Level Up your Squad

Level Up your Squad

I was inspired to write this blog after seeing the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ movie.  I am not a crazy, obsessive Marvel diehard, but I am definitely a fan. I think they are funny and cool and if there is a popular Marvel film out I am likely going to watch it.  My all-time favorites are ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ 1 and 2. To me, they’re hilarious, light-hearted and have great endings, which is very important to me (otherwise I get pissed).

 

Without spoiling anything, at the highest level ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is the sequel to ‘Avengers Infinity War’, a pretty epic movie that brought nearly all the major Marvel superheroes together to fight the big, bad guy, ‘Thanos’, determined to end life as we know it.  Simply put, things didn’t so great the first time around, so ‘Endgame’ is their second shot to kill the bad guy.

Image result for avengers endgame

I don’t want to spoil the entire movie, so I won’t, but there was one scene in it that pulled at my heart and I can’t help but share.  It was actually the only part that I got super emotional during the movie, but MAN it was good.

 

At one point, Captain Marvel is getting ready to carry the Infinity Stones away from the enemy to safety, but what’s in front of her basically couldn’t be any worse. Rapidly approaching is a sea of evil, black creatures. Rabid Gargoyle-like soldiers, slithering alien warships, armored mutant gorillas all sprinting towards her. Now, Captain Marvel is pretty rad, but still, the odds didn’t look good.

 

Spiderman looked at Captial Marvel and said, “I don’t know how you are going to get through all that”.

But out of nowhere rolls in the ultimate SQUADDDDD.  All the female Avengers characters started flying in around her one-by-one, reassuring Spiderman, “Don’t worry. She’s got help.”  For a second, they all stood around her tall, proud for a glorious moment, and then proceeded to kick all ass in the surrounding zip-code  It. was. EPIC.

 

It’s a scene that probably no one is talking about except me, but in my opinion, it was by far the best scene in the movie and definitely one of my top 5 or 10 movie scenes ever.

 

I have been thinking about that scene for weeks now and have been trying to think about how I can write about it, besides the simple fact that I just loved it.  Then, I was on one of my lunch walks and it came to me. Leveling up your squad.

 

This scene hit me in many different ways because it show was a perfect women empowerment moment. It showed friendship and women supporting each other, believing in each other and standing up for one another.  Pretty much the best situation ever for all the girls out there that don’t always get the same superhero love as the guys. But, it didn’t really just stop at women’s empowerment.

It was the perfect example of what friendship and respect for a colleague SHOULD look like.  The only way to get a squad as epic as the Marvel squad here to level up your own squad.  Consciously surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams and who would fight through Demogorgon super creatures to help you succeed. Figuratively of course ;).

 

But, you all know what I am talking about here.  We all have different groups of friends or colleagues. There are some who you know have your back always and would fight for you. Then, there are others who are a bad influence or they make you feel small and think your dreams are dumb.   

 

When striving and working towards being the best version of ourselves we can’t have heavyweights like that holding us back.  Now, I am not saying to ditch all of your friends who don’t always see eye-to-eye with you or are exactly like you. Our friends come in all shapes and sizes and being different from our friends in ways can be healthy.  I am just suggesting to be mindful of how much time you are spending with the different types of people in your life and be sure you’re not surrounding yourself with negative influences constantly.

 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

 

Take a minute to think here. Who do you spend most of your time within a typical week?  Think about who they are, what they do and what they stand for. Do you want to become more like that person?  Do you want that person to influence how you treat others?

 

At some point in our lives, which will be different for all of us, it’s important for us to take a good look at the people around us and ask ourselves “How they are influencing us?  Are they building us up or bringing us down?”

 

I did this in high school, college, after college, and before I got married.  And it wasn’t something I planned. I just naturally started asking myself which of my friends I really trusted and looked up to, who I was a better person around and who I wanted in my life for the long haul.  I naturally wanted to spend more time with the friends who built me up and made me feel good because I enjoyed them and I was proud of the person I was around them.  I also look up to them in some way and respect the person that they are. 

 

The friends I have today and the people I spend most of my time with I truly do think that they make me a better person and I know they are ALWAYS there for me no matter.

 

For those of you who maybe have never even thought about how the people who you spend your time with influence you, I put together a couple of things you can start to do or think about to level up your own squad. 

 

  • Raise your personal standards.

To level up our squad we need to start with leveling up our own standards.   Think about the person that you want to become.  Who do you want to become or be remembered as? Maybe a great friend or the mom that has everything right or a badass businesswoman.  Whatever it is we want to be, it starts with us believing in ourselves and our ability to become that person, followed by raising our personal standards to help us get there.  

Then the question is, “Am I surrounding myself with people who are making a positive impact on my goals and the person I want to become?” “Do I personally know people that I can learn from and look up to?”  If you do, great! Become best buddies with that person and learn from them, look up to them and their awesomeness.  People who make a positive impact on our life are gems to be treasured.  Absorb and take in everything that they do and learn from them.  You may start to notice that the reason they are who they are and do what they do, is because they hold themselves to a higher standard.

By simply being around people who hold themselves to a higher standard it will help you do the same for yourself.

 

 

  • Make a conscious effort to meet new people.

 

This is what I want you to do if you find that you DON’T have the friends or network of people you want to become like. There are always different types of networking events in local cities where you can meet people. You can try to reach out to people directly via Linkedin or anywhere you go by introducing yourself and just putting yourself out there.  

But to be honest, I have never loved the whole networking events, introduce yourself to random people thing.  Some people love it and it works great for them, and more power to them! It’s just not my thing. What I do is start to follow someone I look up too, in a certain area I want to improve in.

For example, I love Rachel Hollis.  I think what she is an incredible business woman and has been able to do inspiring things in her career, so I follow her and am a raving fan.  I read all her books and blogs, I do her programs and follow her on all forms of social media.

This helps me in two ways, 1. Having a role model to look up to who lives a life that I respect, and 2. Has been a way for me to meet people through a common interest.  

This method of meeting like-minded people with common interests can be done in so many different ways.  My way of connecting with people has been through a business role model, but yours could be through a lifestyle blogger or an art class you are taking or even joining a rec sports league you are a part of.  They are all great ways to meet new people.

 

 

  • Lead by example.

 

Whenever trying to level up your squad it is important to remember to START being the person you want to be for the people around you.

Finding new friends that help you grow and learn is super important, but it’s just as important to be a great friend and person towards the people in your life today.   Regardless of how they treat you, make sure you always treat them with the love, respect, and support that you would want. Lead by example and show up as the best person that you can every day.  We can’t always wait around for our hero to show up, sometimes we need to be our own hero.

By doing this, you will turn into that person that others look up to, seek out, and try to befriend because you are the person that they respect and love most.  You will teach those around you how good friends or colleagues SHOULD treat each other.  You will show them how they should act to become the best version of themselves.

Someone out there that you already know needs you to be the person they look up to and learn from.

Funny how that works. 😉

I hope this helps and inspires you to level up your squad.  Surround yourself with people who support you, love you and believe in your dreams.  If we all just tried to be a little better of a person to our friends and those in our lives imagine the impact we could all make on our world.

We can save the world, just like the Avengers. =]

 

Reasons why you SHOULD take a recruiting call …

Reasons why you SHOULD take a recruiting call …

Last week I was going through a status update on one of the jobs I am working on with a hiring manager.  We were going over some candidates and he saw my note that one hung up on me. Once he saw that he asked, “Do people really hang up on you?”.  My answer, “Unfortunately, yes, and depending on the job, it happens often.” He was in shock and couldn’t believe that people would hang up on a recruiter.


I obviously hate when people hang up on me, call me names, tell me to never call them again and that they will never need a recruiter (not true, but good luck with that).  This does not happen to me all the time, and if it does it is mostly for more junior level positions.  Most of the people I talk to are kind and politely decline my offer, but it does happen, that’s just part of the job.  

 

I totally get that if someone is cold calling you at an inappropriate time, it’s easy to get pissed and we are all getting a bazillion robocalls. We are in a world of information overload, and hanging up the phone just seems like the easiest solution.  

 

I want to tell you WHY you SHOULD always pick up a recruiting call or at the very least give a nice brush off…

 

First I will start off with WHY recruiters are calling you and HOW we work. Companies, like the one you work at now, hire us to help them find top talent.  It is a necessary service, especially in today’s economy. If a company values its’ people, the company will pay us to find the best talent that is out there.

 

Now that we understand why recruiters are calling we will move onto the reasons WHY you should pick up the call…

 

1. You don’t know who has asked us to call you. Recruiters are often given direction as to who the best talent is and are given suggestions as to who a client would like us to reach out to on a company’s behalf.  Sometimes we get exact names to reach out to. If the hiring manager then follows up to see how the call went, having to let them know you hung up is not a poor reflection on us. A recruiting call truly is a compliment. It means you are in demand and someone wants you.

 

2. The top recruiters in the industry make cold calls I recently got asked by a reader if cold calling was dead. I was trained by one of the top recruiting trainers in the nation, Danny Cahill at According to Danny.  He is a big believer that cold-calling is vital and being comfortable making calls and being on the phone is imperative and humanizing. Everyone is so heavily relying on LinkedIn message and email and having a conversation with someone is the only way to establish a true relationship.

 

3. Top recruiters (who get there by making cold calls) have the best opportunities.  In our profession, the best recruiters are choosey with the positions they invest their time in.  They are only going to work jobs that they believe are “hot jobs”. A hot job is a job that a company has an urgency to fill the position and a great opportunity.  It has to be a win-win, a win for the company AND a win for the person taking the job. This is never overlooked by a recruiter before they start working something.

 

4. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, you never know when you will need to work with a recruiter again. -While I am sure you have a great network, you can NEVER have too many connections and people to network with.  Almost every senior person I call recognizes this and takes the time to call me back and have a conversation. They understand that there are NO guarantees in life and it is always a good idea to have an established relationship with a recruiter.

 

 

5. Speaking of help, when you work with a recruiter you receive career advice and interview help at no charge. –  When working with a recruiter you pay nothing, it is completely free of charge Recruiters to have a vested interest in your ability to succeed.  Because of that, they are more than willing to take the time to review resumes and give feedback, to prep you for interviews and to just give general career advice.  So TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!!!

 

 

 

6. Your resume gets put right in front of the hiring manager.  -When you apply online or through a website, who knows if anyone has ever looked at your resume.  It’s put in through the system and a keyword search has to retrieve it.. A recruiter is your own personal marketing and sales rep.  

 

 

When working with a recruiter, what’s most overlooked is that a recruiter who you have established a trusted relationship with really does want the best for you.  They are invested in your next career step and are calling you to help get you there.

 

So just think twice before you hang up on them. 😉

My Top 3 Healthy Work Habits

My Top 3 Healthy Work Habits

Health and Wellness is extremely important to me. It has been and always will be a top priority for me in my life.

At home I have (almost) perfected my healthy habits and created a healthy environment to live in. I clean my house weekly, workout daily, have a Britta pitcher always filled with water, buy lots of fruits and vegetables, keep my pre-packaged food to a minimum and do not buy things I don’t want myself to eat, not even for a “treat”.

Your environment and habits play a huge part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Believe it or not, it’s easy to make those changes at home. The question here today is how do we keep that up at work?  The place that many of us spend more time than our actual homes. A place that you don’t own or have total control over.

When I first started working, I was at an accounting firm and people bought lunch often. There were candy bowls everywhere for a midday “pick-me-up” and everyone worked long hours.

I am sure to many of you this sounds very familiar.

At first I thought nothing of it and fell right in line, following the habits and ways of others. I bought lunch at least once a week, would go for random sugary coffee breaks, took an M&M break every day at 3 pm, and sat on my a** all damn day.

I was still following my home life healthy habits of waking up at 5 am every morning to make sure I got my workout in before lunch and was eating (mostly) healthy foods. And yet, after a couple months on the job I started to notice that I was actually gaining weight, was always tired, and couldn’t keep a clear mind all day. At first I thought this is just what working in the real world felt like, but after reading different articles about health and habits I realized I was wrong.

At that point I started making small changes like no longer eating the 3 pm candy and no more fun sugary coffee breaks. On top of that, I began researching the topic of healthy habits at work and eventually started implementing what I was learning to my daily work habits.  I found that those changes had a huge impact on my energy levels and my production at work.

 

Today, I have 3 core healthy habits that I always follow to ensure I stay on track with my health goals and increase my productivity and energy levels at work.

 

 

  1. Track your water intake

bottle-drink-glass-113734.jpgThis is so important for many different reasons. For starters, being fully hydrated makes you more awake and alert than coffee actually does. We are all roughly 60% made up of water and we need sufficient water intake to ensure our body performs at its best.  A lack of water leads to fatigue, a foggy mind, and hunger.  Yes, I said hunger. Believe it or not most of the time when we think we are hungry we are actually just thirsty. Drinking enough water will actually make you less hungry and help you realize when your body actually does NEED food. As a test drink a bottle or glass of water and see how hungry you are after.

How to do this?

  • We should be drinking at LEAST half our weight in ounces of water each day.  If you weigh 120 pounds then you should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water.  Make sure you always have a water bottle on you (preferably a reusable one so we can save our planet!) and refill it as many times as needed.

 

  • You can even make a mental note of how much you should be drinking throughout the day.  
    • For example, I always try to drink a full water bottle before I get to work, a full bottle after my coffee is gone, two more full bottles before 5 pm, and then 1 or 2 at night.  Having that mental map of when and how much I should be drinking keeps me on track and helps me get back on track when I am behind. I would be lying to you if I said that I do this perfectly every day because I absolutely do NOT. But, it does put me in a way better place than if I didn’t try at all.

 

  1. Pack and prep ALL of your snacks and meals

When I leave the house for work in the morning I’m typically out the door at 6:30 am and most nights I won’t return until 8 or 9. In that time frame, I eat my breakfast, two lunches, and dinner. I never skip a meal, so when I leave at 6:30 am I have all of my food in tow.

Prepping and packing those meals ahead of time ensures that I am eating healthy foods, that I am eating the correct portion size of foods, and that I don’t snack on anything else in the office.

When you eat out at lunch or grab those little snacks / treats in the break room you can close-up-colors-container-1640767.jpgeasily lose track of how many calories you are actually consuming in a day and are likely eating things your body really doesn’t NEED. Even though we all know we don’t NEED M&M’s, if you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated and have your healthy snacks already packed you are less likely to go for that mid-afternoon treat.

Another thing to consider is that most days we are just sitting at our desks all day long. You really aren’t burning through THAT many calories so you don’t NEED that many calories or snacks to get you through the day. If you have a desk job it’s not like your lifting anything or moving much at all. What your body NEEDS is nutrient dense foods to keep your body and mind moving and grooving all day long without any roadblocks or detours.

The How:

If you need help on how to meal prep or what to meal prep check out my previous blogs “Meal Prepping 101” and “Meal Prepping 102: What’s inside?” for ideas.

 

  1. Move more and take mindful breaks

adult-autumn-casual-663437.jpgI can’t stress the importance of moving more enough.  Think about the daily pattern of a typical 9-5 job. You are sitting on the drive to work, siting once you get to work for 8 hours or so, sit on the drive home, sit for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sit on the couch at night.  Maybe you have an hour or 30 minutes of movement for some kind of exercise.

Our bodies are designed to move.  And yet, it’s so easy to forget the importance of that. We get lost in our work and caught up in the idea that we “don’t have enough time” to take a break. I am here to tell you that is all simply not true. It will actually do the opposite. Taking a break to move will increase your productivity later. Trust me, give it a shot, you might be surprised.

There are studies that demonstrate the average brain loses concentration in 52 minutes and taking a break increases your productivity by 30%.  Research says that we should take a 1-7 minute break every 25, 52 or 90 minutes.    Yes, it may take a few minutes to pick everything back up, but you will come back recharged and ready, producing better results than you did before.

Now how will you put this into play?

  • What you can do is set an alarm on your phone for an hour and then take a quick break where you are physically moving. It really doesn’t matter where or for how long, just that you are actually doing it.

 

  • Walks during your lunch breaks is another great opportunity to move your body.
    • This is something I put into practice two years ago and I’ve become totally addicted. Every day at lunch when the weather permits, I will walk for 30 minutes to an hour outside. I’m to the point where I will make sure I get to work earlier and use my time more wisely so I can get this break in.

 

Those breaks do so much for me mentally and physically. It gets my body moving, puts me out in nature, and really forces me to shut off my brain and emotionally detach myself from my work for a minute.

I am the type that can get very emotionally attached to work and am always battling the fear that I am not doing enough. In some ways this can be a very painful trait and a thought process that is hard to get out of.  When I physically remove myself from a situation, taking time away and then coming back, it clears my mind and makes me less emotionally charged so I can look at a situation more objectively. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a little nature after hours in an office?

It truly is a gift that I give to myself.

 

Which brings us to a perfect place to end this blog.  Taking care of your physical and mental self, inside and outside of work is one of the best a gifts you can give yourself. But, it takes work.

Prepping your meals and snacks takes time. Constantly reminding yourself to drink water throughout the day takes dedication. Allowing yourself to take a break and move your body seems like a lot of extra work, but I promise you it will all pay off.  You will feel better and you will produce better work.

These are all changes that YOU have to DECIDE to do and then COMMIT to doing it. They seem hard at first and you may be wondering how you can actually put these habits into practice. But remember, everything seems hard at first until it’s not.

These habits have increased my productivity, my overall health and my peace of mind in the workplace.   Apply these three healthy habits to your day and I promise you, you won’t be sorry. =]

 

Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide

Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide

This past December I noticed that all of my favorite podcasters were doing a year end review on their shows.  A year end review is when you would take a moment to reflect on what went well and what didn’t over the past year. The pod casters would go over what they accomplished and where they failed so they could learn from it.

At first I really wasn’t into the episode because I didn’t feel like it was something I could benefit or learn from. But, by the end of that first episode I realized just how wrong I was.  The whole concept of what they were doing was such a GREAT tool for improvement. Taking a minute to stop and reflect on the past year to get a better “birds eye view” of what ACTUALLY happened, rather than evaluating it while your in the middle of it.

I am not kidding when I say this, every single December I eat too much, I party a lot, and then January comes and I’m NOT happy and at that point I’m already starting to think about the year to come. Not once have I ever taken a minute to stop and evaluate the year that just happened.  It sounds bizarre, but I truly never take time for reflection. I am always too focused on how to fix everything I just screwed up in December and am looking forward to next years goals.   

Also, a year is a long ass time and I can confidently say I forget most of it.  I can barely remember my social security number and that never changes, let alone my weekly and monthly accomplishments over a year.  When an obstacle comes up I will figure out how to overcome it or just trudge my way through it. Whether  I fail or succeed, in the end it is over and I move on. I don’t really dwell on things too much, that’s how I have learned to survive.  I never take the time to stop and reflect on what just happened, unless there was a major blow up or something really bad happened.

But seriously, how often do we all do this?  How often do we not take the time to stop and reflect on what just happened in our life and just keep soldiering on? Sometimes that is completely necessary, even vital, but I think once in a while it’s good to force yourself to stop and think about what REALLY just happened.  Taking the time to pat ourselves on the back or figure out how we can do better is essential

As I mentioned before, a year is a really freaking long time and because I really do so easily forget everything I do, I thought it would make sense for me to try to do this quarterly.  The reason I thought of this was because in February/March I started noticing how “off course” I was in some of my goals and how “on course” I was in other areas of my life, and I started to change my ways a bit.  That’s when I started thinking that we should all being doing this quarterly review, so give ourselves credit where credit is due towards accomplishing our goals and then getting ourselves back on track in the area’s we were lacking.

Today, I am going to go through what I did for my quarterly review and will share the steps with you so that you could do the same.

Continue reading “Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide”

Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER

Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER

Recently, I finished listening to Brendon Burchard’s book High Performing Habits.  It’s actually my second time listening to it because it is THAT good.  I tend to listen my favorite books on tape multiple times and every time I walk away learning something new that I missed the first time around.

This time it was the saying, “Courage is contagious”. As soon as he said that phrase it really hit home, and I instantly wrote it in my phone so I wouldn’t forget.  Courage is contagious. It’s a saying that has been used for a long time and after Googling it last night I saw that there are MANY books with that phrase or something similar somewhere in their title.  I know I had heard it before, but for some reason when he said it that day it really resonated with me. It made me stop and think about the times in my own life where I’ve been courageous and impacted others, on top of the times I’ve watched someone be courageous and was inspired by THEIR courage.

While I was Googling the phrase “Courage is contagious”, I stumbled across Brene Brown’s extended version of that where she says, “Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

Since last week was International Women’s Day, I can’t help but think about all of the amazing, powerful brave women that I look up to.  Women who have moved mountains, whether everyone can see those mountains or not.  I have been lucky enough to watch women change lives and inspire others to do the same.  

When I think of courage, I think of them.   Continue reading “Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER”

Interview like a pro!

Interview like a pro!

Hey team!

Today I wanted to write a little about what I do for a living.  As some of you may know, I am a blogger by morning, a recruiter by day, and barre instructor by night.  Every day from 9-5 I am on the phone, almost all day long, talking to people about their next career opportunity.  I am interviewing them for positions I am working to fill, and helping them prep for interviews that they are going on.  

I am interviewing hiring managers to make sure I understand what they are looking for in a candidate for their open position.  I am interviewing candidates to see if they could be a good fit for the jobs, at the same time my candidates and clients are interviewing each other.

Lots of interviewing going on here!!

Since I have been completely surrounded by interviews and interview prep for the past 4 years, I have learned a lot from it.

On top of that, prior to my recruiting career, I even helped young women prep for their personal interview for the Miss Connecticut pageant.  Through it all, I have picked up on some essential interviewing skills that I would love to share with you to help with your next interview!

Continue reading “Interview like a pro!”