monday blues?

nah

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn]

Do you lack passion and motivation on Monday morning? You might be answering “yes”, but is that because you had a long weekend or have a case of the Mondays? Monday’s are only as bad as you make them and of course, your case of the Mondays can have a negative impact on your performance and productivity—as well as the people around you. Remember you can tackle your Mondays and make them better.

Prepare for Monday on Friday

Listen to this playlist

Have something to look forward to: make a list of the things you’re excited about

Get enough sleep and wake up early

Make someone else happy/smile

Keep your Monday schedule light

work hours

is there a time limit?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I thought it was a silly question to ask if there was a time limit on working hours, until yesterday. France is making it possible to enforce non-working hours. What a concept, eh? French labor unions have signed a law requiring employees to shut off their smartphones at exactly 6PM, preventing bosses from hounding workers after they have fulfilled the hours they are responsible for.

Out of the country’s total workforce of about 40 million, the agreement currently affects only 1 million workers, including those working in the French arms of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC. But those who favor the law say that the model can be extended to other sectors as well.

It’s pretty interesting to see how France works so differently than the United States. Currently, working for a French company, maybe this will change the impact of my company, too.

What are your thoughts on clocking out at 6PM and really meaning it?

what are your top three?

 you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.” ― Leslie Knope

SO to Diego for sending me this quote. I just needed to pass this along because I have a Leslie mentality. To me, work is always third. In fact, I think for most of us, work falls into third place. So what ranks at your one and two?

millennials

why are we always being bashed?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Often, I google: “Millennial”. I want to see what’s up with my generation. More often than not, there is bad news with the small search of one simple word. Today, I found an article entitled: A Survial Guide to Working with Millennials. This article was published on The Wall Street Jorunal’s website.

Frankly, I’m fed up.

I don’t understand how my generation can generate so much negative energy. There There are so many negative connotations about Millennials out there, it’s mind-blowing. Truly, I don’t understand what my generation did to get such a bad rep. Is this something all generations face from the precednets?

The aritcle starts off by saying:  What’s the hardest part about working with younger employees, and what’s the best way to deal with it? “The kids today…” That’s the phrase used in one form or another by every generation looking at the “new kids” joining the workforce. Here are three tips for older employees to survive and thrive in a multigenerational workplace. 

It goes into telling you what to expect and how to deal with “us.” Their advice? “Take a New Look at Work,” “Teach and be Taught” and “Stay Flexible.” Overall, this advice can be used for anyone going into a workplace, not just people who will be working directly with Millennials.

I am tired of Millennials being pinned as the bad person. The worst part is, as the saying goes, one person ruins it for everyone.  After reading the comments on this article, one from Grumpy Boomer reads, About those Millennials…the ones I’ve met (and there are quite a few of them) are smart, mentally agile, and capable. And some of their approaches are superior – the meetings mentioned in the article being one example. I find it amazing how my fellow boomers have transitioned from being rude and rowdy (yes, we were, in the eyes of the previous generations) into models of staid propriety – while we find issue with the Millennials for all manner of supposed shortcomings (the same ones we were guilty of a few decades ago). The Millennials will do fine. And their creativity just might lead to a golden age that’s better than has ever been seen before.

These are the types of people we, Millennials, need on our side. Shout out to Grumpy Boomer for respecting a yonger generation!

life is short

no one will get out alive, remember that

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Time seems to be the killer of all things. We are constantly complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, but I don’t believe that. 24 hours in a day is just right. Once you factor everything in: 8 hours of work, an hour commute, grooming, sleeping, eating and exercise, what more do you need?

In this day in age, we need to learn how to prioritize. We need to set an agenda and we need to sit to it.

Take a look at this post from Sam Davidson. He’s preaching exactly what I am talking about. You will find that 24 hours in a day is just enough when you start to put the clutter behind you.

What You Don’t Have Time For

You know what you don’t have time for.

Don’t let other people convince you otherwise based on the whims of any given news cycle, their personal agenda, or some prejudiced notion of what you ought to make time for.

You don’t have time to discuss Duck Dynasty. You don’t have time for someone else’s poor planning. You don’t have time to fix it, so let’s all get it right the first time. You don’t have time for a distraction brought on by cheap technology. You don’t have time for anything that doesn’t align with what you value, who you love, and where you want to go.

There is simply too much good work left to be done. And there are fewer and fewer hours in which to do it.

Set the agenda. Don’t let someone else set it for you.

giving thanks round 3

30 days of thankful, edt. 3

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

As a little recpa, Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

So here is is friends, these are my last days of  30 Days of Thanks project. I must say, it sounds easy to find one thing to be thankful for everyday, but I wanted to look for more than the easy answers. Every day I am thankful for something and here are some…just to name a few!

11/21- Appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way in the work place. Today, I am thankful for these tiny thank yous and little signs of appreciations from the team I work with. My boss will often go out of her way to show her appreciation or say thank you to me, which is amazing. My team, doesn’t usually do that, but today it was apparent that they were making an effort and wanted to show their gratitude for one another. Seeing these smalls gestures and hearing thank yous gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s keep these up, team. Today I’m not only thankful for y’all, but the work you do with and for me and he attitudes possessed today. Thanks!

11/22- A Simple Hello

Today I am thankful for simplicity. After leaving the Hoodie Allen concert Zach and I got on the metro to head back home. Zach and I were talking to one another and more people would board the train as we got closer to our destination. A man said a simple hello, which sparked a conversation between us and another person. In that moment four strangers were riding the metro in a deep conversation. Those moments are simple. I am thankful for little things like this. These moments make me see that mankind isn’t totally terrible and there are decent people left in the world, we just need to find them.

11/23- The Badgers & Wisconsin Pride

With a heart that bleeds red and white (blue and gold & green and gold) for the badgers and especially Wisconsin, I will always have state pride. Sure it’s hard to be in dc when my badgers are playing the biggest game (minus the rose bowl) of the season, but I feel right at home when I see badgers walking around town. The bars are filled and people are getting into the game. Every year the badgers fight for the Paul bunion (sp?) axe against the gophers. Honestly, it’s not even a fight anymore, they really just let us have it. I am thankful for Wisconsin state pride and my badgers. Great game and thanks for keeping the axe in Madison!

11/24- Surprises

Today, it’s surprises. I love surprising people, and I love being surprised. For a little background, I was going to stay in DC for thanksgiving, but last minute I found a crazy cheap ticket. My boss told me to take it, fly home and enjoy the holiday with my boyfriend and family (thank you!). Originally I was going to surprise the whole family, but I told my parents and we kept my sister in the dark. After meeting up with my parents and doing a little holiday decorating, we made it over to my sisters new house (congrats) for dinner and (for me) to meet her new boyfriend. She was thrilled, and totally surprised. The best part about a surprise is seeing someone’s face light up with a gorgeous smile. The genius happiness makes the room glow and when you’re in that presences you can help but smile yourself. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

11/25- A Classic Date

I am thankful for a boyfriend has an unconditional love. I am thankful for my person to be so good to me. Today was classic date night. Matt and I started dating while he was on a visit from Tennessee, so we never had the chance to do the “classic date”, ie, I will pick you up at 8, talk to my parents while I am finishing getting ready, go to dinner and a movie, but today that changed. When Matt arrived he had gorgeous flowers in-hand when he greeted me. He was a gentleman and opened all my doors, kissed me on the cheek and wouldn’t let me pay for a thing. Today I am not only thankful for the classic date night, but also for Matt. #CTBOT I love you.

11/26- The Ability to Work from Home

This week I am working from home, thanks to my awesome boss. I saw an opportunity for a chance to go home and because I asked here I sit. I sit at my kitchen table with my puppy at my side, the fireplace on working. Working from home is a blessing. I couldn’t be more happy or thankful for this opportunity.

11/27- My Aunt

My Aunt Loy is a remarkable lady. Today I am thankful for her and all the bits of knowledge, wit and life experience she has to share with me.

11/28- Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is always different in my family. Sometimes it’s just the 4 of us, sometimes it is with relatives and other times we open or home to neighbors and friends. This year, it was the four of us and my aunt. We always do a few things on Thanksgiving regardless: a last minute grocery store fun, watch football and the parade, make home made rolls and enjoy a holiday movie. Today I am thankful for my family and our little quirky holiday traditions.

11/29- Family Memories

Today I had the opportunity to not only make memories with my family, but also with Matt’s family. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to remember our memories and to reminisce. I am also thankful to make new memories with another family as well as reminisce on their family traditions and memories.

11/30- Unspeakable Moments with Friends

Today I am thankful for the unspeakable moments that I am thankful for. It’s that text message received, a the way a friend smiles when you are talking, a simple let me get the first round. These are thankful moments. The moments with friends shall never be forgotten during the holiday season. Friends are the family you choose, so choose them wisely and most of all show your appreciation and gratitude. This one for you kiddos and our moments!

support

it’s a powerful thing

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Here’s a little food for thought. Back in August I got my Daily Dose email from Sam Davidson. The email read as follows:

The Power of Support

Blame Hollywood for giving support so many accolades.

Surely the act of supporting someone or some idea is worthy of recognition. But perhaps support doesn’t need its own highlight. Perhaps the notion of support needs to be elevated to the point where it is on par with any other function. 

It’s like when we call someone a “student” leader (leadership is leadership) or when someone is named a “top female executive” (executives should be judged by talent, not segregated by gender).

Let’s get to a place where someone’s support role is held in as high esteem as the leader, the manager, the entrepreneur, or the artist. Work is work, help is help, and success is success.

A support system is something very special to all of us. With a network that can either be in a professional setting or a person setting these individuals can provide you with both practical and/or moral support when it is needed most.  Today, reflect. Who is in your support system? Do you have cross over in your professional and personal support network? Is there someone you want to be part of your support system, who already isn’t?

 

rants & raves of a job

Almost two years ago my life changed; I met Patrick! (Dramatic entrance, I know.) I met Pat through a friend, and I knew we were going to hit it off. After a few months gap in our friendship, due to him being at grad school–he made his way back to DC. Needless to say, I was beyond tickled! Pat got a job a IBM and was joining the real world as a consultant. Now, I couldn’t be more happy for him–what an awesome job opportunity post education, but the one thing that get’s get down is his lack of availability, but that’s not going to deter me from being his friend, heck that makes our friendship stronger! Once you read this post, you will understand exactly what I mean. So, here’s to Pat and his #LifeOfAConsultant, him writing this blog, and well just to our friendship!  Sit, back, relax and enjoy the blog!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#LifeOfAConsultant

guest blog presented by: Patrick Kotary
You can find Pat on Twitter: @Kotary; insta: patrickkotary, make sure you follow him!

In March 2013 after three colleges, two degrees, and one small bank account, I started my professional career with IBM Global Business Services. After just 7 months though I can honestly say this job is never what I had expected my first big grown up job to be growing. Until the ripe age of six I wanted to work at the mall so I could eat lunch at Sicilian Delight everyday – a pizza place at Sangertown Square Mall; my immature palate thought it was the best food ever, but I digress. Needless to say my aspirations only went up from there. I had the classic dreams – teacher, astronaut, news anchor, race car driver, the next Ward Cleaver, and POTUS were just a few (the last two are still on my list). Until about a year ago I never considered being a consultant for one of the world’s largest technology companies.

My friend Lizzie told me IBM was recruiting for consultants at our school, Clarkson University. I hadn’t given that career choice much thought, but after her persuasion and hearing that if you were hired you were sent to Orlando for a few days to celebrate, I said let’s do it! So I gave it a shot and was hired! I was one of the few extremely fortunate people who were recruited and hired during my last semester of graduate school. While I watched others hunt for jobs, I spent my last two months before the real world soaking in rays by the Gulf, baking, and watching the Barefoot Contessa. As Ina would say, “how easy is that?” All that time though I kept thinking, “I don’t know really what I’m going to be doing come March.” You see, consultants bounce from project to project in different roles – one day you could be on a project as technical resource and the next you could be running financial reports on another. You’re in a constant state of motion, meeting new challenges regularly – something I love doing. Whenever I was asked what I was going to do at IBM I would say, “I’ll be consulting. Companies hire us to come in and solve problems for them.” Now is that broad or what?

Despite that uncertainty I started my first day as a consultant on March 4th, 2013. I had a busy first two weeks in training – one in Herndon, VA and one in Baltimore, MD. Week three was when things got most interesting because I was staffed; I started my first project assignment as the Project Management Assistant at a company in Spokane, Washington. 2,080 aeronautical miles from my home in Northern VA. For about 7 months I travelled back and forth between the Washingtons – out on Mondays and home on Fridays. That’s about 5,000 miles a week (there isn’t a direct flight) – about 135,000 miles total. Like everything this unique lifestyle has its pros and cons.

The Pros:

Status.

Hi, my name is Patrick and I’m addicted to travel status. I am a Delta Platinum Medallion, a Hilton Diamond Member, United Elite Silver, and Starbucks Gold for many years to come. Status is a beautiful thing. First class is the only way to fly.

Seeing new sights.

Instead of going back to NOVA every weekend, I sometimes took alternate weekend travel. New Orleans, Los Angeles, upstate New York, and Florida to name a few.

Try new things.

As previously mentioned I like new challenges, so knowing that week to week my job changes is very exciting.

Foodie’s heaven.

Being in new cities is a dream for foodies like me. In 7 months of working I can count on one hand the times I’ve eaten at a chain restaurant. I love trying new foods.

 

The Cons:

Tired.

I was constantly changing time zones and had some difficulty putting my body on a hybrid system. Thanks to Kendal Ann et al though, I was able to stay on PST time on the weekends back east #DCNightlife

Travel numbness.

Air travel has lost its glamour for me. There was a time when I loved flying and thought it was the best experience ever. I now feel like I’m getting on a big dirty bus with smelly people. Also, hotels no longer stand for vacation. All I can think now is, “How many people have slept (and done other things) in this bed before me?”

Long workdays.

Because of travel, my office time is limited. To make up for this, I spend about 11 hours a day M-T at the office. Lunch is usually at my desk.

Relationships – lack thereof.

This job is not great for relationships. Even though I am extremely handsome and debonair, many don’t want to be with someone if he’s only around 3 of 7 days. I can respect that. I’d rather someone NOT like that than ENJOY having me gone all week.

The #LifeOfAConsultant continues. In a few hours I’m boarding a plane home to Dulles from my new project city… San Francisco, California. It’s an exciting life I lead working for IBM and I love it. I’m young, single, and free, so why not? For now, I’m not the next Ward Cleaver and I’m fine with that.

I urge you all to get out and see what this beautiful country and world has to offer.

post vacation blues

& getting back to reality

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Getting back to reality isn’t exactly my problem, work is. After taking a long vacation, especially and international trip. It is always hard to get back into the swing of things. Personally, I find it even harder to get back into your work-life groove. While you were gone so much has changed, people got hair cuts (haha), you missed countless staff meetings, dodged those crazy phone calls, and even have a stack of emails that you are still trying to catch up on after a week of being back. All you can ask yourself is: will it ever be the same?

Here are a few tips and trips to tackle your post vacation blues and get back in the game when it comes to work.

Sleep

Once you get back you will need a lot of sleep. When traveling and on a vacation, you hardly sleep. In my case I was international, so I am dealing with timezone changes.

Relax

Which brings me to relaxing! When you are on vacation, you put so much effort into catching up with friends, checking out all the hot spots, and going above and beyond what you would normally do. You want to make this a trip of a life time, so relaxing is not on the docket. Now that you are home, you have to go to work, and reality sets in. Make sure you add in some relaxation time the first few days after being back from a long trip.

Prioritize

It’s hard to see 415 emails piled up, 9 missed phone called and a million papers on your desk. You need to make a to-do list. Figure out what needs to be accomplished first and what can hold off.

Take Notes

At staff meetings, take notes. During regular meetings take notes. Maybe it’s not your thing to take notes during meetings, because it’s not mine; however, I make sure to take as many notes as possible post vacation. My mind is running around trying to figure out a thousand different things, that these notes during any meeting are critical to my success.

Talk to People

This is a big one: talk to people. I’ve been engage in conversations I normally wouldn’t be. I want the dirt! I want to know what was happening while I was gone and how I can help with others. I want to see how other people can help me and who is also working on my projects. Make sure to talk with everyone to see what they have been doing and they will be of any help on your upcoming projects that are due.

 

I hope these tips and tricks help you once you come back from a vacation. They are really helping me to get through this week. And think…I am almost caught up and it’s almost Friday! #TGIF!