We all have goals, both personal and professional. Many of us even have similar goals such as finding a partner, starting a family, purchasing a house or making a shift in our careers. But it’s all too easy to find yourself working towards goals that don’t align with what you really want out of life. Often, it’s because you’re thinking not about what you want but about what your partners, parents or peers expect or what you think they would approve of. Other times, you end up working towards a goal that isn’t right for you, such as a career path that doesn’t suit you, and you may not even realize it until you find yourself in an untenable situation.
So, how can you make sure that your goals actually line up with what you want out of life? You’ll need to spend some time getting to know yourself, if you haven’t already, and employ some careful thinking about what excites and challenges you and where you want to be in one, three, five or 10 years. Each goal you set should move you toward that place, whether it be personally or professionally.
One reason many people find it difficult to set goals that align with what they want out of life is that they don’t know themselves as well as they think they do. Put some thought into who you are – crystallize your values, beliefs, temperament, interests, strengths and weaknesses and even your daily biorhythms. The better you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to set goals that can bring you more of the happiness and fulfillment you crave.
A big part of this is thinking about what excites and challenges you. For example, let’s say you’re interested in revamping your career and want to set some professional goals for yourself. You need to know what kind of work really interests you because that’s the work you’re going to be motivated to pursue and able to enjoy over the long term. If you enjoy traveling to exotic locales, spending time outdoors, and digging deep into history, perhaps you’d be happy as an archeologist – but probably not so happy as an accountant.
Once you know what kind of work makes you excited to wake up and get started in the morning, you’ll be able to take steps toward making that career happen. Perhaps you’ve had some experience in the business world and feel inspired to become a better leader, so you decide to enroll in an online MBA program. This goal aligns well with what you want out of life: to grow as a leader.
Envision the Future
When you think about who and where you want to be in few years, what comes to mind? If you don’t know where you’re going, you could end up anywhere, so sitting down and visualizing the future you want for yourself is crucial to setting goals that will contribute to your happiness.
Think about what you want to achieve over the next decade of your life. Who do you want to be in 10 years’ time? Where do you want to be professionally in a decade? Once you’re able to visualize that, write down 50 goals that you have for yourself for that period of time. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to try to accomplish all of them; you’re a human being, not a goal-achieving machine. What you should instead do is split that list up into four types of goals: those to achieve within the next year, those to achieve within the next three years, those to achieve within the next five years and those to achieve within the next 10 years.
Now that you have divided the list, prioritize the goals in each category. Think about the four most important goals for the next year, the next three years and so on. At the end of this process, you should have 16 important goals for the next 10 years, and you will be able to start thinking about how you’ll approach each goal. Break each goal into shorter tasks and give yourself deadlines for accomplishing them. Hold yourself accountable to your goals to find success.
Setting goals that align with what you want out of life is one of the best ways to find real, lasting happiness. Know who you are, what excites you and where you want to go in your personal and professional life, and figuring out how to get there will be the easy part.
Tiffany is a leader in content, she prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.
Do you remember your first professional conference? If you’re like most of us, you do …because the experience was downright terrifying. Even if you consider yourself a bit of a social butterfly, it’s difficult to walk up to a stranger, in a room filled with strangers, and strike up a conversation.
Want to know what’s worse? You have to talk about yourself. Ugh.
Many professional women have trouble touting the benefits of their service for fear of sounding too “pitchy.” So then, we end up taking it to the extreme and inadvertently downplaying our jobs. Networking mission not accomplished. You just connected with a bunch of powerful people who now think your service is “no big deal.”
On the other hand, some women get so nervous about networking that they end up chugging a glass or two of wine before bragging about their accolades to anyone who will listen. And we all know that’s all kinds of detrimental. So, let’s move past alcoholism and towards making mutually beneficial connections.
Networking is so scary for us because of the pressure to make a good impression. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t have to be so scary. With a combination of good technique and practice, you can get over your fear of networking once and for all.
Here are a few tips you can put into practice today.
Perfect your elevator pitch
What do you say when someone asks what you do? If you’ve ever fumbled around to explain your service, you need to work on your elevator pitch. If people don’t understand your service when you’re done, you need to work on your elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a short and sweet description of what you do and what you can offer. It’s important to blend the two, so your contacts can start picturing how they might use your service.
Most importantly, your elevator pitch should answer the questions of who you are, what you do, and why people should care. The last one may also include what makes your service stand apart from the rest.
Think realistically about the outcome
When we shy away from networking, it’s usually the pressure that gets us. What if the person is rude and thinks your service is stupid? If we’re being honest, that’s a fear most of us have (or something similar), but it’s almost completely irrational.
Think about it objectively. What are the actual chances that you start talking to someone and they rudely tell you (in so many words) that you and your service are the pits. Not very likely, right? As long as you are kind and respectful, most people will return the favor.
At worst, they might find an excuse to end the conversation. Can you handle that?
Remember that it’s about relationships
So what happens when someone clearly isn’t interested in what you have to offer? Some people will tell you that it’s a numbers game and you just need to keep pitching. There is some truth in that, but don’t forget about the importance of relationships.
Just because someone isn’t interested doesn’t mean they don’t know another person who is. Powerful people have powerful friends, so sometimes, it’s just about the relationship.
Remember that this isn’t a one-way street. Always ask questions about the other person and what they do. See if you have ideas to send business their way. If not, that’s okay too. If you can make an impression, it may turn into a lead somewhere down the line.
Hopefully, these tips have eased your mind a bit and made you feel better about networking. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg. If you think you could benefit from more tips or just want to up your marketing game, check out our upcoming Success Summit. It’s NOTHING like your typical conference, and you’ll walk away with knowledge and experience to help propel your career to the next stratosphere.
Emily is an experienced content writer. She has written about an array of topics, from business, healthcare, and technology to travel, culinary, education and even fashion & lifestyle. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling, training for half marathons, and cooking for her family.
Can you REIGN in the RAIN? Any queen can LOOK FANCY. The real question is can she smile consistently in the face of adversity, LEAD FAITHFULLY and FIGHT FIERCELY in the furnace of affliction until she kisses the lips of ascension?
“I will do what queens do, I will rule.” -Daenerys Targaryen
As a leader I have to constantly reiterate to my insecurities that I was not called to EASY, I was summoned to EXTRAORDINARY. When I was younger I almost placed my fate in the hands of the state by allowing a standardized test to say I was less than great. YOU’VE GOT TO GO THROUGH, TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL! New altitudes are commanding you to soar higher.
“Life is not easy for any of us but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing at whatever cost must be attained.” -Marie Curie
Four years ago I found myself in a new matrix of greatness when I was abruptly terminated. I am no stranger to challenges and I knew that I was going to have to find out who I had yet to become. I was reintroduced to my divine power and transformed a pink slip into Queenfidence. I would love to tell you that it has been a walk in the royal garden yet the highs have outshined the lows.
How do I continue to tread forward when I’m surrounded by a forest of uncertainty? MY VISION WON’T LET ME VANISH! In the words of Cleopatra the great, “I WILL NOT BE TRIUMPHED OVER!” I was not created to SUCCUMB to fear but designed to SUBDUE my future.
“The first step in gaining fortitude is to ask yourself, “What do I value most? What do I fear losing the most? The brave person values the thing he is pursuing more than the things he is risking.” -Unknown
I’ve created 16 vision boards to navigate through unfamiliar and unchartered territories. If I could capsulize one main jewel I have embraced on this journey is, Do not be afraid of who you are because no one is you and that is your power. Focus on where you are going, not where you have been.
“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” -Maya Mendoza
The voice of brilliance began to advocate for me even when I failed to believe. Faux societal labels serve one goal, to disable your growth. One of my saving graces throughout the years since childhood is understanding that IMAGINATION is the gateway to ELEVATION.
“Fight for the fairytale it does exist.” -Joy F.
We house infinite potential in the crevices of our beings. Our innate abilities are often buried under the debris of disappointment, despair and delayed dreams. The mind is a highly sophisticated instrument that will perform magnificently in the face of adversity. In order for us to operate at optimal capacity we must retrain the brain to reign exponentially.
“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” -David Viscott
I am always seeking to find the open door where there are only walls. In tech a gateway is defined as a network node that connects two networks using different protocols together. A bridge is used to join two similar types of networks. A gateway uses two dissimilar networks. This is how I interpret it for real life: adversity + opportunity = the perfect partners to produce uncommon feats. Adversity holds the key to limitless possibilities but you must open your eyes and seize.
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask, ACT. Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson
A gateway also means a tall and wide entrance which you have to go through to get to another place. It would be quite refreshing if we could swim through cool waters to DESTINY but the reality is, fire awaits.
“What is courage? Courage does not always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” -Unknown
Use your voice even if it shakes, the future is at stake. Your brilliance is unquestionable, co-sign your own purpose, power and potential.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” -Nora Ephron
Kristie Kennedy, owner of Queenfidence Image Consulting, LLC empowers timid female executives with confidence and clarity keys to FIND their voice, FREE their voice and look FAB*YOU*LOUS exercising their voice. She is skilled in four areas of peak performance: mindset mastery, massive momentum, magnetic messaging and potential maximization. Kristie has a passion for igniting leaders who have reached an internal plateau with limitless possibilities. She is a certified impact coach who provides insightful and inspiring leadership development training. Her life is a testament that you can shift from mediocrity to magnificence one bold action step at a time. www.queenfidence.com
So, you’ve landed a new job – congratulations! However, your hard work securing the interviews and contract is just the beginning. Your next challenge will be to work on making a stellar impression on your colleagues, clients, and boss.
But since judging the line between overconfidence and timidity can be tricky, we’ve put together a handy guide to standing out in your position. You’ll be gunning for that promotion in no time!
Master the art of “friendly professionalism”
Sure, it’s the quality of your work which will prove your value more generally, but leaving a positive impression in the workplace also depends on how well you relate to your co-workers and boss on an interpersonal level.
Leverage your newness to reach out and make connections. Ask questions; show yourself as enthusiastic and curious, but not overbearing. Prove to your colleagues and superiors that you can be both friendly and professional.
When you’re judging how much is too much, remember that every workplace is different. You might have landed your dream job in a new country and are ‘starting’ over culturally. Especially if you’re starting a new position overseas, you should watch for a different office culture than what you’re used to. You might want to sit back and quietly assess for a couple of days before climbing your way up the ladder.
Demonstrate your openness to feedback
The ability to take on and apply constructive feedback is the leading sign of a self-starter. Not only will you impress your boss with your readiness to better your working skills, but you’ll also learn how to build up the layers of resilience and perseverance which you’ll need to sustain you through rougher weeks.
It’s easier said than done, but try not to take feedback personally. Separate your personal character from your work achievements, create a bullet-point document of the advice and criticism you’ve been given, and endeavor to work on those weaknesses in the future.
Show your versatility
No CEO has ever gotten to where they are by adhering strictly to their job description. To prove to your employers that you’re capable of much more, let them know that you’re ready to take on fresh challenges.
Whether it’s a new client, a new training program, or even the chance to take up a role as the office social organizer, saying a tactful “yes” to new work-related opportunities will get you pushing the limits of your job description (and so pushing onto your boss’ radar).
Work on your leadership skills
One of the first things people look for in new employees is their leadership potential.
Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean bossing others around, either (which you might not have space to do in your current position, anyway). You can exhibit your ability to lead by bringing your working group together in cooperation, and by proving your keenness to help others out when they need it.
Focus on making an impact in person – not online
Contribute meaningfully on the office floor and through action, not just by participating in email threads or spending all your time promoting your LinkedIn. Personal branding goes further than digital profiles: prove to your officemates that you’re an invaluable face-to-face contact by opting for an in-person chat over an internet message, and show them how intelligent, engaged, and motivated you really are.
Just work hard
You can try all the tricks and shortcuts in the book, but if you’re going to follow one overarching principle, let it be the tried-and-true precept that hard work pays off (if not immediately, eventually). Avoid petty coworker competition, make the most of the hours you’re on shift, aspire to improve every day, and you’ll probably start to stand out without realizing it.
Allison’s work on a diverse range of topics including career, travel and lifestyle can be found on various sites, and she has previously collaborated with business sites such as Omega. To see more of her published work, visit her Tumblr profile.
According to numerous studies, including one published in an article in the Business Insider, “your appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion. And, because perception is often reality, what you wear not only communicates who you are in the minds of others, but also influences your level of career advancement.”
What this essentially tells us, is it that not only does being properly put-together force people to see you as someone who has it all figured out, but when you take pride in what you wear, the external perception turns into an internalized sense of capability, power and competency. So, needless to say – what you wear and how you accessorize is more important than you might have ever thought, with fall just around the corner, it’s time to talk business. Business attire, that is.
The one that says it all
We could think of countless clothing options that will send just the right message, whether you work for yourself, are in charge of a great number of people, or you’re one of the worker bees trying to climb the corporate ladder. There are superiors to impress, power to exude for those working under you and showing potential clients and investors that you are the perfect person for the job. However, in a sea of professional and chic clothing options, there is one that still reigns supreme, and we have a feeling this will be the case for a very long time – the power suit.
You can opt for a slightly oversized version, which is super chic and shows that you are both in control and not too uptight. Then, there is the pastel pantsuit, perfect for the beginning of fall as it exudes equal parts of femininity and power. Now, once we enter the colder fall months, this period will call for more serious and truly scientifically powerful hues such as navy, black and grey. Make sure it fits perfectly, so you don’t look slouchy as this is often associated with frumpiness; make sure it’s perfectly pressed and crisp, and with the right blouse, possibly something with a bow neckline. Just take care that you stock up on formal blouses and classic white shirts since these will save the day every time and mesh with everything you’ve got.
That perfect dress
When it comes to dresses in the office, this tricky area must be approached with the utmost care. You don’t want it to be too short or tight as that might send a signal about a lack of professionalism and knowledge on the dress code.
Now, if the dress in question is purple, all the better, as ultra-violet (hence all similar shades) is the official color of the year, and since according to Pantone it represents power and change, what better way to incorporate it into your wardrobe than with a dress that will dazzle at work and send all the right signals, not to mention awakening the femme go-getter in you.
There are days when things at the office are pretty low-key, which is the perfect time to bust out the ultimate business casual power combo. All you need for a killer office appropriate yet stylish outfit is a pair of dark wash jeans – emphasis on the dark – a quality cotton tee, and a larger than life cool blazer. You can elevate the look with classic pumps or give the feet a rest with flat oxfords, which are both sensible and sharp, and with a great simple tote on your shoulder, you are ready to go.
Now, as a busy woman who is always on the go, you probably don’t have all the time in the world to browse through countless boutiques, so the wisest and most time-saving things you can do for your style is to turn to a great online clothing store which offers a variety of garments, from blouses, blazers, tees and even outerwear and kill several style birds with one stone.
The young professional
No piece of outerwear says “I’m a pro” like a classic trench coat. This little number elevates the simplest of outfits. It’s also sharp and smart, but also currently (and always) on trend and on point, which makes it the smartest work and life outerwear investment you’ll ever make.
The cool girl factor
Since most companies nowadays have loosened up the dress code to a certain extent, a motto leather jacket has become to office attire what the little black dress is for formal events – a foolproof item. Depending on what you choose to wear on that particular day, your outfit can become edgier or more casual, and this kind of versatility this jacket provides is always welcome.
A jumpsuit is one of the easiest things you can pull out of your closet, perhaps even a garment that is easier to style than the mighty dress. Just make sure the fabric is a bit sturdier and doesn’t crease, that the pattern isn’t too loud or too busy. A black jumpsuit with white stripes is always a safe bet, and it looks great with any of the aforementioned pieces of outerwear, and if the dress code allows it, you can even rock it with tennis shoes.
Speaking of shoes
So, classic pumps, flat oxford, loafers, leather flats and leather tennis shoes along with camel ankle boots will get you through the fall without compromising your sense of style. The era of sky-high stilettos is over, so don’t torture your feet when there are so many chic office-friendly options out there.
Every busy woman needs a good big bag that can handle everything she throws at it. A solid leather tote is your best choice, although news on the street is that leather backpacks, which are super sleek and chic, are the new business tote, so if you have room for two investments of this variety, go for both.
Sophia Smith is an Australia-based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about the latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly about beauty- and fashion-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Viva Glam Magazine, How to Simplify, Whytt Magazine and Carousel.You can find out more about her writing by following her on: Facebook Twitter Google +
The gender gap in many a life sphere is a tale as old as time, and one that is finally being challenged more than ever – one dedicated, professional woman at a time. Since 2014, as many as 163 million women have started their own business, which is certainly a step in the right direction, even though the world has yet to enable the same opportunities for both genders. This slow, but significant upward trend, which shows more women in the business ranks, has also changed the overall entrepreneurial landscape.
Bringing about social changes
In many developing countries, women’s primary concerns do not include business funding as much as they include feeding their children and providing them a chance to be educated. However, organizations such as “Women United for Change” exemplify how a little can go a long way in helping women in impoverished environments build their own financial independence. As little as $50, in fact.
Specifically, this money goes to educate women who cannot afford schooling for themselves, and these 18 months of training are not only designed to better their lives, but to help them make a difference in their communities. Research of these programs shows that their impact spans all the way to reducing domestic violence, and women earning more relevant roles in their societies.
Increasing funding opportunities
Initially, statistics were staggeringly negative when it came to the amount of money which went into women-driven initiatives to start a business, as the majority of investments would go to all-male entrepreneurial efforts. Now, however, with more and more women calling the shots and turning a profit, there has been a slight shift in priorities – hopefully, we’ll see a much greater one in near future.
Women who understand the entrepreneurial struggles of their fellow business owners have started numerous funding opportunities to diminish this gap. For example, Vicki Saunders and her SheEO’s Radical Generosity aim to bring interest-free loans to women to start their own business ventures.
Allowing innovation to thrive
It’s a fierce world out there for women entrepreneurs, but an even fiercer one for ladies with the ambition to dive into the world of creative businesses. The competition is without a doubt one of the greatest hurdles, but up until recently, women also struggled to find the right tech support for their creative endeavors. Where there’s a need, there’s also an opportunity to enable change.
As the modern business tides are changing, it has become possible for women to implement, for example, fashion ERP software solutions that aim to simplify the numerous intricate processes of running your own label. With more technology on their side, women can automate a great deal of their daily tasks in order to focus on creative accomplishments and grow their brands.
Empowering female leadership
The existing climate of male-dominated leadership serves both as a suppressing force for women and as a driving force that has actually enabled women to show their true abilities in the leadership roles. A study conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman delivered impressive data showing that women are, in fact, more efficient than their male counterparts in the roles of power.
It seems that this negative climate has inspired women to push against suppression to earn the same level of respect and authority that is a given for men across various industries. Currently, there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of women and men leaders, as only 24% of senior positions are actually filled by women. However, with such studies and more initiative being taken by women, this is bound to change, as it is already changing the perception of women in leadership roles.
Changing the essence of business
As more ladies join the business ranks, the entire business sphere is changing from its very core. Women in power are able to hire other women, thus providing more jobs to competent females all over the world. The cycle of positive empowerment continues, as women also introduce more innovative solutions, and then use their profit to bring about more meaningful changes through charity work and other forms of social activism.
With more women stepping up to the mark with brilliant ideas and bold initiatives, the world has yet to see more female entrepreneurs not only making it big and turning a profit, but making a proud statement for all ambitious women out there – it’s time for change.
Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She has written for as long as she can remember. She is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.