The Career Center is Here for You

As the Career Center continues to serve students and alumni remotely, we’ve repurposed our blog to keep you up to date on economic trends, businesses who are hiring during the economic downturn, a weekly “cool jobs” post to highlight some of the interesting opportunities in Handshake, stories of hope from previous recessions, and best practices for job searching right now (yes, you can still job search right now!). You can use the menu on the left to navigate to topics, or read the latest posts below. You will find old content on here; we’ve kept it because it’s still good content. Explore! And, as always, if you have questions, please be in touch. Right now, the best way to contact us is

As always, you can access all of the services the Career Center has to offer (including virtual appointments and online resume and cover letter reviews) through our website and on Handshake.  We are sharing additional articles and resources on our Twitter page @UNCACareer.

7/26/21 Cool Jobs & Internships

Cool Jobs
Senior Director of Communications at North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Homeschool Program Coordinator at Piedmont Wildlife Center
Recruiter – University & Internships at National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Communications Associate at Women’s Congressional Policy Institute
Program Director and Program Manager at City Parks Alliance

Cool Internships
Internship at United Nations Information Center
Nutrition Fall Intern at Stanford School of Medicine
Virtual Health, Education, Labor, Pensions, Disability, and Oversight Fall Interns/Law Clerks at U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Intern – Public Policy Research – Spring 2022 at Cato Institute

Local Jobs
Development and Communications Specialist at Homeward Bound of WNC
Audit Staff at Carter
Logistics Coordinator at SUWS of the Carolinas and Phoenix Outdoor
Software Engineer with the City of Asheville
Booking/Marketing Associate with Bright Star Touring Theater
IT security engineer at MAHEC
Volunteer Coordinator with Blue Ridge Humane Society
Director of Community Supports at Children First Communities in Schools
Director of Development at Pisgah Conservancy
Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Biltmore

Local Internships
Guest Spaces Intern at Ridgecrest Conference Center

On Campus Jobs
Lab Assistant with Mass Communication
Models Required: Department of Art & Art History at UNC Asheville – Art & Art History
Media Lab AssistantLibrary Assistant

Cool Fellowships/Years of Service
Sierra Corps Forestry Fellow at Sierra Nevada Alliance
Urban Forestry & Outreach Specialists – AmeriCorps Service Member at Our City Forest

My thoughts for the week

I heard this morning on NPR, that there is some correlation between people who get severe COVID infections and early onset of Alzheimer’s.  It appears that the loss of taste and smell is in the same part of the brain that controls some memory functions, and those who have had that loss, are at an increased risk, according to researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio.

While the research is still in the early phases, it’s further proof that the country still has a way to go.  And, it’s another reason to get vaccinated.  Let’s get this done!

Hope you have a great week,

Why a Liberal Arts Major should consider a job in hospitality and tourism

Written by David Earnhardt, Associate Director of Employer Relations

In our region, Hospitality and Tourism employers represent about 12% of all the jobs here.  Employers like restaurants, breweries, The Biltmore Estate, and hotels come immediately to mind; but there are also jobs as white water rafting guides, yoga instructors, hiking facilitators, zip line operators, or ski resort staff.  There’s also a variety of retail setups in the Hospitality and Tourism space that make for a well rounded career experience!  These retailers support local artists, outdoor gear builders, apparel makers, bee keepers, dog treat bakers, marketers, vinyl record pressors, jewelers, antique hunters, and rare movie collectors.

While there is some stigma around these employers as offering low pay rates, did you know that employees who start in Hospitality industries end up making 25% more over the course of their career than those without that experience?  There’s also full career tracks in the industry that have taken entry level employees and made them millionaires!

Thinking about a job that lets you travel?  Hospitality and Tourism careers are perfect for that!  There are hotels right here in Asheville that have partnerships with properties all over the world, and there’s a regular need for talent in some very exotic locations!

Interested in a job where you can make a difference in someone’s life?  Think about the last time you had a great meal, or fell fast asleep in a quiet and clean hotel.  How did that make you feel?  The Hospitality and Tourism industry helps guests have amazing experiences as a result of their time here.  All of these opportunities create lifelong memories, and you can be a part of them!

Want a job that isn’t repetitive?  Hospitality and Tourism jobs interact with people from all walks of life and in all stages.  You’ll share in couple’s engagements, weddings, first trips with small kids, vacations, retirement parties, professional development, nights out on the town, and weekend getaways.  No two work days are the same, and that offers adventure for all in Hospitality and Tourism.

The Hospitality and Tourism industry in Western North Carolina is overwhelmingly locally owned too, so you’d be working to support local farmers, entrepreneurs, builders, bankers, friends and families.   The Hospitality and Tourism industry also cares about what you care about…they partner with local animal shelters to help visitors adopt shelter pets, curate farm-to-table dining options to reduce the amount of food that’s transported and wasted, and partner with faith organizations to help provide for those in need. 

Want a job that affirms who you are as a person?  Hospitality and Tourism employers are among the most open and affirming for LGBTQ+ individuals, people with visible tattoos, all hair colors, and comfort levels with dress codes.  They’re also more forgiving for those with histories in the criminal justice system, and empower those with disabilities. 

Interested in a job where you can have a lot of fun?  Hospitality and Tourism jobs are in concert venues, comedy clubs, sports stadiums, and rock climbing walls.  They’re in trampoline parks, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at casinos, and in Pinball Museums.  There’s also often perks like free event tickets, hotel stays, meals, and even chances to meet celebrities!

When you think about it, Hospitality and Tourism jobs have a lot to offer, and we hope you can think about them as opportunities to grow, and prosper in your career!  Schedule an appointment with the Career Center today to learn how you can make your Hospitality experience work for you as you look toward your future!

7/19/2021 Cool Jobs and Internships

Cool JobsResearch Analyst at Core Civic
Manager in Training at HCA
Events Coordinator at Town of Garner (NC)
Deputy Director (Career Executive Assignment – C.E.A.), Energy Research and Development Division at California Energy CommissionRecruiter at Grant Street GroupHuman Resources Consultant, Employee Relations Investigator at City of Austin – Corporate Human Resource Department
 Financial Analyst at Allegiant Travel Company
Director of Candidate Training and Engagement at Everytown for Gun Safety
News Producer at Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Consultant at EdOps

Cool Local JobsVictims Assistance Specialist/Rural Advocate at Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council, Inc.  
CEO at Manna Food BankProject and Facilities Manager with the Town of WoodfinDrupal Developer at Riverside Science SolutionsClimate Assessment Analyst at the NC Institute for Climate StudiesFull Stack Developer at AnthrowareLatino Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator at Mtn BizworksExecutive Associate with the Center for CraftHousing Counselor/Loan Packager/Credit Counselor at The Housing Assistance CorporationCommunications Associate at Mountain TrueCompanion Coordinator at Haywood Street CongregationHuman Resources Officer at Pisgah Legal Services

Cool Years of Service AMLER Program Analyst US Dept. of the Interior NC LiteracyCorps Member at Duke University

7/12/21 Cool Jobs and Internships

Cool Jobs

Post Bachelor Research Associate – Environmental Justice at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Editor for 6AM City in one of 14 new marketsHuman Resources Generalist with Dekalb County (Georgia)Healthcare Recruiter with Maxim Health

Cool Local Jobs

Green Roof Technician at LivingRoofsDevelopment Coordinator and Executive Associate at the Center for Craft
Field Marketing and Sales Executive at ENOCustomer Success Specialist at Plum PrintHR Manager  and Site Supervisor  at Western Carolina Community ActionLeadership and Legacy Giving Officer at Pisgah Legal ServicesBusiness Coordinator at OLLIClient Support Technician at UNC Asheville Information ServicesDirector of Engagement, Alumni and Friends at UNC Asheville
Day Program Specialist at Hinds’ Feet Farm
Café Assistant General Manager at Covelli Enterprises/Panera BreadManagement Trainee– Charlotte at Enterprise Holdings
Inventory and Product Flow Manager at Manna Food BankAssociate Art Director at ENOExecutive Assistant to the Provost at Warren WilsonSeveral positions at the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture ProjectMultiple positions at Mountain BizworksDevelopment Associate at the Community Foundation of Western North CarolinaCustomer Success Agent at CraftpeakSaaS/Enterprise Sales Development Representative at Galaxy DigitalDevelopment Officer at Muddy Sneakers Communications and Events Coordinator at Children First Communities in SchoolsMembership and Museum Events Coordinator at the Asheville Arts MuseumFeed the Need Program Assistant at St. Gerard HouseDirector of Institutional Advancement at The Asheville SchoolCredentialing Specialist at MAHECSeveral positions at Pisgah Legal Services including an Accountant, a Leadership and Legacy Giving Officer, and a Medical-Legal Partnership Program AdvocateRefrigeration Engineer at Thermo Fisher Scientific

Cool Local InternshipsRISE Intern- September at Eliada Homes (Post graduate)
Animal Care Fall Intern at Appalachian Wildlife Refuge
Brain Injury Day Program Intern at Hind’s Feet FarmReal Estate Investing Sales Internship at Worthy Offer Team
US Forest Service Service Public Affairs Assistant at UNC Asheville – Office of Financial Aid

Cool On Campus JobCo-Director of the Student Environmental Center

Cool Years of ServiceClimate Corps Education Outside Garden Educator at SEI
Project POWER/Americorps 2021-2022 at Children First/Communities In Schools of Buncombe County

Fun link this weekA visualization of the market cap for some of the largest tech companies in comparison to countries around the world.  Who knew Apple was worth more than the GDP of Russia?!

Failure is Normal. Why Are We So Terrified Of It?

Written by Chelsey Augustyniak, UNCA Career Center Associate Director of Career Education

How many of you are afraid of failure? I’m over here raising my hand! Well, let’s just say I used to be a lot more afraid of it than I am now, but failing is not something I look forward to (obviously). I don’t think anyone loves to fail, but isn’t failure a part of life? Why do some of us avoid it at all costs?

Think back to the last time you learned something new. Perhaps it was a new trick on your bike (is this a weird example?). Maybe a new computer program, new language, maybe you tried learning how to drive a manual car (oh wow, I remember this one). Whatever it was, did you succeed on your first try? Probably not. Did it take some practice and repetition? More than likely. Yet when it comes to taking risks, some of us are more hesitant or avoidant than others, and although avoiding these fears can feel safer, avoiding certain things out of fear of failure is not usually a good thing. Since I work at the Career Center, let’s think about failure in the context of career development.

In what ways are you afraid of failing in the career development process?

Here are a few things I often hear from students and alumni:

  • Being completely stumped by an interview question (or several)
  • Interviewing for a job or internship and not getting the offer
  • Not getting accepted into grad school on the first try
  • Hating the job you’re in 
  • Not meeting expectations or measuring up to others on your team
  • Not getting the salary you wanted after the negotiating process

These are just a few of the things that people may be afraid of, and I get it. Some of those things wouldn’t make me feel great, either. BUT, if we wanted to protect ourselves from ever having to experience these failures, we could be missing out on some AWESOME opportunities, too. I almost didn’t apply to grad school because I was so afraid of not getting in. And then I thought to myself, what if I get in and then fail out?! I was sabotaging my chances before I even tried. Luckily I decided to talk to my friends, family and Career Center about these fears and they all supported me throughout my application process. And guess what? I got into grad school, loved my graduate program and totally dominated in my classes! I am so glad I pushed through and applied, despite my fears. 

However, I have also failed. A lot. Most of us have. Think of the last time you failed at something. How did you react? What were the thoughts that ran through your mind? How do you typically talk to yourself when you make a mistake? Now think about how you could reframe those feelings. I graduated in 2009 during the Great Recession. I applied to a lot of jobs and kept getting rejected. It sucked. I wanted to stop applying, but I needed to start making some money. So, I turned it into a game. I kept track of my “failures”, which meant I printed each of my rejection emails and taped them to my bedroom wall above my bed. I reframed how I felt about these rejections: they were no longer failures to me, they became proof that I was working hard to find something meaningful that I could do for a living. These letters became my motivation, and I eventually landed an amazing temporary job that introduced me to the career path that I am lucky enough to call my passion today!

Employers tell us that they want to hire recent graduates who have experience outside of the classroom. This means they are looking for people who have had at least one internship in college, volunteered, were part of student organizations, served on a board of some sort. But what if you are so scared of interviews that you don’t even apply for an internship? Let us help! We can help you practice interviewing and prepare you for the types of questions employers might ask. 

Some students are terrified of the salary negotiation process, so they don’t even attempt negotiations. I can see how this process can seem intimidating, but the worst that can happen is that you don’t get everything you ask for. The negotiation process happens AFTER you are offered a job, so they are NOT going to take back the job offer based on what you ask for. What’s the best that can happen? You end up making more money than you were originally offered!! Or, you get to have a flexible schedule that allows you to have more time with your family! The Career Center is here to talk with you about the negotiation process and how to prepare for it. 

Trying new things is messy. Facing our fears is TOUGH. But we have to start normalizing the learning process. Success is not possible 100% of the time. A lot of us are embarrassed by our shortcomings or failures, but sharing them with others shows that we are human, and it gives others the permission to be human as well. 

“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” – Chris Hardwick

Things to Think About:

  • Pinpoint exactly what you’re afraid of. Acknowledge it. Maybe determine why you’re afraid of it.
  • Try visualization. If you imagine how your life will be after you’ve reached your goal, it could be a great motivator that keeps you moving forward.
  • If you don’t like visualization, just start by setting a few small goals. Think of these goals as stepping stones to your larger goal that, as accomplished, will help boost your confidence.
  • Don’t focus on the end picture (getting the promotion or finishing your PhD). Just focus on the first step, and then the next step, and so on. 
  • Take one small step at a time, build your confidence, keep moving forward, and it will prevent you from getting too overwhelmed with visions of your final goal.

Next time you embark on a new challenge, don’t ask yourself “What if I fail?” Instead ask yourself “How will I learn from my failures?”, or “What if I succeed?”

As always, feel free to make an appointment with a Career Coach to discuss your fears, next steps, or anything else. We’re here to help and we’d love to chat! Schedule an appointment through Handshake or email us at

6/28/21 Cool Jobs & Internships

Cool Jobs
Manufacturing Engineer at ETC – Electronic Theatre Controls
Organizer In Training / National Airports Campaign Charlotte NC at Service Employees International Union
Fellow: Learning Center Coordinator at Bard High School Early College
Director of Television Engineering and Technical Operations at Los Angeles Unified School District
Intellectual Property (IP) Assistant at Princeton University Press
Forest Carbon Coordinator at Blue Source LLC
Clinical Grants and Contracts Administrator at Duke University Health System
Some neat jobs working with electric car adoption with Plug In America 
Leadership Development Program at Fleet Feet (Carrboro NC)
Community Development Department – Development Technician at City of Peoria
Inventory Analyst in Training at Target Corporate
Research Associate at EAB
Booz Allen Hamilton Workday Reporting Analyst (Neurodiversity Hiring) at Specialisterne USA
Audacy Fellowship Program – Sales Project Manager at Audacy, Inc.

Cool Internships
Event Ticketing Intern at The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival
2022 Girls Who Invest Summer Intensive (Paid Internship) and Online Intensive Program at Girls Who Invest
Green Consulting Intern (Remote Internship) at Seaside Sustainability, Inc.
Bipartisan Policy Center- Fall Internship 2021 at Bipartisan Policy Center
Publishing Internships – Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 at Princeton University Press
Southeast Organic Center Beginning Farmer Internship at Rodale Institute
Investigative Intern 2021-2022 at D. C. Government Office of Police Complaints

Cool Local Jobs
Sales Account Executive at Lamar Outdoor Advertising 
Community Programs Coordinator at John C. Campbell Folk School
Administrative Assistant and President’s Assistant at Advanced Superabrasives Inc.
Group Sales & Services CoordinatorAdministrative AssistantPR Coordinator at Craft HR Solutions
Business Program Coaching Specialist and Human Resources Director at Mtn Bizworks 
Customer Associate at Vans Shoes
Leasing Consultant @ LangTree Apartments at Grubb Properties (Charlotte NC)

Cool On Campus Jobs
Academic Success Center Student Assistant at UNC Asheville – Academic Success Center
Personal Trainer with Campus Recreation 

Gap Year
Residential Coordinator at Seven Hills Foundation

My thoughts for the week

Some news was made late last week about an agreement on a $1.2T infrastructure bill agreement between Senate Republicans and Democrats, as well as President Biden. There is still a long way to go until it’s passed into law, but I thought it might be useful to share the highlights and how they might impact our region.  The funds are expected to be spent over the next 8-10 years.
The big numbers:

  • $109B for roads and bridges, including some electric vehicle charging infrastructure installation
  • $49B for public transit
  • $66B for freight and passenger rail
  • $65B for broadband infrastructure
  • $55B for water systems
  • $73B for electric power (generation and lines/maintenance)
  • $47B for “resiliency” (backup power generation, insurance funding, sea walls etc.)

In our region, I anticipate the largest impacts from the broadband infrastructure rollout, as our geography limits the expansion of fiber optic networks to areas with lower population density.  Interestingly, a big area of challenge for the rollout is called “pole space” literally, how much room there is available on the power poles to hang additional wire. Most poles in our area are full with existing infrastructure so any additional might cause them to fail. 

We should also see some funding for roads and bridges as our area will be the site of migration over the next 10 years, and the infrastructure needs will run in tandem.  Our public transit sector, rail system, water systems etc., are likely seen as lower priorities, though they will see small adjustments.  

I also thought it would be worth checking in on the Covid relief bill money that was passed earlier this year, to see how that has been transitioned to the state.  

Currently, the state has received/been pledged:

  • $8.3 billion for education, including K-12, universities and community colleges. Much of this doesn’t have to be spent until 2024 because it just passed Congress in March.
  • $1.1 billion for coronavirus testing, tracing and prevention (I anticipate this fund to be underspent as the vaccination rate increases, so the funding will likely be transitioned to other healthcare priorities)
  • $2.3 billion for hospitals to cover health care expenses and lost revenue from procedures canceled due to COVID-19
  • $358 million for airports that were nearly deserted for much of the pandemic.
  • $1.2 billion for rental assistance as an ongoing program gets refills from the federal government and is still accepting applications
  • $273 million to help people struggling to pay their mortgages. That program isn’t up and running yet, but there will be income limits.

As you can see, there are some big possibilities for upgrades in our existing systems coming in the near future, here’s hoping it will have the desired impact.


The Best Links You Can Click

Written by Lisa Mann, UNCA Career Center Director

Last year I gave a few book recommendations for students and alumni looking to dig deeper into their own career development. While there is at least one more book that I would add now, as we all begin to add more into our lives, I wanted to focus on a few less time-intensive places where you can pick up some quick and excellent career information, no matter where you are in the journey to find your next. 

For some quick info check out: Always full of excellent advice, you can find quick to read, well researched articles about every career topic here. 

The Cool Jobs Email: David Earnhardt curates cool jobs, internships and opportunities and throws them into a weekly email with additional information. Sign up by emailing: 

Career Maven Consulting: Tiffany Waddell Tate shares strong advice to help you uncover your power and your purpose. Follow her on Twitter @careermavenpro for excellent small bites of wisdom, too. 

Resources in Handshake: If you’re a current UNC Asheville student or alum, we have a huge number of resources for you in Handshake. Just check out the resources section for everything from how to prepare for an interview, to how to write a resume, to how to network! 


6/21/21 Cool Jobs & Internships

Cool Jobs
Community Engagement Specialist at City of Austin, Watershed Protection Department
Energy System Control Engineer– Learning Based (311958) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Project Green Course: Program Lead & Course Facilitator at Turning Green
Pipe Organ Technician – Musical Instrument Manufacturer at R.A. Colby, Inc.
Prospect Research Analyst at Belmont University
Nature Publications Coordinator at Princeton University Press
 Student Services Program Coordinator II at South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities
Merchandising Career Path | Allocation Analyst TJX Corporation
Rotational Development Program: Supply Planning at Constellation Brands, Inc.
Inside Sales Representative at AFL (Duncan SC)

Cool Internships
Logistics Dispute Intern at Hisense
Paid Internship – Campaign Outreach – Environmental Policy, Renewable Energy at Ohio Citizen Action
Know anyone who might like to develop an app to help out a group of High School students?  This paid position is currently looking for tech savvy folks who are interested in helping grocery stores and high schools reclaim food.  

Cool Year of Service
Historic Structures & Landscapes Technician – AmeriCorps at Texas Conservation Corps

My thoughts for the week

As we get closer to the vaccination goal as a country, (currently sitting at 65% of folks 18+ in the US with at least one shot), apparently new/younger employees are missing the office environment and looking for opportunities to return.  

I count myself among those that miss the office.  As we’ve been returning slowly to in-person work, the conversations with colleagues, the ability to focus on the work, and being able to leave work “at work” has come into more clear view.  

I count myself among the fortunate, whose work was able to shift to a remote environment, and am now looking forward to greeting new colleagues, our student staff, and new first year students in 3D this Fall.

Here’s to a great week,

June 14 Cool Jobs & Internships

Cool Jobs
Engineer Trainee, Transportation (Electrical) at New Jersey Department of Transportation
Public Health Communication Fellow at the CDC (UNCA Alum!)
Research Coordinator at Headwaters, Inc.
Microbiologist I at The South Carolina Department of Health and Environment 
Homeless Response Analyst at City of Fayetteville
Hydrogeologist (Natural Resource Specialist 4) at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Program Manager & Improvement Advisor, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) at Center for Child & Family Health (Durham NC)
Chief of Staff at University of Chicago
Trial Investigator at Federal Public Defender’s Office, Central District of CA
Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator at Colorado Judicial Department – Office of the State Court Administrator
Performance Engineer at Carolina Solar Services
Coordinator, Strategy & Innovation, Motion Picture Group at Lionsgate
Executive Director at Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum

Cool Local Jobs
Sales Rep with AVLToday, as well as an HR Generalist/Recruitment Specialist 
Real Estate Manager with the City of Asheville
Wells Fargo Technical Operations Analyst (Autism/Neurodiversity Hiring) at Specialisterne USA (Charlotte NC)
Leadership and Legacy Giving Officer at Pisgah Legal Services
Operations Manager at Carolina Capital Group (Marshall NC)

Cool Internships
Policy Intern (Summer 2021) at The ONE Campaign
Environmental Education Internship at Bald Head Island (BHI) Conservancy
Animal Care Intern at The Wildcat Sanctuary
Performance Engineering Intern at Cypress Creek Renewables

Cool Local Internship
Fall 2021 Opportunities at the Asheville Art Museum 

My thoughts for the week:

As we see the economy return from the pandemic, there has been some speculation about a “Great Resignation” that is, a wave of workers taking advantage of a strong jobs market to change positions and career trajectories.  During the pandemic, we saw those who were able to keep their positions stay because of economic uncertainty, but now, there are signs that those folks are moving on.

This, coupled with changing worker demographics, fewer people in general to take roles, and shifts in what people are looking for from their work, means a fundamentally different world of work post-pandemic.
First, it will mean higher wages at the lower end of the pay scale.  Take a look around town at the number of “now hiring” signs that advertise $15 an hour jobs, signing bonuses, and educational reimbursement.  Tomorrow there’s a Job Fair who’s required starting wage is $17 an hour.  Many of these same roles were paying $10-12 a year ago, but the shortage of labor is forcing employers to pay more.  The era of a $7.25 job is over, whether an increase in the minimum wage is passed or not.

Second, we should see automation and artificial intelligence take a larger role in our lives.  The first sector to see that disruption will likely be in shipping, where warehouse logistics are routine and can be controlled from a centralized location.  Additionally, trades like brick masonry, and even commercial lawn care, will move toward more automation. 
Third, I anticipate a fundamental shift in our healthcare system.  If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we’ve built a system that handles triage and acute concerns very well, but places less value on prevention.  As doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff emerge from handling the strain of the last year, I anticipate many will leave the profession, while others use their lived experience to demand structural changes. 

As a futurist, I see these changes as net positive both for students at UNC Asheville, and for our region broadly.  It will mean job seekers will be able to be selective in their career aspirations, they’ll be more able to demand higher wages, and will be able to progress/change easily.  An even higher priority will be placed on creative thinking than it is now, and those able to envision solutions, problem solve, and collaborate will be in high demand.  Employers will be incentivised to not only pay more, but retain more, by adjusting policy to be more employee friendly.  

The next “normal” should be fun to watch.


Identify Your Lollipop Moment(s)

Written by Alexis Helmer, UNCA Career Center Intern

We are all probably familiar with lollipops. Lots of brands and always a fun treat. However, a lot of us aren’t familiar with lollipop moments. This concept was introduced to me during my first-year orientation in 2015 through a TEDX Talk by Drew Dudley called “Everyday Leadership.” I have watched it probably fifty times since my orientation, but the takeaways are always so relevant. Below are a few of the main takeaways from the video:

  1. As humans, we have made leadership bigger than ourselves.
  2. Leadership should be recognized as the everyday moments. 
  3. A lollipop moment is “a moment where someone said or did something that you feel fundamentally made your life better.” 
  4. Every single one of us has been the catalyst for a lollipop moment.
  5. We need to redefine leadership as being about lollipop moments — how many of them we create, how many we acknowledge, how many of them we pay forward and how many we say thank you for.

You are probably wondering how this relates to career development and your college journey. Oftentimes when I meet with students to talk about their former jobs, they get caught up in this mindset of “only the big things are worth mentioning or celebrating.” This idea that as humans, we are incredibly likely to minimize our experiences because we do not think they are worth recognizing. However, as a college student or graduate, there are so many things worth celebrating, big or small. When it comes to career development, this also means recognizing the big or small pieces of every job or experience that you have had. Whether it is an internship experience at a top law firm or a lifeguard at the local pool, each experience you have teaches you many transferable skills that can be utilized in any position down the road. 

A transferable skill is a quality obtained or learned at one job that can be transferred to another. These can be things such as communication, teamwork or organization. Again, thinking in terms of lollipop moments, these transferable skills are the lollipop moments that come from any position you hold. Thinking about your former experiences, you can tie in so many of those small moments to highlight your position.  

As you finish reading this, I challenge you with these few tasks:

  1. Go and thank at least one person who has created a lollipop moment in your life. This can be an old teacher, coach, best friend, parent, etc. – whoever it is, thank them. You do not need to actually give them a lollipop (you can if you want, though), but just let them know that the small moment made a huge impact.
  2. Take time to think about the small moments and transferable skills from your former and current roles. Write them down or add them to your resume! 

If you are interested in watching the TEDXTalk, you can find it at this link: