Category Archives: Career

The career category help young men of color understand and navigate their advancement in the corporate, military or private industries. The category is selected to get in, stay and excel in the corporate workforce.

You’re not working hard enough, get a side hustle.

LaTanya J. , a close friend of mine, had just come from her hair appointment. She said, “Man we have got to get on our hustle.” I was confused…I said, “What are you talking about?!” She said her beautician had a store that she managed and she had two Super Shuttle vans in her parking lot. “Why two?” …because if one van broke down, she could still make money while the other was getting repaired.

“Wow…and she did hair?”

“Yup…in the back of the store she managed.”

LaTanya and I were both engineers with Lockheed but I immediately thought to myself…

how I could make money if I lost my job?

Currently, I have a couple of things I’m working on with real estate but what else? I have a bartenders certificate and I’m a certified rescue & master scuba diver. I’m working on some writing projects also. I could always apply to Chic fil a…I love Chic fil a.  :o)

So, I pose the question to you, What is your plan A, B, C or D?

Another way of looking at it, what hobbies or volunteer activities could you turn into money earning activities? How could you get that second revenue stream?

Think…most latino students have one quick advantage, they’re bilingual. Do you know Spanish? Are you handy? Are you interested in an apprenticeship?  I know plenty of people that have their own business and make a good living.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I was convinced early to go to college. Looking back, I don’t think that’s the best thing…not for everyone. If you don’t go to college, learn a trade or start doing something legal that’s going to allow you to become a business owner. Even if you don’t start a business with an apprenticeship you will have the skills to get a job. My experience has been that my piece of paper (bachelors degree) helped me attain a job…but, after graduating, the 3 jobs I worked while in college helped me keep the job. Not everyone I know, after graduating, received a job and if they received a job it wasn’t always in their career field. I know one thing, all of them had a mountain of debt.

You can start your own business, possibly take a loan for truck and tools, and be working towards financial independence. A degree is banking on getting a job that might not be there after graduation.

I say this to reiterate…What is your plan A, B, C or D?

Hobbies:

Like working on cars = Get an ASE certification, become a mechanic

Like cooking = Learn to cook an entire menu, buy a food truck.

Like to drive = Get a loan for a car, drive for Uber

Like to dream =  Become an inventor

Good at lying = Go into politics (Joking)

All these hobbies are things you can do on the side. So in pursuit to become a doctor, lawyer, pilot a side hustle wouldn’t hurt. With multiple income streams, you can attain financial independence faster.

Regardless of the path you start on, have a plan and goals along the way.

To be honest, my plan A is really working out but I’m close to realizing my plan B and C…but it’s MY plan…get yours!

MPM

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Ask yourself, what are you doing today to get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”

 

Shout out to LaTanya  owner of Pink Piggy Sweets ~ Organic Baking at its Best.

Historic Downtown 125 N. Center St, Goldsboro, NC 27550

 

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#BMXCEL

While attending the Black Men Xcel Summit in PGA National Resort and Spa in Florida, I was given the chance to learn, laugh, network, golf and just enjoy influential people of color. This is my second time attending the event formerly known as the Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challenge.

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Every Labor Day weekend, BE creates an environment that provides access and resource for people of color making “money moves”. (I get that from Cardi B.)

As expected, the event was well attended and very positive. This event, in parallel to the magazine, falls into a niche for people of color that are pursuing & finding a path to success. This summit, as other BE summits, is educational and evolving. Workshops and coaching sessions this year included “Golf: The Sport of Business”, “Succeeding While Black”, discussions on community engagement and a panel on prioritizing mental health.

 

The reason why I found it appropriate for this blog audience, I think it’s important not to confuse movement with progress and while I’m running a business, working and traveling, it doesn’t mean I’m successful at it. You have take time to invest in your yourself and your goals in iterative patterns. It’s not always a fun holiday weekend but it’s necessary to identify and walk deliberate paths to your goals.

 

“Dreams without goals are just Dreams”

Denzel Washington

#BMXCEL is a great environment to resource individuals that are successful and maybe a little further down their path than you.  As with success in anything…it’s not convenient and placing myself in this environment annually provides me examples of success, whether their individuals, companies, or strategies.  It’s a checkup of where I am and where I would like to be.

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Last thing…”Mental Fitness” is the newest term I’ve learned and it’s so obvious. It’s the same as working out, it helps you with your physical fitness…your mental fitness also should be cared for in the same level of importance.

Malik Yoba discussed his 5 Pillars: Spiritual, Mental, Financial, Physical and Emotional…he shared how he works on each of those tenants in his life. I believe that covers just about everything but you find your own. That panel on mental health helped me identify other ways to improve, I hope you can look to make the same improvements in your day to day life.

MPM

“Poor people stay poor by trying to look rich, while rich people are busy getting richer acting poor.”

Ramen Phase

 

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Handling leaving a job & moving on in your career

A rainy day finally happened.

Without a job lined up, on Feb 2nd I turned in my resignation. I’ve never quit a job without having another one lined up. I quit because I was being over worked and after joining the company my quality of life had not changed for the better. Yes, my commute was about 15 minutes walking but when the owner of the company that hired me stated, “We gave you 3 full time jobs” I knew I had to leave. About ten days later with his CEO present, during my 90 day evaluation, he adjusted his statement with “we gave you 3 tasks”. My response was, “Ok…but if each task required 35 – 40 hours per week, what’s the difference?” I wasn’t angry or mad, and I said it with a smile on my face. I had also been very vocal about the level of work asked of me. The Tuesday after that meeting the CEO said I had to be “flawless”. On the Friday following, I turned in my resignation. I won’t go into the culture that people of color are expected to work harder than their white counterparts, that’s not what this blog is about, but it’s a very relevant to this story.

One of my coworkers said, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to handle the work coming your way.” Another coworker said, “I knew you were F@#$?% 2 weeks after you came on board.” Both of them were white, that’s not saying that if they were black I wouldn’t believe them but basically I was set up to fail and staying on board any longer than 6 months was going to cause more problems.

That’s the background for this blog.

I was able to quit without worrying about a job for a while because I have a savings account, “rainy day money” saved up to look for another position. I also used the time to get many of the things done that I had been putting of in other arenas of my life. Also, because of my reputation and resume, I had no insecurities about getting another job. One of my managers said, “I feel like we chewed you up and spit you out”, I laughed and said, “Pretty much”  He asked, “Are you worried about having a 5 month job on your resume?”  I responded, “In 25 years, I’ve never left or quit a job in less than 2 years, so that speaks volumes…I’m good.” He offered to write a recommendation letter. I said, “Thanks” and agreed,”that might help.” Throughout the entire process, I’ve been professional and 2 managers offered recommendation letters.

The time off gave me some clarity and allowed me to reset some priorities with my other business endeavors. With a lot of home tasks done, my business tasks at a good stopping point, I can focus on the job I accepted and start Monday recharged. If that doesn’t work out, my old position from last year has an open offer so there’s a parachute there.

PS…it’s crazy waking up not knowing or caring what day it is, I’m looking forward to retirement.

Key takeaways:

  1. Finances provide freedom to make a decision that’s best for you
  2. Your reputation follows you…the good and the bad
  3. Leave and start professionally
  4. Keep a positive attitude

MPM: Middlepassagementor@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Learn how to receive feedback

A couple of weeks ago, my brother Devon and I met two women at Due South over Yards Park. We had a discussion that related to one of my blogs, I’m usually proud about my blogs so I asked them to read it. They looked at the blog on their phones and within seconds, both agreed to read it later. Then after a feeling out period they told me how they really felt about the blog.

“Well, most if not all your blogs are too long,” they said, “you’re going to lose your audience because they’re not going to read this.” What’s even more ironic, one or both of them were editors of some sort…great. My punctuation was commented on too. Jeesh.

After receiving their feedback I’d like to give advice about feedback.

When someone gives you feedback;

  • Don’t get mad.
  • Close your mouth and listen.
  • They are not hating on you, they are helping you to become better.
  • Understand what you need to do differently and apply their feedback.
  • Thank them for the feedback, even if you don’t like it.

Lastly, not all feedback is supportive, constructive or helpful. People have their own motives for giving advice. The more you listen to feedback, the quicker you’ll recognize feedback that is well intended, and genuine.

So, thank you Michanda and Iris!

I tried to keep this blog short and will continue to keep shorter formats. If you disagree and I should keep the longer blogs, please let me know.

MPM

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.  Elon Musk

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