Tag Archives: Work

Learning Web Development

I’ve wanted to switch to web development / design for awhile now, but did not want to go back to traditional school.  I searched online a few weeks ago and found several options through a site that rated learning effectiveness for each option.  I decided to go with Treehouse because of their flat annual fee.  Meaning, I pay $xxx for a year and I can take 1 course or 100 courses.  They also bundle courses into a learning track.

I am taking the Front End Web Development track, so may periodically share my practice web site on this blog.  Here is what I have so far, which was the basic HTML / CSS course.  Pretty much a refresher for me.

18% Friendly? Why don’t we smile at each other?

I work in a string of seven buildings connected by halls. Each building has four floors and two wings. There are a lot of people here with at least three companies in occupancy.

It is common for people to walk the halls for exercise. This is especially true during the summer, when my company sponsors a walking/exercise program where you can earn an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 to $100.  My company has the bulk of office space here, so there are usually plenty of people walking at any given time.

I’ve noticed that not many people smile, or even make eye contact. Today I decided to see what percentage of people would display a minimal acknowledgement – such as a nod or smile.  This experiment took place right before the cafeteria opened and I saw 40+ people.  There were two small groups of people who were talking as they walked.  All of the others were individuals.

18%! Three people smiled AND gave a verbal greeting.  Out of those, I know one so I almost didn’t want to count her.  Another individual nodded, but did not smile or give a verbal greeting.

Out of all the others, a substantial majority did not even make eye contact.

Psychologically Damaging Office Setup

I just need to get this off my chest.  I work in an office where we only have 1/2 height walls with no wall towards the aisle. Most people sit with the backs of their monitors facing the aisle – so they’re looking out into the aisle.

Why is this psychologically damaging? It is a pose that looks inviting to the casual observer.  It is deceiving and has tricked me on more than one occasion.

You have to look for the casual signs that someone is not available for a quick conversation.  People have headsets when on the phone, but sometimes you can’t tell if they have a headset on.  Some people hang a sign on their monitor to let people know they’re on the phone.  Some of those people just leave their sign on ALL the time – which makes it blend into the environment or less reliable.  One person even has a sign up 100% of the time that says “DO NOT DISTURB.”  Yes, it is in all caps.

Let the Games Begin

This is how I feel about this massively huge and disorganized project I’m dealing with at work!  It is someone else’s project, someone who bites off more than he can chew and then asks for help.

Embed from Getty Images

Learn a Tradeskill

In response to If I Had a Hammer.

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

I would love to be a gardener.  Being locked up in an office all day is not natural, but it sure does pay the bills.  If money or good benefits weren’t an issue – I would switch to an outdoor, physically active job in a heart beat.  Jobs I’ve considered in the past include gardening or landscaping (but I only like the planting & planning part).

Here’s a good fantasy job for me – alchemist.  I play fantasy games and alchemy is a popular crafting aspect of many games.  It would be interesting to roam the land for fresh supplies and craft a variety of potions.

Fantasy doesn’t pay the bills or provide good benefits though.

Guess I’ll stick with my office job after all!  At least my cube city is not as bad as this!!!

© Vasilyev Dmitry / Dollar Photo

Woe Is Me

You brought me down when your job was to build me up. You attacked me when you should have guided me.

You took a broken person who was on the mend and tore new wounds. Your words could have divided our team but instead I am finding that it is building new and stronger relationships. But not in all cases.

We know that you have favorites. We see that opportunities go to the few. We see that special recognition goes to the few.

I plan to remain strong. I plan to use this as a learning experience to benefit myself. I plan to use this to build on the tenuous relationships I have formed as a result of this.

Peace out!

Boldly Enhance My Career

In response to DP – To Boldly Go…

An impending new year gives rise to reflection and goal setting. What will your goals for 2014 be? It’s never to early to start thinking about self improvement!

I think that 2014 will bring about a career related change.  I don’t know what it will look like at this point, but something must happen in that area.

I am an instructional designer.  That means that I analyze training needs, design the training, sometimes develop it, never deliver it (that is someone else’s job), and evaluate effectiveness.  I like doing most of this.

What I don’t like is the environment.  Very large corporation, poor internal communication, too many people who don’t want to be there (including me), and a TON of negativity.  It takes too long to get things done and there is too much resistance to running training like a business (measuring results that are clearly outlined with stakeholders) instead of like an order taker.  We don’t “do training” right here either.  We skip essential steps and short cut others.  It is a BIG ugly mess that only a handful of people are interested in fixing.  Several people resist fixing the mess, while most are indifferent.

What could this career change look like, you ask?  Or maybe you didn’t ask and it was the voice inside my head.  I’ve been thinking about this for a LONG time.  I love learning new things.  My Via Me report calculated that as my highest Signature Strength.  I also have a great deal of interest in helping people.

With those two characteristics in mind, I have been looking into the possibility of becoming a business, executive, or leader coach.  Coaching is becoming more and more in demand and I believe I have a related skill set in my Instructional Design.  I have teaching experience and didn’t really enjoy that, but coaching is very different.  Teaching is telling, explaining, demonstrating, guiding practice, etc.  International Coaching Federation, an coaching standards organization, defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Big goal.