Pamper Yourself….You DESERVE It!

Women wear SO many hats.  We are mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, daughters, employees and we’re expected to wear all of our hats with grace.  I have to admit, sometimes it gets to be too much!

I just recently published an article about how women should handle themselves in Corporate America.  Did you feel overwhelmed reading it?  I felt overwhelmed writing it….LOL.  Now it’s time to let your hair down and do something for YOU!  You already know you deserve it.  You don’t even have to have anyone tell you that you do.  You KNOW you do!  Just go DO YOU! 

Get your nails done every week…why not….you paid your bills so go treat yourself.  Don’t buy the kids something else they DON’T need with YOUR nail money.  Just saying.  Go ahead and be selfish sometimes.  Men are.  The kids definitely are.  Now YOU are too!

Get your hair done.  Get a new dress or new slacks.  Your man won’t take you out?  Get dressed up and dance the night away with your girls!  When you LOOK good, you FEEL good then you can wear your several hats even more effortlessly. 🙂

How I want to pamper myself?  I was recently looking at luxury cars.  I’m ready to upgrade my ride and tool around town in style!  Why not?  I work super hard…all day, every day while trying to juggle my relationship, my kids’ committments, my higher education, my career…and sometimes…I forget who I am or where I fall on the list.  I haven’t gotten my feet or hair done in months.  However, I have been holding off purchasing anything too large because I’m enjoying my financial freedom.

Nevertheless, do what works for you.  Remember that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.  And you can’t question that you’ll look and feel more awesome in those boardroom meetings or while at work, calling the shots. 

Go ahead!  Pamper yourself….You deserve it!!!

Peace! 😀

Never Let Them See You Cry — For My Ladies

As a professional woman in a man’s world, I have learned the golden rule.  Never let them see you cry. 

Think about it.  Women are highly emotional.  If you want to be honest, emotions are seen as a sign of weakness.  You know why?  Ever heard the quote: She’s wearing her heart on her sleeve?  When people show emotions, others see that individual’s vulnerabilities.  Individuals know how to get to that person.  Something goes off in the bully’s brain that says “Ding!  So when I do this, she will respond like this.”

Here’s an example….have you ever picked a fight with someone until you got a rise out of them?  When you finally get that rise out of them then you know you’ve got them.  You know how to “toy” with their emotions and now you know what to do to get that person to respond the way you want him/her to respond.  You are ultimately controlling the emotional individual.

I have been in Corporate America for 10+ years now.  I have climbed up the ranks and I, honestly, see a bright future ahead of me.  However, on my rise up, I have lost jobs or been stepped over for positions because I was too emotional.  I felt like I was being true to myself and standing up for what I believe in but what I was REALLY doing is letting someone else control my career.  Every time I lashed out at someone who actually deserved a good lashing, I was looked at as the irate individual.  Every time I ignored certain individuals because I didn’t like him/her, I appeared distant and standoffish.

You have to always remain engaged, smile and get along with everyone even when you are in the last place that you want to be…with the last individual who you want to look at.  You bow out gracefully if you really hate where you work.  Start posting your resume and looking elsewhere but don’t EVER leave your former job in too bad of a negative light, if possible, because that former company will go onto you resume for future employees to see.

I say try to smooth things over, if you can.  If you have an issue with someone one day, apologize and move on even if the issue is not your fault.  You will typically come out looking like the bigger person and be regarded well because of it.  I don’t hold grudges.  I am ultimately at work to do a job and I never forget that even if others (who are too emotional) do.  I’m not there to be buddies with anyone.  I am cordial and I keep my head down for the most part to stay out of the drama that inevitably comes my way as a woman.  If you’re really serious about your career…you’ll be too busy to get caught up in the office drama anyway and eventually the drama queens will see that and leave you be.  If it gets to be too much, talk to your supervisor so they know that you are feeling harrassed/bullied.  No one should have to work in that type of environment.  But don’t ever stoop to their level and get back at them because then they got you and they won.

Never let them see you cry.  Never let them win.

This is easier said than done.  I must admit but with practice comes perfection.  Eventually, you won’t even realized how closed off your emotions are at work.  Once you do it enough, you’ll just shut your emotions down no matter how badly those emotions are boiling over and ready to overflow out fo you.  Once you learn to control your emotions then YOU win.  You are now in control of yourself instead of other people controlling you.   

When people make me angry, I sometimes go to my car or take a walk so I can let my emotions out without revealing my true feelings to anyone.  I am very closed off at work but always with a ready smile.  I am very serious but never mean.  My husband had the great suggestion of boxing or taking some type of class that will help me let me get my anger out.  I am thinking of doing just that.  It would be cool to do something fun, get in shape and be able to let pent up anger out all at once.   

Never let them see you cry, get angry, get sad, get revenge…you are a man when you step into the doors of your workplace.  You are no longer a woman who can cry at the drop of a hat.  You are cold and impartial and you’ll get through whatever issue seems like a big deal at that time.  9 times out of 10, if you handle yourself unemotionally, the situation wil blow over and all will be forgotten…possibly even forgiven.  Eventually, you will learn that emotions do nothing but get in the way anyway.

As I stated before, I have made my fair share of mistakes like any other young person has.  But the beauty of my career journey is that I learn from my mistakes.  I adapt and keep it moving.  I ultimately keep my eye on the goal/prize.  I don’t let anyone get in my way or ruin the success I took so long to create. 

I created this post because I want to see more women in executive positions.  I want to see more women achieve their goals and go all the way to the top.  If you have noticed, most women that are CEOs, Directors, etc….they appear to be almost masculine.  This is the way that it is in our World. 

We fought for women’s rights but you can’t do much when you are at the bottom.  You have to make it to the top first THEN you can change the World to include women in its makeup.  You can be a mentor, make sure more women get hired, make sure women receive fair salaries, make sure women are given more flexibiility for family committments.  There is so much you can do but no one listens to the little person at the bottom.  And remember to be there for women once you make it to the top.  Women cannot do this alone.  We cannot win this fight alone.  Remember how lonely and dfficult it was for YOU to get to the top.  Be there for the next generations after you.  You should WANT to see more women succeeding instead of letting jealousy (or whatever other negative emotion is there) rear it’s ugly head and stop you from helping another woman for no real valid reason.  Even if the young woman is a go-getter and tough….see her as the woman you used to be when you were climbing your way to the top. 

Now, NOT being emotional does NOT mean NOT showing ANY emotion.  Confused?  Ok, let me break it down for you.

If I am in a meeting and I have a great idea…the team will hear about it.  I will be forceful and firm in my convictions.  Men are forceful and firm, even when they DON’T know what they are talking about.  I have seen it time and time again.  Men pumping themselves up only for me to later find out that they weren’t that big of a deal.  Self-confidence will get you through the biggest binds.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions but if you can help yourself….help yourself.  You don’t want to be overly dependent and you want to always appear as knowlegeable as possible because let’s face it….KNOWLEDGE TRULY IS POWER! 

And here’s a secret that NO man wants you to know.  Women intimidate men.  Men know that women are typically smarter.  Women function differently and can *gasp* multitask.  Women are also more compassionate, thus, forming stronger bonds with our allies/partners.  Men can learn a thing or two from us but most are too cocky to admit that.  Men are TOO cold.  Too unemotional.  There is a balance and men and women need to find it.

However, I am not a man, so I am writing this article for my girls. 🙂  Hold your head high, smile (even if you’re mad) and remind yourself how intelligent you are.  If you weren’t intelligent, you wouldn’t be in the position you are in.  See each job as a stepping stone to where you really want to be in your career.  And this will also help to remind you why you are putting up with someone else’s foolery.  Keep your eyes on the prize not the obstacles. 

And remember…most important tip of all:  NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU CRY!

Peace! 😀

I’m the girl who hides in the bathroom…

Hi, fellow bloggers and readers and followers!  It’s me again, Sammii.  I have been feeling so inspired lately with the best ideas of things I wanted to talk about.  This is one of those, I-don’t-know-if-this-is-just-me moments but here goes!  My office is FULL of office drama.  I work in the IT field so I usually work around men.  I always wished I could work around more women because working with a bunch of men comes with its on set of issues but man drama is different from woman drama. 

When I worked with majority men, there was a lot of casting me out of the “good ol’ boy” club.  I had to eat lunch alone and didn’t always get support on IT questions that I had.  There was a LOT of cockiness and men thinking they were better than me.  Some of those men would even steal my ideas and pass them off as their own.  When I stood up for myself, I was the “irate black woman” not the strong woman standing up for herself.  My male coworkers refused to give me any credit.  Then, of course, there was the proverbial uninvited flirting that I had to put up with.  I didn’t want to seem too uptight for fear of being even more outcast, so I played along even when I secretly wanted to gag.

That saying, “be careful what you wish for because it just might come true” comes into play at my new workplace.  I started working for my current company about 6 months ago.  In the first few months, I have seen cattiness from young adult women to middle-aged women.  In just the first two months, I have seen at least 3 women have a breakdown and cry.  I have heard unwanted gossip and was definitely the subject of some of that gossip as some of them were so happy to gossip to me and inform me.  What does anyone have to gossip about someone who they don’t know?  I have NO clue.  And it’s negative gossip, not just idle “Who is she, we want to get to know her” gossip.

Eventually, I started to withdraw.  A couple of months ago, one of my coworkers moved cubicles and now she sits behind me.  She is quiet and kind of preppy/bohemian like me.  We were both raised partially in VA and we instantly bonded over religion, hair products and fashion. 🙂  She is so quiet but everyone likes her, sort of.  One guy told me that he finds it difficult to talk to her.  “Why,” I wondered?  I talk to her all the time.  I guess it just comes down to who you feel connected with and who you have something in common with.

It’s funny though because when I go to the bathroom now, I have found myself waiting until everyone leaves to avoid uncomfortable silences and/or small talk. 

The characteristic of my work situation that is also interesting is: my coworkers are also my customers.  I work right alongside the people who I support.  So if they are disgruntled about the service I provide or the system I maintain, I have to hear about it as much as I prefer not to.  Who wants to hear that there is something wrong with something they have been hired to maintain?  Maybe it’s my cocky IT side or maybe I am just too sensitive.  And the fact that I am right here, the comments come one and all.  I hear someone griping about my system at least once a day. 

If my users/customers/coworkers are unhappy with my system or something I said to them, it is hard to pretend everything is OK when it isn’t for them and it sometimes isn’t for me.

I am the ONLY IT professional in my office.  No one understands what I do and I have no one to bond with over what I do.  Yet they expect me to know their job AND mine.  And they all make higher salaries than me so how does that seem fair. 

Needless to say, I am the girl who hides in the bathroom.  I hide in the bathroom sometimes to get a break from the craziness.  I have learned that “out of sight, out of mind” keeps you “out of trouble”.  I hide in the bathroom when I am feeling bored/sleepy.  I’ll take a 10 minute hiatus or so then return to work a bit refreshed.  And I hide in the bathroom when I am waiting for “mean” girl…err women…to leave.  So there you go.  I am a black woman who has the same fears as any other woman.  I am not a b*tch or catty.  I don’t gossip and I don’t have anymore attitude in me than any other woman especially given my circumstances.  I don’t want to get the pity party but sometimes it’s hard being a Black woman in Corporate America.  I have feelings and I’m human.  I wish people could see that and not just the color of my skin.  To me, the racism and stereotype is so dated. 

Peace! 🙂