Don’t do it tomorrow

Why do it tomorrow when you can do it today?

Time management has been my biggest challenge over the last couple of months. I thought after giving up some of my volunteer roles I would have all this free time, but that hasn’t exactly happened. I don’t know how or why, but I’m going to spend some time the next few weeks figuring it out.

Part of it can be addressed with some clearer goals for myself. Today is day 33 of my 33 days of writing in a row… aka the last day! I didn’t know if I could carve out time every day for 33 days in a row because my time management has been all over the place, but somehow I made it work.

time management

So I’m going to keep setting goals, not just for my writing but for work. Completing projects sooner, chatting less, coming in earlier, not putting things off for tomorrow if I know I have a few minutes to work on it today.

I’m not going back into workaholic mode by any means, I still want to be done with work no later than 5:30. I think I can make that happen with defined micro goals.

So for now, the content from hrpockets will drop down to one or two (hopefully better written) pieces a week. For the rest of 2019 make yourself some goals and stop putting things off when you don’t have to.

Networking for no reason

The key to successful networking, is networking for no reason.

Pshhhh I have no idea what the key to successful networking is for real, but I can tell you if you wait to network til you need something then we are starting off behind the curve.

When you wait until you need something to start networking people feel like you are using them. We expect networking to have a component of “give back” to it. When you show up, people are looking to see if you want to be a part of the bigger picture, not if you just need to get your next job or next sale and move on.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t network if you’re to the point of needing something right now and you haven’t started, just go about it carefully. Find a way to volunteer with the group you’re trying to network into. Volunteering next to members shows that you have an interest in the organization or group and will help facilitate no pressure conversations. This will lead to people getting to know you and seeing your work ethic for themselves. As long as that goes well, they will start referring you when they hear that someone will be opening a job soon.

It sounds simple because it is simple. Don’t over think the process. Know that most people are nervous at first and most people don’t enjoy networking. Find a way to contribute to other people and volunteer organizations in 2019, you never know when you’ll need them.

 

networking

Clap for the heavyweight champ

The people around you can make or break you. For whatever reason some people will believe that your success takes away from their success. Some people believe there’s not enough for all of us. Some people would rather hold you back than work on their own selves. Some people are motivated by all the wrong reasons. These are just a few reasons why it’s so important for you to surround yourself with the right people.

Not just the right mentors, but the right friends.  To become a better person and better at what you do, you need friends that are comfortable telling you when you are wrong. You need people who are willing to give you a nudge in the right direction when you need it. You need friends who you can call when you’re about to have a nervous breakdown right before you go on stage at a training event. You need people who believe in your abilities. You need people who will cheer you on. You need people who want to celebrate your victories.

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If you keep people around you who don’t want to see you make it to the top (whatever you define as the top for yourself), you probably won’t make it. No need to make the climb harder for yourself by keeping frenemies around. In 2019, weed out those who are against you and tighten your bond with those who are with you.

My way

Be your most productive self by learning that there is more than one way to do things.

I order what I know I like from restaurants, I usually take the same route to places I frequent, I have specific routines, and I don’t want you kids on my lawn. I like things done a certain way, mostly my way.

thank you but i prefer it my way

Sometimes my way holds the team back though. My way isn’t the only way. My way works for me, but may not work for everyone else.

To keep from letting my way get in THE way, I focus on the outcome. The end goal can get me to overlook someone else’s way that maybe isn’t as fast as my way would be, or as efficient, or as thorough…

You’ll be a better team player and co-worker if you let yourself learn more than one way to do things.

 

Flipping off customers

I got behind the wheel with road rage from day 1. Like an embarrassing amount of road rage.

From the time I was 16 until I was in my 20s I did not dial it down one single bit. No matter how much my parents or any other responsible adult in my life told me my road rage was out of control. (I know, I was just soooo coool).

Two things finally made me lay off the horn and stop screaming at people. 1) That crazy “Normal” episode of Criminal Minds. 2) Pulling into a potential customer site behind someone I had just yelled at for cutting me off.

The first reason is reason enough, if you haven’t seen the episode no need to go and watch it. If you know, you know.

The second reason was an eye opener because I could quickly quantify what that road rage just cost me if that was the person I was in a rush to meet with.

get off the road

Seriously, what if that person who cut me off was the decision maker for the meeting I was headed into. I wouldn’t have known the difference.

That experience made me realize that once you’re in certain roles, you are always wearing that hat any time you’re out in the community. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself. It probably just means that you should be respectful from the jump and make sure you don’t misrepresent yourself to a stranger… that could become a customer.

Or an employee.

Or a boss.

Or a co-worker.

Road rage isn’t healthy anyway so it was a good habit to break.

What’s really going on here?

blogposts

I’ve had this blog for many years now, but every year I write less and less on it. I still write for other people (some under my name and some ghost writing), but I’ve neglected little ol’ hrpockets.

I’ve been thinking about ways to reunite with my blog and get back to putting out regular content. So many times I think of this great idea for a post, start my notes, say I’m going to finish it (lets not talk about how many draft posts I have) and push it further and further down my to-do list.

The truth is I enjoy putting out the occasional blog. I find it helpful to connect with readers and engage via email or social media to learn other folks perspectives, I just haven’t made myself sacrifice other things to focus on writing here.

I remember Sarah Morgan talking about how she was advised to find a 30 day writing challenge to reconnect with her writing and I finally decided maybe I could do that to re-engage here. FYI, Sarah created the #BlackBlogsMatter movement from her writing challenge and its about to start for 2019 so please bookmark her page and follow the hashtag and twitter account, she (and many others) are going to be bringing the content!

My writing challenge is just for me, it’s sort of a new years resolution, I guess? A stab at building a habit of showing some attention to where my writing started. 33 days of career lessons in honor of turning 33 (today).

Today makes lesson 10. We will all find out together if I make it through all 33. No writing ahead, no set time to post by, no word count, or ultimate goal other than the 33 lessons I made a list of back in December.

Lesson 10 is do what you want to do. Sure you have to get some experience, but don’t do something you don’t want to do for too long-you may get stuck there.

You have to figure out for yourself what you want and you have to learn to articulate that to your managers and mentors. If you can’t articulate it, you’re losing out on resources you need. Being able to articulate your goals and what you really enjoy working on will help you facilitate conversations where you get the most useful feedback from others and have the opportunity to ask valuable questions. Rarely do things just fall in your lap and work out exactly the way you had hoped, you have to use your voice.

This also means you are allowed to leave good opportunities without guilt. You can have a great job and enjoy your co-workers, but need to leave for your own career path and professional development. That is OKAY! You shouldn’t feel bad for leaving a good company if the new opportunity is right.

The easiest way to navigate how to get to where you want to be is honesty and transparency. If you’re working for someone who doesn’t value your honesty and transparency, you’re probably not where you ultimately want to be anyway.

In 2019 I hope you find yourself doing what you want to do.

Why are you doing that?

Man, some days just stink. You can have a great job and have a crappy day. Maybe you had it out with a co-worker, a boss made you mad, fire after fire popped up for you to put out, and you just head home defeated and with your head down.

A bad day doesn’t have to derail you. You can get back up.

The best way for me to refocus and move forward is to revisit my ‘why’.

why

If you don’t know ‘your why’ then what are you even doing?

Your why should help you solve problems. For example, when we get into a group to collaborate on a problem, it can get away from us with lots of opinions and ideas. Taking the opportunity to define the ‘why’ behind the project helps determine what solutions make sense and what solutions aren’t a good fit.

Your why can motivate you on the days you don’t feel motivated.

Your why can define your personal goals.

Your why will drive your actions.

Your why should help you look past those bad days.

If you don’t know your why where you are right now, I want you to think about it until you do. Once you have it, put it front and center in your mind as you carry out your work. If you can’t define your why, maybe it’s time to find a new gig.

 

Apologizing for all the wrong reasons

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for being in your way.

I’m sorry for needing that resource.

I’m sorry for asking for more money.

I’m sorry for asking for time off.

I’m sorry I distracted you.

I’m not one to apologize. It hurts my bones to apologize (Did I tell yall I’m an 8? If you know, you know). I hate apologizing so much that its a motivator to consistently do what I believe to be the right thing, but for some reason I will apologize for the dumbest things. I’ll say “oh I’m sorry,” just for taking up space. I’ll apologize for not doing someone else’s work to the quality that they may have expected (notice I’m saying someone else’s work, as in work on top of my work). I’ll apologize for needing the copier when someone else needs it. Who am I?

What I do know is that as I repeat these useless apologies, I’m giving other people the opportunity to discredit me. I’m no psychologist, but what I mean is if I keep apologizing for insignificant things on a regular basis will I become the “I’m sorry girl.” Why is Kristina always apologizing? Why is Kristina always in the way? Why is Kristina not doing a good enough job?

suck-im-sorry-meme

Listen, you should apologize for being a jerk, you should not apologize for taking up a space that is yours. When you go to work, own it don’t apologize for it.

While we are at it, let’s talk about some other things to say/not say at work:

No.

You interrupted me. (I’m not done talking).

That’s not funny. If something isn’t funny and/or its out of line, say so.

That’s not appropriate. See above.

I already know that. (take that mansplainers).

Because I said mansplainers I’ll inevitably have to say this: This isn’t a post about men, this is a post about your presence at work. This is a post about interacting with all co-workers and some slight changes we can make in 2019 to make our presence be just that, more of a presence. In 2019 claim your space boldly.

I can be great all by myself

You can have great ideas all by yourself, but you can’t always be great all by yourself.

be great

Everyone needs a mentor. I need a mentor because I’m the blunt friend/co-worker/employee and I’ve found that it’s very hard to find someone to be blunt with you when you’re the blunt friend/co-worker/employee. Its’ fine, it’s just the way the world works.

What you can get instead is a mentor. I find that mentors are more willing to give it to you straight and set you back on the right path.

Find you a mentor.

Don’t wait for a company to assign you one as a new hire, find your own. Your mentor should be someone you aspire to be like or value. They should be someone who is an example of what/who you would like to be like. Strong mentor/mentee relationships are the ones that are grown organically, not the ones paired up through a program.

Be honest with your mentors.

Don’t paint stories of work challenges in a way that make you look more favorable than you actually were. Mentors can’t help you correct if you don’t tell the whole truth. The reason you have a mentor is to be better, so don’t cover up the ugly.

Listen to your mentors.

Didn’t you choose your mentor for a reason? You don’t have to do everything they say, but listen to what they share. You can’t take your professional development to the next level without perspective.

Mentors aren’t always forever.

Like many other relationships sometimes mentors are only for a season. Don’t ignore the signs to move on.

In 2019, find you two mentors. Find people who will be excited to help you be great.

You can’t do everything

One of the hardest lessons of my life, let alone my career, has been that I can’t do everything.

I’m that employee who is always willing to do whatever needs to be done. You tell me where you need me and I’m there. Recruit for these other positions? Sure! Order lunch for a meeting? I can give it a go! Clean the toilets? No problem!

Sometimes I should say no when I say yes.

Recently I had scheduled at least a day to handle a task for work and a teammate kept telling me she could do it. I was like no way, I’ll figure it out. She said it was no big deal. I said my poor planning shouldn’t cause more work for her. She said, really its no big deal. I handed over the project and what was going to take me at least a day took her a couple of hours.

I was floored. I’m also excited to get some pointers from her because if I was going to make that task last a minimum of a whole day I was looking at it all wrong.

I could have given her this part of the project a couple of weeks ago, but I kept telling myself I would get to it. I sure wish I would’ve given it to her then instead of trying to fit it into my schedule.

The thing is, I was holding up progress. I was hanging onto something to keep from creating more work for someone else, but someone else was better suited for this task (obviously). I should have used my resources better.

As you navigate 2019 just know that not every ‘Yes’ is necessary. Sometimes you aren’t the best person for the task. Sometimes you need to let someone else take the opportunity to be great. Sometimes the task won’t be worth your time. Make wise decisions this year. Own your time and be a great teammate.

yesno