Heads up, gear up

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Can you believe it’s February already?

As my eighth grade English teacher used to say, Chop, chop!  Time to move.  We need to beat those winter blues away and run deep into our objectives.

With midterm season approaching and jobs opening up, the start of the year is one of the most crucial times to set oneself up for success.

For those in their final year of university, I am sure you are already in the process of securing jobs – if you haven’t already done so – and looking for employment post-graduation.

For others, this may also be an important time to consider your immediate goals (i.e. span of 3-5 months) to ponder about which steps you should take next.

Clearly, talking about studying for midterms, attending seminars and networking sounds a bit too redundant. We all know that.

What I would like to discuss is self-empowerment and recalibration. This 2-step approach is as simple as it is effective.

How do we move forward in life? We continuously seek to improve ourselves through the lens of our environment. This subjective attitude is oftentimes responsible for the goals that we set; this is how we make choices.

But how can we improve ourselves?

That is where self-empowerment comes in – I strongly believe that if you educate yourself and learn about the things that you wish to follow, then you will be confident enough to make a decision, regardless of whether or not you want to follow through with it.

Let me give you a simple example. When I was in second year, I was supported by a UTM Alumni mentor with whom I discussed time management. He sent me his personal Excel template which was programmed to showcase his weekly schedule according to each task’s priority and deadline. This was a great method for him to follow, but not particularly for me.

However, I admired the concept and tried to use it elsewhere in my life. Interestingly enough, that year was also the first time I got a real job and started to budget all of my expenses. Needless to say, this is where I recalibrated what I had learned from him and applied it to suit my life. I created my own Excel template for budgets, tracked my income and expenses (yes, using accounting concepts) and was able to save about 3 grand for my graduation trip.

Of course, this is an overly simplified example of my point.

In essence, February is a month of renewal and new ideas, and the best way to go about it (in my opinion) is by building up your confidence surrounding the material/idea, and feeling good about making a decision to incorporate it in your life.

As such, I strongly urge you to recalibrate and position yourselves to support your next move, be it for menial goals such as personal budgeting, or larger tasks such as choosing which programs to get into.

P.S. If you are interested in setting your own personal budget, here is a link where you can choose from among 10-12 different ones, or just create one yourself!

Aditi Shah
B.Com. 2017 grad
*Aditi will be writing and updating “the First 365” series for 2017-18. These posts will focus on Aditi’s experiences in the work place after graduation. 

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