Archives for the month of: April, 2017

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but at the end of May until the very beginning of June I’ll be taking a trip to Ireland! I’m going with my grandmother and we’ll be driving (okay, I’ll be driving…) around the country. I cannot wait for this trip–I’ve been saving and planning for it for awhile now and it’s so close! I’ve also been planning for it at work and it will be the first major vacation I’ve taken since a week-long trip to Aruba in 2014. This trip to Ireland will be almost 2 whole weeks (luckily, Memorial Day is thrown in there and my office is closed) and I have to prepare for people to take over my work while I’m out. Here are my plans:

  1. Do as much work as possible before I leave. This is very important because I don’t want to leave a pile of unfinished article proofs or unreviewed copyediting for someone to deal with while I’m out. I want to be conscientious and make sure I don’t overwhelm anyone.
  2. Anticipate any problems that could arise while I’m out. Since I’ll be “working ahead” as much as possible before I leave, it will give me a chance to think about problems or questions that could arise from my editorial offices. If I can anticipate their needs, I can head any potential issues off at the pass so my coverage partners only deal with happy, satisfied people.
  3. Make sure everything for both of my journals is organized. I’m a pretty organized person as it is, but making sure the things that my partners will be working on are in order before I leave will help them immensely. There are a lot of coverage documents for our journals and I may have let mine get a little stale, so I’m planning on looking through those and updating all the information.
  4. Bring home little thank-you treats for my lovely coverage partners! I’ve covered for a few people during my time here and I always appreciated the nice in-person “thank you” or small gift of chocolate, etc. This is certainly not required, but I’d like to make sure the people who are helping me out feel that I really appreciate what they’re doing!

As my departure date gets closer I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list, but for now I’m concentrating on these items to ensure my vacation goes smoothly for everyone! How about you, readers–what was the longest vacation you took from work or school and how did you handle coverage or the workload while you were out?

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Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr.

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New projects can be both exciting and frustrating. Frustrating when things don’t work out like you envisioned, exciting when you run into challenges and overcome them. For a little over a week, I’ve been helping Karen implement a new WordPress theme for Epic Careering. Bringing her vision to fruition hasn’t been easy and to be honest, we’re still not done. Nevertheless, we’ve come along way and my work has aided Karen in deciding where to take her vision. Would it have been nice to have the theme up, running, and perfected by now? You bet! However, countless projects are conceived and the original plan changes somewhat, or a new solution looking very little like the original is implemented.

Personally, I’m just happy to have left my comfort zone and once again try something new. If everyone gave up after a semi-failure, nothing would ever be accomplished. I also learned a few things from the experience:

  • When designing a website or the look of a website, it can be difficult to bring someone else’s vision to life especially if you’re used to doing things your own way.
  • Pushing back against discouragement can give you a fresh perspective.
  • It’s a sweet feeling when everything starts to come together.
  • Thank God for a flexible platform like WordPress– sometimes a solution is just a plugin away.
  • There’s no shame in admitting you can’t do everything yourself and compromising.

All and all, it was a fairly good week and I learned a lot. At this point, I can’t wait until the look of the new website is finally unveiled.

 

Have you ever started a project that you didn’t quite finish, but still very much enjoyed?

Stream of Consciousness by Steve Jurvetson of Flickr

Stream of Consciousness by Steve Jurvetson of Flickr

There are a lot of changes coming to my office in the coming months. I will talk more specifically about them as the plans become more concrete, but I wanted to write this sort of introductory post to work through some things in my mind.

I don’t like change.

There, I said it. I’m sure many of you reading this right now can relate to me and how I feel; really, in the grand scheme of things, who continually welcomes and enjoys change? Some people do, I’m sure, and I think those people are superstars. How amazing it must be to be so open to adjusting the way you do something or operate in the world!

I’m not like that. I’m reluctant to accept most changes and then I get a little cranky when they happen (because that’s mature and I’m a grown-up lady…). When these big changes were first announced for my office location, I initially when through some of the five stages of grief: denial (oh, for sure), anger (yes, oh yes), bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I think I’m still hovering somewhere in anger and maybe a little in depression? I don’t want you to think that I’m unable to function throughout the course of my day because I’m thinking ahead and planning the ultimate destruction of my way of life (that’s entirely too dramatic and I’d like to think I haven’t gotten to that level yet!), but I am having some trouble accepting that these things are going to happen.

I like routine and knowing what to expect. Sure, I enjoy a good surprise every now and then, but for the every day tasks in my job, I like a bit of order. Now, I know that order will be interrupted and it’s scaring me a little. I’m nervous admitting to this because, to me, it seems like weakness, but I think it’s important for me to write about it. I know others have/had/will have the same thoughts I do about change and I want to be honest about how I’m feeling.

I think the biggest aspect of all this upcoming change that I keep reminding myself about is this: I will be able to settle down into a new routine. My life will not turn into chaos and anarchy–I can survive and thrive, even after this change takes place! Even if I have to remind myself of this every day, multiple times a day, that will be okay. Because it’s important for me to stay positive throughout this time of change.

How about you, readers–have you gone through a big change in your work or personal life that required some “coaching” to get through it?

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Source.

Sometimes life just has this habit of getting in the way of everything you set out to accomplish. Problems can creep up on you, hit you, and knock you flat on your back. Case in point? The end of last week and this week should have been fun and productive. Instead, I’ve had to worry about things out of my control and deal with some things I’ve had the ability to control. Both situations (one currently in progress) are unpleasant, but they are matters that can’t be ignored, even if they take time away from work. Unpleasant situations also have a way of living in your head and depriving you of the focus and concentration needed to finish a task.

I discovered the best way to deal with a problem that consumes your attention, but isn’t immediately urgent, is to let it go for the moment. If it’s an issue that will unfold over weeks or possibly months, don’t neglect your day-to-day duties. In fact, refocusing on work can actually relieve some stress and restore a sense of control. Once I began to dig into a major assignment for Epic Careering (it should be unveiled early next week), I felt much better. I’m able to work on something I really enjoy, find solutions, and ultimately implement them. In short, my problems aren’t going away, but by staying diligent, I can keep my work life from also suffering. Additionally, worrying about every little thing has never made anyone’s life better.

It’s important not to lose focus of your goals and to make progress toward them.

Have you ever faced a problem at home that made it difficult to focus on your work? How did you solve the issue?

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