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A different path for career & life assessment January 4, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All.
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Join me in my search beyond the job boards – a daily report of my activities around the compass from 1 to 360° beyond the traditional search – already in progress below.

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19. Hidden perceptions that damage relationships January 30, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Learning points, Networking, People skills.
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I worked with two people over the last 15 years who I’d prefer never to see again.  Both did something I considered a significant breech of personal and professional etiquette.  I admit, both events still boil me a bit.

Each of us package ourselves into little boxes based on our perceptions.  Boxes we often don’t even realize confine us because we’ve worn them for so long.   These perceptions become  boundaries and sign posts of our own making;  invisible markers that we use to guide us, never realizing that others follow their own sign posts that are just as invisible.

But something happened the other day that’s probably changed my life.

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18. Your great new idea may not be so new, but still great January 29, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Another job idea, Networking.
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As I review these federal grants, it’s become clear the bimodal distribution in proposal quality.  Some organizations understand how to write, package and present a grant; others clearly do not.

And they don’t seem to realize that writing style and presentation radically affect how grant proposals are received.  REGARDLESS of the actual content and ideas.

Grant writing is telling a story.  You’ve got to set the hook immediately.  Draw the reader in.  Then keep them interested and excited.  While grants aren’t fiction, many aspects of writing fiction can be applied.

My idea – help grant submitters tell a better story.  Or tell their story better.

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17. Rudyard Kipling on dealing with difficult people January 28, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Assessments, Learning points, Motivation.
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I wrote an entire post about my experience with Little Ms. Faux Fur Diva Wannabe at the airport yesterday, but I’ve decided not to post it.  It was a vignette on her bad behavior and attempts to bait me into anger, and my thoughts on dealing with difficult people through the lens of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If.”

But while the airport drama isn’t relevant, the message is.

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16. You snooze, you lose – getting paid for stuff you already know January 25, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Another job idea.
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I went scuba diving in the Solomon Islands about 10 years ago in a boat for 16.  We visited a few very remote villages and bartered with the folks there for beautiful carvings.

Children came up to us in awe and we taught them to do High-5’s.  The boys showed off their hunting prowess by shooting arrows into trees.  It was amazing to see life so simple.

I have an incredible scrimshaw that I got for a small bit of cash and 4 D cell batteries.  While a few small islands had running water, many kept a radio for communications, so batteries were a common barter.

After a good haggle for another item, I hemmed and hawed, and the carver just blurted out, “Hey – you snooze you lose!”  We all burst out laughing – where had he heard that term?  Another said, “Opportunity knocks.”  Then we realized that what they learned of the outside world came from visitors like us stopping by every few weeks to barter for carvings and fresh vegetables.  Just like we’d taught the kids to do High-5s.

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15. Rewards for doing the work you agreed to do January 24, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Motivation.
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So I’m in grant reviewing hell.  Preparing for that meeting on the left.   I could do a quick crappy job, or do the right thing.  Perhaps, unfortunately for my weekend, I tend to do the right thing.

I’ve written grants myself, and I know how hard it is to develop a good plan, good hypotheses, and then explain exactly what you’re going to do if you get the money.  It’s not like the government hands over $3M for a fishing expedition – a research term for “we’re gonna look at a lot of different stuff that we haven’t identified yet and hope we figure out something useful.”  Those types of proposals don’t (usually) make it too far.

Other proposals are a joy to read!  Heavy scientific terms broken down into descriptive language that can teach a non-expert while simultaneously describing the work.  Flow is logical, the ideas are neat.  And if the grant writers do their jobs well, I can get really excited about the proposed project!  Clarity + readability + neat project = GOOD SCORE = $$$$$$.

You’d think they’d figure that out.

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14. What constitutes progress every day? January 21, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Motivation.
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Pardon my sarcasm, but some days just suck.  What did I accomplish today?

Well, I spent some “quality” time with my computer, discussing exactly why increases in RAM result in the inability to go into hibernate mode.  Turns out that even if you don’t NEED to save all your RAM to hibernate, Windows NEEDS that much *contiguous* memory on your hard drive, just in case.

Now, my little old workhorse of a laptop is nearly squished to the gills with writing and pictures and work stuff and other joys of electronic life, despite my regular backups, cleanings, defraggings, etc.  (Hmmm, there’s that little red squiggle.  Seems “defraggings” isn’t a word. And neither is “defragging.”)

So sad.

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13. A new job always means new shoes, right? January 20, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Goals, Motivation.
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I went to go buy running shoes yesterday.  Since I started running a couple weeks ago, I’ve been on the edge of injuries again.  Knees, hip, foot.  Typical for pushing to hard at the beginning.

So my trainer sent me over to RoadRunner to get new ones.  Turns out they have a neat system called Shoe Dog to check out your feet, your ankles, your darn near everything related to running so you get the right shoes.

The *great* staff first made me take off my shoes and walk across a pressure pad that showed my footprint, and the pressure points where my heel hits the floor and where I toe off (the red areas).

Then I had to run barefoot on the treadmill while she videotaped the back of my feet as each touched the treadmill and went through the full foot-strike cycle.

After all this, I got the bad news.  My running gait is pretty crappy (not my fault!) and my current shoes the wrong ones.  So I got new shoes and it was pretty cool!

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12. Excercise is supposed to make me happy? January 19, 2010

Posted by Lisa in Goals, Motivation, Vent.
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To take my last job, I had to stop working out.  I’ve been with one trainer for a couple years and he’s excellent.  Before my last job, I could do 50 push-ups in one set and 5 pull-ups.  I used to run a 5K to warm up for my training session.

Now I’m a wimp.

Three hours in the car every day and a stressful job being the center of attack of a couple different groups, I was mentally and physically dead every night.  My trainer works in the opposite direction from my job and I wasn’t paying for a second gym membership.

My awesome win at the pool bar obstacle course in Cozumel last year – which included my sopping wet 50 pushups buzzed, and against a guy!  All that shot to hell.

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11. Internet Privacy and Social Media January 18, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Branding, Privacy, Social Networking.
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Facebook changed their privacy settings a few months ago, further restricting our ability to protect our personal information by 1) removing previous options to hide friends and pages, and 2) stashing previously accessible privacy options in non-logical places.

This has caused a backlash against Facebook, who attempts to justify the changes with inane arguments that mean nothing for privacy and everything to allow increased ad revenues, increased ability to mine for more email addresses, increased misunderstanding regarding default privacy settings, and the brand new feature that your information (profile, posts, etc.) can be searchable by search engines.

Wow.

And I’m sharing all this deep and meaningful stuff about my next move in life with 6.8 billion people?

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10. Showcasing (Bragging About) Your Expertise January 16, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Branding.
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Don't be afraid to scream, "I rock!"

I’ve had a strange problem with my email the last couple weeks and yesterday I finally solved it.  My “productivity ” of the day was to blog about it on my other blog.  That blog explores the basics of  solving Real Life problems. With, one might assume, actual Real Life problems.

So, to my problem. (Go ahead, make a smartass remark.  In a comment below.  I dare you. Heh heh.)

Anyway, I sent email from Gmail-address-A to a Yahoo group where I had registered with Gmail-address-A.  Yahoo rejected it back to me because IT ALLEGED I’d started sending emails to it from Gmail-address-B. But I hadn’t.

No matter what I tried, it *insisted* was sending from the wrong email address.  Grrrr.

But I had *proof* from my sent box and the messages’ headers!  But somehow, the Interwebs were screwing with me.

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