Tag Archives: career advice

What Does Leadership Mean To You?

24 Feb

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. -John Quincy Adams

I had lunch with a former colleague the other day and when I asked him about how things were going at work he launched into a story about how his manager – who is very concerned with perceptions – has been reprimanding him for his out-spokenness. Apparently, the manager did not perceive voicing a dissenting opinion during a meeting as good leadership. Now I thought this was a major crock of BS. Being strong enough to share an unfavorable outlook is, in my opinion, a great leadership trait. But what really bothered me was that my friend was being forced into someone else’s idea of what leadership truly means.

I believe leadership is one of those terms that is bandied about quite loosely. Everywhere you turn you hear about which leadership qualities we should be working on and which leaders we should admire. However, I believe that leadership and how one defines it is a completely personal thing and can totally vary from person to person. By attempting to squeeze into a narrow “leadership” box, we’re trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. And we all know how I feel about living up to other people’s expectations.

Here’s an exercise. Get a blank piece of paper and bullet out what being a leader means to you. Does it mean only working on projects you find interesting and noble? Does it mean being an inspiration to others by following your heart? Does it mean always being honest and out-spoken? Or maybe it means always taking risks and being bold. Remember you don’t have to have a fancy job title and a company car to be a leader. There are probably at least 3 people right now who already think of you as a leader. Identify what leadership means for you and then harness it. Strive to perform your specific leadership qualities everyday. By being in touch with your true leadership qualities, you’ll be much better off than those who are simply trying to fit into someone else’s idea of leadership.

Until Next Time,



How To Make The Best of Job You Can’t Stand

22 Feb

When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home. ~Betty Bender

There’s nothing worse than waking up every day and dragging yourself to a job you despise. But sometimes quitting isn’t an immediate option so we just have to suck it up and endure. Enjoying a crappy job (or any crappy situation for that matter) can be as easy as changing your perspective. Here are a few tips to learning to love (like? tolerate?) a not so fun job.

  1. Change your perspective – It sounds cliché but having a negative attitude about something completely sets the tone for your entire experience. Set an intention to be happy every morning. It’ll be easier to let crummy situations roll off your back if you are in a genuine good mood.
  2. Learn all that you can – I once worked for a corporation that was really poorly managed. Instead of letting it frustrate me I focused on what skill sets I could develop and what I could learn from that specific industry. Additionally, once it was time for me to launch my own business I knew exactly what not to do. Every situation has something to offer you, make sure you take advantage of all it has to offer.
  3. Focus on what you do enjoy – There’s usually some task or aspect of a job that you truly do enjoy. Focus on that. Is there a way you can make that a bigger part of your responsibilities? Try and schedule the enjoyable aspect into every day. At least then when you are working on the boring tasks you can know that the fulfilling task is on its way.
  4. Bring your passions to work – Sometimes you are able to bring an outside passion into you work life. Are you passionate about women in business? Maybe you can start a Women’s Leadership Group at work. Do you enjoy organizing events? Perhaps you can begin organizing the office birthday parties.
  5. Be positive – Start focusing on what is good about your job instead of the bad. Again, reframing how you think about your work situation will do wonders in how you actually feel about it.

Now I’m in no way advocating you stay in a miserable situation forever but these tips can definitely make your job more bearable as you figure out where you’d like to transition

What do you think? How have you coped with a bad work situation in the past?

Until Next Time,


Are you feeling stuck career-wise? Do you know you want to make a change but you’re not sure how or to what? Contact me [nblades@gmail.com] for information on my Career Coaching Packages.

Friday Wrap-up: It’s The Weekend, Time To Watch The Olympics Edition

20 Feb

Happy Friday Everyone! Hopefully you’ve all recovered from your 3 day weekend last week and are back into the full swing of things.  Here are a couple of links that caught my eye that I wanted to share with you.

4 Simple Principles to Getting to Completion – Easy steps for getting you to ‘done.’  If you need more help with procrastinating you can also check out my 7 Tips.

How to Fight for Your Happiness – This may sound counter-intuitive but sometimes you have to fight to be happy

Don’t wait for love: 10 ways to love yourself now – Because if you don’t love yourself, who will?

15 signs it may be time for a career change – I remember feeling a lot of these signs. I’m sure you will relate to this if you feel stuck in a no fun job

It Starts With Us – I stumbled upon this great site with a really cool concept. They deliver a simple mission each week that takes less than 15 minutes to complete. If we all do our small part to complete the task, we’ll be one step closer to a better world. This week’s mission is to reconnect with an old friend – love it!

There you have it people, my Friday Wrap-up. Have a fabulous weekend!

Until Next Time,


The Super Quick Guide to Finding Your Passion

17 Jan

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

One of the biggest challenges I see 20-somethings face is figuring out what they want to “be when they grow up.” A lot of us  enter the workforce expecting high-paying, glamorous jobs that will bring us lots of success and oodles of satisfaction only to be severely disappointed when reality strikes and we’re stuck in boring, unfulfilling jobs. And let’s face it, our careers consume such a large part of our lives so it is really discouraging when you’re unhappy with yours. I’m a big advocate for living your passion. I believe that everyone should feel utterly happy and passionate with their lives. Why? Because when we’re genuinely happy we possess the confidence and power to create our best lives. And this is precisely what the world needs. The world needs us to be operating at full throttle. The world needs us to be head over heels, over the moon happy. The greatest change happens because of people who are deeply passionate and satiated with their lives.

So I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Nai” – and yes, you can call me Nai – “It’s easy for you to say to live your passion because you’ve found yours. How do I find my passion?” Well don’t you worry, below are my 9 steps to finding your passion:

  1. What come naturally to you? Some people are always hosting fabulous dinner parties. Some people are always organizing or fixing things. We often take for granted the things that just flow naturally for us. We all have unique gifts and talents that come naturally. Think about your specific skills – are you analytical? A creative mind? A problem solver?
  2. Which of your skills do you wish to use? It’s not enough that we’re good at something, we have to actually enjoy using that skill. For example, I’m actually pretty analytical, so for years I worked in jobs that required analytical thinking. I finally came to the realization that while analytical thinking may be a particular skill set of mine, it was in no way something I was passionate about.
  3. What is your Essence? Our essence is our natural qualities. Think about which qualities ooze from your pores? Are you a naturally caring & compassionate person? Are you serious or funny? Be careful to think of what your true essence actually is and not what you’d like it to be. It’s important that you’re honest.
  4. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Assume that money, time and energy aren’t an obstacle – you would absolutely succeed in what you set out to do. What would it be? Also think about what you would do even if it paid very little. If you would work at something for free, you’re very likely passionate about it.
  5. Who are the people you admire and why? Think about what types of people you admire? What makes them admirable? Chances are you would not be able to see or appreciate the admirable qualities in them if they were not already within you. You will probably begin to see trends in what types of people you admire.
  6. What are your unresolved dreams and desires? We all have a seemingly “ridiculous” dream job that we’ve always wanted to do but our fears or self-doubt have held us back. Make sure to add all of your dream jobs to your list no matter how unrealistic they may seem. You also want to think about what you wanted to do when you were younger. When we were young, we were allowed to dream without someone telling us to grow up or be realistic.
  7. What parts of past jobs or projects have you enjoyed? Was there a particular project that you thoroughly enjoyed? Or maybe you always enjoy the problem solving aspect of your jobs. Think hard about what aspects of your past jobs you have truly enjoyed. What made you excited?
  8. What do you read about? Think about what books and magazines you enjoy reading. Which sections in the bookstore you are consistenly drawn towards? When I look through my Google Reader it’s full of blogs about Beauty or Personal Growth. It’s no coincidence that the two businesses I’ve started are centered around those two topics.
  9. What do you spend your free time doing? Make a list of what you do in your spare time. Can any of these things be turned into your dream career?

Really think hard about all of these questions and make a list of what comes out of it. You now have a list of possibilities of what truly drives you. You’ve probably noticed some reoccurring themes or ideas on your list. Take the time to narrow your list down and start thinking about how you can turn your passions into a dream career. For example, maybe you identified you have a passion for hosting & entertaining friends. Can you turn this passion into a career in event planning?

This process won’t be easy but it will set you on your path to discovering your passion and living it. Wouldn’t it be awesome to jump out of bed on Monday mornings instead of frantically pushing the snooze button? Good luck & have fun!


Need more help discovering your passion? Or have you figured it out but have no idea how to incorporate it into your daily life? Contact me [nblades@gmail.com] about my coaching packages designed to help you live the life you deserve!