Where are my keys?: A journey in website development

Currently, I am at a near standstill with changes to my company’s website. It is beautiful with lots of videos, pictures and content. I view it as a BMW. I want to drive it as much as possible, keep it oiled and gassed up and evoke envy in other drivers.

One problem. I don’t have the keys to it.

I can add content, sure. Videos (some I create myself), pictures, articles, etc. are all at my disposal. What I cannot do is change any code without asking the designing company to do so. And that can cost around $200 per change. Therefore, I can drive this BMW can drive around the block few times before heading back to the garage for a tune up.

Depressing. Truly.

Any suggestions on web design companies that let you have access to coding while still being there for support issues? I am no expert (yet), but I do know enough to be able to implement some best practices and strategies for SEO without having to pay someone to put my ideas in action each time

intro-at-a-glance-ts-fw-01 <-in desparate need of a tune up. Hybrids.

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To recap: I do have a life and care about things

It has been a good month. I’m using my photo album in my iPhone to help me remember what has happened, more or less since my last blog post here, so bear with me. Also bear with me for still figuring out a certain theme for this blog. Right now, it has become a little outlet for me to write, to have a digital soapbox, and to gain some type of routine in blogging. Placing too much or not enough seriousness upon something I want to develop into a writing aide is the rub. Aye. All in all, Chicago has been good to me. The sightseeing and living up the “Summertime Chi” mentality is fun. I arrived right before Memorial Day and now it it right before Labor Day. Time has flown, swam, and Ubered its way away from me so fast!

 

As far as festivals go, I went to the Old Town art fair, the Ribs festival, the Blues festival, Wicker Park Fest, and Lollapalooza so far. (There are TONS in Chicago; I might have forgotten some.) Of course, Lolla stands out from the rest in my mind for being the most fun. I was working at a booth for a jewelry company all three days. Hello free entry and cover from the rain storms and  teenagers thinking that Lolla was Vegas. (I kid you not, kids 10 years younger than me were having a field day without parental supervision.) Come on, there’s no need to get blackout at a festival that runs all day long. You’ll end up looking like a fool and miss the headliners at the end of the day. Thankfully, I was done with my shift to see the last few shows of the day. Outkast was my favorite, simply for nostalgia and how close we were able to get to the stage. Squishy bodies everywhere.

 Lolla 14 Squish

Two companies had me in for interviews, which is a huge part of my happiness right now. I talked more freely in the interviews than I ever have before, due to the fact that I felt so comfortable in where I could really fit in with both of them. Pray for me people, that I get an offer soon! I’m more than ready to have the “Sunday afternoon blues because the work week starts in less than 24 hours” again. You never know what you’ll miss until it is gone. 

What I DON’T miss is about 2 inches of hair. I got a lil hair cut the other day, and I’m loving how healthy my hair feels now. Having a mixture of relaxed, straight hair on the ends and natural, curly healthy hair at the roots is a struggle to say the least. Soon, I’ll be ready to chop off all the relaxed ends, but that day isn’t today. My friend came with me to the salon, since she recommended it to me and is a photographer. It is a self-reflecting journey at times, and having great pictures to remember what I went through will be helpful whenever I may feel the urge to go back to relaxers. Trust me, the urge is strong. Oh so strong. Either way, ideally, I don’t want to have to put so much effort, money, and time into my hair in the end game. It is just hair. It can grow back, be chopped off, and bought in so many ways. There is no ideal but healthy when it comes down to it.

Haircut

 

Some reviews:

Fig & Olive Chicago: 3/10.  Went on a Friday with a reservation for a birthday dinner. Beautiful atmosphere, ok drinks, and horrid service. We all were finally got seated 2 hours after arriving due to a communication issue of some sort. The food was decent, but not worth what my boyfriend paid. The valet took forever to grab the car when we were ready to leave as well. 

Fig and Olive

Blackbird: 9/10. Went on a Saturday for a double date. Excellent courses and speciality drinks. The waiter was well informed about the selections and was the right amount of attentive. The chocolate mousse…amazing! A cute pile of dirt, you can’t resist digging into asap! Punny, I know.  I can’t give it a 10 ONLY because I wish there was more room in the dining area. 

Blackbird

Leghorn Chicken Chicago: 9/10. Went on a weekday for dinner. DELISH. DELISH. DELISH. Chick-fil-A would go out of business in 1 year if this place were nationwide. Moist chicken, beautifully battered and fried to perfection with a selection of sauces and choice of bread. If you ate here once a week, you still wouldn’t get tired of it.

 

Last but not least, football season has arrived. Praise the Lord, because I was getting really tired of baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. etc. etc. over the past few months. And, of course, the only football team that matters to me (and other people of high intelligence and strong mind) is MICHIGAN. The boys in maize (pants) & BLUE are back, & are ready to tear up the Big House this season. No, I don’t care what any statistics say, MICHIGAN will be amazing this year.That’s how you know who your true fans are: the ones who are blindly optimistic and excited. (This only works with sports; question everything my dears, to the fullest extent of the law)

GO BLUE

I’m off to enjoy this beautiful Friday with my car windows down and blasting showtunes, like the proper lady I am. 

 

 

Rotten Tomatoes: 5 Quick Signs of Dissatisfaction in the Workplace

I wrote a million things in my head over the past week. But none of it was published here. For that I am beating myself up. (By eating the entire package of Sandies cookies I got on sale at Walgreens for $2.)  I saw that there is a WordPress app when I first created this blog, but the reviews weren’t that great. If it worked, it would be a good aide for posting on the go, but I’d rather save my storage for selfies until the glitches are worked out. 

Over the past few days, I had a few interviews with recruiters and one with a company. I think they all went well, but as of today: no word. Woe am I- doomed to be at the mercy of human resources! Patience is a virtue that I struggle to understand in times like this. On the other hand, Friday turned out to be the whole “fast-paced city” test. I was literally rushing to meeting to meeting while scheduling meetings in transit. Shoulderpads included. It was a surprisingly refreshing high to talk to so many people in such a short amount of time. During those interactions I found myself filtering through a lot of vocal tones trying to grasp a clearer picture of each situation. 

The main thing that stands out to me when I am talking to a recruiter or an interviewer is the tone of their voice. I tend to be quite empathetic, so if I’m not careful, I tend to reflect back that tone to whomever I’m talking with at the time. Call it whatever you want, I’m calling it being empathetic. I’d like to say that it helped me smell the rotten tomatoes of a business. Eau de conneries. It is really easy for me to tell within a 5 to 30 minute conversation if a person feels any type of admiration for the company they work for day in and day out. It isn’t something very easily hidden if you look for the right things:

  1. A glazed over look in their eyes that rivals a baker’s dozen at Krispy Kreme
  2. Monotone conversation, Bueller-style 
  3. Lack of humor
  4. Fiddling with items on table 
  5. Sleeping

In other words, if you take the time out of your and another person’s day for a meeting, at least act like you enjoy where you work. That is all. 

Job Hunting or Rather Creating a Career

As a recent implant to diverse city of Chicago, one thing has been in the forefront of my mind: find a job in marketing. Packing up and shipping out of the Mid-South to venture to the Mid-West made me feel like a real risk-taker. No job lined up. No leads besides Linkedin. No Ventra card.

Just a handful of grit and a lot of determination.

Nearly two months later, I am beginning to doubt myself. There have been countless applications, resume versions, cover letter drafts and restless nights. If I kept a spreadsheet of my applications, it would surely depress the gladdest of Pollyannas. Yes, my job hunt has been a Debbie Downer, with the most consistent highlights being actual rejection letters being sent out to me. Aka: my application was more than likely read by a real person and not sucked up into a ATS- never be seen again. It can be depressing to see your bank account dwindle as the silence from hiring managers grows. How was I to break through the red tape to get my size 10 foot in the door? How many “job hunting advice” articles does a woman have to read to formulate the correct balance of keywords and likeability to get past the HR guards? Am I doomed to work in flip flops and jeans for the rest of my life? (Don’t ask.)

Ah, no. It takes more than some rejection letters and a bank account on life support to get me down and out for the count. I packed my Louisville slugger for this round, and I never attend pity parties. What should come as no surprise, is that I discovered that focusing too much on the job hunt and not the career development is what will send me to my early grave. Of course I would love to get my MBA in marketing, yet the $$$timing$$$ is not right yet, so I’ll take some free online MOCCs.  Heading to SXSW for work?  At least tag me in one of your pics on Instagram: #wishyouwerehere #Ilovemyjob #workcation  I’ll double tap it.

Thankfully, over the past few days of self-reflection, attending mass, and job applications, I’ve seen an increase in company responses this week.  And I mean responses from real people, not the automated ATS kind. God bless you hard-working recruiters! You bring sunshine in my life. The game plan for Chitown Employment 2014  has stepped up a bit. Not out of sheer desperation or anything like that, I just know it is time for actions to form from my new job hunting strategies.  If  my next week is overwhelmed with interviews, rushing around in the Loop in flats, sliding on heels in elevators, and hearty handshakes, I’ll be happier than a puppy with a peanut butter spoon. Onward and upward, darlings!

 

 

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. Amen.

As I write my first blog post, I wonder how much I will grow from this blogging experience. Shall I enjoy baring my emotions to the world? How about my mixed bag of humor? (Sticking to one type of humor makes a person dull, imo.) Will future employers and/or the government scour through the interwebs to find this, THIS first example of my young adult musings to determine if I am a well-rounded, stable  person?  Hello there, if so.

I can only say one thing to myself about this all: Don’t worry. Be happy.  Amen.

I’ve wanted to start a blog for YEARS now. I even took a class about it my senior year in undergrad: “Blogosphere: Some insightful tagline I’ve forgotten.”  The pressure to be relevant, poised, insightful, categorized, consistent and charming all in one blog was again and again overwhelming.  And for what? To prove I have working brain cells? That I have read Diana Hacker’s books cover to cover?

Away with caution! Away with preconceived shame! It is past time to shout among the masses… from the safety of a laptop.

Either way, I’m proud of this little step into the blogging world. A small notebook I often carry in my purse has around 10 blog ideas waiting to be published here. Ideally, I could write everyday. Realistically, I will blog when the mood strikes. This blog has a small framework: my observations of my environment. My physical, cultural, and spiritual environment. I vow to be respectful, open-minded, kind, and blatantly honest in each of my posts. Write to others as you wish them to write to you.

Enjoy the ride.