Tag Archives: inspiration

Business Card Giveaway!

29 Mar

There’s many ways to stay connected in our digital age- LinkedIn, Facebook, phone applications like Bump. However, when it comes to networking, nothing replaces a good ol’ business card. I feel like this is something every young person starting out in their career should have. Whether you’re interviewing, at an event or dating, having your contact info easily accessible is very useful.

The kind folks at Uprinting are giving away two sets of their awesome Die Cut business cards to two lucky readers. For a chance to win, leave a comment below with how you plan to use them. Two winners will be chosen at random Friday, April 1st. Details Below:

1.  2 readers will be getting a set (250pcs each) of Die Cut business cards (Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded Single-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle); 14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated on a 6 Business Days Turnaround; Front Only or Front and Back printing

2. Restriction: Limited to US residents 18 years old and above only.

Don’t forget to  Like UPrinting on Facebook and share the love with your friends! (http://www.facebook.com/uprinting)

[This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given. For more information about business cards, please visit http://www.uprinting.com/business-cards.html.]

Good luck!


Commencement Speech by Jeff Bezos

3 Aug

I came across this Graduation Speeh today on TED, by Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon. The whole speech is wonderful, but the end (pasted below) really struck me.  I think these are important questions to ask yourself at any point of your life.

How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.

Take a Moment…

7 Jul

looking at the sky, originally uploaded by *cinzia*.

I saw the movie “The Last Station” over the weekend, and it was absolutely beautiful. It got me obsessed with everything Tolstoy and I’ve spent the days since looking up quotes by him, stories and voraciously reading Anna Karenina, so I can move on to War and Peace.

I love this quote by him:

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.

How many days do you spend staring at your computer, papers, and phones without stopping to notice all the wonderful things going on around you? This is an excellent reminder to take a break, look up from our work and admire the colors, scents, textures, people, nature everywhere. It’s easy to get wrapped up and focused on your work, but life’s too short to not take a break once in awhile and “get distracted.”

Lessons from Alice

21 Jun

Annie Leibovitz in Vogue

I saw the new Alice in Wonderland Move last weekend. This quote was by far my favorite part of the entire story. Leave it to Alice, (or err lewis carroll) to put things in perspective:

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
[Alice checks Hatter’s temperature]
Alice Kingsley: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

So true Alice. So true…

The Fun Theory

16 Jun

Volkswagon’s latest campaign “The Fun Theory” is pretty amazing. The description on the site says:

“This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.”

It’s a great idea when you think about it. I mean, who would have thought that simply adding a sound to a hand sanitizer would triple the amount of people using it? Or that attaching tiny magnets to tshirts can get your kids to clean their rooms?

I love love love the winner (shown above). We’re always notified if we do something wrong by the dmv, but how about when we do something right? Check the site for more of the incredible entires.

This has made me think a lot about how I can make mundane activities in my own life more fun.

Some Lessons I’ve Learned Along The Way..

29 Dec

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about what I’ve learned since Graduating in 2007. As I’m turning 25 next week (eek!) and in a new job, I’ve realized how much I’ve learned about myself and my career in just a few years. I’ve been a Case Assistant at a law Firm, a project manager at an online design company, an executive Assistant for a Virtual world company, and am now doing Recruiting for a large search engine company. I know what you’re thinking- this girl has Major job ADD. But honestly, I wouldn’t trade any of these jobs for the world (as miserable as some of them were). I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the mistakes, successes and lessons I’ve learned along the way.

If a new graduate asked me what I know now that I didn’t then, here’s what I’d tell them:

You will never be good at a job you hate. Maybe it pays well, you get overtime, a new car and a bonus but if you don’t like it, you aren’t going to do well. Of course, you should always give your all to any job you have, but you aren’t going to perform as well as someone who really loves it. If the passion and drive isn’t there, it will show in your work no matter how much you try to hide it.

It’s okay to leave if you aren’t happy. My first job after college, I worked in a supply closet with files literally barricading my desk, and attorneys screaming in my face if something wasn’t done in 15 seconds. After 6 months of being there, I knew I wanted to leave, but was torn because everyone told me to stay at a job at least a year. If you give yourself adequate time to make sure it isn’t for you, can explain to future employers the reason behind you leaving, and make sure to leave on good terms with your boss no matter what, there’s no reason to stay at a job you are miserable with. It’s better to get back on track to a field you are interested in, and leave while you are on good terms before your unhappiness interferes with your work performance.

Don’t be taken advantage of. Even if you have the same position as another coworker, if you don’t set your boundaries immediately, your best friend will be the copy machine and your work will falter as you struggle to manage your work and that of others. You want to be there for coworkers when they need help, because that’s what makes great companies, and there’s a 150 percent chance you’ll need their help in the future. But be sure to be on the lookout for people taking advantage of your lack of experience, and don’t be afraid to say no. This also applies to situations where your boss is taking advantage of you. Are you working incredibly long hours, and running errands not in your job description, when you are getting paid way under market? If so, be honest with them and stick up for yourself or this pattern will repeat itself for your entire time there.

Don’t make money your only incentive. At the job I have now, I took a huge pay cut.  The reason? I knew that while I’m making a lot less at this job, it will lead to more money in the long-run as it’s the field I want to be in, an incredible company and I’m learning a lot. The high pay was the biggest incentive for me to take the assistant job, but this was not worth it as I wasn’t happy or had passion for what I was doing.  Don’t get me wrong, you should not settle for lower pay than you deserve, but money should not be the primary factor in taking a job. In fact, I’ve spoken with a lot of people who have taken a job strictly for pay and regretted it, but haven’t talked to anyone who took lower pay for a job they really loved and regretted it.

First impressions matter: At my last job, one of the recent grads who started would always respond to the exec’s requests within 2 seconds to beat everyone, and stay 5 hours longer to ensure she scheduled more meetings than her coworkers. She ended up making mistakes because she took on more than she could handle, and although these mistakes were small it was hard to gain the respect back from the execs and coworkers. You want to show up to work on time, push yourself and give the job your all, without being the annoying eager beaver and biting off more than you can chew. It’s better to do less work with no mistakes while you learn the ropes, then to take on too much and mess up.

Don’t act your age. I know I know, you are 21, your favorite night to go out is Thursdays, and you can’t sleep before 4am. But chances are your older coworkers will not be sympathetic to the one too many beers you had. Also remember that it’s always important to ask questions if you do not know what you are doing, but make sure to phrase it in the best way possible. Instead of saying ” hey how the heck do I use the fax machine? The person at the school library did it for me.” Say “I haven’t used this particular fax machine before, would you mind showing me how when you have the chance today so I will know in the future?” Even if you work in a relaxed environment, it never hurts to dress up in a way that makes you look mature and put together.

Always leave on good terms: No matter how much you dislike your boss, your coworkers or company, make sure to leave on good terms. Always check in every now and then with them- send an email, a text a Christmas card just make sure to keep in touch. Even if you live in China and they live in the US, employers do rigorous background checks these days and it’s very important to be on good terms with everyone you encounter. Think you are off the hook despite treating your lab partner poorly Freshman year? Lots of companies check with other coworkers that attended the same school as you for their opinion before hiring, so be careful not to burn your bridges.

Keeping your Eye On The Ball…

25 Aug


When I was younger nothing drove me crazier than my softball coach telling me to “keep your eye on the ball!” Okay coach, I think after 11 times I get it. But the truth was, I needed that reminder because a lot of times I’d get distracted. I’d look at the pitcher, or stands, or my mind would wonder to the capri suns after the game- and sure enough I’d miss it. When I did keep my eye on the ball the entire time, I’d get a great hit. Who would have thought that this lesson would apply many years down the road at work?

When we first start off in our jobs, (if we are truthful in the hiring process) we are amped with enthusiasm for our product/services. We network, try to learn as much as possible and can’t wait to use or sell the product ourselves. However, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our daily tasks, that we lose site of the company goal/product.

I know this happened to me recently, at my job. When I took a step back and thought about why I had lost that passion,  I realized it was because I was doing my daily tasks- scheduling, organizing, project managing, but I wasn’t really using the product. I wasn’t reading up on the latest news in the industry, networking, trying to further my education on the subject, and knowing the ins and outs of the product. Instead of this improving my performance, it hindered it because I lost my passion. I took my eye off the ball, and sure enough was missing it. Spending more time trying to increase my knowledge of the product,  sparked back up that energy I needed to run around the bases and get those grand slams.

Of course sometimes, when you come to that point that you realize you are empty of passion, you realize it’s time to move on. The company/product just isn’t motivating you to want to devote your time to it. Other times though (as in my case) it takes finding the balance between doing your daily tasks, and spending extra time gaining insight into your product. “Keep your eye on the ball, and your head in the game”

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

21 Aug


Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves… for growing up.”- The Wonder Years

We all come to that point in our lives, when we realize it’s time to grow up. This happens at a different time for everyone. For some of us this happens at a very early age when circumstances force us to take on responsibilities and face challenges others don’t. Others happen after they graduate, and are on on their own. Yet for some (like myself) this happens a little later.

I don’t know what it was today that made me realize I hadn’t grown up yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Will Ferrell from Wedding Crashers. I graduated college early, went right into working full-time and moved into the city with roommates. I guess I realized, that acting like a grown up is more than just going through the motions, it’s taking responsibility and control for everything in your life. Below I’ve listed what to me defines being a “grown up.” Some of these may seem obvious, but they can easily be overlooked.

1. Taking control of your finances- Unfortunately, ignoring your debt won’t make it go away. As we enter our early- mid twenties we have loans, payments and costs that don’t magically sort themselves out. It takes really sitting down, and making a budget for yourself to have your money work. Mint.com is pretty awesome in that it shows you graphs of your spending and balances automatically everyday so you can see where your money is going. In college, we have time to bounce back if our credit score falls, but as we get older this prevents us from huge things- like buying houses and getting loans.

2. Partying responsibly-  In college, day drinking with friends and dancing on tables was funny. As we get older, it’s not- our strikes are up. When we are older, not only does drinking take a toll on our bodies, but one bad night out can cost you your reputation, relationships and job. Drinking like a grown up, means a drink or two with friends- not shots and beer bongs.

3. Admitting fault- when we were younger, it was so easy to place blame on others- the dog, our siblings, someone else in our class. But now, the mark of a grown up is being able to admit when you are wrong, and except the consequences. In relationships at home and at work, sometimes we need to take a step back and realize how we affected the situation. If we made wrong, then it’s our responsibility to make right. If you mess up, take responsibility and go above and beyond to make it better.

4. Getting healthy- In high school and college, we could eat pizza late night, and skip weeks at the gym and have banging bodies. Now, the weight and health problems creep up on us. Exercising, eating healthy and getting regular checkups aren’t optional, they’re required.

5. Following through- When I was younger, I’d get so sick of my coaches telling me to “follow through” when I played sports. But you know what- it paid off every time. It’s no different now as we live our lives. If we made a promise in college or high school it was okay to brush things off if we didn’t feel like doing them- we are young and aloud to change our minds often. But now, we are accountable for our words and actions and must follow through with our promises- even if it’s something we don’t want to do.

6. Being confident- as we figure out what we want to do in our lives and in high school and college, and as our bodies change, naturally we lose self esteem. But when we actually grow up, we realize that not having confidence becomes an anchor holding us down. It gets us in bad relationships, prevents us from being the best at work and loses the respect and trust from others. Feeling confident in our abilities, and self is essential to growing up.

7. Realizing it’s okay to not be perfect- I’ve always (as I’m sure many other bloggers out there are) been a perfectionist. Even in elementary school I’d never settle for anything less than a A on my report card. If I didn’t feel that my weight, hair or outfit was perfect, I’d get really depressed. But as you get older, it gets draining. Growing up, means realizing that it’s okay to not do everything perfectly. It means realizing your strengths and weaknesses and focusing on what you are great at. It means not beating yourself up for a pound or two, and wearing what makes you happy.

8. Cleaning up after yourself- I know what you are thinking, this is an obvious one right? Well, for me I’ve always been super cluttery. In college, my roommate and I would clean our rooms once our sides joined. (gross I know) Eager to move on to the next thing, it’s easier to just to drop a shirt on the floor and clean it later. But growing up, means taking care of what you have, and spend your money on. It means picking up your clothes, cleaning the house daily, doing dishes and vacuuming. It’s understanding that you have to sacrifice some of the fun stuff to do chores once in awhile.

9. Deciding a career path- in college and highschool, even after graduation it’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life. But, as we enter our mid twenties (yikes!) it comes time to pick something and run with it. This might mean going back to school and taking classes, having a mentor, or networking to decide. There’s no rule that says you can’t change your career path along the way, but mastering whatever you are doing at the time (and makes you happy) is necessary. Growing up means sticking with our commitments to work, excelling at whatever we are doing and not giving up when things get hard.

10. Ending the booty calls. With thousands of young people partying, drinking and living next door to each other, hookups in college weren’t looked down upon. But as we get older, we have to have respect for our bodies, and seek relationships instead of random hookups. Growing up means expecting to be courted- to go out to lunch/dinner, talk on the phone before 12am, and avoiding the “text-only” relationships. It means that if you aren’t being treated with the respect, being comfortable enough to be on your own.

As I look back on this list, It sure doesn’t look fun to be a grown up 🙂 But, as we get older if we don’t do these things, it makes our lives a lot harder than necessary.  As Winston Groom said,If your gonna screw up, do it while you’re young. Older you get, the harder it is to bounce back.

What Does Your Wake Look Like?

20 Aug


First, off apologies for majority slacking on the blogging lately. As Jenny posted earlier, this has been a whirlwind of a summer! I had the chance to finally relax the other day and picked up one of the many books I’ve been dying to read lately: “Integrity” by Dr Henry Cloud. I only got around to reading the first chapter, but he brought up a very thought provoking topic that I thought was worth sharing.

He talks about how one of his favorite things to do, is sit on the boat and watch the wake that it leaves behind. He said that you can tell a lot about the boat from the type of wake that it’s leaving- if its choppy, smooth or rippling all depends on how the boat is being driven. This brings me to the point we should  all ponder- what type of wake are we leaving behind? Are we making it an enjoyable experience for the people behind us, or are we sending them flailing and screaming for mercy?

At my last job, my coworker gave me excellent advice- he said no matter how long I am there, to be sure to make change and add something to it. He was right, because in every interview there was always one question- “What change did you bring to the organization?” (aka what was your legacy?) Stop for a moment and think about what change you have brought to yours. If you can’t think of anything, you are probably just gliding along with no concern for the wake you are leaving behind. If you aren’t making things easier for people around you, and really contributing and building others, why should any company hire you or keep you?

Just as if you want to change the wake, you have to change how you are steering the boat, to change the wake you leave behind in life, you need to first look at yourself and how you are “steering your course”. If you are believe in hard work and building people around you up, your wake will be smooth and enjoyable for everyone in your path. If you are lying, cheating and being lazy, chances are your wake is going to be bumpy and not something that anyone wants to be in.

This is definitely something to think about. I know this inspired me to be a better captain!

3 Jun


Just some hump-day inspiration compliments of Wordboner have a fantastic day!