Monday, August 31, 2015

I Don't Know What I Want... Chapter 12

I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This 

By Julie Jansen 

 Chapter 12: Job Search -- the Nuts and Bolts

Your Job Search
Without getting into the whys and hows, my criteria have shifted since the last time we talked about applying any of this to me.  But since this is just as much, if not more, about applying it to you, just ignore any inconsistencies and go with it.  Thanks!

So! Your job hunt is going to make you feel bad. The good(?) news is, that's normal. But good things are likely to happen, too, so try to be optimistic [link] and expect some of those as well.

Relationships Are Essential to Changing Jobs
 Wow, that's a tiny subheading.  OK! This is true, though.  All the freelance work I've gotten has been because I know someone, usually who knows someone in turn. (By the way, if you know someone who needs some freelance work done, pass them my contact info.  Thanks!)

So Jansen's main advice here is to maintain, or rekindle the relationships you have. Anyone can help, and old relationships are easier than new ones. Be helpful to them, and let them be helpful to you.

But also form new relationships anyway. Friends of friends are awesome, useful, and frequently pretty cool -- at minimum, you have your friend in common!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Review #53

Last Friday, after dealing with the bookshelf, I really needed to get out of the house, so Chris and I went to a local bar that has a really nice happy hour on Fridays.

Superman: Red Son
Superman: Red Son (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Saturday, Chris played soccer all day for charity; afterwards, everyone was so tired it took them a while to rouse the energy, but eventually five of us caught a really good dinner.

Sunday was church, which we haven't done in ages, followed by pizza for lunch and then hitting up the neighborhood farmers market, which was kind of disappointing,  I think I'd rather take the afternoon and hit up the one in Union Square once or twice a month.

Monday we had dinner with Chris's parents, and Tuesday, I did my volunteering followed by meeting Chris for a Yankees game, which was so terrible it came back around to funny.  The Yankees' best pitcher for the night was a second baseman.

Last night was so beautiful out that, even though we were good and cooked dinner like adults, after the dishes were done we took a long walk around the neighborhood and grabbed a drink at a really nice bar.

Which brings us to today. As of press time I have no plans, but if that changes, you'll know about it this time next week.

Still no knitting, but I did find my circulars, so I'm hoping to work on a hat this weekend; I had always planned to have one hat-and-scarf set for every winter I've been knitting, but this winter past I lost them faster than I made them.

As for reading, I knocked out two more graphic novels: Superman: Red Son and Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys.  Why so many graphic novels lately? Well, during the months when I wasn't updating, I took an EdX course on the history of comic book superheros, and I've been slowly working my way through the list of suggested reading,.

In none-comics, I've also continued to pick at Marketing for Dummies and The Chicago Manual of Style, plus I really hope to have a chance to finish Jim Henson: The Biography this weekend.

What have you been up to?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

AARP: Job Hunting 2.0: Calling Cards and You

Well, I don't think many of the folks reading this are eligible for the AARP, but even if you're not, advice on how to restart your career path is as useful for Millennials as for Baby Boomers, so let's see what they have to say.
200 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In March of 2013,  posted this article on the organization's blog.

The author wrote of her father, who suffered a serious accident and had to leave his job and start over at the age of 54.  With limited dexterity and a very specific skillset , he had to figure out a whole new career path at an age when he expected his career would be nearing its end.

AARP has a service called Life Reimagined, and that service includes an activity called Calling Cards (which I will revisit another day).

The author's father went through the cards, which listed skills.  In the first round, he had to separate out cards that described things he enjoys. The next round is to take those cards and narrow them down to skills he is really good at. Finally, he ranked his remaining cards. Once this was done, a profile was provided, complete with some suggested careers.  The author's father spotted one suggested that really resonated, even though it was not something he had ever considered before.

I think this sounds really neat, and if I can do so (I'm under 50 and don't feel like paying for a membership just to try an activity), I will report back next time how well it works for me.

How would you go about finding a whole new path?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What aspects of your current job do you love?

So, let's field another question from this post:
What aspects of your current job do you love, which do you loathe?
Freelance (2007 film)
Freelance (2007 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hmm. Well, I'm trying to ramp up my freelancing. I do love the flexibility, but I kind of also hate the flexibility. I can take on any jobs that come my way, work on my own projects in between, and do my work at 7 a.m., 4 p.m., midnight, whenever.  But I don't have regular clients yet, and I don't have an enforceable structure to my day (although I am working on that).

How about you?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What makes you happy? In class!

So I signed up for this free EdX class on the Science of Happiness (and you can too! It's not too late to sign up).

English: Emotions associated with happiness
English: Emotions associated with happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So for the next I don't even know how long, I figure in lieu of regular happiness and article posts (and maybe read-alongs, for the recommended books), I could talk about the class. Now, obviously I'm not a substitute teacher here.  Think of it more as a read-along, or an after-class discussion.  And if you are taking the class, let me know! The professors highly recommend "study" groups!

Who's in?

Monday, August 24, 2015

I Don't Know What I Want... Chaper 11, Part 4

I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This 

By Julie Jansen 

 Chapter 11: The Ten Keys To Success

Last week's Keys to Success were pretty low-key (..sorry), so let's see what this week has to offer in Intelligence, Optimism, and Respect.


Oh, this is one where I was genetically blessed!  Yay, smart parents!

Ahem.  So what Jansen really means is figuring out what kind of intelligence you have and making the most of it. And where you're intellectually lacking (...I'm looking at you, navigation...), it's important to know people who have intelligence in those areas so you can learn from and/or rely on them. Delegate!


Yeah, I was not so genetically blessed on this one.  Not gonna blame the parents; let's call it recessive genes?

Of course, Jansen thinks one of the ones I'm really bad at is one of the most important.  Thanks, Author!

Since this one is so important, Jansen includes a quiz.  I'm not going to get into details, but at least a few times I chose options that "are not the approaches an optimist would take" (though in at least one question, the optimist and pessimist options are not mutually exclusive, such that I answered, "Uh, both!").

Then Jansen says that optimism is "said to be" predisposed  (...yep), but offers some tips on how to be more optimistic. I'm skeptical (...shocking, I know!), but if they help you, awesome:
  • Ask yourself what you've learned from negative experiences.
  • Distract yourself from negative thoughts.
  • Break your goals down into small pieces so you don't feel overwhelmed.
  • Ask a positive person to help you reframe your negative thoughts.
  • Exercise!
  • Focus on the positive.


 Jansen spends this sections talking about how important it is to be pleasant.  Sure, that's important, but it's not the same as being respectful, so I'm just not elaborating on this one.  Be respectful and pleasant.  There. Done.

And done the chapter, too! Next time: Job hunting!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Review #52

I am tired and sweaty and sore and a little pissed off, but I'll get to that.

Last weekend was very very social. Friday Chris and I went to a friend's house for game night. Saturday a different set of friends was in town to see a Broadway show, so we met them for dinner, after which we met yet another set of friends for drinks. Then, Sunday, still another set of friends had a barbecue, so we headed there.

Monday began the comedy of errors involving file folders.  Chris and I recently bought a new file cabinet, so I went to Target to pick up some hanging folders for it, among other things. Target's selection was completely picked over, so I headed down to Staples, which was also pretty sparse. So I bought one box at Staples and ordered the rest of what I needed on Amazon.

Turns out I accidentally ordered legal size instead of letter size, so I can't use them, but it costs more to ship them back to Amazon that I would get in a refund.  So watch this space for a listing when  sell them on eBay. New in sealed box!

It should look like this when I'm done.
Tuesday was book club and a tasty dinner.

Thursday was back to Target; soda was on sale and we wanted to grab an extra bookshelf, neither of which purchase would have done well with me on a bus, so we took the car around for the large things.

Which brings us to today, with me putting together the bookshelf.  It's almost done; I'm taking a break while my screwdriver recharges.

Still no knitting.

Not much new in reading; I finished Batman: The Long Halloween, but otherwise I just picked at Jim Henson: The Biography, The Chicago Manual of Style, and Marketing For Dummies.

What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Guardian: Nothing personal: The questionable Myers-Briggs test

Now, this article was written a few years ago, so if you have any more-current information on this, please send it my way!

English: Carl Gustav Jung, full-length portrai...
English: Carl Gustav Jung, full-length portrait, standing in front of building in Burghölzi, Zurich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, have you taken the Myers-Briggs test?  A lot of people take it really seriously.  But in March of 2013, Dean Burnett wrote this article for the Guardian.

Burnett gives a basic breakdown of the history of the test (helping women find appropriate jobs as the entered the workforce during World War II) and some of its scientific weaknesses (it wasn't created by scientists or psychologists; it's based on the theories of Jung; it assumes all traits are binary rather than spectral) before touching on what he perceives as the real problem:
Yes, the MBTI is harmless and potentially useful if you're aware of its limitations. That's the problem, though; the MBTI is predominately used in the workplace by HR departments, development/training teams and the like, who can often be clearly unaware of its limitations.
 That link was in the original, by the way, and I recommend you check it out for even more details about this issue.

In any event, Burnett's point is that maybe we shouldn't be so reliant on this particular personality test on a corporate level.

What are your thoughts on the Myers-Briggs test?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pope Bot

Special thanks to Dave for the prompt. Dave, if you're reading this and want me to link back to a website of yours, let me know.

WMMR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Let's start by talking about hitchBOT.

HitchBOT was a "robot" -- a false body surrounding a tablet computer, including a digital camera and GPS -- that was created as a social experiment by a pair of Canadian engineers.  It "hitchhiked" across Canada by asking drivers to take it towards the next city on its itinerary, and spouted fun facts about the trip en route.

This summer, hitchBOT tried to hitchhike across the US. It was destroyed in Philadelphia, inspiring several things, including dismay with American culture, a fourth rule of robotics, and the Pope Bot.

You see, hitchBOT isn't the only prominent being visiting Philadelphia this year.

In honor of Pope Francis's upcoming visit to Philadelphia, and in memory of hitchBOT, Pope Bot is traveling around the Greater Philadelphia Area, sponsored by local radio station WMMR.

You can win prizes if you take the Pope Bot for a right and tweet about it, so if you're in the area, keep an eye out!

...Ladies and gentlemen, neither "Pope" nor "Bot" look like real words any longer.