February 15, 2018

When a high school mass shooting hits home

My son came home from high school yesterday extremely upset. He had learned about a school shooting on social media almost minutes after it happened. He told me he was scared. He knows kids at the school where the shooting happened, and so do I. 

As the afternoon unfolded, I checked in with friends who have children at the school and waited anxiously for them to respond. I watched the news reports that showed traumatized students, parents, and even visibly shaken law enforcement. This was a tragedy our community had never wanted to endure and it felt unfathomable. My emotions ranged from sadness to anger. 

As a working mother, I have always wanted to trust that school is a safe place to send my children when I'm a work. I want to know that a troubled teenager who has been expelled from school does not have access to an assault rifle and will harm my child as he innocently walks out of school for a fire drill. How can I balance work and family when I'm worried about my children's safety in what should be one of the safest places in America -- school?

Something needs to change. 

Watching the faces of parents on television waiting for their children was beyond painful. And to envision the faces of those parents whose children never met up with them. I just can't. 

As a nation, we urge employers to come up with family-friendly policies so we can give our best to our employers and our families. We reward companies who show support for employees with labels like Great Places to Work. We give our schools grades and hold them to a standard of education. But what about our children's safety when they're at school. We have not done enough to make our schools the safest they can be at a time when mental health concerns are soaring and assault weapons are too easy to get.

This time, let's do more than say prayers for the families of the victims of the shooter. Let's look at making high-level policy changes that protect our children and give parents better peace of mind for their children's safety. I know anything can happen on any given day and we can't bubblewrap our kids and protect them from the world. 

But the real world is getting way too violent. So let's try. For all those families who lost their children yesterday, let's try.

 

February 06, 2018

How to Respond to Bad Behavior in the Workplace


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Bad behavior in the workplace. It’s everywhere. Talk and accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct are almost daily occurrences. What has been most surprising to me is that bad behavior seems to be prevalent in every type of profession. So, when TONE networks held an event called Workplace Playbook for Women: The right response to wrong behavior, I tuned into its Facebook Live to hear what the experts had to say.

The lineup: Liz Weaver O'Keefe,  Dr. RamaniValerie Grubb . Their expertise is described below.

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Right out of the gate experts told us about the two types of sexual harassment:

  1. Quid pro quo(meaning “this for that”)  - this type of sexual harassment occurs when it is stated or implied that an act or employment decision depends upon whether the employee submits to  conduct of a sexual nature
  2. Hostile environment – this type of sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working or learning environment

Next, came the helpful part. 

We learned strategies for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. 

I am going to share what I learned. 

Know your company policy.

Valerie Grubb, a workplace expert, shared this insight with the audience: “Be very familiar with your employer’s policy and procedures. Information is power and you need to understand what your rights are. If you don’t follow policy you can negate your ability or rights to file for sex harassment.”

Most policies tell employees to report bad behavior immediately, usually to HR. But what happens if you don’t have an HR department or if HR tells you to suck it up and don’t rock the boat?  “Look for someone outside of HR you could go to, maybe someone in legal that you trust,” Grubb said.

Collect documentation.

Whether the bad behavior is an ongoing problem or one-time event, when you report misconduct or harassment, bring any documentation you can get. You need documentation. What should that documentation look like? Grubb said it should look like this: “Here’s what happened, here’s what I did about it.”

Have an action plan.

To tackle the bad behavior in the moment, you have options. Dr. Ramani Durvasula said she realizes that when misconduct happens, the receiver often is in state of shock and usually either screams or stays silent. “You’ve got to learn from each one of these events,” she said.  “The next time, be ready. Have your well thought out response in the back of your mind.”

If touching or groping is involved, tackle it head on, Dr. Durvasula says. For example, you could say, “Wow that was really awkward, particularly with all the headlines going on right now” or you could say, “I don’t appreciate your behavior or comment and I need it to stop.”  The important thing, she emphasized, is that you need to make them understand their behavior is not appreciated. She acknowledged that some people never will get it. “Those are more toxic individuals,” she said.

Don’t be intimidated.

It’s rather typical to worry that reporting misconduct will cost you your job, especially if the perpetrator has power. If HR is not going to help you and finding another job might not be an option, try to find a champion in your company, someone who can help you, Grubb suggested. At the end of the day, if you are telling HR legal that you have an issue and they do nothing about it,  you have to quit, she said. “If you’ve been documenting information, it might be worth going to a lawyer, or the EEOC, or legal aid.”

Stick up for others.

If you notice a male supervisor intimidating a female employee, speak up.

“Put on your women’s ears,” Dr. Durvasula said. “Listen for the interruptions when another woman is presenting a point. When she is interrupted, say ‘hey didn’t get to hear rest of what Vakl said.” Then turn toward her and ask “Val what were you going to say?”

If you see a woman being treated inappropriately, speak up to empower her. Dr. Durvasula suggests: “I’m so sorry. I just saw that and you did nothing wrong." As the doctor noted:  "When a woman is suffering, it is your business.”

Say no firmly. 

TONE network's Liz O’Keefe asked the panelist how to handle awkward date requests in the workplace. "If someone at work continues to ask you out after you have repeatedly said no, you need to be incredibly clear that you are not interested," Grubb said.  Say something like, “I don’t appreciate that you keep asking me out. I need you to stop.”

Another awkward scenario might occur when joking around turns offensive.

“I will say funny joke and someone takes to next level,” Grubb said. “That’s when you need to sit and in a calm voice have a conversation and outline the boundaries.”

Put yellers in perspective

How do you handle a yeller or screamer in the workplace? There is not a simple answer, and yet, yelling is not considered sexual harassment, even if it’s a way of asserting control. Grubb said she has handled yellers by .  O’Keefe raised the question of how to react when just the opposite occurs:  a male client or boss calls you sweetie. Dr. Durvasula offered an easy response: “Call him sweetie right back.”

To read more on handling bad workplace behavior, visit my personal blog CindyKeepsUp.com.

 

December 13, 2017

Coping with holiday depression and winter blues at work and home

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Are you stressed? Feeling down about your work situation or your personal life?

This is a tough time of year. Many people suffer from the winter blues. 

At work, many of us feel disappointed we aren't getting a year-end bonus, or we haven't received a promotion, or we didn't make that move to a better job like we thought we would when 2017 started.  At home, we feel a general sense of sadness that's difficult to explain. 

Coping with the loss of a loved one or tight work deadlines, end-of-year workplace pressure and the reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter are all factors that may contribute to a person’s depression during the holidays.

If we give in to our feels of depression or sadness, it can make the last few weeks of the year awful at work and at home. 

So today, my guest blogger offers some help. 



Ketamine_hr-0560Dr. Francisco Cruz, lead psychiatrist at
Ketamine Health Centers, suggests five ways to minimize seasonal depression and increased anxiety that tends to onset in the fall and continues into the winter months. Cruz is double board certified in general psychiatry and addiction medicine. He has been practicing psychiatry for 13 years. Ketamine Health Centers successfully treat patients everyday living with depression,
suicidal ideation, PTSD, among other mental and chronic pain conditions.

1.Keep your goals in perspective and communicate. If your work situation is causing your depression to worsen, ask your supervisor what you  can do differently to secure the next promotion. Be mindful of his/her feedback and create a personal checklist of action items that will lead to enhanced professional development going forward.

2. Plan ahead. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Adding holiday parties and gift gathering to your already busy schedule can lead to increased anxiety.Have a set plan in mind to help keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by too many simultaneous responsibilities.

3. Be prepared for something to go wrong. Entertaining guests can also present emotional challenges. It is difficult to control everyone, but for your own sake, it is best to mentally prepare yourself for holiday “hiccups.” This can include your guests arriving late or a prepared dish burning. 

4. Practice extra self-care.  Sweets are a temptation and can derail your diet and workout routine, while also causing irritability and moodiness. Indeed, a study conducted by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that refined foods such as white bread, white rice and soda can trigger hormonal responses in the body to reduce blood sugar levels. These responses may cause mood changes, fatigue, and other signs of depression.  Even throughout the holiday mayhem, strive to make time for yourself and don’t neglect your health. Great ways to stay on track is by limiting the amount of desserts you consume, sleeping for seven to eight hours per night, squeezing in time for the gym.

5. Monitor alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can make the winter blues even worse. Drink festively, not to get drunk or alter your mood. 

6. Breakaway from the stereotypes: If you are trying to meet a certain expectation about the “correct” way holidays should be celebrated, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

7. Be okay with feeling some sadness.  The holiday season can come at a time when you may have experienced a traumatic event or an anniversary of a loved one’s death. These reasons can easily generate an increase in distress. Know that it is okay to put all of the celebrations on hold to reflect on the healing process. Through your grieving, aim to remember the good memories in a positive light.

8. Don’t be a lone soldier: Talk to someone that you trust -- a family member or a close friend --who can lend a listening ear. You can also seek therapy. People often avoid seeking professional help because of their concern about judgment by others. The greatest misconception is believing that therapy is only for those on the verge of losing sanity.  The process of overcoming trauma or dealing with grief or depression can be difficult. With the help of an expert, feelings can often be better navigated in a healthy manner.

Wishing everyone good mental health during the holidays and in the new year!

 (photo credit: WAVEBREAKMEDIA VIA GETTY IMAGES)

November 30, 2017

Holiday Gift Giving in the Office: Dos and Don'ts

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One holiday season, I wanted to give my boss a gift. He had been a mentor during the year and I wanted to show appreciation. So, I gave him a gift card to his favorite store. It wasn't for much, but it was just enough to show I was grateful for his guidance. Still, handing it to him felt a little awkward. 

Around this time of year, many people struggle with who in their office to get gifts and what to give them. We don't want to appear ungrateful, nor do we want to look like a suck up. And, we especially don't want to go broke buying co-workers gifts.

A few years ago, I tackled this topic in a Miami Herald column. I discovered the different ways people handle office gift giving:

Group gifts

One day in the company lunchroom, Jason Ibarra and his co-workers had a conversation about what they were going to buy their boss for the holidays. As the agency director at Exults Internet Marketing, Ibarra considered aloud how much to spend and asked: “What do you get a guy who probably has money to buy himself more than I can afford?”

Ibarra solved his dilemma by putting a black-painted jar in the lunchroom at his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., firm. He suggested staff put in whatever they feel comfortable giving for the boss’ gift. They collected $250 and bought the boss a fishing rod, which they presented to him as a group gift for Hanukkah.

Top-down giving 

Etiquette experts say bosses should give their employees gifts to thank them for performance or dedication, but employees don’t need to give a gift back. In the workplace, giving should be down — supervisors to employees — rather than up.

“Don’t feel the need to reciprocate if your boss is showing appreciation for your year of hard work,” said Amanda Augustine, a careers expert with TheLadders, an online job-matching site for career-driven professionals.

If you do give the boss a gift, do it for the right reason. “If you feel appreciative of opportunities this year to work in your organization and you’re pleased with the way you were treated, it’s nice to acknowledge a supervisor with something small and a handwritten note,” said Alice Bredin, small-business advisor to American Express Open.

A thank you note 

Experts say the best gifts are handwritten notes and something consumable, such as a platter or basket of treats. The worst gifts are expensive or too personal, such as jewelry, cologne or intimate apparel.

If you’re giving a gift to curry favor, you might want to reconsider. “If you are not a cultural fit or under-performing, sending the boss a really nice gift is not going to save your job,” said Augustine of TheLadders. “The person is going to feel uncomfortable or offended, and, either way, I don’t think the outcome is going to be favorable.”

Do what others do

If you are new to the company, it pays to do a little research on precedent by asking a veteran employee. “On-boarding 101 is always enlisting someone who can tell you what you will not find in the company handbook,” Augustine said. If there isn’t a gift-giving precedent, she advises erring on the side of caution and especially avoiding giving “up.” Usually giving food -- homemade banana bread, chocolate covered pretzels or box of candy -- is a safe bet.

Secret Santa
 
Some office tackled gift giving by setting up a Secret Santa where everyone anonymously buys for a co-worker. If your office has this type of gift exchange, it's a good idea to participate. Most office put a price limit on gift giving, typically around $10. If you really can't afford to participate, you can opt out. But that's only in an extreme case. Participating shows you are a team player and solves the dilemma of who to buys gifts.
 
 
 
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By the way, this year, there are new rules for the office holiday party. To learn what they are, visit my new blog: CindyKeepsUp.com.
 

June 06, 2017

Good news employees: Summer Fridays are coming!

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My son completely unpacked his school backpack today and tossed out his notebooks and all the loose papers. That's a sure sign the school year is over and summer is here! But for employees who work hard all year round, summer usually isn't much of a break.  This summer though, things may be different. 

Here's the great news: More companies are planning to offer Summer Fridays!!!!

You're probably wondering exactly what Summer Friday is and whether your company is going to offer the perk. According to CEB, now Gartner , 43% of organizations will offer their employees Summer Fridays this year – a more than 20% increase in the number of organizations that extended similar benefits in 2015. Brian Kropp, HR Practice Leader at CEB, says Summer Fridays are defined as closing the office early (around lunchtime) every Friday or some Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Kropp thinks the reason its new survey shows more companies are offering this perk in 2017 is because work-life balance is one of the top factors employees consider when choosing to take or leave a job. "A significant percentage of employees take the time off anyway ( on Fridays). By telling them it’s okay, employees feel their employer cares and wants to give them flexibility to balance their work and life better. In lot of ways it’s a win win. It sends a positive message and for the employer, it doesn’t’ cost much."

For the remaining 56 percent of employers that aren't planning to offer Summer Fridays, Kropp encourages employees to request it. "Managers are on average are more flexible over the summer than other points of year."

We know that Americans are letting vacation days go unused and that stress levels are higher than ever. So, if more of us have access to Summer Fridays, maybe we will at least take a weekend getaway. While a long weekend is not as relaxing as a full week vacation, a short getaway can be a stress reliever, too, and help rebalance work and life.

Here is something else to consider if you're a manager. You may want to have a career conversation with your employee soon. 

Kropp, who has a wealth of knowledge regarding workforce trends, said his organization has learned that when people go on summer vacation, they use that time to contemplate how their career is progressing.They may even compare it to a friend with whom they are traveling.  Having a career progression conversation with an employee before he goes on vacation could encourage him or her to stay -- rather than leave -- your organization. "As a manager, you want to participate at moments when decision making is occurring," Kropp said. "Summer is when it often is occurring." 

If you are a reluctant manager, consider this: Flexibility is more doable these days with video capability. As Kropp points out, video check-ins can give managers the comfort they need to allow more remote or work at home arrangements over the summer. Flexibility means you can require people to come into the office and collaborate, but let them work remotely on occasion. It means you can ask employees to work late during the year as needed, but give them Summer Fridays as desired, or even let them work one day from home.

Employers should be aware of how they can help their workers with work life balance this summer and what the payoff could be. 

 "We believe companies that create flex employee desire will have employees that will stay and be higher performing," Kropp said. That's a worthy goal for most businesses.Here's to Summer Fridays!

 

June 05, 2017

A Working Parent's End-of-School-Year Survival Guide

We're in the final stretch of the school year and by now, many working parents are exhausted. We've been to recitals, class parties, banquets, awards nights and we're squeezing it all in with our work schedules. In our heads, we hear the Gloria Gaynor song "I will survive" and we want to scream it LOUD.  We want to celebrate the end of homework, the end of stressful school day routines and the end of school stress, at least for a few months, but we're just SO tired. If you're almost at the finish line, here is my guide for making it all the way through the end of the school year with your sanity.

1.Don't beat yourself up. If you made it to your kid's end of year class party, great. If not, he or she will forgive you because of all the other ways you show love.

2.  Have your child bring a small notebook to school. He can use it collect phone numbers. Over the summer, if you kid is bored, he is ready reach out.

 3. Express appreciation. If there is a key person at the school who makes your life easier, send in a gift card. It will make all the difference for you in the future.

 4. Find out about summer reading. Most kids wait until a few days before school starts to do their summer reading assignments. Nudge your child to find out about the assignments before school ends. That way, you can at least plan ahead and avoid panic.

5. Throw stuff out.  Have your kid clean out his or her backpack and organize your child's best tests, papers and projects into one folder. Make those tough decisions. You really don't need to save EVERYTHING. Do it now before you decide to keep it all to avoid having to go through it.

6. Talk to other parents. If you're stuck for hours at a banquet or awards night, use your time wisely. Talk to other parents about what their children are doing this summer and look for opportunities to carpool, share child care or land your teen a summer job. No harm in using the parents' network!

7. Refuse to panic. If you haven't made your child's summer plans, stay calm. There are plenty of camps that have openings, babysitters that need jobs, stores that are hiring teens and schools that are offering summer programs. If possible, have your child help with the research.

It's going to be a great summer. We all just need a little prep to make it even better!

 

June 01, 2017

High School Graduation Hits Parents Hard

It's been two years since I attended a high school graduation. Yet, as I listen to my friends talk about their emotional experiences and I see the graduation photos on Facebook, it's as if it was yesterday I was sitting in the bleachers watching my son get his diploma. Now, my son is half way through college and my work life balance continues to shift because I have become a graduate student. Life is an emotional journey and high school graduation is tough on parents because of all it represents.

With graduation season upon us, I wanted to revisit a timely piece that I am sure others parents can relate to this time of year.

 

Originally posted on 6/4/2015

 

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The day you become a parent your life changes. Everyone warns you this will happen and it's true. This experience is emotional in a way that feels odd and exciting at the same time.

Eighteen years later, a parent feel as emotional on high school graduation day as we do the day our first child came into our life -- maybe even more emotional. Regardless of how much we know it is coming, graduation day catches us off guard. Tonight, my oldest son, Jake, will walk across the stage and get his high school diploma and while he prepares for the pomp and circumstance with excitement, I face it with a strange, difficult to explain feeling.

I wonder if other parents feel as I do. I think part of it is bewilderment, the feeling that 18 years went by and I can't account for every day of those years. Part of it is fear, the feeling that I am getting older and entering a new phase in my life as my son is entering one in his and I don't know how it will play out. Part of it is excitement, the feeling that there is so much opportunity ahead for him, which I have learned from benefit of hindsight. Of course, part of it is pride, the feeling that I have shaped another human being and guided him to this day of accomplishment.

From having an older daughter, I know this life event is pivotal. Regardless of whether your son or daughter goes to college, high school graduation marks a change in the parent/child relationship. From this day on, you treat your teen differently,  You give him or her a little more independence and engage in conversations on a different level.

As a parent, there are so many adjustments as your children mature into adults and leaves home. It's not easy but you come to accept that you may not know where or how they are much of the time. They are out there living their own lives, and as a parent you can only hope for the best.

As I head into the auditorium tonight, I will look around the room and see the faces of little boys who played dodgeball in my backyard, now young men who shave, and drive, and like my son are leaving home to go make their way in the world.

Somehow, I feel as if watching them graduate will be happening in slow motion. I  honestly can't see the road ahead for any of us. But as strange as that is, it is also freeing. The responsibility for making sure my son's homework is done, he gets to his activities on time and he gets to bed at a decent hour is behind me. Tonight my son graduates, and in many ways, so do I. There's an interesting path ahead for both of us, and tonight we are one step closer to taking it.

 

May 24, 2017

Will Billy Bush teach us how to recover from a career setback?

 

This morning, I watched Good Morning America as former Today Show co-host Billy Bush spoke with Robin Roberts about his vulgar exchange with Donald Trump from years ago that was caught on video and released during the Presidential election. While Trump went on to become President, the viral video of the incident cost Bush his job.

Bush is the latest public personality to be embarrassed by previous behavior and an illustration how easily one incident can harm a career. While most of us strive to live our work and home lives ethically, we can appreciate Bush’s attempt to bounce back from a huge career setback.

Clearly, in my career I have made mistakes. I have found the more that lands on my plate, the easier it becomes to make mistakes – big and small. 

So, what happens when your mistake is big, maybe even a career setback like Bush experienced in this visual and digital age...How do you recover? The steps are clearer than you might think. Here’s what we can all learn from Billy Bush.

  • Admit your mistake and apologize. In my workplace, and I’m sure in yours, you have had people who make mistakes and try to cover them up. Almost always that makes the situation worse. Bush will continue to have critics but coming out on camera and explaining his actions and stating there is no excuse for his actions was a start.
  • Lean on experts. Billy Bush admitted to Robin Roberts that he has spent the last seven months doing a lot of soul searching. He now meditates, practices mindfulness and yoga. "He knows it's a process which led him to be ready and able to do the interview, Robin Roberts told the audience after the interview.  DUring the seven months, Bush went to Tony Robbins workshops to better himself. He said Tony pointed at him and said: "One bad moment does not define who you are."
  • Redefine yourself. How will the mistake make you better at your job going forward? Bush said at the time of the video, he was "insecure and a pleaser." He says he is ready to get back to work because there is purpose, clarity and acceptance of his mistake. "I feel like a better man." Bush says he has redefined himself and wants to do purposeful reporting going forward.
  • Share your lessons. Everybody has made a mistake, but what have you learned from yours? Sharing what you have learned is a path toward moving forward. Bush said his advice for young men entering his profession is "believe in yourself. Be confident. Stay true to who you are. I think I sacrificed my own dignity in that moment," he said of the Trump incident.

Whether or not you are a Billy Bush fan, or believe in the sincerity of his apology, recovering from a career setback isn't easy and watching how Bush fares offers lessons for all.

April 04, 2017

What Equal Pay Day Means for Our Daughters

Today is Equal Pay Day. It's the day to bring attention to the pay disparity between men and women.

The reality is that most workplaces won't acknowledge it. Regardless, it is the most important day of the year for women. Today is the day when real change happens because of small actions and big resolve. It's the day when we focus attention on making the workplace better for our daughters, our nieces, our granddaughters. 

By now, women have been in the workplace for decades, holding high level jobs, becoming bosses and running large agencies. In many workplaces, they are the human resources directors who do the hiring. Why then, do women still earn on average 20 percent less than men for the same jobs? (Click here to see how your state stacks up against the pay gap)

Yesterday, I heard actress Gina Rodriguez speak on television about her partnership with LUNA nutrition bars to drive awareness for the pay gap. Listening to Gina, what I liked most about what she said was her plan. Instead of just urging employers to do something about the pay gap or pushing for legislation -- two strategies that haven't been enough --Gina talked about how LUNA is sponsoring AAUW Work Smart salary negotiation workshops for women across the country.

LUNA and AAUW are working to close the pay gap one workshop at a time by empowering women to negotiate their salary and benefits packages. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

“We know that salary negotiation is not the only variable in the gender pay gap, but it is true that women tend not to negotiate, and that affects their earnings all the way through to retirement," AAUW Board Chair Patricia Fae Ho said. “We are so grateful to have LUNA’s support spreading our negotiation workshops, because we know how well they work. We hear from women every day that they used what they learned in AAUW Work Smart immediately – and that it worked!”

I look around me and I see many women working the same long hours as men, and putting their passion into their jobs. We all know it's not acceptable that they earn less for men, particularly as they struggle with trying to raise families and serve as role models, too. Working women first need to pay more attention to who gets hired and at what salary and speak up for change. More important, we need to put the power to eliminate the pay gap it in the hands of our daughters by showing them how to ask for what they deserve at the beginning of their careers. We can rally for brands like LUNA to bring attention to champion women's equality. We can have conversations with the young women in our lives about how and why to go after any job they want, research what the men in the job are paid, and have the confidence to negotiate salary and benefits. We can even take those young women with us to a workshop. Here's the link to free workshops across the U.S.

The AAUW website offers some other actions: Bring a workshop to a campus or community. Sign up to become an AAUW salary negotiation ambassador to help spread the word, or train to become an AAUW salary negotiation facilitator so that you can take the reins in empowering women.

Today is a day in which small actions count. Take them for the young women in your lives. You can help close the pay gap and this is the time to do it.

 

 

 

February 28, 2017

Tim Tebow Follows His Passion and You Can Too

 

 

Former Florida Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow has lots of fans. He also has lots of haters. 

But Tebow doesn't let the haters get in the way of following his passion. Tebow, who didn't really find the success he wanted in the NFL, has now turned to baseball.

Tebow's detractors say he will never make it as a professional athlete. But Tebow doesn't listen. He continues on.

This morning, Tim Tebow  did an interview on Good Morning America and said the start of his spring training debut at the New York Mets training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, “feels great.” 

Here's what he told Good Morning America:

“Honestly it’s kind of a dream come true being out here with the Mets organization, a bunch of awesome guys, getting the chance to play a game I love,” Tebow, 29, said on “Good Morning America.” “It was just so fun putting on a uniform yesterday, going to warmups, in the stretch line, getting back into the routine, being part of the team and competing -- it was a blast. I’m having a lot of fun.”

Tebow's passion for following his dreams is admirable. Whether or not he makes it as a professional baseball player, he knows he gave his dream his all. Wow, what a role model for the rest of us who cower from "going for it" because we're afraid what people might say or because we are afraid to fail!

On Good Morning America, Tebow acknowledged that critics are still skeptical of his football-turned-baseball player path, but he said he’s “focusing on the love and not the doubt” that lies ahead.

“Obviously you have people on both sides,” said Tebow. “You’ll have people that are out here supporting that are great, and then you’ll also have people that want to bring you down. For me, this is something that I’m doing for the love of it. The love of the game, the love of pursuing passions, the love of being able to live a dream every single day."

So, what if you were able to live your dream every single day? What if you were able to turn something you love doing into a job that pays? Would you be able to get past the haters and doubters?

If you want more fulfillment from your job, or have a passion you want to follow, here are 5 steps to move you forward:

  1. Start the discovery process (research)
  2. Talk to people who have successfully taken risks
  3. Don't make money your primary consideration (any job can pay off with creativity)
  4. Network to learn who can help you
  5. Make a plan

 

Personally, I'm rooting for Tebow. While the haters hate, he's happier than most of them.