Three Reasons to Attend the Walden Social Change Networking Hour

“Conversation is the vehicle for change.” – Terry Tempest Williams

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To continue in the spirit of Global Days of Service, the Walden University Career Services Center is hosting the Walden Social Change Networking Hour on Thursday, October 26,
7:00 p.m. ET. During this hour-long online networking event, you will have the opportunity to make up to six new contacts and share ideas on how to improve human and social conditions. Here are just a few reasons to register now for this exciting global event:

Meet New People

The Walden Social Change Networking Hour is a unique opportunity to connect with students, alumni, and staff to spark meaningful conversation.  As an online student, it can sometimes be difficult to build meaningful relationships with fellow students and alumni. During this live event, you will be able to chat with Walden community members from all over the world who share your social change interests. The Walden Career Connections platform saves a transcript of your chats so you can follow-up after the event. Exchange contact information or connect on LinkedIn to continue the conversation!

Share Your Passion for Social Change

As Walden University President Jonathan Kaplan said, “Every day around the world, Walden students, alumni, faculty, and staff serve their communities in many ways large and small. This continual commitment to service is not only a reflection of our mission, it is a part of our DNA.” We know that you are passionate about making a difference in your community, your profession, and the world! Support your peers and collaborate as you share causes, organizations and volunteer experiences. Prepare to inspire and be inspired by the innovative ways Walden’s community members are using their skills to address challenges at the local level.

Practice Networking

We all know that networking is important to professional development, but many people find it intimidating and awkward! The Walden Career Connections platform is designed to make networking easy, fun, and painless. The chats are timed and text-based, which ensures that conversations are focused, and you always have someone to chat with. Best of all, you can attend the event from anywhere with an internet connection – even from your couch! If you are looking for a comfortable way to practice your networking skills, The Walden Social Change Networking Hour is a great place to start.

We look forward to networking with you!

Walden Social Change Networking HourOctober 26, 2017, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET.   Register for the event here.

Would you like some tips on how to prepare? Read Three Tips for Maximizing Our New Online Networking Tool, Walden Career Connections!

Written by Angie Lira, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Simple Self-Publishing Strategies Using Kindle Direct

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As life-long learners, many Walden students spend a great deal of time applying their critical thinking and writing skills. The skills they acquire from this process may result in work to share with the world in the form of papers, textbooks, works of fiction, or even children’s books, and all can be self-published on Kindle Direct!

In my youth, I often wrote short stories and even a couple of novellas. However, in those days getting published was daunting, and rejection was common. Even if accepted, the process was slow and laborious. Times have changed! Now publishing an eBook or printed-on-demand paperback on Amazon is a matter of hours, not months or years! I recently spent several months writing a Sci-Fi novel, and from start to finish on Kindle Direct Publishing, my eBook was published within two hours, and for sale online in twenty-four hours. Let’s go over the basics and get you published!

File Formats for Kindle Direct Publishing

What are the basic file formats to use with Kindle Direct? While popular formats such as Adobe PDF and Apple’s ePub are accepted on the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform, Microsoft Word is recommended in either the Windows DOC format or the Apple Mac DOCX format. Best practices include avoiding special fonts, using the Word “insert” feature for tables and images, and using JPEG images inserted in a center alignment. Every chapter end should have a page break inserted, and always use the spell checker!

Proofreading Tips

One of the most challenging parts of publishing my book was the proofreading.  I enlisted several friends to help, and everyone caught errors I missed! However, rest easy, a big advantage of publishing on Kindle Direct is that your text, and your cover image, can be updated at any time after publication. Kindle Direct also offers various third-party experts to assist along the way.  For most books, the process in Kindle is straightforward: you see your book laid out just as it will be in eBook form, and you simply review the pages, formatting, and overall look. Once you are satisfied, finalize your product, and your book will go live!

Setting up an Amazon Account

To get started, go to the Kindle Direct Publishing website and set up a free Amazon account. After you set up your account, you will be directed to upload your manuscript.  Once you approve of the layout and cover, you will be guided to select royalty options. You also will be able to set up ad campaigns using ads placed strategically by genre or through keyword searches.  Ad campaigns can be monitored, adjusted, or cancelled at any time.  Sales can also be monitored.  Your eBook will be for sale in the Kindle store on the Amazon website.  Sales potential can be enhanced with a paperback and audiobook, and good reviews are great for sales!  Seeing your book online for the first time is very rewarding!

For more information about Kindle Direct Publishing go to https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634280

Written by Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson

Martin Culberson

2017 Global Days of Service!

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It’s Global Days of Service this week at Walden! Students, alumni, faculty, and staff around the globe will be participating in community service activities to make a difference to others.  Volunteering is a wonderful way to learn about issues facing your community, meet new people, have new experiences, and most importantly, contribute to positive social change. Our planet is facing many challenges. As members of the Walden community, we have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and energy to contribute. Here are some resources to help you find a volunteering opportunity that fits your values and interests this week and beyond:

Volunteering resources on the Career Services website: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/volunteeropportunities

Archived webinars on the topic of social change including Maximizing Career Success Through Strategic Volunteering: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/careerwebinars/socialchange

Join the Social Change Networking Hour on October 26th at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time to learn about how others contribute to positive social change and share your experience. You can register at:  http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/careerconnections/events

Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Dan’s Take: Grammarly

Graduate Assistant Dan demonstrates how to use Grammarly to improve your everyday writing. Improve your cover letters and emails to employers by using this free writing tool!

For information on how to access Grammarly please visit these resources:

Walden’s Writing Center Grammarly Resources
Grammarly Website

A Doctoral Student’s Tips for Life Balance

Blog A Doc Student's Tips for Life Balance

An exceptionally challenging part of my life as a Walden student has been maintaining a healthy balance between school and career.  Like many Walden students, I have work and family obligations, and I must carefully structure my daily routine to accomplish the sometimes overwhelming amount of work and study.  Let me share four time-saving strategies I use to maintain a healthy balance.

Organize Space to Stay Focused
I’ve found that having a specific space set aside for my course studies works well.  While most of us don’t have the luxury of having a personal office and a work or school office, there is a trick I use to make it seem like two offices.  I have a folded sign that reminds me of my end goal of earning my doctorate, which is located next to my computer monitor.  When it’s time to study, I stand up my sign with “Dr.” in front of my name; when I’m at my desk working on non-academic projects, I fold it down.  This simple step serves as a powerful reminder of why I’m studying so hard and helps me stay focused on achieving my long-term goal.

Manage Time Wisely
Focusing on the here and now is the most important habit I’ve cultivated.  Some call it mindfulness, a habit of disciplining the mind to focus on what is in front of you, not the past or the future.  This takes practice!  One tool to help with this task is the Pomodoro technique, a popular way to give yourself a break and refresh your focus.  While it’s common to use 25 minutes of study and breaking for 5, you can experiment to find what works best for you.  On days when I feel sharp and on my game, I like to study for 30 and take 5.  On days when I feel sluggish, I may go 20 and 10.  Learn how to get started with Pomodoro to save time and get more done.

Maximize Technology Tools
Technology provides many great tools to assist with time management.  I prefer to use Evernote to organize my research, and Nozbe to manage my busy schedule.  Learn more about these tools to determine if they are right for you!  I have also found that using technology effectively requires personal habits that reinforce the strategies.  In other words, these tools will work only if you stay truly committed to your goals.

Say “No” or “Later”
I also consider a part of staying focused is being willing to say no when necessary.  If a friend wants to go out on Saturday night when you have a big paper due on Sunday, you may have to politely decline.  You can always tell her another Saturday night will work, but you need plenty of notice to organize your week in advance.  This approach will enlist your friend as part of your support group, an important strategy to help leverage your efforts.  Rewards, whether a night out with friends or a piece of chocolate for a great study day, are also great motivators to keep you energized.

I have discussed time management and technological tools to assist you in creating a productive space, rewarding yourself for work well done, and enlisting your support network for leverage.  Whether you are balancing your academic work, professional career, busy personal or family life; or a combination of all these factors, these tools can help you stay on track for long-term success. My final recommendation follows from the successful implementation of these ideas: enjoy the process!  Learning is a joyful experience, like feeling the excitement grow every day as you take small steps toward the finish line.  Deploy the strategies, enjoy the journey, and success will follow!

Written by Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson
Martin Culberson

Hands On Strategies for Reentering the Workforce

key with word "success"Have you been out of the workforce for a while due to a life event, layoff, or other reason?  Are you ready to return to work but not sure where to start?  Whether you are planning to return to the workforce after one year, five years, or even ten years, your #1 challenge is to close your employment gaps.  Start by taking an inventory of your existing knowledge and skills.  What do you have to offer potential employers?  What academic knowledge have you gained through your Walden program?  What new skills are you looking to build?  The Career Services Center website offers a Career Exploration area with self-assessments and industry research sites to help you identify your strengths and research employers.

Next, seek out strategic opportunities to cultivate new skills. Consider the following activities:

  1. Join a professional association in your target field and become actively involved. Activities may include volunteering at events, contributing articles to newsletters, taking on leadership roles, or serving on committees. Active involvement in a local chapter can help you connect with other professionals in your target field, gain current references, and apply your academic knowledge in a professional setting. Visit Career Services’ Resources by College, select your college, and view lists of professional associations to join!
  2. Find a volunteer opportunity that can help you sharpen your skills. Contribute to a nonprofit organization while supporting Walden’s social change mission.  Did you know that according to LinkedIn for Good, 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer work experience equally valuable as paid work experience?  Explore Career Services’ local and virtual volunteering sites and watch our webinar, Maximizing Career Success Through Strategic Volunteering, to identify the right opportunity for you!
  3. Create your own experiential opportunities through freelance, contract, or virtual employment. Do you know a small business owner who could benefit from your skills?  Is there a temporary agency in your area specializing in your target field?  What about researching virtual or flexible positions online?  Watch our webinar on Targeting Temporary, Virtual, or Contract Opportunities for out-of-the-box ideas on how to get started!

In addition to building new skills and experience, these strategies can help you gain current references and letters of recommendation, make new connections, stay up-to-date on trends, and strengthen your professional brand.  If you are not ready to return to full-time work right away, they can also help you test out the waters and decide which opportunities are right for you.

After you’ve gained experience through professional associations, volunteering, and other experiential opportunities, you will be ready to share your new skills with your networking connections and potential employers.  Visit the Career Services’ Resumes and CVs tab for videos and tips on how to enhance your application materials.  It’s never too early (or too late) to start taking steps to reach your career aspirations!

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services

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Updating My LinkedIn Profile

DAN'STAKE

Graduate Assistant Dan Ambrosio is currently pursuing his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree at Walden University. In Dan’s Take, he shares his perspective on career management from a student’s eye view. Dan lives in Germany where he teaches business English. He enjoys traveling, studying, riding motorcycles, and working out.

 

LinkedIn is an excellent social networking website to connect with business professionals around the world.  In terms of job seeking and career decisions, LinkedIn is an ideal platform to promote a professional profile.  Whether individuals are looking for a new job or advancement in their careers, LinkedIn will help to achieve those goals.  First and foremost, it is imperative that your LinkedIn profile is current and up-to-date.  The more detailed you are in your profile, the greater the appeal will be to potential employers.  I, for example, was struggling with ways to improve my LinkedIn profile, so I decided to set up an appointment with a Walden Career Services Advisor.

A Career Services Advisor will definitely help you revamp your LinkedIn profile.  I received excellent tips on how to go about revamping my LinkedIn profile.  There are, of course, many career related topics you may discuss during your appointment, but during my appointment, we focused on LinkedIn.  For example, we decided to include an in-depth summary that would promote my skills and experience that correlate to my career goals.

LinkedIn Before and After

It can be quite difficult to know the best ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn.  Since social media websites are easily accessible, potential employers tend to view your profiles long before they see you in person.  Due to this, it is important that you make yourself stand out from others.  It is also important to tailor your profile according to the industry and job you would like to pursue.  You not only have to promote your strengths, but you must also discover your purpose.  While this may be challenging, a Walden Career Services Advisor can help make it easier to figure out the best ways to meet your goals.

Before my appointment, I had not thought much about the importance of creating an effective brand.  Whether someone is looking for a job or not, an updated LinkedIn profile can be very beneficial. My profile picture (which was from 2010 when I was an undergraduate student), was very outdated.  My new profile picture was taken a couple of months ago.  I also created a headline and wrote a short summary about myself.  Since this is one of the first things that potential employers will see, it is important that you mention things that illustrate your value as a professional.  I also updated my current employment status and included work descriptions for all of my previous jobs.  This information allows potential employers to understand my skill set.  Endorsements are also a great way to highlight your skills and strengths.  In addition, since I have spent some time abroad, I included a language proficiency in German.  Since my focus is on marketing, I also included a marketing plan that I developed for a group project in one of my marketing courses.  Depending on your area of expertise, it is beneficial to include projects and accomplishments that are related to your skills and career goals.

I am very pleased with the way my LinkedIn profile turned out, and I will continue making improvements and adjustments as needed. I highly recommend scheduling an appointment with a Walden Career Services Advisor for questions you may have regarding job searches, social media, career advancement, and other career management topics.  I greatly improved my LinkedIn profile as a result of the appointment, and I believe my improvements add value to my professional profile and network.

Written by Dan Ambrosio, Walden DBA Student, Career Services Graduate Assistant

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