Archive | May, 2014

Please Stop Asking Me Where I See Myself in 5 Years

21 May

passionately-curious-goal-setting

I really do hate it.

“The” question…

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Apparently, everyone wants to know.

Have a job interview??? I can almost bet my left hand that someone will ask you.

Go to a networking event??? It’s more than likely.

I’ve been hit with this question more times than I can count.

And every time, I’m sure that I’ve disappointed the person asking with my answer.

Because here’s my answer…

I have no idea.

Now before you start thinking that I lack ambition, understand that I’ve read tons about why goal setting is good. I’ve also read about why goal setting is bad.

I get both sides of the arguement.

But when it comes to where I see myself in 5 years, my answer’s still the same.

I have no idea.

I never grew up wanting to be something specific. I never grew up wanting to be a doctor or a nurse or an astronaut or an engineer.

I don’t know why, exactly, but I just didn’t.

The only thing I DID know was that whatever it was that I ended up chossing as a profession…I wanted to like it.

I wanted to be good at it, and I wanted to enjoy it.

So where do I see myself in 5 years?

I can’t tell you exactly what job I see myself holding, but I CAN tell you that I see myself working at a job that I love. Working somewhere that allows me to use my talents appropriately. One that lets me bring the best of myself to the table, and one that lets me use that to help other people.

When it comes to my career, I guess I’ve chosen a less-than-conventional path. Rather than focusing on one specific discipline, I think that there are lots of jobs that I could be good at and happy with.

I don’t have ONE specific dream job. I don’t have ONE specific job that I aspire to have one day- one that if I never get, I’ll be devastated.

That’s just me.

And while some people may think that makes me unfocused, I like to think that it makes me more flexible.

And in today’s super-unstable job market, that’s probably not such a bad thing.

It’s just kind of funny, really, becuase it seems that people expect us to have it all figured out by the time we graduate college.

graduation-geny-millennials

Yep! We did it!

By then, OBVIOUSLY, we should know what our dream job will be. We should know where we want to be in 5…10…15 years.

And again, if you don’t, some people think you lack focus.

But the truth of it all is that some people NEVER figure that out. People spend their entire lives figuring out what they like…what they don’t like…what they’re passionate about.

It’s a process of trial and error.

So if you’re like me and don’t know exactly where you’ll be 5 years from now, don’t worry, you’ll figure it out as you go.

Just make sure to enjoy the ride.

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Yes, Failure is an Option

15 May

Last night, I was sitting on my couch stuffing my face with strawberries and Nutella when I came across this Domino’s commercial…

And you know what?

I loved it.

Because it was probably the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a really long time.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is so awesome about a pizza commercial??”

Thing is… it wasn’t about the pizza.

It was about the company, and its culture.

A company that’s okay with admitting that it’s not perfect.

A company that’s okay with accepting failure.

A company that’s willing to learn from that failure and then makes changes.

I don’t know…maybe I’m crazy, but I really liked their honesty.

Because that honesty is really hard to come by these days.

True. Story.

It seems that organizations spend way too much time trying to be the best…trying to be perfect.

AKA… no failure allowed.

So when failure does naturally happen at some point or another, corporate execs spend more time pointing fingers than on actually learning from that failure and continuing to make progress.

I guess that’s why I like this commercial so much.

Because if more companies embraced a culture that’s okay with failure…that sees the value in learning from things that don’t necessarily work out…maybe employees would go out on a limb more often.

Maybe there’d be more innovation.

Maybe we’d actually find solutions to most of our problems.

But we don’t, because we’re scared.

We don’t because, again… most organizations punish people who venture from the norm and then fail.

That’s not cool, and quite frankly, we’re not gunna get anywhere in life with an attitude like that.

So props to you, Domino’s, for being smart enough to say, “hey, we’re not perfect…and we’re fine with that.”

That’s the kind of company I’d like to work for one day…

One that’s not putting on a front.

One that’s honest and sincere.

One that’s accepted that not only is failure an option, but failure is necessary in order to experience growth.

Way to go, Domino’s. You’ve got my attention.

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How to Make Yourself Memorable in a Sea of Corporate Robots

7 May

Back in October, one of my friends was getting married.

So naturally, we did what most people do these days and we went on an epic bachelorette cruise.

These days, I’m totally an old person and I don’t do anything crazy like that.

But that weekend, I made an exception.

Because my friend, who’s now married, is kind of amazing.

So we got a group of crazy rowdy women together and we partied.

We drank and we ate and we all wore wigs on captain’s night.

And for the record…I LOVED my purple bob wig.

So did this get everyone’s attention?

You bet it did.

We were definitely… memorable.

 So this got me thinking about how hard we all try to be noticed.

I mean, especially in our careers, we’re taught that we need to be remembered. We’re taught that we need to make an impact.

We’re encouraged to attend networking events..

We’re encouraged to mingle…

We’re encouraged to build relationships…

And what for??

To be noticed. To be memorable. So that if opportunities become available, others will think of us and then BAM…we have jobs.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But how do we do that? How do we make ourselves memorable?

Um…sure, you can show up to a work event wearing a purple bob wig…

(Good luck with that)

OR, you can try one of the following…

  1. Be positive

Sad fact of life…there aren’t a whole lot of positive people in this world. Most people spend their days complaining and whining and they’re like giant balls of negativity. And you know what??? NO ONE LIKES TO BE AROUND THESE PEOPLE. Because really, it’s exhausting. So try to be that ray of sunshine (super corny, but I don’t care). Be positive. Be that person that people want to be around because you’re just so damn happy. Because that happiness rubs off on other people. And believe me, people can use all the happiness they can get. I promise, you’ll be remembered for it.

  1. Be genuine

I hate fake people. I hate fake people. I hate fake people. I hate fake people. Got it? Awesome. If you haven’t noticed already, you’ll find that sooooo many people put up a front all the time. They don’t know how to be themselves. ESPECIALLY at work. ESPECIALLY at networking events. It’s almost like half the world got a copy of some handbook on how to act in the workplace and I was absent the day they gave them out. Excerpt from that handbook: “Use big words…don’t laugh…don’t make jokes…act like a robot.” But who the heck likes that?? Don’t think for a second that you have to be a corporate robot in order to succeed in your career. If you’re honest and you’re yourself, people will notice….Because it’s rare, and it’s super refreshing.

  1. Be helpful

I have a terrible memory. Like, really bad. But there are certain people who I never forget, and most of them are people who’ve helped me in the past. Mentors who’ve steered me in the right direction… school advisors who’ve given me great advice…my friend who stayed up with me till 3am so I could vent about my break up. Those are the people you often remember. Honestly, you should help people not because you want to be remembered, but because you’re a nice person and it’s the right thing to do. But being remembered is a happy side effect.

  1. Become an expert

You want to get noticed? Become the go-to person in any field. Even if it means you’re like the expert photocopier. You know how to print copies in color. You know how to print copies front and back. You know how to print copies upside down left to right, and you even know how to staple them. People remember the experts. So pick something you’re really good at, and learn absolutely everything you can about it.

Anyone else have any advice?! How do you make yourself memorable?

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4 Ways to Increase Productivity at Your Apartment

1 May

productivity-at-your-apartment

Now that I’ve graduated school foreverrrrr, I’m gunna have to learn to be productive at my apartment. It won’t be easy… with my super comfy couch and NetFlix so easily accessible…it’s so much easier to just lay back and be lazy.

But I won’t do that. At least, not ALL the time. I’ve still got tons to do and plenty of goals to reach, so if I can find a way to increase my productivity at my place, that would be kind of awesome.

In today’s guest post, Allie shares with us 4 ways to be a little more productive at home, and her tips are super helpful. Enjoy!

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How many times has this happened to you – “I can’t focus on work from home” or maybe there are so many distractions, you need to go to Starbucks to get stuff done. While this might not be a big deal at first, in the long run, it could be harmful. What if the coffee shop is closed for the night, but this project is due first thing in the morning? Or have you thought about how much you could save financially?

Starbucks was my work place of choice whenever I wasn’t in the Trimark Properties office. I always bought a specialty Starbucks coffee and some type of pastry to snack on. Yes it’s delicious, but it starts adding up real quick. As a gal on a budget and watching her figure, I decided to find a way to utilize my apartment. I took the time to get my temp “office” or aka corner of the room set up, put up a few calming pictures, and voila! On average, it helped me save about $60 a month (that’s about $720 for the year!). Crazy right? Now that I have your attention, check out a few of these tips that helped make this happen:

1. Have a Designated ‘Office’ Space

It can be a small corner of the apartment or a whole room. The main thing is that you know it’s your working space. When choosing the office area, try to look for a quiet space, preferably not in a heavily used area where lots of people hang out and socialize. Once you have the space, set up an organizational system. Create a to-do list that prioritizes your workload, and get a filing system going so there are no loose papers floating around. Messy areas tend to overwhelm us and decrease productivity levels dramatically. Save yourself the stress and begin with a fresh start by having everything in order. Desks aren’t necessarily needed, but a place for everything in the room will lessen cleaning maintenance.

 2. Set Some Rules

Get a timer out and allocate the amount of work time before you take a break. Then, during the break, really treat yourself with a cookie or watching a short TV show just to let your mind unwind. Remaining calm and not overly stressed will help you focus. Also, it never hurts to let your roommates know that you’ll be working. If your roommates are nice, they’ll try to be quiet and won’t bother you until you come out of your work cave. Rules might sound like a strict standard to set, but they’re a great way to set guidelines to getting things done!

3. Apartment Décor

How is the lighting? What about the color scheme of your office space décor? The way you decorate, heavily impacts your productivity levels. Boost productivity by opting for lighter colors such as light blues, coral, and yellows to give the apartment a happy & fresh look. A little tip, avoid dramatic colors or patterns that could distract. The point is to find a color that will subtly motivate and not take up your attention. Then, let’s get some light in the office. Lighting sets the mood, and nothing says “get to work” like a lot of light waking you up! Mirrors are great ways of lighting up the room too.

 4. Inspiration -*Cue Rocky theme*

Get motivated and inspired to complete your projects. Before working, read some inspirational quotes and/or listen to music that will get you pumped. One of my favorites lately is Pharrell’s song, “Happy”… it always leaves a huge smile on my face. It’s important to be excited about being productive and knocking a few things off your to do list.

How about you? What do you do to keep you productive at home?

 About the Author: Allie Castillo is a marketing guru for apartments in Gainesville FL. She is a young 20-something professional and recent grad from the University of Florida. During her free time, Allie enjoys playing with her pet Yorkie, traveling, and baking.

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