Tag Archives: Teams

Motivation Mondays: Feel Again

Happy Monday! I’m glad to be back blogging after an amazing week in California. As always, I return from this business trip renewed and with more ideas and goals to accomplish.

As I’m sure you’ve come to learn, I am a people person. I gain my energy by being near people, having thought-provoking conversations and learning from others. So, OneRepublic’s song “Feel Again” completely resonates with me, especially after this week and weekend.

I headed out to California last weekend tired and lacking motivation of any sort. It felt like nine million things were going on in my life and that I just couldn’t keep up. I felt a little numb, like I was just going through the motions. That coupled with a wealth of uncertainty, a feeling I do not like or handle very well, made for an interesting few weeks personally and professionally.

Then I got onsite and spend 12-hour days with my team, a group of people from all over the country who join up live in living color a couple of times a year for a common purpose. Their passion and energy was contagious, their advise genuine and overall presence comforting. I could feel again.

Upon my arrival home, I headed to the suburbs of Pennsylvania for my friend’s bridal shower. I spent both Friday night and all day Saturday with my favorite girls from Temple. It was so great to catch up, share in their laughter and make new memories. I could feel again.

Sometimes it takes your people, your own personal army of rejuvenating forces, to bring you back to reality. Of course at times you’ll have to be your own motivation. But lucky for me, my people helped me to feel again. My sense of purpose both at work and personally is clear and I’m more determined than ever.

Have you ever felt numb and needed help getting unstuck? Share how you feel again!

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Family Fridays: The Power of People

HigherI think I’ve mentioned this quote before on the blog. I believe in what it means and lived it out firsthand last week.

Self-confidence is has always been hard for me. I’d like to believe I’ve become better over the years, but I know there’s still room for improvement. Additionally, I can keep myself motivated usually because I know someone else I respect is relying on me. When all of this is taken into account, it’s easy to see how working virtually can be a struggle for me sometimes.

I was lucky enough to be with my entire team last week and reaped the benefits in more ways than one. Everyone had such a positive attitude that was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel happy and excited about the work you were doing. Each of us demands excellence and holds one another accountable. When excellence is a requirement, everyone strives to be better, reach higher and push themselves further.

More than anything, I completely felt part of a team, of a family last week. I’m finally comfortable andwe-are-what-we-repeatedly-do have earned my wings so to speak. We are like a family: we have each other’s backs, talk one another down and genuinely care about each other’s well being. This new family also continuously challenges me and pushes me far outside of my comfort zone, helping me to grow both personally and professionally.

The people you surround yourself with both at home and at work absolutely impact your attitude, behavior and decisions. Take advantage of this and use their positivity and ambition to thrust yourself forward. Remember to thank them occasionally too…a big thank you to the team I was with last week!

The Blurred Line

Having about six months of work experience under my belt, I’ve gotten to attend a handful of professional events. Most were conferences at hotels that lasted several days. The atmosphere at these conferences can be more relaxed than when working in the office. This environment coupled with the prospect of free alcohol, causal dress and music can be a bit dangerous.

Most people understand that they are at a work function and maintain a level of professionalism. But after attending some of these events, it’s easy to see how the line between personal and professional can be blurred quite quickly. I’ve met some amazing individuals while working and connected with them on both a personal and professional level. While I do consider some of them friends and sounding boards, there is still a line I’m not willing to cross like at a work event.

cross_lineIn my opinion, drinking helps to cloud your judgement and make you forget that you are actually at work with colleagues and superiors. However, alcohol consumption is not the only way to cross the personal/professional line. Over-sharing personal information, using foul language and busting an inappropriate dance move can all contribute to a loss in credibility. As a younger professional, that is the last thing I want to do. But I’ll admit, it was hard in California to remember I was working and not on vacation. We were at a great location, in casual clothing and had the opportunity to relax after working all day. One could easily get caught up in all of that.

Based off my experience at these conferences, here are a few tips I thought of to maintain the personal/professional balance:

1. If you drink, know your limits. I’m a fan of alternating: one drink then one glass of water.Work Husband

2. Dress causal but still appropriately. No ripped jeans or cut-offs. If your grandmother would be embarrassed seeing you in a certain outfit, don’t wear it.

3. If you want to have a personal conversation, do it away from the rest of the team and more importantly, away from attendees.

4. Schedule time outside of work to meet and catch up with work friends. It will be more fun that way!

When working onsite events, it is especially easy to unwind too much and forget you’re at work. No one is saying don’t build friendships at work or celebrate with your work friends. But there is a time and a place for that. A work event is about the attendees, not the onsite team. I’m grateful that my team set high standards onsite this past week. It absolutely helped me maintain my professionalism.

Dude, Where’s My Boss?!

When I started my job almost four months ago, I had no idea what to expect or who I’d be reporting to. Quickly I realized the person I’d be working most with (aka my boss) was located in Chicago. So this is fun, I thought. How exactly is going to work?

Coming straight from college, I’ve always interacted in person with my supervisor(s). We would communicate through email, occasionally over the phone and absolutely meet in person at least once a week. So not having my boss in the office was definitely something I wasn’t used to. But, working virtually is a way of life for most people here and in larger companies across the nation.

telecommuting-pro-and-conMost people at my company are telecommuters, which means they work from their home office most of the time. Some people split time between their home and work offices while others come into NYC everyday. It is more of a personal preference and thankfully, my company is flexible in letting employees work from home. Not having my direct supervisor in the office has been an adjustment for me but here’s why it works.

  • Technology: Conference calls and live meetings are an integral part of life here. We have the ability to conference several people into a call at once. Live meeting allows people to share their computer screen’s in order to explain a document to their audience. This visual aid makes training new employees so much easier. We rely heavily on these tools and others to help us feel like we’re all in the same room.
  • Understanding: Most of my team is in Chicago, which is an hour behind me here in Manhattan. We all are conscious of the time difference when scheduling meetings and are very understanding of each other’s schedules. Some of us get to work earlier while others stay later. Being aware of everyone’s schedules and best times of productivity is a key factor is our team’s efficiency.
  • Trust: My boss does not need to see me to know I am doing my work. Similarly, her boss doesn’t need to see her to know she’s working..super hard I might add. Of course, there will be some situations when employees must come into the office. But, on the whole, there is a level of trust between supervisors and their team. Because of this, there is more flexibility in where people work from.

Last week, Spin Sucks published an article about working from home versus working at the office. The article cited pros and cons to each, but studies found it came down to the ability to focus. Whether my boss is sitting behind me or sitting in Chicago, I have to keep myself motivated and focused on the task at hand. Limiting distractions is the biggest factor into staying focused. For more tips, check out the Spin Sucks article here.

I have learned that having a virtual team and office can be just as rewarding and productive as having your team right in front of you. It’s been a great way to improve my communication skills as well. Do you work virtually? Is it a challenge? Let me know!

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