I recently attended an event in Toronto, dedicated to young individuals who have undergone failures throughout their career but have bounced back and continue to fight any obstacle along the way. The hosts Paula Reid, and Anne Phitsanoukanh organized an evening full of inspirational speakers who, personally, left me thinking about how I can turn my failures into successes.
Shut up, Nobody Cares took place at the Gladstone Hotel on Thursday evening. The title was enough encouragement for me to attend the event because I wanted to understand the meaning behind the podcast. The definition of Shut Up, Nobody Cares revolves around this idea of not being afraid to admit when you make a mistake or have fallen on your face because realistically, nobody cares. Continue to work and succeed without the pressure to be perfect. Your mistakes lead you towards bigger and better opportunities, and by worrying about how many failures you have experienced, then you will never be able to move from those mishaps.
One speaker that really stood out to me was an individual who taught a mini physics lesson on the speed of light. At first, I was completely lost and honestly, uninterested in the topic, but this guy amazed me with how he tied in the theme of, Shut Up, Nobody Cares. After explaining the background on the speed of light, he concluded by pointing out the mistakes and failures that experts experienced when trying to discover the truth of the universe. He says, “Life is full of mistakes and setbacks, but our lives are the same. They make us who we are and we wouldn’t be here without them” this line made me realize the possibilities that are available and that there is no end goal. As young entrepreneurs working towards a career we may have always considered being successful as owning my own company. This speaker provides motivation to always keep going no matter what stage of my success I am at.
The night continued with plenty of individuals who shared their success stories and tips on how they overcame the tragedy of letting fear ruin their chances of success. The one thing I took away from this event was that failure is inevitable, but you should not allow your fear to take away your hope.
After speaking with Paula on why she decided to take Shut Up, Nobody Cares into a public space, she indicated that a lot of podcasts take place in the United States and she wanted to bring that aroma of positivity and encouragement to Toronto.
The event was a complete hit, and I was in awe with everyone’s stories, because they were real and unexpected. I say unexpected because every speaker contributed something different and unique that at least, made me feel like my story is not finished just yet.
So, you landed your dream job and now you have no idea what to wear? We have all been there, rummaging through your drawers and throwing all your clothes on to the bed hoping to find the perfect outfit. Take a deep breath because destroying your closet will not help. The first day of work is a lot like the first day of school, you want to give a great first impression since you will be seeing these people every day. Although figuring out what to wear may be overwhelming, and people will judge you no matter what, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Looking confident and comfortable is a key aspect to killing it on your first day on the job. Which is why I have listed the Dos and Donts from my personal experiences for your first day on the job.
Dress for YOUR position
When I started my internship at the beginning of summer I was extremely nervous about not fitting in and was not sure what was the appropriate style for this work environment. I dressed professionally with dress pants, a blouse and heels – this was my first time working in a professional setting, and I wanted to look the part, but I did not consider what part I played in this position. What I mean by this is, when I got hired to be an intern, I was 20 – years old, also known as the youngest employee in the company. I did not have to come in wearing pencil skirts and button ups, but I also needed to dress appropriately.
Do take into consideration that every company is different. Working at a branding company that atmosphere was loud and full of creativity and I felt more comfortable dressing professional but chic. Research the company and the people there, to grasp a better understanding about the working environment before you start your first day.
Bring a change of shoes
At my previous part time job as a sales associate for a clothing store I wore heels during my shift and regretted immediately once I sat in my car and had to drive home in pain. I am a petite woman so, wearing heels gave me the lift of confidence while in a work setting, but I would forgetfully not bring a change of comfortable shoes for before and after my shift begun. Lucky, my internship now, requires me to sit at a desk most of the day writing on my computer, which is why I can wear heels to work without getting sore feet, but comfort is important. You want your employers to know you are comfortable where you are and can adjust, you never know what errand or event you have to run off to at work. Bring an extra pair of runners and change into your work shoes before and after work, this is also a good idea if the weather is terrible and you do not want to dirty the office floors.
Don’t try too hard
Remember that the only person you should be impressing is yourself. Forget about the big name executives and clients and wear what makes you feel like a bad ass queen. Do not over do it by layering on the makeup and over spraying your perfume to make a statement. You want to be remembered for your work, not how you look, because you are worth so much more than your appearance.
I spent every day at work worried that I was being judged and criticized when all I wanted was to fit in. Turns out, I was never being judged on how I looked, but on what I can do, and it was not until the internship offered me a job that I realized it was my confidence in my work that helped me succeed. You do not have to wait until someone tells you, you are doing a good job to believe it, if you walk in and show that you are capable of succeeding people will believe it too.
Most of us have deadlines to worry about and if you are like me, you sometimes wait until the last minute to do whatever it is you were assigned. Well, I am here to tell you to stop delaying your responsibilities and plan ahead. Now, I know what you are thinking, why make your day even longer when you can deal with it at another time – trust me I have given myself the same pep talk multiple times, and you know where it has got me? Crying on my bedroom floor at 2 am. I always thought I was incapable of multitasking because I would get easily stressed out and constantly worry that I would fail or disappoint people. Turns out I just never organized my time properly and because I did everything last minute I spent more time focusing on getting it done on time, instead of focusing on the actual task.
By managing your time, you will be able to get a good night rest without stressing about if you did a good enough job because you will know you contributed 100% effort. Time management does not have to be limited to work, but managing your job, family and relationships are important too.
Personally, I am stuck in this limbo of wanting to work hard now but also, drop all responsibilities and sporadically travel the world. Before summer started I was set on traveling and convinced myself that I have all the time in the world to work, and then summer started and my decision changed. I realized that not working seemed delusional because I actually needed money to leave my house. So, I got three jobs hoping I could save up enough money for future travels. I became overwhelmed and spent most of my days complaining, but it did not occur to me that prioritizing my time. For now, I am not traveling the world, but I was able to manage my jobs so that, I was eating dinner with my family, and hanging out with my friends on the weekend. This may not be the greatest example, but my point is that you do not have to sacrifice what you love in order to be successful or happy. Below, I have listed some tips to help you manage your time properly.
1. Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Taking on too much can become overwhelming and although you may want to be helpful, you should work on what you can successfully manage. Working on overdrive will drain you out and you will not only finish on time, but your mental health may also be negatively affected from stress, exhaustion or worse.
2. Start early
The earlier you start the quicker you can finish whatever you are doing and have time to spare for your personal self. Beginning early also allows you to go at your own pace and not stress about finishing on time.
3. Turn tasks into habits
Once you get in to the groove of completing tasks before the assigned deadline then the work becomes second nature to your everyday schedule. Setting up specific times or days
to get your tasks done, or even to making a point to meet up with an old friend once in a while, your mind will acknowledge this as a habit and be your mental planner.
Put away the distractions, silence your phone, close all tabs and commit to the task or responsibility without being tempted to do something else. It takes an average person 23 minutes to refocus – this is valuable time, use it.
Everyone deals with situations and handles workloads differently – work at your own pace and begin by managing your time efficiently.
Last weekend I planned on attending a free fashion show in celebration of Barbados Fashion Week in Toronto, Ontario. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the show, missing out on a day full of culture and creativity. The only person I can blame for the disappointment is myself because I did not prioritize my travel time properly.
I was unaware of how important it is to plan ahead when traveling somewhere, and I am not just talking about arranging how you are going to get there. Until last weekend, that was the only worry I had, not realizing there are other difficulties to consider such as that I am not the only one dealing with the consequences of being late.
Although the Fashion Show was a lost opportunity, I was lucky that missing the event did not compromise anything in my life. However, this is a lesson to me, to be more careful and organized in case my job or a relationship is ruined because of my lazy actions.
Based on my personal experience, I have listed some tips to help you arrive on time, whether to an event, a meeting or a job interview consider these a wake up call to success.
Give yourself time to be late:
Pick a time to leave and then actually leave 10minutes before that. You never know what interruptions can happen on route to your destination, and because you left earlier, you can afford the time wasted. Arriving at your destination on time gives you space to prep and introduce yourself to new people. Plus, you look very professional and excited to be there, instead of rushing in giving the impression that you had better things to do.
Consider what could go wrong:
Like I mentioned in the previous point, many interruptions can cause you to be late for an event. In my case, I did not plan my time and because of my one mistake, my day continued to go downhill. I was stuck in traffic for 1.5 hours (it only takes 40 minutes to get downtown from where I live) and once I finally arrived at the fashion show, I spent another 20 minutes circling the building trying to find parking. Every parking lot was full, the streets were packed, and by the time I made a decision it was too late. I looked at my clock and the show was over.
When traveling by car, it is important to consider traffic because a short drive can feel like a road trip in no time. Other traveling mishaps to consider are subway delays (the worst!) and weather issues (Canadian’s know the struggle of the unpredictable weather lately).
Be prepared to pay:
Usually traveling downtown can be expensive, between having to pay for parking, gas or public transportation, you should carry extra cash. You do not want to show up late because you had to run to the bank to withdrawal money. Before heading downtown, search near by parking lots to see the flat rate and choose the most affordable and convenient. Phone Apps like Toronto Parking are available specifically for this reason.
Nobody likes hearing excuses, if you follow my advice and your only worry will be how to have fun. It is never a bad thing to be prepared, tardiness is unacceptable! Show up, own it and make the most of your days.
A night out with the girls is always a well-needed break from our everyday responsibilities. Lately, I have been in an adventurous mood where all I want to do is go out and experience the extraordinary with people I consider family. That is why, when I discovered this trendy activity called Paint Nite, I knew I had to try it.
To briefly explain, Paint Nite is a group of people getting together at a restaurant and an artist comes in to lead a painting class. The best part is that no art experience is required. The instructor explains step by step what to do, and in the end, you are left with a beautiful canvas painting. Oh, and how could I forget, while you show off your inner Picasso, you are can order cocktails! The event is 19+ but for those who are over the legal age limit, you are able to take your masterpiece home with you and share it with everyone.
The event brings culture and creativity alive on a canvas. The night I attended, the theme was called Italy and the organizers played Italian music in the background. For one night I felt like I was sitting in an art gallery in Europe admiring every moment.
Paint Nite is more than getting out of the house and having fun, it gives you a chance to spend quality time with people that make you happy. The event is also a great networking opportunity because you are surrounded by strangers hoping to have a great night as well. I learned that we should not have to take life too seriously. It is important to be open to trying something new because you might discover a new talent you never thought existed. I am not saying by attending Paint Nite you will automatically fulfill a career in art, but a hobby like this may be an escape that will mentally heal you. Use an experience like this one referencing it to anything you try in life, and make it a means of serenity.
Take a risk to experience more and accept new opportunities because the world is full of wonderful surprises and you are not going to find anything by being too safe. My painting may not be award winning but the memory behind it is priceless. By exposing yourself to new opportunities you are allowing room to grow, whether in your career, health or life in general; you deserve to love yourself and what you do.