All articles written by: Nene Obichie

Prioritize Your Mental Health

Welcome to 2020! A little late I know, but better late than never.

There’s a lot of excitement about the New Year mostly because it’s the start of a new decade and maybe also because it’s a leap year (hurrah for one extra day!). I’ve seen a lot of goals for the year and as with most new years resolutions, the most common are related to loosing weight, eating healthier, exercising regularly and saving more money.

There is no doubt that all of these are good resolutions, but if there’s one thing I want more people to focus on in this year and beyond, it is mental their health. This is because mental health is an integral part of our overall wellbeign and impacts our everyday life. So yes you may lose weight, eat healthier and save more money but you wouldn’t find balance if your mind is not right.

Often times we push our mental health to the back burner only taking a reactive approach to support crisis moments. We will only stop to have our emotional and mental health checked out when we have reached a breaking point or have become incapable of functioning normally in our day to day lives.

But we don’t have to wait until we can no longer function to seek a resolution, we can all work towards proactively in seeking to improve our mental health by adopting simple lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, eating balanced healthy meals, spending time with loved ones and getting a good nights sleep.

We can also save ourselves from mental trauma by learning to identify the triggers that will hinder our mental health and work towards getting long term solutions by seeking professional help. While it’s normal to feel stressed or nervous from time to time, some behavioral signs and patterns may help identify when it’s more than just everyday stress and to seek help.

Some common signs to look out for include;

  • Feeling anxious, depressed, tearful or continuously irritable
  • Unregulated sleep schedule; either sleeping too much or not enough
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and low self-esteem; withdrawing or avoiding normal social situations
  • Feeling continuously emotionally drained and physically exhausted often without cause

Remember our physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, we cannot neglect one and focus on the other if we want to thrive. We must consciously work towards taking care of both our minds and body, understanding them and improving them in order to meet our goals for 2020 and beyond!

Should we Continue to Protect Bad Employers?

 

The #metoo  and Times Up movements have opened up the conversation on  sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace.  While these issues have existed for as long as time itself, these movements has kept them in our consciousness by dominating the awards season thus keeping the topic in the news cycle.

The momentum of both movements  has brought about a mindset shift for me concerning a career advice that has been passed down  and one I have abided to religiously; “never badmouth a former (or current) employer”.

The argument for this piece of career advise is that most  organisations would not hire a candidate that speaks badly about a former employer because such candidates cannot be trusted as they can also speak ill about you when the opportunity arises.

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New Year, Who This?

First of all, let me be the 200th person to wish you a Happy New Year. I don’t know about you but last year was kind of a tough year for me, I had some spectacular highs and some devastating lows but I am super excited to have it behind me and looking forward to what this New Year has in store for me.

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You should get Yourself a Work Spouse

 

Having a work spouse can be beneficial to your career

Starting from my first work place experience as an intern up on till this day I have had at least 5 different work spouses. Even though at the earlier point in my careers, I wasn’t aware of the work spouse concept, I am thankful for those relationships as they made each one of those jobs easier and some have led to lasting friendships.

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Is it over for Anthony Scaramucci? I don’t Think so and Here’s Why

 

Because I am a thought leader in personal branding and all things career related, people are always seeking my opinion on personal crisis control and reputation management. So it did not come as a surprise when I got a phone call from a friend shortly after Scaramucci’s firing (or resignation) hit the news. She wanted to know if there was any way he could recover from such a public firing, how he could salvage his reputation and thrive thereafter.

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Job Hunting? Here are the Best Job Sites

 

For the average job seeker, the job hunting process is often a grueling process which can often time feel like a full-time job in itself. In this digital age, job seekers have to be smart in order to get the best possible outcome for their job applications. You have to learn how to manage your time by working with a job search schedule, build your resume to make sure it gets to the hiring manager, grow your network for job referrals and know the right job websites to focus on to find up-to-date job listings.

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Dear Career Sensei – How do I tell my Colleague that His Breath Stinks?

How do I tell a coworker he has bad breath?

 

Dear Career Sensei,

I am the only woman in a team of 3 and get along quite well with both of my colleagues. One of my colleagues whom I would refer to as “A” is very hardworking, helpful and is a team player whereas the other whom we shall call “B” is equally hardworking but tends to spend a lot of his free time on unproductive activities like water cooler conversations.

“A” has very poor hygiene habits,  he comes to work looking unkempt, wears the same outfits for days on end without washing them leading to a BO and has the worst breath I’ve ever been unfortunate to experience.

“B” avoids interacting with “A” thus making my job more complicated than I’d like. When I raised it with him, he told me that he would rather be reassigned to another team than work with “A ” as he finds him repulsive (his words) and if reassignment was not a possibility he would rather quit his job than continue to work with him.

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The White Power Suit

I love wearing a power suit. There’s just something about them that gives me an extra confidence boost. My de-facto color for my power suits has always been black and to an extent tan but I’ve always loved the idea of wearing an all white power suit even though I’ve never managed to pull it off.

I like the color white and know that I have the right skin tone to pull it off but up until now I have never worn an all white ensemble (even a dress!)  in my professional life mostly because I fear that it would be covered in stains ranging from my makeup to baby snot before I make it out of the house.

The most white  I ever wear is a white shirt or blouse underneath a solid colored blazer or a pair of white trousers paired with a dark shirt/blouse.

 

Rosemary Conley wears a white trouser suit from The Fold

 

But seeing this photograph of Rosemary Conley aged 70,   wearing a white power suit so effortlessly made me have a re-think. While I don’t plan to wear a white power suit to the office anytime soon, I have resolved that I would be wearing one on my next speaking engagement! Read more

Happy Equal Pay Day!

With all the different national days and awareness months, the Equal Pay Day is one that I can get behind because let’s face it, we still have a long way to go as women in the workplace as the overall pay wage gap has been projected to close in 196 years!

So what exactly is Equal Pay Day? It’s a day set aside to bring awareness to the discrepancies that exist between men and women in the workplace. It was started in 1986 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) to highlight the wage gap between men and women. It is fixed on April to symbolize how far into the year women have to work to earn what men did in the previous year, yeah you got that, an average woman would have to do 16 months worth of work to earn what the average man doing the same thing would earn in 12 months!

So as women and men who support women, we should continue to bring awareness to the gender wage gap by celebrating this day while also showing support to the organizations that are participating in the 20% counts Equal Pay Day campaign. and as women, we ought to up our negotiation skills ante. This is the only way we can break the glass ceiling

Its’s not enough to raise awareness without upping your negotiation skills (you will need this to negotiate a better salary, raise, promotion) and demanding for your seat at the table, as this is the only way we can break the glass ceiling.

Happy Equal Pay Day!

 

Why you Need an Elevator Pitch – And how to Create One

Make your elevator ride a business meeting

My client, Anabel once told me of a time she was asked to represent her boss at a conference.  She was more than excited to fill in for him as it was going to be a gathering of her industry bigwigs and some of the speakers were people she had looked up to and inspired her decision to pursue her career.

Impressed with some of the ideas that one of the key speakers shared, she resolved within herself to meet the said speaker and tell her just how much her words had impacted her. During a break in the session, Anable noticed the speaker who was also a highly respected CEO chatting with other attendees and made her way towards the group. After hovering around awkwardly for a few minutes, the CEO noticed Anabel and waved for her to join the conversation. She joined the circle but was too star struck by the portfolios of the other people within the group to join in on the conversation. The CEO noticing her uneasiness gently led her away from the group, smiled at her and asked her how she was enjoying the conference and wanted to know what she did and the organization she was representing. My client opened her mouth but didn’t know where to start from.

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