Archives for posts with tag: career

One of my professional goals is to be a tiny dot on the radar for my manager. Meaning–I don’t want him to constantly think about what I’m doing and require reports from me. If this is required, then I haven’t proved that I’m a great employee who excels at independent work. I want to be the self-sufficient person my manager never has to worry about. I think I’ve developed this nicely because at my former job, we underwent several major changes and I had to report to someone for a time who was my boss’ boss. I didn’t want her to have to worry about me at all (she had enough on her plate as it was!), so I used my coworkers as resources and navigated a lot of issues on my own. Anything that had to be elevated I did, of course, but I made sure I could get through my day-to-day work without having to involve this upper manager. It went really well!

I’ve been slammed this past week with several projects that will linger into the end of September, which means that I’m having to buckle down and really organize myself in order to get everything done well, correctly, and on time. My manager emailed me for an informal status report and I laid out all of my plans for the upcoming weeks; he was so kind and offered me any help that I needed. I also have a colleague who offered her help for one of my journals which she used to work on before me. I’m very lucky to work in such a supportive environment.

I consider it a success when I can speak with my manager or send him emails about my work and how it’s all going and ask him for help when and if I need it, but otherwise remain the employee that he knows will do a great job. I never want to have him or any one else in upper management worry about me! I think I’m doing alright in that area :).

How about you, readers–do you have a more hands-off, helpful manager or someone who prefers to be in the loop about everything? Please let me know!

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Friday July 20th was the ten year anniversary of Damage Control, my video game and geek culture blog. Although the blog was created in June 2008, it would take another month after its creation for articles to start going up. In celebration, some of us wrote retrospectives. A common theme was how we all never expected the blog to last for a decade. The original idea behind the blog was to keep writing after graduating from college. After we took on full-time jobs as journalists the blog would slowly fade away. As 2008 came to a close, it became clear that landing a decent job in journalism wasn’t going to be a reality as the country moved into the Great Recession. Even as we made our own career decisions and did what worked best, Damage Control remained because it was an enjoyable way to express our creativity and maintain a connection to writing.

A decade after graduating from college (and founding DC), my life didn’t quite head in the direction I expected. It took nearly two years for the Great Recession to end, and by then I had not landed a journalism job. I was fortunate at to have my evening part-time job for nearly seven years at that point, and I wasn’t in danger of being laid off. It also provided various benefits such as medical, which helped ease a lot of stress. As for news industry jobs, either I was turned down, or the qualifying positions came with long hours and very low pay. I eventually found myself in retail, got roped into multi-level marketing, briefly dabbled in real estate investing, did some freelancing, tried ghost writing, and worked with Karen and Epic Careering for a few years. All of this before I was able to land full-time by chance at the evening part-time job I originally had. Ten years after the recession, the journalism print industry still isn’t in a good place. Although my dreams didn’t come true, I felt like I may have dodged a very stressful life.

It is fairly common for journalists to be laid off from their publications, especially smaller ones. Sometimes the reasons are due to staff cutbacks, other times the publication itself may fold. The cutbacks for the New York Daily News are making huge waves as journalists use the news as an opportunity to keep sounding the alarm of stagnant wages, poor work-life balance, and a dying medium. While I can’t say what life would have been like if I had made it in journalism, I’m still happy for the opportunity to write, whether writing is in the form of a paid gig like my time with Epic Careering or as part of a passion project.

 

How has the last ten years been to your career? Has it stayed on track or changed in drastic ways?

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Keyboard and mouse.

I’m really grateful that my company allows us to work from home more often. It’s so convenient to not have to worry about getting in to the office if I have an appointment or a lot of errands to run one day. Another aspect of working from home is having the opportunity to tie up loose ends if needed outside of regular work hours. This takes a lot of stress off of my shoulders, but doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on me to work during my free time at home.

One thing I worried about when I first started working for this company and began to take advantage of the work from home policy was that I’d feel obligated to complete tasks once I got home at the end of the day. I didn’t want to feel that I couldn’t leave work at work, and it hasn’t been a problem at all. I don’t feel any pressure to be working all the time; in fact, I feel more organized and comfortable with my job because I can be flexible with my hours, to an extent.

The reason I’m writing about this is because late last week, my family decided to put down my childhood dog. It was devastating. My extremely accommodating and understanding manager agreed that I could work from home for the morning on Friday. If my company didn’t have this policy, I would’ve taken the day off. But I was able to get some work done and also take my mind off of things for awhile. I can’t explain how appreciative I am of of my company.

I’m so lucky to be working at a job I enjoy with plenty of opportunities for growth and development, and with such caring managers. How about you, readers, do you work for a caring company?

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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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