Why Integrity Matters

As I get older, The idea of living a life of integrity is starting to fade. I miss being “green” and wanting to do the right thing all the time.

But I know that that’s not how the world works. Why is that? Because of greed, selfishness and ego. This is what drives our world.

Integrity, according to Webster Dictionary, means a firm adherence to an exceptional code of moral or artistic values.

As a child I was always concerned about doing the right thing, making sure everyone got their fair share. But even then, I noticed the lack of fairness and integrity in my fellow students, teachers and other adults. I saw the most talented athletes get chosen first for sports teams at gym and given the most floor time. Students that wanted to participate were left to the sidelines. And I’m not even talking about organized school sports. Teachers spent the most time with students who were already very smart, had tutoring and helicopter parents to support their performance. So children who had less were expected to produce more to keep up.

I always thought adulthood would be a lot easier when dealing with moral problems. I thought people are honest. Naively, I wondered why would adults lie? I had thought that my fellow students were opportunistic liars and cheaters because they were immature. But the reality is that these children would grow up to be adults who continued to lack important characteristics like honesty, integrity and virtue. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has a ring of truth.

The childhood version of me imagined that I would grow into an adult that was confident, sure, honest and willing to fight for what’s right but now I’m not sure I’ll ever be those things. Some days I can feel myself shrinking, barraged by the screams of people playing politics and those fighting for themselves.

From the time I was 20-25 years old, I was very optimistic. Truly believing that the world would sort itself out and that what’s right will prevail, but that’s not necessarily the truth. It feels like the older I get, the more “woke” I am about how things work.

I’ve been burned a few times. I’ve written a few posts on that.

The Horror of Dealing With Mold In My Apartment

Dealing with Toxic Work Culture

From friends to work to even my landlord now. They’ve all burned me. When it comes to benefits, money and status, a sense of doing what’s right goes out the window.

I came to realize that there are people who will only interact with you when it benefits them financially, politically or socially. It was a hard pill to swallow, to realize that there were a lot of people who were disingenuous.

But I grew up.

And sometimes when I’m looking at a situation, I now think how can I profit from this, how can I benefit? I hate to admit it but I’m becoming one of those people who are selfish, egoistic and greedy. It’s almost like I can’t help it. Intrusive thoughts enter my mind like, if you don’t take advantage, someone else will or you have to take your share of the pie.

I’m ashamed because deep down I know these thoughts are wrong. I’ve grown to distrust other people to the point that I’m becoming untrustworthy and I hate that.

Am I growing up and becoming less naive? Or am I becoming jaded and callous?

If the young and optimistic version of me met 30 year old me today what would she say? She’d say I’m becoming everything she hates about this world and that I’ve given up. But fighting to keep my integrity and resolve to be an upright, unselfish human being sometimes feels like swimming against an impossible current.

I can count on my one hand the amount of people outside of my family who I respect for their character. Everyone else would easily resort to dishonesty if they knew they could benefit from it.

Maybe that’s why I have no friends… I just can’t accept a friendship that’s false.

So what to do?

I still think that being a good person is important. I want to hold on to that childish hope that as a human being we can care for the good of others without gaining anything for ourselves. Without even a few good people in our society, we’d be living in a literal hell where society is built on bullshit, lies, deception and selfishness.

The truth is I’ve met people with integrity and I hope others can look at me and see that I aim to be a person of good character as well.

So hopefully the child I knew isn’t as disappointed as I feel in myself sometimes. As I aim to be a person who’s better at standing up for what’s good and right for its own sake, I need to learn to not have such high expectations of other people.

Integrity and character matters because at the end of the day that’s all we have.

Check out my other posts

On Gratitude…

The Power of Positivity

The Power Of Change

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview

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I was always a terrible test-taker and on top of that, I’m terrible at interviewing. I just don’t have a gregarious personality. I’m introverted, I don’t smile enough but I know my stuff. Apparently, knowing my stuff doesn’t come across in my interviews if I’m not outgoing.

Personally, I feel like the interviews process is such a terrible way to hire people. There’s so much emphasis placed on interviews over resumes. How much can you really know about someone after 10 to 30 minutes of talking to them? Often times the smooth talkers and the more extroverted interviewees get preference just because they interview well. For me, I’ve gone as far as avoiding changing toxic jobs just because I don’t want to go through the interview process. It’s a nightmare. As I’m sure it is for a lot of people. But over the years I’ve gotten better. I’ve come to terms that it’s a necessary part of life like driving or Christmas with the in-laws, might as well get good at it.

Here Are The Things That I’ve Learned Along The Way:

1) Research The Company In Advance, Including Your Interviewer

Dig deep and find out everything you can about the company. Check the company website and look up the person who will be interviewing you. Google any news about them. This research will help you to come up with reasons as to why you’re a good fit for the position. Why is it important to research? Because you want to be prepared. One of the main questions interviewers ask is, “why do you want to work here?” Understanding the companies history, their current projects, what’s happening in the news will help you link your experience with why you want to work there. Since most candidates don’t put in this effort, this will separate you from the pack and help you be memorable.

2) Check Glass Door, Yelp, Linkedin and Indeed For Information.

This interview is also about finding out if this is the right position for you. Often times, people take jobs without thinking about the culture of the company, the work environment, or the benefits. It’s essential to find that out as early as possible so you could bring these questions to the interview. Glassdoor and Indeed are both great ways to get insider information on what it’s like to work at a company. Nearly every major company has a profile on Glassdoor or Indeed. There you can find out about benefits, interview questions, the salary and what current and former employees think about working there. Yelp is also a really great tool to find out more about what it would be like to work there. Customers play a major role in your work environment. What they think about the service or the product matters. With Yelp, you can find out if the company is organized or easy to deal with. I also recommend checking LinkedIn and looking at the profiles of the person interviewing and people who have similar positions as you. Low-key stalking. ?You want to know what kind of background they have. Maybe they have something in common with you that you can bring up casually in the interview. Or maybe they know mutual acquaintances and can help with networking and getting your foot in the door before the interview. These are all amazing ways to prepare for a successful interview.

3) Dress Business Formal.

No matter the culture of the company, the best thing to do is always dress business formal for an interview. I know that interview clothes can be expensive but getting one outfit that looks fantastic will help you win the job.

I’ve seen everything. I’ve seen women trying to pull off mini dresses as interview appropriate, I’ve seen women wearing weird patterned stockings, I’ve seen men wearing borrowed sports coats with khaki pants to an interview. And though some of these outfits you can get away with, you’re risking the chance that the person who’s interviewing is a very formal, traditional professional and will judge you poorly based on your attire. Always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Women should wear either a pant suit or, preferably, a pencil skirt with a blouse and blazer. For men, all you need to do is invest in a $200 tailored suit and $100 dress shoes and that’ll be your interview outfit for years to come.

4) Prepare Mock Interview Answers And Questions.

The hardest question I’ve ever answered is “So tell me about yourself?” It’s such an open ended question! Where do you begin; how should I tell my story in a way that makes this person want to hire me?

Being able to answer that question and tie it into your experience and who you are is key. Give me questions about my qualifications and my previous experience anytime, it’s the open ended questions that can go anywhere that tend to be the most difficult.

Be prepared for behavioral questions. Things like, “tell me the last time you were challenged at work? Tell me about your weaknesses? Tell me about your strengths? How do you handle disgruntled clients?”

Of course you won’t know all the behavioral questions that could come your way, but preparing yourself to think about how you would react in a situation in relation to getting the job is important for your preparation.

5) What To Do The Day Of.

The day of the interview I like to abstain from coffee. For me, coffee or any caffeine makes me jittery and anxious if I’m already nervous about something. And I’m a nervous Nellie when it comes to interviewing.

I’ll also bring a bottle of water. I tend to get dry mouth when I’m nervous; a lot of people have that sort of reaction to nervousness. Nothing is the more distracting than hearing my own lips smack together while I’m trying to have a conversation, so I bring water to keep myself hydrated and even break up the conversation. Take a sip here and there if I need to think about an answer. I also make sure I have everything I need in terms of my resume. I’ll look it over one more time to make sure it’s flawless and doesn’t need an update.

Finally, I’ll just relax. You’ve already done the hardest part of preparing and if it doesn’t work out then it wasn’t a good fit. No need to torment yourself and cause more anxiety by worrying about how the interview will go. Just getting to the interview process is an accomplishment in itself.

6) Interview Etiquette.

This is really more of the basics of shaking hands when you meet someone, making a lot of eye contact and smiling.

I would also recommend using the interviewers name during the conversation. Using someone’s name frequently helps make the conversation feel familiar, friendlier, and casual.

Having a firm handshake is also important. A strong handshake is the first indicator of confidence. Don’t go with the limp or killer handshake. Practice in advance if you’re unsure of what kind of handshake you have.

7) After The Interview:

Send a thank you note. Recap what was discussed and just remind the interviewer why you’re a fit for the company. Thank you notes are professional, nice and a good reminder for an interviewer who has probably met with half a dozen people already.

Follow up on whether you received the position. Any more than once is considered desperate. If the person wanted to hire you, chances are there would be no need for a follow up. But the follow up is mainly to keep on their radar. If they tell you you haven’t received the job, you should express interest in any of future positions.

Let go. Sometimes you go on an interview, send follow up notes, send thank you notes and you never hear back. It’s hard, especially when it’s your dream job or you’ve been out of work for a while, but it’s important for you to keep a positive attitude. Sometimes that means letting go of negative feelings from past interviews.

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Interviews are nerve-wracking. It’s scary to go in front of a stranger knowing they’re judging you from what you look like, what you sound like to what’s on your resume. At the end of the day, you have to be positive and understand that it’s a numbers game. Eventually if you play your cards right with excellent interview skills, you’ll get a job that’s the right fit and the right pay. These tips will help you increase your odds to help you find the right position.

Check Out My Other Posts

Build An Eye Catching Resume And Get More Interviews

How to Job Hop Successfully

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

Tags Interview question and answer, interview help, second interview, phone interview, how to face interview, how to get a great interview

This is 30: Turning 30 Year’s Old

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I’ve been reflecting on my age. This year I turned 30 and was expecting some sort of wow moment but it hasn’t happened yet. I remember being 20 and looking towards my 30th birthday with distain. Wouldn’t that make me middle aged? But 30 definitely isn’t as bad as I would have thought. It’s kind of like being in your 20s but with more confidence, money and grace. There’ll be some things I would miss from my 20s, but 30s has been pretty awesome so far.

I definitely miss being young and flirty. Life got serious for me early when I had my first daughter at 24 and married; but I still enjoyed being carefree, managing to grow my career and being free to move around.

I’ve enjoyed the benefits of being considered conventionally attractive and now that I’m over 30, I definitely notice I’m not as much on the radar. I don’t really need to be as noticed anymore, as a mother and a wife, but you can’t help but miss the days when your whole future was ahead of you and possibilities seemed endless. I’m not someone chasing after my youth but keeping up my appearance was so much easier in my 20s. There was more free time to look after tweezing, waxing, and shaving; beautifying was generally easier. Nowadays, I can go weeks looking like Godzilla. I’ve also cut back on the makeup time. I used to blend, sculpt and contour every day and, goddamn, I was able to look extra flawless after 20 minutes of caking it on. At 30, with 2 kids in tow, I can barely manage to throw on mascara and lipstick.

I don’t miss being broke and unestablished though. That was the worst. For the longest, I could barely maintain a balance of $500 in my bank account. It was so stressful not knowing if I was ever going to make it. I spent years going into debt. Sometimes, I would imagine what my life would be if I had a job that was stable. I always imagined I’d have more in my life; a bigger apartment in a better location. But things aren’t too bad. I’m now more established in my career and could job hop to most comparable companies.

I recognize that the next 10-15 years I’ll be the most marketable based on my experience and age. Just trying to capitalize on that and make as much money as I can, while I can. Then I’ll probably get an masters or law degree if I feel I’m aging out of being competitive. Or I can start a whole second career; to be honest, real estate is starting to feel tired.

Compared to my 20s, the relationship side of my life is pretty stable. From 20 to 23 it was fun to date. Parties and meeting people seemed so exciting like I can meet the love of my life at any time. Nothing happened because I actually met the love of my life at 18, who I married at 24; but the idea that I wasn’t settled yet and living spontaneously was amazing.

I also hadn’t mastered the concept of “all in good moderation” when it came to drinking. I was drinking garbage $5 vodkas like Smirnoff and watered down wine coolers. 30 year old me would prefer Grey Goose and Cranberry or an aged wine.

Being 30 years old, parties are fun. I mean, not in the same way they were in my 20s, but I finally learned how to relax and just enjoy the moment, and that’s pretty amazing. I also learned how to small talk. I’m not socially awkward anymore and I no longer have high expectations that I’ll either be meeting my partner for life or my new best friend. I can just enjoy people as they are and that is a gift.

On the other hand, I don’t miss being naive and unexperienced about life. I spent a lot of time in my 20s not knowing how life works. I couldn’t accept that life was unfair and I wanted to correct it so badly. Questions like: why are there homeless people, why are people so greedy and selfish, and why does that guy ignore me but like her? Now I can accept the answers as they are: the world is complicated and imperfect, not all problems can be fixed and the world doesn’t revolve around me. The world’s darkness doesn’t disturb me like it once did. I guess I’ve gotten used to imperfection.

I have a good handle on what’s happening around me and feel confident that I have enough life experience to handle confrontations/disagreements at work and in my relationships. I used to feel like I didn’t have much to offer and constantly allowed others to walk all over me. I can stand up for myself better now. I’ve also learned how to let things go when they aren’t going my way and not to dwell on the negativity that other people bring. That’s a skillset I wouldn’t trade for anything.

For me, my 20s was about being independent, learning about myself, enjoying my youth and beauty, and trying to get established. My 30s are going to be about gaining security, growing in self-confidence, gaining perseverance and taking my life to the next level. Looking forward, I finally have the resources and experience I need to do those things. There are really no excuses. The next 10 years are going to determine whether I spend my 40s in a midlife crisis or whether my 40s will be the most exciting years of my life. But overall I feel like my best years are just ahead of me.

So this is 30. I’ve made it to the 30 club.

Check out my other posts:

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 18

How To Make A Change in Your Life

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: The Power Of Family

 

 

 

Tags: Life after 30 years old, 30 year old girl, important life lessons, over 30 years old, 20 years old, turning 30 year old woman, almost 30 years old, I am 30.

How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

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Lately I’ve been going through a slump. Like I haven’t been falling behind and I haven’t been getting ahead. I used to be so motivated in college, I even graduated a year early. I graduated college in three years with top grades. It seemed like everything was going to pan out and for the most part everything did. But after college I’ve kind of been worn out.

Life gets to you after a while; with jobs and relationships that fall apart. And even though it’s not where you imagined you’d be, you finally settle someplace comfortable.

Sometimes I miss being in college and feeling like the whole world was in front of me. It made me self  motivated and kept me going. Now that my life has settled with kids, a husband and a semi career, I find it harder to keep that positive energy I once had. Yet you hear stories of people pushing themselves to the limits. You see people going to school and graduating valedictorian while raising three kids; climbing Kilimanjaro and  Everest in the same year; running an ultra marathon.  I look at those people and realize I need motivation.  How can I get the motivation to take my life to the next level? How do I maximize my potential so that I’m getting all I can out of life?

Here are my fail proof tips on finding motivation and how to make goals/dreams a reality!

1) Make A Schedule

This seems so obvious but making a schedule and sticking to it is harder than it sounds. Your schedule needs to align what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re a salesperson, you might schedule more time trying to prospect leads vs doing paperwork vs organizing your office.

Your schedule should optimize your time so that the most rewarding tasks get prioritized and the least productive ones aren’t but are still tended to.

I absolutely hate prospecting leads but it’s what will give me the biggest return for my effort, so I make sure that I do that every day, no matter what’s on my plate.

2)Break Up Goals

Nothing is more demoralizing than having what seems like an impossible goal. But unless you are trying to defy the laws of physics, like turning a flower into a rock, no goal is truly impossible. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.

One way to manage larger than life goals is break them up into smaller goals. Reaching 400 blog posts has been one of my larger goals and sometimes it feels impossible, I’ve only written 73 posts, but my goal has been broken up into smaller “just finish one post at a time” goals. When I’ve focused on how far I am from reaching my 400th post, it’s so discouraging. When I think “I just need to do one more entry or 2 entries a week” it seems more manageable.

3)Be Consistent

This means showing up and putting in the work. Don’t put in part time hours and expect full time pay. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. If only it did.

Stick with things even when it gets hard. I took a 6 month hiatus from this blog, mainly because it was getting daunting and I wanted to pursue something else. And it’s OK to take a step back once in a while to gain perspective but for those wanting to take their lives to the next level, you’ll need to show up each and every day and get things done.

4)Work With The End Goal In Mind

Know why you’re doing it! It’s so easy to get side-tracked and start comparing yourself to other people. Or start worrying about the wrong things. So often people want to do things for themselves but halfway through they start worrying about what other people think.

For me, my job is about earning money for my family, getting benefits, and having stability. I’ve written a few posts on how hard and negative the environment is. I need to keep my motivation at work.  At the end of the day, I need to look past the petty coworkers, the rude bosses, and the unreasonable clients. The end goals is to pay off the loans and gain a bit of savings before I can move on. A lot of people lose sight of their end goal and let the small stuff run them out of their jobs before they can reap the benefits.

5.  Push Through Setbacks

No matter what you do, there will always be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back.

It’s how you handle the setback that matters. You could be saving for months then have your car breakdown. Then have spent $1500 to repair it and have that feel devastating because it took you so long to save. On one hand, you spent months worth of savings in one shot, on the other hand, you had $1500 cash handy and didn’t have to go into debt to take care of that expense. A person lacking motivation might say, “what’s the use of saving if I can never get ahead?” A person with motivation will just pick themselves up and start the savings again.

When faced with a major obstacle, just remember that it’s expected. In some cases, setbacks can help you grow and find ways to be more efficient or help you learn a lesson to avoid repeating the same stumbling block.

6. Block out the negativity

The most well-meaning people like to give advice and sometimes that advice is unwelcomed negativity. How many times did I had friends or family tell me you can’t do this or that, mainly in regards to my self employment. Or that I need more stability at the expense of my own goals. If you hear that enough you start to believe it.

When dealing with naysayers you’ll have to either avoid them or straight up tell them where they can go. Nothing should be getting in your way when it comes to keeping your motivation. They say birds of a feather flock together, so if your friends and family are telling you that you can’t do something, you’re going to believe that.

I would also recommend keeping positive and motivational posters at your work or on your desktop/phone to keep you in the right mindset.

7. Build a Support Network

And that brings me to my last point, once you’ve removed all the negativity surrounding your goals you’ll need to find a group of people who support you.

If it’s not your friends and family then you’ll have to find people who are trying to accomplish the same thing as you and can help either coach you or give you the moral support you need. I’m a big fan of Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and general social media to help find other people who share your same interests.

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These may sound like easy things to do but mastering all 7 and being consistent day after day, month after month, and year after year is harder than you think. The key is to take it one day at a time and implement these tips in unison.  This is essential to set up goals for yourself

If you’re able to master this, you can watch your life change and your business flourish because putting in the time and work is all you need.

 

CHECK OUT MY OTHER MOTIVATIONAL POSTS AND SUBSCRIBE!

 

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

The Power Of Change

The Power Of Positivity

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Dealing with Toxic Work Culture

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This is my first post in a while. Thought I would just get back into it. I’ve been working at my “well paying” but toxic job. By toxic, I mean totally manipulative, cut throat, constantly changing and stressful toxic workplace. But luckily, I am on maternity leave until August. I’ve been there nearly 3 years and somehow managed to survive and out live several other employees.  Yet still I have days where the toxic work culture kicks me down and I feel totally lost on what to do.

I have survived 1 horrible bitchy manager only to be replaced by a slightly less horrible condescending, sexist manager. I survived 5 receptionists and countless weekend receptionists. I survived 1 assistant director. All these people gone and yet I remain.

For me my motivation for staying in this dead end job include the fact that I am paid well (for now), have good health insurance, have a decent schedule. And honestly, I would hate to quit and give in to the bullies. How would I feel knowing that I was run out of a perfectly good job because people are assholes?  It’s still worth staying even though I hate my job sometimes.

So here are my tips on staying sane and staying on your grind. Your job is definitely not perfect, but it’s still a job that puts food on the table.

1. Be Humble: Pride is the worst vice and when you start to think that you are better or more deserving of something ,that’s when resentment builds. Yes, know your worth. But if you’re in a position where you need to stay at your job, resentful feelings are really just  a waste of energy. I used to want justice for every slight or disagreement. But that desire for justice came from a place of pride, not a place of actual righteousness. Learn to recognize where you are being prideful and instead ask yourself how you can be humble. I like to be humble by telling myself I just need to focus on my own performance, my own objectives and my own motivation.

2. Focus on the positives: Understand your reason for being there. What are your financial goals? How do you plan to make the most of this experience? How does this add to your resume? Do you like this position in general, maybe there are aspects of it that you like? Focusing on these points will help make your job more bearable and less stressful. The effects of positive thinking are numerous. If you don’t like something change it, if you can’t change it, change how you think about it.

3. Care less: If you’re a type A personality this might be a hard one but recognize that you don’t have to love your job. Your job doesn’t even need to love you. All you need is just to do your job. Show up and get it done. Your job isn’t going to dry your tears when they lay you off or fire you. They’re not going to give you more time off than allowed when your going through a tough time. If they don’t care, why should you? I’ve spent too much time caring about a position that doesn’t give two sh*ts about me. I know this, yet my struggle lies in the desire to be acknowledged. Stop wanting that acknowledgement and you’ll start to feel the burden of stress lifted off your shoulders.

4. Build your own support network outside of work: Do not commiserate with coworkers. They can’t be trusted and it can be construed as spreading gossip. Friends, family, online network of strangers on Reddit or blogs going through the same thing…these can be a great base of support when you feel like just giving up in general and stressed from work. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it certainly wasn’t built by one man. Being able to vent in a safe place is key and essential to your mental health.

5. Document, document, and document: some workplace bullying is illegal and discriminatory especially when it pertains to protected classes like age, sex, disability etc. The issue is that it’s not always clear up front whether you are being discriminated or not. So document everything. Make sure everything is in writing. If there is discrimination it will flush itself out as long as everything is documented and written.

6. Make an exit plan and stick to it: If your job is really messing with your mental health, the truth is you just can’t stay there. It’s ok to make plans to leave. How many times have I said “I’m going to find a way to quit,” and magically the job gets better and I decide to stay? This cycle has repeated itself so many times. But your mental health is NOT WORTH IT. Make plans to either find another job or build your own business.  Do something that will earn residual income or passive income so you can take a lesser paying job on top of that.  It might take a year, it might take 3 years but those years will pass you by faster than you think. Being perpetually miserable for a paycheck isn’t the answer so find a way to break the cycle and commit to your exit plan.

Overall, employment takes an average of 2080 hours per year. But that still leaves 6680 hours in a year to get stuff done and pursue your passion. Work isn’t the end all be all and if you get fired or if you quit, your identity won’t be lost. We are not what we do for a living.

My husband always tells me this when I stress out, “They don’t pay you enough to stress like this.” And he’s right, they definitely don’t. I’m not an executive or a director. Why should I be stressing the way they would about their jobs?

To sum up this blog post, working in a toxic environment is tough, probably tougher than working in a physically demanding environment. But finding ways to cope in a stressful job when you have no other options is essential to your wellbeing and mental health.  Workplace stress is not worth it.  Work, work, work and all stress would drive anybody crazy.

Check out my other posts!!

Office Politics: Win At The Workplace

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

My Job is Killing Me….