Posted in Career, Review

What I Learned from Groot

Just finished watching Avengers: Infinity War with the family at CGV Cinemas in Buena Park, CA (shameless plug). The movie runs for 2 hours and 40 minutes but has you hooked just 5 minutes in. This blog won’t go into any details that will spoil the movie but I wanted to share something we can take from the movie and put into our work life.

One thing I love about team superhero movies such as the Avengers is that it shows each members’ strengths and weaknesses and that no role is insignificant when it comes to achieving the team’s ultimate goal.

I mentor a lot of young professionals and something I often hear them say is that they feel their position is going nowhere and that their role is not really important to the overall success of the company. I can can definitely relate to that sentiment, however, I always tell them that if a position does not contribute anything meaningful to the company, they wouldn’t create that position in the first place. Whether you realize this or not, your presence in important.


One of my favorite characters in Avengers: Infinity War is Groot. As part of the Guardians of the Galaxy team, and now what we would consider a “teenager,” you would think, at first glance, that his role is not important at all, until his strength and skills became the important piece to finish a project. The one thing I love about his character is that he never felt insignificant. He knew his role and understood that his role was not quite needed yet, but he made sure that he was aware of what was happening with his team and was ready the moment that he was needed.

Let Groot, who is part of a big team, be a reminder that there are no small roles in any team. Do not be weary and anxious but be observant and do what you can to make the load easier for the team.


We may not be Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther or Thor but that does not mean we are less important. Always remember: our skills and expertise play a part in achieving the vision of the team or company that we are a part of.

Happy Monday and thank you for the visit and the read.



Posted in Career

Quotes to Help Start Your Week

After a great weekend, it’s always difficult to motivate ourselves on a Monday. But as I’ve learned lately, if we want to be successful we should find ways to be excited everyday. When we allow ourselves to enjoy the weekend and the rest it gives us we should feel happy, rejuvenated, and excited for Mondays; after all it’s a day where we can push the restart button and have a fresh start.

I’ve chosen 5 quotes in the hopes that they will help inspire us for the next 5 days.

Love your work1. Falling in love with your work does not mean putting all your time at work. It means to be present and always aspire to do things excellently.


Steve Jobs

2. Don’t settle for just any job. Find what you are passionate about and do a great job. Remember, whatever position you are in right now is where you are currently meant to shine the brightest. Make the most out of it and prepare yourself for the next level.


No one ever made a difference3. As mentioned in my last blog, following the current trends is not always the way to go. In order to make a difference one must be different.


Be Grateful

4. Enjoy each day and be grateful always. Nothing can and will be done if you worry about things that are out of your control.

Be Open5. Keep your heart and mind ready for whatever comes your way during the next season of your career and always celebrate the process.

Wishing you well and that this week will be wonderful!

happy reading,
Cicelle your happy blogger in Cali 🙂

Posted in Career

3 Life Principles I Live By


I have met great leaders in my 20+ year journey of finding my career path. Some leaders I met through books that I read, others are academic professionals, spiritual leaders, and some are industry leaders. Although I’ve learned a great deal from all of these leaders, there are 3 who played an integral role in shaping who I am now.

Two were the first set of people who taught me that life is not about how much one makes. What’s truly important is how they live life and the legacy that they leave behind. The third leader is a fierce female leader who I met almost  2 years ago. I was given the briefest time to enjoy her presence but her vivid love for life left such an impact in me that I want to emulate that everyday as I press through to becoming a Woman Leader.

Here are 3 Nuggets of Truth that I learned from these 3 beautiful people.

Vicente Domingo


I remember my Dad as an insatiable reader who favored biographies and memoirs. The definition of brilliant. Throughout my childhood he always reminded me of the difference between good and nice (which is now one of the guiding principles in my life). He believed that both are traits that a person should have but would also always say: “Chique, when choosing to be good or be nice always choose to be good. The difference is in the decision making.”
Being good means to consider your values and your life principle, while being nice first considers the views and expectation of others.

Conchita Lashley


My Mom, who is the very first #GirlBoss I ever met, exemplified what it meant to be a #GirlBoss decades before the term was even coined. She knew that she wanted to teach other women how to be leaders in their field and be the best they can be. She will still remind me that

“building a career should not be about money but about the legacy you leave behind. The satisfaction you get at the end of the day knowing that you hustled hard without compromising your beliefs, values, and principles. And it will be the thing that people will remember about you long after you’re gone.”

Linda Spencer


I have worked for various industry leaders but one woman has stood out among all of them. This lady from New Jersey built her company in the heart of Orange County in Southern California. Standing toe-to-toe with giant companies with better technology and more resources, this women-owned boutique staffing company and its fearless leader are proof that everyone has a shot and everything is fair game. During one-on-ones in her office she would tell me:

“Never apologize for who you are. Once you apologize, who are you?” She would say: “CiCi, apologize for things you did wrong. Never because of who you are, never apologize for being a woman, for your race and culture, for whatever you want to use as an excuse. No one will take you seriously when you don’t take yourself seriously and know who you are.”

These three wonderful leaders took the time to instill a mindset of authenticity as well as success. Although they said things differently they shared a message, the success is not real if you needed to compromise parts of yourself.

Their words have paved the way for people like me with big dreams and I hope that by sharing their words with you that you are inspired to jumpstart your success.

happy Monday and thank you for the visit and the read.


love always,

photo credit: Heather Stillufsen



Posted in Career

Back From Hiatus & 5 Books to Read to Start 2018


I took a hiatus from my Happy Monday Blog during the last quarter of 2017. A lot has happened in that time, the biggest thing being that I started a new job and joined a great talent firm based in South Florida. The best part is: I get to work from home and avoid the LA traffic (if you live or have even just visited LA you know exactly what I’m talking about). Went through some learning curves and had to get used to working from home again but I’m here now to start the year right and getting back in the groove.

On this blog I would like to share some of my goals for the year. One is to consistently publish a weekly blog (I will be intentional about this) and two is to read more. These are the five books that I’ve chosen to read for the first quarter of this year. Some of the books were purchased years ago and I never got to them or I never had a chance to finish them. Sharing it on here will be my way of pushing myself to finish them and share with you what I learn.


Combined, the five books are about learning how to work simply while reinventing yourself on how to be awesome and finding happiness in cracking your career code. You’ll understand this at the end of the blog :p

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
This book was based on the author’s hit blog and it talks about learning to celebrate the little moments, those moments that we may think are insignificant due to our hectic schedule but may have the potential to change our perspective in life. In a world where it’s easy to find the negatives, it’s nice to know that we are given moments to celebrate the little things that are great.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I have been a follower of Rubin’s blogs at ever since my daughter picked up this book 2 years ago. She swears by it and although I have yet to read the book her blogs are helpful to stay focused and avoid getting too into the mundane things so that we remember to smile and be happy. The book will never discourage in feeling disappointed, frustrated, or sad but what it showcases is that we should not wallow on the negative feelings and miss out on the beautiful things around us.

Work Simply by Carson Tate
We’ve heard these words so many times – “Work Smarter, NOT Harder” but what does that really mean for someone who works in an organization with multiple personalities? How can we work smart manage our time wisely? Oftentimes we end up spending time developing the process rather than actually working to produce results. This is one of the books I have read and has become a guide whenever I consult with people and/or when I am given the responsibility for multiple tasks. The author encourages the readers to embrace our productivity style:
1. Arrangers – one who thinks about their projects in terms of the people involved
2. Prioritizers – the real definition of “goal-oriented” individual
3. Visualizers – one who possesses a unique ability to comprehend the big picture
4. Planners – one who lives for details
This is a great read for those who are struggling to find their productivity style.

Reinventing You by Dorie Clark
Are you looking to change careers or vying for that promotion at work? Then this book will be a good start to understand how to define your brand and how to reinvent yourself for success. First ask the question “Am I where I want to be professionally?”, and if not what are you going to do about it? The book mentioned that the goal is clear: to build a career that thrives on your unique passions and talents. This is a step-by-step guide developed by the author, a branding expert whose clients’ include Google, The Ford Foundation and Yale. The steps she developed will help in assessing our unique strengths, develop a compelling personal brand and ensure that others recognize the powerful contribution we can make.

The Career Code by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power
One of my great finds for 2017. This is one book that I’m re-reading as the year starts. The book is created with every professional from all walks of life in mind. “No matter if you’re starting out or starting over, or you’re an entrepreneur managing a team of people, The Career Code will help you navigate the corporate ladder and set you up for success all the way. The tried and tested rules to live by will give you all the tools you need to achieve your dream career.”

I read in an article once that the difference between successful individuals and others is that they set aside time to read a book and learn from others. My aim with sharing this blog is to get us to start reading more and learning more from seasoned professionals and thought-leaders to help us accomplish our goals.

Happy Monday to all and happy reading!


Note: All books are available at Amazon, both electronic and print.

Posted in Career

It’s a marathon not a sprint

I have been a running enthusiast for the last 7 years. What I love the most is the energy it brings me every time I hit the pavement and hear the thump thump of my shoes on the ground; but it wasn’t always like this. In the beginning, running and I had a love/hate dynamic: when I couldn’t even last 5 minutes, let alone a mile, and I was always so winded. The struggles are real and if you talk to other runners they will tell you the same thing. But as they say: you have to start somewhere.

I have likened career growth to running. If you want to achieve something in life you will have to learn to pace yourself. Start somewhere and work on it consistently until it becomes a daily part of your life.

As a Career Stylist I always advise professionals to take stock on developing an area of expertise. Find what you enjoy most in the field you are in because somehow this is where your passion lies.


For example
Let’s say you are a Mechanical Engineer for a biotech company and you enjoy the process improvement and qualifying installation, both operation and performance. I would advise you to inquire any available training within your company or request if they have the available budget for career advancement. Some companies do and some do not but if you are serious in advancing your career you will find other ways whether it’s paying for training on your own, investing on books, or asking senior people in your company to mentor you.

Remember that, like running, career advancement has a process which starts with you making the decision to want to better your craft and learn the techniques, pace yourself and then keep running no matter how hard it may seem. Starting may lead to a chance to enter a race and then get to the finish line.

Smiley thumbs up
Happy Monday and may this week be the start of something good for you.

Posted in Career

Gen Y and Z: “will I fit in?”

I am fascinated when it comes to learning about different generations because knowing their history will make me understand certain behaviors and nuances and how they will continue to affect the society they live in. As we know GenY, commonly known as “the Millennials” (born 1977 to 1995), are dominating the market from jobs to consumer goods; although a new generation is coming out called the GenZ or iGen or Centennials (born 1996 to present).

These 2 generations are dominating the job market either by getting the job because of their modern technology expertise or by bringing jobs as entrepreneurs. Their innovative spirit and active imagination make them more and more attractive to hiring managers.
Millennials and Gen Z

Knowing this, how will the older generations fit with the new breed of talents and still provide a significant contribution? If you notice I did not use the word “compete” and instead used the word “fit” because statistics show that older generations will only lose if we start competing. The word “fit” makes a world of difference to both Baby Boomers and GenXers, by taking out the pressure of showing who’s better and instead brings the significance of each generation and how they can work cohesively with one another.

In my research I’ve learned that the events that each generation experiences shapes who they are not just personally but professionally, if each generation brings in their unique expertise and skills then a winning team has been created.

Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) have the largest voting population, some of the most significant part of their history is the emergence of some of the most influential leaders  such as John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X. Unfortunately these 3 remarkable leaders were also assassinated, with both JFK and MLK’s assassinations televised. This generation endured the worst political scandal, Watergate, but also enjoyed booming post war economic success. Baby Boomers will always be known as the generation who can re-surface after a fall and will work hard to ensure that the generation to come will not experience the sufferings they faced.

GenX (born 1965 to 1976) this generation is also known as the “lost generation” “slackers”, “the latchkey kids”, “the middle-child generation”. They are mainly known for being neglected or ignored. One might ask who the heck are they? They are the generation who has seen the highest divorce rate and the rise of the AIDS epidemic. One significant event that this generation experienced was that on July 20 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon manned by 3 astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. This generation saw that nothing is impossible when your vision is larger than life. GenXers produced the likes of Elon Musk of Tesla Motors; Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google; Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO; Sheryl Sandberg CFO of Facebook; and JayZ well…does he need any more introduction?
GenX Leaders

How will these 2 generations fit and work with GenY and Gen Z? Baby Boomers have the resilience of a bamboo, they’ve seen and experienced how hard life can be and their wisdom will be a great contribution to the emerging generation. GenX can no longer be called lost, they found their way and have shown the world that they are great leaders and mentors.

As long as we stay relevant to what the world needs rather than with what is merely trendy, it does not matter what generation we come from. What truly matters is what we can provide for the next generation to continue help make the world a better place.

Credit Resources includes: Gen HQ, Inc., NASA, Forbes,