Archive | January, 2009

How To Relieve Stress At Work

29 Jan

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I was on a meeting with my co-worker the other day, when he said to me ” Believe it or not, as the project manager  you should be more stressed out than anyone- stress is a good thing!” To which I replied in my head- “What? Since when is stress a good thing? If I am stressed out, doesn’t that mean I don’t have all the projects under control?”

I’ve always been a calm, quiet person, and when I’m stressed, I don’t typically run around flailing my arms, yelling obscenities and sweating from head to toe. My stress episodes usually involve getting even quieter, until I feel the tears coming and retreat to my car to scream and vent to my mom for an hour. Now that I think of it- sort of reminds me of my first day of Kindergarten. Anyways, because of this I’m pretty sure my Boss thinks he needs to do anything it takes to make me more visibly “stressed out,” but I refuse to give in. Here’s some tactics I’ve been using lately that have kept me from pulling a Scarface in Half Baked:

1. Take a break: whether it’s walk outside or reading the news online, taking your mind off of the stressful situation helps. I prefer walking outside and getting some fresh air- it’s an instant relief.

2. Think before you say anything: Under stress it can be easy to blurt out whatever is on your mind. Ten minutes later, telling your boss ” I did not get a degree in picking up sandwiches!” will not seem like the best idea.

3. Delegate: don’t be afraid to ask for help- trying to juggle all of the tasks yourself will make you more stressed and less productive.

4. Exercise: Honestly this is the best stress-reliever. Whether it’s going to the gym or taking a walk or run outside, it will clear your mind and blow off steam.

5. Clear your desk and desktop: As the saying goes, ” A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.” When your desk and computer are in disarray and you’re constantly searching for lost papers and files, it can be even more stressful. Make a folder that says ” to file” on your desktop and put all of the scattered files in there for later organizing. And even if it takes sacrificing a lunch break, file all of your papers.

6. Only focus on one thing at once: Even if you have ten projects to do in an hour, take a breath and devote a little time to only thinking and working on one project. Be honest, and if you cannot accomplish everything let your boss and clients know ahead of time.

7. Get a little Rowdy after work: No I don’t mean have ten beers and punch in windows. Watch a sports game with friends, join a community sports league, go to a concert, even watch the Bachelor (guilty)- any situation where it’s sociably acceptable to scream and yell in public or at your tv.

8. Be realistic: If you have 5 arms and 2 brains skip this one, but if not realize that you are only one person and can do so much. Don’t stress yourself out by over-promising. Break things into smaller, reasonable tasks that can be accomplished.

9: Try relaxation techniques: Breath deeply and count to ten (or 100 depending on how stressful you are) and Transport yourself to a happier place where there are no 10 hour work days or micro-managing bosses. Try drinking a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea.

10.  My favorite mantra which I say over and over to myself when I’m stressed is a quote I heard from The Secret: “Life isn’t nearly as serious as my mind makes it out to be.” Realistically the world isn’t going to end if I send an email ten minutes late, or forget to send something to a client (once not 500 times mind you). Yes, it will have repercussions and both parties will be mad but my life and theirs will not be over over one slip up. We will persevere…

Now back to my cup of tea and happy place.

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My Love Affair With Google

28 Jan

20070606132747-i-love-googleI’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!- with Google that is. Lately they just keep on impressing me with their applications. 

Our relationship began with a simple search bar- which turned out not to be so simple as it diagnosed my sicknesses, kept me from laying in bed for hours trying to remember what president came before Kennedy (sorry I’m young), and saved me from trekking to the dreaded library to research. 

But lately there is something that is taking our relationship to a whole other level: Google Reader, Google Mail and Google Documents. I’m not really sure what life was like before them- okay it was a couple months ago but I’ve blocked it out of my memory.

Thanks to Google Reader, I can now stay on the same page to view all of my favorite blogs, and news sites instead of going to countless sites each day and missing some great articles because I forgot to check them.  

Gmail is a whole other love story, as I  can now check  my mail, chat with friends, send text messages and update my to-do lists from it. I’ve spent about 2 hours on Google Labs today, and if you haven’t checked it out you must do so. Wouldn’t life be great if there was a reminder that let you know you forgot the attachment before you send? Well Google has it! My favorite new addition is the calendar gadget that adds a box in the left column that shows your Calendar so you don’t have to exit the page. 

Then there is Google Documents. I had a phone conference today, and the client was able to make changes directly into the shared spreadsheet right as we were talking. (The spreadsheet that was very extensive, polished looking and took ten minutes to make because Google Documents is so easy.)

This sounds like a promo for Google, but it has made me so much more productive lately at work and at home, that I can’t help sharing. Check out their blog, help section and google labs to learn about their latest inventions.

E*Trade Baby Outtakes put a little laughter in your day

27 Jan

This was on Iheartyou blog today, and honestly I can’t stop watching it.  Check out the video above, and every time your boss yells at you, or someone steals your lunch from the community fridge again, just watch this video and you’ll be smiling in no time.

15 Things I Learned (or was reminded of) During Obama’s Inauguration Speech

20 Jan

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1. Pay respect to the people who have been in the position before you, even if you may disagree with their decisions or viewpoints.

2. Even if your life is going well and you are at the peak of your career, do not be blind to the struggles and tough times that are going on around you. Vow to do everything in your power to alleviate those struggles.

3. Do not make false promises. If you make a promise to accomplish something, give a realistic time of when it will be done, so you do not let people down.

4. Even in the worst of times, when you are struggling financially, your relationships with others may be suffering, and your health is in decline, have hope and persevere. Know that it is never too late to dust yourself off and pick yourself back up, and begin work to remake yourself.

5. Even if you are young, recognize the need to be great and accomplish wonderful things.

6. Know that greatness is not handed down to you, but is earned and often comes after struggle and sacrifice. It’s not accomplished by laying around, but by taking risks, working hard and overcoming obstacles.

7. Recognize that there is something greater than yourself, whether it be spiritual or the power of many individuals coming together.

8. There will always be people questioning your great ambitions, and aspirations. Remind them what you are capable of and prove them wrong.

9. The best way to fight wrong is not with violence but by coming together with friends and foes and adhering to your beliefs.

10. Do not apologize for what you have accomplished if it has been done with dignity. Be proud of it and encourage others to succeed as well.

11. It’s not the talents and gifts you have that are important. It’s how you use them that matters.

12. Our many differences makes us stronger, not weaker.

13. You must be held accountable for your actions- to others, to yourself and to the planet.

14. Recognize the best in yourself, the times that you shined, were confident and excelled, and strive to gain that back if it is lost.

15. “There is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.”

A New Tomorrow Is Finally Here

20 Jan

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After watching Barack Obama’s Inaugural Speech this morning there is really only one word that can sum it up: Inspirational.

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Today Obama gave us as a country inspiration and hope by drawing it from great leaders of the past such as Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. He spoke with dignity and grace about the trials and tribulations we are going to face and how we are going to overcome in a time of financial destruction. He spoke about coming together to better our nation; not as black, white, Islamic or Jewish but as one people the American people. He reminded us that we are fully accountable for the current state of the environment and that we are responsible for fixing the problems and hardships we have caused mother earth.

The main feeling his speech provided was that of liability and hope. Being honest about the disasters we as a country are facing but at the same time reminding us that we are the only ones who can fix these issues; this will take us standing up being conscientious and coming together to create change in numbers. He discussed foreign policy and that we and not going to back down in the face of terrorism.

The feeling this morning throughout my office is a hopeful and optimistic one and it is spreading rapidly. I feel that since we as millennials put this wonderful man into office we now have to take responsibility for holding him to the various promises he made to us throughout his campaign. This also means being more politically involved and doing our part to get out of this debacle helping our country regain economic growth and putting America back on top where we belong.

I know the things I want to see happen over the next 4 years and I am sure everyone has a plethora of different expectations. What are you hoping to see over the next 4 years? What issues are at the top of your list? Most importantly how are you going to be personally involved in making sure these issues are resolved?

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed.
–March 9, 1832 First Political Announcement Abraham Lincoln

Become an online mentor for high school students

16 Jan

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One of our favorite bloggers, Quarterlifelady works for an organization that has just started an awesome online career mentoring program. The program gives working professionals and grad students a chance to share what they have learned in highschool, college and post college experience with highschool students. After signing up (which takes 5 minutes), you go through a brief online training, complete a profile, pass security clearances and then complete 10 online activities that can be used with the mentees.

Once you are matched, you send one or two emails a week (about 30 minutes total) for 10 weeks on a variety of specified career topics. None of your personal information is shared, the work is minimal, but the impact you have is tremendous.

Looking back to highschool there is so much I wish I knew an had done differently that impacts me even today. Email Akirah at quarterlifelady@gmail.com. if you have any questions, or sign up today here. Under the “How did you hear about us” be sure to type in “Akirah” so they have a reference.

50 People, One Question

15 Jan

Jenny sent me this link today and I couldn’t help but share it with you. They go to a certain location, ask a question, and film their responses. The video above is, ” If anything could happen by the end of today, what would you wish to happen?” It’s a really great question, and beautiful to see all of the different answers. At first I was stumped, and then a rush of personal ideas came to mind: a ticket to paris fall on my doorstep, get offered my dream job, have one more day with my Dad..the possibilities are endless. And then I thought of even bigger issues: end AIDS, cure for cancer and Multiple Sclerosis, end poverty- again limitless possibilities. It’s such a profound question, and makes you start thinking, if this is what I want, why not fight for it? Sure it is not possible to bring back lost loved ones, and win a billion dollars, but it is possible to fight for a cure for cancer, help alleviate poverty and work hard to earn the money you would like and be successful. 

On their website they ask another beautiful question, “If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?” It makes you think, if it’s not where you are now, why not go there? As millennials we have the whole future ahead of us and should start living the life we want!

Millennials Impact on the Workplace

15 Jan

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I came across an interesting article about how millennials are changing the work environment by Tom Davenport the President’s Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College, where he also leads the Process Management and Working Knowledge Research Centers. His article can be found here about his opinion regarding millennials and the workplace.

After reading his 2 cents I became curious thinking about this subject. Reviewing the kinds of jobs that people my age have these days and the type of multi million dollar companies millennials are creating every days gives this argument a lot of validity.

Do the stringent dress codes and 9-5 work hours really matter? Most people I know do not have a dress code or 9-5 but with that being said they are usually working much more than 8 hours a day.  So what matters most in the workplace to the employer? I would think that productivity and performance would be at the top and if these can be accomplished if your employees are wearing converse and rolling in at 10am then do those things really matter?

Keeping the employees content and making sure they are enjoying their job and environment has a direct affect on productivity and therefore increase it tenfold.

Obviously if you choose to work for a young employer at a dot com versus a prestigious law firm there are definitely going to be differences in the way things are run, so ultimately this too influences the environment and the amount of impact that millennials can have on their workplace.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think we have the power to completely revamp the way the working world runs business?

Gradspot’s 30 Job Hunting Tips

12 Jan

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This exciting new feature on Gradspot graced our inbox today, and we are more than thrilled to share it with you! Each day, over the  course of 30 days they will have a new tip for job hunting in 09. If you are a recent grad worried about finding a job in the current recession, professional out of work on the job hunt, or anyone (probably all of us) staying prepared in this economy, this is an excellent resource. Check out some of the ones they currently have up: Don’t get discouraged, Move to an industry hub, earn some cash in the meantime and Learn which industries are doing well. 

I absolutely love their tip on “Reading the news to find your passion” (courtesy of Lindsay Pollack). They propose that next time you pick up the newspaper, pay attention to which sections you gravitate to. The paper covers a broad range of topics from international news, to politics, sports, style and business, and whatever section you enjoy reading says a lot about your passions and interests (and is therefore a great career field!). I also enjoyed their industry hub tip, which has the main industries of focus in different cities. If you are interested in a particular field, moving to a city where it is popular (i.e. fashion in nyc, technology in San Francisco) will definitely help your career search. 

Here is the link to the articles on Gradspot. Happy reading!

Interview with a Network Analytics Manager

9 Jan

 

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We interviewed our good friend Scott, who works for Glam, a woman-focused media network. Here’s what he had to say: 
Madgrad: What is your current position at Glam?
Scott: Network Analytics Manager
Madgrad: How did you get it? 
Scott: I worked with Glam at my previous position.  Rather than working with Glam and several other clients at a very shallow level, I thought it would be more exciting to get into the nitty gritty, day to day work and focus on Glam exclusively.  As cliche as it sounds, networking really is the best tool for getting a job.  But that’s after you’ve worked for a while and already have a network to utilize.  When you’re first out of school and just starting to make those connections, 

Madgrad: Did you always know you wanted to be in advertising?
Scott: Yes.  have you ever seen Mad Men?  it’s like that, but people don’t dress as cool or smoke as much.  I guess my first agency job was wild and crazy and a lot of fun.  But when you’re in school, you never think about how much work it is – it’s a lot.  

Madgrad: What do you feel help prepared you for this? 
Scott: I’ve had a lot of jobs and like to think that a little bit of each of them had something to do with my current success.  One year, I worked at cinnabon.  I was a damn good Cinnabon maker.  Other than that, I think it’s important to be interested in what you’re doing.  That doesn’t mean that you have to love what you’re doing every minute of the day.  But even when I’m not at work, I’m surfing the web and watching TV – generally consuming media.  Because that’s what I’m interested in, it makes work that much more enjoyable.

Madgrad: What advice do you have for recent graduates and others looking to get into this field?
Scott: See above.  Not the Cinnabon part.  Oh and be flexible.  Nothing is going to go as you planned, so just look for the silver lining in your situation.  
 

Madgrad: What is your biggest career achievement?
Scott: In this marketplace, it’s nice to still have a job and not have to worry about it.  

 


Madgrad: Future goals?
Scott: Winning Mega Millions