Meet the Author

Aqueelah Wheatley, M.S., LMFT

Aqueelah is a full-time therapist that enjoys helping others through her writing. Her blogs consist of fun and helpful advice, a variety of opinions, psychoeducation, and a good bit of humor

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  • Aqueelah Wheatley, M.S., LMFT

Updated: Nov 23

I was tapped by Gianna Prudente, a LinkedIn editor, to be a contributor in a newsletter that asked, How can young professionals develop skills on their own time? And how can they find employers who are committed to upskilling employees?

I think it is time for a change in perspective. One key piece of advice that has catapulted me away from hopping from one unfulfilling job to the next into four worthwhile streams of income is understanding and applying the concept that a person does not have to work the job that they do not apply for. Sounds simple right? But often, individuals look for work out of a sense of financial desperation and are so focused on selling themselves that they do not take the time to consider whether the role they are seeking is holistically the most beneficial opportunity for them. As an active therapist and life coach, I have spoken with clients that have admitted to fabricating core items such as their availability, job skills, and actual interest in the role itself. This is what I like to call a foot-in-the-door tactic. However, once that foot is severed, a person will continue to be left hobbling from one opportunity to the next. Why do that to yourself?????

When I departed from my role as a risk management specialist in 2018, I was initially devastated, and it was hard to see past the intense need to recover emotionally and financially at all costs. However, after I allowed myself to process the perceived loss, I was able to celebrate the opportunity to pursue a field that I was genuinely passionate about. I made a decision there and then that I would not apply for any more roles that were outside of my degree track. Did this new route take more time? Yes. However, I used that time to find ways to make myself an asset to future employers by seeking out training and certification opportunities online. The simple fact is that employers invest in candidates that invest in themselves, so being able to show an employer a genuine interest in building yourself outside of them will bode well at the negotiating table (Quoted in the Linkedin newsletter, Keeping the balance) However, this investment does not stop at YOU’RE HIRED. Orientation is only the starting line, not the finish.

In my experiences, I have found that organizations typically offer growth prospects at no cost to the employees, such as training modules, opportunities for certification, etc.; some employers even pay for or reimburse for additional college credits or degree achievement. One of the best ways to give back to yourself while working for someone else is to take the time to take the courses and grow your knowledge of your current role as well as the roles you may want to grow into.

The truth is that the days of having to commit to a traditional university experience are over. If you work days, go to school at night. Don’t have time to commute, go online. Make room for self-improvement; make room for yourself! As a full-time therapist, life coach, Ph.D. student, and mother of three, I can honestly say there are enough hours in a day, and when it's not, there's always coffee.

The last nugget of advice I would lend to anyone seeking an employer committed to upskilling employees is to leave the need to be hired at the door. Employers can smell the desperation in an interviewee, and with that, a majority of bargaining power is lost with the first whiff of excessive perspiration. Just like in any relationship, employers value the chase. They want to feel they are getting a catch, not catching a cold. Make them feel wanted, yes, but don’t drool over them like the last Krispy Crème. If self-care is important to you, tell them so. If having weekends off with family is imperative for a greater work-life balance, then scream it from the rooftops! VALUE YOURSELF!! Value your time and value your energy. Remember, interviews are not one-sided, so don’t make the goal solely about getting the job; make the goal about finding enhanced fulfillment in the employment you seek and see if that change in perspective doesn’t change your life.

  • Aqueelah Wheatley, M.S., LMFT

Being a part of a blended family can come with many obsticles, each family awakening different challenges specific to their circumstance. In my case, I brought two children into my marriage, and my husband brought none. In most of the articles I've read, it was expected that the partner entering from a previous marriage brought in the children, but in our home, it's quite the contrary. Before my husband met and shamelessly pursued me as his wife, lol, he had never even dated a woman with children, and admittedly never planned to, which means he had next to no experience with children, and I mean nilch. Lol. So why no walking papers? Well aside from my enamore with his charm, I figured if he was willing to compromise and open his mind for me, I could, at the very least, do the same. Still, I'll say that his lack of experience definitely slowed down the process of him meeting them almost to a complete halt! Nevertheless they met, and to my surprise he was a natural! and outside of the occasional foot swallow, he pretty much stayed on everyone's good side, and it didn't take long at all for his relationship with them to begin to bloom like May flowers. Now that we're married, no one would think twice about him being the most well-fitted piece to our family puzzle...but then there's dad. Yes! Contrary to popular beliefs and ethnic sterotypes, all african american fathers don't disappear after conception. With that being said, one out of two of my children's fathers actually play a very active role in the lives of both children, but I must admit, since being married, finding a place where him and my husband both comfortably fit, though necessary, has been more than exhausting. I know my husband loves my little knuckleheads, and has established a relationship with them that grows more everyday, but dad will always be dad, and I think it takes a toll on him sometimes. And now that dad no longer has a girlfriend all his recent texting with mom is not on my husband's top 100 things to hear about. Though innocent in nature, I understand my husband's dismay, as no one wants to feel like and outsider with a wife and children they claim as their own. So the more dad persists, the more hubby draws back and I'm stuck making up the difference. Anyone from a blended family can understand that gradually trying to integrate a new parent into an already working dynamic, trying to agree on disciplinary methods, and getting them familiar with the children's idiosyncrasies is not the easiest job on the market for any new married couple, but can be made twice as hard when there is an involved third party. To his credit however, their father barely interferes. Outside of throwing hearsay from the children back and forth every once in awhile, he seems to make it a point to keep his focus on the children, and stay out of our way. Even in this, I must say we've still had our fair share of awkward moments and growing pains so far, and though I feel very blessed to have two men so eager and detemined to be fathers to my little love bunnies, I wonder if inception can really happen without a void space to fill, and if not, will my husband always feel the unnecessary third wheel, leaving me to play dual roles? Will we ever all be able to function in three part harmony, or will it always be yours, mine, and his? 0 Comments

  • Aqueelah Wheatley, M.S., LMFT

I have a great husband! He's loving, supportive, and affectionate. He's hardworking and very self-motivated, and on paper he's practically perfect...except ONE thing, he's been married before!

I knew this before we met, and wasn't initially bothered by it, because though I myself had never been married, I did have two children from previous relationships and figured we would both have equal hurdles to climb as the relationship evolved.

I am in a great position as far as second wives go I suppose, at least in comparison with some of the other articles and blogs I've read on the subject. He has no children from his previous relationship, and his former wife seems to have no interest in him or breaking up what we have going on. As a matter of fact, outside of a few misplaced photos, she has pretty much virtually disappeared all together. No texts, no calls, no contact...so no worries right??

WRONG!! I actually find myself finding plenty to worry about. Since she initiated the divorce, I sometimes find myself wondering if he still has lingering feelings for "the one that got away", or if she changed her mind and came back to claim him, would he be quick to follow the piece of his heart that may still lie with her?

If we're being completely honest, I must admit, my imagination is often my worse enemy in these cases. In reality there is absolutely nothing going on. I mean crickets!! We actually ran across a picture of her recently hanging out with friends, and she didn't seem to be missing him at all, and from all of his accounts of the divorce, I get the feeling that when she said she was done, she meant it. So, why am I so worried about her return as if it is some inevitable doom? And why have I exerted so much energy concerning myself about what my husband would do, when he has done nothing to insinuate that he wants anything else to do with her? I suppose the question here becomes simple, is my woman's intuition picking up on some unresolved emotions? Or am I just simply conjuring worry and raising the dead???