Posts filed under Community

Why You Should Celebrate Independence Day (Instead of Working)

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Happy Independence Day! On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate the Fourth because it is the official birth of the United States of America. Since 1776, we have been celebrating our freedom and all the reasons that makes our country so great.

Throughout the years, our celebration has evolved into spending time with family and friends. We spend our day at the pool, grilling hot dogs, and watching fireworks. It’s also important that we remember how privileged we are to be able to have choices, personally and professionally, that others do not.

This year's holiday lands mid-week, which is... frustrating. But, it is so important to take time off to celebrate with family. Even if it’s just one day away from the office, time spent with your family and friends helps you gain perspective, prevents burnout, and increases your happiness. You’ll head back to work for the remaining short work week feeling rejuvenated. Who knows, time away from your desk may help you solve a problem at work you’ve been thinking about and you can tackle with fresh eyes!

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we’re celebrating today because we have the ability to help others achieve their “American Dream.” We feel so honored that our clients have chosen us to be part of their career journey.

How are you celebrating July 4th?

Posted on July 4, 2018 and filed under Community, Career.

3 Reasons You Should Be A Mentor (Even If You’re A Newbie)

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Who is the person that has shaped and molded your professional career? This person will have given you advice, provided constructive criticism, and assisted in developing your skills - perhaps both interpersonal skills and “hard” skills. Whoever plays this role in your life is your mentor, even if you’ve never identified him or her as such.

Taking the step from being mentored to mentoring is a scary one for many professionals. You may feel that you lack experience or are underqualified to advise someone else in their career. Even if you are just a few months out of college, there is someone out there that will greatly benefit from being mentored by you.

Here’s Three Reasons Why You Should Be A Mentor

1. You are qualified to be a mentor. Sure, you might only be six months in to your very first job out of college or only a few weeks into your new position. But you are further along than someone. Maybe it’s the intern still in college or your new colleague that was hired last week. The bottom line: you are less experienced than some and more experienced than others. Model how you mentor on what worked for you and your mentor. You can even ask your mentor for help to get started.

If you want a structured mentorship experience, there are many mentor programs that can help guide you in the process of finding a mentee and how to effectively develop the relationship. Ask your company if they have a program and conduct research to find industry-specific programs you can join.

2. Mentoring a great way to develop your leadership skills. Getting your feet wet will always be the best way to learn to swim. Similarly, mentoring someone is the best way to learn how to be a mentor! Your leadership skills will be stretched and challenged, improving them in a very real and tangible way.

Asking for feedback from your mentee is an effective way to build your relationship and also to learn where you need to improve. You both can benefit and learn from each other, which takes the pressure off of you.

3. As a mentor, you can help others. Most job satisfaction comes from having a clear purpose and the knowledge that you are bettering the world in some way. Mentorship provides a way for you to invest in the life of someone who needs help in their career. Being a mentor provides an opportunity to see both short- and long-term results of the fruit of your labor. There is nothing quite like knowing you made a positive impact on the life of another human being!

Take some time to list the strengths and benefits you would boast as a mentor. Then, take steps to find someone to mentor!

Posted on April 25, 2018 and filed under Community.

The Benefit of Truly Unplugging During The Holidays

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Happy holidays! We are in prime-time holiday season with shopping, wrapping, carols, food, classic movies and TV shows, and twinkling lights surrounding us most moments of the day. Even if you love the season, it’s a lot to take in all at one time. And soon your family and friends will be gathering for Christmas, which may also be adding to the mental overload of the holidays.

Whether you get time off this time of the year or not, it can be difficult to truly unplug and relax. Especially if your work connects you with colleagues from around the world who may not observe the same holiday season as in the United States. Emails still come in, phones are still ringing, and projects still need finishing. In today’s world where work email and phone are often connected to your personal cell phone, it’s nearly impossible to separate yourself from your professional life.

If you are on the job hunt, it can be an even more stressful time of year. It’s easy to spend every waking moment searching through the postings and contacting potential employers. While it’s a good endeavor, it’s exhausting. Taking a break for a couple of days won’t result in a missed opportunity. Most employers will be off around this time anyway, so that extra application and follow up email can be put on hold for a few days.

Another big culprit for holiday stress is social media and the news. This constant information dump can take a toll on our energy and our ability relax. When scrolling through our feeds, it’s easy to be stressed, anxious, worried, and discontent.

Even though it’s difficult to unplug, it’s important for our physical and mental health. Why not take a break from all of it for a few days. A detox from technology and work will leave us refreshed and refueled for the New Year.

So here’s your challenge this holiday season - be intentional about unplugging. Even if it’s just for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, take steps to “turn off” your work to relax and enjoy time with family and friends without interruption.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to truly unplug this holiday season:

  • Go to the settings in your mobile phone and turn off your work email. It should be a simple toggle switch that you can flip back on when you’re ready to get back to work.

  • Send out an email to your team and clients stating that you will not be reachable during a specific time period. Also, set the out of office on your work email so those that forget will be reminded!

  • Get all of your work projects wrapped up before the holidays. If that’s not possible, put together a strategic plan for completion that includes at least a couple of days for downtime.

  • If you use your phone as your camera, turn on airplane mode and turn off the wifi. Or better yet, grab an “old fashioned” camera and leave your phone out of sight.

What would you add to the list? Comment below and let us know how you are unplugging this holiday season.

Posted on December 20, 2017 and filed under Community.

Being Thankful When Looking for Work

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It’s almost Thanksgiving! Lots of family, friends, good food, and entertainment are in the forecast for many of us. If you’re looking for a job, however, you might have a difficult time shaking the dark cloud that’s casting a shadow on your holiday festivities. It’s hard to be thankful when you don’t have a secure income and job you love.

But there is much to be thankful for, even when you are looking for work!  Here’s a list to help keep things in perspective:

5 Reasons To Be Thankful While Looking For A Job:

  1. Looking for a job can be fun! The sky's the limit with the new opportunities you have to explore. Securing a job is one way to make a positive change in your life by finding a position that will bring fulfillment, satisfaction, and good work/life balance. What better time to be “picky” about what you are looking for and find the perfect fit.

  2. You aren’t alone! Everyone has been in your shoes at one time or another. It’s rare to meet someone who was handed their job without having to search, create a resume, cover letter, apply, and interview for it. Take advantage of the wisdom and insight your friends and family can provide by asking for their thoughts and advice over turkey and pumpkin pie.

  3. There are FREE resources available to you! You can google virtually anything you need help with and someone will have posted about it online. Just make sure you are finding quality, professional resources and advice! This blog is a great, free resource to glean tips and best practices. In fact, here’s a few you might want to bookmark:

  1. You don’t have to pound the pavement like you would have 20 years ago. Before the internet was prevalent, job seekers had to print a copy of their resume and either mail it to an employer, or physically drive to their office and drop it off with a secretary. Now, you can apply for dozens of jobs a day from the comfort of your own home. You also don’t have to scour newspapers and circle job openings with a highlighter. Job search engines make it incredibly easy to find opportunities!

  2. Caring professionals at The Wilbanks Consulting Group want to help you! Our team would love to partner with you to make your job search result in a fun, fulfilling career for you. We offer one-on-one in-person and virtual career coaching and many other job search services. Contact us today and let us help you find your dream job.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Relief without Red Tape Gift Card Drive!

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Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us since Harvey hit Houston. As a quick update, our consultant Adrianne is back in her home, and her home is dry! Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for all of Houston. In fact, there is an entire section of the city known as "West Houston" that's still under water. 

The pictures above are pictures from my neighborhood during and after the flood. This scene, piles of debris, gutted homes and memories on the curb, is what a staggering number of neighborhoods in Houston look like right now. The need for aide and relief throughout the city remains significant. Working professionals and families continue to struggle to meet their basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, gasoline to get to and from work, and the list goes on. Many relief organizations and government assistance options require a lengthy and cumbersome paperwork process to receive aide IF they qualify. While I logically understand the need for process and procedure, I want to provide a faster, less burdensome solution to getting the people of Houston what they need; no questions asked. No red tape! As such, I've come up with two gift card drive options. 

Option 1: Gift Cards to CVS and Walgreens

After speaking with my son's pediatrician, the need to assist families with prescription medications is great. In disaster situations like this, even families who have insurance struggle to come up with the funds for their copay. He does not know of an organization currently meeting this need. The gift cards to CVS and Walgreens will be collected in any amount and distributed to pediatric practices at The Woman's Hospital of Texas - Houston Hospital and Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care centers. The gift cards will then be distributed by the healthcare staff to families in need, as needed, no questions asked. If you're interested in the ultimate no red tape relief, this is your option! This option is NOT tax deductible. 

Option 2: Gift Cards to Various Retailers Providing Basic Needs

My initial inclination was to collect gift cards to retailers that specialize in or carry clothing to help working professionals rebuild their professional wardrobes. Dress for Success Houston has informed me that the needs of Houston professionals are so great, they are collecting a broad spectrum of gift cards to meet all of their needs. We will be collecting gift cards in any amount to the following stores and businesses, and giving them to Dress for Success Houston to distribute to their community, as needed, no questions asked:

Walmart                                Randalls                          Mobil

Target                                   HEB                                  Chevron

JCPenney                             Kroger                              Phillips 66

Marshalls | T.J. Maxx            Fiesta                               Exxon

For this option, Dress for Success Houston will provide donors with a letter indicating their tax-deductible donation. Please submit your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and sum total amount of the gift card(s) you are donating with your gift card(s) to receive your letter. If you do not want a tax-deductible letter, please specify that.

All gift cards can be mailed to the following address:
Holly Wilbanks, WCG
6300 West Loop South
Suite 360
Bellaire, TX 77401

Want to take your support to another level? 

Spearhead a gift card drive within your company, worship center, networking or professional group, your child's school, etc. Collect gift cards for one of the options listed above, and mail them to us. We'll make sure they get to the right people! If you collect gift cards for Option 2, please e-mail me at Holly@WilbanksConsulting.com for a spreadsheet that will help you track donor information for tax-deduction purposes.

Thank you again for your support of our city and our people. Please continue to keep the people of Houston in your thoughts and prayers. 

Posted on September 19, 2017 and filed under Community.