Advice on Going from Survival to Success for the "Instant Generation."



Day 73: I Quit More Often Than I Realize


Sometimes, I wish I could just forget statistics…

Last night was a difficult evening. I didn’t get something I really wanted. I also thought it was something that was a “slam dunk.” Logically, I know God is in control and that He is absolutely and always good. As long as I kept myself busy with activity, I did well; held on to the truth I know and believe. But, as soon as the action stopped that “chatterbox” full of lies started attacking me. What makes it hard is that it isn’t just the simple verbal garbage I have heard throughout my life–it’s researched backed statistics. When I start to think of those statistics I wonder, why bother? See it’s research, statistics, and thoughts like these that make me give up. On most things, it’s for a short time, but other goals and dreams have faded and died because of this process. So, this morning to fight another temptation to give up I started writing a goals list:

Goals List

  1. Get a new job in Boston

Why: I love Nick, and I know that God has more for us, and being separated by 6+ hours of a public transit commute works for now–but will not work on a permanent basis; Boston is more accessible and has a much more lively, active disability community. I need a job where I am not just scraping by to survive and where I am actually treated with respect and dignity.

Steps: 1. keep applying, 2. keep reaching out to my network, 3. keep my head up, 4. cold emailing, 5. Don’t QUIT

2. Get Certified in American Sign Language

Why: I learned Sign Language at the School for children with disabilities that I went to when I was little. I stopped using sign language when I went to Public School but when my dad got re-married my stepmother reintroduced Sign Language. I loved it all over again. Knowing sign language well enough to be an interpreter will give me more of an in with a part of the disability community that I care about. I also see this as a way to possibly serve in churches to make them accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing. Also, won’t lie, I could totally use the extra income of a certified interpreter.

Steps 1. wake up early enough to spend 45 minutes in the morning practicing my sign language, 2. when I have practiced enough find groups on Long Island where I can practice my skills 3. Practice, Practice, Practice 4. DON’T QUIT 5. Take Certification exam

3. Gym (Health)

Why: Mainly because it makes me feel good! I like going to the gym it gives me a natural endorphin rush that really makes me feel good. For the first time in my life, I don’t look at myself with disgust when I put my clothes on. I also need to go. Strength training makes walking easier and less painful for me. Also, I work for a health company part-time, if I am not taking care of my health how will that reflect on the company itself?!

Steps 1. reset my alarm clock that is across the room so that when my medication reminder goes off in the morning, I don’t just take my medicine and go back to sleep but I actually get up! 2. go to the gym first thing in the morning for strength training, 3. keep eating the right food and using my Melelucca products, 4. go to the gym after work for endurance training, 5. Don’t Quit!

4. Melaleuca

Why: Because I can’t live this existence anymore. I have worked so hard in my life and none of it is paying off at all. My Degrees are simply tokens that have lead me into an enormous amout of debt. I do not want to enter any future relationship dragging my debt with me, as much as people laugh at me I refuse to be another American in a large amount of debt living paycheck to paycheck having anxiety everytime I get hit with the “unforseen.” The “unforseen” happens a lot more often than anyone cares to admit; I’ve come to see.

Steps 1. Don’t Quit–I was considering this recently. 2. Don’t be attached to outcomes 3. talk to more people 4. be more intentional 5. Master Social Media Marketing (SMM)

5. Blog–SMM

Why: Because I love writing, I have a story to tell. I don’t think I have the right to tell it until I have moved past this survival mode but in the meantime I can write about how to keep you hope, confidence and motivation intact so that even though you feel like you are going three steps foward and two and a half steps back–you can stay focused on that half step foward. Bloging ang SMM is the way to be heard in this increasingly noisy world–I have to be heard in order to be seen for my value.

Steps: 1. read the materials I have on blogging and SMM, set up a weekly schedule for posting across the diffrent platforms, 3. stay consistant. 4. Don’t Quit!

6. Do well at my current job

Why: It’s where God has placed me right now. I am not working to please people but I am working as unto the One who created me. I am to do my best to maintain my work eithic and contribute whatever I can to the agency. When I am given the opportunity to move up, I want to leave them with a good flavor in their mouth.

Steps: 1. Be early, 2. return from lunch on time, 3. finish data entry in a reasoanle time frame, 4. take a grant writing course, 5 re-start the agency newsletter, 6 volunteer to help where/when possible. 7. Come in early enough or stay a bit late to clean out organize desk, 8. Don’t Quit–till it’s time.

7. Driver’s License

Why: Even when I do get to an accessible city it will still be good to have access to a car, that way we are never stuck anywhere. I can travel to non-transit cities and not be dependent on figuring out who is going to be around in order to plan everything.

Steps: 1. reschedule my lessons, 2. check with my brother and see if he will let me practice with him (he has an adapted car and this will give me more practice, 3. Simulations? 4. Don’t get anxious about finances 5. Don’t Quit!!! 


Maybe I Don’t Quit I just Restart–A lot!





Day 65: Old Fasioned Networking


Every Opportunity and Every Connection Counts

Back on task–moving from survival to success. As you know, I am not only job hunting for a Human Resources position within a corporate company, but I am also a marketing executive for the largest online health businesses in the United States. I started with them back in September, and even though I am 110% behind them as a company and love their products, I have had a problem enrolling shoppers.

Why has this been so hard for me? I could make a list of reasons why I think it hasn’t worked but if I am honest, getting out there and networking, it’s just not easy for me. Not to mention, I have been trying to do it in random places just hoping to make things work. Well, I am starting to change my strategy a little bit. I am doing so good old-fashioned, face to face networking. I am great opportunities coming up this week to do that very thing and guess what?? Instead of being completely terrified, I am excited!

On Thursday I am joining a “let’s get fit and network” meetup that will be walking together at a local park about two towns over. I love walking, and being fit is what this company is about–perfect fit. Saturday I am doing a 5K to raise money for a Lupus Foundation. Great place to meet people and network with those that obviously care about their health. (Sorry, but, there are easier ways to raise money for a cause than running just over 3 miles! Just Sayin’!). The Following week I am going to a business networking meeting at a local resturant. It’s time for me to hustle, so people ask me–how are you making this work??


Day 58: At it again and on “Do it Again”


Job Applications
Applying Again

If you remember back in January, I said I was taking the month off from applying to jobs because I was just getting so worn out and tired of the process. I was hearing nothing and getting nowhere. I had gone through developmental training, got help from a career counselor and had friends putting themselves out on the line for me and still getting nowhere. By the end of December I was so tired and to the point of tears. Everyone was telling me I was well qualified, my resumes and letters were well written. I was told nothing was wrong with me but that the job market was just scarce. I was reminded that there are people who graduated when I did and still were without any job so I needed to be thankful that I have a job. I will admit, although sometimes, things are not easy here I am grateful to have a job.

I ended up taking a break for a bit longer than the month. At the time, I thought it was the right thing to do. I had just moved into a new apartment, started taking driving lessons and thought that if I worked hard, I would prove my value to my job. I thought that if I showed my value to my job, I would be able to move up and continue to contribute to the agency. I am now fully convinced, in heart, in mind, and in spirit that things need to change.

My driving lessons are going well, but even if I managed to obtain a car, there is no way I could afford the insurance or gas. My job has made it clear to me that there is nowhere I can move within the organization. I can’t stay where I am. Too many days I go home feeling worthless and undervalued. So, my job search is back in full force; this time with Boston on the radar. While I was there I saw and heard about so many job opportunities that I lit up inside; in a way, I have not lit up in a long time. I have now filled out five applications in two weeks. My resume, with any luck and the help of God, may get into the hands of the CEO at one of the companies I applied to.


Melaleuca The Wellness Company: CONFIDENCE 

Meanwhile, while I have been searching for a new job my dreams have been getting bigger. Do you remember the Dream Board I made? Well, that accessible house, I want to give someone I love the ability to see their design plans for a universally designed home to come to fruition. I also want to start a fund that is set aside to help churches to meet financial needs so that they have no excuse not to be accessible and open to people with disabilities. I have been seriously considering giving up on Melaleuca, as a marketing director.

I love their products, they have worked for me, but I keep feeling like direct sales are just not for me. For some reason, I just can’t do this. My mentor (poor guy) called me last night. I was on my way to Physical Therapy, so I only texted him in return, but as I was walking home I was thinking: maybe I should just tell him I quit. Thankfully, I skyped with my boyfriend later that night. He is taking a bold step in his career aspirations and I am so proud of him. I realized that he already thinks I am amazing (Don’t ask me why; I couldn’t tell you!). But, I know worked at Melaleuca he would be so proud of me, and I would be able to meet my financial goals and dreams. After talking to him, I decided not to tell my mentor I was quitting. On top of that, this morning I heard a video about confidence from Steven Furtick called “Do it Again.” I am not giving up.








Day 40: Nine Years away but; hopeful

Logo for the Community Action Partnership

This week I went to a couple of training classes for work. The first was on Saturday. This training was badly titled “How to Manage your Finances.” The reason I think it was poorly titled is that I thought the training was going to teach principles of budgeting–that didn’t happen. (I’ll stick with using the EveryDollar budgeting tool you can find here.) Instead of being a “Managing your Money” type of training it was more about what it takes to own your first home. Yeah, surprise, I’m not there yet! Not only do I not want to stay in the state where I currently reside but my income to debt ratio is what you call HORRIBLE! Stupid student loan debt! I am at least nine years away from owning my own home.

Currently, I am working for a non-profit organization so; thankfully I qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. (Click PSLF for more information). I have been paying my loans through this program for a little over a year. A little less than nine years to go. This realization gave me a little more clarity for my future. I am going to stay in public service. I had been preparing myself for public service for a long time; I recently had to change routes. At first, I thought once I had “lost my way;” so to speak that there was no way I could be a public servant anymore. Thankfully, I obtained the job I currently have, and I can still work for organizations with meaningful missions; not just an eye on the bottom line.

I went to a second training on Tuesday of this past week. I had always known that where I worked was a Community Action Program [CAP] (there is a huge Community Action Partnership logo in our boardroom). At the training, I attended, however; I learned that CAP’s exist all over our nation. I love my non-profit. I respect their mission and what they do–but I want to, and I am qualified enough to; work more directly with clients. I have put aside the job search/job application process for this month, and I am sticking to that. I am keeping everything I have learned under deep consideration. When this month is through, which is soon, I will be watching an Ashley Stahl webinar on cold networking and begin my new job search that way.

The concept that CAP’s are nationwide has not only given me clarity on my future, but it has also given me hope. I have hope that I can find a job that will allow me to use my skills and still remain a servant to the marginalized in our society. It also gives me hope that I can move to a more accessible place, a place more accepting of people with disabilities.


Day 37: A Break and a Revelation


“God, shatter the teeth of my debt so I am enslaved to nothing but You!”

As you know, last Saturday I moved into my new apartment and I wrote that having my own place would motivate me to work harder at my avocation. This all still holds true the break I am taking is from applying for a different full-time job. It’s not that I don’t need or want a new full-time job but; the rejections (or even worse, complete silence) is wearing me thin. I am taking a break from the job search for at least another 30 days.


At the beginning of the year, I started a devotional/prayer guide put out by Lifeway Women called “Redeemed.” You can find the guide here: 40 Days of Prayer. I have decided to use this devotional to spend time in prayer asking God for clarity, direction, and trust for my future. So far, I have enjoyed my devotional times very much. This guide asks you to read a few psalms a day and to allow what you have read in the Psalms to guide your prayer time. I usually don’t share what I learn during my devotional time publically because to me; devotional time is for the individual and God but a revelation came to me the other day while I was praying that gave me freedom to ask God to for success and financial freedom. Often, I am afraid to ask for such things because of the prevalence of the “health and wealth gospel.”

In many of the Psalms at the beginning of the book, there is a comparison between the righteous and the wicked. Several times within the first 12 Psalms David is asking for God to destroy the wicked in general or to destroy his personal enemies. Now, I know that “the wicked” and David’s personal “enemies” were real people, promoting injustice and trying to kill the innocent. But, for some reason, when I was reading Psalm 3 a particular verse made something click in my brain. In Psalm 3 David is crying out to God and writes:

Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God!
For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek;
You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. (Psalm 3:7 NASB)

As I read these words in congruence with the other Psalms where the writers were asking for their enemies to be destroyed I realized that our enemies don’t always have to be people. Our greater enemy can be working through situations, situations that are keeping us enslaved to someone or something other than God Himself. In my life, the situation that came to my mind was my debt. I do realize that because I went to school and pursued multiple degrees I brought this debt on myself. I enslaved myself to debt. As long as I am in debt I am not free. As long as I am in debt I cannot give generously, I cannot meet the needs of others, I am not even free to give of my time. This is not how God intended me to live. I am not asking him to make me successful so I can live in a mansion, drive a BMW and have a private jet. I am asking him to bring about success so I can take care of myself and give freely and generously to others. I have every right to cry out to God and ask Him to be successful and “shatter the teeth” of my debt

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