Life After College: 2016 Year In Review + 9-Year Blogiversary!

Written by Marisol Dahl

So much to celebrate as we close up 2016! The Life After College blog turned nine (!!) this past weekend, and in true LAC fashion we are bringing out the cupcakes. 

It's been a crazy-wild year of business growth, new ventures, growing families, and book publishing! Let's jump in . . . 

Our Favorite 2016 Posts

It was a year full of wisdom from the LAC team—Jenny, Melissa, Paul, Davis and myself. So awesome taking a look back at these greatest hits. 

Updates from the LAC Team

Melissa: "MConnected Communications is continuing to grow and we’re about to complete our first long-term corporate consulting contract. I spoke at the Work Life Congress for Working Mother’s Magazine in October, and met some amazing people who are making strides in the work/life balance arena. We launched our course, Strategic Storytelling for HR this year – and it was a success! My biggest lesson for 2016: I was building a business and a growth path that didn’t fit the way I work best. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s also been extremely freeing and satisfying since changing things up! 2017 will be filled with new things for MConnected – and some great insider things for Launch Your Job and Launch Yourself (so stay tuned). It’s going to be filled with a lot of new adventures for me and my peeps."

Paul: "My family made a cross country move! And our third child arrived in August, this time a boy, which I was slightly excited about. I had the privilege of working with companies like Aflac, Wells Fargo, and Stewart Title on reaching, engaging, retaining, and leading Millennials. I was highlighted in various publications on the topics on marketing to Millennials and pursuing your passion on Bloombergthe Chicago Tribune, and even for AARP. I launched my new online course, Finding Your Signature Sauce, a program that helps people uncover the unique ingredients within them to create an attainable action plan where their passion, purpose, and career collide. I'm working on two new books: one similar in style to 101 Secrets For Your Twenties, and the other a fiction storyIf you're looking for something fun to do this holiday break, check out this fun new quiz I recently created at All Groan Up

Davis: "One year since joining Bain, I've helped a biotech company develop a launch plan for a life saving drug, a tech company find more than $100M in savings, and a low-income school system build a teacher retention strategy. In 2017, I will be delivering my first TEDx talk and competing in the World Championship of Public Speaking. The Biggest lesson I've learned in 2017 is that you can't predict what you will do in one year, but you know what you can do today."

Marisol: 2016 was a huge growth year for my career, as I expanded my freelance communications business and explored new areas of work. While the first half of the year was all about career expansion, these last few months have been about contraction—releasing some work commitments and redefining my roles as I zero in on how I want my career to grow. It's been a marathon year and a half since graduating college, but I feel like I now have more room to breathe and can focus on other passions and areas of growth: rekindling those rusty guitar skills, continuing with my new hot yoga practice, and blogging again (!). After taking a 1.5-year break from personal blogging, I've reset the clock on my digital life and start approaching it in a more minimal, and intentional, way. Excited to see how this goes!

2016 Highlights From Jenny

Handing the mic over to Jenny for her round-up of all the great things happening and forthcoming!  

  • PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One was published in September by Portfolio/Penguin Random House! It's been a whirlwind launch season as I just wrapped up my book and speaking tour, connect with new readers and pivoters, and watch this book find its own place in the world. I am overcome with gratitude for all of you here reading, those who shared the book on social media, and everyone who has supported me along this publishing journey.

    800-CEO-Read, Refinery29, JP Morgan and Seth Godin all mentioned it among their end-of-year must read lists, and I'm blown away that PIVOT is close to reaching 100 reviews on Amazon!! If you haven't added yours yet, they are incredibly helpful for generating momentum in these early days of the launch. I read and cherish every single one! Check out the Pivot Toolkit here if you haven't already — tons of free resources and templates :) 
  • In early 2016, I took the Pivot Podcast "pro" by getting it into iTunes, and was surprised to find that it quickly took the top spot for activities that bring me immense joy. I got to connect with many of my author heroes, including James Altucher, Kevin Kelly, Penney Peirce, and many more. Go down the archives rabbit hole here, and search for "Pivot Podcast Jenny Blake" to subscribe wherever you listen to 'casts. 
  • In late summer, Marisol and I launched "Momentum 2.0"—a revamped version of my online community where I connect with my favorite pivot peeps, side-hustlers, and solopreneurs.

More on Momentum 

Momentum is where you can access all my courses and workshops, ask me anything in bi-weekly Q&A calls, and connect with other smart, generous, creative people. Would love for you to join us if it seems like just what you need to kick off 2017 with a bang! Here's a recent webinar on 10 Non-Sleazy Marketing Tips with Pivot Coach Melani Dizon, and here's a recent Q&A call where I talk about facing fears, surrender, and share a short meditation.  

If you're looking to kick off 2017 with an extra boost of accountability and support, thinking about a pivot, or looking to connect with ~65 other awesome, smart side-hustlers and solopreneurs, I'd love for you to join us in Momentum! In addition to twice monthly "Ask Me Anything" Q&A calls, workshops on deck include:

  • Q&A with Jenny: Plan Your 2017 Pivot
  • Q&A with Jenny: How to Lead a PIVOT Mastermind Group
  • January Workshop: Scalable Streams of Solopreneur Income
  • February Workshop: Crafting Your Career Vision with Lisa Lewis
  • March Workshop: Soul Goals: How to Align with Your Inner Blueprint


A la carte, each of these workshops is $47. But if you join Momentum, you'll get access to all five as well as all my other courses, past workshop recordings, Q&A call archive, and private Facebook community. 

Personalized Pivot Planning

Be sure to also check out the 10-Week Career Pathfinder Course: an online career coaching program that guides you step-by-step to find your calling, and Pivot Jumpstart Coaching (two sessions with email in-between): One-on-one support to kickstart and accelerate your pivot-in-progress. 

See you in 2017! 

Above all we are most thankful for you, our incredible LAC Community! Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your own life after college adventures with us! 

If you have a quick minute, we’d love for you to fill out our super-short two-question survey so that we can make Life After College insanely helpful for you in 2017. We value your feedback immensely and want to make sure we're doing everything we can to make this next year rock. And if you aren't yet subscribed to the weekly #PivotList newsletter, make sure to do that here!

Happiest holidays and wishing you a smashing start to the New Year!! 

Happy 3-Year Blogiversary to Life After College!

It's been a great year here at Life After College. Better than great. SO GREAT that I was going to skip doing this round-up post because it feels self-indulgent, and I much prefer to give you thought-provoking new content.

However, my blog turned three years old this month and without my blog, my life dream of being an author would not be realized. So it's only fair that I celebrate this little corner of the Internet!

By the way - I think blogs age in dog years - 3 years feels like a lifetime...in a good way. I can't even imagine my life without this outlet and the friends and readers I've made because of it.

For more "best of" content: see the Happy Blogiversary posts for Year 1 and Year 2, or check out my shiny brand new "New Here?" guided tour.

Personal Milestones: I am humbled by everything that made the items below possible. I still have to pinch myself, and I only hope that I can give back to the world in equal if not far greater amounts for the gifts I've received.

My favorites and the most popular posts of 2010:

Blog Stats:

  • Visits - In the last month I received 11,580 visits (20,532 page views) from 110 countries -- up from last year's 7,000+ visits (13,500 page views) from 97 countries. The total visits for 2010 was just over 100,000 uniques (200,000 page views).
  • Top Keywords - In 2010, the keyword "life after college" sent 8,773 visits. "Jenny Blake" was the next highest search query with 1,199 visits.
  • Quirky keywords (a personal favorite stat) - bad cubicle position, can limerence be broken? (don't I wish!), can you rent a real live jaguar?, do you stop having fun after college?, it's not you it's me letters, I'm too sexy for my cube, limerence is a bitch, running with cupcakes, tell myself I love my job, and possibly my favorite - it hurts to throw away an empty box of Sprinkles cupcakes.
  • Best "Jenny Blake" keywords - jenny blake cover model (I'll take it!), jenny blake engagement ring (looks over both shoulders - none here), jenny blake exercise videos (nope, sorry!), jenny blake sexy (okay I like that one), jenny the cat woman secret lives (damnit, I liked the sexy keyword better).
  • My most popular content in 2010 (according to Analytics) - 8 ways to organize your life with Google Docs (6,054 pageviews), How I Stay Organized (5,869 pageviews), A Day in the Life of My Paycheck (3,096 pageviews), and the Life Checklist Template (2,576 pageviews). I think many of these made it to StumbleUpon, which really helped drive traffic.
  • Most Popular Templates - Four-Step Budget (2,285 users), Professional Development Strategy (2,158 users), Life Checklist (2,255 users), Job Interview One-Sheeter (2,333 users)

Last but certainly not least, THANK YOU.

Thank you for:

  • Being here
  • Being awesome - the best readers I could ever ask for
  • Reading, engaging, commenting
  • Making all of this possible

One of my mentors, Chris Guillebeau, often says he gets paid in nice emails. I feel exactly the same way. I am richer every day from amazing reader emails, new friends, community, and gratitude. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.