Archives for the month of: March, 2018

Ah, finally–the nice weather seems to be slowly creeping back into the north east! I hope it sticks around this time….

I may have written about this topic before (or something similar), but I wanted to touch on the importance of helping others, especially in the context of your professional life. In my office, we have a department-wide coverage initiative, meaning that when someone is out for a length of time, their work will not go undone. And the person (or people) who are taking over their tasks won’t be confused because of the way we organize our documents. It sounds like a simple thing, but it is truly life-changing; when I went to Ireland for 2 weeks, having that help was invaluable. I didn’t stress out while I was gone and once I was back, it was easy to slip right back into the flow of things. This is why, depending on my to-do list for that week, I try to help out my coworkers as much as possible.

I believe in karma, maybe not in the truly traditional way, but in way–I believe that what you put out there, you get back. If I reach out and help when I’m able, then people will want to do the same for me. It’s so important, I think, for everyone to have this attitude because sometimes what may seem like a small task to you could actually be a huge help to someone else. I don’t like to leave anyone hanging if I have the extra time or if adding in one or two additional tasks won’t break my day. So, be good to your colleagues–it will make you feel good and they’ll certainly appreciate it :).

Does anyone else live by this rule where you work?

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When I left Epic Careering in August I had to say goodbye to Edgar, one of the most powerful tools Karen and I used for social media management. With a few clicks we were able to create reliable schedules for posting evergreen content (i.e. content that is always relevant) from the blog and YouTube channel. It was a great feeling to set it and rest easy knowing that content would always be pushed out. Edgar even allowed us to add new blog content to a queue via RSS so that nothing was missed. Previously, I had to push old content manually through Buffer. While we still used Buffer to share content from others on a daily basis, Edgar really allowed for serious time-saving.

Unfortunately, the price of $49 per month for my own personal use was just too much to spend on a non-business venture. Instead, I turned to free social media management platforms I had previously used for Epic Careering. I tried Hootsuite and found it lacking after the Facebook API was changed to disallow sharing on that service. Next I tried Buffer. With its ability to post content to multiple social media networks, it was exactly what I needed.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered I had been using Buffer the difficult way in the past—that is manually setting a date and time whenever I wanted content to be shared. My insight came by testing the site’s features combined with the knowledge I had gained from using Edgar. I realized that I had the ability to set schedules (days and specific times) for every social media platform after connecting them to Buffer. Once the posting schedule was set, I simply had to add whatever content I wanted to share to a queue. Eliminating a few clicks increased my productivity.

I wish I had taken the time to set up a Buffer schedule while I was still working for Karen, but figuring it out late and saving time now is better than never figuring the said feature out. It also felt great to learn something new. I have more tricks I want to apply to my own personal projects, but they will require interesting work arounds as I search for free alternatives to Edgar.

 

Do you use a social media management platform to share content? If so, what service?

My-Buffer-Queue

My own small Buffer queue.

This week has been so busy! I can’t believe March is already half over–the days have been flying by. Today, I have a group meeting to discuss certain tasks that are unique to our jobs and how long those tasks take us to complete. This is to determine whether some tasks are essential or not, as well as which ones can be standardized across the board or are more unique to a certain publication.

One of the things I really like about the company I work for is the opportunity to get involved in projects (both long- and short-term) that help to make employees’ jobs easier. Several time-saving initiatives have been rolled out just within the past few months that have positively impacted how I do my job. To be able to see concrete results from projects that I’m involved with has been an amazing morale-booster. I know that I’m directly contributing not only to the company, but to my colleagues directly.

There is something to be said about getting involved, whether it’s at your job, school, or in your community. As you long-time readers know, I’m a naturally shy person that doesn’t like to call too much attention to myself, but these various opportunities to get involved at work have started me down the path of confidence. I may not be ready to give a presentation to a room full of people at a moment’s notice, but I’m certainly feeling much better in terms of how I handle myself in front of a crowd.

There’s something exciting about where I am in my life today–I feel like the best parts are yet to come and that I’m on exactly the path I need to be to make those things happen. I’m just feeling optimistic these days :).

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It has been a little while since I’ve visited what is technically my third job, being a landlord. Being a landlord and owning even a little bit of property isn’t easy. The process is just like any other business and you make mistakes. You take a chance on someone and your safeguards fail. I won’t get into all the details, but my last tenants didn’t work out. Between a lack of communication and caring on their end, I was left with an unoccupied apartment filled with their possessions. Thanks to a state law, I had to go to court to get rid of said possessions and change the locks for the unit. However, I could not recover lost money because I wasn’t diligent enough in my research and was missing a certificate and a handbook I was supposed to give them while they were tenants.  I got to keep the security deposit. Live and learn.

The bright side was being able to legally remove their possessions from my property after getting a private agreement in court, and beginning the process of cleaning the unit up. The goal was to get it ready to rent out again. My confidence as a landlord was somewhat damaged, but I was heartened by interest in my unit as neighbors noticed me cleaning it out. I received two unsolicited offers from people looking to rent. In the end, I made a deal with a family member who was in need of a place to stay, willing to pay me, and willing to work with me as repairs were made to the unit. The deadline to get the apartment ready to move into was March 1st and the process was involved. Thankfully, a full renovation wasn’t needed—unlike two years ago. This time I simply needed to remove the trash left behind, clean, and treat for pests.

While slightly more work still needs to be done, my new tenants are satisfied. This time I made sure I had all of my certificates, notices, and handbooks ready to go at the lease signing. I also found good sources of information to keep on top of Philadelphia’s changing landlord-tenant laws. Starting over wasn’t easy, but I’m grateful for a second chance after a failed venture.

 

Have you ever had a project or venture fail? Did you give up or start over?

Paperwork 2 by Isaac Bowen of Flickr

Paperwork 2 by Isaac Bowen of Flickr

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