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How To Make A Good First Impression

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It is true that “first impressions last”. This is because it happens so fast and we judge a person in a nano second. This is particularly true if you meet somebody for the first time. First impressions last, so they are very important. Here are some ways you can make yourself look good during the first few minutes.

 

Talking Points

If you are meeting somebody for the first time, whether it is a client or prospective employer, do your homework and research for talking points. Know what they are interested in, what they care about, or what they need from you. Your goal is to show that you see their problem and you have the skills that might help them solve it. Try to find two or three talking points that you feel are important or want to get across during the meeting.

 

Body Language

Be aware of your body language at all times. It is normal to be nervous when meeting somebody new, but make sure that you’re not too obvious. Your body language should always convey “confident and comfortable” as opposed to “nervous and anxious”. To avoid negative energy and bad first impressions, employ some calming techniques to get a grip on your nervousness. You can use the power of posing before the meeting by taking long strides, sitting straight, or walking with your chest and chin held high. These simple poses can help increase self confidence and calm nervousness.

 

Strengths

Ask your close friends your strengths and winning traits and replay them during the meeting.  Another alternative is to recall praises from your boss or co-workers. For example, if co-workers say that you are a good project manager, find metrics to support this idea. You can have reports to show that your projects are well organized and completed on time.

 

Ornaments

Jewelry, clothing, and things you put on your body are just some of the things people take into account when they meet you for the first time. One of the best things to do is to minimize the usage of clothing, jewelry, or makeup that is too gaudy. Ask your trusted friends their opinion and advice about the clothes you wear, makeup, or accessories. Ask them what they think when you wear certain types of clothing.

 

Be Interested and Interesting

Be engaging and engage in your new acquaintance. The best way to abolish any negative first impressions is to show them the good things about you. Ask them about their interests and respond appropriately when asked a question. We all have experiences where we meet somebody and know immediately if you’re going to find the person entertaining or if you want to go home. Besides, it works both ways.

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Getting Millennials Involved In Politics

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Since our most recent Presidential election, it has been more important than ever for millennials to use their voice in politics. Millennials make up a large portion of the population, and by getting involved, it can create an impact on society. Since The Great Recession, this generation has experienced unique struggles and are rightfully angry. Unemployment was at an all time high and wages fell once it was all over. Millennials are the most educated generation in American history, both in degrees and college graduates. However, what was once a job promised after graduation is no more. Millennials feel the need for a moral rebirth and are getting involved in issues now more than ever.

We got in touch with Bryan Leib, an activist trying to get more millennials involved in politics. Bryan works with nonprofits in Philly and Camden as a mentor for the youth. We asked him about the importance of politics for millennials and ways to get involved.

 

Why is it important for millennials to be involved in politics?

It’s mission critical for millennials to be actively involved and engaged in politics in order to influence public policy and to improve our communities. Local politics that is. I’m a big believer that the best position to influence change is at the local level. I know Presidential politics excites a lot of millennials but honestly, that isn’t where we can make an impact.   

What is the reason most millennials are not involved in politics?

I think it’s because of voter apathy and an overall frustration for the political process. I find that most millennials are frustrated with the status quo, career politicians and they don’t think their vote can make a difference. Over the last two years in Philadelphia, we have witnessed a United States Congressman, PA Attorney General, PA State Treasurer, State/City Judges and PA State Representatives convicted of corruption/bribery/racketeering charges. The Philadelphia District Attorney was indicted on +20 federal counts of bribery and fraud. A lot of us are numb to the entire political process because of those reasons and because of the current power structure and lack of accountability. How does a millennial get excited about politics with career politicians like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D) and Senator John McCain (R) at the top of the power structure in their respective parties.  Both in their 70’s and have held office for over 30 years. Average age of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives is 57 years and the U.S. Senate is 61 years. https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/c527ba93-dd4a-4ad6-b79d-b1c9865ca076.pdf    

What are ways to get millennials involved in politics?

Well, I’ve always suggested that if one wants to get involved with politics that they should volunteer for a campaign or intern in the office of an elected official. Volunteering for a campaign is a sure fire way to get your feet wet and make a substantial amount of political and community connections. Being involved with a campaign from the ground floor through election day is a pretty good primer for anyone who wants to aspire to run for public office office. Another way to get involved is to start attending local civic and neighborhood association monthly meetings. They are typically open to the public, free and donuts are involved.    

How did you get involved in politics?

I’ve always been involved with civic organizations and nonprofits in Philadelphia and Camden. Public service is in my DNA. I personally believe that politics should be 100% public service. Elected officials should show up to work every day with only one agenda item – how do they improve the community and serve the public at large.  My foray into politics was volunteering in the 2015 Mayoral Race in Philadelphia. I started as a part-time finance intern and within a couple months of proving myself to the candidate and campaign staffers, I was attached to the hip with my Mayoral Candidate as his traveling aide. We went all over the city to build new relationships and talk to community members about the issues that were important to them and their families. Shout out to State Senator Tony Williams – he showed me the ropes, put me on the map and is an amazing public servant. For that, I am eternally grateful.

What would the impact be if more millennials became involved?

Game-changer of epic proportions! We have the opportunity to re-write the entire political landscape as we know it today by 1) Voting and organizing in local elections 2) Supporting our fellow millennials in running for public office. Philadelphia millennials are the largest registered voting bloc in the city with +300,000 registered voters. However, in the 2015 Primary for offices like Mayor and City Council – only 12% of registered millennials went to the polls. I attribute his to voter apathy. To put this in perspective, there are 230,356 registered voters between the ages 35-65 who voted in the 2015 Primary. If millennials increased to a 50% voter turnout in Philadelphia then would make up +40% of the total voting electorate. With percentages like that, we can start changing the political landscape as we know it today. The power to change our future lies in our hands.  

Is it difficult to stay up to date with politics?

I don’t think so. In today’s age of social media, it’s not very difficult to stay up to date on what’s happening in politics. New media organizations like Billy Penn have launched throughout the country focused on keeping our generation informed and engaged. In addition, elected officials are more accessible than ever and if you really want to have a conversation with your elected official, they are probably only a tweet or email away.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in politics?

Start locally by 1) Getting involved in a local campaign or with your local civic association 2) Don’t be afraid to run for public office and fight for your community. We can change the political landscape by 2020 by being involved in local politics – I guarantee it! We can make an immediate impact by voting and running for public office at all levels – Congress, Mayor, State House, City Council and City Commissioners. Sky is the limit.     

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How Coffee Is Affecting Your Work Day

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Most of the working world is dependent of coffee; and why not? It is a shot of energy when you need it the most. Coffee adds focus so that you’re alert and can get through that pile of work sitting on your desk. But that’s not all there is about coffee. Here are some things you need to know about how coffee is affecting your work.

Helps You Learn Faster

Studies show that you can learn faster when you’re drinking a cup of Joe. This is probably the reason why there are so many coffee shops near schools and universities. The study suggests that the brain on coffee works overtime to help you learn faster while improving information retention. It works the same way if you’re a student or employee so everybody that needs to learn something fast can take advantage of it.

A study published in the journal PLOS shows that 200 milligrams of caffeine is enough to prod the brain to identify words and phrases faster. Aside from improved memory retention, the study also showed increased ability to solve reason-based problems.

Improves Productivity

Research from MIT supports the idea that coffee consumption can help people become more creative individually and in a group setting. For some people, coffee stimulates the brain by improving focus and making way for creative thinking.

Helps With Alertness

Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not wake you up. However, it does stop adenosine (a compound in your brain) from making you sleepy. This substance builds up in your brain throughout the day lowering energy levels and making you sleepy. During the morning, you feel sleepy from the leftover adenosine in your brain. In the afternoons, the buildup makes you sleepy which is why you need another shot of coffee. Aside from increasing your focus, it can also ramp up your brain’s energy levels. More energy for the brain means more focus, improved problem solving and general cognitive function skills.

Social Lubricant

A study from MIT discovered that employees that take coffee breaks together are more productive. The study followed groups of people working in a call center. They found that groups who had coffee breaks together had better performance compared to employees who took coffee breaks alone. Next time you decide to get to know a co-worker with a glass of wine after work, socialize over a cup of coffee instead to perform better while learning about them.

Eases Desk Pain

Do you ever wonder why computer programmers keep sipping cups of coffee while sitting at their desks? This is because consuming coffee has been found to ease pain in the neck, forearms, wrists and shoulders which are often associated with sitting long hours on a desk. A study by the University of Georgia discovered that moderate caffeine consumption can help reduce up to 48% of muscle pain.  But before you chug another cup of coffee, you need to know that caffeine tolerance makes a difference. Habitual coffee drinking can negate the pain relieving experience because you are building up a tolerance.

Coffee Can Make A Stressful Situation More Stressful

Coffee can “exaggerate sympathetic adrenal-medullary responses” to the stressful situations of daily life. This is because caffeine increases blood pressure and spikes adrenalin levels which in turn increase your stress levels. This effect can stay even if you’ve left the office. As we know, high stress levels can interfere with performance and productivity so it’s best to limit your coffee intake at work.

OK With Sleep Deprivation

Drinking coffee makes you okay with sleep deprivation. Over the course of you’re career, you’ve probably stayed late to finish a report or presentation which in turn made you sleep later. Knowing that we have coffee to help us survive another day at work on little sleep makes us comfortable with the situation. However, making a habit of it can be detrimental to your career. Sleep deprivation can make you lose focus, decrease productivity and cause physical and mental health complications.

According to the UK’s National Health Service, the best time for coffee is at 2pm when you’re energy levels are at their lowest. While coffee is a good stimulant, too much caffeine can be bad for you. Limit yourself to 2 cups a day for optimal results in the workplace.

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Unhealthy Habits To Quit To Be Successful

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Sometimes, you don’t have to do anything special to be successful. There are instances where it is not what you do, but what you don’t do that stand in the way of your success. Historian Will Durant paraphrased Aristotle’s idea. He said that, “We are what we repeatedly do.” If this is the case then you are your habits, and sometimes it is your habits that help you succeed or block the path to your goals. If you can rise above the unhealthy habits that block you, then you can unlock our potential. Here are some unhealthy habits you need to give up to be successful.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

To become successful at anything, you have to start taking care of your body. As Jim Rohn said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”. Before you can take care of anything else, you need to start with your health. In its most basic level this means that you need to be physically active and eat a balanced diet.

If you smoke or eat unhealthy food all the time, it’s time to swap those unhealthy habits to healthier ones like exercise and eating more fruits and vegetables. Taking care of your body now means that you are less likely to get sick and more likely to conquer other obstacles that block your path to success.

Excuses

Successful people do not shirk away from their responsibilities. They know that they are responsible for their actions no matter what it is. Realizing that you’re responsible for what happens to you can be terrifying but it is also exciting. Excuses are very limiting. It tells you that you don’t have to do it or it’s not your responsibility. It also prevents us from growing and discovering new things. Give up on your excuses and be responsible. It is a very liberating feeling to know that you are responsible for your own destiny.

Overnight Success

During the late 1990’s Bill Gate’s triumph seemed like an overnight success. Sometimes we fail to see that there is no such thing. Just like you, Bill Gates had to work hard to become successful. The same is true with other people like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs. The sooner you realize that there is no “magic bullet” that will propel you to success, the sooner you can start working harder to reach your goals.

Perfect

There is no such thing as perfect. Just like realizing that you are ultimately responsible for your success, you also have to realize that perfection is a myth. No human being is perfect therefore perfection does not exist. We can come close to it but that’s it. The fear of failure hinders you from becoming successful because you’re hesitant to try new things. A lot of opportunities can be lost just because you’re scared of taking action.

Multi-Tasking

It might seem like you’re accomplishing a lot of things but you’re really not. If you want to be successful, focus on one thing until it is beaten to submission. Whether it is a business idea, school work, losing weight or learning a new language, focus on that single task and reap the rewards.

It doesn’t mean to say that you can’t do other things at the same time. It just means that you have to be truly present and committed to a single task at a time.

Control

Give up on things that you can’t control. Sometimes things are not up to you. Instead of being fixated on everything, focus on things that you can control. The only one you can control is you, so focus on this and you will be able to control your attitude.

Need To Be Liked

Think of yourself as a specialized product. Some people will like you, others will not. No matter what you do, you will not be liked by everybody so it’s better to give up this need. What you can do is to continue improving and contributing each day instead of trying for mass market appeal.

Start eliminating these unhealthy habits that are standing in your way today. Getting rid of these path blockers will help you discover the successful person underneath.

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