Tag Archives: Attitude

Punching My Card

At the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself: to be healthy. I know most everyone starts the new year off with diets, new workout routines and juice cleanses. While all of that was part of my resolution, it has become so much more than that.

mentalityI knew being healthy was going to mean a change in behavior and a shift in mindset. I like to eat really good food and finding time to fit in a workout is always a challenge. But 2014 was the year when it had to change. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life and knew something had to change. I found Zumba classes close to the train station, making it easiy to get there after work. My job also offers a strength training class after work in the cafeteria. These classes combined with a close-by yoga class and a run makes for a successful exercise week.

Each of my classes gives their participants a card to punch at each class. This card punching process has become addictive. I look so forward to class each week that I have on occasion flipped out when I couldn’t attend. Take last Wednesday for example. I couldn’t get to my strength training class because I didn’t take my car to the train station. I was in full tantrum mode by 6 a.m. After a few deep breaths, I realized that whybeing so upset means my fitness routine has become a priority for me. This was a shift in behavior as working out was never a constant priority; now it is. I look forward to my classes and want to order a salad for lunch. Of course priorities might have to shift some days and I will miss a class. But in the end, my overall well-being ranks high on the priority list now.

Since I’ve built working out into my weekly schedule, my body feels better and my attitude is more positive. I don’t huff and puff up the subway steps and actually look forward to my walk to Penn Station after work. Now I just need to stick through it during the spring!

Has fitness always been important to you? If not, what changed? Feel free to share your thoughts!

 

Taking the Good with the Bad

go afterAs a professional, gaining feedback from your supervisors and colleagues is extremely important. Regardless of your career path or level in the organization, learning your observed strengths and weaknesses is essential to improving, building your personal brand and moving your career forward.

For young professionals who are just starting out, feedback discussions and mentoring is even more important. When you’re just starting out, you’re aren’t as self-aware as more seasoned professionals. That being said, it can be difficult at times to hear some of the more constructive feedback. I’m no expert but here are my tips on handling and getting the most out of your feedback conversations.

1. Go in with an open mind: Every time your supervisor wants to talk to you doesn’t mean you are in trouble. Be grateful he or she is taking the time out of their day(s) to give you some comments about your performance. Not every manager is willing to do that.

2. Be receptive and responsive: Don’t go mute during the conversation. Share your thoughts respectively and ask for specific instances when they observe whatever type of behavior you’re discussing. Try their approaches and solutions before claiming they won’t work. Taking notes also helps so that you have something to reference in the future.

3. Raise your hand: If you aren’t getting feedback from your supervisors, don’t be afraid to ask for it.motivation You also shouldn’t receive it once in a while. You and your manager should have a consistent schedule for these types of conversations. This also allows for proactive coaching so that you (and your supervisor) aren’t just reacting to things that already happened. Instead, you both are planning for situations you might encounter in the future.

The only way to turn your weaknesses into strengths is by understanding your areas of improvement. Coaches, mentors and supervisors are great resources to help you identify these areas. It is your career, you need to own it and only you can improve your performance.

Do you have regular feedback conversations with your manager or mentor? How have you learned to handle constructive criticism?

Motivation Mondays: Faith > Fear

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in the words he preached. He was a man of faith, of passion and stood firmly behind his ideals. He was a visionary who changed a nation and impacted millions even after his death.

faithIn the spirit of MLK Day and the 57th Inauguration, I am dedicating today’s post to a mission of making my faith bigger than my fear; a concept I believe both Dr. King and President Obama embody.

Many think faith has a religious connotation but in reality, it is more of a personal belief. Everyone defines faith differently. For me, it is believing in something you cannot see; walking head first into the darkness without knowing what to expect. With every new opportunity, there is a level of risk and a level of faith you must have in yourself and in the process. Faith can help you get through the day or can completely wreck your expectations. You are the only one that can decide.

I often find it hard to have faith that things will change. When you are so used to a certain way of life, how could things get better? What could possibly be done to fix an exceptional amount of damage? I bet you’re thinking how can she be so negative and I agree with you. When you read the statement above, said by a man who faced an uphill battle his entire life, you must change your mindset.

Add this to my 2013 goals: Let me faith be bigger than my fear. I want to take more risks, be more spontaneous and live life to the fullest everyday. I need to realize that life will always present its challenges but everyone must have faith in the future.

While I am not trilled to be working today, I know that this is part of growing up. I do plan on volunteering within the next few weeks, but today I will volunteer to change my attitude to be more positive in honor of Dr. King.

MLK

Career Fair Hunger Games

On Wednesday, I attended the Madison Square Garden Career Fair. Some of the biggest names in sports like the NBA, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Redbulls were present along with the Madison Square Garden Company, CBS Radio and Burson-Marsteller. I was very excited to interact with representatives from these companies, as face-to-face communication is always going to trump emailing your resume.

About 350 of what appeared to be mostly recent college graduates assembled outside of the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. As my cousin and I waited in line, you couldn’t help but size up the competition. I caught myself checking out what everyone was wearing and whose resume looked more professional. Once inside, all 350 of us were set free to move around to each organization’s table. Lines at popular places like the NBA formed quickly and you ended up waited on average 20 minutes to talk to their representatives.

Quickly the innocent career fair turned into a scene from the Hunger Games with people trying to cut lines and trash talk. Yes, I am not lying, this did happen! Through the crowds and chaos, I was determined to hand out some resumes and make personal connections with certain representatives. After a grueling four hours, here’s what I learned from the Career Fair Hunger Games:

1) Positivity is Key: After hearing that MSG did not have any entry level PR positions, I could have easily been discouraged. But instead, I smiled, got the representative’s business card and moved on. Yes, I wish they had a job opening but so what?! I had to meet other people and keep the smile on my face. I kept my spirits up by knowing I was making real connections with people that could help me in the future.

2) Face-to-Face Communication is King: Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in the power of social media, but introducing yourself and your abilities in person will always be more beneficial. Representatives saw my confidence and my initial reaction to their questions. It was also easier to convey the passion I had working for my previous internship. I had one representative from the Devils actually tell me how good I was at speaking to new people. It pays off!

3) It’s Not About Everyone Else: It was easy to get caught up in what everyone was wearing or overhearing things other people were saying to representatives. But, after a few minutes inside, I quickly realized it was about ME, not everyone else. Who cares if the kid next to me had an internship with Major League Baseball?! It was about putting my best foot forward and showing how I was an asset to each company. It was initially very intimidating seeing 349 people going for the same position. But I had to focus on me in order to make a rockstar impression.

Has anyone else had a similar experience at a career fair? Let me know.

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