December 2015 - Tony Astro - Advisor, Businessman, Consultant

Cross-Cultural Competency Test Part 2

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Wish for My Friends and Family for 2016: FAST yet PEACEFUL

10:59:00 AM 0
My Wish for My Friends and Family for 2016:  FAST yet PEACEFUL
Happy New Year to my network and friends.  Here are some thoughts and wishes for the years to come.

Congratulations for completing your 2015 journey, your trials, our adventures and seasons of life. Time to move on to our next goals, prayers and commitment.
My prayers to us, my friends and network connected to the virtual sense is a renewed more vibrant yet quiet, joyful yet more content and progressive 2016 - in a F.A.S.T. world, let it be P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L.

F-Focus Yet Free Spirited
I will now minimize cluttered multitasking like useless Facebook browsing or YouTube peeking.  How we can do it:  Maybe a little more organize and prioritizing work and some meditation will help us concentrate.  At the same time, I will continue to be independent - in that way become more creative and productive in the next 365 days.
A- Adaptable
As a 23 year Navy veteran I am used to moving around and adapt to surroundings around me.  As we become complacent with many comfort (as how I became accustomed to after I retired), I became less adaptable - so my prayer is to easily adapt to those around me without compromising myself. 
S-Social
My wish is to be more socially connected, not in a "gadgetty" sense but more as a real people.  Let there be more real honest interaction face to face & on-line rather than posting an event or sharing a meme and snooping one another with comments. 
T- Truthful and Transparent
Stop trying to look good all the time or saving yourself from short period of minor discomfort by covering yourself with tiny lies and collage of niceties when there is something behind those beautiful facade.  It will sooner or later fade.  Being truthful and transparent makes us free and less stress.



P- Presentable

Show my best side.  This is not the opposite of being truthful but rather accentuating our best side so others can be inspired.  Show our best to others as a respect.  Watch what we wear, post, move, say - to keep us away from trouble and be immortalized in social media. 
E- Energetic
No more complicated diets plans nor short lived workout but real healthy living by watching what we eat, robust exercise daily routine and disciplined lifestyle in moderation. 
A- Active
I will attend an additional network or be proactive in social or community event such as Rotary, Toastmasters officer, Church volunteer, group activities.  It’s best to live in motion again. 
C- Caring and Charismatic
I will be more focus in caring to others as a result becomes more charismatic and be more effective in leading others to succeed and inspire others to live to the fullest. 
E- Enthusiastic

Let us be more passionate and excited on what we do everyday.  Let there be no more days that drag and put all our heart in every opportunity.  Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm. 
F- Faithful
Have faith in something big and small, in our case I believe and have faith in something bigger than me:  God - our creator.  Create a longer quiet time with my Creator and devotion with our God Almighty through longer prayers and reading of His divine words and be more connected in His divine for He is also faithful.  Let us also not deny to have faith with others - in a sense believing or having faith that we and others can be bigger and better.
U- Understanding
I wish for more empathy and understanding of others.  This sharpens my ability to make better decisions by having a more effective people skill “seeing through other people’s eye”.
L-Listening
I wish to be better in listening with an intent to understand and fulfill all of the resolutions mentioned.  Some people listen with an intent to just reply but I wish that all start listening with empathy, be more quiet so more can hear.


The other selfish reason I wrote this FAST PEACEFUL piece is to remind me and hold all my friends accountable that this time my actual "New Year's Resolution" will not be a cliché but a real action in my part - and hopefully in your part as well.

Happy New Year and may you continue to follow your dreams and be inspired in the next few days to take action and really do it!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nourishing our Seasons of Life Series: On Career

11:41:00 AM 0
Nourishing our Seasons of Life Series:  On Career
After a year of transitioning from active duty to civilian, I could tell there was a season in one point of everyone’s life.  We are now in the winter season yet it is a joyful season because Christ was born.  But before winter or cold season there was fall - almost a synonym to tumble, reduction, descent or plummet or collapse.

The past few months I felt like the leaves from my branches and trunks are gone and my purpose as a tree to give shades and color are naked, cold and seems daunting & creepy. The green leaf of constant pay, the abundance of work seems to have faded. Although I or you may still be in the "Fall" season, we should keep our "Garden" of  our Career - supplemented with enough nourishment or compost or SUN: Skills, Understanding & Network.

Skills
What are your expertise?  Is your previous experience still applies in the marketplace?  When you left your previous job, did you assess yourself if you will still be happy with what you are doing, if not then did you train yourself?  Have your reach your "ceiling" that you need to smash it with a "hammer" of new skill?
I was in the field of Human Resources and also a Career counselor in the Navy for 15 years and I enjoyed what I was doing but I realize that I cannot be as marketable when I left the Navy and so I took over our family business, enhance entrepreneurial skills by attending workshops and after a few months have develop a solid understanding of the business and now have established MVOSS Creation LLC. 

I also continued my education finishing my PhD and earn few credentials as career counselor.   I am now an independent counselor working at home and hopefully this month or early next year will publish my Doctorate dissertation:  Career Counseling Using Social Media.  And I think once I have earned this, it will open more doors for me as public speaker, a consultant for social media (I just had a job offer to move to Pentagon with great pay), an advisor for career counselors, university professor, author and more.

So season your tree by enhancing your skills or a new one.

Understanding
Before I transitioned or left the military there were situations that I thought I was doing great, seating on my laurels and so focus on my needs and did not understand or have an empathy with others.  
Looking back, I believe that being responsive, compassionate, and appreciative or understanding that other people matters -  did helped me in situations where I got great evaluations and people around me that I show appreciation benefited me in those successful time, getting perks like:  get to choose the assignments I want, my team supporting my ideas.  In short my career grew when I was more social & being with other people and understand that others have emotions just like me and I am not the center of the world.  So empathize people & understand others.
Networking

Having another person or mentor or someone who’s been there can save us a lot of hard work.  I'm not just talking about social networking, although that is a start.  Get the insight of others by being with a group people to TALK:  Test (your skills), Aspire (to be better), Learn (your industry), Know (key people).
Test your Skills
As I was searching for career counselor jobs a year before I left the military, I tested my ability to speak with civilian and had an interview with local university for a position and realized that I was weak in some areas required to become a civilian or school counselor.  So for a few months I just keep attending Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie and many business networking events and find out that my new skills are becoming a Marketing Manager or a Branding or Advertising. 
Aspire
Get out there and aspire to be someone better than you.  Use the “U” or Understanding by listening and empathizing with others in your chosen network.   By empathizing with someone you learn that you are not alone and someone else have the same feeling as yours – even those whom you think are better or not so much like you.  That you are not inferior nor superior to others or someone else can make it happen successfully.

Learn
Chamber of Commerce, BizConnect, Hampton Roads Business network, UnWined, Knights of Columbus, Trusted Compass, Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie are just a few samples of networking group that attend regularly and have learned here - more that I have actually learned for a year in my expensive Capella University as student.  Learning through networking is the best place to be to soak up knowledge and experience.

Know Key people
Connect with other people and choose a mentor who can help you get to your goals.  If you are in the field of business, humble yourself with someone who is a seasoned entrepreneur who’s been there and done that.  You don’t have to formally ask them to become a mentor but communicate with the leaders of the industry you choose to be in.  

While finishing up my dissertation, I approached two people with PhD and seek their assistance in the career counseling field and as expected they became my mentor and helped me continue my job as independent counselor as well as finish my dissertation.  Thanks to the three PhD mentors I have now and I will now hopefully finish my next milestone in my career – sooner than later.  LinkedIn and Facebook is a good start, be bold, invite them to be in your network.

In Any Season:  There is a SUN and a need to TALK
So, in this most joyous season of all - that happens to be also scary cold with creepy trees, dark and gloomy sky, let’s continue to nourish our Career by nourishing it with SUN:  Skills, Understanding & Network.
And whether it’s your spring, autumn, summer or winter - continue the TALK:  Test (your skills), Aspire (to be better), Learn (from others), Know the Key (people).  Hopefully this will help all our “Career Seasons” be beautiful and well-nourished throughout the year.

Have a Joyful Season.




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