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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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.


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.


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!


Print by Oh My Deer for Designlovefest

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