July Jottings

July 29, 2012 | Comments Off on July Jottings | Uncategorized

The past week has been fairly quiet on the freelance side of things, but plenty busy at my full-time job. I met for lunch mid-week with former colleagues and enjoyed a good chat, as usual. Both of them have some very interesting opportunities opening up in front of them (including internationally), and it’s exciting to see. The next day, I learned that the company they (and I) used to work with, Boxcar, was sold to Kwaga, based in Paris. Boxcar’s former CEO and founder, Jonathan George, will join the Kwaga board as an adviser. Interesting developments.

I mentioned in my last post that I’d added several new colleagues on LinkedIn, and speculated that they might update their profiles…and that’s exactly what happened. I think when you move from one job to another without going through the typical job search process, or maybe without a desire to flag that fact, it can be harder to remember to update when your position does change. I also briefly touched base with one of the contacts I made through an Entrepreneur Connection breakfast put together by my college last year.

I still have most of the same to-do’s on the school front that I did last week, but I hope to quickly make progress there. With all the time I spend on the computer at work, I’m trying to make sure I maintain balance and do things in other arenas of life where I’m not just glued to a screen. This week, that included things like attending a music theater production, taking a 9-10 mile bike ride, and visiting a friend to chat, play games, relax, and have dinner together. I really think all of those things are relevant to my business success and potential growth too.


Gearing Up for Fall

July 22, 2012 | 1 Comments | Uncategorized

Last week I had lunch with a friend/acquaintance in the social media/marketing industry. We chatted about current trends, exchanged tips, and caught up on current happenings. A couple days before that I talked with another acquaintance who’s looking to move from a current position to a new job in that arena, potentially with a nonprofit. And last night I talked with yet another woman who loves what I get to do (at my current full-time job) and some of the related process/optimization work connected with it.

I’m not looking for a job for myself right now, as I’m quite satisfied where I’m at, but with so many friends looking, I’ll be keeping my ears open for any open relevant positions to share. I added several new colleagues from my new position as connections on LinkedIn today, and wonder if that may trigger several of them to update their profiles a little bit. :)

I may be speaking at a workshop on branding yourself in August, and am also looking forward to the Smalltown 140 Conference, which I hope to attend for the 3rd time this year, as another networking source. This week I was added as an admin for a second Facebook page, run by a current client, so that’s also positive.

I still find I have a little time left over after my max of 40 hours at my new job sometimes. I’m still debating where to best put that (there are a lot of options, including college prep, room organization, client work, and more), but one of the things I love about social media is its ability to facilitate real-world connections.

People I’ve met online from around the country I’ve gotten to also meet in person because of the wonders of email, Facebook, and technology. Those same people I can also meet with for lunch in person, or call up for a more personal “how are you doing?” That’s exactly where I’m trying to take my use of of social these days. Consistent, even if that just means weekly, and aimed at establishing real relationships that carry back and forth between the online sphere and real life.

For the next week though, that “free” time will need to go towards preparing for fall classes, which start in just a month. I hope to finish figuring out which tech electives I’ll be taking, order my books, and jump through some other school-related hoops as well. The summer is flying by, but every week brings more progress, and it feels great to be documenting that here.


Effective Improvement

July 15, 2012 | 2 Comments | Uncategorized

In some areas, things are entirely new for me. For example, I have a new full-time job and no longer work at either Boxcar or Numana. (I need to take the time to update my resume, LinkedIn, and create a portfolio at some point!)

But in other areas, I’m finding that the best way to pick up new skills, learn new things, and generally grow is to build on already learned skills and information and connect the dots to increase my understanding and expertise.

This past week that has looked like picking up my DSLR camera a little more than usual and taking some photo tips from friends on positioning, the rule of thirds, and holding your breath when you snap a shot. Photography really is a skill I want to develop, to where I consistently take crisp photos that really capture emotions and expressions, and understand my settings reasonably well.

Another area I’ve made modifications and adjusted my habits is in blog-writing. With the advent of summer, I decided to make a more formal effort to blog once a week here, and this is my sixth week doing so on this blog. I’ve blogged even more frequently (daily for the most part) on a personal blog.

And finally, especially while I have more time before college starts back up, I’m taking the opportunity to network as I can…meet a friend in the social media industry for lunch, pass on information on social media for nonprofits workshop to another connection I was speaking with today, and invite a client to consider speaking at Smalltown 140 this fall.

The little adjustments are adding up, and I’m really pleased with how I see things coming together over time. I hope your summer is going equally well, and invite you to share in the comments about any small changes you’re making to shift your long-term habits in your business and overall life.


Summer Minuterie

July 8, 2012 | Comments Off on Summer Minuterie | Uncategorized

I just randomly flipped through my Oxford Foreign Words & Phrases reference book. The French word “minuterie” stood out to me, a noun related to the concept of clockwork or a timing mechanism, and meaning “(An electric light controlled by) a light switch incorporating a timing mechanism to turn it off automatically after a short time.”

Summer feels like that, for all the long days and evenings…because when you’re in college you know that one day will follow another for a short season and then one day the next day will not be like the other. Fall will arrive very soon, and with it a number of classes and a shift in work schedule to part-time work. That’s what I spent part of my Fourth of July holiday working on; figuring out which tech elective classes to take.

Those in industrial and manufacturing engineering would be most relevant to my current job, those in computer science very relevant to my degree and interests, those in electrical engineering would be where my friends are.

Naturally, I mapped out my options (including class sections for scheduling, prerequisite requirements, whether I was remotely interested) in a set of color-coded spreadsheets, a process not yet completed. But it felt like good progress to get as far as I did with the project. :)

I recently completed a couple scholarship applications as well. I’d be glad to be able to reduce the cost of my fall tuition in that way, especially since nearly all current earnings are directed primarily towards that expense.

This week promises to be full of work, meetings, and events, but I’m looking forward to it. In the meantime, my summer Sunday manual minuterie plans signal it’s almost time for sleep.


Milestones: New Half of the Year

July 2, 2012 | Comments Off on Milestones: New Half of the Year | Seasonal Updates

Milestones like New Year’s Day can seem arbitrary, but sometimes I find them helpful at the same time. They break up the routine and help you feel like you’re starting fresh. Now that we’re in July, half of the year is gone, and we’ve got just another 6 months to make the rest of the year count.

For me, that means another month and a half as a full-time intern, and then part-time work during my second-to-last semester of college before graduation.

It’s been interesting to see how opportunities have continued to open up even since obtaining my new position.

First I was invited to speak at another social media event, then told about another digital marketing position that might be open for me now or down the road if I wanted, and finally given yet another lead on the social media client front.

Ironically, having an 8-5 workweek and trying (for now at least) to keep it to that and not go into overtime, plus no longer feeling responsible to go job-hunt, means my evenings feel more free for such types of projects, which is great.

Blueberry season just wrapped up for this year, right about the time higher temperatures started forcing people back inside. And while I took a week off from posting for Numana (thanks to the gracious generosity of my social media colleague Jon), I plan to get back into crafting posts for that this week.

I had an enjoyable lunch with former colleagues, and was excited to hear of some of their recent accomplishments and the new opportunities opening up for them as well. I really like being so conveniently located for meetings with other people working in the area. Just this week I learned that a friend’s relative works in my same building.

And to wrap up, speaking of milestones, I did finally put up real pictures on Twitter and LinkedIn instead of my long-standing Washington landscape pic. I posted a blog comment today, and am hoping to be more engaged in that way too, even if it ends up being solely an evening activity for me. Have a great week!