4 Soft Skills That Can Send Your Career To the Next Level

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Many years ago, while in college, I overheard a soon to be graduate speaking with another student. The student was asking her what were the most valuable skills she learned while in college. She responded honestly, I learned how to communicate with all types of people. Communication would be my biggest take from school. I feel I have the ability to communicate with anyone from any walk of life and this has been due to my college experience.

Over the years, I have learned many skills some were technical skills necessary to perform a role or position. Others, were skills I learned by working in the workforce. Some of the most valuable skills that transcend from industry to industry are what we call soft skills. Soft skills, or as I like to refer to them professional skills, are skills an individual acquire either naturally or are specifically developed.

Here are four highly sought after soft skills that can help elevate your career. In the story I shared above, my fellow college student learned what I think is one of the most valuable soft skills and that is communication.

 

Communication

Communication is important in every industry. Communication involves not only expressing your ideas but also listening to others. Understanding what is the big picture, is just as important as articulating the vision to others.

Mastering the skill of communication is highly recommended to elevate your career. Just think, when you first meet an individual your first impression is developed on how the person looks and how they present themselves. Great communicators are essential in any work environment and usually are looked upon favorably.

The art of communicating what  you want, need, and how to obtain the goal is necessary in any work environment. Good communication involves listening, paraphrasing back to the person what you understand them to be saying, then clearly respond what you want to convey. Following up to ensure your message was received correctly is essential.

Positive Attitude

Steve Harvey said it best “Your attitude will determine your altitude.” A positive attitude is something a person has worked to develop. I truly believe your attitude will determine your success in anything you seek out to do. This soft skill is one that many individuals miss.

Is your attitude a skill? Yes! Yes! It is! I say this because in life whether it is career or personal, there will be challenges. How you view and handle these obstacles will determine your outcome. When things do not go as we plan or would like, it’s human nature to feel sad, angry, or down. But how do we view this obstacle? I had to shift my thinking to ok this is not working as I thought it would what direction is this obstacle shifting me to? This challenge is presented to me to prepare me for a success.

To not allow your emotions to take over when there are challenges is a skill that must be developed. Maintaining a positive attitude is indeed a skill. A skill that employers desire because in any organization there will be challenges. Which leads me to my next soft skill critical thinking.

Critical Thinking

Have you ever heard the phrase “there is more than one way to skin a cat?” Critical thinking is an important skill in problem solving and conflict resolution.  Problems in the workplace will arise weather it be an unforeseen occurrence that will interfere with meeting a deadline, or issues in day to day operations that arise. Critical thinking is paramount in handling challenges when they present themselves.

Leadership

If you are in a leadership role or not, having a leadership spirit is a desirable skill. The ability to inspire and motivate the people around you is a skill worth developing to get the best results. Lead by example, be a role model, while remaining humble will gain you followers even if you don’t directly manage others. Your influence  and  ability to establish teamwork will payoff.

Developing these four crucial professional skills, will give you the opportunity to develop your career to the next level. Please share with me some of your soft skills that has helped you in your career. I would love to hear them!

Written by:

Rochella Neely
“An open book”

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Working Mom Guilt

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A few days ago I watched a television show. On this show, A female doctor was explaining why she quit practicing medicine to stay at home with her kids. As she told her story she was emotional. This doctor’s story resonated with me so, that it brought me to tears. Yes, working mom guilt is real and powerful.

Working mom guilt, I believe every working mother experiences it to some level. Some women learn to suppress the guilt, some learn to work with it, and others simply cannot and choose to stay home with their children.

When I had my first child the guilt was very strong. By he second not as much but still there. Here are steps that may help you work with the guilt.

Select a Childcare Provider you are Comfortable With

Knowing  you are leaving your child with a provider you feel comfortable with will help with the guilt. No one is  going to take care of your child as you, however, knowing your child is with the next best option will help. Research childcare providers and nannies, ask for referrals, check references, and do not compromise until you’ve found a good fit you and your child feel comfortable with.

You’re Doing This For Your Child Not To Your Child

One way I was able to curtail the guilt was to remind myself that I was doing this FOR my children not TO my children. It can be discouraging at first when you leave for work and your kid is hysterically crying, clenched to your body with all that they have.  What parent would not feel guilty.

I had to remind myself children are expensive. Two incomes for my household was economically best for my family. But is it emotionally best for your kids you may ask?

Learning to Deal with the Separation Will Help Long- Term

Going to work and allowing your child to experience separation from their parents can be healthy for the child and you. The child will adjust and learn to trust that the parents will come back. Time around other individuals and/or children will expose the child to develop other healthy relationships early on.

One of the most joyous feelings is to come home or pick your child up and see, hear, and feel the excitement your child has to see you. My 2 year old will normally run and scream mommy, my mommy, you are back and give me a great big bear hug. The  best feeling in the world!

Do What is Best For Your Family

Every family dynamic is different. If you decide you cannot bear the guilt when your little one is crying uncontrollably “mommy don’t go!” Should you choose to stay home with your little one that is fine. There is no denying the fact kids grow up quickly. Being a working mom you will miss some things. I believe every working mom wishes she could work and not miss one second of her child’s childhood. The reality of the matter is we all have to make a choice and that choice is  custom to our families. I would love to hear what choice you made and if you had any regrets.

 

 

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Why You Should Date Yourself

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Someone posted an interesting question to social media. The question posed was would you date yourself? Would I date myself? I thought about that for a moment and the answer is yes. I am a person of good character and fun to be around. I would date myself. Months later I decided to actually take myself on a date. Here’s why I believe every woman should date herself.

Self Care is Necessary Not Optional

As career women and mothers we tend to give, give, and give more. We give to our careers, we give to our children, we give to our spouses or significant others, we give to our friends, but when do we give to ourselves? Taking care of self is necessary for a healthy mind, body, and soul. Once upon a time, like clockwork, I was at the salon getting my hair styled, nails manicured, and eyebrows arched. Fast forward 10 years, I have almost forgotten what the inside of a salon looks like!  Why did I stop doing these little things for myself? The answer is taking care of everything else and everyone else became priority over myself.  I believe neglecting to treat oneself  over an extended period of time can become dangerous and here’s why.

Resentment and Bitterness

Bitterness and discontent can start to fester inside of you. No one wants resentment and bitterness as their two BFF’s. I have spoken with many women who feel they have lost the essence of who they are. I have experience brief periods of this myself. How do we combat this? One way is by dating yourself.

My Lunch Date

One afternoon I decided to take myself to lunch. I had a nice quiet lunch at a steakhouse. The restaurant was not extremely busy, as I went during lunch in the middle of the week. It was nice to sit and be with my inner thoughts. Tranquility was present on my lunch date.  The food was pleasing to my palate.

Next I took myself shopping. This was fun! Oh how wonderful it was to shop for myself. No  stopping to take kids to the bathroom, and no questions of when are we leaving? I purchased some items that I didn’t even know I wanted. I had been so busy “doing” lately I had lost desire and want.

Here are some suggestions to have a successful date with yourself:

  1. Turn your phone off. For my next date the phone will be turned off for a couple of hours for a better experience.
  2. Do only for yourself during the date. While I was shopping I found myself thinking I wonder if I could find xyz for my daughter? or abc for my husband? I had to remind myself this is for me. All items purchased should be for me.
  3. Have fun. Enjoy the moment.
  4. Take note of your feelings during the date. I was surprised that I felt closer  to my real self and reconnected.

My goal for 2018 is to date myself more regularly.  I will no longer wait until I’m burned out. I will put it on my calendar as a regularly scheduled event.

Written by Rochella Neely
“an open book”

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Overlooked Again? How to Secure the Promotion

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When in college I thought the cookie cutter recipe to a lucrative career was to  graduate, find a good job, work hard, and the promotions would come.  In other words hard work = promotion. During my career I saw individuals who were promoted frequently and others who were constantly overlooked for promotions. I personally have been on both ends of the spectrum. What does it take to obtain the promotion?

 

Strive To Be The Best At What You Do

It is always a good idea to put forth great effort in your current role.  Exceed expectations, strive to be the expert in your role, and continue to learn in your field. Go above and beyond. Volunteer for additional projects and complete them well.  Ask your immediate manger for feedback in areas of improvement. Communicate to your manager your career goals.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Maintain A Positive Attitude

Your attitude will determine your success. Many people have heard this before but rarely  believe it.  So here it is again. Your attitude will determine your success. Years ago I recall there was a woman I worked with and every day she had a sticky note taped to her computer. The sticky note read “stay positive” I never knew why she had this taped to her computer. I assumed she needed the reminder for herself. Maybe the ugly horns of negativity was something she was struggling with I thought. I never asked her about the sticky note. In hindsight, it could have been for me. Everyday as I walked past her computer, I saw the sticky note and it was of encouragement to me.

I noticed once I changed my attitude, my life started to shift drastically in a positive manner. I made a conscious and intentional choice to practice gratitude.  Once I started practicing gratitude, my attitude changed, and in turn my life changed.A positive attitude is not something that can be faked. People can feel it. Authenticity in this area is necessary.

Find Yourself Some Cheerleaders

No one has gotten anywhere alone. In your career it is necessary to build relationships with key individuals that can aide in your development. Earlier this year I was at a conference and one of the speakers stated everyone should have a mentor no matter what level they are in their careers. She went on to explain  “you need someone to be  a cheerleader for you.”

This is a  tip many individuals  overlook. Just imagine if you were looking lets say for example, a contractor to remodel your kitchen. You go online look up a couple of contractors. You speak with them over the phone ,receive some estimates, and one you are considering hiring. Later that evening, you mention to your friend you are about to remodel your kitchen. He says I know a really good contractor.  He completed my basement. He is dependable, talented and reasonably price. You call the guy and he seems like someone you would want to hire. Who do you go with? Most people would take a chance on the the contractor that had a good word from a previous customer. This doesn’t mean the other contractor would not have done a good job however, having a “cheerleader” helped seal the deal. In a competitive workplace you can never have enough cheerleaders.

Establish a Good Relationship With Your Manager

I know what some of you are  thinking. My Manager has the people skills of a rock. He could not do my job for one week. This may be true however, this ties into having cheerleaders for yourself. If you are in a position in which you have poor leadership, please take a look at my article How to Deal With A Bad Boss.  I’m not saying you have to be BFF’s with your Manager. However, it is smart to have a good working relationship with your immediate Manager and your Senior Managers. When promotion time comes around you can bet your Manager will be consulted on your performance. Establish your Manager as  one of your cheerleaders.

Network Within and Outside Your Organization

Establishing a strong network is essential in your career. Network within your organization as paths may cross again. Network outside your organization as opportunities are always  becoming available. My approach to networking is what can I do to help others? It can be as simple as introducing two people who can help each other. This approach to networking has come full circle for myself and business. Through my efforts of service to others my network strengthens, trust is formed, relationships are born and business grows. For more tips on networking please read How to Increase Relationship Building Skills.

Please share what has helped you secure your promotion. I would love to hear.

Witten by Rochella Neely
An “Open Book”

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Family Story Time How to Make it Memorable

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I’m going to give you a Bear Hug by Caroline Cooney

One of my fondest memories as a child is listening to the many childhood stories my mom read to me. I cultivated the love of reading at a very young age.

After a warm bath, application of soothing lotion, and clothed in new PJ’s; there’s nothing more comforting than a good bedtime story.

Snuggling under the covers and listening to a bed time story is one of the best memories I have from my childhood.

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I try to instill the love of reading into my children today. I’m going to give you a Bear Hug! is a new book I recently introduced to my 2 children. I’m going to give you a Bear Hug! by Caroline Cooney is a rhythmic, fun, book for children. While reading this book to my 2 year old daughter, she enjoys the way the author plays with word sounds to tell a story.

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As the title suggest, the book is all about hugs. The book plays on imagination and all the ways a child might give or receive a hug.  My 2 year old loves to hug so she was attracted immediately to the book. The different animals through out the book helps her learn animal recognition.

My 6 year old enjoyed the book as well. He practices his reading by reading the book aloud. For his reading level, it’s a good book for him to read to his little sister. The illustrated pictures are eye catching and attractive to young readers. This book is fun, educational, and a little wacky. The quality of the book is nice and sturdy. The perfect gift for little ones. You can purchase your copy at amazon.com

Story time is a time for kids to learn, let their imaginations soar, and develop a love of books. As my love affair for books increased, I learned I could go anywhere in the world; with out leaving my house through reading. I would like to hear some ways you cultivate the love of reading in your children and what is means to you.

 

*Winner of giveaway will be announced on Tuesday, April 11th.
*Winner must be a  U.S Citizen

Written by Rochella Neely
“An open book”

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How to Effectively Manage Your Time

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How to Effectively Manage Your Time

There is not enough time in the day. Have you ever thought this or said it to someone? If you are of the living, I’m sure you have. In a fast pace, I need it yesterday, kind of environment; it seems many people do not have the time to do everything. With work responsibilities, household duties, tending to children, personal care and the list goes on, there seems to never be enough time. Time Management is essential to be productive and achieve life goals. Balancing the never ending list of tasks needed to be completed can become exhausting. These tips have helped me to keep my sanity and remain focused.

Prioritize

In theory, it’s really simple. Complete one task at a time, little by little, until you have completed the entire task. Then move on to the next task. Thinking about all I need to do sometimes becomes overwhelming. What helps me is to prioritize. The task I must get completed immediately goes to the top of my list.

Time Management Tips
Time Management Tips

 

Do you physically write a list? I swear by a “to do” list! There is something about writing down everything on my to do list. After I have completed the task I draw a line through it. Just doing this simple practice of striking through the task, gives me a great sense of accomplishment. For me accomplishment motivates me to do more and I become more productive.

I love a planner or fancy “to do” note pad. In an effort to keep me organized, I decided to look for the planner of all planners. The cream of the cop.

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Tools4Wisdom Planner
Tools4Wisdom Planner

I came across the Tools4Wisdom Planner. This planner is awe-some! Let me first start with stating it is of high quality. This planner did not disappoint. When I opened the box, I believe I heard music. In black letters it reads “always believe in yourself” Anyone who knows me is aware I Love a motivational quote. Just taking this planner out the box made me want to start planning a bunch of goals.

Then I opened the planner, there was more music. Inspirational/motivational quotes each month. In addition to the quotes, each month there are essential goal sheets. These  essential goals sheets are for you to write out what biggest outcomes you would like to achieve for the month, why, and what objectives are needed to achieve these goals.

It’s as if the planner is having you to create your strategic plan. It really makes an individual go through a road map of how they are going to achieve their goals for the month. Included for each day is a to do list along with priority sub lists. To say I love this planner is an understatement.

I take it everywhere with me and it is a conversational piece. To purchase your fabulous planner click here. You will thank me later.

Utilize Electronic Reminders

Although I love the Tools4Wisdom Planner, I heavily rely on my electronic reminders. With so many tasks to complete I set a reminder for everything. All the way to picking my son up from school. I have reminders on my work email and on my phone. They are used interchangeably  for work and personal tasks. Electronic reminders will help to ensure important projects are completed on time, deadlines are not missed, and make you look as if you are on top of everything!

Be an Early Riser

The early bird gets the worm. I became an early riser by default after I had kids. Ha! I find when I rise before the rest of my household, I am more productive. I wake up 30 minutes before everyone else gets up. During this time I am able to meditate on what needs to be accomplished for the day, write in my planner to do’s for the day and prioritize them.  Sometimes I use this time to journal or start preparing for the day. Try it one morning and see if it works for you.

Do Not Overextend Yourself

Before I commit to something, I ensure I am able to deliver. A mistake  some ambitious people fall into is overextending themselves. Regardless of how well you have mastered time management and multitasking, overextending yourself is setting yourself up for failure. Before saying yes be sure you don’t have too much on your plate already.

Delegate When Possible

Delegate, delegate, delegate. One person cannot do it all. Have a team you can count on professionally and at home. One of the lessons some new leaders have to learn is you cannot do it all yourself. Tasks that can be completed  by someone else, assign them out.

This concept is true in the home. Do you assign chores to your children and hold them accountable to complete them? Does your spouse assist in the home? If not have you sat down and discussed  what tasks you need assistance with?

Time Management skills are essential in life. If you’re a CEO, a sales representative, a stay at home mom, an entrepreneur or all four, mastering time management is essential. What are some tips you have found that helps aid in managing your time? I would love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this post please read How to Increase Relationship Building Skills.

Written by: Rochella Neely
“An open book”

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A Wife’s Secret To Happines By Jen Weaver Book Review

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A Wife’s Secret To Happiness

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A Wife's Secret To Happiness
A Wife’s Secret To Happiness

The key to a strong family unit is a strong foundation. Subscribe to win a free copy of this book! Recently, I came across this book A Wife’s Secret To Happiness. As a married woman of several years, I asked myself what is A Wife’s Secret To Happiness? I contemplated the thought myself. Prior to reading the book, my thoughts were a wife’s secret to happiness is carving time for herself as a woman, maintaining her individuality, and discovery of the joy in giving.

As I began to read the book, I was reminded of good advice every wife should remember. Jen Weaver beautifully writes this scriptural based, love letter to wives. The first chapter is all about the Blessing of Three Strands.

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Cord of Three Strands

The book breaks down who the three strands represent and why they are so important in a unique way. Throughout the book there are “Wifestyle” quizzes. Wifestyles are tendencies in our day to day interactions with our husbands. Readers, by completing these quizzes, can determine their Wifestyle or habits and work toward improving these habits as needed.

I really enjoyed the real life Wifestyle stories. These stories were real life experiences that many wives can relate to. Marianne’s Real Life #Wifestylin story was eye opening to me.

“When we took personality tests as part of our marriage counseling, our pastor opened the results, studied them for a moment, then leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath. We were polar opposites on nearly every part of the scale.

The pastor later told us this: “Because of your extreme differences, you have the potential to be strong for one another when the other is weak. You have a rare opportunity to be a very complete unit where, between the two of you, nearly every strength is covered because you fill in each other’s gaps. But if you don’t fill in each other’s weaknesses with your opposite strengths, you will have a difficult, tension-filled marriage.” From the book A Wife’s Secret To Happiness By Jen Weaver.

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Another aspect I really enjoyed about the book is Jen’s transparency and openness regarding her own marriage. She writes “Our disconnect fed my insecurities as jagged scars from his past…my past…our past… cut fresh wounds in my heart. Guilt became my companion. Guilt for doing some things but not others. Guilt for what didn’t get done, for not doing better, not being stronger. Guilty for the guilt, I grew bitter. Jared’s capacity seemed limited to his profession when the Jaws of Life forced open my daily functions to include wife, stay at home mom, work from home executive, personal assistant, chef, housekeeper, and somewhere in there, sex kitten. I resented that we somehow expected me to do everything else.” From the book A Wife’s Secret to Happiness By Jen Weaver.

Marriage is challenging and A Wife’s Secret to Happiness gives women resources and tools to help weather the storm. This book was eloquently written and is a good read. It is a book for current wives, soon to be wives, or women contemplating marriage.

I will have a drawing for one free copy of A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. Subscribe to  Career and Family Life below or on the right-side bar by entering your name and email address. The promotion will run from Monday, March 13, 2017 thru Monday, March 20th. The lucky winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 21st.  You also can purchase your copy here or visit www.thejenweaver.com.

*Must be a U.S. citizen to win*

Written by: Rochella Neely
“An open Book”
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My Journey to a Great Mother Son Relationship

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Mother Son Relationship 

I was 5 months pregnant, getting ready to have my ultrasound to reveal the sex of my first baby. The Ultrasound technician placed the cold, gel, on my belly. “Wow, your baby is really active, he or she is doing somersaults in there.” As the technician tried to move the monitor around my belly to get a good shot, I saw what looked like a penis on the screen.” No, it can’t be.” I thought to myself.

Finally, after what seemed like 15 minutes, a few seconds later she announced, it looks like you are having a baby boy. I was so disappointed. I really, really, wanted a baby girl. Since this was going to be my only child, (so I thought) I went home and cried a few tears. I recall my grandmother saying after I told her the news, “well, you have to accept what you got.”

 Mother Son Relationship

She’s right I said, I should accept what I have. Then feelings of guilt settled in. There are many women who wish they could have a baby. I should be grateful and hope that I deliver a healthy, baby, boy.

I examined my feelings. Why did I want to have a girl so bad? After exploring my state of mind, the truth was, I was scared. I felt I will fail at raising a son. Young boys have so many distractions and enticements to lead them down the wrong path. They are more of a challenge to raise and I did not want to fail him. I did not believe I would have a close bond with my boy as I would have with a girl.

I had witnessed young boys, whom I knew were taught to follow a favorable path. Their parents tried hard to keep them on the right road but as the boys grew up they choose a rough, negative, road. I felt raising a boy would be more difficult. Unbeknownst to me, I had developed a undesirable image of young boys.  

My baby boy was born. He was healthy and perfect. I loved him before I met him. As he grew, I was surprised at how closely we bonded. We have the kind of relationship where he feels comfortable telling me anything. I constantly reassure him that I love him no matter what.

Mother Son Relationship

To my surprise, he is a thoughtful, considerate, and understanding soul. I could not have asked for a better introduction to parenthood. He certainly changed me for the better. He is one of my best friends, my teacher, of course my student, and one of the biggest loves of my life.

 I learned stereotypes and fears we all have them. In hindsight, it was senseless of me to think I would not have a close bond with my boy. He came from me and there is no closer bond then our heavenly father.  We must open ourselves to “accept what we got”, enjoy our journey and live each moment with an open, unbiased heart.

If you enjoyed this post, check out Family: Absent Father and Daughters and Family: Favorites? Do you Have a Favorite Child?

Written by : Rochella Neely
“an open book”

 

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How to Increase Relationship Building Skills

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During college, I learned many technical skills. One of the most important skills to learn was not taught in college thus, I learned all about relationship building through trial and error. Relationship building is a life-long skill that transfers into all areas of life. It doesn’t matter if an individual is an employee, an entrepreneur, a mother, a sister, a wife or business partner. Building relationships is important in any professional or personal endeavor. Here are some guidelines I have learned that help in building relationships.

Be authentic

I love this quote. As a young professional new to the business world, I started out trying to be what I thought Senior Managers, Executives, and esteemed colleague’s thought I should be. I believe many young professionals make this error. Not being who you are will only get you so far in the business world and life in general.

Authenticity is a must. Years ago, I made a promise to live a more authentic life. Some of the people I most admire, know who they are, have the courage to be who they are, and are happy doing so. In your career and in your personal life, people know when you are not being authentic. They can feel it, I can feel it. Authenticity is the first step to relationship building.

Once, I started to be my authentic self, all the goals I was working toward, came overflowing in my life. During a person’s career, there are many people who help cultivate, motivate and mentor the individual. Having strong relationship building skills helps this process.

Of course, in a professional environment, you must act professionally. To be authentic is to be true to your unique distinctiveness. Who are you? Does the person know who you are? Do you stay true to who you have established yourself to be? While building a relationship, it is important to be genuine, (remember people can tell when you’re faking it) once you have established who you are, stay true to that authenticity. This is how trust is built.

Trust

Trust is crucial to every relationship. Would you want someone on your team you could not trust? I absolutely would not. The people you report to want to trust you will do what you have been hired to do. In business, clients need to trust you will deliver what you have promised. Your business partners need to trust you will deliver you portion of the project.

When you are building relationships, ensure you are doing what you said you would do. If you say “I will call you on Tuesday at 2:00,” make sure you do so. Strive to over deliver. People are observing to see if you are trustworthy with a little fish, before giving you a big fish.

Service to Others

One of the best ways to build relationships and increase self-development, is to shift the focus off one self and on to helping others. In a world where individual self-gratification typically comes first, service to others can be last on the list. There are many organizations and individuals who dedicate themselves to helping others. Partner with these people and give back. Many relationships can come out of these endeavors. Once I shifted my focus to helping others, I became more fulfilled, happier, and more successful.

Relationship building is an important skill that may help you land your first job, your next job, your promotion, open your first business, take your current business to the next level, or help you find your calling. The positive effects are endless. With constant developing of this critical skill, you will notice a big, positive, change in your professional and personal life. What are some ways relationship building has positively impacted your life? I would love to hear from you!

 

Written by: Rochella Neely
“An Open Book”

 

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Tips on How to Save and Increase Wealth

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In today’s economy, people often say “it’s hard to save money.” I agree it can be difficult, however, not impossible to achieve. Honestly, I can’t understand how a person can afford not to save for unplanned emergencies. A practice I learned early on as a child, save for the future; is not common today. Funds can be used to make a large purchase, for unexpected large expenses, or in the event of a loss of income. How can I save? Here are some practices I use that have aided me in saving.

Pay Yourself First 

I’m sure most people have heard the saying “pay yourself first” I live by it. I treat my savings account as a bill that must be paid every time I receive a check. When I receive funds a portion goes directly into my savings account. This is a good practice to have. Even if it’s a small amount, ensure you put something away. You will be amazed at how these small amounts accumulate over time. For an emergency fund, I recommend having 6 months to 1 year of your salary in a liquid account. Pay yourself first, this is an excellent practice to get into the habit of.

Vacation

Extra Funds? Put a portion into Your Savings Account

You receive a bonus at work or maybe if you are lucky, you receive a large income tax return. Do you treat yourself to a Michael Kors purse? Maybe a vacation? A shopping spree? Make sure you put a portion away in your savings account first. I’m certainly not saying don’t treat yourself! I believe in treating myself. However, putting a portion away will help you move closer to meeting your financial goals.

Forget about the Savings Account

The point of having a savings account is to save. Put the funds in the account and forget about it. Putting the funds in and then taking them out a week or so later defeats the purpose. The purpose is to accumulate wealth. The money should be used only in the event of an emergency or if you are saving for something specific that you are now ready to purchase.

Open a CD

Once the balance in your savings has grown to where you can invest in a CD, open a CD also known as a Certificate of Time Deposit account. A CD typically pays a higher interest rate than a savings account. This strategy will help grow your money faster by allowing the funds to sit and grow at a higher interest rate.

Avoid Paying Service Fees

Ensure that you are paying your bills on time and avoiding service fees. Service fees can add up quickly and if avoided save you a lot of money. The funds you save by avoiding service fees, should be invested into your savings portfolio.

Photo courtesy of Wonderlass

Invest

After establishing sufficient emergency fund in your savings account and investing in a few CD’s, now you can explore investing in other options. I strongly suggest speaking with a licensed investment professional to come up with the best plan for your further investments. Find a professional you feel comfortable with and ask as many questions as you can think of. Investments can lose principal, so be sure to understand what your investment goals are, your strategy and the risks.

Saving can be a challenge however it is attainable. Having a healthy savings plan and strategy strengthens the economics of the family. The relief of not worrying over money helps aid in enjoying life and your family on a profound level. What are some strategies you use to save and increase wealth?

 

Written by: Rochella Neely
“an open book”

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