A 9-to-5 never bothered me, and I never dreamed of a corporate career. I was a worker bee, and I was cool with it. I was stable – I had a job and a paycheck. I was content – I had no desire to manage people. I didn't want to sit in middle management meetings, lead a team, or work my way up the corporate ladder. Those things just never appealed to me. And money isn't my greatest motivator, but I understand that, for most people, it is. I never saw myself as a people person, a girl boss, or SHEeo either.
But a few years ago, I had transitioned from a support role in the public sector to a consultancy role with a "big four" consulting firm in the private sector. At the time, the job title, and money were my greatest motivators. I could afford shit now – a whole lot of shit. I earned four times more than my previous government salary in a year. How? I didn't know a damn thing about consulting, business management, or marketing. They say it's about who you know, but it's also "sink or swim". I learned every damn swim stroke possible just to survive the first couple of months. I had something to prove: I am capable of doing this job and worthy of all the coins in my bank account.
I succeeded with grace, but I always do. Despite our strained relationship, I am my mother's daughter. And she gifted me with grace at a very young age. I grew comfortable in my role; I loved the respect and autonomy the position offered me. I loved the flexibility too. I was in a position where I thought I was seen and heard. My opinions were valued. For the most part, I was my own damn boss. But – with pay increases, bonuses, company perks, promotions, and titles come a level of work politics that I wanted no parts of. A toxic work environment, on-the-job harassment, and bullying will have you fold real quick.
I started to feel uncomfortable in meetings, training, and team outings. Like I didn't belong in the room. As if I was not smart enough to be around my elite colleagues. I grew tiresome of discussing revenues, business proposals, and projects. I was lost in every single meeting. Every conversation drained me. When would we ever talk about some real shit? Something that at least had meaning. All the things I loved about my newly acquired role; I slowly began to hate. I tapped out – I had to. My mental health was compromised, and my identity was lost due to the emotional trauma I endured.
What I didn't know was everything I hated about my corporate career gave me the confidence I didn't know I needed.
I exude confidence in every single thing I do now. I mean, my work ethic was already bomb, but it's fire now. I own everything I do, and how I do it, with ease. From the way I articulate myself to how I interact with people in social and business settings. There isn't anything I say I'm going to do, that I don't deliver on. I kill it every time. Let me explain how this came to be.
1.Making Connections Is Everything
In the corporate world, making connections with the right people is key. And building your network a must. You cannot survive without doing this. I've said this before, but I'm reserved by nature. I'm a lot quieter too, especially in a business setting. But having to interact with high-profile clients and top-level company executives daily forced me to shed some of that skin. Clients had an all-access pass to me – texts, phone calls, emails, coffee breaks, and impromptu meetings. My communication skills had to be on point, and they were. Developing relationships, gaining trust, and keeping clients happy became my thing. Building relationships with people is now and always has been one of my strongest skill sets. Who knew I was someone that likes to talk so much?
I used to be uber-selective about the opportunities presented to me. It was uncomfortable not knowing how to do something. I wanted to save myself the embarrassment of effing up the first time. I hate making mistakes. I even lacked knowledge in certain business areas, which led me to feel insecure. But I realized opportunities are learning experiences that I cannot pass up. Whatever I didn't know, I researched. BTW, research is also another skill set I was able to strengthen. The more you're willing to learn about a new subject or pick up a new skill, the more opportunities come your way. Think of it as building your personal toolbox. The more tools you have, the better equipped you are to succeed in your profession.
3.Challenging My Time Management & Organizational Skills
For someone who believed herself to be organized, my organizational skills were tested. When you are responsible for your own team, work product, presentations, deliverables, and running client meetings, you have to be a hundred percent on. There is no room for error. A lot of the time, I was teaching myself how to do this with little to no resources. I thought I managed my time well, but this was some next-level shit. I had to learn to stay on top of myself. I had to find tools and implement ways to help me to do so. Like making it a point to plan my workdays and allocate time when necessary. A planner became my best friend. This was not easy by any means, but I made it work. When I say I was stretched, I was S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D thin. But I stay ready, y'all.
4.My Writing Skills Are Lit
I always believed I wrote well, at least academically. English and social sciences were my strong suit, but technical report writing was a major shift for me. It was dry, monotone, and boring AF. I was accustomed to MLA and APA formats. Business writing was tough, but I managed. Proposal writing was even worse because you had to sell yourself and sell a service, and that didn't sit right with me. As much as I hated it, I wrote with no complaints. It challenged my creativity, expanded my vocabulary and writing style, and at times left me with writer's block. Even though I knew my writing was good, there was that one manager who constantly told me my writing was garbage. And now, here I am writing personal essays, interviews, lifestyle, beauty, and investigative pieces for a brand I love, xoNecole, and a founder I have followed for over a decade, Necole Kane. I couldn't be any happier. Success is always the best revenge.
5.I Do My Own Thing Now
Now, this is something I never saw coming–something I never dreamed of. A career I despised gave me the confidence I needed to create my own opportunity. Yes, I write. I write a lot. I'm in love with words and writing is forever my first love. I still consult, and I am a paralegal by trade, but now I get to do all of this for myself. The funny thing is, I didn't know I was going to end up here. It's beautiful. I am thankful a wrong career choice led me to do my own thing. I have no regrets. I get to decide how I show up in the workforce. I choose the type of people I work with. I negotiate the type of work I accept or decline. And the most important thing to me is building a business that is honest and has a purpose. I exist to help others.
Every single challenge I encountered in my previous career made me a better professional. Everything I hated about business and Corporate America made me a stronger person. It broke me down and built me up, but in the end, I found my way.
Now, I set the standard and I create the rules. I walk into rooms knowing what I have to offer is gold. And I think you should, too.
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Camille is a lover of all things skin, curls, music, justice, and wanderlust; oceans and islands are her thing. Her words inspire and her power is her voice. A California native with Trinidadian roots, she has penned personal essays, interviews, and lifestyle pieces for POPSUGAR, FEMI magazine, and SelfishBabe. Camille is currently creating a life she loves through words, self-love, fitness, travel, and empowerment. You can follow her on Instagram @cam_just_living or @written_by_cam.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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This Is Why Your Bright Under-Eye Technique Is Not Giving
If you are a fan of the bright under-eye, then you have the legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin to thank. The bright under-eye is only one of the major techniques that Aucoin brought to the forefront of the makeup industry in the ‘90s. The purpose of concealing the under-eye area is to hide blemishes and discoloration, redness, dark circles, and under-eye bags. However, according to Aucoin’s techniques, its main purpose is to lift and sculpt the face adding a new level of dimension.
The bright under-eye can be difficult to achieve. These are some of the common mistakes that are holding you back from sculpted bright under eyes that are giving!
1. You are not using the correct concealer shade.
Using two concealers makes a huge difference. Start with a shade 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone. Followed by a shade that is 3-4 times lighter and placed closer to the inner eye to do the heavy lifting and give the bright effect.
Two shades diffuse well into each other and give a cohesive result.
2. You are not blending enough.
Don't underestimate the power behind a complete blend-out! Blending your concealer fully is a make-or-break step for the bright under-eye look. Fully blending allows for a seamless transition between the areas of the face meant to be highlighted, and the areas meant to create depth and shadows. So take your time and make sure there are no harsh lines.
3. You are not properly setting the under-eye area.
Set the under-eye using a loose setting powder or brightening powder. The key here is to choose a powder complementary to your skin's undertone and proper placement to prevent creasing. Focus the majority of the powder on the inner eye and defuse the remaining powder to the rest of the powder under the eye.
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