postaweek2011

In their shoes

I’ve really been enjoying work recently.

Last week I got to move from a desk in the customer service area to one in the accounting area. I decided to move because the noise in the customer service area made it very difficult for me to focus. My new desk is in an area with much less foot traffic so I also have fewer unplanned interruptions.

As a bonus, I’m sitting next to a window again, this time on the second floor so I get a nice view of the wetland across the street. Since I moved, I’ve accomplished about twice as much as usual and I’m just generally happier.

Timing couldn’t have been better either. I’m always super busy at work, but in the next few months we have more large projects planned than we did for all of 2010.

I am excited. The type of work we have planned for the next few months is what I love: system implementations and large custom development projects (by large I mean likely to take at least several weeks, I know that isn’t “large” to some). Both of these mean I get to do more analysis, requirements gathering, documentation, and project management than I have for the past couple years, and as a result mean I will be more entertained at work.

One of the implementation projects is to take a piece of software we’ve been using in some of our locations and implement it in our office in England. This software is one that I am very close to; We had another company develop it for us, but I led the team internally for requirements gathering, testing, and implementation.

Even though I know it would be a challenge for me to keep up with my user support role, continue pushing smaller projects through, and project manage this implementation, I was really looking forward to it.

But then today I learned that I may not get to play the role in this implementation that I’d hoped for. My managers are considering having a project manager that we’re working with on another project handle a large portion of the project management for this implementation as well.

They have all the right reasons, and if I were in their shoes I would do the same. Hell, six months from now I might really appreciate that someone else got the assignment.

But not now. Right now I’m just disappointed.

Pen and Paper

I use To Do lists at work all the time. I have a list of every project or issue that I’m working on. My work To Do list is a combination of a list of projects that are in progress and actual tasks that I need to do. It can be overwhelming at times, but it helps me remain focused.

Throughout the week I check off tasks that are completed, update my notes on things that are delayed and add new items. Every Monday morning I review the previous week and create a new list. I may have to set things aside to deal with critical issues or new projects, but at least I’m organized when I am ready to pick up from where I left off.

I used to be organized and productive at home too, but when I returned to school in 2005, my approach to home life changed. When I wasn’t working or studying, I did just what was needed to get by; cooking, laundry, etc. I’ve been officially done with school for just over a month and had expected that by now I would have gotten rid of the clutter in my living room and kitchen, set up a little studio space somewhere in my house for when I feel like painting or being crafty, begun work on a painting I abandoned two years ago, and finished two books that I have half read.

Sure, the holidays happened (and for my family the holidays didn’t end until mid-January), but I’ve also been playing games until I’m beyond bored and watching shows on Netflix when I actually feel like being active. Heck, it has even been two weeks since I my last post (It’s a Post a Week challenge, not a Post When Ever You Get Around To It challenge).

It has become apparent to me that I really need to break the bad habits I formed while in school and become more disciplined. Now this isn’t to say that I’ve been ignoring my New Years resolutions, but I know I can do better.

I know. I’m rambling again.

What I’m getting to is that the way I approach things at work is completely different from how I approach them at home. Thinking through all of this helped me to realize that one simple thing can help me gain some momentum: A To Do list.

My approach will be similar to what I do at work. I’m listing my Resolutions (projects), along with the short term tasks that need to happen (Such as cleaning and rearranging/reorganizing the living room), and any other things that are going on that week (such as: games with friends Saturday).

Also, like at work, I’ll be preparing my To Do list in a pen and paper format. I know there are advantages to making a digital To Do list, but I’ve found that making my To Do list with using pen and paper helps me remember my list and helps me avoid the distraction that my computer can offer (look, StumpleUpon! ooh, shiny!).

Of course, it also takes some discipline to actually do what is on my list, but I don’t think that will be much of a problem.

Vacation

I am in the final hours of a week long vacation. It was much like a nine day weekend, and it was amazingly relaxing. Hubby and I haven’t spent so much time together in a very long time.

In the past couple years, when I’ve taken vacation time, it has normally been a long weekend, involved several days spent with my family (without Hubby), or I have taken vacation time at a different time than hubby (one of the challenges of working for the same company in the same department, and of my school time).

We spent quite a bit of time playing Titan Quest: Immortal Throne; a very amusing top down co-op RPG.  I read a little more of The DaVinci Code (very interesting, even though I’ve seen the movie). I made some Mac & Cheese Cups, and tried making Granola Bars (I’ll need practice).

It was a great week, other than straining my back while shoveling wet snow, and I’m looking forward to returning to work tomorrow (yes, really).

What comes next: anticipation and anxiety

When I went back to school, I had a grand plan: after graduating I would be qualified (by both project management experience and degree) to take the Project Management Professional test. I would study for a couple of months, take the test, and get my certification. After being certified, I’d try to get a project management job at Turbine.

I was in love with Turbine at the time, and still am, but I’ve realized that Turbine isn’t the only place I’d like to work, so I broadened my horizons. I want to work in a role where I can contribute the creation and support of video games (console, PC, mobile, you name it).

Last year I promised myself that I wouldn’t wait for the certification. It is still a goal (for this year even), but it doesn’t have to come before finding a job in the gaming industry.

So here I am, anticipating the thrill of finding a job and company that is a perfect fit for me and anxious about all of the things that a new job might mean for me.

The thought of a new job scares the hell out of me in some ways. I’ve worked for the same company for the past eleven years (That’s more than one-third of my life, yikes!), so it is comfortable; it feels like home. It would also mean a big move for my husband and I. We live in Bellingham (between Seattle and Vancouver, BC). I hope to find something in the Seattle area so that we can move between Bellingham and Seattle so Hubby doesn’t have to leave his job, but it is still a major change for us.

A new job would be exciting tons of reasons that I’ve shared before, but most importantly because if I choose well it will be a place where I can learn, grow, and be challenged. I know I’m odd, but I really like my work, when it is challenging (unfortunately, recently it hasn’t been). I could go on and on, but those are topics for other days.

I wake up every night thinking about it. Would Hubby really be comfortable moving out of state if I were to find something at Turbine or SOE? Will I be confident in interviews (the thought of interviewing terrifies me)? How do I meet people who work at the places that I want to work? What can I do to make my resume’ stand out? Should I call about the application I submitted before Christmas, or wait a while longer? So many questions and random thoughts float through my sleepy head.

It is exciting, and will be a fun adventure (even if there are a few sleepless nights).

Resolutions for Twenty Eleven

Oh yes, it is that time of year again. I might have forgotten if it had not been for Stargrace sharing some of her resolutions.

Last year I made three resolutions: To take care of myself, complete my bachelor’s degree, and work on my blog every day. I did complete my degree, but I am disappointed in how I did with the others. There were weeks when I didn’t even log in to WordPress, and months where I didn’t post anything. I may have been a little better at making “me” time while I was in school, but I was also worse at taking care of my health. I gained about twenty pounds.

I do expect and hope that it will be easier this year, since being done with school gives me so much more free time. This year I’m going to focus on the things I missed and neglected while in school.

In 2011 I plan to:

  1. Spend more time with Hubby
  2. Spend more time with family and friends
  3. Give myself more “me time” – Painting, Reading, Walking, or whatever else I want to do
  4. Study for PMP certification, but at my own pace.
  5. Take better care of myself and Hubby.
  6. Participate in the Post a Week challenge

Perhaps when I’m lacking inspiration for my at-least-weekly posts, I’ll share my progress.

I’m Posting every Week in 2011!

I’ve wanted to blog more for quite a while, and now that I’m done with school I actually have the time. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now (and jumping on the postaweek2011 bandwagon).  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, and motivational (at least for me). Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll continue to encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Amanda