Category Archives: career

A Supergirl Recap

Today, I’m guest posting over at Tomorrow Is Another Day. Angela was so gracious to allow me to invade her space while she enjoys a vacation to one of two destinations, depending on the Air Force’s plane schedules. I’m anxious to hear about her travels, but in the meantime, head over there to weigh in on my honeymoon options!

For those of you who wandered this way courtesy of Angela’s place, welcome! I wish I could say I had some profound post to welcome you to this neck of the woods, but, well, I don’t. I swear I meant to, and then, well, shiz got busy.

Since I can’t put together a coherent original post, I thought it’d be a good idea to provide a little introduction on who I am, by way of a smattering of past posts. Hopefully that alone will entice you to add me to your reader, and I figured my regular readers might enjoy a little catch-up as well.

Some of the posts are a bit, um, old, which just goes to show how rare my posting has really gotten. Which just means if you add me to your reader, you can promise I won’t clog it daily. See? Glass. Half. Full.

So, who is Super Girl?

Well, I live in Detroit. Like in the city limits of Detroit. You know, south of Eminem’s infamous 8 Mile. I like to think this gives me street cred. (It doesn’t.)

I have three kidneys. Organ donation is cool, yo.

I’m getting married to a boy I call DD. It’s exciting and only slightly terrifying.

I used to work in a job that was killing my soul. Slowly. I traded that job — and the 4 block commute — for something that has improved my mental state, even though it adds 60 miles to my car 5 days a week.

I do yoga. “Do” is a fluid term, as I consider it a good week if I make it to class once. But, this one time I did a headstand. That was cool. (Sadly, it hasn’t happened since.)

So, that’s me. Who are you? Say hi, and make yourself at home.

4 Comments

Filed under About, career, DD (aka My Man), Detroit, Wedding, Y is for Yoga

Mission Accomplished OR the one where I got a new job

Just one short month into 2011, and I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do.

I got a new job. A fresh start.

Obviously, this was all in the works when I wrote that post a few weeks ago. I was fairly certain things were going to work out so I figured, why not set a goal I know I can achieve?!

I know, I know, cheaters never win.

In reality, this goal has been far from easy. I’ve been job searching on and off for the better part of three years. Then, the past six months happened. At various times last year, I was told by my co-workers and superiors that I dress too casually, that I should be questioning my role on my team, and that I’m not good at certain aspects of my job.

It’s been fun. Or, you know, the opposite of that.

Which is why, out of pure desperation, I applied for a job that I figured I had a shot in hell of getting. It’s a complete departure from my career field in an industry in which I have no experience.

But then…I got it.

And now I find myself diving head-first into the unknown, with the hope that this new work environment will be so much more supportive of me and my goals.

As great a job as it is, it comes with trade-offs.

I’m moving from a career in marketing to one in project management. I’ve always had lofty goals of advancing in the marketing/communications field, but lately the field has left me quite the Bitter Betty. I’m tired of what I call the “Monday Morning Marketers”, who think they know how to communicate a message solely because they have a Facebook page. The field has become so competitive and has developed such a low barrier to entry that I’m just done. I’ve finally recognized that I don’t have all the answers, that I don’t want to fight about those answers, and that I really just don’t care.

Not only am I shifting careers, but my new career will involve little to no writing — something that I swore would always be at the center of my career. That is, until I lived through constant criticism over my writing. To make things worse, it’s writing that I could really care less about. As I’ve said before, it’s tough to focus on personal writing when I come up with corporate-speak for 40+ hours a week.

I’ve always been passionate about writing, but that passion has been slowly pushed into a dark cave. These days, I rarely write for myself, no matter how much I say I’m going to. I’ve recognized that I have a great voice, but that voice doesn’t necessarily translate well into corporate-speak. And that I shouldn’t have to make it. I’ve also recognized that the problem with turning your passions into work is that they become just that — work.

Trade-offs.

I’m not saying this move isn’t going to be really freakin’ hard. It’s an industry with its  own form of competition and strife. It’s an entirely new job function that I once said I never saw myself pursuing. And it’s an entirely new commute — from 4 blocks to 30 miles. But, it’s a fresh start. And right now, that trumps any4 block commute.

11 Comments

Filed under career, decisions

My Obituary

A few weeks back, my boss and I were having one of our not-so-regular professional development conversations. For me, these are torturous; akin to watching an episode of Skating with the Stars. I have trouble thinking much past next month, so don’t even try getting me to make a five year plan.

But, there we were, talking about my future. About next steps. As the conversation evolved — with me fighting it every step of the way — my boss suggested I write my obituary.

Yes. My obituary.

After getting over the general skeeviness of it, I realize it actually is an interesting assignment. The point is to get you to think about what you want to be remembered for. Though I haven’t completed the assignment yet, I can assume that it’s an exercise to get those thoughts on paper, which should ultimately help you determine a path for both your career and your life as a whole.

Sounds easy.

Except. Well, who am I and what is it that I want to be remembered for? As I thought about that, everything that came to mind was personal.

Who am I?

A lover of books.

A lover of people.

A lover of dogs.

A lover of good writing.

A lover of travel.

What do I want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as a good person.

A good wife.

A good mom.

A scintillating conversationalist.

While these things are all well and good, they offer no insight into a future career. Wups?

So, after the initial brainstorm, I’ve stalled out. For the past few weeks I’ve avoided the assignment like the plague. I’m sure it’s given my boss just another reason to lose faith in me because I haven’t completed yet another professional development task. It’s been both a contributor and a casualty to that pesky writer’s block.

See, right before I got this assignment, I got all high and mighty on the writing thing. It was about the time work was really starting to tank my self-esteem. I was getting lots of criticism on my writing and was beginning to feel like I’d taken a complete wrong turn by making a career out of it since, clearly, I was awful at it.

To overcome the voices in my head (and my Inbox), I decided I was going to make my personal writing more of a priority. I thought that if I could get back to my own writing, it would make me hate my job — and the writing it requires — less. Heck, it might even make me better at the on-the-job writing.

To get back on the bandwagon, I’d also decided I was going to take my writing offline and start journaling. I was going to use the writing prompts offered by Writer’s Digest and go back to my roots with some good ol’ pen and paper.

It was going to be great.

Until I was told to write my obituary. The empty journal sat on my nightstand for weeks. I felt like I couldn’t start on my personal writing until I accomplished this actual assignment.

(It should be noted that who I am also includes a huge procrastinator and excuse-maker. Because even I know that’s a lame excuse.)

I finally sat down one night a drafted my obit, but instantly hated it. And I haven’t touched it — or the journal — since.

I’m stuck. Not only do I need to finish the assignment, but I also need to get jazzed about writing again. I think about the days when I used to love creative writing. When I had ideas for a book floating in my head. When I could sit down and just write for hours.

I haven’t done that, or even had the urge to do that, in years. And it really scares me. It scares me that after growing up with stories in my head, the real world has sullied me. The writing career that I worked so hard for has ruined me and taken away my imagination, my creativity, my voice. It scares me that the writing career has taken away the writing passion.

Because something else I want to be known for? Is being a great writer.

1 Comment

Filed under career, Hmm, rambling nature, writing

A blockage

So, now that NaBloPoMo is done, I thought it’d be a good idea to start blogging again. Ironic, no?

Really, though. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this whole writing thing and well, I’ve been dealing with a pretty intense case of writer’s block. And I’d say it’s still a long way from being cured.

But, here I am. Taking the first step.

As bad as writer’s block is for the blog, it’s even worse for the 9 to 5. You know, where I get paid to write? Let me tell you, it’s been rough coming up with corporate-speak on demand the past few months.

To be honest, it’s more than writer’s block. In fact, the stuff at the 9 to 5 is really more than I can even get into here. But, it’s been a big factor in dragging me down for the last few months. Increasingly I feel undervalued, and often, unnecessary. For a girl who strives to be busy and be an integral part of the team, it’s been really hard for me to watch the world spin without any help from me. It’s been really hard figuring out what exactly my role is on a team I’ve been a part of for nearly four years at a company I’ve been at for over six years.

But, I’m persevering. Enjoying the quiet and taking time off. Taking advantage of a normal work day and indulging in yoga and other personal activities that just didn’t fit in when I was working 50+ hour weeks. Working on overcoming some of my weaknesses. Taking a lot of deep breaths.

A lot of deep breaths.

3 Comments

Filed under career, writing, Y is for Yoga

On business casual, part 2

Today’s post finishes a two parter on business casual attire.

Because one part was too long and two parts extends the boredom that this topic conjurs.

You’re welcome.

Last week, we talked about posture. Today, wardrobe.

When I started my job, we were strictly business professional. Suits ruled my closet. But several years ago, we switched to business casual, with Fridays as a jeans day.

These days, my attire includes lots of solid color tees and tops that I can mix and match with jeans or dress pants and add a blazer or cardigan for work. I don’t do many button-downs because I have rather sizable assets and they don’t enjoy it when things have to be buttoned over them.

read: my boobs aren’t proportional to the rest of my body and pop out at random because I have trouble buying the right size shirt, causing an even bigger wardrobe issue.

One additional caveat — and one that prompted the initial feedback — is that I wear flip flops to work in the summer. They’re what I walk in, and I typically change them once I get to work. But many days, they do creep into my workday. And I get it, flip flops during work time are bad.

So, in light of this feedback, I’ve made it a point to avoid flip flops or change quickly out of them upon arriving at the office. I’ve also added a couple mix and match blazers to the mix. I hesitate to go full-on back to suits because that just makes people ask whether I’ve got an interview somewhere else. But, I may have to suck up and deal.

Obviously, I can understand that I need to up my game a bit. I’m nearing 30, and my work attire should reflect that. The ol’ cardy and t-shirt thing is so age 23. But, I’m fashion-dumb. I don’t know where to go and what looks good. I also have a very young face and that’s going to make anything I wear look, well, young.

On the flip side (because there’s always a flip side with me), I’m annoyed. I feel that I’ve worn the same type of clothing for years and don’t understand why I’m just now getting reprimanded. Other staff wear sandals/flip flops, what’s wrong with mine?

Newer staff seem to wear suits, so maybe there’s been an unofficial shift in the wardrobe and I’m too dense to notice. Or, as with the posture issue, maybe the higher ups are noticing the younger folks because we tend to have a more casual approach to life — and posture, and wardrobe — than a traditional office environment would warrant.

Whatever it is, this is my feedback, and I have to make the changes.

So, tell me. What’s your office attire? Where do you shop? And do you know a good personal shopper?

3 Comments

Filed under career

On business casual (part 1)

Today’s post starts a two parter on business casual attire.

Because one part was too long and two parts extends the boredom that this topic conjurs.

You’re welcome.

Several weeks ago, I was reprimanded for my “casual work attire and posture.”

Now, I’m not what you’d call an envelope pusher. I don’t have pink hair, no tattoos or odd piercings, and no revealing attire or hooker heels. So, when I heard this, I was rather taken aback.

After talking to my boss, I learned that it was the occasional flip flop appearance (I wear them to walk to work and sometimes they creep into my work day), coupled with the way I sit in my chair, coupled with my more “youthful” attire (I rarely wear a suit and am typically in pants, a solid color tee, and a cardigan) that had drawn the attention of the higher ups.

First…the posture.

We have an interesting work space. I don’t have an assigned work station, and can choose to plug in to a variety of stations every day — from the typical desk and chair to a more casual environment with a booth and table.

Picture a coffee shop, but without all the clamoring for the one electrical outlet and the constant sounds of the cappuccino maker.

Even at a normal table and chair, I routinely curl one leg under the other (I’m sitting at my kitchen table doing it right now). So, put me in a booth with a table that is neither comfortable nor ergonomically correct, and you’re going to find me in all kinds of crazy poses. Because it’s the only way I can get comfortable. And on meeting-free days when I’m at a computer, the typical ankles-crossed posed gets old around noon when my ass goes numb.

Yet, this posture is apparently affecting my credibility. And it’s not just me, several other young staff members have received similar feedback.

There’s a part of me that can see the issue. We constantly have guests visiting, and if they see staff being all slouchy, I guess that reflects a certain image that we wouldn’t want to convey.

But at the same time, I can’t help but think: it’s a damn booth. How do you expect us to avoid carpel tunnel and all the other bad office job-related injuries if our feet don’t even touch the ground to do the proper ankle-cross?!

I could also go down the path of: I’m a creative, and work best in a certain way, which is more casual than how others may work. To get my creative juices flowing, I usually need to be comfortable — not proper — when sitting at a computer.

But I’ll refrain. Instead I’m being much more conscious of how I’m sitting and walking and trying to correct my poor posture.

I realize I’m being a sissy, and need to just suck it up. But c’mon. After 6 years, my posture is influencing my credibility? At this point, shouldn’t my work outweigh whether I prefer to sit cross-legged?

You tell me. How do you sit at work? Do you notice difference in generations? For example, do the whippersnappers sit and walk more casually while the old hats stay buttoned up with feet firmly planted on the floor?

11 Comments

Filed under career

How I spent my summer vacation: The Work

Let’s get the not so fun stuff out of the way. I promise, the rest of my summer recaps won’t be so Debbie Downer.

Work has been, well, inSANE this summer. It started out all happy go-lucky; mainly because I chose to ignore my to-do list. April and May were filled with carefree days, evening walks, and a general lackadaisical attitude.

That behavior caught up with me along about 4th of July. For the past couple months, I’ve been pretty beaten down by both work hours and work politics. I’m consistently logging 50 hour weeks, on some projects that could have been fun, and some projects that are necessary — but mundane — time sucks.

Unfortunately, the projects that would normally be fun became some of the biggest nightmares I could have imagined.  I spent more of my time fighting with co-workers in an effort to prevent poor decisions instead of working with them in an effort to create compromise and good outcomes.  Usually, I lost the fights, leaving me feeling exhausted and useless. After all, if you’re just going to ignore my advice and do your own thing, why am I even there?

There’s been more than one night where both DD and I have dragged ourselves home after 8 or 9 p.m., flopped on the couch, looked at each other and said: “who gets to quit today?”

It’s not the best situation for our relationship, because we’re so exhausted that there’s not much time or energy left for us to take care of each other. Even our — well, my — communication revolves around all the work badness.

Luckily, I think I’m coming out of the woods. The to-do list is shrinking, and more exciting things are coming on the horizon.

But for now, I’m just making it through the days, keeping my weekends blissfully work-free, and looking forward to the few days that I can get away.

It’s just a bit depressing, because as we bear down on the last summer holiday, I wonder where my summer went.

3 Comments

Filed under career, crazy crazy, DD (aka My Man), glass half empty, rambling nature, rants