life coach

What I’ve Learned in My New Career as a Life Coach, So Far

Author: #NAMB Guest Author, Career Advice

As a self-professed nerd and self-development addict, I have recently started the journey of having a life-coaching, the main reason being my life coach uses a curriculum, so there are set learning objectives and outcomes.This was a huge plus for me because I knew I would be pushed to learn and grow out of this.

My life coach, Andrea Owen (who has a great podcast btw), uses the work of Brene Brown around the concepts of shame and vulnerability and let me tell you, these concepts are powerful! If you haven’t heard of Brown and her work, I would encourage you to listen to one of her two TED talks or read one of her books (Daring Greatly is a good one to start with).

Few disclaimers about life-coaching that I should tell you here: most life-coaches are not therapists and are not reimbursed from insurance. They also tend to be more expensive than therapists.

I have learned so much from my life coaching, and I am not finished yet, but I want to talk some about negative self-talk.

The words we say to ourselves are so incredibly important and something I think we overlook. I do a tremendous amount of research on the brain and will infuse some brain basics in this to really drive home the importance of positive self-talk. Negative self-talk will likely look different for everyone, but for me, it is messages like “you are not good enough, why are you even trying,” or “who do you think you are, you are not qualified for this.” They also creep into what I believe and the stories I make up about relationships. Brown refers to negative self-talk as the gremlins in our brain. I think that visual is a nice one to really help drive the point home. When I think of gremlins, I think of those awful gremlins from the ’90s movie. Not a good look.

Think about your best friend. Would you talk to him or her the way you talk to yourself? Would you say the same things to him or her when they are feeling bad or upset as you say to yourself? Why are we okay with our internal dialogue being so negative even though we wouldn’t say those things to other people.

Negative talk frequently comes from the unconscious part of our brain that dictates most of our choices. Have you ever driven home and forgotten how you got there? That is the work of your unconscious brain. This means we probably aren’t always thinking about the things we say internally and we let those same messages go on repeat. When this happens, the messages begin to stick in our brain and feel real to us even if they are not. The brain is a powerful organ!

I have learned from personal experience that overcoming negative self-talk will change the way you see yourself and see the world. When I stopped the gremlins when they started to pop up and changed those thoughts my outlook on myself and life changed. It was crazy! A great first step is to try to identify the negative self-talk. If you are hearing negative words in your brain and they are making you feel bad, identify them as negative self-talk. Start first by literally internally telling the gremlins to stop. It sounds weird and hippy-dippy, but try it.

Eventually, the goal is to change the thoughts you hear in your brain and to replace them with other statements and affirmations. So, when you internally hear “you’re not qualified, so why are you even trying,” replace it with “I am qualified to do my job and am doing a great job at it.” Even if you don’t really believe that at the beginning, repeat it internally because remember, when you repeat things they get imprinted into your brain and you will start to believe them. Just flip the negative self-talk with the positive to have those outcomes that you want.  


About the Author:

Jessica Sharp is a 27-year-old social justice advocate living in South Carolina. She works in healthcare diversity and loves her job. She is passionate about empowering underserved groups, diverse representation, and brain education. She regularly blogs for GenTwenty, but is stretching her wings a bit because she loves #NAMB!

Keys to a Winning Resume: A 101 for Millennials

Author: Tony Iliakostas, Career Advice

One of the toughest obstacles any millennial will encounter is stepping foot into the job market. It’s petrifying. Here you are with a bunch of skills and a wealth of knowledge that you hope will lead to a job that pays decently and includes benefits. But, you’re competing with tons of other freshly-minted higher education graduates or those with a few years under their belt. How can you stand apart from the rest? By having a solid, well-drafted resume.

How am I so sure about this? Because mine set me apart. And trust me, you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’re doing at least one of the following. Here’s how to get a winning resume…

Every great resume starts with a great template
Whether you’ve never drafted a resume in your life or you have a working model, it’s always good to check out what others look like. Maybe yours looks archaic with an older font and you want to modernize it a bit. It’s totally kosher to look at what formatting other sample resumes use — those could be the basis for your great resume. A quick Google search will render millions of results.

Your resume should tell your story
Before you draft a single word on your Word document, take a moment and ask yourself, “who am I?” You want your resume to achieve one goal: to tell your story in an effective manner. Remember that human resources departments and job recruiters will be reading your resume, so you want to tell them, in a succinct fashion, what your career aspirations are, where you went to school, where you interned or previously worked at, and all your other accomplishments. Yes, your resume is the one opportunity to boast about yourself. And remember that you have to achieve this goal within one page in most cases.

Including your social media profile could add some personality, but keep it professional
Social media profiles are very telling of who you are. Your online persona often mimics your offline persona and you may want a prospective employer to see that side of you. Now, this doesn’t give you license to share every link to every social media account you have on your resume. Stick to the basics — include your LinkedIn URL in the header of your resume. And, if you don’t have a LinkedIn page, create one ASAP. As for other sites like Facebook or Twitter, if they’re professional enough, it’s at your discretion to share those links too, but make sure that they’re clean first.

Draft, then revise. Then take a break. Then revise. Then take a break. Then revise again
As the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” That means that things take time before they take full form, and that is especially true for your resume. Draft as much as you can and then take a break. The next day, take another look at your resume, make any necessary revisions, and then take another break. Repeat this process until you are comfortable with the way your resume reads. Any level-headed person will tell you that this approach to resume review is important. Taking a break and reviewing your resume each day helps you view your work product with clear eyes each time.

Do you know someone older than you who’s working? Have them review your resume
Peer review is tremendously beneficial. If you already have a resume, find at least three people to review your resume. See what they say. If they all like it, great. If they provide feedback on ways to improve it, take their advice into serious consideration. Getting the perspective of others and getting an unbiased review of your resume, is very important.

Hire a career consultant
Does it feel as though all of this seems like a lot? Look into hiring a career consultant to help you draft your resume. This can be a lower-stress option in the end if you’re worried about feeling overwhelmed. Plus, they’re pros who know what they’re doing!

Networking Can Happen Everywhere

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

Networking is a pretty common term in the world of career advice and the job hunt. It can even be a word that intimidates people. How can I network? How do I grow my network? What is networking and how do I do it?

Well, millennials, networking can happen with anyone, anywhere. There’s no set rules or locations where it has to happen. Think about it — you meet people everywhere, don’t you? Well, meeting people is exactly how you grow your network.

Yes, that’s it. Meet someone new. Strike up a conversation. Ask them what they do, and 90% of the time they’ll ask you what you do as well. You never know what connections this new person may have or what influence this person him or herself may have. A simple hello can go a long way, whether it’s online or offline.

Of course, networking does happen in professional settings. But, it doesn’t always have to.

Social Media
Interact with people on social media! We’ve already discussed how Twitter can get you freelance gigs, and well, how do you think that happens? Because of networking. Interact with people on social media — start conversations, ask them what they do, share relevant articles. Show off your knowledge on a particular subject and have people take notice. There are so many different people from so many different backgrounds in so many different industries on social — and they can all be reached on one platform. How amazing is that? Use it to your advantage.

Morning routines 
Do you stop at the same coffee shop every morning? Same bagel shop? Take the same train or bus every day? You’re bound to see familiar faces. Don’t just shrug them off and be bitter that you have to go to work — smile and say hello. They’re probably off to work as well, and probably not the happiest about it, either. Ask them where they’re headed or what they do. Who knows, maybe they’re off to a place where you want to be.

Dating apps
Think about it, when someone strikes up a conversation with you on a dating app or website, isn’t one of the first things asked “so, what do you do?” Tell them what you do. If it’s not in your bio, put it in your bio. Who knows, even if there’s nothing there romantically, maybe something professionally can unfold. I know you’re probably laughing right now at the thought, but you truly never know.

If you’re stuck on an airplane, train, or bus next to someone you don’t know, strike up a conversation. No, of course don’t wake them up or disturb them if they immediately sit down and put their headphones in or go to sleep. But, if they don’t, talk to them. Ask them why they’re going to wherever you’re going to. Ask them what they do. Traveling, especially long distances, can be a great opportunity to add someone new to your network.

JobFlare is Changing the Job Hunt Game for Millennials

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Career Advice

Millennials, how do you search for jobs?

It’s possible you use Twitter to hunt for freelance writing opportunities among others, or accounts like Indeed that will lead you to a larger website. Or you sit at your laptop or desktop, endlessly scrolling through sites with job listings for a variety of fields.

Of course, you may use your smartphone. According to, “about 28% of job seekers — including 53% of 18- to 29-year-olds — have used a smartphone as part of a job search.”

But… what if you were able to use one app to assist with your job search? And not only that, the app found the jobs for you instead of you looking for the jobs endlessly? What if this app knew what your strengths and weaknesses are, without you having to fill out an endless questionnaire? What if, instead… you got to play games on your phone that assess your skills?

I know, I know, this could sound too good to be true. But I’m not joking.

JobFlare — developed in California (I mean, where else would apps be developed…) by Criteria Corp — is not your ordinary job search app, millennials. Its “brain” determines your skills based on your performance while playing a set of six 90-second games.

“Verbal communication, quantitative ability, attention to detail, and other skills have long been identified as traits associated with job success,” said Josh Millet, CEO and Founder of Criteria Corp. “JobFlare lets users demonstrate these traits through fun games, showing off their potential to employers regardless of their job experience or educational background.”

I could read all I wanted about JobFlare, its uses and its incredibly perceptive sense of a person’s skill set — but I wanted to try it out for myself. As I’m currently not on the job hunt, I filled out my basic info and indicated that I would be open to any job that JobFlare found fit for me and my skill set.

So, what were some of the highlights?

The games were incredibly engaging.
Anything that reminds me of the “brain games” — and even the games that weren’t meant to test anything remotely academic or intellectual — that I loved as a child, work for me. I don’t feel like I’m doing work but rather, something fun that is not related to my job hunt.

The games are also meant to test different parts of your brain.
For example, I’ve always been more verbal-oriented rather than math-oriented. I knew I’d enjoy the verbal games but wanted to avoid the math games. But, as the games were naturally engaging, I enjoyed both.

You feel accomplished after earning a high score.
As you would with any video game or phone game, really.

It’s free — and your skills profile is created for you.
You’re able to look at a score analysis profile that highlights your skills and scores in each area and then — you are matched with potential jobs in your area!


JobFlare is available for download on iOS.

How I Made it as a Sports Writer

Author: Danny Abriano, Career Advice

The fact that I’m even writing this is surreal to me. Sitting here after over a decade of trying to make it happen, I finally made writing my career.

How’d it happen? Well…

I was always terrible at math, because I didn’t take naturally to it and really had no interest in it. While there was a disdain for math, my love of writing — and what seemed to my grammar school teachers like a natural ability — was always there.

Writing not only came naturally, it was fun. I didn’t dread doing book reports or taking part in spelling bees. I didn’t find myself having to artificially elongate assignments in order to reach the word count. It flowed. And it didn’t seem like work.

When I was in high school, my love for sports — specifically baseball and the Mets — led me to begin my quest to become a sportswriter.

I did well in all of my English-related courses in high school, and entered college as an English major, which was my first mistake. My second mistake was spending more time partying than I did going to class. My third mistake was not becoming a staff writer for the school newspaper. No matter how talented you are or how good your grades are, the “did you write for your school paper” question is one that trumps all when it comes to getting internships and other opportunities while in college.

I was getting shut down. Because of this, I decided it would be a good idea to try my hand at nonprofit life in a non-writing specific capacity in 2006. In my infinite wisdom, I did that when I was 12 credits shy of my degree. Brilliant.

In 2008, while working the nonprofit job and still short of my degree, I started my own Mets blog called Rational (Sometimes) Mets Musings. That led to me getting noticed by the founder of MetsBlog, and often having my stories linked on his site — giving me needed exposure.

However, soon after,  I started having debilitating panic attacks. While dealing with that — and having it lead to me taking a leave of absence from work — I tried to keep writing, but doing that (and pretty much anything else) was close to impossible. If you check out Rational (Sometimes) Mets Musings, you’ll see that I didn’t write a single blog entry between July of 2008 and February of 2009.  The panic attacks were the reason. But I didn’t give up.

When I finally shook the worst of the anxiety issue, I completed my degree and continued writing while also working the same nonprofit job. I emailed some of the Mets’ beat writers and other sportswriters for advice. Some responded, some didn’t. Those who responded helped pave the way for me.

Some of the advice? Find your own voice, shorten your paragraphs, don’t be too wordy, be relentless, be meticulous. I took it all to heart.

Fast forward to August of 2012. I’ve left my nonprofit job for a job doing credit analysis, which I’m not qualified for. I’m still yearning to write, but this time I’m trying to get my foot in the door in a communications capacity at government agencies. I interviewed for a bunch and got none. I then got laid off from my credit analysis job, with them giving the always lovely “last in, first out” reason. Fun!

By this time, though, my baseball writing had gotten me noticed by the then editor of Rising Apple (a Mets site under the auspices of Sports Illustrated), and I became an unpaid contributor.

While being an unpaid contributor, I acted like I was the site editor — not in a bad way, but in a way that would get me noticed. And when the editor left, I took his place — a job that paid in page views. So, it basically paid for one meal a month. I did it for the love of writing and the hope of it becoming something more.

About a year later, my work for Rising Apple got me noticed by the Editorial Producer for, which had absorbed MetsBlog — the site that had first started linking my articles four years prior.

I became a part-time news desk editor for and continued writing for Rising Apple. Soon after, I took on another job so I could actually pay my bills — doing social media and communications for The Fest For Beatles Fans. And thus began three years of craziness.

For, I did the same thing I had done for Rising Apple — worked my butt off with the hope of it becoming something more. That led to me proving myself and being given 34 hours per week, sometimes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., other days from 6 p.m. to midnight and beyond. And I did this while working 40 hours per week for the Fest. And running Rising Apple. You do the math.

While I did all of the above, I kept applying for full-time jobs (writing and others) and coming up empty. It was depressing. It was exhausting. At times, it seemed fruitless.

I’m about to violate my own rule of writing short, so let’s wrap this up…

In the summer of 2016, the job of Editorial Producer at became available. It was my dream job. Not only working for the network the Mets are on, but running every other site on their blog network. And because of all the work I had done over the last nine years — building myself from the ground up — the job felt like the natural next step.

The interview process was intense and long. It took months for it to be complete. And when it was, I was the last person standing.

What had started out as an idea over 15 years prior and became a quest in the last nine or so years, was finally complete.

If you want to be a writer and have it become your career, you need to be tenacious. You need to be dedicated. And you need to not be a fan of sleep. But if you truly love writing like I do, you’ll savor every second once you get the job you’ve always dreamed of.