Guest blog: 6 Practical tips to deal with procrastination

Everyone has procrastinated at some point, putting off important tasks again and again. However when the “to do” list gets too long it can have an unfavourable impact when it comes to achieving goals and getting important work done. Don’t let procrastination stop you fulfilling your potential. Maybe now is the time to make that career change or the time to take up that course you have been planning to study. Take action and pursue your passion.

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  1. Commit to your goals and give yourself a deadline

Commitment is fundamental in order to keep yourself focused on your goal. However, a goal without planning and a deadline is destined to fail. Therefore, it is important to look at achieving your goal by setting yourself achievable tasks. Set yourself deadlines for each of these tasks and work on them every day.

  1. Setting realistic goals

Dreaming big is good; however it is very important to set realistic goals that you can actually accomplish in the timeline that you want. Make sure that your goals are SMART, in other words; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Unrealistic goals will lead to failure reducing your confidence and will likely lead to more procrastinating.

  1. Don’t overestimate deadlines

One of the most common mistakes that the majority of us make is overestimating how much time we have available to complete a task. One way to avoid this mistake is by taking action to get things done. All the planning in the world won’t help you achieve your goals unless you take action.

  1. Be self-aware

Are you easily distracted? Do you find it difficult to get started? You need to be aware why you procrastinate and be conscious of the habits that allow you to delay making decisions. Get rid of all the distractions around you, such as social media, TV, checking emails or using your phone. There are some very useful apps such as Freedom to help keep you to reduce distractions.

  1. Change your surroundings

Your surroundings have an impact on your productivity and can slow down how quickly you complete your tasks. Therefore, if you feel your environment is not inspiring you to get things done, then it is time to change things around. Look for a different place to work or study before you lose the momentum.

  1. Waiting for the perfect time

Are you waiting for the perfect time to change career or take up that course you have been planning to study? There is NEVER going to be a perfect time. If you want to accomplish something, the perfect time is NOW. Once you get started, you will often find yourself with more energy and enthusiasm than you thought you had.

If you are looking to achieve your professional goals and kick-start your career in accountancy, don’t procrastinate, contact Ciara Murphy on 01 425 1000 or at cmurphy@cpaireland.ie and start your successful journey into the world of accounting and business with CPA Ireland today!

Remember you can meet CPA at the Graduate Careers Fair at www.graduatecareersfair.com

 


Guest blog: Why Workday is a top workplace for new college graduates

In order to be a great company to work for, employees at all stages of their careers need to feel supported, challenged, and motivated. So it was especially meaningful for Workday to be ranked in the top 10 on the “50 Best Workplaces for New College Grads” list released yesterday by Fortune.com and Great Places to Work. Companies that made the list “excel in providing great employee experiences in areas important to recent graduates.”

An important part of this effort is Generation Workday (GW), an early-career development program designed to help new college grads make a successful transition from school to the workplace and accelerate their careers at Workday. Those hired as part of GW get exposure to multiple teams and projects that include networking events, career development boot camps, discussions with company leaders, and potentially even overseas job assignments. Currently, GW includes about 250 employees worldwide, and another 250 college interns, some of whom will join Workday upon graduation.

We asked Megan Baker, who has completed the GW program and is now a member of Workday’s Tools team, to share a bit about her experience and how her role has evolved since joining Workday.

When did your career begin at Workday?

I was hired by Workday in 2014 as a GW Cloud Engineer after I received my master’s in computer science from Cornell University. Because my role requires specialized skills, I joined the Cloud Engineering team immediately instead of joining the rotation program that most GWs in Tools go through. My team’s job is to develop Workday’s private cloud platform.

I joined Workday because I felt my values clearly aligned with those of the company. Originally I was considering a start up that I had interned at during the previous school year, but Workday’s culture won me over. During my interviews, I could tell the office environment was balanced and healthy. I was excited to get a chance to work on the challenging problems we deal with from a technical perspective because of our scale and quality requirements.

What makes Workday a great place to work for new college graduates?

The different opportunities I’ve had both within the GW program and outside of it have provided me with some amazing experiences I don’t think most recent graduates have this early in their careers.

One of the best parts of the GW program is that it takes a horizontal approach to relationship building at Workday. You are thrown into this big melting pot of people with different skills and experiences, which gives you a totally unique perspective on how the different parts of the company work together. I still keep in touch with UX designers and developers from other parts of the organization from my GW class even though I’ve graduated the 18-month program—we eat lunch and play board games together on Fridays.

“The great thing about GW is it demonstrates that the company is really invested in your professional development.”

My other favourite experience so far has been the Sprint to Europe Program, when I got to spend one month working with team members in Dublin, Ireland. It was cool to meet international Workday employees and experience their culture. Several members of my direct team live and work in Ireland, so being able to put faces to names, spend social time together and build a rapport has made working together much more effective. I don’t know any other companies that have a program like this.

How has Generation Workday helped prepare you for long-term career success?

The great thing about GW is it demonstrates that the company is really invested in your professional development. In the GW Leadership Program in Tools, we’ve been tasked with helping to plan for summer interns joining the organizations, technical training for on boarding new Workmates and community building activities for other GWs. In addition, the Tools team brought in leaders from around the company to give us lectures on software engineering and Workday architecture. We also had unique access to Workday’s senior-level staff as GW members, which was really important for networking within the company. All of these opportunities have given me new insight that continues to help define my career path.


5 Questions to ask a potential employer at the Graduate Careers Fair

The Graduate Careers Fair is a fantastic opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many employers also bring graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to attend their stands, so you can ask what life working with this companies is really like! These conversations are unbelievable opportunities for networking, and can help you decide on future career paths or give you that nugget of ‘insider information’ that can help you through the application and interview process and ensure that you best the competition to land your dream graduate job.

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We have put together some questions to have prepared to ask employers on the day of the Graduate Careers Fair:

How many graduates do you take on each year and do you employ graduates from courses like mine?

This question helps determine whether or not it is worth asking the next questions! It’s important to ascertain that an employer is hiring, or that they will be doing so in the not tooo distant future. Equally it’s good to know if the employer has successfully hired graduates with a similar background to you – this question can get the conversation off on a positive foot, or end it nice and early. If the answer is a no but you are keep to work for that employer or in that sector, ask about any conversion courses that you could take that they have successfully hired from.

What are the most important competencies you look for in graduates during the selection process?

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All employers have criteria they look for when hiring. Some are quite defined, others relate to that elusive ‘fit’. Discover the answers to this question and, if you decide to apply, present your application in a way which showcases your corresponding attributes.

What would my first year in your organisation be like?

This question will prompt the recruiter to talk about their induction programme, training and development, opportunities for travel and any promotion opportunities for high-performing graduates within their company. gradireland research has shown that these are the most significant factors for students and graduates when considering which employer they would most like to work for.

Tell me the single most important thing you would advise any graduate considering applying for a role with your organisation to do!

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Not strictly a question, but if you get the answer then you have the inside track which could give you that all-important edge over competition throughout the selection process.

And for non-Finalists

Do you have an internship programme and how can I get on it?

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gradireland research shows that  over 79% of graduate recruiters run internship programmes, and that the recruiters themselves see completing a relevant internship as the single most useful thing a graduate can do to improve their employability. It’s a great way to find out about a company, a sector of work and of course to land a graduate job further down the line.

Find out more about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair here.


4 things you didn’t know about this year’s Graduate Careers Fair

It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.

Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!

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We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!

CV Advice to beat all other

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Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.

Opportunities with NGOs

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Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.

Introducing Start-Up City

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Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.

So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.

Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

 


5 Reasons why you should enter the Higher Education Awards

You might be weighing up the pros and cons of spending the time to enter the gradireland Higher Education Awards but it’s definitely time well spent and we’ve put together five reasons why it makes sense to enter.

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  1.       Marketing & PR

Awards may not spring to mind when thinking about marketing opportunities but just being short-listed can greatly enhance the awareness of your course and your institution as a progressive place to study. Being associated with awards can provide great PR opportunities to be recognised both nationally and internationally. Awards celebrate hard work and success and it is a great opportunity to put your course in the spotlight.

  1.     Third Party Endorsement

Winning an award or even being short-listed can act as a third party endorsement for your course and institution. Having your course judged and endorsed by an independent panel of respected leaders gives your institution increased credibility. Receiving an award acknowledges your excellence in a category and provides a distinct competitive advantage over rivals.

  1.  The Process –for now and for the future.

The application process will not only allow you to identify your successes but it can also highlight some areas that may need improvement when comparing yourself to the competition. Submitting an entry to the Higher Education Awards is also a good opportunity to really promote what your College or University does really well and also show how and where you’re looking to progress your institution in the near future.

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  1.      Building team morale

Succeeding requires a team effort and an award gives recognition to your lecturers and department heads, recognising the invaluable contribution they make to your institution. This is invaluable in terms of boosting morale and bringing your team to the awards ceremony is a great way of celebrating your achievements as a team and also provides great networking opportunities.

  1.       Competitive Advantage

Winning an award not only provides a great sense of achievement, it also provides a competitive advantage going forward for your school or department, in terms of attracting new students and driving applications to a course. It can provide that distinguishing factor in a crowded marketplace and best of all, these awards are FREE to enter!

To find out more about the inaugural Higher Education Awards contact Ailbhe Lee on 01-6451500 or email ailbhe.lee@gradireland.com . Further details available at www.highereducationawards.com


Guest blog: Irish Feet Touchdown in España

Ever wonder what it is like to teach in a foreign country? Check out this blog by Sarah G. about life as a teacher in Spain with Meddeas.

A small fish in a big pond is how I’d describe the initial shock I felt in January of this year when I came to teach in Spain as a language assistant.

On mid week Wednesday mornings, when it’s almost 8:45am, before you finally get the courage to get out of bed, it’s arriving at school and one of the children from my one year old class coming up to me saying “Hello Sara” -instead of the usual “Hola”-, that makes teaching worthwhile; or when a three year old boy comes up to me and says “¿Cómo se dice ‘te quiero’ en inglés?” and then proceeds to spend the day telling every man woman and child “I love you”.

Those are the moments that make me want to do this forever and those are the moments that make me already apprehensive about leaving! The same three-year-old also melted my heart with love for him on February 14th of this year, Día de San Valentín, when he came up to me with a ring and said “Quieres ser mi novia?” (Do you want to be my girlfriend?).

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This experience abroad to date has been incredible and I regret nothing: I am learning more Spanish working with kids and living with a Spanish family than I ever would in University. Why? Well it’s difficult to explain. I’m completely immersed: my family speak English quite well but apart from the conversations I have with Javier (eight year old host brother), I tend to speak Spanish for the majority of the time I spend in the family home. Every day I’m learning new words and phrases. Every day there is something different to eat, something with a new difficult-to-pronounce name: “Gazpacho”“Albondigas” (meatballs),  “Pulpo a la gallega” to name but a few. With every new dish that’s placed before me is a new word to learn, so by eating (a favourite pass time of mine), I’m learning too!

Initially, coming to teach in Spain I knew I was going to find out so much about the culture and the food and the language, which was one of the reasons why I felt theMeddeas programme of staying with a family was ideal: you have no choice but to immerse yourself in everything that is España. I knew that the life of the people in Jerez would be different to that of what I had been used to in Spain. I don’t think it’s possible to live in Jerez without being constantly reminded of “caballos”“tinto”and, of course, bull fighting!

The initial feeling I received in school was fame. You would think children, from one to five years old, that a pale-skinned ginger-haired girl from Ireland would scare them, that they’d take awhile to get used to you. This is not the case, the more you stand out the more they like you. Clearly, I can never be mistaken for Spanish. Constantly, I have kids hanging out of me “¿Me toca? ¿Puedo ir contigo? Señora Sara, Señora Sara, Señora Sara” (Is it my turn? Can I come with you? Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah) , most days I love it! (Note: Most days). Within my first week, I had marriage proposals and invitations to birthday parties. I was both humbled and overwhelmed by the welcoming I received from the children in my school.

But the experience is not all that rosy rosy rosy: teaching children who have limited English at such a young age is difficult. I wanted nothing more than to be swallowed alive half way through my first class with the 3 year-olds. I constantly have to remind myself to breathe. My three and four year-olds are the most difficult to teach as their attention spans are short and their need for movement is quite substantial. Surprisingly, facial expressions, tone of voice and lots and lots of pictures can keep the one year-olds entertained for the duration of the class quite easily. Side note: Do not say/do anything you don’t want the children to repeat. If you say “Touch your head” and, while you are waiting for the children to do it themselves, you get an itchy nose so you scratch it, your nose will forever be your head in their eyes!

Both Meddeas and the teachers in my school have been amazing. I really have got two families here in Jerez: one with my host family and the other in my school. I’m growing so much as an individual. I love the independence that Jerez has offered; it’s been an incredible experience so far. I can’t comprehend the fact that I arrived to teach in Spain almost two months ago.If someone could please slow down time that would be “estupendo”, I really don’t want to leave!

Meddeas are currently recruiting for teachers in Spain, find out more here.


6 ways to make the most out of the Graduate Careers Fair

Careers fairs are an amazing opportunity for students, graduates and young professionals to get the ‘inside scoop’ of a company, find out the opportunities they have available as well as the disciplines that they are interested in hiring in.

Preparation is key when it comes to careers fair, so we have put together some helpful tips for the day of the fair:

Use the Jobs Wall

There will be several jobs walls within the hall at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair. These will have live graduate schemes and opportunities listed, use your phone and take a photo of any that you are interested in applying to – then go home, find the job, internship or graduate programme on gradireland.com and start applying!

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Bring your CV

Many employers are happy to receive CVs at Careers Fairs. In addition, at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair we will be running a specialist CV Clinic, hosted by careers advisors from your University providing over 50 hours of specialist advice, at which you can have your CV reviewed. However, a word of caution – the CV clinic has a limited number of slots and gets booked up very quickly, so get there early to book your appointment and don’t expect the advisors to write your CV for you – they are there to review and advise but you’ll have to do the hard work first yourself!

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Research

Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions which might not be answered already in brochures or on their websites. Many exhibitors bring recent graduates now working in their business to their stands, so ask them what life is really like in that company.

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Attend the Seminars

Make sure you attend one or more of the specialist careers seminars – they are designed to give you the edge when it comes to applications and interviews! From Assessment Centres to Interview advice there is a seminar to benefit everyone.

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Download the gradireland Events App

The brand new gradireland events app is your personal assistant for the Graduate Careers Fair. You can create a profile, directly contact employers, personalise your seminar schedule and much more! Download it from the App Store or Google Play now.

More information about the event can be found at www.graduatecareersfair.com