February Monthly Review.

It is time to review my commitments for 2013 for the month of February.  I am intrigued to review these commitments to see how I got on as overall I didn’t think much about my commitments to change this month so I wonder if they have somehow worked their way in to my mind automatically.   Lets review and see.

I won’t write down all the columns like I did last month – that just takes too much time and I am not sure if everyone really wants to read everything all over again.

What I will say to you all is that I am making progress on my change for good manifesto and everything is going in the right direction.

In every section there has been an improvement on last months scores.  This means that I have finally gotten these in to my mind and I am working on them without even realising that I am. I have fully committed to becoming a better person and this month shows it to me.  Although I am only two months in to this challenge and change I am happy that it seems to be going in the right direction.

How are you all getting on with your commitments for 2013?

Let me know

S

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Ten ways to keep your job in a recession

Every country is in a recession at the moment, and each one of us that are in the working world are doing everything that we posKeep your jobsibly can to keep that job and help keep our company going on a daily basis.   Sometimes we think as the little people in a company that there is nothing that we can do to help our company on a larger scale but this isn’t true.   There are many things that we can which will help us to keep our job in a recession when a company goes to downsize.  Here are my top ten.

1. Get involved with training and development.

Learning more and expanding our own knowledge is one way to help ourselves and keeping our own brains nice and health.  But did you know that learning more about your company and the business will also help make you indispensable in work.  Maybe your company is looking to move in to a new geographical area or brining a new product out to the general market.  Learn what you can about this area or product so that you too can help with its launch, sale and promotion.   With this not only are you helping your company but you are also helping yourself and your own skill set to grow.   As much as you love your job right now, you need to think about the skills you can gain and bring with you to another company.

2. Helping other employees to be more productive

Another facet to the above is getting involved with helping to train and mentor another employee in the company so that they too will be knowledgeable in a certain area. Some may see this as possibly training someone in to do your job, but don’t give away all your state secrets – remember you are trying to hold your job as well.    Being friendly and supportive to other colleagues is an essential part of any job and training and developing other employees will be beneficial to your overall career and success.

You may also notice that a colleague is completing a task on a regular basis and you have an idea that will make this task easier, simpler and quicker.  Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge in a helpful way.

3. Uncover ways to increase revenue with existing clients.

We have all had those moments in work where we have said, I wish the boss would do this or do that as it may bring in more money.  So why not finally sit down with your boss and tell them the ideas that you have.   Remember one important thing, don’t just walk in there with ideas – walk in with more than that.    Walk in with a full plan of action, if it is that you should focus on selling a second product to an already existing client, then determine why this is a good idea and explain this to your boss.  Don’t just ask because we should.  You need to establish the market is really there for your company to take.

Another way to increase your revenue, perhaps is face to face meetings with clients once a month  rather than the usual over the phone meeting – if this is the case, make sure that a budget can be allocated to this, and determine how much of a budget is required.

4. Acquire new customers

Each one of your customers has their own customers – think of ways that you can tap in to this market.  Think of other customers who are out there and may not have heard of you – how can you manage to get their attention.  Perhaps if you are not already on social media as a company, than you need to implement a social media strategy to create brand awareness.   Remember, don’t go in to your bosses office with half an idea – follow through on your own idea with a full plan.

5. Always take an opportunity to impress your boss.

Sometimes when times are tough in a company, the boss can tend of forget everyone that is on his/her staff and the importance of the job that you do.  At all times, stand up and be counted. Impress your boss, whether it is bringing him/her a cup of coffee because they looked like they could do with one – this becomes the perfect opportunity to talk to your boss and remind them exactly what you are doing, what you are working on.   Why not be the one to create a internal communications newsletter for your company, offer everybody a chance to put their own good news out there for their department – this also allows you to put your good news out there as well.

6. Do more than is expected of you.

My philosophy with work is to try and stay a step ahead of my boss.   By doing so I am always anticipating what is next and what they will need of me.   When I work on a project I determine what my boss wants and I try to figure out what will make it better, what would be a good addition to it.   It is not always easy to stay a step ahead or do that little bit more than is expected of you – but as we are in a recession we need to work these things out.   Think of your own job and what you can do on a regular basis that will be above and beyond.

7. Create a list of no more than 3 things that must be accomplished every day, and primarily focus on those ultimate goals.

Think about what you do every day – do you a list of regular items that need to be completed.  Then make sure these are the first things that you do every day.  In my company, I look after social media therefore one of my first tasks each morning to be completed is to review all aspects of our social media, interact with our customers, generate new status updates or something on our twitter feed which is new and in line with our company philosophy. This is working towards my ultimate goal of increasing our following on both facebook and twitter to a certain number.   You might have other items that you can place on your task list to go to every day but make sure it is working towards an ultimate goal to help your company and your own development within the company as well.

8. Be prepared to drop everything to help put out fires.

We have all heard of the term firefighting, it is trying to resolve an issue after it has happened rather than pre-empting it as an issue in the first place.   Unfortunately firefighting happens in every company at one stage or another.  Don’t take the attitude of this is not my problem sort it yourself. But instead stop what you are doing and help your colleague to fight that fire.  This will be of benefit to you to help raise your profile in problem solving within the company, and the person who can remain calm under pressure.  My one piece of advice to help you become that person is make sure that your time management of your day and tasks that you complete is perfect so that you have at least 30 minutes to help other people.

9. Invest in yourself and always be presentable.

No matter what your job title, you are important, you are part of the sales department and you must make sure that you are presentable and look the part.  Take some time to invest in some staple items for your wardrobe. Try not to keep up with fashion so much when it comes to office wear as this can be costly on your bank balance.  Invest in staple clothes like a black or brown pants and a few matching shirts and tops to go with that.   If you don’t invest in your every day work wear, it is unfortunate sign of the times that people in your job won’t take you seriously and will not go to you when they need help or support.   The old saying “ dress for the job you want not the job you have” really is evident in every day work life.

10. Reward your colleagues for good behaviour or helping you out.

Always say “thank you” when someone helps you out – even if you really don’t want to.  Be the nice person in the office, remember it is only for a few hours a day that you have to do nice; when you leave the office at 5pm you can curse your head off and be as rude as you like.  But during those office hours you need to polite and courteous at all times.  This means that people will be more likely to come to you for help when they need it.  But remember, it will expand your network and people you can ask for a reference if you ever need it.

If someone is under pressure to get a project completed – why not make them a coffee if they haven’t had a break.  It’s the small simple things that will help you get noticed and be more beneficial in the long run.

10ways

Posted in career, career direction, change, future, new job, planning, recession, Resolution and Commitment, wardrobe | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life Pinspiration

Following on from yesterdays post – a few pics of inspiration to let you know where I am coming from!   Maybe for some of you it will help you understand me a little bit more.

My first pic is exactly where my thoughts are at 99% of the time.  And something my ex aka the disastrous date should remember.

My Life Motto

Posted in a place of yes, challenge, change, inspiration, pinterest, Resolution and Commitment | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The lessons I learned from my disastrous date with my ex!

Facebook can be a great invention when it comes to keeping in contact with friends and catching up with old friends.  The latter has caused a bit of a drama for me lately.

An ex boyfriend contacted me on facebook to say hi, how ya doing? I was delighted, I always thought he was the one that got away and maybe I could have been married to him and being the wife of a rich farmer.   So when he contacted me and even better asked me to go out I was so delighted. Deep down I thought this is it; this is the moment that I am going to connect with my soul mate. I was wrong. So wrong!

Let me start by briefly explaining approximately 15 years ago. I was young – early 20s and this guy was the love of my life.  But at that time I wasn’t ready to have sex, but he found someone that was. So after cheating on me with one of his best friends – his ass was dumped to the kerb! (Very jerry springer of me!)  I thought no more of him, until he contacted me on facebook and asked me out.  So as you can tell I met up with him.

Everything about this date didn’t live up to my expectation.  I wanted someone who was masterful, in control of their life – I think the word I am looking for is confident.  But instead I met up with a man who wanted to please me, live in the past, talk to the younger me of 15 years ago rather than impress me.  So what’s wrong with that? I agree there is nothing wrong with that , but let me explain more.

We were talking over facebook and making the relevant arrangements to meet up and he said he would text me on Friday regarding the arrangements – great – perfect – he was going to be the one texting me. Except, when I said no to 8, lets make it 9 – he said text me on Friday – to me there was no need for the text and i had made the necessary arrangements I needed to make for the date.

Next, when it came to collecting me – he didn’t pull up outside my house, and opted for half way down my road in order to avoid my house mate, who he felt would kill him for cheating on me.  Remember I said it was over 15 years ago – seriously who holds a grudge that long? So next I got in to his car and he said where are we going ?  I said I don’t mind, i felt I had already dictated the time, plus he was the one that had asked me out – so I had stupidly made an assumption there was a plan in his head. Oh god how wrong was I? We debated in a nice way about where we were going – technically he was driving so I thought it was  really up to him to decide where to take me.  Eventually we decided on a pub for a drink that had no more than 10 people in it. On Friday in Ireland, we expect more than ten people in a pub!

We got to the pub and we were talking, chit chatting about what we had done since we had last seen each other, debated how long it was since we had seen each other. And I suddenly realised, that we were two different people.    He never left Ireland, except to go the UK for a brief quick over nighter.  He has only been on a plane once in his life, has no real desire to travel and is a bit of Dell-Boy – aka wheeler and dealer in to this and that.   Me on the other hand, I love going on holiday.  I love seeing new cities – he hates cities, love the solitude of the country.   Let me say this – we are complete opposites so far. Then the night took a strange and unappealing twist.

As I said above, no one can hold a grudge for 15 years or more. To me, we were youngsters at that time.  It was a life time ago.  But he made a point of apologising for what had happened.  I accepted the apology expecting to move on from that conversation as I was feeling slightly awkward.  But no, he wanted to keep the conversation going, i said that I didn’t really think about it and that it was so long ago why we were talking about the past, that we must live in the present and look towards the future in life.  The past is important but that we must not let it define us.   But he kept saying, no i need to apologise, I need to say this.

A good ten very awkward minutes were spent apologizing for something which I didn’t remember that well and didn’t want to think of. l I appreciate the apology but it was 15 years too late, if he had the guts and balls to do that 15 years ago things might be different.

The conversation eventually moved on and we are now at the end of the night.  He said that he would leave it to me if I would contact him and if I wanted to take it from here. I gave all the signals for a  good night kiss.  But nothing.   Absolutely nothing.    I thought at this point if he had kissed me, I would know one way or another if this was something I wanted to pursue further. He didn’t kiss me.  Just left it by saying, the ball was in my court and to text him if I wanted to meet up again.

I didn’t text.   But neither did I get a text saying that he had a good time and that he wanted to meet again.  I expected – maybe it is the romantic in me, but I expected that he would text again and just say something – even if it was hello. Nothing.

Now, I know I walked away from that night, realising that we were two totally different people than we were 15 years ago, the qualities in each other were different. The interests we had we completely way out there different.  But I can’t help thinking – even now, that if he had kissed me that night, if he had text me would things be different.  Possibly not, but the one lesson I have learned from all of this is  and in one way I hope that he has learned as well. That you can’t dwell on the past, you need to live for now and live for the future.  Nothing good comes from thinking and rethinking the past.

Was I right in what I did that night and since then? I don’t know , but I do know the lessons that I have learned from this whole experience is  that I am happy for the person I have become. I am happy that I am not living in the past and clinging on to memories of what could have been and out there living my life.

I never thought that I would say that – me the best self procrastinator that has ever existed.  I am happy with who I am.  There are things that I would change, hence my resolution and commitments for this year, but I don’t want to look back.  Nothing good comes from looking back in life, we must always look forward.

S

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A step to a new career – Do you need to learn a new task?

Many of us set goals that we want to achieve on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They may be small tasks like getting the shopping done to that bigger task of getting employed.   These tasks have two things in common– they are goals which we have set for ourselves and they have small steps that we need to take to achieve these goals.

They are no easy feat to accomplish no matter which task it is that you are looking at.

Let’s take a look at both goals we want to achieve this week?

Going shopping – getting that weekly shop in can sometimes pose more obstacles than we would like.   Firstly, we have to get the kids to school or we need to clean the house before we go, or we need to actually look at what is in the cupboards before we go.   These are all tasks or steps that we need to review before we can reach our goal.

So now, let’s look at the other task of getting a job – this one is not easy – but if we look at it in the same way as our shopping it actually isn’t that different.    When we are looking for a job we need to ask ourselves certain questions such as do we know what we want to work at or do we need to look at the cupboard of our own skills?

When you are unemployed and looking for a new job, you suddenly realise that the world is your oyster and that you can free to apply for whatever job you want.  It is an amazing and wonderful feeling and for someone like me who is mid-30’s it made me feel like I had just left school and had my whole career ahead of me again.  It was an amazing feeling.  But looking at all the jobs out there and yes surprisingly in Ireland in the recessionary times that we are in, jobs are being advertised and they are out there. But if you are feeling like me, and the world is your oyster, you are probably applying for jobs which you know you can do, have the skills for but on paper you are wildly unqualified to do.   This is when you need to look in your own skills cupboard.  You need to ask yourself am i actually qualified to do this job or is there someone out there who is more qualified on paper than me.  If you can answer yes to this question ,you need to revisit your cupboard – similar to doing your weekly shopping and wanting to make a certain meal  – do you have the right ingredients?

It is at this point in your job search that you need to ask yourself another question –  do I need to a job to pay the bills or do I have the ability to go out and get myself a new skill that will qualify me on paper to do that job.   When you answer these questions, you can then set yourselves the steps needed to make your goal happen.

 Even if you need to take a job to pay the bills or to get back working again – then you still have the choice to be able to go back to Night College and make your goal happen.

Do you need to set tasks or steps to make your career goal happen?   Let me know what steps or goals you need to take to make it happen.

Posted in a place of yes, career direction, cv, inspiration, Ireland, job hunting, new job, recession | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weight Watchers point in my baking

Hi everyone,propoints

I just wanted to do a quick update for you guys on weight watcher points in my baking that I have done so far.

My odlums scones – the packet says that the ingredients make six scones – I make more than that as I make smaller scones then the packet says – therefore I estimate that my scones work out at 3 pro points per scone.    This is the beauty of baking – you have the ability to make your ingredients better and make things smaller than is recommended.   You will always remember being told in your weight watchers meeting that it is all about the portion sizing and that is so true and easier to manage when you are in control of those portions especially when baking.

My apple tart – an apple pie slice normally comes in at approximately 5 pro points. When it comes to my apple tart – it really does depend on each person and the slice that they take for themselves.  Personally I load my apple tart on apples – Bramley seem to the best and I try to limit the amount of sugar that I put in the apple tart.   When it comes to taking a slice I am lucky that my house mates love my apple tart and tend to eat more of it than I do.   So I an normally left with very little apple tart to actually eat for myself. I am not complaining I take a small slice which I normally point at anywhere between 3 /4 pro points – which is for the pastry.

I hope this helps some of you guys out there.  As I said above it is all to do with the portion sizing and the control you have with taking your slice.

S

Posted in baking, odlums, pro points, Resolution and Commitment, weight watchers | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fitness Pinspiration

As I have mentioned here before I am completely addicted to Pinterest and I have been pinning mad lately with some information to help get inspired and fit again.  Here are just some of the pins that I have added which may help you get fit for the summer that is just around the corner.

Posted in Fitness, pinterest, Resolution and Commitment, water, weight watchers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment