of chamomile tea and gathered our (paper geek) faves that can carry you through a beautifully blooming season :

1. You can’t garden (if you’re a huge Moleskine fan) without this Gardening Journal! Keep records of your flora throughout the growing season, and recall them for next spring »
2. This Fisher Space Pen (in any color) will write upside down, at any angle, under water, in any temperature, and at zero-gravity. It’s been tested by the moon, so we’re sure it can write in your garden’s atmosphere with ease »
3. Rite in the Rain was made for the garden. No more cussing when the sprinklers come on! In the midst of a downpour, morning dew, or under the greenhouse misters, enjoy Rite in the Rain’s water-proof paper, use their amazing all-weather pen, and then wrap up & go in this water-blocking notebook case. »
4. Alwych is another incredibly popular all-weather notebook. Further than just stellar function, we dig the electric blue edges with funky green interior lines. »
5. These Field Notes Notebooks are just as they say – ready for the field! Outdoorsy people love these pocket-size companions »
6. …And for planning your garden layout, try either the graph or dot pads from Rhodia. They’ll let you build the framework of your landscaping like a pro »

Notes & Quotes : Mark Twain

7 Mar

"I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes as much as a week sometimes to wake it up." —Mark Twain

Notes & Quotes : Anthony Trollope

28 Feb

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Office / Life Hacks – The Latest We’ve Loved…

21 Jan

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We love a good life hack & fantastic, vetted advice. Here are a few of our faves lately :

Why Empathy is your Most Important Skill – and How to Practice it »
Hilarious31 Easy Hacks to Make Your Workday Better »
This crafty genius built an all-encompassing desk that rises when she stands, and lowers when she sits »
Many of our staff members have become complete wine geeks from reading Wine Folly’s Wine 101 articles – highly recommended from the winos among us »
How to read 52 books in 52 weeks and save yourself $21,000 »
Advice, but great to read: 5 Investment Lessons from Climbing Mt. Everest from Fortune Magazine »
A fave list from our most-loved Fast Company : 10 Quick Productivity Hacks to Make Life at Work Better »
This is by far the most beautiful, and helpful HTML cheat sheet we’ve found »
And lastly, an awesome & piece of cake infographic for 10 straight up fancy cocktail recipes »

Enjoy!

 

How Do You Keep Up the Tempo? Enter, Efficiency Secrets from Hemingway & Fast Co.

21 Nov

 

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Written by Drake Baer for Fast Company

To Ernest Hemingway, writers are like wells: “The important thing is to have good water in the well,” he told the Paris Review, “and it is better to take a regular amount out than to pump the well dry and wait for it to refill.”

In this way, Hemingway coined the phrase leaving water in the well: instead of spending all your creative juices all at once, you leave a little bit of inspiration so that you can return to the same momentum that you left it with. Hemingway, whose habits of badass productivity we’ve talked about before, said to never stop writing without knowing how you are going to start again, to, in other words, never end a day’s work without knowing how you are going to start the next day.

But why does this help a workflow work so well?
Read the full article from Fast Company, right here »

Cavallini Calendars are Beautiful Gifts They’ll Enjoy All Year

20 Nov

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Cavallini Calendars are one of our staff’s most-loved go-to gifts for the holidays. The unveiling of beautiful vintage prints each month will give them moments of beauty and inspiration that will last all year! We’re thrilled to announce new editions of the Vintage Cats, Vintage Dogs, and Owls easel calendars to accompany Birds and other annual favorites this year. Of course, the best-sellers Japanese Woodblocksand Botanica are stunning as always. Which one is your fave? Click here to shop Cavallini Wall Calendars »  Or click here to shop Cavallini Desk Calendars»

The Well-Appointed Desk #3 : Colorful Office Inspirations with Leuchtturm1917

1 Nov

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We’re always up for a little office design inspiration! Check out our friend Ana Reinert’s Well-Appointed Desk Pinterest board, and shop our favorite colorful must-have, Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, datebooks and accessories »

7 Ways To Make the Most Out of NaNoWriMo

29 Oct

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NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, takes place every November. The entire purpose of this fun, funky non-profit project is to encourage people to write a draft of a novel—50,000 words—between November 1 and November 30.  It costs nothing to sign up at http://nanowrimo.org/ and roughly a half-million people on all continents (including Antarctica!) are expected to take part this year.  The goals are enthusiasm, determination and a deadline—not gorgeous prose—but NaNoWriMo is responsible for germinating bestsellers Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. We turned to a NaNoWriMo veteran, Yu-Han Chao, for her best advice on tackling a novel-in-a-month.  

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There are many ways to come up with ideas for novels. Try coming up with a few ideas using any of the below methods, then choose the idea you’re most excited about.

1.  Start with a title or opening lines: Sometimes a title or opening line comes to you; imagine the story that would go along with it.
2.  Read a book, magazine, or newspaper: There’s probably a good story in there, and if not, ask “what if?” about something or someone so it becomes a good story.
3.  Character: Visualize a character, then imagine the worst thing possible happening to your character.
4.  Passion: Write about what you are excited or passionate about.
5.  Steal: Rewrite another plot/story, but avoid clichés.

2. Develop Your Character, Central Conflict, & Setting

1.  Develop your characters into round, not flat ones, by asking yourself questions about them: What does my character look like? What is my character’s background and psychology?
2.  Decide on the central conflict of the story: Main Character + Goal + Opposition = Conflict. The main character wants something, the opposition thwarts your character’s plans and raises the stakes, and this allows your story to rise to a climax.
3.  Decide on the setting: When and where. Jot down some notes about important settings, and later work these skillfully into action and dialogue (avoid boring, clunky paragraphs describing nothing but landscape).

exacompta-graph-index-cards-5-x-8-pex3273-13. Create Your Outline

Why outline in the first place? It saves time, something you can’t afford to waste during NaNoWriMo. Making plans ahead of time can be hard work, but it will save you the major writer’s block and possible inconsistency that may result from deciding on these things WHILE trying to write your novel. Not to mention, if something sounds like a bad idea, you can fix it right away in the outline, and not everywhere in a 100k word draft.

So plan and plot ahead. Try Aristotle’s three act structure–it’s old, but it works.

Act I. The Beginning: Present your world, establish the tone of the novel, introduce your main character & opposition, and have some kind of disturbance/conflict happen that pushes your main character across the first threshold.

Act II. The Middle: Confrontations happen, relationships deepen. A second threshold leads your story inevitably towards the climax.

Act III. The End: After that long awaited climax, pick up broken pieces and tie up loose ends for closure.

4. Maximize Word Count

Since writing an outline for your novel helps at the macro level, try it at the micro level as well: spend five minutes at the beginning of each writing session deciding and summarizing in a few sentences what will happen in the scene you’re about to write.

Basically, plan what you will write, then write it.

conklin-mark-twain-black-chase-crescent-filler-fountain-pen-pco1135-15. Writer’s Block

If you still feel stuck, read something awesome, something you love, something similar to the novel you’re writing, for inspiration.  If you’re genuinely stuck, there are two common reasons:

1.  There is something wrong with your plot/scene/character/story.

This is difficult to admit to yourself, but deep down in your gut you know that something in your novel or story isn’t working, and that’s why you’re resisting. Try to diagnose what is dragging you down, fix it (which may be hard work, but so worth it), and write on!

2.  You are lazy. (We all are sometimes!)

Try forcing yourself to sit down and write for five minutes—tell yourself to just try it for five minutes—and often that’s all you need to get started.

6. Revision

Yes, you are brilliant and talented, but your first draft is nowhere close to its full potential. Before sending your completed NaNoWriMo draft to a beta reader or agent or publisher, read through it and fix things that need fixing, ideally several times. This may take months or even years, but you’ll be glad you did.

7. Know the Industry

Please do not self publish or query an agent until you’ve not only finished your novel, but made it as good as it can be. At that point, you’ll need to research and make decisions about publishing (self or traditional?) and querying agents.  But you can worry about all that later—for now, plan a little before you write, have fun, and happy noveling!

 

Meet the Writer:  Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao received her MFA in fiction from Penn State and teaches a novel writing class at The University of California, Merced. She made a yearly event of NaNoWriMo until she had a baby and no longer had time. Her stories have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Zyzzyva, and other venues. The Backwaters Press and Dancing Girl Press published her poetry books and chapbooks. Her website is www.yuhanchao.com.