Many of the things I’ve learned since coming to Law School have nothing to do with the judicial system. Yes, of course, I’ve learned a ton in that regard, but more importantly I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s easy to succumb to unspoken pressure when you’re in an environment of people who are extremely intelligent, driven and opinionated. By pressure, I mean the feeling of needing to compete, of seeking peer approval or of feeling like you have to pursue a certain path in order to be successful. (a.k.a pay back your student loans).
Recently, I was able to meet with an attorney for a ‘mock’ interview. It was a great opportunity to sharpen my skills while getting prepared for pursuing internships or experience. One of the things he said to me (I’m paraphrasing) was that you have to stay true to who you are and what you want to do. This is something I always thought I knew. Yet, after the pleasantries were exchanged and I shook his hand. I went to my car and cried. I cried thinking, “What have I done?” “Why am I here?” “Why have I made the choice to take on more student loan debt?” “Why am I in Law School?”
Doubt started to overwhelm me. I thought about going home and giving up for the day. After an internal monolog, I pulled it together and went to school. Resolving to not get caught up in the idea of what other people are doing, which is much easier said than done.
I’ve known for quite some time that I don’t want a conventional career. (For goodness sakes, I was a theater major). I refuse to create a life dedicated to another [wo]man’s dollar or another [wo]man’s dream. With that mentality often comes uncertainty, instability, and sacrifice. These words have never really scared me. On the contrary, these words excite me.
I went to Law School to gain the skills to catapult my love for serving others into helping turn their dreams of entrepreneurship, of entertainment, of artistry into realities. Ultimately, I want to advocate for, protect, and serve creative geniuses.
I’m excited to be on this journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Although there is much uncertainty, instability, and sacrifice involved I know I made the right choice. Others may think I’m crazy or wonder about me, but I’ll remain true to myself, my unique talents, and the dreams that God has given me.
There are so many times in my young life where I’ve sought for clarity and wisdom. Looking for a way to make tough decisions and feel confident in the choices I’ve made. While I do seek council, weigh the options and meet with new people as ways to gain more insight, I still find myself apologizing for the choices I make. Why??
I think we, women especially, are subconsciously trained to be apologetic if/when they put themselves first. Yet, I know as a woman, when I think of myself first then I know I can be my best for others. Think of traveling. When you are on a plane who do they instruct that you secure oxygen for first? Yourself before anyone else. So in our life as ‘selfish’ as it sounds you have to secure yourself first.
I often find that I make decisions based on feelings. Or rather, I don’t make decisions as a decision requires thinking, planning and then reacting. Instead, my natural tendency is to just react and directly spring into action. This has been one of my greatest strengths and greatest challenges. By gut reacting to things that are said to me, done to me or impact me I risk responding regretfully. Either I say yes too fast or make a negative comment. No matter the response, by instantly reacting I don’t allow for logic to set in, only my emotions and boy, am I an emotional being!
I don’t know where this tendency comes from nor do I wish to psychoanalyze myself or my parents. So instead, I’m learning to create new habits. A habit of listening, pausing, reflecting then reacting. There are three things I do as a way to keep my reactionary habits at bay:
1. All emails go in DRAFT mode first. I rarely put the contact in the ‘to:’ space until I’m ready for him/her to read it. I also use a great tool found in Google Labs called Boomerang. It allows you to quickly ‘undo send’ if you accidently send to quickly! I hate to admit, but I use this feature more often than not.
2. Wait. Wait to be asked your thoughts and answer when you’re ready with a response. Now, it’s good to have opinions and have the tenacity to share. However, it will be more respected if you speak less and listen more. As once you do speak, people will be ready to listen. As a matter of fact, they will be waiting for your response, eager to hear it. So when you have an information bomb dropped on you, wait a beat (or 100) till you’ve given yourself enough time to think logically and not emotionally. For me, this is the hardest thing to do yet most always the most worth it.
3. Take a shower. If you have to make a decision about something, anything. Don’t make it on the fly. If it can wait, (and it almost always can) then take a shower first. Doing this allows you to take the proper time to reflect, think and calculate before leaping into decision making mode.
This week has been a little bit rough and has caused me to really think about who I am when it comes to business. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I was discovering. I was moody, frustrated, insensitive and distracted. Why? Many reasons that don’t really matter as it was very clear I wasn’t being real with myself. I didn’t like how I was behaving on behalf of ‘business’.
In order to grow, it’s necessary to get out of our comfort zone. So for me, having this ‘frank’ discussion internally was quite uncomfortable. It’s easy to complain about others decisions, or think that you can do it better, or feel complacent with who you are or whatever the reason turns out to be you start to resent the opportunity you once coveted.
It isn’t easy to be frank with yourself. But, if you wish to find your particular success in life, it is the most rewarding reaction of them all.”
Brownie Wise (1913–1992)
In reading, The One Thing – the author discusses the idea of a work/life balance. He brings up some really insightful points challenging this whole idea. For one, he says that to truly have balance you would essentially be keeping work and your life in the middle, equally.
Yet, if you are to do that you are never focused on either one. Instead of trying to achieve balance, try achieving focus on either extreme. When you are working focus on work. When you are in ‘play’ focus on play. Don’t allow the two to overlap. Your family will thank you. The results you generate for work will be better. Thus creating more abundance in your life.
As you start to think about how to live in extremes not balance, there are 3 things you can do immediately:
1. Shut off your work email once you’re home or over the weekend. Turn it off your phone, and resist the urge to check-in. Unless you’re a doctor, it can wait.
2. Live intentionally. Whether at work or at home be intentional about how you’re spending your time. For instance, when a co-worker approaches you with an opportunity for distraction, kindly decline and focus in on what you’re trying to accomplish. For every 90-minutes of focused effort indulge in 20-minutes of distraction. You will be 10x more productive. While at home, focus on the conversations you have and be living in the present. You have to be intentional about removing the distractions that cause us not to be fully engaged with our loved ones. If you have to, put your phone away or turn it on airplane mode. There’s nothing more sad than to see two people at a restaurant with their heads down looking at their phone instead of engaging with one another.
3. Write it down. Create an ongoing list of things you’re looking to accomplish either personally or professionally. Then prioritize based on importance, relevance and urgency. Keep narrowing your list down. If you’re like me, you’re list can get fairly long. So start by making small goals to ultimately drive your list down to one thing. By keeping an ongoing list you are keeping items in your queue – but by narrowing your list you’ll be more focused and intentional about getting down to what matters most.
Remember that being busy doesn’t always equal productivity or accomplishment. Keep your life simple by living in the extreme. You’ll start to live your best life by focusing on your one thing, one day at a time.
Why is there so much interest in the millennial generation? There’s so much discussion surrounding this generation because we are the ones in the workforce – and are coming in with force. So what makes us so different than previous generations? For one, we are comfortable with advancements in technology. We grew up with it. We are the first generation to have fully grown up technology literate, practically from birth.
This fundamental difference is one of the biggest and it impacts how we communicate. I think we can all agree that communication is key in the workplace and can be the thread that keeps you moving forward successfully. No matter the differences there are some common traits that all generations can relate to. Keeping these 5 commonalities in mind can be helpful when landing your first job and dealing with all different types of professionals from any generation.
- To work on challenging projects.
- To receive competitive compensation.
- To have opportunities for advancement and chances to learn and grow in their jobs.
- To be fairly treated.
- To maintain a work-life balance.
Let technology be a staple used for your success but make sure to communicate outside of that security.
One of the hot topics this year is the character of the millennial. You know the peter pan generation? The impatient, driven by technology and instant gratification group born roughly between 1980 and 2000. So what are some common traits of this ever advancing generation? See below and tell me which ones you resonate with the most!
- Millennials are multitasking pros and can juggle many responsibilities, tasks, to-do lists all at once. Some would say we have a massive case of ADHD – but just know when hiring a millenial the more you give the more you get.
- If you give a millennials a goal, and deadline then the distractions will subdue and you’ll find them working hard to meet the expectations.
Connected and Tech-Savvy
- Social media is the millennial’s BFF. We have grown up on and live it everyday. Constantly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – it’s how we share and get information.
- Keep your company active on social media by engaging with your audience.
- There’s no doubt that this generation is interested in all things tech-related. We are the generation of Google, Facebook, and Apple domination.
What a Millennial wants…
- Millennials need to feel like what they are doing is important and that they are on the right track. Afterall, we grew up with parents who gave us constant praise, support and the feeling that we can have/do whatever we put our minds to.
- A personal life is just as important as career advancement. We work hard, and play hard. Companies who appreciate hard work with flexible schedule will recruit the brightest and best of the millennial generation.
- We work best in teams. think open office, collaboration and strong friendships with colleagues.
- Millennials are extremely team-oriented and enjoy collaborating and building friendships with colleagues.
- Transparency is important, generation WE want to have an open and honest relationship with their supervisors and want direct/constant feedback.
- We are impatient, so we want to know that there is an opportunity to advance and develop within the company the choose to join.