How to Job Hop Successfully

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Millennials are set to be the majority in the workforce in the upcoming years, that is if they’re not already running most offices.

5-10 years ago I remember reading article after article about how millennials were disastrous for companies because of their lack of loyalty and lack of respect for hierarchy and systems. Employers were scratching their heads trying to wrap their head around how to retain the best millennial talent. “What do you mean, you don’t want to pick up my coffee and work your way up from the mailroom? But that’s how everyone starts?!?!”

At the time, we were job hopping furiously trying to find opportunities that fit our best interest. Some of us were smart enough to realize that spending 5 years in a mailroom after spending thousands on higher education just wasn’t going to cut it.

I’ve personally had 8 jobs in the past 8 years! That’s a different job every year! Of course some of my employment was short-lived while others lasted 2-3 years. But honestly I’ve never stayed somewhere more than 2-3 years! Yet I’m making close to six figures in salary and compared to other comparable positions, I’m at the top of my pay scale.

So after 8 years of relentless job hopping here are some thoughts on how to make it work for you.  Is job hopping good or bad? That’s totally up to you!

1)  Realize the bigger picture of your position. Think about how will this add to your resume.

The only time you’re allowed to have a lackluster resume is during those few years after college. Even so, the lack of experience will cause you to be scrambling for meaningful work or any work at all. Because of this difficulty some people settle for the first job they land. Some people end up in the service industry like bartending or waiting. Others end up at a dead-end office job getting coffee for someone at a company that no ones ever heard of.

Smart employees take these opportunities for what they are and plan their exit strategy. They take on more than their role so they can add some extra skills to their resume. They bide their time while a side hustle slowly flourishes into a reliable business.

2)  You are not entitled to a growing career just because you have a diploma.

One of the hardest truths I’ve learned is that I was the only person that was capable of growing my career. No one else. All the dead-end jobs I ever had, the managers and coworkers would have been just as happy to let me stay there for all eternity as long as I did a good enough job.

Advancement? Ha! If you can call a 2% cost of living raise advancement, I guess so.

It’s a hard truth to swallow because universities and colleges tend to brag about how 99.9% of their graduates find jobs in the field of their choice within 6 months. You’re raised to believe that if you don’t succeed right away, it’s your fault. You’ll talk to your college guidance counselor and they’ll just say, “just network more.”

So for me job hopping was the best way to be in control of my work situation and career. By changing jobs frequently I was able to gain the knowledge I needed and move on to greener and more profitable pastures.

I would sometimes feel guilty for leaving, like, “omg, they need me…I can’t leave.” And I think people, especially women, tend to view their work like friends or family and feel loss when it’s time to move on… but at the end of the day we need to look out for own best interest.

3) You can give yourself some major pay raises by job hopping.

With every job you’ve taken, hopefully they’ve helped you add to your repertoire of skills so now that you’ll be in a position to negotiate and market what you bring to the table.

Here are the job hops I’ve made to help you’ve visualize what I did to make sure that each job and subsequent “hop” turned itself into a payday.

  1. Office job- sales job selling and organizing the movements of goods: $30K, 1 year period.
  2. Brief stint as a rental broker $1200. 3-4 month period
  3. Business owner- cosmetic distribution company- $5K over 1 year.
  4. Perfume salesperson- on and off for a few years, 8K over that period.
  5. Target Associate $3000- 6 month period. (I was pregnant during this time, so just needed light and easy work)
  6. Receptionist at a new rental building- 75K over a 10 month period.  (This was a troll position and I was definitely overpaid, but it was a blessing during the time I was a new mother.  It ended after 10 months because it was a contract position).
  7. Real estate broker – Year 1 $6000,  Year 2, $30K, Year 3 $45K.
  8. Full time salesperson for developers $80K

So my jobs were pretty diverse and but the main focus is that I’ve done sales jobs for the majority of my 8 years and, during interviews and my resume, I was able to convey how all these different opportunities helped me grow as a competitive salesperson.

Of course some things were irrelevant like that very short stint as a rental broker and that time I had to work at Target to make ends meet but those experiences still keep me humble as to how far I’ve come.  In the end I’ve left the more irrelevant experiences off the resume.

Overall, I think that job hopping has become more normalized.  People are realizing that they are not being rewarded or recognized for they loyalty and dedication but rather, treated like replaceable cogs in the corporate machine.  When there’s nothing to gain from staying, what is there to lose from leaving?

For me, my experience job hopping has been confusing and uncertain at times.  I wanted to know if I was going to make it somewhere where I felt I was earning a reasonable living.  And I finally made it!

My one piece of advice is to look at the big picture of what you need and want and commit to that over everything and everyone else.

Wishing you all the best of luck on your careers.  Feel free to share in the comments below.

Feel free to read my other career related posts:

Top 6 Ways To Maintain A Work Life Balance When Your Job Is Stressing You Out

Top Lessons I learned In Business & As A Salesperson

Build An Eye Catching Resume And Get More Interviews

 

 

Women at Work: I’m Sorry, We Haven’t Come That Far.

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When I started working and building my career in real estate, hell, even when I was in college, there was always this talk about women pushing their careers and fighting for equality in the workplace. There were women’s groups and women’s networking events to help us get our foot in the door.

I envisioned myself being seen as a capable, smart and reliable professional.  I would be able to prove myself and be respected in the field of my choice.

Now, nearly 10 years later, it’s time to talk about the reality.

Statistics about women at work

  • More women are graduating college than ever. Now more women than men.
  • 47% of the US workforce are women.
  • Women are not well represented at the executive level of business.

On one hand, I think women dominate in roles that fit the qualities of a “stereotypical woman,” such as caretaker, support staff, beauty and talent positions. This is why women are seen in roles such as: secretary, teachers, beauty bloggers, nurses, paralegal, and fashion assistants in an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount to men.

But does that result in equality? When we are given a majority of supporting roles? We’re still not the decision makers or shot callers in a majority of these industries.

But, what about jobs that are equally men/women or dominantly men?

From my own experience, we’re not faring so well.  I work in real estate and it’s a mans world out here.

Yet, when I was told at my job that a man would take the position of manager, a position I was never even considered for, I was relieved.  Let it not be a woman, I thought.

My previous manager was a woman and if you haven’t had a chance to read all the horrible things she did to me and put me through, you can do so through my post, I Survived A Toxic Manager.

I felt that way because, throughout my whole career in Real Estate, I’ve rarely had another women help me.  I’ve also never felt like I was in a position to help other women, though I still tried.  I don’t know why but there was always this underlying level of competition with other women.  A type of, “If I’m not on top, then she’ll be” mentality.

And that’s kind of how we differ from men. Men are capable of building camaraderie upon meeting each other.  They help eachother out.  They see other men in the workplace and see opportunity rather than competition.

My she-devil manager used to make all types of requests to Upper Management. “Let’s get an extra pair of keys,” “Let’s get an intern for summer season,” “Let’s get a shred-box so client information will be better protected.”  Nope. Never happened under her.  But as soon as my male manager made the same requests to our male directors, it was like “why didn’t we think of this sooner, done.”  It was like night and day, how the two managers worked.

She would come up with detailed, fact based reports for her suggestions, Upper Management would usually critique the work or diminish it with other reports they had access to.  My male manager slaps together a report with half the effort, no one says a word.

In some ways I understood why my previous manager was so horrible. She had to develop a really callous attitude in order to get as far as she did.

But how much farther would women get if we supported each-other? When she left I asked her to recommend me for one of the opening positions. She replied, “I’ve just never seen you in that type of role.”  Not even a NO, just some type of passive comment to absolve her of why she couldn’t recommend me.

C’mon, as women we can do better.

Don’t believe me? The same story played out in public between two female Rappers. Rap and hip hop in general is a male dominated genre.

The brawl that recently happened between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B occurred over perceived slights from Nicki trying to keep Cardi out of opportunities. I know, I know, the whole story is absolutely ridiculous.  But think about it…if women at the top of a male dominated industry are pushing each other down in public, what are women doing to each other in private, behind closed doors?

We really need to do better.

Men are generally automatically assumed to be capable. Women need to prove it.

When we hired our Intern, A, our receptionist, B, had just gotten her real estate license. All she needed was to be sponsored by a brokerage and she could start showing apartments.

I mentioned the possibility of our company sponsoring B to my Asst. Director, she brought it up to her male superiors, who passed.  There just wasn’t a position available. (A position would eventually open up later, but it was quickly filled by another male “admin” who could show apartments).

In the meantime, our new male manager F was allowing our male intern A to tour his clients unlicensed.

I wish I could do more for B, it’s essentially just as much of a dead-end job for her as it is for me, but we need our receptionist. F could really care less if she grows professionally, he needs her in her current role.

It’s messed up because I’m not in a place to make a difference in her career, though I’d like to, and the person who is doesn’t care.

I watched the match where Serena Williams was yelling at the umpire. It’s crazy that the match ended over that and she lost for confronting what she thought was an unfair call. Men in tennis have admitted they have done worst in matches with no reprimand. Shit like that gets me. Like if Serena Williams, an all time great of tennis, can’t get equal treatment on the courts, how can any of us ordinary folk even stand a chance? Apparently bad behavior from male tennis players isn’t as serious as female tennis players.

There’s no doubt that women are still falling behind in treatment in the workplace. But I wish we could change:

1. The fact that women are against each other in environments where we need to stick together and lift each other up.

2. That women aren’t being treated as capable or assumed as capable as men.

3. Women are being penalized for infractions at work or in sports that men aren’t penalized for. (Ex, Joe can take 3 cigarettes breaks while Mary gets scolded if she’s more than 10 minutes late.)

We’d like to think that women have gone farther than this or even that $.90 for every $1.00 is worth more than it is. But it’s not. I encourage everyone reading to think about their own assumptions at the workplace. Enough people making preferences about their gender or opposite gender can create an environment of sexism at work. It’s never just one person.  So I my recommendation is start with change of mind and change of thought to keep sexist assumptions and behavior out of the workplace.

Feel free to like share and comment below if you like this post.

Office Politics: Win At The Workplace

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Stand Up For Yourself, Even When You Have Everything To Lose

Top Lessons I learned In Business & As A Salesperson

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The first “Job” Job I ever had

When I was 21, I started an online distribution company on Amazon.  I was working for this shady distribution company acting as their “Purchasing Manager” for like $15 dollars an hour.  They wanted me to get contacts for brands like MAC cosmetics, designer fragrances, coach bags, and other high end accounts.  My role was to buy at wholesale then ship oversees where the product was scarce and make a huge markup at the other offices.  It was super shady because we were dealing with an international Singapore office and selling goods that were unauthorized by the brands in certain locations.  Basically dealing in a gray market.  Turns out the whole beauty distribution industry is super shady in this regard.  Rather than discount certain goods to the public, companies like MAC cosmetics or Proctor & Gamble will sell to third party distributors old and unsold products, who will then sell it again to online sellers, third party shops and overseas.  So all those Ebay and Amazon stores selling cosmetics and goods are not necessarily fake, but are likely old product that’s been cycled through different distributors.

 I eventually had a contact for MAC cosmetics and decided to be bold and use it for my own use and become an Amazon pro-seller.  The money was just calling me.  I couldn’t help but think if I start selling this stuff people would buy it.  This was my first experience working for myself and being an entrepreneur.   My online store  was for cosmetics and our main item for sale was MAC Cosmetics. You wouldn’t believe how popular MAC is online, we had this wholesaler who would sell it to us. (I swear it was authentic). That was literally the only thing we would sell. I sold 80k worth of it within the first year.

Well I guess we didn’t tip the wholesaler enough because he stiffed us on the product and wouldn’t sell to us any more.

All the other product out there to buy was pretty much garbage and not giving us a high enough profit margin to make the effort.

After that I closed the business but I learned a few good lessons about owning a business:

  1. Never go into business with a friend.
    1. It sounds fun at first but it’sa recipe for disaster. I had worked with her at the distribution company and it was a lot of fun.  I felt guilty for taking the contact and profiting on my own, when my best friend was sitting right next to me.  We had very different approaches to the business though.  She wanted to cash out too early so we were never able to reinvest or grow the company. If our orders were growing, it would have been more worthwhile for the supplier and he would have been less likely to drop us like that. We were unknowingly wasting his time by making him fill our small orders twice a month.
  2. Always tip the people who help you make money
    1. It’s just good karma and it good at relationship building. You won’t believe how good “You’ll scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” strategy works.  I was so stupid to not give a nice Christmas bonus, like it’s such an obvious thing to do. When when your young and trying to start a business with absolutely no money, every dollar counts, but the dollars you spend on the people who help you be successful are the most important to spend.
  3. Never rely on one source of income or client for your business.
    1. When the MAC supply ran dry so did our business. We never bothered to diversify. We could have done videos on makeup or promoted our own products. But we never got that far.
    2. I’ve also read about other people making this mistake like YouTubers and Insta Influencers using only one platform to make their connections.  This is obviously risky since you are not in charge of the overall platform and if they decide to shut you down because of a “policy violation,” well then you’re SOL.

Lessons I learned From Being A Salesperson

When I stopped doing what the other salespeople were doing that’s when it clicked and I started to do so much more business.  There are 10,000 licensed real estate salespeople in  NYC.  There are only so many rental and sales deals for all those agents.  The reality is that not everyone will be successful in this industry and many are living hand to mouth and deal to deal.

They say 5% of salespeople make 80% of deals. To be the top sales person you need to do things other people aren’t willing to do or are too lazy to do.

In real estate that meant doing a mailing list. Many agents were too preoccupied with finding their next deal, they didn’t think ahead to do long term prospecting like email blasts and promotions.

I also prospected by cold calling leads for exclusives and following up relentlessly. All I needed was to have one door open and then I would snowball that opportunity into other opportunities.

Over time you want to create a snowball effect of success. Promoting yourself and showing off your accomplishments helps you get the confidence and business you need from new customers.  The snowball effect is probably the most important lesson I learned.  The more time you spend on a business, the more it should grow.  It should never be stagnant  unless there is a catastrophic economic collapse or recession.  The issue is that no one teaches you how to start the snowball.  In the beginning, it looks very small and almost useless to keep rolling.  Maybe a piece breaks off here and again there but over time all the cumulative effort you made over the years will be worth something, it will get stronger, and next thing you know you have a giant business! (Snowball!)

Once the snowball is huge, that’s when people notice you and give you more business with little prospecting.

Things that will help you grow your snowball:

  • Mailing lists and email blasts with all the contacts you’ve ever had
  • Cold calls
  • Holiday cards
  • Quality business cards
  • Neat  work space
  • Requesting referrals
  • Gifts at closing
  • Following up with service, doing surveys
  • Having a business plan and marketing plan
  • Being consistent with the above items

I hope you’ve found this post really useful. It was actually a discussion that I first started on Quora but it was so popular there, I decided to expand on the discussion.

Let me know your thoughts and feedback and feel free to follow, share and like.

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Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work smarter not harder

I was writing a comment on this article.  The article was about being a type A personality and it inspired me to kind of dig deeper because this guy was writing about how he has like 3 jobs and is a perfectionist and easily works 16-17 hour days. And he was kind of promoting this as a normal thing to aspire for. That he was type A personality, a perfectionist that demanded so much from himself.

I was short and sweet with my comment but was basically like, “You need balance, dude! Work smarter, not harder!”

We live in a work culture that takes advantage of these types of people and pits the work horses against everyone else for the sake of production.  We don’t need to be promoting this type of behavior. Honestly, the writer was essentially sacrificing his relationships and health in the long term for more money short term. And that to me does not seem like a good deal.  I guess he had to think it over, but he eventually commented back that he was only working this hard to build for his future for his finance and cut down his debt and that he agreed that this current workload was not sustainable.

It really did make me think about the type of people I often find in my workplace vs the type of employee I wanted to be.

There are really 3 types of workers:

Lazy workers- Typical worker, makes up a majority of today’s work force. Doesn’t care to improve or grow professionally.  Happy with their slice of pie, only thinking about their salary increases and benefits. Looks at investments and business opportunities as too risky.

Hard workers- Time is money and these people tend to follow paper like it’s the gospel to life. They sacrifice all their personal relationships, free time, hobbies to work. These work horses generally are high earners in their company but leverage their salary for more responsibility and more hours. They are also adverse to risk and are only going to consider investments and business endeavors if it will reap quick money.

Smart workers- leverage their experience and time for more money. Unlike hard workers, who sacrifice time for money in positions that they are easily replaced in, smart workers focus on long term career growth ands specialize in niche areas that will be of great use and high demand. Or they recognize their unique experience to be valuable and come up with a business idea that blows up.

I think the difference between the three workers is really just attitude. The lazy worker is the worst, they are not really able to see beyond themselves and their long term contributions to their work. They don’t have the ambition or drive to give extra and see what it reaps. They often hold the belief that they are hard working enough and that they should get better pay for just being there. They often exhibit bad habits like lateness, lack of detail, lack of effort, a disinterest in the work.

My previous receptionist was this type of worker, I had mentioned her in a previous post. Her issue was that she knew the work but would “pretend” to forget or not know in order to lighten her workload. Over time this worked she had the easiest role in the office, leaving at 6 when me and our manager would often leave at 7. But when my asst. director came in to restructure the office, it became obvious she was the weak link to our production, so she was the first to be cut and the easiest to replace.

My old manager was a hard worker she would make sure all deadlines and reports were complete, it would be so detailed. Everything had to be perfect. Any reports that she did would take hours to compile. Her work was correct but at the end of the day none of the directors had the time to actually review it in depth so it went unnoticed.   She was also a shrew that made sure she had a majority of all the deals so between the deals she had to close and the detailed reports she had to do, she was working 60 hours a week. Yes, she was making more money. But she was also working more hours and putting more effort to make more money. She wasn’t any happier either. For all that money she was making, she wasn’t enjoying it and she eventually pushed herself out of a good job with her self-created discontent.

I think the happiest kind of employment, the one I aspire for, is to be a smarter worker. I think it takes a lot of self awareness to pick which traits are marketable and in demand.  I also think courage to take take that skill and make it a business, especially if no one else has done that before.  And I think it takes a lot of confidence to put a price on those skills and stick to it.

When I was an rental agent , there were other agents charging less than a months rent in commission.  They were undercutting a lot of agents.  Considering you had to pay the brokerage a piece of your deals, taxes, and other business expenses, that basically meant that those brokers had to work on a high volume basis.  They were spinning their wheels, showing apartment after apartment in the summer heat.  They had to be dishonest to keep the leads and clients flowing.

I didn’t have the heart for all that.  I focused on quality and getting the highest commission possible, almost 2 months worth of rent.  I focused on creating value and marketing my skills for getting the best deals for clients so that my commission would pay itself off after the first year.   Well, I wouldn’t say I was the highest earning salesperson but I definitely made just as much as the high volume agents with literally HALF the work.  That was working SMART.  I had people who were so happy with my service, they were referring other clients who would pay FULL commission.  They were referring other clients who would buy properties with me!

I ended up leaving that work environment due to personal reasons, but I never forgot the lesson of what it meant to work smarter.

Now I’m working  a salaried position and I’m constantly trying to find ways to make my time more valuable, be an efficient worker and to do more with less and be more productive.  I’m hoping my company would value that and reward me at bonus season.  I’m also trying to find ways to leverage my other talents and skills, to hopefully something profitable.

There’s no one rule for working smarter but if I had to name one thing that will definitely help you, the #1 way to improve efficiency at work:  STOP DOING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING.  Most people are not smart or even hard workers.  Following the status quo is the recipe for mediocrity.

Share the ways you were able to find better use of your talent and time below, I’d love to hear it.

Feel free to read my other posts:

Playing The Game Of Life And Winning: 5 Approaches To Success

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

My Job is Killing Me….

Status Update: Don’t Over Do It!

Feel free to like, share and follow if you liked this post

I Survived A Toxic Manager

My manager was a b*tch. She was a bonifide b*tch. And if this goes viral and she reads this, I hope she knows I’m talking about her. (Thanks EK for being the worst manager I have ever encountered).

We all have that one manager that we hate. The one that uses their position of power to serve themselves and abuse others. The one that uses emotional manipulation to guilt you into staying extra hours, often unpaid. The one that tries to screw you over financially and points fingers when things don’t go well. The one that manager that makes you question your commitment to your job and makes you want to quit with anxiety. I don’t know who put these people in their roles but, holy crap, the hiring process needs to get better.

I had just gotten into a position that I was really excited about when I met EK, she seemed friendly enough. She showed me how to do everything; put the bare minimum in training me but I was okay with that. After all, I didn’t want to be a burden, she was obviously very busy. I told myself that I could learn from my mistakes and I could learn quickly with very little instruction.

There were multiple red flags and looking back I realized what a dupe I was to believe her evil manipulations. In reality, I was between a rock and a hard place. A lot of stuff she did didn’t really make sense or feel fair but she was the only person who could show me the ropes. Even though she was only a year older than me, she had much more experience in the company and was well connected. Her brother and dad worked in other departments. EK always used her experience as a point of reference, “Trust me, I’ve been with this company for 10 years.” I mean, who can really argue with that logic?

The dark side started to show when she would hold these “meetings” five minute before the end of the workday. Looking back I really should have made a complaint at this point because these stupid were keeping me over 30-40 minutes and she wasn’t paying me overtime. I just felt sooo isolated. The director who hired me wasn’t really investing into my training or checking in to see how I was doing. (Tells you a lot about this company, huh?). If I spoke out, who would listen?

I took on a lot of work beyond my scope because not doing so just made my job harder. Our receptionist isn’t trained? Well then, I’m fielding all the calls. Her paperwork isn’t closed out? Well then, her clients are going to be screaming at me on her days off when things don’t go their way. EK just liked to point fingers and not take responsibility. Apologies were not in her vocabulary. And with Upper Management not digging into their sites or taking a closer look, who was going to be the wiser?

She was the coldest woman I ever met. When she would get stressed she’d throws me under the bus and make sure I knew exactly how I was failing in my position. I could literally feel her satisfaction as I stuttered an apology and looked down at my desk feeling helpless and losing confidence in myself. Over time my work self-esteem just started slipping away. There were times she wouldn’t even bother to hide her nasty personality, her sneers at how incompetent I was still ring in my ears.

Why would I put up with that, why would I let someone disrespect me like that? Don’t I have any self-respect? How many times did I really think about storming out and throwing the towel in? So many times, but I worked too hard, got too far to let ONE person push me out. The truth is that my job wasn’t that bad. I’m paid well and reasonably. I’m doing something that I enjoy and am good at. The benefits and time off were good too. This was a GOOD JOB. And to quit now would be going back to the drawing board, career-wise. So I stayed and took it. I made sure to document the issues I had with her and keep her on edge. Over time, she was still a bitch, but a more cautious bitch. And eventually she became more and more jaded with her own position, found another opportunity and left.

It was such a breath of fresh air to be away from the negativity EK brought to the office.

It wasn’t until she finally left that I realized how toxic she was. I had always struggled to get deals through but apparently she had the system rigged. Which was surprising because for the past year and a half I was led to believe I just wasn’t trying hard enough. You know when someone points out some obscure yet plausible reason why something is happening, but in reality the two are unrelated? That’s exactly how she explained things to me. My manager had played the system so that she would get the bulk of the commissions. All her arbitrary rules, on what could be accepted plus her rules on which clients were hers, favored her heavily. She knew this full and well but still took the digs at me for being low performing compared to her. She went as far as to complain about me to upper management, saying, “I can’t focus on my own role because Alex is too underperforming. I need to make all the deals.” She suggested adding another agent, so that I would compete with them and then they could drop the lowest performing team member.

You would think women would lift other women up in the workplace, seeing how we’re underrepresented and all. So it really surprised me to realize that EK didn’t care to mentor me or help me grow. She was numero uno and that was all that mattered.

For those dealing with a toxic manager or coworker here are a few thoughts of advice:

1. Pick your battles but speak up! If something doesn’t seem right, say so. Plain and clear. Let the other person be defensive and show how they are not screwing you over.

2. Break down your interactions and minimize them. I only had to work with EK 3 times a week and sometimes it would be 2 or 1 times due to holidays and PTO. In the larger scheme of things we only worked together 135 days out of the year. Our overall interaction in a day might add up to an hour. Dealing with her was manageable when I thought of it that way.

3. Document Everything: most jobs will want to “build a case” against you if they want to fire you. Documenting everything can save your ass especially in a company that likes to point fingers. You can build a case too on how you were a good and reliable employee and how your employee committed wrongful termination.

4. Think about the bigger picture. Your manager is one person in a small part of your life. She or you may leave for a better opportunity. It’s hard to think about it that way when week after week, someone is using their position of authority to get ahead of you. But life has taught me that challenges are temporary.

5. Things are always changing: My bitch manager left! If she didn’t leave, I probably would have found my way out. The corporate environment is a living breathing organism, constantly changing.

My manager was horrible and I can only wish most of my readers don’t have to work in that kind of environment.  But at the end of the day we can’t always choose who we work with.  Stay strong and stay motivated!

Please follow, like and share if you found this post helpful.

Check out my other posts

My Job is Killing Me…. and Status Update: Don’t Over Do It!

Build An Eye Catching Resume And Get More Interviews

I’m currently offering resume review services but thought I would share some insights on what has helped me land interviews and land jobs for myself and my friends/family.  These tips are how I get my resume noticed.

This post is for people who have sent out resumes and:

  1. Have not gotten even a single response back,
  2. Have not updated their resume recently,
  3. Don’t know how to improve their resumes, and/or
  4. Want a job and don’t know where to start.

Ideally you’ll be well connected and able to to find a job through a friend or family who can recommend you for a position you really want, and win the opportunity.  But if you’re like 90% of the rest of us, you are not well connected and have no clue how to get your first job by applying and cold calling for jobs postings in your area. You’ll draft up a resume and send it out in a quick email.

Here are some ways to be successful and increase your chances of an interview.

A) Tailor Your Resume:

You might be applying for any job or a very niche job in your field. The biggest mistake I see is people not tailoring their resumes. They just slap all their experience together like, “Look how much I’ve done with my life. Hire me!” Nope, does not work like that. A recruiter or hiring manager might get hundreds of applications and spend 10-30 seconds reviewing applications for a specific job. The less specific your resume is to the position, the longer it will take a hiring manager to discern if your experience fits the role, making it more likely that they will cast your resume to the side.

You should be editing your resume for every single job you apply for. Yes, this is annoying and probably a very time consuming part of the search, but it works.  But this is how you make your resume stand out.

Ex: You previously had experience in retail, ringing up customers and meeting sales goals, keeping an area clean, and answering questions. Now you want to bar-tend and you just took a course in bar-tending. Your resume is tailored to retail, since that’s your previous experience. It would be a mistake to send it out to restaurants as is, because at first glance the hiring managers is going to be like, “this persons experience has nothing to do with the job.” They’re going to think about all the training they’ll need to invest in you, something they DON’T want to do. Rather, you should tailor your resume to show you graduated bar-tending school recently, education should be at the very top as most relevant and the work experience will be specific on what is transferable to bar tending. You’ll focus tailoring your retail experience to show you have customer service skills and sale skills to upsell drinks.

A resume for that purpose might look like this:

Resume 1

B) Keep It Simple

You want to keep your resume as digestible as possible. So that anyone scanning for specific information can find it. Resumes should be no longer than 1 page. You can adjust margins, text size and spacing but 1 page is enough to show your skills.

If you have limited work experience, add in any volunteer work that may be relevant

If you have a lot of experience in a specific area, you’ll want your experience to include ONLY what is both recent and relevant. You’ll want to include maybe 3-4 jobs you’ve had but be very detailed in the responsibilities you’ve had and tailor that to the job you are applying to.

Resumes don’t need to include ALL experience, just relevant experience.  You want your resume to be effective in showcasing your strengths.

If you’ve only worked at 1 company for a majority of your career you might want to break up your resume first by the company you worked for and then by the different roles you may have had in the company.

Resume 2

C) Write A Cover Letter In The Email Of The Job Post Response

This is essential. Too many people skip this step. They send out a generic “Hello, I’m interested in position X and am available X days. Please contact me via email or phone to schedule a visit.”

A message like that pretty much says you put zero to no thought into a message and are just hoping to land a job through mass mailing.  You need your resume that gets you the job and hired.

The body of the email is your opportunity! It’s the first thing a recruiter is going to read. It’s a great way to discuss your passion for the work you do or explain a gap in work. It can captivate, inspire and get that recruiter to open up the attachment. Then your perfectly tailored resume is going to tell the story of why you should be hired.  Recruiters look at your resume for an average of 6 seconds, you need a resume that gets you hired.

FYI- Never paste your resume in the body of the email. I’ve seen this before and it’s done to get recruiters to look at the resume right away. However it looks ugly, disorganized and is hard to share with other people if there are other decision makers. Don’t do it

Hopefully you find this post useful in your job search.  Let me know your feedback and feel free to like, share and follow!

View my other posts:

Top 6 Ways To Maintain A Work Life Balance When Your Job Is Stressing You Out

 

5 Amazing Ways to Alternative Living. Live Outside the Box.

I chose to be a corporate cog. I have a husband and daughter and we need insurance and a steady paycheck….for now. But I still try to find ways to make money on the side and earn extra income.

One thing we can all accept is that we all have to make a living but some of us choose to make money on our terms and determine how we want to spend our time. They say time is money so let’s discuss the different options out there to build an alternative career that’s both fulfilling and great for time management.

1)Blogging:

I’m a natural writer. But blogging is a long term game like any other business you start. You have to keep at it and write amazing content, work your SEO keywords, market through social media and (Gasp) even pay marketing/business costs. I think for the people who’ve made blogging a livable career, they’ve made a commitment to make it work and done whatever it takes to get there. The best part about it is that there are unlimited possibilities about what you can write about.  It’s pretty much the easiest way to make money from home, all you need is a computer and internet. It’s a great way to connect with people who have similar interests and motivations. If you’re serious about blogging, I would give it 2-3 years before you’re able to see livable-wage worthy income. It’s definitely something that can be a side hustle before you’re ready to make it your only income. Still, it 100% depends on you and how much time, money and effort you can invest.  It’s a real online job to be a blogger

2)Freelance And Gigs

The gig economy is bigger than ever. People are stepping away from corporate life and enjoying being a free agent, representing themselves and their interests in the job market. Websites like UpWork and Fiverr have made it easier for people looking for work alternatives to build their own brand and client base. Of course, most businesses like this won’t come easy but people have stuck through it and have built incredible business models. I just saw an Ad on Facebook for a Harvard Grad on Fiverr that acts like a professional guidance counselor.  He offers writing, revising and editing your resume or LinkedIN account. Based on the comments and his ratings and reviews on Fiverr it seemed like he was making A LOT of money from there and was building a unique business. Some people were questioning, “Oh, if he’s a Harvard Grad, why is he freelancing?” Well, Mrs Debbie Downer, maybe it’s because freelancing can be awesome if you’re making a lot of money from it and have a great work/life balance.

3)Temp Work- I have my qualms about temp agencies but it can be a great way to just fill in the gaps in income. Depending on the agency and your specialty you can work project to project or day to day. The company I work for uses temp agencies exclusively for our receptionist and admin positions. Even though the business relationship is, well, “temporary” that’s something that can go both ways. You don’t have to stay or even give notice if you have a better opportunity come your way.

4. Trade work or apprenticeship- there are sooooo many great jobs out there. And they are not all white collar jobs. I once knew a guy who worked for as an HVAC Technician. He worked with his hands on refrigerators and air conditioner systems. You know, fixing them and installing them for businesses. He had his truck and would work only like 40 hours a week. He was protected through a union and made $35 dollars an hour plus overtime! I’ve also seen electricians make $100k a year. And guess what, these blue collar jobs are in high demand mainly because a majority of our population decided they wanted to go to college and pursue white collar jobs. So now he can move from company to company looking for a new job, negotiate his earnings or work conditions because he’s a hot commodity worker!

5)Creative/Social media work-Social media has created such an incredible industry. Thousands of people are making money online with social media. What used to be a way to just connect with people is now a major business model as “Influencers” and “Bloggers” make their money selling their social media posts to sponsors as advertisements. Now having 10K or 50K worth of friends or followers can mean some major dollars. It doesn’t even have to be from an aesthetic standpoint of being an instagram model or twitter/YouTube celebrity. There are artists, scientists, dancers DIYers, etc. sharing their passions and building sponsorships and making great income.

For these alternative career paths, the key is to start early and just stick with it. Like any individual trying to build their own business, consistency is KING! I wouldn’t expect blogging or social media work to pay out initially but long term, the sky is literally the limit. There are bloggers and Influencers making $100k a month! And you don’t have to jump feet first, you can make any of these options a side hustle or part time work until you’re comfortable going all in.

Feel free to follow, like or share if you liked this post!

Read my other posts

-My Favorite Motivational Mantra

Thinking About Working For Yourself? Consider These Strengths & Pitfalls! and

When Good Enough Is Okay

Top 6 Ways To Maintain A Work Life Balance When Your Job Is Stressing You Out

Not many people can honestly say they have a good work life balance. I feel like I’m always chasing  paper or time. Time back from my commute, time for my family, time back from my overtime. There have been moments I’ve worked less and made less money. There have also been times I’ve worked more and made more money. But I’ve never worked less and made more money. And yet I keep finding myself chasing that elusive unicorn job.  The one where we have enough time during the day to get things done. Where we get an hour lunch break, where there some light politics but no animosity.   But while we are chasing for the perfect job we have to try to make the most of the job we have now.  Here are some ideas

1. Time Management: Is probably the best but hardest thing to master. Determining what can wait until the next day and what you need to do now based on priority. You don’t want to take care of all the non essentials and then at the end of the day scramble to take care of what you are now realizing is a must on the to do list. The best time management tip is this: take a few moments to collect your thoughts and make a list of what you need to do for the day.

2. Cutting BS activities: sometimes we engage in non essential work habits that we “think” are productive but are really a waste of time and causing your hours to be longer. Things like engaging in office gossip, constant bathroom and smoke breaks, the lunch hour that over extended result in reduced employee productivity. It’s ok to engage in these activities here and there but constant and daily disruptions to work will be noticed by higher ups and will extend your work day and make you less productive at work.

3. Delegate: I really struggle with this one. I really think I’m the best person to do the work so I’ll take on all the work I can, then I’ll burn out badly. Taking work off your shoulders and giving it to someone else might seem like you’re passing off your responsibilities but it’s really not. In a Corporate environment usually the workhorse takes on everything, sacrifices personal time and energy to get everything done. Do you want to be the workhorse? Everyone should do their share and if you feel overwhelmed don’t be afraid to speak up and give work off to others who are less busy, and then hold them accountable for their work.

4. Take Time Off: Take all your PTO, especially if it doesn’t roll over. Take personal days and sick days if your not feeling great. I usually take a mental day after a long project.

5. Don’t Be The Workhorse: Learn how to say “No I’m not going to do this. Not because I don’t want to but because I can’t.” Learn to say no if you think something might be unfair to you. The workplace is cold-hearted and everyone is vying for their own interests. My experience in the corporate world is that these companies can take the best intentioned employees, the ones that are passionate about their work, and turn them into human capital to be exploited for productivity.  Saying no sometimes allows you to create boundaries that are needed.

6. Live Closer To Work-Commuting sucks. I have a 2 hour commute round trip and If I could shorten it I would. Often we have to consider work life balance in the sense of, am I willing to spend more on rent to get time back for my commute? Right now I’m not in a position to move but do try to take into account heavy traffic times so I can try to minimize time lost in traffic.

7. Change Careers: I decided I wanted to be in real estate. I wanted the big money.  And after 5 years I finally have all the money needed to pay off my student loans. I’m also working 50-70 hours and work Saturdays. Even if I changed jobs the hours would likely still include weekends and evenings. I need a career that is more flexible, work from home, or I need to save more so I can eventually scale back the hours. Changing careers is not always feasible, definitely not at the drop of a hat, but I’m making serious moves to change that and free up some time, even if it means a pay cut.

Quality of life VS Cost of living. That’s always the underlying question when it comes to acheiving work life balance. I hope these tips helped Feel free to comment below your tricks to balancing it all.

Please subscribe, like and share if you find my posts helpful! 🙂

Check out my other posts Build An Eye Catching Resume And Get More Interviews and 5 Amazing Ways to Alternative Living. Live Outside the Box. and My Job is Killing Me….

Thinking About Working For Yourself? Consider These Strengths & Pitfalls!

Thinking about going it alone, quitting your job and starting your own business? Or maybe you’re tired to trying to make ends meet and just want a stable job with benefits? There’s a lot to consider when deciding on what kind of work you want.

Over the past couple of years I’ve worked for myself but recently made the change to work for an employer. Both come with their own share of positives and negatives. I’m a corporate employee by one of the largest real estate company in my area. But personally, I have a preference for being self employed.

You might ask, “Am I Self Employed?” If you work for yourself, own your own business, engage in “Gig” Work or Freelance Work, or an Entrepreneur then yes, you’re self employed.

Pros of Being Self Employed

Not Having A Boss:

Is probably the sweetest part of not being employed by a company. I don’t have to answer to anyone other than my clients. My career is not determined or influenced by one single person. As an independent contractor, I had kiss ass with clients but if a person didn’t like me or respond to me by giving business then it wasn’t the end of the world. Working for a good, caring and mentoring boss is probably the rarest thing in the world. I wouldn’t depend on it. People I could look up to in my industry fell far and few between but working for yourself means you’ll only have to look up to yourself.

Sense of purpose: I knew exactly how I wanted to run my business. I knew I could find a way to make money that would fit my lifestyle and personality. I motivated myself and kept my spirits up during slow periods because at least I was “making money on my terms.” I’m employ

No Red Tape:

I really like not having Red Tape on how to run my businesses or how to do things. Creative solutions are welcomed when you run the show. No rules or regulations. You can go as far as you want to go. Some people feel stressed in that kind of situation. Like, “What do you mean I can do whatever I want and how I want it??” “This is chaos!” Nope, with choices come freedom and innovation.

Flexible work hours: Ok it wasn’t that flexible. I had to work when my clients were available which in real estate meant evenings and weekends. But it wasn’t every weekend and it wasn’t every evening. If it was slow, I worked less. If it was busy, I worked like a dog. I’m in real estate which is a demanding industry. Some other versions of self employment can be more flexible and allow you to work from home like freelance writing, consulting or social media marketing.

Sounds really awesome, right? Why doesn’t everyone just work for themselves. Why would anyone work for “The Man”?

“The Man” pays your taxes and subsidizes your health insurance/benefits:

Did you know that your employer pays your taxes? Specifically part of your social security tax. An employee pays 6.2% and an employer will pay the rest. When you’re self employed you’re paying the whole 12.4% for social security. What about your commuter benefits? Health insurance premiums, what if you had to pay the premiums outright or pay out of pocket? PTO is also pretty nice. Not going to work but getting paid anyway. These are things that we just expect when employed but self employed individuals have to cut into their profits to cover these costs.  The self employment tax is a pretty penny and should be considered when deciding to take the plunge.

You Get Paid No Matter What:

Whether it’s a bad day or a good day, you get a check at the end of your two weeks! I don’t know about you, but I like to get paid. Having to hustle day to day or deal to deal in order to make income can get tiresome. The truth is when you’re self employed your not going to make as much in the beginning as your employed counter parts. There’s no promise you’ll even succeed to make equivalent to what you would have made if you were employed. The beginning of starting your business will likely be slow and you’ll need some sort of cushion to break yourself in.. my first year in real estate I made -$6000. I made negative income!!! The cost of my business was more than my income. I lost money. Then my second year was $36K, then 46k. Now I’m making double that being employed.

When it comes down to it, the type of employment you choose is entirely up to you and is a matter of personal choice.

Check out my other posts Playing The Game Of Life And Winning: 5 Approaches To Success and One Of The Biggest Financial Decisions You’ll Ever Make and Why I Budget and How to Budget: Personal Finance In A Nutshell

What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

I had a request about how to be more confident and I thought why not, let’s talk confidence, charisma and magnetism. And it’s honestly a hard topic to write about or even grasp. Confidence is such an intangible quality that is so allusive to most people. But we are all drawn to it. You might even ask yourself, “Am I Charismatic?” and “How to be Charismatic?”

I’m a natural introvert. In high school I was like a wallflower; I was quiet, soft spoken, trying to fall under the wings of my more extroverted friends and did not possess natural charisma. I always associated confidence with being outgoing, popular, attractive, friendly and extroverted. I painfully tried to fit in with my friends by displaying these characteristics. At the end of it all, I still wasn’t confident. I was negative and jealous with a victim mentality. I had social anxiety; I would scroll through my newsfeed with a feeling of missing out… I was unhappy during high school and college because I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me.

Fast forward to 2018 I’m now the most confident version of myself. I’m magnetic, charismatic and likeable. I can talk to pretty much anybody and have accomplished most of my life goals. Last year I went to my 10 year high school reunion. I was hoping to see some friends I fell out of touch with. I wasn’t afraid to go up to people and mingle, I also wasn’t second guessing myself when I felt like sitting on my own and observing. I was happy and content to just be there, unapologetically.

I’m going on a tangent about my own self growth but the point of the topic is that self growth and confidence doesn’t come to everyone overnight. For some people it comes easier, but everyone is capable of being confident, charismatic and magnetic.

Work on the life you want for yourself.

I want you to close your eyes and envision the confident image you’ve always had for yourself. I want you to really think about that person. What they look like and what they are doing with their life. Are they with a career and family? Is that person traveling? Are they living in the big city? Are they the rock for their immediate family? Then I want you to think about why you came up with that image. What are your values that are creating that image? These are your core desires and not fulfilling them are what is causing that feeling of dissatisfaction/ lack of confidence.

On a side note: these values might change over time. You might get to where you were going and realize, “hey, this isn’t really where I wanted to be. Let me tweak this a little.” That’s ok too.

Once you realize what your values are and what you want from your life, you’ll be able to set real goals or accomplish them. I’m not talking about “oh, I want to be a entrepreneur and be my own boss in a few years or I’m going to be dating the love of my life soon” type goals.

I’m talking concrete goals with a tentative completion date. Actual steps to make that a reality.

Confidence, Charisma and Magnetism is hard work. People who display these kind of characteristics tend to invest A LOT into themselves. They get these qualities from genuinely loving and appreciating the life they worked hard to achieve. There’s no shortcut for building a great self-esteem and sense of self.

I know for the past 10 years I’ve been pushing this image of myself. Little ole’ 19 year old me wanted to be a career woman, a reliable outgoing personable personality and be with my man of my dreams who truly loved and cared for me. For the past 10 years every choice and decision I made has been to grow in those areas. And now I’m finally comfortable in my own skin knowing that the person I always knew I was capable of being is truly who I am now.

This post is just an introduction on what changes you’ll need to take to get there but feel free to read my other post on personal growth, The Power Of Positivity and The Power Of Change.

Also check out these posts on CHARISMA

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?