I survived last week’s crush of events to celebrate AAPI heritage month. It’s always a lovely time re-connecting and forging new relationships with those who are interested in uplifting the AAPI community. There are 21 million AAPIs and we represent 6% of the population so we’re encouraging talented individuals to look at public service as a career. Oftentimes, you’ll find people who aren’t interested in running for office because the sacrifice to run and be in the public eye can be daunting. Compared to pop culture, the majority of elected officials are not “Frank Underwood” or “Fitzgerald Grant”. As a political consultant, I can attest to not ever stealing an election or playing dirty to win. To make policy and politics “sexy”, writers have schemed scenarios that are simply way past anything that any boring campaign/election could ever contrive, with the possible exception of the 2016 presidential election. When faced with squeaky clean candidates, policy discussions and the minutiae of facts and figures can be boring. That doesn’t really draw people’s attentions. If during opposition research, you find information that can be used against your opponent, do you? Whose the messenger? How is that executed? As a political consultant, I’m still a human being. I may compartmentalize my own emotions to work with a candidate/public official but that doesn’t affect how I treat them as a client. I’m helping them to sell their views and ideas, not mine. I’m certainly not going to do anything to jeopardize my reputation and relationships and most definitely I’m not going to jail for them by doing an illegal activity just so we win. Understanding the limits of power is also essential to really understanding what it means to be an elected official. I go to bed at night with a clear conscience that I’m using my skills to help those who are interested in serving people. Working in politics is an honorable profession, regardless of what my counterparts on tv may do.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I get asked about what makes a good candidate and I always say that it’s important to be an active citizen. Regardless of your constituency, you have the ability to be a part of your community. I’m a DC resident and I travel across the country training and speaking about getting involved in your community so that you can think about being a public servant and get into elected office. That being said, I’m not particularly an active citizen in my own neighborhood. I trust the people who are my neighbors to help me make informed decisions about how I should vote about particular initiatives affecting where we live. I quietly volunteer for a local nonprofit and have gotten to know the people who serve our community in the everyday work that they do. If I were to run for ANC Commissioner, I would need to show up to the meetings and listen to the concerns of my fellow neighbors. I would need to understand what challenges we face and the history of the relationships that have gotten us to this point. Listening is a key factor to understanding what needs aren’t being addressed and learn how I might join the already existing infrastructure to help get those concerns remedied. If you didn’t already know, I read music and have performed for many years playing guitar and have taken many years of voice lessons, particularly in opera. My voice instructor suggested that I switch it up and take jazz instruction. Well, that was a novel idea because as a performer or instrumentalist, I’m supposed to play the music as it’s written and most people have an idea that jazz is an impromptu performance. Let me inform you that it is and it isn’t. In my jazz class, it was required that we learn the pieces as written and then and only then were we allowed to “blow it up”. In other words, learn it as it was intended and then bring your own spin. I can say the same thing about politics and activism. Being an elected official doesn’t mean you are a know-it-all. Most people like the humble aspect of public servants and when you see a problem, learn from the people who have spent years/decades/more time than you on trying to solve the situation before you decide to blow it all up. Although I don’t know the particulars of this election, it’s my understanding that a younger person challenged an older more established person who was the sitting mayor and won. People voted for the younger person in the primary because it appeared from the article that the young person had spent a lot of his youth tending to the needs to the community by revitalizing an amphitheater and voters paid attention to this individual’s enthusiasm for their shared hometown. That is the kind of candidate you want to be, regardless of age, ethnic background etc..
For all those who are in leadership positions in non-profits please take heed of these myth busters. So important that we don’t perpetuate the ugly cycle that causes all of us to have burnout creep. For those who work in non-profits, share it with your leadership so that they can understand that it’s not meant to be normal. Campaigns with its limited life span has similar attitudes but we campaign hacks know that it will last for only so long because election day is looming. There is a way to have work life balance and work shouldn’t consume your life, unless you’re an entrepreneur and it’s just a way of life (totally different topic with a broad array of answers & attitudes).
Going back to the basics when you need to de-stress. Make time for family/loved ones and your tribe who will help you re-charge and release negative energy. I try to not complain because life is bound to have peaks and valleys and so goes work. I enjoy politics and the energy that comes from it (#politicscanbefun) so when there comes a point to when I wonder why I’m doing something, I remind myself of why I got into this industry in the 1st place.
I haven’t yet watch The Handmaid’s Tale (am I the only one?) but I read the book many years ago when I was a college freshman and it was required reading (considering that I went to an all women’s college, Newcomb College of Tulane University, it makes complete sense). Just like in feminism, solidarity to the sisterhood is defined by power and where you are in proximity to it. This article really reflects on how the women villains are so terrifying. This fictionalized novel will hopefully never become reality, however we have had very real situations in history where the women villains have played a significant role. Think back to the Holocaust, slavery, the civil rights movement and there are women who are complicit in the evils that were enacted.
Going from women villains to SHEROS because these Latinas are investing in other women. This gives me so much energy and I love sharing the accomplishments of women, especially those from diverse backgrounds. These stories are about inclusiveness and bringing new stories to the table.
My alma mater graduated over this past weekend – Go Tulane 2017 graduates from this 1994 graduate! Which means that there will soon be an influx of interns and new graduates commandeering the halls of Congress, the streets of DC and the metro tunnels. Every year I want to take a group of these young professional women and give them my 2 cents on what is deemed professional attire. Each industry has their standard and it’s totally up to you if you want to blend in or stand out. What’s important is that you have a work attitude that goes with your attire, one that screams, “I’m a go-getter and I have the brains to match this awesome outfit too”. People will take you seriously if you look the part with your own personality thrown in for good measure. Here are other professional women’s suggestions on what to wear if you’re an intern or if you’re starting your first career job. For the record, most people say that I always look “dressed up” (trust me, I’m not wearing a ball gown) but their definition of “dressed up” is just my regular way of putting on my armor (white hat not included, Scandal reference BTW). Occasionally I’ll get mistaken for a Member of Congress and that’s probably more a combination of someone confusing me for a real Member of Congress, the way I dress & my demeanor. That tells me that I’m wearing clothes that allows people to make that assumption because if I dressed like a “stereotypical intern” then people would mistake me for one.
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May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me 🙂 Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.
I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.
I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.
From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!
Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!
Over the weekend, I was in Baltimore for the DNC Future Forum supporting one of the Vice Chair candidates, Rep. Grace Meng in her re-election to the DNC. Years ago, I worked on another Vice Chair race for the DNC when Rep. Mike Honda was elected to that position and this go around reminded me why I’m a Democrat (not that it really takes much to remind me of my personal values). I hold particular personal views about who I am as a Democrat and my travels around this country have always reminded me that my version of being a Democrat isn’t necessarily someone else’s version, but it doesn’t lessen the significance when we talk about our allegiance to the Democratic Party. We talk about the D Party being one of a big tent: welcoming those from different faiths, gender, ethnicity – the whole gambit. Yet when we talk about how much of a progressive are you, we start towards the slippery slope to having a litmus test. I once worked at the New Democrat Network and was deemed “Republican lite” from my colleagues in Labor and the more progressive wing of the Party. That doesn’t sound very much like a welcoming attitude :/ Every person should be allowed the space to evolve in their views. With education and awareness, people can actually move towards ideas that were once not so welcomed into their personal sphere. Respectful discussion can create opportunities for evolution. Any kind of talk where attack of character or the disdain of geographical difference or industry only leads to more conflict. Understanding each other’s perspectives and teaching one another contrasting stories helps to educate and better understand what it means to be in someone else’s shoes. Just like we can’t expect all of the U.S. to fit a particular model, we can’t expect a Party that has diversity as its greatest asset to be of one particular mindset. We may all share core values and want to promote those values together so let’s also welcome the diversity of ideas that allows all of us to proudly say that we’re Democrats.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
A common habit that I’ve noticed in people in senior leadership positions is their inability to listen to feedback when having a tough conversation. I totally understand what it means when someone is coming at you with negative criticism. When I share feedback, I do my best to come from a place where everyone involved understands that I want us as a team to do better together. When one piece is dragging, it brings everyone down and if we’re performing at our peak then we’re hitting all the right notes. When you represent a client or a MoC or someone in a hierarchy, your actions also reflect on that person and/or organization. I’m all for nipping bad habits in the bud so that they don’t continue and they don’t spread. When a supporter shares feedback, it’s to help and to figure out how to do something better. When you’re not present or when you try to win the “battle” of this is how we’re doing a certain task, it doesn’t endear you to your supporter. In fact, it can cause them to walk away because you’re not listening. The urge to be right can be overwhelming. OMG – it’s like a drug – the feeling you have when you KNOW you’re right and you want to stomp out your opponent. Guess what, when people are on the same team and giving you constructive criticism, you want everyone to be right.
More self-care tips! This time related to not going crazy when you’re following all of the DJT news. On my personal twitter, I keep lists and that allows me to step away from the constant political barrage, but there are times when even on my lists for “fashionista” and “culinary inspiration”, tweets seep in regarding DJT and that’s OK. Just the act of reading something else un-related to work can help soothe my constant feeling that I need to be doing something for the resistance. It helps that I journal more and that allows me to recognize how much gratitude I have for life itself. There are times when I feel some guilt for having fun and that’s not good for me. Being able to spread and share joy into the world is important so I hope that you’ll take the time to do that for yourself and others. Vogue has ideas on how to manage anxiety as we continue to move forward in a DJT administration.
I don’t consider myself a fashionista (I can’t tell you from which collection an accessory or piece came from — Spring, Winter, resort etc but I do have a sense of what I like) so it’s cool when my social media feeds gets populated with more fashion news than usual. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) has started so seeing designers weigh in with political commentary through their creations is an added benefit. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has partnered with Planned Parenthood of America to create pins. Choosing how to dress as a political statement has been historical with how women have chosen to push the boundaries. Being forced to wear a corset vs being Madonna and doing it whenever you want is about choice & not social conformity. PoliticsxFashion is an interesting intersection.
If you had to read one thing in Tuesday Truths for this week, read this! Excellent outline on how to re-shape or course correct your life. It’s not just about today because every action you take leads to something else so that it brings you to your destination. Stop moving long enough so that you can take strategic steps to get to your bigger picture. I find that most people who talk with me about how to move forward in their careers aren’t thinking about the big picture because they haven’t stopped long enough to recognize what they truly want. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can think BIG and you can work towards those bigger goals when you take the time to reflect.
We’re officially 2 months into 2017 and rolling deep into the 1st QTR. I already feel like I’ve been hit by a MACK truck due to all of the intensity of the year. There hasn’t been any easing up so the mantra is to continue forward by collaborating with others and group hugs with your tribe.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Maybe you’re not down with protesting – totally get it – maybe you’re a consumer who wants to make an impact with how you spend your hard earned moolah so you decide that you’ll patronize establishments/brands that have your shared values. Recently we saw that with the #deleteUber trend and #grabyourwallet where Uber and Ivanka Trump’s brandswere affected by consumers making a statement with their purchasing power. It also works when you have a brand such as travel expert Rick Steves making a commitment to donate to the ACLU if you spent money on his products on Inauguration Day. I’m an advocate for companies to have good corporate social responsibility and when they do, I want to support their efforts. Not all companies are perfect because humans aren’t made to be so I believe that customers can make companies aware of how to improve and if actions are taken, support them for course correcting. What do you think? Do you think about corporate social responsibility when you support brands?
Living in DC makes every Executive Order even more acutely meaningful. I also have a life where my professional life is fully integrated with my personal beliefs. I may not necessarily agree 100% with my clients but I know that their intentions are well meaning and a policy disagreement isn’t going to dissuade me from working with them. As a result, I’m keenly aware of my personal definition of living a meaningful life through a professional context. If your professional/personal life makes you want to take action in a more meaningful way then you can create projects or join in projects that align with your own values and personality.
I’ve talked about having more headaches lately, but did I also mention that I’ve been feeling more anxiety as well? It helps that I’m spending less time watching the news, although I keep informed with reputable news sources so that I can stay updated on what’s happening around me. Another activity that I’ve been incorporating into my daily life is the practice of grounding so that I can feel my physical being while separating the anxiousness that has bubbled to the surface. There are times when you just want to curl up in the fetal position, but remind yourself that you’re not alone and use these tips to get you back up and ready to go. For those who consume alcohol, a glass of wine also helps 🙂
More than ever, we need to look out for one another. Living in DC is slightly different than living in other places because a lot of us work in the political sphere in some capacity so it’s extremely important to remember that other people don’t live in such a politically charged atmosphere. We need to help one another in an intersectional way so think about our sisters and brothers in other places so that we don’t feel so alone. It can be challenging to be in an area where you’re opinion is the dissenting perspective. Reach out to one another and let’s welcome more people who share the same concerns.
With the #NoBanNoWall and a myriad of other Executive Orders as well as expressing our opinions to elected leaders, the congressional switchboard has been in overdrive. Making calls can be challenging for those who don’t really talk on the phone, but this kind of outreach is the most effective in swaying elected officials to take their constituents’ opinions seriously. Practice helps which means making more calls (something I routinely tell my clients when making fundraising calls) but it may help to know that psychologists can explain the source of your phone anxiety.
With the change in administration and the end of the campaign season, I’ve been doing a lot of coffees with people who want advice on how to transition to their next position. Here are Do’s and Don’ts for going to your next coffee. I would also add send a thank you note (email/written note) afterwards! It helps us to remember who you are and let’s us know that you’re inclined to have good organizational skills and attention to detail.
Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!
Thanks to everyone who reached out to me regarding my last post of Tuesday Truths. You’re all very kind to be so supportive and my apologies if I caused any worry. I’m not going anywhere (just yet!), but I’m seriously taking a long view of where my firm is headed into the future. For 14 years, I have worked directly with candidates and elected officials, raising funds for their re-elections and as much as that aspect of my work was fulfilling and made me feel that I was part of a team, I have evolved as an individual as well as a consultant. I’m shifting my focus to provide more overall strategic advice, not just in fundraising but also in other fields outside of raising money. I will continue to do campaign fundraising and will spend more time managing staff to do that aspect while I work on other projects that will involve overall strategy. It’s hard wired into my brain to work around a congressional calendar and I no longer feel tethered to such constraints. It’s liberating and it’s also a bit terrifying to step outside of familiar territory, but that’s life – challenging yourself and spreading your wings to explore (can I get any more cliché – said in my best Chandler from Friends voice).
In the meantime, here’s Tuesday Truths!
If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than this list of women elected officials who are rocking this country. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of them in getting them elected (even with their bad assery, some of them still had to give it multiple tries to win – meaning, don’t GIVE UP!). I know that they’ll be fighting for all of us so if you can spare a few dollars, think about supporting them as we head into 2017!
Teen Vogue has been crushing it with their post election articles and this doesn’t disappoint (although the topic saddens me that with such a diverse world, we’re talking aboutfighting discrimination). On a side note, I might be out of the demographic for the publication but I’m going to be supporting a fellow WOC in their EIC, Elaine Welteroth (the only 2nd African American to to hold the EIC title in Conde Nast’s 107 history). Back to talking about post-election -> I recently went to a town hall and heard many young women from a variety of backgrounds discuss their feelings. It’s so important to acknowledge those feelings and make room for one another. Love one another and own your identity. It’s been over a month since we woke up to the 2016 election results and I can tell you that I’m still struggling, for myself and for others. Melissa Harris-Perry created a syllabus to help you process how this all went down. Elections are complicated – candidates bring baggage involving the history of constituency politics and how people engage with one another. Even though I’ve been working in politics as an operative for 20 years, I can still learn from these materials and refresh my memory.
It’s always wonderful to see colleagues featured in articles sharing their work! Creating a welcoming atmosphere as well as putting some fun into a stressful work environment can go a long way to keeping staff motivated and cranking out their best work. Human resources does so much more than the paperwork when hiring new staff. Kudos to you Bernard Coleman!
During the 2016 election, I started working more on the media training side of politics, learning the tactics needed to defuse an argument, whether on the radio or on tv. It may seem to be counter intuitive, but agreeing with the person FIRST then using a segue way without the using the word “but” gets them to see that you agree with them without disqualifying their argument. The goal isn’t about being right – it’s about convincing them to get on your side. Use a bit of honey and it will bring people to see your point of view. If you’re looking for ways to have this kind of conversation without being overly confrontational then you’ll want to read this article.
You’ve got past the initial stage of sending in your resume and cover letter and now, you’re headed to the interview! Learn a few tips on body language so that you’re conveying a “HIRE ME” message of confidence and maturity.
When your boss is a micro-manager and you come out of the other side realizing that you learned a thing or two from that experience. Who enjoys being micro-managed? I’m sure not a one of you (or me for that matter!). Although I don’t see myself as a member of that crew (who would ever want to join?!), I suspect that my team would say that I’m a stickler on the details. I keep to the mantra of “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”, but there are certain standards that need to be met time and time again if we’re going to be considered great at our jobs. Being treated poorly is very different than being held to a higher standard. I’ve always felt that when my team works well, it’s because we share in the responsibility and the accountability of one another. Let’s not let one another down. You do that by producing your best work. Sub-par is not acceptable when everyone else is pushing out top notch. It elevates everyone.
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It’s been 2 weeks since the Election and I’m still recovering. I’ve taken this week off to spend with loved ones and to reflect on the many things that I hold dear. I want to recognize your role in my life and how having you in this community has been truly rewarding. Thank you for your comments and your suggestions. I hope you can spend this time with those who bring you love and comfort. I look forward sharing my reservoir!
The fog is slowly lifting. I’m re-integrating parts of my life that I put on hold while I was going through the election (expressing myself through my caring and feeding of friends and family, enjoying art, and finding joy in new cultural experiences). I know that there is a new reality. I know that I need to prepare for things to come. We are restless, yet we need rest. There is guilt for wanting to participate in simple pleasures while others are being traumatized. I’m still reconciling those parts of my life. I’m going to practice self-care and remind myself of the flight safety announcements that tell you that should you need oxygen, please put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. I hope you do the same.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
In light of this past week, there have been an increase of hate crimes so if you find yourself in the position to help others being subjected to this kind of harassment, here’s a guide to help in the situation. Here’s also a video that gives you practical ways to be an ally and combat racism. The Southern Poverty Law Center also has a guide on how to respond to everyday bigotry. **I know that it’s tiring and we feel defeated. The more we help one another, the less that we’ll feel small and retreat. You are BRAVE and we each have a light to shine.**
How important is social trust when it comes to having an impact on society? I learned a great deal from this article, however I would add my 2 cents in that although the US has experienced low social distrust in the past (the discrimination of Germans, Irish, & Italians), the people who were immigrating to the US didn’t look that much different than the people who distrusted them. African Americans, Latinos, AAPIs – we look visibly different and that creates social bias almost immediately. When you hear people talk about how fortunate they are to be “White Latinos” that tells you that being “passable” has a lot to do with how people perceive you.
If this campaign cycle has rocked your psyche, let me reassure you that you’re not alone. I felt this kind of desolation after the 2000 campaign. It made me question whether it was all worth it. At that point, I had already stepped out of politics (my quarter life crisis) and made a commitment to go back in only to find myself on the losing side. What if you also wonder if there’s a life outside of politics because you were also meant to do multiple careers throughout your life? Here’s a terrific read on what it means to have more than one true calling.
I know that you’re accustomed to Tuesday Truths so thank you for indulging me this additional post and if I start to ramble, it’s likely because my brain hasn’t quite geared up since I’ve had about 3 hours sleep.
It feels like I’m on an emotional roller coaster going from despair, disbelief, disappointment, and the urge to fight. I know that I’m not ready to fight another day right now. It rings hollow because I haven’t given myself the space to absorb this new reality. A lot of you are probably feeling similar reactions and I encourage you to allow yourself the time to recharge and be surrounded by your tribe. Love on them and one another. Be kind to yourself and give each other the time we all need to process these emotions in the ways that are most beneficial to each of us.
We have invested time and energy to building a country where inclusivity and social justice/equality levels the field for all and to see our fellow citizens choose divisiveness, xenophobia, and sexism cuts me to the core. We are a nation that celebrates its diversity (we have a record number of diverse women serving as U.S. Senators in the next Congress – Senators Elect Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris, & Catherine Cortez Masto) and breaking barriers (First Vietnamese American woman in Congress with Congresswoman Elect Stephanie Murphy; First African American woman to serve in the Delaware delegation, Congresswoman Elect Lisa Blunt Rochester; First Somali American to serve in the country as a member of the Minnesota State Legislature, State Representative Elect Ilhan Omar). These accomplishments are to be applauded and reminds me that our country values our diverse voices in the conversation. These women will be in the room where it happens and I hope that they will take us with them (they’re going to need reinforcements!).
Maintaining hope is difficult when the darkest of days are upon us. You’re probably feeling drained and exhausted. I hope that you’ll keep in mind the people who you may have connected with while on this journey, complete strangers who may live in places that you may have never thought to visit or know. We’re rooted in our ability to welcome love into our hearts from all sources.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and I am thankful for the community that we’ve created. **group hug**
In the meantime, let’s all hold onto the words of the indefatigable Rep. John Lewis,”….those of us who are committed to the cause of justice need to pace ourselves because our struggle does not last for one day, one week or one year, but it is the struggle of a lifetime, and each generation must do its part. There will be progress, but there will also be setbacks. We must continue to have hope and be steeled in our faith . . .”
So how appropriate that this is the 45th version of 2016’s Tuesday Truths and we’re on the cusp of electing our 45th POTUS? Of course, you should know who I’m supporting so I have one thing to say – VOTE!
Send me your selfies that you voted! Thanks for reading/sharing!
One more week! I’m looking forward to closing this chapter of the 2016 election and optimistic for what’s to come. In the meantime, here’s Tuesday Truths!
Most of you know that I volunteer with the Women’s Information Network (WIN) — check out their newly designed webpage! — and one of the objectives is to create an environment where women can find mentors organically and maintain a deep relationship so that it’s beneficial to all those involved. What’s important to remember is that regardless of where you are in life, you can always help those who are in the beginning stages of their career. If you’re a staff assistant, you would know the trials and tribulations of working as a junior member of a team. You can help those who are looking for their first jobs after school and it would be meaningful to them to know how you navigated to your 1st professional gig. We all have the ability to pay it forward. It’s a matter of us taking the time and if you’re not sure how to go about it, you can take a look at these mentoring tips.
In my 20s, I spent a short amount of time out of my current field to entertain the idea of trying something new. I switched career paths and found that although my new position was interesting, it wasn’t particularly fulfilling. I decided to go back into politics and I think there’s going to be more career changes in my future! If you decide to make a change, here are stories from 8 women who learned what it meant to make a career change.
Life is never perfect. Your professional life isn’t always going to be perfect, no matter how many times you think that you’ve achieved your goal of obtaining the “perfect” job. Learning to cope with the obstacles will allow you to maneuver the bumps as you move forward in life. There will be times when you need to exercise your brain to re-focus when you’re facing a challenging time. All it takes is 3 seconds to find your joy!
Making friends can be a daunting task, especially when you get older. Social media these days has allowed us to get better with making connections that are real, although not necessarily IRL. I’ve had some delightful conversations with people who I frequently talk with on twitter or instagram and even though we haven’t met IRL, I know that I would find them to be as interesting. When you’re in the flesh, making friends is really a ritualistic form of courting someone. How do you know? By making an impression through interaction. My closest friends aren’t in the area anymore so I’ve had to adjust to finding new relationships that would make life a bit happier.
I’m all for more women running for office. If you’re progressive and also from a community of color then I’m all even more for it! One of the things that we’ve learned about engaging women to run as a candidate is that it takes multiple overtures for us to get women to run. We face self doubt and a huge case of imposter syndrome. So how can you help in closing the confidence gap? Encourage a woman to run!
Is this another Year of the Woman, where Congress gets an influx of women elected officials? Will it help to fix Congress in having more women legislators? According to this study, Democrats will not have a problem in encouraging women to run, however the GOP will face a massive crisis if they continue to lose women in their recruitment.
So I gotta close out this week’s edition with an article written by Tanya Tarr on defining trust in negotiation. I was recently a part of a speed mentoring event and we touched on negotiation as part of what you’ll have to face as you progress into your careers. Ask these 4 questions each time to test the waters of trust.