15 minutes of fame

I have developed a deep gratitude for the gift of time. Aside from healing, time does many things for me. In fact, all I need is 15 minutes to make me feel accomplished, special, calm, and relaxed.

Sometimes, I sit with for daughter through an episode of Peppa Pig – it’s only 15 minutes long but it makes both my daughter and I very happy to sit side by side for that time.

As a working mum, part time student and wife, you can imagine that I get frustrated and anxious, especially when I’m tired and things are not going as planned. Over the years, I’ve learned that 15 minutes in the shower or in the silence of the kitchen calms me down and refocuses my energy to what really matters. Instead of turning on myself, I simply say, ‘Take deep breaths and don’t panic. You’ll be fine in 15 minutes.’ It works most of the time.

Now that I’m conscious of these 15 minutes, I find treasured moments everywhere: in a brief conversation with a friend, or a short drive to the supermarket listening to my favourite radio station. These are moments I cherish.

As I work on my dissertation, these moments will get more important and more relevant to my sanity. Indeed, challenges that seem insurmountable at the beginning of 15 minutes, could be eating out of the palm of my hand by the end.

Remember to check out my dissertation blog here. Thanks!

Starting the Months of Madness

I had a suggestion from one of my readers to record my business research journey here. Some of you may know that I’m doing a business course at university which requires me to carry out some research in the next few months. My research is on Change management during social media implementation programs. I’m focusing on how learning during the change can promote employee participation.

Yes, that was a mouth-full – even for me. I hope to record elements of my work on Months of Madness, a new blog I have created and dedicated to this research work. There’s only an About Me page on there now but I do plan to update on:
1. New and wonderful things I’m reading and learning
2. Things I’m reading that I do agree with
3. Stuff I don’t agree with based on some personal experience or perception.
4. Lack of progress – yes, there’ll be some venting but I’ll try to keep this to a minimum
5. Achievements of milestones e.g. Completion of literature review, interview and survey design completions, final submission etc.

I hope some of you will join me there. It may be a little heavy but I think it’ll be fun. After the research is done, the site will stay up, perhaps a student or two will find inspiration there or just a point of view.

I’m excited and worried at the same time. I’ve realised there will be no short cuts with this – I’ve checked. I have to find out things for myself and roll my sleeves up to do the dirty work. Wish me luck!

Tips for the confused jobist

It’s taken ages to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I read engineering at school but never quite fit in. At the same time, I never really knew what I wanted to do instead. When people asked me, ‘So what do you want to do?’,  it was always answered with a silly, confused expression.

But that’s changed in the past year. After starting my MBA (something I knew I wanted to do), I continuously made mental notes of areas that I found particularly interesting. Then I went off and did my research, which was something like:

  1. Identify area of interest e.g. marketing, web design, personnel management e.t.c.
  2. Act as a job seeker and SEARCH for roles in that area (the internet, job boards and social networking sites like LinkedIn are great for this).
  3. Take note of the JOB DESCRIPTION (what you’d be expected to do and be responsible for) Is it still of interest? If yes,
  4. Note the SKILLS employers expect from a potential candidate. Do you have them? If no, what can you do to get them? Can you get it in your current role? Should you consider personal development e.g. self-study, taught courses or perhaps a new role that provides such skills?
  5. Consider SALARY expectations. Is it what you thought it was? Is it reasonable such that you can live comfortably on it?
  6. And finally, give yourself a timeline. How long will it take you to get where you want to go? 6 months, 5 years?

Note that it’s okay to take a temporary hit on salary if  long-term, the role provides skills that will get you to the ‘Promise Land’. Money isn’t everything… And remember you are not applying for the roles now. You are just  discovering what opportunities are out there and subsequently setting out a personal plan to be the perfect candidate for the role in X numbers of years.

Now I have a good idea where I want to go and roughly how to get there. It’s made me happier and more confident. And it’s wiped that silly, confused look off my face :).

Grunt! Hiss! Grunt! Hurray! What’s this about?

I bet you never thought I’d ask for a blogging break.  I’ve written at least one post every week since November 2010 so it’d be unthinkable that I’d stop now, when I’m on a roll. Well, that’s what I’m doing. I have a 10,000-word paper submit by end June and between everything else I have to tend to; I’ve decided blogging will be on break this June. This is the only post I’ll write this month. It’s brutal, huh? Tell me about it!

Modified from freedigitalphotos.net

I’ll be beside myself. I will complain, I will scrabble potential posts on napkins and auxiliary notepad files but I’ll try my hardest not to post it. I think the break will be good as it’ll give me time to come up with new fresh ideas that could make me a better writer. Maybe just wishful thinking and an after-thought excuse – but in any event, I have to gather myself together and write a plausible paper, which I want to get a good grade on. I have also been under pressure to attend to other aspects of my life e.g. exercising more, more voluntary work and just sitting around doing nothing got a lot of votes from my family and friends. Well, I hope to find a balance along the way. Please wish me luck and catch you in July.

What about Post A Week didn’t I understand?

I’ve steered off course and now have too many balls in the air. I’m exhausted physically and back to my old ways of not enjoying and appreciating the precious moments I have. I should be ashamed.

Fortunately, I find that doing these “reviews” of my progress generally prevents me from going too far in the wrong direction. The symptoms have amplified over the last few weeks. When I’m reading to catch up on my studies, my mind strays to the possibilities of my next blog post. When I’m writing my next post, my head does permutations of strategic options for my current marketing campaigns at work. I worry that I’ve taken on too much and I see no escape in sight. Therefore, I’ve revisited my application for Post A Week on WordPress. Since I started in January, I have been posting at least 2 times a week consistently because of my impulse to give 110% to everything. I don’t regret it– it got me closer to my readers. However, it’s post a week, ladies and gentlemen. I will only post a week from now on.

I may be talking rubbish. You may indeed find me posting thrice a week at some point. It will mean that I’m back to my old self-frustrating ways. Most people run on blood but once in a while, I get a drum of diesel. Like a wind-up doll, I can be impulsive, energetic and unstoppable until of course, the wind gets knock out of me.  I want to be reaffirmed in who I am not what I do or achieve.Welcome to an instalment of one of those times when I run out of my diesel and reach for a pint of blood.

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