2016 – What’s In Store?

Hey!

Apologies on the whole being “MIA.” The last few months have been intense (especially with the holidays). After a year post graduation and a year as a working professional, I quit my job to head to a coding bootcamp in San Francisco.

My thoughts so far: AWESOME. Seriously, we’ve been touching across so many concepts and we’re finally putting things together. Anyway, I don’t want to go too technical since that’s not what this blog is about but just wanted to share what has been going on.

How about you? Anything new for 2016? It’s never too late to do something new and you definitely don’t have to wait for January 1st of whatever year. Go out and do what you want to do! Whatever sparks a fire in you, don’t ignore it — take it and run….super fast! It’ll take you far 🙂

 

Back-To-School…But I Already Graduated…

I love when the Universe speaks to me. Just today, I was reminiscing on how this time last year, I was preparing for my last semester of College. I worked 6 years toward my degree. Ok, let me clarify, I studied Political Science for 2 years before deciding Business was the degree I wanted. More on that in another post.

front2I came across an article on Mashable titled, “5 back-to-school traditions to adopt in the working world” (Article here: http://mashable.com/2015/08/30/college-to-career-transition/) I recommend you read it, especially if you may have lost sight of back-to-school traditions. I’d like to add more to this list that I personally miss and should always continue to incorporate. I’ll make a list.

  1. Reading
    If you’ve followed me for sometime, you can conclude I love to read. I still read but now I read books I pick for myself. In college, I read books my professors had me read in their classes and these have been some of the most difficult (and life-changing) books I’ve ever read. No joke. Make it a goal to read something outside of your comfort. Why? Because just as different experiences make you a better citizen of the world, so does reading. Open your mind to a different genre, preferably a book that someone you know has read. Something you wouldn’t have picked up yourself but comes recommended from a friend or co-worker is ideal.
  2. Volunteering
    One of the things I miss most from College is holding different leadership positions. I enjoy working for nothing but the experience with the hope of leaving a positive impact on a life. I did this in College to hope to inspire my peers, and I try to continue this practice in my professional career. The year isn’t over yet, but I’ve already help host a company tour for low-income Latino students. I felt like my heart was on fire. I’ve decided to continue with this practice. If you don’t have that, “heart on fire” feeling, try out http://www.volunteermatch.com to search for local volunteer opportunities you might be interested in. Go find that feeling!
  3. Note taking
    This can be hypocritical as I’m writing this in Silicon Valley, land of all things tech. But have you noticed writing things out on paper by hand makes for better memorizing? Again, I will use a personal example. I’m currently on 3 projects at my work which is a lot so I brought out old college habits. Organization via paper and pen. I opened up a Manila folder for all 3 projects and write out my tasks, updates, and questions on these papers. After having gone through the Evernote route for a while, I decided this is something that doesn’t need upgrading. My notes are more organized. It’s easier for me to backtrack and I can annotate when I’m in meetings. I find that pretty hard to do with Evernote. Try it out, especially if it has been something that has helped you in College.

Managing A Team & Parenting

Ok, I know this is a crazy combination, but hear me out.

We’ve all read countless articles about parenting and how to get through to your child. Some of the advice spurs from learning to communicate on their own level or terms which has led to the sudden increase in parents learning how to text or getting on social media.

I’m taking a quick break from work to write about this because it just dawned on me. Managing a team has similarities to parenting. Take a step back and think about this. You have a team and they are all stellar (or perhaps you haven’t realized how stellar they are yet) but they all communicate differently and have different needs. One fit does not fit them all. A last minute 1:1 meeting might not work for some, but maybe a walking meeting does, or having an open door policy, or not turning them away when they finally decide to come to you.

Image from: http://bit.ly/1EFdSSu

Have you noticed some of your team comes up to you much more often than the others? Yet, when the one who does not come up to you much finally does, you turn them away? It can be very difficult to be a manager and still accomplish all the tasks put on your plate. But, just as children come first, so does the team. A stellar, motivated, driven team can accomplish anything. While a team lacking attention, bonding, or 1:1s can, perhaps, meet the same goal, I’m doubtful they’d reach the same outcome or deadline as the former.

So, put down that firefighting hat and spend some time with your team — it will pay off! Nourish your team.

Current Affairs

I share my home with two kids, one who just entered high school and another who just entered middle school.  I remember how valuable it was to have my older brother who would force me to read Time Magazine and the daily local newspaper. I began to develop a love for reading and grew up to become a faithful listener of NPR. I truly believe these events have benefited me tremendously personally, academically, and professionally.

I find it easier to engage in conversations or discuss topics because I know about current events occurring in my country and around the world. I enjoy having my opinion and being able to respond when someone tells me their opinion — it makes for good conversation with people of all ages.

Academically, it has helped me pick up any topic and argue for it — independently if I believed in the topic or not. You truly become a better writer from consistently reading rich content.

Professionally, writing emails has never been a chore. It truly surprises me when I come across emails from college graduates that are nowhere near being professional. Do you really want to send an unprofessional, poorly written email to someone you haven’t met yet? Digital first impressions are just as important as meeting someone for the first time. You have one chance to make a good first impression.

By the time this post is published, I will have subscribed to the New York Times in print and digital to encourage the kids in my household to read it.

From reading this blog, you are aware that I own my fair share of books, but after reflecting on my own childhood, I think it’s time I make them more accessible to the kids and hope they pick one up and even browse through the pages. Perhaps even leaving the New York Times on the coffee table and say, “hey did you check out this article?”

Who knows, maybe they too will despise me for sometime for asking them to read but they may also thank me just as I now thank my brother for pushing me to read all those years ago.

Do you have any essential reading material that you encourage your children/teens to read?

#LikeAGirl

#LikeAGirl is a campaign launched by Always in 2014 but it is ever so relevant to this day.  This was over a year ago and I thought about it again when signing up for a half marathon. When registering, I was able to personalize my bib and at the moment, I couldn’t think of anything but as soon as I hit, “Submit” it dawned on me, I should have put, Run like a girl.

So it brings me back to this #LikeAGirl from Always. Our society has always made the phrase, “like a girl” a negative thing to tell a person of both genders. Males would feel feminine being told they, “throw like a girl” and females would feel inferior if they were told they, “throw like a girl” but gosh, how else would we throw?
http://purposeagency.com.au/like-a-girl-the-takedown-of-a-taunt/
Since when did being a girl become such a terrible thing? I invite you all to use this phrase in a positive light. What was once a negative phase can become a positive one if we, as a society, decide we want it that way.

If you’re not a girl, that’s great! You can equally participate in making this phrase something positive and girls and women, doing something like a girl is stellar. In fact, most Fortune 500 companies need a females on board Directors! There are studies on the results of having women on boards. You know what the results sum out to be? A report found on Catalyst says: “Companies With More Women Board Directors Experience Higher Financial Performance, According to Latest Catalyst Bottom Line Report”

Wow, must be pretty awesome to think #LikeAGirl

Check out the #LikeAGirl video here: https://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs
Check out the article referenced above: http://www.catalyst.org/media/companies-more-women-board-directors-experience-higher-financial-performance-according-latest

Summer Reading

My favorite topic.

Summer is here and we are already halfway through June. I have embarked on two books:

“I am Malala” – Malala Yousafzai

“Dark Places” – Gillian Flynn

This is definitely a difference in genres but both books have panned out to be really great books, so far. I have a set deadline of reading, I am Malala through completion before I go to see her talk at a local university at the end of this month.

I’m open to suggestions to add to this list, as a new Barnes & Nobles member I want to make the most of the savings and read many books this summer!

*Will add more to this post later 🙂

How do you…?

How do you stay motivated? What do you use to keep that fire going?

I suggest surrounding yourself with inspiring and motivated people. I particularly enjoy surrounding myself with those that share a passion for helping people. It’s a bit disappointing that those who were involved in the community with me in the past now find themselves too busy to jump back in.
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Yet, you can’t really just solicit this passion in someone. You can’t just put up an ad, “WANTED: PASSIONATE PEOPLE WHO ENJOY GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY”…I mean it doesn’t work. You two (or three or four) still have to click. Is this person responsive? Will they go the extra mile? Pull their weight?

I struggle to find how do you stay involved like you once were without the same kick-ass group you once worked with in College?

I am currently on a journey to find this group and hope some of my “old” group quickly has time to join in me battling old problems that are important to us.