Uncover Your Passions

I recently listened to a one-hour long webinar called Live Your Dream: How to Uncover Your Passions & Create a Career That You LoveIt was done by Christine Mims and hosted on The Muse. Christine is a career coach and this webinar was a mini career coaching session where she asked a couple of questions that she goes over with her clients to help them discover their passions. I love these kinds of exercises because the responses are supposed to be from the gut and the first things that pops into your head, which can be very different from the answers that you get when you think through the questions logically.

Below are the questions and my answers.

1. What do people ask for your help with?

Relationships, organization, making plans

2. What makes you smile?

Feeling challenged and accomplished, making people happy.

3. If you could write a book that would help the world in a big or small way and is guaranteed to be a best seller, what would it be about?

A funny book about feeling lost in life and love. To make people feel like they’re not alone.

4. What do you want to be remembered for when someone tells the story of your life?

Making people laugh, always smiling and giving back to my friends and the community.

5. What would you do if you could do anything (career wise)?

Own a winery that holds weddings that I plan and blog about. Eventually being a consultant and helping people with their blogs, jobs, or business. This would involve a little glamour, travel, and a lot of freedom.

The Christine also asks us to identify three people who you trust (but not all family) and then ask them, “What is it do you find most inspiring about me?”… I’m still working up the courage to do this.

The next stop is to identify you greatest strength. Don’t hold back, brag, and be bold and cocky!

My greatest strengths are: Organized, logical, funny, people person, customer orientated, big/small picture, thinking outside the box, multi-tasking,

What is uniquely yours? Multi-tasking, finding the silver lining.

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What are your top 5 work values? What makes you happy, be specific.

1. Flexibility – The ability to work on my own time or remotely. Being able to travel with work and make my own schedule. Independence in managing my own projects.

2. Financial Security – Have a (slightly better than) comfortable, steady income. Establish a passive source of income (blog, product sales, etc.).

3. Success – Acknowledged as a leader in my industry, being my own boss, having people seek my help/advice.

4. Generosity – Have the ability (time) and means (money) to give back to organizations and causes that are important to me.

5. Creating – Creating beauty, content, products. Creating something for others to enjoy.

I thought this was a great exercise. I always feel a little scattered after taking these because there are some many things that I’m interested and I’m passionate about. One of the questions at the end of the webinar was about this. Her solution was to do a little research, pick the one that you’re most interested in, and give it a try! So much easier said than done – but I’m optimistic and I think with a little dedication I’ll be able to identity that passion.

Decision Time

For some reason I feel like all the big decisions that I have to make pile on at the same time. Right now I’m – recently single, coming to the end of my first term of grad school, and offered the opportunity to move to a new town. These are all the questions in my head right now, in no particular order.

How am I going to meet people?

Should I try online?

All the logistics that comes with going out on dates

What do I want right now? (fun, relationship, just dates)

Why am I in grad school/getting my MBA?

Do I want to stick with this?

GREs vs. GMATs

What if I get bad grades?

How am I going to balance it all?

Should I move to a new town with this guy friend?

Will it be weird?

Do I want to bother moving?

What about my Independence?

How will I see my friends? How do I make more (girl) friends?

And that doesn’t even go into the complexities of my job(s) and other relationships. Basically, I’m at a point where i need to reevaluate my life. Sometimes things change (I moved into my own apartment, took a new job) and sometimes they don’t, but either way I think it’s important to slow down and evaluate where I’m going every now and then.

Here are a few things that I know for sure:

  • I like working 3 jobs and going to school. I t keeps me motivated to stay organized, keep things prioritized, and I love being busy.
  • As much as I love the idea of redecorating my apartment and the city I live in, I’m 100% OK with moving into a nicer/safer place in a new town – even if I have a roommate.
  • Even if I don’t know what to do with my MBA, it’s a benefit of my job and it’s not going to hurt me. I’m hoping that it will give me the experience and connections I need for whatever comes next.

Knowing myself, nothing will change for a little while. I’ll talk about it a lot, drive my friends and family crazy and then things will settle down and I’ll see where they land.

I just keep reminding myself that this is all part of the post college dream.

The Big Event

This weekend is Reunion weekend at the college where I work. I’m so excited to meet the alumni I’ve been talking to and emailing for months.

There are many events today and tomorrow so it’s all hands on deck. I love the thrill of running around and making sure that everything runs smoothly (or at least faking it so no one knowss it isn’t)! I thrive on the fast thinking and details that need to be thought through to make it a great experience for everyone coming back to campus. I’m an event planner by nature. Once I started doing events for the American Cancer Society there was no going back. I have a pipe-dream of being a wedding/events planner, but we’ll see what happens!

I’m posting early because it’s going to be a long day and I’m not going to be back on a computer until Sunday, when I’ll need to catch up on all my homework and work for my PT jobs.

Yes, this is happening

Yes, this is happening

The OHIO Tip and Time Saver Tools

As I was reading through the dozens of blog I subscribe too (anyone else heartbroken about Google Reader going away?) and I found a post about cleanup/time management. The author used the OHIO rule and I LOVE it!

O – Only

H – Handle

I – It

O – Once

This is the easy way of summing up everything I talked about in my last post. For example, don’t just let you mail pile up – since it’s already in your hand sort through what’s junk and what’s important right away. Brilliant.

Time Saver Tools

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I live and breathe by a to do list and a calendar. If something isn’t written down (or I don’t do it right away) there is a 99% chance that I will forget about it. For many years I rejected online to do lists in favor of a good notebook. I spent an embarrassing amount of time at a Staples trying to find the perfect notebook only to leave empty handed. But in the past month or so I realized that a paper list wasn’t working for me anymore. I had too many different projects/jobs that I was working on and many of my tasks were things that repeated weekly or were long-term projects that I didn’t want to lose track of.

After some Google research and watching many demo videos I finally settled on a site that has worked really well for me. Wunderlist! It lets you organize items into different “in boxes”; break a task into smaller items, set due dates and reminders. This works especially well for me. Since I’m taking 2 classes for grad school, I was able to make a take for all my assignments. It will list the items by due date or by how you input them and you can view all your tasks in a variety of ways. For example, you can see everything you have to do for the day, the week, or by inbox. When you mark something completed it goes to a separate list on the bottom which makes you feel really accomplished!

wunderlist

I also love Trello. Trello is awesome for team projects, but it can also be used for keeping track of a big project with lots of steps. The tour does a better job at explaining all the uses of this program than I could. Below is a picture of a Trello board that I created when I was doing SEO consulting for a computer repair store. Trello allows you to add people to a board or project so you can assign team members to tasks and keep track of notes.

Trello2

The best part about all of these tools is that the basic version is free! Wunderlist and Trello all have beautifully designed websites and apps for the iPhone/ iPad which sync across devices.

I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to time saver tools. I want something clean, easy to use, which allows me to map/track things as I would with a paper and pencil. The more “tactile” the site is the better. All of these tools pass the test. Check them out!

Slowww…..

Today was a slow day.

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I didn’t have today off but it was a quiet day in the office. Most of it was spent catching up with my co-workers and cleaning things out around my desk. I’m so lucky that I work in such a great environment. Everyone is fun and we all get along so well – but we all know when it’s time to get to work and as a team we can bust out some amazing things…like our lunch time gym class!

Tonight I’m going to visit my friend who asked me to move into the 2nd bedroom of his apartment. It’s a tough choice. The apartment is beautiful, in a nice complex, close to a really fun- young city and I would save quite a bit of money. I hesitate only because I haven’t had a roommate in a while as much as I love company and being around people, I crave independence too. We have been friends for a while but we’re at different points in our lives so I don’t want it to be weird.

My co-workers are all for it! I’ll give myself a few more days to think about it, but I’m leaning towards moving.

A Long Weekend

No, I don’t just mean it’s long because of the holiday (Happy Memorial Day!) I had a very busy day at work and had to do a ton of errands and go to my parents’ house to help my sister pack up for her move to DC. I then went to sleep because at 7AM the next day I left for Pittsford NY to take my little brother to his regatta, while my parents took my little sister to DC…and I got home a couple of hours ago after a few more errands.

My fabulous littles

My fabulous littles

It was an exciting weekend though! My little brother did fantastic in his first crew race ever and I learned all about the crew world and being the ‘parent’ of a teenager. I did realize how little I miss being a teenager….

My little bro's first race!

My little bro’s first race!

Having my sister (aka my best friend) move 7 hours away is pretty emotional. I’m so so proud of her for landing an amazing job in her dream field, but it stinks that she won’t be around to hang out. I look forward to visiting and exploring DC as often as I can, but I know the reality is that people get busy and it will be a while before we get some quality sister time.

No three day weekend to relax after all this either, I have to work tomorrow 😛

Time Savers Around the House

So it’s ironic that as soon as I write a post about managing my time I run out of time to write. The last two weeks have consisted of traveling to VA for work, a presentation, and two papers for my MBA classes, as well as coaching my sister through her first real job offer (!!) and trying to enjoy some of this beautiful weather.

First time on the water this year!

First time on the water this year!

As promised, here is how I save time and managed the chaos around my house.

My Golden Rule: If it will take you less than 3 minutes to do – do it now! 

As you go through your day if something can be done in 3 minutes or less, just do it when you see it. The timing doesn’t matter, you can make it 5 minutes or 1 minute. You’ll be amazed at the things you can accomplish in 1-5 minutes. For example, when you change your clothes put the dirty clothes right in the hamper and clean clothes back in your closet, wash your bowl as soon as you’re done with your breakfast, or clean up your make-up as you put it on in the morning. Focusing on things that you can do quickly right away will prevent 1 minute worth of dish washing from becoming a 20 minute dish wash.

I’m also notorious for doing two things at once. Microwaves provide the perfect race against the clock to wipe down your counter-tops or wash the soup can and put it in the recycling basket, or go through your junk mail. I try very hard to not let things pile up because I know that I very rarely have chunks of time that I can dedicate to chores on a daily bases, but I do have spare minutes that can be used to JUST DO IT.

Do it at Night

Studying

I pack everything up the night before – lunch and/or dinner, workout bags, book bag, purse, and an overnight bag if I know I’m going to stay at my boyfriend’s house (I carry a lot of bags all the time). I’m a night person so this works for me. I would rather stay up late and sleep in a bit in the morning. This also ensures that I have enough time to get everything together in case I over sleep an emergency comes up. It also gives me time to sleep on it and remember stuff once I’m in bed (where I remember everything) or when I wake up. It works for me, but I appreciate that some people enjoy getting up early. My advice then is to walk through your day in your head and think of everything you’re going to need. Pack in that order.

I hope this is useful!