Work It!

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Corporate America is not the easiest thing to maneuver. I transitioned to the corporate world a few years ago and at first I absolutely loved it. I remember thinking this is such an easy gig. Like who can complain about this? No physical labor, all weekends and holidays and then some off, work from home benefits, I mean who would ever think this is horrible? Right? Well, while the benefits are amazing but the politics are out of this world. I never realized how good I had it before corporate America. I have seen crazy backstabbing, co-workers posing as friends just to run to your boss and create chaos. I have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, passed up on a promotion because of my ethnicity and so much more!

While, those experiences have been less than desirable, it has taught me a lot of lessons that I will take with me everywhere I go. There are mistakes that I will never make again. Now, I will say there are always exceptions to the lessons I am about to list, for the most part they should away be a staple in surviving the cold, cold world of working for a corporation.

  1. Stop talking – talking too much can be a major downfall and you can literally talk yourself out of a promotion or get yourself in trouble with your boss.
  2. Your co-workers are just that. Do not go to work to make friends. They are NOT your friends and at the end of the day they will always look out for themselves. (This is one of the exceptions, I have made GREAT friends at the workplace, but what I realized that the connections that I made were rare and I have been chasing that and failed)
  3. Never reveal everything you know. – Everyone is protecting himself or herself in this cutthroat world, save something for you. Your sanity will thank you for it.
  4. Be humble. – Seriously, you are at work. You are not from da block and you are not a socialite. You are an employee getting paid to do a job and do it well, so be kind, be humble. Being humble and kind will take you places that your experience and education can’t.
  5. Be diligent – Take pride in your work. Show up on time, and show up EARLY. Your work is a reflection of you, so make sure you put pride in your job. That is how you get promoted and stay employed.

 

There will always be exceptions to the rule when it comes to the workplace, but I can attest that following these basic rules, you will go far and be successful.

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As ladies, we must always remember to empower each other. We must not drag each other down; we must lift each other up. One of the biggest things I have noticed in the workplace is lack of sisterhood. Women are extremely catty and it is not becoming of us at all. One of the main reasons why I started this blog is to empower women in all major aspects of our lives, especially the workplace. We have to do better.

Let’s do better in 2018. We can do this.

#OneWomanOneLove

 

-Lady InspiHer

What About Your Friends?

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Will they stand their ground? Will they let you down again? What about your friends, are they gonna be lowdown? Will they ever be around? Or will they turn their backs on you?” Those famous TLC lyrics still ring true till this day. Friendships are so complicated the older we get. What I used to think about friends in my 20’s is totally different than what I think about them now. Circles will get much smaller and with life changes, you tend to see people differently. Also in my later years, I have learned the difference between acquaintances and friends. I used to call everyone a friend and in actuality I NEVER had that many friends but had tons of acquaintances and that was perfectly ok. Now, I cut most of those acquaintances off, my coworkers tend to fall into that category and I hold my small circle of friends close. I have never been the one for small meaningless talks.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who told me a story about a time she severed a friendship with someone. She had to let that person know that they were not friends and simply acquaintances. Why? There was a misconception of friendship between them. Let me tell you all the back story. One person (let’s call her Lisa) was going above and beyond to be there for the other person (we will refer to her as Candace). Candace went through such a hard loss earlier in 2016 with the loss of a parent and everyone banded together to help her through the hard times, especially Lisa since they lived in the same town. Candace runs her own business and has asked Lisa for her services numerous of times throughout the years and happily Lisa helped. During the second half of the year, Lisa began going through some changes and had to acquire a second job which took up a lot of her free time on the weekends, which meant that Lisa could not attend a few activities that Candace has planned during the latter part of the year. Well, Candace during those months has been saying little mean things here and there in group outings towards Lisa which was uncalled for but disguised it as a joke and of course Lisa took notice. Fast forward to Memorial Day …Candace annual Memorial Day BBQ came around and she did NOT invite Lisa but invited everyone else. She posted pictures all over social media and showed pictured in their weekly Sunday brunch dates as a group knowing she did not invite Lisa. Lisa called her out on it in private and Candace lied to Lisa on the excuse as to why she was not invited, claiming she reached maximum capacity at the facility she rented to host the BBQ. After some back and forth between the two that was not getting anywhere fruitful, Lisa finally lets Candace know, her mean girl behaviors were not ok and that is not how you treat someone whom you consider a friend. She continues to let her know that she must distance herself from that type of behavior and will remain cordial with her in the future, being they run in the same circles, but that type on fake friendship she will not be a part of. Candace, appalled at Lisa stance, tried to justify her behavior with other excuses, which fell upon death ears.

What do you all think of this? Do you think Lisa was justified in her stance against Candace? Do you think there could be some reconciliation to their friendship? Or do you think they should let things go? I would love to hear from you guys on this.

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True friends are hard to come by. My mother once told me when I was a little girl that if you have 3 good friends as an adult, you are truly blessed. I used to think “Not me! I have way more friends than 3 and they are my real friends!” Now, that I am older, I think, man was she right! I MAY have 3 to 4 super close friends and 4 may be stretching it! And let me tell you guys, I am so blessed with the ladies I call friends. We empower each other, we never demonstrate mean girl behavior, we embrace our differences, and we hold each other to a high standard all the while understanding that we are all fallible human beings. We do not need to speak daily, because we understand that we lead busy lives but are there for each other during our time of need. That is the kind of friendship that all women should have. Fair weather friends are for the young kids. It’s those who demonstrate genuine friendship in the midst of a storm that are worth keeping around.

What about your friends? Will they hold you down?

Until next time Ladies

 

Lady InspiHer

Managing Expectations

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2017 is officially gone and we are now embarking on a new journey of 2018. One of the major lessons that I have learned this year was how to manage my expectations in all areas of my life. I feel my biggest let downs were due to my unrealistic expectations. I had a conversation with a friend last year, and I was asking her what her biggest lessons were for that year and she said, managing expectations. At first, I thought, it wasn’t a big deal, but in all honesty, it was a MAJOR deal. My major life lesson that year was learning the power of the pause and not react to everything I felt some emotion about. I had to learn to simply pause.

This year, I am now where my friend was a year ago. I learned to manage my expectations in all aspects of my life. My love life, my career, raising my teenage son, friendships and family. I kid you not, I have dealt with each and every one of these areas this past year; but the most important one was managing the expectation of myselfand where I thought and needed to be. That was a hard pill to swallow. It was a necessary evil, but, I got it. I am still a work in progress, but aren’t we all?

I want to dig a bit deeper into the different categories of where we can better manage our expectations. First up, Love…

Love

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As women, we are faced with so many societal pressures on when to get married, how many kids we should have, do we even want kids?!, whether or not we should have a full time career or stay at home. Stay in shape, satisfy your mate and the list goes on and on. But what about us? The sense of self? How about maintaining your identity when in a relationship? How long should you date before you should expect a ring? Do you even want to get married? Do you love your significant other? All of these questions and thoughts when in a relationship can cause stress and tons on gray hair! It’s important to block out societal expectations where you should be in your love life, IF you choose to have one at the moment and focus on what YOU want. Focus on where YOU want to the relationship to go. In all honesty, your love life is between two people and two people only. The best way to manage expectations in love is to communicate. Openly and freely. Ignore all the outside pressures (main one being family) and think about what YOU want and discuss it with your partner. Do they have the same vision? What I do is keep my family and most of my friends out of my relationship and hone in on our wants and needs. At the end of the day, someone will always have something to say when it comes to your relationship. Don’t let what ‘they’ say consume you.

Career

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Most of us spend 40 hours or more a week at the workplace. If you have a great boss, then wonderful, but if you don’t, things can get tricky. I know the struggle for sure. Do you feel like your ideas are being taken away from you and you get no credit? Your co-workers are phony and back stabbers? Lower your expectations when dealing with coworkers and your boss. At the end of the day, they are human just like you. They have struggles outside of work, just like you. Instead of trying to make them fit into your ideal work environment, create your own. Your boss is keeping information from you that will help you perform better at your job? Do your own research. Pave your own way. If the environment gets too toxic, leave. Find another job. Peace is far more valuable than poison.

Children

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When raising a child, it’s hard not to have expectations. You know what you have done to succeed, what you have failed at, and the mistakes you have made. You want to teach your child the ropes and prevent them from making the same mistakes you did. Easy right? We expect them to listen, take our advice, and go forth in to the world and conquer, right? Wrong. They don’t. They do everything opposite of what you advised and then get mad at you for even advising. Yep, it’s the expectation again. We expect them to do what we know is right instead of letting them grow into their own selves. Remember when you were younger? Did you listen to everything your parents told you? I did to a certain extent, but I had to pave my own way. I failed a lot. I failed miserably, but I learned appreciation. I learned hard work and perseverance. The key word is I learned. Let your child learn. Remove the expectation from your children. Keep advising, keep inspiring, keep guiding, but don’t allow their mistakes to define you. Easier said than done. Trust me, I know this all too well. It is still a learning process. My child still gets mad at me for even advising. But I will never give up or stop advising. He will have to learn to deal with it!

Relationships

Ahh, the monster of them all… relationships. Relationships with friends and family is terribly hard. Especially the older we get. Your friends will get married, have kids, start new business ventures, make other friends and you will feel left out. You have the expectations that things will remain the same because you did. Wrong. Allow people to be themselves and to grow. That is the expectations we should have in our relationships and they should have the same expectations with you. The expectation of individual growth. As you grow and your friends will grow, you will lose some and others will stick around. It is perfectly ok to let some friendships go but the ones that are worth fighting for, do it and simply be understanding.

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Now when it comes to family relationships, the same rules apply. Some family members, you have to let go and love them from afar, and others you can hold tight onto. There will always be family drama, someone will always be upset with someone else, and sometimes you get put in the middle. As a family member, you tend to expect more out of them because you hold them to a higher regard. Let those expectations go. Love them for who they are. If they are not doing right by you or another person, it is ok to call them out lovingly. Often than not, you have to walk away from a toxic environment to gain peace. You may decide to move to a new place to find peace from family. I am here to tell you NOT to feel guilty about that. Never feel guilty about choosing you. Remember, they are going to choose themselves above all. Be mindful, be respectful, be caring, but be authentic, be true to yourself and value your sanity. Space is a good thing. There is a quote by Zora Neal Hurston that I think of, “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk”. That quote rings true to this and many other situations in life.

Ladies, I am urging you to choose YOU above all. Your life depends on it.

Lady InspiHer