Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Twitter for job search

If you're looking for a job, and you're interested in how Twitter can help, join me on Wednesday 8/19/09 at the Scioto Ridge Job Networking Group. I'll be doing a presentation on behalf of ShinyDoor called Twitter for job search (creative name, I know).

Here is the address:

Worthington Seventh Day Adventist Church
385 E. Granville Road

Worthington, OH 43085

Program starts at 6:30. I've had the pleasure of speaking at a Scioto Ridge meeting once before, and I can tell you it's a fabulous group for professionals looking for their next gig.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Friday Funny

Earlier this week, my family and I joined my mom and dad for a vacation up at Lake Erie. We had a fabulous time boating, fishing, and sight seeing.

On Tuesday evening, we all went to Mon Amie Winery for dinner. Mon Amie has an elegant restaurant, with waiters in crisp white shirts inviting you to try wine. My kids were coloring serenely on their children's menus while we waited for our food to arrive. I should have known this peaceful scene could not last.

My 4 year old daughter was seated to my right, my mom to my left. I was facing my mom, having a conversation about what we might do the next day, when I saw her eyes grow large at something behind me.

"What is she doing!?" my mom exclaimed as I turned to see what might be going on, and hoping it didn't involve anyone in my care. You know it did.

There, on her knees in the chair, was my 4 year old. She had her shorts pulled down to just below her butt cheeks and was earnestly scratching her behind. I'm not sure if the people at the next table noticed, because I was too busy jerking her pants back up and telling her not to bare herself in public.

"My bottom itches!" she told me, looking as though she were truly offended and like I was a complete idiot at not picking up on something so obvious.

I'm trying hard to find a creativity lesson in this, but can only laugh until tears come at the recollection. If you can come up with one, I'd love to hear it. Post in the comments.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Funny

I got this e-mail from the Bald Head Island Conservancy yesterday. Apparently they had a summer camp session gone awry.

Subject: Missing Albino Corn Snake

The Conservancy is missing a very rare Albino Corn Snake from its collection. The snake has gone missing sometime this morning, August 6th, 2009. Please check your child's clothing and pockets for the snake, as they like small dark spaces. Do NOT be alarmed, the snake is small, nonvenomous, and nonagressive.

If you find the snake, please contact Brett at the Conservancy at xxx-xxx-0923 or Katie at xxx-xxx-0089 X 10 to arrange for the snakes safe return.

Thank you for your support and help!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The ebb and flow of ideas

Everybody has creative highs and not so creative lows. Some weeks, I feel like I can take over the world with all the great ideas spinning through my head. Other weeks, I wonder how I'll ever get a good idea again. This is natural, and happens to everyone.

Even though the lows can feel - well - low, both of these times can actually be quite productive.

Here are a few tips for you to maximize your highs and your lows.

When you're on, save up for a rainy day.

  • Do as much as you can. If you blog, for example, write several posts and set some for future publication, or just save them for days when you can't think of anything.
  • Keep a pad for ideas. Write everything down, even if you can't work on it right away.
  • Notice what you're doing and what's going on around you. Many times it can help pull us out of a creative slump when we replicate the scenarios and events from times we are most creative.
When you're off, take care of business.
  • Don't be hard on yourself. Remember that everyone has ups and downs and don't engage in negative self talk, or "stinkin' thinkin'" as Paula Deen would say.
  • Catch up on mundane stuff that doesn't require creativity. Organize your files, pay your bills, finish those boring reports.
  • Indulge in activities you enjoy or try something new. It might snap you out of your slump.
  • Piggy back off of the creativity of others - read, listen to a podcast, or attend a presentation.
  • Focus on the execution of an idea you've already worked out.
  • Re-connect with friends and colleagues you haven't talked to in a while.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Three reasons I love this recession

Don't get me wrong. For me, and so many others I know, 2009 has been a train wreck. There's nothing I'd like better than to have that Haitian from Heroes come and make me forget all about the last seven months. But it's here and it's real, so I figured I might as well find some reasons to be happy. Here are three:

1. I've had more time.

  • More time to work on my novel, something I've dreamed of finishing for the last eight years. I'm already half way through my first manuscript.
  • More time to get out and network. I've met so many new people this year. People who have helped me when I had questions, and people I've been able to assist. And, most importantly, people who are tons of fun to be around.
  • More time to do things with my kids. This year, I've gone to every school party, assembly, and special event my kids have had. We've visited the zoo and zoombezi bay. We've read more books, watched more movies, and created more art.
2. I've strengthened my personal relationships.
There's nothing like hard times to tell you who your real friends are. The ones who listen to your worries, offer advice, and pick you up when you're down. I can't say I'm overly fond of needing so much support, but my friends and family have given it freely and in spades. I've always felt fortunate, but it never hurts to be reminded how loved you are.

3. I've found peace in living more simply.
Cutting back our expenses was hard at first, but now I find I honestly don't miss any of that extra stuff. My near daily trip to the Starbucks drive through has been replaced with a peaceful mug of coffee at home. Netflix took the place of cable for a $70 monthly savings. I never realized how much of my life I've been wasting flipping through channels and watching commercials, but no more. Our family trip out to eat has become a special event, now that we only do it once a week.

When things turn around, I don't think I'll go back to the way things were.

What reasons can you find to love this recession?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't get stuck on the insignificant

As a child, I loved to read the poems of Shel Silverstein. I read them now to my own children.

As an adult, I'm continually amazed at the deep meaning in much of his work, and I wonder how I ever missed it when I was little.

Here is a favorite of mine, from A Light in the Attic. It's a story that I'm sure I witnessed at least a hundred times while working in corporate America.


Said the Toad to the Kangaroo
"I can hop and so can you.
So if we marry we'll have a child
Who can jump a mountain or hop a mile
And we can call it a Toadaroo,"
Said the hopeful Toad to the Kangaroo.

Said the Kangaroo, "My dear,
What a perfectly lovely idea.
I would most gladly marry you.
But as for having a Toadaroo,
I'd rather we call it a Kangaroad,"
Said the Kangaroo to the frowning Toad.

So they argued but couldn't agree
On Rangatoo or Kangaree
And finally the Toad said, I don't give a dang
If it's a Rootakoad or a Toadakang-
I really don't feel like marrying you!"
"Fine with me," said the Kangaroo.

And the Toad had no more to say,
And the Kangaroo just hopped away.
And they never married or had a child
That could jump a mountain or hop a mile.
What a loss - what a shame -
Just 'cause they couldn't agree on a name.
How many big ideas have you missed out on because you couldn't let go of a small detail?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Keep trying

Last Saturday, my husband and I took our children to Slate Run Historical Farm. A great outing, even if you don't have kids. It's a working farm, still doing things the way they did back in the 1800s.

In the yard of the farm house, they've got a bunch of old time games. One of them was stilts, which we all attempted.

Now, to say that I am not athletically inclined is an understatement. Watch the video below to see what I'm talking about.

Take note of how I make stilts look like an impossible feat, and my husband Dan makes it look as easy as walking.

Do you ever feel like this in your job? Like you try and fail over and over, and then someone comes along and does it with no effort at all?

When that happens, often we just want to give up. I know, because I've been there. But I'd advise you to do one of two things instead:

1. Keep trying and have faith you'll get it eventually. Don't worry about the other guy. There's likely room for more than one person in your market with that skill.
2. Figure out a way to work together with the other person and leverage their skills. Maybe you're good at something they've been trying.

What did I do in the stilt situation? I kept trying. And by the end of our time at Slate Run, I was walking on those stilts confidently enough to challenge Dan to a stilt race. Of course, he still beat me pretty badly, but I guess there's room for two stilt walkers at Slate Run.