5 Things I’ve Learned After 5 Years of Blogging

5 things I've learned in 5 years of blogging

I am still in shock that I’ve been writing Life of Hayley for 5 years! This has been such a fun adventure and I hope to continue blogging for the foreseeable future.

One question I get asked is what are the things I have learned about blogging over the years. The blogging community is changing rapidly and it’s hard to keep up with all of the new influencers popping up every single day. I try not to take blogging too seriously which has helped me continue to love writing after all this time.

Here are five things that I have learned in my five years as a blogger:

  1. Not everyone needs or wants to be a professional blogger. I have no real desire to blog full time right now. I really enjoy having Life of Hayley be my hobby and because it’s not my full time job it’s okay if from time to time I need a break from it. If blogging was my full time job I would have to create a content calendar and stick to it. Some of my favorite posts are the random ones that I wrote when I was feeling inspired.
  2. The more time you put into your blog the more you get out of it. I have found that the more time and energy I put into a post the more views and comments it gets. The more I post the better my blog does but it’s important to remember that it’s not all about your blog stats! I blog because I love to and not because I like to see how many people are reading each day. I’d rather have one meaningful comment than one million page views.
  3. Being able to look back at your life is pretty cool. I’m terrible at keeping a journal and my memory isn’t the best. Being able to look back at blog posts over the last five years is really cool. I have been able to document my life and can see how much I have changed and how far I have come. I can be proud of my journey.
  4. You don’t have to be a web designer to have a nice blog design. When I was in high school I wanted to be a web designer so I took all of the web design/coding classes that my school had to offer. I am lucky to have a small amount of knowledge about web design but for the most part you really don’t have to have any prior knowledge to start a blog. WordPress is great because it has a ton of free themes and it’s easy to watch Youtube tutorials if you want to customize anything.
  5. Making connections is the best part of blogging. YOU are the reason I keep writing! All of my blogging friends and this community is what inspires me to keep telling my story. I love sharing my journey but I also love reading about your journey too.

What are your best blogging tips?

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

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5 Tips For Finding Your Dream Job

5 Tips For Finding Your Dream Job

After my post about finding my dream job in the most unexpected place I decided to share a few tips on how you can find your own dream job! I read numerous blogs while I was searching for a job but I never thought that I’d find my dream job right out of college. 

If you want to know more about my job search and career path you can find it all in this post

  1. Keep an open mind. Like I mentioned before, I thought my current job would be a stepping stone for future opportunities. I had no idea that I would find myself in such an amazing position on an unbeatable team! Keep an open mind when you are applying for jobs and take the chance if you are excited about the company. There’s usually room for advancement and it’s good to get your foot in the door. 
  2. Fill out those applications! I cannot even tell you how many job applications I filled out during my job search. It’s super important to fill applications for jobs that you are interested in applying for in a timely fashion. There’s usually a pretty wide window to turn in your application but the sooner you can turn it in the better. 
  3. Be honest in your interview. When I was interviewing for my current company I was honest in saying that my background was in marketing and not finance but I was excited to learn a new industry. I talked about my strength in working in a fast paced environment and learning quickly under pressure. I also explained how I may not be the most qualified candidate but I could be the best teammate if given the chance. Don’t go into an interview assuming that you are the best person in the world for the job. Be humble and honest when you talk about why you are interested in the position and what unique talents you can bring to the company. 
  4. Ask questions about the job. Come prepared with a few questions that you can ask during the interview because the person interviewing you will ask if you have any. While you are being interviewed it’s important to think of some additional questions that relate to what you are talking about. We have had a couple of interviews where the candidate didn’t have any questions for my team and it was pretty clear that there wasn’t much interest in the job on their part. 
  5. Be picky! I know this goes against my #1 suggestion but let me explain a little. My first job interview after college was for a marketing company that seemed more than a little fishy. After doing some more digging I realized that they were disguising a sales position with a marketing title and it was really a sales job for a pyramid scheme. I was just so happy to have an interview that I almost accepted the job even though I knew I’d be miserable. This tip is more about not settling for a job you’ll end up hating just to say you got a job.

I really hope these tips help you land the career you’ve always dreamed of! Remember that great things can take time and there’s no rush. It may take a long time to find your dream job and that’s okay. Honestly, your dream job may change a hundred times during your career. Keep an open mind and you will be just fine! 

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

 

5 First Time Puppy Tips

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Hey friends!

It has been about six months since we adopted our dachshund puppy, Oscar, from the animal shelter. We did a lot of research about puppies before adopting because this was our first adoption as adults. We both had pets growing up and we currently have a cat but we weren’t the ones adopting the animals before now.

I went into puppy motherhood knowing that there would be accidents, chewing, and lots of early morning bathrooms breaks. I really talked the whole puppy thing up in my head and made it more difficult than it is. Having a puppy is hard work but it is so worth it. When we rescued Oscar he was underweight and ecstatic to finally have a home of his own. It has brought Brett and I so much joy to give him the love that he deserves. Yes, sometimes it’s annoying when he shreds his brand new toy or has an accident in the house. But it’s 100% worth it when he’s cuddled up with Lucy and we feel that our little family is complete (for now).

Here are a few first time puppy tips and tricks that I learned along the way!

1. Set a schedule and stick to it! This is easy for me because I wake up at the same time Monday through Friday and have trouble sleeping in on the weekends.  Oscar is used to waking up at the same time everyday, going outside, and eating breakfast. At night he gets to lay in bed with Brett while I take a shower and then he’s happy to go to his crate to sleep.

2. Decide early on if you want your dog to be crate trained. Some people are very anti-crate but the dogs that I have had in my life have always had a positive relationship with their crates. For Oscar, I put in a memory foam bed, a cozy blanket, and a couple of toys in his crate. The first night we brought him home he went right in his crate at bedtime and fell asleep. His crate is in our bedroom and it feels like he views it at his own personal space. When he gets tired he goes in and falls asleep. Starting him in his crate right away really helped the transition and got him used to it.

3. Take your puppy outside every two hours in the beginning. This might seem like overkill but your puppy is still getting used to his or her new environment. There are so many new smells and it may take time for your puppy to feel comfortable going to the bathroom. We have a fenced in yard but we took Oscar out on a leash for the first week or so to get him comfortable.

4. Positive affirmations are key! Oscar loves a good tummy rub when he does the right thing. He’s not super into treats and would much rather hear that he’s a good boy. I talk to him a lot and he seems to know whether or not he’s being good based on my tone. Dogs seem to want to please their owners so it’s important to let them know when they do!

5. Have lots of things for your puppy to chew on. Oscar was teething when we got him and he wanted to chew on everything. So far he hasn’t chewed anything that isn’t his but I think that’s because we keep him busy with non rawhide bones and puppy teething rings. If he wasn’t busy with his toys I’m sure he would get into way more trouble.

Adopting an animal is super rewarding but is also a huge responsibility! It’s important to go in knowing that there will be challenges.

Do you have any puppy training tips?

Thanks for reading!

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The Key To A Successful Marriage

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Happy Thursday!

I got some good advice this weekend from a family member and I thought that I’d take a quick second to share it with you:

The key to a successful marriage is communication.

This seems simple and I’ve heard it many times before from other people but it really stuck with me when my cousin said it.

We were talking about marriage and the difficulties that sometimes arise. My husband, Brett, works pretty strange hours because he works in event management. He has to work any night or weekend event that he is in charge of. Because of his job we don’t get to spend a ton of time together and he misses most family events.

I work a normal 8-5 Monday-Friday job which means that Brett and I really don’t see each other a lot during the week. It’s hard to communicate besides a series of text messages that are exchanged throughout the day. But no matter what we do communicate with each other. I always know what’s going on with him, if he’s having a  good day or bad day, and what his hours for that day are.

Communication is the lifeline that holds us together. We may not be together but he at least knows that I care and am interested in what’s going on in his life.

While it is important to have the regular day to day communication it is equally important to communicate about any challenges and goals for the future. We are always talking about our short and long term goals.

We have only been married for a year (on August 19th!) but I can already tell that communication can make or break a relationship. I never want to get to the point where Brett is no longer my best friend.

What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?

Thanks for reading!

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5 Tips for Post-Grad Success

5 Tips for Post Graduation Success

As a recent college graduate, I understand the highs and lows of post-grad life. Figuring out what your next step should be is a scary task. Let me start out by saying that everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, it is always nice to know that someone out there understands what you are going through.

So, here are 5 tips that worked for me in achieving post-grad success:

Step 1: Figure out what you want. This sounds hard but it’s really actually pretty simple. Start off by asking yourself if you want to continue your education or look at starting your career? Or maybe you want to take a year off and travel? The decision is completely up to you! I really thought that I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree after graduation. I studied, took the GMAT, thought my world was ending, and moved on. Grad school is not the right decision for everyone and it’s perfectly okay if you decide to move on.

Step 2: LinkedIn. I was lucky enough to start my LinkedIn during my sophomore year at college for a class. If you don’t have a LinkedIn, join! It’s really easy to setup your account and start connecting with your classmates, friends, co-workers, professors, etc. LinkedIn is an amazing job search tool but you should start one even if you are not currently searching for a job. It’s a great place to document your achievements and goals.

Step 3: Give yourself a break! This was a huge thing for me. I was so hard on myself after graduation. I had this picture in my head of all of the amazing things I wanted to do and I felt as though I had failed. Take the time after graduation to do some soul-searching. It’s okay to move in with your parents and figure some things out. I took a couple of months to enjoy life before hopping into the work grind. This may be the last time in your life to be selfish by just enjoying a little down time.

Step 4: Figure out your professional life. Invest in clothing and accessories that make you feel and look like an adult. I never wear makeup and rarely put any thought into my outfits but it’s nice to have a nice outfit to wear to an interview that makes me feel confident. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothes, start out small and buy basics that you can build on.

Step 5: Breathe. Everything will be okay even though right now it feels like your life is a giant mess. Just breathe. You will fall down a few times but as long as you are able to build yourself back up, everything will be okay.

I hope this helps! I cannot describe how much I struggled after graduation. But after over a year, I am successful in a job that I absolutely love! It’s in a field that I never imagined I would enjoy but I do. So hang in there, friends!

 

Image via Unsplash.

5 Tips for Overcoming Homesickness While Abroad

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I was honestly doing fine. The first week in London I just focused on making friends and enjoying every minute. I was so proud of myself for keeping it together and keeping my anxiety at bay. Suddenly, one bad thing happened to me and I couldn’t stop the tears and nervousness. I was still happy to be in London but the only thing I wanted was my mom by my side helping me.

It was Saturday, the day that I was going to Brighton. I had a terrible day and it made me feel so alone and small. And I really was alone, 10 minutes until I had to be at the train station and 1.7 miles away. London is big and confusing, so being alone and lost is not fun. This is especially true when you are trying desperately to hold back tears.

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I wanted so badly to call my mom but at the moment I couldn’t call her, I couldn’t call anyone not in the U.K. Later that night when I could finally talk to her I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. My parents have sacrificed so much to get me here and I was embarrassed and ashamed. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful because I’m not. Even though I was ashamed of what had happened I confessed to my mom and she wasn’t upset or disappointed in me. That’s when I started to think about being homesick and what I could do to change my attitude.

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I used my experience with being homesick to create a few tips for you.

  1. Don’t be ashamed that you are homesick because there is nothing wrong with it! Being homesick means that you have a great life with people who love and miss you.
  2. Don’t dwell on it. I did and trust me when I say that you should just move on with your life. It’s okay to realize that you miss your family and friends but they want you to be happy. You will see them again so for now you need to move on and make the best of your time abroad.
  3. Talk to your family and friends. Let them know that you are missing them. It’s okay to be vulnerable for a little bit.
  4. Turn to your new friends. Even though you haven’t known them for long they will be more than willing to help you. I told my new friends that I was feeling homesick and they were there for me. They made sure to keep me busy and happy. Having them help made our relationship even stronger. If you don’t have any new friends, give it time. You can always come to my blog and talk to me!
  5. Go out and have fun! Don’t sit in your room listening to depressing music and crying. Go out, walk around, and smile. Everything will be okay!

I really hope that my experience and how I dealt with it can help you. Being homesick is not fun but it happens to the best of us. Personally, it took me a while to get back into the swing of things but I am so glad that I pushed through. Don’t let other people or your own bad experiences bring you down. You can do this!! And if you ever need help or someone to talk to I am always here for you!

Thanks for reading! Sorry for the sappy post but I am really hoping that these tips will help others who are going through the same thing I went through.

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7 Tips for Time Management in College

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With the dreaded finals week approaching I decided that I would share with you my tips for managing time wisely. Enjoy!

1. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. This is one of the hardest things for me to do because I HATE waking up early but sometimes it is necessary. I usually get my best work done late at night but sometimes I just really need to sleep which calls for an early wake up time! Just try to suck it up and get yourself out of bed.

2. Plan out your day the night before. I always look at my planner right before going to bed so I can decide what needs to be done the next day. I like to plan ample time for sleep, relaxing, homework, and family/boyfriend. All of this takes planning, especially because I am also working 30+ hours a week.

3. Schedule time blocks for specific tasks. I like to plan time for each class. For example, Mondays from 11-1 I work on CIS and from 1:30-3 I work on COM. That way I always have time set aside for homework and studying. I add a half an hour break between for eating and playing around on social media.

4. Plan time to eat, sleep, and relax. This goes without saying, don’t stress yourself out. Make sure you have plenty of time set aside to relax!

5. Have a comfy, organized environment. I can’t stand a messy desk because if that’s unorganized I will not be able to focus on anything else. I basically start with a blank table and work from there.

6. Get rid of distractions. Put your phone, iPad, laptop, and whatever else may distract you away and make sure they are on silent until you are done!

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                              My planner

7. Use a planner! I cannot stress this enough. Without my planner I would be lost. Get one. Period. (I use the Mead Pretty Please planner!)

I hope these tips help all of you fellow college students! Good luck on your exams! 🙂