Thursday, April 17


We can’t all be the next Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, but maybe you have a novel saved on your computer and you’re starting to think that it just might be ready to hit the shelves. But then comes the daunting question you’ve been putting off during the entire writing process: how are you going to publish it? Sure, there are always the big publishing houses. And you might be able to get their attention with something super stellar. However, you might want to start smaller and work your way up. Consider self-publishing as option.
After checking around, here are 6 tips that will hopefully help to take you to your next step:
  1. Don’t give quit your real job. Until you’ve signed a large contract that promises to support you through retirement, don’t cut off your main source of income. While we’ve all heard of the fantastic self-publishing success stories, success like that is actually extremely rare.
  2. Consider e-books are your first avenue of publication. This option is fairly cheap and easy, especially compared to trying to get a massive publishing house to even look at your work.
  3. Because there isn’t a single person who follows the “Don’t judge a book by its cover” rule as he or she is shopping for the next read, making the cover stand out, especially online, is important. Find the line between professional and creative. And if you are selling it online, make sure the cover looks good when it’s about the size of your thumb.
  4. Write, revise, edit, repeat. There are going to much fewer eyes going over your work; make it as good as possible.
  5. Be yourself. Don’t sacrifice your style and story for what’s popular. If what’s hot on the market right now isn’t what you’re into, than don’t force it; the readers will know.
  6. Do your research. There are a lot of sites that aim to help you get your book from your computer into the hands of readers, but some are better than others. Look around, get opinions, and find what is best for you and your book.

There is a lot of information about self-publishing on the internet. Look around at what others have to say, especially those who have gone through the process themselves. After all the work you’ve put into your book, you want to make sure you do the last step right.  

Tuesday, April 15

Picking Between Two Offers

There are many difficult steps when looking for a job or internship: creating your résumé, reaching out to employers, making it through the interview process. But now that you’ve done all that work, there still might be one last obstacle to jump. If you are lucky enough to get more than one offer, you are going to need to make a decision. The problem arises, however, when the time tables of the different employers for accepting the position don’t match up. Cynthia Favre of the Center for Servant Leadership has several tips if you find yourself stuck in this situation.
First, if the company you really want to work with is the one that you’re waiting on, let them know you are very interested and ask them what their timeline is for making the decisions. From there, if you have gotten another offer from an organization that is further down on your list, don’t immediately accept it. Instead, Cynthia suggests writing something along the lines of, “I need to let you know I am in conversation with other employers.  In fairness to them and myself, so that I can make a good decision, I would like time to think about this offer.  When do you need a decision from me?” Chances are they will give you a few days to a week to decide. After that, contact the first choice again. Get a sense of where you are as a candidate and then let them know that you have another offer. If you’re lucky, they might be able to speed up the process and give you an interview and feedback before you need to give an answer to the other company.
In the end, it still might come down to making a decision without knowing from the first company. However, if you accept somewhere, and later find you were accepted by your first choice, Cynthia encourages you to stick with your initial decision. As soon as companies have lined up interns and employees, they begin to tell other candidates they haven’t been hired. If you decide to leave, that means the company is without a new employee and candidates.
If you have any questions, make sure to stop by the CSL for help. 

Thursday, April 10

Looking for a job out of state?

You fill in the blanks with the city/state you would like to work in!

If I were looking for a job in ____ I would:
1. look at
2. look at - you can log into Facebook from there and it will search the employers of your Facebook friends for job openings
3. look at job postings on
4. look at the website for Chamber of Commerce in _____ area - look at major employers in area - go to their websites for position postings
5. look at employment/temp agencies in the area - they are a great way to get started in a new area - Robert Half, Jeane Thorn, etc.  there are different agencies in different parts of the country
6. look at Gustavus alumni group - search for any who are in ____ - reach out for ideas and suggestions of places to look.

Monday, March 10

Top 5: Stress Reducers

    Job and internship searching can be stressful!  Here are the top 5 stress reducers. 

    1. Get Moving: Any kind of physical activity relieves stress.  Walking, gardening, house cleaning, biking, and other everyday activities release feel-good endorphins and help you refocus your mind.
    2. Focus on the Moment: Even a few five-minute meditation sessions during a hectic day can make a difference.  Close your eyes, think about your inhales and exhales, and focus on releasing stress.
    3. Let it out: When you feel stressed, find a way to express it, whether through writing in a journal or sharing your pent-up thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend.  Social interactions also helps by providing support and a distraction. 
    4. Catch some ZZZ's: Sleep gives your body and mind a chance to recharge.  When you're stressed, make an extra effort to get the sleep you need - that's seven to eight hours of sleep a night for adults. 
    5. Lose Yourself in Music: Playing an instrument or listening to music helps manage stress by reducing muscle tension and stress hormones, and providing a mental distraction.

    Tuesday, March 4

    Reasons for the Writing Careers Blog

    By E.W.

    There are some people on the Gustavus campus who have their lives planned out. They know what they want to major in before even stepping into their first class, they have laid down a path for the next four years, and they even have their dream job all picked out. And then there are people like me. I sort knew I wanted to be an English major. But that’s about all I’ve figured out in the last two and half years. I would like to do something with my writing, but I always come back to the same question: What?

    With a little research and talking with those on and off campus, I have begun to discover what is out there for students who want to use their writing skills after they graduate but aren’t exactly sure where they could use them. If you check out this blog, hopefully you’ll find something you might be interested in, or at the very least you start to think of where you want to go with the writing skills you are working so hard to perfect.

    If you feel you want more help, setting up a meeting with an English professor might turn you in the right direction. Also, feel free to talk to the staff in the CSL for more career advice.

    Friday, February 28

    Dress for Success

    When you are interviewing with employers for career jobs and/or internships and graduate and professional schools (YES! Even internships!) most professional dress is expected!  Here is the thing… have one chance to make a first impression. 

    You want that impression to be that of a new, energetic professional – NOT a college kid (even of internships!).  The fastest, easiest way to do this is with most professional dress.  That means for men suits and ties (NOT just a shirt and tie).  And for women a suit (pants or skirt) or professional dress (NOT party clothes, business wear).

    I know, I know…..this will require you to go and get these clothes and the shoes etc. to go with it.  But, think about how much time, money and energy you have put into your education.  It is worth the couple hundred dollars to look your most professional to launch your career.

    Check or the Career Development blot at for ideas on professional dress.