Nothing worth having comes easy

Nothing worth having comes easy

Contributed by
Sarah Pichardo

You’re not born walking. First you learn to roll over and to sit. Then you learn to crawl. Then you learn to stand up while holding on to furniture, then by yourself. Then you manage to take a few steps before falling down, but you get up and do it again, and fall again. Then, and only after you’ve fallen more times than anyone can count and gotten back up, do you become a pro at walking. It’s hard work, but well worth it.

This is life. Everything you do isn’t easy until you’ve done it so many times, that it becomes easier. But you have to work.

Technology and social media have spoiled us with fulfilling our need for instant gratification. We want everything and we want it now. But success isn’t instant and doesn’t happen overnight.

A person who’s never run a mile in his life knows he can’t show up to a marathon and expect to complete it. He won’t get very far. Rather he gets on a training schedule, starts off slow and works his way up to running longer and longer until he reaches his goal.

Earlier this year, I set a New Year’s resolution. It’s to write a screenplay. I’ve never written a screenplay before. I’ve written for radio dramas, for theatre, for advertising and marketing purposes, but never have I written a full feature movie. I have the story idea and I could have sat down and started writing based on what I know, but the odds of that turning out any good are slim. Instead, I started by reading one book that introduced me to the topic. From there I set some time goals. Then I started reading more books, attending webinars, taking several classes and workshops from people who actually know what they’re doing, reading screenplays and watching lots of movies. In a few months, I’ll be conducting interviews, and from there I will work on an outline and then I will begin to write. I don’t expect to be done anytime soon. But I have set a goal and have given myself a goal date – allowing for some flexibility (but not too much because we all know that excuses are our worst enemy).

Set a goal. Set a date for when you want to accomplish your goal. Take baby steps. Take bigger steps. Fall down. Get back up. Keep going. Assess your progress. Adjust steps when necessary. Be flexible. Work hard. Work harder.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

For more resources on personal and professional development,  you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

Refreshing Your Career

Refreshing Your Career

Contributed by
Robert Salazar

In approaching this topic, I’ll start with a story about John Lennon. The singer-songwriter (and part-time-walrus) had second thoughts about releasing an album, and after much reflection, he did. As to why, he simply said, “it’s all part of the production.”

I think about this line a lot. We as a people are producers, we create more of ourselves and spread out. In bringing up this idea of refreshing your career, I figure I’ll orient you to how I view my own career – one based in seeking the new and expanding what we get from life and give to it. I try my best to be philosophically sound in my decision making – and that starts in finding a philosophy.

 One way to develop a philosophy is to find the through-line of what you want to do. I have been lucky to work as an actor, theatre director, personal assistant, art director, production coordinator, product reviewer, pastry designer, copywriter, and more. I may wear a lot of hats but I always try to shop at the same store – so I’ve had many check-ins with myself and my mentors where I make sure I have a through-line I’m consistently honoring.

It starts with questions. What comes natural? What’s worth the work? In the end there will be no answers, but best guesses.

If you feel lost or stuck in your career, ask yourself what it is you’re there for. Who are you serving? Are you just there for a paycheck? It’s certainly fine to work somewhere just for the money, however I’ve seen plenty of friends burn out from this situation – their work lives have taken over their personal lives.

It happened to me too. I spent a solid few months working jobs I hated and felt myself falling into a depression. I was less fun to be around as a result and my personal relationships suffered. With maybe my 14th cover letter, I realized I was only ever talking about what I did, not what I want to do.

I started experimenting by writing about my passions and what truly inspires me. I started understanding what I really wanted and that’s when I started getting interviews. Now I’m happily married and I have 4 kids at Ivy League Schools.

Just kidding. The part that’s true is I’m happy. I’ll end with a recommendation for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Double Fantasy,” Lennon’s comeback album after leaving the Beatles and taking a few years to focus on fatherhood. It focuses on how it’s crazy to do anything, but it’s even crazier to never refresh.

For more resources on professional development and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

Making the Most of Your Internship

Making the Most of Your Internship

Contributed by
Ashley Reed

Whether you are a student looking for workplace experience or a professional transitioning into a new field, internships are pivotal for bolstering your resume and expanding your professional network. According to the The National Association of Colleges and Employers, a reported 80 percent of employers view recruiting as a primary function of internships, meaning that employers often are scouting potential hires during the internship process.

For this post, I reached out to my professional acquaintances and asked them how they made the most of their internships and their advice to others who are either finishing up an internship or planning to begin one in the future.

 

Gabrielle Doraisamy, Marketing Specialist at ASSET Marketing Services
If there’s one thing that I could pass on to future interns, it would be to dress up, show up, and contribute…Companies crave new (and free) ideas! Since it’s true, you’re only young once, use it to your advantage. As an intern, you have the incredible opportunity to provide a point of view that many executives do not have.

If you allow yourself to research and pitch an opinion or idea, many times, you will encounter a win-win scenario.
Win #1 – You are learning how to present your opinion in a professional setting.


Win #2 – You are giving possible hiring professionals a glimpse into what you can bring to the company if hired post-internship.
Worst case scenario – your idea isn’t positively received. I still consider this a win because you’re an intern who is trying. You still have the safety of operating under the umbrella of not being expected to know everything – trust me, you’ll miss this later in life.
When your internship is about to conclude, I would encourage every motivated intern to purchase a thank you card and hand-write (when was the last time you picked up a pencil anyways?) a thoughtfully worded “thank you” to the professionals you worked with. In the message, add a personal note explaining what you enjoyed about working with someone. These are the touches that make you stand out. Place the card in the envelope and say a prayer because you never know, you could be sealing the deal.”

 

Mary Stewart, Director of Communications at Mobilize Rescue Systems

“A communications internship at a busy startup accidentally taught me the value of taking initiative. The first few weeks I only accomplished what was on the job description, but it wasn’t long before I realized my boss was too busy to create new tasks. Sitting at a computer, waiting for direction, and not wanting to bother any of my colleagues – I decided to do what I thought would help the company.

I re-wrote the outdated content on the website, page by page. It might have been a small contribution, but when my boss stopped by to apologize for not keeping me busy, he saw that I was capable of not only solving problems but finding them as well. More importantly, I learned my worth as an intern wasn’t limited to a sheet of paper with a list of tasks. So my advice? You have a role in defining your internship – make it yours!’

For more information on how to find or make the most out of an internship, you can visit sites like the Career Contessa, Way Up, or LinkedIn. Best of luck to our readers who are currently finishing up an internship or beginning one in the future!

For more resources on professional development and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

Networking

Networking

Contributed by
Eduardo Morales

As a business major during my undergrad years, I had my fair share of networking events. I even attended classes that taught business etiquette while networking. What’s the proper approach? How do you strike up conversation? What side of your shirt should you wear your nametag? No matter what industry you find yourself in, networking is very important. Why? Because the basic idea of networking is to build relationships that may lead to impactful opportunities and personal connections along the road.

In the early stages of my career, I didn’t see networking as something for others, I saw it as something for myself. For a while, I had a “how-can-you-help-me” approach to networking. Through experience, however, I found that networking should not be a “me-focused” endeavor, but should be about the other person that you are connecting with. Ultimately, it’s about building relationships, and no one likes being in a one-sided relationship. In order for a true relationship to be built, there needs to be a degree of reciprocity.

The shift in my mindset really took place several years ago, when I was working in a community outreach position for a church. The idea was to help the church connect to the community and allow the community to connect with the local church. This meant that a bulk of my duties included creating opportunities for the church to serve in the community and finding community resources that we could bring into the church to help the congregation as well.  Needless to say, I was out in the community quite frequently attending community fairs, advisory councils, CAPS district meetings, and block parties. Wherever you go, you can find a need that people have. Their need could involve employment, civic affairs, education, housing, or another aspect of their lives.

There are nonprofits, social services and government agencies that help fund in specific needs, but if we are honest we can’t meet all the needs of the community with just one organization. We could try, but odds are, the more we broaden our scope the less effective we might become in what we truly do well. From these experiences I really came to grasp the importance of taking the “how-can-I-help-you” approach to networking. This shift from a “me” to a “we” approach, is necessary for healthy collaboration. I believe that in order to truly make an impact in our neighborhoods, communities, cities, and world, we must replace isolated attempts for change with collaborative efforts.

I have followed Dale Patridge for a few years now. In his book, People Over Profit, he makes the point of focusing on helping people rather than focusing on just  profit. In other words, if you were to shift your mind-frame to, “how can I help one million people” instead of “how can I make million dollars,” you will most likely become successful because you a focusing on helping others (the consumers). As I transitioned into a new position at Family Bridges, I was tasked with helping to expand the organization into Phoenix. At the time we didn’t know many people there, nor did anyone know about us. So we did a lot of meeting and greeting, story-telling and selling, all by networking in the community with the mindset “how can we help?”

Looking to add value to others and cultivating relationships is the key to collaboration. This begins with a “we” approach to networking. So whether it’s networking for B2B or B2C, what mindset are you approaching others with? What are some ways that you could add value to those who you come in contact with? I truly believe that when people see that you are not just in it for yourself, but rather are eager  to help and put others first, walls can come down, opportunities to collaborate can arise, and you might have some wonderful opportunities to great things that impact the world around you.

For blogs, tips and ideas about life and relationships, follow us @familybridges.