6 Tips to Help You Set Goals

It’s easy to move through high school just going through the motions. If you have big dreams about college or a career and don’t know how to reach them, it’s time to set some goals! But first, you need to learn how to set a goal. Here are six tips to get you started!

1. Keep goals specific.

Details are key when you’re setting goals. Think about what you want to accomplish, when it should happen, where it should happen, why you want to achieve those goals, and the limits or obstacles you may need to overcome. When your goals are specific, you’ll be motivated to stay committed to them.

2. Measure your progress.

Keep track of your progress with measurable goals, and celebrate small victories because they help build momentum and help you meet deadlines.

3. Set achievable goals.

While there’s nothing wrong with big dreams or challenging goals, you should also be realistic. When you set achievable goals, you can identify opportunities and resources to help you reach them. 

4. Set appropriate timelines.

Timelines help you see the big picture and the smaller steps you need to accomplish your goal. When you set goals, a timeline gives you something to work towards and helps you stay on task.  

5. Find someone who achieved your goal.

Find people who’ve already accomplished a similar goal. Draw inspiration from them, and ask them for their tips and tricks. Their insight will help you progress quicker than if you started from scratch and figured things out for yourself. Consider joining a group of people who have similar ambitions. They can help hold you accountable.

6. Stay positive.

If you start to doubt your abilities, acknowledge your feelings, then remind yourself why you set the goal in the first place. Visualize yourself succeeding so you can let go of the fear of inadequacy. Stay open-minded if plans don’t go exactly the way you hoped. Consider organizing your thoughts and writing down your action plan. This exercise will help make your dreams feel more tangible.

When you identify and establish specific goals, your dreams can turn into your reality. There are many paths to success. If you have a vision and work hard, you can achieve anything!

5 Reasons You Should Download the Encourage App

So many things to do and SO little time. Trying to balance planning for the future and living in the present? We found a way to optimize an interactive, low-stress tool to make sure you’re covered for life after high school. We’re more than your average college planning app.  

Keep reading to learn more about why you should be sprinting to your app store after reading. 

We celebrate each step of your journey with milestones

The journey takes a lot of planning and a lot of steps, and this can seem really overwhelming. We’re ready to bake a cake and celebrate each step you achieve when planning for college; do you like chocolate or vanilla?

Match with colleges directly

You’ll create a profile and list preferences about cost, lifestyle, majors, and more to customize your college matches. Find the school that makes sense for you while you’re chasing your dreams. You’ll have the option to save schools that pique your interest and get to know them more.

Match with scholarships

No joke, college is expensive. Answer simple questions about your preferences, priorities about affordability, and other interests, and we’ll match you to your best-fit scholarship opportunities.

It’s basically a to-do list laid out for you! The guesswork is over.

Half of the battle is simply wondering what you need to do to make it work. Thankfully, we’ve designed your to do list for you depending on preferences and goals. Sounds like a win to us.

We’ve got the experience to make a difference

Long story short, we’ve got over 100 combined years of research experience to build a unique app experience that high school students love to use when planning for college. For the past 50 years, we have been evolving the way we do things by listening to the student experience and implementing changes as needed. In a nutshell, you can trust us to guide you in the right direction when painting a picture of your future!

Intrigued? We can’t blame you. Download the app below and take flight! We’ll be on standby with your cake.

5 Unique Careers You Could Consider

The days of being traditional when thinking about your career are over, friend. Unique jobs are uncommon by definition, but you may find your dream career by thinking outside of the box and diving into some passions that can make money. Heads up: some of these jobs require advanced education, training, or certification in order to get started. In this short read, we’ll explore some lucrative careers that you may not have heard of before.

Color Specialist

Job family: Interior Designer

What they do: If you’ve never heard of a color specialist, you’re not alone. Personal color consultants are responsible for helping people design the interior or exterior of their homes or businesses. With so many trends and possibilities, the choices can become overwhelming. That’s where a color expert comes in!

Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree, Masters are a plus

In some states, color specialists must be licensed or certified through the International Association of Color Consultants (IACC) with a membership

Skills needed: Knowledge with tablet computers/ipads and computer assisted design (CAD), photo imaging, video creation applications, creativity, artistic talent and attention to detail

Starting Salary: $60,983

Most common practice: Business owners that consult independently

Career opportunities: Interior design, graphic design, fashion, product placement and visual merchandising, product line development & retail buying, and corporate branding and consulting

Voice-Over Artist

Job family: Entertainment

What they do: If you have a unique voice, chances are, your friends have told you you should be on the radio or in a commercial. There are multiple ways someone can use their voice to build a career in a virtual environment. What do voice artists do? Duties can include reading scripts, interpreting character mannerisms, following writer prompts, changing the pitch of your voice, and portraying emotions verbally. It’s also possible to narrate projects over video content, audiobooks, and video games. This role is typically freelance.

Requirements: GED/High school diploma, with no college needed. Some pursue a bachelors in communication, broadcasting, or theater. Training is typically on the job.

Skills needed: Acting, adaptability, attention to detail, confidence and communication

Starting Salary: $31,999 starting with an average pay after experience of $33.63/hr or $71,908/yr

Career opportunities: Radio, commercials, influencers, narrations, audiobooks, video games

Cruise Ship Director

Job family: Tourism &  Entertainment

What they do: We have to be honest – this one is seemingly the most fun of our list and it requires a stark level of leadership to manage! A cruise ship director is the head of entertainment while you’re living your best life on a cruise. The director typically supervises and evaluates the performance of all cruise personnel to ensure the guests are having the best experience possible. Monitoring the guest comments and creating plans for improvements for special events and parties while aboard claims a majority of the work day. When you hear announcements over the intercoms, you’re likely hearing the voice of the cruise ship director.

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree is not required, however most directors possess a bachelors in hospitality or tourism management. A minimum of 5 years experience in an upscale hotel, resort, cruise ship and entertainment venue is required and a Master of Ceremony may be required. 

Skills needed: Strong management skills and the ability to work in a multicultural environment. Excellent verbal and written skills, and knowledge of another language(s) is a plus. Superior customer service, team building and conflict resolution skills are necessary to be successful in this role.

Starting Salary: $45,000 with an average range after experience of $56,000-$88,500

Career opportunities: Can operate a private ship or major cruise lines such as Carnival, norwegian, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and more

Doula

Job family: Personal Care

What they do: They’re like travel guides in a foreign country. No, really! Except instead of helping you cross the street or find the best place to eat, they help you cross the finish line of childbirth and bring home the baby. A birth and postpartum doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a family before, during and shortly after childbirth to help them achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

Requirements: No formal education is required.  The doula certification is voluntary, however, clients typically will not hire a doula without a certification and training from an established organization.

Skills needed: Childbirth education, emotional support, physical assistance and care, planning, motivation, and teamwork are all skills needed to be successful in this role

Starting Salary: $40,000-$50,000. Doulas can earn a salary of up to $100,000 in a large urban city.

Career opportunities: Doulas typically work as contractors, employees, or business owners. Doulas are paid a set fee per birth or hourly. Doula work is flexible, and often on-call. Doulas are also employed in hospitals.

Flavorist

Job family: Chemistry

What they do: A professional taste-tester?! Sign us up. A flavorist is known for creating flavor profiles and determining ingredients. They work in a lab, using high-tech equipment to distill, extract, and blend chemicals to create a flavor and apply it to different foods. This is what you’ll describe as “artificial flavors”. To be a flavorist, you have to understand the concept and taste of natural flavors and have a well-rounded taste and smell palate for proper analysis. So next time you’re trying a new lollipop or popsicle, think of all the hard work a flavorist had to juggle so you can enjoy a tasty treat.

Requirements: Chemistry degree typically recommended, supplemented with a 5-7 year apprenticeship. 

Skills needed: Strong sense of smell and taste, recordkeeping, chemistry, and creativity

 are all skills needed to be successful in this role

Starting Salary: $50,000 to start with a potential to earn up to $200,000

Career opportunities: Major snack, candy and beverage companies and any company within the food processing industry 

If you learned something new by reading this post, follow us on social media and download our app in the app store to learn more about careers that may be a solid fit for you!

5 Tips to Rock Your First Internship

Congratulations! You’ve scored a great internship and are laying the foundation for your future as a professional. Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience and increase your chances of finding a full-time job. Here are some tips to help shake the first day jitters and rock your internship:  

1. Be Prepared 

Do your research before you get there. Read up on the company’s purpose, history, and culture. You should also explore the industry and industry buzzwords. If you want to, you could also ask your supervisor for any reading or pre-work you should do before your first day! 

2. Show Your Commitment 

Show up to work on-time and be sure to get all your work done by the deadlines. Be sure to ask questions if you have them and express your enthusiasm and motivation for learning. It’s imperative to communicate your interest in your work. You should also ask your supervisor for feedback on the projects you work on. Doing this will give you areas to focus and improve upon so that you can make the most of your internship. 

3. Network 

Remember, an internship also offers you the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from people of different age groups and backgrounds. So be sure to introduce yourself and try to meet everyone in the office (or at least your department). Not only will this give insight into the way your company works, but you might also pick up a few extra projects along the way. Who knows, you may even find yourself a mentor too! 

4. Seize Opportunity 

Ask your supervisor about tasks you can work on when you don’t have anything specific to do. Take on the mindset that you want to contribute as much as you can before you leave your internship. By asking for more responsibilities, you may land a project that you can highlight on your resume and promote in future job interviews. By seizing each day, you will be able to keep yourself busy and set goals for yourself. 

5. Give It Your Best 

Doing the best you can is the most important rule when completing work-related tasks. By jumping into each task with everything you have, you are more likely to do a good job.  

By the end, be sure to thank your employer for the wonderful opportunity! Hopefully, with these tips, you will leave your internship with a valuable experience that taught you about the workplace and allowed you to forge relationships with professionals. Be sure to keep in touch even after the experience is over! 

How to Pick a Career (That Makes Sense For YOU)

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re trying to figure out how to pick a career that makes sense for you. Sometimes it’s easy to listen to the noise everyone in your life has been telling you… “Be this”, “Do that”, and everything between. The only way you can truly know is by asking the right questions, getting your hands dirty, and trying some career options through a part time role, internships, shadowing, and more. Consider asking these questions when deciding which career makes sense for you!

What are the pros & cons about this career choice?

Like anything, you’re likely to face some positives and negatives regarding your decision. Above all, you career should reflect your core values. Positives will seem like “wins” to you, while negatives may seem as though you may be sacrificing something in order to work there. Be sure to evaluate the pros and cons from your perspective, and if the positives outweigh the negatives, you’re likely going to find more joy in the career you choose.

Is there a work/life balance?

Sure, we spend a HUGE chunk of our week at work, but you can’t forget – it’s not your whole life. Know how much personal time you need when looking into a career and take note of this when you are experiencing the work/life balance in the job.

What does your schedule look like?

This goes hand in hand with the aspect of work/life balance because many careers go beyond your typical 9-5 workday. This makes total sense because you’re not a workhorse and you deserve some time to relax every day! A great example of a demanding workflow is that of a nurse or firefighter; an 8-hour shift is simply not in their description! When you make a career choice, consider the hours you’ll need to work. Does this align with the lifestyle you’re hoping to achieve?

Is location important?

Short answer: probably. You want to have a real moment with yourself and consider your geographic preferences when talking about location and what it means to you. Some careers are more widely available in larger cities, while others can be found anywhere! This is the best time to be real with yourself on the kind of lifestyle you’re wanting to achieve so you can enjoy your environment.

What are the educational requirements?

Most careers are going to require some extent of training and educational background in order to qualify for the role. Consider your time and money as an investment. Will this investment help pay the bills AND make you happy? If considering a formal education for the role, keep in mind of the options to pay back any debt you take on while earning the necessary credentials.

When you’re exploring your options, it’s important to gain multiple perspectives and really take into consideration what’s important to you. It’s normalized these days to change careers throughout a lifetime, so never forget to keep an open mind and stay true to YOU!

Match Your Career Goals to Your College Major

As a college student, it’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want to do after you graduate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the options before you, we get it. You’ve got so many choices, and no idea where to start.

Work Backwards

You’re not alone. In fact, we recommend figuring out which career you want, and then shaping your education based on those dreams. That way, when you’re ready to go out into the world and start looking for a job or internship, you can focus on refining the skills that will help get you there—not just finding something that sounds good on paper.

If you want to be an astrophysicist but didn’t take physics in high school, don’t let that stop you from pursuing your dream! Just take the classes that will help give you the skills you need.

Consider Time and Money

Let’s be real, education isn’t cheap! If you’re hoping to save some money while earning a potential degree, consider saving some cash by kicking off at a community college and transferring later. If you’re interested in attending graduate or medical school, we love that for you! Just consider the cost and be sure to really research some options for financial aid.

Visit Your School’s Career Center

Meet with advisors who will help identify skills and interests that are related to specific fields of study; discuss ways in which those skills can be translated into job opportunities; learn how different majors prepare students for certain careers; determine what educational or professional requirements exist before entering a particular field of study; explore options available within each major; and explore options outside of each major that may lead toward career goals.

Find your fit and focus!

If the first step of choosing a career doesn’t work for you, then focus on the fit of your major. Take note of how you feel during different classes. Do you see yourself doing this type of work in the future? Trust your intuition; do you have an overall sense of ease or belonging when it comes to your major? Reflect, and adjust accordingly!

Matching your major to your future career is all about setting yourself up to achieve your dreams and aspirations. No matter where you are in this process, keep these steps in the back of your mind. Though we encourage you to contemplate these big questions about your future, don’t let it stress you out. You will figure it out, we promise!