5 Ways to Romance Your Work

How to Romance Your Work | Frock Files

Part of my mission as a social media coordinator for a university is to deliver information to students to prepare them for the work world, whatever that may be for them. As I’ve been pulling together different posts, tips, and tricks for the students, I’ve found a lot of valuable information that I’ve been using, myself.

Subscribe to industry blogs. Reading about new practices and fresh ideas is a way to keep yourself inspired — and the best thing about industry blogs is that they’re usually updated very regularly. I use Feedly to subscribe to a few social media blogs, and I make it a point to spend at least half an hour looking through the posts each day to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, tools, and news. It keeps me thinking about how I can implement new tactics into our strategies.

Collaborate. In both blogging and my university work, collaboration opens up new routes of exploration and helps me to think bigger. The benefits are ongoing, too: you develop great relationships that you can turn to when you need help; you can often have a larger impact in whichever area you’re trying to deliver to; and you stay motivated.

Create a gratitude list. If or when you start feeling like you’re in a slump about work, it’s time to start thinking about why you were excited about your job in the first place. It’s kind of like thinking back to what made you fall in love with your significant other. Is it that you love the company? The area of the city you work in? The pay? You may discover that you never loved anything about it to begin with, in which case it may be time to re-evaluate. (Three signs you should definitely quit your job.)

Be social. Even if you don’t have time to go out for happy hour drinks every week, find a way to spend some social time with your colleagues. Create a book club and invite people to join in. Plan a monthly lunch with your teammates. Make it a point to buy a cup of coffee for one of your coworkers every couple of weeks. Work is so much more pleasant when you’re among friends.

Over deliver. The competitive part of me is really into this — even if I’m only competing with myself. Set goals and then work really hard to top them! If you’re having a hard time setting goals for yourself, sit down with your boss to set a couple of goals together, and then strive to go beyond reaching them. The result is twofold: you’ll impress others and you’ll find more spark for your work.

P.S. How to Recharge Your Career

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The Big News

You Got This print by Oh My Deer for Design Lovefest

On Wednesday, I hinted about making a big announcement on Friday and here we are, at the end of the week. So my big news?

I got a job!

If you’ve been following Frock Files for awhile, you may be scratching your heads because I’ve written in the past about how much I love my freelance life and what a difficult time I had finding a job in my early-to-mid twenties. But over the past year, my priorities have shifted and my knowledge base has expanded, and I finally came to the realization that I wanted to work with one big organization I believe in on a part-time basis, leaving the rest of my time devoted to this blog.

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As soon as I got clear on what I wanted, an opportunity came up for a part-time social media coordinator at a local university. This particular university has grown a lot over the past few years, and was recently chosen as the most underrated school in the country. It has a large first-generation student population, supports student innovation, and creates opportunities for individuals to build a future they can be passionate about.

In the past, I would prepare for interviews by reviewing those tricky questions and coming up with a list of adjectives to describe myself. But this time it was different. Since the role is action oriented with measurable goals, I had the opportunity to put together a plan that I could discuss with the team. I felt confident about what I could bring to the table. And, perhaps most importantly, social media is something I love thinking about and discussing. So when it came down to it, the interviews turned into fun conversations instead of tense, rapid fire questionings. Of course, it helped that the team is made up of really friendly people.

Recently, a friend was talking to me about an event she had planned, and how she loved doing it because it was fun, successful, and something she’d done all on her own. I thought of that as I prepared for these interviews, and about the fact that I’m a candidate for this position because of Frock Files — my little project has blossomed into something that’s made my life more whole. That feels pretty incredible.

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I found out that I got the job the same day I learned I’d be speaking at Alt Summit! Although I usually dread January in all its snowy, icy glory, this is one that I’m looking forward to. My new gig starts on Monday, and I can’t wait to get the ball rolling.

With all the excitement and change, I’ll be posting three times a week this month, but fear not! The recipes, crafts, and style posts you know and love will be in regular rotation.

Here’s to fresh starts and new adventures! I’m so happy to have you along as we jump into 2014!

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Print by Oh My Deer for Designlovefest

Eighteen Jobs in Fourteen Years

Frock Files | My Journey to Thirty

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know quite a bit about my life. But I haven’t talked a lot about how I came to be a full-time freelancer, and what it took for me to finally give myself the freedom to stop trying to fit into a regular nine-to-five. Let me tell ya, it took me a really long time.

That’s what I’m talking about today on My Thirty Spot. Editor Erin Kennedy graciously invited me to participate in her Love for Thirty series, since I’m turning thirty this year. While I always work hard to write honestly here, this piece is one of the most revealing things I’ve written in a long time. It took weeks of looking back into my twenties and facing a lot of difficult periods before I could sit down to write this. But in the end, I’m proud of how real it turned out to be, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to examine how all the pieces came together to get me to this happy period.

Here’s a snippet of the post. If you want to read the essay in its entirety, head on over to My Thirty Spot.

An Excerpt…

Up until rather recently, I changed jobs the way other people switch out their purses. Between my first job in high school and this, the last few months before my thirtieth birthday, I’ve had eighteen jobs. Nineteen if you count the day that I worked at Harrods. I quit when told me that, should the store undergo a terrorist attack, I would be among the last to be evacuated – and then they scheduled me for a sixty-hour week. I doubt anyone would count that.

Some of these jobs were pretty well aligned with my English degree: tutor, textbook editor, book designer, newspaper columnist, magazine writer. But I also worked as a salon manager, barista, and salesperson. I took positions at a chocolate shop, a baby boutique, and a Buddhist peace institute.

Soon after completing my graduate degree, I took on a full-time job at a detective agency. When I tell people about this period of my life, they immediately imagine a film noir-esque office; wooden doors with frosted glass windows and standalone racks perfect for dramatic fedora snatching. But the reality was all halogen lights and plastic cubicles, with only the buzz of the air conditioner…

Find the full post here.

Photography by the talented Meghann Street.

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