I haven’t received my diploma yet, but I am officially done. That makes me the proud new owner of a Masters degree in Engineering Management.
More importantly, however, this makes me the extremely excited owner of infinite free time. Or so I tell myself. Realistically, I still have a full-time job and spend 2-4 hours at aerials classes every day…
BUT GUYS. I HAVE MY WEEKENDS BACK.
So that means I suddenly have time to cook all my meals, keep my apartment clean, hang out with friends, train for a marathon, AND still have time to binge watch Netflix every once in a while… right? 🙂
Today, one of my coworkers was instructed to delegate a task that he was assigned because he’s got a lot on his plate. So he sent me a message saying “hey, I’ve been told to delegate this task and I’m pretty sure there are zero people in the company who have relevant experience with both of the things involved in it who aren’t you. Can you do it?”
Of course I said yes. And then I felt really special, cause there are a lot of people in the company and being the only one who literally anything is a pretty big deal. Realistically it’s just a coincidence due to my current and former positions, but regardless, I felt awesome.
Look, I’m writing about something that’s not aerial! It’s almost as if I do other things occasionally (which I totally do – I go to work, do my homework, eat, and sleep!). Incidentally, this “story” is about work.
For the past several months, I have been working with a team to develop a new process which allocates funding for emergent, unplanned work. It was the reason for my last business trip, it typically involved having four (or more!) meetings a week, and it was generally a massive part of what everyone on the team has been doing for most of 2015. More importantly, though, we officially released the process on April 1st and it has been a huge success.
One day I’m going to have to come up with something to put in this “Aim to Improve” category other than the professional development books I read, but for now this is what I’ve got so it’s going to have to do.
So this book. This book has been recommended to me over and over again by professors, by the internet, by various other people in my life…. Because I’ve been in and out of airports so much, and therefore have had a lot of free time with limited options for how to fill it, I finally decided while I was on my first business trip in October to go ahead and buy the book. Despite extensive travel since then, it took me until my most recent business trip two weeks ago to actually finish it.
Now don’t get me wrong, this book is chalk full of excellent advice. And there were a lot of stories and examples that I found genuinely fascinating and really made me rethink my day-to-day interactions. But, despite interesting subject matter, it was not an easy read. The chapters were very long and although the content was valuable, I still felt it was a bit more verbose than needed. Regardless of my feelings, though, this book has been a best-seller for quite some time so obviously people like it and I’ve definitely been trying to work on incorporating some of the things it suggests.
There is a Women’s Empowerment Network in my office that holds various events and offers a variety of forums for communication between women in my field. A while ago, someone posted a link to a book called Knowing Your Value on the group’s internal social media page and suggested that everyone should read it. So, I ordered a copy online and decided to finish it before we got to this year’s performance reviews, which are coming up in the next few weeks, so I could be more prepared to positively represent myself during the discussion.
The book focuses on the pay gap between men and women in the same job and, similarly to what I’ve heard about Cheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, suggests that part of the reason women don’t get paid as well is because they are less likely to ask for raises. And when they do ask, they ask poorly and are less likely to succeed than men who ask the same thing.
In my last stay in shape post, I talked about how in order to reach my fitness goals I had to stop making excuses. Back when I wrote that post, I had just run a 10k. Now I have a casual birthday half marathon under my belt and am training for an actual half marathon race in October. Not making excuses has been a really important part of making it to that point!
But, it’s not the only thing I’ve learned; far from it, in fact. So here’s part two – with another really important lesson: it’s going to suck at first. Probably for a while. Keep doing it anyway.