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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So Hard to Say Goodbye {CELEBRATE!}

In our last update of Her Journey news, we were counting down the launch of our new website. It's been up and running for almost a month now, have you stopped by yet?! You have 5 minutes! We are sad to announce that we will no longer be updating this blog, but we are moving on to featuring the magazine articles and blog posts all in one place. We hope you'll continue to grow with us, as we expand our website to fit our growing audience. We don't want to loose your loyalty!

You can find us at Her Journey's magazine official site! It's your comprehensive one-stop for everything you need ...updates on travel tips and destinations, lifestyle coverage, book reviews, motivational nuggets, and our very own focus on "Good News" from around the world!

The Her Journey team of contributors is not going anywhere, so you'll be reading from the same people you have grown to love here on the blog. If you have a heart for travel and think you have what it takes to join our team, please send your inquiries to herjourneyblog@gmail.com.

We are also proud to announce that we'll be celebrating our 2nd Anniversary on 8-8-10. If you're in the NYC area, please find us on Facebook, and take a look at the invite here. We look forward to celebrating with you!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Practicing the 10th Agreement - Walk With Courage


Today, Is the last installment in the series, "The 10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire." I invite you to participate in the conversation as we explore the power of living a well lived life.

I came up with the "10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire" to help myself and other women identify those areas that would give us the direction we need to live our lives with fulfillment, purpose and joy.

•Agreement # 1: I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.
•Agreement # 2: I agree to discover how to develop myself to the fullest extent.
•Agreement #3: I agree to remember that there is no perfection, only process.
•Agreement #4: I agree to take life serious enough to remember to laugh with the good times and some of the sad ones.
•Agreement #5: I agree to stop self judging behavior and replace it with self assessment.
•Agreement #6 - I agree to share my gifts and talents with everyone I meet.
•Agreement #7 - I agree to not make apologies for or bad mouth who I am, how I'm created, or how I think.
•Agreement #8 - I agree to admit to what I don't know and learn it only if necessary.

•Agreement #9 I agree to remember that there is no true success without synergy.

Agreement #10- I agree to walk with the courage needed to make a positive difference on this planet, in my community, and in my very own life.

Years ago I altered the traditional approach to setting new year's resolutions and began to select a single word as my focus word for improvement for the year. One year it was joy, another year it was finances and this year it was courage. Actually, it's been courage for the past two years. I know what next years is, but I'm holding that under my hat until January 1st!

Anywho, Agreement #10 is the quintessential agreement because the truth of the matter is that to some degree we must activate our courage if we're going to attempt to do anything in life. Therapist and philosopher Rollo May has a great definition of courage that I use for myself and teach to my students: "courage is not the absence of fear, but going forward despite fear or doubt. Many of my former students have written to me years later and shared with me how life changing the teaching on courage and the courage of creativity has been for their lives.
Striving to make a difference in our very own lives, the community and on this planet, to some, might seem to be a rather lofty goal. Yet, it's something that we must do. Creating a life of value and positive impact in the world ought to become our most important creed. I'm certainly making it mine.

As we end this journey of discovery through the 10 Agreements for living the life you truly desire, I want to thank you for joining me. Your comments have deeply enriched my life and the lives of others. Leave a comment and let me know how you're doing with implementing the 10 Agreements. Once you start, your life will never be the same again!

Remember, time is short. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Vienna for beginners (Part Three)

Over the last two weeks, we visited the heart of Vienna by walking down Kartnerstrasse and Graben. There's one more street and two squares left in this tour of Vienna--Kohlmarkt, Michaelerplatz, and Heldenplatz.

Last time, we left off at the Julius Meinl cafe. As you turn left and continue down the Kohlmarkt, you'll be in one of the ritziest shopping streets in the city. A fun place to visit is about three quarters of the way down on the right: Demel Hofzuckerbacker (chocolatier and bakery). The shop has been around since 1786, which means that it predates the United States' Constitution. You can go in and look at all the amazingly crafted chocolates or you can sit and eat a slice of cake in the cafe. This cafe is one of the few that is smoke-free in Vienna, by the way, and its Sacher Torte is considered the chief rival to Hotel Sacher's.

If you don't have time to go in, at least take the opportunity to look at the window displays. They change with the seasons, and they are always pretty incredible, with the almost life-sized marzipan figures. It's ice cream season right now, so the man below is an ice cream cone with scoops for arms. (Important tourist note: the word for ice cream in German is "Eis," pronounced exactly like "ice." If you ask for an ice coffee, the waiter will think you mean an Eiskaffee, and he will bring you a coffee-ice cream sundae.)
The current window display at Demel.

Then the end of the street brings you to Michaelerplatz. What you see below is a photo of where you would be standing if you followed the route above. The big building is where the emperors lived! It's called the Hofburg, and inside is the Sissi Museum, the Imperial Apartments, and the Spanish Riding School.

Right in front of the Hofburg, however, are Roman ruins in the process of being excavated. The story is that they were digging a new U-bahn station there when they stumbled upon Roman ruins and had to stop the work.

If you continue through the Hofburg, you'll get to see where the emperors lived, and if you take the time to tour the Imperial Apartments and the Sissi Museum you will learn a ton about Empress Sissi (Elisabeth of Bavaria), who is simultaneously this revered figure in Austrian history and a total mystery. Below you can see a famous portrait of Sissi. She was considered the most beautiful woman in Europe, if you can believe that, and was known for her amazingly long hair and tiny waist. She was desperately unhappy as the subject of public attention, however, and spent her whole life traveling away from the court. She also studied five languages and had her tutors read Greek epics to her while servants brushed her hair. She also rode horses and was a daredevil. She had her own private bathroom decorated with all the plants and animals of the jungle, and she washed her hair with her own special "shampoo" of cognac and egg yolks. She was also known for having had a sweet tooth and ordered lots of cookies from Demel's. Clearly I was fascinated.
Empress Sissi
(this image is from Wikimedia Commons)

If you keep going through the Hofburg, you'll arrive in Heldenplatz! To your left is the National Library. It's slightly impressive looking. Inside are not only all the books, but four museums: the State Hall, the Papyrus Museum, the Globe Museum, and the Esperanto Museum. For those of you who don't know, Esperanto is a totally made up language, and the museum houses the "Department of Planned Languages," where more than 500 "planned" (or "invented," "made-up") languages are documented. According to the website, it is the world's largest library on interlinguistics. So get excited about THAT.
The National Library
To your right in Heldenplatz (and pictured below) is my absolute favorite view in Vienna. Above the trees, behind the park, are the spires of the Rathaus. At night, they are lit up.


I used to bike ride to work just so I could see this view in the morning (I gave up because bike riding on cobblestones is absolutely not comfortable). It's just a beautiful building, and people are always walking by calmly, and the atmosphere is perfect. It is such a statement about Vienna to emerge from the home of the Emperors and to see the majestic buildings to your left and your right, surrounded by parks and facing a giant ornamental gate. If you go to Vienna, you absolutely must do this walk... it sums up so much about the history and the style of life in the city.
Closer to the Rathaus... and throughout the summer, the city holds giant free concerts in the square in front of it.

If you want to learn more about some of the more off-the-beaten track sights in Vienna, please check out my blog, transatlantic sketches! I'm moving to Sweden soon, so my focus is going to shift quite a bit north, but there's plenty in the archives to keep a tourist busy in Vienna for a while.

All best to the Her Journey readers--and I'm hoping you make it to Vienna!

Kate Wiseman is an expat and a travel blogger.
You can find her blog at www.transatlanticsketches.com.
You can email her at kate@transatlanticsketches.com.
Questions, comments, and life advice welcome.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Practicing the 9th Agreement - Synergy Equals Succes


Today, I'll be continuing the series "The 10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire." I invite you to participate in the conversation as we explore the power of living a well lived life.

I came up with the "10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire" to help myself and other women identify those areas that would give us the direction we need to live our lives with fulfillment, purpose and joy.

•Agreement # 1: I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.
•Agreement # 2: I agree to discover how to develop myself to the fullest extent.
•Agreement #3: I agree to remember that there is no perfection, only process.
•Agreement #4: I agree to take life serious enough to remember to laugh with the good times and some of the sad ones.
•Agreement #5: I agree to stop self judging behavior and replace it with self assessment.
•Agreement #6 - I agree to share my gifts and talents with everyone I meet.
•Agreement #7 - I agree to not make apologies for or bad mouth who I am, how I'm created, or how I think.
•Agreement #8 - I agree to admit to what I don't know and learn it only if necessary.

To read all 8 previous agreements click here.

Agreement #9 - I agree to remember that there is no true success without synergy.

Agreement #9 focuses on the combined or cooperative force of action, or just plain old working together. Actually this agreement folds nicely back into Agreement #1 - I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.

I've been working on agreements 1 and 9 for the past several weeks and have met with consistent success. I've done quite a bit of volunteering over the past couple of weeks to the point that I'm cutting back some. I've made a concerted effort to help others by creating groups on facebook designed to help other artists and creatives to find out about jobs and auditions. In my coaching practice I share resources with other coaches to help them get things started and get things done with efficiency and professionalism.

I've also partnered with Dali Burgadi of Secrets to Web Success (www.secretestowebsuccess.com) to teach the Jump Start Your Coaching Practice 5 day course (www.jumpstartyourcoaching.com) and the Women who Rock Wordpress tele-summit coming this fall. Creating synergy is such a positive thing, not only for you and those around you but for the universe as a whole.

How are you creating synergy in your world?

Remember, time is short. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Check out the NEW Website!!

The countdown is over. Have you checked out HER JOURNEY'S NEW website yet?

We are navigating on new waters and have revamped the website to incorporate both our blog and the online quarterly magazine.

We'd love to hear your feedback. Please remember that the website is in the beginning stages so we are aware of missing content and some housekeeping areas that need to be tweaked.

When you're done checking that out let us know if you LIKE IT, LOVE IT or GOTTA HAVE IT?!! Cold Stone style.

Tell your friends about us, don't be selfish!!

-Her Journey Team

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Vienna for beginners, Part 2

Last week in "Vienna for Beginners," we began a tour of the heart of Vienna in three streets and three squares, going from Karlsplatz down Kärtnerstrasse to Stephansplatz. This is the heart of Vienna--the most central section, with historical landmarks leading up and down the shopping streets from the Stephansdom Cathedral to the Hofburg Quartier, the former home of the emperors.


Last time, we left off the tour at Stephansplatz, seen above. You've got the Haas Haus on the left and Stephansdom straight ahead. Now, if you have Kärtnerstrasse at your back, take a left onto Graben to continue on our journey!

One of the first things you'll see as you start down Graben is a big, weird statue. Ignore that for the time being, because on your left is an H&M. This is the only H&M I've ever been in that has chandeliers and wood paneling inside. See below.


Now, how fancy does that look? Unbelievable. It used to be an upscale men's suit store, but then it went out of business. H&M moved in, but it kept the beautiful decor. There's even a grand staircase inside.Totally worth looking inside, even if you don't need a pair of sunglasses for 5 euros.

And now there's no avoiding the enormous statue in the middle of the all-pedestrian street. It's the Pestsäule (German for "Plague Column"--clearly marketing was not a high priority back in 17th century...), and it commemorates the end of the plague in Vienna. It looks like a big, crazy, imposing mess.


Apparently, the figures in the statue tell the story of the plague and of Vienna's redemption, but I'm not necessarily buying it. I need an art historian or something to stand next to me and explain it all to me. Anyway... just past the statue on your right is a church. It doesn't look that impressive, but do not be fooled by its humble exterior. The inside is amazing.


Everything is covered in gold, and there are two complete skeletons encrusted in jewels with swords and scabbards and everything!!! They were early martyrs, and they're kept in glass coffins on either side of the altar. AMAZING!!! I can't believe how cool it was.


You can barely see the details in this picture, but take my word for it: amazingness. This church was also erected to commemorate the end of the plague, but several centuries earlier. Different plagues, different times, same imperial impulse: build something big and then God won't be mad and punish us all with the plague. And hey--no plague now! It must have worked.


At the end of the street, you'll be looking straight at a building with a big Julius Meinl sign on it--this is an incredible gourmet grocery store, cafe, and restaurant complex. If you go to the second floor, you can sit by the cafe windows and look out over the Graben and watch the people walk by for hours. It's a little pricey, but you only need to buy a cup of coffee to be able to sit there for as long as you want.


If you turn left at Meinl, you'll be heading down our last street--Kohlmarkt. We have one street and two squares left, so stick with us until next week when we finish the tour of the heart of Vienna's inner city!

Kate Wiseman is an expat and a travel blogger.
You can find her blog at www.transatlanticsketches.com.
You can email her at kate@transatlanticsketches.com.
Care packages and frequent flyer miles always welcome.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Motivational Monday: Take Your Job Search Offline

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about using temporary staffing agencies to get a job. This week, I want to briefly tell you some other ways to snag a job. Now, let me stress again that looking for a job is your job. While you have no job, your only job is to look for a job. So take your job very seriously, your job depends on it.

When I'm helping my clients with their job search, I strongly encourage them to do more than submit to job posts they find online. I ask them to take their search offline and network. So here are three ways to network and take your search offline.


1.) Vol
unteer
Nonprofit organizations are always looking for good and talented people to help them out with design, w
riting brochures, marketing, event planning, organizing, etc. Why are they a great place to network? Because each nonprofit has an executive board made up of presidents, vice presidents and other executives of companies. They chose to be on that board so you can be sure that they actually care about the organization. That means when an event is happening, they are most likely going to be there to participate. This is a stellar way for you to get yourself in front of people, working side by side and demonstrating your talents and ability to work hard. Volunteering is a also a great way to practice your current skills, build new ones, and help out a cause you believe in. Volunteermatch.org is a great place to start to find opportunities in your area!

2.) Professional Organizations

No matter what industry you are interested in, there is an organizing body that meets regularly. Join these organizations and attend their events. This is a stellar opportunity to meet people in your industry, keep up-to-date on new trends, and pick up a mentor.

3.) Networking Events

These are normally reserved for business people, but don't let that stop you from attending. You can find a host of groups in your area by visiting Meetup.com. There are groups that meet about every and anything. It doesn't have to be at a formal business event where you network. You can network with people who share a common interest with you whether it's salsa dance, food or French.

Yes, you can do the social media thing and connect with people all over the world but you got to get from behind the computer and meet the people you can, offline. Meeting face-to-face will always build a stronger connection.

Happy Hunting!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vienna for beginners: a tour of 3 streets and 3 squares

Vienna, Austria is one of the great cities of the world.

I'm going to go ahead and make that bold claim without feeling bad about it. You know why? Vienna in the spring is a glorious place. The parks are green and flowers bloom. Cafes put tables outside, and people sit for hours. Free city bikes magically appear on street corners.

One of the things I've learned in my six months in Vienna is that the more time you spend here, the more things there are to see.

If you’re just visiting for a few days, though, you’ve got to start somewhere. Which is why I’m taking you on a tour of just 3 streets and 3 squares—that way you’ll see the highlights of the very core of the city.

Part One: Kärtner Straße to Stephanplatz.


Hello, Opera. This is the sight of many operas as well as the famous Opera Ball, the most prestigious social event of the year in Vienna. In recent years, a Viennese shopping mall tycoon, Richard Lugner, has made a habit of inviting a celebrity to the ball. This year, it was supposed to be Lindsay Lohan, but then she went shopping and missed her plane. (Oops) On a more serious note, the Opera House was completed in 1869, was damaged by a bomb in 1945, and was renovated and reopened in 1955. You can find news and tickets here. If you don't buy tickets before your trip, though, walk along the right side of the building to see if they are live-streaming the opera taking place inside.

Can you believe this? The day I took this photo it was pretty cold and dreary, but on nice days, the whole place is packed.

As you continue across the street and onto Kärtner Straße, the first thing you'll see on the left is the Sacher Hotel, birthplace of the Viennese Sacher Torte.

Gift shop mania. Apparently they'll send a Sacher Torte anywhere in the world for you, and it will stay good for up to three weeks unopened. Is this even possible?!

If you have any interest at all in trying Sacher Torte, this is the place to do it. Expensive, but classic--definitely worth trying if you're willing to indulge on some serious chocolate cake.

Kärtner Straße is a major shopping street. Lots of clothing stores, lots of cafes, lots of gift shops for the tourists (resist! these stores are tacky!).

One thing you can go down a side street to see is Loos' American Bar. Loos was an architect with a very distinct aesthetic, and he designed this bar with an American exterior.
I've never had a drink there because I think it would be crazy expensive, but it's cool looking.
At the end of the street, you’ll find yourself at Stephansplatz. This is the very center of the city and the home of Stephansdom, a cathedral that is one of the main symbols of the city. It was originally built in the 13th century, but major additions were made in the 14th and 15th centuries and later. It’s huge, and entrance is free.

Check out the tiled roof. It’s hard to see in a picture, but in person, it’s amazing. There are almost 250,000 tiles making the pattern you see there as well as the two-headed eagle that is the symbol of Austria. You can see it if you walk down a side street, though.



Across the square from Stephansdom is the Haas House, home to the upscale Do & Co Hotel. Look at the glass--you can see the reflection of Stephansdom in it! You can visit the Onyx Bar to get an unparalleled view directly on the cathedral. If you’re going on a weekend night, you’ll probably need a reservation, so call ahead. You can find out more here.

My sister and I went on her last night in Vienna, and it was the perfect way to close her trip—a really special place and view out at the heart of the city.

The tour will continue next week as we head from Stephansplatz down Graben and towards the Hofburg Imperial Quarters!

Kate Wiseman is an American expat currently living in Vienna, Austria. You can read more about her adventures at her blog, transatlantic sketches, or you can just show up in Vienna and talk to her yourself. Both are welcome.

Practicing the 8th Agreement - Learn What's Essential


Today, I'll be continuing the series "The 10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire." I invite you to participate in the conversation as we explore the power of living a well lived life.

I came up with the "10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire" to help myself and other women identify those areas that would give us the direction we need to live our lives with fulfillment, purpose and joy.

•Agreement # 1: I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.
•Agreement # 2: I agree to discover how to develop myself to the fullest extent.
•Agreement #3: I agree to remember that there is no perfection, only process.
•Agreement #4: I agree to take life serious enough to remember to laugh with the good times and some of the sad ones.
•Agreement #5: I agree to stop self judging behavior and replace it with self assessment.
•Agreement #6 - I agree to share my gifts and talents with everyone I meet.
•Agreement #7 - I agree to not make apologies for or bad mouth who I am, how I'm created, or how I think.

Agreement #8 - I agree to admit to what I don't know and learn it only if necessary.

This agreement is all about making peace with what you do know and what you don't know and not folding to live up to other people's intellectual standards. In our busy and fast paced world and with nifty friend the internet at our fingertips it's possible for us to take in an awful lot of information. But as we all know, to much of anything can put us into overload and have our brains sparking and sputtering like a faulty electrical wire ready to explode. We don't have to succumb to the pressure of becoming a know-it-all.

I've really been putting this agreement into practice. I'm a college professor, so I of course believe in learning, but I don't believe you should learn something just because it will make you look more important or gain you cache in a given circle. I love history, and a few years ago I was being very heavily persuaded by members of my academic circle to pursue a doctorial degree in History. I succumbed, but didn't last long because my heart wasn't in it. I was going against Agreement #8 so I quit.

The other day I was on Twitter having a conversation with one of my fellow twitterer's and she asked me if it was silly of her to ask me about how to get a domain name to link to a blog. I replied that of course it wasn't silly, especially since she's interested in setting up a blog and having her own domain name. We went on to have a pretty robust conversation where I shared what I do know about blogging and setting things up. Now I'm no expert on setting up blogs (I leave that to my friend Jamila the EcommerceDiva!), but I have learned enough to make my life easier and so I was able to pass that info on to my fellow twitterer. For me, this is a good example of only learning something if it's necessary.

Also, in my role as a professor I've learned to not be afraid to admit to my students that I don't know something. It's a very liberating mind set. One time I told my class that I didn't know the answer to a question, but that I'd research it and get back to them, which I did. A student from that class shared with me how surprised she was that I actually said I didn't know and then actually found the answer and brought it back to the class. She said most teachers would have faked it and pretended like they knew the answer.

Agreement #8 speaks to our integrity. I encourage you to become an advocate of only learning what's essential, freeing up our minds to be available for our highest creativity to thrive. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Remember, time is short. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Social Network Your Way to a Job

We often use Facebook and Twitter to update our statuses about random facts, jokes, hilarious videos, tips, inspirational quotes or as a platform to rant and rave about all the wrongdoings or mishaps in our lives. The latter part of that is not so great—even though we’ve all done this a few times or more—but social media platforms are great ways to stay in touch, get connected, discuss current events, products, brands…and find jobs!

Tip # 1: Did you know that companies are now looking into the social depth—which is the number of friends, followers or connections on various social platforms-- of a job candidate on their social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Be aware that some do and others just check to see what you are talking about (don’t forget to update your privacy settings) aka cyber-stalking. They are using this information to see how many people one can reach through their networks and ultimately, help promote their products and services.

Over the last few months, I have seen jobs posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online communities outside of job boards. Hiring managers for the most part are not posting these listings; it’s our friends who may know of a job opening in their company or they are leaving a position and want to let their closest friends and family know.

Tip # 2: For the hiring managers that do post positions, why don’t you contact that person and build a relationship via Twitter and/or LinkedIn—not Facebook as it is too personal. If you don’t qualify for the posted position, help them spread the word and offer to send resumes of qualified candidates. Make this relationship a two way street; and who knows what the outcome of the relationship will be?

Tip # 3: Are you looking to work for a particular company? Keep up-to-date on potential jobs by following that company or organization on Twitter, “like” the community page on Facebook and other social networks they belong to.

Job boards are decent tools to find a job but if you can strike up a relationship with a hiring manager at one of your target companies, stay connected via social networks and other online communities and just pay attention to what your friends/trusted sources post, you may become the hunted rather than the hunter.

How have you used social media to look for a job?

Photo courtesy of CapitalWorkForce.org.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From Temporary Employee to Permanent Staff

So the partying is all done and now the job hunt is on. Stellar!

According to the Department of Labor Statistics, unemployed people spend about 18 minutes a day looking for a job. Crazy isn't it? What are they probably doing? My bet is that they are going on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com and other large job search sites, finding a couple of jobs to apply to, sending out resumes and then calling that a job search. It's better than doing nothing I guess. But you're serious about your job search and know you will find the job you want because you understand that looking for a job is now your job. So while others are logging on to Facebook to play Farmville, Sorority Life and Mafia Wars, you are still searching. And, although looking online and doing all those social media things are a great way to network, I would like you to remove yourself from the computer and get out there and meet people, face-to-face. Here is one way you can do that.

Do you know about temporary staffing agencies?
I find that almost all of my clients have never heard about them before. So, let me just tell all of you at the same time.

During the course of a year, employees have emergencies in their lives, get pregnant, have extended leaves of absence and so on. The work still needs to be done so companies turn to staffing agencies to help fill the gap. You could be assigned to a company for a day, weeks, or longer. There are also some opportunities to work somewhere temporarily and it lead to a permanent position.

When I first graduated from college, this is the way I survived. This is a great way to get some experience and to get some money in your pocket at the same time. And there are staffing agencies that specialize in all sorts of industries such as creative (for the designers, writers, editors), accountants, engineers, etc. You tend to get paid more when you work with a specialized agency than when you work with a general agency doing reorganizing and filing of patient files, answering phones at a winery or photocopying pharmaceutical medical recipes. (Yes, these are actual jobs I have done.) The agency is paid by the company looking to fill a position. You are not charged. And if you come across one that does want to charge you, I'd move on.

The best tip I got from a recruit I signed up with was for me to call her once a week so I would stay on top of her mind. I turned around and did that for all five agencies I was signed up with. When I called, I wasn't aggressive and demanded that they find me something. I called or emailed saying I was still available for work and just checking in with them in case something came across their desk. And, it worked. I always had work because I made sure I stayed fresh on their mind. And you should too!

Oh, yes, before I forget, I did sign up with five agencies. Why? Because each agency had different companies as clients. When one didn't have work for me I had the other four I could contact. You've got to keep you options open.

While you are working where you are placed by the staffing agency you can get to meet new people. You want to do stellar work so that the people there will grow to know, like and trust you. So, no matter what you are doing whether it's filing, answering phones, or what you are trained to do, you do it with enthusiasm. You want to do it for a couple of reasons. First, to show that you are stellar at what you do. Second, to present your wonderful personality. And third, when they report back to your agency they will say great things about you and your work so when that assignment is over, the agency knows you are a great representative for them.

And, don't just communicate with the people you directly report to. Branch out and speak to the people in the department, even the entire company. We are growing our network here.

There are other ways to network face-to-face that I will tell you about in another article. But for now this is your mission.

1.) Get your resume together. Agencies are going to want to view it too!

2.) Start looking into staffing agencies in your area. Ones that specialize in your industry and also general ones. Don't just sign up for any one. Do some research, ask around, read reviews if you can find them. You want to sign up with a reputable company.

3.) Once you're comfortable with what you find, pick up the phone and ask questions. How do they work? How do you get considered? What do they require?

4.) Don't be afraid to sign up with more than one agency. The more you have, the more your name is getting out there.

Happy Hunting! And, if there is any way I can help, just let me know.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Practicing the 7th Agreement - Esteem Yourself Today and Always


Today, I'll be continuing the series "The 10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire." I invite you to participate in the conversation as we explore the power of living a well lived life.

I came up with the "10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire" to help myself and other women identify those areas that would give us the direction we need to live our lives with fulfillment, purpose and joy.

•Agreement # 1: I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.
•Agreement # 2: I agree to discover how to develop myself to the fullest extent.
•Agreement #3: I agree to remember that there is no perfection, only process.
•Agreement #4: I agree to take life serious enough to remember to laugh with the good times and some of the sad ones.
•Agreement #5: I agree to stop self judging behavior and replace it with self assessment.
•Agreement #6 - I agree to share my gifts and talents with everyone I meet.
To read all 6 previous agreements click here.

Agreement #7 - I agree to not make apologies for or bad mouth who I am, how I'm created, or how I think.

At the on line encyclopedia Wikipedia, Self Esteem is defined as: reflecting a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of her or his own worth. If it hadn't clicked before, hopefully this definition clarified things, that aagreement #7 is all about self esteem. In this sometimes cut throat world your self esteem is your backbone and you must protect and maintain it, creating the kinds of boundaries that keep it from harms way; starting with your first line of defense, You.
When I was a kid, we used to sing a little ditty: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Now, I don't know who came up with this false little sing-song, but we knew even as we sung it that it wasn't true. Name calling hurts. Bad mouthing someone can hurt them or why else would people do it? Certainly when any one of us takes the lead and begins to bad mouth or improperly label ourselves we do the work of eroding our self esteem long before the outside world gets a chance.

So why do we do what we sometimes do? The reasons why are many, but what's more important is sometimes the answer to that question doesn't have to matter. What matters most in some situations is that we recognize that we're doing something harmful and to stop doing it, now. If you've been on a streak of devaluing your self with negative self talk, I'm asking you to please stop. I've been down that street before myself and I'd like to keep it "the road less traveled,' because it does nothing but breed more negativity in my life. Bad mouthing yourself is like a bad infection, it only makes things worse. The answer is to begin to affirm who you truly are or even who you want to become. If you can't think of an affirmation of your own, try this: "I am a beautiful, talented and creative person moving diligently on the path leading to my goals."

Agree starting right now, to not make apologies for or bad mouth who you are, how you're created or how you think. Be you, continue to grow and protect your self esteem, because nobody else will protect it like you can.

I'd love to hear what affirmations do you use to combat negative self talk? Share in the comments section below.

Remember, time is short. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

JUNE!


As we transition into the summer season, we think it's important to maintain a healthy work/life balance. While it is important to constantly work towards your goals, it is just as important to embrace the season and enjoy the beautiful weather and everything else the season has to offer.

This month, we'll be sharing some tips for all you recent (AND not-so-recent) graduates out there seeking your dream job. PLUS we'll be suggesting some (budget friendly) fun summer activities. AND we're having the second I Love Her Journey photo contest. Stay tuned!

"Life is not a race but a journey to be savored each step along the way."
~Author Unknown

Friday, May 28, 2010

To the Class of 2010: YOU DID IT!


From your family here at Her Journey we want to wish the Class of 2010 a HAPPY GRADUATION! All your hard work has paid off and we are so glad to share in this milestone with you. Be reminded that Her Journey is here to support you in all your after-college concerns, curiosities and aspirations. Please check back with us every Monday for Motivational Mondays, check out our experts advice for the graduating class (click HERE and HERE), as well as some upcoming articles made specifically with you in mind!

Today we are highlighting a few extraordinary graduates who have studied all over the States (from ATL to California). These young women keep us inspired, and so we wanted to share their triumphs with you!


MS. KEILA DAVIS

School: Clark Atlanta University

Major: History

Journey to: Writer and College Professor (Future HJ team member!)

1 Thing She'll Miss Most about School:

"I will miss the people, the food, and overall carefree attitude of college life."


MS. KATHERINE A. KINARD

School: The College of New Jersey


Major: Mathematics (Get them numbers girl!)

Journey to: Entrepreneurship, Business Investor

1 Thing She'll Miss Most about School:

"I will greatly miss the fellowship I shared with members of TCNJ student organization, Gospel United Ministries, as well as my role as Choir Directress of the group."

MS. MARISSA FLAGGSchool: Iona College

Major: Criminal Justice

Journey to: Graduate school at Iona and playing her 5th year of Basketball

1 Thing She'll Miss Most about School: "I'll miss my Criminal Justice classes because I've decided to switch to Public Relations for Graduate School."

MS. OCHELLE ROSS

School: Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Journey to: Simulation Systems Engineer for GE Aviation

1 Thing She'll Miss Most About School:
"I'll miss the National Society of Black Engineers.
I used it to urge the young African Americans in High School to go into STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) related careers."






MS. DEVEN BOUCHET


School:California State University, Northridge

Major: BA in Television Production

DR. SHALONDA WILLIAMS

School: University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Major: Doctorate of Pharmacy

Journey to: Clinical pharmacist
helping indigent populations in NYC

1 Thing She'll Miss Most About School: "My Friends."


DR. JENNIFER T. WHITLOCK


School: Southwest Baptist University

Major: Physical Therapy

Journey to: Certified Manual Therapist

1 Thing She'll Miss Most About School: "My classmates..they are truly some amazing people."

Thank you ladies for sharing your dreams and accomplishments with Her Journey. As you begin the next chapter of this journey don't forget to pamper yourself, spend time with your loved ones and give back to your communities-- which have all shaped you into the WOWomen you are today!

What encouraging words or tips do you have for 2010's graduating Class? Something you wish you had known when you graduated?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Plus Size Summer Fashion

Plus size women often have trouble combining the latest fashion + body type + affordability + findability. The quick fix solution could be to lose a few pounds but that is easier said than done. Until the scale reveals the lighter side of things, love your curves and all the thick goodness you have to offer…but health is important so please work on being healthy.

I love my curves but large retail and discount stores don’t love my size. This past week I was shopping at Filene’s Basement and though they do carry my size, nothing was flattering. I noticed over a size 16 the pickings are slim or certain cuts and fabrics don’t look as good. Where can I find the “good” stuff?

I was combing the web and decided plus size women need to know what looks good on their body first before they find the retailers that sell for their body type. Here are a few tips from a Smarter.com fashion blog:

  1. Plus size women should look for cotton dresses that cinch under the chest because they accent the smaller part of the body. Steer clear of empire waist because they make plus size women look bigger.
  2. Plus size women tend to wear Bermuda shorts which are knee-length because they cover the fullest part of the thigh but for shorter women this is a no-no because it can make a short woman look bigger. Depending on your size, you can wear shorts but they have to fit your height and must cover the fullest part of your thigh.
  3. Become a fan of the scoop neck or v-neck t-shirts because they are more flattering on women with bigger bust. Also, avoid crew shirts because they make the chest look huge and must wear shirts with a relaxed fit on the arms.
Great tips and hopefully you can add to the plus size do’s & don’ts in the comment box. So now we know a few staples and must’s…where can we buy our summer wardrobe. Here is a list of sites to look at:

OneStopPlus.com (photo courtesy of the website) has a selection of amazing dresses like the one pictured on the left. I love fitted dresses because they make me look myself (especially with a good body shaper) and don't make me look blown out and out of proportion. This website is purely for plus size women 12W-44W.

This site offers more than just clothing but handbags, jewelry and accessories, bras, lingerie and much more. One can definitely find a shopping cart full of great looking dresses, tops, shorts, shoes and undergarment basics.


Full Figured Fashion Week voted Igigi.com the # 1 plus size fashion retailer. I have yet to purchase a dress from this site but I love most if not all the outfits and collections for plus size women. The dress pictured left ( photo courtesy of Igigi.com) is on my to buy list. This dress can be worn at a Sunday brunch, night out with the ladies or charity function. At $98.00, this dress is not pennies but is so fabulous, shows off a little curves, has summer appeal and is extremely classy.

I often look at this site and cannot wait to purchase my first dress...I am sure I will not be disappointed.


More sites listed blow. Look your best ladies!

Please add more sites in the comment box and do's & dont's for plus size fashion

Lane Bryant

Ashley Stewart

Fashion To Figure

Monif C

Sizes To Fit

Also, check out Full Figured Fashion Week in NYC coming up June 16-19th!

First photo with dress and mannequin courtesy of Fashiontofigure.com.

Feeling adventurous?

Feeling adventurous?

Why not add sky diving to your summer to do list? And thanks to Life booker you can take your life to a higher level for a lower price!

Photo source.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Class of 2010 - Tips on How you can Rock Your Mojo


Congratulations graduates!

You are about to embark on the next part of your journey and I wish you crazy, mad, miraculous moments of success. But we all know that this kind of state won't be around 100% of the time. However, successful people do have a sense of what it takes to be and stay that way.

Successful people are often thought to possess some kind of special energy that seems to sprinkle magic pixie dust on everything they touch and that others hope will rub off; many would say they’ve got mojo. The word mojo immediately conjures up images of personal magnetism and power. A word that used to be somewhat taboo is now valued for its potency and used everywhere from the big screen to the board room. There’s no doubt that in today’s economy most folks recognize that having an edge isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Having more mojo can give you the edge you need.

Sounds pretty good huh? Well, Denise, how do I get more mojo?" I'm glad you asked. I love to talk about and help folks tap into their unique mojo flow. "Ultimately the desire to tap into our mojo flow is all about the deisre to experience MOre JOy!"

No matter the situation, be it job, relationship, career, or hobby we all tap into our mojo to maximum our success.

Here are 5 tips for rocking your unique mojo flow each and every day:

1. Do something every day that really makes you happy. Even if your job isn't one that you're in love with, be sure to do something that does make you happy. That'll take some of the edge off of whatever isn't really taking you to higher success heights.

2. Realize that success is an inside job. It exists inside your mind and your heart. Once you get these spaces in alignment you will catapult yourself to the necessary next level to achieve your dreams.

3. Remember to get what you really want, you're going to have to train yourself to think the way you need to think. This is how you become more of the professional and less of an amateur.

4. Practice active loving of the person who matters as much as everyone else... yourself. Don't be shy, tell yourself how much you love yourself and how proud you are of the work you're doing, the giving you're participating in. Be your own best cheerleader.

5. Stay Conscioius, Creative, Courageous and Confident. Many things are going to rise up and tug at your hopes dreams and desires, but you are in the lead. The creator gave you this position. Lead your life the way you want it to go. Don't let life lead you. You're going to need these 4 C's the rest of your natural born days. Get used to 'em!

I invite you to register for FREE daily Motivation & Mindet MOJO tiops at http://www.365daysofmotivation.com/

Let's Rock the MOJO all year long!

Practicing the 6th Agreement - Be You and Nothing Else


Today, I'll be continuing the series "The 10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire." I invite you to participate in the conversation as we explore the power of living a well lived life.

I came up with the "10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire" to help myself and other women identify those areas that would give us the direction we need to live our lives with fulfillment, purpose and joy.

•Agreement # 1: I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.
•Agreement # 2: I agree to discover how to develop myself to the fullest extent.
•Agreement #3: I agree to remember that there is no perfection, only process.
•Agreement #4: I agree to take life serious enough to remember to laugh with the good times and some of the sad ones.
•Agreement #5: I agree to stop self judging behavior and replace it with self assessment. (to read all 5 previous agreements click here)
Agreement #6: I agree to share my gifts and talents with everyone I meet.

Have you ever knowingly turned down you wattage because you believed that would make others feel more comfortable? If you have or still do I'd really like you to stop. Being less than who you truly are is harmful to your spirit and the outcomes of your life.

I once heard a prominent preacher (okay it was T.D.Jakes) say that women ought to turn it down some. He went on to say that a man can't hardly walk in a room full of women anymore because they're doing so much. Buying houses, gettin jobs, etc. (you know regular life stuff). Anyway, the context of his conversation was not about being arrogant, it was about being a good helpmate to a man. I couldn't believe what he was suggesting - turn down your wattage so others can be present? My stepmother even once said that I might have better luck with getting a mate if I didn't tell my dates all of my accomplishments and interests (which are varied) right away. Hello people?! Pump the breaks and let's all read part of the great quote from Marianne Williamson:

"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do."

In your quest to live the life you truly desire, share your gifts and talents with everyone you meet. On the one hand I am referring to your unique gifts, talents & capabilities; but on the other hand this means be you all the time. Don't hide yourself (gifts & talents) under a rock or play them down or act like you don't have any. You deserve to live a full, rich abundant life experience. Everyone does. You can't control how others respond to you, but you can control your reaction. Be you and nothing less.

Remember, time is short. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Lovers Getaway

Preface: I have yet to travel the world to my desire but I have had a few places on my mind to visit with my significant other! So this post is based on research and recommendations from others.

I am not a beach person because I hate basking in the sun. However, sometimes we have to stop and smell the roses…or in this case, the sand and intoxicating ocean water. Relationships need time and space to grow and we have to work and nurture our budding love. It is hard to do that when work and life schedules fill up our time. But while your life is crazy and spiraling out of control in a good or bad way…you and your significant other still need to get away from all the distractions and just focus on you.

What other way to do that but go somewhere secluded and cut off from the rest of the world. Here are two resorts on the island of Jamaica and Mexico you both can slip away to for a few days and have FUN.

El Dorado Maroma on the beaches of Mexicos Riveria Maya
  • Grab your sunscreen and fantabulous shades and lounge on the beach, get some sun, a few cocktails, and much needed rest and relaxation.
  • Dance the afternoon away with a few lessons in salsa, tango, merengue and more.
  • Learn the art of massage and show each other the real meaning of relaxation.
  • Enjoy a moonlight massage and candlelight dinners on the beach
Talk about ultimate relaxation and fun at the same time! Is this trip right for you and your partner? Check out the website for more information.

Royal Plantation in Ochos Rio, Jamaica
Imagine this: Luxury hotel sitting on bluff 25ft above the magical waters of Ochos Rio, Jamaica.
  • Endless pampering while sipping on a hand delivered ice-cold cocktail
  • Take in a few rounds of golf before hitting the luxurious spa!
  • Enjoy complimentary cocktail parties, afternoon tea and hot chocolate!
  • Lounge on the beach till the sun goes down
  • Let the wind run through your hair while you windsurf and go sail boating
  • Find out what a “In Each Others Hand” massage therapy session entails!
  • Indulge in a champagne picnic or take an exotic tour of Jamaica.
So, when are you booking your next trip? I think I will book mine soon. If you know of any other great romantic resorts for couples, let us know!

Photos courtesy of http://www.100destinos.com/

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WOWednesday: Mentor Teenage Moms

Another dose of WOWorthy news that is so worth sharing:

iVolunteer.org
is currently featuring an opportunity to be a mentor to a teenage mother. Click for more information: Mentor Teenage Moms, Mondays

Image found here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Travel deals!


Anyone planning a trip in the next few months should check out AirTran's sale (ending May 20, 2010). They are offering some great deals.

Photo credit.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome to the Real World Class of 2010!


Picture it! You're sitting in the audience surrounded by your peers and you're listening to the keynote speaker ramble on about how this is the first step in the beginning of your life, blah, blah, blah. You've already stopped listening. You are just waiting for them to shut up so you can get the degree you've worked so hard for over the past four years, go partying, and most importantly collect your graduation presents.

After all the partying and celebration is done and you are back home, you're going to be wondering: "What the heck am I supposed to do now?"

Well, I have some information I want to bring to your attention that you may not have considered.

1.) Remember all those summer, winter, and spring vacations you had? They are over. When you get a job you'll have two weeks. No, to be exact, it'll be 10 business days (15 if you are lucky).

2.) Prepare for your friends from high school to be the same people or totally different. You may find that whether they have or have not changed, you have and you may start reconsidering whether you want to continue to be friends with them.

3.) You are going to have to earn your parents' respect as an adult. Right now, they may still think of you as a child who needs to be told what to do. Don't get angry, they are just stuck in the good ol' days. In some cases, they may never see you in any other way. Talk to them about what you're both expecting now that you have graduated.

4.) Decide what you want and be committed to getting it done.

5.) Don't let others opinions influence what you decide is good for you.

6.) Calculate your total debt, create a budget, pay it all off while simultaneously saving your money. Use budgeting software such as Mint.com.

7.) Take care of your health. You may have been taking your stellar health and physique for granted. Now is the time to keep working on exercising and eating healthier. Once you've lost your health you may never get it back.

8.) Manage your time. Don't try to get everything done for everyone else. Plan out your schedule, be okay with telling people no, and make time to take care and do things that are enjoyable for you.

9.) Don't just sit behind your computer all day and call that a job search. Go out to networking events, join professional organizations in your industry, and volunteer.

10.) Have fun! This is such an amazing and scary part of your life. But think about it, you have a blank canvas and you can paint whatever you want. What life are you going to create?



These are some of my tips on entering the real world. What tips do you have to share with the Class of 2010?

Photo found here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tica Travels: Keep it Movin' Part Dos


BOLT BUS vs MEGABUS...WHO WINS?

Our faithful follower, Christy, ignited this second battle between Bolt bus and Megabus on Part Uno of Keep it Movin'. Both companies are neck-to-neck in competition, so come get the STATS on each company and see which one fits your travel style and personality! With Memorial Day right around the corner, this information is timely!

Also, check out these tips for Surviving Budget Bus Travel, to prepare for your trip.

Decide who wins this epic battle by checking out my latest post on Centric TV here! Please feel free to leave a comment using your FB account on Centric, or come back here to show some love!

Happy Riding!