Walking the Tightrope: How to Perfect Your Work/Life Balance

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The fast track to professional burnout is built on the foundation of weak time management. We know how to play the long game, and unless your career has a shelf life-you might want to consider making some healthy changes. Here at 45 Inc., we have the keys to help you foster a work/life balance that can go the distance.

Leave Work in The Office

As tempting as it is to unwind from your day with a glass of wine and an hour-long venting session, we at 45 Inc. recommend that you leave your work at your desk-physically and mentally. Trust us, those problems and frustrations will still be there come Monday morning, so why waste your weekend dwelling on them? See the closing of your office door as a physical manifestation of mentally compartmentalizing that segment of your life for the day. You are closing that box, to be reopened tomorrow, and not later tonight over your chicken parm.

Shut Down

Availability to clients and responsiveness is critical, but if it is at the cost of your mental health-then it is not worth it. You might consider turning off the notifications for your work email from your phone. The email from your coworker about a spill in the microwave is something you do not need to see in your personal time, but instead at your desk bright and early the next morning.

Further, here at 45 Inc., we strongly encourage shutting down. We have become so dependent on our phones that the idea of turning it off for the night seems almost reckless and irresponsible, but it truly does wonders for your work/life balance. By shutting down that technology, you are using those hours at home to actually be at home mentally and physically. We all know that statistically, we spend more hours in the day in the office than with our families, but it is up to us how we spend that time. Whether it be a 30 minute dinner period or a 15-minute car ride to soccer practice- unplug and be in the moment with the people in your life outside of the office.

Take Advantage of Your Office Family

Often times when people consider the work/life balance, they equate the work portion of their day to a prison sentence or an obligation set to ruin their relationships. Understandably, nobody would ever choose to be in the office over spending a day with their family and friends, but that is not to say that a positive community doesn’t exist in the office. Here at 45 Inc., we believe and practice the idea that having a “work family” is key to maintaining a positive work/life balance. You should not have to dread walking through the office doors or making conversation with Katie from HR. When you start to consider the relationships fostered in the office as valid, you may start to find more value in the time spent at work.

From all of us here at 45 Inc., we wish you good luck on the never-ending journey to find the perfect work/life balance. If a Katie from HR is reading this, sorry.

Seizing Opportunities: Andreal’s Story

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Life is filled with 2 sorts of people: those that spectate and those that do. When opportunities arise, the watchers observe, scared to move in fear of challenging their norm, while the do-ers do, rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. Andreal Redricks, top Team Lead at 45 Inc Birmingham, is the latter in every way; a go-getter since birth and force of nature in our Management Training Program.

Born in Boston, where her mother attended Boston University and raised in Detroit, where her family moved for work in the automotive industry, Andreal led a full childhood in a big household (she was 1 of 6 children)! When her parents decided to relocate to Alabama her senior year to take care of their ailing parents, Andreal took advantage of that move as an opportunity to make new friends and have new experiences.

As Andreal matured and welcomed her son, DeMarea into her life, she sought even greater opportunities and relocated the two of them to the beautiful Huntington Beach in Orange County, California! Starting first with our client broker out in Cali, Andreal recalls having a great experience with the sales and client relations portion of the position but not being ready professionally for the management opportunity at that time in her life. When she was recruited into the financial sector, Andreal, like always, dived head first in search of new growth and paths.

Starting first as a personal banker with Wells Fargo and then moving into small business development, Andreal spent the next 5-6 years advising people on their finances and gaining experience in a new industry. When Andreal’s father was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, she quickly relocated him to help with his treatment and care. As the cancer metastisized, Andreal’s father encouraged her to get back into the workforce so she would have something to occupy and challenge her. It was then she had her second opportunity in sales and business management with 45 Inc Birmingham.

Starting with the organization in September 2017, Andreal has brought experience, wisdom, organization, and mentorship to her teammates. She states, “their energy keeps me young, and my experience and advice keeps them grounded.” It’s no wonder in 8 months of working with our company, she’s rapidly excelling through our Management Training Program and was recently recognized as a “Top Leader Pin” recipient at a regional sales conference hosted by our client broker.

With a focus on professional development through reading, Andreal aspires to move into Assistant Management by the end of September and management by the end of 2018. Her plans are to grow the reach of 45 Inc Birmingham to San Diego, reuniting with her son DeMarea who is attending college at Orange Coast…and when Andreal says she’s going to make something happen, we believe her.

Our pride in her development with us is immense, and the great thing with Andreal is we know this is just the beginning for her. When she says she’s going to do something, she does, and when she says she’s going to make it happen she will. Honoring her late father and in hopes of making her mother and son proud, we know Andreal is going all the way here at 45 Inc Birmingham.

Our Advice to May Graduates 🎓

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It’s almost time to store away the books on the shelf and start the next journey of your life! This is a huge milestone personally and professionally. This next chapter most likely seems to start off with a lot of new stress and worries, but we can assure you adventure awaits with unlimited opportunities!  Whether you find your career directly out of college or jobs that are stepping stones to build your strengths and improve your weaknesses, trust in the path that awaits.

We, at 45 Inc Birmingham, have advice for you directly from our management team! Champions don’t start out with the title. Every post-grad has been exactly where you stand and thought the same thoughts that might be going through your mind at this very moment. Fortunately, there will be advice along the way to aid you in your growth and development, like these 3 tips below!

Always hold on to your student mentality!

There is a large difference between having a career and having a job. Individuals who become successful and have quicker career growth consistently learn from their superiors and apply the knowledge they acquire. The keyword here is “apply!” People who go into their day-to-day work routine with a hunger to learn are more open to new opportunities and thus, more prone to success. The biggest names in success take full advantage of self-improvement through asking questions, books, audiotapes, and finding mentors!

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your major!

We interview the finest graduates among the state who come with a vision in mind but sometimes close themselves into a box of what they think they should be doing or what they’ve been influenced to do. You’ve dedicated 4 years to the study of your choice but all that is is a guideline to your interests, not a commitment to forever. At 45 Inc Birmingham, we have the pleasure of working with individuals with engineering, biology, programming, and even mathematics degrees, all who excel in our Management Training Program because of their personalities and open-mindedness, not because of what they chose to study. If there’s anything we can advise, it’s to look for a company’s culture that fits you best, not a title!

Be patient in the process!

Growth is a slow, gradual process. When you start, you may be looking for a management role or a certain pay grade, but remember, those things will come with time. It’s OK to start in an entry level role and it’s OK to not be satisfied with your starting salary – those are all motivators that will push you professionally down the road. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s important to recognize that your starting point is just a dot on a roadmap to bigger and better!

Whether you’re about to walk the stage in May or December, we couldn’t be more excited for you and this next chapter your life. Not everyone accomplishes what you’re about to, so we encourage you to take great pride in this victory before you move on to the working world. No matter where you land or what you find yourself doing, be proud of yourself yet humble and eager to learn. Never underestimate the power of putting your head down and getting to work. Best of luck and welcome to life after college!

Focused on Excellence: Tamara’s Time at 45 Inc Birmingham

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“Feed your focus and starve your distractions.”

Sounds simple enough, right? For some people, it is, and others not as much. Luckily, for Tamara York, this saying evolved into a mantra she repeated to herself as a competitive athlete and now serves as a driving force propelling her through her Management Training here at 45 Inc in Birmingham, AL.

A military child, Tamara was born in Landstuhl, Germany, where her father and family served another 9 years. Growing up in Europe, Tamara was privileged to travel all over, creating memories in London, Czechoslovakia and all over southwestern Germany! When her dad was stationed back to the States to Fort Benning, Georgia, Tamara welcomed the move with excitement and as an opportunity to make more friends. Sociable and extremely likable, even as a child, Tamara developed valuable skillsets moving to a new country that aide daily in her growth here at 45 Inc Birmingham.

Starting basketball in Georgia after a friend dared her she wouldn’t try out for the team, Tamara quickly took to the game and the team-rooted environment. She loved working with others and developed a niche for teaching and training those who started after her. This selflessness, natural leadership ability, and athleticism (she also ran track and played volleyball) led Tamara to Howard College in Big Spring, TX on a basketball scholarship!

2 years, dozens of new friends, and her Associates under her belt, Tamara relocated back home to be closer to family, as well as transfer to the University of Birmingham and further pursue her interest in modeling. The move proved fruitful, as she started to book more modeling gigs and was able to spend quality time with her older sister who was expecting her second baby.

When a good friend encouraged Tamara to expand her resume outside of the local BBQ pit she was working at to attain some tangible business experience, she agreed and the next day began putting her resume on Indeed. A call from 45 Inc Birmingham’s Human Resources team led to a few interviews and before she knew it, Tamara was accepting a part-time position while also juggling her classes in social work!

Fast-forward 6 months later and now Tamara has made a name for herself within our company and on behalf of our clientele, AT&T & DirecTv. She was recently recognized this past weekend at a leadership conference as our company’s top-performer and awarded a pin in front of hundreds of colleagues. Just like an athlete back on the court, Tamara prepares, trains, focuses, stays disciplined and plays her heart out.

With plans of graduating in December with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, Tamara can’t wait to officially move into full-time employment and continue progressing in her Management Training. Her advice to those starting with the company is to not compare yourself to others and instead focus on yourself and your self-development. After all, it’s what’s helped her earn March’s “Rising Star” status and will help her expand our client outside of Birmingham in 2019. 

How to Avoid Job Interview Stress: Tips from 45 Inc's CEO

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Are you looking for a job and getting nervous about the interview process? Here at 45 Inc., we understand you’re definitely not alone. A job search can be really tough, no matter how many times you’ve been on one before. From what to say, to what to wear, there can be a lot of unanswered questions without preparation.

I believe there are two types of people when it comes to the interview process. Ones that perform better under pressure, and ones who crack under stressful situations.Many of us fall into the second category. If that’s you, that just means you have to do a little extra preparation when it comes to nailing your upcoming interview. To help better equip you, I have combined my best advice when it comes to interviewing prep.

Try to Avoid Negative Thinking

To only way to conquer an interview is to be confident. The employer already reviewed your resume, you received a call – now it’s time to shine! Don’t let the negativity in your mind slip in and alter your personality. There will always be doubts such as: “What if they ask me a question that absolutely stumps me and I look unintelligent?” If you are well prepared, you will naturally be able to share some answers which reflect positively on your strengths. If you are completely stumped, say something like “that’s a great question, can I give that some additional thought and get back to you?”. You can even use this as a chance to have a follow-up conversation with the hiring team.

Practice

Practice truly makes perfect. The more comfortable you are when it comes to interviews, the less anxiety you will feel about the entire process. Meet with your previous coaches, mentors, and friends for a couple mock trial runs. This too will help give you better insight into your strengths. These people will be able to critique you and share honest feedback to make sure you are conducting the interview in a way that highlights your strengths and what you can bring to the table.

Focus On Your Goal

Your goal is to obtain a position at the place of employment you desire. Keep the forefront of your mind focused on the success of this vs. the struggle. I learn best by visualizing images of success in my head. Try to imagine what your interactions will be like with your interviewer in a positive manner. If you are too busy focusing on negatives, you may pass up a chance of landing the perfect gig.

At 45 Inc. we believe in giving our candidates the benefit of the doubt as we understand nerves are high during the interview process. Our office focuses directly on making sure our interviewees are comfortable and have the best experience possible during their time with us. We play fun music in our lobby and offer friendly conversation in hopes we will calm your nerves. Our hope is that everyone walks out of our office feeling like they performed their best interview possible. So remember you got this, take a deep breath, and show them what you got!

For more information on jobs at 45 Inc. or more tips, visit our LinkedIn Page!

Sincerely,
Wrinardo McKennedy

He's the Real Deal: Meet Derrick Jackson

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It’s amazing what work ethic and confidence together can produce. The answer here at 45 Inc Birmingham is the #1 sales representative in the entire country!

Meet Derrick Jackson – a music loving, faith driven, hard working Birmingham native! A product of the Magic City’s roughest streets, Derrick grew up with his grandparents as 1/30 siblings, never letting his circumstances define his future. Discovering a passion for music early in his high school years, he threw his focus into playing for his schools drumline and managing choreography for the Birmingham Board Of Education.

Attending the Birmingham JobCorp after his high school graduation, Derrick studied business management with a desire to work face-to-face with people. He quickly found himself holding jobs where he was able to engage with customers, but work that didn’t stimulate or keep him challenged for long. Before finding the 45 Inc team, Derrick last worked with Yellow Cab – a job he attributes to helping him build better conversational skills with strangers.  When he interviewed with 45 Inc and connected with the management team over the company’s unlimited growth based on merit, Derrick knew he had found his professional “home.”

After a month at 45 Inc, Derrick was already setting sales records, consistently earning over $2,000 a week in commissions. Fast forward to the last week of 2017 and he was named, by our client, the #1 sales representative in the COUNTRY over 20 weeks. Mind you this is out of over 1000 individuals stretching from coast to coast. This past week alone Derrick acquired our client 37 new customers, a new record unheard of in company history.

When asked what helps him consistently raise the bar and redefine what “excellence” is, Derrick states that he’s disciplined, determined, and most importantly, dedicated. If he says he’s going to do something, he always follows through until the task is complete. He “steps by faith, not by sight,” believing that he is capable of any sales goal he sets and puts his mind to.

Outside of the office Derrick invests a lot of his time into his church, Salt Of The Earth Ministries! He recalls a time when he was unsure if management at 45 Inc would be plausible for him and his pastor told him “That’s you! That’s you all the way!” The confidence Chief Apostle Gale Ford instilled in Derrick helped him go on and claim every record for our client possible, making himself a shoo-in for a management promotion in 2018.

Still focused on music and making a difference, Derrick is the youth, choir, usher, AND choreography Director for his church. On the rare chance that he’s not in the office or chapel, Derrick LOVES sitting at home eating some good friend chicken and macaroni while catching a movie!

In 2018 Derrick WILL get promoted to management here at 45 Inc, helping our organization grow outside of Birmingham. We feel extremely fortunate to have someone of his talents and work ethic in our company and encourage you to follow our blog as we’ll soon be announcing many more records broken and promotions in the future! Derrick, keep up the amazing work – you’re an inspiration to many!