Archives for posts with tag: career

Last week was one of those crazy busy, can’t-even-take-a-minute-to-breathe weeks. From the moment I checked my email on Monday morning until I left the office on Friday afternoon, I was doing something. That wasn’t a typical week for me because most of what I was working on were unexpected issues that popped up and I had little time for my own day to day activities that keep my two journals going. In the past 2 years that I’ve been here (2 years?! I can’t believe it!), I’ve come up with a few things that I try to do so that, when I do have weeks like last one, I don’t fall behind on my regular work.

One of the best things I’ve ever forced myseld to do is to spend a set amount of time every day working on my “regular” work. For me, this means that I set aside 30 minutes to an hour every day to work on article proofs and/or copyediting review. This is the kind of work that keeps manuscripts and articles flowing through the production process and I’m responsible for making sure I have fairly low turnaround times for these tasks. It might seem like a burden to interrupt whatever I’m doing to switch to another task for a short period of time, but I can’t tell you how much this has helped me. I actually create an Outlook calendar event for myself where I’m marked as “Busy” and I spend that block of time doing what I need to do to keep my publications on track. This might sound silly, but this even calms me down a bit if everything else I’m working on is stressing me out. Coypediting review and article proofs are the bread and butter of my job–it’s what has essentially been the same from my last job to this one. It’s not that I can do these tasks “blindfolded,” but they are familiar and I typically know how to handle almost every situation that crops up while I’m working on them.

If I spend that chunk of time working, then I feel immensely accomplished at the end of the day. Not only did I handle all of the random things that came up, but I was still able to keep my day to day work on track as well. I feel a little bit like a superhero on those days :).

What do you do when you are in situations where your “regular” work is interrupted by emergencies, problems, or just stuff?

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It’s so important to ask questions. I wanted to write about this topic today because I find that the more experienced I become in my field, the more questions I have about various aspects of it. This is a good thing; I think there is a misconception in our society that a person who asks a lot of questions must not “get it.” That just isn’t true! I think that asking questions shows a person is actively thinking about a topic and exploring many facets of a problem. At least, that’s what I experience when I come up with questions about something. I want to know more and the best way to obtain information is to ask specific, direct questions about it.

When I have questions to ask someone, whether it is an author, my editorial office, or my manager, I make sure that I combine all of my questions into one email, phone call, or meeting with that person. There is nothing more irritating than receiving several emails or phone calls about the same topic when one well-organized message would have sufficed. Also, it helps to take a moment and really think through what it is you want to ask; sometimes the answer is right in front of you, figuratively speaking, and all it takes is a minute of contemplation to find it. Or, on the other hand, maybe after that contemplation you’ve considered a new way in which to ask a question or think about a problem. I can sometimes power through things and have learned to ease off the gas and not fire off an email or phone call the second I have questions. This has made me a more careful, controlled person and I feel more confident in my problem-solving abilities.

Don’t ever feel like you are less-than just because you want to ask questions. Sometimes asking a question can start a conversation or debate that could create some amazing answers. I’m a naturally shy person and I am only just now becoming comfortable with asking questions (lots of them, if I need to!) and I wish I had overcome my fears before this point. Gather your courage, confidence, and intelligence, get out there, and ask questions! 🙂

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Well, ladies and gents, I’m here! I finally made it to Ireland. We just flew in this morning and I was able to get a nap in this afternoon, thankfully. I wasn’t able to sleep on the plane at all! The past few days have been a whirlwind for me at work-I’ve been preparing for this trip for some time, but there is only so much I could do at work to plan what would come up in my absence. Luckily, my company has some wonderful procedures for vacation coverage.

I know exactly who will work on which tasks for my journals while I’m out, which was great for planning. It made my editorial offices feel better to know there is a specific contact person for them while I’m gone, just in case of emergency. It’s helpful for me as well, because I don’t have to come back to a mound of work that hasn’t been touched since I left. I’m so glad I was able to plan for this trip early enough that my editorial offices, colleagues, and I felt comfortable with my vacation.

Now, I’m off to enjoy myself (and to drive on the other side of the road! Wish me luck!). I’ll write again in June!

I’ve been thinking about my job a lot recently and how so much of it depends on talking to people all day. I speak to my editorial offices (mostly via email, but also on the phone), both internal and external colleagues, and authors constantly. I’m a shy (less so than I used to be), mostly quiet person and I remember wanting to pursue a career where I could get out of comfort zone a little, but not too much! Ironically, I chose a career in publishing that requires me to speak to people for most of my day. This communication, both professional and personal, helps maintain relationships in and out of work that can only benefit me in the long run.

I can speak with someone on the phone, answer an email, and talk to a colleague all within the span of 10 minutes while at work, but I don’t feel burnt out from doing this. Surprisingly, it tends to energize me! Staying close with my colleagues and my editorial offices has made a huge difference in the way I work. I could come in, do my job, and leave without cultivating any relationships whatsoever (it might be difficult, but I could do it). Not only would this be so unbelievably boring that I can’t imagine doing it, it would also be unwise for me to miss these opportunities. Every time I solve a problem an author is having via email or speak to one of my managing editors on the phone, I’m developing my interpersonal skills and preparing myself for the rest of my career. “Interpersonal skills” sounds like such a generic term, but these skills are very real and necessary. If I can’t communicate effectively with those around me at work, I will make my life (and theirs) much harder.

I’m a naturally introverted person and when I come home after work or a day spent with people, I tend to need to decompress for awhile and “rest,” so to speak. I sit in silence and do something by myself, such as read, watch TV, or engage in one of my hobbies, and this centers me and makes me feel more myself. That’s okay, especially after a long day! It prepares me for the next day where I will have to speak with many different kinds of people about a variety of topics, and I feel powerful because I can have a positive impact on someone else’s day.

Does your job or the classes you take in school require you to constantly communicate with people? How do you feel about it?

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