Career

4 QUESTIONS TO HELP BREAK OUT OF YOUR CAREER CRISIS

HAVE YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN A CAREER CRISIS? 

IN THE WORDS OF RIHANNA...

"CHILL OUT BRO"

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Just kidding, I'm not sure if Rihanna has ever uttered those exact words. But judging from that picture above, I'm going to venture and say yes, yes she has. 

In this day and age, the old idea of staying at a job for 30 years and having a natural progression in your career advancement has been thrown out the window (or so you think). Social media will have you in your feelings, thinking that everyone is finding their dream jobs or quitting their day jobs and becoming their own bosses.

You likely suffer from workplace stress and to make matters worse, you surf the internet, hear about everyone else's jobs and entrepreneurial successes. Meanwhile, you feel like you’re treading water and going nowhere.  

Then you lookup one day and realize you are in a career crisis.

Afterwards, comes the self reflection. Am I doing enough? Could I be doing more? Am I happy? Is this it? Is there more to life? Can I see myself in this career for 30 years? Should I be working to make a difference in the world? Should I be more passionate about my job? 

Well, I'm here to deliver you a nice dose of "chill out bro" and a remind you that the internet is about as real as the 26 inches of wavy Brazilian locks in my hair. So hop off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and dig deep and do the work to find your happiness in your current role. And if you can't find it, then perhaps it is time to start applying for jobs. But before you do that,  I've compiled a list of 4 questions to ask yourself (with some real Rihanna quotes for inspo) so you can self reflect before you go put in a two week's notice. 

1) Why am I feeling stuck in my present career?

The problem may not be your actual career. You could be feeling stuck because you're not inspired. You may be working for the wrong company or doing work that you aren't passionate about.  Personally, when I work on uninspiring projects, I struggle. It shows up in my work and I mess up things that I don't typically screw up when I'm inspired.  It is quite difficult to get good at something that you don’t even like.

If you are doing something that you like, but are still feeling stuck... it is likely because you have grown apathetic and have not taken responsibility of your own career growth. If that's the case, stop reading and check out my post about ten steps you can take now to improve your career. You probably are in the right career, just lack the passion or support to get out of the rut. If you're still not sure you're in the right career, keep reading.

What Would Rihanna Say: People think, because we’re young, we aren’t complex, but that’s not true. We deal with life and love... in the same way [someone] older might. – Rihanna

2) Have I outgrown my current role?

Make a list of all the knowledge, skills, and talent you have developed so far in your career. Is this what you want to work on or are you working very hard at getting ahead in a career that you have long since outgrown? Perhaps, you’re working as a Marketing Coordinator, but feel you could easily become a Marketing Manager; perhaps, you’re a nurse's aid, but feel that you could easily run be a nurse; or perhaps, you work as a retail clerk in a department store, but have more than enough sales skills to be a manager. If that's the case, then you're not necessarily in a career crisis. You just need to be mapping your next move and designing your pitch to your boss, to get you the role you now deserve.

What Would Rihanna Really SaySuccess for me isn’t a destination it’s a journey. Everybody’s working to get to the top but where is the top? It’s all about working harder and getting better and moving up and up. – Rihanna

3) If I like my career choice, am I doing it in the right place?

Perhaps, you have already found the right career, but management isn't progressive or their values don't align with your own. Reporting to someone who supports #45 is an exhausting is a task in itself -- that I'm thankful I don't have to deal with on a daily.  Or maybe it's not your bosses political views that are causing your crisis, but perhaps you are not advancing in your role simply because you are working in a company that is not interested in helping you grow. In this case, use your job as a training vehicle to develop all the competencies that you need to either force higher management to notice you or to become a highly attractive prospect for another company. Make a list of what you are not doing that you could be doing better. Think of yourself as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Begin to become highly proactive in your current position to prepare you for where you want to go. When I approach the job hunt, I always remind myself that while I work for a company, I am a CEO of one. That means, I need to make decisions for my career based on what's best for me: financially, emotionally, career progression, and resume wise.

What Would Rihanna Really Say:  "All in baby, don’t hold nothing back. Wanna take control, Nothing wrong with that."– Rihanna

4) What is the career that I really want to pursue?

If after asking yourself the first three questions, you determined that it is not your job, but it is in fact your career, then become very clear what type of career you would like to pursue. Clarity is the first step to goal-setting. You must be able to see the destination to start walking in the right direction. Without clarity, you can’t set goals, and without goals, you can’t make plans, and without plans, you can’t move forward. And then you'll be stuck (you see a pattern here?).

What Would Rihanna Really Say And my runway never looked so clear. But the hottest b*tch in heels right here.– Rihanna

Conclusion

If you are stuck in a career that you don’t like, you have to take responsibility for your situation and figure out what you would like to happen. These four questions should help you reflect on where you are now and become clear about where you want to go. Once you have clarity, then you will be able to move forward with creating the career that fills you with passion and enthusiasm and that will financially reward you for your knowledge, skills, and effort.

If you are still feeling stuck, #TheBisForBoss would love to work with you to help bring you some more clarity. Check out our Career Services that will get you help you get unstuck so that pursue the job you desire and deserve. 

Closing words from Rihanna: "#TheBisForBoss is a dope community, full of dope women, doing dope things. Join the #BossTribe or you will regret it!

You Tell em' Rih!

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10 Lessons to Learn for your Career NOW

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Taking control of your career is not easy. Whether it's switching careers, going back to school, or walking away from a 9-5 to start your own business,  it takes courage.

However, courage will only get you so far. You also need guidance. Without it, you will learn some difficult lessons, the hard way. While many successful entrepreneurs and business people will say failing often and failing fast, is important to growth. I'm here to tell you why fail often if you have resources to eliminate more mistakes?

I’m going to assume you’re like me and don’t have rich parents that paved the way for you, a millionaire mentor or some other person who is going to show you the ropes and explain each step you need to take to take charge of your career.

When I set out on my own, to New York City at 23, all I had was my appetite to succeed, my youthful ignorance and unawareness of what "cost of living" truly meant. Those three things allowed me to take the risk and move here on my own to take charge of my career. At the time I thought that was all I needed to succeed. 

It helped for sure, but there's more one needs to succeed in their career. Along the way, I've picked up mentors, friends, a network, and key learnings to help me but for the most part, I learned a lot by trial and error. 

I want to share with you some of my biggest lessons learned with so that you can take charge of your career today (without as many mistakes). As I look back on these lessons, I realize that they’re really great reminders for us all no matter what stage you are in your career.

1. Confidence is Mandatory

Confidence is a crucial quality to possess in a successful career, and embracing it fully will take you places you never imagined. No one is stopping you from accomplishing your goals but yourself. Think about it...all you need is the confidence to know that you can do whatever you have set  out to do, and have the confidence to convince others the same. Why should anyone believe in you, your ideas, or your abilities if you didn’t believe in them yourself? It takes confidence to reach new heights and approach new challenges.

One thing every successful person has in common, is that they exude confidence. It's not the success that made them confident, it's their own belief in themselves to achieve the very thing they are doing. People who are not confident tend to stay in their comfort zones. Which is why people who lack confidence get stuck in dead-end jobs or don't pursue business ideas or ventures they have. They are content with letting opportunities pass them by.

2. You are the "Average" of the company you keep

Renowned businessman Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” But it’s common for women to underestimate the importance of the company they keep. Bottom line: The people around you matter.

You need people who will challenge you and make you better, thereby raising your average or helping you maintain a high one. Many women strive to be the best or the smartest in the room. But if you're always the smartest person, you're hurting yourself. You want to surround yourself with people who are exponentially better in a variety of ways, so that you are constantly improving.

Here’s the really hard part: Giving a silent assessment of the people you keep around you may sound judgmental, but understanding their influence on your performance is critical to your success.  If someone is bringing down your average, you have to reduce his or her involvement in your life. Not doing so may hinder your energy, vision and ultimate success.

3. The Slight Edge will either propel you towards success or failure

Why is it that some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else?

One simple reason: those that are "successful" have found their SLIGHT EDGE!

The Slight Edge by Greg Olson, is easily one of my favorite books.  In his book, he talks about a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success you desire. It is a philosophy that is powerful in its simplicity.

I highly recommend this book. In short, the slight edge is realizing that "simple daily disciplines - little productive actions, repeated consistently over time - add up to the difference between failure and success." So, essentially every decision you make, no matter how small is a steps towards success or a step towards failure. So if you want to lose 10 lbs, every work out gets you closer to your goal weight. While every burger will get you further away. Will you lose 10 pounds in one workout or ruin it by eating one burger? No, but those small actions added up over time will determine how successful (or unsuccessful) you are in your weight loss goals. The same goes for your career and business.

 

 

4. Everything you do NOW is for your FUTURE

Do you ever look back and think man, who knew that doing X would lead to Y? It could be the college you chose to go to in high school, the guy you dumped, or the friend you never reconciled with. Every decision you make, every action you take is impacting your future in some shape or form. Similar to the slight edge, recognizing that every career and/or business decision you make TODAY is paving your future should help you be more aware of the decisions you are making now. I say this all the time to people who complain about the work they are doing. You can't be a BOSS without being a worker. So when you are grinding, doing busy work for your boss, remember that at one point they had to do it too. In order for you to LEAD, you have to first be LED. If you want a million followers and a growing business, you have to first make the network and build influence. Your future self will thank you for the things you are doing now.

Also, for those of you who think "I'm still young"... and are blowing off your twenties. I have news for you... you don't wake up in your thirties with life all figured out. So I suggest if you aren't in a career you love, or aren't in the field you want to work in... start taking steps TODAY to get you where you want to be in five years.

5. You are living the life you designed

Successful people aren’t deterred by obstacles, which is how they rise up in the first place. However, unsuccessful people often feel at the mercy of external circumstances. 

NEWS FLASH! You are not a victim of circumstance. No one can force you to make decisions and take actions that are contrary to your aspirations. The circumstances you’re living in today are your own — you created them. 

Likewise, your future is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling stuck, it’s probably because you’re afraid to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals and live your dreams.

When it’s time to take action, remember that even Drake started from the bottom.

6. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even when you don't want to.

Discipline is a concept everyone is aware of, but few truly understand or execute. The most successful people in life exert discipline on a daily basis. Too many people are susceptible to instant gratification. Lacking discipline will have long-term effects on your career and business. Discipline is turning down drinks with your friends when you need to spend the time working on your business venture. Discipline is squeezing in a workout after working a ten hour day. Discipline is making promises to yourself and making sure you deliver. If you can make the genuine effort to align your actions and behaviors with your thoughts you can garner the success you seek. It additionally gives you the authority to overcome any obstacles that come your way.

7. Invest in yourself

Investing in yourself is the one of the best investments you can make.  Whether it’s investing in learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally, reading a book, tapping into your creativity or hiring a coach, you need to give to yourself first before you can give to others. It is your responsibility to take the time to develop your gifts and talents, so you can be better at your job -- whether you are an entrepreneur or work in Corporate America. 

When you invest in yourself, a world of opportunities will open up for you. And honestly, if you  want to invest in something with a small risk and big return, investing in yourself is the smartest thing to do.

8. You don't get promotions/raises for doing your job

This was a lesson was a tough pill for me to swallow, but I'm glad I learned it early on. In m y first job out of college, I worked really hard, but I did not work smart. I was good at my job, but I was not great at it. I grew up with the being taught that if you work hard, you would get rewarded for it. But in Corporate America that simply is not true. And in entrepreneurship, it definitely does not apply. Because you can work hard and still not get any clients. In both your career and business, just doing your job is not enough. You have to go above and beyond. 

At all of my corporate jobs, every raise or promotion I have ever received was due to me managing up and carrying out roles and responsibilities for the next position, while also doing my current job seamlessly. Is it fair to do work for a job you are not being paid for? Not necessarily. Is that how you get raises and promotions? In short -- YES!

Think of it like this, when you are looking for a new hairstylist, or a new restaurant to check out. Are you going to let someone touch your hair when they have only a satisfactory rating? Or let's think about it in school terms, do you want a dentist who made all C's through college, performing your oral surgery? While C's get degrees, you likely want the dentist that was an A or at least B+ student. 

The same goes for work and owning a business! Your employer doesn't want to reward you for being average and your potential client doesn't want to spend their hard earned money on an average product or service. You need to be willing to go above and beyond to prove you are ready for that next step (or that future client's business).

9. Focus on solutions, NOT PROBLEMS

All too often, the first thing people do when adversity strikes is focus on the problem. While it is easy is to focus on the negative when tough times arise, you really should be directing every bit of your energy towards the solution.

This applies to basically everything that we do. Work, personal, and everything in between, you have to remember that what you focus on expands. So if you focus on a problem, you will be met with more problems. If you focus on a solution, you will get more solutions.

The individuals and companies that are able to get through tremendous setbacks and actually grow because of them are the ones who focus on solutions, not more problems. 

Failure is never a final end result unless you allow it to be. Women that use every experience to get one step closer to where they want to be are able to navigate through tremendous setbacks and actually grow from them because they are the ones who focus on solutions, not more problems. 

Taking the time to fully analyze your situation in solitude, while focusing on solutions instead of problems, can revitalize your mind and help you focus on where you are headed, how you feel, and more important, how you view failure from that moment on.

10. Be intentional, not busy

When I first heard the phrase, “‘Busy’ has become the new ‘Fine’" I knew I was apart of this  growing epidemic. In fact, I still struggle with this. Before when you asked somebody how they were doing, they used to answer, “Fine.” But nowadays, everybody answers, “Busy.” 

In this day in age, Busy is “cool”, and has become the default state for too many of our lives. Even worse, individuals and companies often wear busyness as a badge of honor. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Busy is not inevitable.

So many women are half-living each day as a reaction to the constant barrage of never-ending to-do lists, social obligations, work functions, status updates, and more. This reactive, autopilot busyness, is not our purpose on this Earth. 

My definition of Purpose is being intentional about what you do daily.

When you give up control in micro doses, one teeny, seemingly harmless morsel at a time, you end up in a steady pace without purpose until you wake up years later—if you wake up—only to discover you are no where close to where you thought you would be. 

Each of us can take intentional steps to unbusy our lives. 

Intentions aren't to be confused with goals: Intentions are about who you want to be, what you wish to contribute to the world, and how you choose to touch the lives of others. 

Without awareness of this, there can be no intention. Without intention, you lose the ability to choose what matters. Everyday, set intentions. 

#BossTribe, what other lessons have you learned in your career and businesses along the way? Drop them in the comments below.

 

9 phrases to eliminate from your vocab at work

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It’s no secret that women and men communicate differently. As women continue to break glass ceilings in Corporate America and in Entrepreneurship, it’s important that we are equipped with the right communication tools as we assume our seats at the table. *cues Solange*  

On average, women use nearly 3 times as many words as men to verbally communicate. We also use more exclamation marks when writing, and are are often more expressive speakers.

Since words have the power to shape people’s perception, especially in business, it’s important that we are communicating clear and concise so that our messages are getting across. If you’re a female entrepreneur or a woman in leadership, these conversations are particularly important.

THE GOOD: Women’s brains are naturally equipped with emotional intelligence and specialized for masterful communication. The female mind is hardwired to pick up nuances in spoken language and non-verbals like facial expressions, tone voice and body language, which is why many women are so adept at forming interpersonal connections.

THE NOT SO GOOD: It also means that women in particular are more likely to behave in such a way to preserve relationships, which in spoken communication may sometimes be misconstrued to convey a lack of authority and low confidence.

However, don’t fret! It’s not about “talking like a man” or adapting an aggressive style. It’s about tapping into your inner courage and channeling it for more confident communication.

Here are nine phrases to eliminate from, so that you can sound like the confident, BOSS LADY you already are:

1. “Just”

“I just wanted to let you know…” or  “I just wanted to check-in” seems innocent. However, the word “just” minimizes the power of your statements and can make you seem defensive or even apologetic. Saying, “I just wanted to check in,” can be code for, “Sorry for taking up your time” or “Sorry if I’m bugging you.” It can often be a defense mechanism subconsciously to avoid the discomfort of feeling like we’re asking for too much. It sounds respectful, as though you’re deferring to someone smarter or better than you which may be true -- but it also positions you as a constant subordinate. I found that I used this word when I felt r guilty about imposing on someone’s time. And when I paid attention to how often I said “just,” I realized that it served no purpose.

How to BOSS UP: Start by rereading your emails and texts. Scan your written communications for excess “just”s that sneak in. Delete them. “I just wanted to let you know that I checked out the report and the findings…” and this: “I checked out the report and the findings…” ? In the first version, the speaker is apologetic. The second version above is not only more concise, but it’s unapologetic and straightforward. You have no need to apologize: you are doing your job and you have no need to justify your email or request to a colleague or potential business client or partner if you’re an entrepreneur.

2. “I was wondering…”

“I was wondering…” is the ugly step-sister to “just”. It’s has a way of unassumingly sneaking up to a question and taking the edge off of something direct – it’s a way of being indirect.

Consider the difference between these two questions: “I was wondering, is that going to be ready in time?” vs. “Is that going to be ready in time?” Instead of addressing it head-on, you are avoiding the very issue you are trying to address,which is not an attribute of a respected leader (read: BOSS)

How to BOSS UP: Don’t waste time. Get to the point. You have no need to dance around issues when you are trying to get your work done.

3. “Let me know”

Saying “let me know!” at the end of an email chain, meeting, or conversation seems like a good idea, but it is empty words. It doesn’t provide clear direction, outline next steps or identify action items. And worst of all, puts the responsibility decision-making on someone else's plate.

In an age of full inboxes and packed schedules, you’ll stand out by taking initiative. Focus on figuring out what you can do to provide value in the short-term, and then articulate exactly that with as many deadlines and details as possible.

How to BOSS UP: Start with the questions at hand: Does a meeting need to be scheduled? Should a call be made? Can a draft be created? Is there a deadline? Instead of telling your boss, “Let me know if I can help with the budget proposal,” say, “I’ll call Angela today to follow up on the proposal draft so we can meet the budget deadline.”

4. “THIS IS PROBABLY A BAD IDEA, BUT..."

Women often preface their ideas with qualifiers such as, “This is probably a bad idea, but…” or “I’m not sure what you think, but…” This speech habit typically comes up because we want to avoid sounding pushy or arrogant, or we fear being wrong.The problem is, using qualifiers can negate the credibility of your statement. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, why should your audience? Even if you’re wrong, that's the nature of being human, and it won’t cost you your job or reputation. Pointing out why you may be wrong before saying anything is a waste of your words.

How to BOSS up: If you you’re prone to using qualifiers, before speaking up in brainstorms or on calls, take a deep breathe and think about what you are about to say. This brief pause will you time to think and rephrase your statement without the disclaimer.  

5. “That’s all I have...any Questions?”

If you’re in marketing, sales or the Public Relations industry like me, it’s likely you give a lot of presentations.One  of my biggest flaws, is giving a seamless presentation and ending it very poorly. I don’t know why at the end of every presentation, I have to give this grand gesture of “I’m done” as if the room isn’t aware, but it just feels necessary. But it’s not. A communications coach gave me great feedback: he suggested that I practice pausing, and waiting, after making a recommendation or delivering a presentation. “Practice being quiet?!” I thought at the time. But he was right.

More often than not, after I’m done speaking in a work situation, I hear crickets and panic—Are people confused? Do they hate it? Then, I rush to fill the space with either more talk and empty questions like, “ That’s all we have…” or “Does that make sense?” This isn’t helpful. While it’s important to invite feedback and check for clarity, if someone has an opinion or feels confused about the topic, he or she will probably speak up.

6. “I can’t”

When you say “I can’t,” you give up all ownership and control over your actions. “Can’t” is passive, whereas saying you “won’t” do something is active. It shows that you create your own boundaries. Saying “I can’t” conveys that you don’t have the skill to do something, but chances are what you’re really trying to say that you don’t want to do it. Throwing around “I can’t” promotes lack of will in testing your limits. Your words shape your reality, so saying “I can’t” limits you and allows fear to win.

How to BOSS UP: Replacing “I can’t” with “I won’t.” is a subtle yet powerful way to demonstrate agency, independence, and control – especially in work environments where you may feel ordered around. While it might feel intimidating at first, it gives you a chance to assert your boundaries for a better work-life balance.

7. “Thanks! :)"

There is not a need to use exclamation marks or emojis to express your enthusiasm about every. little. thing. The infusion of extra emotional cues into language touches on a core core insecurity that we may be concerned about being perceived as kind, worthy, or likeable. It's preemptive "peace keeping": we’re trying to ensure our message has been positively received (a false guarantee that’s entirely out of our control). 

How to BOSS UPInstead of general “that’s sooooo amazing!” statements, try to make more specific observations (“The new business pitch sounds like it'll be a valuable solution to our client's problem”) that shows your interest at a more professional level. For written communication such as emails, study the language senior people at your company use and tailor your vocab to match theirs.

8. “How do I . . .”?

This one is my absolute pet peeve. Let me introduce you to my good friend. Her name is GOOGLE, last name IT.  It’s 2017 people. The world wide web allows us to have access to so much information, literally at our fingertips. I always, always Google my question before bringing it to a colleague. Not only does this save time, but it makes you look smarter because you took the time to gather as much information as possible on your own. This tip seems super obvious, and yet, I see it every day.

How to BOSS UP: This one is simple....GOOGLE IT

9. Change your mindset.

Number nine isn't a phrase, but moreso a piece of advice. This list isn’t about eliminating certain phrases from your vocabulary. It’s about eliminating the mindset that you are any less important than anyone else, or that your opinion is less valid than others’. Ladies, I have news for you:

  • The B is for Boss - Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise

  • Your opinion is just as valid as those around you.

  • You have every right to speak up in that meeting.

  • You don’t need to apologize for taking up the time of others you do business with.

Women, you have power. Now use it, to redefine the “B” Word.

What words or phrases do you use at work to sound confident? Is there anything you’ve stopped saying, and why?

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WHY I STARTED "THE B IS FOR BOSS".

Yesterday marked one month since TheBisForBoss launched. It's been an amazing month and I'm so excited about what the future holds. I have received a lot of amazing feedback from you all about my posts and services. Having the opportunity to help, inspire, and motivate women (and a few men) has been rewarding! Getting messages from my readers instantly makes my day.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the blog and why/how I started my blog and my favorite question: Do I have time to sleep? I believe that in order for #thebisforboss tips to be helpful in leading you to success, you should know the background about why I started my blog is and what it's all about.

WHAT IS #THEBISFORBOSS AND WHY DID YOU START IT?

The B is For Boss is an online community for alpha females working towards building their empires, but still need tips and tools on how to take their life to the next level. Whether that means: taking charge of your career, personal brand, or starting a business, or all of the above, we're a resource you can come to learn, connect, and be inspired by other boss women, while gaining skills on branding and business.

Whether you are a recent grad just starting your career, a seasoned professional, an entrepreneur, or somewhere in between, you can get the clarity and confidence you have been searching for.

I've been there before. Every.single.stage. The unemployed recent grad living at home with a degree. Looking for a job, ANY job to get me out of my paren'ts house. I've been the young professional, in my first job unfamiliar with office politics, thinking that if I keep my head down and work hard, I'll achieve success (takes a whole lot more than that, but that's for another post).  I've been laid off in New York City, attempting to live off of unemployment checks while pursuing my dreams. All of these experiences have shaped my career and even now, as a Director at a PR agency in New York City, I'm still learning how to balance a career and a side hustle. I want to take all of my learning, along with the stories of all the women I've met along the way and empower more women to accomplish what I have done -- with less mistakes :).

So in short, I want to:

  • Inspire other women at every stage of their career and help them succeed and bring purpose into their lives. Through a combination of branding, marketing, public relations, and digital platforms, I help women create and grow their brands and careers.

What does #THEBISFORBOSS even mean?

If you are a woman, you have likely been called one of the "B-words" (bossy and/or bitchy) at one point in your life. If you’re anything like me, you have probably been called both. As an alpha, outspoken female, I often wondered why is it that men can express themselves in the workplace and social settings with a level of boldness, that is herald as powerful and dynamic. However, when a woman does it, she's merely reduced to bossy or bitchy. It’s absurd and I refuse to accept these one dimensional definitions. So everyday, I strive to redefine the "B-word" and live out my dreams, on my terms.

In a world that's constantly telling us, we are too much or not enough, I wanted to create a community that encouraged women to redefine themselves as they saw fit. Through #TheBisForBoss, I'm helping young professionals and female entrepreneurs, get clear on how to create, communicate and manage their personal brand. 

BETWEEN YOUR JOB AND #THEBISFORBOSS, DO YOU SLEEP?

I’ve always been the kind of person that needs a project. Constantly. I need to be doing something, I need to be creating, managing, organizing.. something. Work is usually my outlet I use to be creatively fulfilled. However, #TheBisForBoss is something I've had on my heart for over a year. I knew that if I kept waiting for downtime or the "perfect" time, it would likely never happen. For those of you who work in the client servicing industry -- specifically PR, Event Planning, or advertising. You know that in our industry, downtime (and sleep) is for the weak lol. But seriously, yes I do sleep. For those of you watching my Instastories, thinking how is this girl still working? Honestly, not to be cheesy but working on this blog doesn't feel like work. It's mine and it's a passion, so it works. However, I know that 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night is necessary so I can continue to perform at a high-level for work and for all of the lovely ladies I have worked with and will get the opportunity to work, network, and meet with in the future. So, to make sure I am maximizing my to-do list, I'm currently reading a book called Morning Makeover. It's been super helpful teaching me how to maximize the 16-17 hours I am awake so that I can still get 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night. While it's been tough balancing my 9-5, because more of like a 24-7, it's been a nice lesson in balance, self care, and learning how passion can fuel you through some long nights. I'll be writing a blog post about the book with my full thoughts about it, check it out below in the meantime. 

BOSS 101: Interview with Ingrid Quiroz

Ingrid, is someone I have in my Boss Tribe, and can always count on her to serve up some gems. She’s in PR and went to UT like me, but our paths didn’t cross on campus. We actually met after I graduated at conference in Houston. She was a junior at the time, but between her elevator pitch and follow-through, we have continued to keep in touch over the years. I left Houston a few months after we met and moved to New York. Since this was a goal she also shared, she would check-in from time to time as she progressed through college and upon graduation, she started to make cross country moves of her own. Since we met she has been a long distance support system and someone I know I can also check-in with for random questions/requests and get gut checks on things because we work in the same PR world with similar dreams and ambitions.

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Tell us a little about yourself…

I like to say I was born in Dallas and raised in my home. I am daughter of Mexican immigrants who didn’t attend grade school, but made sure their 4 daughters graduated university. My family is fairly big so my entire life I was surrounded by strong women. I didn’t recognize it until I was in college away from my family, but they say that you start to appreciate people when they aren’t around anymore.

Balancing college and working at the largest Spanish broadcast TV network was hard for me and I wanted to quit plenty of times, but my sisters kept giving me wake up calls so I didn’t. After graduation, I began working in multicultural media planning in San Francisco for less than seven months. Then moved to New York, where I went back to multicultural PR and it was amazing. Family called, so I decided to move back to Dallas for health reasons which helped me learn a big lesson in life.

You define your success. Ever since I was little, I always felt the pressure to succeed. So, when I had to make the decision about moving back to Dallas I was scared about what people would say. “Oh, Ingrid is back in Dallas she couldn’t make it in San Francisco nor New York.” I had to realize that the because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Then once I was settled in Dallas, I began working at the same PR firm just on a different track and with general market. I missed multicultural work and wanted a job that I could spend time with my family more often. Then I started working at APC Collective as an account manager and loving it. I couldn’t think of anywhere else to work, seriously.

What inspired you to work in PR?

I wouldn’t use the word “inspired”, but more so “led” me. Honestly, it was frustration and fear. I loved math so I entered my freshman year at UT Austin on that career track and was miserable. I felt like the world was going to end! I mentioned to my entire family except my oldest sister that I was thinking of dropping out because school wasn’t for me. However, you know like every Latino household we love our chisme (gossip). My oldest sister found out and called me asking if it was true. I told her yes and that I’m not smart and successful enough like everyone around me thought I was. She then told me that if I felt like that I should quit. At that moment, I realized that I was giving up and didn’t like the feeling. So I walked my butt into the career center and took a personality test which led me to the PR route and haven’t looked back since.

After graduation you moved to San Francisco, then you moved to New York City and now you reside in Dallas. Tell us more about that...

It took a lot of me to make the move to San Francisco. I didn’t know anybody and wasn’t too familiar with the city except for what I could Google. The only thing that was motivating me to make the move was getting to work with a top media company that housed multicultural clients. It was a great opportunity and made me value a lot: my family, home, food, people, friends and driving. I slept in a room with two other girls and paid almost a grand for rent/bills, 6 months into the move I was paying off loans and other bills. I was sometimes left with $50 in my bank account for emergencies after I bought my essentials. I learned about sacrifice and prioritizing.

A couple of months in I learned that I loved PR too much and that’s when the whole “be careful what you wish for” kicked in for me. A friend in New York emailed me asking if I was interested in working with the multicultural team at one of top PR firms in the nation on incredible accounts. Plus, New York was my dream city so I moved. This time I had a great support system waiting for me in the BIG APPLE. It was everything I could ask for and it honestly made me toughen up. Not everyone in this world has good intentions, you can only control yourself.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a lunch/calendar meeting with someone?

I don’t have a “crazy” experience. My sisters and I are the first ones to enter the corporate world, so I couldn’t call any family friends for connections. Every meeting that I have ever had prior to graduating college was through social media DMs/Messages, LinkedIn Stalking & Connections, attending local conferences (how I met Sade), constantly emailing until I get a meeting…the list goes on.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women  that are looking to begin a career in PR?

Always trust your gut, no matter what. This is advice for every facet in life: careers, relationships, friendships, etc. If you make the wrong decision, it will help you grow. Then, you mourn about it but not for too long. I give myself a timeline for sadness or disappointment. Those emotions shouldn’t dwell so shake it off and keep moving forward.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a Hispanic woman?

After New York, I became really tough. I wouldn’t say mean, but definitely not willing to put up with anything less than I deserve including speaking my mind when I sense something is wrong. I think as a woman, I might come off as too strong at times. However, I’ve learned that it’s not my tone/voice that I should worry about, because I always have the right intentions. Also, I would say I constantly struggle with selling myself short on what I truly deserve. I’m working on that right now as I launched, Soy Texas. I’m still trying to figure it out so I’ll have to share my learnings in 5 years. I’ll be a different person. They say 30’s are your best years, because you care less about what people think. I’m excited, I care too much.

You also have a blog of your own, tell us more about that.

I actually had my blog since freshman year of college, but was never consistent. I started up again this year more consistently, and this past Monday I launched a movement that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s called Soy Texas, a movement and online platform made to showcase Latino voices in Texas, events relevant to our community and much more. I’m doing something for our Latino community and you don’t understand how excited I am. I want us to come together, be prepared with the information that is needed and enjoy our culture.

What inspires you?

The fact that my parents have never stopped working a day in their life. Most don’t know, but my sisters and I sold snow cones at a flea market to pay off their college loans and my used car (instead of a quince). Working at our little business taught me a lot: customer service, sales, budgeting, working for your money and activated my entrepreneurial spirit.

What Quote do you live by?

My dad was teaching me how to get on the highway and I was so nervous. I told him that I couldn’t do it. He told me “you are healthy, you know English & Spanish and you speak English & Spanish…you can do anything”. Since then, when I find myself complaining I go back to that moment. It reminds me that I should never feel incapable to accomplish my goals.

How do you redefine the B Word/What’s your Boss Word?

IMPACT. I make sure that everything I do has a positive impact, if it doesn’t I usually don’t do it. I think we are all in this world for a reason or reasons. My reasons are to connect people, motivate others and help my family.

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