Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Every #PRGirl Should Be Her Own #GirlBoss

We’re in the age of the female entrepreneur.

No, really. 

Even the United Nations has recognized, and honored, the growing community of women entrepreneurs by supporting Women Entrepreneurship Day.  Founded in 2014 by social entrepreneur, best-selling author and animal advocate, Wendy Diamond, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) was founded with the mission to commemorate one day annually to celebrate, support, and empower women entrepreneurs worldwide.  From tech CEOs to product engineers, clothing designers to non-profit founders, WED celebrates women who have stepped out on their own to achieve the American dream – in their own way.

How can #PRGirls get a bite of the pie, you ask? 
It’s simple: some call it freelancing, I prefer consulting or strategizing! You get the gist. 

Not every woman has the gusto (or desire) to create a multi-million dollar company, and that’s ok! Get your foot in the door of entrepreneurship by positioning yourself to one day create your own agency or firm, starting with being an independent communications consultant.

During the summer of 2014, I quit my job and set out as an independent consultant titling myself an Integrated Marketing & Event Management consultant. Over the course of a year, I’ve juggled a total of 12 clients (not at the same time, of course!) Although it has its ups and downs, my work as a consultant has been a dream.

I find myself learning more, growing more, and going the extra mile – far more. Being your own boss doesn’t just mean you get to sleep in or work in your pajamas though. It means you have almost no one to answer to and you also don’t have anyone to go to for help. You search harder for answers, sweat a bit more when submitting a project, and go outside the box – far more.  

In case you’re not already sold on it, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 reasons every #PRGirl should step out on her own and be her own #GirlBoss.

Earn more money and be your own girl boss
On average, freelancers earn 45% more than those who are traditionally employed. They’re also allowed to deduct certain business expenses that employees are not – allowing to actually keep more of what they earn. Anyone that has ever seen billing for a PR firm (or any firm, really), knows that a company will bill a client over three to four times what the employee actually earns. It makes sense in the grand scheme of things- gotta keep the lights on! But, how unfair.

Forget climbing the corporate ladder, break your own glass ceiling in your free time
I’ve been independently consulting for nearly a year following my graduation from Howard University in 2014. There is no corporate ladder for me. I break my own glass ceilings. People are amazed that at 22 I’ve “figured it all out” and achieved, what some would call, the “American Dream.” But, it doesn’t stop here. Independently consulting has allowed me to further pursue additional goals of mine – attaining a Master’s degree from an Ivy League institute, lay groundwork for a non-profit organization, sit on a Board of Directors, grow an herb garden and travel for months at a time. 

Freelancing can actually expand your already existing skill-set
Last fall I picked up a few textbooks. One was a book on branding and design and another was on contract writing. Within a few months of beginning consulting, these are two skills that I felt were imperative to have. Not every consultant will initially have the funds to hire a lawyer to draft their consulting contracts for client work, so we turn to alternative resources. It has helped tremendously as I am currently in a position to draft a client contract in under 20 minutes using a template that I created myself. Imagine picking up a new skill that will help you in your day-to-day client interaction: graphic design, layout design, photography, contract writing, SEO, coding, website building. You could be unstoppable!

Go global – from your living room
Imagine sitting in your apartment in North Carolina, working on client work for a client based in California. You’re quite literally growing your network across the country without having to shell out the dough to be there often. What’s more #GirlBoss than that? Hunting for a traditional position means limiting yourself to local opportunities, unless you’re ready to uproot your life and move to a new location. With freelancing moving is not always necessary, which means you can work with someone around the corner or around the globe.

Truth is: self-employment is a fantastic lifestyle choice, but isn’t all glory – freelancing isn’t always an easy road to travel. However, it can provide great rewards for PR gals willing to step off the beaten path. Bear in mind that you need to have self-discipline to pull through, the kind of discipline imposed on you in the traditional workplace  but even more so. You can always be more more lenient with yourself, but by having proper time management, motivation, dedication, and knowing where to set your boundaries – there’s no stopping you.

{Guest post by Jenelle Coy.}

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – You + You = ❤️‍

Our dear TDC readers, I must start this post with an apology, I’m sorry for not writing anything in almost two months, but after the last post the truth is that I had no desire to talk about anything dating related or do much at all.

Now that I’m finally feeling like more of my usual self (not all the way there but close) it’s time to pick up where I left off and not just keep going, but moving on with new realizations and determinations for myself.

One of the most important things I’ve come to understand is that I am enough; my sparkle, my imperfections, my zest for life and my desire to live a full and meaningful one, and my shear being are all rolled into the body and mind that I call my own. 

To the friends and family who may read this and say, “I’ve told her that from the beginning,” I thank you for it, your words and actions weren’t lost on me, but this understanding was one I had to come to on my own terms and in my own time. 

And, to the ones still trying to come to that realization, don’t rush, your acceptance of knowing you are enough will come to you at the right moment. In other words, learning to love yourself first is the most important love you will ever have in this world.

I’ve been a fan of He’s Just Not That Into You since I first saw it and the ending monologue has some great truths in it, especially when it relates to moving on, being yourself and never giving up hope, which I think we can all admit isn’t always easy to do.

For myself, when it comes to moving on here’s where I stand:

» Even with all the progress I’ve made, during the rare moments when my world is quiet I sometimes catch myself getting lost in a memory.

» I believe he’s not sorry for what he did, but accepting that I’ll never get an apology is tough.

» Tied to that is also living with the realization that the relationship was completely one-sided and I meant little if nothing to him at all.

» I am stronger than I thought I was.

» My shattered heart isn’t quite as shattered anymore.

» Although I’m afraid, it’s not stopping me from getting to know someone new.

We all move on at our own pace, don’t set your moving on clock based on someone else’s timeline. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa.

 Just remember, love yourself first, share that love with the world and the Universe will take care of the rest.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

10 Tips to Maximize Your PR Internship this Summer

I always love collaborating with Kristen Ruby, so when she told me she had new summer interns, we thought it's time we hear from the Ruby Media Group interns again!

One of Kristen's awesome interns, Victoria, has some great words of wisdom for her fellow interns out there. {And, those of you who will be interning in the future!}

As a rising senior, majoring in public relations, the summertime only means one thing: securing a killer internship to set up success for the future. But, finally landing that dream internship is only half of your journey. 

While looking for your perfect internship, be careful not to make the mistake of only looking at a company's name and size.  If you're going to be spending your summer at a company, pay close attention to the actual tasks you will be required to do. 

Having been lucky enough to land my ideal PR internship at Ruby Media Group, in their Summer Associates Program on Wall Street, I can say I’ve learned all outskirts of the corporate communications PR business.  

Being an ambitious intern myself, I'm sharing the top 10 tips I have learned that can help you excel in your public relations internship.

Every task is an important one
Regardless of how big or small the task you are given is, it is important to remember that whatever you are doing is a crucial part of the company’s success. Whether it is something as ambitious as writing a full marketing plan or as small as editing a pitch, it is vital you realize that everything you do counts and is needed to achieve the end goal.

Always be willing to learn
There is a reason an internship is not considered a job, but an experience. As an intern you are not expected to know how to do everything, but you are expected to have a need to want to learn how to everything. The best way to learn is through experience; so this is the time to take every aspect of the job in and see what areas you like best.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Public relations is one of the most technologically advanced industries to work in because the media is constantly changing. Because of this, it is important that when you are given a task, you know exactly how to do what it is that is required. Remember, an internship is the first step towards a job, so this is your time to ask questions and really master all skills of the industry.

Your boss knows what they’re doing
During an internship you may be given something you feel is not important, and may even question why your boss would have you work on it. Regardless, it is vital to realize that there’s a reason your boss is assigning you the task at hand. They have been in your shoes before. Trust them and know that the tasks they are giving you will help you advance in your career.

Everything is an opportunity
Public relations is all about networking. If you want to truly take advantage of your internship, it is essential to always go out of your way to make it to every single networking event. Your boss isn’t letting you know about these events for their own benefit, but for yours. In this industry, the significance of networking is a crucial part of your success.

Speak your mind
If you have a great idea for a new pitch, speak up and tell your boss. Regardless of whether or not they use your idea, it will show them you want to be involved in the creative process.

Follow-up on projects you’ve done
As a PR intern, you will be asked to do a multitude of tasks on a daily basis. Your boss may not always be able to get back to you the second once each task is completed. Knowing this, it is important you not only finish your daily tasks, but also ask for feedback. It will help you complete tasks more efficiently, and also exhibit your eagerness to learn.

Strive to show your full potential
Yes, you are an intern and yes, you may not think of yourself as a leading part of the company, but you were picked as an intern for a reason. Always know the company saw potential in you and truly wants to see you soar to great heights in your career growth. Go for it and show them why they chose you.

Always be informed
Whether you consume your news from the Internet, newspaper, or TV – it is important to always be informed and make a habit of checking the news. Public relations is not a standstill industry, but a forever changing one. It is crucial to always be informed. 

Use social media
Your boss has worked hard at creating an enriching internship program and showing them you’re having a great experience goes a long way. Use your social media to post about the amazing opportunities and experiences given – and be sure to hashtag and mention your company in posts so they can share accordingly.

Guest post by Victoria Sandolo. She is a PR Intern at Ruby Media Group and a Communications Major at UCONN.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Wrecking Ball

I have to admit that I contemplated whether or not to write this piece. This entry of The Dating Chronicles is extremely personal, not that the other pieces haven’t been, they’re all personal, but this wound was cut exceptionally deep. Ultimately though, I reminded myself that when TDC started I agreed to share my insights, and what message would it send if I picked and chose the insights I shared based solely on how comfortable the topics were? Not the best message, right?

So here it is, the aptly titled Wrecking Ball post…

Before I really get started, I want to back it up to here. In January, we published a post detailing how the simple things my guy was doing made me realize how happy I actually was before we’d even become official. Then on February 5, we made that leap into official and exclusive territory. Everything was going great, at least from my perspective, until about three weeks ago.

On May 6, I went to leave him a little cheer up gift since he told me he thought he’d failed his final in the class he’d been taking. I felt bad and thought a little something for him to come home to, after having to work all day on a Saturday, would be nice. Imagine my surprise when I pulled around the corner and saw his truck parked in his driveway. Now imagine my even bigger surprise when he came out of the house followed by a woman who took one look at me and immediately began radiating anger – while I on the other hand, radiated confusion.

That’s right, this post is dedicated to the experience I thought I’d never fall victim to.

Cheating. It only took a few minutes for that gigantic wrecking ball to be pulled back, released, and slammed right into my heart, shattering everything I thought I knew.

In the six months we’d been together, I was told multiple times he wasn’t seeing anyone else, and I’d assured him of the same. Only one of those months was he telling the truth. As one of my closest friends told me recently, “You gave him 100 percent of your heart; he gave you 10 percent of his.” I’m not a big fan of numbers but that statement really put the entire situation into one gut-wrenching perspective. Despite my generally good ability to read people, he had managed to fool me for five months. Talk about questioning yourself and your abilities.

Once I came to terms with the inevitable breakup, and over the shock of what happened, I had questions. I hoped (and it was in vain) that he could be honest with me for once, and give me the answers that would ultimately help me begin to heal. I got the “I’m so sorry,” the “I know there’s nothing I could ever do to make it up to you, but I want to try,” and the crème de la crème, “I still love you and want to be with you.”

In an extreme moment of weakness, the part of me that was still holding on to the love I felt for him believed him, thinking he was capable of being honest and had any sort of redeeming quality. Like a lot of people whose trust has been betrayed, I thought about giving him the benefit of the doubt, one more chance to make it right, he’d made a mistake but we could get past it because we loved each other, right? 

I’m just glad I found out sooner rather than later that he’d been feeding me the same lies he had in the months before, prior to me attempting to open my heart to him again. And as my sister put it, “At least you only wasted six months instead of a year.” Always one to be blunt, but I needed blunt.

For anyone who reads this and is committing infidelity, my warning to you, the truth has a way of making itself known, despite how clever you think you’re being. 
In my case it took five months, and then an additional three weeks, but the truth still came out. And a word to the wise, stop underestimating the power of the interwebs, or people’s abilities to find stuff out! We always do.

To those who have experienced or are experiencing this heartbreak, know you’re not alone and most importantly –
  • Understand that it’s not your fault, they were selfish
  • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you, everything that makes you you was undervalued
  • You’re not an idiot, they were a terrific liar
  • Hindsight is 20/20, don’t obsess over perceived missed signs and the “I should’ve known” feeling, their game was on point (or is everything on fleek now?)
  • You deserve so much better

 I know the thought of moving on and putting yourself out there again is terrifying (I’m there right now), as is the notion of you being able to trust someone again.

Remember –
  • Don’t rush into something new, getting under someone doesn’t help you get over someone
  • Take the time to grieve because as a wise friend told me, you have lost someone dear
  • Turn to those who’ve always had your back, but don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself
  • Not that you have to be the Energizer Bunny, but staying moderately busy seems to help
  • When you’re ready, find the balance between keeping your heart safe and opening it to the right person, the one who will cherish every moment with you
  • And, if you ever feel like you need someone to talk to beyond your girlfriends and mom, don’t be ashamed to seek the counsel you need

From one broken heart to all of the others, knowing that time will heal all wounds,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Networking + Bruch for the New PR Grad

Summer is almost here! With weddings and graduations at the forefront, networking isn’t very high on the PR Girl’s to-do list. 

But, use it to your advantage and try networking in a new way. Instead of mingling in a dark crowded bar or hotel conference room try hosting a weekend brunch. I know many of you are wishing you could reach through the screen and slap me saying, “Why would you pick my favorite meal and pair it with networking?!” 

Hear me out.

I know weekends are typically reserved for lounging in pjs, Netflix binging, and online shopping... but, brunch! It’s an untapped resource. 
You can do a lot in 48 hours, including watching the whole series of Friends, again (we won't tell). People are less stressed, at ease and more comfortable on the weekends. All of these are definite positives in a networking situation. 
And, who doesn't love brunch – especially if mimosas are involved!

When you have a spare moment (ha!) search through your contacts and see who you wouldn’t mind calling up and catching up with or getting to know a little bit better. Make sure they have relevant advice or insight to bring to the table (no pun intended... really). We don’t want to waste people’s time. 
Put some thought into your guest list and make sure everyone who attends will benefit and find value. And, keep the number of guests small. This will allow everyone to make more personal connections and not have anyone feeling left out.

Typical networking events feel like a race to the finish line – count your business cards, see who got the most or the coveted card from the main guest speaker, then head home. (Don't do this – at any type of networking event! Really listen and get to know your new connects and find out what value you can both bring to each other.)  
With a networking brunch no one is racing back to work or just shoving their business card at you. The relaxed atmosphere allows for conversation to happen organically and chances are, after this event you’ll know more than what company they work for and if they are hiring.

Networking events make some people break out in a cold sweat but take that pressure off by hosting a fantastic brunch. You’ll have a chance to make a lasting impression and who knows, you could even land a job.
So pick out your cutest weekend outfit and break out the bubbly!
{Image courtesy of A House in the Hills.}

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Forget Everything And Run (F.E.A.R.)

Just as love can make you swoon, fear can just as easily make you bolt. It’s an unhappy coincidence that the feelings that make up fear make you want to do exactly what the acronym above says; run. It happens to everyone, especially those of us who have had bad experiences before – one thing doesn’t go right and you immediately conclude that he’s just like every other guy and the relationship’s not going to work out.

Perhaps it takes him a little longer to respond to that last text then it normally does. He said he’d call you back in a few minutes and four hours later you’re still waiting for that call. Maybe you don’t get to see him as much as you’d like, yet despite him telling you it’s because of his work schedule and responsibilities, you think it’s really that he’s just not interested in you anymore. As women we have this tendency to over-analyze and jump to (mostly) ridiculous conclusions. Fear is the driving force behind those notions, and if we’re not careful it can ruin everything, taking something good and making us question every teeny tiny detail.
A came up with the meaning behind F.E.A.R. because she’s experienced it, she’s considered it, but most importantly, she moved past it and didn’t give it the power she initially thought it had – {forget how when his name appears on caller ID you smile from ear to ear, forget how when he says your name the way he does it makes your stomach do flips, forget how when he holds you you’ve never felt more content in your entire life, forget everything good you have with him and run the other way, to the place where you won’t get hurt, where you’re safe from heart break and rejection.} It’s an appealing notion, but while fear is most certainly a powerful feeling, so is love, and with the right mindset, it can help you overcome the fearful notions that seem to plague your thoughts.

We completely understand how it feels to love someone so much that the thought of losing them makes you want to cry, how busy schedules can get to you in a way that brings tears to your eyes instantly; that’s fear. What needs to be learned (and we’re no experts, we’re learning this as well) is how to recognize these moments as fear, not let them control us, and to push past them, embracing the happiness we all deserve. There is a time and place for everything, but if we let fear run our lives, be it love or life in general, we’ll get nowhere fast. 
No one knows you better than you do, so when you feel afraid, question why it is you feel that way, perhaps what past experience is pushing you in that direction, and then find the strength to work through it. You should also feel comfortable telling your guy exactly what’s going on inside your head. Let him dissuade your fears and be there for you.

But, what about my intuition? …

The simplest answer is, don’t ignore it. If something doesn’t feel right, and no matter what you do, you can’t shake that feeling, more than likely something is going on. If you truly feel that he’s not always being honest, or there’s no emotion behind the words he whispers in your ear, trust yourself, and figure out what’s happening.

A big lesson we learn unfortunately is that not everyone’s intentions are as good as our own. If you don’t like what’s going on, end it. Don’t stay in a relationship just because you’re afraid to be single again, that’s not fair to you. Follow your gut instinct and do what you have to do, no matter how hard it may seem. We promise – it will be better in the long (maybe even short) run!

Fear doesn’t equal F.E.A.R., but embracing it is ultimately up to you, choose wisely.

{Image courtesy of}

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Happy Anniversary!

One year ago, R approached A about contributing to her blog, and after a few brainstorming emails, The Dating Chronicles shifted from an idea to reality. It’s been a great year and in February (yes, we're (R is!) a little behind schedule), TDC turned one! 

It would be easy to think of this column as a birthday, but we discuss dating here, so anniversary it is. Plus, when you think about it, TDC has grown and evolved, just like a relationship, over the past year.

While R and I weren’t able to go to a fancy dinner, or exchange cards and flowers, due to schedules, snow storms like Sparta and now the upcoming Thor, but mostly distance, we’re still grateful for one another and love this bond we’ve formed over a desire to share stories and help our fellow women navigate the Dating Game.

So, in the spirit of sisterhood, we have a few suggestions for anyone about to celebrate an anniversary and may be feeling a little flat in the ideas department.

1. Plan a scavenger hunt »» A has a friend who did this a few years ago. Her friend sent her boyfriend all around campus to find different things that pertained to their relationship. And where did the last clue lead? To her of course! According to A’s friend, the scavenger hunt was a relatively cheap and creative way for both of them to remember the little things they’d done in their relationship up to that point.

2. Write him a love letter »» It’s no secret that the art of letter writing is dying, so grab some stationary and put your feelings down on paper. Not only is this different, but if you save mementos, it’s easy to add to the collection. A also found online a suggestion to write two letters; one for him to open this year, and one for him to open next year.

3. Bring the past into the present »» Do you remember your favorite date? Then recreate it! Wear the same outfit and go to the same places. If you’re feeling up to it, have your guy pick his favorite one too and try doing both in the same day/night.

4. Staycation Anyone? »» Who says you have to make grand plans? If you find it hard to relax together, then just stay home for a night, a weekend, whatever. Order in as much as you want, unplug from the world, and just enjoy being with him. You can still do something romantic without spending a fortune. And let’s be honest, if you want, you’re perfectly within your right to stay in bed all day ;-P

5. Couple’s Massage »» Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, which makes it difficult to relax. Book a couple’s massage for the two of you and spend an hour or two together while you relax, unwind and get the rub down you desperately need.

Do you have any ideas you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments below!

And, for anyone about to celebrate, Happy Anniversary from TDC!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

PR Metrics That Matter

PR is still a mystery to many. Press releases. How some make it onto TechCrunch and others with equally great products or stories remain unknown. Say the words “PR Metrics” and you’ll get an even more quizzical face in response.

Some question the value of PR for their business and well, PR metrics are what demonstrate the need and the effectiveness for tactics such as earned media, influencer relations, content marketing and good old fashioned press mentions. We’re firm believers in the power of PR to make big things happen – no matter how small the company or the size of the budget.

onboardly has developed this infographic as a way to explain a bit behind what PR is as well as what it can do. –Heather Carson

PR Metrics That Matter
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{Infographic created by onboardly.}

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Dating Chronicles – Testing, Testing...

Not gonna lie, I had the most difficult time trying to figure out how to write this piece. Not because I didn’t want to talk about tests, but because I don’t really know how to feel about them (well, most of them anyway).  As I did some research, it turns out that my feelings about them are not so black and white.

(Read: At first I thought they were ridiculous and stupid (most are), but now, I feel like some are at least a little understandable.)

 So, where to begin? I guess my biggest gripe is that certain actions are considered tests by society when I don’t see them in that way; I see them more as informative moments. For example, when I ask a guy how his day was, it’s because I’m genuinely interested in knowing. Apparently, some women dig deeper, trying to not only see how their man handles stress, but to see how far she can push him before he breaks…why? 

Good question, I haven’t the faintest idea. Why would you want to push someone to a breaking point? While I know there are bound to be disagreements and fights in any relationship, it is my sincerest hope that none of them turn verbally or physically abusive, so why would I push someone so hard that that outcome could become a reality?

 I also read an article about how early on in a relationship girls will send teasingly risqué photos to their guys, looking to see if he’ll ask for a dirty picture. What's the point? No offense to any men who may read this post, but ladies, they’re men, if you tempt them with something they like, chances are they’re going to ask for more, so what are you trying to prove? That if he’s the true gentleman you think he is, he won’t ask for a more revealing picture? *giggles & rolls eyes* If so, good luck with that.

I think the test I have the most difficulty understanding is the one where women point out an attractive woman, one, to see if their man will look at her, and two, if he does, see if he agrees or disagrees. Again, I have trouble seeing the point. Just because a guy may find another woman attractive, it does not make him any less loyal to you in any way! If he acts on that attraction, that’s a different story.

 Now, I said my feelings weren’t so black and white, and here are some examples why. As women, we reach a point where we stop looking to date for the sake of dating, and begin looking for that serious life partner. In doing so, we try to weed out the bad apples as quickly as possible so as not to waste an excessive amount of time or energy on a guy we know pretty early on isn’t the one. That being said, here are a few tests I’ve come across where I understand their purpose.

Memory – You spend so much time sharing personal information about yourself, it’s nice to know that he’s been tuned in to your conversations. He doesn’t have to remember every little detail (it would be great if he did) but, people can only retain so much information.
Problem-solving ability – Arguments happen, and seeing how a man gets past them will tell you a lot about his character. Does he stew? Speak calmly and rationally? Does he explode? It’s important to know how he deals with these situations so that you know if you can handle his reactions.
Time management skills – As women, we want to know that we’re a priority in his life. Don’t expect to spend every spare minute with him, but it’s nice to know that even if he’s busy, he makes an effort to make time for you. And this goes both ways, as you shouldn’t expect him to be the one who always clears his schedule and puts things off for you, so make sure you do the same for him. 

I always like to remember that line from He’s Just Not That Into You: “If a guy wants to see you he will make it happen.”
Patience – Ladies, we’re no strangers to playing hard to get. Not responding to texts right away, or delaying making plans are the two most-used ways in which women test men’s patience. We want to know he desires us, is willing to wait for us, etc., but be careful, even the most patient of men will reach the point of moving on if you make him feel super unwanted.
Thoughtfulness – I’m not talking about expensive dinners, flowers on our birthday, or telling us we’re pretty, I’m talking about doing unexpected things at unexpected times. The things that take our breath away and make us smile when it’s the farthest thing from our minds: the text or phone call where he leads with something like, “I couldn’t stop thinking about you today,” or, taking us by the hand and starting to dance with us regardless of whether or not there’s music. It’s those little moments that end up meaning the most to us.
Okay gals, if you read this small sample and say, “Oh my gosh, that’s me!” Don’t feel bad. Like I said, the more I thought about some of these, the more I understood their purpose. Most of the time I think we conduct these tests on a subconscious level, so we’re not even aware we’re doing it. And remember, if a guy’s as serious about finding “the one” as you are, he’s bound to test you as well. It happens. 

Don’t rely on the ridiculous ones, such as the first three I mentioned at the beginning of this article because those are superficial, and certainly don’t spend all of your time testing your man, let your relationship unfold, and chances are you’ll figure out pretty quickly if he’s the one for you or not. 

Yes, tests are going to happen, both the ones you consciously conduct as well as the ones life throws your way, just make sure you don’t stop living your life because you’re too worried about the outcome of the tests to truly appreciate the connection you have with another human being.

{Image courtesy of Getty Images.}

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Finding Your Passion

Valentine’s Day is all about love. 
Greeting cards feature animals gazing into each others eyes or sexual innuendos buried in a flurry of pink hearts and cartoon lettering. Couples whisper sweet nothings as they cuddle up next to each other in restaurants. Candy hearts confess our love in pastel colors.  Stuffed animals suddenly become an acceptable gift for people over the age of twelve.

On February 14 the whole world is in love with love, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss passion. No, not the feeling between two people that is sometimes confused with love. I mean the feeling you have when you’ve found your calling. When you’ve found something you’d be happy doing for the rest of your life.
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel put it best, “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” 
As graduation nears are you still unsure what your college major will be? Did you recently quit or get fired from your job and aren’t sure of your next move? Are you just looking for a change? Take a step back and discover what drives you. 
If you are passionate about something you should wake up every morning happy to go to work. Even if you didn’t get paid, you would still be willing to do it. That is the mark of true passion.

 Not sure how to find your passion? Try these exercises to help discover what you’re passionate about.

1. What did you like to do as a child? Draw, color, write? Can that be translated into a career?

2. List all the things you love about your job/school vs the things you hate. Do you like writing papers? Do you cringe every time the phone rings at work? These are clues for discovering your passion. Create this list over the course of a week. Your answers could surprise you.

3. Make a list of things you like to do. Do you like giving people advice? Do you find yourself constantly volunteering to cook for events?

4. Ask 10 people what is most inspiring about you. Do any of the same words crop up? (My word was driven.)

5. What is one thing you like that is controversial? Maybe it’s a human rights issue or something as simple as wearing socks with sandals. Not everyone is going to like your major or chosen career path. You need to be able to defend your choice.

6. When are you the happiest? Is it when you’re in front of a group of people or flying at 30,000 feet?

Finding your passion isn’t always easy when we are used to trying to please others or do things that are considered socially acceptable. You have to search deep inside yourself. No matter what you discover your passion to be, pursue it as soon as possible. 
In the infamous words of Mufasa from the Lion King, “Remember who you are."