All Articles Tagged "work"

Are You In The Right Profession? Signs That You’re Actually The Creative Type

May 24th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

We are all likely to fall into a rut when we feel that our 9-to-5 jobs aren’t particularly fulfilling. But for the creative types, the unhappiness that comes with having to report to an office every morning can be overwhelming. Some of us are well-suited for the everyday business-like atmosphere, the afternoon meetings, and being a contributing member of a team. However, climbing the corporate ladder just isn’t for everyone.

If you’ve always had a feeling that you belong somewhere other than behind a desk, you could be working with more than just a feeling. Certain people are simply creative types. And for creative people, that novel, clothing line, photography or marketing idea isn’t just a pipe dream. The key to a happy professional life could be in embracing what your real interests are and going after them.

If you’re looking for a sign that it’s time to flex your artistic muscles full time, these might be just the hints you need.

Do You Cover Your True Self At Work?

May 22nd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Photo Credit: Corbis

Photo Credit: Corbis

Sometimes the image we project at work of ourselves aren’t always true. Literally, it’s like abandoning one part of yourself when you clock in and picking it back up after you’ve fulfilled your shift. And the crazy thing is that many of us are guilty of this without even noticing it.

In a recent Girl Chat segment on The Real, the ladies got serious and answered some questions regarding this topic. Apparently, a managing principal of Deloitte and a New York University law professor surveyed 3,100 employees and found that most people don’t feel comfortable being their authentic self at work.

Jeannie divulged that she’s probably the least professional at times and in certain situations. “I like to have fun, you know what I mean,” she said, reminiscing on their recent trip to the White House. “But I feel very grateful that I’m at a job where I can be my real self.” Lonnie, on the other hand, was pretty black and white with the fact that there’s a time and place for everything. She used language as an example, which we can all agree shouldn’t be taken lightly.

INC.com also wrote an article on “Why You Need to Be Your Real Self at Work,” where David A. McKnight, an image consultant and author of The Zen of Executive Presence, shared the importance of bringing your whole self in business situations. While most of his focus is clothing and visual style, there’s still a lesson to be learned. One of his points that caught my eye was that ” You’ll be more successful” and “happier.” True! 

“People who bring their authentic selves to work are not only happier, they’re much more productive. It’s easy to see why. I can tell you from experience that it’s very, very exhausting to pretend to be what you think others expect. That explains why he’s often seen careers take off when people become more authentic in the workplace. “People really shine when they are being themselves,” he says.

McKnight recalls working with an investment banker who was an artist in her off hours. She’d spent her career projecting a very buttoned-down image, in keeping with that traditional and male-dominated industry. McKnight worked with her to let a little of her artistic side show through. It was a huge boost to her sense of wellbeing in the workplace. “She felt so self-confident,” he says. “She told me she felt like a different person.”

Personally, I’ve gone through this same situation and many of my friends, too. Being recent graduates, there’s a lot of odd and random jobs you pick up just to make ends meet and keep a roof over your head. While they might have nothing to do with what you love or enjoy or even went to school for, it keeps the lights on and that seems to be all that matters. Sometimes That’s what you think until you’re going home mad everyday, which many times can lead to depression or constantly feeling down. So, at the end of the day, the cost is a lot bigger than the reward in the long run.

What do you think?

Alternatives To Coffee To Drink During The Workday For More Energy And Less Stress

May 2nd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Did you know that most of us will spend over $1,000 on Starbucks before this year is over? Most of us are looking for a little pick-me-up when it comes to facing a long day at work. And while coffee is one of the most popular drinks in America when it comes to increasing energy, it isn’t the only beverage it pays to drink at work.

Coffee may give you a caffeine boost, but that’s not all most of us need to get through a day at our desks. Whether you need to stay calm while dealing with an influx of assignments at work, build up your energy (without compromising your sleep at night), or do what you can to keep from snapping at your co-workers, there are lots of drinks that are perfect for a long day at work. And no worries, they don’t require a coffee pot or coffee cup to make.

Hustle Hard: 10 Best Side Hustles For A Busy Mama

April 20th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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We all have those moments where we wish we could make a little extra funds without an added headache. We are no longer in the days where having a side retail job is a great go-to choice and would much rather make the extra funds while still being able to attend to a growing toddler or (disappearing) teen.

Many lists include offering tour guide services, renting your vehicle out, dog walking or personal shopping – all of these possibilities are great, but not necessarily for a busy mama. We researched tons of opportunities and judged them based on ease, commitment, growth ability… and fun. A few take more hustle and dedication than others, but we believe you’ll be happy while doing them (time to decorate?) and others are a breeze (clean out that closet!).

In today’s unstable economy, it is always a good idea to have more than one income and why just do it for the cash? Many options on this list may lead you to find your passions and a new career choice altogether. Gte out a pen and paper to brainstorm and figure out which of these side hustles for a busy mama work for you. Let’s get to the hustle!


Finding A Work-Life Balance When You Work From Home

April 13th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Corbis

Corbis

When I had a regular 9-to-5 job that I went to every day, Monday through Friday, I would often say, “I can’t wait until I can just wake up and write and nothing else.” I couldn’t wait for those work-from-home days where I could just sit in my PJs and write or get dressed up just to sit in a cafe and type like one of those hipster kids. I couldn’t wait until I could say I had clients who hired me for digital branding. I thought it was going to be sunny afternoons, outfit-of-the-day posts, and being free as a bird in the spring and summer. I figured to work from home was going to be easy and relaxing. But I didn’t anticipate becoming a couch potato, nor was I prepared for the constant cabin fever outbreaks. 

I wasn’t prepared for the endless…or what felt like endless days since my schedule was completely flexible, and I wasn’t prepared to lose days of the week since Mondays felt like Tuesdays and Tuesdays felt like Fridays, and Fridays felt like Wednesdays. You get the point. Don’t get me wrong, working from home has its perks. That is until you find yourself calling upon the Justice League to help you fight the laziness that’s holding you captive in bed. 

It’s easy to lose motivation, to get distracted, to not feel like doing anything at any given moment, and to find yourself on the brink of insanity within the walls of your home after feeling like your work has kept you indoors and captive too long. Finding a work-life balance is difficult when you work from home, but the more I do it, the more I get the hang of it.  

I discovered that working from home was most unproductive for me when done in my bedroom. Probably because a bedroom is a place associated with rest, and I always found myself sprawled out on my bed lounging and aimlessly surfing the web more than I was productive. So I went out and got a little table, a nice accent chair and decorated a charming space with colors and art to keep me motivated and away from my bed. It also gives me something to look forward to. Because in my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be…

Of course, Brandy sang it better. But as for spaces, I would suggest turning a section of your dining room or kitchen into a workstation.

And if you didn’t have a 9-5 schedule at an office job and you were told to work around the clock, would you? No? So why do it at home? Even though you’re working from home and can do so whenever you please, as long as deadlines are being met, that doesn’t mean you should work all day. Keep a work mindset, create a routine and set a specific amount of time aside for work just like you would at a regular office job, including lunch and bathroom breaks. When the work day is over, the work day is over. So the night before my shifts, I started setting my alarm clock to wake up like I would if I were going to a regular job. I eat lunch at 12 in the afternoon and my work day is over at 5:30 at the latest.

Working from home can be extremely overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be with the proper organization and time management skills. In fact, it can be both very convenient and fun. If you make it that way. 

Deskercise: How To Tighten Up For Spring Without Getting Up

April 7th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

It’s that time of year again. When we all look out of our office windows, see no snow and realize spring is coming! Cuffing season is over, and your favorite skirt is ready to come out of that plastic storage bag. But you’ve done nothing to prepare. Netflix and Chill may be good for the spirit (and your sex life), but all of that ordering in wasn’t too kind to your behind.

It’s time to break out the desk exercises. When you don’t have the time (or inclination) to sweat your hair out at the gym several nights a week, it’s time to multi-task. These mini-workouts can squeeze your toning exercises in over the course of an 8-hour day (during sporadic breaks) instead of trying to cram everything in at the gym.

The key is consistency. Keep it up every day and you’ll be ready to show off your progress by summer.

Moving On Up! How To Make Your First Office Functionally Stylish

March 23rd, 2016 - By M A
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Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

You worked, worked, worked, worked, worked and finally have made your way into your own personal office at work. Kudos! That’s no easy feat. And while we’re sure that you’ll have plenty on your plate to deal with, don’t forget about making your work space, well, your own. Being surrounded by an office environment that makes you feel happy and confident will make a world of difference when times get tough on the work front. Let us guide you through some simple tips and advice to making your office that much more stylish and fun.

Size It Up

First and foremost when you are looking to spruce up your work space, it’s important that you take a hard look at your real estate. Offices come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to plot out how much room you have for furniture, seating, wall accents, etc. The last thing you want to do is buy everything under the sun at Crate and Barrel, only to realize mid move-in that you really only have room for about half the stuff you purchased. So be strategic and plan it out. Hey, even go so far as to sketch it or Powerpoint proposal it out to be sure you’ve got a good game plan going.

Times It Sucks To Be The Only Black Person At Work

March 10th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Sometimes, depending on your field and where you work (or the gentrification status of your neighborhood), you find yourself being one of the only black people at your place of employment. And while you try to roll with the punches, it can get uncomfortable. Especially if you end up being a guinea pig of sorts for all the White people you work with who don’t usually fraternize with Black folks.

Most of your co-workers mean well. They’ve just always wanted to touch a Black person’s hair, haven’t figured out what types of statements are racist, or just really don’t know what to do around a co-worker of another race or background. In the end, it’s mostly all good–except for these awkward moments that every person who’s ever been one of the only black people at their job is sure to identify with.

Did we miss any of your least-favorite moments? Let us know in the comment section!

When He’s Mean-Mugging Your Real Husband: Signs You’re Too Close To Your Work Husband

December 2nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Twitter

Image Source: Twitter

Co-workers are meant to get along, but are you and your work husband too close? Here are a few signs that your playful work relationship might be threatening your real one.

What To Do When You’ve Outgrown Your Job

November 13th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Sheyda Irani, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at a home health agency based in St. Louis, MO, was getting restless on her job. She had been in her position for six years and felt she’d outgrown her current role, but wasn’t sure what to do.

It’s a familiar point many people reach in their careers. Maybe you’ve learned all you can at your job or you finish your tasks in half the time and find the work unchallenging and feel underutilized. Perhaps you’re also unsure of your future with the company. Having hit a wall, you may start to question your career choices. You drag yourself into the office everyday, unenthusiastic and uninterested. Once at your desk, you constantly watch the clock, counting every minute before you can go home. In short, you’re unhappy professionally.

Your body will also tell when you’re no longer compatible with your job. “The body has a way of communicating what’s really going on even when the rest of you isn’t ready to see it yet,” Idealist Career reported. “Notice when your body feels out of balance. Look for headaches, back or muscle aches, changes in appetite or sleep pattern as signals that you’re out of balance. View these signals in combination with the other nine signs and try to be honest with yourself. At this point you should ask yourself a few questions: “Do I just need a getaway weekend or would I be happier with a new job or new position?”

If you want to stay with your firm, have a chat with your higher up. “If you aren’t satisfied with your role, but like your company, talk to your manager. Career coach Lori Scherwin, founder of Strategize That, suggested. Chances are, if you have aced your current role, you’re a strong performer. Go into that conversation with suggestions, not complaints — recommend a new project you’d like to take on, or where else you think you can add value on the team.”

That’s exactly what Irani decided to do. “Make a long story short, I finally obtained the confidence stemmed from desperation to have a conversation with administration. In the meeting I requested to move up within the company because I needed more responsibility. I reminded them of my loyalty of six years and conveyed my personal strengths and assets to the company. I was responsible for completing 6-month assessments for all clients receiving in-home health care through the Medicaid program. I asked for more responsibilities and requested the Quality Assurance (QA) position.

“Prior to the meeting I had done extensive research on the position, compiled a new resume to reflect my qualifications for the QA position. I even created a training module for a department within the company on the assessment process. I was confident I would walk away as the QA officer for the largest Home Health agency in St.Louis, MO. However, I was informed that my position would change to a field nurse working with a disabled child in the home. That transfer went into effect on 11-2-15. I was told to have my desk cleared for the new office nurse on 10-30-15.”

The end result, however, wasn’t what Irani predicted. “I had been given a choice to resign or be demoted. ‘Hmmm? What? Huh? I guess that meeting didn’t go so well,’ I thought. This demotion was only in rank and responsibility because I received a $1 per hour raise.”

When making the move to talk to your boss, you have to be prepared for every outcome.  You boss could think you are angling for a major raise and decide to fire you or, as in Irani’s case, demote you. So have a solid plan before arranging the meeting. It’s all in your approach; show you don’t just want to make changes for yourself but in order to better serve the company. “I recommend for anyone who no longer finds their position challenging to seek ways to add value to the organization,” said executive career coach Ann-Marie Ditta. “Volunteer for a special project that would allow you to stretch yourself. Present solutions to problems your company is facing. Seek the assistance of a mentor inside the organization. Ask what you could do differently to be of greater value.”

Fortunately for Irani she decided to look at the outcome as positive. “At first I was disappointed with administration and felt betrayed. But the change has been a blessing. It’s given me more time to fulfill my purpose, which is writing. Also that saying, ‘Work smarter, not harder.’ I finally know what that means and I completely agree. So next time you want to add more responsibility to your work belt make sure you have a plan B, just in case. Not everyone understands the individual that needs to be challenged mentally.”

If you think you can white knuckle it and stay in a job that is unsatisfactory, know that you might experience negative side effects,” Scherwin cautioned. “The negatives of staying in a role you’ve outgrown include stagnating and leaving yourself vulnerable with change. If you aren’t expanding your skill set or actively thinking, you risk being more replaceable over time. Also, if you are unhappy at work, it’s very likely to have trickle effect across other areas of your life.”

If you fail to get satisfaction on the job and don’t see any improvement, it may be time to move on.