Monday, January 2, 2012

Lessons Learned in 2011

The year is over and I realized a few things when I began to reflect on the past year. I've been thinking about blogging lately, and wasn't able to post as much as I'd like. However, I thought I would start the new year off with some overall lessons that I've learned over the last twelve months.

1. Ask for what you want.
Now this one may seem simple and straightforward, but last February I had finally taken an official stand in my job as the print shop operator. I was done with going above and beyond and finally asked for something I had wanted and felt I had deserved: a raise! I did not receive one even eight months later. Which brings us to number two...

2. Don't be afraid to take a stand.
I had articulated my reasons for a raise with three pages of bullet points noting things I'd accomplished outside of my job duties. I had several conversations and impromptu meetings with my supervisor to explain why I had felt I deserved said raise. There were some major cuts in funding in Texas education, so my timing couldn't be worse.

3. Know when to take a break.
I eventually stressed myself out emotionally, mentally and physically, and led to an extended injury with my back. I think all of the combined reasons above triggered the pain, and I realized I could no longer "do it all" myself. After months of physical therapy, I had decided to look elsewhere seeing no other choice. This all brought me to the next goal in my life.

4. Find the "right fit".
I'm not talking shoes here, but a good solid fit in employment. I had poured my heart and soul into something that just wasn't panning out. So after nine months of searching and sending out hundreds of resumes, I found a great company to work for in September. After a successful in-person interview, I was chosen for the position.

5. Above all, NEVER lose your ambition.
Starting my fourth job in three years was admittedly embarrassing and frustrating for me. I was always a planner and to be confused about my life at the age of 24 was not helpful! (I even purchased a book titled, "The Quarterlife Crisis"!) For several months, I was completely saddened by the lack of results my hard work had failed to produce. I tried to remember how positive I had been on the day of my college graduation and that thought somehow pulled me through one of the toughest years I've had so far. I understand the importance of having this ambition and how this fuels your motivation and dedication to do anything.

Last year was a little rough for me professionally and personally, but things are looking up! I've passed my three month mark with my new company and I'm loving every day of it! Being happy is what 2012 is all about. Find your happiness no matter what that means!

Cheers to all of you and here's to a great year.

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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