Archives for the month of: August, 2016

Does anybody else ever feel that their day is over when they make a mistake or fail to follow a regimen they set for themselves? For example, as you know, I’ve been meditating in the morning to make a calm start to my day; so, when that doesn’t happen for one reason or another, sometimes I feel as though the entire day is a wash from the start. I also feel this way about food (“I’m going to eat healthy today!” *Eats a bagel sandwich for breakfast* “Well, that ruined it so I may as well just forget this day and eat a cheesesteak for lunch….”). This morning, I really had to have a talk with myself–this is a negative way to view my day!

I woke up this morning and didn’t have time to meditate or center myself because I am pet-sitting my neighbor’s dog. I had to quickly get ready and run next door to feed the dog and let him out before rushing to the train. As I was making my way down the hill to the station, I could already feel myself mentally tipping off-balance and I was so tempted to just give up. I got to the station earlier than I thought I would (and the train was late, as usual), so I had a few quiet minutes to not exactly make up for not meditating this morning, but to close my eyes and calm myself as much as possible. I wouldn’t allow myself to write off the day yet; if I had, I would have gotten in to work and completed my tasks for the day half-heartedly or in a state of anxiety. I didn’t want that and I didn’t want to feel that I wasted an entire 24 hours just because something didn’t go exactly the way I planned it. When does anythinever go perfectly, anyway?

My point is this: Don’t give up on yourself even if you didn’t complete a task or you made a mistake. The day is long and it goes on! You have the ability to decide how you will live and part of that is deciding how you will mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the day, week, or month ahead. Everyone is imperfect (and I think that is what’s beautiful about the world)–embrace it and learn to pick yourself up and move on!

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I have a tiny confession to make. Landing guests for Epic Career Tales has been somewhat difficult these last few months. At the last moment, I was July’s guest because plans fell through with our slated guest. Karen and I both agreed I would one day be a guest, but I ended up being an emergency guest for July. Recently, we have pushed to land more guests who are very influential in their fields. As you can imagine, some of those potential guests may not return emails or calls, or may not be impressed if a podcast doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of listeners. When a guest does not care about numbers and agrees to share his or her story, I’m always incredibly grateful.

After last month, I was at a lost for what to do for August and beyond. Karen suggested that I again contact the two guests I had originally been trying to land. One had said yes, but then stopped returning emails and calls, another agreed to hear what the podcast was about, but ultimately declined. Karen’s passion in getting the latter guest was so great that I sincerely wanted to try again, despite being told “no.” So when I made a second pitch to the guest’s press office about how Karen really wanted to inspire others with his story, they asked me to send the request via e-mail. The interview was granted.

At the same time, I asked the guest the guest who was supposed to interview with us in July to reconsider and she said “yes.” She also thanked me for my persistence and her interview will be published very soon.

I’m thankful these two experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone ended in success. Had my push failed, it would have reinforced my world view that if someone says “no” it is probably a waste to try and change their mind. When I used to work retail, you didn’t pester a customer (or guest) too much because you didn’t want to lose their patronage—also I personally hate being pestered. However, these two experiences have shown me that if someone is somewhat receptive to what you have to say and they decline, you may be able to persuade them to reconsider. This may come through being genuine and passionately explaining why their story is so interesting and why it can be so inspirational to others. Occasionally, people can be thankful for the persuasion because it can also lead to an experience they did not expect.

Does this approach always work? No, but it is always better to try, opposed to never trying at all. And again, I’m thankful for Karen for persuading me to try once more.

Do you have a similar story where you persuaded someone to change their mind?

I’ve had to put out a couple fires at work this week and last. I felt the old familiar stress creeping up on me–tightening my neck muscles, giving me a headache, and making me feel panicky. I used my newfound breathing/meditation techniques to get through it and they have helped greatly!

Another thing that I’ve found that has helped me in dealing with stressful situations at work is acknowledging my own input, whether it is good or not so good, in a situation. This means that I’ve been owning my decisions to myself and to others. There is power in acknowledging a mistake, for example, and taking the correct steps to fix it efficiently. There is also power in recognizing a decision you made that led to a positive outcome for a job or project.This attitude contributes to the vision I have of my ideal self; I want to be an honorable person who can be counted on, so it’s important that I become that person.

You know that saying “Fake it ’til you make it”? I used to scoff at that idea because I thought that “faking it” was kind of like cheating. But I was wrong–“faking it” is one way to achieve goals and become the person you want to be. I’m typically a shy person but when I decide that I need to be confident in a situation (like during an important meeting), I have to cheat a little and fake that feeling. Eventually, it doesn’t feel like faking anymore.

Have any of you faked it ’til you made it? Did it work?

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I was interviewed by Karen for July’s Epic Career Tales. We had the pleasure of talking about juggling multiple freelance jobs, part-time jobs, journalism, and the Great Recession.

Time certainly is passing by quickly this year. Summer is mostly over and it’s time for another vacation. This will be my third vacation from UPS for the year, and like the first one I took in March, the latter half of it involves going to another convention and doing write-ups for Damage Control. I believe this vacation week is better under control than back in March. I spread my time out by making sure my errands and tasks aren’t crammed into the final day before I hit the road. I’m also thankful this convention is in Baltimore instead of Boston. Two hours on the road are definitely preferable to six or seven.

Speaking of vacations and UPS, the end of this week will mark my 15th year with the company (I will also gain a fourth week of vacation time). When I originally took the job in August 2001, I didn’t see myself still being an employee a decade and a half later. I originally took the job for the tuition reimbursement program and weekly pay. Since that day, I’ve gone on to complete my college degree and have experienced a variety of jobs.

It is often said that Millennials do not stay with a job for more than two or three years. At more than a decade, I certainly feel like the odd woman out. Lifelong or even long-term employment is a rarity in many workplaces. Again, I feel as if I’m the odd one out by still being at UPS. However, the job is part-time and leaves me with a lot of time to pursue other interests during the day including other part-time jobs. I’m not sure where my professional life will take me in the next 15 years, but I’m sure there are many more adventures ahead.

What is the longest amount of time you’ve held a single job?

Linear World in red white and blue by Henk Sijgers of Flickr

“Linear World in red, white, and blue” by Henk Sijgers of Flickr. Also one possible view from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

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