Posted in Anticipation, Motivation, People who inspire others, Work

Looking for a job? A promotion? A new direction? Starting a business? Here is one quick way to prepare yourself…

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“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” — Wayne Dye

“Why do you dress up so much?” I asked Bernadette.  We were both young teachers many, many years ago and I could not understand why she was always dressed a couple of notches above everyone else.  After all we were simply teachers.

“I dress for the job I want.  Not the one I have.”  She responded curtly.  I never forgot that statement. I witnessed Bernadette thrive and move up the career ladder very quickly and I could not help but connect the dots between dressing for the job you have vs the one you want.  Within a couple of years, Bernadette was working in the highest office on the island as the Aide de Camp to the Governor General of St. Lucia.

Bernadette and Nelson Mandela

A few weeks ago, I sent a quick e-mail to her to see if she remembered that conversation all the way back then and surprisingly she did.

“Wow, yes I totally remember that and I ended up with a job  that I could never have imagined back then, at Government  house in the highest office in the land, thanks be to God, but proof that the theory actually worked. I still teach my students that how you present yourself, not where you are from, is  not only representative of how you value the skin you are in, but also the fact that you value others enough to take time to think about how you present yourself to them. With that, I don’t mean designer clothes or handbags, I mean clean and tidy.   Not showing your boxers or thong or bra. Yes,  I do have that conversation with university students believe it or not, being clean and well presented is important.  I am sure that I,  like you learnt that from my grandmother who was not rich but principled and had high morals and thought that life should be lived with a specific set of rules –  one being never walk around dirty or dishevelled, it says a lot about you. LOL.  Oh how I loved those days. I suppose  in a world where unfortunately appearance is everything,  how you look does matter but that is for a whole different Convo!”

Bernadette is now a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University and is doing fabulous work in the U.K.  Apart from lecturing, she is also a lead singer with a band.

I too have used that advice in my life.  I remember when I first came to Canada, I wanted a job that would get me out of professional clothes to do something different where I could be in jeans and  a more relaxed mood most of the time.  As soon as I formed that mental image, that is exactly what happened.  I got a job where I could do most of the work from home.  A year later, I had a vision for a different type of work which required more professional dressing.  As soon as I shifted the image in my mind and started acting the part,  the new job popped on the horizon.

As an employment coach, I give that piece of advice to hundreds of people.  When you are job searching or trying to find another job, mentally prepare yourself by dressing for the job you want.  Not the one you have.  Your mind is a powerful tool…if you are clear about an image…it will make that image become a part of your reality. Make that image your every day reality.  By dressing up for the role everyday, you are conditioning your mind.

“Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives.”Sidney Madwed

TuneIn to the way which you present yourself to the world.  Is it doing justice to your vision?  Are you presenting yourself in the way which is of highest integrity to yourself and those around you?  StepUp and take charge by creating a mental image of how you want to look.

Do you have as story to share?  We would love to hear from you.

https://tuneinandstepup.com/tell-your-soul-story/

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Motivation, Overcoming fear, Work

Are you being treated as a door mat?

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“I feel overworked most of the time. I need to find a strategy to make my supervisor realize that I am not a doormat.” Sheila said quietly.

By that she meant the everything was being dumped on her – she had become a welcome place for all types of problems. She did not know how to say NO and could never prioritize. She felt undervalued and “taken advantage of”. She could feel the mental and emotional toll it had taken on her over the last year.

In my 20+ years of managing programs/people plus what research shows, this type of feeling from a staff manifest itself in various forms which can create hostile work environments. It is manifested in passive-agressive behaviours, low performance, constant “unspoken” battles, resentment, gossip, and lots of frustration. I have allowed others to treat me as a door mat and I learnt how to be more self-assertive. I coach people to discuss it instead of avoiding it because the problem is not just about you being treated like a door mat in the work environment. You are probably being treated as a door mat in your other relationships as well and most of it stems from a need to please others and to be liked. You can’t change your manager or team but you can take ownership for the situation and approach it sensitively.

Note that there is a difference between working hard and being treated as a door mat. Hard work which is aligned with your belief system fuels you to excel even greater!

Here is one approach that you can use if you feel overworked and feel treated as a door mat.

Try this:

Have a conversation with your manager about setting a list of priorities for a week/month/year. Be calm, smile through the conversation and go prepared with a list of items that are already on your plate. At the end of your discussion, type it up, share it with your manager and put it where you can see it to keep you focused.

Try this script: (Use the word “I” and NOT “YOU”)

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“I feel  bit overworked over the last few months and my objective is to reduce my stress level so I can work more efficiently. I would like to work with you to help me identify our priorities over the next little while, so that I can be more effective with how I use my time and support you in meeting our team goals.”

By using this strategy, you are taking ownership. You demonstrate professionalism and can measure your progress based on your priorities. If new tasks pop up, you can negotiate what to give priority to, seek support from your manager in re-assigning some of your tasks and be in charge of your workload. You will gain respect and feel that you are taking control of the situation and not the situation controlling you. You can also take some other courses in self-assertiveness or try a sports program like kick boxing that help you bring out the assertive side of you.

TuneIn to what you have control over and have the courage to Stepup to create a good work/life balance. The first time you do this will be hard but eventually, you will master it and it will become second nature to you.

Love,
Magdalene