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Making Friends Remotely

In an era of digital connectivity and flexible work arrangements, the concept of “going to the office” has changed. Many professionals now find themselves working remotely, a trend accelerated by recent global events. While remote work offers numerous advantages, it can sometimes create a sense of isolation. It can leave individuals wondering how to make friends when their workplace is no longer a physical space. Fortunately, there are several strategies to create meaningful connections while working remotely.

Water Cooler

First and foremost, embrace the virtual water cooler. Just as office conversations often occur around the water cooler, remote workers can participate in digital equivalents. Engage in team chat platforms, join virtual meetings a few minutes early, and contribute to discussions. This provides an opportunity for casual conversations and shared experiences, fostering a sense of camaraderie.

Work Communities

Seek out remote work communities. Online forums, social media groups, and professional networking platforms are treasure troves of like-minded individuals who understand remote working. Join discussions, share your experiences, and engage in conversations that go beyond work-related topics. These communities offer a supportive environment to build connections based on shared interests and challenges.

Virtual Events

Participate in virtual events and workshops. Many organizations and platforms host webinars, workshops, and conferences that cater to remote professionals. Attending these events not only expands your knowledge but also exposes you to a diverse range of individuals. Take advantage of breakout sessions, networking events, and Q&A sessions to connect with attendees who understand your goals.

One-on-One

Initiate one-on-one interactions. While group interactions are valuable, establishing individual connections is equally important. Reach out to colleagues for virtual coffee chats or brainstorming sessions. These one-on-one conversations allow for deeper connections and the opportunity to learn about each other’s backgrounds, interests, and experiences.

Co-Working Spaces

Consider remote co-working spaces. These virtual spaces are designed to mimic the camaraderie of a physical office, providing a sense of community for remote workers. Many platforms offer chat rooms, virtual events, and collaborative projects, fostering connections in a structured online environment. You can also host your video calls in these spaces to increase your network.

Be You!

Be open and approachable. Displaying authenticity and a willingness to connect can attract others seeking friendship in the remote work landscape. Share personal anecdotes, interests, and even challenges. Vulnerability can create a sense of relatability that encourages others to open up as well. Remember, you have to be a friend to have a friend!

While working remotely might physically separate us, it need not isolate us from building meaningful connections. By leveraging virtual platforms, engaging in online communities, and embracing one-on-one interactions, remote workers can make friends beyond physical boundaries. In this digital age, the tools to make friends are at our fingertips; all it takes is a proactive approach and a genuine desire to connect.

 

Check out my website for more tips on working remotely and self-care: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Gardening Is Like Life

Gardening is like life in many ways. What I’ve learned about life, I learned from my gardening experience outdoors and here’s why.

Time Will Tell 

A garden, a really solid variety of flowers (vegetables are a different story) takes about 2 years to establish. Like life, any new relationship, job, or new subject you’re trying to learn takes about 2 years to master. It’s two years before Gerbera Daisies take hold and bloom. The blanket flowers and periwinkles need a few years to take root and really blossom…just like in life.

Having two years of experience in a new job or with a new partner shows you different situations and effects. These “seasons” show you the good, the bad and ugly of that job or person. After about two years, patterns repeat themselves and habits are formed.  Just like your garden where seeds germinate and come back season after season. Time will tell you what you need to know and what direction to take, so listen.

Believe What You See

Flowers especially some bulb varieties are difficult to take root and thrive. Some flowers bloom easily with a little water and care. Others, take so much time to nurture, even “baby along,” until you’ve done very your best and can’t be successful.

Believe what you see, and know that some people, like flowers, will never bloom (like you expect them too.) People’s actions, just like flowers, are who they really are…don’t believe words, believe their actions. Actions tell you someone’s true character, if they’re honest, and trust worthy…just like a hearty garden that grows with care and love.

Can’t Change Mother Nature

In a garden some flowers and plants will only grow in a certain environment, think zone gardening. I live in the desert, zone 9b. The climate is dry and very hot in the summer months. Like some people in your life, some relationships won’t last or thrive. It all comes down to what you want in your life and who you let into your circle. You can’t change someone like you can’t change Mother Nature.

Work especially exposes you to different personalities. Some of these folks will help you grow in your career and support your goals. Others won’t, whether it’s their motivation, the environment, or your personal boundaries. Some people (like plants in your garden) are not meant for you.  Find your peace and people and live like your garden…in abundance.

 

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Changing Careers

 

Changing careers, especially later in life, can be a scary task. But with the right approach and planning, it can be a rewarding life experience. Here are some steps to take to successfully change careers painlessly.

Assess Your Skills and Interests

Start by evaluating your current skills and interests and compare them to the skills and requirements of your desired career. Identify the skills you already possess that are transferable to your new career, and those that you need to develop

Research

Research your desired career field thoroughly. Look for job descriptions, required skills, and qualifications for the position. This will help you identify any new skills you need to develop. You will also get an idea of what you can expect from your new job, like salary, promotions, and other opportunities.

Develop a Plan

Once you have identified your skills and researched your desired career field, develop a plan for achieving your career transition. This may include taking courses or networking with people in your desired industry. Gaining experience through internships or volunteer work is also an easy way to build skills in your new job.

Update Your Resume

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight your transferable skills and experience. This will be relevant to your desired career, networking, and learning more about your new industry.  Tailor your resume to highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the new job.

Be sure to link up projects or intern work related to your new career on LinkedIn. The more engagement you have on the website, the more relevant your profile will be to employers.

Network

Networking is critical when transitioning to a new career. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people in your desired industry on LinkedIn. This can help you gain insight into the career and may lead to job offers. The more you put yourself out there, the more people and potential companies will see your value and skills.

Be Patient and Persistent

Career transitions take time and effort. Be patient with the process, and continue to work towards your goals. Don’t be afraid to take on part-time work or freelancing in the meantime to gain experience and build your network.

Changing from one career to another can be a challenging process, but by following these steps, you can successfully make the transition. Remember to be patient, persistent, and open to learning new skills.

Gaining new experiences with the right approach, and a career transition can lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding career.  It worked for me and it can work for you too!

Follow KathyHusserTempe.com for more career tips.

 

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I Loved Barbie!

Did you see the Barbie movie? I did, mainly because I had the doll growing up. I loved Barbie. And here’s why this movie and its message for us all is so popular now.

Perfect World

Barbie has always lived in a perfect world. Pink, plastic, and perfect, the marketing machine has families buy her “accessories” for their children constantly. From the dream house, to the car, to her pet dog, Barbie had it all and little girls were supposed to aspire to that life.

But, like me many families we couldn’t really afford Barbies or her perfect world. I had one new Malibu Barbie, the one with the deep (cancerous) tan, gifted to me for my birthday. I never had a Ken doll, or her sidekick Skipper, so was my imagination stilted?

Improvise

No, like any good kid with little resources, I improvised. I made Barbie’s furniture from old margarine tub lids and thread spools. She didn’t have a “dream house.” My tanned beauty had a shoe box, covered with a kitchen towel “patio” with a green washcloth lawn. My doll and the all the Saturday morning commercials gave me permission to use my imagination! I improvised to envision my own “apartment” when I grew up and had a career of my very own.

And the career choices I had, from Advertising Executive to Astronaut, I could live through Barbie and her friends. I didn’t need a man to make my dreams come true. I had my drive and work ethic to make things happen for myself. As a young girl, Barbie really inspired me to succeed to do whatever I dreamed of with integrity.

Movie’s Message

Photo by Priyanka Arora on Unsplash

I see that same message in the movie; Be yourself…whoever you are! No one is perfect or fits a certain mold. Sometimes we hold ourselves up to unrealistic standards to those around us. Whether it’s in work, school, or even motherhood women have to navigate so many other societal obstacles, that men do not.

When we can truly all be accepted as we are, without limitations or prejudices, then we can all rest easy. The world has a long way to go to get there. Even Mattel admittedly has only had three female CEO’s in the company’s 78-year history. One being the founder herself, Ruth Handler.  Where are my pink Birkenstocks?

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Managing Coworkers

As a new supervisor, managing former coworkers can be challenging. It can be difficult to balance the shift in power dynamics while maintaining positive working relationships. In this article you will learn some best practices for managing former colleagues and creating a successful transition.

Establish Clear Communication

Open communication is essential when managing former colleagues. It is important to establish clear expectations from the beginning and to keep everyone informed throughout the transition process. This can include outlining new responsibilities, changes in reporting structure, and any other relevant details. Clear communication can help to reduce confusion and uncertainty, and create a more positive work environment.

Maintain Professionalism

As a new supervisor, it is important to maintain a professional demeanor when interacting with former colleagues. This can include avoiding favoritism, setting clear boundaries, and addressing any conflicts in a timely and respectful manner. It is also important to lead by example and to hold yourself to the same standards as your team.

Build Trust

Building trust is essential in any leadership role, and it is especially important when managing former coworkers. Take the time to get to know your team members on a personal level, and show them you value their contributions. Building trust can help to create a more positive work environment, and help to reduce tension or resistance to change.

Encourage Feedback

Encouraging feedback from your team can help to create a more collaborative work environment. As a new manager, you can help address any concerns or challenges that may arise or have come up in the past. This includes setting up regular check-ins, soliciting feedback on new initiatives, and actively listening to your team’s ideas and suggestions. Encouraging feedback can also help to create a culture of continuous improvement, and lead to better performance for the team.

Provide Support

As a new supervisor, it is important to provide support to your team during the transition process. This can include providing training, resources, and other HR support as needed. It is also important to be available and accessible to your team, and to provide regular feedback and recognition.

A favorite way to recognize your team is learn about them individually.  Thank them with a personal note, small gift, or publicly so they know you value them. One year, I gave my team Life is Good t-shirts depending upon their hobbies, and they loved them!

Finally, managing former colleagues can be a challenging experience. It is also a chance to grow and learn as a leader. By beginning with clear communication, you build trust, encourage feedback, and provide support for your team.  You can create a successful transition and build a strong team with former coworkers or as new leader.

Remember to lead by example, stay open to feedback, and be willing to adapt as needed. With the right mindset and approach, managing former coworkers or anyone can be fulfilling and fun!

For more career tips check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Mentoring At Work

Mentoring at work is a valuable tool for personal and professional development. It is a relationship between an experienced worker (the mentor) and a “rookie” or newer employee.  The mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to the mentee (or new worker) for future job success.  Mentoring at work can have many benefits for both the mentor and mentee, as well as the organization or business.

New Skills

One of the biggest benefits of mentoring at work is that it helps to develop the skills and knowledge of the mentee. The mentor can share their experience and expertise, and provide guidance on how to navigate the organization and its culture. This can help the mentee develop new skills, knowledge, and to become more effective in their role.

Builds Trust

Mentoring at work also helps to build relationships and networks within the organization. The mentor and mentee can build a strong working relationship, which can lead to increased trust, understanding, and collaboration. This can help to create a more positive and productive working environment.

Decreases Turnover

A mentoring program in the company can also help to improve the retention of employees. When employees feel truly valued and supported, they are more likely to be satisfied with their job. Turnover within the organization decreases overall with a trusted mentor to support the employee. A good mentoring program can help to create a sense of belonging among employees, which leads to higher retention.

Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

Another benefit of mentoring is it helps to promote diversity and inclusion. When mentoring relationships are formed between people from different backgrounds, it can help to break down stereotypes and biases. This can lead to a more inclusive and equitable workplace, where everyone feels valued and respected.

In addition, mentoring programs can be beneficial for the mentor as well. It can provide them with an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience.  The mentor gives back to the organization and gains personal confidence in their abilities in their role. It can also help them to develop leadership skills and to take on new responsibilities.

Overall, mentoring at work is an important tool for personal and professional development, and for the organization as a whole. It can help to develop the skills of new employees, build relationships, and promote diversity and inclusion. Therefore, companies should consider starting a mentoring program to support the career development of their employees and improve overall work performance and engagement.

For more career best practices check my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Travel Abroad

What brings you joy? What gets you up in the morning every day even when times are tough? Travel brings me joy, and here’s why it fills me with happiness every time, every trip.

New Experiences

As we get older you experience the highs and lows of life. As a wise soul once said, you can’t see the light without experiencing the darkness. You also find that one (or two) joys in life will fill you up, bring you light.  New experiences that bring me happiness, contentment, and joy involve traveling.

I don’t have to travel far.  Learning about historic waterfalls in my neighborhood was a fun and enjoyable bike ride. I just love learning and planning out my new experiences, which a good part of that involves seeing new places.

Solo travel

Recently, I’ve started enjoying my travels solo. Discovering new destinations on my own, has given me the freedom to see more and do more. I won’t let the lack of a travel partner hold me back. I plan the trip on my own, and have the flexibility to enjoy the location I want to see.

I’ve become a better navigator and risk taker, with solo travel too. Traveling gives me confidence to do even more in life. And now, I’m planning much longer trips in the future for summer and fall.

Photography

Traveling bring me joy afterwards with the photos and memories I bring home. I’ve become a better photographer through practice and a lot of trial and error. Enjoying the images from my trips, allows me to relive those joyful experiences.

Traveling feeds my photography hobby as well as and providing me great pleasure in discovering my next shot. Capturing landscapes during different seasons and my own flower garden photos to share, gives me another creative outlet.

Self-Reliance

Finally, planning and taking a trip on my own builds my self-reliance to do more and take more risks.  If you’re not growing, you’re not living. And I want to continue to grow, experience new countries and cultures and build new memories.

What will you be planning today?

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Work Evaluations

Work Evaluations

Your first work evaluation at a new job can be a scary experience. But it’s your opportunity to show your supervisor your strengths and work habits. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for your first work evaluation.

Review Your Job Duties

Before your evaluation, review your job responsibilities and the goals set by your manager. Preparing ahead will give you a better understanding of what you should be focusing on and what your supervisor is looking for. Make sure you understand the company’s mission and goals and how your role directly contributes to the results.

Reflect on Improvements

You need to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments since starting your new job. Think about the projects you’ve worked on, the skills you’ve developed, and the contributions you’ve made to the organization. Also, consider areas where you could improve or where you have struggled. Being aware of needed improvements will help you have a productive conversation with your boss.

Prepare Examples

In order to communicate your accomplishments and areas for improvement, it’s important to have examples to back up your claims. Document examples of specific projects or tasks you’ve worked on that demonstrate your skills and contributions to the company.

Also, have data or metrics to show your progress and performance for your team. You need to be prepared to answer the hard questions as well as have solutions for improvement.

Come Prepared with Questions

Your work evaluation is also an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback from your employer. Prepare a list of questions you have about your work responsibilities, the company’s goals or any other feedback. I keep a running list of questions and answers throughout the year. This way, I’m not surprised by my manager’s questions of me during the evaluation process.

Be Honest

During your work evaluation, it’s important to be honest and open-minded about your performance and areas for improvement. You need to accept honest, constructive criticism and take the feedback given to you into consideration for future development. Every boss is different, and most lead from areas of their strengths, so listen with an open heart and mind.

By reviewing your job, reflecting on your goals and areas for improvement, you will be ready for your evaluations. Be sure to prepare examples and evidence of your year’s work and come prepared with questions.

If you are open and honest, you can make the most of your first work evaluation and impress your boss. You’ll be able to demonstrate your value to the organization and develop a plan for growth and success in your role for the future.

Wishing you the very best in your long career!

Follow my website for more career advice: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Getting Promoted

Earning a promotion at your current job can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some best practices to help you achieve success in getting promoted at work.

Be A Team Player

Collaborating with your coworkers and being a valuable team member is very important for earning a promotion. Make sure you are always willing to help out, and go above and beyond what is expected of you. This not only shows your dedication to the company, but also demonstrates your ability to work well with others.

Communication

Being able to communicate effectively is essential for any job, but even more so when trying to earn a promotion. Make sure you are always clear and concise when communicating with your supervisor and colleagues.

Additionally, actively listen to feedback and take constructive criticism to heart in order to improve and grow. It can be hard to hear the truth, but effective managers want you to improve and grow. You need to remember that communication styles will vary with different supervisors too.

Take Initiative

Showing initiative and being proactive in your job is a great way to demonstrate your potential for a promotion. Identify areas where the company could improve, and come up with solutions or suggestions.

This not only shows that you care about the company’s success, but also demonstrates your leadership potential. Be sure when you offer feedback (just like your supervisor) you are also offering a valuable solution for the company.

Improve Your Skills

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, it’s important to continuously improve your skills and knowledge. Take advantage of any training opportunities offered by your company, and also consider pursuing additional education or certifications.

This will not only make you a more valuable employee, but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.  Another tie in to taking initiative and showing you are a real team player to your boss.

Overall, earning a promotion takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to go above and beyond. By being a team player, communicating, taking initiative, and continuously improving your skills, you display your potential for a promotion.  You will pave the way for a successful career with your current employer and the sky’s the limit!

For more career best practices check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Getting a Raise

How to Ask for a Raise – and Get It!

Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking experience. Showing your value is an important part of advancing your career and earning what you’re worth. You need to prepare, whether you’ve been with your company for a few months or several years. Here are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting the raise you deserve.

Research Before the Meeting

First and foremost, it’s important to do your research. Find out what the market rate is for your position and level of experience. The information you find will inform your salary request. Consider factors like cost of living, industry trends, and any additional skills or experience you’ve gained since you started.

Once you have a clear understanding of what you should be earning, schedule a meeting to discuss your compensation. This meeting with your supervisor should be done in-person. With remote working more popular, you might only be able to connect via Zoom or conference call, and that’s okay. You need to remember a remote video call should be handled just like an in-person meeting, respectfully.

Confident Communication

When you approach the topic of a raise in your meeting be confident and direct. Start by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to work for the company. You then should state your case for why you believe you deserve a raise. Use specific examples of your accomplishments and contributions to the company.

You need to highlight any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on since you started. Paint a picture that’s easy for your boss to see why you’re asking and why you deserve more money.

Be Open to the Solution

It’s also important to be open to feedback from your supervisor. They may have concerns or questions about your request. However, they may just need time to review your performance and gain additional approvals.

Be willing to listen to their perspective and work together to find a solution that works for you both.  Always stay on good, terms with your manager for a healthy working relationship in the future.

If your supervisor is not able to grant you the raise you’re asking for, ask for specific feedback. You need to find out what you can do to earn your raise in the future. This can be an opportunity to set goals for your performance and work towards a higher salary in the future.

Throughout the process, it’s important to remain professional and respectful. Avoid making demands or ultimatums You need to focus on finding a solution that benefits both you and the organization. Remember that asking for a raise is a normal part of the career advancement process.  You have the right to advocate for yourself and your worth.

Finally, you can increase your chances of success with preparation and a little research. Do your due diligence, be confident and direct, and be open to feedback and collaboration with your supervisor. By taking these steps, you can advocate for your worth and take your career to the next level.  Wishing you all the best for the future!

For more career tips and inspiration follow my website: KathyHusserTempe.com