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:┬áAWESOME. 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 ­čÖé

 

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.

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?

Good ol’ personal interaction

So, like 99% of my posts, I am writing this spontaneously. A thought just comes up to mind for my blog and I write it here.

Today at my company, one of our co-workers is heading back home. He has worked with us for the span of a few months and in that time we have all worked well as a team and learned and benefited from each other tremendously. I work on a team where we enjoy each others company and try to have fun with random happy hours or bubble tea runs. So I’m here to emphasize the importance (and awesomeness of relationships!)

10yearsagoHere’s the thing though, we like to do this in person. You know, actually create bonds how it was done pre-high tech era. It seems like these things have been forgotten. The phone calling, the talking in person, the communicating without a screen in front of your face. This seems old-fashioned almost. How many times have you called someone and there is no answer, yet they immediately text you back, “what’s up?” and no, it’s not because they are always in a meeting. Most people now prefer text messages and emails over real in-person meetings and phone calls.

For the sake of length, I guess I’m here to remind you to continue to cultivate real relationships. The meaningful, time-investing, honest relationships. For one, they make you and the other person feel great, they remind you who really is there for you and not your title or “where you worked before”….it’s important to have friends, mentors, people who really care about you in your life. Recognize those people and don’t push them off to the side because you’re “too busy”. The moment things come down to the wire these are the people who will be standing there with you. Think of them as your little army. Treat them well not through obligation but through love and appreciation.

Happy Friday!

 

Article Share: “How I Hire: Focus on Personality”

I read this article when it was first published in September of 2013. It’s from Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin Group). I have read this article a good handful of times. He points out the importance of one’s personality and I agree with some of the points he makes.

Namely, ”┬áMost skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.”┬á┬áThis has so much truth to it and I have seen it myself. I have been in an environment where someone may not posses all the skill but is quick and eager to learn. That same eagerness often leads to hard dedication to help you and your team thrive.┬áno-personality2

It’s a very short read, but let’s continue to dig into this article..oh here’s another right at the end of the article, “…’ItÔÇÖs better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!'”

Excuse the language (it’s in the article–you can see for yourself in the citation below!) but there is so much truth to it. Sure we may be overworked and tired and need help and someone with the skills to help us keep on track with deliverables but imagine having a person with the “right” skills but the wrong personality. That’s not a winning combo. This person could likely meet defined tasks but not likely willing to unwind with the team or go above and beyond requirements of the job description. Better to find someone who will work well with your team and company culture than deal with headaches later on.

Those starting your career, do not underestimate your personality! It is what sets you apart and it is part of the flavor you contribute to your team. ┬áThis is a shorter post than many others, but this article does most of the talking for me. Momma was right, just be yourself! Be confident (it’s true, it does show!) and be yourself and let your co-workers appreciate you for who you are.

 

Read the full article here:  http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130923230007-204068115-how-i-hire-focus-on-personality?trk=mp-reader-card

Good-Bye Facebook?

Graph search is in full swing and let me tell you, I don’t like it. Something about having a detailed, consolidated search of everything I’ve ever done (and things I don’t remember about) on a simple search is just too freaky for me.

There is a reason I enabled “Reviews” of tags before they posted on my Facebook, but now even that won’t save me. No, I don’t have anything to hide but just the thought that an ex or a ┬ácomplete stranger can peer into my life and get a clear picture of my past “likes” “photos I’ve commented on” or “photos I’m tagged on” just creeps me out.

So, my page is gone!

ImageIt would take much too much time to delete any content from showing up on Graph Search. The only other way for me to get back onto Facebook is by creating a new name but I’ve been busy and haven’t gotten around to it. For now, I’m on Instagram and am happy.

Those who really care about me have my phone number or follow me on Instagram. Plus, Facebook was becoming overrated anyway, don’t you think? Maybe now we can appreciate the flowers and beauty around us rather than uploading “Check-ins” and telling the world about that guy who just cut you off on the highway. ­čÖé Freedom at last, thanks Facebook! The invasion of privacy and ease of having people track my things has enabled me to break up with you for good.

Break-ups can be healthy!

Cheers!

ImageI like to consider myself a book reader (hence my self-baptized name, Brightworm), but somewhere along “growing up”, academia, and life in general, I lost sight of what I really liked to read. But with required reading in my Business Course : Fundamentals of Management and Organizational Behavior, I was reminded what I like to read.

I used to be into Historical Fiction, Fiction, and anything related to History. I’ve read many books on optimism, business-conduct/etiquette, and journals, but the one that has recently┬álanded onto my list of favorite books is The Social Animal by David Brooks. It’s amazing! It’s awesome! Filled with studies, research, and facts…and with the characters in his books, you’ll find you or somebody you know can resonate with them.

The book is actually a story; it has characters, it has dialogue, but it also has research, studies, and suggestions to the behavior that causes the characters to conduct themselves in the way they do. I love it!

I don’t want to make this a book review, but I’ll post a link where you can read more, but if you like facts, some interesting concepts or reasoning behind what shapes us, you’ll enjoy the book. http://atrandom.com/author_david_brooks/┬á

Has anyone else stumbled upon a book their Professor required for reading and ended up absolutely loving the book? I can’t be the only one!!