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This Issue 26 Book Club A review of best-selling selfdevelopment book Leadership & Self-Deception 34 Calling It Quits How to leave your job and keep your reputation in tact. 15 Saying More than Congrats Messages for a newly engaged or married co-worker 10 Traveling for Work Sometimes business happens halfway across the U.S.

20 Starting at a Startup Taking a risk at a new Company and hoping for a big payout 12 Connecting with Older Co-Workers An easy guide of what to say and what topics to avoid. 47 Mason Jar Musings Curiosity with a kitchen classic inspires a Mason jar adventure in the kitchen 07 Retirement 101: 401k Building a wealthy retirement fund before its time to retire


36 Every Issue From the Editor 04 Constantly Learning on the job Breakroom Bites Baked Salmon for One


Career Spotlight 28 Answering a calling in Colombia


Dress for Success 16 Investing in a Professional Wardrobe Corporate Wellness 42 Understanding your health care plan


Out of Office (OOO) 36 A relaxing vacation in Puerto Rico

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Masthead About Us Forty Magazine is a digital publication dedicated to young professionals. Intended for recent grads, new employees, and professionals under 40, Forty Magazine helps millennials transition into the workplace with ease.

Our Team Morgan Hancock Creative Director and Co-Publisher

Kian Hervey Editorial Director and Co-Publisher

Candis Moore Social Media Director

Contributing Writers Ariadne Aberin Andrew Bogage Tremaine Millender Molly Price Lauren White George Williams

Photo Credits Attribution noted in spread if required by photographer. All images tagged in creative commons and/or for non-commercial use

PicJumbo | UnSplash | Albumarium | Flickr | Pixabay

Constantly Learning I haven' t stepped foot on my college campus in ages, but I still feel like I' m getting a w orld-class education. After I graduated from Southern M ethodist University in 2014, I settled into a coordinator position at Southw est Airlines. While the w ork may not be in my field of study, I found satisfaction in the role because every day I get to learn something new . Whether it' s something about pilots, planes, or anything in betw een, I' m alw ays soaking up new know ledge and information that can help me grow as a young professional. Embracing an education outside of the classroom has given me a promising career at one of the most LUVed companies in the w orld. This issue of Forty M agazine helps you do the same, teaching you how to embrace an informal education and grow as a young professional. You?ll learn how to invest in a professional w ardrobe, travel for w ork, build a 401(k), explore jobs overseas and more. The real education begins after school; let Forty M agazine be your teacher.

Receiving my diploma from former SMU Meadows Dean Jose Bowen

40 Hour s Devoted to your day-to-day interactions and experiences in the workplace.

You’re probably thinking, Retirement? I just started my career! With barely 50% of workers participating in retirement plans, post-career life isn’t at the forefront of many people’s minds. But the sooner you start saving, the better off your nest egg. Writer Morgan Hancock covers the basics of a 401(k) with six fast facts.

Pre-tax Savings

A 401(k) plan is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. With a traditional 401(k) (as opposed to a Roth 401K), you use pre-tax funds to save for retirement. Contributing to a 401(k) reduces your present tax liability, but you’ll have to pay income tax when you access the funds in retirement. 401(k) plans adhere to a lot of different rules, but pay special attention to the contribution limit. For 2015, the annual contribution limit is capped at $18,000, though it may increase in the future.

Paying Taxes Now & Later

Even when you’re retired you can’t escape taxes. While contributing to a 401(k) reduces your current tax burden, you’ll have to pay taxes on your income eventually. Part of retirement planning is figuring out how much money you’ll need each year and estimating your future tax liability. Your tax liability depends on your location, income type (e.g., earned income, captial gains, etc.), and tax bracket, which may increase or decrease. Planning for the unknown is difficult, but considering your current tax situation and future possibilities may be helpful. How much money will you need each year while retired? Do you think your future tax liability will be lower or higher than it currently is? If your current income is higher than what you’ll need in retirement, contributing to a 401(k) could reduce your tax liability while you’re in a higher tax bracket.

Accessing Your Funds

401(k)s are subject to an abundance of federal regulations. Not only does the IRS regulate when you can start taking distributions without penalty (59 ½ years old), they also mandate participants take required minimum distributions at 70 ½ years old. If you take a distribution before you’re 59 ½, you’ll usually face a 10-percent penalty. However, there’s an exception; if you quit, retire, or are fired during or after the year you turn 55, you can access funds from the 401(k) sponsored by your most recent employer penaltyfree. If you didn’t roll previous 401(K) plans, you can’t access those funds without penalty. And of course, these rules can and probably will change in the years before you retire.

Leaving an Employer

When you change jobs, you have a few options regarding your 401(k). You can leave the funds in the original account, roll them into IRA, or shift the funds to new 401(k). If your new employer’s plan allows you to transfer your old funds to your new plan, request that your former plan send the funds directly to your new plan. If they send the money directly to you, Uncle Sam keeps 20 percent while you still have to deposit the full amount into the new 401(k) within 60 days. Basically, you have to come up with the withheld 20 percent or face a penalty. When you file your next tax return, you’ll receive a credit for the withheld funds.

Defining a 401(k)

So now that you know the basics of a 401(k) plan, you may be thinking, “What exactly is it?”It’s not a savings account with ton of weird tax rules; a 401(k) is an investment account. The types of investments you can make depend on your plan, but many plans invest in mutual funds. You’ll have to contact your plan’s provider to see which investment options are available.

Employer-Matched Contributions

Employers often provide 401(k) matching as a part of their benefits package. The matching rate can vary greatly between companies. While one company matches employees’ contributions 100 percent up to 9 percent of their salary, another may only match contributions 50 percent up to 3 percent of the employee’s’ salary. In the latter scenario, the employee would need to contribute 3% of her salary to max out the benefit and receive a 1.5-percent match from her employer. If she makes $50,000 a year, she needs to contribute $1,500 for her employer to contribute $750. So a 401(k) can be an important benefit to consider when job hunting! If you don’t take advantage of your employer’s matching program (even if the matching rate is tiny), you’re leaving money on the table. Employers can also choose to vest their contributions, meaning the employer’s contribution doesn’t belong to the employee right away. Employers use this to encourage employees to stay with the company longer. A common vesting schedule is for employees to receive 60 percent of the employer’s 401(k) contributions after three years, and then an additional 20 percent yearly for the next two years. So to receive all of the employer’s contribution, the employee needs to stay with the company for five years. Keep an eye out for FORTY’s future finance and retirement articles, and go set up your 401(k)!

T r av el in g fo r Wo rk

Between conferences, meetings, and sale pitches, there are an infinite number of reasons to travel for work. Editorial Director Kian Hervey shares a few things she?s learned from traveling on the job.

W hen I was fir st hir ed as a Coordinat or, I had no idea I ?d be t raveling for work. M y fir st t r ip, a t wo- day confer ence in Orlando, went wit hout a hit ch. And aft er a day t r ip t o K ansas Cit y, M issouri and Beloit , W isconsin, I felt like a business t r avel pr o. Her e ar e a few t ips I ?ve learned from t raveling for work. - K n o w y o u r A ir l in e. Flying American is much different from flying Delt a and ot her car r iers. K now t he check- in, boarding, and baggage pr ocedur es of your air line before you get t o t he airport . Pick an airline t hat mat ches your pr efer r ed flight experience t o make t raveling for work easy. - K eep A l l Rec eipt s. Even if your hot el is paid for, someone somewhere needs a r eceipt . Ask for your hot el bill during checkout and keep t rack of any meals you buy on your own. St ore all your receipt s in a safe spot (not your back jean pocket ) and organize t hem when you get home. I t ?ll make filling out an expense r epor t less of a hassle. - A sk f o r W iFi. Business happens around t he clock, especially when you?re t r aveling for wor k. I f you need t o send an e- mail, don?t rely on your cellular dat a; ask for t he hot el WiFi. M ore likely t han not , your employer has already paid for it wit h your r oom. - Pa c k A ir po r t C l o t h es. I n t he 1950s, flying was a big deal. M en and women wor e t heir Sunday best , flight at t endant s were models, and passenger s at e lobst er on t he plane. Today, wit h more t han 100,000 flight s oper at ing per day, t he at mosphere for t ravel is much more casual. I nst ead of being st uffy in a suit , t r avel in airport - ready at t ire t hat ?s quick for going t hr ough secur it y and easy t o change out of when you land. - Br in g Bu sin ess C a r ds. Don?t rely on a follow- up e- mail t o leave a last ing impr ession. L eave a business card as a physical reminder you?re t he go- t o per son for your company?s services. - Br in g So m e Co m f o r t . There?s no need t o bring a childhood t oy like Ted, but t her e?s also not hing wrong wit h bringing a lit t le comfort on t he r oad. Br inging a small r eminder of home (like my favorit e SM U blanket ) can help you de- st r ess aft er a busy day of t ravel. W hat are some things you?ve learned from traveling for work? Tell us at FortyM

Connecting with Your Coworkers: Bridging the Age Gap

Don’t let an age gap discourage you from getting to know your professional peers. Writer Molly Price shares how you can keep the conversation going, even with coworkers twice your age.

It happens all the time. Someone laughs about how you could be their child (or grandchild) or gawks at the fact that you were born the year they graduated college, and suddenly you feel like someone pinched your cheek and stuffed a pacifier in your mouth. Good news is, most coworkers mean no harm. Everyone— young and old— can be surprised by our age at times. Whether it’s realizing the high school class of 2015 was born in 1997 or that your boss and dad would make great BFFs, it’s normal to have some “Whoa!” moments about your age at work. When you’re grasping at straws to make an connection with your older co-workers, try these fail-safe topics:


Though you should never invite the comparison, people love their pets. Are you a dog person? Me too! Think cat videos are hilarious? You’ve got to see this one! At our office, we’ve got a pet wall with all our fur babies pictures posted up. If your group is full of animal lovers, think about a teambuilding service outing at a local shelter. Even better, gang up on your boss and request a Bring Your Pet to Work Day. (But bring some cookies to soften the blow.)

Hobbies & Interests

You never know what people are experts in off the clock. I recently discovered a coworker of mine is hiking Mt. Rainier with his 22-year-old daughter this summer, and another coworker was planning to visit the same state park I had just Googled over the weekend. It’s not always all business, and it’s important to recognize that your older coworkers have a life outside of the office. Chances are their life is cooler than you think.


Ok, so maybe you don’t have any little feet pitter-pattering through your downtown apartment, but it’s a known fact that parents, especially mommas, love to talk about their kiddos. Ask how the munchkins are doing, or ask if they’ve snapped any cute pictures lately. Maybe you don’t really want to hear about how Tommy is finally feeding himself with a spoon, but presenting a genuine interest by asking questions is an age-old way to connect with others. Plus, kids do some pretty hilarious stuff, and amusing anecdotes from the parenting world are the best forms of birth control.


This should be a duh. Whether it’s American, French, Italian, or Thai, everyone loves good food. Share a recipe you recently discovered, talk about an awesome lunch spot you found nearby, or discuss your favorite holiday treats and traditions. Or go all out and bring in some cookies because it’s Monday and cookies are great. The way to many many hearts is through the stomach.

Topics to Avoid

On the no-go side, try to avoid politics, personal relationships, and finances. Some things just don’t mix well with those outside your bracket. If all else fails, and you’re just trying to get a friendly word in, ask how their weekend was or if there is anything you can do for them. A smile and a helping hand will always go a long way. After all, age is just a number.

What to Write?

Wondering what to write to your coworker celebrating a milestone? Our Office Card Series by Creative Director Morgan Hancock shares fun, creative messages for signing a group card.


Whether your w ork environment is professional or business casual, investing in a w ork w ardrobe can be expensive. Style Writer Ariadne Aberin shares how you can look great w ithout breaking the bank.

A wardrobe consisting of sweats, hoodies, pajama bottoms, basketball shorts, and university tees won't cut it in the professional world. As you transition from college student to young professional, your wardrobe should get an upgrade. An upgraded wardrobe can help you present yourself as a mature professional and can help you take charge of your life and career.

Splurge on Quality Investing in a professional wardrobe can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? What clothing items should you buy? And most importantly, should you save or should you splurge? T he short answer is, it depends. O n one hand, you definitely shouldn?t blow the bank on an entirely new expensive wardrobe. But you also shouldn?t skimp on pieces that you may use often. Since you?re just starting to make your own money, the best way to maximize a limited wardrobe budget is to be smart about the pieces you choose to invest in and the pieces you choose to save on. While it may seem like the best way to maximize your wardrobe budget is to only purchase pieces that are

bargain-priced, you may actually get more bang for your buck by investing in a few high-quality pieces for your wardrobe. T hese pieces should be classic, rather than trendy and should be pieces you?ll wear often. For instance, a well-fitting suit may be something worth investing in if you work in a corporate environment. You can wear the suit often and the blazer and pants can work well as separates that you can dress up or down. O r, if you work in a more casual environment, it may be worth investing in a good-quality pair of jeans that can last you a while and that you can incorporate in both casual and dressy settings.

Save on Basics & Trendw ear Some pieces aren?t worth spending big bucks. For women, these pieces include trendy items that will soon be out-of-season or a party dress that you?ll only wear once. For men, these may be pieces you might wear only at home, such as undershirts, hoodies or graphic tees. Basics and trendwear are pieces that you should save on because the setting you can wear them in are limited, and you may not get as much use out of these pieces as you do with wardrobe staples.

If you tend to lose an item such as sunglasses or socks often, save on these items as well. T here are plenty of retail shops that sell inexpensive goods that look great and will do the job. Plus, you won?t feel bad if you misplace them.

Shop by Cost Per-Wear Any key piece you invest in should have a low cost-per-wear. T his is a much more effective way to evaluate the cost of an item, rather than evaluating sticker price. Cost-per-wear is calculated by the price you pay for a clothing item, divided by the number of times you wear that item. For instance, a $50 pair of pants that you wear three times a week for a whole year has a cost-per-wear of about $0.32. A $10 clearance top that you only wear twice has a cost-per-wear of $5-- much higher than the more expensive pants. When shopping for key pieces, evaluate the cost based on how many times you?ll wear a piece. O ften, you?ll get your money?s worth with a more expensive, key piece that you wear several times a week with a variety of outfits, rather than a trend

piece you'll only wear a couple of times.

Investing Step-by-Step Before investing in an entirely new wardrobe, take a look at the clothes you already have. Follow these five steps to maximize your current wardrobe

1) Revisit the Past Go through each piece in your wardrobe, pick out the pieces you use the most, and think of how you use them. Did you wear this item in a casual setting? O r was it worn for a formal event? If you can answer both, yes, you've found a versatile pieces worth keeping and incorporating into your new professional wardrobe.

2) Toss Out the Old If you haven?t worn a piece in over a year, it?s time to part ways. Donate it or sell it, whatever it takes to let go. If you haven?t worn it in a year, chances are you won?t wear it again the future. Trust me; it?s for the best.

3) Rew ork Trend Pieces O wning a few trend pieces can help you feel fashion-forward at work. A fun peplum top can spice up a basic pencil skirt, or a vintage button-down can add flair to basic khakis. H aving a few trend pieces on hand and considering them for work saves you time and money from creating double purchases.

4) Find Accessories It?s always good to have a mix of classic and edgy accessories. For women, look for pearl earrings for the day, a few necklaces and bracelets you can use in multiple settings, and a structured bag in a neutral color. A small mix of scarves in neutral colors or eye-catching prints can also spice up any outfit. For men, a great messenger bag, sleek statement watch, sunglasses, and a scarf for colder days are essential. Anything beyond that is purely optional. If you already have these basic accessories, you?re all set.

5) Go Shopping O nce you?ve narrowed down your wardrobe to the essential pieces, you can buy the pieces you don?t have--and when you shop, make sure that the pieces you buy will go with the pieces you already have.

Look like a M illion Bucks Your key investment pieces should be versatile--you should be able to dress them up or down, and wear them to the office and out. T his way, you get the most mileage out of an investment piece. Investing in key, quality pieces will ultimately pay off in the long run. You will save more money paying for a great-quality piece once, rather than paying a lower-quality piece and constantly replacing that piece when it wears out. So, find out what pieces of clothing make up the foundation of your wardrobe and don?t be afraid to invest a little more money in key quality pieces. T hen, be thrifty when it comes to trend pieces, ultra-casual wear, or certain accessories. T his way, you can really maximize your wardrobe budget and still look like a million bucks.

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At a startup company, the road map for building a successful career can take a lot of twists and turns.

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The payout for starting your career at a startup company can be huge, but the risk can be equally large in size. Andrew Bogage shares his story of gain and loss at a startup.

THE COM PANY When I graduated from college in 2012, the job market was tough for marketing majors. Agencies were filled to capacity and not looking to hire recent grads with limited professional experience. After months of hunting on my own from my parents' basement in Peachtree Corners, GA, I found a unique job posting for an account manager at SwiftAir Media, a tech startup in Dallas, TX. I was ready to have my own apartment, start my life as a young professional, and make consistent money, even if that meant moving. I applied online, received a callback, and quickly scheduled interviews with the company executives. Unlike a traditional corporate interview, my phone and Skype interviews with the company executives were more of a conversation about goals. I felt so comfortable with the Chief Creative Officer that I even brought up my previous "pizza modeling? experiences, which I had never mentioned in a job interview until then. My interviewers talked about

their journey as a team and the wild, fun path they took to build success. I was excited to work with their partners located all over the country, take on a sales role with many other projects sprinkled in, and become a part of a collaborative environment where every voice was heard. Although there was no way for me to gauge the company?s financial status, I knew that if I worked hard and the company was a success, I could wind up a very powerful young man. I was sold on the startup dream and took the first offer the company gave me. Next thing I knew, I was moving to Dallas, TX to work for SwiftAir Media.

THE EARLY DAYS Day one was interesting to say the least. I received a Macbook Pro laptop, met my future colleagues, and received a crash course in my accounts. While my work computer was beautiful, our office was the polar opposite. Located east of Dallas?major highway I-75, the office building, near several college bars, resembled a college dorm from the 1980s; it housed many different small businesses from plumbers to

THE KEY TO WORKING FOR A STARTUP ISTO BE OPEN-MINDED. lawyers. Although the office conditions were not ideal, I felt right at home in my very own office. After a few months, we had a few new employees and a well-running sales team. We were on track to hit our deliverables for our major client and things were positive. We were about to launch our digital travel programs, moved into a nicer office, hired a new sales exec, COO, and graphic designer all with impressive backgrounds. I was fully immersed in account management, sales, recruiting, project management, and more. I worked with our development, content creation, and ownership teams to name a few. I met local celebrities and worked with businesses in both Denver and Chicago. Whenever sales and creative disagreed, I was the guy to calm the storm. At a startup, you wear many hats and I embraced them all at SwiftAir.

A DRASTIC TURN After almost a year of being at SwiftAir Media, things began to change. Our client was becoming impatient with our production

timeline and wanted a full review of our digital offerings before the product was ready for a hard launch. We ramped up production, hired six more interns, and set up checkpoint meetings to meet our client?s demands. We worked tirelessly for a few weeks and endured multiple nights of no sleep conferencing with our developers in the Philippines. We bought ourselves some extra time after a successful original pitch, and knew our product had to be perfect for the final deadline. After this ?hell month,?we seemed to have met all of the deliverables. All sales contracts were in, all content was created, all technical ?bugs?were resolved, and all employees were exhausted. In our downtime at the office, I started dusting off my resume and preparing for the worst. We all started counting up how much money we had saved and felt the pressure of rent and bills that loomed before us. On what became a terrible Friday, our CEO announced that all operations in the office must stop. SwiftAir Media would be no more. The CEO took us into his office, one by one, and wished us luck for the

future. There were tears amongst the group as it seemed as if the hard work had gone to waste and the future seemed unclear.

W HAT I LEARNED After the initial sting and shock went away, I leapt into action. The only way to get over the heartache of this break up was to move on. After some time, I found it enjoyable to reminisce and share my experiences from SwiftAir with with potential employers. I learned the key to working for a startup is to be open-minded. With no corporate structure or traditional practice, your job at a startup could take many different roles. If you keep an open mind, you'll be able to adapt to each curveball thrown your way and potentially set yourself up as a leader if the company finds success. I also learned that with any job you have to be a sponge, soaking up as much information as you can along the way. While you might be in sales one day, you could be in recruitment the next. Learning a little bit about everyone's position and their role in the company can make you a valuable asset to the team. The best days I had on the job were ones where I got

outside my comfort zone and learned something new. I learned to take risks and to not fear failure. Going for the big sale was intimidating but when I nailed it, the payoff and confidence boost was huge. If you constantly live in fear of failure, you can't contribute to the company's success. You have to take risks to really grow as a young professional. The knowledge and connections I gained at SwiftAir Media were priceless. I used my network to find a job at one of the largest energy providers in Texas and fell into a traditional corporate environment. I am thankful for the stability I have now, but will always appreciate the startup company chaos. If I went back in time, I would still pursue and accept the job at SwiftAir Media. I learned how to sell, manage expectations, and hold people accountable. I learned how to improve and establish processes and how digital publishing and system operations work. If it made sense, I would give another startup a chance at some point in my career and/or start my own; my view of startups is not jaded. I had a magical experience at SwiftAir Media.

Up the Ladder Devoted to your to your personal and career development

Up the Ladder Devoted to your personal and career development

The Arbinger Institute Review by Tremaine Millender

As the title suggests, Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute focuses on how individuals can avoid lying to themselves and step into true leadership. The book suggests “a clear and surprising way that people evade responsibility without thinking they are doing so” and explains how to correct this train of thought. Berett-Koehler Publishers, a San Francisco publishing firm known for its books about better business practices, published Leadership and Self-Deception fifteen years ago. But many modern-day readers say the information in the book is still relevant today. While Leadership and Self-Deception is a national bestseller and receives high praises for improving performance in the workplace, I’m not jumping on the praise train. The main points I found somewhat helpful explained self-deception and characteristics of effective leadership. Self-Deception is described as the inability to see your own problems or faults when one is in “the box.” Someone who is selfdeceived will usually place their own desires and needs above others or the greater good. For example, say you have a team member who you see as dead weight. While that team member will most likely disagree with your view of their work, they may also feel they’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. The inability of both parties to see some validity in their peer’s feedback is what the authors of Leadership and SelfDeception define as self-deception. The book goes on to explain effective leadership comes from a place of genuineness. An effective leader values good character and considers how their actions may affect others. They also set clear expectations and get their point across with tact. “In-the-box” leaders are overly critical of employees and constantly seek glory and praise for their team’s work. Out-the-box leaders care more about the success of the

team, encourage high achievement, and praise each individual’s contributions. They are also transparent, accountable, and relate well with others. Overall, I did not have the same eureka feeling that many have had after this quick read, but realize the text could be mindblowing for some. The book was almost overly simple and repeatedly used in or out of “the box” metaphors to get its point across. The key takeaways seemed closer to common sense than profound insight and only a few principles were extremely useful. I didn’t see much benefit from this text, but see no harm in giving Leadership and SelfDeception a quick read. You may be among the millions whose views of organizational leadership have drastically been changed by this book.


c o l o m b ia East Texas native George Williams Jr. was living out his small-town dreams of working for an international fashion brand in New York City until he felt a calling to do somet hing more. The answer was an unexpected career move to Cartagena, Colombia.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck Narrative by George Williams Jr.

Want ing mor e A year ago, I w as having a breakdow n because I felt myself being called to something higher. I w as w orking in customer service in New York City, but felt emotionally, spiritually and physically drained. I w as also getting painfully aw are that I had already spent tw o years in the industry and if I didn' t get out now , it might not ever happen. I alw ays loved culture, traveling, and

living in different countries. While I studied abroad in Italy at the University of Bologna, the travel experience that changed my life the most during college w as volunteering in Ecuador. The connection I had there w ith Latin culture and South America w as aw e inspiring. I w anted to get back to that feeling, but didn?t quite know how . I began to pray and meditate more and hoped I w ould be pointed in the right direction.

Cal l ed t o col ombia

t eaching abr oad

After some time, I felt the need to leave the place I w orked so hard to be at to do w ork in Colombia. Something w ithin me just knew there w as more to my life. When I first told friends and family, their reactions w ere far from encouraging.

In my search for a fulfilling career abroad, I w as hit w ith the sobering realization that the economic gap that severely plagues some Latin American countries is directly correlated w ith access to high-quality education. I w as fortunate to study general courses at the University of North Texas, University of Bologna, and Southern M ethodist University. Through my w anderlust inspired education, I learned know ing English is absolutely essential to w orking in the global sphere.

"You're going to teach English at Columbia [University]? How great!" "No, I'm teaching English in Colombia, South America." "Oh..." The profound silence w as usually then follow ed by a fire brigade of 21 questions regarding safety, drug lords, rebel groups, civil w ar, and more. How ever, I have never been the one to live life in regards to anyone' s approval, not even the people I care about most. I accepted my life is my ow n a w hile ago and listened to my heart. I follow ed w here the Divine (God, Grace, w hatever you call it) w ould have me go and booked a one-w ay plane ticket to Colombia. To further prepare for my departure from New York City, I had to fill out a mind-numbing amount of preliminary visa paperw ork. I launched a fundraising campaign to help w ith moving costs, submitted my tw o w eeks?notice, and surrendered my brow nstone-in-Brooklyn dream to a higher calling. I quit my job, moved out of my Brooklyn home, and fearlessly embraced w hatever experience that lay before me. Somehow , somew ay, I w ould be able to combine my education and passions in a w ay that could truly help others and fulfill my inner spirit.

As a native English speaker, I had a w ealth of know ledge, culture, and international experiences to share w ith the global community and thought teaching w ould be the best w ay to give back to the w orld that had been so generous to me. Discovering the lack of quality English resources in low er income areas of developing countries like Colombia motivated me to become a teacher in Bogota. Being a teacher here has taught me more about life than I could have imagined. The longer I am in Colombia, the more I fall in love. From the food, tropical fruit and fresh juices to the friendly people, simple values, and sincere relationships; it?s all been so easy to get acclimated to this culture and country. I honestly cannot explain my profound attraction to this place. The poor image that Americans have about this country is absolutely false. Colombia is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever experienced. In a w ay, now that I?m living here, it seems as if Colombia has just alw ays called to me. Each day is an adventure.

Un dia en Col ombia An English teacher abroad doesn' t have the same schedule of an educator stateside. M ost students of international ESL classes study English after w ork or early-morning schooling. George Williams shares his typical w orkday and a few pictures from his daily adventures.

9:00 AM Wake up and start the day. Time to get dressed, have breakfast, and do some yoga.

1:00 pM

12:00 pM Enjoy a typical Colombian lunch of pescado con arroz (fish and rice). The dish is usually served with beans.

Head to school to teach afternoon classes and take in the amazing architecture along the way.

6:00 pM Return home, freshen up and .unwind. Relaxing for me includes a good book and even better drink.

8:00 pM Refuel with a satisfying dinner. Pictured above is Bandeja Paisa, a platter of chicharr贸n, ground beef, chorizo, and sides.

12:00 AM Hit the sheets and retire after a full day.

9:00 pM Meet up with friends for a quick night of salsa dancing.

G A Y. B L A C K . &TE X A N . memoirs of a twenty-something

available now on

Calling It QUITS a Letter 1 Write M ost companies require a formal notice for your employee file. Writing a resignation letter can be therapeutic and help you sum up the courage to follow through w ith leaving your job. I didn' t mention the toll the job took on me or how I felt I shouldn' t be in the industry anymore. I simply w rote it w as time to move on.

Request a M eeting I w rote my resignation letter, I requested a private meeting 2 After w ith my supervisor. I simply, yet directly and w ithout hesitation, stated my stance on leaving to teach English in Colombia. Instead of being met w ith passive aggression, my notice w as met w ith the sincere congratulations.

Plan to Work Hard my final tw o w eeks, I actually w orked my hardest. Not 3 During because I had to, but because my biggest goal w as to finish this job that caused me so much trouble w ith the utmost mastery, conviction, grace, and dare I say, gratitude.

Stay in Touch the age of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tw itter, and all 4 Inother forms of technology, there' s really no excuse for not staying in touch. Social media has actually been a great w ay for me to show case my experience in Colombia to all my former co-w orkers, family and friends interested in my new professional experience.

Have No Regrets have no regrets for the tw o years I spent in Customer 5 IService. It conditioned me and molded me into the man and professional I am today. M y experience helps me in all aspects of my life: professional, personal, and otherw ise. M ost of all, my old job helped me get closer tow ards happiness.

There?s never a ?right time?to quit your job, but w hen you?re being called somew here else, it?s time to put in your tw o w eeks notice. George Williams, Jr. shares his tips on quitting w ith grace.

Off the Clock Devoted to life beyond 40 hours, covering travel and things you love.

For those looking for the thrill of visiting another country without the hassle of needing a passport, Editorial Director Kian Hervey shares how Puerto Rico is a great weekend trip.

Day 1

El Yunque & Miramar

My first introduction to Puerto Rican wildlife was a roach in our first rental car. After a minor panic attack and car swap, we were on our way to El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the United States. On the map, El Yunque is less than 30 minutes from the airport. In real life, the cautious drive into the heart of the forest takes almost an hour. After winding up the narrow roads to La Coca Falls, we parked our car at the entrance of Big Tree Trail, a one-mile hike to La Mina falls. Rain poured down the entire hike, making the rocky path slippery and long, but the final sights and sounds of the powerful waterfall were worth it. The rainfall

broke for a short while and locals jumped into the warm waters to swim. The hike back to our parked car went by much faster as we headed to Yokahu Tower, an observation deck in the middle of the rainforest. The stairs leading up to the top of Yokahu Tower were flooded almost the entire way. From 1,575 feet up in the air, we could almost see the entire rainforest. San Juan, visible in the distant background, looked like a small metropolis miles away. After visiting the rainforest, we headed back to the city. We found a comfortable AirBnB in Miramar, a historic neighborhood near the capital city San Juan. Local restaurant La Jaquita Baya provided us with much needed nourishment. I ordered arroz con mariscos, a rice dish loaded with shrimp, crab, calamari, and chicken, and the restaurant’s signature diplo dessert, a warm chocolate cake filled

with cream cheese and covered in Nutella mousse. Both were delicious. After walking the neighborhood, we stocked up on Puerto Rican favorite Medalla Light at a nearby convenience store and called it a night. Day one in Puerto Rico was an outdoor adventure.

Day 2

Bacardi, Old San Juan, & Condado Although Bacardi rum started in Cuba, the premium liquor company produces most of its supply in Puerto Rico. To reach the Bacardi factory, we took a 50 cent ferry to Cantano, home of Casa de Bacardi. A van shuttled us to the large family estate converted to an active museum and distillery. The tour package included a glimpse into the plant and a welcome drink of your choice. I opted for the mojito and was reminded how superior ingredients make a difference. After our drink and tour, we headed back to the pier at Old San Juan. The active sea port included

tons of street food options (I ate a fried cod fritter Bacalaito), vividly painted homes, and a quick look at landmark Castillo San Felipe del Morro. With the day more than half spent, we had just enough daylight left to visit Escambron Beach. Escambron Beach is favored because of its proximity to Old San Juan. From the sandy shore you can see San Felipe del Morro in the distance. A number of rocky formations created a natural pool in the ocean for swimming. The water was warm; the current was mild and the sound of soft waves was relaxing. The sun began to set on our second day in Puerto Rico, but our night was just beginning.

Although Puerto Rico is American, the local population comes from all over Latin America. At dinner, I ate authentic Mexican cuisine for the first time in a very long time. The Huarache dish was topped with tender, juicy meat, fresh cilantro onions and refried black beans. To wash it all down, I enjoyed a grapefruit margarita, a refreshing contrast to the sour lemon/lime taste of a traditional margarita. For desert and drinks, we made our way to Condado for a chichaito shot. A chichaito is mixed with white rum and licorice-flavored liquor. In Old San Juan you can find the shot for $1, but we sampled the

native concoction at an oceanfront bar Oceano. The sea spray hit our face as we drank more rum and decided we must find somewhere to dance. We found a club pulsing with American music nearby and ended the long day with more rum. Our weekend in Puerto Rico ended on a high note. Final Thoughts on Puerto Rico There’s a lot to see and do on this small island in the Caribbean. To get the most out of visiting Puerto Rico, you have to embrace local culture. I loved trying new foods, drinking premium rum, and exploring Santurce. A weekend in Puerto Rico is a weekend in LatinAmerican paradise.

Budget Tips • Rent a vehicle from local vendors, not national chains like Hertz or Enterprise. The cost is significantly different because of local insurance and rental rates. • Buy local beer from a convenience store, not bars. The same drink at a resort or restaurant will cost you 50 percent more. • Get creative with your flight arrangements. On Southwest Airlines, flying Dallas to Orlando to San Juan and San Juan to Fort Lauderdale to Dallas saved a significant amount of dough.


Devoted to taking care yourself now to prepare your future.

Heal t h I nsur ance 101

From ABCs of Health Care to Knowing Your Options, Editorial and Creative Director Kian Hervey and Morgan Hancock cover a huge part of your benefits package: health care.

K now i ng your Opti ons

Whether you purchase a new plan or piggyback off your parents, selecting health insurance that?s right for you is just what the doctor ordered.

Sticking With Mom & Dad

Selecting an Employee Plan

There are a lot of myths out there about who can remain on their parent?s plan. Even if you are employed and eligible for an employer-sponsored plan, you can stil remain insured under your parents?plans. You can even stay on your parents? plan if you?re married, financially independent, living on your own, and finished with/ not enrolled in college. Staying on your parents?plan is often significantly less expensive, even if your parents? expect you to contribute to the plan?s premium.

If you aren?t staying on your parents?insurance, you may want to consider a high deductible plan. If you rarely visit the doctor and have a safety net of savings, a high deductible health plan might be a good fit for you. The coverage usually won?t kick in until you meet the yearly deductible, but the monthly premium is considerably lower.

Staying on your parents?plan can save you a lot of money each month, but it may not be feasible. If you moved to a separate state, doctors in your area may not be in-network according to your parents? insurance plan. Many health insurance providers only cover services received within their network; they may not have coverage in your new area.

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that a single person can expect to pay around $999 a year for a plan offered by an employer. If you select an insurance plan from your Employer, reach out to Human Resources to learn all the details of your insurance plan. Some Companies offer great plans that even cover monthly gym membership fees, counseling sessions, and even elective egg freezing. Buying Your Own Insurance Those without employer sponsored healthcare, or those who are not eligible for it, will need to turn to private insurance plans. According to The Marketplace, a federal resource for selecting health care, a 26-year old in Texas making can expect to pay about $2,788 a year for a health insurance plan. Coverage level and state support can greatly affects a plan?s overall cost. To learn more about buying your own insurance, visit The most important advice is to know your insurance plan, whether it?s private, your parent?s, or an employer sponsored plan. Consider how much health care coverage you need each year and remember to plan for accidents, emergencies, or other unexpected life events.

A B Cs of Health Care Selecting health insurance can seem overwhelming when evaluating deductibles, premiums, and enrollment. Here are some key terms for your understanding a policy.

Annual Limit: When it comes to insurance, the sky is not the limit. Insurers cap some parts of your coverage plan like prescriptions, hospitalizations, and doctor visits. After you?ve reached the annual limit, you have to pay health care costs on your own.

Open Enrollment Period. Open enrollment is the only time you can enroll or make changes to your health care plan. Make sure you don?t miss the crucial dates of your enrollment period to maximize your savings and cover all your health care needs.

Benefits: A salary isn?t the only perk of a career. Benefits include health care items and services covered under an insurance plan.

Premium: Simply put, a premium is the bill for health insurance. It?s what you and/or your employer pay for health care coverage.

Copayment: No matter what doctor you see, more than likely you?ve heard, ?That?ll be a $30 copay.? Copayments are fixed amounts you?re expected to pay for a health care service. Usually, the rest of the payment due is co-payed by your insurance.

Qualifying Life Event: Sometimes, things happen. A qualifying life event like getting a divorce, moving to a new state, or seeing a change in income gives you a pass for missing your enrollment deadline and makes you eligible for a special enrollment period.

Deductible: You can?t explain a deductible without an example. If your deductible is $1,000, your insurance won?t pay anything until you?ve paid $1,000 for services subject to the deductible. In short, a deductible is the amount you owe for health care services before your insurance begins to pay.

Referral: You wouldn?t seek football advice from Steph Curry or dance lessons from Shaq. A referral connects you to a medical specialist for a specific medical need and is required by most insurance plans before paying for specialized medical services.

Flexible Spending Account: Your employer may allow you to pre-pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses with a flexible spending account c with money deducted from your wages. Flex dollars are tax free and available for spending only during the plan year. Health Savings Account: Like a flex Spending Account, a health savings account is a way for you to contribute tax-free dollars to out-of-pocket medical expenses. Unlike a flex account, a health savings account can be used from year to year. Win-win. Network: A network is a trusted circle of providers and suppliers recommended by your health insurer. Network resources are typically less expensive than non-preferred providers.

Social Security: Social security isn?t just a deduction from your paycheck. It provides monthly financial benefits for basic living expenses like medical care after you retire or become disabled. Wellness Program: In addition to offering health care, your employer may have a wellness program that encourages and promotes healthy living through incentive programs. Incentives can range from cash rewards to free health screenings and more. Visit for more terms.

Br eak Bites

Devoted to our favorite part of the workday -- lunch.

M ASON JAR M USI NGS When I first decided to make a Mason jar lunch, I was skeptical. I?m not a ?Hipster? and I don?t usually follow culinary trends. I couldn't understand why the little jar that just a decade ago was almost obsolete and more likely to be found in a grandmother?s kitchen had so quickly gone from hipster to mainstream. I wanted to know, what?s the big deal with Mason jars? Why are these little glass containers so popular?

Curiosity with a vintage classic inspires Writer Lauren White to get cooking in the kitchen.

I shelved out $8 for a pack of 12 at my local Wal-mart to find out. As I unpacked the pint-sized jars, I couldn?t help but find them appealing. Perhaps it?s their vintage look or the cool feel of the molten glass. Or maybe it's a certain nostalgia that connects these jars to a unique culinary past. Or, from a practical standpoint, maybe it?s just the way mason jars are easily transportable and washable. Whatever it is, I found myself joining the

hundreds of thousands, millions of people who enjoy using Mason jars everyday. I searched for a Mason jar recipe on Pinterest and found one from Foxes Love Lemons that piqued my interest: Asian Noodle Salad. I chopped up the vegetables, squeezed out the Edamame seeds, boiled the purple-colored soba noodles, and mixed together the spicy peanut dressing. This Asian Noodle Salad, whipped up in less than 30 minutes, was delicious! The tangy, spicy peanut dressing turned a tasty ?I?d-eat-that-again? meal into a phenomenal ?I-want-to -lick-the-bowl? (or in this case, the jar) meal. The brilliantly colored vegetables really made the dish a visual showstopper. My first attempt at a Mason jar lunch was a success, and one I hope to repeat very soon. The next time you want to spice up lunch, reach for a Mason jar. Check out the recipe Lauren followed on the next page.

ASI AN NOODL E SAL AD FOR THE DRESSING 2 tablespoons peanut butter 4 teaspoons sambal oelek 4 teaspoons rice vinegar 4 teaspoons soy sauce 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

FOR THE SALAD 4 ounces soba noodles 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 cup shelled edamame, cooked 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup crunchy rice noodles

DIRECTIONS 1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse cooked noodles under cold water and drain. 2. Make spicy peanut dressing by whisking peanut butter, sambal oelek, rice vinegar and soy sauce in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated. Stir in sesame seeds. 3. Divide dressing equally among 4 mason jars. Divide soba noodles over dressing and layer remaining ingredients, ending with rice noodles. 4. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy!

Baked Salm on W ith this quick and easy recipe, you're just minutes away from a healthy lunch or savory dinner.

I n gr edi en t s -

2 large Lemons 4 Salmon filets (4 oz) Dried Italian seasoning 1 stick Butter

Di r ect i on s 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. M elt butter in a microwave and pour into shallow pan. 3. Slice lemons and layer slices in pan. 4. Place salmon on top of lemon-butter mixture. 5. Sprinkle filets with generous amount of Italian seasoning. 6. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!