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I’m Linked!

I was informed yesterday that LinkedIn was a great site for freelancers (or anyone for that matter) to get networked.  So, being the ever-evolving, ever-expanding freelancer that I am, I signed up.  Amazingly, in a matter of about 6 hours, I had 6 connections (1:1 not being a bad conversion if I do say so myself) and 2 recommendations. 

Doing great work for people pays off in many ways.  Obviously, there’s the monetary value, but really, what good is the monetary value if you only get one project?  It better be a great paying project if that’s all you’re going to get.  There’s always the hope that whoever you are providing the service for will like your work so much that they think of you when the next project comes around.  Both of my recommendations profess that they plan to use my services on future projects.  One of the two I’m already doing freelance work for that has nothing to do with the original project I did. 

Another hope, and it helps with sites like LinkedIn, is that the individual will think to recommend you to others who may need same or similar services.  That’s really what this whole “networking” idea is about, isn’t it? 

The moral of this story is this:  Do above expectations work, network (network, network), and be available for projects that you know you can do, but that will also expand your talents and mind.  At least that is my own vision and personal mission statement.

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Today I transitioned my old blog into my new blog with WordPress, so I thought I should post in order to “break in” the new one.  One topic that has been on my mind lately is loyalty in the work place.  I’m curious how many people out there work for a job in which the loyalty goes both ways.  Many people would probably like to think this is the case.  I mean, who could purport possessing sanity AND stay in an occupation in which they feel they could easily get canned going into work the next day for no reason?  It gives us a sense of security to think that the loyalty we put into our job is also returned at the same, or at least at a relatively comparable, level.

But how do we know this?  Have we been put in any situation at the workplace to prove this, well, hope that we have?  Have our employers proven this to us in order to legitimize the sureity we have?  Or does an employer even have an obligation to prove this to us?

I’ve found over the years in the workforce that employers do not seem to have a great deal of loyalty in return for the hard work that has been put in on an employee’s part.  It seems like a very unbalanced system, the relationship between employee and employer.  As I watch around me, people are laid off, there’s a “reduction in positions,” etc.  My friend just informed me the other day that her husband, who has put in well over 13+ years at his job, has gone from making close to $30 an hour to around $14, due to the employer filing bankruptcy.  I guess some money is better than none, but how is this a fair trade for the loyalty he’s given them?

But what obligations, if any, do employers even have?  Or is it comparable to the parent who says “Do as I say, not as I do?”  Just like this sort of faulty parenting has a high failure rate, so does the company that chooses to adopt such faulty business practices. 

So, I’m sitting at my computer, minding my own business, when I suddenly get a pop up screen letting me know that my friend from years past would like to add me to his Yahoo friend list. First, let me say, that was a blast from my past! I have not talked to this guy in probably 3-4 years.

He belonged to a group of friends I hung out with at my Community College. He’s also part of a “subcategory” of those friends who are from Canada…my Canucks, as I used to call them. I loved these guys! They were fun, and I had a blast when we hung out.

But, as I grew and entered the world of “University,” my Community College friends drifted away into a new category…Old Friends. I went from always hanging out with them, to rarely talking, to now, when I’m overloaded with memories of my old friends and that chapter of my life.

But what do you say to old friends? Hi, how the hell are ya? (Did that). What have you been up to? (Please fill me in on the last 4 years of your life). It just makes me think how life is full of chapters. Chapter 1 – Birth…and on and on it goes, filling up with old friends and new friends who might eventually be classified as old friends.

But, written in this chapter of my life is the day where my “old friend” IM’d me, and now I must catch up, as much as one can through a little box on the screen, with one of my Canucks.

As this year is winding down, I find myself looking back at what 2007 has meant to me. This has been quite the interesting year, filled with losses, additions, and many mediocre “whatevers” in between.

Though I didn’t know it at that time, I began having symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis at the end of January. Well, at least this is when they became apparent enough to start causing some distress. March brought my daughter’s 10th birthday, but not before we had to put one of our family cats, Neo, to sleep (why do they call it that, anyway?) a few days before the big event.

Months of physical therapy brought me to the end of June, when numbness in my fingertips and arm made me realize something was going really awry within my body. Multiple tests, starting with a negative nerve conduction study and ending with an MRI that proved positive for lesions, started me on my journey called “What in the hell is Multiple Sclerosis and what does it have to do with me?”

Did I mention that this MRI took place one day after my 30th birthday and eighteen days before my wedding?

Yet another test, a lumbar puncture, done at the beginning of September, offered the doctors more ammo to shoot my way when it came to that fateful day (sounds so ominous, huh?) on November 9th when I received an official diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Fast forward to today when I put my second cat of the year to sleep. As I said, there were many other things in between all of those big events. I call them mediocre “whatevers” because, keeping in perspective of all the others, they just don’t seem as big. A third cat ran away (we got him back), my car broke down (I got a new one), I fell down some stairs at work (I got 6 staples in my head…oh, wait, that wasn’t a positive!).

So what have I learned from this year? Good question. Well, I’ve learned that you shouldn’t plan too far ahead because crazy things like MS just might rear its ugly head in your life. I’ve learned that an identity is an ever-changing thing. I’ve learned to hold the handrail while walking down the stairs, especially if they are cement! 🙂

I’ve still got a lot to learn from this year, and it may take most or all of 2008 to learn it. A lot has happened to throw me for a loop, and I’m slowly regaining my balance (no MS joke here either).

What I knew prior to 2007 is that I am strong. Though this seems like a massive amount of life-altering events to take in (and it is), I am confident that I will find ways to come to terms with all that 2007, and life in general, has brought upon me….it just may take a bit longer than usual. Happy 2007 and may 2008 be a little calmer!

I often wonder what percentage of couples out there have fulfilling sex lives. I mean, ultimately fulfilling to both members. 

Sometimes it amazes me how people try to do the same things over and over whether those things are working or not. And then, they have the nerve to complain when life is not going the way they want it to go! Einstein stated it perfectly – “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Much could be learned from this man.

What does a 16 year old do when she has parents who are at opposite ends of the extremes on a rule? Especially, if she agrees with one or the other? The example I’m speaking of is facial piercings. If the parents are divorced, and the teenager is living half of the time with one parent, and half of the time with the other, does she side with the dad, who agrees she should make her own choice in the matter, or her mom, who is adamently against such a “mutilation” of her body? Well, because of her own desire to get a new “Monroe,” she sided with her dad, leaving her mom feeling like there was a blatant disregard of a rule that she had set in place. Is this a set in stone rule, however, if there is a 50/50 custody arrangment?
And how confusing for the girl! Does she put aside something that she wants to claim her uniqueness for the sake of “image concerns” that he mom bestows? Or does she allow her dad to take her (which he did) to get the piercing and live with the rage of her mom (which she did).
In my opinion, in regards to the mom, it really is more about the image than anything else. She talks of “mutilation of the body,” yet bears some descrepencies in that she allowed her daughter to get her ears pierced many years back. Still a form of self-mutilation, one could argue, yet a more socially acceptable one, indeed. The 16 year old in question is not dumb. She sees these descrepencies, along with her moms insecurities of how this will make her look as a parent when others see her child like this. This goes back to the teenager claiming her uniqueness, her independence, and her identity, apart from her mom.