Today I start my Dream Job

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Dear Diary,

Today is the first day at my new job and I have to say that I am both a little bit nervous and a little bit excited. I am nervous because starting over can be terrifying.  A new job means new people, a new office and a new professional experience.  I am a little bit excited because this is my dream job, after over a decade of working in personal finance I am making the career move to communications.

So how did I get my dream job?

I parlayed my personal finance experience and my blogging expertise into my dream job working in corporate communications. Starting today I will be writing financial communications 8 hours a day 5 days a week.  You may remember that for quite some time now I have been enhancing my education, gaining writing experience through freelance work and making valuable connections by attending social media and blogging conferences.  Today I am excited to tell you that all of my hard work has paid off because today I start my dream job.

My blog helped me of course!

When the market crashed a few years ago I needed to find a way to supplement my income and I didn’t have time to learn a new skill or trade because rent was due on the first.  I decided to combine my love of writing with my experience in personal finance and in 2009 I started freelance financial writing.  I started to book freelance jobs writing material for finance and insurance companies who were looking to outsource their work due to budget cutbacks.

I used my personal blog to showcase my portfolio of work as well as let out my personal emotions from time to time. I currently write for several different personal finance blogs and corporate financial websites so I use my personal blog as a place to display all of my accomplishments; it’s a better then sending potential employers to several different websites to view my work.  My most recent personal accomplishments are the release of my first book and being featured on our local news in a feature about how to help people stay out of debt.

The magic dream job formula…

I absolutely love writing and I decided that I wanted to write as a full time job but since I don’t actually have any corporate writing experience I didn’t know where to begin.  I visited a resume building website and I asked my friends and my mother (who works in HR) to give me some resume marketing tips for someone who is thinking about switching careers in their early 30s.  The response (and helpfulness) from everyone was overwhelming, I guess it’s because everyone loves a good success story (aka my new book A Better You).  Soon enough I had a brand new resume outlining my experience in personal finance and highlighting my writing skills as a blogger.

There you have it…

ambition + an action plan + a great support system = getting your dream job – that’s priceless.

Love Always.

Photo by muffet

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Save Yourself. Skip the Gym: 90 Days of Yoga

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This year is all about making positive changes as I work towards loving life and learning to love myself. One of my goals for 2012 was to find a career that I honestly and truly love, and I discovered that career is writing.  I want to be an author, but until my fiction and motivational books are published I would like to work for a literary agency, a public relations firm, or even a financial institution in corporate communications.  I want to wake up every morning and go to bed every night feeling good about myself.

In order to achieve my career goal of becoming a professional writer and in order to achieve my personal goal of becoming an author I decided to go back to school. I am currently enrolled in the journalism program at Concordia University here in Montreal. My class this semester is called “Writing for the Web” and our assignment is to create a blog and start writing on a regular basis. Since I already have a blog, I decided to blog about one specific topic on My Diary Entry throughout the school semester.

In addition to achieving my career goal of becoming an author I also have a personal goal to be healthy, get fit, and lose weight; but I absolutely hate going to the gym.  My ideal weight is 120lbs for my 5 foot frame and therefore I would like to lose 20 to 25 lbs.  It is very hard to lose weight if you don’t exercise because you hate the gym, so I decided to do a little investigative journalism and find effective at home exercise routines that will help me get fit.

From October 1 to December 31 I am going to do a yoga workout routine in my apartment every other day.  I can’t commit to exercising every single day because between working my 9 to 5 at the bank, going back to school, and all of my freelance gigs I just don’t have the time. Finding the right balance between work and life is a dilemma that a lot of people have when they are trying to achieve career goals and trying to achieve personal happiness at the same time.

One of the main reasons why I don’t exercise on a regular basis is because I get bored easily and a regular gym routine is boring.  The key to achieving success and continuing to exercise on a regular basis is to have a variety in my yoga routines. I already have the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD and I purchased 3 other Yoga DVDs from eBay, including Shape Lean & Strong Yoga, Rodney Yee Power Yoga, and The Biggest Loser Yoga for Weight Loss with Bob Harper.

I am looking forward to exercising on a regular basis because endorphins from exercising make people happy. I am also excited that I will actually be taking a break from my freelance work every other night to do some yoga, instead of just working from 6pm to 11 pm every day.

If you have a favourite yoga DVD please share, I would love to read about it.

Love Always,

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A Second Chance at a Career

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Dear Diary,

More than 12 months ago I decided to start trying to love my life and to start learning to love myself.  A major part of my new self-loving mentality is that I am starting to make positive changes in my life; this includes trying to eliminate everything in my life that makes me unhappy.  At the beginning of 2011 I decided that I will try to make positive changes with my family, in my relationship and in my career. After working in the financial services industry for over a decade I decided that my real passion is (and has always been) writing.

I definitely want to pursue a career in writing, but I don’t want to throw away my twelve years of experience in the personal finance industry.  I would love to be an author and I am currently writing my first book, however writing an unpublished book doesn’t pay the bills. I honestly still love working in personal finance, I just don’t totally love working in retail banking anymore. I want to combine my financial experience with my love of writing. In order to achieve my personal goal of combining my experience with my passion I decided to pursue a career in corporate communications.

I had no idea how to make the career change  from retail banking to corporate communications so I just started applying for jobs. Unfortunately the response from potential employers was not as enthusiastic as I hoped it would be. Many potential employers appreciate the fact I have many years of retail banking experience, but they feel that I am under experienced in the writing and communications aspects of the job qualifications.  Of course I feel that this is not true because I have been writing for almost as long as I have been working in the personal finance industry, but employers love to see diplomas.

After being declined for two corporate communications jobs I decided to stop applying for my dream job and I decided to start researching exactly what skills and education requirements are needed for jobs in corporate communications. Before I apply for another job in corporate communications I will make sure that I have the experience, the skills, and the education to get hired. So to sum up my long story, I recently enrolled in the journalism program at a local university.

Going back to school while working a full time job at the bank and working a part time job as a freelance writer is definitely a challenge.  However, this is what I have to do right now in my life in order to achieve my personal and career goals later in life.  Every morning that I am too tired to get out of bed and every night that I am awake and working past midnight I keep telling myself that this is only a temporary situation.  My life will be hectic for the next two years but in the end it will all be worth it to achieve my ultimate personal goal of becoming and author and my career goal of working in corporate communications.

Love Always,

Photo by qusur

Check out the other post in my “A Second Chance” series:

A Second Chance at Love

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It’s Never Too Late For Change

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Welcome to the new (but still under construction) My Diary Entry.  I still have a few tweaks to make and a few kinks to iron out, but this is basically the new and improved look of My Diary Entry.  I would love to get your thoughts on the new look, the new info, and the new links I have added.  If you know me then you know I’m chatty, so hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think about the new My Diary Entry.

This is the fourth look for My Diary Entry since I started the blog a year and a half ago.  It’s never too late for change because people and their personalities are always evolving.  If Madonna can reinvent herself in Madge and Sean Combs can reinvent himself into Puff Daddy and then into P.Diddy, we can also make changes to our image any time that we feel a change is necessary.

The main reason why people don’t make changes in their lives is because they are afraid to take a risk.  People have a fear of the unknown and this can prevent us from trying new things and sharing new experiences.

Many months ago I decided that 2012 was going to be the year to make changes in my life.  I am trying to focus on the good, get rid of the bad, and try lots of new things.  This is definitely a challenge for me because I do not adapt well to change; but at the same time I have to stop complaining about the bad things in my life and start making some positive changes to become a happier person.

Here are some changes that I am working on:

Personal Habits

- I switched my bagels for english muffins. 120 Calories and 20 grams of Carbohydrates saved.

- I now buy my breakfast sandwich from Subway instead of Tim Horton’s.  It has fewer calories, less fat, and I can add veggies for extra nutrition.

- I now drink a protein shake once a day, usually to replace my dinner.

- I gave up pizza until next summer when I visit Chicago and eat the best deep-dish pizza in the world.

- I am trying to let go of the negativity in my life, but that is easier said than done.

Professional Habits

- I am back in school working towards a diploma in Journalism.

- I will attend at least 2 professional conferences per year to help promote myself and grow my business as a writer. This year I attended BlogHer12 in NYC and FinCon12 in Denver.

- I am making contacts with other bloggers and learning from other writers about how they built their business and achieved their dreams.

- I will have my first e-book published by December 31, 2012 and my second my December 31, 2013.

What changes are you making in your life?

Love Always,

Photo by woodleywonderworks

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