Hello, World! 8 Tips For ‘Adulting’ After College

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Category: College Moves

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My last six months of college passed in a blur. I spent most days filling out graduation paperwork, meeting with professors, trying to find a job while working at my current one, not to mention making sure to call my parents at least once every two weeks. I wanted life to slow down for a minute, but alas, it never did.

It seemed only to get faster and faster, and I—well, I worried. I knew I should feel excited about graduating from college, and I did, but I still felt a bit of dread. But I beat that fear back and successfully moved on from my college life by using a straightforward process: I addressed each of my concerns point by point, then used the following tips to make the transition much smoother.

1. Start Your Job Search Before You Actually Graduate

Most college seniors and grads eventually ask, “How am I going to pay for everything?” I know that I raised the question many, many times. So I addressed it by starting my job search early—nine to ten months before graduation. This is when it pays to have a close relationship with your advisor. But don’t freak out if you haven’t been keeping up with them, since it’s never too late to go to them and ask for leads on careers.

Sure, I wish jobs fell off trees like apples in the spring, but they don’t. Jobs have to be plucked, usually with a lot of ladders and a lot of climbing, so it’s best to start the hunt early.

2. Networking Isn’t Just a Buzzword, It’s a Real Thing You Have to Do

I used to scoff at the whole “it’s who you know” thing, but the idea holds merit. I got my first job because hands shaken and conversations held in person, as well as through online connections. To start, make sure you start a LinkedIn account and add your professors and people you’ve worked with. Then go to every job-oriented event that your college offers. 

I looked at my wardrobe, too. It sufficed for casual events, job fairs, and my job at a boutique, but it needed some polish so I could present myself more professionally in front of potential employers. Just make sure you’re always presentable and presenting.

3. Figure out How Exactly to Adopt Finances for the Real World (There’s an App for That)

I also looked at my finances, something I hadn’t had to think about much during college. I earned enough money from a part-time job to buy a new pair of shoes or go out to dinner with friends. I realized, though, that I needed a better sense of how I spent my money before heading into the real world.

To accomplish that, I researched some financial apps like Mint and Venmo and chose the one that worked best for me. It helped me balance my checkbook, pay freinds easier, instantly figure out a budget by connecting to my bank, and find places to save money. I can’t believe I wasn’t already using some of these!

4. Adopt a New Schedule (AKA Start Waking Up Earlier)

As a kid, I always hated the end of summer because it meant my mom would reinstitute morning alarms and bedtimes. But the routine helped me slip into school mode once my college courses started. Yep, the same is true with life after college. By adopting a schedule before I officially graduated, I woke ready for the day and whatever it held, even that 6 a.m. spinning class.

5. Start Going to “Next Stage of Life” Stores

I love, love, love Pier One, but I couldn’t buy most of their home décor as a college student. I still can’t afford a lot of it on an entry-level salary, although I’ve recently entered the store’s hallowed halls during clearance sales to pick up dishes and throw pillows. The same can be true of any “adult stuff” stores.

But for the must-have furniture for my post-college apartment—things like a kitchen table or living room couch—I searched Ikea, garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, and Goodwill. The four require patience, but they’ve rewarded me with some of my most beloved furniture. However you do it, the key is to switch gears to where you’re actively looking for household necessities, wherever they may be.

6. No Meal Plan, No Problem

I used my college’s meal plan for the first three years, and it was great. The cafeteria boasted at least five different types of food, plus a dessert bar and waffle maker. When I moved off-campus my senior year, I learned quickly how much food costs, not to mention how much time it takes to make.

Those lessons prepped me for post-college life. I immediately started budgeting for weekly or bi-weekly trips to the store, because, hey – I’m not a kid anymore. I even took things a step further with some online cooking classes and nutrition apps to stay healthy and fit, which also helped me learn how to cook better. Don’t take food for granted, be prepared for life without the cafeteria! 

7. Don’t Be Boring, Develop a Hobby

Speaking of online cooking classes, I discovered something unexpected while watching them: I actually really enjoy cooking! It relaxes and recharges me, and the fare always delights friends I’ve invited over for brunch or dinner. Something about graduating college is the perfect opportunity for becoming a more well-rounded person – a person who is ready to make even more friends and dive into a career!

Protip: Watching other people cook refreshes my spirit, too—but I refused to watch my favorite chefs on Netflix or Hulu with anything less than a pristine stream, so consider upping your internet speed to join the ranks of non-dorm room internet speeds.

8. Ask for (and Accept) Help

Another thing I recognized is that I needed help. It was actually a freeing thought. I still remember asking my manager for help with a difficult customer and watching in awe as she remained kind yet firm. I also visited with my college’s counseling center. I felt so overwhelmed the last few months of college that it was sometimes hard to get out of bed. I didn’t know how to talk with my family or best friend about it, so I scheduled an appointment with a counselor. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and something I plan to continue doing. Everyone needs help sometimes, myself included.

Since I took those eight steps, I’m “adulting” fairly well. No, I don’t have everything figured out, but that’s part of being a grown-up. Nobody has life all figured out, and I for one am glad. Life would be boring if we all solved its challenges in the exact same way. But as you use these and similar tips as you move from college life to work life, you can feel more confident in yourself and in your transition.


Cassie Tolhurst is a recent grad, digital journalist, and tech enthusiast. When she isn’t stalking Twitter she is spending time with her loving family and dog. Her passions include the newest mobile gadgets and what’s streaming on Netflix.

5 DIY Lifehacks That Make Back-to-School Way Less Stressful

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Category: Kids & Pets

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Going back to school is a time that is filled with all kinds of emotions. There’s some excitement, some anxiety, some uncertainty and even some relief… especially for the parents. But one emotion that is bound to sneak up on both kids and parents as another school year rolls around is stress!

Back-to-school season can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you and your family have systems in place to stay organized. Today we are diving into 5 simple, yet genius, ideas to make back-to-school season as stress-free as possible. We’re confident that even the kids will be excited about some of these ideas and can even get involved to make them happen.

1. The (Real) Carpool Essentials Kit

For parents, back-to-school actually means they are back to being full-time drivers for their kids. Evenings typically consist of carpooling from school, to practice, to boy scouts, and then back to another activity… all while trying to grab dinner somewhere in between.

To cut down on this never-ending chase, we encourage you to add a carpool kit to your car. All you need is a small Tupperware bin and you can add all of the emergency essentials in there for both you and the kids. Here’s some of the stuff we’ve put in ours:

  • Mini Hairspray
  • Spare glasses
  • Band-Aids
  • Advil
  • Phone charger
  • Coin purse
  • Tampons
  • A fork
  • Hair brush

A little time up front to build one of these will save you a lot of stress down the road!

2. The All-In-One Homework Caddy For Home

You thought you were done with school? Well, prepare for the dreaded pile of nightly homework! Wrangling up the kids to get their homework done is stressful enough, but then trying to chase down all of the supplies they need for that night’s assignment is stressful.

To avoid a meltdown, build a homework caddy before school starts. While at the store picking up your child’s school supplies, go ahead and buy an extra, backup set of at least these things: 

  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Tape

Then corral them into a portable caddy for home. That way, all of the supplies are in one place and your child is prepared for any assignment that comes their way. Plus, these simple caddies can easily be packed up and hidden in a cabinet, as opposed to all the individual pieces being strewn around, being an eyesore.

3. Hang A Color-Coded, Dry Erase Calendar (For The Kids)

Staying organized is half the battle to cut down stress, especially with all those meetings, appointments, activities and (way too many) social obligations. We love the idea of getting kids involved to build a DIY paint swatch calendar because it’s extremely inexpensive and the kids can personalize all the colors to give them their own meaning. Plus, it’s erasable for all of those last-minute changes. When the kids have ownership in creating and maintaining the calendar, they are bound to be far more invested in keeping plans.

4. Make “The Pantry Pal”

We hate making lunches, so a simple way to make it better is to create various pantry pals. Organize them in whichever way works best for your family, but we love the idea of compiling all of the snack foods into little baggies at the beginning of the week, then adding the baggies into your pantry pal (or a “refrigerator pal” for items that need refrigeration).

Breakfast pal, lunch pal, snack pal… all you or the kids need to do to pack their own lunch is grab a few items from the pre-made assortment of stuff, maybe add a sandwich, then the lunches are ready! This may take some work on the front end of the week, but once the pantry pals are packed, they should be all set for several weeks of lunches.

5. Host an Awesome Back-to-School Night

Usually, schools host an annual back-to-school night for students and parents to meet the teacher and tour the classroom, but have you ever thought about hosting a back-to-school night at your home? A back-to-school night at home, where you invite all the neighbors and classmates, is actually an amazing idea, despite how it sounds.

Why? It can cut down on the anxiety that comes with not knowing what to expect. Put a fun and exciting spin on the upcoming school year, rather than one focused on unknown factors. The kids can compare schedules and make plans for the year, while the parents discuss their excitement, concerns and swap questions.

Hopefully, these five projects will not only keep the kids busy before they head back-to-school, but will also establish organization systems or traditions that will cut down on stress all year long!

New Feature: Personalize Your Availability by the Hour!

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We’re always working on ways to make moving easier. Now, one of the biggest ways is live in your Helper Account.

Introducing new and improved Helper Scheduling and Availability! By popular demand, you can now personalize your moving availability schedule by the hour, so customers can know exactly when you are (and aren’t) available. Your exact schedule is now visible at just a glance! Here’s the rundown:

  • Block hours on your calendar on the Scheduling page
  • Hourly availability now displays on your helper cards
  • Customers can only select start times during available hours

Don’t Be Booked When You Don’t Want to Be

Need to block off a few hours of a day without having to mark the whole date as not available? Seamlessly pick and choose what hours you’re free by clicking on “Scheduling” in your Helper Account, then selecting “block off time“. You’ll then see your blocked time range in a new, light pink block on your calendar.

Also, accepting a job will automatically give you the ability to block off those specific hours, plus any additional hours after the job that are needed. Accidentally mark the wrong time? Change your mind? Don’t worry, you can still change your schedule instantly at any time on your calendar!

Your Business, Your Hours

Your Helper card and company page on HireAHelper.com now displays your up-to-date working hours to all customers searching for movers in their area.

This means more flexibility, less time on the phones and way happier customers! The customer’s Order Details page has also been updated to automatically limit your hours and arrival times that are selectable based off of what you mark, meaning you now have complete control over all aspects of your day.

Please note that your availability will be displayed based on total working hours, not start times, and that no time periods fewer than 2 hours will be displayed to the customer.

We’ve also added the ability to note which crew members you’re sending to each job. Watch for a future update that will automatically update your availability based off of your crew member numbers.

We’re thrilled to be pushing out this update to all Helper Accounts, which is live starting today! With the new hourly blocking feature, you’ll have total control of your business, and more jobs when you actually want them.

Questions? Ask us in the comments below.

Go update your availability now!

What to Do When You’re Early to a Job

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Category: Customer Service

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I need a little help here, guys.

If you use Google’s autocomplete when you do a search, do me a favor and type in “what to do when your movers”. How does Google complete this for you?

The Google algorithm controlling my laptop gave me four search possibilities. Two of them were “don’t show up” and “break something”.

Now add “are”, then see what Google offers up. I got “packing”, “moving” and “late”.

Question: Did any of you get “early”?

I didn’t think so.

Does it never happen? Well, it does happen once in a while. And when it does, the customer is always thrilled, right?

Not so fast.

Even when we are on time – or late, as sometimes happens – the customer is not always completely prepared for us. So what do we do?

Rolling up ten minutes early is a virtual non-issue. We knock on the door, greet the customer, acknowledge we’re early and give the customer a few more minutes if they need it before we get started.

Rolling up half an hour early is a different story. An uncommon story, maybe, but one worth thinking about.

Your customer might be stoked to see you pull up thirty minutes ahead of schedule. They might also start freaking out. We probably don’t know how they’ll react (since “what to do when your movers are early” doesn’t seem to be on many people’s minds). So put in a quick phone call and have a conversation sort of like this:

“Good morning Mr. Smith, this is Joe with Joe’s Pro Movers…Yes, sir, everything’s okay, just wanted to let you know we’re actually running a bit ahead of schedule… I know, no one ever expects it! But it looks like we’ll be at your place in another five or ten minutes. Yes, that’s fine, we totally understand. So if it’s all right with you, we’ll just park out front and you can give us a shout when you’re ready for us to get rolling. No problem, okay, we’ll see you soon.”

Worst case scenario, you hang out until your agreed-upon starting time. (Of course, it’s your call as far as when to start the meter running.) Best case scenario, the customer is ready for you and you can get started as soon as you pull up, meaning you’ll get the job done a bit earlier and everyone comes away happy.

Either way, that crucial phone call puts the customer’s mind at ease by giving them the luxury of getting a jump-start on their move – or having the time they were counting on to get themselves ready while their movers wait patiently out front.

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