You headed out from the office a few hours ago for a friend’s birthday happy hour, and the office has emailed, called, or texted three times already. Can’t they figure it out on their own? It’s Wednesday and you’re at your son’s baseball game. Sure, it’s for a group of 10-year-olds, but it’s important to him, and that makes it important to you. Why has your boss called you four times already?
Your client keeps trying to contact you with a message saying, “I have a question,” but she won’t leave what the question is. Is it an emergency, or can it wait until you’re back in the office after the weekend is over?
Does this sound familiar? Don’t they understand you’re off the clock right now?
The Need for Boundaries at Work
Boundaries. It’s part of what’s missing in these scenarios. A consistent piece of advice from the more than 110 professional part-time working moms, whom I interviewed, was about the need to set and maintain boundaries at work.
Setting Boundaries Can Be Hard
Many of us want to be connected and not miss a thing. Setting boundaries means we might miss something. Deadlines don’t usually move for us. We move for them. A crisis might blow up or maybe we’ll miss a huge opportunity. And part of it is often simply trying to keep all parties happy. But, what’s the likelihood of these things coming up or a crisis happening in the hours after you leave the office? I’ll bet it’s generally low, especially if you schedule around deadlines and have an idea of whatever is coming up.
Technology as an Enabler
Technology is a blessing and curse. It allows us to work from anywhere anytime, which we love. And it enables clients, colleagues, and managers to get a hold of us whenever they choose. If you combine that with people who don’t have their own boundaries or maybe you haven’t established yours, you’re in for a lot of interruptions from the office during your downtime each day or even on vacation. Remember that it’s OK to walk away from the office and turn off technology.
The Boundaries at Work Are Important for so Many Reasons
You want to pay attention to your family and be present.
You need a break each day to recharge to perform your best.
Time away from the office each day helps manage stress.
You look at things with a fresh perspective when you can put them down for a while.
If you’re working part time, it makes financial sense to work the time you get paid.
Want Some Ideas on Boundaries You Can Start to Implement?
No phone or electronics time for X amount of time each day or for the time when you’re with family, unless it’s an emergency. I might check email or texts while I’m home with the boys, but I don’t usually respond to anything that isn’t urgent. And no phone at the breakfast or dinner table.
Response to non-emergency communications (phone, email, text) within 24 hours or by end of day or whatever timeframe you’re comfortable with. You might be traveling, in an all-day meeting, sick, taking care of a sick child, or working on a major deadline. Give yourself some wiggle room, so that people don’t expect you to respond in minutes and then keep contacting you until you do finally respond.
Real work emergencies can come up. Define what an emergency is to your team, clients, manager, etc. Everyone you’re interacting with needs to be on the same page, as they can vary from person to person or even project to project. If you get a rare call or text after hours, you’ll know something is going on that needs your attention.
You can use boundaries to get your work done. Designate meeting or call days or times on your calendar, so that you have work time and time to get work done each day.
Boundaries Are Set—Now What?
The easiest option is to establish boundaries from the beginning of a relationship, either a new job or with a new client. If it’s an existing relationship, you need to create a plan and give time for people to re-adjust to new boundaries. Maybe you create a transition plan for yourself so that it’s not like a light switch between two sets of boundaries. It will take retraining a client, your boss or your team. You need to stick to your boundaries over time, though, even when things get iffy and pushback kicks in. You can do it!
I’ve focused on the consistent boundaries at work and how they impact you every day. If you’re interested in more on why vacation is important, since those are bigger boundaries, read my blog about the importance of vacation or time away.
About the Author
Suzanne Brown is a work-life balance speaker, strategist & author, and strategic marketing consultant.
Looking for the next big thing? Here are some of the hottest jobs for 2020.
Application Software Developers
Annual Wage: $103,620
Entry-level education: bachelor’s degree
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 24 percent (much faster than average)
Application software developers develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device.
Annual wage: $88,550
Entry-level education: bachelor’s degree
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 7 percent (as fast as average)
Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.
Annual wage: $46,590
Entry-level education: high school diploma or equivalent
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 8 percent (as fast as average)
Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials.
Annual wage: $80,370
Entry-level education: master’s degree
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 29 percent (much faster than average)
Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. They provide information and support to other healthcare providers, or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions.
Home Health Aides
Annual wage: $24,200
Entry-level education: high school diploma or equivalent
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 41 percent (much faster than average)
Home health aides and personal care aides help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive impairment by assisting in their daily living activities. They often help older adults who need assistance. In some states, home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the client’s vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.
Annual wage: $113,930
Entry-level education: master’s degree
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 31 percent (much faster than average)
Nurse practitioners coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice varies from state to state.
Solar Energy Technicians
Annual wage: $42,680
Entry-level education: high school diploma or equivalent
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 105 percent (much faster than average)
Solar energy technicians or Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, also known as PV installers, assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures.
Annual wage: $87,780
Entry-level education: master’s degree
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 33 percent (much faster than average)
Statisticians analyze data and apply statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.
Physical Therapist Assistants
Annual wage: $58,040
Entry-level education: associate’s degree
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 30 percent (much faster than average)
Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain.
Wind Turbine Technicians
Annual wage: $54,370
Entry-level education: postsecondary nondegree award
Job outlook from 2016–2026: 96 percent (much faster than average)
Wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.
Making a career change is almost as stressful as meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time. Even if you’ve landed your dream job, you’ll encounter your fair share of challenges on your new career path.
Luckily, with the right approach, a positive attitude and a little bit of help, those challenges don’t have to be insurmountable.
So, if you’re considering a major career change, make things easier on yourself by following these six steps to get on the right path.
Find a Mentor
Going into a new job can seem like a never-ending mountain that you need to climb each and every day. But less-experienced mountaineers typically don’t climb without a guide—and neither should you. By seeking out someone with more experience who has been in your position before, you can gain not only some guidance but also a confidant who can offer sage advice, a sounding board to help you gain clarity and a champion to make sure your accomplishments get the attention they deserve. See if your new place of work has a mentorship program, or seek one out to see the benefits of having a mentor in the workplace.
Get a Routine and Stick to It
Be prepared for what you signed up for. It doesn’t matter what your previous work life was like, you need to be certain of the schedule your new employer expects of you. Each workplace is different—some offer flexibility, while others have a strict 9–5 schedule. If your career change also comes with a significant change in routine, take the week before your start date and get yourself ready for it.
Do it For the Culture
Do you like to tell jokes and go for little walks during the workday? You better be sure that’s something that isn’t frowned upon at your new job. You can add your own personal flair to the overall team dynamic, but trying to change an entire company culture is more than difficult. Your best bet is to ask the right questions during the interview and knowing for certain that this position is the right fit. Because you don’t to be a Seinfeld type of person walking into a Friends type of office.
It can be tough to remember everyone’s name—let alone all the new terminology that’ll be thrown at you—so a pen and a notepad will likely be your best friends (at least for the first few weeks). Don’t be shy about writing things down, asking follow-up questions or asking people to slow down or repeat themselves. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to gain a solid understanding of the ins and outs of your new company.
Build Strong Relationships
Working independently, taking charge of responsibilities and exuding a sense of confidence may give your superiors a positive image of you, but you can’t do everything alone. Many workplaces increasingly value collaborative efforts, so find a way to work well with your coworkers. By building strong relationships right away, you’ll be able to develop a network of contacts that extends across departments.
Don’t Stop Networking
Just because you’re on a new career path, it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to old your old contacts. You’ll be able to strengthen and diversify your network with your old and new colleagues. While it may seem like an arduous task to be constantly connecting and reconnecting, the sooner you start reaching out, the sooner you’ll start feeling more comfortable.
You’ve worked hard to get to this point in your career, so this should be a positive time in your life. Following these bits of advice will minimize stress and set you up for a successful transition into your new career.
A homeless woman, whose video showcasing her singing ability at a Los Angeles Metro station recently went viral, performed for a live audience Saturday, hoping to raise awareness of the homelessness crisis.
Russian-born singer Emily Zamourka appeared onstage during the “Little Italy” celebration in San Pedro, singing the same Italian opera piece that garnered her international attention.
“I’m not a professional singer, but I’m very critical to how I’m going to sound or how I’m going to perform,” she said. “It has to be delivered right. It’s not easy, so that’s why today I will apologize in front of everybody, because they probably thought I’m going to bring a [bigger] repertoire or something. It’s going to be the same song that they know me from the subway [for].”
Zamourka, who has been homeless for the past few years, said that she has been overwhelmed by the worldwide acclaim she has received since the Los Angeles Police Department posted a video of her singing at a Metro Purple Line station on its social media.
The video, which has been retweeted over 6,000 times on Twitter since being posted on Sept. 26, prompted many to applaud her operatic voice. Zamourka didn’t know that her singing had been heard by people around the world until friends called to tell her.
She later thanked the officer who took the video, as shown by another clip posted by the LAPD.
Zamourka previously said that she has no formal training, but would not decline to sing on stage. The opportunity to do so came on Saturday.
After performing at the event and giving interviews to local and international reporters, Zamourka left to rest. LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office, which hosted the “Little Italy” event, said it is working to find housing for the singer.
But though she thanks everyone who has supported her, Zamourka believes a person’s skills shouldn’t determine whether they receive help.
Melinda Gates, whose book this year documented the systemic and societal challenges that continue to face women around the world, recently pledged $1 billion over the next 10 years to initiatives designed to accelerate gender equity in the United States.
It’s the biggest initiative yet from Gates through her standalone Pivotal Ventures firm, separate from her role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Melinda Gates established Pivotal Ventures four years ago to focus on issues including gender equality and empowering women. Her book, “The Moment of Lift,” documented the need to remove barriers for women, with the goal of helping not just women but society as a whole.
In the announcement this morning, Gates cited three priorities for the funds: 1) “dismantling the barriers to women’s professional advancement;” 2) “fast-tracking women in sectors with outsized impact on our society—like technology, media, and public office; and 3) “mobilizing shareholders, consumers, and employees to amplify external pressure on companies and organizations in need of reform.”
She wrote, “I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives. I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in—and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.”
“I believe our goal should be to expand women’spower and influence in society. I think of power and influence as the ability to make decisions, control resources, and shape perspectives. It is something women exercise in their homes, in their workplaces, and in their communities. I recognize that “power and influence” are not words we have historically associated with women — nor are they words that all women associate with themselves. I also acknowledge that because of my family’s wealth, I have access to certain kinds of power and influence that very few people do. Still, I use these words, imperfect and imprecise though they are, because they are the best way I know to describe what men in this country — in particular, white men — have long had that women have not.”
Continue on to Geekwire to read the complete article.
With over 90% female travellers stating that safety concerns affected what they did in their personal time when travelling for work (GBTA/AIG Travel survey 2018), there’s a need for women to be security-savvy.
Female travellers face unique travel safety risks. Women are often perceived as an easier target by criminals and are also more likely than men to be victims of sexual harassment or violent sexual crimes. Women are also targets of harassment, cultural discrimination, local regulations and bias in business settings.
Forward-planning and self-awareness have a big part to plan in ensuring women stay safe when travelling, whether for business or leisure. Riskline, a leading global travel risk intelligence company, gives female travellers a head start with its top five best practices.
Top 5 best practices for female traveller safety
1 – Keep those at home informed
Ensure a trusted person at home always has a copy of your full itinerary and important details before your departure. This includes alternate ways to contact you, a photocopy of your passport and any travel or medical insurance information.
2 – Know your travel destination
Always familiarise yourself with your destination prior to travel. Research your destination using tools, such as Riskline’s Female Traveller Safety Report, so you can be fully informed of various cultural and societal practices. This includes local culture and laws, especially in countries with extensive social and legal restrictions against women.
For example, in some Islamic countries, buses, subways, restaurants and other public establishments are often gender-segregated, while some teahouses are off-limits to women altogether. On the other hand, a lack of feminine care necessities may pose an issue in developing countries. Tampons and contraceptives may be only found at major supermarkets or pharmacies in large cities or in some cases, not available at all.
In Iran, where the legal code is based on Islamic law, physical contact between unrelated men and women is forbidden in public – even in a private or social setting do not shake hands with Iranian men unless they initiate it and extend their hand first. Unmarried men and women are legally forbidden from being alone together in a social setting, sometimes even in public, unless they are related.
3 – Remain aware of your surroundings
Exercise common sense safety precautions, even during the daytime, while travelling in unfamiliar locations. Women are more frequently targeted than men for pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially if travelling alone as they are often perceived as an ‘easy target’. In developing countries, the perception that foreigners are more affluent than locals may put you at a higher risk.
Be alert and keep your bag close to you at all times, especially on public transport and other crowded areas. If you’re out after dark consider using private and official taxis, especially those operated by women drivers, as a safer mode of travel than public transport and walking alone.
In India, it is recommended to avoid all forms of public transport as sexual assaults are common onboard buses and trains. Use only official and registered taxis or reputed radio cabs – but avoid sitting in the front seat of the taxi and always take the seat behind the driver, as there have been some reports of sexual advances by cab drivers. Do not travel alone at night, especially in deserted areas or villages where crime rates are high.
4 – Don’t be afraid to say no
Depending on your destination, you may attract attention among locals for your foreign appearance or simply for being a woman travelling alone. In countries like Jamaica, Morocco and other countries frequented by tourists, female travellers may be at a higher risk of being sexually harassed by local men due to misconception about foreign women, especially Westerners, and their behaviour.
Be confident in demeanour and learn to say “No” or “Stop” in the local language without worrying about causing offense. While smiling and ‘small talk’ may be considered a friendly gesture at home, in some countries local men may perceive it as a sign of interest.
In the Bahamas, female travellers may receive unwanted attention from men, ranging from open displays of catcalling and staring to physical groping, including during the daytime. It is best to ignore these advances or confrontations and walk away. In the event that harassment escalates, draw attention to what is happening and locals will likely come to your aid.
5 – Give feedback
Tell your travel manager, HR rep, co-workers and friends about what worked, and what didn’t, during your trip. Employers have a Duty of Care obligation to ensure your safety and well-being during a work trip. Your feedback can make the experience safer and more enjoyable for future female travellers.
Not all travellers are the same, and female travellers face unique safety risks. Women can be perceived as an ‘easier target’ for criminals and are more likely than men to be victims of sexual harassment.
Consider this: more than 8 in 10 (83 percent) women say they have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year (GBTA/AIG Travel survey 2018). It is unfortunate that women should take precautions in many facets of their life due to safety concerns, and business travel is no different. Therefore, we want to ensure all women remain ‘safety-savvy’ when working abroad and access to the right information is key.
Detailed reports, such as our Female Traveller Safety Reports, are written by women for women and are also designed to support a company’s Duty of Care obligation to keep their employees safe while travelling. They provide information on local customs and laws, safety concerns as well as specific details on health and wellness that directly affect female travellers.
There’s a huge – and increasingly growing – need for companies to embrace diversity and inclusivity, and we hope that providing access to detailed travel information to female employees will soon become the norm.
‘Forewarned is forearmed’ as they say, and women need to need to arm themselves with the right information in order to ensure they can make the most of trouble-free travel.
Authors: Suzanne Sangiovese & Jayeon Kim, Riskline
Riskline is a leading travel risk intelligence company in operation since 2007 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Riskline’s world-class security services are trusted by small business and Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries. riskline.com
Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand’s social media channels.
By Hannah Morgan
As a job seeker, you need to develop an important set of new skills. Job search requires self-promotion! You must learn how to think like a marketer and learn the basics of selling!
Why? Because you are selling… you.
It is going to take a lot more to separate yourself from the other candidates looking for the same job you are. And because hiring managers need to be able to justify every expense and see a return on their investment.
Hiring a new employee is one of the greater risks employers take. Make it easy for your future hiring manager. Explain how they will benefit financially from hiring you.
Self-promotion skills pros have mastered: People with a background in sales understand basic sales principles and know how to build a sales funnel. They understand lead generation. Job seekers are sales professionals and should understand what the job duties are in their new role. Self-promotion is merely applying those principles to one’s self.
The responsibilities of a sales professional closely mirror those of a job seeker:
Develop new and manage existing relationships
Perform prospecting on the phone and in person
Strategically manage online and offline brand promotion
Increase contact volume and enhance awareness in the community
Plan and implement a marketing strategy/campaign
Write strong technical and marketing materials
Monitor activities and performance
Identify leads. Just as sales professionals must identify the companies who need their product or service, you must identify companies who could use your services.
Sales professionals develop a large pipeline of potential customers, not just those who have an immediate need. Their prospective customer is anyone who could potentially use their product. The million-dollar question is: How?
They find new ways to identify customers. One way is by identifying similar products they may use. In your case, look at companies who already employ people who do what you do. Search LinkedIn for job titles and see which companies have your job. Or you could look at what companies are doing. Are they growing? Did they win a new contract? You can identify companies that will for the problem your services solve.
Once you have identified these targets, create a sales pitch for each individual company based on what they would gain by using your service.
Brand promotion. As you know, you have a personal brand or personal reputation. Self-promotion means strategically managing this and promoting it within the community. Salesmen go to trade shows, industry events, and local events. Likewise, you should seek opportunities to attend and perhaps even speak at events in your area of expertise. Get out of the house! And don’t forget to build a reputation online.
Strong communication skills. Every email, pitch, and proposal a salesperson sends and every conversation determines whether they will close the sale or not. Learn how to write and speak clearly and concisely. Write your message so that a prospective employer can see your value. In other words, explain the benefits of hiring you, not just your features (skills and abilities).
Have a strategy you can measure. A self-promotion strategy is more than applying to every job that looks interesting. Purposely focus on companies and people who you know could use your services. We call this target marketing and it happens in advance of a job posting. Are you measuring these activities?
How many people did you reach out to this week?
How many jobs did you apply to?
Did you have any interviews this week?
How many hours did it take you to do all this?
Have you ever seen a sales professional’s weekly progress report? These are the kinds of metrics they are asked to track. You should, too.
Thick skin. The one attribute salespeople have, which will serve you well, is the ability to deal with rejection. It is part of their job, and you will experience it, too.
Salespeople realize that not every opportunity becomes a sale. As a job seeker, not every lead or every interview will translate into a job offer. Be prepared for this. Learn how to cope with the fact you may never know the real reason you weren’t selected for a job.
Just keep moving forward, adapting your self-promotion strategies to favor those that are successful.
Partnering with Nature’s Way to celebrate its 50th birthday, Mandy Moore shares her passion for paving a better way to wellness.
“As someone with a busy lifestyle, having an intentional, balanced wellness routine helps me be my best self for my job, my friends and my family,” said the actress and wellness advocate.
While no single trick or technique guarantees well-rounded health, it’s really about establishing habits that work best for you and your lifestyle. Your routine may often change daily depending where you are on your wellness journey, but Moore shares thoughtful considerations to always keep in mind:
1 Start from within. It’s important to understand the connection between your mind and body. “I recognize it takes time, trust and baby steps, but the outcome is incredibly rewarding,” Moore said. “I’m a strong believer in the power of therapy and find my most important work is done during the moments when I feel like I’m operating at 100 percent.”
She also recommends downloading a meditation app, calling a friend or writing in a journal to help balance a hectic schedule.
2 Seek new ways to nourish your body. Wellness goes beyond simply what you put on your plate. Drinking water-based beverages is a big piece of Moore’s wellness routine. She loves relaxing with tea sourced from around the globe and drinking water with liquid chlorophyll for an internal refresher.
3 Breathe in the sights, scents and sounds of nature. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s important to take time to breathe and take in nature’s true beauty. Watch a sunset, walk through a park or get away from the city lights so you can really see the stars shine. Be more proactive and immerse yourself in environments that truly allow you to feel renewed. Moore herself loves to go hiking and walks her dogs, Jackson and Joni, each day.
“There’s something that’s innately healing about feeling connected to the ground—feeling grounded, literally, to the world around you,” she said.
4 Unplug to recharge. Even if your schedule constantly keeps you on the go, it’s important for your mental health and well-being to take time to unplug and find different ways to clear your mind. “Take moments to step away from the computer, tablet or phone—put it in the other room, let it charge and do something else constructive for your brain,” Moore said. “Pick up a book, put on an album, call a friend, light a candle and decompress. I’m a big proponent of smell—sense therapy is really helpful for me. One of the first things I do when I get home is light a candle.”
At work, sharing the right aspects of yourself in the right ways is an art form. Disclosures that feel like relationship builders in the moment can wind up as obvious no-nos with hindsight.
By Travis Bradberry, Ph.D.
Trouble is, you can’t build a strong professional network if you don’t open up to your colleagues. Doing so is tricky, because revealing the wrong things can have a devastating effect on your career.
You must know where the line is and be careful not to cross it, because once you share something, there is no going back.
More than a million people have been tested and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90 percent of top performers, to be exact). Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.
Emotionally intelligent people are adept at reading others, and this ability shows them what they should and shouldn’t reveal about themselves at work. They know better than to reveal any of the following, because these things will send your career careening in the wrong direction.
Your political beliefs. People’s political beliefs are too closely tied to their identities to be discussed without incident at work. Disagreeing with someone else’s views can quickly alter their otherwise strong perception of you. Confronting someone’s core values is one of the most insulting things you can do.
Granted, different people treat politics differently, but asserting your values can alienate some people as quickly as it intrigues others. Even bringing up a hot-button world event without asserting a strong opinion can lead to conflict. People build their lives around their ideals and beliefs, and giving them your two cents is risky. Be willing to listen to others without inputting anything on your end because all it takes is a disapproving look to start a conflict. Political opinions are so deeply ingrained in people, that challenging their views is more likely to get you judged than to change their mind.
That you think someone is incompetent. There will always be incompetent people in any workplace, and chances are that everyone knows who they are. If you don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you have nothing to gain by broadcasting their ineptitude. Announcing your colleague’s incompetence comes across as an insecure attempt to make you look better. Your callousness will inevitably come back to haunt you in the form of your coworkers’ negative opinions of you.
How much money you make. Your parents may love to hear all about how much you’re pulling in each month, but in the workplace, this only breeds negativity. It’s impossible to allocate salaries with perfect fairness, and revealing yours gives your coworkers a direct measure of comparison. As soon as everyone knows how much you make, everything you do at work is considered against your income. It’s tempting to swap salary figures with a buddy out of curiosity, but the moment you do, you’ll never see each other the same way again.
That you hate your job. The last thing anyone wants to hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job. Doing so labels you as a negative person, who is not a team player. This brings down the morale of the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down morale, and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements waiting just around the corner.
How wild you used to be. Your past can say a lot about you. Just because you did something outlandish or stupid years ago doesn’t mean that people will believe you’ve developed impeccable judgment since then. Some behavior that might qualify as just another day in the typical fraternity (binge drinking, petty theft, drunk driving, abusing farm animals, and so on) shows everyone you work with that, when push comes to shove, you have poor judgment and don’t know where to draw the line. Many presidents have been elected in spite of their past indiscretions, but unless you have a team of handlers and PR types protecting and spinning your image, you should keep your unsavory past to yourself.
That you’re job hunting. When I was a kid, I told my baseball coach I was quitting in two weeks. For the next two weeks, I found myself riding the bench. It got even worse after those two weeks when I decided to stay, and I became “the kid who doesn’t even want to be here.” I was crushed, but it was my own fault; I told him my decision before it was certain. The same thing happens when you tell people that you’re job hunting. Once you reveal that you’re planning to leave, you suddenly become a waste of everyone’s time. There’s also the chance that your hunt will be unsuccessful, so it’s best to wait until you’ve found a job before you tell anyone. Otherwise, you will end up riding the bench.
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the cofounder of TalentSmart®, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training serving more than 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries.
In the nearly 30 years since she danced her way onto our screens as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, Jennifer Lopez has evolved into an award-winning, record-breaking, history-making phenomenon.
A force to be reckoned with in every industry she enters—be it dance, music, TV or film—the star has also made strides in the business world, intertwining her marketability with her personal persona and riding her brand all the way to the bank.
The Business of Being J. Lo
The consummate boss lady, Lopez has leveraged a thorough understanding of her personal brand and identity to generate several multi-million-dollar business enterprises. It is a tactic that, according to the successful multi-hyphenate, is key to longevity.
“You have to remember the value of your individuality—that you have something different and special to offer that nobody else can,” she said in an interview with IOL.
Lopez’s marketability lies in her origin story and the hard work ethic that took her from the southside of the Bronx to the highest echelons of stardom. To quote her hit “Jenny from the Block”— “no matter where she goes, she knows where she came from”—that sentiment has endeared her to fans, and consumers, worldwide.
“Staying authentic to that image of an entertainer, mother, and woman of humble beginnings in a struggling Puerto Rican family from the Bronx is important, and it’s key to reaching a bigger audience of potential customers. That’s a big part of who I am, and my brand in a way,” Lopez said in a sales pitch to Silicon Valley.
Lifestyle a la Lopez
Lopez first flexed her business muscle in 2001, when she launched her eponymous clothing and accessories line, J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez. With an unapologetic focus on providing fabulous fashion choices for women of all sizes (including often overlooked curvaceous body types), the label has gone through several iterations over the years, expanding to include girls’ sportswear and housing decor. In 2010, she relaunched the brand in partnership with popular retail chain Kohl’s, capitalizing on their exclusive private brand strategy to ensure nationwide saturation of her vision. The collection, which includes a wide array of fashion running the gamut from statement pieces to chic comfort, is a testament to the entrepreneur’s personal taste (if she wouldn’t wear it, it doesn’t hit the shelf).
“It’s great to collaborate with Kohl’s in the creation of a full lifestyle
brand that represents my full style and essence,” said the entrepreneur, who is known for taking an active role in each stage of the production process. “I’m a mom. I work. I want comfort, but I also want to feel sexy and modern. I think a lot of women want the same thing.”
As Lopez’s star continued to rise on the charts and in theaters, she made yet another boss lady move that would further cement her status as a business mogul. Alongside then manager Benny Medina, the star co-founded Nuyorican Productions, a film and television production company, in 2001. The production house has developed a wide range of projects, from documentaries to primetime shows to online series, with Lopez often starring or serving in an executive producer capacity. To date, the entity is responsible for six films, 12 TV series (including award-winning The Fosters, which won two GLAAD Media Awards for its outstanding representation of LGBT issues), four TV specials, one online series, and nine musical releases.
The Smell of Success
Lopez’s long-term influence and impact on the fashion industry extends beyond clothing, accessories, and home goods. In 2002, she launched what would become America’s top-selling fragrance and the best-selling celebrity fragrance line in the world—Glow. The move jump-started the now common-place strategy of celebrities bringing their own namesake scents to the market. In the 17 years since its inception, Lopez has released 24 fragrances, with revenue in the billions.
No Time Off
The mid-2000s saw Lopez incrementally building her empire—starring in several films (including 2006’s Bordertown, which earned her an Artists for Amnesty Award from Amnesty International), producing several others under Nuyorican, releasing her sixth studio album, maintaining her lifestyle brands, and serving as the Chief Creative Officer for NuvoTV (a Latino community focused cable network). It wasn’t until 2008, after giving birth to twins Max and Emme, that she finally took a short hiatus to focus on her new family.
She was back on the grind less than two years later, when she joined the judging panel on the tenth season of American Idol. The comeback served as the spark of a resurgence predicated on her undeniably successful personal brand that—nearly a decade later—has yet to falter.
The Power of Branding
Armed with an ambitiously sharp business mind, an innate understanding of her brand, and a ferocious work ethic, Lopez has established herself as an obvious go-to for major companies looking to connect to consumers via a relatable feel coupled with a healthy dose of glamour. L’Oréal Paris, Gillette Venus, Fiat Automobiles, denim powerhouse Guess, and luxury footwear Giuseppe Zanotti have all called on the business behemoth, who boasts one of the most powerful brands on the planet.
The numbers don’t lie: more than 150 million people, a whopping 75 percent of them millennials, follow the phenom on social media, privy to Lopez’s every post, project, and partnership. That fact alone points to her uncanny ability to connect with the masses using her high-profile status as a business asset for social commerce.
To Lopez, that universal appeal serves as the potential foundation for creating wide-ranging business opportunities that have yet to be realized.
“I want to build something that has never been done before,” she declared in 2015 at VentureScape, a venture capital conference in Silicon Valley hosted by the National Venture Capital Association. And she most definitely will. Her companies boast a track record of success that surpasses Stanford graduates (the stereotypical recipients of such funds) and is predicated in part on her willingness to take risks.
“I have found that taking risks, being true to myself, and making decisions with good intentions can exceed even my own expectations,” the mogul mused in her 2014 bestseller, True Love.
Beyond the Business
Lopez may have established herself as an entrepreneurial enigma through her mastery of multi-faceted platforms and her sheer intelligence in strategically building and managing her brand, but her talents and impact (obviously) extend well past the boardroom. The fervent go-getter was advised as her career was just starting to blossom to “make a moment of her shot” (a piece of wisdom bestowed by fellow actor Jack Nicholson while on set shooting the neo-noir thriller Blood and Wine in 1997).
She took the advice to heart, harnessing every opportunity to its full potential, smashing racial barriers, and side-stepping naysayers to become one of (if not the) most influential Hispanic performers in the United States. In 2018, TIME Magazine named her among its “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and for good reason.
The quadruple threat (singer, actress, dancer, and producer) has sold more than 80 million records in the last two decades, holding the record for releasing the first remix album—entitled J to tha L-O! The Remixes—to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as well as the highest first week sales for a Spanish album in the United States—her 2007 Como Ana una Mujer.
As an actress, she has blazed a record-making trail in Hollywood as
well, capturing the nation’s attention in 1997 with her portrayal of Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez in the namesake biopic Selena and demanding a salary that at the time made her the highest-paid Hispanic actress in history. Collectively, her films have grossed more than $3 billion, and she holds the distinction of being the first woman to have a number one film (The Wedding Planner) and the number one album (J. Lo) simultaneously in the United States.
Lopez has also left an undeniable mark in the dance industry, cementing her reputation as a powerhouse on the floor with her fierce choreography and the producing (and serving on the judges panel) of the wildly popular World of Dance, which features dancers and groups from all over the world competing for a $1 million prize.
Her influence goes beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the recording studio, however. Lopez’s list of philanthropic efforts rivals her professional achievements. From the founding of the Lopez Family Foundation, a global nonprofit “dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children and increasing available medical care,” to her service as the first national celebrity spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, her care, concern, and support for her fellow man and women is evident.
With her tenacious can-do attitude, persistent work ethic, and unapologetic boss lady branding, Jennifer Lopez has built a successful, multi-tiered legacy that is sure to stand the test of time. And she is confident there is even more to come.
“You have to believe that you really have that power to make your life whatever you want it to be,” she said.
Having a well-crafted résumé can be the key to getting your foot in the door at the company of your dreams. But figuring out how to make your résumé fully representative of your experience and also stand out is easier said than done.
After all, hiring managers and recruiters generally only spend about seven seconds reading your résumé before deciding whether to move forward or not.
Most people know the basics of how to put together a decent work history, but here are some tips you probably haven’t heard before that can help your résumé stand up to the seven-second test.
1. Only include your address if it works in your favor
If you’re applying for positions in the city or town you already live in, then go ahead and include your address. In this case, it lets the hiring manager know you’re already in the area and could theoretically start working right away. But if you’re targeting jobs in another area and you’d need to move in order to start working, it’s probably a good idea to leave your current address off of your résumé. Why? Recruiters are sometimes less excited to interview candidates from another city or state, since they often require relocation fees.
2. Be a name-dropper
It may be poor form to drop names in everyday life, but you absolutely should do it on your résumé. If you’ve worked with well-known clients or companies, go ahead and include them by name. Something like: “Closed deals with Google, Toyota, and Bank of America” will get recruiters’ attention in no time flat.
3. Utilize your performance reviews
You might not think to look to your annual review for résumé material, but checking out the positive feedback you’ve received in years past can help you identify your most noteworthy accomplishments and best work attributes—two things that should definitely be highlighted on your résumé. Including specific feedback you’ve received and goals you’ve met can help you avoid needing to use “fluff” to fill out your work experience.
4. Don’t go overboard with keywords
Many companies and recruiters use keyword-scanning software as a tool to narrow the job applicant pool. For this reason, it’s important to include keywords from the job description in your résumé—but don’t go overboard. Recruiters can spot “keyword stuffing” a mile away.
5. Use common sense email etiquette
There are two types of email addresses you shouldn’t use on your résumé or when applying to a job via email: your current work email address, or an overly personal or inappropriate email address, like email@example.com. Stick with something professional based on your name in order to make the best possible impression.
6. When it comes to skills, quality over quantity
There’s no need to list skills that most people in the job market have (Think: Microsoft Office, email, Mac, and PC proficient), which can make it look like you’re just trying to fill up space on the page. Keep your skills section short, and only include impactful skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying to.
7. Choose to share social accounts strategically
Including links to social media accounts on a résumé is becoming more and more common. But it’s important to distinguish between professional accounts—like a LinkedIn profile or Instagram account you manage for work—and nonprofessional ones, like your personal Twitter or Facebook account. While it might be tempting to include a personal account in order to show recruiters who you are, you’re better off only listing accounts that are professionally focused. Save your winning personality for an in-person interview.
8. Use hobbies to your advantage
Not all hobbies deserve a place on your résumé, but some do. Hobbies that highlight positive personality qualities or skills that could benefit you on the job are worth including. For example, running marathons (shows discipline and determination) and blogging about something related to your field (shows creativity and genuine interest in your work) are hobbies that will cast you in the best possible light and might pique a recruiter’s interest.