How important is hair? After all, it’s just hair, right? For some it is just hair, no need to do anything extra to it- no color, highlights, new hairstyles, new looks, just trim occasionally and leave it as it lays. For others, hair is a form to express ones self- add color, cut it into a bob, long layers, shave the sides, cut it all off. Either way, hair is more than just hair. In seminars to learn about professional appearance, it has often been said that it is more professionally acceptable to wear your hair away from the face, pulled back or up, no eccentric colors, or hair styles. I do think that not all hair styles match all personalities and people, but I disagree that there is a standard for what is considered professionally acceptable. If my hair is naturally curly and gets frizzy in certain climates or “has a mind of its own” I have grown to accept it. It is my hair and my hair is not the same as the next person’s hair. It doesn’t mean I can’t perform a job duty, it does not take away from my organizational skills or the message in a presentation; yet we put so much emphasis on hair in professional organizations.
Education continues to be a key factor on whether or not employers will higher individuals into their company. The irony is that an employer wants to know that you have formal education, not necessarily what your GPA was or the specific degree. More and more students are focusing on making sure they have a stellar GPA, so they devote hours upon hours into study time and have limited involvement in organizations or community projects. GPA simply lets people know that you have read, comprehended, and passed tests in a formal setting.
For those that have professional experience, tactile learning, hands-on, situation-built experience is graded at a higher level in the workplace than textbook knowledge. It is great that you know taxonomy and theories; however, if you do not have any experience in a team environment with personality differences you will not be able to handle the intense pressure required in team situations or decision making on the job. With the economy struggling, employers are looking for individuals that come in with experience and do not require a lot of training efforts. If an employer has to rotate current employees to train a new employee, it is taking away from company performance and budget. An employee that is training for set number of hours will stay longer to get their regular duties done, this will include overtime compensation.
Balance is the key to a marketable and competitive resume and potential candidate. Acquire educational knowledge and professional knowledge simultaneously. Below are some ways to build a path that leads in the direction of career success:
I have never seen a professional job post that said, “applicant must have 3.5 GPA” to be considered for the position. I have only seen those requirements in university campus student positions. This does not mean to slack off by any means, it means to create a balance and make sure that the end goal- career- is part of the plan throughout the educational journey. No one wants to spend 6 years in college to graduate and not get accepted into graduate school or get a job aligned with their degree instead of a job in the mall.
Maybe you’ve heard “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side”. Well maybe it’s not the color of the grass that we should be concerned with but the type of grass. Did you know there is a difference between cool season grasses and warm season grasses? When I researched types of grass, there were 15 different types of grass that came up. So the problem is not that the grass is not greener, but that we don’t know what type of grass we really need or want.
We are in a job that we enjoy the objectives of the position and it gives passion and purpose to our life and career; however, we don’t enjoy the organizational structure of the company. We enjoy the autonomy of a position; yet, we hate when our supervisor does not give us direction. Maybe we enjoy the pay, but just can’t stand going to work each day. For some, it’s not work; it is a relationship with someone. We are with someone that makes us laugh and brings excitement; but, we are concerned that they don’t take situations or life serious and might have commitment issues. We are with someone that is very organized with life, financially stable; yet we are so routine life is predictable.
Regardless of the situation, we often contemplate on whether or not the grass really is greener on the other side; without taking into consideration what type of grass we need at the stage of our life we are in and what grass we want.
Before making a decision on whether or not to stay in your job, in a relationship, in a situation, make sure you know what you need to feel emotionally, spiritually, financially, and socially secure. Weigh the pros and cons, get to know the other types of grass available and how they measure up and in what conditions they grow best, struggle growing, or just plain die. Next time someone says “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side” reply “what type of grass are you looking for?”
Change is a difficult task to adjust to and life with. With change comes the duty of active awareness. Active awareness sounds like a bolder statement than conscious because the word active in itself brings the idea of action, or doing to the forefront of thought. So many times we fall victim to unhealthy eating habits and even though “we know” what we are supposed to be eating we still make those unhealthy impulse decisions. Eventually we get to a point that we are unhappy with our weight, our wallet, our health screenings and our mood changes. In order to effectively change our mood back we have to be actively aware of eat eating habit we have. On my way out the door I grab a granola bar with the intention of changing my breakfast habit; however on the way to work I see a Mexican food place and contemplate a bean, bacon, and cheese taco. Now in that split second I am contemplating, I cannot simply make a conscious decision because I can consciously decide I want the taco. No, I must be actively aware that me thinking about it means I’m also switching lanes while in thought. Rather than engaging in that quick conscious impulse move, I need to actively remove the thought from my mind, remind myself of how I will feel the next morning when I try to find something for work and continue to keep my car in my current lane.
Active awareness can be applied to many areas of an individual’s life: eating habits, exercise, financial spending, relationships, behavior, and adjusting to life changes. While an I individual might have a different area of focus there are similar concepts that can be applied.
1. Identify the issue. More specifically, are you aware of the positive methods or habits?
2. Create a list of situations where you have failed in making the change? (ex. I see Mexican food and I think of breakfast taco)
3. For each impulse decision you have made, write a honest statement of how you feel after. (ex. Late night pint of ice cream, I’m frustrated when I stare at a closet full of clothes don’t and nothing fit me)
4. Replace conscious thoughts with active awareness. Tell yourself, “when I start to think this I will….. And then do it, talk yourself through the active change as you are doing it (ex. Keep driving straight for 1 minute until I pass the restaurant, keep going, keep driving, well you passed it, good job)
Eventually what will happen is you will train yourself to actively participate in positive thoughts and actions because you have built a method based on what is more important to you: quick satisfaction or overall lifestyle acceptance. How important in the scheme of my life is a breakfast taco, my health, my happiness, my peace of mind?
Lately there have been a couple of words that have really been floating around and they have stuck with me. I can only be responsible for my own actions, but it is my duty to be an advocate for those that are underrepresented and need someone to hear their voice and then speak out for them. Me, myself, and I, that is all I can be responsible for. But there are a couple “I’s” that I must include to make sure that I am contributing the best self possible. My intentions needs to be:
1. Impactful- power of making a strong, immediate impression2. Intentional- deliberate; for a purpose3. Innovative- using or showing new methods or ideas4. Inclusive- not excluding any particular group of people
As a mom I have the privilege of watching the same movies over and over and one movie that I recently watched was Disney’s Little Mermaid. I have seen this movie several times and for some reason when I heard Ariel sing “Part of Your World” this time, the words had a different meaning. If you could be part of a different world how would you take advantage of that? What questions would you ask, what would you want to know?
Ariel says, “I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know something’s starting right now, watch and you’ll see, someday I’ll be, party of your world.”
Take the time to write some goals and then evaluate what it would take to reach them. Here are a couple to start with:
- Time: do you have a family, want a family, current employment obligations
- Money: are you financially stable, do you have any debt that could affect your goal
- Education: do you have enough knowledge between experience and formal education
- Change: adjust your perspective, attitude, gain new attributes, image