11 1 / 2013

08 1 / 2013

My most recent speaking gig at PKN Raleigh. “Choose Love” I had a lot of fun with this talk, it was a chance to improve my public speaking, but also talk about something I really care about. It’s short and sweet. Enjoy!

08 1 / 2013

There are loads of things you could say you want to do in 2013. As a young professional who’s trying to get ahead in your career you may have career oriented goals. You may also have personal goals around fitness, finances and your love life. All of this is great! If you haven’t thought of some things you would like to do differently in 2013… then don’t worry you still have plenty of time. So get to it! 

Great you have some goals/resolutions you want to work towards. But how do you go about ensuring that you get them done? Many people use money, buying gym memberships, buying a financial advisors time, buying new clothes blah blah. This is a path, but let’s face it, your a young go getter on a budget. You can’t just throw money at your goals and hope they happen. 

What do you really need? A partner in crime! Chances are you have a friend/family member who wants to make some great changes in 2013 as well. Reach out to this person. Make them your Accountabuddy.

What the hell is an Accountabuddy? It’s a person who’s going to keep you accountable for your goals and be supportive as you try to accomplish them. In return you do the same for them.

So how does this work? Develop some kind of game plan with your buddy. Start by explaining what your 2013 goals are. Explain how you plan on accomplishing each of the goals and what the desired result will be.

EX: I’m going to improve my yoga techniques by practicing 3 time a week, I know what poses I can and can’t do as of today. In three months I want to be able to do the stupid crow pose and head stand (2 things I can’t do right now). 

Take some time either over email or phone (phone is the best, because it’s more personal, the more personal it is the more connected you will be with your Accountabuddy) to talk through your goals with your buddy. 

Keep your Accountabuddy aware of your strides towards accomplishing your goals, and make sure you can see their progress as well.

EX: I created a Google doc w/ my Accountabuddy and can report on progress at anytime as well as see what progress she has made. ( you could use, text messages, a piece of paper, whatever works for you and the buddy)

Check in with your Accountabuddy on a regular basis. For me I need once a week. Otherwise things start to get away from me. It can be a quick email/phone call stating progress and also asking how your Accountabuddy is doing. The better buddy you are the better buddy they will be. (if not they kinda suck as a friend. womp womp)

Ultimately you have someone who will call you out if you don’t reach your goals, but also supports you through making those goals. 

It’s free, it will improve your bond with this person and you have a WAY better chance of actually getting your goals completed. 

Final thought: You don’t need new years to set new goals ;) You have the power! You can set new goals any time you want. But an Accountabuddy is key to making sure they happen!

So give it a try! Let me know how it goes! 

13 12 / 2012

You maybe just starting out in your career, but knowing how to say your sorry in a professional way is something most people just can’t do. Figure this one out and you will be ahead of the game. 

13 12 / 2012

tumblrbot said: ROBOTS OR DINOSAURS?

Robot dinosaurs that breathe fire and transform into machines that make me lattes 

13 12 / 2012

(Num Nums from post holiday party recovery)

It’s that time of year again! Lots of cheer and warmth around the office, some kind of gift exchange may or may not be happening and for some the Annual Company Holiday Party is upon you! These parties come in all shapes and sizes, as a young professional holiday parties are a little bit of a tease. It’s a party… but your boss and your bosses boss and the CEO of the company will be there… here’s how I handle holiday parties.  

Get the intel from HR (human resources): HR is usually in charge of this event, they have the budget and the time to put it all together. They should send around an email with all the needed info. Is there food? What kind/how much? Open par or cash bar (or no bar!?!?). Dressy or business casual? Where is it being held? What kind of activities are going on (is there a theme, are you doing company awards etc…). If they don’t give you enough info just go ask.

Prep for the party: If you need to bring a gift go get one, (most everyone likes a nice bottle of booze). If you need to go buy a suit jacket or dress go do that. If you want to bring someone with you to the party make sure to invite them and give them enough notice. Clear your schedule for the day after the holiday party if you know there will be drinking. 

What to wear: This totally depends on your company’s culture. If your new and have no idea then ask a couple of people around the office. I always go for a little conservative/classy but still young and cute. I’m in my 20’s there’s no reason for me to wear a damn moo moo. By the same token, I’ve seen WAY to many ladies wearing tacky and cheap dresses, or men wearing ill fitting jackets or awkward sweaters. So get your shit together and look sharp. (Your boss is watching, and there WILL be pictures taken)

Pregame for the party: Depending on your company’s personality you will want to make sure that you are prepared for a long night of drinking, or prepared to not be fed very much. I like to error on the side of caution and eat some heavy carb filled snacks before a holiday party. That way, if there is lots of drinking or the food isn’t that good (or not enough of it) I’m covered. 

Game plan for the party: Say “hi” to as many people as you can. Remember to complement others and ask them their holiday plans. (in other words, don’t be the dick who just plants him/herself next to the bar all night). You get what you give, so if you talk to lots of people, and try to have fun then you will have a better time. Also most people don’t actually want to talk about work at these things, so keep conversation light. The party will probably ‘peek’ at some point, and after that it maybe time to get the heck out of there….  

Have an exist strategy: Let’s say things are getting boring/awkward or they ran out of food/booze/music/fun. That means it’s time to leave and politely say good night. (probably not to everyone, it’s better to just slip away)

Recovery: Let’s say it was a late night and there was an open bar! Yay! But now you feel like crap. Haul your ass out of bed and get some hangover food. Take a shower then a nap and bam you should be good to go. 

Bonus Pro-Tip: Don’t be that douche bag who get’s wasted and says a bunch of weird stuff at the party. You may see people who are doing this, don’t follow in their footsteps, remember this is a WORK function. If you want to get shit faced and make an ass out of yourself (which I fully support) make sure you do it with friends. 

If you want hook up with someone, does it really need to be a co-worker at the holiday party when you both are drunk? Really? No, pretty sure it doesn’t. You really don’t want to deal with a awkward Monday. Most importantly, you are young professional, working on your career you’ve got to keep your stuff together. 

Have an awesome holiday party story?!? I’d love to hear it!

06 12 / 2012

Hey there you sassy young professional or recent collage grad! Maybe you’ve seen LinkedIn and heard people talk about it (since it’s this huge thing… but maybe you just woke up from a 3 year nap). Somehow you have never touched the damn thing and it looks crazy/scary/lame? I’ll admit when LinkedIn first started it was lame looking, it’s a little slicker now. LinkedIn is really not that crazy or scary once you work with it a few times. 

"But why? Why should I care? What can LinkedIn do for me?" Well here’s the great thing about LinkedIn: It’s a big billboard you can use for yourself to get ahead. This is personal branding, this is marketing yourself, this is professional development! You create a profile, upload your resume write a summery, fill in a few other cracks (the system walks you through the whole thing) and BAM you’ve got a nice little professional personal site! 

Quicky do’s and don’t 

DO take it seriously, people who potentially want to HIRE YOU AND PAY YOU MONEY will be looking at this. Put your game face on.

DON’T put a bunch of fluff crap mumbo-jumbo centergizing gibberish on your profile. The longer and more tedious your profile the harder it is to read. Keep things clear. 

DO look around at what others are doing on their profiles. See what is out there so you can get a since of how you want to frame your own profile. There are tons of people on LinkedIn already, so take a little tour and see what others have chosen to do with their profiles. 

DON’T put up a picture of you drunk at the bar as your profile pic. “But I had great hair in that pic!?” I don’t care, and neither will any serious recruiter who is looking at your profile. They’ll see your drunk face, your young age and lack of experience… you go from “young go getter” to “risky-slacker”

DO use powerful action oriented words. Created, Organized, Produced, Developed etc… 

DO use numbers, if you have past accomplishments represent in them in numbers. “exceeded quota by 60%”

DON’T stop here. Consider reading the following… knowledge is power.

How to set up a LinkedIn professional profile

Create a LinkedIn Profile That Rocks: 7 Tips

25 Ways to Make LinkedIn Work for You

Pro-Tip:

  • Start asking people you know and have worked with in the past for recommendations. (remember to return the favor for them ;) 
  • Set some time aside every 6 months to a year to re-work your profile so that it’s always up to date. 

Have you started a LinkedIn page? What have you found to be successful or helpful to others?

04 12 / 2012

My new secret weapon as a young professional? Let’s face it time management kinda sucks and no one ever really showed us how to do it. However if you can learn to manage your time it will help you in life and in your career. So what’s ny new trick? Waking up early! Utilize mornings, don’t waste them. I know I know, impossible right? I think maybe it’s because we were trained from years of school ( K-12 and college) that waking up early sucks and must be avoided at all costs.

BUT there’s some nifty books (Eat That FrogWhat the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast) that suggest quite the opposite. SO I’ve been trying to find some extra time in the day to get things done. Things that never seem to really get done during the day, and somehow always get pushed to ‘tomorrow’ at the end of the day (and they totally never happen). So I’m waking up an hour and a half early to get shit done. 

Shit you may consider getting done by waking up early:

Working out! Studies show it’s a great time to work out and actually helps you loose weight all day. Just eat some fruit and peanut butter and get moving! Also you’ll feel awesome after the work out b/c of the endorphins and will be ready to kick the day’s ass!

Reading! Wow the fun never stops huh? I know, but by reading (especially reading up on things that help you do your job… or maybe for that NEXT job…) you can become a knowledge resource to your company. You know what that can mean? You stand out as being a smart and knowledgeable. Bosses like that!  And who knows, maybe you read something that can put your company ahead of the game?

Personal projects: Working on that novel? Trying to learn guitar? Freaking out about an upcoming presentation? Finding a new job? This is an extra hour you give yourself to GET IT DONE! 

Pro Tip: I know what motivates me. I like rewards for working hard. I also DON’T like sudden transitions early in the AM. So for me to make waking up earlier a reality I set my alarm to play my fav song (Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips), set the coffee machine to go off at the same time as my alarm so the smell of yummy coffee helps me wake up. I also do about 10 mins of light yoga in the morning to slowly wake me up. By the time I’m done with that I’m ready to go!

I’m doing it, so far it’s been painful, but very productive (TWSS?). The first few days were awful, but as time has gone on it’s gotten much easier.Can you brave the early AM? If so what do you find yourself doing with the extra time.

26 11 / 2012

25 11 / 2012

Cluster F#@k Cassarole

It’s after Thanksgiving :( . Chances are you’ve got some leftovers! Either because you had people over or you went to your family/friends house and leftovers were given to you. Last year I discovered (invented?) the Cluster F&@k Casserole. I love Thanksgiving, but honestly, this casserole is out of control good. Like I-can-not-stop-num-num-num-all-gone good. So try it!

It’s pretty easy:

Toss all of your leftovers in a casserole dish and bake on 400 for about 30 mins ( just look for the top to brown up). This year it was: sweet potatoes mashed potatoes stuffing, turkey, corn, and green bean casserole.

SECRET INGREDIENT! The mashpotatos and turkey are going to be dry, and you need something to help all the flavors tie together, you could use something like chicken broth… (lame) but that’s not nearly as tasty as some white wine. This is essential. I like a nice Pino Grigio. (All the actual booze burns off, it’s the that’s so good)  

Bam! Your done, and now you’ve got an easy to pack up casserole for the next week. (Or day depending on how much you eat. I’m not kidding when I say this thing is like crack)

Disclaimer: If for some reason the original Thanksgiving meal itself wasn’t that tasty then not even the power of the Cluster F&@k Cassarole can save your leftovers…. sorry! Also not all left overs should be mixed, use your discretion here. 

Try it out and let me know what you think!