I'm looking forward to improving my skills/abilities and gaining more.
Life is about growing and changing as new opportunities
present themselves to you.
Marketing | Operations | Sales | Technical
Picking one of these fields to pursue was challenging, however, I feel like there are great opportunities within all of them. Although, I don't have much experience with programing, removing that option was not too hard. After reading more information about sales and researching the average workplace environment, I also ruled out sales for the time being.
It was a tough challenge deciding between operations and marketing. I am really interested in both options, but In the end, I had to pick the role that would best fit me. People that fit well in marketing are tinkerers, optimizers, and like finding creative ways to do things. This really relates to my skills and personality. So here I am, kicking off my marketing development.
During the month of December I am going to be working on a portfolio project showcasing skills and traits I want to learn and improve on. This list is about establishing beneficial skills and traits that might need a little more attention during my personal brand's development.
I want to use my imagination to create astonishing ideas and projects. I have always been a creative person, but I really want to show that even more through this project! It's a given that I'll bring my creative edge to any project I work on, but as I continue developing my brand I need to make this one of my top priorities.
Honestly, I've always loved the art of videography. Recently I had to create two videos and realized I really want to work on developing this skill. I also found out that when I'm in front of a camera a lot of my old negative social habits come out. Improving this skill will definitely be beneficial in my future. In a way, it's closely related to public speaking.
Being a strategic thinker is an incredible skill, but you need to have the proof in order to claim yourself as one. I want to prove that I'm deserving of the Strategic Thinker title. Coming up with ideas around challenging issues and constructing an overall aim for any project is a substantial demonstration.
I've been told I'm extremely charismatic, but my current brand does not really show that side of my personality. Showing my charismatic side will help people understand how I interact with others. Maybe my inexperience with publicly sharing my views, thoughts, and opinions has affected my content creation thus far.
Here are five ideas for projects I could do to learn and improve on these skills. All of them really intrigue and resinate with me. If I had enough time I would honestly accomplish all of these options.
1. Developing a website about traveling to the Twin Cities.
During this project I will document cool unique things that make traveling to this area seem like a MUST. I will be providing coverage of my journey, from creating a website, to exploring new locations. I will show people the ins-and-outs of this place. I've always loved traveling/exploring and this idea could even expand into a multiple city challenge.
2. Creating a website about activism and awareness.
Being able to bring awareness to certain topics has always been a passion of mine. I would love to do that on a greater scale, even traveling to further destinations to develop this. Something like this would be perfect for my personality (Explore my personal personality test results: ENFJ) Combining this with my photography talent could help revolutionize many things. I honestly get chills thinking about bringing awareness to a struggling culture.
3. 30 days of photography.
Taking and posting pictures everyday on my website would be extremely challenging. I could even combine with certain subjects, like activism or traveling. This would be a huge accomplishment and I could even blog/vlog my creative process from traveling-editing. It would also help develop my journey as a freelance photographer.
4. Creating a website/brand about learning new foreign skills.
It would be so cool going to a website that's documenting people learn new things. Like for example, a person with no knowledge of coding, learned to code and documented the process. Or learning a new language and documenting the process, reviewing how well the program you picked worked for you. Even creative skills, like painting and filming could produce valuable and interesting content. Through the years it could develop into a modern variation to "_____ for dummies."
5. Experimental Interior design business development
I was discussing portfolio project ideas with my previous employer/friend and he had a suggestion. He is currently weighing the idea of starting an interior design business and was curious if I could help create some content for him. This would include developing a trial website, logo, brochures, flyers, business cards, etc. I've always enjoyed brand development and this would be a great way to document my creative process.
Maybe I will continue working on the list even after the month of December and see what I can create. Ideas that have an ability to expand into larger plans are great examples of a strategic brain, I intend to make any of these well thought out and orchestrated.
This week Praxis asked me to film a video discussing two articles I had to read on career development. Here is that video
Watching videos like this can help expose you to different perspectives. I find having an open mind can be a very valuable skill to have, especially when having a group brainstorming session. Even if you disagree with someone's pitch, many times you can find something within the pitch that can add to your own.
As promised, here are the links to the articles:
Marc Andreessen's "Guide to Career Planning"
Wait But Why's "Guide to Picking a Career"
Learning how someone works can be intriguing and educational. This is my documentation of how I work.
Location: Hudson WI (close to St. Paul MN)
Current gig(s): Praxis participant, photographer, Kwik Trip third shift co-worker, Culvers co-worker.
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: MacBook Pro
One word that best describes how you work: Diligently. I push myself to constantly be on top of the content I create. This helps me establish an edge to my projects that sets them apart from other people's content.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
My camera, Spotify, Photoshop, Apple Maps, and coffee.
What’s your workspace like?
You will usually find me either working in a comfortable chair with a blanket, or sitting at a sleek wooden desk rapidly typing away. I always have a jug of water with me and am always carrying around something, either a notebook or iPad, scribble notes in. Oh, and we can't forget about the music that's playing in the background.
What’s your best time-saving trick?
I like finding ways to multitask. For example; If I need to make some phone calls, I will usually spend time making calls while editing photos or writing an outline for a future blog post.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Honestly, I prefer writing my own to-do lists and keeping myself accountable for them. It has worked very well so far, "so if it's not broke, don't fix it."
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Definitely my camera, notepad, and a high quality pen. I'm honestly not very attached to any gadget.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Being a dependable worker, friend, and strategizer. I could call many people and ask them this question. When it comes to being there for people, I am number one on their contact list.
What are you currently reading?
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz
What do you listen to while you work?
I spend most of my day with some background music playing. For the most part, it's random indie music. Honestly, it's subjective depending on the projects I'm working on. I have a list of artists and playlists I switch around from, to bring out certain personality traits. For example, when I am working on a project and need an extra creative edge, I listen to MØ or Banks. If I'm needing to hammer out multiple projects, and need to be extremely efficient, I listen to The Weeknd or a movie score.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I am an extrovert through-and--through. According to Myers-Briggs, I am an ENFJ and I definitely agree. Find out your personality type!
What’s your sleep routine like?
What an easy question with such a complex answer... I worked full time overnights at Kwik Trip for more than a year. A few weeks ago I switched jobs and now have a completely different sleep schedule.
When I worked overnights, I came home at 7:30am, slept until 1pm, pretended to be a normal person for a few hours, then went back to sleep until I went to work that night.
Now I go to bed at about 9pm and wake up at 6am. Even though it has now been weeks of my new sleep schedule, I still feel like I am trying to recover from my overnighting phase.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Live for you. Don't live your life a certain way doing something you hate. Never be afraid of making your own path, and discover what makes you happy and feel incredible.
I'm not scared of challenging the odds.
I'm not concerned about "proving myself" to people.
If there isn't a path for me, I make my own.
If someone tells me I can't do something, I make sure to do it and document it, and then share it with them.
I'll live my life doing what I love while being astonishing at it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Life is too short to be scared of doing something.
Thinking about things I want to improve about myself is easy. Like most people, I experience a list of insecurities and could easily list things
I want to "fix" about my personality.
However, this is a list of traits that I feel passionate about developing and improving within my personality complex. I have these traits but am looking forward to enhancing them. All indispensable employees have either these exact traits or a version of them.
Obviously with most people, confidence is a valuable trait that always can be improved. It is important to realize that there is a balance necessary during the process of developing self confidence. We all need to learn the difference between confidence and arrogance. When you are not mindful of finding a balance, it can be easy to come off as arrogant. Personally, I believe the balance is subjective depending on the individual. I have worked over the years on finding my personal balance. Though I may come off as a confident person now, I have struggled a lot with self doubt in the past. I am happy to see the improvement and watch how it affected my life.
Life is too short to doubt yourself.
I personally think this is one of the most important traits for leaders to have. Being able to charm groups of people, and inspire them can be incredibly beneficial in a work environment. I've been told that I am very charismatic, nevertheless I think its always important to improve your valuable traits. Some of my most memorable managers/leaders have been extremely charismatic. The skill not only helps win people over, but can also help when solving feuds within a team. Come to think of it, most of the managers/leaders I found distasteful were lacking charisma. Being charismatic was never challenging for me, I never had to go out thinking to myself "hey, remember to be charismatic today." Although I definitely think it is a trait you can improve, gain, and enhance, I believe a large part of charisma is natural.
In a world riddled with black and white structure, who wouldn't want someone who can see the colorful doorways. People with vast imaginations are not afraid of questioning things. This makes them extremely valuable in areas where strategic thinking is necessary. I want to enhance my imagination and learn how to push it to its limits. When I think of people I know with vast imaginations, I am constantly astonished by their creativity. Even just being around people that are incredibly imaginative can benefit you greatly. A few years ago, I noticed that the people I spent most of my time with subconsciously affected my work. If you know what each of your friends/family brings out in your work, this can be a valuable tool. Honestly, my imagination is one of my top favorite traits I contain. We are living in a world where individuality is at an all time low. Being unique in todays world is extremely valuable.
Experience is important, especially when it comes to decision making skills. Being exposed to a large amount of knowledge, and experience can help aid in the process of finding profitable alternatives. It runs even deeper than just having experience. When you are cultured, It shows you have a willingness to learn about alternatives. The acceptance of possibilities relates strongly to clear decision making skills. Wouldn't you want someone that is experienced, culturally aware, and open to new ideas on your team?
I know I would. Our current society understands this importance, but I still feel like we can gain more clarity on it. I believe that this is one of my stronger traits, but I'd love to continue furthering my exposure to cultural differences.
It is easy to understand why someone productive would be valuable in almost any situation. Knowing you can count on that person to push themselves and efficiently work through their projects, brings peace of mind. This allows you to have more flexibility with the workload you give them. It also can be a trait associated with fast learners, and people associated with great time management. Time management has been one of my struggles in the past. Being a creative child I always seemed to have my head in the clouds, constantly thinking of all the possibilities. This is a trait I have worked on developing, and will continue
improving throughout my life.
This is a list of my current top 3 skills. It may change
as I grow and develop.
The word creativity means, "the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, etc." My ability to be creative is something I have always held close. I have the ability to create something out of nothing. Whether it is taking pictures, sketching a face, painting a landscape, or coming up with unique ideas. Even as a young teen I was using my creativity to create value. When my friend Amanda came to me seeking help for her business idea, I not only helped her create a unique approach, but I also created professional business cards and flyers for her. If I was able to achieve that, with little-to-no prior experience, I knew I could develop that skill and create many opportunities. I've also used my creativity to kick off innovation, coming up with new ideas to improve conditions and efficiency at past/current employers.
As I continue in life I will continue to strengthen my creative skill and use it to add value everywhere I go.
Through the years I've had multiple opportunities to lead teams and every time I've noticed my ability to motivate them. I can help inspire a team of people to push themselves and become something great. When I coordinated regional events for a youth organization; I gathered my team, helped everyone identify their skills, and motivated everyone to push themselves and put on an incredible event. With positive attitudes we could always put together events that exceeded expectations. Even in the competition field, I motivated my fellow teammates to push themselves harder. By the end we had better scores because of it.
As I move forward and continue to lead teams, I will never stop motivating them and inspiring them to be amazing.
This is a skill that comes naturally to me, and I've used it for every job I've had. Being able to come up with effective plans that not only are sufficient for now but also later. When my friend came to me thinking about starting a pet sitting business I offered the idea of a dog walking alternative. Being from a very small town with little-no self transportation, she wouldn't have had many opportunities for work while still attending school. Dog walking was a much more reliable source of income for her. Let's be honest, people are lazy. If they're given the option to have someone consistently walk their dog sun, rain, or snow they will most likely take it.
As a strategic thinker I think about the options, find the most valuable option, and consider the future risks. When you open yourself up to the possibilities you can discover limitless potential.