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Posts Tagged ‘lessons learned’

  1. Lessons Learned in the Business World – Knowing How to Say Someone’s Wrong

    October 21, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Today I had a major lesson in knowing how to be tactful when working on a project with a senior-level person. So, to give you some background details, I am finally FINALLY getting work from the creative department at work and one of the senior copywriters will bring me in on projects.

    This is one of the second ones I’ve worked on with them and I was somewhat familiar with the details of the project (it was based on web searches, and SEO stuff which I’ve gotten familiar with thanks to blogging). Well, once I got the directive from this copywriter on this, I immediately knew they had misunderstood the directions.

    Assuming maybe I misunderstood their misunderstanding, I went ahead with the project with the details I knew to be correct. You see, for this project it was creating a meta-description (which basically is the search description that comes up when you Google something) and they had confused THAT with the paid ad search that comes up when you Google something.

    To avoid boring you with the nitty gritty details, once I shared my work in progress, basically they started correcting me on my approach on this. That’s when I began to gently point out the difference in the two different Google searches. One is paid. one is not. Mostly the argument was over word count and they didn’t want me to be as long winded as I was (and I knew you could at least use a certain number of characters before Google truncated your description).

    Okay, nitty gritty, sorry.

    So, I gently, but firmly stayed on my point. They brought in another person who was more of an expert who explained in detail the difference between a paid search and search result information that comes up naturally. Lo and behold, they said the exact same thing I did.

    I feel so mature for handling this in this way. In the past, I may have just followed this senior person’s direction in hopes someone else will point out the error. But I knew my information and I knew it was right.

    The key lesson here is there is always a way to teach someone else and share information. No matter what level a person is in a company, it doesn’t mean they are always right because of their status. It also doesn’t mean that you’re automatically wrong if you are at an entry level status. We all have something we can learn.

    As for my project, I may not have received a big banner “you are correct!” but I at least got them to admit they “misguided me.” It’s something at least.

  2. What Did College Really Teach Me?

    February 3, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Tonight, I am in the mood of “looking back.”  Instead of brooding, I decided to blog about it.

    When I was in high school, the big “to do” was college. What college were you going to? What’s your top choice college? My junior and senior year I even had teachers read letters of former students who went off to college and told stories of their own quirky roommates.

    Turns out I ended up in community college my first couple of years and really had no intention of bragging about my bus route to and from college and no intention of telling them about the school who told me their only expectation was that their students had a pulse.

    Then, the college thing. Like I said, community college gave me my first taste of cynical “real world” candy. Trust me, it doesn’t taste good. The message there? Get into a 4 year college. I got great grades. I managed to get into an honor society. Eventually, I did transfer to a 4 year college.

    When the 4 year college happened, I did change my major a couple of times and landed in Communication. I was in English for a while, but somewhere along the way, I grew tired of reading and analyzing books to the point where the enjoyment was gone. When I switched, I thought I would have a greater chance of enjoying my classes and finding a career that I enjoyed. Most of all, I wanted to graduate.

    When I did, I loved my graduation. I was so proud and it was awesome seeing my family out there cheering me on. Not to mention, I was the first in my family to graduate from a four year school, and boy I was proud. That is what I wanted – I wanted to graduate.

    I’m now in that one long semester I’ve prepared nearly my whole life for. Starting from when I was about 15 years old, I’ve been waiting for this moment.  The post-college graduation life where everything finally came together.

    Ha. So much for that.

    I have to wonder why I wasn’t told enough how to pursue my dreams. I mean, sure, I knew to pursue them. My mom always supported and encouraged my writing dreams. She read my stories, gave me feedback, and encouraged me to keep going. But somehow, I don’t think my schools did enough. I don’t remember at any point them telling me the “how” part of it all.

    Is it fear that prevents high school teachers from encouraging us to pursue what we really want to do? I remember as far back as the 4th grade saying I wanted to be a published author. Sure, I could have majored in English. My fear was that I would become a singularly published English teacher rather than the published author I strived to become.  But how is that different than what I’m doing now?

    But really, what about college? If anyone had stopped me along the way and asked me, “What are you hoping to get out of this” I’m not sure what I would have said. I had started reading books on publishing when I was ten and knew that the moral of the story for writers was to not quit your day job. So, I would have said that I want to get a low stressful, well paying job that gets me by enough so I can come home and write stories. That would have been the truth.

    Well, that didn’t happen.

    Instead, I’m waiting to go to a job Monday that stresses me significantly, will probably want me to work overtime soon, and doesn’t pay me enough. Not to mention, I hate what I do. So, if I was to talk to my teenage self she would ask me what the hell happened.

    Sure, I’m 26 and I have a lot of time ahead of me to change things. But how? How can I really change things? Times goes by really fast and soon I’ll hit the age where what’s knocking isn’t my desire for a dream job, but a frightening biological clock that will tell me I better start trying to have babies soon otherwise I’ll never have the chance.

    So, what did college teach me?

    I thought I knew. Now, I’m not so sure anymore.

  3. Unemployed – The Thing Which Must Not Be Named

    June 7, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    Voldemort should see a dentist

    If there was a physical embodiment of unemployment, it would look like this.

    Last week, a couple of interesting things happened.  First, I was at the cash register for my unemployment coffee shop and I placed my order.  The barista asked me, “How is your day?”

    Quick side note: I’m a talker in coffee shops. The coffee shops I’m a regular at probably know more about me than a person should in that type of setting. 

    I reply, “Good. I’m still unemployed.”

    Another quick side note: They already know that I don’t have a job. This is not new to them.

    Instead of getting a look of sympathy and a remark of encouragement, the guy looks at me like I just told him that I’m in love with him and want to have his baby. He scoffs at my insanity and gives me the total for my drink.

    I pay and let the awkwardness pass and continue on about my day. No big deal right?

     And then my mom and I go get our hair done during that same week. It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon and I’m feeling pretty good for the most part. We go into the salon and are seen promptly, even though we don’t have appointments. I go to my beautician while my mom goes to hers. These beauticians happen to be on two sides of the salon.

    So, unlike my attitude at coffee shops, I’m not usually a talker at a salon. This time though I decided to do something different and chat up the lady cutting my hair.  We talk about lots of things. I mention I’m looking for a job (no look of insanity there) and got laid of in February. She mentions she is in school to get her degree. I talk about my dream of being a writer. She talks about hers (what are the odds of meeting a fellow writer?).

    We near the end of my haircut and my hair is still wet. She pauses and asks me, “Do you want your hair blow dried? It’s about 25 extra bucks. I figured I’d ask since…” She drops her voice. “…you’re unemployed.”

    I act as if she didn’t talk about my joblessness like it’s a politically incorrect statement. “That’s fne. My mom is treating me.” (Thanks mom, by the way.)

    She laughs it off and we continue talking.  The haircut is complete and I join back together with my mom and we finish the day off by purchasing some very cute, and very inexpensive, flip-flops.

    With these two stories described in completion, did you recognize their commonality?

    I’m beginning to realize that unemployment is beginning to be seen as a politically incorrect statement. Being out of a job is now “the-thing-which-must-not-be-named.” It’s even in the news too. It’s better to have a job and be looking for one, than not have a job and be looking for one.  Employers are more likely to hire you if you do have a job. Meanwhile, our unemployment rate continues to skyrocket.

    I am not unemployed because I want to be. Trust me. This isn’t fun. I want a job. But if we continue acting like that it’s somehow the unemployed person’s fault or that they should be embarrassed by it like a wart on the nose, than the problem will never be fixed.

    Meanwhile, maybe my current job title shouldn’t be blank. Maybe I’ll just describe myself as being an underpaid blogger with a growing chip on her shoulder.