It’s no secret that I’m a supporter of having a smile file. I can’t take credit for the idea of a smile file, but I can share the idea with you.
We all have bad days, some probably more than others. A resource I use to redirect on those bad days is my “smile file.” I actually have two! A smile file on my computer and a box in my office.
The box in my office is full of handwritten thank you notes or cards from folks. Little reminders from people who took the time to let me know how my work impacted them. The one on my computer is mostly emails from people thanking me for some sort of contribution to a project or an answer to their question.
No matter what field you are in, you could use some appreciation for your work. Here are a few screen grabs of the kind of things I keep, but there are no rules to a smile file-other than whatever it is should make you smile! You want to file away things that will bring you back from a bad day, or motivate you when you aren’t feeling any motivation.
Every day cannot be perfect so do something to help you get back on track on hard days; start a smile file.
As I’m sitting in front of the computer to crank out a blog post tonight I have to tell you, I’m tired.
I created a list of 33 topics for this exercise to get back into my writing and I’ve probably only done about half of those topics. I’ve had other things come up that I felt like addressing and I had evenings where I needed to write something much more brief than I had planned.
The 33 days of writing is to get back in the habit of writing. To get back in the habit of using my voice. The 33 days of writing wasn’t necessarily a challenge to write 33 great blog posts, but to just write.
Which brings me to tonight’s off-list topic: getting derailed doesn’t mean quitting. As I scrolled through the topics I have left on the list, I didn’t have the energy to write a post that does any of those topics justice. I almost went to bed without writing, but I’ve come this far and I thought just because you’re too tired to write about that doesn’t mean you don’t write tonight.
I think the same thing happens at work. We see that a project isn’t going exactly how we planned, our to-do list gets burned to ashes, or an initiative suddenly takes a different turn. We can’t always just throw in the towel at these road blocks we have to find a way around, through, under, over them to carry the torch forward.
In 2019 when you hit a wall take the time to take a break or phone a friend, don’t scrap the whole project.
It’s important that us HR professionals maintain our knowledge when we are fulfilling our volunteer roles.
In my 10 years of volunteering with groups related to my professional day job I have seen a lot of issues that could have been avoided if we applied our strategic HR thinking to our volunteer problems.
It baffles me that we get in a group with a bunch of HR professionals and then forget that we have critical skills to defuse communication problems and apply strategic business thinking to road blocks.
The most baffling is when we slip up and say things out of line that would get our organizations in trouble if someone at work tried to do the same. For instance, thinking that someone has to be a certain age to do a job:
Tonight I’m struggling to get my daily writing done because I have limited resources. I’m kicking it back to a blog post that I still stand by: the screw you fund.
I’ve learned that sometimes we need to be removed from a situation to realize that it was shady. Having an F-U fund will help you walk away from shady situations at work that don’t match your personal values. It’s okay to make that stand, it’s easier to make that stand when you have an F-U fund. So, I hope you’ll check out the original post and consider the option.
Peace, love, and F-U.
Whether you like it or not, meetings are a part of your work life. Even when you think that the meeting could’ve been an email, I’ve learned you should be on your best behavior.
- Don’t talk over people
- Don’t interrupt people
- Don’t storm out
- When people talk over you, don’t roll your eyes
- Patiently wait your turn
- Write down your point if you’re afraid you’ll forget it (and again, don’t talk over people)
- Don’t use slurs
- Don’t use general labels (like Millennials this, millennials that<– also, GEN Zers are at work now, can you talk about GEN Z if you have to talk about a generation)
- Don’t stay on your phone the whole time. The occasional google or search for a relevant email is probably okay, but don’t be surprised when other people judge your phone usage.
- Take notes
- Be present
- Be on time. End on time. Respect other people’s calendars.
I cannot tell you how many of my embarrassing work moments could’ve been avoided by just checking the tabs.
Most recently, here I am in a meeting with my peers, boss, and president of our company and here I am presenting my charts only to find I’m missing a huge chunk of data that no one else was missing.
<insert face palm here>
What am I doing? How did I miss the info I needed? HOW? I didn’t check the tabs…
Fellow skimmers, this is your reminder to scroll all the way down, check the tabs, pay attention. It’ll save you some embarrassment later.
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.