5 Steps To Getting Any Job You Want

Workin' Girl

It feels like my life has been waiting on hold for over a decade.

While other people were celebrating career wins, I was living at home waiting for my "big break." I believed that if I just kept my head down and worked hard, eventually that would be rewarded with a promotion.

Instead, I found that the more efficiently I did the service work, the more service work was thrown in my direction. People were under the impression that I really "needed" the hours. I realized that my reflection spoke, "Need". My image said, "She's desperate for the money," and their treated behavior reflected pity instead of respect.

After weeks of back-to-back 16 hour days, I'd reached my breaking point. I was tired of being an hourly, graveyard shift employee who couldn't afford a day off without making life decisions about eating or having enough to afford public transportation to and from work. I constantly saw the executive, predominantly white, women around me discuss their lengthy vacations and spa treatments. Meanwhile, my coworkers were often sick, injured, tired, and stressed out.


The morale was crumbling around me and, I decided I wanted more. I was more.

I stopped making excuses for my condition and started observing the C-Suite and the women I secretly envied. I boldly asked them questions in dirty scrubs. I implemented five rules that not only catapulted me out of CNA scrubs and into a pencil skirt, but increased my salary by 35K in ONE year. I had discovered the habits and rules of conduct that changed not only my circumstances, but how I viewed myself.

1. Your Bedroom Is Your Boardroom


I ran home, took out an old lipstick, and started writing my war plan on my bedroom mirror. The bedroom is the place where the wig comes off, the makeup comes off, and we are naked to the truth. It's where we write our hopes and dreams. It is our sanctuary. However, transforming it into the board room and the place where affirmations, concepts, and the vision for my life was created, allowed me to see the roadmap clearly.

Creating a business plan for your life is so important to have a clear view of what aligns and doesn't align with it. That one move to wake up to affirmations and end the evening with a review of whether I completed that day's goals, gave me direction. I no longer felt like my future was left to fate alone.

2. Busy Is Not Better


Studying the executives that walked around me, I noticed they were strategic in the positions they took and the titles they fought for. They negotiated quality of life perks like working from home twice a week. Some even wrangled companies to pay for their living expenses. Be strategic about the commitments you make.

In the beginning, I threw all the balls in the air. The busier I was, the more productive I thought I'd look. The goal is not to "look" busy, but to be busy, checking off the goals that you created in step 1. The object is to manage your commitments to stay productive not necessarily busy.

3. Progress Is Better Than Perfection


I heard a podcast featuring Paul Brunson where he said, "Some people point, aim, and aim, and aim so long the gun gets jammed and they never fire." I was a chronic "waiter" I waited for the right time, the right money, the right temperature, the right flight price. In pulling the trigger, I realized that having a unique skill set outweighs multiple degrees and certifications. I have the power to make people believe that I can produce the impossible, and I have the fortitude to see it through. When I realized that, I was able to land a job within an industry that was "lily white."

Embrace the experiences that make you unique, and a position will create itself.

4. Fly Before You Walk


When I began to see myself as an Executive while collecting urine samples as a CNA, my actions started to emulate my thoughts. I began to walk like a suit in conversation and demeanor before ever leaving scrubs. In fact, people started to see what I felt and ask me things like, "Will you consider joining our committee? You should apply for..." A family member told me, "You learned to fly before you learned to walk."

In other words, see yourself in the positions and places you want to be and then create the action plan to get there. The same people who projected pity were now asking me to assist them on projects. Because I learned to display the value and unique perspective I brought to the table, they recognized that they could not ask for assistance without offering something return. They offered to pay me for my assistance. Now, a position that had once only provided one paycheck, provides multiple. #wingsandthings.

5. Name Yourself


My aunt used to say, "It's not what they call you, it's what you answer to." The more that I understood what I brought to the table, the more other people began to call for me to address the needs within the organization. However, where there are supporters, there are also people who question your ability. The retorts of, "She was just a CNA, she's not credentialed to speak on these things," sought to halt me from achieving purpose. However, part of step 1 was identifying my weak spots.

On the weekends, I sought online certifications in order to shut the haters' mouths and leverage myself into higher positions. I recognized that ascension does not come without controversy. Some of the executives of whom I sought guidance from now give me the cold shoulder. I could not understand why until I heard Tera Carissa Hodges say, "People are not very often envious of your things. They are envious of the time you have left."

Pursuing purpose requires a clear action plan that most do not find until the second half of their lives.

If you are fortunate enough to tap into it early, not everyone will be a fan. However, we do not have time to focus on who is not a member of our fan club because that is only a distraction.

So this is for the service workers, the women who ride the bus to work, the women who did not grow up with mentors or a clear path and feel like they are in dead end, thankless jobs. This is for us. There is a scripture that says, we "call forth those things that are not as if they already are" Romans 4:17.

What are you calling forth in 2018? Your journey to the boardroom begins now. Let's go.

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

If there's one thing Historically Black Universities are known, it's fostering a sense of interconnectedness for collaborative genius to thrive. Of all campuses, it was on the soil of The Mecca, Howard University, where She'Neil Johnson-Spencer and Nicolette Graves rooted their friendship and aligned their passion for beauty and natural brains. Today, the two have founded a skincare brand of their own, Base Butter, that has not only carved out their niche space in the market but rallied a community of women to glow from the inside out.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Maya's story, written by Charmin Michelle.

I know this may come to a surprise so many, but here we are. Yes, I got a BBL. If you aren't aware, a BBL is a Brazilian Butt Lift, a cosmetic surgery process where the doctor uses a combination of liposuction and fat-grafting, transfers the fat into the butt, resulting in added volume, defined curves, and a lift. It is technically lipo and a fat transfer. But yeah girl, this has been on my to-do list for a while. And now that I am able to afford it, I went for it.

Keep reading... Show less

As an extension of my monthly self-care routines, facials have become top priority when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. For months I've noticed excess oil, stubborn breakouts and dry cracked lips forcing me to seek an alternative to my everyday skincare routine. Unable to solve my skincare troubles, I decided it was time to seek the help of a professional to help revive my dull skin.

Keep reading... Show less

I will never make an apology for the fact that I adore the Scriptures. There is something very, remarkable is the word that comes to mind, about the fact that even all of these years later (thousands and thousands of years later), there is so much wisdom within the Bible that is still relevant and — if you want to live a content life — even necessary. Matter of fact, some of the people in my world who aren't Bible followers or even believers in God will admit to me that Proverbs (King Solomon's book of wisdom) has some real gems in it.

Keep reading... Show less

August invites you to shine bright like the sun which requires you to leave behind the sob stories of being the underdog. Recognize your power as a reflection of the Divine and watch how far you can go. Be mindful of that inner critic when Mercury enters Virgo. For every negative thought, counteract it with three compliments about yourself. When Venus enters her home sign, relationship matters get a whole lot sweeter after the wild ride that was Mercury Retrograde.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts