Switch careers, move forward

Being open to career changes often leads to a new path.

Being open to career changes often leads to a new path.

By Carmen Glover

As parents and friends support the new class of college graduates, thoughts usually swirl around job prospects. Similarly, as veteran employees consider their options decisions are typically made to leave dead end jobs and test the waters.

Career options often lead to a new direction.

Career options develop in a fertile, open mind.

Sometimes, however, it is necessary to switch career fields entirely in order to secure gainful employment. Don’t become married to a job title, a particular manner of earning or a specific industry. Instead, it is wise to assess your skills, career interests, work style, long and short term career goals and determine how the various jobs that you are being offered can create a path to your ultimate goal.

career path

Too often individuals become observers, sitting on the sidelines while waiting for the ‘perfect job.’ Years pass by and they are still waiting, refusing to revise their career outlook, take lateral steps in order to move ahead with new skills.

As the job hunting season heats up, consider taking a step back or changing careers temporarily, if necessary, in order to develop a fresh set of skills while being an active participant in the workforce. By being open to new opportunities you just might discover a more exciting way to earn and a more fulfilling career that was never on your radar initially–OnPointPress.net.

Are doubts derailing your life?

By Carmen Glover

Do not allow doubts to derail your life.

Do not allow doubts to derail your life.

The other day I was speaking with a mentee and I was staggered by the deep level of insecurities and doubts the person expressed. There were doubts about career goals, what direction the individual should take with seeking a new job and most alarming, insecurities surfaced when the person spoke about feeling alienated by peers on the current job.

As I listened and examined the underlying causes of the emotions the person expressed I felt concerned that so much pain, doubt and feelings of inadequacy had been internalized by the mentee. The person seemed to be incapable of charting a new path because of the deleterious effects of being stuck in place for years.

doubt

I provided career and self-esteem counseling but the session made me reflect on the prevalence of doubts derailing people’s lives. Are you allowing your doubts, fears and insecurities to cloud your mind, consume your thoughts and prevent you from moving forward?

If so, take some quiet time to determine what you want more than anything else in your life, whether it is in your personal life or your career. Describe why you deserve to have that outcome then outline how you plan to make it a reality. After taking those steps, take a leap of faith and move forward. Remember, you cannot achieve your goals if you are too scared to take the first step.—OnPointPress.net

 

Change fuels growth, embrace it

change

By Carmen Glover

Have you ever found yourself fighting with all of your might against change? Change is usually the precursor to growth. By resisting change, you are not only delaying the inevitable, you are choosing to remain stagnant.

If you have been thinking about unrealized goals or if you have just started to list your goals for this month, make room for change. If a particular way of doing things no longer suits you then change it. Take action and make change so that you can grow.

change 2

If your career path no longer brings you joy, change the way that you work or the field of employment entirely. If your significant relationships cause you to feel unhappy, resentful, constantly angry or stuck in place, change what you can even if it means moving on from what no longer brings you joy.

Whatever you do, make a decision today to move forward. Change your surroundings, change your mindset, change your associations, change your eating habits, change your exercise routine, change your life. Do not resist the opportunity to change, in time you will see that change is the catalyst to the most successful period of your life—OnPointPress.net–

 

 

The value of mentoring is unrivaled

Being a caring mentor to a child could be the difference to that child's future achievements.

Being a caring mentor to a child could be the difference to that child’s future achievements.

By Carmen Glover

For the entire month of January, the act of mentoring is celebrated under the umbrella of National Mentoring Month. Also, on January 21, mentees were encouraged to thank their mentors for Thank Your Mentor Day.

mentoring3

One of the strongest indicators of career success for many professionals is the involvement of caring mentors. When a child shows interest in a particular career path pairing that child with a mentor often sets the stage for that child to explore, at an early age, whether or not that career path will be viable.

When a teenager begins to consider career paths and is exposed to individuals who are doing well in that desired career path, as well as being paired with a mentor, it cements confidence. As that teenager enters college, trade school or other forms of educational endeavors, the comfort that the adolescent will benefit from a professional who can provide honest feedback, guidance, resources and introductions to others who are excelling in the career field of choice, provides dividends that are priceless. When a worker is paired with a mentor regardless of that worker’s age or stage on the career continuum, that act paves the way for the worker to navigate steps and climb the career ladder with greater dexterity and speed than before.mentoring1

I have benefitted from mentors throughout my professional career and for that I am immensely grateful. Not only do I consider my most enduring mentor to be caring, effective and helpful, I consider him to be a lifelong friend. Similarly, I have been a mentor to several younger professionals both in the field of media and education. The experience has been rewarding, especially when I see the mentee excelling in a chosen career.

mentoring 1

If you have never mentored a younger professional, consider doing so this year. Conversely, if you have never had a mentor, I suggest you diligently seek one without delay. The relationship between mentor and mentee is usually fulfilling and satisfying both professionally. Try it for yourself and share your experiences with us.–OnPointPress.net–

Take time to solidify your brand

marketing-branding-advertising

By Carmen Glover

What is your brand? What is your identity? What skills do you possess? What skills do you have to offer to potential clients? Who are you? What is your life’s purpose? What is your passion? What drives you? What goals will you tackle with enthusiasm this year?

Before you can provide excellent service to a potential client, it is important for you to be able to offer compelling answers to those questions. After all, how can you begin to define, establish and solidify a brand or strategy for others if you have not developed one for yourself?

brand

Take the time this week to assess yourself and examine those questions. As you slowly arrive at the answers you will find it easier to carve out your personal niche. which is fundamental to your ability to branch out and help others develop their own brand and identities.

Don’t delay, research and develop your brand and identity today. Once you have done that, move forward with purpose, urgency and determination. Yes, the year is young, but there is a lot of work to be done and time is of the essence. Share your progress with us so that we can continue to cheer you on..–OnPointPress.net–

 

3 Tips to regain focus and achieve unmet 2015 goals

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

By Carmen Glover

For many individuals, life involves trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities–at work, at home and in the community. Too often, this forces us to put goals that are important to us on the back burner, as we try to navigate coping with more pressing matters.

But as we enter into the month of November, this is an opportune time to reflect on what we have achieved so far this year, and make plans to achieve the unmet goals we set for 2015. Have you found yourself in a rut, unable to move forward? Here are three quick tips to reclaim your balance, recapture your focus and tackle unmet goals:

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year long, and achieve them.

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year-long, and achieve them.

Celebrate your Achievements: We are usually our own worst critics. Sometimes we beat ourselves down mercilessly, making it difficult for us to feel inspired. Instead of focusing on the list of things that you failed to achieve so far this year, write down all the goals you have achieved. Reflect on your journey towards achieving those goals. Celebrate those achievements. Savor the sense of pride that you feel for accomplishing those goals despite the obstacles that your faced along the way.

Revisit your Action Plan: Now that you are able to accept the reality that you achieved some of your goals, ask yourself what other goals you would like to achieve before the end of the year and why that is important to your psyche. Explore strategies that you will use to get to the finish line. Write down different paths you can take, various supportive networks you will tap and the first step you are prepared to take, today, to move the plan forward.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

Break the Goals into Smaller Steps: Do not become consumed with the range of tasks you need to complete in order to fully achieve the goal. It is more practical to break the goals into a series of small steps, and celebrate each achievement as it is made. For instance, if the goal is to improve your credit score by 50 points but you refuse to look at your account statements or speak to your creditors, a great first step would be to gather all your statements into one pile.

A second step could entail calling all of the creditors to get an accurate sum of what is owed. A third step would be to write down the balance owed to each creditor. A final step could be making a decision to speak with a financial advisor to get some valuable guidance, speaking directly to the creditors to explain your situation and develop a payment plan, or hiring a credit repair company to consolidate your debts and establish a reasonable repayment schedule. None of these methods will improve your credit score immediately, but they will provide the foundation that will change your financial picture incrementally, which in turn will improve your credit profile, over time.

So stop procrastinating. Take the first step today towards achieving your goals. Stay focused. You can do it!–OnPointPress.net–

 

NABJ congratulates member Kevin Merida on new ESPN job

Longtime NABJ member Kevin Merida is leaving his post as managing editor at the Washington Post for an executive level position at ESPN.

Longtime NABJ member Kevin Merida is leaving his post as managing editor at the Washington Post for an executive level position at ESPN.

WASHINGTON (October 20, 2015) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) congratulates member Kevin Merida on his appointment as editor of “The Undefeated,” ESPN’s website centering on the intersection of race, culture, and sports.

Merida will be a senior vice president and editor and oversee the content, the direction, and the strategic initiatives undertaken by the site. He joins “The Undefeated” from The Washington Post where he had been managing editor since February 2013 and on staff for 22 years. Upon his appointment at the Post, he became the paper’s first African-American managing editor.

“Kevin is an exceptional journalist who has worked his way up from reporter to editor covering a range of topics, from news of the day to national politics,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “Kevin is a transformative leader who has driven pointed editorial coverage of important news stories while balancing the need to create newsrooms that are nimble, flexible, adaptable, and creative. He has mentored talented journalists and helped them to create notable work.”

“Kevin is a remarkably accomplished journalist, editor and leader whom we have long admired and desired to join ‘The Undefeated,'” said Marie Donoghue, ESPN Executive Vice President for Global Strategy and Original Content. “Today’s announcement represents a key step in the evolution of the site and ESPN’s commitment to this ambitious project.”

Before serving as managing editor Merida was the paper’s national editor. Merida was named NABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2000 in recognition of his storytelling abilities, his commitment to the craft of journalism, and his drive to be an industry influencer by encouraging others to raise the bar.

Merida a Washington, D.C.-area native graduated from Boston University with a degree in journalism. He is the co-author of the biography “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas” and co-author of the bestselling “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs.” Merida who will remain in Washington, D.C., is married to author and former Post columnist Donna Britt with whom he has three sons. NABJ congratulates ESPN on this appointment and wishes Mr. Merida much success at ESPN.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit, www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net.

MBDA allocates $10.2 million for new business, job creation grants

Learning the keys to starting a new business is crucial to success, experts say.

Learning the key rules to starting a new business is crucial to success, experts say.

WASHINGTON (October 7, 2015) — On October 7, the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) launched a search for prospective partners to operate their newly improved business center program. MBDA plans to award 29 individual cooperative agreements to operate MBDA Business Centers beginning April 1, 2016. The awards will cover a 5-year period and total $10.2 million annually. The centers will be located in areas with substantial minority populations and minority-owned firms.ad small

“Our new and improved business center program was developed based on performance outcomes of our most successful centers and where we’ve had the most impact,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Under the new program, the nationwide business center network is more integrated, places more emphasis on collaboration, and was designed to ensure the quality and consistency of service delivery throughout our nationwide network of business centers.”

new business sign illustration design over white

Starting a new business is an alternative that many career changers find appealing.

MBDA is looking for organizations to deliver business consulting services to minority-owned firms, providing them increased access to public and private sector contracting opportunities, financing, and capital investments. Successful applicants will be those that have experience in assisting minority firms with obtaining large-scale contracts and financial transactions; accessing corporate supply chains; facilitating joint ventures, teaming arrangements, mergers and acquisitions; conducting export transactions; and performing minority business advocacy.

It takes courage, determination and conviction to live your life's purpose and embrace new career opportunities.

It takes courage, determination and conviction to live your life’s purpose and embrace new career opportunities.

The types of organizations are encouraged to apply include for-profit entities, non-profit organizations, state and local government entities, Native American tribes and educational institutions. Applications are due December 3, 2016. More information can be found on at www.grants.gov or www.mbda.gov. A pre-application teleconference will be conducted October 15, 2015 to provide background information and answer questions about the program and application process. Details are on www.mbda.gov.

Many new college graduates and veteran employees have decided that it makes more sense to create their own jobs rather than compete for uncertain careers.

Many new college graduates and veteran employees have decided that it makes more sense to create their own jobs rather than compete for uncertain careers.

MBDA will announce more funding opportunities in coming months for additional cities and programs.This grant competition is to operate business centers in locations including Albuquerque, NM;  Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC; Dallas, TX, Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; El Paso, TX; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Mobile, AL;New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL;Philadelphia, PA;Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh or Charlotte or Durham, NC; San Antonio, TX; San Jose, CA;San Juan, Puerto Rico; Seattle, WA; New York, NY or Northern New Jersey; Washington, DC or Northern Virginia.

Transitioning to a new phase on your professional path is often at the root of career and personal fulfillment yet many employees find it to scary to take the first step.

Transitioning to a new phase on your professional path is often at the root of career and personal fulfillment yet many employees find it to scary to take the first step.

MBDA, www.mbda.gov, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Our programs and services better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally. Services are provided through a network of MBDA Business Centers. After 45 years of service, MBDA continues to be a dedicated strategic partner to all U.S. minority-owned businesses, committed to providing programs and services that build size, scale and capacity through access to capital, contracts and markets. Follow them on Twitter @usmbda.–OnPointPress.net–

Respected, beloved, Jamaican diplomat prepares to return home

Jamaica's High Commissioner Aloun-Ndombet-Assamba embraces Minister-Counsellor Lincoln Downer.

Jamaica’s High Commissioner Aloun-Ndombet-Assamba embraces Minister-Counsellor Lincoln Downer.

 

By Carmen Glover

There is an adage that underpins most successful careers: If you do what you love, you will always succeed. For Lincoln Downer, a Jamaican diplomat with a vast repertoire of foreign relations experience, that adage holds true. Downer has dedicated his life to serving the Jamaican community as a diplomat, accepting assignments across the globe and adroitly making spectacular contributions while simultaneously strengthening his legacy and sterling reputation. As his latest assignment in England comes to a close, Downer is focused on returning to his native Jamaica, eager to explore the new adventures that await him in Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Downer shares a joke about being "The High Commissioner's Consort" with the audience.

Mr Downer shares a joke about being “The High Commissioner’s Consort” with the audience.

“I started my diplomatic career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs years ago,” Downer stated in a recent telephone interview from England. He served as a protocol officer for three years in that ministry, processing documents for senior government officials as they prepared for meetings overseas. In that capacity, he also translated documents that were necessary to enhance the preparation process for those officials. “I have always enjoyed using my skills to make a meaningful impact and effect change, no matter what the assignment,” he said.

Mr Downer stands with Ms Beverly Lindsay who chairs the Association of Jamaican Nationals in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Mr Downer stands with Ms Beverly Lindsay who chairs the Association of Jamaican Nationals in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

 

Mr Downer stands with Mrs P. Patterson of the Northern Region, and shows off gift to the audience.

Mr Downer stands with Mrs. Pancy. Patterson of the Northern Region, and shows off gift to the audience.

Those who have worked with him agree. “Lincoln Downer may be referred to as the ultimate protocol expert,” said Deputy Director of Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) Mr. Ephieum Allen. “His contribution to matters relating to Jamaica’s immigration, citizenship and passport has been integral to the vision of the government of Jamaica.”

The audience listens as Mr Downer delivers his farewell speech.

The audience listens as Mr Downer delivers his farewell speech.

For the past five years, Downer has worked at the Jamaican High Commission in London, England, in the role of Minister Counsellor for Diaspora and Consular Affairs. “My primary functions for the past five years have been to engage the Jamaican community, provide resources and services, build on relationships and manage the operations of the consular portion of the High Commission,” he said, reflecting on his achievements in the position. “I think I would say my proudest achievements in this post  are completely revamping the consular operations by implementing procedures that resulted in greater transparency and accountability as well as improving the relationships and access for the local Jamaican community so that the consular operations are not as mysterious.”

Mr Downer poses with Ms Lindsay and other well-wishers at the Birmingham event.

Mr Downer poses with Ms Lindsay and other well-wishers at the Birmingham event.

Intrinsic to Downer’s success in the tapestry of his diplomatic career has been a humble, authentic personality that has allowed him to win and maintain the trust and admiration of the constituents that he serves as well as his peers and superiors. His affable nature, caring interactions and willingness to lend a helping hand, offer a word of prayer or simply share a word of encouragement has won him acclaim, love, support and respect. None of which he takes for granted.

 

Diaspora Advisory Board Member Celia Markey, chair of Jamaicans Inspired Nathaniel presents gift

Diaspora Advisory Board Member Celia Markey and  Nathaniel Peat, chair of Jamaicans Inspired. present gift to Minister Counsellor Mr Lincoln Downer.


“From the outside looking in, it’s not easy to understand some of the opportunities I have been fortunate to experience,” he said, reminiscing on his assignment immediately before he assumed his current post. “When I worked at the Jamaican Consulate in New York as a vice consul from 1998-2001, it never crossed my mind that I would return there as acting consul general from 2007-2008 before coming to England,” he stated, adding, “that is why it is so important to get along with people from all walks of life because you never know where you will end up.”

Minister Counsellor Mr Lincoln Downer with members of Jamaica National Council,  Huddersfield, England.

Minister Counsellor Mr Lincoln Downer with members of Jamaica National Council, Huddersfield, England.

Downer earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in 1995 and a certificate of translation in Spanish and English in 1997. But for Downer, who prides himself on learning as much as possible to effectively serve in his various posts, education is an ongoing process. Inspired to keep his skills sharp and evolving, he earned a diploma from the International Organization on Migration in Argentina in 2005 on inter-American migration, followed in 2007 with certification in the performance management training system.

Members of the Jamaican Community, London, Reading, England.

Members of the Jamaican Community, London and Reading, England.

“I look forward to returning to Jamaica to see what lies in store for me,” said Downer, whose time in England ends this weekend.

Jamaican author Deanne Heron presents Minister Counsellor with a copy of her book, Pardner Money Stories.

Jamaican author Deanne Heron presents Minister Counsellor with a copy of her book, Pardner Money Stories.

The real measure of achievement for professionals who are committed to their craft is the regard with which they are viewed in the community that they serve. For Downer, who has been enjoying a month-long farewell tour replete with receptions, gifts, hugs and embraces, the measure of his impact is felt profoundly among an audience who view him with mixed emotions: torn that he is moving on, while being comforted by the knowledge that wherever he goes next, his steps are ordered and he will be in the right place at the right time.—OnPointPress.net