Grab Some Graduates Now & Outsource Your Side Hustle

As you may know I am a big fan of outsourcing, but when I’m asked about it, typically people want to know about one thing – interns. The idea of hiring interns is appealing, but the practically of finding good ones and deciding how best to use them can be tricky.

I’ve had a history of success with hiring interns to help me at ListProducer.com, while some of that comes down to luck, there are ways to increase your chances of creating a successful internship for both the employer and the intern.

Where to find them

June is graduation season, which means there plenty of excited fresh graduates out there who are looking to get started on their careers. So where’s the best place to find them? Big websites like Indeed or SimplyHired seem like a good place to start, but there’s so many postings it’s easy for yours to get lost among the many. So where should you put ads?

Your Own Website – When looking for an intern, you want to find someone who’s at least interested in your business or your field of expertise. So perhaps one of the best places to start would be to look at the people you already know. If you have a sizable following there’s bound to be a few graduates or people looking for extra work on that list!

LinkedIn – Many colleges encourage students to build LinkedIn profiles and try to connect with people who are in the industry they would like to work in. Even if, like me, you don’t connect with people you don’t know you can still publish job postings on to LinkedIn or in various alumni groups or other private boards. That way any student doing their research should be able to find it.

Internship.com – This is probably the biggest job site specifically dedicated to internships and is one of the first places many students will turn to. It does charge you to list internships but it  has a decent search function giving students the chance to find something that fits their niche. This is good for you as it leads to more targeted applications instead of the blanket generalized ones you find on Indeed.com

Your Alma Mater – Many colleges have services that allow alumni to publish job and internship listings for current and graduating students. This is great if your business is still based in your college town. You know what kind of education level to expect from the graduates and what they might need more help based on your own experiences. Plus it feels good to give back.  

Delegating tasks

So you’ve found yourself an intern, now what do you give them to do?

Scheduling – To keep everyone on track I have always had a weekly call with my interns. This way we can talk about upcoming events in the calendar and pitch blog post ideas. This ties in with an online calendar that we all have access to, so everyone knows what’s going on. During the week we stay in communication with emailing. With a newer intern I might have a larger role in checking over work or answering their questions, but as time goes on they tend to become quite self sufficient once you lay the groundwork.

TasksIf you’ve never had an intern before you might be a little hesitant about giving away anything you think might be ‘too important’. Part of having an intern means putting a little faith in them though. Write a list of everything you do for your business and then grade how easy the tasks are. To first test the waters and help the intern ease into things you can give them the easier tasks and as they become more confident you can progress up the ladder. I would recommend keeping most of the harder tasks to yourself, but if you think the intern is up to it you can delegate as much as you like!

Make it worthwhile for them

The purpose of an internship is to help a person to gain experience in their chosen field while you lighten a bit of your workload. For this reason you should not set out with the idea of just pawning off every tasks you find boring, but at the same time not putting too much pressure on the intern to achieve things beyond their scope. I like to think about the kind of internship I would have wanted when I left college and try to recreate that.

I Finally Figured Out How to Meditate

I’ve tried to meditate lots of times.

I’ve gotten into the groove once or twice, but it just never stuck.  I’ve done countless stories at work as a senior health producer about all the benefits and it sounds great.

One of those benefits is better focus and increased productivity.  And you KNOW I want that. But I just couldn’t figure it out.

I always struggle to switch my brain off and so I’ve never had the “enlightening moment” everyone always talks about.

Well it turns out I was doing it wrong.

My intentions were all screwed up.

But thanks to Oprah (of course) and an all day meditation retreat with world renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg I figured it out.

If you know me personally or have read my book Listful Thinking, you know  I have a generally positive and sunny outlook on the world. It’s the thing that many people tell me is one of my best qualities. Read more

List of Surprises to Make Someone’s Day

One of my favorite past times when I was growing up was receiving mail from my grandmother. She would often send me cutouts from magazines and newspapers with cute animals and nice sayings. As a kid receiving mail is always quite exciting and it would make me feel special knowing that she had pick these cutouts just for me.

I’ve always tried to carry on this tradition. I often send thank you notes and “thinking of you” cards whenever I can to let others know that I appreciate them. Plus like my grandmother I like to include a little token to make people feel loved.

Thank you notes are quite a rarity these days so it has even more of an impact than it might have been  20 years ago. So if there’s anyone you want to show gratitude to, here are some ideas for small tokens you can send.

  1. A favorite recipe, perhaps for a dish that you have enjoyed together.
  2. Discount coupons for products or goods that you know they buy, or would like to try.
  3. Beautiful pressed flowers or leaves from your garden or a nearby park.
  4. A copy of a favorite knitting or cross-stitch pattern
  5. A coaster from a bar/restaurant that you would go to together
  6. Seeds of plants
  7. Photos (who prints photos anymore? You do!)
  8. Keychain or magnets are good, especially as little souvenirs if you live in different countries
  9. Maps
  10. Puzzle letters, which you write can a message on the back of.

How to Be a Part-Time Minimalist

Living in New York (or any big city) forces a person to be minimalistic when it comes to their stuff. There’s barely enough space for the things I need, let alone the things I don’t need! It’s why I’m such a huge fan of Marie Kondo, she helps you to hold on to the things that spark the most joy,  and get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t.

However, it was only when my appendix burst that I began to adopt minimalism as more of a way of life, as opposed to just a way to deal with clutter.

But what does that actually mean?

Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything you own or leaving everyone you know to travel around the world. It’s more about getting back to basics, relying less on material needs or obsessing over the desire to have it all. Read more

5 Friends to Boost Your Productivity

Whenever I start a new project or I want to try out a new idea for ListProducer.com I always run it past my friends first. It’s not just for their great advice, but because talking it through can often help me understand what I want from my project or idea.

Friends aren’t just great for advice they can help you to get more done. I’ve written before about having a friend as an accountability buddy, but friends can also push you to achieve more than you thought possible. For example, my friend Terri and I run an online course called Lights Camera Expert, which  helps experts, entrepreneurs and authors get media attention. Read more