Archive | November, 2013

Why I’m Extremely Thankful For All The Craziness In My Life

27 Nov

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Because tomorrow I very much plan on being too busy to blog, I’m writing my oh-so-original Thanksgiving post right now.

Thanksgiving’s probably my favorite holiday.

Not just because I can shamelessly consume about 35 lbs of food in 8 hours, but because it’s a no-stress day where I can just reflect on all I have.

Throughout the year, we complain.

Every day we complain, really.

Ugh traffic sucks.

Ugh I can’t believe I have to go to work.

Ugh I can’t believe I have to go to school.

Ughhhhh why isn’t my Wi-Fi working?!?!?!

That’s our life.

Usually.

But not on Thanksgiving.

Nope, on Thanksgiving I make a very concious effort to not complain about anything.

Because when I really stop to think about it, I don’t have anything worth those complaints.

I have an amazing family and a boyfriend as crazy as me who I love dearly.

I have friends, a roof over my head, my health, and an income.

I have the ability to think for myself.

I have the ability to challenge existing beliefs because I have the mental capacity to do so.

I have TiVo and NetFlix and a cat who I treat like my child.

Sure, I have plenty of chaotic days. Days that leave me exhausted.   

But that exhaustion comes from actually having things to do.

From actually having goals to work towards.

Yes, my life’s a big hot mess most of the time, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Because I have everything I’ll ever need.

Actually, I have more.

Other stuff you might like:

Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now

Relax, Being Lost is a Good Thing

Random Ramblings on Being a Young Adult

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What We Can Learn About Work From The Hunger Games

21 Nov

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Because I’m beyond excited to watch Catching Fire this weekend, here’s a post in honor of my role model in life, Katniss Everdeen. In case you missed it, I wrote this post over at University Ave last year. This is why the Hunger Games series is my absolute favorite… only after Harry Potter.

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So by now I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing about the Hunger Games. But too bad. I’m still going to write about it. Yea, there are a lot of people annoyed by yet another teen love triangle but I have to say, I picked up some essential business lessons while watching the movie and paying $17 for popcorn and a soda.

Here are some of them:

Get people to like you, or you’ll die

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the main characters in the movie have to compete in a fight until the death. Yes, children, because their ancestors rebelled against the capitol, are selected to enter an arena and kill each other in hopes of having one remaining victor. How lovely… Sponsors however, while watching the tournament, assist the tributes in providing them with medicine and food to help increase their chances of winning. But who do they help? THE PEOPLE THEY LIKE. And that’s how it is in the business world. We do business with people we like. We help other people who we like. We do favors for people we like. Is it fair? No. But that’s how it is. So if you want to survive in the workforce, do yourself a favor and make sure people like you.

Be yourself so that people like you so you don’t die

The goal is to get people to like you. We’ve established that. But how do you do that? In the movie, Katniss Everdeen (the main character that has the oh so terrible misfortune of having to choose between two deliciously good looking men) says that she doesn’t know how to make people like her. That’s when her advisor tells her to just be herself. To not try. Look, most people know when they’re being BS’ed. Most people don’t like it when they have to interact with people that are fake. So just be yourself, be relatable, be friendly, and you’ll find that people like you a lot better like that than if you pretend to be someone you aren’t. Besides, being fake takes too much effort.

Be memorable or you’ll die

Before the tournament begins, each competing tribute has the opportunity to show off their skills in order to attract Sponsors. In this case, twenty-four tributes compete for the attention of the Sponsors. So how do they get that attention? By being memorable. Katniss understands this. What does she do? She shoots an arrow into the food that the Sponsors are eating. Catches them off guard… Shocks them. But one thing is for sure, she gets noticed. She gets their attention. In the workforce today, there are so many people competing for the same positions, competing for advancement, etc. The only way to get yourself to stand out of the crowd is by being memorable. By taking some risk. Which leads me to my next point…

Some people will like your guts but others won’t

After Katniss almost decapitates the Sponsors with her arrow, her group of advisors fear that she won’t receive a high rating from the Sponsors. However, she does. For some reason, it appears the Sponsors liked her courage and how out of the ordinary her performance was. She was memorable and they liked that. But at the same time, President Snow (the president of all the districts) was not amused. When he realizes the impact Katniss has on the members of the districts, he feels threatened by her. He understands that she poses a threat to the way things have always been in their society. What does he say? “A spark is fine as long as it’s contained.” You’ll encounter in the workforce that some people are open to new thoughts and ideas. Some management will like that you are the kind of employee that takes risks and thinks outside the box. But some won’t. Some managers will feel threatened by this and will do everything in their power to contain that spark. Don’t let them.

A good mentor will help increase your chances of survival

Each of the tributes competing in the games is given a mentor to help train them and guide them through this terrible process. Each of these mentors has already been in the games and has managed to survive. So they use their past experiences to help these new tributes in hopes that maybe one of them won’t end up crushed by a rock. I don’t think that there’s anything more helpful than finding someone in the workforce that is willing to help guide you during your career. Someone that will push you and help expose you to other people that will help you. The workplace is hard. That’s something that I learned at a very young age. So find yourself a mentor and that should make it a little easier. Or don’t. But then, as a drunken but quite attractive Haymitch says, “embrace the probability of your imminent death.”

Good luck to all of you entering the workforce and may the odds be ever in your favor :D

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5 Life Lessons for Twentysomethings from Lorde’s Royals

18 Nov

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Today I’m thrilled to publish the following guest post written by Lisa Crocco. I’m a huge fan of Lorde, and I love how her music is something that we can all relate to. Have a great week everyone! Hope you like!

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If you haven’t heard the song “Royals” from Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor)- the talented, sixteen year old from New Zealand, then you must not have turned on your radio for weeks. This catchy song has been sung, hummed, covered, and jammed to on repeat enough to hit the top of Billboard Hot 100 chart. Not only is the song super catchy, but its message is also powerful.

When we break down some of the lyrics we can see how Lorde wrote a song that is actually relevant to the majority of our lives.

‘I’m not proud of my address’

Unless your postal code is 90210 chances are at one point or another you have been embarrassed by your hometown.

Let your roots and upbringing push you to make a better life for yourself and get out of your little 236 person run-down town if that’s what you want. Go find someplace to live that makes you finally feel like you are home.

‘We’ll never be royals, it don’t run in our blood’

Unless you get your food served on gold-plated china with a diamond-encrusted spork to match, then you unfortunately weren’t born into a royal family.

We have to work twice, if not three times as hard, since life didn’t hand us that beautiful, beautiful gene that Prince Harry and William have. But just because you might not be royalty it doesn’t mean you lack the opportunity to be great and do wonderful things.

‘We count our dollars on the train’

How many minimum wage jobs can one young person work at once? It seems like nowadays there is so much pressure to earn money and lots of it. We are also expected to make this wad of cash while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, being a community leader, having a social life, and watching marathons on Netflix—we can’t do it all!

So we struggle financially and we suck it up and deal with it. We appreciate the pennies we do have and try to spend wisely while we can…since we have no other choice.

‘We aren’t caught up in your love affair’

Focus on yourself, your goals, and your passions. Ignore the criticisms from those who belittle your ambitions. Don’t get wrapped up in the hype of what everyone else thinks and says is the happening thing to do or be. You will get lost and getting lost is scary.

‘Let me live that fantasy’

There is nothing wrong with living in this little fantasy world that you paint for yourself in your mind. Dream up a life that you have always imagined and then have the courage and determination to make it a reality.

You can be the queen bee.

Lisa Crocco: As a senior at Illinois State University double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science, I hope to one day work on political campaigns as part of the communication team.

I like to think I can speak Swedish, Spanish and sarcasm fluently, but I constantly fail at all three of those. Despite my hectic schedule of blogging, interning and compulsive list-making, I find time to nap, read and watch re-runs of the West Wing.

If you have any questions for me or would love to connect, reach out to me via Twitter or Email.

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Why NOT Taking Time Off Is Stupid

11 Nov
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Some people never take vacation.

Worse yet, some people complain when OTHER people take vacation.

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The belief, these days, in the lovely corporate world -which P.S. I have no patience for- is that if your butt isn’t glued to your desk Monday-Friday 8 hours a day, you’re not a hard worker.

It’s a concept so sad that just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Then, it makes me want to punch someone.

In the face.

Repeatedly.

We’ve somehow gotten to the point where people are scared of taking vacation. People are scared of taking time off.

Why?

Because they’re afraid that if they do, they’ll be considered a slacker.

There’s Amy…she’s going on a cruise next week…OBVIOUSLY she’s not very committed to her job.

*Shake my head*

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that it’s very possible to be a hard-working super-awesome employee

AND

Someone who enjoys using their allotted vacation time.

It’s a beautiful concept, work-life balance.

Some people really ought to try it.

You know, I’m pretty sure we can go to work and be efficient and get things done and STILL have time for a life.

STILL have time for ourselves.

And STILL have time for our families.

I don’t think we should have to choose between work and a life, and I certainly don’t think we should have to feel guilty about it.

So now that the holidays are quickly approaching, talk to your boss about taking a few days off.

Even if it’s just one day.

Eat.

Travel.

See new things.

Enjoy a quiet day by yourself to unwind.

Make time for your family.

Make time for your friends.

Laugh at something ridiculous.

Yes, it’s important to do good work.

But it’s important to do good life too.

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