Conquer Low Self-Esteem: Four Tips to Increase Your Confidence

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, confidence is key! But what if you are struggling with low self-esteem? You can overcome it. Chances are it won’t happen overnight, but it you work at it, you can conquer low self-esteem.

Having the utmost positive impression of yourself can change your entire life from the way you talk, to the way you dress at your job, your health, and your love life. Yes, your love life!

It is proven that people who are truly confident are living the most successful and fulfilling lives. I want you to be not only successful in your career, but in every aspect of your life.

Low self-esteem can drag down all the relationships you have, especially your romantic relationships, by attracting and maintaining that special person it can drastically change your outlook. Sometimes when you are successful in one area of your life it fuels your confidence and courage to tackle the other areas that are not as successful.

For example, I grew up stuttering. For me, it was a confidence issue. It may not be for other stutterers, but for me, I was a timid kid; and the fear of speaking followed me for years until I developed the confidence to overcome it.

Here are four tips to conquer low self-esteem:

1. Know that you’re one of a kind
You must always remember that you are unique and you were created for a reason. God doesn’t make junk. One of the ways to build internal confidence is by not comparing yourself to others. Focus on your strengths, abilities, and what makes you different. Embrace who you are. Once you embrace you, then you give others the chance to accept and love you for you. But please know, everyone will not like you, but that’s another post.
Understanding that you have gifts and talents that make you different can translate in profession and in your personal relationships.

2. Look people in the eyes
When you make eye contact, it communicates to that person you are someone to reckon with! It doesn’t have to be negative or seductive. Eye contact is a way to connect with people. It also communicates that you’re not afraid.

If you are a person that finds it difficult to make and maintain eye contact, practice, practice, practice.

3. Look the part
Appearance is one of the biggest factors of confidence and self-esteem. The amazing thing is that the power of appearance is universal. Taking pride in your appearance translates well in most regions around the world.
Improving your physical appearance by going to the gym and eating healthy will do wonders for your inner confidence and will make you feel better both physically and emotionally. Exercising often is a great way to make you feel better and look better. The more you take care of yourself the more powerful and confident your will be.
Have you ever heard the saying look good, feel good? There is a lot of truth behind that statement. When you dress well, it boosts your confidence and makes you feel more confident.

4. Join Toastmasters
I joined Toastmasters in 2006. It was by far the best confidence booster I’ve encountered. Toastmasters is a worldwide organization geared to help its members become better speakers and leaders.
For me Toastmasters has given me a platform practice all these tips I’ve provided you and more. If you’re interested in developing your confidence, improving your communication and leadership skills, then find a Toastmasters near you and attend the meeting. It’s free to visit the club. The member does cost. It’s the least expensive membership I’ve had. It has tremendous value.

  These four tips have done wonders in my life. Also read The Way to Develop Confidence.

For more information on low self-esteem click this helpful article.

What do you need to do to get ahead at work?

When you want to get ahead at work, it can be challenging to know exactly what to do. Most people think that if you just work harder, then your effort will result in a promotion.

Below is Rebecca’s story in her pursuit to get ahead.

Rebecca had no desire to leave her job, she wanted to get promoted in her current position. In her words, she’d been doing “everything” that was asked of her, but no one noticed her efforts, let alone rewarded them.

Meanwhile, some of her peers were flying past her with promotions and raises.

What was the problem with Rebecca, and how was she going to get ahead?

Rebecca enlisted some help by asking HR to refer a mentor. After a few coaching sessions from her mentor, they identified that Rebecca was not connecting with management. The company she worked for was small and casual, but Rebecca shied away from engaging her senior leadership.

How could Rebecca ever convince her leadership that she cared about the business if she wouldn’t make any effort to interact with them?

The reality is that the people who get promoted are doing more than just getting the work done.  Studies show that how we value an employee’s competence changes according to how much we like or dislike that person.

In other words, being really good at your job isn’t enough.

For an employee to stand out, being likeable is a huge indicator for success. The good news is that the biggest hindrance to likeability is apathy.  The good news is that if you are like Rebecca, you can change how others perceive you simply by making the choice to care about other people.

Here are 7 steps you can implement immediately regardless of your circumstances that will put you back on the promotion path, where you belong:

  1. Take initiative

Volunteer for assignments. Are there any tasks that have been lingering on your boss’ to-do list for a few weeks? A great way to get noticed is by taking on a project that no one wants to tackle, but that has to get done.

  1. Connect with everyone

People who get big things done are people who know people, but the Rebecca’s of the world have a tendency to think that inter-office relationship building is too time-consuming and draining to be worthwhile.

Every aspect of your professional life will improve if you get to know your colleagues and making them feel comfortable getting to know you. This can be challenging if you are introverted. Push through this and connect with people one-by-one. Once you’ve broken the ice, you won’t feel nearly as uncomfortable about initiating a conversation in the elevator.

  1. Participate in the office’s extracurricular activities.

Work hard and enjoy your job too if you want to get ahead at work. Participate in the company’s fundraising walk or bake sale. Whatever your organization is doing, participate and do #2, connect.

For the extroverts that love to socialize and party, when it comes to office events, never put more effort into your social persona than you’re putting into your professional persona.

  1. Accomplish the organization’s goal

Every organization has a bottom line or a mission, and if you’re bringing in new business opportunities, you will always be seen as an asset. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hired for marketing; it’s all about contributing in a bigger way. This doesn’t mean you need to be a walking billboard for your employer, but you should maintain a keen awareness of the opportunities that surround you, whether you’re in a coffee line or a board meeting.

Whatever your organization’s mission is, make sure you are working toward its achievement.

  1. Be a team player

Look for ways to collaborate and work in harmony. Bring your strengths to projects and assignments. Accept and embrace the diversity of talent within your team. Everyone won’t see things the way you do. That’s ok. Learn to work in diverse teams.

You don’t need to be a martyr of self-sacrifice by staying late every single night to do someone else’s work, but stepping up without expecting any personal benefit will never go unnoticed or unappreciated.

  1. Steer clear of negativity

Negativity is highly toxic. No one really wants to hear it, especially senior leaders. Focus on being helpful and solving problems not causing problems.

  1. Speak up.

Toastmasters is a great way to learn and practice your speaking skills.

Side note: Most of the interviews I’ve been on, the interviewer normally asks me about Toastmasters.  It has given me a leg up.

Make sure you practice speaking well. If you struggle with grammar, improve. Take a class. If you are shy and/or introverted, practice speaking up. Make sure when you speak, you are not covering your mouth by resting your chin on your hand. Sit up straight and project your voice.

Back to Rebecca, over the course of a few months, Rebecca started to realize that having a voice in the workforce is like a muscle that grows stronger with frequent use. With each step forward, her self-consciousness loosened its grip and she became confident about seizing opportunities. She felt empowered to step up, regardless of whether it was to run a meeting or populate the spreadsheet.

The standout employees are the ones who behave like leaders, even when their title is Intern. The irony is that when you’re more focused on the results than the promotion, your title will change faster than you can even imagine. This is how you get ahead at work.

If you don’t believe me, guess who’s now managing her company’s brand new office in London?

That would be—you guessed it—Rebecca!

10 Steps to Setting and Achieving Work Goals

Goal setting is a great way to strategically move your career forward. Having work goals and reaching your goals can be challenging, and below are 10 steps to help you better achieve your work goals.

  1. Get clarity on what you are trying to achieve

First things first – understand what you want to pursue. What do you want? It might be a good idea to start with your performance plan or a set of work goals that your manager has for you. If you don’t have this level of support or structure, maybe the first thing is to have a conversation with your manager to find out what you need to focus on.

If you already know what you want, go for it!

  1. Get some help

You might need help to achieve your goal. By understanding your team, you can pull from their strengths to help you to reach your goals. You team might be your staff members, your project team, or just co-workers.

When you understand the people around you, you can ask the right people for the help you need to achieve more. If you are a supervisor, team lead, or a project manager, you especially need the help of your teammates.

  1. Get your supervisor on your side

Maybe your goal is to get on your supervisor’s good side. If that’s the case, attempt to make their job easier. Have a conversation with your manager and ask what you can do to help out. Do what they tell you. Don’t over think it and don’t do what you think will be better. If you want to introduce a new way or whatever you think is better, do what they ask first and then do what you think is better. Then let your boss have a choice between the two products. When in doubt, ask first before you go off and try to predict what your boss wants. Wait until they trust you to try to innovate. 

  1. Focus on what you can control

For every workplace goal, there are factors you can control and factors out of your hands. Be clear on the distinction, and have a plan for what to do if the out-of-your-control factors don’t line up.

In project management, most times project managers are responsible for completing a project, but don’t have total autonomy over the people assigned to their project to get things done. This is a most challenging part of project management. Focusing on things that a project manager can control might be the budget. Things the project manager can’t control might be how quickly team members complete tasks. In this example, the project manage might add extra time in the schedule to allow for team members to complete tasks. Sometimes you got to be strategic on how you accomplish your goals.

  1. Consider your long term career goals

Where do you want to be in 5 years? What would you need to do to get to that position? Do you need to get a certification? Maybe you might need some additional experience. What is your ideal next professional role? Which success stories will make you a suitable and impressive candidate? Figure out what you want to do and begin to make a plan.

  1. Go beyond and think of the big picture

You might have opportunities to do other assignments at work. Think about what you want for your career for the future and take on some of those extra projects if you think it might give you the experience or exposure you need to get to where you want to be.

  1. Visualize as often as possible

See yourself where you want to be. Get a detailed vision. You might create a vision board by adding pictures of things that look like what you want your future to look like. Sometimes you may not know what your typical day will look like in your dream job. But don’t allow that to stop you.

I envisioned getting my project management professional certification. I saw myself passing the rigorous exam and throwing my hands up when I got my score. I saw myself celebrating. While I was studying for the exam, periodically I would close my eyes that think about how I was going to tell my mom. Everything that I saw in my mind, I did.

What can you visualize that will pull you closer to your dream?

Goals are dreams with deadlines – motivational phrase on a vintage blackboard
  1. Get some accountability

If you can get your supervisors support, that would be great. However, if you want to get a new job, your supervisor may or may not be rooting for you. It’s tricky when it comes to new positions and having supervisors support.

Having an accountable person to encourage you and help to keep you on track can make the difference. A mentor could potentially give you the support you need to accomplish your work goals.  

  1. Check-in often

Do you know the saying “out of sight, out of mind”? Well, it’s not enough to just set work goals. How many times have you have resolutions and then forgot about them by Valentine’s Day?

It’s important to review your work goals often. Write them down and put them in a place where you will look at them often.

Schedule times to evaluate how well you are doing in terms of reaching your goals. You can do this monthly or quarterly depending on the work goal.

  1. Align what you do daily with your goals

Do a periodic check on how well your daily to-do list aligns with your big-picture workplace goals. If the two have nothing to do with each other, talk to your manager and take action.

Maybe your work goal is to become bilingual, then your daily to-do-list should include some sort of foreign language classes, foreign language tutorials, practicing the foreign language, etc.

If this is one of your work goals, you won’t just wake up one day completely fluent in a foreign language if you’re not putting in the work.   

  1. Track your progress

It feels great when you can look back over a period of time and see that you are moving toward where you want to be. Tracking your progress will help you to see if you are actually getting closer to your goals or moving away from them.

Goal setting is an art. It takes practice and follow through. It’s wonderful when you can achieve your work goals. The major takeaway is that you want to know what you want, keep it in front of you, visualize achieving it, get support, and track your progress.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Improve Your Work Life: 18 Workplace Goals That Will Propel Your Career

It’s the NEW YEAR! Don’t let this year’s resolutions be empty promises to yourself. This year take your career to the next level.

Even though the year has begun, it’s certainly not too late to make workplace resolutions. The most important part in setting these resolutions is keeping them. But if you’re like most people, that probably means seeing those resolutions fly out the window before Valentine’s Day. Let’s do something different and see them through.

To have a better chance of achieving your resolutions, here are a few tips:

Plan to stay on track- Schedule your goals or resolutions. For example, if you want to get a better job this year, figure out what you need to do. Your first step might be to update your resume. Write down what you need to do and when you need to do it. Add these tasks to your calendar. Do this for all your resolutions or goals.

Get an accountability partner- Find someone that you can be accountable to. It helps me to have family or friends to join together to have an accountability goals group. The important thing is doing what you said you’d do and if not, you pay up. You can setup a Venmo account or some other payment system to exchange money for not accomplishing goals.

This year, look at your career and set some goals you can track and achieve. Here are 18 workplace goals for the New Year that will make it your best work year ever.

  1. Take care of your body

It’s popular to say you want to lose weight for the New Year. How about having a few healthy habits that you can do at work? For example, take the stairs, walk during your breaks, bring a healthy lunch and snacks, or set your printer a little farther than the closest to your desk. Get a fitness tracking device and see how many more steps you can take just by adding more steps to the printer.

I’ve been caught by my co-workers doing lungs or swats. I also walk the stairs while I’m waiting for food to warm in the microwave. Every little bit counts.

  1. Learn something new

Taking your skills to the next level can position you for a promotion or a pay increase. However, I wouldn’t recommend just doing it for the chance at financial gains. Learning new things can be exciting and increase your self-esteem, this is priceless. No matter what field you are in, there are hundreds of new skills you can learn that could benefit your career.

  1. Read a book

Reading something career related or motivational can rejuvenate and give you ideas on how to improve the way you work or give you a new perspective. Reading does wonders for your brain. No matter your job or industry, there are books out there that can improve your performance, your outlook, or your personal habits. Even if you think you already know what you need to know, reading a great book on professional development can give you tools to get the edge in the workplace.

  1. Dust off your resume

Updating your resume is always a great idea. Even if you are happy with your current job. Get prepared for new opportunities. What’s the harm?

As you review your resume, ask the following questions: Is the style current? Is the information up to date? Have I added all my most recent classes/skills/certifications?

  1. Network monthly

Make a goal to build new professional connections every month. There’s no downside to increasing the size of your professional network. You probably meet people all the time, but do you take the time to listen, grab their business card, and connect with them? Connect with these new friends on LinkedIn so that you can keep up with them.

  1. Update your LinkedIn profile

Speaking of LinkedIn, is your profile up to date? In the professional world, LinkedIn is crucial to your overall personal brand. Just like your resume, you need to keep the information, tone, and look of it reverent.

  1. Make a new friend at work

Making new friends can be very beneficial depending on the person you decide to befriend. Look for someone that has a great attitude and that can help you be better in some way. It’s great to have people that can challenge you to be a better you.

  1. Clean up your work space

This New Year’s resolution idea can double as one for home too! Many of us have hundreds of emails in our inbox, file cabinets or desk drawers that are filled with old papers, or just cluttered work spaces.  It doesn’t take long to start organizing and cleaning out irrelevant information. Weed through those files, recycle what you don’t need, and organize the rest. This goes for your computer files, too. You will feel so accomplished.

  1. Follow a blog

We live in a world with free information, insider tips, and great motivational writers online. Find a blog that you enjoy, whether it’s specific to your industry or just someone who puts a little pep in your step, and sign up to follow it. Don’t know where to find one? Subscribe to Building Connections. This blog often has links to other great blog sites as well.

  1. Get a mentor

This is my favorite. I have had some really great mentors. The right mentor can be a powerful tool to propel your career forward. Is there a person at your company who you highly respect? Don’t just look up to them. Ask if he or she is willing to be your work mentor. It works best if it is a recognized relationship between the two of you. Set workplace goals together for the New Year and have a little fun while you’re at it. In addition to one-on-one meetings, go for coffee or a walk. You can also join a networking group together. There are many ways to connect with your mentor in a way that will be mutually enjoyable, rewarding, and fun.

  1. Get a new headshot

A new year could mean a new professional photo for your social media profiles. Depending on your career goals and the type of company culture, your profile photo may be casual or professional in its nature. The key is to select a photo that is high quality — at least 400 x 400 pixels, no larger than 8MB in file size, and does not exceed 20,000 pixels in height or width. Most importantly, you want a picture that truly represents who you are both personally and professionally. A lot of organizations have profile pictures linked to email. Instead of not adding a photo or using some random graphic of a flower, pet, or the sunset. Add a professional picture.

  1. Give thank you notes

Appreciate people with a handwritten thank you note. By doing this it will make you standout, and it feels good too. All you have do is buy a box of thank-you notes. Then, each month or when you feel inspired, think of someone who did something nice for you. This will help build your connections at work.

  1. Join a professional organization

This is a terrific way to make connections with people that you may not otherwise meet. This resolution does require a financial commitment, however the benefits you can receive from the connections you’ll make and what you can learn is often well worth the cost. There are tons of professional organizations. You can explore gender specific organizations, race and ethnicity clubs, industry specific, or hobby specific. Another way to search for an organization is to look for one that is focused on your favorite part of your job and check out any conferences they hold. A good conference can help you expand your network significantly and boost your work energy for weeks. Not sure how to find a professional association that’s right for you? Start by finding out which groups your colleagues and managers are active in. You can also check out resources like, 10times, and the Directory of Associations for more options.

  1. Balance your life

In order to be your best, you have to have balance with work and your personal life. Contrary to what you might see in your leadership chain, it is healthy to have work-life balance. We all hear about work-life balance, but how to you master it? You can master it by working at it. You might not be able to do everything you want in one day or accomplish all of your resolutions in one year, but the key is working at it and being flexible. Therefore, you might miss out on some things, but make sure you make a conscience decision to choose the events or things that you do strategically. Meaning, if you have children, try your very best to be there for their big things in life. Take vacations, and when you go, be present. Don’t take your work with you unless it is absolutely necessary. Try very hard to delegate your responsibilities when you are away or get all your big tasks done prior to leaving.

  1. Volunteer

Volunteering your time is a great thing to do. If you don’t have time, you can be creative and make time. Look for ways to volunteer at work. A lot of organizations have projects that help other people. You can volunteer to do a can food drive or coat drive. You can become a mentor to someone at work. Volunteering is a great way to positively affect the world, and it’s also another way you can feel good about yourself.

  1. Get one new professional certification

Take a look at your resume and imagine that you are adding a new certification. Figure out what certification you’d like on your resume and get moving to earn it.

  1. Give more compliments

Believe it or not, both men and women like receiving compliments. When you are at work, stick to compliments about work. You can be safe by complimenting haircuts or styles. Don’t get weird because this can really blowup on you if you get too personal or start to cross the line.

  1. Develop better public speaking skills

Join Toastmasters. Work on your presentation and leadership skills. Joining Toastmasters is one of the best ways to reach several of these resolutions. You will be joining a professional organization, learning new skills, developing existing skills, networking, making friends, volunteering and serving in an organization, learning to give evaluations (compliments and helpful feedback), and you can work to earn a professional speaking or leadership certification. All of this for a very little financial and time investment.

Now that you’ve made your New Year’s work resolutions, it’s time get moving on your excellent year.

8 Productivity Tips to Get Things Done

Your work environment (regardless of whether you are at work or home) is filled with “noise” that can distract you from getting things done. There are tons of obstacles in the office that are distracting, like your coworkers. I find it very challenging to focus with people are laughing, talking loud, having conference calls on speaker, or interrupting you every chance they get.

Working from home can be equally as challenging. At my house my son is home every day. I’m not caring for him, my sister-in-law does. However, I can hear him cry, run, laugh, talk, and play. Before he was born, I was distracted with all the other things that I could be doing at home like doing laundry or watering the grass or watching tv. The point is distractions are everywhere.

For these reasons, it is important to take a proactive approach and arrange your workspace in a way that helps you clear your mind so that you can produce your best work or at least get things done.

Here are eight strategies to get things done:

#1: Empty your Mind

Get all the things you have to do out of your head and on paper, in an email, or on a document. There are many ways to capture all the things you have to do. Once they are out of your head and on paper, then you can prioritize them and strategize how you will get them done.

When I get overwhelmed with a lot of things to do. It’s because I have not written down the things I need to do. Once I write down my list of things to do, I feel like a monkey has been lifted from my back.

#2: Shut down your email

Email is so distracting when you need to get things done. I think the best way to manage email when you have a lot to do is to schedule time to check your email. Email notifications are triggers to get you to stop what you’re doing. Once this happens, you have to come back to where you left off, and that’s not always seamless and easy.

For instance, Kaye schedules “inbox time” for the end of each workday, long after she’s completed her high-energy-level tasks. Furthermore, she has disabled all email notifications on both his email and cellphone. That way, she’s only able to look at email when she’s ready to take action on each message.

I’m not sure I’d wait until the end of the day, but you have to find what works for you and your work.

#3: Manage noise levels

Each person is different when it comes to the noise they can tolerate. Some people need absolute silence, while others need white noise to block out distracting sounds in their environment. It all depends on what works best for you.

If you like to listen to music, experiment with different styles until you find one that helps you be more productive with each type of task. Kaye likes listening to ocean waves while writing, but she needs upbeat music when she’s working on tasks that she prefers not to do.

#4: Manage meetings

Sometimes meetings are unavoidable. Depending on your work situation, you may not have control over the meetings you attend, but if you do, keep the following tips in mind:

  • If you can conduct meetings standing up. Have a chair or two available if someone really needs to sit.
  • Have an agenda for the meeting. Send it to attendees ahead of time so they have an opportunity to propose important items before the meeting starts. This keeps the point of the meeting clear and helps prevent you from falling down a rabbit hole of tangential topics.
  • Have a time limit on each topic. People will learn to get the important things out fast.
  • Only invite people to the meeting that need to be there. However, make sure that you have the right people in the room. This requires planning and forethought depending on what the meeting is trying to accomplish. For example, you may not realize that you need to have a decision maker from finance when you are brainstorming ways to get a project back on track. If you’re project is behind you might want to have that finance person at the meeting just in case.
  • Only schedule the meeting for the amount of time you think you need. In some work environments, meetings are typically 1-hour long regardless. Use your agenda to better plan the duration of the meeting.

Most meetings are an incredible waste of time and human resources. I suggest that you either avoid meetings when you can or look for ways to streamline the entire process.

#5: Avoid multitasking

I love multitasking, but it doesn’t work. I love it because it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing a lot at one time. However, countless studies have proven that people’s productivity diminishes when they engaged in more than one task.

The problem I’ve had with multitasking is that it is a breeding ground for errors. In fact, multitasking reduces creativity, and makes it harder to remember important details.  Work on one activity at a time and nothing else.

#6: Have a strategy for interruptions

You don’t always have as much control over your day as you’d like. What tends to happen is interruptions happen making it impossible to stay productive because you constantly have to deal with something.

We all experience interruptions, but what separates the successful people from everyone else is knowing how to handle them when they occur.

Here are a few strategies to do this:

  • Accept that there will be interruptions. It’s uncontrollable.  What you can control is your response to these random events.
  • Start work earlier than everyone else. I don’t know about you but around 9 or 10 am is when meetings are scheduled and bulk of emails start and the phones start ringing. Maybe a proactive strategy might be to start work a few hours earlier. You could also try staying late too.
  • Invest in some noise-canceling headphones to reduce the annoying loud talking, laughing, and other noise that can distract you.
  • Stick to your schedule as much as you can. In the beginning of your day, plan your day, then try to stick to it.
  • Have a plan for when you get interrupted. That way you can quickly deal with the interruption and get back to what you were doing.

#7: Say no

Learning to say no is tricky. A lot of people want to be helpful and they will say yes to things when they should be saying no to.

A great way to say no is to communicate what you are working on. Even if it is your manager or a senior leader. If someone asks you to do something, communicate all that you are working on. If this is your boss, let them prioritize how you spend your time, rather than accepting tons of additional work.

For example, you can say,

“Yes, I’d be happy to do write the report, but that will put me behind on the proposal that’s due on Friday.

Would you prefer that I do report first, or would it be better for me to focus on proposal instead?”

Just remember this: Whenever you say “yes” to a request, you say “no” to something else in your life.

Keep in mind that saying no isn’t rude, and there are many ways to say no without using the word “no.” For instance, you can say something like, “Thanks so much for considering me for this opportunity, but I don’t have the bandwidth to do it justice right now.

#8 Delegate

If you can have someone or something else complete tasks for you, do it. Of course you need to know if it makes senses to outsource tasks. If you are a supervisor or a team lead, assign work to other people that can get things done. Sometimes it takes longer to explain how to do an assignment than it does to actually do the work. You have to think about if it’s worth it or not. If the work in reoccurring, then it would be worth taking time to explain it. It also depends on how much time you have to meet your deadlines. In the beginning it takes people time to learn how to do things, but once they get up to speed, they should be able to take on projects with much less guidance.

You don’t have to be in a position of authority. Delegations could be simply asking someone for a favor. For example, if you are swamped at work, you could ask your coworker to pick up lunch for you while they’re out. Of course, it generally is not burdensome if you are giving them money, you’re willing to do the same for them, and you’re not always asking them to go out of their way. 

Being productive isn’t about getting more time each day―everybody has the same 24 hours each day.  Instead, you should strive to be productive to spend as much time as possible doing what you love and spending time with the people who truly matter.

Regardless of your situation and the demands on your time, with a little bit of creativity and careful planning, you can have time for the things that matter most. Use these strategies and start seeing improvements in the way you use your time.

What are the activities you engage in that eat up your time?



6 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job

How do you know when it’s time to leave your job? We all want to be happy if we have to work, right? It’s miserable when you are undervalued, overworked, or flat out underpaid. Why do we tend to stay at a job that we are unhappy? For me, it’s been that I didn’t want to exert the time and energy toward looking for a new job. Also, knowing the level of poor treatment and dysfunction was form of certainty for me. Somehow I always seemed to justify staying in bad situations.

Over the years I’ve had some really horrible supervisors that has made the work environment toxic and very challenging to thrive. Some of the jobs I’ve had were a bad fit. Then there was a conflict with various personalities of the people on the staff or team.

From my research I have identified six signs that you need to leave your job and change what you’re doing. Sadly, so many professionals stay stuck in complete denial about these six signs, because they’re just too scared to take action, until the unbearable happens and forces them to consider a new path.

The six signs that you should leave your job or change directions are:
1: You’re not happy with the work

If you are not happy with the bulk of what you do, it’s time for a change. There will always be things we prefer not to do on a job or even being self-employed or running a business. Someone that is really good at sales might not enjoy the paperwork. You might be excellent at what you do and really enjoy it, but hate filling out timesheets. If it’s a small percentage of what you do every day that you don’t like, that’s reasonable and to be expected. However, if the majority of the time, are you feeling unhappy, depressed, thwarted, bored, misunderstood, mistreated, then you might need to make a change. There could also be a problem if you feel the “real you” can’t come out, and the way you love to work isn’t honored or respected. Do you wonder how you ever ended up here, and fantasize daily about doing something very different?

2: The environment is highly toxic, including your boss and peers
Your job isn’t just about the functions and tasks you perform every day. It’s also about connections that you have or don’t have at work.
Your experience is shaped by a myriad of other factors including:
• Your supervisor, peers, teammates, and the leadership dynamic of the organization
• The culture of how your workplace treats all of its human resources
• The outcomes that the company is driving toward, and whether you respect and support these outcomes
• The growth you can achieve in your role
• The ability to collaborate
• And finally, the cohesiveness of your work style

Once you take a look at all the dimensions of your job and the organization, you will be able to see more clearly your role, your ability to navigate the organization, and better predict your future happiness at your organization to determine whether to leave or not.

3: The job is not a good fit
Sometimes you are really good at doing something that you hate doing. Other times, you really like the idea of doing a particular job, but you’re not good at it. What a lot of people don’t understand is that the skills that you possess are not at all the same as the natural talents and abilities that you enjoy using each day. In other words, you may be great at ledgers and income statements but in reality, you may actually hate balancing them. What we’re good at is not the same as what we love doing. If your job forces you to use skills that aren’t enjoyable or easy for you, you’ll be miserable and drained every day in your job.

4: You believe there is something more for you
If you have reoccurring feelings or something nagging you to pursue something greater, then it might be a sign that you are meant for something more. Sometimes we are in jobs or situations to learn from experiences. We need to take those skills and move to the next thing.

If you feel you’re made for more exciting things, then you are. The challenge might be that you have to find a way to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be. Another challenge might be to have the courage to take the leap. This certainly is not easy especially when you have a lot of financial responsibility. Your dream might not pay that much in the beginning or even in the long run. That’s a decision you might have to make.

5: Your work feels meaningless or negative to you
I use to have a job where I had to lie to fulfill my sales quota. I worked there for almost two years. Those were the most challenging two years of my career because I had to compromise my morals and beliefs. Every day I was going against what I knew was right. I didn’t start off lying, but to reach my quota and to have success in the company, I learned that deception was what others were doing and they got rewarded for it.

6: You are experiencing bullying or other forms of abuse at work
If you are being harassed or bullied, it’s definitely time to make a change. That change can be in a new position or maybe you stand up to the bully, but something has to give. Read this article to understand the signs of bullying.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:
• Do I love what I’m working on and do I feel it has value?
• Is the environment I work in toxic?
• Do I believe in what I’m doing?
• Is this a good fit for me?
• Does my work support my values and beliefs?
• Am I being harassed or bullied at work?

You can’t thrive or succeed if you are not happy with the work. Nor can you be your best working in a toxic environment where you don’t believe in what your organization is putting out in the world, or how they’re doing it. You simply cannot succeed if you subconsciously oppose what your employer stands for in the world. You absolutely won’t be your best if you are being harassed or bullied.

If any of these signs strike a chord for you, it’s time to make a change. The key question isn’t “Will you?” but “When will you finally honor what you know to be true about yourself?”

Resiliency at Work

What is it to have resiliency at work? Simply put― when you get knocked down, you come back up. I think about that little toy punching bag, the bop bag. I’m certainly not saying that you should take abuse at work. Being bullied at work is not going to help you in any way.

Resiliency at work is about being able to handle adversity and bounce back. It might be a really tough blow, but the important thing is that you don’t let the situation break your spirit.

When it’s performance evaluation time, unless you got what you think you desire, it can cause you to be discouraged. Especially, if there is a bonus attached to your performance. What’s really crazy is if you start spending the money that you think you’re going to get. It sounds ridiculous, but I use to do that.

I wouldn’t actually spend it before I got my score, I’d spend it after I got my score and I tried to gauge how much it was based on the prior year. Here’s what I didn’t know, there was a pool of money and it changed every year. It just depended on the budget, which I had no insight. Most of the time that money was drastically lower than I thought, especially after taxes. Of course, I was left feeling angry. Especially when I’d hear about the bonuses my family and friends would get from their employers.


I’ve learned not to allow the review or the bonus to make me feel a certain way; and most importantly I stopped spending the money before I have it. Financial education is a power tool to resiliency.

Another thing that can knock the wind out of your sail is when people talk about you behind your back at work. Some people are mean and hateful. You should almost expect them to be nasty. But what happens when someone that you trust is talking about you to other people? It can blindside and leave you devastated.

What you don’t want to do is to say you’ll never trust anyone again, shut down and be cold to people. In the meantime, your heart is protected from hurt, however with your heart closed you won’t be able to experience love. Plus, all this does is make you really angry and jaded over time.

The best thing to do is to learn from the situation. Don’t close yourself off completely. Maybe next time guard your heart a little longer until you get to know your co-workers. If you decide not to share a lot of personal things, that’s fine. But it’s really hard to get people to like you if you’re too guarded. You can share things about your personal life that you don’t care if everyone knows. Maybe you talk to people about your pet. If you are thinking, “I don’t need people to like me at work.” True! However, if you want to advance your career, you need to make some friends along the way. Also, remember that people don’t want to work with people they don’t feel comfortable with. Letting people in is a big part of that. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all the way in.

Another big reason for someone getting knocked down is not getting the promotion they wanted. Getting passed over for a promotion is tough. This is enough to knock the wind out of anyone. Especially, if you’ve been doing the work for that higher paying position. This is hard to rebound from, but it’s possible. When this happens you have to keep trying. If you are in an organization where you have to interview for promotions, ask for feedback on why you didn’t get the position or feedback on your interview. Make the changes. Sometimes we can do everything right and still not get the job because someone else was handpicked for the job. Keep applying for other jobs. Something is bound to open up.

The worst thing to do is to take your anger and frustration out on your co-workers. Maybe think about it in a different way, it might be a bad fit for you. There are better opportunities to come.

Are you resilient?


Overwhelmed at Work

When you’re overwhelmed at work, it can be easy to feel like you’re drowning in your to-do-list. It is very challenging to be on your A game. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re barely surviving day-to-day.

It’s really hard to be creative and think critically when you’re submerged with all the responsibilities of day-to-day life. You tend to make bad decisions when you are inundated. Not to mention, your attitude is not great.

Doug was a senior executive with 3 small kids. His wife was also an executive and they shared the responsibilities of raising the children, taking care of the home, and caring for her elderly parents. One of their sons started playing baseball. He never thought that his son’s involvement would be so demanding. During the first baseball season, the family spent every weekend going to games and baseball practice several days a week. Doug also had a part-time real estate company. His plate was stacked up with so many responsibilities.

For Doug and his wife, they couldn’t wait until baseball season was over. Unfortunately, his work on his job started to suffer. He wanted to be there for his son and attend every game and practice, but there just wasn’t enough time in the day. Doug started to get further behind at work. Finally, Doug’s boss called him to a meeting and told him to “step it up”. Then, Doug shifted his priorities to catch up at work. He was so stressed out. Plus, he felt guilty because he was no longer available to take his son to baseball practice.

Many busy professionals find themselves in this situation where there are just so many things to do and not enough time and energy to do them.

Next time you’re not sure where to start with your to-do list, try these strategies below.

  1. Create a plan of attack

When the work starts to pile up, stop and take time to get organized and create a plan of attack. Sorting and prioritizing your work load is a great way to break it down.

Write down what you need to do. Getting your list out of your head and onto paper, is a great start. Why?  Thinking about all you have to do is exhausting when you have a lot to accomplish in a small window of time. At least if you write it down, you can give your brain a break and then you can  put a plan together to actually start getting things done.

  1. Get out

When you are submerged, interrupt your mental thought patterns by taking a break. Go for a walk. You will be much more effective if you get your body moving. Make sure you’re taking deep breaths. Being in the office can quickly become the worst place to be when you are stressed and your adrenaline is high.

If you have the liberty, take your laptop and go somewhere calm and peaceful.

  1. Talk it out

Depending on your personality type, talking about your feeling of being overwhelmed might be a great solution to mentally decomposing your work load. Sometimes you just need someone to listen and your brain starts to work to figure out how to get your list done.

  1. Get some rest

It’s really easy to be overwhelmed if you’re sleep deprived. Do your very best to get enough rest at night. If you are having trouble sleeping check out this animated video. .

  1. Work on the weekend or holiday

If you need to get something done and it’s making you stressed, crave out some time on an off day. If you work on a project and finish it, maybe you can get ahead and avoid the continuous pattern of being under the gun. I don’t recommend always working on your off days. You should have balance and enjoy life.


 Finally, remember—it will all get done. Work these tips. Try to start early and refrain from procrastinating.


What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?


Racism at Work

It seems like the country is more comfortable vocalizing racism. I’ve seen a lot of posts about the rise in racist activity.

I want to share with you a great article to help to identify if this is going on at the place you work.




4-signs-that-racism-may-be-an-issue-in-your workplace

Share this information. It might be very helpful for someone dealing with racism on their job.

Are any of the 4 signs of racism happening on your job? Racism at work is very real.


Good Times at Work

When I saw this video, I thought “OMG, this is how it is at my job!”

Being in project management, people want some really crazy projects done. The way we go about gathering requirements is so much like this video. These are good times at work.

I hope that you enjoy the video. I also hope that your workplace is far more productive.

Have you have any experiences like this?