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Showing posts from August, 2018

The One Essential Trait You Need for Success

Success can be defined in any number of ways. There’s success at work, school, in your personal relationships, and many others. It can be measured in a multitude of ways as well. Perhaps you make a lot of money compared to your friends, maybe you simply have a lot of friends. Either way, most of us look up to or envy others who have achieved “success” in their various endeavors. So what sets those successful people apart from the norm? Just one thing according to Angela Lee Duckworth, a noted psychologist. Grit . Watch  Angela Lee Duckworth’s   TED Talk  on the subject of grit below and formulate your own opinions on how gritty people achieve success. What is grit? Grit is a trait formed of passion and perseverance. It doesn’t have anything to do with innate talent, high IQ, or anything else we are led to believe from a young age. Anyone, no matter their background, can have grit. Grit is just one way to describe the attribute. Others call it toughness, stamina, or

Being a Career Woman with Chronic IBS

Intestinal disorders often go hand-in-hand with hard-working women in the workforce. Perhaps it’s constantly dealing with chronic, personal pain that teaches us how to persevere when times are tough. Or perhaps it’s that many of us internalize our stress until it manifests physically. Either way, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) , an umbrella term I’ll be using to describe chronic intestinal issues, shouldn’t be holding you back in the workplace. This is, of course, easier said than done. But it is possible with the right strategies in place. I’ve had some manner of undiagnosed IBS since I was a teenager, more than a decade now. It’s taken me the better part of 7 years to come to terms with it and accept that I may never know what exactly is wrong with me. Through the journey of pain, isolation, and confusion, I’ve learned two very important lessons. I should always trust myself -and- I am unstoppable. Doctors have told me everything from “you’re perfectly he

Grow Your Professional Network with These Foolproof Strategies

Professional networking is an art which many of us have failed to master. A professional network is a group of peers who work or participate in a community you’re involved with. Networks can be very broad or narrow in reach. If you work in the financial industry, you might consider your professional network to only be made up of only individuals who work, or have worked, in the financial sector. A broader professional network can consist of almost anyone in any type of community, however. It can comprise old professors, family members of friends, people from your extracurricular activities, even the aspiring author who lives next door. Networking, or the act of making new professional connections, is commonly seen to be of vital importance for career development. There are many benefits of networking including finding a support structure, learning about new opportunities, and making your personal brand more visible. Check out Career Addict’s post on 10 Important Benefits of Netwo

Don’t Get Stereotyped as an “Entitled Millennial” at Work

Millennials get stereotyped as entitled by older generations all the time. This is especially true in the workplace, where boomers and millennials interact on a daily basis. This, of course, isn’t true of all boomers or older workers, but there is a growing sense that millennials are “snowflakes” and cannot be trusted to do the hard work needed to succeed. Many believe millennials feel owed great salaries, lots of vacation and benefits, simply for graduating college. There are entitled millennials out there, but getting thrust in their shadow isn’t fair for millennials who are putting in the effort. But they promised us jobs if we went to college!? “Four-in-ten Millennial workers ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data.” ( Pew Research Center ) Affluent parents of millennials are likely to have told their children that they need to go to college to get a good job. Some even told the

3 Common Mistakes of Group Project Leaders

Being a successful leader of a group project takes forethought and effort . You are likely to make many mistakes at the beginning of your tenure as a project leader, but knowing some common pitfalls beforehand can help you to avoid leading your team down an unsuccessful path. Whether you’re deciding to take on the mantle of leader of your own free will, or because it’s your job, these common mistakes should be avoided at all costs. They don’t make a plan Planning and organization are the hallmarks of a successful leader. Others on the team may have specialized expertise and know how to execute on their tasks with precision, but it’s the leader’s job to get everyone moving in the right direction and help them stay on course. Before bringing your group together for an initial planning session, you must have a preliminary plan outlined. Coming to the meeting with suggestions will help get the meeting moving and avoid wasted time. Once your meeting is convened, you can w

3 Lessons from the Corporate Grind

The corporate grind is something that I know all too well. During my first 5 years after college, I worked at a large, old-fashioned corporation with traditional methodologies and regular people. While I wouldn’t have called it fun, I learned many important lessons about surviving in a corporate environment. Here are some of the fundamentals that I will carry with me into all my future endeavors. Don’t be ruled by others’ expectations Expectations and assumptions are powerful and dangerous things. In personal relationships, expectations can cause miscommunication and disappointment. At work, expectations can box you into others’ ideas of who you are. Being a proud, type A individual, I am a chronic over-achiever. This is both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. It helps me accomplish lots of tasks, and procrastination hasn’t been a companion for me. However, it can allow others to make assumptions about how I will operate. Many of us have found ourselves on a grou

When You’re the Only Woman in the Meeting

Being a woman in corporate America is getting easier, but in many places, it’s still a boys club. Simply being a boys club doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a toxic environment for women. In some places, it just means that the ratio of men to women is off-kilter (but that’s a separate issue). For many of us millennials in more progressive work environments, we don’t think about gender imbalances every day. We generally are given respect, especially by other millennial men. That’s why hosting a meeting comprised entirely of men threw me for a loop. Let’s set the stage. I was sent a meeting request to attend a multi-team training session. Upon showing up at the large conference room, I realized that I was not only the intended trainer but also that I was the only woman in attendance. Luckily, I have a great deal of experience giving trainings to employees from different departments and levels of the hierarchy. However, the atmosphere was different than how I was accustomed.

How to Cope with “Career Failure”

“Career failure” is a loosely defined term. It could mean something different for all of us. Maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end job, maybe you were fired, or maybe you were passed over for a promotion. If you’ve ever felt that you aren’t where you thought you would be in your career, you’re not alone. Did you know that “30% (of Americans) view the work they do as “just a job to get them by ,” rather than a career or a steppingstone to a career.” ( Pew Research Center ) Getting to your end goal is hard, and there are bound to be road-blocks along the way. For me, I hit my lowest point when I realized that the “career” I had been working towards wasn’t for me. I felt that I had wasted my time developing skills I wouldn’t use, and should be further ahead. Things have turned around for me in a surprising way, but hindsight is 20/20. It isn’t very comforting to be told that “things will work out in the end” though. So here are some ways to cope with feelings of “career failure.”

An Introvert's Guide to Work Parties - 3 Tried and Tested Techniques

Introverts almost universally dread work parties. They’re loud, there are bound to be lots of new people to meet, and you’re socially required to bring your chit-chat a-game. Being an introvert doesn’t mean that you don’t like people, quite the contrary. It means that social situations drain your energy levels and you would prefer to recharge alone at home. After a long week at work, many introverts dread the idea of heading back into the office specifically for the purpose of socializing. However, it’s a well know fact that attending social events for work can have a direct correlation with career opportunities (Here’s an article on Why You Should Attend Your Office Holiday Party ). The key thing to remember is that work parties, even if they aren’t technically mandatory, are still business functions. If you treat them the same way you would treat a meeting, your outlook on them is likely to change. Here are 3 tried and tested techniques for making work parties more bearab

The Benefits of Earning an Online Degree Versus On-Campus

Online degrees have an unwarranted stigma against them. From my perspective, it’s a fear of the unknown combined with the romanticized idea of a college campus that makes people feel that online degrees are somehow “lesser than.” That, and because we are naturally inclined to believe that more expensive things are intrinsically better, even without proof (See The Psychology of Why We Prefer Expensive Things ). I’ve experienced both campus life and online life, and I’m here to tell you why an online MBA course is working better for me than my traditional undergrad program. Set your own schedule – To complete online courses, you don’t have to put your life on pause. Whatever that may be, a career, volunteer work, parenthood, or friendships, an online program works around your schedule. Classes can be taken one at a time or several at once, and there are no predetermined hours you must be in class. This means that morning people can do their classwork at the crack of dawn and ni