All Articles Tagged "career development"

How Women And Men Approach Their Careers Differently

December 14th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Black woman with natural hair in workplace/business office


Since men and women often prioritize different things in life, it should come as no surprise that we approach our careers very differently. A career takes up a lot of time, energy and mental space. Just how and when men and women are willing to give up those things for their careers is very different.







Getting Past The ‘Hood: How To Bury The Past & Embrace Success

February 4th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Suge Knight charged with murder following fatal hit-and-run accident in Compton.

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The story is tried and true. Some people rise out of poverty, leave the hood, start to enjoy their riches, and then boom–they wind up bankrupt or in trouble. Take Compton, California-born Suge Knight as an example. He co-founded, with Dr. Dre, one of hip hop’s most successful rap labels, Death Row Records. He had on his roster mega stars such as Snoop Doggy Dog and 2Pac. Now he has been charged with murder after allegedly running over a friend with his car and is facing prison–again.

Some say Knight’s downfall is due to his inability to leave behind the “thug mindset” despite having gone to college and becoming an entrepreneur. It’s why his ex-partner Dre was involved in one of the biggest deals ever when he sold his Beats By Dre to Apple, while Knight is facing prison.

Another example is the hugely successful MC Hammer, who took hip hop to a new level, filling massive arenas with fans clamoring to see his Vegas-style performances. But Hammer tried to bring all his old neighborhood buddies for the ride, offering many of them unnecessary jobs and winding up with an unsustainable payroll.

“MC Hammer had an entourage for the ages: a 200-person crew that reportedly cost him $500,000 every month,” reports Time.

There’s a reason for the saying, “You can take a person out of the hood, but not the hood out of the person.” And while someone can stay true to their roots, when it’s not balanced with new entrepreneurial sensibilities, it can be a disaster.

“They may have been able to scratch, fight and will their way out of the conditions that they were in, but unless they change how they feel–their expectations (what they truly believe)–will continue to be the reality that they repeat. While they wanted and achieved success, they may have beliefs that it won’t last, or the other shoe will drop, or that they’re unworthy of the success they’ve achieved,” explains life coach Christine Meyer. “The essence of their being is still about lack… they continue to create poverty to keep up with their  mental image of poverty, and therefore live it again. In other words, what they want and what they truly believe, contradict each other.”

But you can change your mindset. It’s what Allison T. Moore did. Born to teenage parents and adopted, she lived a life filled with abuse, addiction and crime. She was a prison inmate declared a habitual offender and sentenced to seven years in 2007.  But while in prison she decided to change her mental outlook on life and success and created Prison Break Success System, not only to help herself but others. And she now coached inmates on how to transition into society and become successes in their own right.

She also launched her own business when she was released  “I started and became a certified life coach to help others,” she tells MadameNoire.

To get to this point, Moore said it took a major look at her life. “I had to start from scratch and get clear about what I wanted. Then I did self-reflection to make sure that my core values were in alignment with the goals I wanted. I reevaluated my life to be authentic and replacing the old coping thought patterns, actions and behaviors. I challenged my thoughts and created my own reality,” she explains.

“Instead of trying to develop new affirmations about things I didn’t really believe, I presented my mind with questions in the form of positive new truths, like ‘Why am I so successful?’ That forced me to seek answers and find solutions,” she shares. Even 20 minutes of positive thinking each day helped her.

Meyer agrees.  “Anything that you put your attention to will grow. If you want success and have achieved it, but fear failure or poverty, your attention is still on poverty more than on the success you’ve created,” she tells us.

Put your past where it belongs–in the past. “The story of how you got here–through the struggle and suffering to get here – only puts attention on more of what you would prefer not to re-create. Where you are now, how you feel now, what you’re in the process of creating ‘now’ is what’s relevant and current…the other stuff is old news,” Meyer points out.

Verbalization is very important, much the way Moore did with her daily mantra.  “Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself and others. Are you talking about the problems of your business/life/relationships, or the things that are going well?” asks Meyer.

Prioritize your goals and also celebrate yourself. Focus on what affirms the positive direction you’re moving in. “Make a list of things you love to do, and things you love to think about and do at least one of those things every day,” advises Meyer.

Also pay attention to the company you keep. Who you run with can be the difference between failing or thriving.

“You have to continuously expose yourself  to new, positive and rewarding situations. Whether it’s through travel to  see what else is out there and to learn more about yourself or joining like-minded meetup groups that expose you to art events, high-end realty, fundraisers, whatever it is that gets you out of your old ways of living and thinking,” says Juania Owens, founder of Amazing Perspective.

“I cannot stress the importance of having the right people in your inner circle and surrounding yourself with the right people. And by right people I mean those who encourage you and lift you up. Those who are honest and loyal, who are there for you– I mean really there during good and bad times and those who also want more out of life and are not sucking the life out of you.”

When you move on to a new phase in life, it becomes time to change your thinking and accept the new and improved you. Even while looking over your shoulder to remember all the things that have contributed to what makes you great.

I Vow To…: 9 New Year’s Resolutions To Boost Your Professional Life

January 2nd, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Most of us make New Year’s resolutions to change personal issues, such as losing weight. How about this year instead of vowing to drop 20 pounds, make some resolutions to help your professional career.

Make a list of goals for 2015. “Be accountable to yourself and keep track of how they are going. By the end of the year make sure that you have achieved or are on the way to achieving what you set out to do professionally,” reports Careerealism.

Here are nine resolutions to make this year to give your career a boost. 

10 Companies With Leadership Development Programs

November 17th, 2014 - By Taylor Gordon
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Student loan debt


Are you a recent college grad looking for on the job leadership training?

Are you a professional that wants to take the next step in your career?

Many companies offer paid leadership or management development programs that will put you on the fast track to advanced positions within the company. Here are 10 companies that offer a development program.

My New Job Title Isn’t A Reward, It’s A Business Strategy

July 23rd, 2014 - By Lauryn Stallings
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During my last two years at the Missouri School of Journalism, I learned some interesting things about media careers. The lesson that made the most impact: hierarchical promotion is not a thing. In fact I saw that in practice with my mentors, who often had to change companies or departments to move through the ranks or otherwise be caught in parallel reassignments. It seemed cruel — magazine-hopping to reach the ultimate career status. But after having my title changed three times in under two years, I have a new understanding of the practicalities of promotion.

The summer following my graduation from college I got a phone call from a high school friend. Our relationship during the past five years had been sketchy at best — mostly congratulatory tweets when something good happened. But we’d remained easily amiable and had landed in the same field, so when this young award-winning, Twitter-verified journalist invited me to be part of her new venture, I agreed.

At the launch of the new media platform, I was declared Deputy Editor. I oversaw the most timely news section, set up a copy flow for the section editors and generally supported the Editor-in-Chief who still had a full-time job. At the time, I was working just part-time and it made more sense to funnel content through me. But six months later, I was working full-time as well and the site was approaching a temporary shutdown for an essential redesign. Just before we relaunched I received several emails and a phone call that ultimately ended in a reassignment. During the course of executive communications, my comments had become more business-oriented and, as such, so would my role.

Becoming Managing Editor was not actually a promotion. In fact, my spot among the executives didn’t move at all. No one replaced me at the deputy level and direct reports stayed the same. But now rather than managing the content, I was managing the editors. My new duties focused on driving editors to schedule content to make the startup more viable to investors.

And things continued change. As the direction of the site became more focused so did the roles of the staff. The founder was discovering new things about what needed to be done and less than a year later we dialed into another long talk about the company. Somehow, at the end of the conversation my role shifted again. Although still very much a media neophyte, my concerns are always effective dissemination of content, workflow and separation of editorial and marketing strategy. Playing to my strengths and interests I was made Publisher.

This elevation was not a pat on the back for good service or dedication to her vision. As any ambitious entrepreneur should, she promoted me to reap the benefits of what she already saw. It was a pragmatic decision. My title grows with my skill set. It’s earned. And it’s better than adding senior to something I’ve already been doing because it shows the role is something different. All I have to do is meet the expectations.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Create Your Own Promotion

March 14th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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For employees who find that their manager is in a similar age range and showing no signs of leaving anytime soon, you’ll need to think creatively to find ways to craft your own opportunities for upward movement. Here are some strategic steps to orchestrate your own push forward:

Identify the pain in your organization- Look at your company through a wide lens. What are the issues you see that you believe you can help to correct? Identify the ways you are uniquely suited to solve the problems from your current position.

Build a plan- Take the initiative to write a business plan for a new role, department, or service you could lead. Keep the role, department, or service in line with your company’s goals and be sure to expound upon how the addition will benefit them in the long-run.

Communicate with key players- Don’t suddenly burst on the scene with reams of papers stating the issues in the company or a new role you’ve cooked up. Instead be sure to speak with important people, with whom you are comfortable, letting your intentions to move up in the company be known. Gain their support in order to have additional collateral when presenting your ideas.

Although it will take persistence and creativity to spot an issue and come up with a viable solution that utilizes your various skills, if you are hungry for that shift, stay confident in your ability to make it happen. Keep in mind that your ideas may not result in an immediate promotion. You may work informally on the task at first, but stay encouraged. If the idea has value it will take off and you’ll be rewarded in the end.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Turn A Side-Step Into A Step Up

March 13th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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Traditionally the way to the top has been illustrated as a simple vertical ladder, but this picture is shifting. In Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, for example, the idea of a jungle gym was introduced, showing how lateral movements can also push your career forward.

The recession has also caused a change to the usual corporate ladder. With the hierarchies of many companies flattening out, mid-level positions disappear into thin air, eliminating the rungs you thought you needed for your climb to the top.

Ultimately, if you don’t begin “thinking sideways” you may find yourself stuck on your current rung indefinitely. When looking to make lateral moves you’ll want to be sure it makes sense. Without careful planning side-moves can easily devolve into a hapless merry-go-round. You’ll want to plot your career plan to ensure that each move is truly moving you closer to your ultimate goal.

Try envisioning your next “up” move then reverse-engineering the qualifications you’d need to make that a reality. Are you lacking hands-on operational experience to get to that next step? Do you have all the working knowledge of a relevant piece of technology? As you look at the skills required for your next-step and compare them to what you currently have it will be far easier to see the gaps that a lateral move can fill.

In order to obtain some of the skills you’re looking for you may want to look at strategic volunteering. While it can be difficult to find the time for volunteer projects during your full-time career responsibilities, volunteering is a great way to rapidly expand your network of influencers and to pick up any business skills you need. Your final goal is to transition to an assignment that continues to build your business skills once your credibility has been established.

The Shifting Definition Of Success: As Values Change, Shouldn’t Your Goals?

March 12th, 2014 - By Kara Stevens
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I have been to many a women’s conference where a central hot topic has been charging attendees with the task of defining success on their own terms. The logic goes as follows: once a woman identifies her own measures of success, she will live in accordance with them, and essentially have a happier, more fulfilled life.

I was at an event this weekend and had the pleasure of grappling with the concept—the act of defining success. I grappled with the concept because I was confused.

To be clear, I was not cognitively confused by the call to action. As women, we have to figure out what our values are, what our interests are, what our passions are, and then move in the direction of one, if not all of them.

Rather, I was confused by the rationale and validity of the exercise. I mean, how could I definitively know what success may mean for me five or 10 years in the future based on what I value now? Wouldn’t I be a different person?

At the conference, I stood behind a woman who appeared to be in her 40s who openly told me that she was voluntarily unemployed because she had yet to figure out what she wanted out of life. But I wondered if she were being fair to herself. Maybe she had outgrown her former measures of success and was in the process of identifying her new ones That is how measures of success roll. They evolve, predicated and are informed by experience.

In my 20s, I wanted to explore the world. So I did. My measure of success focused on getting as many stamps as I could on my passport.

When I got tired of travel and exploration, my measure of success became money and career. Period. I worked as a teacher and any other position that would bring me money to pay off debt, to buy stuff, and to prepare for my retirement. Money and career have been my measures of success for a while now, but I already feel my definition of success shifting.

Kara’s “Era of the Hustle” is coming to an end.

I am not the first to jump at opportunities to work overtime on the weekends anymore. Instead, I want more free time to pursue my personal interests, my entrepreneurial goals, and deepen my relationships with my family, current friends, and friends yet-to-be made.

And so goes the cycle.

I left the conference a little early. I had a chance to sit in a sushi spot, read, eat and people watch. After a little while, I spotted that same forty-something woman walking by with a companion engrossed in some type of conversation. It looked pretty deep. As she passed by, I wondered if any of those discussions helped her realize that she did not need a definite answer to that question. The meanings of success come and go and most definitely have expiration dates.

Kara is a life coach, motivational speaker, author, and founder of The Frugal Feminista, an online home created to inspire and inform women of color about financial empowerment, girl power, and “juicy” living. Connect with Kara @frugalfeminista. Learn more about The Frugal Feminista at

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Making The Climb To The Top

February 11th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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There are certain things successful people have in common. They stick to certain principles, mix in discipline and consistency and ultimately find themselves exactly where they want to be. It’s never a surprise that they have reached a level of success because every day they are aware of the hard work and focus that precipitated their meteoric rise to the top.

Let these tips become the principles with which you mix discipline and consistency. Be sure and wave to the “little people” as you go by.

Take Initiative.  Be more involved in any difficulty your colleague or boss encounters. Let them know you are willing to take on extra (yet reasonable) work in order to help. Keep in mind that a leader is someone eager to go above and beyond his or her domain and help others when they need it. Stand out by showing that you not only work for the company but that you belong with the company. Taking initiative shows you are there to work in the company’s best interest.

Always be prepared. Are there training modules or a presentation you need to have ready for staff meetings? You want to be sure that any presentations or materials you create indicate the time and energy you put into it. A good presentation helps you stay focused on your agenda and shows your boss that you’re serious, not to mention knowledgeable, about the information.

Be responsible. Your boss is looking for responsible employees. Take care of not just the responsibilities assigned to you, but also those that you take on yourself. If you find yourself struggling with a certain task, be the person who stands up and admits the issue. More important than a synthetically perfect employee is one willing to bear the consequences of shouldering his or her responsibilities.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: How Persistent Are You?

January 30th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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It is a long-held belief that persistence is a key factor in making any dream a reality. And the basis of persistence is willpower.

Many people are ready to throw their dreams in the garbage at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. Being able to carry on despite opposition, from even your nearest and dearest, is what usually separates the 95 percent from the 5 percent.

The first question is: How much do you want it, really? Weak desire will naturally bring about weak results. Once you’re sure you’ve set your sights on what you truly want, you’re next step will be snapping out of mental inertia. Start by moving slowly, setting small goals that are easily achievable. Then increase your speed and the size of your goals until you’ve gained complete control over a habit of persistence.

Remember, no matter how many times you are knocked down, what counts is finally arriving at the goal or dream you’d set out to attain in the first place. Once there, no one asks how many times you fell. Instead the only words are, “Congratulations, you made it!”