Proving People Wrong, The Right Way

If you’re as stubborn and self-motivated as I am, then you fully understand where I’m coming from when you hear someone say,”I don’t think you’re going to be able to do that”, and it creates an enticing new challenge for you. Fear of the unknown does not exist. Here’s my story. Written by Juliet Rocco

n1369514927_30400867_3453763During my freshman year of high school, I wanted to play for the school’s ice hockey team. As the only girl on the team, standing at 4’11” and barely 90lbs, I knew I would have to work extra hard at keeping up with the guys. My parents thought I was crazy, and signing all of those medical and emergency contact forms did not create peace of mind.

After 4 years of hard work, I had earned my varsity letter and the respect of not only my teammates and coaches, but fellow classmates and teachers. I was stepping beyond boundaries that other girls had not in the past.

That didn’t scare me though. It was completely worth it being able to push myself into a new direction and reap the benefits that came with it. There were times, like any athlete, that I doubted my abilities and talent. I knew there were better players, but that did not mean they were as dedicated as I was.

During my senior night game, we all lined up at the blue line right before the National Anthem began to play. One of the referees skated up next to me and said, “I remember when you first started as a freshman, and I’m really proud of you for sticking with it. You’ve done great.”

With all of the emotions building up, that moment made my entire high school career. That recognition meant everything to me. It solidified the confidence I already had in myself and that if I was “crazy” enough to try out for my high school hockey team, I could do so many more great things.

So here I am, nearly five years following my senior night game. I’ve accomplished so much since then, because my mindset hasn’t changed. Remember back to when you were very young, and you thought, “I can do anything”…

Don’t stop thinking that. Ever.

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The 12 Stages of Job Hunting (Told Through Gifs)

It took me 5 months after graduating college to land the right job. Good grades and work experience almost didn’t seem like enough. Here’s what I went through in a 5-month period that I’m sure would prepare any future college grad for the adventure that lies ahead. By Juliet Rocco

1. It’s time to enter the big bad world. The first thing you must do is sit down and try to remain calm while you figure out life after college.

1. It’s time to enter the big bad world. The first thing you must do is sit down and try to remain calm while you figure out life after college.

2. Once that lightbulb turns on, you head to the job boards! (Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, Zip Recruiter, Creative Hotlist, it goes on…)

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3. When the job title and duties don’t align. i.e. “Get coffee and supplies for the office, train people on iPads, schedule traveling plans.”

3. When the job title and duties don’t align. i.e. “Get coffee and supplies for the office, train people on iPads, schedule traveling plans.”

4. You fill out countless applications online and become an expert at cut/copy/paste functions

4. You fill out countless applications online and become an expert at cut/copy/paste functions

5. There’s a point where you probably send out over 50 applications and think there’s no response because your email is some kind of black hole time warp

5. There’s a point where you probably send out over 50 applications and think there’s no response because your email is some kind of black hole time warp

6. You get a phone call or e-mail asking to set up an interview!

6. You get a phone call or e-mail asking to set up an interview!

7. You’re afraid you’ll say something stupid in your phone interview though

7. You’re afraid you’ll say something stupid in your phone interview though

8. Then it’s time to go through 2 or 3 more interview rounds if they like you, sometimes meeting for a few hours each time. Remember how many other people want this job as badly as you do

8. Then it’s time to go through 2 or 3 more interview rounds if they like you, sometimes meeting for a few hours each time. Remember how many other people want this job as badly as you do

9. You get a call or an email back saying you didn’t get the job

9. You get a call or an email back saying you didn’t get the job

10. You start to wonder if you’re ever going to find the right job…

10. You start to wonder if you're ever going to find the right job...

11. After months of grueling interviews and playing the waiting game, you finally get the perfect offer!

11.  After months of grueling interviews and playing the waiting game, you finally get the perfect offer

12. Congrats, you can pay your bills now!

12. Congrats, you can pay your bills now!

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Why Your Office Needs a “Happy Wall”

Through a dinner conversation with my parents, I learned about a simple idea that became revolutionary in changing the work environment for my dad. I hope this leaves others inspired to create their own “Happy Wall” at work. Written By Juliet Rocco

officespaceI was having dinner with my parents and my dad was telling me how he got started in his career. He had been hired as a consultant in the growing field of computer science and IT by the early 80s. This was his first real job and while he was thoroughly capable of completing the tasks at hand, his supervisor approached him with a new challenge.

The supervisor explained to him, “Bob, you’re a really outgoing and energetic person, but a lot of the people in this office are more quiet and introverted. Find a new way to communicate with your group to get them to open up.”

Challenge accepted: He headed to the utility closet soon after, searching around through the supplies before he found a giant blank poster. He pinned the poster up on the wall with the words “Happy Wall” across it. He then sent a mass message to his group explaining the purpose of the wall: Post anything that makes you happy or that you want to share with the office on this wall.

A wall is born: People in the office loved it, more than he or his supervisor had expected. They were posting pet photos, baby photos, jokes, drawings, quotes and anything that was, well, happy. The group grew closer and the wall grew bigger, so much bigger that a “Son of Happy Wall” had to be created because the other had been completely covered in a matter of months.

After working as a consultant for more than three years, my dad was ready to move up and onto his next journey with a different company. He wanted to take a piece of the Happy Wall with him, but everyone had grown so attached to it.

I couldn’t help but laugh while he was telling this story, but at the same time, a lightbulb went off in my head. Why don’t more offices have Happy Walls? People often feel tired and unhappy with their jobs either because the work is monotonous or they don’t like the people they work with. My dad was able to take a group of closed up techies and turn them into extroverts in the workplace.

Takeaway: There’s more to your job than just the work you produce. It’s also the environment that you are surrounded by and that can either promote or deter productivity. Having a Happy Wall could be the answer to your dull office job woes.

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