RHM014 – Getting in Alignment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI set three thematic words for 2017, and one of them is authenticity (for more on the other themes, check out Episode 9 – So Long 2016!). This solo episode takes a closer look at how I bring authenticity to my professional life, and offers suggestions on how you can do the same. Download the whole episode by clicking here.

Notes from the episode:

  1. Being authentic means you don’t have to be all things to all people. I learned the hard way that whether you are trying to make sure everyone is happy or picking up the slack for your teammates, refusing to set boundaries at work can leave you totally burned out.
  2.  Calling out micro-aggressions doesn’t make you a bad person. It might seem easier to let someone slide when they offend you, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to allow inappropriate behavior to slide in the hopes of keeping the peace.
  3. If you really don’t agree, you should speak up. If you were hired to join a team, chances are your employer thought you had something of value to add. Giving your opinion can be the difference between a positive and negative work experience, so if you think something needs to be changed, say so.

(Ed. note). Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of the Titans features an interview with entrepreneur, software engineer and venture capitalist Marc Andreesen. Andreesen suggests creating “red teams” at work dedicating to challenging all new ideas – the concept being that ideas making it through the red team process would be battle-tested and more likely to succeed. I think the same concept applies when giving authentic feedback at work. Instead of going along to get along, share your reservations and ideas with the group.

As with any mindset/practice shift,  change won’t happen overnight, but you are likely to feel more confident as time goes on. For more on this topic, check out Episode 11 – Keeping Your Integrity at Work.



RHM010- Aisha Moore and Why We All Need Self-care

aishaIt’s the first episode of 2017, and I am sitting down with self-care expert Aisha Moore to talk about the ways stress can manifest, simple solutions for launching a self-care practice and why everyone needs a morning routine! Check out the episode here: bit.ly/rushhourmentor

For the past 15 years Aisha has worked at the federal level and in communities to create a more equitable society. She designs workshops to help public health leaders change their organizations to have a greater impact on the people they serve. Aisha has also spoken at conferences on the topic of public health leadership and community engagement. She is truly passionate about health and helping others.

Aisha shares how she became devoted to self-care after her own experience with burnout on the job. She suggests the following tips to get on track with a self-care routine:

  1. Determine if you have any “personal chaos” – There are lots of little things that can set us back from day-to-day that add up to a lot of stress. Do you find that you lose things frequently or are always late? Getting in control of personal chaos can go a long way to managing your overall stress levels.
  2. Take a media fast – We can cause ourselves real harm by consuming images and content that trigger negative emotions. Social media doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but we need to create healing for ourselves; we can do that by swapping consumption for creation.
  3. Get back to basics – You can only be at your best if your body is operating at its best. Make sure you prioritize the basics of getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water and eating well.
  4. Develop a morning routine – You need a routine to stay in control of your morning, and by extension the rest of your day. Develop your routine by checking in with yourself each morning and determining what you need to be successful. Aisha uses the Daily Word App,  which provides a short affirmation and Bible verse every day. She also employs yoga to deal with anxiety and take stress away. Restorative yoga is wonderful in particular for those who aren’t flexible (check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube!)

You can find more from Aisha at selfcarebyaisha.com, where you can get a free gift to help you plan your own self-care routine. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram under the handle: selfcarebyaisha.

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!

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.

RHM006 – Nic Cober, the Soul Survivor

nc_profilepic_v1-1Small business consultant Nicole “Nic” Cober, Esq. built her first business, Soul…Day Spa and Salon, to be a community staple in the DC metro area, with a flawless local reputation and national media acclaim.

But, after nearly ten years, her personal and professional lives collided and crumbled. She was forced to close her businesses, file bankruptcy, confronted divorce(s) and eviction notices, all while raising two boys.

In this episode of the Rush Hour Mentor, Nic shares the following advice for women who have tried to get everything right – whether in relationships, financially or professionally – but still feel that something is missing:

  • Develop a reflective practice, such as prayer or meditation, to guide you through difficult moments.
  • Work to gain an understanding of yourself, and seek support through therapy, personal development experts, and books.
  • Nic recommends the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as a resource for anyone seeking to do internal work.
  • Learn to relax and love yourself more.

Where to find Nic: In her book CEO of My SOUL, Nic shares the perfect blend of valuable business advice woven together with true accounts of relationships struggles, family triumphs, and self-reflection. You can find the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You can also follow Nic on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @niccoberesquire


RHM005 – Mastering the Job Hunt

rushhourIn this solo episode, Monica shares some of the common pitfalls we make in the job application process and how to avoid them:

Resumes and Cover Letters

  • If you are applying for a role that is outside your area of expertise, you need to make the case for how your skills transfer. Do not assume that the hiring manager can look at your resume and make the leap for you.
  • If your resume is too long, get creative. Instead of listing all of your accomplishments and positions, list the ones that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Some hiring managers stop reading after the first or second page, so make your argument early!
  • If you are asked for a cover letter, provide one. Skipping this step can make you appear lazy or entitled when that isn’t the case. Again, don’t assume that your resume will tell the hiring manager everything they need to know.


  • Interviewers are looking for more than your hard skills, they are interested in your emotional intelligence, ability to think critically, and ‘fit’ in the company culture.
  • Do your homework. Have an understanding of the company you are working for and use resources like Linkedin and Glassdoor to fill in information about potential managers and coworkers and the work environment.
  • Be prepared with 5-6 well thought-out questions (not, ‘How much does it pay?’). Engage in a dialogue with your interviewer about goals for the position and the company to demonstrate your understanding of the mission.
  • Finally, show your gratitude! Take a moment to write an email thanking everyone that you interview with. Even if you don’t get a response, the interviewer will take note and it might set you apart from the competition!