Best Free Resources for Life Long Learning

For the first 18 years of our life we are focused solely on learning. We study, make flash cards and brainstorm new ideas. For some of us this learning goes on well into our twenties with college. But once we leave university, most of us move on from learning into the workplace and never really go back.

I loved learning when I was a kid and I always make it a point to learn something new whenever I can.  As a journalist I’m naturally curious and one of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to become an expert in many different subjects even if just for a day.   

Just because you’ve left school doesn’t mean you have to give up on life-long learning. In fact, many of the long-term bucket lists that I see include learning a language or new skill. But these long term goals tend to get overlooked because they can be quite costly or because people don’t think they have the time to achieve them. Read more

Why I Spoke About My Failures

HefRFwypFz7Yh6MFlOoEzdeIf-GT12nkuBvfp208YBAI was so honored to speak at the New York Women in Communications Student Communications Career Conference at NYU this weekend.

I started the day off with a visit from the GlamSquad for hair and makeup.  If you haven’t used the service, you have to give it a try.  The artists are punctual, friendly and very talented.  I was super pleased and would use them again.  They show up right to your door and you can get beautified in the comfort of your own home!  Brilliant!

I spoke before a few hundred students about what it was like to be a producer, win an Emmy award and write Listful Thinking.  Some of them told me afterwards they were thankful I shared my experience with the  “F word” — failure.  I talked about the ups and downs of my own career and how it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows.  I failed too.  I took two jobs back to back that weren’t good fits for me and I was miserable.  It happens.

TV_EfOWCKPu495J8Gg5MdgZo1uhKEMZlEjSRzSI1SR4I shared that I had gone on a tour of the set of World News Tonight with Peter Jennings when I was about 14 years old thanks to a childhood friend’s dad who worked at ABC.  That Dad became a keystone in my keynote!  He’s the one who got me hooked on the news business and on TV just by opening up his world to me and showing me what he did for a living.  (PS Now we actually work together all these years later!)

His kindness though always stuck with me and I try to do the same for anyone who is interested in what I do.  That’s why being asked to do this Keynote was even more special.  I was able to tell young women who are aspiring journalists, publicists and marketers about my world.  Being able to give back that gift is priceless.

I created this Paula’s Keynote Speech on Social Media to give you a look at what the day was like via social media.

Here’s a small video clip from the event, where I talk about what I wish I had known when I was 21!

Bad Productivity Habits You Picked Up in College

As graduates around the country end their academic careers I’m reminded that college is great for many different reasons. It’s a chance to expand your mind, meet lots of new people, get involved in new activities – the list goes on and on.

The one thing college is not so great for is your productivity.

The college lifestyle is structured completely differently to your typical working week. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means you might have a bit of a shock the first week of a new full time job.

Here are some bad habits you might have picked up in college that might still be sticking with you today:

Working Until the Early Morning – Everyone has a story of that one paper they left until the last second. Drinking coffee to stay up until 5am, desperately trying to write the whole thing in one night — you remember the scenario. This is fine when you have nowhere to be the next day, but highly impractical if you work.

If you get used to the idea that you can leave things until the last minute without consequence, it can be quite difficult to shake. Try to give yourself a fake deadline, a week in advance. This way even if you leave everything to the last minute you will still have some extra time to polish and refine. Read more

Waterproof Sticky Notes? (And More Gifts for Grads)

Graduation

Graduation (Photo credit: uonottingham)

It’s graduation season and although it’s been quite some time since my own college graduation, I still get excited. Thousands of fresh minds head out into the world to create the next best thing, make lives better and change the world. How inspiring!

If you’re heading to a graduation party and stumped on what to get the new grad — why not opt for something that will help boost productivity? I know it sounds nerdy but — even though money and gift cards always seem like a good option — there are many practical and productive gifts to create a long road of success!

Courtesy: Aquanotes.com

Courtesy: Aquanotes.com

1. Aquanotes: Never miss out on a brilliant idea again. Jot down ideas before they are washed down the drain! This waterproof notepad allows you to make lists in your shower without worrying about the paper getting crumpled or soggy.  ($7 for 40 sheets)  Read more

I’m Going To B-School!

Screen shot 2014-03-09 at 9.17.42 PMI never thought I’d be going back to school — but I am!  Today is the very first day of Marie Forleo’s B-School and I couldn’t be happier to get started.  I found Marie a few weeks ago through Twitter and have been devouring her content ever since. She teaches people how to be entrepreneurs and turn their passions into much more.

It’s an 8-week online course and there are people from almost every inch of the globe participating.  Just check out the map of participants — insane, right?  I’ve done a few continuing education classes here and there since graduating college. I’ve taken a novel writing class, a children’s book writing class and of course a bunch of cooking classes — but never anything like this.

Getting ready for class has been exciting and scary.  Here’s a list of my preps in case you find yourself in a similar situation one day:

1.  Get a notebook you love.  Seriously — this helps calm my fears.  I chose a notebook that a close friend gave me for my birthday — so it has some sentimental value.  It’s the perfect size to stick in my purse if I need to take my work on the road.  And the best part is the cover.  It’s plastered with stamps from fabulous places all over the world that I want to visit.  It’s an excellent inspiration for the traveling I’d like to do in the future.

Read more