Why Workplace Culture Matters

“Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing—working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

This is the first blog I’ve written in a while. Things have been busy, for sure. However, I’m glad to be writing this to connect with the community on The Thrive Vine. Today’s topic is just why Workplace Culture is so important. In my personal life I’ve recently made a job change that has proven to be excellent financially however the workplace culture, has proven to be challenging. I’ve found that many of us in the beginning stages in our careers or even fresh out of college might not know what to expect or even what to value in a workplace. If you are unsure of what to look for in a workplace culture, you are in luck because this blog is for you! Sit tight as we dive deeper into exactly why Workplace Culture is so important:

What Are Your Values –  Before you can be aware of what you are looking for in a workplace you first need to be aware of what you value. Do you value camaraderie amongst your co-workers, do you value a quiet space so you can perform your best work, or do you put a high priority on leadership and development? Aside from all of these topics being wonderful interview questions, these are also wonderful aspects to ponder to gain a self awareness of what you value. The million dollar question is how do you know this, or how would you figure out what you value in a Workplace? I feel Corporate America has kind of set us up via trial and error. Aside from a self awareness for what you are looking for the best way to understand what you value, and what you do not value, is to experiment with working at different places, networking with different professionals, and doing some introspection on what you value, and can you achieve your goals based on the company culture and vision. 

Safety and Acceptance – When we think about Workplace culture we tend to think about the time off policy, the layout of the office, happy hours, etc… However in reality Workplace culture is nothing more than achieving basic needs of humans as a species. In order to thrive in any environment humans, or any social species, need to feel Safe and Accepted by their family or pack. When our behavior doesn’t match what is around us, we might feel as an outcast or that we don’t fit in. Realistically when we are in our 20’s and 30’s we spend most of our waking hours as work. If we don’t feel safe due to workplace conflict or accepted due to the culture, issues such as workplace stress and anxiety can ensue and can take a huge toll on our mental health. 

So how can we combat workplace stress and anxiety? This very topic is what I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. In my personal situation I was offered a position at a not so “emotionally intelligent” workplace where excessive swearing, slamming of phones, and yelling doesn’t seem to bother anyone… except for me. However the money is wonderful and sometimes it makes sense to “suck it up.” Yet, as most of us know after a while of being in an environment our body reads as toxic, biological effects take place such as anxiety, panic, and stress. Here is what I did personally to combat these feelings and get myself mentally back on track:

  • Getting up from my desk and taking more frequent walks. Sometimes taking yourself out the environment for short periods of time can do wonders for your mental health
  • Taking a step back and thinking long term. What I mean by this is that the probability of me being at this new job for the rest of my life is extremely slim. By taking things into perspective and realizing that I can use the pay increase I received by taking this job, to invest more aggressively; will help me reach my goals faster. I look at this opportunity as just a mere page in an entire book of my life.
  • Always keep an eye out for new opportunities. It’s really important to remember that you are in control. Especially when it comes to your employment. Even if you’ve worked at a place for a week and the work culture is not what you expected and is being toxic, there is nothing preventing you from starting your job search again or pursuing your own entrepreneurial endeavors. There are always options and you should never feel trapped in a toxic environment. 

Purpose/Support – I think most of us have been raised to think that our purpose of working for a company is to make the company money, or produce a level of value to the company so it secures our employment. Yet, most of us don’t realize that value is a two-way street. As much as we provide value to a business or company, it is the businesses job to enrich our lives not only through the transaction of money; but through purpose and support. If you really think about it, any job on the planet can be a great job (or at least more enjoyable)  if it’s in the right environment and we are surrounded by the right people. I understand first hand how hard it can be waking up when Monday morning comes around, however I encourage you to really think about what value and purpose does your job/career/workplace give you. You should feel a good feeling when you help a customer, or you make a big sale, and I encourage you to celebrate those wins; however the place you work for should also help you celebrate those wins and in turn be there when you are struggling.


Conclusion –  In Corporate America there seems to be a generational disconnect of what each generation and individual values. Is it practical for each company to heed to a generation’s needs? Probably not. However, in my opinion, a business is more than just a place people go to work. It’s a place where employees spend most of their time, and should be obligated to provide safely, sustainability, and support to the people who are growing it as a direct result of their time. What do you think? How can we do a better job with providing a better culture to employees? What are some aspects  you value in a workplace? Share your comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

How I Learned Web Page Design From a Plumber

 

“Believe in yourself, your abilities and your own potential. Never let self-doubt hold you captive. You are worthy of all that you dream of and hope for.” – Roy Bennett

 

Lately I’ve been getting alot of compliments on the new look of the site. It was a big move for sure, and so much was learned during the site migration. It wasn’t until recently that one of my friends asked how I knew so much about web page design, site layout, reading source code, yada yada yada. I started thinking about how to answer this question and thought this would make a really empowering blog topic.

 

You see, from the job descriptions we read, to the tasks we only “wish” we could achieve; it becomes apparent that we put some major limitations on ourselves. However, today’s blog is going to be my story of how I learned web page design; not from college, or even webpage design classes, but from a Plumber. Without further adieu here is the story of how I learned web page design…

 

The Plumber’s Story –  Everyone loves a good story, and this one picks up on one summer day in my Mother’s kitchen of all places. She hired a plumber to fix her kitchen sink and as he was just finishing up and heading out, I came home from my college classes. He asked me, “hey I’m starting a webpage design company, your ma says your good with computers. Wanna come work for me?” Now, this guy was like Mario straight out of Nintendo. Before me stood a sicilian Plumber in overalls with an italian accent that persuaded me just enough to say yes. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little scared of being “whacked.”

 

On my first day with the Plumber I met him in a little office in Greenwood Lake New York. When I say the office was little, I mean my bedroom closet was bigger… Nonetheless I came to work and learn, and that’s just where we started. It turned out the Plumber had a dream of his own, starting a giant database of all the master plumbers all across New Jersey, and building these plumber’s websites.

 

After a few weeks of hands on training I learned to not only design websites but read and create source code. Some of it was absolute monotonous work, copy and pasting the same code over and over. However it taught me the importance of everything being uniform. Everything had to be linked, meta tags inserted, and the page completely SEO’ed (search engine optimized) so people could find us on google. The amount of attention to detail was crazy to me; but taught me to always double check my work.

 

But Why –  After a year of working for the Plumber, I finally asked him “when did you come up with this idea, and why is it so important?” He then explained to me that in just a few years it was planned that he would go blind due to macular degeneration. He had already had several operations on his eyes and would no longer be able to rely on plumbing to support his family. His goal was to get his website design business started and be able to create some sort of income for his family. He taught himself web page design by reading books, and watching youtube videos. He, like me, never took one class on web page design.

 

The Takeaway –  Whenever I get really down on myself I think about the lesson the Plumber taught me. There are too many times in life where credentials are over weighted. We convince ourselves that we can’t do things because we don’t have MBA’s, 10+ years experience, or don’t have “advanced” skills in excel or SAP. The biggest truth in life is that any skill can be learned.

 

The next time you’re challenged, connect to the scenario “what if I had to.” What if you had to learn a skill so that you can go deeper in your career, to bring in more income for your family, or even so you can be happier? If a Plumber can teach himself web page design, if a real estate agent (such as myself) can blog about personal finance and career advice; there’s certainly no reason you can’t do anything that your heart desires. The key takeaway I really want to drive home in this blog are that the only limitations that exist are the ones we set upon ourselves.

 

What do you think? How do you overcome your obstacles and stay focused on your goals? Share with us in the comments below!

How Quitting Your Job Can Save You Money

“There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and to work for whom you respect.” – J.L Collins

 

Reading the title of this blog you might be thinking “this guy is way off his rocker.” I mean you don’t need to be a financial guru to know that you need money in order to live. But you see, that’s exactly it! You need money to sustain a lifestyle of your choice, not necessarily a job. Whether your idea of comfort is a 6 bedroom house with a courtyard, or a 2 bedroom home nestled away in the woods; that part is up to you. When most of us think about how to get money we think, we need a job. However in today’s blog I’m going to propose that in some instances we can actually save money by quitting a job/profession we dislike and replace it with something that is much more flexible and purposeful that we do like. Here is how quitting your job can actually save you money:

 

Commute – Let’s face it gas prices aren’t going down, in fact according to the U.S Energy Information Administration “the United States consumed 143.85 BILLION gallons of gas in 2017 that’s a daily average of about 391.40 million gallons of gas.” With a demand like that, oil companies have the upper hand with fuel prices, plain and simple. So what can we do about this? And what on earth does this have to do with our jobs? Well.. since you asked… one of the first things I ask people when they say they do not make enough money is: what does your commute look like? Are you driving an hour, or two hours to work everyday? After bringing awareness to this it’s extremely easy to see where our paychecks are going.

So there are a few options here: Either you can get a more fuel efficient vehicle, find a job that is closer to you, or limit your commute all together. Now you might ask, how do I limit my commute altogether!? I’m glad you asked! We are witnessing a revolution when it comes to positions and employers that allow employees to work from home/ or freelance. Sitting at home blogging and writing content is amazing! The best part about it is that you can get paid to do it and you don’t need to sacrifice your hard earned money to your gas tank! This ties into our next point:

 

Working From Home –  Does your employer offer the option from home? If your employer is like mine, they probably don’t! (#didn’tseethatcoming) so how can you work around this. Well take a look at your position and figure out how maybe you can work from home. Think about it; even if you could swing working from home two days a week, that still saves money on items like gas, vehicle maintenance, and even items like possibly child care. But most importantly it saves you time. How does it save you time? Well every 30minute, 45minute, or hour commute add up! What could you be doing in that time aside from driving or sitting in traffic?

I know what you’re thinking – How the heck am I going to convince my boss to allow me to work from home, even for a few days a week? The best advice I can give is that you have to establish yourself as an absolute linchpin and incredible asset in your company first. What I’m saying is after 3 months on the job to not ask your employer if you can work from home; but maybe after 3-5 years when you’ve proven yourself and your employer knows what an asset you are to the company. People have much more leverage than they realize and this could be a wonderful option to keep your same pay and cut down on your expenses.

Time –  Only you know the best use of your time. But like I discussed in the previous point, I know it can be used better than sitting in traffic. The thing about time is that it’s the only resource that we can’t get more of. If you might be thinking about leaving your job or thinking about “what’s next” think about how you can make things easier on yourself. From all the time that you spent sitting in traffic what could have you been doing to make yourself profitable or happy? What’s the opportunity cost? What is your time worth and can you use it better to create results that can yield income that you’re missing out on by commuting?

Conclusion – So what do you think? Is it possible to actually save money by quitting your job and exploring a career like blogging/freelancing or working from home?  What if you didn’t have to pay for as much fuel, possibly save on child care, drop to a one car household, and didn’t have to sit in traffic for an hour? Most importantly what would you to do with the time or money that you could potentially save? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

3 Ways You Can Reinvent Yourself Today

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

 

It was a cold dark February morning. I rolled up to work the same time as usual. My boss just pulled in behind me and got out of his car and started to open up the company. I wasn’t exactly crazy about this job, I landed the position right out of college and was still learning my daily tasks. The specific position was a technical inside sales representative position located in Northern New Jersey. During the interview I admittedly didn’t know too much about their product line; but they mentioned they would train me and get me up to speed. In the past weeks things were busy with the business; which was good. We were getting alot of product calls and all the other fellow salesmen were on the phones doing business; yet this was tough for me, because the time to actually train me to do my job, drastically diminished. On this particular day I spent two months with the company; I personally felt I wasn’t able to create all that much value due to not having the proper training and knowledge, but I felt it would all be ok and work itself out.

 

“Hey, do you have a minute” my boss said to me as he turned on the lights to his office, “of course” I replied. As my boss sipped from his coffee he started talking in a low quiet tone “Listen, you’ve been doing a really great job, you have a hell of a work ethic; you’re always the first one here, but we’re going to have to let you go.” I had just been fired. I literally had no idea what to say; they said they were going to train me, they didn’t deliver, and now I pay the price? I thanked my boss for the opportunity, packed up my desk, and started on my way home. All I could think about were the words “sorry, we’re going to have to let you go” as if someone was playing a proverbial game of catch and release with my life. Fast forward six years and getting fired from that place was probably one of the best things that happened to me. However, it was what awaited me that was the biggest learning experience. Here are my three ways to reinvent yourself before having a chance to actually invent yourself:

 

Get Creative – After I was fired I literally had no experience in the field I wanted to go into (pretty much anything with business) I just spent two months at a place I got fired from, do I put that on a resume? What if an interviewer asks what happened? I was still incredibility defensive and sensitive about it. So how did I get around this? One thing that helped me immensely to landing another job was creating a professional website. On the website I included a professional picture of myself, listed all of my relevant coursework and writing samples from college, included my resume, and included a mission statement of my website.

 

Nowadays with social media there is no reason to not only have a professional website. I would even take it a step further and record a video of you stating your mission statement. What does this do? It really allows recruiters and interviewers to vet and get a good look at you before meeting you. Putting a face to the name is such a powerful tool! Not sure how to build a website or where to start? I would definitely suggest checking out Wix or WordPress. Both content management systems make it incredibly easy to build a nice professional website. Picture yourself as just one fish amongst an entire school; you need to stand out and a website can certainly help with that!

 

Reinvent From Within – There is no way I am the same person I was six years ago. After I got fired I was absolutely fuming. I embraced and doubled down on the victim mindset. It was their fault I had no money to pay off my loans, it was their fault I was now set back in my life. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was my fault. You’ll hear me say time and time again that, at times, the only thing we can control in our lives is how to react to a situation.

 

The Thrive Vine is my reaction to my situation, which took place close to over six years ago. Why? Because I want to help others who might have gone through the same circumstances or who might be as frustrated as I was. It’s not an easy place to be in; but so much more positive can come out of a negative situation than you could ever expect; it’s all mindset. So how do you reinvent yourself from within? Analyze your character. Ask your closest friends and family how they perceive you and be open to their feedback. If you are currently working ask your supervisor three things that you suck at, and then concentrate on making yourself better at those three things. It’s all about self improvement and be open to always changing yourself for the better.

 

Do Your Homework – If you are not working, or even right out of college; the employment scene is something to study up on. The first thing you need to study is what are employers looking for? What kind of “must have” traits do all candidates have? Take this time to connect to recruiters. With tools like linkedin and facebook; feedback and help is just a click away. Stop viewing your phone as entertainment, and start thinking of it as an incredibly powerful tool where you can reach thousands if not millions of people from a single tweet. Do your homework on what is going on around you, pick up on those trends, adapt, network, get the job. Sounds like alot, but remember you are not the only one, and only the strongest candidates survive.

 

Conclusion – Having to reinvent yourself is not easy but incredibly necessary. I’m sure everyone has heard the Heraclitus quote- “nothing is constant but change.” Just as our species would have never endured without adaptation the same proves true for the job market. What are you doing to adapt? What tools or creative strategies do you use to constantly reinvent yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

3 Qualities Of An Effective Linchpin

“Life shrinks and expands on the proportion of your willingness to take risks and try new things.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

 

A linchpin is defined as- a person or thing vital to an enterprise or organization. Many of us view ourselves as dispensable in our jobs and work atmospheres. We feel that at the drop of a dime we can be replaced; which in some special instances can be true. Yet, I feel those instances are few and far between and there are certain steps any person can take to make themselves irreplaceable to an organization. Throughout my career I’ve developed how to become an effective linchpin and an asset to multiple businesses. Here are my top 3 qualities all effective linchpins must have:

 

Trustworthiness – I have never had a job that I did not have the keys to. Why? Because there is no greater fulfillment to me than when someone gives me their trust; and I’ll do anything I can to earn their trust. So how do you go about winning over your organization’s, CEO, or manager’s trust? The first step is to show up early, not on time. When first starting with a new company it’s so important to be the first one in the parking lot. There is no greater eye opener and sign of motivation to the CEO of a business, than the new hire who consistently is early and ready to work. This is the first step to dependability. When the business can rely on you to show up early, rain or shine, trust starts to flow; and you are now labeled as reliable.

 

Entrepreneurial Design – What has made me a very effective linchpin during my working career is my ability to treat any business I work for like my own business. If I see a candy wrapper on the floor, I pick it up. I show up early and make sure everything is set up and ready for the day regardless of what department it is for. I make it my business to know how every department functions and how I fit into the mix. Most people do not do those things. They go to work, do their jobs, complain about their salary, and go home. To separate yourself from everyone else it’s so important to show a hunger to learn about the business and the ability for you to put yourself in the CEO’s shoes. By going above and beyond you will be defining yourself as a huge asset to the organization which will eventually pay dividends.

 

Consistency – Building both trust and gaining knowledge about an organization takes time, and you need to show consistency in your behavior. What does that mean? It means just don’t show up early one day out of the week. Show up early everyday. Before you leave everyday ask your department and anyone else’s department what they need so they can get out on time. It’s by making these subtle yet consistent sacrifices that you not only define yourself as a leader in your company, but you start to become indispensable. As a linchpin you want people to rely on you and in turn want to make the business think “what would we do if this person wasn’t here?”

 

Conclusion – So what does being an effective linchpin do for you? It first of all opens you up to greater opportunity in the company you work for. Work ethic is something that can rarely be taught but is a skill that is developed over time. If you want to move up in the company all the people in all different departments that you’ve helped, will have your back. Second, it gives you greater negotiating power in terms of salary. The more you do for the company the more of an asset you become. By acting on the above three qualities you make it impossible for a new hire or even someone with experience to take your position. Lastly you show you are a leader. There is nothing more that CEO’s and managers alike love than knowing that some of the pressure is off of them. If you can relieve some of the pressure, by not only holding your own in the workplace, but by coaching and mentoring other individuals you’re on a very good path to becoming an effective linchpin and ultimately irreplaceable.

I Pledge Allegiance To…

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

 

The employer-employee relationship, something that will always interest me. Businesses need employees, and so many of us need that job to pay our bills, and sustain our way of life; the relationship is completely codependent. But what happens when the relationship becomes abusive? What happens when our work-life balance gets all in a tizzy? When we find ourselves being glued to our phones and email day in and day out; something we may have never intended to happen. Now what?

 

I’d like to share some of my experience when I was put in this situation. I’m not sure if you’ve read enough of my blogs to really get a good feel for me. To sum it up I’m the most introverted, hard working, and complete people-pleaser individual you will probably ever (or never) meet. I love helping people and I love making people happy. So when work asked me to pick up additional hours or work on my off days I really didn’t think anything of it.

 

What I found after months of “working outside of work” is that your brain needs a rest. Businesses and managers alike may not understand this. Any CEO is dedicated to their business, and what I found in my situation is that the same level of dedication was expected of me. More hours, same pay, more responsibility. I suddenly realized I was not getting the deal I wanted. My free time was taken up, I felt like I was on call all the time, and didn’t see a dime more for my efforts. This was not good.

 

The purpose of this blog is for those of us who over work ourselves to remember why we’re doing it; especially if we’re not happy or become unhappy with our lives. I’ll stand by the statement that many of us pledge allegiance to our jobs and businesses. The reason? I think work always gives us a sense of purpose but I think many of us are scared of losing it. What happens if we lose our jobs and can’t afford the mortgage, the student loans, the car payment etc… Yet, we don’t think what happens if a business can’t get anyone to work for them; which would result in no business at all. It is important to remember that employees have the upper hand in the relationship. A business relationship, like any other relationship, can sadly become abusive. Stay connected to your worth.

 

Our most precious resource on earth is time. Most of our time is spent working. Doing what we love is simply not enough; we are creatures of environment. Business culture is no different than the values you set on yourself. Sometimes though, business values and personal values collide. That is what I was experiencing in my personal experience. I personally hated working all the time for two reasons. I’m not all that in love with what I do, and I love having control of my time.

 

At the end of the day I didn’t quit my job, and I didn’t yell at anyone. I made a behavioral change. I will always continue to help, it’s literally in my nature to do so; but I’m more aware of the stress and toll things have on me now. When I come home from work I turn my phone off; anything that I’m not in the office for can wait till the next day, and if my employer has an issue with that I’d be more than willing to address it.

 

In closing I truly believe it is so important for us to value our time, because I’m not sure if we can assume any business will. As depressing as it is, in business, people are a replaceable commodity. People come and go but our work ethic stays with us and is a point of uniqueness that makes us stand out. We can always be the employee that every business would want; but what would it take for every business to be a place we would want to work for?

 

Has anyone run into an experience like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic!

Three Steps to Protect Yourself From Burnout

“Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible. Delegate time for important tasks, but always be sure to leave time for relaxation and reflection.” – Del Suggs

 

I’ll cut to the chase. Being burnt out is no fun at all. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of being completely drained mentally, physically, and emotionally; burnout is the product of an insane amount of stress. We all put pressure on ourselves to find the right jobs, make the right investments, and utilize our time in the way we feel will get us the best return (we do this consciously and subconsciously) Burnout is downright unhealthy; and makes you feel apathetic to all life has to offer. Yet, there is a bright side! It is totally preventable with a little change in behavior and mindset. Here are my top three tips to prevent yourself from Burning Out:

 

Perspective – When you are burnt out you are really consumed in your own life. You might only see that report that’s due, or might only concentrate on what your boss said in that meeting. In essence you’re paranoid! Your brain wants you to slow down but for some reason you can’t. I’ve experienced this multiple times and use this simple exercise, which helps me alot. Before I go to bed every night I literally say out loud everything I’m thankful for. Whether it’s running water and food to family and friends; it’s important to say out loud all the things that you are thankful for. Take a moment to practice gratification and really connect to other people, and the life you’ve created for yourself. You might find by disconnecting from yourself you find rejuvenation in the world around you.

 

Relinquish Responsibility – It’s ok to step away from life for a little bit. Burnout typically happens when we are so consumed with controlling everything around us that we forget to let the cards fall. Just relax and let the universe play things out. Keep in mind there is no such thing as “good” or “bad”. only life experiences. Everything is the way we perceive it to be. When we feel we need to control everything we forget the most simplest things in life. I’ll give a brief example: when I bought my first investment property I was absolutely freaking out.

 

I had/have a very demanding full time job, I sell houses on the side and offer all of myself to my clients, I was trying to manage a relationship, and now I’m responsible for tenants on top of that! What if my tenants don’t pay rent? What if something major in the house breaks? What if I lose my job? (#Stressedoutyet?) I came to the realization that if you want to have everything (in my case achieving financial independence before 35) you have to be comfortable with losing everything or not having it to begin with. It’s not by accident that some of the poorest countries on earth who live the simplest of lifestyles have the happiest people; keep that in mind. It might sound silly but one of the best stress relievers to this day for me is to take a walk in the woods. For that time being there are no phone calls or emails only natural instinct and nature.

 

Take Care of Yourself – Keep in mind a bad case of burnout can take a while to recover from. Think of your brain being sprained. You need to take care of it, go easy on it, and let it heal. If you need to work while you’re burnt out (like I did) it’s really important to have self awareness to take a deep breath and go easy on yourself. It’s important that when you go home you shut off your phone, disconnect, and just relax. Really concentrate on the things you enjoy doing even if that means binge watching your favorite TV shows and not being productive for the time being. It’s ok to take a day or as many days as you need to take care of yourself. Relax, and let yourself get back to normal.

 

Conclusion – When going through Burnout it’s so important to take a step back from what you’re consumed in. It’s your brain’s way of saying, “no more!” Take your time to focus on yourself, whether it’s through meditation or just doing something you love. Practice gratification and flourish in all your accomplishments. You’ve come so far, you’re doing great, and you got this. Do you have any burnout prevention tips? Let us know in a comment below!

Three Steps To Take If You Get Fired

“- If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means “First Attempt In Learning”

End is not the end, if fact E.N.D. means “Effort Never Dies”

– If you get No as an answer, remember N.O. means “Next Opportunity”.

So Let’s be positive. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

 

Let me tell you, getting fired is a strange feeling between feeling the purest failure and a future of complete uncertainty. I should know, just two months into my first job out of college I was fired. I remember all I could think about was how was I going to pay my student loans, how was I going to reinvent myself; without even officially inventing myself. There’s no doubt that being fired is a harsh feeling; but can at the same time be an incredible blessing. In this blog I’m going to share three tips on how to get back on your feet and start your next opportunity.

 

Let it Go – Let it go, let it go, you don’t need that job anymore (#frozen). I get it, after you’ve worked at a place for 10 years and you get fired it’s really tough to not be angry, resentful, or even downright hurt about what you did for that company. Here’s a little piece of advice that might help. Your feelings are natural and completely justified. Time is non refundable, we give our time to businesses in return for money, a refundable resource. When we get fired, or laid off, it results in wasted time which is extremely hard to get over. However the next step forward depends on this first step. Use any negative energy you might have to stick it to that last employer by getting a better, higher paying position. Take this time to recognize and discover your value and really connect to it. It’s an extremely powerful tool.

 

Be Open About It – Here’s something you might not hear everyday. Admit you were fired and be humble about it. Many times our initial reaction to getting fired is to be on the defensive. Try taking the exact opposite approach by showing humility and at the same time honing in on your strengths. Next comes the big question: Do I mention that I was fired on a resume or job interview? In my experience, I say a big Hell Yes. Listen, there is no exception to “honesty is the best policy” your future employer will not only appreciate your honesty and humility about the situation but will further appreciate your openness about what might have happened. Nothing is ever personal in business (although it may seem like everything is personal in business) sometimes things don’t work out and it’s totally fine. You’re ready to move on!

 

Connect to the Value You Create – This is a big one. Typically the next step after being fired is a bit of self reflection. Where do you go from here? Do you start your own business? try a career change or different industry? do you maybe try to utilize the time to extend your network? The possibilities are endless. Above all, take your time to connect to the value that you can create for not only yourself but others. No matter what interviews you go on, or clients you might take on with a business venture, you are defined by the value you create. I absurdly believe in that statement so I’ll say it again you are defined by the value you create. Before you apply for that next job think of what you can bring to the table, what ideas do you have, what skills (or as I call them, superpowers) do you possess that would be perfect for that next career. It’s not something that might be discovered overnight; but the thought is well worth the effort.

 

Conclusion – There’s no easy way to say this; getting fired sucks. But the only thing that sucks about it is the forced opportunity it brings to you. I’m a firm believer that everything in life is perspective; it’s all in how you look at things. A job is no different than a relationship; sometimes things go perfect and sometimes they don’t. That doesn’t mean that you should never invest yourself again. You are valuable and it’s time to show potential employers just how much they are missing out on by not having you on their team.

Why It’s Important To Choose A Career That Matches Your Personality

“We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted.”- Susan Cain

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions. In fact I kind of secretly despise them. I firmly believe that if you are going to do something you shouldn’t wait to take action; whether that is mapping out a plan, or diving right in to your goals. However, this year I did decide to make a New Year’s resolution: to read 2 books every month. I’ve started the year reading some amazing books and I want to share those books with you; so I created a reading list! Every book that I feel played a significant part in my life through a personal, career, or investment standpoint I add to that list.

I recently finished Susan Cain’s work of art Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her work, Susan Cain discusses not only what it means to be an introvert, and the importance of balance between introverts and extroverts in the world and workplace; but brought up a really good point that I wanted to focus today’s blog around. The topic is temperament and careers. How do we choose careers that match our temperament? Is this an innate sense? Do we choose passions based on the environment they will allow us? In today’s blog I’m going to discuss why it’s so important to choose a career that matches your personality and temperament; and more importantly how to find that career.

 

Dig Deep – Like most revelations choosing the right career that matches your personality takes tons of introspection. You need to really connect with yourself and think not only what you enjoy doing; but what environment you like doing it in! For instance it’s wonderful that you love numbers, but if dealing with stressed people during tax season isn’t going to give you gratification it might be worth trying to find another career that allows you to foster your love of numbers while providing an environment that isn’t so stressful. You can kind of see what I’m getting at here; your passion is what you love doing, but your temperament dictates the environment you like doing it in. So how can you find the healthy balance!?

 

Learn From Experience – Honestly the best way to find that healthy balance is to put yourself in various environments dealing with your passion or interest. Say you are so passionate about music. Take time learning and asking questions from music teachers, musicians, recording artists, acoustic engineers, instrument builders, etc… There are so many possibilities for each career. If your temperament is highly sensitive to stress and judgement you need to find a career that will allow you to feel relaxed while feeling like you have an impact. If you thrive under pressure you might love setting up for a big rock show minutes before it’s announced.

 

The key here (and I’ve said this before) is that our passions certainly are a driving factor; but I believe the human species is more impacted by the environment we do our passions in. In essence, are you geared to do your passion with people or alone? Do you prefer to travel or do you enjoy the safety of your own space? These things might not seem like important factors when deciding on a career; but they can become factors that might affect your happiness down the road. It’s important to ask: will this career/position fit my personality? Asking this question is just as important as asking about salary, benefits, or a 401k match.

 

Going Against The Grain – One thing I truly believe is that humans, in an anthropological sense, are the best adaptation creatures earth has ever seen. We went from discovering fire to creating the most unique ways to find a mate (#swipeleft?) but what we need to look at is what happens if you go against the grain. In essence what happens if you’re an introvert in an extroverted career? And vice versa. Is it possible? Well I have a little experience with this and would love to share that this is completely possible.

 

As I hope some of you know from reading the blogs on this site; I’m a real estate agent. Sales in general is perceived as one of the most extroverted careers there are. You are constantly talking to people, networking, meeting new clients, and mortgage reps. For me (one of the most introverted people on the planet) it wouldn’t appear to be a good match for a career. However, surprisingly I love sales! and another surprising thing is that I’m good at it! So how can this be? How can a person who really can get overstimulated easily make a career of being around people all the time?

 

The secret is looking into your career and aligning your passion. My passions are helping people, forming deep connections, and creating lasting relationships. A career in sales, somehow, meets all of my passions and needs. Being introverted, I admit, I’m not much of a talker (that’s why I write!) but this makes me a great listener; and it turns out people love to be listened to! Finding a passion is one thing, but digging into your values and personality traits and deciding how you are going to bring them out in a career is another story. Be creative, be innovative, but more importantly be yourself.

 

Conclusion – The important takeaway and message I want to convey is that when choosing a career it is incredibly important to not just follow your passion, but evaluate your temperament and environments that you thrive in. What values has your temperament gifted you? And how can you incorporate those gifts and values into your career? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, we always love to hear from you!

Three Signs You Need To Start Looking For A New Job/Career

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan

 

Things have been busy here at The Thrive Vine. We’re launching a reading list of really helpful books, starting a YouTube channel, and might even be bringing some merch to the site (stay tuned!). Yet amidst all the excitement, reality has gotten a little much for me lately; and I started to think that I’m due for a change. I’ve been at the same job for just about 5 years and it pays decent, allows me to explore an active real estate career on the side, and provides a wonderful work environment. So I started to think to myself, “what the hell is wrong with me?!” There are so many people who would give so much for the things I have, yet I’m thinking of moving on? I’ve come to find when it’s time, it’s time. Here are my three signs you need to start looking for a new job/career:

 

Being Challenged – For me, the biggest reason I started looking for a new position is because I’m not feeling challenged. Keep in mind feeling challenged is not the same as feeling stressed. When in a position for awhile I find that I grow extremely fast, but then it stops; and that to me is paralyzing. I need to be growing and learning at all times or the feeling of being trapped kicks in and I can’t have that! If you’re not sure if your feeling trapped really evaluate the goals that you have. It’s also important to not evaluate yourself when you’re having a bad day at work. Take some time, clear your head, and think about what you want for yourself from a sober balanced place.

 

Frustrated – Have you ever been at work and it just seems like everything ticks you off? From the way someone moved something on your desk, to even a harmless conversation; some things can just throw us over the edge. This has started to happen to me lately and I started thinking about it a little more in depth. I attribute some of these feeling back to the environment. Now here’s the thing, I work in a great environment. The people are supportive, the offices are clean, etc.. However I think that we forget that people are the ultimate adaptation machines. There is a reason we’ve built methods of transportation to go to different places, and above all, why we use the phrase “get out of your comfort-zone.” It’s because our environments are meant to be changed and challenged. Some of us are more open to change than others, but by being in the same environment doing the same things often times doesn’t appeal to most of us. If you’re feeling frustrated or maybe even held back where you are at; it is more than most likely time for a change!

 

Time Vs. Salary – I’d be an absolute liar if I didn’t include this in today’s blog. It’s the elephant in the room that most people attribute to their decision of looking for a new job/career. The all mighty “I don’t get paid enough!” I thought about this alot when I was deciding if I should start looking for other jobs. I started to think to myself “why do I feel I should be making more money?” The answer that came back wasn’t one I was necessarily expecting. The answer was: because I put a high price tag on my time when I do things I don’t want to do. For instance, no one is paying me to do this blog. However I love to share my experiences and hope that it will help people who read it; just the notion that it mighthelp makes it completely worth it to me. If you’re in the position where you might be thinking about changing jobs or careers really think to yourself what your time is worth. Sure you can take a job for more money, but if you truly aren’t doing something you get value from, you will continue to job hop until you find that something that gives you meaning.

 

Conclusion – Making the decision to change jobs is a big one. Yet, the most important part of the process is having the self awareness of why you are changing jobs. Maybe it is financially related or maybe it is because you currently aren’t being challenged. By recognizing your needs you will be able to pick up on patterns within yourself and start to realize faster when change is needed. What do you think? Would you work for less money in a job that made you feel more valuable? How do you put a price tag on your time? Let us know in the comments below!