Coming up next month is a big-to-me event: I’ll be turning 30! I went back and forth with myself about whether or not I would write a post about this big birthday milestone, but why not? I’ve talked to some people that said they dreaded turning 30 and others who celebrated it. I identify with the latter group; I’m so ready to be out of my 20s. I think because by the time I turned 28 and then 29, I felt like I was moving forward in different ways than I was in my 20s. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’m really getting to know myself and what I like, don’t like, what my dreams are, and how I can work to achieve them. Someone recently told me that she believes a person really gets to know and understand themselves in their 30s, and I’m already starting to feel some of that.

I’ve always been pretty shy and quiet but within the past few years I’ve slowly been gaining more self-confidence and a sense of authority on some things. I don’t feel uncomfortable speaking up at my job anymore; I’ll have been here for 3 years in August (I can’t believe it!), so I feel that I have the right to speak from at least a little bit of experience! I’ve also been making new friends through work and through my other friends. I have a few close friends from growing up, high school, and college that I treasure, and I’m able to make friends with whole new and different groups of people. Not that I couldn’t do that in my early 20s, but I feel as though I’m cultivating deeper, longer lasting friendships now.

One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed recently is that I’m completely comfortable with how I spend my time. Maybe one night I come home after work and want to do nothing–that’s okay! I can sit in my sweatpants, eat dinner, and stare at mindless TV all night if I want. Or, what if on Saturday I want to run around doing errands, hanging out with friends, and more from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep? That’s okay too! I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything or trying to be someone I’m not. That feeling, probably more than any other, is so liberating: I’m becoming me.

I’m excited for what’s ahead and I can’t wait to start this next decade with all of you, dear readers!

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Nearly a month ago I wrote about wanting to finish some personal projects before taking my vacation in June. A huge goal of mine was to update my gaming blog by doing a lot of work on the back end. The work included updating the about pages, creating a small newsletter, auto-posting to the Twitter account, creating an inbox everyone could access, and opening up the Discord server to the public. Each step of the project came with surprise setbacks, but I was determined to stop procrastinating.

The first project was updating the about pages. It had been a process I put on the backburner for years—seven to be exact. Needless to say, the original bios that had been emailed to me were lost to time. Fortunately because we made the switch from staff e-mail chains to Discord, communicating my need for new or updated bios was incredibly easy. I also took suggestions on how to improve the pages (such as official titles) as I updated.

My biggest goal was to update the blog’s Twitter account. As it stood, the account was little more than an RSS feed that updated once a day. I sought out a way to push out older, but still relevant posts so they could be seen more than once. While many paid services could provide me with a content queue, it made no sense to implement on a venture that doesn’t generate income. Ultimately, I found a plugin called Revive Old Posts. The plugin originally didn’t work despite following the instructions and suggested solutions. Occasionally I could trigger a manual update. After fighting with it, I made some tweaks to the WordPress code the auto-updates started to flow. My persistence had finally paid off.

The rest of the updates (the newsletter and opening the Discord server to the public) fell into place pretty easily. All and all, it feels good to scratch a big to-do item off the list. If I keep this pace up my list will be mostly done before my vacation.

 

When was the last time you scratched a big item off your to-do list?

WordPress by Cristian Labarca of Flickr

WordPress by Cristian Labarca of Flickr

I was incredibly busy last week! I apologize to everyone and I promise that I did not forget you all :). Though it’s been hectic, it’s been a good kind of hectic–I’m busy at work and I’m also busy in my personal life. I love feeling that I am working for all of the good things that are coming my way.

Recently, I had a conversation with a coworker about office attire. My office technically requires business casual dress, but it’s not exactly that since we rarely, if ever, meet with clients. Certainly, no one in the office looks sloppy but many people I work with wear nice jeans rather than suits or dress pants. As an employee of a company who has a non-specific dress code, how do you make sure you look neat, presentable, and professional at work every day? Below are my personal tips for navigating this sometimes touchy subject:

  1. My company participates in “casual Friday,” so I try to not wear jeans during the rest of the week. If I do end up wearing jeans on a day other than Friday, I make sure they are clean, neat, and that I’m also wearing a nice shirt and shoes. I want to make sure I’m comfortable but also professional.
  2. I pay attention to what my manager, and my manager’s manager, wear each day. I try to follow the lead of those who are higher up in the company than I am. Sure, some of these people meet with clients regularly and dress the part, but I always make sure that I wouldn’t be embarrassed by my outfit if I were to stand next to my manager in an elevator.
  3. I try not to wear too much jewelry or makeup. I love both jewelry and makeup, so this can be difficult, but I save my more colorful pieces for the weekend. Instead of wearing several “loud” pieces at once, I’ll wear only one at work.

These are not hard and fast rules and I am not a Human Resources professional! They are just some of my own personal guidelines for dressing for work. One thing I always keep in mind that seems to work for me in general is: I never want to give HR a reason to have to talk to me about what I’m wearing. When in doubt, I don’t wear it!

What about you–does your company have a specific dress code?

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I recently wrote about feeling burned out, the need to keep going, and looking forward to taking a vacation. Fortunately, my vacation is about a month away. I came to the realization that unlike many previous vacations, I would actually like to have some free time rather than spending my days catching up on projects. The thought of just relaxing during my vacation and giving myself much needed recovery time has actually pushed me toward a new series of goals. I want to complete said goals during the days leading up to my time off.

Present projects I want to take care of include completing the personal branding, website building, and blogging projects that I have been putting off. I want to contribute to social media beyond my Twitter account, update my LinkedIn profile (because it is overdue), and maintain a larger presence on Facebook and Twitter via my blog. While the website project will take longer to complete because I don’t want to work on it during my time off, I can at least begin building a work timeline. As for the blog, I’ve listed all the changes I want to make for 2018 via Discord and Trello—I just need to implement those changes.

When I finish these projects before my vacation starts I will be in a good place productivity-wise. I’m the type of person who needs a goal deadline to stay motivated with projects. Sometimes it is necessary to create the deadlines yourself and a reasonable reward when there are no external forces pushing you.

 

How do you set up goals and rewards surrounding the free time from your job?

Night Work by Thomas Heylen of Flickr

Night Work by Thomas Heylen of Flickr

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