So you were an Athlete, so What?

So you were an Athlete, so What?

Calling all former competitive athletes!

Durham West Lightning vs. Team China

So you probably just spent essentially your entire childhood and teenage years rushing off to games, practices, personal training and team events. Sometimes 7 days per week during the season, and maybe got some *slightly* more free time in the off season (but lets be real, you were probably on a strict training schedule still to stay in shape). You probably also juggled school sports along with your competitive sport of choice. The time management skills of young athletes could be taught to most adults.

Unfortunately you have graduated and moved on in life, you are an adult now and need to find a career. But how are you to find a job post graduation when your sport schedule probably has never allowed for any part time jobs? You feel lost with the sudden amount of free time you have and worry that your skills aren’t relevant.

That was me. After playing competitive hockey growing up and into my young adult years, it was such a big part of my identity, I was so lost at first. Applying to office jobs, I had a great education but no experience, who would want to hire me?

For background I am a 27 year-old former athlete. I played hockey beginning at five years old – it definitely was my favourite! I was constantly travelling to tournaments out of province and out of country and had to juggle my school, family and friends with hockey as the priority. I also loved to play on school teams, joining the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams. On a normal high school day I would get up, go for a run, go to school, go to my after school practice for whichever school team was playing at that time, go home, eat dinner, take a nap and then go to hockey. Repeat. This teaches at a very young age time management, self-discipline and being able to work with other people (a.k.a be a good teammate!). I went on to play sports at the University of Toronto while maintaining a full course schedule.

So what happens once your sporting life is finished? That’s the purpose of this blog. You can use your sport experience to your benefit yourself at work!

Once I figured out that so many of the soft skills employers really value are taught through team sport, I began utilizing hockey experiences on my resume, cover letter and in interviews. Once I started to use my hockey background to my advantage – every job I’ve applied to I have gotten a call back for and every interview I have participated in I have been offered the job (not even to brag, before utilizing my athletic experience, I got approximately zero calls back).

I invite you to follow me as I share tips and recommendations on how to show employers the value of your sport background. Hit like and follow and come with me on my journey, I’ll be posting multiple times per week on specific uses for certain skills, including how to include your athletic experience on a resume!

Do you include your athletic past on your resume? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

COM0014 – Blog #7 – Personal Reflection

COM0014 – Blog #7 – Personal Reflection

As we end our 8-week course, it is evident of why story-telling is important in digital communication. Good story telling makes people feel connected to your content, it makes people believe in what you are saying and can spark an emotional response and lead to engagement. Good story telling will make people remember you, your service or your product.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Going forward I’ll ensure to keep story telling at the front of my mind when creating content, using the inverted triangle approach, and keeping a wide angled view. Its also extremely important to know and understand your target audience and what your own end goal is, to drive direction. I’m hoping that people feel connected from my content at work and I hope my content makes residents feel proud to live in our community.

What do you hope people feel from your content?

COM0014 Blog #6 – Who Am I?

COM0014 Blog #6 – Who Am I?

Looking back at my career so far, based on the types of jobs I have done, at first it was hard to answer the question who am I? What do I do? Throughout University I was a Bridal Consultant (yes, exactly like Say Yes to the Dress), then I was an Executive Assistant supporting a CEO and President of a private national company, next I was an Executive Assistant to a Mayor and Council, and now finally I am working as a Social Media & Communications Coordinator – all seemingly very different roles!

As I thought more about what I really do at work and has been consistent throughout all of my roles, I help people. I go out of my way to make other people’s jobs easier. As a consultant? I’ll choose the perfect dress for you, you don’t need to lift a finger and I will make sure you aren’t stressed ever during the process. As an EA? I will organize your own work responsibilities to make you more efficient, and will go out of my way to do things for you that aren’t in my job description. As a Social Media Coordinator, I help residents, who after a long day of their own, find information quickly and easily, and provide entertainment for their children. On top of my regular responsibilities, at each place of work I have always been the go-to person for organizing charitable events such as toy and food drives, and even more unique assisting with Period Purse donations one year.

So what do I do? I help people and try to make other’s lives easier.

COM0014 – Blog #5 – My Personal Brand – Quickly

COM0014 – Blog #5 – My Personal Brand – Quickly

It can be challenging to boast about yourself. What makes you unique, special and what your strengths are. A lot of people can find it easier to describe what they are not.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

What sets me apart from my competitors is my time management and flexibility. Growing up playing high level team sports (I literally played hockey 7 days per week since i was 6 years old!) taught me extremely early on how to manage my time and be the most efficient possible. Not many people before joining the workforce had to juggle, school, family, friends, school sports, homework, and the pressure of high level team sports. I don’t think there is a fast-paced environment that is too much for me, I have learned how to prioritize and be as efficient as possible. I think my colleagues would agree that my best trait is how quickly I am able to finish tasks and switch gears to the next project/issue/meeting.

Being able to perform in a high pressure, face-paced environment is critical to working in communications as news, events, and information can pivot so quickly and it is important to have team members that can keep up.

What would you say are important traits for someone new to the communications industry?

COM0014 Blog #4 – Nike: King of Social

COM0014 Blog #4 – Nike: King of Social

Nike has a massive presence on social media and utilizes major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

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Nike has millions of followers across their accounts and is great at engaging with followers through thoughtful and impactful story-telling that provokes emotional responses. Their content is timely to current societal issues and trends, and speaks to many different targeted groups. Gulsen Erkilic commented in her blog, 5 Brilliant Nike Campaigns Created with Effective Digital Marketing Strategies, regarding Nike’s success on how Nike is excellent at emotional branding and at crafting ads to make their products “more meaningful through the eyes of the customers”.

I personally really enjoy looking through the content Nike uploads onto their Instagram page. They use primarily short videos with full captioning on the videos to draw attention to the impactful words of the videos (and to be inclusive) and you can tell that they put a lot of effort into drawing attention in a positive manner to issues globally. I love the “triumphant” feel of their content and the hopeful vibe for the future that is portrayed. I also love how it feels like Nike is a global community and that their content doesn’t just speak to North America but spans to include trends and issues throughout the world.

I do really think Nike’s approach is working and that other multi-national companies would really take some pointers from Nike on an engagement perspective.

What other businesses do you think rival Nike on social media and would be great to learn from?

Reference:

Erkilic, Gulsen (2018, Nov. 7). 5 Brilliant Nike Campaigns Created with Effective Digital Marketing Strategies. Digital Agency Network.

COMM0014 Blog #3: Girls Like Hockey Too!

COMM0014 Blog #3: Girls Like Hockey Too!

Let me begin by letting you know how much I love ice hockey. I would also like to let you know that I am a young woman. I played the highest level of hockey possible for young girls, in one of the largest and most competitive women’s leagues – the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League – which spans across Southern Ontario and dips into the United States as well. I began playing hockey after my dad brought me to my brother’s hockey game, and after a few minutes of watching, five year old me, turned to my dad and seriously exclaimed that I could do better than all of the players on the ice.

I am aware that for a very long time I was not the target audience for engagement from the NHL, hockey stores, or even leagues. Generally like most sports, hockey’s target audience is middle to upper class men. Masculine colours, music, language choices and male actors (or players) were traditionally used for hockey advertisements as I was growing up.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

As time has gone on, I have noticed that Hockey Canada has realized their fan demographics have diversified and that perhaps they would need to update the way they try to engage with their fans and have began to expand their target audiences.

Some of my favourite advertisements I see for hockey now include great female players (note I do not recall seeing any female hockey players in NHL or major hockey retailers’ commercials growing up). Now companies like Sportsnet and Bauer include female players in many of their commercials, campaigns and interviews to target young girls. In 2020 the Canadian government even included Hayley Wickenheiser in an advert regarding the dangers of COVID-19 as she is now included as one of Canada’s great celebrities!

I am glad that the face of hockey is changing to reflect the demographics more accurately. We still have a way to go on this but the direction is encouraging. Understanding your audiences demographics and personal traits is incredibly important when creating engagement online – who knows maybe if there were more commercials targeted towards my particular demographic growing up, I may have switched loyalty to which equipment brand I chose!

How would you encourage expanded and diversified viewership for hockey? Let me know in the comments below!

Resources:

https://canoe.com/news/national/astronaut-chris-hadfield-hockey-star-hayley-wickenheiser-star-in-new-federal-coronavirus-ad

COMM0014 – Blog #2: Are you a Good Story Teller?

COMM0014 – Blog #2: Are you a Good Story Teller?

We all like to think that people love listening to our stories, but how many people are actually good at story telling? Considering many of us online don’t read past the headline or just quickly look at social media posts to see if something MAY peak your interest (but assuming it probably won’t) not too many of us are as good at story telling as we would like to think.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The Basics

This week’s module had some great reminders, that I may have been guilty of forgetting, on how to be a more captivating story teller. Hook the reader early on – who wants to read paragraphs of fluff searching for the most important information? Give it up, up front. Please edit your work, reading an article with incorrect spelling and poor grammar takes the reader’s attention away from your story. If you have further in-depth information on a subject you mention in your story, consider providing a link to the additional material the reader can check out if they are interested (unless this further in-depth information is crucial to your story). Too much detail can be cumbersome if it isn’t critical to your topic or if your reader isn’t that interested in that particular part of your story.

Which comes first? The beginning or the end?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

One thing in particular from this week’s module that I am guilty of forgetting is to “begin with the end in mind”. What is the main goal of my story? If you don’t know, then your story may lack direction and you may miss out on opportunities to move the reader in the direction you are hoping for. If you know your end goal is to bring more awareness to a topic, you may choose different language throughout that inspires people to discuss your work with family, friends, with their social networks, compared to if your end goal is to receive as many “likes” as possible on your work.

So what would your advice be to someone looking to work on their story telling skills?

COM0014 – Blog #1:Miami Beach? Yes please!

COM0014 – Blog #1:Miami Beach? Yes please!

Vacationing is one of my favourite things to do, and I’m willing to bet the majority of people also love it. Even the lead up to leaving – all of the planning, packing, anticipation – is all part of the experience.

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

I was lucky that my last vacation was able to happen just before everything started to get crazy with COVID-19. My significant other’s family bought a house in Venice, Florida and we flew down to see the new house (and to escape the cold) in February 2020. Venice is on the Gulf of Mexico and is traditionally more for retirees. There isn’t much happening after 9 p.m. – this isn’t how I envisioned spending my time off of work, so my boyfriend and I rented a car and decided last minute to drive to Miami for a few days.

In Miami we stayed right on Ocean Avenue in South Beach, right in the thick of all of the activity. Everywhere we looked were hip, trendy, and energetic restaurants and clubs – very different from Venice and exactly what we were looking for.

During the day we walked the entire length of Miami Beach, ‘people watching’, and stopped regularly for oversized drinks and great food as we pleased. The best part of the restaurants in Miami is that beach-wear is normal so you could go back and forth from the beach to restaurants without having to head to your hotel to change.

Photo by Arnie Watkins on Pexels.com

At night, many of the restaurants doubled as clubs and the streets were alive well after 5 a.m.! But my favourite stop was for Sunday morning brunch at Nikki’s Beach Miami. This is a must visit spot for anyone looking to get that perfect Instagram beach vacation picture! Check out what they are all about on their website. You’ll be be adding them to your Miami bucket list soon enough!

Well I know I will definitely be back to Miami again, have you been? Let me know where you recommend I should go on my next trip there in the comments below!

Are All Social Media Platforms Secretly The Same?

Are All Social Media Platforms Secretly The Same?

The other day as I was scrolling and flipping mindlessly between my favourite (and most people’s!) social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, and I noticed how the content I was seeing on each platform was essentially exactly the same. My friend posted pictures almost simultaneously on all of her accounts of her trip to the pumpkin patch. A business I like and follow literally copy and pasted the exact same post with information on a new product word for word to each of their platforms. The major social media platforms offer similar capabilities – an opportunity to write a post that isn’t too long, a picture(s) or video and the ability to create short-lived stories.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

I started to think to myself why do I follow all of the same people/businesses on each platform if I am just going to be bombarded with the exact same posts? That day I unfollowed the business mentioned above on 3 out of 4 platforms.

I started researching this to see what other people on saying online about this issue and to look for best practices I could use at work. As I thought, the more I read the more I found industry experts agreed to not post the exact same thing across all of your platforms – Digital Marketer, Ademola Abimbola, his advice is that “social media networks are unique, so if you have the resources, you should tailor your content to be unique to each platform”! Check out his full article on his reasoning here: Should You Post the Same Content to All Social Networks?

To me the biggest pro of keeping your posts unique on each channel and playing to the channels particular strengths (i.e. Instagram is great for pictures of course, while Facebook may be a better place to start a larger discussion!) is keeping your audience engaged. If your followers have more than one social media account, wouldn’t you want them to follow you across all platforms without getting bored by your content? If you are able to be engaging in unique ways, your loyal customers and fans will definitely follow and interact with you on each of your channels rather than just one or two and can help spread the word of your services and products to their circles on each of their platforms!

What do you think? Would you unfollow a business due to viewing too much redundant content? Or do you want to see similar content on each platform in case you missed it on another?

Social Media Posts:

Twitter:

Check out my new blog on keeping social content fresh and unique ➡ here. Let me know how you manage multiple platforms in the comments below!

Facebook:

Tired of seeing the SAME content on all social media platforms? Me too! Let me know your best practices for keeping your content fresh and engaging by commenting on my new blog: Are All Social Media Platforms Secretly The Same?

Resources:

Abimbola, A. (n.d.) Mauco. Should You Post the Same Content to All Social Networks? https://mauconline.net/should-you-post-the-same-content-to-all-social-networks/

FOMO: You Won’t Want to Miss out on Reading This

FOMO: You Won’t Want to Miss out on Reading This

In this new age where social media is king of social interaction I am sure we are all familiar with the term “FOMO” also known as Fear Of Missing Out.

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Social media has many pros for social connection, such as making it easier to stay in touch globally, or being able to see real-time updates of friends and family milestones, however with these pros, there are cons as well. To me one of the biggest cons of social media is how it can effect your mental health negatively. FOMO in particular is an issue I think we all have dealt with at some point. You are happy to be sitting at home relaxing on the couch on a Friday after a long week and then BAM Suzy is out for drinks with her friends at the new trendy bar in your neighbourhood and is posting the entire night on her Instagram story. Suddenly, you are filled with jealousy at her night versus yours and you are wondering if you are wasting your youth and your evening sitting at home. You are fearing you are missing out on some spectacularly fun Friday night, which then ruins your mood while you compare yourself to Suzy.

We have become obsessed with comparing our lives online with others, who doesn’t check their timelines every.single.day (probably many times throughout) or immediately check a text or notification from one of your social media profiles. Should excessive social media checking/use be considered an addiction? Is FOMO a symptom of social media addiction? Can we combat it or at least balance ourselves?

John Grohol in his PsychCentral blog FOMO Addiction: The Fear of Missing Out speaks about the obsession with social media and FOMO and mentions that this may be due that we are still in the infancy stage of our relationship with technology. We haven’t yet figured out how to interact with technology, namely social media, in a mindful and meaningful way (Grohol, 2018). I think this is an interesting point. We truly are at the beginnings of the introduction of social media to as a means of social connection. Most of us have not grown up with social media, really the first generations that will have had social media a part of their childhoods are coming into their teen years now. Maybe future generations will be able to understand how to be mindful online as their socialization of social media starts as an infant rather than at the age of 25.

What are your thoughts? Will we ever get rid of FOMO from social media or find ways to create more of a balance with social media use?

Reference:

Grohol, John. (2018, July 8). PsychCentral. FOMO Addiction: The Fear of Missing Out. https://psychcentral.com/blog/fomo-addiction-the-fear-of-missing-out/

Sample social media posts:

Twitter:

Let’s be real, FOMO sucks. Check out my blog and let me know about your worst FOMO experience & how you combatted it!

Facebook:

FOMO, been there, have had that. Let me know about your FOMO experiences and any tips to how to avoid the dreaded feeling after checking out my blog on it!