How to achieve work-life balance

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Spoiler alert: “Work – Life Balance” is a misnomer. As a mentor once told me, the so-called work-life balance isn’t about balance, it’s about juggling–just trying to keep as many balls in the air as possible. In 20 seconds, I came up with all these “balls” I’ve tried to juggle last year: physical fitness, healthy eating, adequate sleep (dropped that one completely), friends, dating/spouse, kids/family, community service, church service, mentoring, work projects, work meetings, professional networking events, conferences, blogging, reading all those books people keep telling me to read…

You get the picture. Too much! There is too much stuff happening! How can a life bulging with so much stuff ever be in balance? In 2016, I learned first-hand that “balance” is NOT achieved by spreading out time among many, many things. Nuh-uh. That becomes chaotic and unfulfilling. I didn’t achieve any fitness goals, none of the three companies I was starting got off the ground, and I wasn’t at the service committee meetings enough to know what was going on, to name just a few of the ways that my attempt at a balanced life in 2016 failed. I was living fast and furious, sure. More like I was getting nowhere and totally exhausted. Not until October did I make a change that forever shifted my perspective on how to really live a balanced life. It was a crazy idea, but it worked for me. Maybe, just maybe, it will work for you, too.

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How to find a good mentor

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belinda hanMentoring has been on my mind a lot lately. No matter where you’re at on your career path, good mentors are invaluable.  I’ve been lucky to have mentors like Beatryx Washington, who have played both the coach and cheerleader for me. But rather than give my amateur advice on how to find a good mentor, I went to the expert–Belinda Han. Teaching people to find mentors and be mentors is basically her job, and she’s really, really good at it! Continue reading →

Two questions you should be asking in an interview

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_SWN1569It seems almost silly, doesn’t it? You’ve just spent 20 min. with this person, and the allotted time for your interview is done. The next candidate is waiting outside the door. And it’s NOW that the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for me?” What? if I say yes, is the interviewer going to say “Too bad, sucker! You’re out of time!” But, if I say no, is that going to come across like I haven’t prepared? Ok, ok, this prompts a personal story that I’ll share, and then we’ll get to the questions you should be asking in an interview.   Continue reading →

Shopping for your First Suit

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DSCN647122Stephanie nabbed me after church with a big problem. She had scored an important interview, but had nothing to wear! “Big Biz” would be flying her out to Washington D.C. for a two-day interview. The instructions said “business professional” for the first day and “business casual” for the second.  “I have looked everywhere, literally everywhere! And I can’t find a suit, and what the heck is business casual for an interview anyway?!” she said, ready to just give up and wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt (I feel ya, Steph, I feel ya.) We picked a night to go shopping for Stephanie’s first suit, and the experience prompted this “what you should know about shopping for your first suit” blog post.  Continue reading →

Thinking about grad school? Meet Malia Anderson, Ph.D.

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IMG_4697Recently, I had an interview with this fantastic woman–Malia Anderson.  In just a couple months, she will have the initials Ph.D. after her name. Malia is completing a doctoral degree in neuroscience, researching cognitive and memory development of the brain. (Something wicked smart like that.) Smarts isn’t what gets you through a graduate program, Malia said, it’s commitment.  I asked what advice she had for people thinking about grad school, and this is what she said: Continue reading →