Friday, 29 June 2012

Redefine Possible

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. 
Karl Augustus Menninger

Redefine Possible - Overcome Fear

The world has played witness to two very interesting and powerful experiences for two motivated individuals. A man crossing Niagara Falls and a man climbing a mountain. Two individuals who decided to redefine possible.  I am borrowing this idea of "redefining possible" from  Spencer West and Free the Child - one of the two men I previously mentioned.  If you have not followed his journey to reach Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjarro what you might not know about Spencer is that he will be accomplishing this feat with out....feet. Training for a year, Spencer and the team set out Africa's tallest free standing mountain to raise funds for clean water projects in Africa.   Check out the team reaching the summit below. 

 Seven days later.......

The first video captures some insights into how Spencer's journey started.  His life changed course from what others anticipated what would happen.  In his case, a story was written even before it had a chance to unravel.   Sometimes that is what we need - a change in direction to re-educate our minds how to think, believe and dream differently about the path in front of us or the life we choice to live.   The second video is of Spencer achieving this incredible milestone!  One of the pieces that stood out to me as I followed Spencer was the incredible sense of team between the climbing group.  With a team, anything can be possible. 

What is on your bucket list?  Big or small redefine possible for yourself!  Who is on your team to help you achieve re-writing your story? 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Turning Your Gap Year Into a “Stand Out” Resume

In anticipation of our LifeApp, we wanted to give you a little taste about how a gap year can enhance your resume!  This week in our blog we cover how you can create a stand out resume & why a gap year can help.

Would you like to attend our workshop or have someone in mind that might benefit from this workshop (specifically young adults) please email us at home at ca.

In today’s world landing a job has become more difficult and more competitive than ever.  This is especially true for the new graduate. While formal education is still very much the standard requirement for most jobs, chances are it won’t be your university degree that gets you in the door.  Even graduating with straight A’s, is just not enough anymore.  So how do you land that dream job and set yourself apart from the other candidates?  Career transition experts say that skills such as self awareness, emotional intelligence, possessing the right attitude, and often practical experience is what will give a potential candidate the leading edge.

A structured gap year will give you real life experience outside of the classroom that can be leveraged to differentiate you when it comes to a job search, and will help you develop those crucial skills that are needed to create the “wow” factor on your resume.  A gap year can help build leadership skills, broaden your perspective of other cultures, views and global awareness, develop organizational, problem solving, and time management skills, as well as increase your motivation and self reliance - all attributes and skills that are among the top listed qualities that employers want.

The trick then becomes conveying and articulating your gap year adventures to match what employers are looking for. Below are a few tips to consider when creating your resume.

  • Label your gap year under the heading “Other Experience” and remember to include dates.  This is more effective than simply “hiding” it under work experience where it may appear a little flaky
  • Choose to highlight tangible skills that you gained which are transferable and easily translate into diverse jobs
  • Don’t include everything!! You most likely gained a bunch of new skills during your gap year that you consider important, but remember, a resume is only meant to pique the curiosity of the reader so include only the points that are most relevant to the specific job you are targeting 
  • Make sure you include specific examples to demonstrate the skill you want to highlight. This will go a long way in adding credibility especially if you choose examples that are actionable
  • Don’t forget about the cover letter.  The cover letter is a great place to introduce and highlight how your gap year experience makes you a unique candidate with added value for the organization.  

So if a gap year is something you are considering but are not sure if it’s right for you ask yourself how it might help set you on the right path for future career success?

We can partner with you through one on one coaching, planned travel and volunteer experience that will ensure your gap year will be successful in helping you clarify your career/ educational goals and interests, discover your passions and interests, and give you the practical experience you need to stand out from the crowd and look attractive to a future employer.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Gapping Alone?

A mygapyear alumni shares her story & review of Rustic Pathways

One of our gappers shared some insights with us about her experience with Rustic Pathways. More relevant to this post is her decision to join a tour group alone.  How you want to spend your gap year, either locally or globally, is a tough and personal decision.  Many individuals that we work with are travelling alone for the first time with out family or other friends; therefore, it is a can be smart plan to go with a trusted tour organization.  There are thousands out there - this is why it is so important to read reviews, speak to others who have gone on trips with them and work with  people you can learn to trust - like mygapyear! There are lots of perks going with a group; for example, you will meet people from all over the world.  It is a great way to plan future trips and experiences.  There is often a balance of group and personal time.  Our gapper shares more reasons below for taking a gap experience with a group. Please enjoy the wonderful write up from our gapper and her trip to Peru! 

I have been back from Peru for nearly a month now but with the trip and the country still fresh in my mind I wanted to take the time to put down in words how pleased I was with the month Rustic Pathways organized for me. Going into the trip, I was definitely a little apprehensive---I was the first mygapyear client to travel with Rustic, and wasn't quite sure what to expect. And to be fair, the first few days were tough: it wasn't clearly stated on the Rustic Pathways website, but I soon found out that because I was doing the April trip (the third month in which they offer gap trips) I was actually joining a group that had already been together for the past two months. As opposed to being in the same boat as everyone else, I was one of only a few "newbies" to the group, and that was definitely a challenge---not only was I in a new country, but I also had to deal with the fact that everyone already knew each other!

In a way, though, I'm glad I went into the trip not knowing that everyone would already be friends, because if I had known that beforehand I might not have gone and I would have missed out on one of the most exciting months of my life! The trip was an adventure/volunteer excursion throughout the Andes inPeru, and I found it to be the perfect mix of exploring, volunteering, free-time, and relaxing. We started the trip around Cusco and Ollantaytambo, a place known as the "living city of the Incas", and it was the perfect introduction to the country's background and culture. We got the chance to live with and learn from local families, but also didn't miss out on the main tourist attrations the country has to offer---Machu Picchu, the Andes, Lake Titicaca, and more. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the itinerary.

I also really liked the fact that our group was smaller than most gap trips are---there were only eight of us (plus the most fabulous guide!) in total, and we really got to know each other really well. At times it was hard to deal with everyone---sometimes people didn't feel like working, or other times half the group wasn't feeling well---but that is only to be expected, and our guide couldn't have dealt with things any better. I also found it hard at times being the only Canadian in the group---Rustic is an American organization and everyone was from the States---but it proved to be a good conversation starter on more than one occasion! And for the most part the group did get along really well, and I have made friends that I hope to keep in touch with in the future.

The trip was definitely worth the cost and if I had the chance, I wouldn't hesitate to travel with Rustic again. I feel as if I really got to know Peru as a country and had the chance to help out a lot, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.