Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dress for Success

Another day at my new job, and my enthusiasm has not wavered. In fact, it is on the incline, which does make my brain work harder. I decided to dress my jeans up today with a tan rock tank with fringe and an eagle, a black suit jacket and black cowboy boots. I really enjoy adding one sophisticated, clean cut piece to my outfit. I feel that it gives a laid back but professional look that is what I want to convey. I’m here to rock and roll.

This morning, I experienced my first team meeting, which happened around a white board and floor rug in the middle of the office. Funny it felt like reading time in elementary school, which is awesome. I haven’t had one of those in awhile…The founder and another employee returned today from a trip to Las Vegas for a social media conference, so nearly everyone was present.  We went around and explained what we accomplished, what we are working on and what we need to do. I already feel like I am making a contribution. I pitched an idea for a collaborative “future artifact” for our upcoming event, and it was taken really well. I am so pleased to take over this project because it is something that I truly believe in, and I have so many ideas. In fact, last night I tossed and turned all night with ideas. I actually had a dream that I was giving a lesson in a large auditorium, and I was very confident and comfortable. Not sure what that means, but I think it is a positive message. I do, however, need to get a good night’s sleep, so I picked up a bottle of melatonin at the grocery store on my way home.

To make my desk more homey, I brought an aloe plant that has been hiding in my dark, cave-like room, so now it will get lots of nice sunshine; a coaster, paper organizer, some folders and other things. I brought everything in my old grocery bag from Switzerland. It is huge and has the Swiss flag on both sides. No one will ever know that it came from the cheap-o grocery store. One other employee showed me pictures on his phone of the new office that is in the works right now, and it is pretty sweet. I will have my own personal office instead of being smack dab in the middle of everyone. If all goes well, I think that would be an awesome working environment. We’re also moving to a much classier district in the city, and it is walking distance from many of my favorite restaurants including an authentic French creperie and a delicious chopped salad bistro. I am really looking forward to that, but I know that I need to focus on what is right in front of me and do the next right thing. Today, I focused on integrating mindfulness in at the office and it was a challenge. I will have to keep working on that, and hopefully I will improve slowly but surely.

Today is day four of no coffee, and it has been a difficult transition. It could also be due to my lack of sleep lately, but I am sticking to it. I am only drinking Emergen-c and orange juice (pre-workout), water and tea. My recovery week in Insanity is going well, and my coworkers and I have been able to talk about exercise and diet a bit… I plan to make a post later of “What not to do as a new hire,” so stay tuned for that.

Your Year in Financial Milestones [Infographic]

I sure do love a great infographic…

The TurboTax Blog

A lot of big life changes can happen in a year – whether you’re looking for a new job, got married, or bought your first home. Let’s take a look at how each of these big milestones can affect our financial situation and what can it mean to your taxes come April 15th. In any case, taxes are just a story of your year and no one is better telling that story and doing your taxes than you.

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Follow Your Heart and Play Your Part

Today was my first day at my new job at a local branding agency. I am a marketing associate, and this marks a new chapter in my life. My commute only took about 30 minutes this morning. I was very energized after my morning Insanity workout. Thankfully I am in my recovery week, so this schedule transition is smoother . Things seem to balance themselves out naturally.

I couldn’t help but think on the way to work this morning as all the cars whipped past me that I’m actually stepping into the “real world,” and I am OK with that. Strangely, I feel at ease. My office is located inside of a renovated barn, and we all work on the second floor. It is flooded with natural light, and I plan to bring my aloe plant with me Wednesday. I’ve been finding all sorts of fun gizmos and gadgets at home to bring in with me… a purple table lamp, a light up gaming keyboard… needless to say I feel very comfortable.

My office is also filled with other young adult women like myself. They are all very talented at what they do, and I have a feeling that we will grow on each other. We had some awkward moments, but I am the “new girl” for now. I have to be the best that I can be with what I have right now. I am not forcing or controlling what happens outside of me, but I am focusing on generating energy and control over what I let happen inside of me. It is both daunting and exhilarating.

The day started off slow, but that was much needed. I didn’t feel rushed or pushed to get anything done. I  acquainted myself with the office and surfed the internet looking for inspiration. I read over the PR plan for the project that I will be leading, and wrapped my brain around the big ideas  I will bring to life.

I realize that the universe has a purpose for me, and I am letting it happen freely. For so long, I thought I had my entire life figured out and I pushed and pulled tirelessly to get it to fit into that mould. I am finally at peace in just being me.

The end of my day snuck up on me as I was just starting to develop my first marketing plan.  To succeed is to accept life on life’s terms, and that is what I am doing. I believe that having ownership over my work and having the freedom to make choices makes this job  fun. It doesn’t feel like work once I get started. I feel like I am doing what I love.

I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity before me. Transitions in life and rites of passage aren’t easy, but they are worth it if we put in the effort. I believe we all share a common human experience. Whether you are just starting college, trying a  fitness program, moving to a new city, or falling in love, I hope that you follow your heart and play your part.

Confluence

While working on homework last night, I became very distracted by my younger sister and mom arguing upstairs. As I sat on my laptop clicking through emails and writing to-do lists on my legal pad, I had to use every fiber in my being not to run upstairs and shut them up. I did not even know what their disagreement was over, but I did not like the way that my sister was yelling and treating our mom, and I did not like that my mom was taking it. I love the convenience of living at home, but sometimes it can be really stressful. I have a tendency to own the feelings and actions of my mom and sister, and that gets me into trouble. This time, I had to bear it the best that I could.

I quickly texted my life coach, Jen, about what was going on, and waited for a reply.  I sent her three long paragraphs detailing the crazy  family drama, and she replied an hour later stating, “Ignore it.” Well, that was what I had done…it was all that I could do to be somewhat sensible, but inside I was fuming. I replied to her text with a “Thanks…”, which could have been interpreted numerous ways. By this point I was reading a textbook in bed, and I let my phone drop into the mass of blankets and pillows around me hoping that it would be lost forever. I felt hurt. I felt like she didn’t care, but more than anything I was confused. My expectations to get a warm and fuzzy message to simply affirm my beliefs was not received, and I felt let down. I went back to my book and let the thoughts fade away with every passing tick-tock on my wall clock. I strongly dislike that helpless feeling I get in my relationships when I feel myself forming resentments.

Later that night, I talked to someone about my mom and sister, and I decided to bring up my frustration with Jen and I’s relationship. It did not occur to me that I was not helpless and there was something that I needed to do: communicate my frustrations. What a novel idea!  I just expected her to understand me and how I felt without giving her any insight or feedback on my personal experience. I rushed home and sent her a strong, heartfelt message. It was nerve wracking, but it had to be done. She replied back with compassion, kindness, and understanding. My stomach knot released, and my heart lightened. All of the build up began to escape with my out breaths. We made plans to get together at the end of the week to catch up.

iphone

I always love experiencing points of confluence in my life between separate entities. As I previously mentioned, I am reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook. Before bed and after telling Jen goodnight, I read the chapter “Seek and Speak Your Truth.” Having mentors, bosses, friends, and family teaches us the most important thing in relationships is good communication. When I put my feelings out on the table, as hard is that may be, problems get solved. Too often, we stifle these gut feelings, and things worsen quickly. Part of being mindful is getting in touch with not only my mind, but also my physical sensations. I believe that many of my emotional qualities manifest into my physical being, so doing body scans and being aware of my own body allows me to grow and improve. It is painful at times, and I have fears that people will not like me or my feelings are unimportant, but I am finally seeing how untrue that is.

Accepted

Last Friday, I met with Jean, the Global Accounts Director with  the branding agency I am  going to start interning with next week. We met at a local coffeehouse and cafe right around the corner from the office to discuss my role with the organization and also to discuss a recent event we worked on together. I sipped a lavender honey latte, listened intently to her speak and took notes in my leather book. The windows were foggy, and the cozy arrangement of tables and chairs lent us to hear wisps of our neighbors conversations. It was an awfully cold January day, and she wore a fur lined jacket wrapped around her neck while I had my black infinity scarf slipped around mine. We shared our fears, excitement and dreams. It is moments like this that I want to chart.

This was the third time that we have met one-on-one, and I have begun to see her as a natural mentor in my life. I am very attracted to her in the most professional sense. She has told me and others we work with that she is very impressed with my capacity to deliver great work and my level of confidence and poise. In her, I see a very hard working, loyal, beautiful and level-minded individual that I can identify with and look up to for advice and guidance. I have been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In recently, and she has an entire chapter that talks about mentorship. Reading that chapter has really helped me understand Jean and I’s relationship. I know that she wants to see me succeed and she wants to help me along the way. That is empowering.

Yesterday, she sent me an email and called me to invite me to start this internship next week. I am so excited to jump in to this new environment and to discover how to make brands more human. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity come my way so naturally and to feel that the universe is guiding me where I need to go. At my young age, finding a position that has no dress code and uses modern organizational theories that are only read about at swanky bookstores truly feels like a dream. I am finally understanding that I cannot force my life to be anything other than what it is. I have always been a planner, but I am now  letting that way of thinking go (to a realistic extent). I still believe that it is good to stay organized, have concrete ideas, and to make preparations (think 18mo plan), but I am now focusing on being mindful and present. The journey needs to be enjoyed just as much as -if not more than- the end.

I hope to open this blog up to the intimacies and generalities of my life as a young female professional. I want to offer experience, strength and hope to others who may be looking for their fit in the world or searching for their true passions. I am part of the group of recent undergraduates that did not become what I wanted to be when I was 18 years old, and I have taken a path less travelled to get to where I am today. I will be getting a liberal arts degree, but I am striving to be as fearless as possible.