Thursday, 29 September 2016

Fall 2016 Premiere Week Review

I had this post written since the weekend, but I was waiting until Criminal Minds premiered. Fair warning, this post does include spoilers. I included four shows that I absolutely loved the premieres of as well as two that I was disappointed by. I can’t wait to see more premieres this season and see how these shows unfold in the weeks to come.

New Girl

I loved the season premiere of New Girl. I love Jessica Day, I think she’s down right hilarious as are her male counterparts. In the premiere, we saw Cece and Schmidt settle down from their wedding and honeymoon, looking to purchase their new house. As per usual, the gang is trying to get themselves involved. Honestly, I love that they’ve continued to carry on the tradition of the group doing things together even after the wedding. I am so glad that this show is back! I cannot wait until next week, when The Mindy Project returns so I have my weekly ritual of watching the two shows back to back with a bag of popcorn.

This is Us

I actually really liked the pilot episode of This is Us. I have the second episode patiently waiting to be watched on my PVR, but I haven’t had the chance yet. It kind of reminded me of the show Parenthood with Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard and Mae Whitman. It’s raw, emotional and things that we go through in everyday life. I am so excited to see how this show plays out through the season.

Grey’s Anatomy

As disappointed I am that Scandal isn’t returning until January, Shondaland nailed the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder (see review below). I am extremely disappointed in the way that Shonda changed Alex Karev’s character development, but I guess that we’ll see how this plays out through season 13. However, I am extremely intrigued to find out more about this evolving Meredith and Riggs relationship. I know that Maggie is Meredith’s sister, but I genuinely hope that Maggie can acknowledge the sparks between the two of them. I’m really missing the main cast that is gone, I noticed it a lot during this season; but I am extremely excited to see how this season turns out.
Also – I think this is a popular opinion throughout the Grey’s fan club: Jo needs to go ASAP.

How to Get Away with Murder

Ah, the novel that I could write about HTGAWM’s premiere. I love the way that Wes Gibbons continues to grow throughout the seasons, I think this season is going to be the season where we really see his growth. I was really interested by the flashbacks from the Keating 5, the story lines that are going to occur. I’m especially intrigued to see how Connor reacts after his and Oliver’s breakup. I loved them together, but I think that they were slowly starting to become toxic for one another. I can’t wait to see these storylines grow throughout season three! Also, who do you think died? I think I’m putting my bets on Bonnie!

Secrets and Lies

I didn’t even realize that this was the second season of Secrets and Lies! I thought that it was the pilot that I was watching. I was actually super interested by the storyline, I thought that the case would be solved in the first episode. However, I assume that the same storyline goes throughout the whole season. In my opinion, this can go two ways: it gets boring fast, or it is like a Making a Murderer storyline where every episode gets more in depth. Either way, I don’t think that I’ll be making it past the first episode.

Criminal Minds

I am a diehard Criminal Minds fan. I have seen every episode at least twice, some even up to five times. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the premiere. I found myself super bored, fast-forwarding through most scenes (thank goodness for PVR). I was extremely disappointed with this premiere, but I will give it another shot (or three) to see if it improves.

What was your favourite premiere of this fall lineup? 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

links + loves

This past few weeks have been absolutely crazy! I started a new job in August, while trying to maintain my current job. It didn’t work out too well. I felt myself burning out; constantly wanting to pull my hair out, wanting the biggest coffee or pounding back five magnums of wine. Or all at the same time. I decided that I needed to make the decision, and I chose to follow my heart. I chose the job in my area of study, and left my job as a 1:1 support worker. It was the hardest decision I have made in my career thus far, but I am so glad that I have received support from so many people.

8 Stunning Makeup Looks for Girls Obsessed with Fall is one of my new favourite beauty articles. It showcases several different styles, from burnt orange eyeshadow to my personal favourite, a plum lip. It has something for everyone and is definitely worth the read.

I am a (recovering) Sephora addict. I’m currently learning to find less expensive products that give me some good bang for my buck! I have fallen in love with this primer and this concealer.

I have fallen back in love with Pinterest. I go through spurts where I have zero interest then there’s days that I pin 100 things at once. I guess that’s normal though? No. Okay.

This time last year, I bought my first car; a 2015 Chevrolet Cruze. Long story short, but I now have a 2014 Hyundai Tucson due to a little car accident. I found a fantastic article, 5 Reasons Why Millennials Are Finally Starting to Invest in Cars. Honestly when I bought my Cruze, it was because a few of my friends had just bought their first new cars and I had serious FOMO.  I love this article, because it highlights reasons why it’s worth it to invest in a good, solid car.

I pinned this recipe a few weeks ago. I cannot wait to try them with a warm apple cider or pumpkin spice latte.

Disclaimer: the stock photo came from One of my favourite stock photo websites. 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

An Open Letter to the Guy I Used to Love

Dear ex-boyfriend,
I am still in shock that I’m sitting here, writing this. Three years since our breakup, and I have so much to say to you.

I met you on the first day of college. To be honest, I hated you when I first met you. I thought you were extremely arrogant and full of yourself. As I got to know you better, I realized that you weren’t as terrible that I thought you were. Originally, I decided to put you in the friendzone, but after a while, I realized you’d be good for me. Little did I know, that our saga would be the messiest relationship and breakup that I would encounter.

I haven’t seen you since the day that we broke up after a two-year emotional rollercoaster called our relationship. We had our highs and lows but ultimately, I ended our relationship because I felt like a twenty year old who needed to find herself. I needed to figure out what I wanted in life, who I wanted to love and most importantly, I needed to fall back in love with myself. You cheated on me the week before our one year anniversary and I found out two days later. You destroyed me, but I couldn’t end things. I wasn’t ready to end things. We thought “huh, maybe taking a break” would help. It didn’t though. I just couldn’t trust you, let alone love you after I found out that on multiple occasions, you made the choice that I wasn’t good enough for you.

I know that I can’t pin the blame on you forever, but I strongly believe that your cheating is what has made me such a commitment phobe. When I dated Jeff, I had trust issues about every little thing he did. That’s because you gave me reasons not to trust you. It’s not fair to anyone else that you’re the reason I can’t trust another man. Actually, you’re not a man, you’re a boy. A man wouldn’t have hurt me so many times and made me feel so useless.

I used to know you so well, I knew you like the back of my hand. Our breakup wasn’t easy, because there was so much investment. There was so much hurt. I thought you were my soulmate. However, you were just on a selfish, destructive path and I was the one standing in your way.

Now, I know you’re set to get married in the near future to a girl that you knew for only a few months before proposing. When I found out that you were getting married, it hurt me. Not that you were getting married and I still loved you. It hurt me because I was so invested in you and I never got any form of commitment from you. Instead, I got destroyed.

I’m not one to wish terrible things on someone. I wish you all the best in your marriage. However, I hope that you one day realize that your actions will catch up to you. I hope that your future daughter never has to feel the way that you made me feel. I hope that your wife never has to feel the pain that you caused me on your destructive path.

Good luck,

Disclaimer: the photo that I included was from Quite often, that is where I get my photos from. They're a fully licensed website, similar to flickr but their photos are way nicer than flickr. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Getting My Make-a-Wish Granted & the Wish Granting Process

A few months ago, I wrote an article about my life with Congenital Heart Disease. Throughout my experiences with CHD within itself, I have had been granted with several life experiences that stand out for me. The biggest moment for me was when I had my wish granted from the Make-a-Wish Foundation, one of my favourite charities to this day.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation’s mission statement is:
“The mission of Make-A-Wish® Canada is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”
And a little bit about the organization:
“Along with the national office, eight regional chapters grant magical wishes to children in need from coast-to-coast. Make-A-Wish Canada is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International, the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 350,000 children since 1980.”
I remember one day when I was in grade eight, I was home from school with a cold. My dad told me to apply for a wish on a whim, not actually expecting that they would ever consider me. About a week later, I got called down to the principal’s office because my parents had something very important to tell me. Of course, my anxiety rose higher and higher as most children’s do when called to the principal’s office. It was my dad on the other end of the line, telling me about how he had received a phone call asking about it. They explained that they would have to receive some documentation from my cardiologist and then I would have someone come talk to me about what I wanted for a wish.
I remember not having any clue, and consulting people because I didn’t know what I wanted. I remember at one point, I thought that it’d be cool to have a big party but it was for the wrong reasons (I wanted to be considered “cool”). Then, my “wish granters” suggested that I ask for a room makeover; which again, wasn’t a good idea because I was moving in a few years. Finally, a long consultation with my parents, we decided something Disney related as my parents could never afford to take me to Disney World since they were constantly missing work for my appointments. Therefore, their money went directly to paying bills instead of taking me cool places.

I chose a Disney cruise with my parents and cousin, Petra. Once we decided where I was going and since I was going on an international trip, Make-a-Wish Foundation required permission from my cardiologist to travel. I specifically remember the day that my mom received the fax approving the travel for my trip. It read Felicity has congenital heart disease. She has a life-threatening illness and may not live until she is eighteen years old. I also remember feeling absolutely destroyed reading that message, and crying. That was kind of the moment that I realized how sick I truly was from my CHD. However, the plus was that I was going to go away with my parents and cousin.
Leading up to the trip, I got a huge package from Make-a-Wish Foundation with t-shirts from the organization to wear on my flight, carry-on luggage, stuffed animals and a card explaining how excited they were for me to go. Additionally, I was in the local newspaper for getting my wish granted.
On October 17, 2008, I ventured out for my wish. I had to get up at 4:00 am to get to the airport on time. When we got to the airport, I met with a reporter from Make-a-Wish who took pictures of my family and I. As well, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the executive team for the company who sponsored my trip. Once we got onto the plane, I had to hang onto Petra’s hand for the whole take off because I had never been on a plane before. The landing was a little bit better.
For seven days, I traveled throughout the Caribbean. I saw Key West, FL, Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. It was the best trip ever! However, my mom and Petra decided to take their seasickness bands off halfway through the trip and got such bad motion sickness that they spent an evening crawling around our room from being sick. Clearly, my dad and I knew the smart thing was to leave those bands on… haha!
On the last day of the cruise, I got to go up onto the deck and meet the captain of the ship as well as Captain Mickey. That evening, we went to the closing show and Goofy picked me out of the crowd, made me stand up and hug him and gave me kisses. To this day, we’re unsure if it was just a freak accident or if it was the person in the Mickey Mouse costume. However, it was one of the most emotional parts of the entire trip.
I am so incredibly blessed to have love and support from so many different groups of people; family, friends, doctors and nurses. If it wasn’t for them, I would never have had the opportunity to travel with my family. Thank you to my mom and dad for always doing whatever I’m up for, even if it means we’re travelling on a boat through the world. Thank you to Petra for coming and being my trip buddy. Thank you again to my mom and Petra for tolerating the trip, even though you two died of sea sickness. I am so lucky to have so much love in my life. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Science of Falling in Love

This week, we’ve seen Brangelina divorce. Honestly, I don’t really care about this couple but I genuinely feel as though it’s blowing up my social media. In the past year, we’ve seen several celebrities fall in and out of love as we do most years. Although it may not seem as much because it isn’t broadcasted throughout every form of media, we do this ourselves every year.
There are so many times that people fall in love with life. When you see something beautiful in the environment; meeting someone all over again; holding a baby for the first time. In our society, the most important, is meeting your partner/soulmate. For gen Ys, falling in love has changed significantly compared to our parents. The dating culture has changed – we now use Tinder, we rely on more of a hookup culture than a relationship culture, we don’t use labels. The dating process is evolving and changing.
As an academic nerd, I am always interested in the science (biological and psychological) and sociology behind something. I decided to simply Google “the science behind falling in love”. I found pages and pages of information. I stumbled across an article by Sarah Gehrke titled Why We Fall in Love: The Science of Love. Intrigued, I opened it. She talked about an article published by Helen Fisher at Rutgers University that looks at the sciences behind falling in love, particularly the psychological and chemical processes of falling in love. They are as follows:
Stage One: Lust
Stage Two: Attraction
Stage Three: Attachment
I decided to research more and more into this topic, and decided to write my own article based on my scientific findings.

Stage One: Lust

You know the term “on the prowl”? This is what lust is. It is a stage of love fueled by the estrogen and testosterone. Quite often, we think of testosterone as the manly hormone but the truth is, it’s known for risk-taking and aggression. That sure does sound like a man. Ladies, am I right? However, it also sounds very much like someone who is just about to join Tinder, or for their first time. It also gives us the encouragement that we need to flirt, instead of relying on liquid courage to talk to a man. In terms of estrogen, our bodies rely on it to let our lady parts know that we’re attracted to someone.

Stage Two: Attraction

When it comes to being attracted to someone, it’s all about adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. Personally, I have never acknowledged any of these neurotransmitters except adrenaline when meeting someone. I am definitely going to be paying attention the next time that I meet someone worth my time.
An article by Your Amazing Brain explains the connection between falling in love and adrenaline and dopamine incredibly.
Adrenaline: “The initial stages of falling for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of adrenalin and cortisol. This has the charming effect that when you unexpectedly bump into your new love, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry” (Your Amazing Brain, n.d.).
Dopamine: “Helen Fisher asked newly ‘love struck’ couples to have their brains examined and discovered they have high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical stimulates ‘desire and reward’ by triggering an intense rush of pleasure. It has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine” (Your Amazing Brain, n.d.).
Serotonin: Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that offer causes to go ‘temporarily insane’. It is connected to different mental illnesses, including depression. In one article, it also talks about a study completed in the 1990s in Italy about how people who were madly in love with their partner had similar serotonin levels as someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Stage Three: Attachment

In the stage three, attachment, it looks at keeping someone around long enough to be considered “long-term” and that you’d have a family with. Attachment looks at two different hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin.
Oxytocin is the “cuddle hormone”. Not only is known for making a couple closer after having sex, it is also the hormone that helps mother and baby develop a bond throughout childbearing and naturally releases milk to babies when it comes to breastfeeding. Therefore, it is very obvious that it is a very important hormone when it comes to building long-lasting bonds.
Vasopressin is also known as the anti-diuretic hormone due to its connection to the kidney. However, when it comes to relationships, it looks at the long-term and the sex past the creation of babies. Once someone’s vasopressin is supressed or changed, they quite often will stray (aka cheat).

Final Thoughts…

I am personally very intrigued by this. As a social work and recreation graduate, most of my papers throughout school were based on issues with social policies, disabilities and inclusion problems. This was honestly really interesting to read about and research. It’s incredible to see that there is actual scientific evidence that relates to simple things that we often don’t blink an eyelash about, such as love. I genuinely fear for gen Y sometimes, and how our relationships are playing out; however, knowing that there is scientific evidence for how a partner will work out gives me hope.


Gehrke, S. (n.d.). Why We Fall in Love: The Science of Love. Retrieved from Examined Existence:
Paget, S. (2011, November 11). Addicted to Love: The Science of Falling in Love. Retrieved from Elle Canada:
Your Amazing Brain. (n.d.). Science of Love. Retrieved from Your Amazing Brain:

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Old Navy Favourites // New Blog Design

Life has been crazy lately. But I’ll save that story for a rainy day.
First off, I just wanted to congratulate Regine for winning the #roryreadinglist poster! A giant thank you again to Alysse & Andy of NeighbourlyLove for sponsoring this giveaway. It has been an absolute blast working with you two.
Secondly, I just want wanted to thank my dear friend, Taylor over at for creating my gorgeous new header. I’m so in love with it, thank you! She also created these adorable bookmarks for my readers as well (1, 2).
Now, finally onto the post! I have a (not so) secret obsession with Old Navy. I could easily spend my entire paycheck there, every payday!! I figured that I do a post on my favourite current Old Navy products.

Vest // Cardigan // Turtleneck Sweater // Shift Dress // Knit Swing Dress // Cord Flare Jeans (I have no idea why, but I am down right obsessed with these!) // Sueded Ankle Boot
Other Items I love:

What are your favourite fall products this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

My First Mixtape!?

Image credit
... I'm sort of making my first "mixtape". I'm releasing my favourite fall 2016 playlist on Spotify! This definitely will be playlist I listen to entire fall.
 I have a premium account, and it's definitely worth the money. I use Spotify on a daily basis, and to be brutally honest, I probably wouldn't if I didn't have the premium version.

Monday, 12 September 2016

links + loves


Lately, I've been feeling uninspired. I've been working ridiculous hours at work, and I feel well... kind of exhausted. I just want to lay in my bed and sleep these days.
About a month ago, I received a lipstick sample set from Urban Decay's Vice line. So far, I've tried three of them. I'm really excited to try Oblivion for a new daily lipstick and Blackmail for the fall/winter lipstick.

I really love Etsy shops, there's no denying it. As I've grown up, I find that there will always be an Etsy shop with products that suit me. Lately, I've been super in love with FreshyFig, there are so many beautiful products.

Lastly, I find that my body is changing and I'm very unsatisfied with how my body is. I'm planning on starting some new workouts. Pinterest always gets me when I'm trying to find the perfect exercise routine. I plan on starting this routine ASAP. If I have any friends who want to get motivated with me, let me know!

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Serious Flaws in Developmental Services in Ontario

Image found here
Make fun of me all you want, but do you know what I love? I love current events. I read the newspaper, watch the morning and evening news and occasionally check in on CBC news throughout the day. I hate not knowing what’s going on in the world around me. Even if admitting it does make me seem like a 35 year old stay-at-home soccer mom… or even worse, a retired teacher with nothing better to do with her day.

Sometimes, I glance through Elite Daily because there’s topics that interest me. Their slogan is the voice for Generation Y. Which is very true. I also like to read editorial and opinion pieces in New York Times. Lastly, one of my favourite topics that I thoroughly enjoy reading about are social injustices and things that governments can do to correct them.

Recently, I have fallen in love with a social justice reporter at the Toronto Star, Laurie Monsebraaten. Laurie talks about topics like poverty, Children’s Aid and welfare. To me, these are topics that matter. I don’t want to say more than politics, as they’re linked together. However, people who face these crises on a daily basis are real people.

This morning, I almost died with excitement when reading Laurie’s newest article, Easier path to cash for adults, kids with disabilities. Anyone who knows me knows that although my passion is with seniors, another population that I love working with is young adults with disabilities.

August’s Press Release (from the ombudsman)

Last month, the Ontario ombudsman made a statement talking about how deeply flawed our system is for people with developmental disabilities. The article that Laurie wrote is compelling following the ombudsman’s comments. It talks about the crisis that our province is in when it comes to handling funding and care adults with developmental disabilities. It almost briefly mentions how our province doesn’t need promises; it needs solutions. The statistics that she mentioned in this topic are:
·         There are 7 000 adults with a developmental disability receiving ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) benefits, which allow up to $1 110 a month in funding.
·         There are 42 000 adults in Ontario receiving individualized developmental services and supports.
·         There are 18 000 adults with a developmental disability in Ontario living in group homes, or another form of support living.
·         There are currently 9 700 adults with a disability waiting for residential support
·         By 2017/2018, about 1 400 more adults will receive residential support
·         There are 365 community-based developmental services agencies funded by the province
·         There are 1 525 complaints about developmental services received by the ombudsman between November 2012 and August 2016

The final statistic breaks my heart. I know three years and ten months does seem like a long time, however that’s approximately 1 395 days. Therefore, the ombudsman received approximately one complaint per day about inadequate care, or lack thereof this. This is not fair to a population that is so incredibly vulnerable, and it is heartbreaking that there are 1 525 complaints for people who feel that their needs are not met. Change is so desperately needed in this province, and it needs to start now.

Today’s article…

After finding out that information about two weeks ago, I was absolutely thrilled to read this morning’s article! As of September 1st, 2016 there were changes made to the Special Services at Home program, as well as ODSP. This will positively impact about 22 000 children, as well as 3 000 adults. This is fantastic news!
In the article, it says:
“Until now, young people with developmental disabilities, such as autism and Down syndrome, had to prove their disability twice – once when seeking government funding for developmental services and again when applying for income support from ODSP.
But under the new changes, adults who qualify for developmental-services funding – which provides support for residential care, caregiver respite and other programs – will no longer have to go through a second process to verify their disability for ODSP.”
This article also provides statistics, and I am a sucker for stats. These stats include:
·         There are 4 000 adults receiving provincially funded developmental services
·         There are 19 000 adults receiving developmental services with Passport funding of up to $35 000 annually that allows for respite care and community supports
·         The average annual funding for Passport is $10 000
·         There are 22 000 children receiving Special Services at Home (SSAH) funding, which is up to $10 000 per year
·         The annual average for SSAH funding is $3 800
These changes are great, although we are still so far away from reaching a goal where all individuals with disabilities in Ontario receive help if they so choose ask for it. I loved working in developmental services, I worked in a group home for two summers as a summer student. Although there are some stigmas and marginalization toward individuals with disabilities in our society, I genuinely think some of the kindest people I have met have had some form of a disability. I think we often forget that individuals are still a human being, not their disability. As soon as our provincial government comes to a stronger realization of this, the population of individuals with a disability in Ontario will receive a lot better care.

What are your opinions on this topic? Let me know!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

... and then there were three!

I'm getting promoted to unbiological auntie status in March! I'm so excited for one of my oldest gal pals, Emily! We've been friends since we were thirteen, and we've always had a very strong friendship, even if we go ages without talking. Plus, I've known the father of her baby, Tyler, since grade two. I'm so happy for the both of them and I can't wait until March to meet baby Butternut.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Links + Loves feat. My Favourite Books + a Giveaway!

I have been a reader forever! Since I can remember, I have been obsessed with picking up a good book. The past few years. I haven't been as actively reading, however, I thought that I would share my three favourite books right now!

The Rosie Project: I loved The Rosie Project and it's sequel, The Rosie Effect! It's an easy-to-read novel about a man named Don Tillman who is searching for "the one" using scientific experiments to find an appropriate soulmate. Both books had me busting a gut laughing the entire time.

Nineteen Minutes: I remember first reading this book when I was driving back from Florida when I was sixteen. I read it in the stretch from Florida to Tennessee and I simply could not put it down. Since then, I have read it at least a dozen times again. It's by the same author as My Sister's Keeper, but it's about a seventeen-year-old who shoots and kills nine of his fellow classmates, as well as a teacher. It reminds me a lot of the story behind the Columbine Massacre, however, the shooter does survive and it looks more at the psychological aspects as to why he did it. It's definitely an interesting but intense read. I love this book and could probably read it hundreds of times!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns): I won't lie, I'm not much of an autobiography reader, especially celebrities. I find myself getting easily bored when I'm reading a celebrity's rags-to-riches story. However, both of Kaling's books made me split a gut laughing, have a lot of self-realization and reflection. Contrary to the belief of several, I personally prefer Mindy's first book over Why Not Me. There's just something about it! I have read both books several times, have yet to get sick of them and still laugh every time I read them. They're definitely books I recommend everyone pick up.

... and now, for the giveaway!

I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Alysse, Andy and (of course) Snickelfritz of NeighbourlyLove on Etsy. Alysse and Andy are a wonderful company from Toronto, who have also created my new favourite product, #theroryreadinglist! It is all of the books that Rory Gilmore read on Gilmore Girls; as well as a beautiful handdrawn photo of her and one of my favourite quotes, "I live in two worlds. One of them is books,"
I am giving away one of these beautiful posters to a lucky reader! I wish I could keep it for myself, however, I will be buying these for my GG-loving friends for Christmas. Definitely check it out, it's open to all readers in Canada & the US. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

How I Scored My Dream Job at 23 (& How You Can, Too!)

Quite often, my friends joke that I’m a “professional student” because I’ve already spent four years in school and want to go back for more education. However, by the time I was 21, I started making a living working with seniors. At 23, I work two jobs (which I love!) and are completely relevant to what I went to school for. I may not be making the most amount of money, but I couldn’t be happier in the career that I’ve chosen.

Look at Job Search Engines Frequently!

I honestly still look through job search engines 2-3 times per day. I have two great jobs right now, but you never know when a company is going to have a job posting for your dream job. When I’m actively job seeking, I spend up to 6 hours per day looking! Websites I frequently use are Indeed and Charity Village. Additionally, I researched and found companies related to my field of work. Then I check their sites frequently. Two companies for seniors care in Canada are Chartwell and Revera.

Invest Time Applying for Each Job

I think the shortest amount of time that I have ever spent applying for a job where I actually got an interview was 25 minutes. I keep a generic cover letter and resume handy, then modify it for the job I’m applying to. I research every job that I apply to and look for the following:
·         Specific person or team that I’m applying to, or the first name of the manager. I find it seems much more personalized if you use the individual’s first name in the address line.
·         What the company’s mission and vision statement are
·         What skills you have that match the job description
·         What skills you have that can enhance their company

Unpaid Internships & Volunteer Work are Great Resume Builders

I have personally been volunteering with seniors for as long as I can remember. Additionally, I did high school co-ops in grades 11 and 12, where I worked in activation for seniors. In college, I did unpaid co-op placements; one in a day program, one in long-term care. I also have volunteer experiences in psychogeriatric counselling, public speaking and fundraising. If it wasn’t for these experiences, I definitely wouldn’t have gotten very far in my career.

Don’t Be Afraid to Start from the Bottom

The past few years, I have heard managers say “ugh! These millennials expect to start at the top”. I also have read case studies about young professionals who will walk into their supervisor’s office and say “hey, I’ve been here for two months. I expect a promotion!” Here’s a tip: don’t be that person! Hard work and dedication is how you get to the top. Every job that I have had has started as casual/on-call and most have been bumped up to part or full-time. Many times, I’ve wanted to quit these casual positions but ended up sticking it out.

Don’t Settle, but Don’t Expect Too Much

This kind of contradicts what I said previously, however, if you have a master’s degree and you’re flipping burgers, then you should reconsider your current path. If you’re in a pickle, apply for some unpaid internships to gain experience or pick up some courses to help specialize in your area of study. You can also start in a position similar to your dream to gain experience. For example, if your dream job is to work in a hospital as a nurse, applying to work at a retirement home or long-term care will continue to help you gain the skills a hospital would want to see.

Invest in a High Quality Resume

(For the safety of my clients and myself, I have chosen to remove my contact information as well as my workplaces)
I always keep a high-quality, updated resume and cover letter handy because you never know when your dream job will pop up. I always used free templated from Google. However, I’ve recently decided to invest some money on a high quality resume and cover letter. I personally love the sets that Chloe at ResumeMuse & SignatureResumes makes. Chloe’s resumes are simple and classic, yet very chic. Plus, they’re super affordable. Chloe also is willing to format the resume for a small additional fee. I’m so blessed to have found Chloe, her products are stunning and I look forward to using my resume by her throughout my career.

Use “Power Words” on Your Resume

I’ve always been taught to not simply write your resume, instead focus on accomplishments. With that being said, which one of these sound better?
a)      I wrote a report on increasing volunteers in long-term care
b)      I created a strategic action plan to increase the number of volunteers in a long-term care home
Chances are, you’re going to choose B.
I simply typed “power words for a resume” into Google. These are my favourites:
1.       Coordinated or executed
2.       Created or implemented
3.       Boosted or capitalized
4.       Clarified or refined
5.       Hired, inspired, mentored or unified

Transferrable Skills

Have you cared for your grandma with dementia and now you’re applying for a PSW position? You can add “able to give sensitive care to people who are elderly” to your resume. Have you worked at McDonald’s as a supervisor through college and are now applying for a marketing director position? You can add “able to help others gain knowledge and skills”, or talk about managing budgets.
Just because your job experience may not be perfect doesn’t mean you have no transferrable skills. Below is a checklist of transferrable skills. It was created by the University of Toledo; I found it on Pinterest.

Always Include a Cover Letter

(Again, for the safety of my clients and myself, I have removed my contact information/workplace)

I may sound like your annoying college counsellor, but I promise that they had a point! Though not recommended, a generic cover letter works. As previously mentioned, I take the extra 30 seconds to find the hiring manager/recruiter’s full name on the website, to make it seem more personalized. The introduction to my cover letter I usually use is:
Dear Ms. or Mr. (Hiring Manager’s Last Name).
Please find attached a copy of my enthusiastic application for the position of (job position) at (company’s name). After reviewing the job posting and your organization’s mission statement, I believe that I would be an excellent candidate. I have graduated from both Recreation & Leisure Services and Social Service Worker. I have four years of experience working directly with seniors, two of those years in activation. Currently, I’m working as an activity assistant and a one-on-one support worker; both in dementia care.
I then go into detail and highlight my skills relevant to the position. Once I complete that, I conclude with a paragraph emphasizing how I would appreciate the opportunity for an interview and provide my preferred my method of communication.

Dress Appropriately for Your Interview

Find out the general environment either for the particular company or the job in general. I work in a business casual environment, so I usually wear a pair of dress pants and a nice blouse to an interview; or a suit dress and cardigan. My mom works in a bank, so she wears a suit when she has interviews. However, remember this rule of thumb: dress for the job you want, not the job you have! So if the manager wears business professional but the assistants wear business casual, there’s no shame in showing up in a suit to your interview.

Research the Company and the Job, but Don’t Forget to Ask Questions

I always walk into an interview with a copy of the job posting, the company’s mission statement and their vision statement. I also make a list of questions that I want to know from the interviewer, so I can get a feel for the position and management team. Some questions I ask are:
·         What do you like most about working for this company? (or what is your favourite part of the job?)
·         What does a typical day-to-day look like for a position in this role?
·         Is there anything about my application that concerns you?
Big tip: take a pen with you! I have never not taken a pen with me to jot down answers to these questions. Not only does it make you look well prepared, but it also can help you decide whether or not you want to take a position.

I hope you enjoyed this post and have a lovely day!
Disclaimer: I received the resume, cover letter and reference documents as a donation from Chloe at ResumeMuse and SignatureResumes. However, all opinions expressed on my blog are my own.