Archives for posts with tag: career

Call this the clip show of my blog.

Here we have a Dilbert cartoon that completely describes my workplace.  It’s hanging up in my cube and it does make me chuckle even though I’ve read it 134 times.

Vulcan Tool Co. is close to my house so one day I decided to take a picture of it.  My husband says that he heard there was a fire there in the early 1900s and people died as a result.  So it’s most definitely haunted, of course.

So here I am getting ready for a meeting to start at work when I look up to find my name on the board.  So odd, yet it cheered me up.

One of the loveliest things about St. Anthony is that they light the Christmas star around Christmas each year.  However, I snapped this picture in June…

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Like many girls, I’ve received flowers from boys for special occasions like my birthday, Sweetest Day, etc.  However, I realized the other day that the sweetest flowers are the ones I feel I earn after going through the event that takes place on the same week each quarter at my job.  I have a lot of pride putting these roses on my desk because they symbolize getting a lot of work done and the end of some very stressful times.  That is, until it’s time to start planning the next one…

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

– Seneca the Younger

(via Quote Vadis) (Image via PostSecret)

I love this quote because it’s a great description of how I feel about every option I have right now career-wise.  I’ve never figured out what I want to do with my life, and although I don’t necessarily feel like I’m running out of time it would be nice to have a goal or a plan.

We believe people don’t perform at their highest levels unless they are having fun doing it.

– Eric Ryan + Adam Lowry, Cofounders of Method, The Method Method

To this weary worker, the ideals espoused in The Method Method of a modern workplace seem dreamy and farfetched.  Reading Ryan and Lowry’s book feels like reading fantasy because I work in a typical workplace entrenched in the traditional ways of doing things.  I’m so inspired by their ideas on creating an office culture that is both fun and productive as well as nurturing and encouraging.

If you can’t be yourself at work, you’re not going to do good work.

It seems so simple and uncomplicated, so why do traditional workplaces have such a hard time understanding this?  I long for the workplace utopia discussed in these pages.  Method, take me away!

I picked up Megan Hustad’s How to Be Useful: a beginner’s guide to not hating work at East Library (my new home library in East Dayton) because they have a lovely business section that actually appeals to someone my age – go figure.  Hustad has taken on a mammoth task by condensing 200 or so years of success literature (meaning books and pamphlets written about how to succeed at work, business, interviews, etc.) into roughly 200 pages.  It’s pretty interesting to hear what advice was available for someone starting his career in 1850, only to end up comparing that to several of Donald Trump’s publications.  I could seriously not put this book down.

The introduction covers the fact that most people in my generation (i.e. 20s and early 30s) do not read success literature because we have a very idealistic view of work – basically all one has to do to succeed is to work very hard.  During the course of her research she found that my generation is more idealistic (and incidentally wrong) about hard work than many previous generations.  I’ll have to try to stop being so idealistic because honestly she has a point.  The people who tend to work the hardest often earn the lowest pay while the people working the least make much more.  I applied this to my workplace and it’s almost always true, unfortunately.

One of my favorite of the million excellent quotes in How to Be Useful is this:

“Behave politely.  Speak distinctly.  Hear discreetly.  Dress demurely.  Be indispensable, and see some fun in work.”

– 1929 Vogue’s Book of Etiquette in How to Be Useful: a beginner’s guide to not hating work by Megan Hustad

What is the single most important purchase of every new year?  Calendars!  On an average day I use no fewer than 7 calendars* to keep myself organized and picking out new ones in 2012 can be a big task.  Some of the calendars are predetermined like my big desk blotter calendar at work and my Outlook calendar but what about a desk calendar for home and the wall calendar for the kitchen?  I have a few ideas – and yes, I see the mild irony of having 7 calendars and yet still waiting until after the new year to purchase new calendars, so keep your comments to yourself, thankyouverymuch.

Seize the Year:  2012 Wall Calendar by Neu Year

This thing could revolutionize calendars as we know them.  Basically it’s a large wall calendar that shows the entire year without breaks between the months because that’s how time really goes by in the year – we don’t notice when the month changes over so it shouldn’t be broken up that way.  I get it, and my mind is blown. I think this is a great idea and I may have to purchase one of these – and at $24, why not?

2012 Desk Calendar by Avie Designs

Avie Designs makes the best stuff, I swear.  The desk calendar is no exception and this year Avie’s desk calendar doesn’t disappoint.

2012 Wall Calendar by Letter C Design

We used this wall calendar in 2011 and I’m heavily considering buying it again for 2012.  The paper is matte, which makes it easy to write and erase and the designs are adorable.  Priced at $14.75, it’s one of the cheaper wall calendars that I fancy on Etsy.

*I know you’re wondering so here is the list of all 7 calendars I use on a daily basis:

1.  Outlook – I tend to use this as a muggle version of a pensieve so that I don’t have to actually use my brain to remember my daily meetings and reminders, that’s what those annoying pop-ups are for.

2.  Gmail – My google calendar is shared between my husband, sister, and mother but I don’t keep it as up-to-date as I should.  It’s a social calendar that attempts to keep us all on the same page about where we all are and what we’ll be doing on evenings and weekends.

3.  Desk Blotter – Huge calendar with huge spaces for each day.  The large size of this calendar makes it hard to ignore even the most dreaded appointments.

4.  Printed Calendar – I have pinned up to my cube wall pages of a free printable calendar.  So much of my job is cyclical and quarter-based that I need to have at least two months spread out in front of me if not more.  It helps me view at a glance how busy I will be in the next few months and helps me plan how hard I should be hyperventilating at any given moment in the quarter.

5.  Planner – My beloved Russell + Hazel Mini Binder with the SmartDate system plus tabs, pockets, protector sheets, business card holders, etc.  This gorgeous thing attempts to do the impossible:  Seamlessly integrate my personal life and work life.  It holds on to all of my notes, lists, and minutiae so that I can get to them when I have time.

6.  Desk Calendar – The purpose of this is to look pretty and help me quickly figure out what day it is without the clutter of appointment reminders or meetings being written in the margins.  It’s sort of like a clock but on paper and you have to figure out what day it is by yourself.  Ok, apart from being pretty, it’s almost completely useless.  I think there’s a Kardashian joke in here somewhere…

7.  Wall Calendar – This hangs in the kitchen by the refrigerator and is supposed to be the way I communicate appointments and events to my husband when email, verbal reminders, and text messages fail.  Also, it’s a loophole to get him to do things I know he won’t like.  For example:  “What do you mean I have a hair appointment?  I didn’t know about it.”  “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, it was on the calendar.”

Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’

– Mary Anne Radmacher

via Explore for a Year – a great website with articles on how to quit your job to travel the world.

I found this around the internet (which is code for “I forget where this came from, yes I feel guilty for not writing it down”) – it’s perfectly simple and so true.  Steve Jobs was a fountain of good advice.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that I seem to be interested in finding what I should do with my life.  I seek out inspirational stories of people who defied the odds and pursued their dreams hoping that somehow I’ll get a contact high from their positivity – and possibly find whatever it is that will make me feel like casting aside all doubt and following my heart.  The difference between those people and me is that they know what they want and I just have no clue.  But enough about me, let’s talk about Shane Anderson.

Shane is a cheery person whom I have never seen angry, not once.  He was the band director at my high school and therefore was involved with the drama productions of which I took part (I’m trying not to come off as a drama nerd here but I doubt that will be possible).  I always knew that he liked coffee – I guess because it’s the only non-drama thing I can remember talking to him about.  However, none of this is important – the important thing is that at some point in his life, Shane decided to open a coffee shop and earlier this month, he did.

I can imagine someone might be reading this right now and thinking, “so?  People open businesses all the time” to which I would reply, “wow, you’re a Negative Nelly.”  But really, think about it:  He opened a coffee shop in a bad economy and people pay him money to fulfill his dream!  That’s tremendous.  Allow me to break it down even further for you:  He gets to do something he loves, on his own terms, in a business he owns, for money!  I’m so happy for him, and if I’m being 100% honest…a little jealous.

I’ve been to Ghostlight Coffee twice now and I love it!  The coffee is amazing and prepared with a lot of care and attention to detail.  The baked goods are wonderful and not 3000 calories. (Yes, that’s right, Starbucks sells baked goods that weigh in at 1000 calories over the daily recommended allowance of calories for a normal person.  Just wanted to get that out there.)  The space is cozy and perfect for spending time with friends, alone (the giant windows are perfect for people watching), or with a good book (or Kindle).  Starting today, Ghostlight Coffee is open for the work crowd at 7:00 am so drop in and grab a latte on the way to your cubicle (see what I mean about the jealousy?).

Ghostlight Coffee
1201 Wayne Avenue
Dayton, OH  45410
(937) 985-2633
All photos were taken by my very talented sister, Beth Weeks.  Thanks!

“This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice.  People are going to try to trick you.  To make you feel that you are in competition with one another.  ‘You’re up for a promotion.  If they go with a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.’  Don’t be fooled.  You’re not in competition with other women.  You’re in competition with everyone.

“Also, I encourage them to always wear a bra.  Even if you don’t think you need it, just… you know what?  You’re never going to regret it.”

– Tina Fey, Bossypants

I started reading Bossypants today by Tina Fey and have had a hard time putting it down.  I thought it would be really funny, and it is, but it’s also full of actual work advice based on her experience directing other people while still being liked by her co-workers.  It’s sort of like having a serious conversation with Liz Lemon about work issues – obviously it can only be so serious before returning to hilarity but if you pay attention, there is a lot of wisdom there.