And the winner is…

As we all know, the Academy Awards took place last night. All of Hollywood’s elite were out in full force in couture gowns and tailored suits, a gift bag filled with over $47,000 worth of stuff was given out to all the guests, and naked gold men were handed out to the best of the best… as if we could be anymore jealous of celebrities. If only the “real world” would take note and be like the Oscars on a daily basis.  

Even though I found last night’s telecast boring, besides anything to do with Jennifer Lawrence (LOVE LOVE LOVE her), the Oscars can be translated into a topic that every recent college grad should discuss with their employer, “how is success measured in the workplace?”

Actors get Oscars or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, singers get Grammys, and so on and so forth. So what do YOU get for being successful in your work place? How do you know if you are being successful? Ask these questions during the interview process. They will help you decide if you want to be a part of the company.

Firstly, you should ask, “what does a successful first year look like?” Asking this question shows that you and your boss are on the same page on what it takes to be successful in your position. You will know what actions and steps you’ll need to successfully make an impact on the company. You’ll also show off your inner over-achiever. 

Once you know what exactly you have to do to be successful, you’ll have a better understanding of how success is measured at the company. However, it is better to ask because, this way, your boss will reveal what values he or she really cares about. Does your boss value customer service or how many reports you file? You will know what it takes to succeed.

Just remember to keep pushing yourself and your limits. Success is a direct correlation to hard work. And in the words of Drake…

Optimistically Postive

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

After a weekend of bridal functions such as a bachelorette party, a bridal shower (both of which were a surprise), and a bridesmaid dress fitting (for a different wedding), I am back and will be regularly writing. On a side note, my first events as a bridesmaid went beautifully and I am so excited for the upcoming nuptials.

Keeping with the excitement and happiness, a fellow Viking, Lisa Phillips (@WkaFlkaPhillips) gave my the inspiration for this post. She asked, “There has to be some positives of post grad/working life, right?” And that got me thinking, “Alex, stop focusing on the drama at work for once and focus on what is positive.” Thank goodness my self is so smart. So here are the positives of being a recent graduate in the working world.

First of all, there is no homework. Try and grasp your mind around this okay? You leave work, come home, and you do not have to bring home any work. You’re done. There is no studying, writing papers, grades, tests, etc. It’s a beautiful thing to know that homework does not exist because work does not exist at your home (unless you work from home but that’s a different story). However, still utilize your time management skills, they’re crucial.

Secondly, you get paid to be there. During college, you pay them for you to go there. At work, they pay you to be there. Hopefully it is something that you are remotely interested in and you enjoy some aspects of your job. The fact that you get paid money to be at work is much better than spending a large, debt-accumulating amount of money to go to class. Paid vacation is even better, it’s like heaven.

Thirdly, you had to know I was going to mention happy hour? It’s my favorite time of the day. You are encouraged to go. I mean it is considered networking right?

The fourth positive is for my ladies and fashionably-inlcined men. You get to experience a whole new yuppie-chic wardrobe. You can look cute for a reason. Yes, wearing yoga pants everyday to class was great but putting some effort into your appearance makes you feel good. H&M, New York and Company, and Express have super cute clothes. In the words of Tim Gunn, “make it work!”

Lastly, there is a whole new respect level for us. I know it’s a hard, transitional period but there is hope. We’re supposed to be finding ourselves and learning everything we can. There is still so much ahead of us that our first job is supposed to be where we act as a sponge and absorb all the information we can. People do respect that you are trying and willing to learn. Yes, even after college the learning doesn’t stop but you can also learn at your pace and choose what you want to learn more about. Having this freedom allows us to become the professional that we want to be in the future.

If you can never find a positive, there is always wine. Happy hump day!

keep-calm-drink-wine

Friday @ 5: 5 reasons I love real world Valentine’s Day

Happy belated Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a Valentine but I’m not a bitter bitch either, but I can support a holiday that celebrates love and promotes chocolate. Yesterday was my first corporate Valentine’s Day and even though my diet went to hell, I actually enjoyed it, here are my reasons why:

1. Did I mention chocolate? Chocolate was going around the office faster than the common cold and I loved it. I would rather have chocolate than coffee in the morning, it just makes you feel good!

2. People give other people gifts, who then share them with you. So my sista from anotha mista got little mini cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes and sweet lord have mercy, they were to die for. Her jeweler gave them to her so she shared them with me. This is why she is my friend.

3. You can say Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! You know when you’re walking down the hallway and someone is coming the opposite way as you but it’s too far to say HI, but you already made eye contact? SO AWKWARD. But now instead of saying an awkward “hi,” you can just say Happy Valentine’s Day! Who knew the holiday could make the office less awkward.

4. People get flowers and the office looks and smells amazing. I’ve never gotten flowers but other people at work did and they were gorgeous. Their men did a good job! The office looked like a pretty garden and smelled awesome (instead of like stall cat piss). 

5. There are people who are more bitter than me. Now I know misery loves company, but there is something comforting about knowing that there are people out there who are more unhappy than you (that sounds a lot meaner than I meant it to). I believe happiness is a choice but there are definitely times when I feel like “damn my life sucks right now.” But knowing the fact that some people think their life sucks a lot more than me, makes me feel better. Self-centered I know but I’m a Leo, whatever. 

 Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!Image

Friday @ 5 (even though it’s Sunday): 5 drinking games to do during an audit

I’m really sorry for being MIA this week. My sista from another mista’s bachelorette party was last night so this week was full of planning and many trips to Spencer’s. Now I’m thrown back to reality and Sunday will definitely do that to you.

But this coming Tuesday, I will be experiencing another corporate first, I will experience my first corporate audit. So basically the state is coming in to make sure we are doing everything  correctly. I even had to sign an audit contract to make sure I would be on my best behavior. So obviously my college self sees these rules and automatically thinks “wow this would make a great drinking game.” Here is the audit drinking game I came up with…

1. Every time you hear the words, auditors, procedures, inspection, violation, and law. Drink.

2. Every time there is a violation. Drink.

3. Every time a law is referenced. Drink.

4. Every time someone says “Shit we’re screwed.”

5. You’re going through an audit and stressing out about passing. Drink!!

 

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PCD: Post College Depression

People are in the middle of the streets chanting Seven Nation Army. Purple and black are everywhere to be seen. Natty Boh man is dancing while encouraging the crowd to cheer.

That only describes a fraction of Baltimore last night after the Ravens won the SuperBowl. This time last year, I was a senior at Towson University, which is only 14.5 miles away from Baltimore. Needless to say, I’m really upset that I couldn’t be there for the experience of Baltimore after SuperBowl 47.

Baltimore winning the Lombardi trophy was just another instance that reminded me how much I miss college. Even though my senior year wasn’t ideal, I went through a rough break up, lived with and lost two of best friends because they ended up being totally different people than I thought they were, stop playing volleyball, and some other things that would constitute another post, I missed college so much that I went through a depression during the summer after graduation.

Being unemployed meant waking up, signing on my computer, and looking up/applying to every job I could on Indeed.com or CareerBuildering.com (repeat every day 5 times a day). I sent over 500 emails that summer, emails that probably went to the black hole somewhere in internet space.

I didn’t have money to go out all the time and quite honestly, I did not feel like going out. I just wanted to find a job and start my “post graduate life.” It was so discouraging and disappointing. That summer was one of the hardest summers I’ve ever gone through. Both of my parents were worried about me because for once in my life, they didn’t know what the future held for me.

Then in August, I finally got the job in Scottsdale, AZ. I thought the depression would be over. I cut people out of my life who did not put in any effort to be in it and I was ready to start the “post college chapter.” As it turns out, the depression was not over. I found out that I became not only depressed, but miserable and resentful because I was in a completely new place where I didn’t know anyone and I hated my job.

I would see pictures of my friends, on Instagram or Facebook, out having fun and hanging out and I became jealous and I resented them for that. Even the friends who I had cut out of my life made me miss my college life. It was hard to be happy and have a positive attitude when I felt so left out and alone.

However, I have realized that I am not alone. The friends who had stuck by me and the few friends who I have met in Arizona, have gotten my through this post college depression by being there to listen to me when I need it, no matter what. My parents and family have never left my side and they will do anything in their power to make me happy, even if my mom did not want to answer my phone calls because I was so miserable and unhappy about work.

My dad visited this weekend and we came up with a potential “game plan,” I’ll call it, Operation Joy, and he reminded me how amazing my family is. I should not feel alone or depressed because I’m about to start the new, new chapter of my life. I have a lot to look forward to and that helps me make the best of today.

My friend Katie told me today, “Yeah, I always get jealous of them but when I visit it’s always like we never left each other so I can’t wait for it to be that way again!!” I could not agree with her more. No matter how bad things are or how much they changed, my friends and family remain the constant factor that get me by. It also helps knowing that I’m not the only one who went through this.

I know this isn’t like a normal blog post and more like a sentimental heart-to-heart but the SuperBowl last night really solidified how not only how much I miss everyone but how much I appreciate them. Those players who fought so hard for something just reached the highest goal of the NFL. With the support and love of my family, I can reach my goals, as well. Surround yourself with encouraging, positive, and loving people and you’ll be able to get through anything.

Cheers and Boos

Sorry for my absence, I’ve had an upper respiratory infection and then my dad came to visit! We went to the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday and had the best time!! Totally recommend experiencing this event.

After a great weekend, I am depressed that tomorrow is Monday but it’s Super Sunday!! So eat, drink, and be merry!

And last but not least, let’s go Ravens!!!

Sniffleupagus

As if being a work isn’t bad enough, try adding a stuffy/runny nose, sore throat, and the voice of Peter Brady during puberty and that pretty much describes me today. Yup, I was that guy who constantly blew their nose every 5 seconds (sorry not sorry).

So that leads me to this post: How not to get sick at work!

1. Stay away from the sicklings! Rule of thumb says to stay at least 6 feet away from a sick person so cut the hugs and opt for an air five!

2. Wash your hands. Um duh. That’s self explanatory. 

3. Clorox your cubicle. Clorox wipes are will kill all of the germs on your desk that are waiting to infect you. Germs are everywhere so arm yourself against them!

4. Cover your mouth when you sneeze and/or cough. Another kindergarten lesson. If you do not to this regularly, that’s just foul. 

5. If you get sick, stay home! It’s not the ideal day off but it’s a reason to be lazy. 

Now my friends, I’m going to make myself a nightcap of some NyQuil, a spritz of Mucinex, and topped with some throat drops.Image