Category Archives: right work

Fresh start

color plus

These are flowers I’ve planted on the back patio. I’m loving the colors!

So much has happened since I posted last. I’ve accepted a full-time job with Allstate as a Marketing Manager, with responsibilities in social media, community management, and project management of interactive web projects. It’s really a fabulous job that draws on the expertise I’ve developed over the past few years.

I’ve also moved to Wheeling, IL. For those of you not familiar with northern Illinois, it’s a northwest suburb of Chicago. I’ve discovered that the people here are so nice and friendly. My mom was here for a few days to help me unpack and she remarked on it too. Plus, living here is a breeze of a commute. It’s wonderful being so close to work.

The weather was beautiful today on the last day of May. Any callers this afternoon had to endure voicemail, as I was out enjoying the day on my motorcycle. 150 miles of sunshine, lake views, beautiful houses, and waving to other bikers. I had a fabulous time.

And, it’s time to close for now. I promise not to let so much time pass before posting again. Hope you’re all doing well!

Right Work and Rule #6

I’m loving my work these days. I love that I can:
–be super productive and help move projects forward
–work with others and troubleshoot/resolve issues
–take initiative and be trusted to manage details
–work on visible projects
–work on social media and community building projects (more on this in the coming weeks)

At the same time, I have to confess that I’ve been a little nervous because the job that I have is a contract position. This is the first time in a long while that I’ve worked as a contractor. To be honest, some things I wish were different:
–there’s no guarantee that it will go permanent
–no paid holiday or vacation time
–no paid medical benefits

Although, because of these issues, there is also more opportunity for me to believe in the abundance of the Universe–the right and perfect job, home, colleagues, money, etc. always shows up at the right time. One of the other things that I’ve thought about doing is starting my own business, so perhaps working as a contractor is preparation for that kind of work some day. Who knows? I just have to believe.

I have to say, it just feels better to give up the fear-based thinking such as that above. And, why not, reach for the thoughts that feel better?!!

I was listening to Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention today in the car. He talked about Rule #6: Don’t take yourself so damn seriously!! He urged listeners to remember Rule #6 whenever they felt stressful thoughts coming on. (and, despite it’s number “6”, there are no other rules!) It’s easy to forget that stress is usually self-created.

I’m learning — Life and work don’t have to be stressful and drain my energy. I can choose differently and reach for the thoughts and opportunities that feel better (in every moment). Then, always choose again when that small voice inside urges me to do so.

It’s all good.

As the holidays approach, I hope everyone out there is doing well and reaching for the thoughts that feel better.

small memos

memo pad Mom and I went to a few garage sales before breakfast yesterday. At one house, I found a box full of memo pads. Some had pictures of sports teams on the cover. Others had just plain red, blue, or green covers. A few had leather covers with tops that flipped back. I had a fun few minutes looking at all of the different kinds.

I turned to the older lady sitting in a chair by the driveway and asked, “did someone collect memo pads?”

She said, “My husband. He was a deputy sheriff. He never went to the store without coming back with a memo pad. They fit in his front pocket and he used them when he made stops.”

I smiled at the memory she shared of her husband. I was afraid to ask anymore questions.

Pleasures of the past two days…

1. the kindness shown by a man in a red pickup truck who stopped short so I could J-walk.

2. smiles exchanged.

3. Pad Gra Prao – yummy chicken in basil and chili sauce at Thai Kitchen

4. good conversation

5. signing paperwork for $100 travel grant to help recoup funds spent at C’s.

6. Diet Fitz’s Root Beer at Rendezvous.

7. uncontrolled laughter between friends at my look of pleasure upon taking that first sip of root beer.

8. spicy teriyaki stir-fry and cheesecake rangoons with chocolate sauce at HuHot.

9. more good conversation

Make 3 Lists

I was reading Are you Leaking at Christine Kane’s blog. In addition to being a great singer songwriter, CD’s & Lyrics, she also talks about life balance and creativity.

In the post above, she talks about energy drains and how any incompletes in our life, from email to laundry to car repairs, can drain our energy when we let them hang over our heads for a long time.

Well, in academia, I think we all have “incompletes” of many types. They’re hanging around just by the nature of the work. Not only is there all that stuff we do for students, but there is always another project we want to work on, or that we finally have to finish.

To connect what she wrote about with this type of work, I think it would be beneficial to make 3 to-do lists for long-term projects.

1. One list would be for everything that needs to be done on all our projects. Think of 43 Folders and capturing all that has to be done and getting it downloaded to paper.

2. Then, for the second list, identify what we want to do on a given day towards finishing that long-term project and being as specific and realistic as possible. For some people, it might work to project plan the whole thing, but I think for many people just concentrating on a week at a time would be helpful.

3. After we’ve worked on the project, I think we want to create a what-to-do-next-time list. I think the habit of always saving time to do this list each time we work on the long-term project will help prevent the energy drains that Christine talks about.

Other people have said similar things before and most often linked making the lists to productivity. I’ve even talked about how I think I’m more productive when I fill in the project name on my daily schedule and cross off the hours as filled.

However, making a what-to-do-next-time list for writing projects seems highly beneficial in order to help prevent massive energy drains from the whole project being one big “incomplete.”

Maybe I’m just slow and everyone else has already made this connection. But for me, it’s the difference between saying to myself:

work on the project to get it done, OR

work on a small piece of the project so you can feel better about what you’ve accomplished for that day and so the whole incomplete project doesn’t drain your energy and make your whole life feel out of balance.

In academia, our in-boxes (physical, virtual, and mental) are never going to be empty. But, this idea might be one way to help us feel better about walking away from them at the end of the day without the energy-draining feeling of them leaking all over us.

Job Ads

Question for you…

Do non-tenure track contract positions ever turn into job offers for tenure track positions? In other words, does the contract position enable the Uni to check you out first and see if you’re a good fit for the department before they commit to offering you a tenure-track position? Or, do they really want to hire someone temporarily and have that person do committee work and have that person prove they can commit to the ongoing work of the department, for the sole benefit of the department? If the last part is accurate, then please tell me contract positions pay decent.