Telling our stories in the digital age.

olympia 2 by glasseyes view

When I was little, I remember my dad pacing the living room floor, dictating, as my mom typed his words on our old electric typewriter.  It was a big, humming machine and the keys made a satisfying chunk sound.  The manuscripts were typed, edited, typed again and then mailed off to magazine editors.  After my dad passed, my mom sent me the 30-year-old copies of Ranger Rick and Owl that held the evidence of their hard work.

Way back in 1994, I started a newsletter about local music in my hometown – The Perimeter: McMinnville’s Premier Music Publication.  I typed the articles on our high-tech word processor, then carefully cut them into columns and pasted them onto graph paper.  I hand-lettered the masthead and had a local print shop make 50 copies.  A few issues in, my family got a PC, outfitted with Microsoft Publisher and a dial-up internet connection, and my production value went up considerably.

Last week, I helped a single mom, with not much work history but lots of life experience, draft her resume.  We emailed back and forth, discussing different ways to describe her skills and tell her story.  We changed fonts, reworked the design, and uploaded to her LinkedIn profile, all with a few clicks of a button.

Kitty Ireland remembers typing her first resume on a rented typewriter at the public library.  Reading her post, I was reminded how hard getting our ideas out into the world used to be. Crafting a good story, one that deftly explains who we are and what we can offer, is still hard work.  But the mechanics of story-telling have definitely gotten easier.

 

(Photo by glasseyes view via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

(This post originally appeared on July 30, 2014)

 

Find Your Focus with Printable Coloring Pages

Do The Work

Are you looking for a way to relax and refocus?  To be more mindful?  To fan your creative spark?

Here’s a crazy idea… coloring.

Yep, like we did when we were kids.  It’s super easy and surprisingly satisfying.

Curious to try?

I’ve created a PDF of 3 coloring pages that I will be including in my new Productivity Journal.  I’d love for you to try them and let me know what you think.

Click here to download:  The Management Maven Coloring Pages

Happy coloring!

 

Summertime…and the livin’ is easy.

instagram collage

You guys!

How is it August 25th already??

I am still holding on to summer for dear life, but I will be back here soon.  I’ve got a bunch of management and career ideas that I’m eager to share.

If you’re interested in how I’ve been spending my summer, hop on over to U-Pick The Gorge.

The pics above are some of my Instagram favorites.  You can also find us on Pinterest.

Be well and see you soon!

 

Are you still moving forward?

don't stop moving forward

wsilver via Flickr

My son’s preschool wraps up this week, so I’ve been on the hunt for a nanny to fill some hours over the summer.  (And maybe give my husband and I a much needed date-night here and there.)  It has actually been a fairly easy process, despite my initial reticence, and it has reminded me of an experience I had a number of years ago.

I was in a job funk – the work wasn’t engaging, the company culture was toxic and my boss was… well, let’s just say “eccentric”.  I was beat down and ready to go.

At one point during my endless job board browsing, I found a posting for a nanny position.  Get paid to hang out with two cute little girls?  Be a positive role model?  No commute, no stress, no power trips?  I was in.

Luckily, as I was getting ready to put in my notice, my then boyfriend (now husband) looked at me and said “Honey, I know you’re unhappy, but let’s slow down. You have an MBA and a resume full of business experience. This is a BABYSITTING job.”

Um, yeah.  Reality check.

When you hate where you work, the temptation to do something – ANYTHING – different is strong.  You just want to be free.  And, yes, a “vacation” job outside your career path can be fun and maybe even a strategic way to gain perspective and refocus.  But it can also be a crutch that keeps you from finding your real path.

If you find yourself tempted to make a dramatic change, make sure it’s for the right reasons.  Remember that real freedom – the freedom to find engaging work that matters – doesn’t come from moving backwards.  It comes from pushing yourself, staying true to your vision and not giving up when things get tough.

 

(Photo by wsilver via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

Don’t wait to start building your career capital.

Brooklyn Morgan via Unsplash

Brooklyn Morgan via Unsplash

Are you holding yourself back at work?  When opportunities arise, do you hesitate because you’re not sure you’re ready?  Because you don’t want the hassle?  Or because this isn’t your dream job and committing feels like settling?

Those are all real concerns.  But imagine for a moment that you let yourself step up and take on more responsibility, maybe even a management role.  What might happen?

Maybe… you find you have more freedom to flex your schedule.  You start coming in before peak traffic hours and working from home one day a week.  You use the commute time you save to start that side-hustle you’ve been dreaming about.

Maybe... your new role requires you to interact with a variety of managers.  One of them becomes your mentor and points you towards an opening in a more interesting department.  You finally get to use the design skills you honed in college.

Maybe… your promotion comes with pay increase.  You put the extra money straight into your “bug-out” account.  When a dreamy new opportunity pops up in a new city, you grab it and use your savings to cover relocation costs.

Maybe… you’re given the opportunity to manage a team for the first time.  You find that you love coaching and helping others grow their careers.  You utilize the organization’s tuition reimbursement program to pursue your HR certification.

The truth is, none of us can predict where our decisions will ultimately take us.  So the best strategy is to build meaningful career capital now, so you can leverage it into whatever work – and life – you want in the future.