As I watched the waves hit the shoreline of the beach go back into the ocean, I let my mind flow freely. Thoughts of “should I take this risk?” and “Am I crazy for wanting more?” and “If I don’t do it, what will my day to day be like if I decline?”
Anxiety, fear, happiness, and joy are just a few of the feelings I experience daily. One moment I’m in pure bliss – then BOOM! – an unexpected or difficult situation occurs and a cloud of anxiety starts to creep in.
One feeling I don’t believe in is regret. I know it’s cliche to say “Yeah, I have no regrets” and it is so overused, especially for millennials. But in my life, not taking an opportunity would equal a regret. And I don’t want to live my life looking back and thinking “well what if I did XYZ”?
Aside from my career, I’ve taken a risk by doing many things I was honestly terrified to do. But I felt that in my heart it was what I was supposed to do. Some examples include auditioning for The Voice, joining a women’s group where I knew no one, leaving a relationship, auditioning for a local band, learning how to practice yoga, etc…
You see, all of the things listed above are things I used to be afraid of. Now that I took a risk by trying new or scary things regularly, I have more confidence each time I push my own limits.
Yesterday I found the perfect message painted on the wall of one of our local favorites. Te quiero mucho! I love you! Body love, self love, and love for others is what makes this world go round 🙂
Candid Moment: Final Thoughts On The 24 Day Challenge
First, I just wanted to say I’m sorry it’s taken a few weeks to write this final post! I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts so that I could write a post that meaningfully explains my experience during those short 24 days in April.
When I start to think about how I feel now that the challenge is over, one word comes to mind. And that word is peace.
I lost a ton of weight. This weight is not the kind of weight that I carry in my hips or thighs. I carried an excess of weight in my head: negative thoughts, doubts, fears and insecurities.
Now that this challenge is over, I am finally at peace with my body for the first time. I am at peace with the fact that I have a perfectly unperfect body. And that is just okay with me.
In all reality, I did lose five physical pounds on this challenge. But after it was over, I was thankful for my body and what it is capable of.
Before diving in too deep, I wanted to share a few lessons I learned and am still learning after this challenge.
Holy moly… I can’t believe it’s already been 24 days since I started this challenge!! Time seriously flies the older you get. I have so many good things to discuss that came from this challenge. But first, I wanted to share with you an example of the workouts I followed during the past 24 days.
I did a mixture of group classes at Lifetime Fitness, at home workouts with Tone It Up & Nike App, and running at White Rock Lake & Katy Trail. My goal was to work out at least 5 days a week, and I accomplished this goal. I prefer working out in the mornings because by the end of the day I’m exhausted. So it just works. Plus, my day starts on such a positive note whenever I do get my workout in first thing!
Here is a list of every single workout I completed (the numbers correspond with the day of the month):
I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks and three days since I started this special 24-day challenge! Time sure does fly, even when you’re sober(ish)!
During week two, I stuck to my meal plan most days and worked out a total of 5 out of 7 days. While I haven’t seen a major loss in pounds (maybe 3-4), my clothes are a little less snug and I feel stronger overall.
For this weeks post, I wanted to share the meal plan (one week sample below) that I follow PLUS give a couple of tips on ways to stay full/ not hungry during this challenge.
This year I turned the big 2-5. I am officially a quarter of a century old – and I must say, it is a pretty sweet place to be! I love feeling not too young but not too old. I honestly wish I could stay at this age forever!
Before I blink and turn 26, I wanted to reflect on some of the best and worst experiences I have gone through so far. There’s seriously SO much that I want to share. Between lessons learned, trial and error, wins, losses…still MANY lessons remain.
But what is life without a little reflection along the way?! So here is my list of the 25 things I’m happy I experienced in the 25 years of my existence. Enjoy!
NERD ALERT: I subscribe to the Entrepreneur.com emails because I aspire to one day be successful on my own after starting my own business…in the mean time, I enjoy reading up and performing research on the different/random aspects of business. One area that I’m drawn to is hiring and maintaining strong and loyal talent. If I want my own business one day, I’m going to need key people to help me get sh*t done. In the process, I’m going to need to be aware of what these key people need in order to remain both successful and happy.
If you missed the latest on the vlog, see below for more on my thoughts on dating online as a millennial:
It’s taken me a lot of thought, revisions and NERVE to post this next blog/vlog -oooh girl [or boy] I’m starting a conversation about dating apps! Before I go any further, please know that I understand online dating is NOT for everyone. I actually wasn’t an advocate for it until I tried it. My goal is not to tell you that you MUST try online dating if you are single. I simply want to share a pretty cool experience around the cultural phenomenon of dating apps that completely changed my attitude towards dating in your twenties. Join me in this conversation…I want to know your thoughts and experiences!
Modern Dating With A Traditional Mindset
Let me start by this: I actually have pretty traditional views on dating and have always felt opposed to online dating apps… especially for young people. Here’s why: if you are living close to the place you grew up (like me), you probably find that you have a variety of groups of friends from either high school, college, family or work. I regularly do social things like attending networking events, going to happy hours and going out on weekends with my friends. In many ways, I consider myself a pretty stereo-typical twenty-something year old girl. I’m driven to succeed but I also want to have as much fun as possible along the way (especially B.C. – before children YIKES). I also tend to be the first one to break the ice when I find myself around a new group of people. All of these things made me think that I was not a candidate for dating online.
While there’s always exceptions, I find that many of the people I’ve worked with in the professional world who previously had experience in the service industry all have a skill set that helps them excel faster than others. Exposure to different scenarios and personalities combined with good ole’ basic dirty work creates a stronger and smarter work ethic. Basically, we get our sh*t handled and we do it with a smile on our face. Here’s what I learned from working in over 15 different restaurants and bars through high school and college and why I think this has helped my peers and myself advance our careers quickly:
#1 Exposure At A Young Age
Being an employee in the service industry since the age of 15, I’ve learned through experience more than what most people would expect out of a 24 year old. I’ve been managed under several different styles of leadership, I’ve worked with several different coworkers with different types of personalities, and I’ve provided a service to several types of customers. I have a soft spot for waitresses, bar tenders, hostesses, cooks, bus boys – anyone in the service industry, especially at a young age, because you are exposed to a lot and you learn fast what kind of people exist this world. The bubble you live in is soon revealed as just that – a bubble!
#2 Hustle Hard
Have you seen the videos of that couple in the car where the boyfriend asks “Babe, what do you want to eat?” she says, “I don’t care babe, you pick!” and he says “Okay, how about Italian?” she says “ew no way, what else?” he says “okay, what about Mexican?” she says “oh my god thunder thigh city!” and he says “Okay, salad?” and she says “do you think I’m fat?!” and he says “well what do you want??” and she says “I don’t care, I’m just starving, pick something!!” If you haven’t seen the viral videos or memes about being hangry (hungry + angry), then you’re missing out. Point is, when people go out to eat, they are hungry and they want their food or drinks NOW. People in the service industry learn early on that you need to HUSTLE if you want to make money (as you work on tips) and this skill is carried over into a business setting when working with clients or bosses who want things done as soon as humanly possible. Efficiency is KEY to making a customer happy in this setting and is a very useful skill to have.
#3 We Handle It
Angry customers. Overwhelmed managers. Drunk customers. Drunk coworkers. And even sometimes, drunk managers. All of these issues arise when you work in the service industry and at some point you realize what you need to do….you just handle it. Angry customer? Quickly take charge, calm and reassure them that their concern is your top priority and find a solution. Overwhelmed managers? Do your best to not bother them with any issues you or customers are having by finding a reasonable and creative solution. Drunk customers? Call a cab and cut them off. Drunk coworkers? Avoid at all costs. Drunk managers? Start thinking about pursuing another part time job. We are problem solvers and have to get creative amid all the chaos that surround working in a restaurant or bar. Problem solving is a VERY good skill to have no matter what professional industry you end up in.
#4 Ridiculousness Isn’t As Ridiculous As It Seems
Things don’t phase service industry workers as much as workers in other industries because we’ve seen it all. It’s interesting to watch what people are like the moment they get a little liquid courage inside of them. Most people handle themselves responsibly, but some find themselves taking on an entire new persona. Arguments between couples, obnoxious orders to waitresses, demanding more alcohol from a waitress when they are way past the legal limit, fist fights, loud talking or yelling, ridiculous dancing…the list is endless. Being exposed to erratic human behavior makes it harder for us to be surprised or shocked when something is thrown our way that seems either irrational or out of left field. You want a dolphin in your pool by the morning for your daughters 8th birthday? Sure!
#5 Lessons From Doing The Dirty Work
Last but not least, I think having to do dirty, laborious work really does something to you. It makes you appreciate the type of work that doesn’t involve sweeping wings off the carpet, cleaning vomit stained toilets, taking out dirty women’s bathroom trash cans or mopping beer and vodka stained floors. I never enjoyed this kind of work and I don’t know if any sane person does, but it made me appreciate the fact that I worked my way up so that I wouldn’t have to do that for the rest of my life. You have to start somewhere.
I applaud anyone in the service industry and will always be supportive of the work that goes into remaining sane after 14 hour shifts, crazy customers and dysfunctional management. Anytime I see a resume that has experience that includes service industry work, I get excited. Do you have experience in the service industry? If so, how do you feel it’s contributed to your career? If not, what industry did you work in before you started your professional career and how did it help you? I’m curious to know because I am sure there are other experiences out there that are very helpful. Please leave any comments or feedback below! ~XXXO
For many people, the hardest part of the job hunt process is the actual interview itself. You wake up early in the morning with butterflies in your stomach, having not much of an appetite, and anxious over the fact that someone today is going to be directly judging your character, your appearance and your intelligence. You carve out extra time in your routine to get ready, making sure your zippers zip, buttons are all there and no bra straps are showing (sorry boys – it’s true).
Lucky for you, if you are reading this, you’ll learn that I’m one of the rare people who doesn’t get all worked up over an interview… anymore. How is that lucky for you? Because what you might not know is that I haven’t always felt this way. It was a learned skill through trial and error where I found what works and what doesn’t. After attending over FIFTY interviews (really) and having over 20 jobs (will explain this in a later post), I’ve found the most challenging but important questions to prepare for before going to an interview. As long as you’ve prepared, researched and done your due diligence, you should be able to show up feeling confident yet calm. Being present and yourself is what will make you stand out.
I’ve gathered 7 interview questions that will help you in more ways than one: they will help you sound educated in what you do, be prepared for the interview and appear confident in yourself. While I haven’t listed these questions in any particular order, they are questions that you should be able to answer confidently, no matter what industry you are in or what job title you’re striving for.
Question 1: Tell Me About Yourself
I once was in charge of recruiting interns and account executives at a previous job. Part of that process was screening candidates before bringing them into the office for interviews with other members of staff and management. One of the first questions I always ask is the simple “tell me about yourself”. This is a question I used to struggle with because it’s so open ended and can lead down several different roads. One time, I asked a candidate this question, and they quickly answered nervously “I graduate in 2015, I really like macaroni and cheese and I really enjoy school”. This is a judgement free zone and I’m sure this person is happily employed at this point in their life, but I couldn’t help but go back to moments in my several interviews where I thought “why did I say that??” This question is one you must – and I mean MUST – prepare for ahead of time. This is your 60 second elevator pitch to sell your potential future employer why you are the best fit for the role. Don’t know how to construct a good elevator pitch? Follow this link for some tips, this one is good too. In 60 seconds or less, you should be able to articulate where you’ve been, where you want to go, and why you want to be here.
Question 2: What Do You Know About Us/Me And Why Do You Want To Work Here?
This is where you show off your research abilities. This is called doing your due diligence. Tell them how long the company has been around, who founded it, who their customers are, what their mission is and if it aligns with your beliefs, what their strategy is, how many locations they have and where, what problem their product or service solves etc… Secondly – this is a chance for you to explain why you want to work for them. Before showing up for the interview, you might want to take the time to look into further detail what the company is all about and if it truly is somewhere you’d like to spend 40+ hours a week, every week, for however long you plan to be there. I’ve made the mistake of NOT doing enough research before accepting a job, and let me tell you, it’s a mistake I won’t make again.
Question 3: How Does Your Prior Experience Relate To This Role?
Another question you might want to think about before showing up for your interview is how what you’re doing now or in the past aligns with what you will be doing at the position you’re applying for. It might sound pretty straight forward, but many job roles are similar yet different. Make a list of the skills you have and pick the top 3 that would be the most beneficial in your new role. Then spend about 1-2 minutes per skill elaborating on what that skill is and why it’s important.
Question 4: What Is Your 5 Year Plan?
Whether you have a real plan or not, you might want to start developing one before interviewing. This question tells the interviewer whether or not you are able to set and strive to achieve goals. Come up with a plan of the different roles you’d like to be within the company, and how you’d reach your goal at the end. Do you want to be in management? Do you want to manage more or larger accounts/clients/customers/patients? Do you want to own your own business one day? All of these things are important to think about and great to share with your interviewer.
Question 5: Why Are You Thinking About Leaving The Company You Are At?
This is my least favorite question because I’m not sure there’s really a “right” answer. Every answer I’ve ever come up with, whether it be I would like to make more money, or I’ve reached the ceiling, or I would like to have more responsibilities, or my beliefs don’t align with the companies – these all have bad repercussions that lead to “well why haven’t you expressed this with your company and found a solution?” Another issue this question brings up is that our generation is known to have a commitment issue across all facets of our lives – we aren’t good at staying in one place. This is one you will want think about and prepare for. Once you come up with an answer, I suggest reaching out to 3 or 4 of your most trusted peers – family, friend, mentor, previous boss, etc.. and see if they think your answer is genuine and understandable. Have them challenge you with follow up questions so you are prepared for questions from the interviewer once you explain your position.
Question 6: What Are Your Weaknesses?
This is my second most hated question and I’ve gotten to the point where [if for some unthinkable reason] I interview for another job again, I would decline the offer because this question is so stupid!!! …I mean helpful 🙂 But it happens, and it has happened… and it will continue to happen. The most annoying and overused answers include (and I quote):
I work too hard
I’m a perfectionist
I’m very type A
And to be honest, who can argue with that. While deep inside I roll my eyes at these answers, I use them because business owners want employees that go above and beyond, are genuinely willing to work more than the typical “8-5” and go the extra mile. So I’d suggest picking something along those lines so long as they apply to you, annoying as they may be 😉
Question 7: Tell Me About A Time When You Solved A Problem.
I love this question because I enjoy solving problems and do this quite often, but when you are on the spot and someone asks, you can’t say “well, at McDonald’s this morning there was a problem. You see, I couldn’t get there fast enough, so I ran five red lights, cut off an elderly person and boom- problem solved-hunger vanished.”
Joking aside, think about some of you best accomplishments and perhaps what problems or hurdles you faced on your way to achieving these accomplishments. Turning an unhappy client into a happy client, building a relationship with a coworker that’s hard to get along with just to get the job done or taking on extra work or projects to keep the business running or clients happy are good examples. Managers and business owners like employees who are self-ran – meaning you can handle it and don’t need help solving every single problem that comes your way.
What questions do you think are important to know how to answer during an interview? Have you ever been completely at a loss for words when asked something? I want to know what you might have struggled with and talk about how to get over these challenges. Leave a comment below or reach out @ firstname.lastname@example.org <3
PS – I wrote this post because my best friend asked me to talk about it. Please, tell me things you want to hear more about, I’m open to writing about almost anything, so long as it falls under a topic I cover: career, marketing or lifestyle.
When the sun rose this morning, I was feeling a bit less like myself. The week has been a busy one to say the least. Although I’d slept a good 7-8 hours, I felt mentally, emotionally and physically drained. I snoozed my alarm five times and woke up feeling tired, dull and unmotivated. I cooked breakfast slowly, somehow managing to burn the eggs as I waited until the last minute to get in my car to drive in rush hour traffic down 75 to the office. I was burnt out by breakfast.
Some might see this as a millenial/generational issue or simple laziness, but days like these are upsetting to me- not because of the feelings I get in these moments, but because of how awful I feel for allowing myself to feel unmotivated. But something I need to work on is understanding one thing: and that is that I’m human. I can’t wake up every single day feeling full of energy, inspired, creative and ready to take the bull by the horns. While I’m still accepting this truth, I will continue to pull my butt out of bed and put my game face on and try to remember that it’s okay to not alwaysbe and feel 150%.
As I reflect on my day, my week and my perspective, I start to think. Are things really that rough? No. Are things rough in comparison to the things I’ve been through thus far? Not really. Did I decide that I wanted to grow in my career at a fast pace? Yes. Can I help that I care so much about my career and being someone someday? No, I was born with this feeling inside. I can’t help that I care so much. I can’t settle for being average, for riding the wave or for being stagnant. I constantly want to be moving forward, one step ahead, always “on” yet somehow always dreaming. It’s a blessing more than a curse, and to get through this burnt out feeling I get when I have crazy busy weeks, I like to over indulge in things that make me feel like I’m right where I need to be. Motivation for me starts with five simple things:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: this book is one I’m still reading, but there are some really powerful insights into what I may be doing wrong, how I could change my perspective and how the most successful people think. The book is very empowering and motivating, and it makes me feel more educated every time I put it down. It addresses issues in every facet of life – not just career, but also relationships and family. I love this book and will read it over and over until hopefully one day I can be a living example of the philosophies in this book.
Super Soul Sunday: my mom got me hooked on Oprah at a very young age. I wasn’t quick to latch onto her new network, but there are now two shows I LOVE watching: Undercover Boss and Super Soul Sunday. I watch this show in the mornings as I get ready for work, it’s such a great way to start the day on a positive note. On SSS, Oprah interviews some of the top entrepreneurs, writers, and philosophers in the world. She’s had the owner of Whole Foods, the author of “Wild” which later turned into a hit film with Reese Witherspoon, the CEO of Starbucks, the author of Eat, Pray, Love just to name a few. I recently was impacted by something the CEO of Starbucks said in his interview. He talked about the importance of vulnerability in leadership. Basically it’s not always about being right or being perfect, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I could write a book about how much I love this show, and it’s not just for the ladies. If you want to learn something from someone who’s figured it out, I suggest recording this series and watching it.
Networking Groups: every time I get together with a group of career-minded people outside of work to talk about the work we do, I always leave feeling refreshed, motivated and full of new ideas. It makes me feel as though I’m not just bettering myself, but also creating ideas in which I’ll contribute to the company I work for. Attending these groups and learning from the members in these groups is such a positive thing for anyone’s career. I highly recommend that everyone, no matter what industry, joins a professional group or two.
Good Friends & A Glass Of Wine: one thing I’ll never be bad at is relaxing while spending time with friends and a glass of the good stuff. Sometimes when things get rough, a simple glass of wine and a long time friend to converse with is all I need to get my mind off the troubles of the day or week.
Pray About It: this should be first, but I’m tired and not ordering things properly tonight. I pray for the happiness of others. I pray for my family. I pray for my friends. I pray for every person I work with. I pray for my clients. And I thank God for all the good things in my life. The last thing I pray for is the strength, the guidance and the knowledge to get through the daily problems I will face. A simple “thank you/help me Jesus” never fails me.
If I want to accomplish anything, it would be to share my small struggles in hopes to help you with whatever struggles you might be going through. Maybe you’re my age, trying to make your way in this world, trying to find yourself or just trying to find what makes you happy. I hope my writing and my stories encourage and inspire you. Please share with me in comments below how you find motivation in your day to day life, I want to hear from you!