Random Ramble: 2017 Word of the Year – COMMIT

2017: Word of the Year – COMMIT

Recently I joined a Facebook group: Blogging 101, and the admin, Nicole Floss of UniquelyWomen.net, asked “Today is the last day of 2016! Have you chosen a word for 2017? Mine was: COMMIT

30DayChallengeAccepted

I didn’t start this project to make money, but obviously I would love for it to be successful. But what is my measurement for success? I’m not really sure. At first it was simply to do it. To blog. Literally, the idea (to blog about doing 30Day Challenges) came one night at the end of Aug2016 when I couldn’t go to sleep and the next day I pulled the trigger, because if I didn’t, then I never would. I had no idea what I was doing and I still don’t.

I’ve made goals for each of the 30Day Challenges I chose, and today I realize that I never made goals for this blog.  With the new year, I feel it’s the perfect time. If I’m going to commit my time, energy and heart into 30DayChallengeAccepted, I need milestones to work towards.

So here are 3 measureable goals.

  • Blog site – more consistent views per week and per month.  Since I don’t post daily, I’ll have to figure out the story behind my statistics, but it goes without saying that driving traffic requires me to posts regularly and market through networking.
  • Facebook – Have 200 followers by the end of the year.  Currently I’m at 34
  • Instagram – Have 200 followers by the end of the year.  Currently I’m at 28.

30DayChallengeAccepted Goals

 

 

Random Rambles: 10Years Experience with an MBA Seeking Entry-Level Position

10Years Experience with an MBA Seeking Entry-Level Position

Deciding to leave the workforce after working over a decade in the media industry and being quite comfortable in both my career and finances was the hardest and easiest decision I made.  Almost four years later, I resent the outcome, but not my decision. 

My family was excited about my new life as a stay-at-home mom. We just gave birth to our son, and our daughter was entering preschool.  I was now able to fully manage the construction of our new home.  And we figured once all was settled, going back to work wouldn’t be an issue.  I had over 10-years agency experience, good relationships with my peers, clients and colleagues, and a bachelor and masters degress in marketing. So, devoting 5 years to my family seemed small in the big picture.

After 3 years, I was ready to go back. The house was completed in just over a year, we moved in and now call it our home.  Our older one started school full-time and our younger was entering preschool.  It took me a few weeks to update my resume (which I hadn’t touched since post-college!) and get myself set up on several career sites. Once I felt what I put together was presentable, I submitted my cover letter and resume to numerous postings for which I technically fit their qualifications.  But it felt like I was sending applications to a black hole.

30 Day Challenge Accepted

When I finally got some call-backs, the first comment was usually “So, I see you’re not currently employed?”.  I share my story about deciding to be a temporary stay-at-home-mom, which everyone finds admirable, but I sense the disappointment in their tone.  These calls go no where. When I ask for feedback, the suggestion is … to “look at more entry-level positions instead“.

After months of my ego and my confidence getting shot, I started looking into how to take this challenge and turn it into an opportunity.  I created my own unpaid adult-internship with a local ad agency.  So there I was, in my 30’s, interning because, apparently, I was un-hireable.  The decision to raise my kids killed my career.  Imagine if I stuck to the full 5 years!

Was it worth it? Absolutely.  I was there for every moment for both of my kids. As a mom, you always get the advice about how kids grow up so fast and to cherish the moments.  I did exactly that.  I walked the walk.

Was it easy? Absolutely NOT.  As someone who is career-driven, being a stay-at-home-mom took a toll on my psyche. But I’ll leave that for another post.

Where am I now? With the internship, it put a ‘recent’ line item on my resume and the responses finally started coming in. I still had to share my story to explain how I went from a mid-level manager to an intern, but now employers saw someone who was ambitious.  I got hired.

Employers are missing out on a strong breed of women
by passing over moms looking to return to the workforce.  

 

Here’s the thing – there’s no person more ambitious than a mom, especially a mom who is looking to take care of her family but also wants to take care of herself.   Employers are missing out on a strong breed of women by passing over moms looking to return to the workforce.  Our priorities are balanced.  Our goals our greater.  Our commitment is stronger.  We are not entry-level.

BLOGGING 28/30: The Write Stuff

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 28 of 30

The Write Stuff

For today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge post, I’ve been torn.  I had a topic I want to write about, but it has nothing to do with my experience with learning to blog. It was about my experience as a mom that I needed to get out of my head and writing it was cathartic – it’s yoga for my brain.  But it didn’t fit with the context of this specific challenge. It wasn’t the right stuff.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 28

Even though I’m a planner and have an editorial calendar to reference, sometimes there’s not enough content for a certain topic or it’s just not interesting enough for me to write about and therefore would be a struggle for you to read.  If I don’t enjoy writing it, you won’t enjoy reading it. So why waste both of our time?

My goal with each of my posts is to incorporate the blogging perspective, whether it was about dating vs job searching or suggesting my daughter quit piano, and I feel I’ve been successful.  But not today!  So, I decided to create a new category called Random Rambles – for those moments when I have something that has nothing to do with the current 30 Day Challenge.

Today’s Random Ramble topic: Five Types of Mommy Friends – Part of motherhood I didn’t anticipate was having to make friends as an adult. My mom friends fit into 5 groups

Do you like how I turned my obstacle into an opportunity?

And I’m not going to cheat and count this as two posts. 😜

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

 

BLOGGING 27/30: Shocking Results

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 27 of 30

Shocking Results

On Day26 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge I mentioned wanting to take a career aptitude test but couldn’t find a good free version online.  In the comments section Jenny Monzon shared two links: HumanMetrics and 16Personalities. My results shocked me! I’m an “extravert”??

 

30 Day Challenge Accepted 27a 30 Day Challenge Accepted 27b
Reading the personality type descriptions for ENFJ and ESFJ was like reading my horoscope or, like I mentioned in Day19, inspirational quotes.  I took what I liked and felt better about myself.

Here are 10 excerpts from the summaries… with my commentary:

  1. have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage 😊
  2. can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously 💪
  3. with whom we associate organization and decisiveness 👊
  4. apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others 🙁
  5. enjoy supporting their friends and loved ones, organizing social gatherings and doing their best to make sure everyone is happy 👯
  6. love to be of service, enjoying any role that allows them to participate in a meaningful way, so long as they know that they are valued and appreciated 💞
  7. make loyal and devoted partners and parents 👫
  8. respect hierarchy, and do their best to position themselves with some authority, at home and at work, which allows them to keep things clear, stable and organized for everyone 📋
  9. truly enjoy hearing about their friends’ relationships and activities, remembering little details and always standing ready to talk things out with warmth and sensitivity 📱📲
  10. Coming to terms with their sensitivity is ESFJs’ biggest challenge 😶

 

In terms of career, this is what they say and I wish I could just put the summaries as attachments to my resume:

  1. often find themselves in occupations that require good interpersonal skills to establish productive collaboration as well as to establish or maintain effective work process
  2. many ENFJs found among mid- and high-rank management roles
  3. lead with practical sense and social vigor
  4. well-organized, enjoying bringing order and structure to their workplaces, and often work best in environments with clear, predictable hierarchies and tasks
  5. need human interaction and emotional feedback to be truly satisfied in their line of work
  6. Good listeners and enthusiastic team members
  7. are comfortable with authority, but are supportive and friendly enough to keep that authority from feeling overbearing

Apparently here are the job roles or industries my personality is suited for:

  • management position at a academic university
  • personal accountant
  • religious work
  • counseling
  • teacher
  • medical/healthcare
  • social work

This is all very different from being a media planner at small ad agencies, and explains a lot about why I feel like I’m going down a path I’m not meant for. What I’m going to do with this insightful information, I’m not sure yet.  How blogging fits into this, I can manipulate.

I invite you to take one of these tests now and let me know what you take away from it.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

source:

  • http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/enfj
  • http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/enfj-careers
  • https://www.16personalities.com/esfj-personality
  • https://www.16personalities.com/esfj-careers

BLOGGING 21/30: Who Are You?

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 21 of 30

Who Are You?

Up until today I was most concerned with creating valuable content – simple experiential posts that are appealing and entertaining. Today this changes. With today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge task, I’m looking at it from a different perspective.  Task: “[Choose] content that your readers will find useful or intriguing, ideally it will help them solve a problem or help them reinforce a belief they have about themselves.” Wait – who is my reader?

The premise of this site was for me to do 30 Day Challenges and blog about them.  But I don’t want this to be a personal diary that just happens to be online.  As much as I want to write about what interests me, I want to write what interests you.

As a media planner by trade, dependent on the product or service, we create a consumer profile outlining demographic and behavioral targeting.  So let me try that… Who does or reads about doing 30 Day Challenges?

30 Day Challenge Accepted 21

Someone looking to try something new short-term to improve something specific in their life. Demographically, in my opinion, that could be male or female and during any life stage.  However, based on feedback I’m seeing it skews adult, female. Behaviorally, based on both opinion and feedback, it looks like someone who appreciates inspiration and motivation. Is that you?

(Leave a comment below!)

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 5/30: How I Steal Time

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 5 of 30

How I Steal Time

“I have so much free time!” said no mom ever. I’ve had the experience of being both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom, and regardless of your mothering status, the last thing you have as an involved mom is “free time”. Minding my active toddlers starts around 7am and ends around 10pm. If I’m home or at the office (and for me, right now its both because I’m working part-time) those 15hour days are filled. So finding time to tackle this 30 Day Blogging Challenge means stealing time from being a mom, wife, and employee to be a blogger.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 05

Here are 5 things I’m doing to make time to blog:

1. Make a Date

Set a time every day, at the same time, with an agenda.  I dedicate at least an hour of my day to this blog (this is just a side project after all). I’ve always been more productive working at night, so every evening after the house and family are settled in, I take my 1hour, and I actually look forward to it! I go into that hour with an agenda so I know exactly what I’m going to accomplish during that time.

2. Find your happy place

Since my time is limited, it’s important to be efficient and for me that means being in a productive workspace. At home, that means leaning back on a stack of pillows, legs out, another pillow on my lap, laptop on my pillow. Doesn’t matter which bed or couch in the house, as long as I’m distraction-free.  No kids, no husband, no TV.

3. Make an editorial calendar

In addition to a daily agenda, I have my own editorial calendar, scheduling out what I plan to write days and weeks ahead. How do I want my story to play out? Sark eMedia provides tools to help as part of participating in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  You can customize it to what fits you now, and it will adjust as you’re inspired and as you evolve.

4. Have a Support Team

My husband doesn’t understand what I’m doing, but he understands why and what I need to get that done. Whether that means asking for technical help and using him for his geeky computer knowledge, or giving me my space and leaving me alone for an hour a night, he’s happy to oblige.

5. Have Goals

“Having a plan without a goal is just a wish”, or as I titled yesterdays post… it’s a waste of time. Without a goal, there’s no reason for me to commit. No motivation. No reason to take precious time out of my day. I write down my goals – what am I looking to accomplish with this single post? how does it fit into the blog’s objective? – and assign metric(s) so I know exactly when that goal is met. I celebrate when I’ve reached it, then start reaching for the next rung.

How do you make time to do your best work?

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 4/30: A Plan Without a Goal is Just a Waste of Time

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 4 of 30

A Plan Without a Goal is Just a Waste of Time

Most challenges have an obvious change you’re hoping to accomplish by the end. Doing squats for 30 Days results in a plumper butt. Eating clean for 30 Days results in losing weight. What is the goal of a Blogging Challenge?

I’m a planner by trade. With marketing, the goals are straightforward depending on the campaign, ie. increase brand awareness, increase revenue, decrease cost per acquisition, etc. Then the KPIs and metrics to measure how well you’re reaching these goals are aligned. Since this is how my brain works for business, I’m approaching this 30 Day Challenge with a similar mindset.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 04

Plan:

Goals:

  1. Have my own space. Both literally and metaphorically.

In an ocean of blogs, I know I’ll be binary numbers lost among many established blogs rich in original content and imagery. But creating this website in completion – having my own space in the world wide web of blogs – even if its a black hole that nobody reads or follows, will makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something I can be proud of.

The requirements to create a legit blog are allowing me to use my business school skills in a different way than I imagined, and frankly needed.  The main requirement being time.  As a mom, this practice forces me to set time aside for something non-mom-mode. For things other than tending to my toddlers, sorting out the house, or wasting free time watching Bravo. I’m creating space in my life to do something for myself.

2. Put it on my resume

Leaving the workforce for three years at a time that social media marketing was evolving was a blow to my advertising career that I’ve been trying to rectify. This past year I’ve put myself out there – I created a non-paid internship just to be able to get right into the trenches. I self-taught myself Google Analytics, AdWords, and took Hubspot courses just to update my knowledge on the new marketing landscape. I’m working part-time and getting trained in AdSwerve and DoubleClick. Yet, none of it seems to be enough to employers making this job search so frustrating. It’s like my job applications go into that same black hole. But I’m not stopping. So here’s yet another attempt at expanding my learning by putting social media marketing to practice.

Metric:

  • As each day goes by, it’s a tally mark towards 30. I don’t expect a certain number of website visitors or Facebook followers at this point of my blogging journey. So my KPI is when I write the title “BLOGGING Challenge: Day 30 of 30”

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE