Sometimes a deferred dream can unveil new dreams and realities for our life and careers.
Meet Lily Doxy, a Business Marketing Manager at Verizon. After graduating from Howard University, the New Jersey native decided to take a short break from her post-college law school dreams. Difficulties finding a job during the recession led to Lily taking what she thought would be a temporary position at her local Verizon store as a store greeter. To her surprise, she never left.
Now, eleven years later, Lily's day-to-day work is focused on helping small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs succeed. In 2017, she started "From the Ground Up" – a series to meet small business owners and give them a platform to share their stories.
I chatted with Lily about her ascension through various roles and ranks at Verizon and how she's been able to be a boss in and out of corporate settings. Having a strategy and understanding how to navigate what can be a competitive playing field is key. Lily shares the key things we goal-getters can do to make sure we get the shine we deserve at work.
1. Take Advantage of New Opportunities.
Though Lily originally had her heart set on law school after college, she was open to exploring new possibilities as they opened up. She remembers, "I took the opportunity [at Verizon] because I figured law school isn't going anywhere. If I wanted to go back, I could always do that."
Little did she know that her decision to temporarily work at a Verizon store would be the catalyst moment in her career. Because of her standout work ethic, a manager noticed her work and encouraged her to apply to corporate where she was eventually hired. This meant Lily now had access to perks of working at a Fortune 500 company, such as great medical benefits and tuition reimbursement (if she ever wanted to return to school).
2. Be Strategic.
Make sure you keep your connections and don't burn any bridges if you want to stay in the same company. Lily notes that many of her positions were "acting roles", where after the acting length had expired, she could be demoted or out of work. Because she was determined to deliver her best work wherever she was placed and had built a strong network of internal advocates, she was always able to secure the next position and survive company-wide reorganizations.
Using this strategy, she was able to move from position to position within Verizon. "All the jobs I got were from people who [had] known me before [and said] I know her and I'll take the risk. She might not have done this before, but I know she can do it because she's smart."
3. Build Your Transferable Skills & Make that Leap.
Sometimes the key to promotion will be making horizontal leaps. Though Lily started out in operations, she decided to apply for a marketing manager position during another one of her "in-between" periods at the company. Though she had never worked in marketing before, the hiring manager worked with her and trusted that she could get the job done.
Mastering the basic skills of any job will help as you try to make cross-company moves. "The transferrable skills I have of being organized and being able to pick up things quickly is a big asset...I've been in operations. I know how to do processes."
Take advantage of company-led trainings to help grow your skill repertoire. Though Lily was innately creative and had acquired a process-oriented strategic-driven mindset during her experience in operations, she hadn't mastered everything. "At Verizon, there's a lot of internal teaching and training that we have that will teach us different soft skills in marketing."
There were no excuses on why she wouldn't be able to succeed in the role when she had access to tools to help her learn. "I always have the mindset of I don't know everything and I'm going to continue to learn. If you keep your mind open, you're able to learn from other people to enhance what you can do."
Photo Credit: Woodline Dorcin
"I always have the mindset of I don't know everything and I'm going to continue to learn. If you keep your mind open, you're able to learn from other people to enhance what you can do."
4. Know Your Company.
"What Verizon does well is change..and adapting to what is going on now..."
Lily credits Verizon as being a great company to grow one's career. Making sure the company you're at is the right fit for your career goal and has the opportunities for you to grow is crucial. Not every company will be able to provide resources and support for your desired professional career moves. With Lily being a woman who supports change and prides herself on being abreast of what's next – there was a great employee-company personality and vision match.
5. Stop Following the Rules and Make Your Own.
When Lily first entered Marketing at Verizon, she worked in SMB (small/medium business) and was tasked with finding a new way to make SMB matter at a larger scale. However, her initial events weren't getting any traction. "We sent out a ton of invites and only six people showed up."
So, she decided to shake things up. "I stopped following the Verizon way of doing things and went rogue and did it on my own terms."
She created an event that she called "From The Ground Up" and contacted Tawanna Morris – owner of House of Chic LA to be its inaugural speaker. By way of their networks, within 72 hours, 300 people signed up to hear Tawanna share her business story. Due to the event's success, she was able to get buy-in from Verizon to continue and expand the series.
6. Treat Your Job as Your Own Business.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset on the job can help you score career wins. Lily's ability to self-motivate, and be goal-focused especially, helped her build clout and drive results for her team. "When you are in a corporate setting, you are often called to work independently. When you work independently, you want to treat your projects or job as your own business...you have to take responsibility for yourself. You have to fight for some of the stuff you want. You have to take some of the things personal – so [you] know that it's on [you]."
Because she decided to take full responsibility and treat From The Ground Up as a special project she "owned", she was committed to making it successful. "When I choose the panels or events, I have to make sure that we are picking people that will do [themselves] and me some justice... I want to make sure my brand within the company stays the same."
Your work is a reflection of you. Doing excellent work can lead to unexpected blessings.
Lily now serves on the national events team – which is a goal she didn't have when she originally joined Verizon 11 years ago. Using the knowledge learned, coupled with her professional success at Verizon, Lily recently launched The Eve Brand - a consultancy that specializes in assisting businesses learn how to secure sponsorship and funding.
If your goal is to grow within your company – you most certainly can. No matter where you're starting from, set your goals high – and your ambition higher. No one can stop a woman with drive determined to leave her mark.
To listen to Lily's full story, listen to episode 183 of Dreams In Drive below or by clicking here.
Featured image by Woodline Dorcin.
Rana Campbell is a Princeton University graduate, storyteller, content marketing strategist, and the founder and host of Dreams In Drive - a weekly podcast that teaches you how to take your dreams from PARK to DRIVE. She loves teaching others how to use their life stories to inspire action within oneself and others. Connect with her on Instagram @rainshineluv or @dreamsindrive.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
We all have a dream life that we spend our free time daydreaming about. You know, the one with a loving partner, high-rise apartment, thriving career, and endless abundance. But as much as we can dream about it, there has to be a little extra sprinkle of “magic” to make it become a reality, and that’s when manifestation comes in.
The uptick in manifestation techniques is nothing new to the internet. Since The Secret and the Law of Attraction became available on YouTube in the early 2010s and fast forward to today, where #manifestationtok and #spiritualtok surging in popularity, it’s clear that there are a number of different ways to get what you want out of life with the right action, affirmation, and visualization.
Still, with so many ways to manifest, from scripting to the 3-6-9 Method, it can be hard to know which one to lean into. But there’s one new technique that’s promising to yield “instant results,” and we’re curious about it.
The "I Am Sure" Manifestation
Replying to @A I M E E 🖤 lG: hothighpriestess 🤍 this is the “I am sure” method #iamsuremethod
The “I Am Sure” manifestation gained traction this summer by TikTok creator Sara Perl of @hothighpriestess, who initially introduced the method.
In her original video breaking down the concept, she detailed the steps to use the technique for those looking to “manifest overnight.” To do so, start by stating “I am sure,” followed by “your desired manifestation in the present tense.” If there’s a job, promotion, or text from a crush that you want, then you’d say, “I am sure that I got X job,” or “I am sure that I make a $100K salary.” Repeat this out loud 10 times, or for faster results, write them down on a piece of paper and say it back to yourself whenever the desire comes up.
Using your words and speaking in the present tense, affirmatively, “puts you in the frequency that has that desire,” as Perl states. “We know our thoughts create our reality, but our words create our reality even faster.”
No matter how you choose to manifest your dream life, there’s nothing like channeling a powerful affirmation and some faith to get what you desire. In every instance, though, allow yourself to dismiss any doubt that may try to cloud your hopes in good things coming into your life, and don’t hold too tightly onto the “how” or “when.” Trust the process and know that the “thing” that you desire is just waiting for the perfect time to enter your life.
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Featured image by Tassii/Getty Images