2016 was a trying year for me.
It started off amazing as I started yet another new job as an Account Manager at a marketing tech start-up. I went in knowing it wasn't my dream job, but the experience, technical skills, and knowledge I would gain would suffice for the lacking long term potential this position had for me. After 3 months it was confirmed for me that I did not belong there. I prayed & fasted for a week asking God to give me a sign if I should leave or not. That week my boyfriend and I went to P.F. Chang's and on my fortune cookie, it read "You will make a decision with confidence in the coming days."
Yes, I know this could have meant anything but at the time, and at that moment it was confirmation for me to make a decision.
So without a plan, I left the job.
From March to September I went through an emotional spiritual roller coaster trying to put the pieces back together. It was so difficult but I knew God did not give me that sign for no reason. I trusted my leap of faith and I did not want to regret it. After going on a record breaking 32 different interviews, filling out over 200 job applications, and reaching out to old contacts for leads on job opportunites and being ignored by several of them, I was forced to freelance part time just to stay afloat. I kept asking God if I did anything wrong if I had made a mistake but I was given so much peace in knowing that everything would work out. It wasn't working out though... at least not right away. So I learned the amazing gift of patience. I wanted a new amazing position but it was contingent upon waiting for it and trusting God's timing.
After hitting so many dead ends, being rejected by my dream job, and feeling like I was making no progress I felt like I could do only one thing. The opposite of what the devil wanted me to do. I refused to get depressed, give up, and feel sorry for myself. I knew I had to fight so I started to do praise and worship in my room and praise God in the hallway until my door opened. I learned that yes, failure happens and doors will close in your face but what you do during that time shows God if you really trust him or not. Dust your shoulders off and keep pushing because a blessing is definitely on the way.
One thing that really got me through my job search was meditation. I took advantage of having more free time by treating myself to massages, going running in the park, and journaling. This period of rejuvenation allowed me to get to know myself outside of the hard working career woman I was becoming. I was actually able to finally stop life and look at myself in the mirror and gain new persepctives. I learned that sometimes we have to press pause on our hustle and take time to appreciate ourselves, and life.
It was in this moment that I learned my most valuable lesson of 2016. Be still. I kept coming across bible verses, devotionals, and quotes that all stated for me to "be still," like literally do nothing. We all know the bible verse, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10-11. When I kept seeing these signs I immediately thought okay this is easy just be still and do nothing God got me. But...um..me? Be still? A millennial woman on a misson to get her dream job? Um..right..
It was horrific to do nothing. I felt unproductive and like I was getting nowhere but here I am trusting these signs again.
When applying online I only heard back when it was for a job I didn't really want to work at, and of course I would always get the job and then kindly decline. I think I declined about 6 jobs in 2016 because I was done with floating from job to job and finally wanted longevity doing something I loved. Yes, I know that I shouldn't have been applying to jobs I didn't want but at the time I was desperate! LOL. There's a BIG difference between applying to jobs and applying to your dream job.
A month prior to "being still" I saw a job posting in a TV production group I'm apart of on Facebook, for a position at Refinery29. I DM'ed the guy and he told me to email my resume. I was "still" for about 2 weeks and this meant not doing anything else for my job search and fully trusting God. I was on my way to do my daily running in the park and I received a phone call from the guy from R29. Long story short he asked me if I could start working the next day. I immediately thought to myself wow, that was fast. R29 has an amazing video production dept with so much growth and innovation. The position I was offered was extremely entry-level and something I couldn't see myself doing for a long time, but it was a step in the right direction.
A few days after getting that job offer, I received another email from a woman at VH1 asking me to come in for an interview, and I received the job! So in a matter of 2 weeks, "being still" showed me the effect of trying to chase fireflies. If you just relax, align yourself with the universe, and focus on what you want mentally, it will eventually just come to you. I got offered two amazing jobs within 2 months.
Throughout the course of these last 365 days I went through so much. So many tears, closed doors, lessons, and spirtual growth. However throughout my struggles I still accomplished so much. I received my Master's degree, I launched Unleash Yourself, I taught a crash TV production course at Essex County College, I created, organized, and led 3 amazing events, I was a panelist at the Brown Women in Media Brunch, traveled to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, DC, and the Bahamas, and gained the career of my dreams!!
Even when I was at the lowest of lows, I still found ways to create opportunities for other young professionals who may have been going through the same thing. I know I wasn't the only one going through a job search struggle, it's quite common during our time period. But knowing how to overcome it is key. I learned that no matter what, God is in control. You can apply to 10,000 jobs but if you are not praying and asking God for guidance you are still trying to steer your own wheel and will end up getting nowhere. Align yourself with what God wants for you and then "be still." It will not be easy but you will be at peace knowing that God got you and will never steer you astray. Trust his timing, his signs (no matter how weird they are), and trust his presence over your life.
2016 you were quite interesting but I am so happy with all the amazing things you taught me.
2017 shall be LIT!
Tis the season to be... turnt?
So you've been invited to a few holiday parties. Now what? What will make your party experience memorable and/or regrettable? Here are 5 ways to make a lasting impression on your fellow party-goers.
1. Bring something!
There is nothing more tacky than showing up to someone's home empty handed. Even if the party host says "Oh, no it's fine I have everything covered," still bring something. It can be as simple as homemade cookies or a $5 bottle of champagne, or even a holiday card. Bringing some holiday cheer into the room will be sure to leave a lasting impression.
2. Pace yourself
Most holiday parties are booze-filled with spiked egg nog, or rum punch. I personally always try to stay away from the punch because that's usually what sneaks up on you the fastest. Play it safe and pour yourself a glass of wine or prosecco. It will keep you buzzed but also classy.
3. Practice your small talk
There is nothing more awkward than getting stuck in a conversation with people you don't know. The day before the party, write down 5 questions/topics that you can talk about with another party patron. Here's a few good ones to get you started.
Compliment their outfit and ask where they got it from.
Notice a blingy ring? Compliment their ring and engage in conversation about their wedding planning or newly wed escapades.
Ask what shows they are currently watching. There is nothing like bonding over a conversation about the fall of Scandal or the new hit show Insecure.
4. Dress comfortably
Whether you're going to a classy work Christmas gala or an ugly Christmas sweater party always keep it comfy and classy. Make sure your dress or skirt is an appropriate length, and make sure your shoes don't mash your pinky toe into your big toe. The last thing you want is a wardrobe malfunction amongst colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors.
5. Don't be a party pooper
No one likes a grinch at their holiday gatherings. Leave your problems at the door. If you're going through a breakup, please don't be found in the bathroom crying on the toilet. No matter what you are going through try your best to engage in all the party games, contests, and dancing.
What are some of your holiday party do's and don'ts? Share in the comments below!
Only one more month until 2017 and you're thinking where did I go wrong this year? You had it all mapped and planned out how did you fall astray and not accomplish all your 2016 goals? Fear not, there's still hope!
Here's 5 ways to get back on track!
1. Reassess your goals
Back track and reevaluate what you did throughout 2016. What could you have done differently?
2. Create a list of what you still need to accomplish & create a 30 day challenge.
Need to save $100 create a budget challenge.
Need to lose 10 pounds? Create a 30-day cardio & diet challenge.
Need to find a new job? Create a challenge to apply to at least 20 jobs a day.
3. Phone a friend!
Ask someone close to you to help you push through 2016.
There's nothing like a loyal friend who can not only be honest with you but can also help you up. Tag team with a friend and accomplish your 2016 goals with a little motivation and inspiration.
4. Create a new vision board
There's nothing like a fresh new start to a new month. Visualizing what you need to do for the remainder of 2016 starts with some photos, quotes, and maybe some bible verses. After you complete your vision board, mediate and pray over the things you want to accomplish most. Let the universe guide your steps towards accomplishing each goal.
5. Be optimistic
Don't go into December feeling depressed about not accomplishing your goals. It is a new month which means new opportunities and new challenges. Start December 1st with a fresh new perspective of goal setting strategies and get them done. Start 2017 with reflection, and a fresh new list of goals and aspirations!
Let's finish #2016 strong!!!
What are some of your 2016 goals that you still need to accomplish? Share in the comments below!
That moment you reach your breaking point and feel like everything around you is crashing down...
Been there done that. Give up? Nope.
You can't pay your bills, you're about to get put out your apartment, your bank account is hitting a negative balance and every job you apply to either tells you no, or never gets back to. Bruh it's struggle season x1000.
Reaching your breaking point feels like the end of the world. You lose hope and hope for the future. You feel defeated like nothing will ever work out so you just give up. You lose motivation and pray for a miracle.
How do you get motivated when the walls around you feel like they are caving in? How do you help others and empower others when you still have things to work on with yourself? How do you go on smiling when you are about to be homeless? How?
Life throws us curve balls all the time and when we overcome our tests it will eventually become our testimonies. Wipe your tears away and keep going. Keep applying, keep reaching out to people for referrals, keep researching job fairs, keep pushing. It's easier to hide and cry than it is to fight. Each day you wake up is another day God gave you to keep fighting. You are not alone.
When I went through my job search after Graduate school it was not easy. I was told no by several companies that I dreamed of working at but I didn't give up. Each no is hurtful but just know that when you receive that dream Yes you will appreciate it so much more and really give it 110%.
I'll admit I took a lot of jobs for granted and if I could go back in time I would do a lot of things differently. However I don't live my life off of should've or could've. I live life by learning from my past mistakes and turning things around for the future. No regrets, just lessons learned.
I have the utmost faith that you will endure this battle and become the boss you were created to be. God makes no mistakes. Once you overcome your battle you will be able to help others who will be going through the same thing. Push through, don't give up, and keep fighting. The reward will be amazing!