Career Advancement

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I’m at a crossroads currently within my career. I want to move to the next level but unsure of how to get there. My current team doesn’t have any job opportunities at the moment. That is furthering my confusion on the next steps that I should take. I had to sit with myself to come up with solutions to improve my current situation. I came up with a list of four things that I employed right now to help improve my career prospects. I hope that this list works for you, or in the comment section below, you can tell me what tips you will use or which ones you currently use.

Hire a Career Coach

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Hiring a career coach may or may not work for everyone, but it was a game-changer for me. It has been years since I last applied for positions. I wasn’t sure what employers were looking for in terms of a resume. I needed help updating my resume properly, interviewing skills, job searches, and working on past issues that could impact me from getting hired (confidence & mental health issues). A lot has changed since I last interviewed, and the knowledge that I gained was a tremendous help. My resume look 100% times better. That reminds me that I need to make an update to my Linkedln page to reflect the recent changes I made. I started going on job interviews. I haven’t gotten the jobs that I’ve wanted, but I’m making significant progress. I know the right position will come along, but in the meantime, I won’t stop looking for the next opportunity.

Updated My Wardrobe

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You know what they say dress for success or dress for the job you want. Making new tweaks to my clothes not only empowered me gave me new-found confidence but also people took me more seriously. Let’s be honest people judge your appearance. Based on your clothes, if you don’t look presentable, then you’re perceived as unreliable and disingenuous. As superficial as it sounds, if you don’t dress the part, then you won’t get the part. With that in mind, don’t give anyone any reason to use anything against you. There are plenty of budget-friendly places you can use to update your wardrobe as necessary.

Invest in Yourself

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I started to educate myself while reading more books and looking into certifications to further my career. One book that helped me the most is called ” 7 Healthy Habits of Highly Effective People.” I realized that I needed to make myself better for this next chapter in my life. I need to work on my time management skills and setting my goals/expectations more effectively. If you need more information on this, there’s so much information available at your fingertips. There’s no excuse for working yourself to exhaustion when you could be bettering yourself in the process. Don’t be afraid to change things about yourself that may be holding you back. We all have to be continually improving ourselves as that’s what’s going to help us win.

Ask for Honest Feedback

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I understand that harsh criticism from others can be triggering. However, if we don’t receive honest feedback, we won’t be able to make adjustments. For example, the feedback I received over a year ago from a review stated I needed to work on my tone when I would speak with people at work. Unfortunately, microaggression is a real thing (research that if you aren’t familiar with the term), so when someone who looks like me says something that can appear aggressive, it’s out of context. If I were a man, it would be an utterly different story. I realized this could be holding me back from moving forward. It took a year to work on this, but I’m pleased to report that in my latest review, my efforts paid off. It was a good feeling to know that my hard work was acknowledged. Had I not asked for the feedback, I would’ve still been doing something wrong. Behind close doors, that would’ve been the reason for me not to achieve a promotion. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but doing the work on the back end is the difference between advancement vs. stagnation. You want to put your best foot forward, and you need to know if anything is preventing that from occurring.

Let’s get the discussion going. Let me know in the comment section below what your thoughts are. What steps will you take, or what steps have you taken to make improvements?

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Haters Disguise as Friends

People who claim to be your friend but who are really jealous of you behind the screen.

It is true that as you age your friendships will begin to evolve. Some people that you were once close to may not even be your friends in a few years. Then other people who were mere acquittances may become close like family. I remember hearing this would occur when I was younger by many relatives, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how true this statement is. An old friend of mine recently accused me of changing into a new person. The thought of her accusation is baffling to me as I believe that becoming a better person is a beautiful thing.  Anyway, she reminded me of how in the past I was ill-tempered and easily angered. I acted this way because people viewed me as a bit of a push-over. You shouldn’t allow yourself to be a push-over, but there are better ways to handle yourself in stressful situations. I haven’t always dealt with issues in the most favorable light. I knew I needed to change this about myself and I worked on it. I thought my old friend would be happy to see my growth and be proud of the woman I became. Instead, the reaction that I received was that I became a counterfeit of my former self. At that moment I knew that my friendship with her had run its course. There is no way I could continue on my current journey with her still in my life. We have become two different people, and our current paths no longer intersect.

Every day you should be growing and learning continuously. The people in your life should hopefully, be doing the same thing. Don’t tolerate your friends’ judgments if they feel as if you are growing and leaving them behind. At that moment realize that these people are only in your life for a season. Once their season is up, please let them go! You will hurt yourself trying to keep people in your life who no longer should be there. Being the same person you were years ago sounds like a miserable existence. I understand being comfortable, but at some point, you need to elevate yourself. Of course, growing should be done gradually to ensure that not only can you keep your momentum going, but your development will continue. Telling someone that they changed and it was for the better is such an asinine statement, and people like that don’t deserve to be apart of your “Glow-Up.”

Another issue I experienced with this same “friend” is passive aggressiveness. I don’t have any problems with speaking my mind. I would dare to say that my openness has gotten me into trouble in the past. That was something that I knew I had to work on and I made a conscious effort to think before I speak. It hasn’t always worked out flawlessly. However, I am a work in progress. Please excuse the sidebar and let me get back to the point I was making. If you have a dispute with what a friend did or said then, please speak up about it. Don’t pretend to have moved on from the situation if all you will do is turn petty later on. Here are some examples of being petty, backhanded comments, doing a favor but complaining the whole time and my all time favorite getting upset when someone can’t drop their whole life for you.

The last example of pettiness I just experienced recently by this same “friend.” I was planning on a special Valentine’s Day with that special guy in my life. I wasn’t sure at the time which weekend he wanted to celebrate since the holiday falls on a weekday this year. I stated to her let me get back to you, and once I find out, I’ll let you know if I could attend your event. She was very dismissive of me and stated nevermind forget I even asked. This type of behavior is entirely unacceptable for an adult to act and the passive aggressiveness is beyond ridiculous. If you ever find yourself behaving like this just speak to the person that is causing you heartache. If that person genuinely cares about you, then both of you should be able to work through the situation like adults.

If you have friends in your life that get upset every time you try to express yourself, then you need to get new friends. Real friends will not dismiss your feelings, and they will make an effort in correcting the behavior. When people care about you, the last thing they want is for you to feel any hurt or pain. Please let me reiterate if you are currently dealing with people like this in your life let these people go. These type of people will do nothing but bring you down and then accuse you of being the negative person. Get rid of these toxic people in your life, and you’ll thank me later.

Until next time,

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