RHM009 – So Long 2016….

rushhourThis year has had its ups and downs for sure, but in spite of all of the challenges, it was definitely a transformational year for me. In this solo episode, I take a look back at 2016, and provide some quick tips for goal-setting in 2017.

A few tips on setting goals:

  1. Pull forward goals that appear on your list every year but have yet to happen. List them again, because the goals you list repeatedly are the ones you care most deeply about achieving.
  2. Add a stretch goal or two for 2017. When I have set stretch goals in the past, I have always been surprised how close I came to meeting or exceeding that goal by the end of the year. Tell the universe that you are ready for a challenge, and you’ll be amazed how things begin to shift!
  3. Add smaller goals that you are likely to achieve. Small wins add up and can help you stay motivated throughout the year. Set yourself up for success by including a goal or two that is well within your reach and make it happen.
  4. Create a ‘theme’ for your year. I like to set a three-word theme for each year that will guide my decision-making and motivate me all year long. When you select the words that will guide your year, put them somewhere visible (like on your refrigerator or your desk at work) to be reminded of the intentions you set for the coming year.
  5. Write it all down. Something amazing happens when you take thoughts from abstract to concrete by putting them on paper. It forces you to be accountable, and gives you a record to look back too at the end of the year to track your progress.

Next year can absolutely be your best year, so why not get started now? I’ll be back after the New Year with all new episodes of the Rush Hour Mentor podcast. So until then, Happy Holidays!

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RHM008 – Joymarie Parker and Knowing Your Worth at Work

about-me-avatar-2-e1422244894234This week we sit down with Joymarie Parker, Creator and Co-Host of Joblogues, a weekly podcast that highlights candid, career conversations with young professionals around the globe. Joymarie is an experiential marketer for a Fortune 100 firm with a love for mentoring young professionals. Inspired by everyday conversations with friends, family and coworkers, she launched Joblogues as a forum for young professionals to discuss work, life & everything in-between.

In this episode, Joymarie shares the importance of recognizing our value in the workplace, particularly when it comes to compensation. She shares a few pro tips for getting ahead in your career:

  • Develop meaningful relationships that go beyond transactional networking (what someone can do for you), figure out how you can provide value. Learn to give instead of expecting to receive.
  • Respect and make the most of your background. You bring to the table what no one else does, so think of your experience as an asset.
  • Bring your A-game to everything you do. Go above and beyond at work by maximizing your unique skills and abilities.

Quotable advice from Joy:

“Don’t ever let anyone undermine your value”

“Set the bar where you want people to meet you.”

Check out the episode on iTunes: bit.ly/rushhourmentor and Soundcloud: bit.ly/RHMpodcast

You can follow Joblogues on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by searching for the handle: Joblogues. You can find Joymarie on Instagram @heymissparkerr.

RHM007 – How to Travel Like a Boss

I have been traveling as part of my career for almost 15 years, and in this solo episode I share a few tips about international travel for those of you who are considering it for work or leisure:

dscn0808Do your homework

  1. Take time to figure out the money situation (can you get cash on the ground? How much is a typical meal? That way you can plan how much you need and how long you can stay.
  2. Understand the in-country logistics ( can you take trains and taxis or do you need to go hop on the local bus or pedicabs?) Is car rental difficult or impossible if you aren’t licensed in that country?
  3. What about celebrations and holidays? You probably can’t get anything done in a lot of countries that celebrate major religious holidays – businesses shut down and everyone is with their families so you need to be prepared.

Be prepared for a mindset shift

  1. If you are a person of color, it is likely that you may be the only one you see – for a loooong time! I was the only African American around for the first 9 days of my trip to India until I reached the Taj Mahal. I was a bit of a spectacle because people just don’t encounter you very often, so be prepared to take a lot of pictures holding peoples babies, for staring and a lot of questions. People are genuinely curious and I’ve found that they just want to know more about you and what brought you to their country
  2. There are different rules of engagement. I had to learn very quickly that it is not always acceptable for me to extend my hand for a handshake or even make direct eye contact with men in some places that I have traveled. The best thing to do is to observe before acting. Watch how strangers engage one another and follow suit. You will make mistakes, but that’s ok! One thing I always recommend is to bring a long scarf with you if you are traveling to any country with large Muslim populations. I found this useful in Turkey, Indonesia and even recently in India, particularly if you are visiting mosques and other places where it is appropriate to have your head covered.

Packing smart will save you time and energy

  1. Pack only what you are willing to lose. I carry on when I can, and if I can’t I carry a few outfits in my carry on. If I check a bag, it’s filled with cheap clothes that I don’t care about.
  2. Hair care – If your hair is relaxed, I would suggest getting braids or another protective style for the duration of your travels. If you are going for several months or longer, and you might need to start asking locally for salon recommendations. You can also link up with travel groups like Nomadness which have Americans who have traveled extensively and can give recommendations. If your hair is natural, I would suggest buying and bottling your products in the US.
  3. Food-If you know you are a picky eater, and definitely if you have food allergies, try to pack some of your favorite snacks to get you through the trip. I was sooo happy I had some snacks from home to get me through. It’s definitely worth it!

My best advice is that if you have the opportunity to travel abroad – take it! It will teach you things about yourself that you may not discover otherwise. Check out the full episode here: bit.ly/rushhourmentor. You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram, where I’ll keep you posted on my upcoming trips.

Let me know your travel questions by posting below!