KINDNESS: Day 13-15/30 – Half Way Because I’m a Cheater

Half Way Because I’m a Cheater

I feel like a cheater. This 30 Day Kindness Challenge by PopSugar has been easy, but because haven’t been following each day’s challenge to the T and still counting it as ‘completed’.  I’m going to prove it again right now with Day 13, 14 and 15…

30DayChallengeAccepted Kindness

Day 13
“Bring treats to the office and share with all your co-workers.”

Definitely going to do this, but not today because it’s the weekend.  It’s also my birthday and fulfilling my old-lady wishes, my husband, kids and I are staying home in pjs, all day, doing absolutely nothing. I’ve never been one to plan a celebration for myself or enjoy the spotlight, regardless of what day or milestone it is. I’ve even hidden my birthday on my social media profiles.

I would prefer to be a complete hermit and go device-free for a day, but I can’t ignore the well wishes from family and friends who remember.  So while it sounds effortless, my act of kindness was to thank each and every person who sent me a happy birthday message via Facebook, Instagram, text, etc. because while I don’t want the attention, I appreciate it.

Day 14
“Donate blood, or sign up to be an organ donor.”

I haven’t donated blood in so long. I used to do it all the time in my 20s, so I’m very happy to do this.  I easily found a local donation center and set up my appointment for Day15. I’m so excited. Wish I looked into this before!

Now onto Day14’s act of kindness.  It was through my daughter and comes with a little story:

Her martial arts school was having an Nerf War event and admission was one toy – a donation towards their toy drive. She wanted to go and I wanted her to go, but I was also nervous because she would be on the small side compared to the big kids from the older classes. Unfortunately I let my fears get the best of her. The morning of, she decides she no longer wants to go and it broke my heart. I felt like the worst mom in the world.  Then she quickly mended it back together when she asks if she could still go to at least drop off the toy for a kid in need. This happy ending continues…

I said we could go only if she could try to participate for at least 5 minutes and if she felt comfortable to give me the thumbs up and stay. She never gave me the thumbs up because as soon as she got on the mat, she was off having fun with her (taller) friends.

Day 15
“Help someone carry their bags.”

Found no one to help carry bags for, but I went for my blood donation this morning and also scheduled myself up for a plasma donation next month. I’m so happy to know this center exists because now I don’t have to wait around until I see a sign for a blood drive.

I mentioned on Day 0 that I was afraid this challenge wouldn’t be much of a challenge. I mentioned on Day1-3 that I was already cheating on the challenge. I mentioned it on Day7-9 that perhaps because I’m a mom, some of these tasks are standard operating procedure.  I mentioned on Day10-12 that some acts of kindness are on rotation. Now here I am, halfway at Day 15, still cheating away.  But what this challenge has done so far is made me aware of the day going by and realizing that I haven’t thought about someone else’s needs or feelings (beyond acts of common courtesy). That in itself puts a drive in me that I feel I’ve been missing. That I’ve needed.

 

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

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 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 23/30: The Hump

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 23 of 30

The Hump

It took me almost three days to write my post for Day22 (“Who’s The Boss?”).  I didn’t really know what I was writing about, so my confidence with my content wasn’t there.  It took me a while to “research” the topic, which just caused me to get lost in the (inter)net. And I’m mid-marathon of Narcos on Netflix, which is taking up my evenings (especially because the subtitles don’t allow for multi-tasking).  Then funnily enough, today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge task was overcoming “blogger’s block”.  Sark eMedia can read my mind!

30 Day Challenge Accepted 23

Today’s daily Challenge email is exactly what I needed.  Even before when I was doing 30 day challenges without logging my progress, I know the intervals between Days started get to longer and longer around 20.  I never got to 30.   I don’t think I even made it to 25, ever.  I could never get over the hump. Why do I stop?

Stopped seeing progress – specifically with this blog, it’s a catch22 for me. I’m too shy to share, so I don’t have a following.  I don’t have a following, so I don’t see response to my blog creation.

No motivation or get bored – yesterday I felt like i was over my head. My hobby got too hard. Luckily yesterday’s post included motivational blogs, so within itself I was revived.

Lose sight of the finish line – I forget there’s a reward at the end of 30 Days.  Today I went back and read Day4 where I wrote out my goals of doing this blog.

So, today is my hump day. But today is over.

“When you feel like quitting. Think about why you started”

 

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

BLOGGING 22/30: Who The Boss?

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 22 of 30

Who’s The Boss? 

Day21 I wrote about figuring about who my reader is.  Today, Day22, my homework for the 30 Day Blogging Challenge is to figure out who the leaders are in the blogging space I define as my niche.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 22

Step1 – what is my niche?

From my point of view, I can be narrow or broad. Based on my intent, I can narrowly define my blog as – personal life experiences, specifically doing 30 day challenges.  Based on yesterday’s post, I could be more general and define my space as self-help/motivational.

 

Step2 – who is the leader in my niche?

Unfortunately I can’t rely on my own knowledge since I don’t follow blogs. So I’m going to go to my friend Google.

If I narrow my blog niche category to – 30 day challenge experiential bloggers – I’ve only found a handful and it required digging deep into the SERP pages. When reading through their blogs most didn’t last long and stopped posting years ago. There are, however, endless posts on bloggers’ one-time experiences with a challenge, usually targeted to whatever their blog focuses on, usually fitness.   From what I can see, there’s no main influencer in this space.  Maybe I can be that person. Maybe I can be the #boss.

When I widen the niche net to the broad category to – motivational blogs – the results were a lot more interesting.  Although I was overwhelmed by the lists from the search results, I was inspired by what I came across in the first few minutes.  I’ve actually been seeing over the past 21 days as I learn to blog.

1 TED.com – motivational short videos spreading ideas from though leaders all over the world. If you want to go down a rabbit hole, but not necessary waste your time… take a visit (after you finish reading this post).  And start with this short ~3-minute video with almost 8million views where Matt Cutts speaks about trying something you want to add to your life for 30 days.

2 Gary Vaynerchuk – If you haven’t seen this guy, you need to. Every single “influencer” I do follow has referenced him as a motivator.  He’s the leader in the digital marketing/social media marketing space.  Although his medium is more video, I find his business blog is a wealth of information for a new blogger like myself.  Check it out.

3. MarcAndAngel.com – I discovered this site around 5years ago when I came across a link to their post “30 Lessons to Excel in Life in Your 30s and Beyond”.  It was happy to see them listed in the 2016 Top 100 Personal Development Blogs by StartOfHappiness.com I love the timeless manner of their content.

 

While I don’t have a direct blog influencer in the 30 Day Challenge Experience space, there are some major players I can look up to in the motivational blog category.  The reason for this homework is to follow the influencer’s footprint and figure out what content resonates with their audience… and therefore your audience.  I still have a lot more work to do. But maybe one day I can end up on a “Top” list.

 

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

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 19/30: Almost Broke My Blogger Promise

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 19 of 30

Almost Broke My Blogger Promise

Today was one of those days, where I’m ready to curl up in my covers and say good bye to another fun Monday (*eyeroll*).  I laughed at myself, as I got ready break the promise of blogging after just writing a post that I wouldn’t be THAT person.  Then I saw my next hour flash before me – still laying in bed, scrolling through nonsense on my phone going down rabbit holes. So I snapped myself up and started reviewing (and commenting on!) the latest posts on the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Facebook group page and got inspired by my peers.  What did me in were some quotes.

The blog and post I came across was by Words-Encouragement.com and the first sentence alone woke me up: “Don’t despair when doors seem to close that were once open. Be aware instead that it may be a blessing in disguise for  new opportunities to just show up out of the blue.”

I’ve always loved inspirational quotes. Two Instagram accounts I follow are ThinkGrowProsper and SelfLoveMantras and every day they perk up my mood. Like horoscopes, you read it and shape it to fit whatever you’re going through. Three things are going on for me at this moment – job searching, attempt at blogging, getting out of my rut. Even though I’m “too blessed to be stressed” (a quote that always makes me smirk), I find these little words of wisdom help me push away my “stinking thinking” (from another 30 Day Blogger post, K’Lee Banks)

So here are some recent posts that are helping me through, and I hope they kickstart something in you too.


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

BLOGGING 18/30: I Break Promises

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 18 of 30

I Break Promises

Today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge tasks is about making a promise, which as a parent I do all the time and break!

30 Day Challenge Accepted 18

I promise my kids that they’ll get something, that I’ll do something, that we’ll go somewhere… just to get them to cooperate with whatever I need them to do for me at that moment. And if I don’t follow through, they will call me out on it. In my mind it’s not a promise, it’s a compromise and not that serious. But there is it… right in the word: comPROMISE.

They might be kids, but they’re teaching ME things about life, constantly.  What lesson am I teaching them by not doing what I say?! I preach to them about consistency, and about keeping your word, and not lying. Yet, here I am on what I feel is a minuscule scale, not delivering on my end. But regardless of the degree of promise, there are consequences.  What happens when I don’t follow through? Distrust. Loss of credibility. Uncooperativeness. Reciprocal disappointing behavior.

Now, I’m being a bit dramatic in order to prove a point.  Truth is, more often than not, I do what I say I will and my kids know this. But when I forget, I never forget how it feels that I let them down.

As a blogger, there’s a fundamental promise we give our readers… that we will provide informative, entertaining, quality content, consistently.  My promise is to happily compromise my time for yours. I’ve stopped following bloggers because their content didn’t evolve.  Or because their personality became too sponsored. Or simply because they stopped posting.  I would hate to be THAT blogger, because I would never forget how it would feel to fail at yet another 30 Day Challenge.  So, see you for Day#19!

 

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

BLOGGING 15/30: Challenges of This Challenge

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 15 of 30

Challenges of This Challenge

I’m half way through the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

I think this a good time to pause and evaluate my experience so far and pinpoint my hurdles so I can focus on overcoming them during the second half. I’m not going to rewrite my biggest challenge, you can read it here.  I’m going to focus more on the logistics.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 15

  1. Photos – not ready to pay for “free” images
    • I’ve tried so hard to find a photo that captures my message for each post.  Yesterday, I failed.  My go-to, pexels.com, didn’t have the image I wanted and the other sites required subscription, which I’m not ready to commit to.  Being in advertising I knew about licenses and the requirements for that industry, but it’s still an area I need to understand better. I’m glad that one of Sark eMedia reference emails regarding this topic.
  2. Commenting – be a better neighbor
    • I wrote about this in a previous blog, and I’ve tried to comment on at least one new blog a day since. This forces me to check out other bloggers’ site and to find ones with intriging content and style that I can get inspired by too. But I still find myself hesitating. This includes being a better participant on the 30 Day Blogging Facebook Group Page.
  3. Post topics – I’m blogging about blogging
    • I have a editorial calendar as my planning and writing process, and I’m constantly editing it in an effort to have the posts flow day-to-day.  But blogging about trying to blog doesn’t change much in my 24hours.  I’ve done a good job making the time to write each night, but I haven’t made the time to learn new things, ie. WordPress, Facebook, SEO writing that will improve the credibility of this blog I’m trying to establish. Then I can start writing about what I’m doing versus what I’ve been scared of doing.

I’ve personally felt like I’ve stumbled over a few hurdles already and at times was ready to stop.  But like Haiti in the 110m semifinals at the recent Olympics (who completely faltered on the first hurdle! video here), I’m going to finish! I’m going to keep taking on my personal blogging hurdles and make myself proud.

 

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

BLOGGING 11/30: My Motivation: A Tutu-Wearing Rock Climber

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 11 of 30

My Motivation: A Tutu-Wearing Rock Climber

Sure, there are things my daughter is scared of, or pretends to be scared of, like any typical kid –  lighting storms, dark rooms, strangers, and new food.  But otherwise, she’s the bravest little person I know.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 11

Today while at the playground watching her swing across the monkey bars (then up the rock wall, then through a rope wall) with such ease, I remembered an Instagram post from a few weeks back.  It was a photo of her in a tutu, rock climbing… my caption: “When I need inspiration or motivation, I just need to look at my tutu-wearing rock-climbing daughter.” She is the reason I want to better myself and look for ways to explore ways to improve, like doing 30 Day Challenges.

As a toddler, climbing furniture and jumping from anything with height, there was little that would stop her.  She didn’t think anything would hurt her.  Even now, when we challenge her brain or braun, she goes in with unrestraint and majestic confidence. If she does get hurt, after the tears dry up, she shows off her new booboo to whoever will listen – proud of how she got it.

Inevitably as she goes through her childhood and the teen years this will slowly be replaced with insecurities, peer pressure, and the expectancy to conform. It makes me wish I could bottle this fearlessness up and make her drink it later in life when she has moments of self-doubt.  Heck, I want a sip of it now.

 

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