Work Woes

If you’ve watched HBO’s Insecure, you’ve seen the horrors Issa was experiencing at her job. She was removed from the field, her boss digs at her every chance she gets, and when Issa offers her advice her boss disregards it. I’m so glad she quit. It was beyond time! And chileee, things were getting rough!

Anyone who’s had a job for more than a day knows that sometimes your boss just can’t get it together! And for those of you in school, for every teacher/professor you like, you have two you can’t stand. But before you jump ship or drop your class, Here are a few ways to combat issues with your professor/supervisor, cause you know I got yall!

1) Boss reprimands/demotes you/you fail an assignment

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image credits:pastemagazine.com

You forget to study and bomb your test. You miss a deadline on a project. Or maybe you mess up BIG time. Luckily you didn’t get fired or fail completely, but the sting is there. Our actions have consequences. Messing up makes you want to quit the job and/or drop the class. It happens to the best of us, but grade in class or your reputation at work can both be salvaged if you take action ASAP.

First, talk to your professor/supervisor. If you screw up at work, your supervisor is probably going to approach you first (hooray?). Depending on the situation they will create an action plan as a disciplinary measure or they might put you on a probation period.

On the other hand, Working with professors might be different. Visit your professor during their office hours to go over where you went wrong on your assignment, project or paper. If you did poorly on a test, ask them for support.

In either scenario, convey to your supervisor/professor that you understand where you went wrong, and that you are going to work to ensure better results next time (and apologize!). Whether you’re completing extra work, getting their input on upcoming projects, asking for extra credit, or going to tutoring; prove that you are working hard to turn things around. Rebuilding trust your grades and rapport takes time, but it can be done.

2) Boss/professor favors coworkers/classmates over you

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image cred: http://www.hollywood.com/tv

No matter how hard you try, your professor never seems enthusiastic when you answer a question in class. When your supervisor comes in every morning, they speaks to your other coworkers, but when they walk past your desk all they do is wave. You start to feel some type of way.  Even though you haven’t done anything (or did you?) you can’t figure out why they don’t vibe with you! If the thought of your boss hating you really bothers you, it might be worth it to set up a meeting with them to make sure you are hitting all your duties well. Listen to their feedback and make adjustments in your behavior or performance. If after you’ve taken these steps and nothing changes, remember that you can’t make everyone like you; and you shouldn’t have to. Whatever you do, don’t kiss up to them; no one respects a brown noser. As long as they are treating you with respect and aren’t discriminating against you, do your best work, keep a positive attitude and keep it moving. Further, focus on the professional relationships that have opportunity to flourish (those are the ones that will provide you with great references and recommendation letters!). Not every professional or superior is going to be your bestie and that’s okay!

3) Boss/professor is disrespectful

The most direct approach is to talk to them about it. If you are comfortable, talk to your professor or supervisor about what they said or did to you. Be honest and provide an example of what was done or said and why it was inappropriate or offensive. Give your boss or professor a chance to respond. Just like us, bosses and professors make mistakes. They might apologize for what happened; or they might not even realize that how they acted was wrong. If you aren’t satisfied with the conversation, if you begin to feel uncomfortable or if the conversation turns into an argument, remove yourself from the situation. Resist the urge to pop off! Whether you speak to them about the incident or not, Document what was said when it happens, and each time if there are multiple offenses. Be as detailed as possible (include dates, times, and the names of persons involved), as this will come in handy when you talk to HR or your dean. Your dean, counselor or HR department can provide you with insight on how these situations are handled; and can stand in the gap and advocate for you when you’ve been disrespected. You do not have to go through struggles at work or school alone. It can also help to vent to a TRUSTED coworker or mentor. They too can give you advice if they’ve been in this boat before (and remind them to keep your conversations confidential).

4) Making your exit and moving forward

I hate not finishing what I’ve started. If you’re anything like me you’ve been raised not to be a quitter, to be strong, and work through whatever life throws at you. But there comes a time when leaving things behind is acceptable and smart. Your jobs and/or classes are supposed to bring out the best in you, not the worst! We all deserve to have peace and respect at our jobs and classes. If a job or a class is impacting your emotional/ mental health; let it go.

This article was written by Brooke Denham. You can follow her on Instagram @brookelynnheart

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Letter From the Editor: To the Class of 2022; Happy Fall 2018!

Fall is upon us, at least that’s what it feels like in Michigan where I currently reside. As editor in chief and CEO of RG4C, there’s a lot I am grateful for as we embark into a new season! For one, the RG4C brand has grown tremendously these past 10 months. I couldn’t be happier on how God has developed our online platforms, especially the digital magazine. We are now comprised of several contributing writers and a executive team that will help spearhead events and collaborations in the months to come. Our contributing writers are adding a unique voice to RG4C to make sure we touch on the issues you, our readers, care about. Being a young adult in today’s world can be tough, but we want to be that bridge where you don’t have to compromise who you are to speak about the things you love.

Some of our recent accomplishments I am happy to share is we were able to bless two young women in our Fall 2018 “Back to School Giveaway”. The winners each received an Amazon gift card and our grand prize winner received a special gift bag from the team.

When I started RG4C, I wanted to reach college students, so that will alway be the audience we hope to reach in the articles we write and events planned. In the same regard, I would like to share a few things with the incoming class of 2022. To every young woman who has recently entered college and is slowly settling in.  As I too, start the second year of my doctoral program, I am reflecting on my own journey from undergrad to now. These were the days when everything was fun and exciting, filled with great expectations and possibilities. While all of that is true, I want the incoming class to be mindful of a few things as you navigate through your first year.


College

College is a place where you will grow in ways you’d probably least expect. It’s more than just academic growth, you will grow as a person, in your relationships, and how you see the world. But that’s what makes the experience so unique. The life you will experience along the way will have a huge impact on who you become years from now. So as you begin this new journey of life, I want to share a few things I learned during my own undergraduate years that I hope will be beneficial in your journey:

Be Unapologetically You

If you haven’t learned already, you will soon discover that your college has a culture of its own. At times, you may feel uncomfortable around certain people, or surprised at how different you realize you are from others. Whatever the case may be, be you! It’s easy to try to blend in when we are new and wanting to quickly adapt, but don’t let that stop you from letting your light shine on your unique qualities and personality. The world needs someone like you, so although college is a time of growth, don’t forget to always- be unapologetically you.

Get Out of Your Dorm Room

This one is a big deal because if your at a school miles away from home or in an entirely new country, there will be moments of homesick and the desire to stay in your dorm room vs getting out and meeting new people. I challenge you all this semester, even if you are not homesick to get out of your dorm room! Even if that means attending a game night that your R.A puts on downstairs in the lounge or going to a sporting event. Stepping out of your comfort zone and getting comfortable being uncomfortable will help your transition be a lot smoother and enjoyable.

Join an Organization That Shares Similar Values

Similar to getting out of your dorm room, joining an organization your first or second semester of college has lot of benefits, and finding one that shares similar values that you hold is key. I know many of you heard or attended an event your first week where all the student organizations, fraternities and sororities got to showcase who they are and what their organization is about. They may have even had a sign up list for you to stay connected. If you signed up, those emails will come through. Don’t ignore them, but pick a few events that you’d be open to participate in. You don’t necessarily need to join right away, but attending meetings and events is a great way to try out the organization, and find out what they truly stand for. Joining a community within your campus is so important. We need others in our circle and in life. Finding the right one may take some time, but when you do, go for it and join!

Use the Resources Around Campus

I wish I would have heard this one more during my time in undergrad, but thats why I’m telling you now. Find the different resources on campus and use them! There are so many resources to help you from the writing center, math tutors, career services, therapy/counseling, volunteer opportunities, study abroad, and scholarships! Its usually not until we are in desperate need or pushed against a deadline that we seek these out. What I have learned is, when you take advantage of them now, you will be more successful later and less likely to find yourself in a stressful bind. So get an early start, and take advantage of the resources early.

Connect With Believers on Campus

If I could shout this one from the rooftops, I would. Connecting with like-minded believers on campus will keep you grounded and grow spiritually while learning how to navigate your young adult life. At my univeristy, there were about 60 Christian organizations on campus, so finiding the right one was literally a God-thing because I didn’t have to try out all of them (which I had no intentions of doing) For me, I found out about a Christian church on campus during my “Welcome Back Week”. That same semester I joined the gospel choir, and a year later, a girl in my class invited me to Bible Study one night which became my favorite thing to attend during the week. I will say, its important to listen to the teachings and doctrines you hear in these groups, because not all of the teachings line up with scriptures (but thats a discussion for another time). With that in mind, follow peace in your heart, do some research on the organization, and know that your spirituality does not have to be neglected just because you are in college.

Have Fun & Stay Focused

Last, but certainly not least, have fun and always stay focused. College is an amazing opportunity that many are not granted. Use your time wisely and make the most out of the years you have there. Always know that God is by your side, every step of the way.

The “812” crew after our first bible study of the year back in 2013!

Peace, Love, & Blessings,

Ja’La Wourman

I Graduated, Now What?!

Graduation season is upon us, and so it begins: the question that leave most graduates anxiously thinking of what to say without sounding uncertain or lost:

So, what are your plans after graduation?

That question can seem paralyzing if you honestly don’t know what’s next. You’ve just finished one of the most demanding programs of your life where you probably were stretched in many ways socially, personally, intellectually, and spiritually. Receiving that degree and crossing the  stage was one of the most important things on your mind. But now, that day is over. The celebration  and photographs with family and friends has ended. And reality has just sunk in. Continue reading “I Graduated, Now What?!”

Finals got you Stressed?

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Dear Gems,

If you’re a student like me, whenever this time of the semester rolls around you already know what tries to creep into your system – stress, anxiety, worry, YOU NAME IT #ShirleyCaesar

But before you go thinking about how much work you still need to do – take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I’m going to make it.”

Pushing through those final papers, projects, and presentations can be challenging. You see the finish line but still have this huge test to pass just to get there. It’s like when a parent pours their child a cup of juice and says “you can’t drink this until you eat all of your food” – but the juice is literally in front of their eyes, within reach.

So what do you do?

Stay disciplined, and finish strong.

Finishing the semester strong is within your reach. Passing your finals is within your reach. It may take some late nights, discipline, and determination but you will make it through if you give it all you’ve got. You’ve made it this far. Why slow down now?

As you push through your finals week, here are a few motivating quotes to get you through the end of your semester:

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Zig Ziglar

 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.” – Deuteronomy 28:13

Remember, you got this! & when you feel like you don’t, God has your back and will help you in times of need.

Blessings & Love,

Ja’La