We're on a fourth episode of the Stress-Less Career Show and I'm super super excited to be back with you for this month’s topic. It's the beginning of February and we are going to focus in on your personal brand, how your personal brand plays into your career and why it is important. Today, we're going to start with something that I believe personally is the foundation of your personal brand and that is your core values as a person, as an employee - and if you own a business - your core values for your business as well…
Welcome to the third episode of the Stress-Less Career Show. I'm super super excited that we made it to episode number three! If you haven't seen the last two episodes, I highly encourage you to go back and watch them. Our first week we talked about intention. The second week we talked last week we talked about your purpose versus your calling. Today, we're going to be talking about the importance of planning. I'm sure you have heard this saying time and time again: if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Now that January is over, I cannot stress enough that…
Welcome to the second episode of my brand new show, The Stress-Less Career show. Each week, I will be talking about career, how do we manage stress in our career, and how do we be more strategic about it. So tune in or keep reading below for this week’s dose of The Stress-Less Career Show! This month, we have been talking all about purposeful planning. Last week, we focused on setting intentions in your career and why it is so important when you start planning for your year and beyond. This week’s episode is also related to that big picture view we…
I hope you guys are as excited as I am today! I have just released the very first Episode of The Stress-Less Career Show and I am so glad it is finally here. I teased last week that this first month of the year, my brand new show about being your best self in your career would begin by discussing planning so that we can all start 2019 feeling confident and excited about what this new year has in store for us. So we are kicking off The Stress-Less Career Show by talking about the first step in planning: setting intentions.
Happy New Year! I am super excited because we have finally said Bye Felicia to 2018 and 2019 is here and happening. However, that is not the only reason why I am excited. If you have followed me over the years, you have seen me evolve from a budding YouTuber to a business owner. I’ve gone through so many changes, but the one thing that has stayed consistent is…
I found myself at the gym this past week and I noticed something there that I think is so important for all of us out there who are looking to be more successful in our lives and careers. I usually go to the gym early in the morning and see tons of people working out. Typically, my gym is pretty packed at all times, so I’m used to walking into a pretty busy gym each morning. This time, however, my gym was a ghost town. I had noticed that I had been seeing almost no one at the gym for several days and so when I walked in and saw no one in the gym that morning, I had a realization about what makes successful people so successful.
What are the things that can set us apart as successful people and business owners? What makes some people more successful in relationships? What can we do to be that successful in our lives? Well, what I realized in the gym that morning is actually very simple. My gym has become a ghost town recently because it is the holiday season and this is the time of year when so many of us just kind of give up on our goals. We stop going to the gym, throw out our healthy meals and unbutton our pants to eat all of the holiday food we want. We push all of our professional goals out of our mind, let them fall to the side and tell ourselves that we’ll come back to them in the new year. It’s the holidays, I get it, but here’s the thing. Now is the perfect time to get ahead of the competition.
You have a unique opportunity at this time of the year when everyone else is slowing down to ramp it into high gear and do the best you can to beat out everyone else who is taking a break. If you are searching for a new job and haven’t looked at your resume and cover letter in a while, now is the time to sit down and update them. If you want to start your own business and get out of cubicle land, now is the time to start developing a clear plan.
This is the time to start doing the things that everyone else is giving up on for the next few weeks like going to the gym. No one is going to the gym right now. You can spend as long as you want on any machine without worrying about anyone else and have a much better time working out than you will next month when everyone is trying to work on their fitness New Year’s resolutions. The same is true for all of your professional goals. Now is the time to start preparing behind the scenes. Apply for open jobs if you can or get to know your cover letter and resume inside and out. Do whatever you can to work towards those career goals so that when everyone else comes back to the grind in January, you are already ahead of the game.
A lot of people spend December completely in vacation mode and that is important. We all need to take a break and recover when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. However, there is a reason why I was able to quit my job and work full time for myself. When everyone else is chilling out, I am still working hard to set myself up for the next year. I know that so many of you reading this right now have been dreaming of making a real and positive impact in the world. Taking this time off your 9 to 5 job will push you ahead of the game so that you can start your dream business or career and make a true difference in the world. If you want to set yourself apart from everyone else and be more successful, be the person that speeds up instead of slows down this holiday season.
If you need help starting 2019 off on the right foot, sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me here. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going, what’s getting in the way and start developing a clear path towards work you love!
The weather is cold, the stores are packed and the sleigh bells are ringing. Yep, it is definitely the holiday season! This time of year can be filled with good tidings and cheer, but it can also bring a huge heaping pile of stress in our lives. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you an analogy that will help you understand just why you may find yourself feeling like a bit of a scrooge this time of year.
For this analogy, I want you to go back to your school days in your mind. Think back to middle school or high school when you would have to buy lunch from the cafeteria. You would walk in line, grab a tray and start piling on all the different things you wanted to have for lunch. Then, you would carefully carry it over to a table to eat everything. I want you to remember that feeling of balancing your lunch tray because that is what we are doing every day with all the different parts of our lives - especially during the holidays.
Think about everything you have on your tray right now. Usually, you have a plate full of work responsibilities on one side and another plate for family obligations. With the holidays upon us however, you might find an extra side dish of holiday preparations on one side of your tray. Maybe your work plate is beginning to overflow as your boss adds on a scoop of tasks that need to get done before the end of the year. Maybe your family plate is the one that is filling up as relatives from all over fly in to celebrate the holidays. Add another side dish here for friends and another for office parties and before you know it, things are just about to spill off your tray and into a messy pile on the ground.
When we let those work obligations or family responsibilities on our tray fill up too much, our tray starts to feel heavy or lopsided. We get so overwhelmed by all of the plates we are carrying during the holidays that we spend all our energy on just getting everything done and we completely miss out on the holiday joy and spirit. The closest we come to feeling Christmas cheer is stress eating a holiday doughnut because that one relative we really don’t want to see insists on hosting the family get together this year. Now we are not only missing out on the holiday spirit, but we are also not taking care of ourselves and our personal goals.
So I encourage you to take a moment to look at what is on your tray right now. It can help to even draw out a visual of what your tray looks like. Take a piece of paper and draw a big rectangle on it. This is your tray. Now ask yourself, what is on your tray right now? What are you carrying emotionally and psychologically? A good starting point might be to draw a plate for work and a plate for family - your traditional work life balance. From there, start thinking about all of the extra side dishes you may have added on your tray and draw those. What is causing you stress right now? What is making your tray feel heavy and unbalanced?
Taking a look at what you are carrying on your tray in life will give you a clear indicator on what you can let go of and what you can shift around on your life for more balance. You can look at the tray you have drawn out and identify what things on your plates you can possibly put on someone else’s tray who has more space. Asking for help - especially during the holidays - is the best thing that you can do for yourself so that you can feel balanced and really approach the holidays with a positive and merry spirit. ‘Tis the season after all!
If you are having trouble figuring out how to manage your time, I want to help you learn how to create a plan that you can use to make sure you have time for yourself and your career goals. That is why I am doing my planning workshop, Quit Your Job: An Intensive Workshop for the Aspiring Entrepreneur, tomorrow at 6:30pm at United By Blue. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop an actionable 90 Day plan to help you achieve all the goals you have for starting a new business that supports you. Learn more and sign up by clicking this link. I hope to see you there!
Can you believe that 2018 has almost passed us by? Now that we have all had a happy Thanksgiving, we have officially entered holiday season and the last few weeks of the year before 2019. In the spirit of the holidays, I want to give you a little gift for your new year and tell you the number one reason so many of us just can’t seem to stick to our New Year's’ resolutions.
You know the story, you tell yourself that you’re going to lose 30 pounds this year which is a great goal. Then the year passes you by and those gym shoes you bought in January haven’t left your closet since February. Whatever the resolution was for you, we have all been there and you probably spend every December wondering why you weren’t able to follow through on the goals you set for yourself. Well, it turns out that the problem isn’t with the New Years’ resolution itself. The number one reason we do not follow through with our New Year's’ resolution actually has more to do with the reason we are trying to pursue the resolution to begin with.
We may tell ourselves that we want to lose 30 pounds this year because we want to be healthy, but the reality is for many of us, that is not really want we care about at the end of the day. What we really want is to be able to keep up with our friends on their Saturday morning hikes. Or maybe we want to feel confident when we go to the beach in a swimsuit. Quite frankly, we might just want to lose 30 pounds so we can go out and get laid. That is okay!
Many aspiring entrepreneurs go into the New Year wanting to start a company and they say they want to create this business for money or to help people. Those reasons might be a part of your motivation for starting this business, but there is more to it most of the time. Everyone needs money or wants to help people, but there is a bigger motivation that is really driving your decision to become an business owner. It may be that you want to buy your first house or you want the freedom to travel.
While you may feel that motivations like getting laid or wanting to buy a house appear selfish, the only way to stick to big resolutions is to really get in touch with why we really want the end result. When we know what that motivation is, we can find the drive to stick to our goals this year and all the years to come.
Finding your real motivation is a really powerful way to follow through with your New Year's’ resolutions, but I know that really achieving the things you want to in the new year is far from easy. It is really freaking hard! That’s why I’ve got you covered.
I want all of us to cross off every single one of the resolutions we set for 2019, so I am doing a virtual vision and planning workshop on December 1st at 11AM called, How to Create Everything You Want in 2019.
THIS WORKSHOP IS NOT PLANNING AS USUAL! I have an alternative way to think about what you want that is going to help you get in touch with the real motivation behind your goals so that you can create your detailed 2019 plan. We will explore what you want and what your core desired feeling is in life, so that you know how you want to feel day in and day out.
I am so excited for this workshop because I know how much this method of planning has helped me achieve each year and I can’t wait to share that with you! If you are ready to become a planning guru so you can put in some serious work next year, sign up for How to Create Everything You Want in 2019 here!
As a special bonus, you can get a Cyber Monday Hangover discount by using promo code CYBER today to save over 65% on your ticket! That means you will be getting the tools you need for your most successful year yet for just $97! I can’t wait to see you there!
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with my good friend and colleague Joanne Sapers, the founder of Go Deep with Love, about a topic that I have been thinking about deeply for a long time. We talked about work-life balance and if it is realistic to expect that we have a balance between our professional life and our personal life. This question has been weighing on the minds of a lot of people lately, as more and more we find that our society is a 24-hour Society. Forbes just recently put out an article stating that it might not be realistic to expect a work-life balance in today's work culture. However, I don't think that's true.
While work-life balance may not be possible in the traditional fifty fifty way that everybody strives for, I think it is incredibly realistic to be able to find a balance between work and your personal life so long as you find what that balance looks like for yourself. Work-life balance looks different for everyone because life is fluid and always changing. I know what it looks like for me; and in my conversation with Joanne, I was really looking forward to hearing her perspective on what having a work-life balance means for her. Joanne mentions that for her, starting her mornings connecting with her spirituality is very important.
“When I start my day, I do meditation I do journaling I do beautiful exercise I do total silence I do anything and everything that is going to say yes to me and remind me, because I go deep on the spiritual level, that everybody is one everything is one and as I wake up in the morning I’m part of this oneness.” - Joanne Sapers
Work-life Balance depends heavily on the things you want and need out of life. Spirituality is a major component in Joanne’s life and what she needs to feel fulfilled each day. For me, art is my spiritual practice and in order to feel balanced, I need to take the time to be creative. However, there was also a time in my life when I was growing my business while keeping a day job. Work-life balance for me then meant that my previous full-time job was work and my life was my business; and that is what felt right to me. Work-life Balance is all about perspective. It is important to think about what is right for you personally not only in the present moment in terms of what you want to create and self care, but also in the long term. Without finding a balance that is true to us in the long term, we may not be able to achieve all of the things we want to do in life.
Lacking a balance in our professional and personal lives also can negatively impact us emotionally. Before we started working together, a client of mine was stretching herself really thin working and volunteering for a bunch of different organizations and causes. Even though she cared for these causes and places she worked, she was also a painter who didn’t have the time to paint. Because she had so much to work to do and so many responsibilities to her family, she wasn’t painting anymore. That imbalance in her life resulted in her becoming resentful and snippy with her loved ones. Without the balance between her work and her passions, she was caught in a cycle of anger and energetic exhaustion, unable to really engage in her life.
Together, she and I had to figure out what the balance between her responsibilities and her painting looked like. We realized that she needed to have a certain number of minutes in the studio everyday in order to feel like she was living the life she wanted to live. As we slowly began building time for creativity back into her life, she was able to start letting go of the negative emotions she had been holding onto because she was doing what she felt she needed to do in life. By releasing these emotions, she was able to clear her mind and make better decisions for herself. She was able to say no to work and volunteer opportunities that she did not have the time for, in a way that was compassionate towards herself and the other person. Now, she is able to create paintings regularly and recently did a show where she sold every painting she had.
Once you start feeling more pride in who you are and what you do, you realize that you are worth taking care of and saying no to the things that overwhelm you. We might not believe that the “me time” and the life part of the work-life balance scale is important, but it might lead us down a journey we could never have imagined. So I encourage you to take the time to really discover what you truly need to feel that sense of pride and fulfillment in your life.
If you are struggling with visualizing what you need to do to connect with that sense of pride, I have created a virtual workshop just for you called, How to Create Everything You Want in 2019, on December 1st at 11AM. This 2 hour workshop is designed to help you discover what you truly want in life, set realistic goals that will move you forward towards the life you truly want, as well as address the negative setbacks and challenges that can get in the way so that you feel confident in your ability to achieve your goals. Sign up and learn more by clicking here!
Let’s talk about procrastination. If you are like most people, procrastination is your worst enemy. Out of all my conversations with people, I find that procrastination factors into two big problems in our lives. First, Procrastination is preventing you from achieving your professional goals, and second, it is literally stealing away the valuable personal time that you should be using to relax, recuperate and work on that passion side project you have like starting a new business you are excited by. As a result, procrastination becomes the enemy of change and growth, especially if you are trying to build your dream career. That’s why I want to help you identify five things to look out for when it comes to procrastination. You may find that one or all five are hindering your ability to beat procrastination. The first step is being able to recognize which of these things could be causing your procrastination.
1. Fear of Failure
The first common cause of procrastination is the fear of failure. You think you won't be effective you believe you're bad at the task or at the other end of the spectrum, you have perfectionism. You feel that you have to be perfect at the task you need to do or else you're going to get rejected or some other negative thing will happen.
The second thing that is a really common cause of procrastination is overwhelm. I know you’ve seen all those memes on the internet. “I have so much to do, but all I want to do is take a nap.” That’s overwhelm, and as funny as those memes can be, not remedying that overwhelm is really taking a toll on your ability to actually recuperate from your work day because we fall into a vicious cycle. When we're overwhelmed, we're not doing our work and when we do our work we get overwhelmed even more. We procrastinate and work continues to pile up. Before we know it, procrastination has literally ruined our week, then our month, and then our entire year.
3. Energetic Exhaustion
The third thing I find that causes procrastination a lot is energetic exhaustion. Usually, energetic exhaustion is associated with chronic worry about money or situations happening in our lives. When we are worrying all the time, that takes energy and it literally sucks energy away from what is most important to us in our lives. By the time we get to the work we needed to accomplish, we're already exhausted from worry. That is when we go back to thinking, “I'm so tired I want to take a nap right now,” and we slip into procrastination.
The fourth thing that is a common root of procrastination is rationalization. This is what is happening when your brain convinces you that you should take a break instead of working on that task you have been putting off. You spent a few minutes on work yesterday, but there is still a lot to be done. Yet, your brain says, “Hey, I did that one thing yesterday. I deserve to take it easy!” Then, three days go by and you are still “taking it easy.” When we find ourselves trapped in rationalization, we are focusing more on the present gains than we are in the future gains of living the life that we want to live. Everyone needs a break sometimes, but the key is to be realistic with when you need a break and for how long. Not being realistic here leads to procrastination.
5. Perceived Infinite Amounts of Time
Finally, the fifth cause of procrastination is perceived infinite amounts of time. This is a result of not only overestimating the time we have to do a task, but also underestimating the amount of time it will take to do that task. You might recognize this situation. You have a task you have to do by the end of the week. You think, “This task will only take fifteen minutes and I have four whole evenings after work to get it done, no problem!” Then, you get to the end of the week and you are scrambling to finish that task you put off all week - and even worse - that “fifteen minute task” ends up taking over an hour. When we underestimate how long things will take us, that makes it easier for us to put things off until later and later and later. Before we know it, we’ve procrastinated away all that time we thought we had.
What do we do?
All five of these things are roadblocks for us to get stuff done. More importantly, these things are costing us our time with our family, loved ones, and friends, and even our time to relax and binge on some Netflix guilt-free at the end of the workday. We need tools in our tool belt to be able to manage procrastination and balance our personal and professional lives so that we can handle those times when e-mails are following you everywhere you go and work worry is taking over your mind. We also need to know how to curb the impulses to jump into the opposite end of the spectrum where you are on a 10 hour Netflix binge and avoiding your work completely.
I want to help you escape procrastination. That’s why I decided to create my free online training, Work-Life Balance: How to Enjoy Life Without Sacrificing Progress at Work. It is happening on November 19th at 7pm ET and is all about having your cake and eating it too. If you are really struggling with procrastination, grab your spot here so that you can learn how to keep work and procrastination from taking over your life.
Lately, I have had a lot of conversations with people that are in transition. These are people who are either looking to transition from their current full time role into a new job or create a new business, or are also people who have been laid off by huge companies and are trying to reinvent themselves in their career. Maybe you can relate.
What's interesting about the people I have met is that many of them are working in their current position beyond the traditional 9 to 5 schedule. Nowadays, it is the expectation amongst employers that we will be there on our nights and weekends, ready and on call for any little problem that arises. Even the people I have met who have recently been laid off are working around the clock trying to find a new way to make ends meet. Every day, we fall into the cycle of overworking ourselves in positions or situations that we never even wanted to begin with. How do we find the time to get out of the job we accepted just because we needed to escape the financial hole we were in? How do we break the pattern of working all the time so that we can build the career we truly want for ourselves?
The obvious answer I hear a lot is time management, however, I think there is more to the story. I think a lot of people out there really do know how to manage their time. I think that if all you needed to do was create more time in your day, you could. What stops so many of us from creating the time we need to create the career we want is the underlying fear that we are being selfish. We can be so afraid that spending that time on ourselves is selfish when we have families and day jobs that need our attention. How do you make that time commitment to transitioning to a more fulfilling career without feeling frivolous or selfish?
One of the main things that I recommend to people who are trying to make a pivot in their career while they allocate a lot of time to their current role is to think about the value that you bring to the table and to think about the importance of this career transition in your life. Think: If you do not make this career change, what will happen and how will you feel? If you do make this change, how will you feel then? What does this career change mean to you?
I met a woman recently who was so in love with the work she does that she wants to work in her position at her organization for the rest of her life. Her career is focused on a spiritually driven purpose that she discovered within herself. Imagine how devastated she would feel had she not taken the time for herself to find it. It is important not only to think about the value you can give to society when your work truly aligns with your purpose, but also to think about the consequences of you not making that move forward. When you are in touch with your value and the potential you have, you reinvigorate a sense of motivation.
Remembering your value helps you realize why you as a human being on this planet are worthy of taking even just ten minutes a day for your goals. Create some time for your job search or your business each day - whether it is ten minutes or an hour - and the value you will see in yourself will grow. The more the value you place on yourself grows, the more you will feel worthy of using that extra time for your future. That way, if anyone tries to call you out on taking a little time for yourself, you can confidently look the in the eye and say, “It’s only a few minutes and I am doing the world a favor by pursuing my calling and helping others with my heart centered action.” The talents you have to share with the world are valuable to everyone, so use them wisely.
If you struggle with seeing the value in taking time for yourself, I am going to be giving a free online training called, “Work/Life Balance: How to Enjoy Life Without Sacrificing Progress at Work” on November 19th at 7PM ET. During this training, I will be giving you tools you need to remedy burnout and hit your personal and professional goals in the next year. Sign up here!
A lot of my private clients have mentioned to me that even though I share so many useful tools and ideas to the world, there is one powerful thing that I use with my clients who are feeling overwhelmed that I haven’t ever shared. After hearing this from clients over and over, I realized that they were onto something so I want to start doing something a little different over the coming months and share with you my tried and true methods for reducing stress with creativity.
If you have followed me for a while, you probably know that I am an artist and I cannot tell you enough how effective creativity can be when I need to let go of all of the craziness in my life. This first exercise that I want to share with you can really allow you to reduce your stress. When I am stuck in a rut, I always return to this creative exercise to reclaim a sense of calm. I am going to explain how I go about starting this exercise, but I encourage you to customize the process to you. You can watch the video above to see what this exercise actually looks like.
When I feel myself slipping into an overwhelmed state of mind, I will start my creative stress reduction practice by grabbing a piece of paper and marbling it. Marbling can be a complicated process so you do not have to do this step. Marbling consists of putting ink in water and then placing a blank piece of paper on the water’s surface and then the paper pulls back these gray areas from the ink, resembling a piece of marble. For me, I like to do this because these areas feel symbolic to me. They represent all of the extenuating circumstances in life. We are all dealt our own hand of circumstances that are beyond our control and I like to think this marbling process brings that to life on the page. From this page, I begin to think about how I am really feeling in the moment. This is when we go to the next step: scribbling!
If you do not want to try marbling, you can do the rest of this exercise with any kind of paper you want. You can use paper that’s old and discolored, paper with dots all over it, or just plain blank paper. I take my piece of marbled paper and begin to draw how I am feeling in the moment. What does this look like? This doesn’t mean I draw a sad self portrait or create an elaborate drawing. I listen to all of my emotionally exhausted feelings and thoughts and I scribble on the page. We are trying to draw the essence of the emotions we are feeling in this moment. Maybe your emotional exhaustion looks like a flat line, or maybe it feels more like a frustrated zig-zagging pattern. Whatever feeling you have, try to express it in an abstract way and let out all of that emotional energy onto the page. This part of the exercise is all about emotional release so you can do this for as long as you need to.
Next, we are going to be more meditative in this exercise. What I like to do next is take my piece of paper and I begin to highlight and go over the lines I have drawn in fine print markers. You can do this in any way you’d like with whatever materials you want. Shapes and areas in the scribbles and the marbling or design of the paper will begin to pop out and by highlighting these areas in marker, I am symbolically pulling out the things in my life that do or don’t serve me. This part of the exercise gives you the space to meditate on the benefits of life and the emotions that have come up as you continue to express yourself on the page.
The longer you do this exercise, the more you will see all of the energy and emotion you put into it. This exercise is all about being present with this manifestation of your emotion. You do not need to judge anything that comes out of you, simply let everything out on the page and be with it. Over time, you will start feeling that overwhelm, stress and anxiety dissipate. The more time you spend with the emotions you've drawn, the more peace you will find you feel from within you. If you're craving a sense of ease, calm or just a clear state of mind try it out, scribble out your emotions and draw back into them. I promise you'll feel much better afterwards.
If you have been feeling so overwhelmed by stress at work, you can check out the free 5 minute morning meditation that I have created for you here. You can also sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me here. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going, what’s getting in the way and create a clear plan for you to find the work you love that doesn’t leave you burnt out every day!
I need to tell you about something I learned recently that completely shocked me and affects every single one of us. I went to an event last week called “A Guide to Pennsylvania's Proposed Overtime Rule” to learn about new laws surrounding worker overtime pay that are being introduced in the state of Pennsylvania and I quickly discovered that the laws designed to protect employees’ salaries which should be common knowledge are unknown to most of us. If you live in a state other than Pennsylvania, I encourage you to look into the laws surrounding overtime pay because the rules may surprise you.
In Pennsylvania, the current laws on overtime pay have not been updated since the 1970s. These current overtime laws state that if you work in Pennsylvania and make just $250 a week or $13,000 annually, your employer does not have to pay you overtime. I don’t know about you, but I could not believe what I heard when the event speakers said this. In 1970s, a minimum annual salary of $13,000 may have been enough to live off of, but it is 2018. Fifty years have gone by, the cost of living has continued to rise but the minimum salary has not and employees are suffering.
In response, Governor Tom Wolf proposed a new law this June to update these overtime rules to raise the minimum salary requirement. Beginning in 2019, Wolf is proposing to change the minimum requirements to $610 a week or approximately $31,000 annually. So, if you make more than $31,000 a year your employer can ask you to work as much as they want without paying overtime and if you make less than $31,000 you’ll have to track your hours and employers will need to pay you overtime if you work more than you were hired to work. The proposed law would continue to increase the minimum salary requirement over a few more years. In 2020, the minimum would increase to $39,000 per year and then to $47,000 annually in 2021.
An increase in the minimum salary sounds like a great thing to me and employees everywhere, but there’s a reason why it hasn’t happened yet. It turns out that the Federal Government recently tried to raise the minimum salary requirement. However, a lawsuit was filed against this change and the government lost. Companies were able to continue working their employees to death and all they have to pay them is $13,000 a year. That is absolutely crazy to me.
What was really shocking to me about all of this, however, was the reaction I saw in the event venue. While I was excited to learn that there was a new law designed to raise the minimum salary for workers, I was the outlier in the room. A majority of the people in the room were completely outraged and disgusted by it. Most of the attendees were employers with bigger companies. For employers with a lot of employees, paying for overtime for each employee is expensive. These employers don't want to have to worry about paying for overtime because it's a large cost to their business. In all of their outrage, I was surprised that it seemed like not many of the people in the room were thinking about what living off of $13,000 a year really feels like today. You cannot survive off of $13,000 a year in today’s world, plain and simple.
An increase in the minimum salary requirement does come with side effects. Some people at this event did point out that this change may make some employees feel like they are being demoted because their employers might need them to start tracking their hours to ensure they are not working too much. You might also be an employee that likes to go the extra mile for your company by working extra hours and this law may prompt your employer to prevent you from doing that. I understand these concerns, yet I think this may be a blessing in disguise. A lot of us are at home checking work emails at all hours of the day and getting underpaid for that extra work. Teachers especially are working on lesson plans and grading papers 24/7 with no law guaranteeing them overtime pay. This law could really help work-life balance by making employers think twice about overworking their employees and help employees feel empowered to make smarter choices about how much they want to work. However, the one side effect that concerns me is that employers may choose to lay off lower level employees in order to avoid overtime pay.
Even with potential side effects, the fact is that you deserve to get paid better for putting in extra work. If you live in Pennsylvania and feel strongly about this law, the good news is that you can still provide your feedback to the state government before this law is finalized. Whether you are in support of the proposed plan or have other input to give, I encourage you to get involved in this issue because it is so important to so many people. For those that live in other states, I also encourage you to look into what laws are affecting your pay as there might be something you can do to change them. I personally am excited that Pennsylvania is moving forward in the right direction towards more fair pay. Day in and day out, I meet incredibly talented people that are overworked and underpaid. They deserve to work for a salary that reflects their value.
If you feel like you are overworking yourself at a job that leaves you feeling unfulfilled and empty, grab a ticket to attend my talk on “How to Find Work That Fills Your Wallet AND Your Soul” this Friday at 12PM. The tools I share on Friday will bring you one step closer to leaving a job that doesn’t speak to your true value and to finding the work you love!
I often see people put an overwhelming amount of pressure on themselves, struggling to answer one question: What is my one true calling? All the time, I talk with people who feel so lost in the confusion around finding that one perfect job or business idea that is going to finally make them happy and excited each day. We all have had that internal conversation with ourselves growing up about whether we should be an accountant or a fireman or any other job you can think of. Yet, as I was talking to my partner about a client, we got on the subject of soulmates and that’s when it hit me. So many of us have got this “finding your calling” thing all wrong. Finding your one true calling, just like finding your one true soulmate, is not how real life works.
As a society, we seem to have these beliefs that, written in our souls or our DNA, there’s this one true position or job out there for us to find in order to feel satisfied and there’s one true person for us to fall in love with. We all have that urge inside of us to seek out the fairytale ending - in love and in a career - where you find “the one” and the story ends happily ever after. However, I am a firm believer that we don’t just have one soulmate forever or one perfect job forever. I believe that you will find that you have a different soulmate or soul-career for different parts of your life.
In the span of your love life, you may have had your high school sweetheart, your whirlwind college romance, and so on. In your professional life, you might have had your high school babysitting job, followed by your first college internship and the entry-level position you landed right after graduating. All of the different jobs you have had intertwined in your history in order to help you learn more about yourself and why you are here on this planet, the same way you learn from all of your past relationships. I am not a relationship expert, so I won’t give out any advice on your love life. However, when it comes to your professional life, your task is not to find your one true calling for your life. Your only task is to find your calling for who you are at this moment. To do that, look for your purpose.
Your purpose and your calling often get used interchangeably, but I believe there is an important distinction. A calling is a job, a purpose is the reason you are on this earth. Your calling will change because it is a specific position, but your purpose is vague and will likely remain the same. For instance, my purpose is helping others and it led me to my current calling, starting Work You Love and helping hundreds of people find work that makes them happy. Your purpose may be using math to solve the world’s problems which could lead to a calling of being a NASA scientist or a financial analyst. The possibilities that exist within your purpose are endless.
So I challenge you to take the pressure of finding one true calling off of your shoulders and instead, think about your purpose. Think about what traits and skills you uniquely have that can contribute something to the world. Think about why you are on this earth. As you approach your career with your purpose in mind, all of the opportunities you have will lay themselves out in front of you for you to choose. Your choice is not predestined for you. You have free will to choose one calling today and another calling two years from now. We each have a path ahead of us that is made up of different callings and that is okay. It is okay if we shift to calling after calling, it’s okay if we stay in one calling for years. What isn’t okay is settling for a calling that goes against your purpose. That’s why you’re here on this earth, after all.
If you are having trouble figuring out your purpose or what career path is calling you right now, I will be giving a talk on “How to Find Work that Fills Your Wallet And Your Soul” next Thursday October 26th at 12 PM. Click here to sign up to attend.
You can also sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me here. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going, what’s getting in the way and create a clear plan for you to find the work you love!
Do you know that autopilot feeling you can fall into in the mornings while you’re getting ready for the day? It is that mode that you switch into where you will washing your hands and brushing your teeth as your brain starts just think any thought it can come up with. Well, I recently found myself in autopilot one morning and my brain decided to think of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. I couldn’t help but laugh because Sex and the City is this heavily criticized, guilty pleasure TV show, and yet there I was in my bathroom thinking about how Carrie really had it all figured out! She created a financially successful career as a writer which not only filled her wallet, but it also filled her soul.
For as much heat as Sex and the City can get, there’s no denying the TV show has a huge fanbase and I think it has a lot to do with how Carrie really got it right in life. Every day I talk to people desperate to find a “work/life” balance. As a result, we’re compartmentalizing every aspect of our lives in ways that do not serve us. In Carrie’s life, there is no “work/life” balance she is searching for. For Carrie Bradshaw, her work is her life and her life is her work. She has found a fluidity within her life that makes so much more sense than trying to categorize every bit of her personality.
Carrie, like so many of us, is a multipotentialite. You can learn a lot more about what it means to be a multipotentialite by watching Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk on the subject, but a multipotentialite is a name for all of us out there who have more than one passion or interest in life. Carrie took her two interests - writing and sex - and combined them with her biggest asset - being a single woman living in New York City. All of these things led Carrie to a fulfilling career that boggled her mind, excited her and always kept her on her toes.
If you are trying to figure out what your calling is and you are a multipotentialite like Carrie, the key is to take a close look at all of your passions instead of trying to pick just one. Finding your perfect career is all about where those 2 or 3 (or even 5!) interests align. Those interest intersections are where innovation happens and where we find the work that fuels not only our wallets but also our souls. While I cannot vouch for her relationship advice, Carrie is a great example of how to reject the pressure to find a “work/life” balance and find a fluidity within the work that you do. There’s a reason why you were put on this planet with all of your unique interests, so why not figure out what that reason is.
If you feel as if you can’t seem to figure out how to combine your passions into your perfect career or if you don’t even know what your passions are, sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me HERE. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going, what’s getting in the way and create a clear plan for you to embrace your inner Carrie Bradshaw and find the work you love!
September has finally ended and if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, the end of September means more than just the beginning of Halloween season. Now that it is October 1st, it is the perfect time to make sure that we have our fourth quarter planning done. Planning is extremely important in business. Ask any business owner and they will tell you that the quote, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” is absolutely tried and true.
When I first started my business, I did not have a plan for anything. I would come home from a long day at my previous job and I would sit in front of my computer to write a blog post or send out an email or call someone. I would do whatever I could for my business, but there was no structure. Without a plan, I was constantly overwhelmed and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I learned an incredibly necessary lesson in those days: you have to have a plan if you want your business to grow.
As an entrepreneur, you need to have that forward thought so that you can bring in the revenue, clients, and the excitement you want for your business. Creating an annual and a quarterly 3-month plan will help you clearly define what your big picture goal is for your business, what your business offers and what your personal and professional mission statement will communicate to potential clients and partners. This plan will allow you to truly start building your business so you don’t have to stay stuck in the “pre-revenue” stage, struggling to find clients. As soon as I created my annual plan and my quarterly plan, I was able to see that I had been trying to jump from shiny new project to shiny new project. It was impossible for me to keep trying to work on the 20 different projects I had started. Developing my plan allowed me to focus in on the 2 to 3 projects that were most important in growing my business.
The whole point of planning is to enable the growth of your business. Once you create your plan for October through December, you will be able to stay focused on the work that is going to help you get to a place where you will be able to go into your next networking event or meeting and confidently talk about your handful of clients and your growing business that lets you do whatever you want to do.
I recently did a workshop on developing a clear 90 day plan for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you missed the workshop I did on creating a plan for your business and are having trouble figuring out what you need to do to get your business to the next level, sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me HERE. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going and what’s getting in the way so that you can find the work you love!
We are on the last tip that I have for you on how to cope with a toxic work environment while you are in it. Those of you who have been following me for a while now will probably recognize this one. I love to call this tip: the Post It Pause. When you are trapped in a chaotic environment at work, it can seem impossible to find a moment of peace. The Post It Pause allows you to practice mindfulness whenever you need it, without having to leave your desk or feel judged because you are sitting quietly with your eyes closed for 10 minutes. When you are feeling the anger rise up in you or are feeling the tears well up inside, the Post it Pause allows you to have a discreet mindfulness practice where you can focus in on being mindful and coming back to the present moment where everything is just fine. All while looking like you are working.
Here’s how the Post It Pause works: Take out a pen and a Post It Note (or whatever paper you have nearby). Then draw a figure 8 and continue to trace over it. While you are tracing over this 8, focus on your breathing. I recommend that you inhale as reach the top of the 8 and then exhale as you move towards the bottom of the 8. Try to make your breath as even as possible and do this until your frustration starts to diminish. Once you find a sense of calm, you can return to work. A tool like this can really be a game changer and can give you a chance to reconnect with the present moment and return to a state of clarity.
When we’re struggling in a toxic work environment, one of the first things to go is our character and our emotional stability. Maintaining a clear mindset allows us to be the person that we want to be even in difficult situations. Emotional clarity enables you to make better decisions and is going to create a solid foundation for you even if you are in a toxic job. This toxic job that you are in today will be the stepping stone you need to get to the next and better job. If we let our frustration and pain get in the way, we may take actions that could negatively affect us and our career. That is why clarity of mind is incredibly important!
So try out the Post it Pause next time you're feeling overwhelmed at work as a way to discreetly practice mindfulness. Even if you are a fidgety skeptic as author Dan Harris likes to say. For those of you who feel like you identify with being in a toxic work environment where drama and in-fighting get in the way of productivity, sign up for a complimentary strategy session with me HERE so we can create an actionable plan to get out of that job and into work you love.
When we’re in a toxic work environment we’re often trained to think of all of the things that we didn’t accomplish and get stuck on all the reasons we’re not good enough. The reality is you’re actually getting a lot done and you are more than enough! Tip 1 on How to Cope in a Toxic Work environment (and Get Out!) covered creating a ‘Did-do List’ at the end of every day in order to acknowledge what you accomplished so that you can accomplish more and be proud of what you’ve done. Here goes Tip 2…
What happens when our co-workers and work community are insulting us or we feel that they’re insulting and invalidating us? Perhaps the negative feedback, whether verbalized or not, is not even work related but rather personal. If you’re in a toxic work environment I challenge you to take note of all the negativity you hear (whether your own or from co-workers) and create an equal opposite in the form of an affirmation. When we’re in toxic work spaces that don’t serve us, we tend to let that negative thinking take over. The point of developing a counter opposite to our usual thinking is to crowd our mind and ego with positivity rather than negativity. It’s kind of like eating lots of fruits and vegetables before you get to the desert table so that you don’t binge eat the desert. You’re not leaving much space in your mind for negative thoughts. Take some notes on what those negative thoughts are and what negative beliefs may have formed from these thoughts over time.
A common example that I hear people talking about is, ‘I am a horrible writer’. To create an equal opposite would be to say instead: ‘I am a fabulous writer when I’m in the right head space’ or ‘I am a fabulous writer when I give myself the space to grow’. The more often you repeat the equal opposite affirmation, the more likely you will create a clearer, happier headspace and give yourself the opportunity to actually grow as a writer. Writing the affirmation on post-its, or having it as a screen saver constructs environmental triggers that continue to flood our mind with positive beliefs so that we can be more productive and set our best foot forward. Even if you’re in a job where you’re not happy, the job is still a bridge for you to get to where you want to go, so putting your best foot forward ultimately benefits you.
Next time you’re feeling stuck, write down all the negative thoughts with their equal opposite and flood your mind with positivity so that you can be more productive and move forward with your career. Need some more guidance? Book a complimentary session with me HERE.
I have 3 tips that I am going to be sharing with you in the coming weeks to help you to survive (and Get Out)! Tip #1: Regularly write a ‘Did-do’ List, instead of a ‘To-do’ List.
Creating a did-do list is a process of writing all the things that you did do in order to allow yourself to celebrate all the wins that you had for that day. This means writing down everything that you’ve accomplished, including the simple things like feeding your dog or cooking yourself dinner. This process is useful to do either at the beginning or the end of every work day.
Typically, it’s easy to fall into the habit of worrying about all the things you didn’t do that day and how much more you’ve still got to do. If you’re too busy in the evening, I suggest you write your did-do list of the previous day first thing in the morning. This activity helps to trick the brain - we all love being productive so when you write something down that you’ve accomplished, the brain receives a dose of dopamine. This makes you feel good about what you do and motivates you to continue moving forward.
In a toxic work environment, one of the first things to deteriorate is productivity. Toxicity in the workplace is classically defined as drama and fighting that gets in the way of getting the work done. If you can focus on what you’ve done correctly and what you’ve achieved, you’re more likely to achieve more and be able to grow yourself as a professional, even in a toxic work environment.
Write that ‘Did-do’ List to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence in order to drive you forward positively and pro-actively!
I will be launching a group program, JUMPSTART THE WORK YOU LOVE, on September 6th that will run for 4 weeks. The program will focus on figuring out how to know what career is best for you, your ideal position, your ideal work environment, creating the plans for moving forward and how to prevent finding yourself in another toxic work environment. If you would like to join this program, CLICK HERE.
With my recent online training, ‘How to Cope With a Toxic Work Environment and Get Out’, under my belt, I heard from a few of you who missed it that you could use some guidance in navigating the sticky situation that is a toxic work environment. So, I decided to help you out and give you the first few steps you need to properly identify if you work in a toxic work environment so you can do something about it--whether it's move along or try to make some changes around here. I developed four key questions to ask yourself to decipher whether you’re in a toxic work environment. These questions will give you clarity and help you move forward.
A toxic work environment is a space where there is prominent drama, fighting, personal battles and power struggles that inhibit productivity (i.e. you have trouble getting your work done). Sometimes it is difficult to know whether you’re in a toxic work environment, especially if you’re deeply ‘invested’ in it, so I have developed some questions to help you take a deeper look into whether you are in a toxic work environment:
1. Do you feel chronically feel stressed out? Do you feel chronically stressed out at work?
2. Are you doing the job of an entire team? Some work environments have low budgets or are organized in such a way where multiple roles are unfairly placed on one person. This can lead to chronic stress.
3. Are you being bullied at work?
4. Are you surrounded by or part of office gossip? Are you part of spreading the gossip?
If you answered YES to 2 or more of these questions, then it is likely that you’re working in a toxic environment and some changes need to be made. Toxicity has different levels to it, so if you answered YES to all four questions, then we need to talk. Answering these questions can help you get clear on the level of toxicity you’re engaged with and identify what is really going on.
There is saying that, “Wherever you go, there you are”. Could you be creating more toxicity in your environment?
If you answered NO to these questions, that’s okay too – there is a reason that you may be feeling not so enthused about your job. Regular stress, disengagement in work and misalignment can be other indicators that changes need to be made.
I will be launching a group program, Jumpstart the Work You Love, in September that will happen every Thursday. The program will help you close this chapter and create a new exciting vision for your future, help you discover your ideal work environment, your ideal position or business AND enable you to leave with a solid action plan for moving forward so you don't find yourself in yet another toxic work environment. Will you join me? To learn more about the Jumpstart the Work You Love Group Program or to sign up, click here.