Monday, March 21, 2011

Take Your Blogger to Work Day!

I’m so excited to be participating in this fun event thought up by Gina over at her blog hiya luv.

 Today, a bunch of us will be sharing a bit about ourselves, in particular our non-blogging jobs as SAHMs,WAHMs, those of us who work away from home etc.  and how that relates to our blogging.

Gina  was great enough to give us some questions ahead of time to get our thoughts flowing so I’m going to keep that format and insert my answers underneath each. I hope you’ll go visit Gina and see who else you might know who’s “Taking Their Blogger To Work” today!

1. When you were growing up, what did you hope to become? What was your dream career?
This will sound like an odd combination and I don’t think I wanted to be both things in one, but I  remember wanting to be a Nun and a Supreme Court Justice. Maybe because  they both wore black robes, made  rules/laws, and people tend to stand up when they enter a room?
2. Through the years in elementary school, high school, college, etc. did your dream career evolve? What influenced you?
Not totally surprising that my interest in being a Nun went away about the same time as my interest in boys started! I was still very intrigued by the law and wanted to be a lawyer. I think this may have had something to do with Jimmy Smits, Harry Hamlin, and Blair Underwood on “LA Law”. 
3. What is your career today? Is it your dream job? How did you get there? What do you hope for your career in the future?
I feel like Batman..."Craftwoman"? I have alter egos. By day, I'm an Operations Manager for a very large Fortune 500 company. Spreadheets, financials, inside baseball business jargon etc. It wasn’t what I set out to do but when I finished college, a job opportunity presented itself and faced with the choice of earning a salary straight away, vs three years of law school debt... practicality won. My career has grown at the pace of my choosing and I’ve balanced working my way up to a leadership position for a company that’s been recognized repeatedly by Working Mother Magazine for its workplace flexibility and opportunities for women. I could be in a full Executive position at this point in my career, but have made choices that have allowed me to put my family first and keep balance in my life which is something for which I am so grateful! My husband's done the same. We knew when we got married that neither of us was interested in being CEO of our companies and making the sacrifices that come with that. We both made decisions that allowed us to progress in our careers and enable us to do fun things together as a family with our son. 
4. What is your day like? What are your typical tasks? 
One of the things I love most about my job but which takes some getting used to is  I get to work from home and have for several years now. I have the flexibility to set my own schedule. Some days that means a 6AM conference call in my PJs and not showering until noon.  My interaction w/ peers and my direct reports is all via phone, email, and our internal IM system. It’s not for everyone but I love it. I work with people in different US time zones and other countries so I can respond to things when I’m able or start the day with answers already provided vs having to rely on everyone being on the same time schedule (and not scared off by bed hair and no makeup). It works for what we do. The actual work is not probably that exciting…it’s a lot of internal operational stuff but our organization ensures that what our Sales force does gets through the internal workings of the business. The great thing is, I have a dedicated home office which is also my craft room. The hard thing is, I have a dedicated craft room that's in my home office! 
5. What do you love about your job? What is challenging?
I love that I get to run my team very independently. My manager is several states away from me as hers is from her. None of the people who report to me are in the same state as me. So we all have to rely on our ability to work independently, meet our deadlines and obligations, and focus on the end result. Sometimes it’s challenging not being able to read someone’s body language, especially when I have to deliver a tough message like a performance review but it’s doable.
6. Do you hope to stay in this job forever? Where do you see your career self in the future?
In part, the answer to this question is why I started my blog! I want to stay with my company, if not in this exact job, until my son is through college at least. There’s that practicality again.
My company like so many others is in constant change mode so the next few years will be interesting. But at some point, I know that what I want to do day to day involves my creative side. I have no idea what that is! Whether it’s maybe representing a company whose products I love or just selling my own things or both, I don’t know yet. So I started my blog to have a creative outlet and start to figure these things out.
7. How does your blog/shop/creativity contribute from your career? Or does it distract? 
The good thing about having worked from home for as long as I did before starting my blog is that I had established boundaries and time management skills so while yes, there are days when I might be able to multi-task between the two worlds, I'm disciplined enough to keep them separate despite them sharing the same space. I have a work computer and printer and a personal computer and printer. My blogging time fills the time I used spend driving my son to and from school, sports, events etc. So I use that time plus a lunch break to blog / tweet / FB / Stumble / email/run to Michaels. After dinner and weekends are when I usually make stuff and sometimes I will take a vacation day just for a creative play day. The ability to schedule posts is perfect for me so I can write them when I have the time but still have a steady flow on my blog.
One thing I know is that without a creative outlet I think my job performance would suffer and likewise I'm able to release stress from my job through creating. Bad day at work? Nothing like ripping some paper and hammering some eyelets! 
If you read this whole thing, thanks! It was really fun to stop and think through these things and in the end, affirm the great joy, satisfaction, and balance that blogging has brought into my life.


Unknown said...

I loved the fact that you wanted to be a nun or a supreme court justice! how funny! I am a new follower and also participated in take your blogger to work day. Glad I could find your blog through hiya luv!

Gina Thomas said...

oh i would give ANYTHING to be able to work from home. I loved your story and it gives me such hope. I have drive, determination, and a strong work ethic but have not found a job that lets me work from home. I truly adored your post:)

Unknown said...

wow! Your company sounds so flexible! Its a real treasure to find a job that is like that! I can't wait to see where your creative side takes you! Thanks for sharing and visiting my blog :)

Sarah B. said...

It sounds like you've got a sweet set up!! And I've never known anyone to want to be a nun - that is so cool :)

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

Your job sounds a lot like mine. Working from home, everyone I work with is in multiple states so email and conference calls are the way to go, schedule is flexible. NICE!
Great to get to know more about what you do! :)

lindalou said...

This was very interesting. Nice to learn things about you from both your work side and your personal side.

Nice that you can work at home. I don't know if that would really work for me as I'm so easily distracted when I'm there.

Jana said...

I want a work from home job! I am hoping that when I have children my boss will let me stay on part-time working from home.

Tara said...

That is so great that you are able to work from home and that your company is so flexible!

Christine said...

It's so great to learn more about such a good blogging friend. :) It sounds like you have a wonderful balance between these important components in your life. Thanks for sharing this and the opportunity to participate as well!

Jackie said...

LOL! I love the part about nun and supreme court justice. So funny. I seem to remember having a very short lived "want to be a nun" phase myself (I think mine was from watching The Sound of Music one too many times though).

Loved your story. What a great job! So neat that you can set your own work schedule. I'm envious :D
Thank you for sharing.

BTW - After visiting your blog I now have the worst hankering for chocolate... but I'm sure you've been told that before :D

Netty said...

Thank you for sharing. Sounds as if you have the balance of work and play perfected. Annette x

The Single Nester said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing who you are. I love how you have conducted your professional career and rise through the ranks. Me? Still searching for the dream job.