HOMESICK DURING VACATION?

So, I am writing this post in the middle of a holiday as I think of my darling little V who is having a ball of time back home. Generally, home is far from the top of my mind when I travel to a new place. I am always busy exploring and soaking in the experience yet I always look forward to going back when it is time to return.

A quote that I relate to –

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 I love coming home after being away. Do you feel the same way? Read on to find out 7 reason why –

  1. Family: Whatever said and done, there is no substitute to the warmth of a family and if you got fur babies, I know you just can’t wait to get back home and cuddle up.
  2. Comfort: I know all you fashionistas love to wear the best of clothes and shoot the best of pictures in vacations, but hey, secretly we all want to go back to our pajamas and slump in the couch, don’t we?
  3. Back on track: Yes, holidays are the time when all your new year resolutions, diet and workout goals go for a toss. So, coming back to home gets you back on track with clean eating and increased focus on health.
  4. Creativity: Sometimes you get so many fresh ideas in a holiday that you can’t wait for the surge of creativity to step out of you and implement them in your lives.
  5. Familiarity: When you are in a different country, after a certain period of time, you practically long to communicate in your own language, eat your home cooked food and feel your usual neighborhood.
  6. Routine: Yes, you went on a holiday to escape the usual but people like me long to get back to routine after a few days. A routine just makes life easy, you know exactly what you’re going to do next.
  7. Sleep: After an activity packed vacation and before you start going back to work, you would want to get some good sleep(and what better than your own bed). You can catch up on all the episodes loss of your favorite series. So, all you GOT fans, please don’t plan a vacation when Season 8 is aired!

Don’t get me wrong, I love vacations as much as you do but I also really do LOVE coming back home 🙂

 

LEAP OF FAITH

The other day I was looking at a picture of me and V taken a few months back. It made me wonder how fast she is growing, adapting to the environment around her so effortlessly and learning new things every single day. Learning seems so easy to her now and little does she know that unlearning all of these things will get difficult with age. Today ,when I look at myself , I wonder when was the last time I accepted a change without questioning or started something new,embracing a new beginning whole heartedly. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith to experience the magic of a new beginning.

Here are 7 reasons why you must take the “Leap of faith “ –

  • Listen to your inner voice : Sometimes, we just need to sense our gut instinct and follow it because often it is the inner voice which leads you to the right path instead of the external advice that you have been seeking all along.
  • Regret and no regret : If you take up this lifetime opportunity, you will not regret it later. At the same time, for all the practical reasons you might realize later that you have made a wrong choice. Take a leap of faith for the choice that you truly want, so you will not feel the pinch of regret later. Sometimes the safer route is not always the best because once a decision is set in motion, it is likely to gain more momentum. I have seen infeasible dreams turning into reality merely through grit and determination.
  • Overcome the fear of unknown: There’s always an element of fear for what you can’t see and there’s always an element of excitement and a sense of desire to chase the unknown, to follow your passion. So, make your choice, let the passion overshadow the fear!
  • Celebrate the past and present: The pursuit to your passion will never be lucid until you pave your way yourself. Be grateful for your past , present and utilize it to carve your future. Gather your experience and pick the universe’s clues to take that leap.
  • Draw inspiration :Look around for people who follow the same passion. Do you want to move to a bigger city leaving behind your settled household for a dream job? How many people in your circle have done anything close to that, how many have been successful with it?
  • Money is not an excuse : I don’t want to sound like those zillion reminders you get on your social media on how you should drop everything and go travel the world. Money is very very important but don’t let money be your excuse. Plan your savings, take time to do it and if you really want to move and take advantage of this new experience, you’ll find a way to make it work.
  • It doesn’t work out : Come back and start again. You might lose time, but the gain is immense in terms of the experience. You learn new things from new people, new challenges, new places and most importantly the new ‘you’. The risk is well worth the reward.

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The inner voice!

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Extroverted Introvert’s Guide

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Source :Inpathybulletin

Like every other corporate employee, the thought of Friday evening delights me. This Friday is no exception. The only difference is I am torn between wanting to go party and staying home spending some “lone time”. Although after Little Miss V arrived in our lives, there is no such lone time that exists in the schedule yet the thought of curling up inside the blanket in my pajamas, reading a book , staring at the ceiling and doing nothing(after she sleeps) kind of comforts me. Well, I cannot say that I am an outright introvert person because I might lose my job if I say that. After all, I am a Human Resources Professional and it’s my responsibility to socialize with human beings and manage them professionally. So, I found a term for myself which justifies the imbalance between being gregarious and unusually quiet – extroverted introvert. Now, let me explain this with 7 typical characteristics of an extroverted introverts –

  1. They are not the most talkative in the group but can be great conversationalists if interested in the conversation.
  2. Love to be alone yet feel lonely.
  3. Seek attention yet want to go hide in a shell when they get it.
  4. Operate on “ON/OFF” mode – Appear very sociable when out in groups yet rush home to recharge in solitude.
  5. They have 1112 friends on social media yet 2 they can actually depend on. They can make friends easily but find it difficult to maintain friendships.
  6. They crave meaningful conversations and are not interested in small talk.
  7. Others perceive them as extroverts while they are constantly conversing in their head like introverts.

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Source : boredpanda

No, we are not schizophrenic !!!We are just people constantly chasing the company of solitude in the midst of crowd. If you identify yourself with these characteristics, feel free to subscribe on my blog and follow on Instagram @missvogueviolet to view more such posts.

 

SAY “YES” TO “NO”

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Picture Source: businessinsider

All my life, I have been constantly working on this area of “Saying NO tactfully” yet I have not mastered the same. As simple as it may sound, saying “NO” is probably one of the hardest things to say to people we deal with in our daily lives. When I started out in my HR career, I realized I am getting into a habit of saying “Yes”, often in haste which gives me absolutely no time to evaluate, align or calibrate the options I get. Slowly, I tried to work on it and a lot of introspection is what it took to arrive at the 7 reasons where I found a solution in “NO” as an answer.

  1. The clichéd reason: Be yourself – Yes, everyone on the internet and in your real world has already told this to you. It is the single most important reason why you should learn to say “NO” because nothing deserves more attention than your priorities and personal interests. Do not lose yourself in the battle to win hearts.
  2. Balance: The universe demands a balance, so does your mind and body. It is impossible to strike a balance if you have your hands full at all points of time. So, you must know what to accept and what to clearly reject in order to lead a less stressful life.
  3. Being assertive : It is a myth that saying “YES” to everything makes you a popular person, a team player or a go getter. Often, employees take all instructions from the manager in order to project themselves as superheroes who can “do it all”. Well, as Indira Nooyi said “you can’t have it all” and you should not strive to have it all as well. God forbid, you might even be perceived as a submissive person and this may lead to other free riders exploiting you for their own benefit.
  4. Command respect: Respect is a virtue which cannot be demanded. A strong personality is one who has the cognizance of his strengths and areas of development. He/she knows which task will help him leverage his strength and which one will help him overcome his weakness. The world respects such people and they are definitely not the ones who pick everything that comes their way.
  5. Set your boundaries: When you have your priorities right, you have fewer unwanted intrusions and even fewer distractions. Setting boundaries by saying “No” makes your intentions firmer and is one of the most important skills required for personal and professional growth. When you are saying “No” to things that do not interest you, you are creating a space for things to say “Yes” to.
  6. Deal with confrontation: Most people prefer not to say “No” to avoid an unnecessary conflict. They feel the relationship might stagger with a negative answer. Believe me, dealing with confrontation shapes you more as a person because a conflict helps you improve your resolution seeking skills. So, muster the courage and explore seeking solutions by confronting the people and issues you have been hiding from.
  7. The truth : Saying “no” shows that you won’t succumb to pressure and you abide by the truth. While it might make you feel vulnerable, once you make it a habit it actually helps you evolve into a more liberated and stronger personality.

Being an effective interviewer

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While most of us have always been dreading interviews and the anxiety associated with the possibility of rejection, believe it or not there are many occasions when it gets equally uncomfortable for the person on the other side of the table. Yes, we often assume that the interviewer is an extremely knowledgeable person who is just going to grill us through the interaction despite our best efforts to appear confident. Trust me, an interview is just like any other conversation and even the most extrovert person is not necessarily a good conversationalist.Being an HR professional myself, I know it comes with a lot of practice and the skills developed actually help in various other aspects of life as well. Here are 7 points to be considered by inexperienced hiring managers for conducting successful interviews –

  1. Know your audience: It is always wiser to go through the profiles of the candidates beforehand to understand their background. This create a sense of familiarity at your end and helps fill the awkward silence in the conversations.
  2. Create a conducive environment: One can create a comfortable environment only by matching the level of the interviewee in terms of the tone, energy, style and to a certain extent, the mood e.g a fresher from college is likely to be more innovative, energised and more aware of the latest updates while an experienced person might have more knowledge about his work but not about the latest trends . Bringing the subject to ease always leads to a successful interview. 
  1. Start with open ended questions: Start with the background of the person and let him/her explore the areas that he/she wants to elaborate on. This creates a sense of confidence in the subject which leads to a more fruitful conversation. It is rude to ask direct questions on marital status, religious preferences etc , hence it should be limited to the topics which have relevance to the job profile. 
  1. Be a good listener : Being a good listener helps you decide when and how to probe further. It also helps to decide when to move to the next topic without wasting any more time. 
  1. The technique of behavioral event interview : I have used this technique for years and find it very effective. It is about how you must focus on the “How” and not just the “What”. When you talk about particular events and how the task was handled, you don’t merely look at the output and evaluate the person. It gives you an overall idea about the behavioral competencies of the individual. 
  1. Appear curious : Engaging rightly in the conversation is very important. Appearing genuinely eager to understand the perspective of the interviewee establishes a sense of belonging.
  2. Take notes,always: Please do not rely on your memory, written notes are a must. They come really handy when you are evaluating multiple candidates. You can easily do a comparison and it is a more objective approach to the evaluation. Also, when the interviewer takes notes, the interviewee feels satisfied that his points are noted.

Hope these tips help you. Enjoy being on the other side of the table!

DO NOT CRACK THAT INTERVIEW!

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The other day I was reading an article on how your body is actively involved in feeling rejection as much as the mind does – to the extent that you can numb the feeling of rejection with pain medication the very same way as you can suppress a physical pain. I cannot comment much about the science behind it but I found it very interesting because I strongly believe that experiencing rejection is important in life. Hence, I want to share  7 reasons why rejection is a must –

  1. Source of mental power and courage : I know it is the most obvious reason which you would have already guessed but trust me, it is the primary reason why you must accept rejection with pride. Dealing with rejection creates an illusion in your mind that you have seen the worst(which makes the rest of the problems in your life seem very trivial) and overcoming the same gives you an incredible sense of victory and strength.
  2. Psychological Resilience : It increases your ability to successfully adapt to life in the face of social disadvantage or other highly adverse conditions. Embracing such difficult situations will only embolden your mental and social spirit. As they say – “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.
  3. Have more realistic expectations: Sometimes, we dream and chase infeasible goals. While a rejection acts as a blow, it also helps us manage expectations and aspirations better and have a more realistic approach towards life.
  4. The taste of success is sweeter : Trust me, if you haven’t had failures in life, you cannot appreciate success as much as it deserves. This keeps a check on the complacency in future and also is a reminder for you to work harder towards success every single day.
  5. Cognizance of your weakness : On most occasions, a rejection highlights a weakness that you possess. Always remember, weakness is just the other name of “area of improvement” and awareness of the same is clearly a “strength”. So, work on your area of improvement and convert it to your key strength area!
  6. Feedback : A rejection is a wonderful opportunity to get feedback and understand yourself better. Sometimes, we can’t see things from the perspective of a different person and this is an ideal platform to seek and receive feedback about yourself. It only helps you understand yourself better.
  7. God has other plans for you : No matter how philosophical it may sound, I strongly believe that every rejection leads to a door which opens to better avenues. A better job, a better partner, a better college, something/someone definitely better suited for you awaits you, go for it!

 So , next time you get rejected, do not brood over it! Thank your stars and move on!

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A FIT MOMMY

Did the subject offend you? I really hope not – this is not a fat shaming, judgmental article that is going to make you feel sick about your existing body. All I want to share is how and why I look forward to being a fit Mommy and when I say “fit” I mean maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not having a body that would grace the cover of a magazine(Anyway I am far from being anything like a model):D

Here are 7 reasons which motivate me to work harder towards a healthy lifestyle –

 

  1. Leading by example: I had never spent a minute working out before my pregnancy neither did I ever pay any attention to the calorie intake of my body. Today, when I look back I wonder what was I thinking all these years. I know making a healthy choice has created an impact on my friends and family members as well. I sincerely hope my little munchkin follows suit too.
  2. Physical and Mental Development: Raising a child is not an easy task and for a working woman, it is even more difficult. Your hormones go haywire and disrupts the balance between body and mind. Becoming a healthy, fit, and happy person first involves a mindset shift to see yourself as someone who lives that type of lifestyle which means looking hot is not what you should aim at – getting fitter physically and mentally is what you should aim for.
  3. Creating a new passion: Sometimes, in such times all you need is a change. A change that can be embedded in your present. And what better than being passionate about being fitter? Everything in your life would just automatically integrate as habits which shall help you evolve into a better person.
  4. Building stamina: As your child grows, you need to do more running around and you will always need higher energy levels. A good workout also helps sleep better (which most moms find very hard to do).
  5. Me” Time: Finally you get some time to release your stress and just be with yourself. Be it a workout session or Yoga/meditation, it will act as a tremendous booster for your inner senses.
  6. Bringing out a “Happy” You – A good workout helps you release endomorphins and that makes you “HAPPY”. A healthy lifestyle translates into a happy lifestyle in no time.
  7. Back in Shape: Get back in that little black dresses you hid away in the cupboard thinking you would never fit into them. Bring them out and work harder till you get there. Any form of motivation can work, I use my LBD as a milestone J

 

Posting few looks from my journey of getting fitter (or trying to get fitter)  – Timeline of months post pregnancy:

6 months    >>        8 months   >>          10 months    >>        12 months

HOW TO CRACK THE FIRST CONVERSATION

Context Awareness: A first conversation with a soon to be acquaintance at an office party is widely different from the one in a private party.

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You must be dressed for the occasion – No ripped jeans, graphic tees unless it is themed party. Subtle solid colors or light elegant dressing go well for such parties.So, a typical kick start in an office party would be –“Hi, I am June, the Acquisition Head for the Boston team” and then give some more depending on the interest of the listener. There are people who would start with “ Hi, I am John with 10 years of Marketing Experience and recently promoted as the Acquisition Head of the Boston Team. No wonder I got this because the achievements on the list go on ….”Hey, that is too much information at the borderline of being a show off! This goes well only in the typical “Tell me about yourself” questions at the HR interviews.

 

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For a private party, you must and must be dressed for the occasion (because hey, it is always fun to be with the ones you love right!). If it is an Indian wedding, pick your brightest Lehenga Choli, if it is a baby shower luncheon, pick a lovely floral dress. These are the parties where you can show your fun side, so please do not start with “Hi, I am June, a marketing professional at a leading Soap company and best friend of the bride” Instead say, “Hi I am June and I am the reason why people love to take shower”. That will sound intriguing and yes, a little humor doesn’t hurt (You can choose a better punchline)

Less is more:A conversation should always take its natural course. Start with just as much is required so that it creates an interest in the other person to know more. In this process, the conversation is more likely to get interesting and your confidence is more likely to be boosted. Yeah, you can thank me later!

Don’t just look for comfort, create comfort : No matter how nervous/confident you might be, it is very important to create a balance. While it is important to lead the conversation when the other person is submissive, it is just not cool to dominate. Make it warm and welcoming for the other person as well.

Be a good listener: Or at least pretend to. Who does not want to be heard, understood and accepted. You must make good eye contact, show interest in what is being communicated and not check the phone or tablet in the middle of a conversation(No matter how cool you think it might look) . A good first conversation most often leads to long lasting relationship.

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Declutter : Last but not the least, vacate your mind off all the prejudice and thoughts – “Oh does he feel am overdressed for the party? Does he feel I’m not intelligent enough to have this conversation with him?” Hell, it doesn’t matter. Just look for an honest connection, a genuine conversation.

A genuinely warm smile, a kind and assertive handshake, and a true, heartfelt interest in others is all that takes to win a conversation!