Soft Skills

Goals that might not be so apparent are important. These are called “soft skills” and they are just as important as hard skills. Below are some of the soft skills I have found to be major game changers:

  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Attitude
  • Teamwork
  • Listening
  • Discipline and focus
  • Professionalism
  • Networking
  • Public speaking
  • Stress management/Emotional Intelligence

Trust Your Creativity

  • Do not limit your creativity.
  • Find your method.
  • Develop it.
  • Edit.
  • You are not stuck.
  • You can continually evolve.
  • Trust your creativity.

3 Basics of Personal Image

1) Appearance

Your physical appearance matters. This is where people form their first impressions of you and first impressions are hard to change. You are presenting yourself to your audience.

2) Voice

Your tone and speech should reflect that of someone who is unflappable. You set the tone.

3) Behavior 

Attitude check time. How is your behavior these days? Your actions aren’t a reflection of you, they are you. It’s that simple. Your behavior is a large part of your image.


So what is the take away from all of this? Know that if you really want to have a positive personal image, it is deeper than the latest clothes to hit stores. Recognize areas that you want to improve upon and make your image radiate.

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Women’s Flats for Work. Dos and Don’ts.


Tassels and Buckles

White loafers with tassles     Brown shoes with large buckles

 Mixed Colors and Print

Black and crocodile cut out shoes   Patricia Nash Fia Loafer

Material and Texture

Crocodile brown flats   Velvet slate loafer

Don’ts – Just Don’t

To reiterate, just because they are popular, or expensive doesn’t make them work appropriate.

Platform loafer

Platforms might be in style but this is highly over the line. (By Jeffrey Campbell – $178.00)

JCrew red bumble shoes

Loafers can have a look of slippers. It doesn’t matter the brand or price. Brand yourself as business and professional. (J.Crew – $450.00)

Red pom shoe from BR

Pom poms are fun, just not on your shoes. (Banana Republic – $425.00)



Your Career Growth Depends on Your Mindset

Building your personal brand.

You know that saying, “fake it till you make it”? Be very careful – do not replace fake with authentic. There is some truth to “faking” confidence or optimism. Some people can create a turnaround in their lives and truly become confident and optimistic. But faking for the sake of being an imposter is not suggested. Eventually the truth comes out.

If you want to be perceived in a certain way, discover ways to make that happen.

  1. Be intentional.
  2. Educate yourself, constantly.
  3. Find your niche.
  4. Become the expert in your field so that when others think of whom to call, you are top of that list.
  5. Build credibility.
  6. Be authentic.
  7. Consistency!

For more on this, read Personal Branding Matters.

Quick Confidence Boosters.

Need a quick boost? Try these, because they work!

  1. Celebrate small wins
  2. Revisit past successes
  3. Power pose
  4. Dress nicely
  5. Think positive
  6. Focus on solutions
  7. Smile
  8. Exercise

For more on this, read 7 Steps to Take When you Feel Like You are Lacking Confidence.

Don’t Try…

Well, Don’t Say “I’ll Try”

Make an attempt or effort to do something.

This is why you shouldn’t say “I’ll try”:

  • This word sends the message that you are not 100% capable
  • Try suggests you lack confidence
  • There’s an implication of lacking commitment 
  • It can destroy credibility
  • “I’ll try” means “I won’t”

What can you say instead of “I’ll try”?

  1. I will
  2. I can
  3. I do

Constructive criticism: helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive)

What to do when you receive constructive criticism:

  1. Relax. Relax and listen respectfully. View the feedback as an opportunity for improvement. Remember, there is benefit in getting feedback.
  2. Don’t take it personally. A common reaction is to become defensive or emotional. Radical candor is meant to help, not harm. Realize those speaking with you only want you to achieve success.
  3. Take time. Allow yourself time to process the evaluation you received. Give yourself time to reflect and digest the information.
  4. Ask questions. Take notes during the conversation and follow-up with questions so you can fully understand what was discussed. Ask for specifics and make sure you understand what was communicated.
  5. Thank you. Thank those individuals for taking time to discuss these items with you. Be appreciative for their time and candor.
  6. Solicit help. How do you use the information provided to make necessary improvements? Ask for recommendations on what your next steps should be.
  7. Follow up. Follow up matters. Use the suggestions given to make the necessary changes and be consistent.

Stressed Out! Simple Ways to Handle Stress at Work.

Everyone will encounter stress at one point or another. The key is to handling that stress with poise and confidence.

Easier said than done, but not so fast. There are some methods that have a good track record and just might help you in one of those stressful situations.

5 Tips that Help You Handle Stress:

  1. Deep breath. Do not immediately react. Stress can make you feel emotional.
  2. Write it out. I am a firm believer in the need and importance of writing things down. It helps immensely to get it out on paper. This makes your stress not seem so big and allows you time to think logically about the situation.
  3. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. What triggered this reaction and how can you deal with it professionally? Figure out the why and how.
  4. Regroup and Recharge. Don’t panic. Don’t overreact. Get some time to yourself. Don’t take your work home with you. Get some time away from the situation and recharge.
  5. Speak to a mentor. There has been countless studies that prove having a mentor is invaluable.

Handling Emotions at Work

Occasionally you will face situations at work that stir up emotions.

Emotions can test your resolve. Your perception can become altered and your judgement clouded. Reacting emotionally can result in rash decisions.

At work, and in life, best practice is to remain calm.

Here are 5 tips that help:

  1. Be aware of your emotions
    What are you feeling and why?
    What triggered your reaction?
    Has this happened before?
    What is the source/cause of your emotions?
    Why do you feel the way you do?
  2. Stop and evaluate
    Pay attention to your perceptions
    Write down the facts
  3. Speak to a mentor
    Ask for unbiased feedback
  4. Time
    Don’t make decisions based on emotions
  5. Conflict resolution
    Find a sensible resolution based on intelligence

Documentation in the Workplace

Documentation is a great practice and has many benefits. When you document in a timely manner, you can create effective databases that will serve you well in your career.

Documentation can be used for many reasons: Standards and procedures, safety, disciplinary actions, conflicts, harassment, etc.

A good rule of thumb, if it is a meaningful event, you should document it. Better to have a record than not.

Below are some best practices when it comes to documentation.

  1. Date, time, and location on all documentation
  2. Create your report within 30 minutes to one hour after an event, especially if it is one that will require you to recall later If you don’t have time at that moment, jot down a few notes or record a voice memo
  3. It is better to have too much detail than not enough Don’t leave information out because you think it is not important Record the event(s) accurately
    1. Stick to the facts – avoid feelings
  4. Be aware of the policies at your place of employment Refer to your company’s employee handbook

Occasionally negative situations will continue. If that is the case, speak with HR to find a resolution.

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