All Articles Tagged "career advice"

Is Your Money Working For You? Things You Should Do With Your 401(k)

February 28th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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When it comes to the coin, all of us want to do everything we can to make sure they keep coming in and last for the long haul. There are tons of ways to let your money grow with the most popular being retirement investment platforms like a 401(k). When’s the last time you took a serious look at yours? Do you even invest in one? Here are some things you should do with your 401(k).

‘I’m Not Scared Of Rejection:’ Joy Bryant Shares How Yale Prepped Her For Hollywood

February 13th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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The world knows Joy Bryant as a fashion model-turned-actress, but many don’t know the “About Last Night” actress also attended Yale on a scholarship—an experience that she says helped to prepare her for the competitive world of show business.

“Getting into Yale, I’m already used to competition,” the 38-year-old Bronx native told Rolling Out. It’s not easy to get into Yale. The possibility of rejection or having the odds stacked against you or a lot of people are gunning for your spot — that whole dynamic I understood.”

Though she later dropped out of the Ivy League school to pursue modeling, she says it gave her the tough skin that she needed to make  it in modeling and ultimately Hollywood.

“Coming into Hollywood, I wasn’t shaken at all,” said Joy. “Not that I’m going to be the most successful actress ever, but I’m not scared. I’m not scared of rejection. Modeling prepared me for that. Sometimes the rejection can be so brutal and in your face — you have to get a thick skin. Coming into this business, I wasn’t really tripping on anything. What I view as mine to have, I will have. And I can wait it out.”

Though it was not the most predictable voyage, she says the experience definitely taught her that everything that happens in life is only preparing you for what’s to come.

“Everything leads you to the next step. I went to this great school that got me into Yale. Instead of Wall Street or wherever I thought I was going to go, I got into modeling. That exposed me to so many places and things and from there, I went into acting. In acting, I’ve done well for myself and I love what I do and I’m looking forward to more of it. But it’s also led me to other things. I produce and I write and I’m able to express myself in a way that gives me happiness. It’s afforded me a great quality of life.”

As for what’s next, Joy says she has her eye on some behind-the-camera gigs.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to grow and who knows? Maybe the next step for me is to write the Oscar-winning script! That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Check out Joy’s full interview over at Rolling Out.

Tips For Getting Over The Fear Of Networking

February 13th, 2014 - By Blair Bedford
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Big Stockphoto

Big Stockphoto

Networking is intimidating for more people then you may think. In almost every survey or report on the biggest professional fears, or fears in general, speaking in public and networking are sure to be close to the top of the list. Being driven by the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone to network could cost you opportunities for professional growth.

With networking, you are not only making professional connections, but cultivating valuable relationships that could help build your career or even your personal life. With this in mind, here are a few tips to overcome the fear of networking that could help you lose the intimidation and gain great contacts.

How To Make “The Black Tax” Work for You

February 7th, 2014 - By Kara Stevens
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I was well into my mid-twenties before I heard of “the black tax.” In fact, I discovered the concept of “the black tax” when I was watching the movie Something New. In this particular scene, Sanaa Lathan, a talented accountant, was on a date with Blair Underwood, another ambitious professional. They were commiserating about life on the “plantation” (meaning the corporate structure), and how they had to incur “the black tax.” This meant that as black folk in predominately white settings, they had to work twice as hard, be twice as good, and be more on top of things than their white counterparts.

The belief in a “black tax” does a disservice to us emotionally and psychologically, which ultimately negates the underlining impetus of the tax, which is to make us more productive, creative, and professionally outstanding.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not to say that institutional racism, microaggressions, and stereotype bias are not in full effect in most, if not all, workplace settings. They are. Even white boys with criminal records have a better chance of getting employment than black men with no criminal past and several degrees.

So, I get it.

I just think we need to reframe our energy and thinking around this “black tax” so it works to our benefit, not our detriment. Since we already know what it is like to grind, hustle, and be extraordinary, usually behind a computer and alone, let’s use this skill set to build and sustain relationships that will lead to both personal fulfillment and professional success instead of consistently leaving unrecognized and underappreciated.

Let’s grind around organizing opportunities to learn, connect, and grow with people that look like us in and outside of our workplaces in a strategic and meaningful way.

I am currently reading Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success One Relationship At a Time by Keith Ferrazzi. Ferrazzi says it is important to leverage relationships in all of your social and professional using a Network Action Plan. To create one, divide a blank piece of paper into thirds or a Word Document into three columns. Under the first column, list three to five of your immediate and long-term career goals.

For each of your goals in the first part, name one or two people that can help you achieve this goal in the second column. Start thinking about people that you already know and people that you would like to know.

Finally, in the third column, start thinking about the best way to reach out to the people listed in column two. If the gatekeeper to your goal is someone you know, a simple call and request may be all that you need to help you reach your goal. On the other hand, if you realize that the person you need to talk to is someone you don’t know, then you will have to start small and build their trust. Try reaching out with a genuine compliment about the work that they do via email or at an in-person gathering, providing them with ideas that can make their jobs easier, or introducing them to people that can help them with their personal or professional goals.

We don’t have to own “the black tax” in the way that it has been presented to us. As a culture, we invented the remix. We took scraps and made it soul food. We took our plight and made hip-hop. The black tax? This ain’t no different.

Connect with Kara @thefrugalfeminista and at her site The Frugal Feminista.

From Marketing Beats By Dre To Forging Hip-Hop Collaborations, Karen Civil Makes It Happen

January 31st, 2014 - By Tianna Robinson
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Meet Karen Civil, the 29-year-old head of a small but growing empire in digital hip-hop media and strategic marketing. Civil has been carving her own path since her days at Hot 97 as FunkMaster Flex’s intern. She rose from that entry-level position to A&R coordinator to shaping the careers of up-and-coming rappers. Hailing from Elizabeth, N.J., Civil is also a force behind marketing campaigns for Beats By Dre, serving as the brand’s social media manager.

MN Business had a sit-and-chat with Civil about how she started and how she’s creating profitable brands for herself and some of hip-hop’s biggest names. She was mum about the Beats by Dre marketing that we’ll see at the upcoming Olympic Games, but we’ve heard some awesome things are in the works.

MadameNoire:  Tell our readers who Karen Civil really is.

Karen Civil: I like to consider myself a Social New Wave Entrepreneur. I take heed to the digital media space, understanding what it is and how to help talent and products grow in it.  I am currently the social media manager for Beats by Dre headphones, I have my own marketing company, Always Civil Enterprise, as well as run  a hip-hop tastemaker site, and on online positive affirmation forum. I also have my own clothing line, Civil Clothing, and I am in the process of writing my first book.

MN: Is this what you dreamed of growing up?

KC: Actually growing up, my dream job was to be an on-air radio personality. I admired and wanted to be a lot like Angie Martinez. As I got older, I realized that I had a soft monotone voice and that being a DJ may not be the career for me. However I was so in love and infatuated with hip-hop that I still wanted to be apart  and give back  the community, so I decided to carve my own path and make my own lane.

MN: How did you start in the hip-hop community?

KC: While interning for [Funkmaster] Flex, I met Duke Da God. He invited me to work for Dipset. I taught them how to build a profitable e-commerce business and wrangled New Era to make a run of Dipset hats. At the time, I was also fortunate to bring on Max B and Wale as digital marketing clients. All was going well and one day it fell to pieces.

In 2008, Max B was facing life in prison, Dipset split up, and my contract with Wale came to an end. All that I worked so hard for came to an end, and I needed to seriously figure my life out. I did theright thing and got a corporate job on Wall Street. That did not last long. I felt like I was throwing all my years of hard work and relationship building down the toilet. I eventually quit, went and bought a camera, and built a website. That was the birth of

MN: What were your intentions with

KC: I don’t just post music and videos. With civilized talk, the fans are given the opportunity to delve into the lives and artistic brains of their favorite hip-hop artists.  I also post about new artists before they drop anywhere else. I was the first to feature Nicki Minaj, J.Cole, and Drake on my website.

… I think the fans really enjoy the fact that they are getting an insider glimpse and getting to experience music before anybody else. Also, strategic branding and marketing of the website and myself was essential.

MN: Did you use those skills to apply to Beats by Dre? How did you get such a high-profile position?

KC: Actually, Beats approached me.  They said they liked the way I branded myself online and wanted me to help them with their digital marketing and finding their online voice.

When I was brought on, Beats by Dre was at 300,000 Facebook followers. We are now at almost 6.5 million and was at 5 million not long after I was there… One month, we saw Facebook followers jump by 1 million when Lil Wayne wore his Beats headphones to the Grammys and listened to his album the whole time. Another time he wore his million-dollar custom made headphones to an NBA game. When Chad Ochocinco played for the Patriots, he gave out $50,000 worth of Beats headphones during the Super Bowl. You can’t pay for marketing like that; it’s priceless and now synonymous with the brand.

Rise Above The Silliness: Dealing With A Know-It-All At Work

January 29th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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In the words of Charlie Brown, “Good grief.”

Heaven only knows how certain people got a job but that’s not even the issue in this case. Do you work in an office where there is someone who always seems to have the answer? A response to every little thing? As if they were God’s gift to your company, these people just don’t know when to take a hint and shut up. They always need to put in their two cents when no one asked for change. Here are tips on dealing with a know-it-all at work. May the force be with you.

You Are Not An Option: How To Put Yourself First

January 22nd, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Life always has a way of keeping us busy. Do this. Take care of that… it can at times really be overwhelming. Yet with all of these demands it’s extremely important not to lose ourselves in the process. Here are some ways to always put yourself first, even when your schedule is stretched thin.

Don’t Limit Your Possibilities: How To Combat Your Fear Of Rejection

January 21st, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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There’s something in all of our lives that can make us a little scared. Call it a fear of the unknown, but certain things can have such a hold on us that they stop us dead in our tracks. One common fear many of us have is rejection in the workplace. Even if this makes you nervous, it will be your job not to let it hold you back. Here are some ways you can combat your fear of rejection.

‘I Promise:’ Top Career Resolutions Every Professional Should Make

January 2nd, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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We all have New Year’s resolutions that we make or at least try to stick with in order to help us become a better person. Some may work to kick a habit while others vow to take up a hobby or activity they have always wanted to do. One arena that should get some sprucing is our professional lives as it’s always a good look to want to strive towards excellence. In this season of resolutions, here are a few top choices for your professional life.

How To Land A New Job In The New Year

January 2nd, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Many of us look to the new year for that fresh start in our lives. Some make resolutions to better their lifestyles while others look for new jobs.

Believe it or not, finding a new job at the start of a year could be the break you have been looking for. Quite a few companies are looking to hire new employees to get their new year initiatives off the ground. And there are budgets set aside for new workers that have to be used or lost entirely. Should you be on the lookout for that dream opportunity it’s important that you have the right bait to score an interview. Here are some tips on how to land a new job in the new year.

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