#TrendingThursday 2.0 – Num. 12

Here are the ages you peak at everything throughout life by Chris Weller and Skye Gould
Now, as with everything, take this with a grain of salt. Some of the best people in certain fields have been late bloomers. But, at the same time, it adds a bit of perspective when you’re thinking about where you want to be in your life, personally and professionally.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Being a Good Bar Regular by Tracy Moore
I like a good drink, every now and then. And I, while I like having them at home because it’s cheaper, there are times when I just want to hang out at a bar. While I knew many of these basic rules, like leave a $1 tip for a beer and $2 for a cocktail, it’s always nice to hear a bartender’s perspective on how to be a good (and respectful) regular at your neighborhood bar. Oh, and though written for gentlemen, ladies you may want to read this, either for your own knowledge and to share with the men in your life.

3 Suit Rules That Seem Stupid But Matter
I don’t wear suits all the time anymore. Very few of my friends do. But it’s still important to know how to wear one when the time comes. Check out this article and figure out how you (or someone you know) can benefit from it.

To Be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well by Jesse Sostrin
I’ll be the first to say that I’m not the best at delegating (but I’m getting better, now that I’m in my second position with a dedicated person playing a support role). I like to do everything I can myself. That’s why this article was so important to me. I hope it can help you along the process of becoming stronger at delegating tasks.

Make professional development a priority.

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Corporate Drinking 101

Last night we had a work event and guess what? The bar was open.

I believe in drinking at work events where I’m developing relationships but I only do so socially. And I don’t mean socially in the social fraternity way. I mean I will have 1-2 drinks and those will be babysat. If I’m there to work, I need to be fully aware because the last thing anyone needs is a drunken slip of the tongue. At best, it could lose me a donor. At worst, it could lose me my livelihood.

But what about work events where drinking is allowed but you are “working?” Good question. Holiday parties and the like can be tricky. If you are one who drinks, you want to have fun but know when enough is enough and cut yourself off 2-3 drinks before that. At this time, be social in the social fraternity way but do so as if you may one day want to be the chapter’s advisor. See, no one wants a stiff coworker (if you have reason behind abstaining from alcohol, stick to your guns and still have fun) but no one wants to promote the sloppy drunk. Find a happy medium and be happy there.

When all else fails, remember the 3 S’s:

Be social. Be sociable. But never be sloppy.

Make professional development a priority.

There Are Rules

Folks, there are rules to everything.  EVERYTHING.  And I’m not saying you have to follow them.  Shoot, I don’t follow all rules.  But I try to learn all rules that apply to my life.  See, there are some rules that are archaic and make no sense.  Example: In some counties of North Carolina (my state of residence), if you spend a night in a hotel with a person you’re not married to, you, at the moment of checking in, are married to that person.  Ummm… Yeah… Nah.  But other rules are pretty sensible.  Example: Signaling while turning.

Life is full of rules.  We choose which to adhere to and which not to.  But, folks, at least be aware of them.  Going into situations with a lack of proper etiquette can most certainly ruin relationships, whether professional or personal.  If you know the rules and choose not to follow them, that’s on you. But, if you have the opportunity to learn the rule (which all of us with internet access have {yes, you have internet access because you’re reading this}) and choose not to, that’s you electing into ignorance.

So, whether you’re going to/having a wedding or leading a meeting that follows Robert’s Rules of Order, know the rules of the setting you enter.  Then make the decision on whether or not to follow them.

 

Make professional development a priority.

Bachelor Party Tips

I’m back!  Well, I will be soon.  I’m actually starting this while sitting in LAX atop my luggage but, because I prefer not to pay for wifi during flights, I’m going to try to finish this now.

As most of you who have been reading for a while or who have recently read my older posts know, this blog has developed from a professional development blog to a blog focused on young professional lifestyles.  Though I still touch heavily on the professional, 8-5 aspect of things, I also like to discuss an aspect that is equally important: your life from 5-8.

I spent this past (extended) weekend in Las Vegas and Los Angeles for my brother’s bachelor party.  I’m telling you, it was an experience.  I’d been to LA before, but never Vegas.  And I just so happened to be there on the day of a fight so the city was nuts.  Then we got to LA for the Lakers-Warriors game and saw NBA history made because a .200 team has never beat a .900 team.  All, in all, it was a great trip.  But I wanted to provide you all with a few tips that will help enhance your group traveling experience, whether you’re going for a bachelor(ette) party or just to have fun with some friends.

 

LV Blvd1 – Consider Airbnb or similar services.  When the other groomsmen and I were planning the party, guys were talking about getting a hotel room in Vegas that would have cost us $400/night ($100 per person).  Thus, we would have ended up spending $200 in Vegas and then we would have had to go to LA and spend a ton there because it makes no sense not to stay downtown when the main point of going to LA was to be near the Staples Center.  So, instead of spending a collective $1,200+ on hotel rooms, I suggested that we use Airbnb.  Though I had never stayed at one before, I had booked with the site for a trip that Desirée and I are taking later this year and I figured this would be a good time to test it out.  Best decision I ever made.  In Vegas, we got a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom loft for two nights at a total of $200.  In LA, we got a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom for two nights for $250.  And the hosts at both places were phenomenal.  I had the chance to meet the Vegas host when we checked in.  He was so cool, he brought us a bottle of my favorite whiskey for the bachelor party.  What hotel does that?  The LA host was great too.  He left us a key, so I never got to put a face with a name but he also was very generous, leaving a bottle of champagne for us.  So don’t be afraid to find nontraditional lodging options.

2 – Uber, Lyft, and public transportation are your friends.  In most destination towns, Uber and Lyft are available.  Not only that but, many larger cities have high-functioning public transit systems.  Unless you need to rent a car, I’d advise against it.  Anyway, who wants to miss all the sights because they’re too focused on driving in a congested city they’ve never been to.  Oh!  And, if you’re going from city to city, like we were, think hard about other options of getting from point A to point B.  I was able to find a bus service that took us from Vegas to LA for $15.  Now, the drive would have been 4.5 hours.  The bus ride was 5 because we stopped for food but the cool thing was I got to see all these dope mountains in the dessert (and I got to sleep because, in Vegas, I slept a total of 5 hours over a 52 hour period, and 4 of those hours were consecutive on the second day).

3 – Communicate your budget.  Ok, so this is where I fumbled the rock.  When traveling with friends, you have to realize that you are all going to likely be at different financial places in your life and that is ok.  But what you have to know is that expectations must be communicated and compromises must be made.  There were clubs in Vegas charging well over $50 to get in.  Do I have the money to pay for that?  Of course.  Do I want to spend it?  No.  Did I?  Yes, because the group decided to.  So, when you go on these trips, work on setting a maximum you’re all ok with spending per day and be mindful of that.  There’s nothing wrong with being on a budget but if that budget isn’t communicated, you could find yourself in a pickle.

Meds4 – Take care of your body.  The past 4 weeks, I’ve been in 3 different time zones.  And, as I said before, this trip, I didn’t sleep.  My body is so exhausted that, today, on my first day back home, I am sick.  Rest is a key component to travel.  Hoping on and off planes, being around folks with every kind of germ, and eating food that is likely less nutritious than you’re used to takes a toll.

5 – Leave work at work.  I cannot stress this enough.  I did not check an e-mail, respond to a text, or make any business calls for the 5 days that I was away.  Shoot, I didn’t even blog (and I usually don’t while I’m gone unless I schedule the post because I consider this a job too).  A vacation is a vacation and it should stay that way.  Everyone needs time to decompress.

6 – Do not eat at chain restaurants you have at home.  When I go out of town, I refuse to eat anywhere  that I can go at home.  Sorry.  I don’t care if it’s Flemings.  Unless I visit the city regularly (ex. – NYC, ATL, DC), I won’t eat anywhere that’s normal.  The only exception to that is, when I go to France, I’m going to break the rule that I don’t go to McDonalds.  I have to order a Royale with Cheese.

Sam

7 – Have fun.  Vacations are necessary.  Shoot, it’s free money.  You earned it.  Use it.  And, even if you don’t have PTO, save a bit here and there so that you can enjoy the here and now.

 

Make professional development a priority.

Holiday Party Time!!!

So, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, or New Year’s Day (everyone recognizes the new year, right?), many companies and organizations host their holiday parties and they involve games we may not be too enthusiastic about or, God forbid, karaoke.  Then you have those parties that can be so fun you just might lose your job.  So how do you make sure to keep a balance?  Well, I have a few suggestions.

1 – If it’s boring, don’t let it show.  Don’t sit around on your smartphone the entire time.  As much as you’d rather be somewhere else, be present for the time being if you value your job (and even if you don’t, still be present if you don’t have another job offer on the table because you at least should value your paycheck).

2 – Be sociable, even if you have to force the conversation.  Meet new people.  Who knows?  You might meet your new bestfriend.

3 – If there is alcohol, “moderation” is he word of the night.  Your coworkers don’t want to hold your hair while you pray to that white porcelain god.  And your boss doesn’t want to hear about how idiotic that project she gave you last week was.  So don’t over do it.  Please.
4 – Thank the host.  If your boss hosts or pays for it, send him/her a thank you email within a business day of the party.  Or, if you want to be real fancy, drop off a handwritten thank you card.

5 – Don’t under or overstay your welcome.  You don’t want to be the first to leave unless a) it’s getting late or b) you have a legitimate reason to go.  At the same time, unless you and the host are having an in depth conversation, don’t stay too long. If everyone else is gone, you should consider making a move too.

The holidays are a great time but make sure they don’t set you up to be looking for a job as opposed to a raise in January, 2016.
Make professional development a priority.

“On the Rocks.”

On the 3rd, I turned 28.  On the 4th, I celebrated with a few friends.  We went to a local brewery and had a few drinks.  One of my fraternity brothers bought me a bottle of Kentucky bourbon that had been aged for 10 years.  And, last night, as I opened it for the first time, pouring the room temperature whiskey over two granite rocks that reside in the door of my freezer, I realized that most of my readers only come here for the workplace side of being a young professional.  But there is a lifestyle side which is equally, if not more, important.  So, today, I introduce to you all whiskey stones, a refined way of keeping your drinks cool.

Generally, when people say they would like their drinks “on the rocks,” they mean cubes of ice.  The problem with ice on a drink like whiskey, which is meant to be sipped as opposed to shot, is that it waters the liquor down.  However, these granite stones keep your drink chilled while maintaining its potency.  Plus they add a cool look to the drink and they are a great conversation starter.

So, when next time you are at your local Target, grab a box of whiskey stones.  A set of 6 is only $9.  Pretty reasonable price if you ask me.  And your boss will appreciate it when (s)he comes to visit and doesn’t have to drink a watered down glass of scotch.

 

Make professional development a priority.