Life Update: Gratitude Spin

Gratitude

If there’s anything I can admit freely, it’s that I’ve made a lot of mistakes this year.

As evidenced by the sparse posting I’ve done in 2015, my life has been a little chaotic. Aside from planning The Hello Sessions (which is happening in less than a month!), I started a new job in the springtime–and then, rather quickly, realized that I was absolutely the wrong person for the job.

There were a lot of reasons I was unhappy– reasons I won’t go into here. What I will say is that there’s a lot of career advice out there that says you absolutely need to stay in a job for at least a year, or that you definitely shouldn’t quit a job unless you’ve been made an offer, and in reality that’s all very relative. I held onto those rules and my health began to go downhill quickly. I developed a nasty case of eczema, a stress-induced eyelid twitch, and suffered from insomnia, all of which disappeared in the days after I made the decision to move on.

The funny thing is that opportunities arrive when you really need them to, when you’re ready for them. A position opened up at Bentley University, on a fantastic team in which I’ve been given a massive amount of freedom to be creative, build the community, and manage things as I see fit. And although my 10 second commute has turned into a 75 minute commute, as I begin each day I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed in a place that feels just right.

Speaking of commutes, I’m beginning to embrace mine. I’ve found a pretty, back roads route and I’ve become an Audible member. My most recent acquisition was The Gratitude Diaries, which has reminded me to look back on things not as mistakes but as lessons. To put a spin on the little annoyances (turning “Ugh, going to bed at 10pm is hard!” to “I’m so grateful that I can actually sleep again,”). To spend more time feeling lucky for all the good in my life, like James (who never once told me to please stop obsessing), and my family, and my career, and my friends (both old and new), and our lovely home, and our ability–even in those troublesome times–to laugh. A lot.

And now, on to autumn.

Love, Joy

Life Update: Yes, I’m alive!

Frock Files New Job Recap

Hello, friends! It’s true, despite the month-long silence, I really am still here. The first month in my new role came and went before I could catch my breath. It wasn’t an easy month–in fact, for a few days there, it was downright rough–but then someone reminded me that nothing would work unless I began to rely on myself and things became much sunnier. My brain has so many new wrinkles in it because I’m learning a TON. It feels like a switch turned on in my brain and I want to learn everything.

Here are three things that I’ve learned in the last month:

I love having a plan: By nature, I’m not a huge planner. But for my new role, I spend a lot of time preparing for action–making sure that I understand what my goals are, how I’m going to reach them, breaking it down nearly to the day (and sometimes to the hour). As a “Let’s try it and see what happens” person, I was at first alarmed by all this planning. Then, I saw how much easier it made my day-to-day work and I fell in love with it.

DOING is my steez: Yet, once those plans were made, I was beyond eager to implement the actions. It’s in the doing that I find my state of flow. I’m happiest on the days that I can look at the plan I made, see what I’ve done that day to get incrementally closer to the goal, and knock something off my to do list.

Time. Is. FLYING. As in: It’s JUNE? What?! The time issue really hit me last week when all of a sudden Melissa and I realized that it was time for tickets to go on sale for The Hello Sessions. This crazy, amazing dream that we’ve had for the past two years is a reality now, with actual attendees, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Thanks for sticking with me, and for all of you who have emailed to see how things are going. The fact of the matter is that things are pretty amazing. It’s summertime! I’m liking my new job! We’re healthy! (Even Kona!)

Now I’m just trying to figure out how to fit an extra 6 hours into the day. I’ll be focusing on time management over the next few weeks, and I’ll post my discoveries here on the blog.

No more disappearing. Promise.

Love, Joy

The Hello Sessions Newsletter

Life Update: I Have a New Job!

Frock Files: I Have a New Job!

When we came back from Hawaii a few weeks ago, things had changed. Yes, we were browner and more relaxed and a few pounds heavier, but there was one other thing, too. While we were traveling, I received a job offer that was so good and exciting and wonderful that there was no way I could walk away. So I said yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Leaving my current role at the university isn’t easy because I have loved working there. I’ve formed awesome relationships with my coworkers and our award-winning team. They’re just the best, smartest, most talented people around. I’ve nurtured the school’s social media presence–we call it my baby, which is what it feels like. And I have great pride in the university, which has risen up from its underdog days to become an awesome research institution. I’ll miss it, and I’ll be forever grateful that my team gave me the chance to prove myself there. We have done incredible things together.

All that said, I’m so ridiculously excited about what’s ahead in my new role. I’ll be handling social media and community engagement for a company that helps people to find their dream jobs, to negotiate better, to essentially become better, more confident versions of themselves. For years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but their materials helped me to figure it out and even to land my job at the university! I have to admit, it was a little odd to interview with the company that taught me how to interview. But because the materials are all about being an authentic, high performing individual, the impact is universal. I’m thrilled that I’ll get to be part of this impressive, growing team of rock stars.

My new job is completely remote, which means I’ll be spending a lot more time here in my home office. Way back when, I painted it dark grey, and while I’ve enjoyed my little cave, I’m beginning to feel like it might not do for 40+ hours each week. So another change is on the way–a white washed, sunny office (to match our white washed, sunny bedroom!).

If you see me and I have paint splatters all over myself, it’s because it’s going to take a LOT of primer to cover up my previous paint job. But I know that once it’s done, it will feel like a fresh start. Like spring.

 

Romance Your Career

Romance Your Career | Simple ideas to boost your career and avoid a slump

Some of you are probably wondering where the Valentine’s Day posts are this year. There are a few things at play here: one is that we’ve gotten over 60 inches of snow in the last couple of weeks, which means everything gets crammed into the leftover days, leaving little time for craft and food shopping. The other is that I’ve been a wee bit preoccupied with The Big Project Melissa and I have in the works, and with building a tool chest for my career.

I’m at that point in my current job where I understand how all the machinery works, so there’s room to begin thinking about how to grow from the foundation I’ve laid. Raise your hands if you’ve been in your job for over a year! It’s easy to get comfortable, right?

But I think that by continuing to dig deeper, continuously learn, and check in with ourselves, you can keep the love affair with your career going. It’s like dating your spouse. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean the romance goes out the door. Here are a few awesome ways to kick things up a notch:

Spice It Up

Listen to industry podcasts: James works in technology, so he’s always keeping up with trends by listening to podcasts on network infrastructure. This inspired me to find some social media podcasts, which I listen to in the car. I’m currently enjoying the Social Media Marketing Happy Hour, which run about 15 minutes. This podcast is like the gummy vitamin of job growth for me because they’re happy, bite-sized episodes that keep me up-to-date on what’s happening in the social media landscape. I sent a bit of advice that I learned from this show to a list of faculty and staff who I run workshops for on campus and they were thrilled!

Drink More Coffee: I’m a big fan of Ramit Sethi’s work because he focuses on how to be a higher quality entrepreneur or employee in order to find more success, not just how to appear to be one. Sethi suggests getting together with friends and acquaintances for quick coffee meetings several times a month. The idea is that you’ll strengthen your existing relationships and create new connections in other organizations, both of which could help broaden your horizons (and vice versa).

Make Plans: Stop coasting! If you have a good idea of what your team’s goals are, set your own goals to help in getting there. If it’s not clear, or if you just want to be 100% sure, sit down with your boss and ask if there are contributions that you, specifically, can make in the next three to six months to help the team achieve more. Check in with your goals on a daily basis. I’m testing the Golden Scale app, which breaks goals down into manageable chunks. Have you tried it? I’d love to know about whether or not you’ve had success with it or other goal setting apps.

P.S. Okay, some of you are still kind of bummed about the lack of Valentine’s Day love here. For you, here’s a DIY, a series on modern romance, and some Valentine’s-centric recipes. Bake some heart-shaped palmiers and take them to work!

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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