The Mortal’s Disadvantage

Hello mortal fuzzbutts!

As we are such furry furry little mortals, we need to keep that one little fact in our minds. We’re all going to die at some point, some sooner than others. There’s so many things we want to do. There’s even more things that some of us hold ourselves back from or we wallow in something from our pasts that keeps us from moving ahead in life. That is our disadvantage.

This is just a reminder that we don’t have all the time in the world to do the things we want to do. It’s not about being a hedonist where you indulge to excess, end it early, or being irresponsible about rushing toward your dreams. It’s about YOU getting YOURSELF in gear, finding the things that provide meaning in YOUR life, and working toward accomplishing what you can. Do you want to be an artist? You’re not going to do it by playing video games all day. Want to travel? Don’t wait until retirement when you’re old and creaky when you can scrounge up enough money to do it sooner (Being responsible, of course).

I want you to put yourself out there some more. Write down your dreams. Settle on some goals. Finish the things that are your current priorities and free yourself up for your real priorities. Narrow down the scope of your life. It may be fulfilling to try and work on a ton of things at once but you can paralyze yourself. Look at those people around you who are the most successful. Chances are, they’re really amazing at just a couple of things.

So the bottom line of today’s advice is to realize you’re going to die eventually. Whatever your belief system is, please make the most of it. Remind yourself every day whether it’s a post-it note, an app, whatever that you don’t have forever. So how are you going to spend today?

““If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll be right.”

Good luck, fuzzbutts.

Book Recommendation- 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview

Hi fuzzbutts!

Working hard at the new jobbo! It’s been fun so far and the training process is intense. Even then, they’re suggesting people don’t typically “get comfortable” until 3 months after they start. I intend on doing it within 2 months. Aaaaanyway, once I had the interview scheduled for the job, I had received a book recommendation from my pal Tabykat to study before the interview.

It’s a short book called 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview. It’s almost 200 pages. Before you panic and say you can’t read that many pages so fast, I’m just saying you should get it the moment you know you’re looking for a job or a promotion and review the stuff. Plus a lot of the pages are a decent skim or show tables, etc, so it’s not as onerous as it sounds.  It covers a lot of things an experienced professional things should already know but it also gives fascinating details and things to try.

Since I was feeling so desperate for this particular job (the lab was beautiful, it’s an industry I want to work in, I heard nothing but good things from people there), I did the extra work. Good news is that it worked! So what especially seemed to help? I’ll just go over what I wouldn’t usually do but I did it after reading and I feel like it helped.

Research the status of the company- how are the financials. Any good news from the company? Any new deals or partnerships? I had a chance to talk about this to the director who interviewed me and they were impressed with the level of detail I knew (even though it was about 10 minutes worth of googling). I also seemed to blow somebody’s mind when I mentioned how I liked the company’s recent growth spike.

Letters after the interview- I thought this was kind of a hokey idea. I had a rapid fire interview (different pairs of people for 30 minutes over a few hours). Between pairs, I’d jot down notes regarding each person about something we discussed. After the interview was all over, I wrote thank-you notes and mailed them to the company for each individual person, mentioning said item from the interview. Once I got my foot in the door, almost everyone mentioned it and seemed to appreciate the gesture. Considering all these people were part of the decision to hire me, it felt like a good move.

There’s a ton of other stuff in there that I think most people miss, especially those early in their career development. I just wanted to recommend the book in general because I feel like it helped me. I wasn’t sure when I bought it for my kindle, planning on returning it if I didn’t get enough out of it (since I paid full price when it’s dirt cheap for a physical copy) but I liked it enough that I felt it was worth the sticker price.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Organize that Desk!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay again. I recently started a new job and that has been eating up my time lately as I try to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The good news is I finally made it to the big leagues as far as my career is concerned. Onward to today’s topic!

So in my eternal quest to clean and minimize, I eventually get everything off the floor to wonder if I actually set everything onto my desk. Random tools from when I opened up my computer, sewing needles and thread, canned air, folded pieces of paper beyond numbering. I have a massive pile of random things and trash!

Once the trash was all cleared off, I went ahead and decided to look through the drawers. Well that shattered my illusion that I had everything in order. I’m a productive wuff, not the cleanest wuff. Sometimes, that’s just how wuffs are.

So even if it takes time, it’s important to go through your desk and work spaces and make sure you have everything you need and put the rest into its proper place (or the trash). Removing all that clutter makes it easier to find the things you need at your desk. Do you really need 5 sets of post-it notes? Maybe just keep one and put the rest somewhere out of the way. Also, keeping that fork at your desk for a prolonged period of time after eating that ramen noodle cup is kinda gross. Go wash that.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Reviewing the Pomodoro Technique

Hello fuzzbutts!

So I’ve been trying the Pomodoro technique some more lately. As a refresher, the Pomodoro timer relies on a 25-minute set of focused work, whether it be studying or working on a task, then a 5-minute break. Rinse, repeat as needed. It sounds interesting-taking a task at a moderate pace with specific time constraints so you know how long you’ll spend. It helps against things like procrastination when you’re thinking about the billion other things you can work on. Just 30 minutes and I’m done. If you’re still feeling good at the end of your break, you can go for another round!

So what do I like about the Pomodoro technique?

First, it’s simple. You can get a timer (or an app) and just turn it on once you’re ready to begin your task. 25 minutes tends to fly by pretty fast once you get started. You can schedule it ahead of time and you’ll be able to finally tackle those tasks with focused work. If you prefer structure, this would be very helpful for you.

What don’t I like about it?

Well, it can feel very unnatural as you get to work. If you get into the task pretty deep, you can reach the famous Flow State. The last thing you feel like doing once the timer goes off is actually stop! You’ve got your groove going, you’re accomplishing stuff! So maybe you end up ditching the Pomodoro technique anyway to keep working. Or maybe you follow the Pomodoro, grudgingly stopping, taking a breath, and then try to dive right back in. Maybe you’ll hit it with gusto or you blew the flow state and can’t quite get back into it.

So what’s the verdict?

The Pomodoro technique works for anything you don’t actually want to do. Always procrastinating something? Use Pomodoro. Dreading studying for a test? Use Pomodoro. What about things you want to do? Just do them! You like drawing? Drop Pomodoro and just draw. Hate drawing hands and want to get better? Use Pomodoro. It’s just a matter of discovering what is difficult for you and using the Pomodoro technique to help you overcome it. If 25 minutes seems too short, you can always increase the work time.

So start experimenting with it and see where you might be able to make more progress!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Change of Plans!

Hello fuzzbutts!

So my last post, nearly 2 weeks ago now, was about making the changes you need. I described my job situation as my example and all the stuff going through my brain. Well! Change of plans again! I got the new job, showed up, and knew instantly in the first 5 hours that this wasn’t going to work. I finally got the tour of the location I was supposed to work at. It was way worse than the place I had originally toured. I, unfortunately, thought the labs were consistent. Not so much! Even before the end of the first day, I knew this wasn’t going to be acceptable for my ambition. Stability is one thing. This place was soul-crushing. Most of the people I met at that place were already in the process of quitting because of how bad it was. I already left my last job and now I had to leave this brand new job. Disappointment all around!

So maybe it’s a cautionary tale about change, you’re thinking. “Don’t make change! You’ll end up jobless!” No. Still not what I’m saying. One thing I will say I would not have made the change if I had just asked for/put pressure on them to let me tour the lab I was going to actually work at. Lesson learned for me before accepting work ANYWHERE.

Granted, this situation is not ideal. I’d prefer to be working right now. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll find other work in a place that I won’t find soul-killing. However, I will take solace in the fact I have money saved, a good living situation, and freedom to explore more options with more time, catching up on some things I fell behind on (like this blog).

So, given this situation, I decided to explore my options. I didn’t burn my bridges (see earlier post about that) with the old company so I might be able to just ask for my job back. However, maybe this was the boost I needed to explore even more places. It’s hard to decide. So I went seeking advice.

My old mentor suggested it would be ok to ask for the old job back if I was clear about what happened with the new job. Recent former boss said the situation was already pretty precarious for the group even before I left so, assuming they take me back, I’d be in a bad spot since they might not even want people of my level. Maybe. I know the things they were working on and that I would be pretty important to get those going. Still, the trust is broken.

Speaking with other friends, I feel like there’s ways to proceed. I’m reaching out to other contacts to see if they have anything going on at their locations. I know how slowly the old job hires so I don’t expect to be replaced and I feel like I left on a high note so, unless they were moving in a different direction already, I don’t expect to get turned down if I wait a little while to try my other options. Ideally, I want something new and research based. Research is never 100% stable but I think I would prefer some instability over the depressing routine that I almost volunteered for.

So what about you? Well, even if things suddenly fall apart for you, my point is to gather up as much information as possible and start weighing options again. I felt like I was having a panic attack at the new job. Usually I’m good about keeping cool but this blew me out of the furry waters. However, a good night’s sleep later, I feel much better about this uncertain situation and started gathering the data I need to make an informed decision. While I’m not happy about dumping the old job to just become temporarily unemployed, I feel like I can still make a move in the positive direction. I hope it works out and I hope you get something out of my blog.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Change Change Change

Hi Furries!

Well I made my own leap recently and got a new job! Notified my current employer and training people to take over for me. In less than two weeks, I’ll be working in a new industry (for me). Recent post from me was avoiding Burning Bridges! So now I’m trying to make this transition as smooth as possible. They appreciate it because there’s a lot on the line if things would stop. So I’m still doing my best with less than 2 weeks to go.

I’m excited for this new job but there’s a nagging feeling at the back of my mind. Am I going to actually enjoy this new job? It’s probably really different from things I’ve done before. I know the job and I know the people I’m leaving. It’s one of those “the devil you know vs the devil you don’t” situations. I have no idea how the new situation will be and yet I know how bad the current situation is. Will the new one be worse, better? It’s hard to change! You can actually get comfortable being unhappy when you’re not sure if things will get better by taking the leap. Writing this blog and working on myself for the past almost-year now has led me to the following: Changing a lousy situation is always better than staying in the same place.

So what drove me to make this change? I knew I wasn’t pleased with my current job. After almost 5 years there, I was busted back to doing the same job I did when I was first hired. Granted the pay was better (I had been promoted twice), but this job was becoming stagnant. On top of that, I had survived 4 mass layoffs at this job and every time, the CEO or management comes out and says “This is a good thing. We’re getting more focused. You’re all safe.” After so many rounds of that, there’s a reduced sense of security. So maybe I’ll get cut eventually. So I wasn’t developing professionally and I didn’t see the place improving. Does that justify switching to a new industry and employer? Well it’s time to weigh the option to decide if change is right.

I don’t know the people I’ll be working with. They could be cool or way worse. What about the environment? It won’t be as pristine as the lab I used to run and the instrumentation might not be as fancy. Maybe not but there’s definitely a certain instrument there that is new to me and I would love to get experience with. What about money? Well it’s the same for the moment but in 6 months I’m guaranteed a significant raise so yeah the money will be better too. Commuting distance ? Well it’ll definitely be shorter and I will avoid freeways now so that could mean a lot more free time to do things! Advancement? Well it looks like maybe 2 years to become an official manager. I’ve been a mentor for years already and was recently passed over as a manager for somebody who already had official experience at my current job. I don’t see any changes coming within the next 2 years that would allow me to become a manager so I guess it’s better to change. Can I take the experience elsewhere? Yes. I’m going to be working in a place that is part of infrastructure and will allow me to move wherever I want! That’s awfully nice for somebody, like me, who plans to leave SoCal someday.

So I came to the decision that change is needed. I’m anxious, sure. I don’t feel great about it. I’m finding myself needing to do a little more meditation more often. It’s definitely uncomfortable but that’s how you move on to bigger and better things. It’s not incredibly different from changing my diet to improve my health or working out more or reading more books. I hope you can find something to improve in your own life. Pick one thing at a time and make the changes you know you need!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Going for Walkies!

Hello fuzzbutts!

One thing I think a lot of us could work on some more is getting outside more often. It’s not the common furry that goes out and about to try new things or see new places. I’m very guilty of this, myself. I’m not even talking about in-suit. I just mean going out. The world around you can be fascinating and beautiful. So why not explore and see if there’s anything out there?

Well, I’m not really into just going out on my own so I started inviting friends. They’ve been working on their own levels of fitness and they were open to hanging out and going for walks around some of the areas none of us really checked out. Top of a mountain that people walk up regularly or a long trail that ends in a waterfall. It’s all enjoyable and you’ll hopefully feel a sense of accomplishment that you finally did something like that. Go with friends. An 8-mile hike might feel pretty daunting by yourself but friends make it amazing and fun. So look up some trails and interesting areas around your place and invite your pals to go with you!

Another thing I might try experimenting with is leading a group. Once I feel comfortable checking out a lot of these hikes and trails, I might start inviting more and more furries and make it a furmeet type of thing, only health-helping.

Good luck fuzzbutts!