Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting to know my legacy...

This post is part of a blog series on Brazen Careerist being sponsored by Entrustet. They asked Brazen members to answer the following question: What do you want your legacy to be? Here’s my response…

The toughest perspective to understand is your own.  What may seem simple to you when looking in on a friend's situation, is never as simple when you're looking at your own.

I don't really have a problem analyzing and solving sticky situations for other people.  The obvious answer seems to pop right up for me.  But it's a very different story when I'm trying to muddle through my own situations.

When I started to think about the legacy I want to leave on this earth, a very familiar muddy feeling began to creep over me.  To me, deciding on what I want my legacy to be is like looking in on my life and taking stock of the impact I've had on this world.  I suppose I'm a relatively humble person and I've had a hard time seeing my impact.

I think the best way to see this objectively is to pretend to be someone else looking in on my life.

What I think my friend Laurie would say about my legacy as a sail instructor:
  • Integrity is the strongest part about Alison as a sail instructor.  It's hard to tell adults they didn't meet the standard and there's often a lot of pressure to make people happy and pass them.
  • Her commitment to developing adult learn-to-sail has been second to none.  For the last six years she's spent almost every weekend during our short summer season teaching adults to sail, and many more hours developing an engaging program for adults as opposed to kids.
  • She's been able to grow the program to a point where the sailing school needed more boats.  Selling out every weekend is a good problem to have.  There's been many repeat students who've come back to finish more levels, and without a good experience they never would have come back because it's a big time commitment to learn to sail.
Here's what I think my husband would say about my path in life so far:
  • Alison's done a great job of learning how to change her perspective in life.  Growing up in a low income home gives you one way of seeing the world, but she's tried hard to understand that there is more to the world than what she experienced as a kid.
  • She's really adopted a passion for business which has made our relationship stronger.  I feel like I have a confidant and equal to bounce ideas off of.  She's also very interested in opening her own business one day and I know whatever it is Alison's compassion will help to make this city a better place.
  • Getting to the point where we're ready for a family has been a progression, but now that we're here I know Alison will make a great mom.  She is empathetic and caring, values equality and shows great compassion to help others.
I think all in all, I want my legacy to be about how I helped others make this a better place. I think it's tough to decide upon a legacy because usually it's other people who describe it after you're gone.  My biggest wish is to live my legacy in the now and make every day count before they're all gone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Gaps in My Gen Y Perspective

Change is hard.  I think it's pretty clear from the other posts on my blog that as much as I like change, I don't because it's challenging.  Change requires you to form new relationships, see new places, do new activities which is all exciting--yet it's still tough.

I struggle with being at home without a job.

I get antsy when I'm not working because I don't want to commit to anything long-term, even the idea of being at home.

I struggle with the idea of being at work.

The thought of changing my unscheduled life is kind of tough too.  I feel like I've grown up in a generation of always trying to get the best of everything because anything to the contrary is a compromise.  So even though I am ecstatic about getting a new job where I'll feel engaged because I'm duly supporting a cause while earning a living, I feel conflicted about letting go of my flexible life.

So why am I afraid of committing my life to a job like every other normal person out there?

This year, I have purposefully made decisions to initiate change in my life.  I started learning a new skill this year by enrolling for horseback riding lessons.  I want to increase my confidence in using humour in everyday situations so I enrolled for a stand-up comedy class.  That's definitely one that's outside the comfort zone.

I suppose I feel like I've been burnt out and used by old employers.  I was a fresh new face--eager to please and willing to do anything to show I was important to the organization.  Now, conflict arises for me because I know I can be important to an organization, but I'm afraid of being used.

But somewhere deep inside I want to throw myself into work.  I want to work hard and do a good job.  I want to be important again, not caught up in employment ambiguity.  I want to find definition through working for a cause.  And a small part of it might be about not wanting to fall into female stereotypes of days gone by.  I want to work, I want to do my part, I want to be independent, and I want to be a strong woman.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Relateable is Your Resume?

Big thought day today.  I woke up contemplating why I'm not a "yesman" and what makes my experience on my resume so unrelateable.

Let's take a step back...  I am assuming that my experience is unrelateable because in two interviews I received feedback that I am underqualified to work in an autonomous position, and overqualified to work in a support position.  Confused?  Me too.

My two areas of experience in this work world come from very ambiguous, magical areas: making television news happen, and teaching dinghy sailing.  Television seems to boggle the minds of most.  The most typical reactions I get when people see that I've worked at Global Edmonton is to ask if the anchors or reporters are nice.  But what are interviewers actually gleaning from that time in my life?  I never get questions like "so what did you take from that experience?" or "what did you learn that that could be helpful to our organization?".

The other double-edged sword on my resume is that I've spent a good portion of my life teaching sailing to kids and adults.  It's so foreign to people it seems like they don't understand what could possibly come out of it. 

I feel like I need to clear the air and do a better job being more relateable, so I've come up with a bullet list that has nothing to do with tasks I completed in those positions but everything to do with relateable skills.

  • Worked under pressure (sometimes LOTS of pressure) to meet a deadline... every day.
  • Learned how to be objective in the interest of truth.
  • Turned into a huge team player as everything you do in television relies on someone else, or someone else's job completely relies on yours.
  • Learned the value of how socializing with your coworkers bonds a stronger team and gives you a network to trust and bounce ideas off of.
  • Sailing is based on teamwork as well.  You must rely on another person to help you achieve your goals.
  • Being in charge of a program means that it will only be as good as your ability to pour your heart in, learn new things, and always think of making it better.
  • I've learned to manage peoples' expectations. Some students just aren't going to make the standard in the time frame they wanted to and I need to explain why (and how they can still achieve their goals).
  • I learned to make tough calls.  Sometimes I've had to disappoint people, but the best way to make people understand is to educate them about why you made your decision.
I strongly believe the era of "listen to me because I told you so" is over.  Gen Y has been programmed to ask why.  So instead of resisting and worrying about losing your authority, explain why, and in turn gain mountains of respect.

If there are any suggestions about how I can translate this relateable content onto my resume in an easy-to-understand way, please let me know by leaving a comment.  : )  Thanks!

The Quickest Way to Ruin Your Company

I woke up this morning already in thought.  I was thinking about my career, or lack thereof right now.

I decided to leave my last job in early July because the older I get the more I understand about who I am, what I'm good at, and the type of environment I want to work in.  One thing I know about me is that I have a hard time just being a "yessman" (someone that goes along with the decisions of others because they'd rather not think about it, or fear that opposition will threaten their job). 

I am not a "yessman."  Although it wasn't until this morning that I realized why.  I spent the first part of my working career in television.  Well, I worked towards where I wanted to be in TV.  I spent five years at Global Television as a script assistant, which was really a quality control position to make sure the details (both technical and not) didn't slip through the cracks.  (Note: if you see mistakes on the news, know there is a culture of blame in broadcast telelvision, so a script would say it's the producer's responsibility to catch that mistake, and the producer would blame the reporter.) 

This time as a script taught me how to be incredibly (even ridiculously) detail oriented and act as a "catch-all" for everyone's mistakes.  Thank goodness that intensity has relaxed now but I really felt like it was all on me at times.

The reason why I'm not a "yessman?"  News is based in objectivity.  The goal of a news organization is to present a balanced view of a story or topic.  Are they perfect?  No.  But everyday, in some way, shape or form, I was reminded that objectivity is #1 and we had to work as hard as possible to get the other side.  This was mainly for reporters/producers/anchors but it's a culture that's instilled into everyone.

When I went back to school and studided entrepreneurship last spring I learned one "don't."  Don't surround yourself with people who hold the same opinion as you.  The downfall of the corporate ladder is that promotions don't come to people who go against the grain.  Promotions go to "yessmen."  The benefit to surrounding yourself with people who have different experience and hold various opinions is that you will always be able to see a problem from multiple sides.  Even if you think there's only one way to look at a problem (your way) you could be very wrong, and if you create a culture where people are afraid to challenge your position, you could just be padding your company's death bed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What is lost eventually is found (I hope!)

I read a post by Penelope Trunk this morning entitled "When you're feeling lost, don't hide."   I am a big fan of Penelope's writing because I relate to her blunt, honest revelations about herself, her work, and her family life.

More and more, I strongly believe there is no way to seperate work and life and be happy.  I feel like by trying to do that I am cheating myself out of an honest life because those lines blur all the time, no matter how hard you try to keep them seperate.

I was still laying in bed, bleary-eyed, reading her post on my Blackberry when she says "...I am really lost right now."  I've been following her posts and participate in the Brazen Careerist community (her startup) so I've seen a progression in her life.  She's makes a living off her blog, has over 50 000 subscribers to it, things that many people aspire to.

I feel lost too. And frustrated that I am still unsettled on the job front.  After graduating in April, I found an unreal job working in my chosen field (marketing) while incorporating my past experience (television production).  I had failed myself by not doing my homework on the company.  I didn't even talk to people I knew had worked there before.  I suppose I chose not to hear the negative because I was so excited about this perfect opportunity.

Unfortunately I learned my lesson the hard way.  Every student wants to get the best job, the fastest, and I exchanged the stability of having a job right away for my time, effort, and frustrations spent through that first month and a half I worked there.

I like Penelope's take: "feeling lost is part of being great."  I know one thing from my experiences, bosses don't always appreciate the suggestions I bring, and the insight I see because it creates the need for change and most people avoid change like the plague. 

I might feel lost now, but it's because I've dedicated myself to forging my own way. (Which might I add is definitely not the easiest path to go down.)  But it's my path because living an honest life is most important to me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why Birthdays Should Be Celebrated

Yesterday was my birthday.  My 29th birthday.  I think I'm officially at an age where it's not cool to get any older and when people start to dread their birthday.

I love birthdays.  I loved them when I was a kid, I love them now, and I'll still love them in the future.

I view birthdays like this: they are a celebration of me & my life, not my age or how life is changing for me.  I harken back to when I was a kid; when birthdays were highly anticipated events where your family tried their hardest to make the day special.  Now that I'm married my husband Sean did a great job of carrying that torch.

To make my day special I fill it with as many of my favourites as I can.  If you want to make it a special day, always take it off of work.  Sleep in.  Enjoy a day of your favourite foods.  Take every moment in with a sense of happiness.  Let the little things that make you grouchy go as they come up.

Here's a pictorial blog of my b-day yesterday and how I enjoyed the day.

A Special Birthday Lunch with Sean at Lumberjacks

My all time favourite food--grilled cheese!  The yam fries were a bonus.

The yummiest cake ever! It's a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream cake from Marble Slab.

A good old fashioned candle blowing out!  Thank goodness they didn't put 29 candles on my cake.

My favourite b-day present!  An iPad!  Welcome to the world of Mac.

Wow, this thing reminds me of when I'd get a new video game for a birthdays or Christmas.  I will be immersed in iPad land for the next while.

My birthday is not complete without our kitty Peekay playing in the tissue paper.

Right before I went to bed, my good friend Laurie stopped by to drop off this adorable cupcake "cake" she baked for me.  : )  It was a totally unexpected suprise that made me feel like a million bucks.

Thanks to all that made yesterday a great day!  Celebrate how special you are, not how old you're getting.  : )

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Downside To A Dream Job

Mix some insecurity with unfamiliarity, add a dash of tension, a pinch of stubbornness and what do you get? 

My life right now.

It was absolutely thrilling to walk out of school with a fantastic job, in a small company before I even left for the last time.  I was elated after working my first week--all a-twitter with lust, much like one would feel after a fantastic date with a new interest.

But somewhere along the way crept in my old friend--insecurity.  As I interpret expectations and heap on my own pressure to succeed, I've ended up feeling very alone.  I want to have the answers to questions; I want to run with my highly sought after and desired autonomy, but something inside is telling me I am in way over my head.

The task at hand is grand.  I must elevate their brand.  To a marketing grad it sounds completely romantic.  Grads don't get to elevate brands... but I do.  It may sound like I'm bragging but in reality I feel lost.

As I reflected yesterday after work I longed for the easy jobs of my past.  The task oriented jobs where it was easy to identify what to do and how to do it.  You did your work and went home and left your job there at the end of the day.  I need to find a way to turn thinking into doing.

I need to find a way to own this job and not feel like I'm pretending to be someone else.  Although in the meantime, I'll keep looking to share moments with others who can relate.  It's a nice distraction from feeling alone.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So This Is It...

Who knew finishing school would be so anticlimactic? I thought it would be more like when you walk into your house, throw your keys down on the table, and go through the roof because there's a room full of your closest family and friends waiting to surprise you.

There was no surprise party when I got home today.

I just finished my last final exam of my most recent academic experience. Two diplomas in two years. Crazy.

I picked up the dog who happened to have a more exciting day than I did while at puppy day care. We pulled up and sauntered in through the front door--both of us exhausted. I sat down in the living room and turned on the TV and these strange pangs started in my stomach. I recognized this feeling… it was guilt!!

What the heck was guilt doing in my stomach? It was like an automatic response to sitting down and turning on the television. I felt guilty that I wasn’t working on school stuff!

Newsflash to my brain… I am done… D-O-N-E… like dinner. No more school, no more assignments, no more studying, no more finals, and no more guilt. Maybe. I haven’t been out of the workforce that long, but I seem to remember before I had mounds of homework I still felt guilty about needing to do stuff when I could barely muster enough energy to click “power” on the remote.

So maybe the guilt was always there, it just got worse with school.

Feeling guilty about stuff on the to-do list is so anti-productive. It slows you down kind of like how multi-tasking brings efficient processes down to a common denominator called “wading through molasses.” And really what it’s doing is reducing your capabilities to nothing.

The best way I’ve found to get rid of these guilty feelings… is to eat.. : ) NO, just kidding. That’s the last thing you want to do. You’ll have gained 100lbs. before you don’t feel guilty anymore. It’s really to realize that you made a mistake by procrastinating and move on!

Take in the lesson and do it differently next time, and if there’s no lesson to be learned than just stop beating up on yourself.

Speaking of procrastination, I better get back to… huh… nothing I guess!

**This post is in honour of me because I made it, I am a graduate, and I’m done.**   : )

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's an INFJ?

INFJ.  It sounds like jargon.  Like an acronym for something with a long confusing title.  I suppose that's true because it stands for Inutition, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging.

So what does it all mean?  Well, one day last spring I decided to take the Myers-Briggs Personality test in my quest to understand my personality better.  We'd done the Keirsey Temperment Sorter in school which is quite similar.

I took the test... and it was long!  I was dying to see the answers--my assessment.  I have a sort of obsessive desire to know things, especially know more about myself and how I interact with others.  I wanted to bite my fingernails while I waited in suspense.

I sorted out all my answers and came up with an acronym.  INFJ.  I read the assessment and went cold as statement after statement hit my personality on the nose.  I had never encountered a "quiz" like this to be so revealing.  I really didn't want to share my findings with anyone at the time because it felt like I was naked in front of the world.

But now I'm proud of who I am.  Here are a few of the characteristics that dropped me to my knees:

Excerpts taken from Portrait of an INFJ

"Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types."

"They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand."
"They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions."

"INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them."

"Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it."

"INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring."

"They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress."

"On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them."

"They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments."

"In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent."

"The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement."

Anyone who read my "You As A Brand" post will likely recognize some similarities between what I wrote then with the characteristics listed above.

Take a moment to reflect on your own personality.  If you're as curious as I am I bet you're half way to the website already.  It's amazing how much better you can perform at work, school, or home when you have some idea why you do the things you do.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Added subscription & forwarding options

Google is my friend, Google is my friend!  Knowing nothing about blogging, but knowing something about reading others blogs told me I needed a way to let other share information.

I know when I come across a good blog post I think of who might benefit from reading it in my circle and I send it on by email, or Facebook, and sometimes Twitter.

So low and behold I Googled how I could let other people do that on my blog and they gave me the answer.  : )  I added an RSS subscription option and the option to forward via email, twitter, Facebook, and that ambiguous Share This button which I see everywhere.  I am so going to offend any and all techies.  Sorry.

Also added Blogger's option to check a reaction box.  Looked neat to me, but I'm probably the worst person to decide what other people's reactions are to my writing.  I'm a little biased I think.

Anyways, enjoy and thanks to all who have visited my site in these early days.  Gotta love Feedjit!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Really Tiny Baby Steps

I'm trying to make some changes in my life these days.  There's a lot of change on the horizon for me with my graduation around the corner, and starting a family is lurking within the next year. 

I've recruited the help of a change specialist because change doesn't come easy, even when you're motivated to do so.  I talked with Deborah on the phone today and we went over my goals from last week, which I was disappointed to report I didn't meet them all.  She reminded me that setting goals isn't supposed to be a reason to beat up on myself when I don't reach my high standards.

We talked about my baby step of packing a gym bag.  You're probably thinking how significant is packing a gym bag?  It doesn't sound like much.  It's a really tiny baby step. 

I want to exercise.  I hear it's fabulous for stress release and these days that's what I need right now as the assignments and exams pile up.  But something has been holding me back and I can't quite put my finger on it.  Actually, I do know what it is... I don't tend to put myself first.  I know everyone says that.  It's become kind of en vogue to be uber modest but it's a very real problem in my life.

Putting myself first... it kind of sounds selfish which is exactly why I need help to change.  Imagine a world where without even thinking about it you take on extra group work because your team member stayed out late partying and decided not to do his share, or when you drive a half hour out of your way to pick something up that was supposed to be delievered to you. 

I accept these responsibilities at the drop of a hat, and why?  To be kind, thoughtful, or nice?  Maybe.  Probably the real answer is because I am a people person (aka: closet people pleaser).  I dismiss promises to myself to go extra lengths to make another person happy.  It makes me happy to do things for others, except for when they don't notice or expect me to be that accomodating all the time.  Talk about classic Gen Y.  The weird thing is, is that I'm still new at taking compliments gracefully so praise can be a challenge.

This week I'm putting myself first.  I've promised myself that I want to enjoy my commitments to go to drop-in yoga twice this week, and take the next really tiny baby step into the gym and exercise for 20 minutes.  Just enough to get the blood flowing.  And hey, it'll definintely be an improvement over just packing my gym bag.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You As A Brand

During my last semester in marketing I took a class that made me look at a SWOT analysis in a whole new way.  For SWOT neophytes, it's an analysis of internal (strengths & weaknesses) and external (opportunities & threats) characteristics of a company and its relation to the outside world.

I did a SWOT analysis on myself.

I want to set the stage, so let's go back in time a bit to November 5th.  I go into my teacher's office to lightly chat about this "You As A Brand" assignment 30 minutes before class starts.

Me: So, I'm having some trouble pin pointing what you want us to do for the "you as a brand" assignment.

Teresa: Ahhh, really?  Because it's due in a half an hour.

Me: What! omg, I didn't realize it was due today!  (Earlier that week I was panicking about the prospect of me quitting school to go work only 1.25 months from graduating with a marketing diploma.)  I start to cry.  I didn't want to cry, in fact it was the last thing I wanted to do in front of my teacher but I broke down and told her everything about our sudden crisis.  Teresa was incredibly supportive of my situation, and to this day I thank her for that.

Teresa: Alison, hand it in to me tomorrow.  I'm going to have to penalize you for being late, but bring it and I'll mark it.

I hadn't even started the assignment and I was still having troubles figuring out what my "brand" was.  I just started writing.  Here is the SWOT analysis I wrote about myself in reference to my "goal position" as a producer in a creative services department.  (I was short on time so I went with something I was familiar with).

Internal Strengths:
  • Ability to facilitate groups of people to get things done.  I can enable teams to work together. I love to encourage team members to connect on multiple levels to increase commitment to the project at hand.
  • Seeing the big picture.  I can wrap my head around a project and look to the final product to understand what to do.
  • Innate understanding of what motivates people.  I am able to see why people are achieving success or why they are stuck spinning their wheels.
  • Relating to people.  I am able to create a positive rapport with anyone.
  • Driven by honesty and ethics.  I am strongly motivated and directed by my personal ethics and values.  I do what is right.
Internal Weaknesses:
  • Difficulties working for dictators.  I get along with 99.9% of the population but I have a very hard time working for people who think there is only one way to do a job.
  • Working with people who don't like other people.  I am a social person who respects everyone.  I find it challenging to work with people who don't like the social nature of working with others.
  • Procrastination.  I am included in the group along with 95% of the population* that are prone to procrastination from time to time.  *Data taken from

External Opportunities:
  • Social media as a viable, personal way to communicate.  Respect is building for how effective social media vehicles are reaching a younger, technically savvy demographic.  A producer is in the business of communicating a message via television and video.  The ability to create an in-demand video using methods like YouTube to communicate a client's message is invaluable.
  • Success of person to person, word-of-mouth advertising.  Communicating through word-of-mouth over the internet is a huge opportunity for clients wanting to produce television commercials.  If a producer can concoct a video that goes viral a client can achieve product awareness en-masse and have a better chance of establishing a personal connection with customers.
External Threats:
  • Over-segmentation and dilution of TV audiences decreases advertising dollars.  The lure of revenue generation through starting up niche specific television channels has resulted in a reduction in large-scale TV advertising campaigns.  Clients are trending towards targeting views by spending advertising money with channels that can virutally guarantee the type of viewers being impacted by their commercial.
  • Smaller, more customer savvy advertising firms expand into television.  Through economizing the client process, small advertising firms are able to understand client needs intimately and quickly.  Being closer to the customer combined with highly specified TV campaigns allow firms to come up with specialized spots faster and more efficiently than larger firms.
This exercise really piqued my interest in the area of personal branding.  I challenge every job seeker to do a SWOT analysis before an interview because it summarizes exactly what the employer wants to hear: why you're fantastic, how you deal with common weaknesses, how you can bring value to their company, and how connected you are to their industry and competition.  You just might learn something about yourself in the process.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Passion is Paramount

I am one of the lucky few who doesn't run short of passions in life. My mom couldn't afford to sign me up for dance or music lessons like a lot of little girls, but I found passion in school.  I was a reader who loved books more than playing on the playground.  I still get butterflies in my stomach once a year when I have free reign in the bookstore to choose every book under the sun I want for Christmas.

By the time I turned 13, I'd really missed the boat on friends.  I'd gone through some rough experiences like getting beat up a few times, and definitely being ostracized by the "cool kids."  I felt like a reject, doomed to be on the outside forever.  I joined Sea Cadets to relieve pressure from home to get involved it in.  My grandpa had worked within the organization for years.  He was a sailor and fully expected me to take up the sport when I joined.  I guess my stubborn sentiments were present even then because all I wanted to do was dig my heels in and hate the weekly parade nights, hate the people I met there, and hate going away to summer camp.

Somehow, sometime during my second year I started to look forward to those weekly meetings, and got excited when I thought about going away to my first sailing camp.  I didn't know it at the time, but this was the start of defining my biggest passion.

Three and four years passed and I realized that I loved being a part of Sea Cadets not because it was a para-military organization at all, but because people liked me in that world.  I wasn't an outcast--I was on the inside, in fact I was at the centre of my own circle of sailing friends.  We went to summer camp together for only two summers but that time forged some wonderful, critical friendships.

Sailing and my lake friends became my life.  I loved how it felt to arrive at the lake (fashionably late) and have Jessie or Heather run up and give me a big hug.  It was the first time anyone showed their appreciation of me and their excitement about me even being there.  So often I clinged to the edge of social circles, frequently (or conveniently) left off the guest list for sleep overs or parties only to hear all about it on Monday as everyone else excitedly chirped about what happened or how exiciting it was.

The lake weekends would always end and I had to return to the fringes of friends I stuck with so I wouldn't be entirely alone at lunch.

In school these days I'm taught about how important it is that you love your business idea so much that you will still love it when you have no money, and when times are hard.  I think that the ability to be passionate in what you do with your time makes your experience at work.  Passionate people care about what they do and seem obligated internally to seek out work that makes them happy, no matter the cost.  That's why I'm here, back at post-secondary and taking business.  I'm trying to find a new passion within business so I can be as happy at work as I am to be sailing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Being Open to Improvement

In my short life I have done a lot of things, learned a bunch about myself, and been the first female in my family to admit I needed guidance. I come from a family with strong, matronly figures. Ones that don't cry (except during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics) and especially don't admit things like being wrong, or express regret.

The idea of a strong woman has been with me my whole life. And at times, would I ever like to be strong. Unfortunately I must have got my dad's emotions. I cry at lots of things, for seemingly small reasons. I become passionate about the things I believe in. I admit when I'm not strong.

The first time I realized I needed outside advice came when my dreams for my first career started to crumble around me. I don't think I can even take credit for admitting I needed another perspective as it was my boyfriend (now husband) who told me I should talk to someone.

So I did. I took the first scary steps to seek help and advice to fix me. I learned a lot about myself, but most importantly I learned that other people have great insight into my issues and can push me to look at things in a different light.

I am at a crossroads again in my life as I prepare to exit the safe incubator called post-secondary school and forge into the real world... again. I learned a lot in school, especially from the critical thinking courses I took that focus on self-examination which led me to the notion that maybe I need to work on my thinking. Building on that, recently I found a fabulous coach: Deborah from Inspiritu Life Coaching & Professional Counselling. She mainly deals with changing your thinking centred around weight loss & body image, but I learned today that my thinking goes far deeper than image.

We talked about negative projections. I do this when I say things like "I'm definitely going to be at a disadvantage compared to my classmates when I'm looking for a job because I'm going on vacation in May." I don't actually know if I will or will not be disadvantaged, but I saw how saying that put a limitation on my ability for success. I now had an excuse if I didn't get the dream job over someone else.

It's important to combat these projections by just being open to the possibilities around us. Instead of being so unsure & negative when I talk with people about what I will be "doing" after school is over, I'm going to be more open by engaging & seeing if there are any networking possibilites available just through speaking to that person.

It's a whole new way of doing things and I think my accountability level is going to be way higher now than it has ever been!

I'll keep all my loyal followers posted as I work through this. : )

Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Day, A New Year, A New Life.

So, I have entered the world of blogging... But who am I and why should I have a blog? Well let me introduce myself.

I am a girl... well woman. A 28 year old student, starting over in life again. I'm taking business at NAIT & managing to fit in with a crowd that's 8-9 years younger than me. I "retired" from broadcasting, aka, decidided I didn't want to wait it out to work the good shifts in 2007. With TV as my first career it kind of makes it difficult to follow that act.

I am also defined by my passion for sailing & teaching others to sail. Strange thing to be interested in the middle of the Prairies, but I have spent the better part of my sailing dinghies & the last 10 years teaching others to sail. I love it. It's one of the few things in life I am passionate about.

My family consists of my loving husband & our dog Kona & cat Peekay. Our animals are much like kids to us... they sure cost a lot of money, and yet every time I need to fork out more money for them I do it without hesitation. Kona is a sweet chocolate lab. Much like me, excitable & outgoing at times, but most of the time he's reserved & looks to be like quite the thinker. Peekay is named after the main character in Bryce Courtneay's novel "The Power of One." She's perserveared through life & truly inspires me to do the same.

And why do I deserve a blog? Deserve is kind of a loaded word but I think there are many people that blog for no reason and have little to offer their readers. I suppose blogging for your own satisfaction is okay too. I am embarking on a new phase in life. I'm in my last semester at school & will be back in the work force in no time. My husband & I are going to be starting a family soon (definitely not until I'm finished school), and I want to start my own business too.

I want a way to help focus & organize my thoughts & one day if I ever have a following, get feedback on my thoughts from other people.

Well, here goes!!