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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New Year, New Changes

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Happy 2020 and I hope things are going well so far. It’s been a busy few weeks for me since the year started. There were a few things I wanted to work on to improve my self-confidence. I’m going to start Invisalign in a few weeks. I’m having issues with my bite, and I’m obsessed with having straight teeth. Now that my wisdom teeth are gone, it’s time for the process of my year and half of treatment to begin. However, I’m excited to see the results and have confidence in my smile back. I feel self-conscious about the facial hair on my face. I always wondered if that was the first thing that people noticed about me. Maybe not, but I feel like people are judging me based on my face. Laser hair removal is very pricey; however, I’m hoping my insurance covers the cost. In my case, this isn’t cosmetic as my mom has the same issue (good old genetics). I’m currently waiting for the Dr. office to get back to me on what the insurance will cover. If not, I’ll have to pay out of pocket. It’s not ideal, but this is something I’ve wanted for a while. It’s going to happen either way, but hopefully, insurance will cover the cost.

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Having acne is something I’ve dealt with for a large portion of my life. I want to clear up my face, and I believe my issues are hormonal. I’m currently working on changing my eating habits and drinking more water. However, I think there’s more to it in my situation. I went to a dermatologist a few weeks ago. I’m on a regimen where I have a cream at night and a gel in the morning. I use the products after I complete my regular skincare routine. I honestly see results so far. I go back in March to check my progress and see if my current prescription needs to change. So far, so good, so I’m praying everything continues to move forward positively. Due to my sensitive skin and eczema issues, it was essential to see a Dr. I struggled in the past with finding the right products to use. The products would irritate my skin or cause my eczema to flare up. Since my Dr. is aware of my issues, I’ve been prescribed products that didn’t cause the above concerns. Once my face is precise, I’ll do a before and after to show the results. Hopefully, it can inspire that clear skin is possible if you struggled with this your whole life. Going to the Dr. is okay, but you have to be disciplined and stick to your treatment plan if you want to see the desired results.

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If there are things that you want to fix that you may feel is holding you back, then change it. With this new year, there’s no point in continuing to be unhappy. Take baby steps, but if the change has financial impacts, there is a possibility that all the changes can’t occur at once. Pace yourself and do things in a comfortable and achievable manner. Most items are challenging to do because we talk ourselves out of it. Mental toughness is a real issue that we don’t discuss often. If we allow too many outside influences, it can hurt our internal speech. Sometimes it’s best not say anything until it’s complete. Not everyone will be happy, and they could even talk you out of making the necessary changes. Stick to your guns and don’t let the doubt of others block your blessings. Your dreams/goals that you want to achieve is on the other side of your comfort zone. Go out there and live your life NOW! If something is bothering you, get it fixed ASAP. Improving your self-confidence is a fantastic feeling and anything that impacts that is an obstacle to remove.

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How do you plan on making new strides in this new year? Are there things that you want to improve on or new goals for this year? In what ways will you implement these changes?

Solo Traveling Tips

People ask me often why do I travel solo? It would be more fun if I went with other people. I don’t disagree; however, in the past, I missed out on places waiting for other people to be available. It’s a difficult thing to say go at it alone. It can be a nerve-racking and overwhelming experience. The biggest thing I learned is that you come away with much-needed confidence about yourself. You have to be comfortable with yourself to travel solo. You have to start small and work your way up. Before you decide to plan that huge trip, read the steps below to help you become a master at solo traveling.

Plan Solo Dates

Start planning dates where you spend time with yourself. For example, movies, spa or even dinner. The whole point of this is to get familiar with yourself. It may seem strange at first, but once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature. Once you learn how to deal with your own company, it makes it easier to solo travel. Also, one of the benefits of solo dates is that you get to do what you want when you want. Experiencing this type of freedom is what you can look forward to when you travel solo.

Take Weekend Trips

I would recommend staying somewhere that you previously been before. Remember the point here is to build up your confidence with traveling. Going somewhere familiar takes out the guesswork of finding activities and helps you to relax more. The more fun you are having, the more likely you will continue to travel. Write down all the things you want to do but weren’t able to do previously. Some activities can be due to a lack of enthusiasm from others or a general lack of interest. Now is the time to experience those adventures during your single weekend.

Plan Your Itinerary

Nothing screams lonely like having nothing on your agenda. The best way to fight those feelings is to have your days planned out. Of course, leave your plans open for change as something more exciting can arise. However, having a day planned makes you forget that you are solo. You’ll be having so much fun even to notice that you are indeed by yourself. That is how you fight the solo blues. My recent birthday trip was solo, and people said OMG you went to Las Vegas alone. That’s the whole point of traveling! Enjoy your time on vacation and stop worrying about why you are alone. Live in the moment as you don’t get those moments back.

Let Friends & Family know your Whereabouts

When traveling solo, it is especially important to travel smart. You must let someone back home know where you are going and your activities for each day. God forbid if something was to happen people will know where to tell the authorities where to look. Especially if you ’re going out at night. Give an estimated time of when you will return. Also, be sure to let someone know you made it back to your residence (travel accommodations) safely. Even if they are sleep due to the time difference or late hours once they wake up, they’ll know you’re okay. Be careful with posting your every move online. I understand this is easier to update friends and family. However, a predator can use this information as a way to stalk you. Please take proper precautions as you want to return safely back home from your trip.

Don’t do what you wouldn’t do at home

Don’t get into a stranger’s car unless it’s Uber or Lyft. Stay in well-lit areas with a large crowd of people around. Don’t get too comfortable that you step far outside your comfort zone that you become easy prey. Have the same street smarts that you have at home while on vacation. If something feels wrong, it probably is a bad idea. If you get this feeling DON’T DO IT! Don’t open yourself up to be an easy target. People are looking for unexpected tourist to rob or take advantage of their kindness. Don’t walk around with a large purse and keep your phone close to you at all times. It’s a good idea to set some folks including 911 on speed dial just in case of emergencies. Stay away from tight spaces like a club for example. Avoid places like a club because you can’t fully see your surroundings. You need to view all exits if necessary. Of course, keep drinks close to you at all times. Never sit your back to the door. Otherwise, it makes it easier for people to sneak up on you without your knowledge.

Give the Illusion of Confidence

Even if you aren’t confident then fake it until you make it. Never let anyone know you are alone, where you are staying or reveal too much about yourself. I’m not saying you can’t interact with others, but there is a difference between friendly and overly revealing. It can backfire and cause you to put down your guard rather quickly. Remember you’re solo so don’t put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. If you come off as shy or uncomfortable, you open yourself up to be easy prey. Not everyone has bad intentions, but the wrong person can see this and use it against you. Keep in mind Google gives you the right directions to the bus and train now. There’s no need to be nervous about solo travel! The more you do it, the easier it will become. There is too much of the world out there to explore to wait around for other people. If they aren’t available to travel, then you become a world traveler. You never want to look back and wish you started what you keep putting off today.

What was your experience traveling solo for the first time? What other tips would you recommend for first-time solo travelers?

Improving Your Romantic Outlook

You should treat others the way you want them to treat you. If you want people to be honest with you, then you should do the same in return. If you don’t want to be hurt by others, then you shouldn’t do the same. It always amazes me how people are so quick to play the victim role but can’t accept the responsibility they play within their demise. For example, if I keep having bad relationships with men at some point, I need to reevaluate within myself why I keep attracting these type of men. I can make a general statement saying that all men are evil when it’s my horrible choices that are leading me to that conclusion. There is the segue to my topic of this blog post about continuously picking the wrong partners to date. I’m not calling anyone out as I have been guilty of it myself, but once you know better, you will do better. The first step of moving on from any situation is learning to treat the disease and not just the symptoms.

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The first thing I want you to consider is how you view yourself. Never mind how others feel about you but how do you feel about yourself? Do you put yourself down and call yourself terrible names? Understand that you are hurting yourself when you do this. Having negative thoughts about yourself can subconsciously be exuded externally and keep you from attracting the mate you want. Then others will start to feel the same way, and you will become less attractive as a result of that. Nothing is sexier than a person who has confidence within themselves and believes they are the best thing since sliced bread. I’m not saying be a jerk about it, but you have to have a strong sense of self if you want to attract someone of a higher caliber. You can’t believe you are worthless and then expect a potential suitor to think differently. Since self-esteem is an internal issue, you have to make sure you work through any of those issues before getting into a relationship. Nobody can correct this but you. Seek counseling if necessary but work through this immediately. The more broken relationships your experience, the more of a beating your self-esteem will take.

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As you grow within your career and personally your dating life should reflect that. Often we get comfortable within certain social circles because that is what we have always known. However, once you start to grow those areas that once interested you, unfortunately, do change. There’s nothing wrong with this, but nobody tells us nor prepares us for the transition to come. You most likely complain and I know I have about the lack of options out there. The conclusion I came up with is I’m looking for love in the same places I always have. The areas I’m frequenting I won’t find a professional man there so who is really to blame for my situation. You can’t do the same things you always did and expect a different result. You have to expand your options, and yes attend that networking event your friends have been trying to invite you to for months. You have to step outside your comfort zone if you want to meet Mrs. or Mr. Right.

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I hear people say and myself included that I want a man to drive XYZ and work within a particular field. Guess what? The things I was asking for I didn’t even have myself. It’s important to make sure the things you want in a partner are things you can provide as well. I think it’s unrealistic to demand your partner to a higher standard, but you don’t have the same demands on yourself. I took the time to soul-search and prepared myself for when my husband finally arrives. If the right person walked into the room right now would you be ready for that person? If you can’t honestly say yes, then you have work to do. It’s a corny saying, but you have to be the partner that you want. Remember everything you are looking for someone else wants the same. If you are unable to provide those same qualities, then you will continue to date the wrong people. Don’t look at your single hood as a bad thing. Use that time to self-reflect on becoming a better you. Once the right person comes along, you will be more than ready for your last relationship.

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Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Please share on social media and with your friends/family.

Until next time,

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