Unplugging is Good for You

As ambitious individuals, we want to do our best, earn that promotion, get that raise, close that deal or learn that new skill; but it’s going to be a lot harder to kick ass and take names if you’re burnt out.

If you’re not sleeping, having a tight jaw or your shoulders are pretty much at your ears all day everyday — your body and mind are telling you to unplug. Some other signs telling you it’s time for a break include, making little mistakes you normally wouldn’t make, everything seeming just really difficult, being creatively blocked or you simply hate everything (and everyone).

You may have anxiety about taking time off, or are afraid you’re going to miss out at work (hello FOMO!!). According to an article in Scientific American, “downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance.” And if you’re dealing with an anti-vacation manager, you might want to share the article with them.

So taking a break isn’t a bad thing. Quieting your mind and stepping away from the day to day is advantageous to your success. You’ll come back refreshed with a clear mind and new ideas.

 

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Updating Your Resume + Why it’s Important

A colleague and I recently started a women’s networking group. After searching out ways to network and really coming up with nothing, we took matters into our own hands and created our own group. So far we’ve had two meetings and they’ve been a hit. We’re looking forward to hosting more, which is really exciting. So for our last meeting we discussed why it’s important to keep our resumes and bios updated.

The majority of us at the meeting happened to wrap up annual review season, some members of the group were entrepreneurs and some were creatives. In what ever form your resume is – we decided if you’re working for a company, even if you’re not looking for a job, the best time to update your resume is around review time. Your resume is your selling point, it is meant to highlight your skills and accomplishments. Your annual review is a summary highlighting your skills and accomplishments throughout the year, so it makes sense to copy the information from your review on to your resume, because you’ve already done the work. Who doesn’t like saving time?

For those of you who are self-employed, it’s equally as important to update your bio. As one member of our group pointed out, you may need to submit a bio to attend a conference. What if you don’t have a bio? Or your bio is 5 years old and you need a current one? Obviously you didn’t go into business to write bios, but you’re skill is your money maker. For business owners, take a look at your bio, update it based on any new skills, achievements, awards, or continuing education that may happen over the course of a year.

Creative types have resumes highlighting their technical skills and education, but the proof is in your work. Portfolios are digital and technology is changing, fast. Your artistic talents are your money maker. Before updating that reel, portfolio or deck, make sure the work you add to it gets clearance from your boss or clients — much of creative work is under NDA, or rights are owned by the company. You don’t want to get yourself into legal hot water, so do your research first. And always give credit, where credit is due.

Doing all this is a total pain, right? Ugh! Who want’s to come home after a long day, and update this stuff? No one. The idea is, to chip away at it little by little. Even if it’s a few sentences here and there, or a small edit to your reel. Every little bit helps. Another key take away is making sure you’re in a good head space. It sucks having to update your resume when you’re spent, pissed off and have one foot out the door from a job that you’re ready to leave.

Alternatively, if you’re not big on updates or writing, or have a hard time selling yourself; hire a resume writer. A good one is worth the money and they have a way of using language that can really sell a person. Bio’s, resume’s and reels are ways to show off your talents, your skills and how amazing you are. As one person in our networking group said, “if you’re resume isn’t current, you might be missing out on jobs you’re not even looking for.”

I’ve done a fair amount of recruiting and scanning resumes and there are a few things that stood out to me, which are I think are important to share:

  1. Less is best. That busy header, with the headshot and cool infographics on your resume, takes up valuable real estate on your resume. The infographics are great, but it’s a canned template and the person scanning your resume wants to see your talents.
  2. Presentation is everything, font’s should be in order of priority and don’t use more than 2 fonts and 3 sizes / formats. Otherwise it’s busy.
  3. Larger companies have resume scanners, so submit your resume in Word and make sure there isn’t fancy formatting happening, other wise the scanner won’t pick up your resume.
  4. Proof read, proof read, proof read. Have someone you trust review your resume.
  5. Always, submit a cover letter. Even if it’s a few sentences, which is even better. When you’re reviewing 200+ resumes, a couple of paragraphs get glossed over.
  6. Explain gaps, career changes, job hopping in your cover letter, do it in a few sentences but remember, it’s all in how you spin it.
  7. It’s okay to have a 2-page resume. If you’ve been working at a job for awhile and got promoted through the years, or have some technical experience — it’s fine. If you’re just starting out though, keep it to one page.
  8. Everyone says this: use key words. What are key words?? I’m not really sure, but I’m thinking they are simple words related to what you do.
  9. If you are applying for jobs, make sure to tailor it to the job, you don’t have to spend a ton of time doing this, but your resume and cover letter will stand out. It’s really obvious when a resume hasn’t been tailored.
  10. If you are updating your bio, make sure you have a great headshot to go with it. My bio is obviously lacking one 🙂 Do as I say, not as I do, right?

Breathe, this can be overwhelming, but try to keep it as simple as possible. When all else fails, use the internet for inspiration. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

 

On Grieving

My Aunt Rosemarie took her final breaths on September 16th, 2016 at 8:56 pm, 16 years to the day her husband passed, right as the lunar eclipse was ending on the full moon. It was no coincidence that she transitioned to the after life on that day. As she was transitioning she was surrounded by her daughters, sister, cousin and myself. I rubbed her back, told her we loved her and kissed her as she took her final breaths and danced between this world and the afterlife. There was no other place at that time I wanted to be but there, beside her, with my family. As I write this almost 6 months later, I still tear up and get sad. My heart is broken.

Throughout her life, she was always serving people, she was everyone’s mother, taking care of everyone. Always being a nurturing figure. She taught me a lot. I believe she chose to transition on that day, so her daughters would not have to have two days each year to remember the day they lost their beloved parents.

To say the last few years have been rough is an understatement.

My Aunt’s passing was the biggest blow, watching her gradually fade for 11 months was gut wrenching. Watching my mother unravel as a result this has been heart breaking. Over the last six years, I’ve watched what cancer and addiction can do to people and their families.  It’s fucked up but I have kept on going. I’ve learned to prioritize, where to put my energy. Where not to. And not to beat myself up – I’ve learned to be nicer to myself. To find that self love deep down in the root chakra, my foundation.

I’ve experienced high’s and lows in the last six years. I’ve consoled my family and fought with them. I’ve been to jails, courtrooms, doctors appointments, and hospitals and I’ve been to beaches, temples, waterfalls, and rivers.

I’ve been so stressed out that I wake up with sleep paralysis and I’ve been so depressed that all I could do is cry and not move. I’ve found meditation, my guides, spirituality and awareness. I’ve found that there is no wrong or right way to grieve. I’ve learned there is no timeline, no schedule, it’s a deeply personal journey. For anyone to say other wise, I ask myself if they’ve ever grieved. I’ve seen a lot of anger through the grieving process. Anger is a distraction to fear and sadness. Insomnia, anxiety, depression it’s all part of the process. What’s important is self care. That cup of tea, those five minutes of peace and quiet, the gym, yoga, that hobby that helps you get centered. The manicure, pedicure or comedy show. That deep breath. This is part of being human.

I look at life through a different lens now and find I have a hard time relating to the day to day trials and tribulations. I have a hard time getting caught up with the desire to strive and accomplish to meet the expectations of others or to keep up with the Jones’. I don’t really care too much about being popular, or being in the “in-crowd” at work. I’ve stopped going to happy hours, stopped hanging out with people who make me feel less than, and if I don’t have something in my life I create it. I’ve learned how to meditate, be less judgmental, while being less tolerant of the BS, have an open mind and restrain myself from reacting. I’m not perfect and will still get caught up from time to time but notice when I do. I’ve learned to be more accepting of my parents and appreciate the time I have with them. I’ve learned to let go of the resentment, because I feel it causes dis-ease. I’m learning about boundaries, how not to take things personally and how not to pick up the slack from others. I still get my feelings hurt and feel left out. I’m still human. I’m learning how silence is enjoyable and noticing how I feel stretched on days that I really should put myself first. I’m learning balance and the art of speaking up in a way that’s not abrasive. I’m learning to be happy for other people and not feel resentful because it’s not my time. There is so much more to learn. It’s never to late to learn and it’s never too late to put down what’s no longer working.

Life is bittersweet, but we’re here to show up. We each have our own karmic path. We are all on our own journey.  It’s fucked up at times, but you have to keep going. I think acknowledging that it’s fucked up is part of continuing on the journey. You learn to prioritize, where to put your energy. Where not to. We’re all here to learn something about ourselves and the world. We’re all at different places in our karmic journey.

I’m here, alive, taking a breath, coming up for air and, waiting for the next round.

 

 

Turn Up the Volume – Retrograde’s are Amplified Lessons

MoonsetWhen I first learned about Mercury in retrograde, I would be so anxious leading up to it, getting all thrown off during it and dreading the next one. Truth of the matter is, at some point, every single planet goes into retrograde and it’s part of that amazing Universe we live in.

Long story short, I decided, it’s pointless having all that build up of anxiety and started to look at each major retrograde as an opportunity to learn something about myself and my environment. Each retrograde has a theme or lesson that is amplified. Kind of like, turning up the volume on a favorite song, so you can really feel it. If we look at retrogrades as the Universes way of teaching us awareness, we can create the space and to do a little self reflection.  Start to ask yourself, “How can I apply that lesson into my daily life?”

Some examples of the lessons tied to retrograde include the most recent Mars in retrograde, focused on communication and the value of being mindful or selective with how we communicate with others — why is it only during that timeframe we should focus on that, shouldn’t we focus on that in our day to day lives? When Mercury goes into retrograde, technology issues can come up, often creating agitation — the lesson there is patience and acceptance.

It takes 21 days to form a habit, retrogrades vary depending on planet size, but their retrograde period is often a couple of weeks, which is long enough to reflect, learn, and apply the lessons each retrograde is teaching us into our lives. Cultivating awareness is key to becoming more compassionate and conscious.  When we start to self-reflect we can look at how our actions and non-actions affect others and the environment around us.  So the next time a planet is in retrograde, as tempting as it may be, don’t hide under the covers, turn up the volume and really experience the lesson the Universe is teaching!