Career Advice: The Importance of the Handshake. Advice and a Few Tips.

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Do Not Underestimate the Power of the Handshake.

I am fairly certain the incoming generation is unsure about this action. It seems to be confined for those of a certain age, dressed in business attire, working in an office.

People’s hands are so full these days, and a large culprit – cell phone, and eye contact is lacking – looking at cell phone. Just the other day I went to shake someone’s hand and she looked at me as if I was crazy.

Historic.

What I find delightful is that no matter what language you speak, the handshake is for the most part universally known with very little explanation needed.

“Archaeological ruins and ancient texts show that handshaking was practiced in ancient handshakeGreece as far back as the 5th century BC.” You could say it’s been around for some time.

Nowadays, the handshake is a form of a greeting or farewell, an introduction, a well intended gesture, business transactions, or possibly a truce. Some people are even taught how to have just the right grip and shake. If you look up tips for having a good interview, the handshake is part of that list. And, for your reading pleasure, here is a link about proper handshake etiquette around the world.

Career Advice.

Here’s the advice part, don’t reserve it for interviews only. Handshakes make a very good first impression but also a lasting impression. It has such history, power and importance.

My suggestion is to make this part of your personal brand. Be known as an individual who conducts themselves respectfully and professionally. The handshake is usually accompanied with a name inquiry and eye contact. If you ask someone their name, remember it. And always look others in the eye. Stand up tall. It doesn’t matter what your job title is, hold yourself as if you command authority.

Handshakes mean so much and are so simple.

handshake-culture


Share your thoughts! NikiClark9@gmail.com

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Career Tip for Women: Being Good Isn’t Good Enough. You Want More, Fight For More!

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There is a school of thought that says as long as you do your job, play nice, and don’t rock the boat, your value will be seen and rising in rank inevitable. “Sit still and look pretty.” You will get that promotion and/or raise. Until recently, I thought this too. I am so thankful for all I have learned in my new career these last 3 years, but also, disappointed I didn’t know the basics earlier. So I am here to help!

Sit still look pretty

Sitting quietly will only take you so far.

Do you really think the greats of this world sat in their cubicle never voicing their opinions?

Everyone wants to shine, and only you are the person responsible for shining your light. It is not bragging, it is showing what you are capable of. If you think others are singing your praises nonstop, you are leaving your fate in the hands of others.

You cannot be worried about hearing “no.”

Think you have an idea that might be good for the business? Share it. Don’t be worried about hearing the “no.” Studies have shown that presenting your ideas far outweighs staying quiet. It shows your creativity, initiative, and that you are proactive. If your idea is turned down, you can’t take it personally. Set your feelings aside. It’s just business. And do not stop presenting ideas! Bring it to the table.

Network. Network. Network.

Trying to decide whether to go home and lounge on the couch or that networking event that will be over by 8:00 PM anyway? Little tip, you are missing a lot of insight and knowledge that can’t be learned from a book or webinar. You don’t have to go out every night after work, but you should attend at least 2 a month. And don’t forget your business cards.

Ask advice and seek feedback.

Once again, there are some things you can’t learn from books.

Ask advice from those who have more experienced than you. Their life lessons are invaluable. Their wisdom is priceless.

And always be open to feedback. Seek it. Sometimes you simply cannot see your blindspots. Being open to receiving constructive criticism is largely beneficial for your personal and professional growth. It might be hard to hear, but take it as a compliment that someone only wants to help you improve.

Sit up straight. Stand tall.

There is much to be said in correct posture. Don’t slouch.


Ladies, don’t sit idly by hoping for the best. Make it happen, but also remember, you are a professional, act like one.

Some people dream of success while others wake up


 

Obstacles. Road Blocks. Closed Doors. Don’t Let Them Stop You. A Few Tips.

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I’ve Had Enough!

Have you ever felt the world was against you as you try to better yourself? You literally are trying to do great things, improve and contribute to society but door after door closes?

That saying, when one door closes, another opens, yet all doors are being slammed in your face?

Life wasn’t guaranteed to be easy. Effort is required. Things aren’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter, though that sounds lovely.

You are going to have to put forth effort. You are going to have to try, and try, and try some more. Insert well-known hashtag here: #cantstopwontstop.

How To Not Give Up.

What can you do to not lose your spark? To not throw in the towel? You might wonder why even bother if you keep meeting road blocks. My only advice here, if that is how you really want to live,  go for it, but it won’t be much fun. If you want more from life, might I suggest some war paint?

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. -Maya Angelou

Find what works for you and dig deep. Anchor yourself and refuse to give up. Look that obstacle square in the eyes and develop your game plan.

  • 1o minutes of deep breathing
  • Make a list
  • Prioritize
  • Remove all distractions
  • Attack

Side note: I have found coffee to be a great sidekick, but that’s a personal preference. Figure out what needs to get done, and tell yourself you can make it happen. You really can. YOU CAN!

Yes You Can Foo


 

Dreadful & Daunting Tasks? Best Practice is to Start Now!

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Ugh, I Don’t Wanna.

Ever dread a certain email? Or checking your bank account?

Some people choose avoidance. The thinking is if they don’t have to deal with it, then it doesn’t exist. Totally logical right? NO!

Don't give up quote

Last week I was dreading a certain email to pop up in my inbox. But when I saw it arrive, I took a deep breath and opened that sucker. I dealt with it immediately instead of “waiting until later.” You know what waiting until later does? It steals closure. You never really do get to check off your mental to do list. Your brain still thinks it is something that needs to be done – meaning you never get rest – meaning anxiety.

I recognize there are difficulties bigger than a dreadful email. What I am saying here though is, once you start tackling the small stuff, you will empower yourself to handle the really big stuff. You know, like asking for that promotion.

Suggestions From Personal Experience.

I sometimes still contemplate hiding my head in the sand, but I know I am better than that, and so are you! I have learned a lot over the years and want to impart some tried and true techniques that are big winners for me.

Ask yourself why you’re cringing. Get to the root. Figure out why you would rather ignore than tackle. This will help break it down and not seem so burdensome.

Break it down. Split up that daunting task into easy, smaller tasks, but make sure you give yourself a time frame to get this completed. A list has always been extremly helpful for me.

Do it. Now…DO IT! Nike knows what’s up. Just do it. Toss those fears away because they aren’t accomplishing anything. If you truly want to accomplish great things, you must start, otherwise, the cylce will continue.

Partner. Still boggled down? Reach out to a friend, a more strict friend. One who is task oriented. A little nudge can’t hurt.

You Can and You Will.

So get over your fear. Deal with your worry. Look yourself in the mirror and wink, because you totally got this. Remember, small changes here and there lead to big results. Insert fist bump here.

get something done

Do you have any methods that work for you? Share with me: NikiClark9@gmail.com.

Motivational Quotes: To Like or Not to Like. Either Way, it’s Ok.

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You can do it. Believe in yourself. Go for the gold. Don’t give up.

Motivational quotes aren’t for everyone.

But if they help and inspire you, read them. Save them. Share them. Why not? Why not make the day better? Why not spread joy?

They may be cliché, but so what. People who nay-say motivational quotes have every right, it’s not their thing. There’s even an Instagram account called Unspirational, and truth be told, it’s pretty funny!

Unspirational working out.PNG

Pro Quotes.

However, if a motivational quote makes you pause and think for a moment, and maybe event gives you that little extra umph, then why the heck not write them down on a post-it note and hang them on your mirror!

If that little catchy screenshot of a beach with a happy thought spurs you on somehow, that’s a win. There is enough negativity out there. Headlines filled with turmoil. A motivational quote can’t hurt.

5 Motivations – Have a Great Day!

 

Do you have a favorite? Would love to hear from you! NikiClark9@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Making Eye Contact – Why It Can Make A Huge Difference!

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People don’t seem to make eye contact anymore.

What happened with the pleasant nod and smile?

Walking around downtown Hot Springs this weekend, among fellow tourists, I noticed very little eye contact with strangers. Granted, many were entranced by the scenery and sightseeing, myself included, but overall, catching someone’s eye was immediately followed by a quick divert, as if making eye contact was an offense. And striking up a conversation with a stranger was downright scandalous.

It is a fact that the human species have the need to belong. In fact, there is a term for it, “belongingness.” Basically, we have an emotional need to be accepted. So why are we so quick to look the other way?

What do you think about trying something new? Offer a friendly smile, a pleasant nod, a genuine hello. Doesn’t have to be creepy, as a matter of fact I advise against that. But here’s the thing, everyone benefits from a friendly face.

smile face

So go ahead and give it a try. It requires such little effort and makes such a huge difference.

I would love to hear from you. Contact me at NikiClark9@gmail.com.

Career Moves I Wish I Would Have Known Then. 10 Tips that Work!

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Three years ago I started my career completely over. I literally started from scratch. I have learned so much over these last 3 years that I wish I would have known fresh out of college. Seems to me colleges, and high schools are missing some fundamentals in preparing young individuals for the real world, but that is a discussion for another time.

In an effort to keep this short and to the point, I have decided we should dive right in. So, here are 10 specific things I have learned these last 3 years that have made monumental impacts in my career.

10 Tips:

  1. Network. Do not get in a rut staying in your cubicle. Meet new people. Go to seminars. Attend workshops. Accept a happy hour invite. Utilize pockets of time to meet others and gain knowledge from their experiences. You never know where connections will take you.
  2. Read. Immerse yourself in current affairs, industry news, personal development, Oprah Book Clubetc. Some of the wisest and most powerful individuals will tell you that reading is the gateway to growing yourself. Don’t believe me? Here are a few name drops: Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Buffet. All avid readers.
  3. Interview. Find people you admire and ask them if they have time to meet with you and tell they why. There could be many reasons why you admire that individual, but let them know why you would like to speak with them and have a list of questions ready. And always thank them for taking time out of their day to assist you in your growth.
  4. Try something new. Don’t think you are “qualified” to handle a project? Why not try? Volunteer to help with an initiative and learn. You will never grow if you don’t take on new adventures. Aspire for more.
  5. Put emotions aside immediately. Having a bad day? Leave it at the door. Everyone has a battle they are facing. Everyone is going to have a bad day but if everyone let that affect them, nothing would get done. This does not mean you need to be a robot, this just means work is not your personal soap opera.
  6. Be confident in yourself. You are in your position for a reason. Recognize your amazing capabilities and use those to your advantage – every single day. And be proud of your hard work.Confidence quote
  7. Are we friends? You are not at work to make friends. You are not at work to sit around and gossip. Your job is not to be best liked for the yearbook. Be nice, be cordial, but remember, you are in a professional setting. There is a time and place for everything. And please know this, crying at work doesn’t get you empathy, it gets you a spot very low on the professionalism totem pole.
  8. Slow down. Unless you are an Olympic runner, slow down. Do it right the first time. Have all materials needed before pitching the idea. Proof read before sending the email. Gather all the facts before making a decision. And really take time to think of the outcome of those decisions.
  9. Handshakes. Never underestimate the power of the handshake.
  10. Don’t chew gum. No explanation needed.

Let me know what you think. Would love to hear feedback and other suggestions! Nikiclark9@gmail.com.

 

What Proof Do You Have God is Real? A Difficult Question. How Do I Answer?

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You Can’t See Him, So What’s Your Proof?

You are correct. I have never seen God. Then again, no one has. (John 1:18.) One of my favorite reminders is that no one has ever seen the wind, but we know it is there. We can feel it and see it’s effects. Well, I feel God and see His effects too.

I do grapple with this though. When people ask me why I believe, it is hard to put into words. It is hard to describe the feeling. It is also hard to explain, because I too have doubts from time to time. I believe that is only natural. Even the disciples doubted! Thank goodness I am not the only one.

I also get frustrated that I don’t “see” Him. I mean are we just supposed to go on good faith and give our lives to a belief with no physical proof of actuality? Ah, but wait, we do have physical proof. The Holy Land. You’re telling me The Holy Land and all its historical landmarks are made up? What about the Bible? A book written over 2000 years ago that is still relevant today. These questions and answers are the conversations I often have with myself.

Then there are things I simply can’t explain, but I feel. A comfort when I should be panicking. A peace when everything around me is chaos. A major attitude adjustment and new way of thinking almost overnight that can only be explained by divine intervention.

But there is this other thing. My dreams. I truly believe God talks to me in my dreams. It’s the best way He can get through my thick, stubborn head. And I am not alone in this. God has been spoken to others in their dreams:

  • an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.” –Matthew 2:19
  • “That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, ‘What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!’” –1 Kings 3:5

What Did He Say?

There have been some very distinct dreams I will never forget, each taking hours to type out and illustrate. Maybe another day. The most recent one however makes me smile every time of I think of it.

Ever get to a point where you are tired of being strong all the time? Not wanting to put on that brave face the next day? As I went to bed, I was drained. I needed a break. Thinking before I drifted off to sleep, “what next Lord, because I need some rest.” Rest I got. And a beautiful experience.

I am not fully sure all that transpired, but what I do remember is absolute peace and then, the most beautiful music. But not music, a sound, a singing, I can’t explain it but I will do my best.

Imagine the most peaceful music you have ever heard or can think of. Majestic. Calm. Captivating. And through it all, a whisper, “You are not alone.” There was light, warmth, comfort, and an absolute serenity of it all. It was amazing. I woke up in awe. Speechless. And you better believe I felt comforted and renewed.

He Is With Us.

No, I do not have physical proof. There are no photos of me and God drinking coffee. But what I do have is The Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Romans 8:26

I cannot give definitive proof. I wish I could. It would help my doubts a lot more and probably make me a better witness. For now, I leave you with this. I hope it gives you encouragement and hope.

 

 

Swimsuit Saga – The Truth of the Plunging Neckline

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Swimsuit Season is here!

I no longer cringe at the thought of buying a suit. High school was a whole other story, but we are not here to relive my traumatic past.

As a woman in her mid 30’s, I no longer find swimsuits intimidating. Annoying and sometimes ridiculous, but not as traumatic as my teenage years.

A recent trip to my favorite store, shout out to Target, wasn’t too terribly bad. My daughter was with me and input her opinions on which one I should buy. She actually has good taste and sure thinks her mommy can pull of any design. Thanks kiddo.

How Low Can You Go?

Let me tell you one thing, low-cut, one-piece swimsuits are not practical unless you plan on laying by the pool or on a beach towel all day. Luckily, there is a large market for that lifestyle. For those with sagging boobs and chasing after kids, no so much.

swim suit 1

I was not aware that this look would not be favorable on me. I went into the dressing room unassuming. The first problem, I am tall. One-piece bathing suits have always been a challenge. I either have to slouch or have a severe case of camel toe, neither of which I find attractive. My second complication arises from my less than perky chest. Let’s face it, those things are useless. (Side note, for a good laugh, watch this video. I Mom So Hard is awesome!)

For a plunging one-piece to work, you should probably be mid 20’s, no kids, and short. For those who fit this description, high-five to you. Strut your stuff. For the remaining public, no worries, we still got it going on. Be proud and work it girl, just not in that particular item.

beach-ball

To see the particular suit I tried on, click here. To see what I ended up with…wait. I am still searching. But I did find a cute pair of sandals and some makeup.

 

 

Define Success on Your Terms

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Society Has Ideas

Society says you are successful if you have A, B, C and D. Basically, defining what success is for you and everyone else. How about defining success on your own terms.

What does it look like for you to be successful? What do you want to achieve for yourself and your personal satisfaction? To answer this, you will need to erase what has been ingrained in you for so long.

It Takes Thought

Everyone has a different idea of success, and that actually is really great! That means there are an unlimited amount of positive outcomes. What is important to figure out is, what is your idea of success is and why? Do you have a clear idea or are you comparing it to someone else?

Create-Your-Own-Success director chairConstantly looking at other’s success and gauging yours off that will lead to disappointment. Do you really want someone else to define it for you? To define your journey? You will never know how to achieve real success if it’s not yours. Admire others, but don’t use their ambition as yours.

So what does it look like for you? How do you figure it out?

  1. Realistic. You have to be realistic. You can dream, and please do! Just acknowledge what’s realistic and what is a once in a million chance. Side note, it is ok to want both.
  2. Yours. Make sure you are using your passions and not anyone else’s. Don’t allow someone to define what your path is.
  3. Time. Give yourself time to weave through the clutter but also make sure you set a timeline. Giving yourself time frames will ensure you stay the course and,it is proven that you will be much more likely to achieve your goal.
  4. In Your Face. Make sure you know what your success looks like and then make sure that is in your sight every day, literally. Cut out photos, create a Pinterest board, have a background on your laptop. Do what it takes so that you see your goals daily. Side note number 2, vision boards are widely effective. Ask any successful person. I guarantee you they have one.
  5. Expect Failure, More than Once. You are going to fail. Guess what, you aren’t the only one. Don’t believe me? Take a couple of minutes to read about others you know who weren’t an instant success.
  6. Don’t Compare Someone Else’s Phase. This is big. Just because Joe Bob has 3 homes and a private jet while you’re warming up your Lean Cuisine for dinner in your one bedroom apartment doesn’t mean you aren’t successful.

    don't compare your chapter 1

Know what else, start now. Begin anywhere. Do what you can.

 

Let me know what you think and share your stories!