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15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

Whether you’re 14 years old or 94, there’s something in this article for all women. This piece was written to encourage and empower women everywhere and from all walks of life to pursue their dreams and make a positive difference in the world.

1. It’s okay to be successful

You have as much right as anybody else in the world to thrive, succeed, and be happy. Never apologize for being successful. Rather, you should embrace your successes–every single one of them–and know that you’re doing the world a favor by being the successful, thriving woman you were always meant to be. So what does it mean to be successful? That’s completely up to you.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other women

I’ll admit, it’s not easy not to compare yourself to other women, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a woman in the workforce. The dangerous downside to asking yourself who’s better than who is that it inevitably promotes a what-I-don’t-have mentality, rather than a what-I-do-have way of thinking. On the flip side, you should ask yourself, which of this person’s positive qualities can I develop to make myself a better person?

3. Because it’s all right to be different

Besides, what’s the fun in being a cookie-cutter wannabe?

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4. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and emotions

By opening up emotionally, you become happier and live longer; even scientific studies say so. While this is a well-known fact, in Western societies, especially in the United States, being openly expressive is still often seen as a sign of weakness, for women as well as for men, when in reality it can be a sign of confidence and emotional strength and stability.

5. But don’t let your emotions govern your actions

While it’s okay to be emotionally expressive, being in control of those emotions is equally important. Emotions are a powerful human mechanism that, if left uncontrolled, can overpower a person to the point of completely governing their actions, more often than not with very negative consequences. While keeping one’s emotions in check can be more difficult for some than others, this is an ability that anyone can develop and use to prevent a lot of future problems and heartache.

6. Being strong and independent means not relying on a relationship to make you happy

Ever heard of the “overly attached girlfriend”? That’s the exact epitome of what you shouldn’t be. In a relationship, the two people are meant to complement each other, not define one another. If you’re one of those people who have yet to find that special someone, don’t fret. Just focus on being the best version of yourself, and everything that’s meant to be will be.

7. It also means not asking permission to do what you want to do

It’s your life. You do what you like (so long as you’re considerate of other people!). While some, if not many, people will disapprove of what you do and perhaps even try to discourage you, it’s not they who own you! (It’s you, in fact.)

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8. Stand up for yourself

It goes without saying that in order to overcome the skeptics, the discouragers, the haters, etc. you must first learn to stand up for yourself. Oftentimes, your parents or your closest friends won’t be there to hold your hand. Therefore, you must learn to hold your own (pun intended, maybe).

Maybe you’re not as naturally thick skinned as other women. The good news is that any woman can build and develop her self-confidence, although it may take quite a bit of time and effort. If you want to know more about developing your self-confidence here’s an article you should read.

9. But help other women too

So now that you’ve learned to stand up for yourself, now the hard part: learn to stand up for other women too. There’s nothing that shows self-confidence better than offering another woman a helping hand (when you more easily could’ve dragged her down), and there’s nothing like building a bridge, when you’ve helped a fellow woman, that you know you can always cross over when you yourself need help.

10. And uplift them

Be a mentor. Show them their potential. Let them know they’re invaluable. Let them know they can do anything they put their heart into. You get the gist.

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11. Be educated

And no, I don’t mean go to college. While a bachelor’s degree can nicely decorate your resume, it’s not the golden ticket to success (and this is coming from a current college student!). Just be knowledgeable about your stuff, whatever that may be, so that you can work effectively and, just as importantly, be taken seriously.

12. Stay physically healthy

Good physical health almost always correlates with good mental health, and with a strong and healthy mind, you’re bound to do many great things in life.

13. Be financially independent

What if, for example, the person you’re financially reliant on gets sick or dies unexpectedly? Well, I guess you always could ask someone else for money (which, of course, I don’t mean seriously!).

14. We still live in a male-dominated society

Unfortunately, despite having more college degrees than men, women still earn significantly less–78 cents for every dollar a man earns–and frequently face gender discrimination. Fortunately, however, we are a far cry from where we were decades ago and are succeeding every day in making the world a better place for women, albeit just a little slowly.

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15. For that reason, we need mentally strong women like you

After all, there’s only one of you, which means the world doesn’t have enough of you. Make yourself count, and remember, it’s okay to be successful.

Featured photo credit: Politically Incorrect via img.4plebs.org

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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