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Relationships are an inevitable part of life that everyone must go through regardless of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc. Connecting with others is our human nature. Whether it’s through family, friends, work colleagues, or romantic partners, we need people to survive. However, finding the right people to survive with is where the trials and tribulations kick in.

Throughout our life we will come across many relationships that are not aligned with us. Those kinds of relationships end in breakups. Cold, hurtful, painful, brutal breakups that leave you wondering WTF just happened. Okay, not all breakups end badly, but most do.

Nevertheless, breakups are no picnic for anyone involved. Both people have to adjust to a life without each other after spending so much time together. It’s almost like breaking up takes just as much time as it did to build a relationship. The breakup blues is real y’all.

But… there is a way to overcome the funky breakup blues. I implemented these strategies below after my recent breakup and am still practicing them now.) They have definitely made my transition so much smoother the moment I started them.

Not going to dwell on the past too long, but I just want to be real with my audience about my recent breakup. I was still mourning the loss of my father and readjusting to life in Korea without my family, when my partner had an epiphany that a relationship was not what they wanted at this point in their life via texting. Umm… okay… bye… forever.

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But I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m only twenty-something.  I’m just getting started, the best has yet to come for all of us. So, if you’re experiencing, experienced, or know someone going through a crappy breakup, the tips below will help you stage your comeback season. Even if you’re not going through a breakup, read it anyways. Apply these tips to any area of your life that you deem appropriate. Life is a cycle, where one door closes another will open as soon as you’re ready for it.

1. It’s not about you, it’s bigger than you

  • There is a good reason why your relationship with that person didn’t work out. Whatever that reason may be, just trust and believe that it’s for your best interest. Rejection is either protection or redirection. Either way, it’s a win for you. You are always winning, no matter what the situation is.
  • At this point, you have an opportunity to be grateful for the experience you shared with your partner. The good, bad, and ugly parts of that relationship will aid you in the future. Things are always working out for you.

2. In order for you to reach the next level, you have to make peace with where you are

  • Constructively analyze your emotional triggers. Guilt, anger, depression, denial, etc. are some emotions that may come up as you move toward your inner peace. Allow each emotion come and go until the only feeling left is that of tranquility. Don’t be a sponge, just flow like water.

3. Forgive the other person and yourself

  • When things don’t work out, it’s easy to blame someone else for your unhappiness. However, the reality of the situation is that it’s YOUR life and nobody else’s. Take responsibility for your decisions. Then forgive and let it go.

4. Mindfully re-center yourself for your new solo adventure

  • Take time to rebuild your self-confidence as a solo artist. Remind yourself of who you are and what you want in life. Practice meditation, yoga, hiking, affirmations, writing, etc. Any activity that allows you to get in tuned with yourself, do it. Bask in the glory of only having to worry about yourself. Recreate your solo identity. Do a self-check in and evaluate if your interests or goals have changed after your relationship.

5. Spend time with people that really love you and want to be around you

  • It’s a joyous feeling to spend time with people that love and care about you. Relish in their company as much as you can. Laugh more, smile more, allow your heart to give and receive love with people that deserve it.

6. Make feeling good a top priority in your life

  • At this time, do what you enjoy doing. Focus on all the things in your life that you have to be grateful for. Feeling good has to be more important to you than being angry or seeking revenge. Whenever you have a thought or you are doing an activity, ask yourself if it’s in alignment with your desire to feel good. If it’s not, then change to something that will put you back on your path to feeling good.

7. Remember time heals ALL, if you allow it to

  • The farther we get from a situation, the less attached we become. However, you have to allow yourself to become detached to the situation as well. How many times have you been reminded about something that happened years ago, but you still get angry all over again when someone brings it up? You didn’t release anything over that time that passed. You just got older and bitter. So, distance your emotions as you allow time to show you the better things in life.
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This is your opportunity to write a new chapter in your life. You can choose to write one full of drama, depression, anger, and resentment. Or you can choose to write one full of laughter, love, joy, and excitement. A breakup just means that something or someone better was in store for you. I hope that these methods can help you get back to seeing the beauty that is in and around your life. Good luck kicking the breakup blues right in its ugly face.

Shaundajay

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Koreans have many unique traditions and customs that I’m still navigating through. One custom I’m still trying to figure out is how to calculate my Korean age. Oh, and how to speak Korean fluently… but for now let’s focus on my recent experience with the Doljanchi (돌잔치).

Korean age is actually a thing

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Koreans start counting the baby’s age at the time of conception, which includes all of the months the baby spends in the womb. Babies are considered one years old at the time of birth and everyone born in that same year turns a year older on January first. For example, if you were born on December 31, 2017, you will be considered two years old on January 1, 2018.

Korea is the only country in the world that counts age this way. My Korean age is like two years older than my actual age since I’m a December baby. Yikes! I want to be young forever, so I always use my international age (my actual age).

What in the world is a Doljanchi?!

After the Japanese invasion and occupation of Korea, Korea was a very poor country with a high infant mortality rate. It was considered a miracle if children lived to see 100 days on earth (another custom that is still celebrated in Korea, called Baekil 백일), let alone live to experience a year here.

The Doljanchi is a celebration of the baby’s first year of life outside of the mother’s womb. Dol means first and janchi means fest or party. This is the only big birthday celebration Korean children will ever have, since birthdays are not really significant in their culture. The next big birthday for Koreans would be in their 70’s, if they live that long.

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Family and close friends gather together for the first-year birthday celebration. The parents usually rent a party room with a buffet included. The parents and baby all wear matching Hanboks (traditional Korean attire) at the party. The baby is given a group of toys to choose from. Each toy represents a career path for the child. Since money is a huge deal here, the family usually wants the child to pick up the 50,000 won bill but that’s not usually want happens. I mean what’s money to a baby when they have cool toys to choose from.

Jasper’s Doljanchi

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My friend’s adorable son, Jasper was turning one and you can bet that I was going to be there by any means. Jasper is a half Chinese, half Korean ball of chunky smiling cuteness. I loves me some Jasper. Anyways, back to the party. At the beginning of the party, the guests ate from the buffet and took pictures with the birthday boy and parents.

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I got there a little after the food and picture time. When I entered the party, a video was playing of pictures and min videos of Jasper’s first year. Another video documenting Jasper’s journey in his mommy’s womb followed shortly after.

The parents shared some words with the audience of family and close friends. The ceremony was all in Korean. So, I didn’t understand a lot of it. In short, the hosts from the venue gave a very entertaining dance performance. They also handed out prizes to the audience for different categories, like whose birthday was closest to Jasper’s. The kids at the party also had a dance contest, which was adorable. The guests put money in the collection plate for  the birthday boy.

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Then it was time for the choosing. He received items for entertainer, educator, wealth, etc. Jasper picked the old microphone, which meant he would be an entertainer. But his parents wanted him to choose something else and let him pick again. The next time he picked the writing tool, which indicated that he would study well. The party ended shortly after the selection was made.

I stayed to take pictures and enjoy the buffet. My friend and her family didn’t eat because of the party and we all talked and ate together after the party. The party was entertaining and light-hearted. I never thought a one-year olds’ birthday party could be such a blast until I experienced my first Doljanchi. If you ever get invited to one, you better go because it’s a memory that you will cherish.

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Shaundajay

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Let me start off by saying that I had an amazing time at this event. I attended a Black Girl Magic picnic at the Busan Citizen’s Park last month and I didn’t know what to expect at the event. I found out about the event through a friend. The details on the flyer were also pretty vague. However, I figured it would be a good environment for networking for my new business venture.

Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed with the event once I arrived. The host had a cute but welcoming set up on a patch of grass at the park. Luckily, my friend that invited me had just arrived shortly after I did so she could introduce me and the friend that I came with. I was a bit surprised that most of the ladies were South African. My friend and I were the only Americans there. Regardless of our nationalities, everyone was genuinely welcoming and kind.

It was refreshing to be around positive energy, beautiful faces, good snacks, and great company.

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The magic must had been radiating strongly from us, because an elderly Korean woman came to join us though she didn’t speak English. She just sat quietly smiling at us, watching us like a hawk. The elderly generation acts like their entitled to do whatever they please to do, so we just let her stay and carried on with our business.

As we ate and waited for more ladies to join, we all engaged in pleasant conversation in an attempt to get to know each other better. Shortly after the last two ladies joined in, it began to rain. But there was a Korean gazebo nearby for us to relocate in. After relocating and more snacks, we got down to business.

We had an ice breaker to get more comfortable with each other now that everyone was there. The ice breaker was called “What’s in the Purse?” This game was super simple and enjoyable. We made two teams of four members each. Each team received a game paper. On the paper was a list of items and their points. The mission is to have each member find the items in their purse and add up the points in three minutes. The team with the most points was the winner.

Of course my team won, because I always carry a fully-loaded bag. I hate to be unprepared for an adventure, no matter how small it is. My friends always complain about how heavy my bag is, but they don’t complain when they need something out of it.

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After the game, the host guided us into a discussion about our time in Korea. During the discussion, we all agreed that Korea drew our attention inward to ourselves. For me, Korea has been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. But it has gravely impacted my personal growth. All of the ladies shared about their new-found self-love after the impact of being cut off from their comfort zones.

We also discussed feeling isolated in the workplace and in the country, the struggle of making new friends, dating, and our new self –discoveries. During the conversation, all of the ladies comforted and supported one-another with empathy and compassion. It was almost like being in a group therapy session.

I was glad to be able to provide comfort to my sisters from other misters. When you’re alone without your support system in a strange place that’s opposite of your culture, it can be crucial to find some sort of normalcy. It may range from being around people who look like you to only hanging out with people from your country. Sometimes we just need to hear that we’re not alone and there are others having the same experience.

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The Black Girl Magic Picnic was very successful in its goal to bring together a small group of women for treats and intimate discussion. I look forward to going to the next event. If you’re in Busan or nearby, I’d love to see you there as well.

Shaundajay

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Your ability to network can either propel you to higher places in your career or get you left behind watching the cool kids from the loser’s table. If option one appeals to you then please keep reading. If option two appeals to you, then you should also keep reading. 

Regardless of your work industry, you’re going to need friends, associates, colleagues, mentors, and job opportunities to further your success in your career. Which also means that you will have to create, nurture, and increase your network (both personal and professional).

To most the idea of networking my be overwhelming.  Don’t stress though, networking is a skill that everyone has been doing since grade school. Or maybe even before that. I’ll admit that it was much easier to network in those days. It wasn’t like  your career was riding on if you shared your snacks or not.

But once you entered college, the pressure to build your award-winning network before graduation was like carrying 10 elephants with you for 4-5 years. It was all about who you knew and every impression weighed heavily on your career in the future. At least that’s what I learned in college.

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During college I attended my share of conferences and networking events. But I’ll always remember the event that brought me to create this networking guideline, which was the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication’s Networking Night that I went to during my senior year.

While observing the event, I found that many students were either having uncomfortable- forced conversations, bragging about their achievements, or completely avoiding the potential employers that filled the room.  It looked more like a parody of a networking event than a job fair.

After processing what the heck was going on, I was inspired  to aid people in becoming natural net-workers. Not just for them, but also for the poor company representatives that have to sit through these events.

In my opinion, everyone should be able to float through a room, holding meaningful conversations and leaving memorable impressions with ease. That’s a skill that I picked up in college that has substantially enhanced my life and want to share with you.

I used to be one of those people who hated networking events too. I was uncomfortable with the notion of smiling in stranger’s faces begging for an opportunity to be reciprocated for my efforts put forth. But, the more opportunities that I had to practice networking, the better I became at it.

I learned that networking was more about building mutually beneficial relationships than fulfilling my own career desires. Soon those dry forced conversations I used to have at networking events, became chats at the coffee shop with my new friends.

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@NAHASHONDIAZ from nappy.co

After 10 minutes of meeting someone, we would have talked, laughed, and shared stories like old comrades. I could tell you their whole life biography and give you their contact information once they walked away. My friends and colleagues would always wonder how I could work an event so easily and craved to harness this skill for themselves.

Therefore, I am passing these networking skills along to you in hopes that it will aid you on your career journey. I believe that being an effective net-worker plays an essential part in your success, no matter what career path you’re on. I also believe that everyone should be able to gain the success they desire.

So, I have put together a list of my best do’s and don’ts for networking success below. Following these guidelines will ease the stress of networking and make it second nature for you, just like it did for me.

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Do’s

  1.  Do get the person talking about himself or herself.
    • To build a relationship at a networking event, you have to be able to make a connection.
    • Follow the representative’s story carefully to listen for something that you have in common.
    • Insert that you both have a common interest to create a bond
    • Once you found that common ground and made the person comfortable, you can fish for information that other people wouldn’t get about the opportunity or the representative.
  2.  Do dress appropriate, compliment, smile, be polite, and FOLLOW UP. ALWAYS
    • You always want to be warm and inviting when networking. This doesn’t mean that you have to be overly joyous, but simply content and pleasant.
    • ALWAYS follow up with your new acquaintance at least a day after meeting. No one likes meeting someone they connect with just to never hear from that person again. Be consistent.
    • Remember to be genuine, faking will only get you so far in the door and professionals can smell B.S. miles away.
  3.   Do be confident and own what you say
    • If you don’t believe what you are saying, then no one else will.
    • Have authority when stating your name.
    • Have eye contact with the person throughout the conversation.
    • Show people you are not only confident in your talent/abilities, but you are confident in yourself.

 

 

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Don’ts 

  1.  Don’t be interested in the opportunity; be interested in the person providing the opportunity.
    • Focus on what you have to offer, remember that you are seeking to create mutually beneficial relationships.
    • People commonly walk up to someone and ask, “What can you do for me?” But what they should really ask is, “How is your day going?”, “Can I help you with anything?”
    • Show you’re interest in the person providing the opportunity. This allows you to build a relationship and become more than another nameless face with a resume.
  2.  Don’t walk up to someone and babble off your accolades and shove your resume or business card in their hands.
    • You don’t make friends by walking up to a person and recalling all of your achievements, do you? Then why should you treat networking any different?
    • Networking is about building relationships. Key word here: building. You need to establish a foundation, before you start decorating the house in gold.
  3.  Don’t mention what your goal is until asked.
    • Everyone whom that successful person/ potential employer has talked to is looking for an opportunity.  That is why you all are there in the first place. They need workers and you all need jobs.
    • Be curious about the company and  the representative, but never mention why. After showing interest without a motive, the representative will also become curious about you.
    • Once the representative is curious about you, you modestly describe your skill set.
    • By the time the conversation ends, he/she will ask for your information and offer you theirs in return.
  4. Don’t be afraid to interview the representative
    • Prepare questions ahead of the event and ask as many questions as you can when the opportunity arises.
    • Show interest in what the representative to stand out from the crowd.
    • Ask him/her what they do for the company, how long they have been working for the company, what’s their typical day at work is like, what their job satisfaction is with the company, what’s their best work-related memory, etc.
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When you follow these networking guidelines, people will remember you and want to keep you around. You will stand out from other candidates, because you were able to make connections that allowed you to set the foundation for your new relationships.

Please bare in mind, that it will take some practice before you become natural in your approach. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be glad that you kept trying.

I hope you tackle your next networking event or opportunity like a 300-pound linebacker at a football game. As always, if you have any valuable tips you want to add to the list, you found these guidelines helpful, or if you tried these guidelines, then please drop a comment below. I always love to hear from you. Geaux get them tiger!

Shaundajay

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Does it feel like someone is pressing copy & paste on your days, weeks, and months? You wake up to go to work on Monday- Friday. Then you live your best life on the weekend and on holidays. You crave vacations and off-days like grandma’s famous apple pie, but those are few and far in between.

It’s common to feel burnt out or stagnant when living on a copy & paste routine of busyness. But in life its best to  “flow with the tide instead of fighting it.” Since you’re not about to win the lottery (Or maybe you are, I’m no fortune teller) and stunt on your Instagram any time soon, you should embrace little changes that can make your life more pleasant.

Reinventing yourself is essential if you want to unleash your potential and become the person you aspire to be. The truth is, you do not have to accomplish a big task to change the old you; changes come in the little things we do daily.

Just like how seconds turn to minutes, to hours, to days, to weeks, to months and then to years, that is how the little things we do mold our lives. The list below explains practical steps to reinvent yourself each month for the optimal you.


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1. Make a To-do List

We tend to work, work, and work until we wake up one morning and realize that, we have spent our whole lives working without having fun. Making a  to-do list will help you focus on the important things of the day or week. According to psychology, our brains even love ordered tasks.

It is not too late to start creating  your to-do list. Just start making a list of all the things you would love to achieve that month. Then break your list down to day-by-day tasks. But be realistic about your list to avoid disappointing yourself. Can you imagine the satisfaction you will fill when you cross off your tasks each month?

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  2. Schedule Fun-filled Weekdays

Stop waiting for the weekend to live your life. You can do the things you desire to do during the week. Strategize to do something fun or relaxing every week. You can go bowling with friends, visit the spa, try out new recipes, or finish a book. This will make you look forward to the weekdays instead of struggling until Saturday (Or Friday night in some cases).

At the beginning of each month, make a list of the things you would love to do every week. Again, you don’t have to be dramatic with your list. The little changes count, like scheduling 10 minutes of meditation every day. The idea is to make each week fun and purposeful. Loosen up a bit, just because you are grown up does not mean you should be working for the weekend.

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3. Give to others

Smiles and laughter are contagious; let yours spread like wild fire. You don’t have to be a millionaire or a celebrity to impact others. Major changes start with everyday people, like you and me. You can seek new ways to get involved in your community or serve others around you on a personal level.

It may be a compliment, volunteering at  a shelter, or a free cup of coffee for a stranger, etc.  The little things we do for people can go a long way for them. Serving a cause greater than ourselves can create purpose and belonging for us too.

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4. Start a new hobby

Hobbies are also something simple that can greatly impact your health. Think of all the things you wish you could do but keep putting them off. Starting a new hobby  or revamping an old hobby is as easy as clicking a button these days. There are so many things you can learn online or in a classroom (We have unlimited access to information, use it wisely).

If you want to be a chef, get your butt in the kitchen and crack open some cook books or Pinterest. You want to be a dancer, start with the basics at home or in a class. You want to finish your degree or learn a new language, do it! There are so many free resources available online like blogs and YouTube for anything that you want to learn. Community centers are also a great resource for free education.

Many people will use “time” as an excuse for not learning a new hobby or tuning up old skills. But all that time you spend on social media and watching TV can be used to invest in your new hobby or revamping an old one. I’m just saying…

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 5. Live a healthy lifestyle

Health is the new wealth. There is no point in stacking dollars that we’re going to be too sick or unhappy to enjoy later. Start making changes to your health routine while its still a choice rather than a survival demand caused by poor habits. There are so many options available for improving our health, including many free options.

You can try some new healthy recipes, walk to work, learn meditation, join a fitness club or you can download workout apps and participate in some exercise plans with friends. Our body and mind are our greatest assets, so invest in them thoroughly.

These five ways to reinvent yourself each month will only be useful if you take action to make them happen. You can implement each step one month at a time or all in one month. The choice is yours. There are unlimited resources for you to invest in yourself with, many of them are free too (can’t stress the free factor enough!).

I hope that you will find these steps as useful as I did when I implemented them in my life. Please feel free to share your experience or if you have any steps that you think I should add drop a  comment below.

Shaundajay

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With 58,425,492 photos tagged with #selfie on Instagram, selfies have become a significant trend. Various people across the globe irrespective of social or political status enjoy selfies. Everyone is participating in the #selfie game.

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From renowned individuals such as former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama and Justin Bieber to your high school classmate, the selfie game is going hard and strong. 

Through our selfies, we have a chance to capture the essence of ourselves and portray the image we want the world to see us in. And, we have people liking and commenting their approval of on our display of identity.

However, it is also important to consider the irrevocable damage that selfies are capable of causing if not handled properly.

Selfies are making a killing. Not just figuratively, but also literally. According to Adweek, more people died from taking selfies than shark attacks in 2015.

Despite that fact, 1,000 selfies are posted on Instagram every second and the average millennial is expected to take more than 25,000 selfies during their lifetime. That’s a lot of self-promotion going on.

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Photo credit: @photosbyphab from nappy.co

By promoting yourself, you will gain the attention you seek but bear in mind that your friends and family are not the only ones stalking you online. In 2017, 42 percent of cyberbully victims reported that Instagram was the weapon of choice.

Besides your enemies, your employers and future employers are scanning your social media profiles too. Some companies even went as far as monitoring employee social media content with social media policies.

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Job-seekers that posts at least five selfies a day have a lower chance to be recruited for a job. One in five job-seekers being disqualified from an interview and 40 percent of companies performing social media research on job candidates. Which means that your digital and physical personas are viewed as the same. 

We all know how tough the job market has become these days. With higher education and qualification demands from companies, don’t let your obsessive selfies be your downfall.  Lucky for you, there are some ways to combat this selfie epidemic that will keep you in good standing.

4 Ways to Avoid Selfie Sabotage:

1. Keep your selfies few and far in between

  • When you are not posting endless selfies on social media, you’re perceived as someone who leads a busy life. But posting a selfie every once in a while shows that you are hip to the selfie trend.

2. Keep your content clean

  • A simple rule of thumb to follow: If you wouldn’t show the picture to your grandmother, then it doesn’t need to be on your social media.

3. Keep work selfie-free

  • Unless your job is to post selfies at work, it’s in your best interest not to post selfies on the work clock. Your employer won’t like the fact that you are sharing your new tie instead of tying up that report that’s due at 3.

4. Keep your personal life off of social media

  • Your life stops being private the minute you post it on social media. So you can’t be upset that the recruiter found your “personal posts” when you were the one that shared it on social media for the world to see.
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Unfortunately, we are living in a time where our digital and physical identities are combined. Social media is not only a platform for self-expression, but it’s also a place for self-sabotage if we aren’t careful. Posting tons of “hot” selfies doesn’t communicate confidence, but it is perceived as the exact opposite from employers and job recruiters. Don’t let your digital selfies lead to your physical demise.

Shaundajay

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