The Worst Question in the World

What do you do?” A question in the same family as, “When are you going to find a partner/get married/have a baby?” and “What are you doing after you graduate?” These are often questions which strike a nerve. They are questions which, while meant well, can be stressful to answer- at best!

So what are you to do if you don’t have a traditional answer to this type of question?

Step 1. Breathe. Like so many things in life, breathing is the answer. Consider who’s asking before feeling judged or threatened – are they asking out of genuine care for you? Are they asking because this is a handful of questions that just come easily to most of us? Do they even care about your answer? – and then embrace the reality.

Step 2.  Is this a social or professional situation? If this is a social situation, it is much easier to brush off the question – make light or a joke of the answer if it suits you. But keep in mind that if you are job hunting, every opportunity could quickly become a professional situation.

In a professional situation, turn to your mighty 60-second pitch. This is a one-minute summary of where you are at in your life. It should include a quick, relatable background story, a humble brag or explanation of what’s happening right now, a reference to how amazing you are and goal statement.

Example: I got into advertising after being mesmerized by commercials when I was a kid. I used to make my sister act out commercials for whatever product our mom had purchased that day.  I recently took the lead on a campaign for Toys R Us and they were thrilled with the results. My boss was impressed by how I managed to bring together the ideas of our clients and copywriters to have a cohesive theme. Now, I am looking to use these skills to transition into a leadership position on an in-house advertising team.

Phew! That is a mouthful, but when it is meaningful to you, having your 60-second pitch can take away the anxiety of the moment and flows as if it’s off the cuff.

Having trouble coming up with your pitch or not even sure what your goal is beyond “get me out of my current position?”Let’s figure it out together! Schedule your free consultation today!

How to Stay Calm When the World Might Be Ending

This morning as I watched Morning Joe I felt the familiar stress of the uncertainty in the world right now. It seems everyone has become an expert in politics and its almost always a topic of conversation.  Personally, I try to achieve a balance between awareness (upset) and acceptance (not investing energy in anger). I believe it is our responsibility as a citizen of the country to express our feelings, however, I do not believe it is worth risking my personal happiness.

Here are my top 3 tips for staying positive and calm through uncertain and stressful times.

  1. Take Inventory. Reflect on the constants in your life and the things you have control over. For example: you have a home to go to everyday, maybe you have a class you attend after work consistently. Seek out stability and consistency in things you can control.
  2. Gratitude. There are a multitude of studies which show that gratitude is the the ultimate way to happiness. I try to make an effort to acknowledge everything that I have in the world and to appreciate those things. It is easy to get caught up int the next big thing that you don’t yet have or be (rightfully) worried about the future. However, if we can appreciate what we have now, it will only make the future brighter. Bonus points if you document this gratitude so that you can reflect on it on more difficult days!
  3. Distraction. Exercise (physical movement of the body) is often an amazing chance to distract yourself, to focus on something other than the issue at hand and I have never met someone who regretted doing to a workout.  Going to the movies, reading a book, meditating can also be excellent ways to distract yourself from your stress, and the real beauty of distraction is that it allows your brain to have new thoughts. I find that its easy to get into a cycle of negativity, but taking a break can let you see the situation with greater clarity.
  4. Action. Action may mean going to a rally, making a donation to an organization you believe in or volunteering on the weekend to show others that people are naturally good. Again, action can be good for breaking the negativity/anxiety cycle and it gives the added benefit of improving the world around you!

What do you do when the stress becomes too much? Does uncertainly worry you or do you thrive on the adventure?