Starting a New Job? 5 Tips to Follow to Maximize Personal Success

This week, I started a new job in a line of work I know very little about. To say I wasn’t nervous would be a gross misrepresentation of how I was feeling and a big discredit to the reality of the human experience. I think we all come across nervousness or anxiety when making a big change in our lives. However, not all of us know how to prepare for it. Although we take comfort in knowing that others have many of the same emotions when starting a new career, we are seldom given the tips we need to navigate uncertainty. Here are five tips I put together after reflecting on my first week to help you put your new role into perspective and find personal success. Knowing these tips heading in could save you from abandoning a perfectly good opportunity or fearing change so much you don’t learn or grow from your new job.

1. Seize the Opportunity to Learn

Getting a new job, especially one in a different field, is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and develop a more diversified network. If you approach the experience as one of learning rather than stress and uncertainty, the world becomes your oyster. In some cases, we are pushed to take and stay in positions out of necessity and fear for the wellbeing of our families. This fear can make it difficult to see how blessed we are to have these learning experiences. So if you can put these fears aside, focus on the work, and seize the opportunity to learn something new, you will be better equipped to find great success regardless of where life takes you next. Read More

NO EXCUSES

So much of this year has been about getting back on track with taking care of myself and fostering my interests. Although college can be a time of great growth, it can also become totally overwhelming and pull one’s attention away from other important areas in life. Looking back on my experience in college, I can see how I neglected to build a solid foundation of self-love and care I could return to in times of stress. I put taking care of and appreciating myself last so I could get ahead, giving into the demands of constant worry and fear. The result is something I am still cleaning up to this day.

When I graduated in May, I thought it would be easy to get on top of these things. I would have more time for myself and I could finally pursue what’s truly important to me. However, life quickly challenged that notion, introducing me to the reality of the working world and adulthood. Although I half expected this to happen, I was still surprised and annoyed when it did. I guess I figured wishful thinking and denial could postpone adulthood while I got my sh*t together. But life continued to get busier and I kept making excuses to justify why I was waiting until after the stress ended to be happy and healthy. Read More

Peace

I have a habit of getting ahead of myself. I think of it as a coping mechanism for feeling behind. When I see the success of other people, I don’t normally feel jealously. Instead, I feel rushed. For a brief moment, I believe that if I rush the doing, it will lead to quicker achieving and I, too could be like my successful counterparts. Although I know this is hardly ever the case, I get wrapped up in it and create anxiety for myself. It isn’t until I step back far enough, do I realize how ineffective this is. To see the haphazard efforts, to feel the anxiety pouring through the doing, and to know that it created nothing but stress is profoundly eyeopening.

I guess we are all just trying to find purpose in the world, some harder than others, and when we don’t see that happening, we feel we have failed ourselves. We see life as this finite entity that needs to be manipulated and forced into something worthwhile to put us in a “better,” more successful place. We take for granted the focused process of achieving a goal, the stepping stones that line up perfectly in time, and the enjoyment of just being alive here and now.

Every time I go through a major transition in my life or suffer some sort of loss of identity, I come back to this. I come back to the realization that this, right now, is all we will ever have. Tomorrow is an idea, the past is a memory. Everything that is important is happening right now and is as it is. Accepting this is incredibly liberating. It forges a path for true creativity, strength, and gratitude. It opens a gate through which only the brave walk through. Read More

Scratch the Itch

One of the biggest difficulties I have with finding success in my personal interests is staying in one lane for long enough to see any results. I have interests all over the place so when I go about pursing my dreams, I often picture a small, very excitable child running wild in the yard and I get scared. I’m literally excited by everything and not everybody appreciates that. Instead of embracing this, I normally minimize it to fit in. The challenge has been learning to accept this as a strength and an invitation to enjoy life rather than a reason to beat myself up over not being “dedicated enough” to a specific hobby or craft. Call it instability, but I’m slowly starting to see it as a unique opportunity to experience life at its fullest potential. WATCH OUT: The world is my candy store.

For me, writing has always been the unifying factor holding together all of these wild interests, from fashion to travel to music and everything else in between. It only makes sense that I’d want to be a blogger but about what has often eluded me. I mean seriously, how could you choose? Life is too cool to put into boxes. Read More

Forcing It

It’s quiet. A subtle presence has returned and everything that seemed unclear before now makes perfect sense. It’s Fall. Trees self destruct, shedding their leaves without worry just like I shed the disappointments of my past. I love this time of year.

I can never quite explain why I love Fall so much but how I feel emotionally during this season has a lot to do with it. Despite the fact that everything outside is dying, I feel new. It’s like a fresh start where what is truly important in my life is made obviously clear. This is all on top of the fact that it’s the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, the coziest time of year, and the perfect time to buy new clothes.

This season has been interesting thus far. It’s my first Fall out of school and the lack of structured guidance has left me unstable. This is the first time in my life where the next step is not laid out for me and it’s… weird. Sometimes I look back on my time in school and wish I still had the same confidence and sense of direction without all the headaches that come along with getting a degree. Read More

Full Circle

In November of 2016, I returned home from 5 months abroad in South Africa. This Thanksgiving, it will be two full years of giving thanks to such an incredible and transformational experience. It’s funny how two years had to pass for this to happen but I think it’s all finally come full circle. Let me explain what I mean…

South Africa was an experience that truly challenged who I was. I learned real empathy, discovered the true value of gratitude, and developed compassion for others. I finally realized my own worth, put myself first, and celebrated with new friends. I lived more, worried less, and loved everyone I met. After spending years previous stuck in negativity and immaturity, I finally found true happiness. The meaning of life (as crazy as that seems) was clear to me. It was a great party, an incredible celebration of life, and a true test of presence. I strived for nothing but gained everything. I loved every minute of it (Click here to read more and see pictures: WORTH IT). Read More

Self-Care

A huge focus of mine right now is self-care. I try to spend as much time as I can after work caring for myself and making life a little easier on me. It has been such a relief to have at least a little more free time again, after 4+ years of go, go go in college. Although the demands and frustrations of everyday life still overwhelm me, I finally feel like I have the time and energy to take care of myself and focus on what’s truly important to me (hint, hint: music 😊).

This month, I found out that I have celiac disease which, for those of you who don’t know, is an autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the intestines and digestive system. When a person with celiac ingests gluten, their body signals an immune response that damages the small intestine leading to a menagerie of digestive complications and other reactions. After almost two years of struggling silently with, what I thought at the time were perplexing symptoms, I finally found the answers and relief I was looking for. For several months, I was hiding pain that I continued fueling unknowingly with the food I ate. I was pretty shocked to find out that celiac was the problem, as I never had problems with gluten in my childhood. But by the end of it, I was more relieved to come out with a game plan to resolve the issue and hope in the forecast. Needless to say, self-care has taken on a whole new meaning for me, casting great emphasis on my diet and eating pain free food as my life progresses. Read More

Progress

I was thinking about writing a heavier piece on progress tonight. More specifically, about how progress is so hard to appreciate when you can’t see the process of accomplishing a goal for what it is. I wanted to explore how setbacks and mistakes make us feel when we are so focused on the finish line that we forget what makes us human. Thinking about the topic just made me feel sad and anxious, looking back on all the times I’ve let lack of appreciation for the process sabotage my results and cause me to quit.

I was inspired to write after realizing that minor setbacks look more like mountains when you are closer to the start than the finish. It’s harder to see how setbacks can help you when you’re just starting out. I constantly have to remind myself that those setbacks are part of the process and there to help me learn, not a reason to quit. Part of what makes life so exciting is our ability to learn and make progress, right? Because if I could just wake up tomorrow and fulfill every one of my dreams so easily, what would it be worth? Not much. And would it be truly half as fulfilling? Probably not. Read More

Overwhelm

Perfectionism has been a struggle of mine for quite some time. It’s what makes me edit as I write, baby new clothes, and stress over the smallest flaws and imperfections. On a good day, I call it having great attention to detail; on a bad day, I find it nearly paralyzing. I beat myself up over the smallest mistakes. Wear and tear to my favorite boots haunts me every time I put them on my feet. Even though the moments of “damage” are behind me, the stress from it never really ends. It’s a mess.

I think the worst part of being a perfectionist is the near constant feeling of overwhelm. I’m always thinking… and overthinking which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. If I’m not worrying about all that I haven’t accomplished yet and how “perfect” I need to be to get there, I’m stressing over stupid things I’ve said and scolding myself for it. I’m imagining the houses I’d like to the live in and the goals I have but instead of being excited, I’m worried that it won’t be as perfect as I’ve imagined or that I’m not capable of getting there. Or that there’s too many details for one person to handle on their own so I should just give up. That’s overwhelm. Everything all at once, all the time. Read More

Doubts

Doubt is beyond fear. It’s declaring defeat before there is even any proof of demise. It is giving up before there is a reason to. It’s what settles in after the fearlessness has worn off and the jets of ambition cool down. It’s the voice in your head that says “you aren’t good enough and even though you’re willing to take the risk and face your fears, it won’t be worth it.” Fear can be a great motivator, or so a voice teacher once told me while I crammed for a performance of “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders one week before. Looking back, I was fearful then, not doubtful. I knew I could do it but I was scared of being underprepared so I practiced a little extra. It’s doubt, not fear, that stops you. This was one of my first and last solo performances of that nature.

Doubt is what kept me in the clutches of security, following a cleanly trimmed path of plain old Americana practicality. I went to college, got a degree, and graduated like you’re supposed. And don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy I did. I loved college and I’m pleased with the career path I’m currently on. College was the experience I needed to understand more about myself and the world around me. But doubt made sure there was always something missing: the college experience I wanted in NYC, gigs in bars and coffee shops, music classes I wanted to take, and dreams I stowed away doubting they could ever come true, among many other omissions. Read More