I have to be honest this week has been a struggle. It seemed like the days were so long, the tie change has really been effecting me.
Day 11: Write a letter to yourself explaining why you are unique
I thought writing this letter was going to be easy. I mean I write all the time and I think highly of myself (so I thought). But as I tried to write this letter to myself I had writers block. My mind went blank, I couldn’t think of anything unique about me- well I questioned everything I thought of. I had to step away for a long shower then come back with a clear mind to do my letter to myself some justice.
Day 12: Have a phone free night
This was as challenging as I thought it would be. I am always on my phone and always on social media. I’m a blogger… Social media is my hobby. So, once I got in home work my home went on DND. I listen to music until I wanted to hear nothing but silence. Then silence got boring so I went to bed early. The next day I felt well rested and I didn’t even reach for my phone when I woke up. I don’t know about you but I normally fall asleep scrolling on social media and wake up to scrolling my notifications.
Day 13: Journal for 15 minutes
I journal on a day to day basis. Sometimes multiple times a day. I have to get my feeling and ideas out and on paper. So writing things down is my organization habit.
Day 14: Watch a Ted Talk
TED TALKS are my favorite!!!! One day I inspire to be a TED talk speakers, right now I don’t know what I would speak about – but I’m working towards it. For a little mid-day inspiration I watched, Get comfortable with being uncomfortable by Luvvie Ajayi.
Day 15: Make a gratitude list
I’ve never made a gratitude list before, so this was fun.
I am a child of god.
I have clean drinking water.
I have love and laughter, joy and pain.
I have a sound mind and good health.
I can’t believe it is already November… 2018 is almost over!
So, many of y’all know I have been really into self care and trying to focus on taking better care of my mental, physical and emotional health. As the year is coming to an end, I have been really working towards accomplishing my goals, finding myself (who I am as an adult?) and not stressing over things I can’t control. I’ve come to realize that self care is the best care. Sometimes you have to step outside yourself and evaluate the things and people in your life? I have decided to make November a #selfcare month.
I realize that I am growing everyday. I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m not a college student anymore. I’m young still, but I’m an adult. A real adult! This year has been a eye opener that I need to focus more on me and cater to my needs a little bit more than I have been. But that come with saying “no” and removing myself from thing that are unhealthy and not meaningful to me. I thought it would be easy but it’s honestly been hard. So here is my start to treating Khadijah better for Khadijah.
Take this journey with me for #selfcarenovember! All month I will be sharing my self care tips, jewels, and quotes on my social media outlets. I will also be blogging my experience, thoughts, feelings and emotions along this journey. I really want to create a open forum to release my inner complications and connect with people who may be going through or feeling the same as me. So, let’s connect!
Save the Self Care November 30- day challenge photo below and take the challenge with me. Be sure to share on social media using #selfcarenovember. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter… I’ll be use to share and repost.
SN: I just realized next month is December …. that means BLOGMAS and blogs everyday… Lord help me! I do plan to participant this year. Blogmas is a whole lot, though. Planning blogs, prepping blogs, writing and editing blogs, just a lot. Pray for me.
Today’s topic is COMMUNICATION… I am big on communication within my personal and professional life. But today, I need to speak on professional communication. As a professional that has the responsibility of managing and communicating with others in the workplace, it is your civil duty to take responsibility for your own communication skills. If you suck at communication and you know it, everyday you should work on becoming a better communicator.
Here are a few tips on how to be a self-starter and enhance your communication skills
- Ask for feedback from your co-workers and direct reports
Constructive criticism makes us better as people and professionals. Never be afraid to ask for feedback. Early on my career, I had a manager that schedule weekly project update meetings with me. Once a week we would sit down and go over the status of all my project. My manager suggested we give 2-way feedback during each meeting. This opened the door for her to give me constructive criticism, and meet to give her feedback as my manager. I really respected the dialogue we shared during those meetings. We were two amazing black women in a corporate office. We did not always agree, but we were a unit. We had a balance and understanding on communication between ourselves, which made the work environment comfortable and easy.
- Listen to the feedback you receive
There is no point of asking for feedback if you don’t plan on taking it in. If you receive negative feedback, analyze it. Ask yourself? Why would you get negative feedback? How can you apply changes to improve? This is where accountability comes into place. If you get negative feedback, its up to you and only you to adjust accordingly.
- Use google, find resources that can help you improve professionally
Many companies do not invest in training anymore. The classroom doesn’t teach interpersonal skills. Communication skills are developed overtime, and they may change over and over again. If you need training for e-mail communication etiquette in the work place, google it. There are online resources available for just about everything in the world we live in today. There are articles, YouTube tutorials, lecture videos, and many of them are free. It is up to you to find what you need to improve.
- Set goals for yourself
Goal setting helps keep you accountable. Making small goals will also help you ensure you improve. I would suggest short term goals that challenges you to improve each week.
- Celebrate your improvement
After every achievement, celebrate yourself and your improvement. For example, if your goal is to enhance your formal e-mail etiquette, and you improve of the course of a month- treat yourself.
It’s November 1st, and the 31-day challenge is over.
October was the beginning of me taking control of my career. I am a few months away from finishing graduate school and I have the power to take control. The 31-days of Applying Yourself challenge was successfully and I am proud of myself.
October 1st, I challenged myself and you to take control of your career and seek growth. The challenge was to apply for a desirable positions each day of the month. The goal was to get an interview and take the necessary steps towards growth in your career.
Each day I sat behind my computer searching and applying for the “next big thing” in my career. Within this month I received a few follow up phone calls and e-mails, even more rejection letters, and two interviews. I used my resources to update my resume and LinkedIn profile. I developed an application tracker to keep track of the company and position I have applied for.
So what’s next…
I will continue to apply myself. I challenge you to continue to apply yourself. The opportunities are out there but no one is going to hand them to you. You have to work for it. As these 31- days come to an end, I am still motivated to grow my career as a professional. So, now I will go back and follow up on those pending job applications, search for more positions that may be a great fit for me, and network through LinkedIn to get connected with the right people.
Don’t Give Up! Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and your career will not be either.
If you have any questions about the challenge and how I did it, I’m happy to share…. Just Ask!
I am 14 days into the 31 days of “Applying Yourself” Challenge. If you don’t know what I am talking about, stop right now and go read my last blog, “Apply Yourself”.
So far I have applied to 14 desirable positions in the marketing field. It has been confirmed that all 14 applications have been received. Most times when you apply to a job online, you receive a confirmation email from the HR department. Now-a-days it’s all automated. I have not heard back from anyone yet. But I am optimistic and it is only Week 1. I understand that most companies post jobs for a couple of weeks and sometimes months before they start the reviewing process. So right I’m playing the waiting game for the jobs I have applied for and I will continue to apply myself to more jobs as the 31-day challenge continues.
My goal out of this is to get an interview. An Interview is the first step. If you get an interview, you are doing something right. Interviews are a big deal. If this 31-day challenge gets me one interview I will feel accomplished. If this 31-day challenge lands me a new job opportunity, I will feel like I’m on top of the world.
The other day, I was thinking of ways I can boost this 31-day challenge. Add it to, somehow! Not just apply for the jobs but seek out the job. I decided to upgrade my LinkedIn account to a premium membership. It’s a free 30- day trial and $29 a month after the first 30 days. I wanted to test out the benefits of being able to InMail other LinkedIn members that I do not have direct connections with. Also, be able to have a larger scope to who’s viewing my profile and get some insight on job postings from LinkedIn. Hopefully this will help guide me in the right professional direction for this challenge. So far I have looked up people from the companies I have applied to, introducing myself a letting them know I’m interested in joining the company.
Over the last couple of days, I have revised my resume and cover letter. Just re-wording some things and making everything look polished. This upcoming week, I plan to start following up on my submitted applications. This process will be interesting because everything is done online now. So, I have to do some research to find recruiters and HR contacts. But following up on an application with an e-mail of interest speaks volume to the leadership you can bring to the company.
One thing I also wanted to share with you is how I am keeping track of everything. I developed an Application Tracker in Excel. This is where I list the Company, Applied Position and Reference number, along with the date I applied. I also have a column for Associates contacted. This is where I list the individuals I have reached out to concerning the job. As well as a column for Application Outcomes, so I can keep track of when I hear back from each company. If you are currently taking this 31- day challenge with me or are thinking about doing so in the future, I would be happy to share a template with you. Just comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all next week with new updates!
featured image: Copyright Sihuo0860371/iStockPhoto