Month: February 2019

Podcasts for Millennial Cubicle Warriors

We all have those days where we’re clicking non-stop in a cubicle. I spend those days working hard, headphones in, eyes glued to the screen. I want to share some of my go-to podcasts for the black corporate professional, also known as the millennial cubical warrior! They’re all led by black career-driven professionals at various points within their careers. Now let’s get down to business.

Trill MBA Show

 

A podcast produced and driven by a black woman who gives you an unfiltered look inside the corporate walls. She is honest, brutal, and loving all at the same time. Felicia tells it like it is and makes me feel like I’m in the room with a mentor giving me the business. One of her more recent episodes talked about knowing when it’s okay to ask for help. As black women, we often want to do it all, and there are times when we can’t and that’s okay.

Black Love Matters

Why would I have a podcast about black love on a career focused podcast? No, it’s not just because I’m a true blue sap at the core. It’s because Niram and Niambi give the goods when it comes to career advice! Niambi is a blackademic who works at a major company in Silicon Valley. They often give out top tier career advice whether it’s for corporate America, academia, or in the tech field. I highly recommend Black Love Matters for any of my fellow cubicle warriors.

Living Corporate

Having a group of friends from various industries give you all of the inside details is exactly what the Living Corporate podcast is like. Every episode is like a new day of water cooler talk. I find myself more enthralled in the topics, and learning things even I didn’t know. This most recent episode touched a heartstring with me when discussing balancing your passion with your 9-to-5, but it’s truly possible to have both. Living Corporate is a podcast for anyone looking to know what it’s like to be black in Corporate America from both a male and a female’s point of view.

Brown Ambition

Brown Ambition podcast is produced by the Tiffany Aliche and Mandi Woodruff. It’s is a perfect mix of career and financial advice. They discuss making it through salary negotiations, interview preparation, how to stand out when you’re the only brown face in the room, saving when you’re making less than $20,000 a year and more. BA is a great podcast for any corporate professional.

 

 

These are a few of my favorite professional podcasts, and they make my workday just a little bit easier. Share yours!

This Career Does Not Spark Joy. Throw it Away? – How to Marie Kondo Your Career

Does Your Career Spark Joy?

Many of us have all watched the latest Netflix sensation “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” It’s time you streamlined your career, cleaned up your cubicle, and got joy out of the place you spend 8 hours or more out of your day. I sat down as I watched it, and wondered “How can I encourage people to “KonMari” their career?”

The overall philosophy is clear: Don’t let the excess overwhelm you, get rid of what doesn’t make you happy, find a place for everything and simplify whenever possible. If you’re anything like me, a million and one thoughts are running through your mind and you have no idea what any of that sentence actually means.

Let’s break it down in a few different ways. At the foundation of the KonMari method, you have visualize, consider, and decide – without question, you have to decide where these things fit into your career. Be intentional about it, and when that happens, it is meant to be life-changing.

Visualize

Start by visualizing what a day at your job looks like. Assign times to these tasks. Where is most of your time going? Are you responding to emails for hours? Are you stressed out because your first 2 hours are spent responding to emails? Is the structure of your day making the rest of your day hard to get through? The more detailed the visualization of your day is, the easier it will be for your next steps to occur.

Does it Spark Joy?

Your job is made up of a lot of small jobs, as are most jobs. What parts of your visualization make you happy? What sparks joy about them? How can you incorporate parts of those tasks into the others? For example, I get really stressed about building presentation decks, however, I love writing the copy for them.

In order for the building portion of it to spark joy for me, I write my copy first and then build the deck. This allows for me to build around my copy. If you feel alive, focused, expert, or satisfied during one part of the job, consider that as joy-sparking. If that’s at the end, focus on that as you work on the beginning. Push yourself to get to the joy enabling portion.

What Do You Need?

The very first episode of the show, Kondo asks her client When’s the last time you wore it?” in regards to her husband’s favorite old shirt. This is a prioritization reminder that you can use in your own career.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST! Many company cultures focus on finger pointing, blaming someone else, anyone else. You can’t change your boss, you can’t change your coworkers, but you can change you.

What do you need in your career to be successful? Marie Kondo focuses on your needs for a clutter-free life, you have to focus on your needs for a clutter-free career.

Declutter Your Workspace

I don’t mean a bare space. My desk is full of sticky notes, pens, quotes, and notebooks. Everything needs a space, everything needs a container. A physically clean desk space ensures that you are free of visual distractions, and makes things easier to find. A decluttered space is a focused space.

Be Grateful for the Lessons

Your careers HAVE to have meetings, colleagues, and jobs that don’t spark joy but you still have to endure. Marie Kondo said the goal of tidying is to learn “to cherish everything that you have.”

You have to train yourself to say thank you that you do have a job and that you have things in your job that you are grateful for. You learn about yourself through the joy-filled tasks and the ones that don’t fill joy.

Be grateful for the lessons under the mad supervisor, and the bad. You should be grateful for the times you felt anger, guilt, and think back to the lessons that they taught you.

Marie Kondo Your Career

Keep in mind, you have more control over your own career happiness than you think. You might come to appreciate certain parts of your job you previously dismissed as boring or useless. Taking a step back to wonder what makes you happy and what doesn’t is an exercise worth doing. Organizational skills should be used in your professional life. Take stock of your career and tidy it up as best as you can.

Can You Pass This Job Interview Quiz?

Can You Pass This Job Interview?

You have walked into the room for your dream. I have introduced myself to you. You give me a firm handshake. Your phone is on silent (not vibrate). You are dressed in business professional (not casual) attire, and you are well prepared. Now let’s get down to business. Will you pass this job interview quiz?

How Did You Do?

Can You Tell Me About Yourself?

Your interviewer is not asking about your personal life. They don’t want to know when you were born or about your siblings. You should never give anything away that talks about your age when you are interviewing, and your interviewer is not allowed to ask. They want to know about your professional skills, your background, a little about what you want to do in the future. They want the details about your future, not just that you’re looking for the “next big thing.”

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Have a plan! The worst thing that you could tell an interviewer is that you don’t have a plan or that you haven’t thought about it. Sit down today and decide on a 3 year a plan. A mentor told me last week that I don’t have to have a specific role in mind because roles are ever changing, but know what type of work and what type of skills I want to have developed at that time. Those are the things you want to discuss in your interview to be successful.

What is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?

Put numbers to the achievement! Did you increase sales? By how much? Did you increase efficiency on your team? By how much and how often? Leaders LOVE numbers, make them love you.

What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

Please avoid the generic “perfectionist” answer. Give a true answer, but also give the solution in regards to what you’re doing to fix it. If public speaking is your weakness, sign up for a public speaking coaching session with me.  In my most recent interview, my weakness was my lack of organization, but I have started using planners to get organized and have found that it works wonders. Make sure if you give a weakness, you ALWAYS give what you’re doing to remedy it.

What’s Your Dream Job?

When it comes to your dream job, don’t mention a specific company. Speak to your skills, speak to what you want to learn later. You want them to know you want to continue to grow.

If We Were to Contact Your Former Manager, How Would They Describe You?

Be honest, because they probably will call but also be detailed. Don’t give a one word answer, but it’s also time to boast on yourself!

Why Are You the Right Person for This Job?

You don’t need second chances? Are you sure? What happens when you mess you, you will mess up. That’s an arrogant response, and you should avoid arrogance at all costs. Be confident in your response, but not arrogant.

Did You Get The Job?

How’d you do? Did I hire you? What will you do better next time? Leave a comment and let’s discuss it!