Archives for category: Self Disclosure

 

I should write moreI haven’t written in a while.

It is easy to get caught up in daily work/life and forget about writing. I can use lots of excuses for not writing; “I was busy”, “There was nothing substantial to write about”, “I am not passionate enough about anything to write it down”, “I’m lazy”.

All of those excuses are fine in one way or another. However one thing is important to realize when you file through excuses and decide on one, the only person you are trying to convince is yourself.

I have come to the conclusion that it is good to write out thoughts, whether they are good or bad, worth sharing or worth keeping to yourself.

I have been writing for a few years now, and amid the times when I wrote a lot and the times I didn’t write at all, there is one truth to writing I still feel is worth sharing about writing: Authenticity of writing resonates with people.

So I may not always write, but if I do, I will try to keep it authentic.

I’m sitting in the airport, getting ready to go back to reality. It’s been almost a year since I wrote my first post. In that time span a lot has changed; my world has changed. I feel like it is time for a reintroduction.

I started off lucky. I was fortunate enough to get a college internship a year and a half ago at a Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. While the experience was great, it was the people I met during that time that I need to give thanks to, they showed me my potential.

The Executive Director of the Chapter, Jane Baxter Lynn, became a mentor to me. I would work hard, and that obviously earned her respect, but it was her passion and dedication that drove me to work harder, and be better. During my time there, I went from a college student to a communications professional. I learned the tools I needed to make it in this profession; hard work, dedication, and striving to keep things as simple as possible.

With my wings flapping, I jumped. I took my internship experience from USGBC and from my good friends at Greenlights, and aimed high. I had developed a pretty good skill set in online communications. I read blogs, tweeted, and began to understand the online landscape. With that experience, I felt it was time for more. I applied for a position at Edelman.

The first person I met at Edelman was Dave Levy. That is when I knew I was in the right place. Dave is a wealth of information, and he saw potential in me, and invited me to join Edelman’s internship program. I was extremely fortunate to become a part of a team that literally had awesome running through their veins. For as much as I learned in school, and in my two years of interning, I probably learned about twice that in the two months I interned at Edelman. That experience set me up for success; in October of this past year I was offered a full-time position,  working in Digital for Edelman.

All that has happened over the lifespan of this blog. And now, I can call myself a professional. As I have changed, so has this blog. It was once a sandbox for a college student to figure out the online space. Then it was an interactive resume for a graduate. And now, it is a sandbox once again. This time, however, it is the sandbox of a professional.

I often wonder what the new year will bring. What changes will I experience; what things will I learn. And so I leave with my one call to action: share. I want to learn about your experiences, and find out what you have learned.

Its time for me to catch my flight. I wish you safe travels and a happy new year.

When you do the whole intern thing, they never tell you about what it is like to be actually hired. That whole transitional period is almost deemed irrelevant to new hires. Most would reply “I’m just happy I have a job now.”

But there is indeed a transition time.

When you intern, you are so focused on proving yourself and your abilities, you do not really think about anything else. You push, and push, and drive to show your talent. When that pressure to prove yourself is removed, and you have the job, it is real easy to fall flat on your face.

Once you get your foot in the door, it is important to realize that it is no longer about proving anything; you’ve already done that. If you keep that work pattern, you’ll come off as arrogant or just plain overbearing.

The transition is more than just what kind of work you do; what kind of responsibilities you have. When you enter your first real occupation, you must shift your mentality. It is no longer about finding opportunity, it is now about doing something with that opportunity you have discovered.

The first few months of work can set the tempo for the rest of your career. So it is important to think about those next steps. It is that attention to detail that will help you grow.

More questions.

Because what is fun about knowing all of the answers?

When I was in college, my favorite classes were the ones that I felt comfortable asking questions in. There were certain classes that were structured to be a forum; an ongoing conversation. In those classes, I felt the most engaged and would go the extra mile to find out what questions I should be asking. By finding out what those questions were, I was able to discover the answers that really matter.

When I started my job hunt, I asked the professionals I knew for advice and guidance. In fact, at my last college internship, I emailed the entire office with a list of “lingering questions” before I left. I was searching for the right questions to ask, so that come time to interview, I would have the right answers.

Now that I am officially a communications professional, working in the real world, I am searching; Not for answers, but again, for the right questions.

Voltaire once said “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” And that is an adage I want to live by. As I take that next step in my career, I will not forget what got me here. I will wear that Voltaire quote on my sleeve, and I will also remember a little tidbit Socrates mentioned: “Question Everything.”

I believe those two quotes will guide me to success.

So what is your best question? I’d like to hear it.

My blog  just turned 40.

Like most that experience age 40, my blog is questioning itself in a weird mesh of reflection and bewilderment.

“How has there already been 40 posts?”

“Ugh, those paragraphs aren’t as tight as they used to be.” 

“Have I, after 40 posts, been successful?”

The interesting thing is that I feel a forty-year old would come to terms with the above comments much like I am coming to terms with this blog. A lot has happened over the time period of those 40 posts. The writing may not be as ambitious or written with the same intellectual vigor, but it has developed a tone; it now has structure. And yes it has been successful. It may not have won any awards, but it has carried a message, and has been received well by people.

So… am I supposed to buy a Corvette now or something?

Well, my blog is 40, not me, so I think the Corvette will have to wait. But in the meantime I do have some ideas for what I am going to do:

       1.     I am going to write to an audience, an audience that will listen.

When I started this blog it was intended to demonstrate that I was familiar to blogging, and meant to be a device to help me develop my writing skills. But I got tired of writing to some mythical job recruiter, and I decided to focus on writing to people who can identify with me. I will continue to offer this blog as a tool to recent graduates, employment seekers, and emerging communications professionals.

       2.     I am going to tell a story.

As I look back on some of my past writing, I realize that my best posts reveal something to the reader, and give them something that they can feel. A persuasive argument has no emotion, but an inspiring story can be quite persuasive and can hit people in the gut, where it really counts.

       3.     I am going to continue to strive for excellence.

While I feel I have made great strides in my writing, I want more. I want to engage a readership. I want to see a conversation take place via comments sparked by a thought-provoking post. I want people to tweet about my posts; to ignite conversations of their own. I want my pursuit of betterment to make other people better.

I do realize that those are some pretty lofty goals. But how else do you achieve greatness other than by setting the bar high?

I am fortunate though, to know what I need to do to achieve those goals: Listen. I will listen to criticism, I will listen to advice, and I will listen to my audience to make my online presence, worth something to others.

There is one more thing that I will try do start doing more frequently; leave with a call-to-action. So I say this to you: write. Write with everything you got. Put your head down on a piece of paper; punch out your thoughts on a keyboard. And if you are already doing that, great. Show me what you got. Share your writing with me, as I share with you. So that by the time you and I turn 40, our achievements will allow us to afford that Corvette.

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