Thursday, January 31, 2013

Like a BOSS

I love this and thought I'd share:

We could all use a little encouragement, right?

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Own Worst Enemy

I am not enjoying my job in the least. I know, what else is new? But! A friend emailed me a really cool job posting right before the weekend. It is the perfect job for me on paper -- it is what I want to do, finally. It represents a career shift for me but allows me to use some of my experience and transferable skills. It would allow me to be more creative and would get me out of fundraising/grant writing, which I am truly burned out on. I would still be writing but also editing and working more on the web.

As soon as I sat down with the job posting to write my cover letter, that nasty little voice started to pick apart my qualifications. I don't have a whole lot of experience with layout, I don't know all the Adobe programs, etc. But I've been writing for company publications (print and online) throughout my career, on top of my grant writing responsibilities. At every job I've been in, I'm the first person people come to when they need a document proofread, or tightened up, or they need a creative title. I am also always the person called in to write a quick piece on a new program, or find a key piece of demographic information, or fact check a document before it goes to print. I know I could do this job and do it well.

I just let doubts sink my boat sometimes. Also I have no idea how much it pays, and that makes me nervous as well. I can't afford to take a pay cut.

Nonetheless, I'm going to apply. You never know unless you try. You don't get unless you ask. And it's time to let the universe know I'm ready to put myself out there. Interested to see what will happen. Stay tuned...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 04, 2013

Twenty Thirteen

Okay, no more fooling around. It's time to get serious.*

Returning back to work this week after a simply wonderful long Christmas break, I received a memo which detailed our company's closure schedule for the year -- which holidays will be observed and which the company will pay for. Employees are being told we must take eight furlough days this year, for which we can either be unpaid or use vacation days.** I opened up my date book and started adding the furlough days, and as I did, everything changed. I started thinking, "If you write it down, it is the same as envisioning it is going to happen. You don't want to be in this job in October (Columbus Day) or even April (Cesar Chavez Day). Don't write it down! Don't write it down!" And suddenly I started to have a panic attack. My heart started beating wildly, and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I felt sick. I took some deep breaths and went outside and walked around the block until I calmed down, but...yeah.


I have almost been in this job a year (two more weeks until my anniversary). It is time to get off the pot and get busy. I have tried to stay positive and focused on learning as much as I can -- and I have, as one does in any new situation. I learned that I can be the boss and it can be horrible at times, but that if I am tactful and respectful and retain empathy I can deal with difficult situations with staff. (By the way, I had to fire a volunteer yesterday. That may have contributed to my panic attack. Fun times!) But I'm not really being challenged here or branching out into other job responsibilities aside from leadership/management. You know I need to add to my skill set, mm-kay? (Stupid buzzwords. As soon as I typed that all I could think of was "swing set" and how much cooler that would be.)

Hey Ma! Look at my cool new skill set! All the kids in the neighborhood wish they was cool like me!

Anyway, added to that, I don't really want to keep doing what I'm doing. I recently learned that my old job is launching a brand new initiative and all I could think was "they're going to need [someone like me=me!] for that" and then I thought maybe I could negotiate a work from home gig with them. And I got a little excited about that but who knows what will happen. Because the future is, like, unknowable. But I will keep the lines of communication open.

I also spent some time around 2 AM today drooling over this site, which combines a lot of my interests -- i.e., writing, drawing, layout/design, and editing. Not sure who I'm more jealous of, the artists who get to create these books or the people who work in publishing and get to bring them to print. In an alternate reality, I would have about ten careers.

This morning at about 3:15 (yup, still awake and driven bonkers by monkey mind) I made a resolution to draw every day -- to take my sketch book with me everywhere and even if I have to sit in my car and draw at lunch, to just give myself that. I need to stretch my muscles a bit. Drawing for me is very energizing and meditative at the same time and I have not let that part of me have fun in way too long.

So for 2013 my mantra is:  Just Do It. And also, Make It So. So that's two mantras. I don't know, maybe it needs work, but you get the gist.

And you?  What do you have in mind for 2013?

*"You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty." Sacha Guitry, French actor, dramatist and director

** Which is some bullshit, because (a) this is one more furlough day than last year; and (2) if you don't use your vacation time for these days, you don't get paid -- which for a majority of our staff including myself, is simply not an option. I am lucky because I get three weeks (15 business days) of vacation per year since I am a director. Other folks are not so lucky and only get ten days. So if they want to have paid time off, they are being told they have to use their vacation days at specific times - and then have only two vacation days that they can plan independently. In my case, more than half of my vacation time could be theoretically eaten up by furlough days if I want to be paid for those days off. In essence, I feel I am being robbed in many sneaky ways by this job. Oddly, this is not a good feeling.