Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at
This week I had to take a long hard look in the mirror. Without realizing it, I had grown so resentful of someone whom I once called a friend, that I couldn’t be in this person’s company or see pictures of them on my newsfeed without the bitter ooze of hatred burning in the depths of my soul. Somehow, in the midst of the harsh realities of a relationship gone bad, I had grown so angry that I couldn’t bear to see the happiness of a person who had caused me such relentless, seemingly unnecessary pain.
It had happened so slowly over time that I found myself suddenly surprised by what my feelings for this person had become. I was also taken aback by what I had become in the process – someone I didn’t know or like very much to be honest. Suddenly I understood the truth in Shannon Adler’s statement, “Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others-- it only changes yours.”
It became clear to me that I had to do something about the bitterness in my heart because I couldn’t allow it to keep growing. And as this is a place where I share the lessons I have often learned the hard way, I thought my (very humbling) epiphany worth sharing with those of you who also find yourself living through the aftermath of a hurtful relationship.
Here are five things to remember when trying to overcome resentment: Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at
Last week I wrote a post to inspire you to be kind and to show unconditional love to those around you. The response I received on social media was overwhelming, and a beautiful discussion unfolded on LinkedIn as professional women from all over the country shared incredible stories about the kindness of others. From strangers providing shelter after tragedy, to mere acquintances staying by hospital beds and offering financial assistance, the stories were so heartfelt and meaningful that the conversation has lingered with me all week.
What struck me most is that the stories were often of unsung heroes who had no idea that their random acts of kindness would have such a lasting impact on these women’s lives. Though there were no medals and sometimes even no contact past the moment shared, the impact rippled through their lives in unimaginable ways – like real life examples of the movie, “Pay It Forward.”
We know kindness is powerful, especially at times when others are down and out, or when they seemingly least deserve it. The world would be a wonderful place if we were all kind to each other all of the time. Sadly, we know that this is not the case, and that unkindness can be equally powerful and have lasting impact. For instance, there’s been a lot of news coverage about workplace bullying lately, which includes acts like repeated and unwarranted criticism, unjustified blame, disparate treatment, verbal assault, exclusion or social isolation, and purposeful humiliation. Such acts are incredibly cruel, and they would most certainly chip away at even the strongest optimist. Who wouldn’t eventually start to wonder what they do wrong to deserve such treatment? Read the rest of this entry
Friday, September 14th, 2012 at
This week in reality TV land, millions of viewers watched as a relentlessly ambitious and seemingly heartless twenty-something from Texas became X-Factors’ newest villain. It was painful to see other contestants falling prey to Kaci Newton and her sister Kaylee’s shameless gossiping and mean-girling. Eager to pursue her passion for music on a national platform, Kaci pushed others aside and belittled them in an effort to assert her own worth.
This video gives you a sneak peak into some of the events that transpired, though it doesn’t capture the drama in full. Seemingly sweet in front of the judges, Kaci spat out venom behind the scenes and failed to win favor with the judges or America. Kaci’s actions were so distasteful that even Simon Cowell – one of America’s most controversial talent judges – called her a “vile monster.” Now if you’ve ever watched Simon Cowell in his prime on shows like American Idol, you’ll know that comment says a lot coming from him.
Like Kaci, we can all get wrapped up in ourselves sometimes. Eager to chase our fires, we forget that we need people in our corner along the journey. No (wo)man is an island. Ambition and a desire to be successful can be wonderful things, but no-one likes someone who is self-absorbed, dismissive, or publicly critical of others. In Kaci’s case, America responded by booing, laughing at her expense, and eventually kicking her off the X-Factor ‘island’ that she so fiercely staked claim to.
Though most of us will likely never face the public ridicule that has ensued for Kaci, stepping on people to get to the top still has major consequences. Not only can it severely damage our social standing, reputation, and careers, but it can also lead to lasting pain for others.
Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at
If active networking is not part of your current job search strategy, it really, really, should be. Today’s economy has left countless job seekers eager for employment opportunities, and employers often experience an overwhelming response to position postings. With so many strong candidates waiting in line, many employers find it easier to fill job openings directly instead of advertising on job boards or with placement agencies. The result? CNN has estimated that 80% of jobs are never advertised and instead filled through networking and employee referrals!
I hope that statistic made you wonder how many job opportunities you’ve inadvertently missed out on. Never ever underestimate the power of your connections during your job search. Networking opportunities exist all around you – not just at professional conferences or business meetings. You never know who might be sitting next to you on the train, or who might share an elevator with you during your lunch break. Show a sincere interest in those around you, as that might just be the seed needed to start growing a mutually beneficial networking relationship.
It might not come naturally to everyone to strike up conversations with near strangers. Just like riding a bike, practice will make perfect. You might choose to start building your networking skills with everyday people who are not intimidating, and then work your way up to professional networking events with higher level executives. You might find this recent Forbes article helpful for finding non-awkward ways to network with others in everyday situations. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, April 27th, 2012 at
As a new hire, your days may feel like you’re putting out one fire after another, barely making it through the day without third degree burns. Not only are you learning about your new role, your colleagues, your company, and office politics, you are also trying very hard to seem like you know what you’re doing – at least most of the time. Despite the biggest and most sincere can-do attitude, there may be days that just zap your energy, leaving you feeling low, grouchy, exhausted, or even physically ill.
Off days are just a part of being human, so refrain from punishing yourself for not being able to always bring your A game in the way that you’d hoped. I heard this analogy recently that seemed very appropriate. Imagine you’re carrying bags of groceries from your vehicle into your house, not realizing that the bags have holes in them. As you’re walking along, you’re merrily leaving a trail of items behind unknowingly. When you reach your pantry, ready to unpack your bags, you can’t help but wonder, “Didn’t I have more than this?”
Both at work and at home, you’re constantly giving parts of yourself away. You share your energy, drive, excitement, emotions, stamina, and even your patience. I don’t need to tell you that you can’t keep giving away what you don’t have, and can’t spend energy that you’ve already spent. You owe it to yourself (and arguably also those around you, including your boss) to reinvigorate yourself so that you can be your best self. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, April 9th, 2012 at
Today’s competitive market forces many job seekers to pursue positions outside of the field that they are most qualified for. If you find yourself in this situation, the good news is that you likely possess transferable skills that are marketable across industries. For instance, Research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently revealed that above all else, “employers are looking for team players and candidates who have strong verbal communication skills.” Other transferable skills and characteristics most sought after by employers include:
- Team focus
- Strong verbal communication
- Decision-making and problem solving
- Obtaining and processing information
- Planning, organizing, and prioritizing work
- Analyze quantitative data
- Possessing technical knowledge
- Being computer proficient
- Creating and/or editing written reports
- Selling or influencing others
If you are hoping to break into a new industry, or even just want your application to stand out from the crowd, it is therefore essential that you carefully incorporate these and other transferable skills into your resume and cover letter. Transferable skills can be categorized into five broad areas: 1) Communication skills, 2) Research and Planning, 3) Interpersonal skills, 4) Organization, Management and Leadership, and 5) Work Survival Skills. Read the rest of this entry