Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Most Marketable Skill

The ability to adapt – to different people, situations, and tasks – is the most valuable and marketable, albeit underrated, skill in the workforce that shapes the way in which your employer and colleagues perceive your value on a team, can determine what projects and assignments you are selected for, and hence influence the trajectory of your career.

Working with different, sometimes challenging personalities is an inevitability in any work environment. Curt emails, rude remarks, or tempestuous impulses: You can’t change the way others behave, but you can change the way you react to them. Sometimes, this takes some first-hand experience and the realization that for every monstrous personality, there will always be an even more seemingly intolerable one that you will be forced to adapt to and work with at some point in your career. Being able to perform well despite this challenge is among the many indirect factors that determine what opportunities come your way.

Similarly, the ability to navigate prickly situations is key. People – your coworkers, clients, and colleagues – will watch and remember how you handle tough situations because these settings bring your strengths and weaknesses into sharper focus. Sometimes your behavior while beset matters more in the long run for your career than the ultimate outcome of the project. You may not win the grant, secure the new client, or reel in the new project, but that’s just one undertaking. Your future assignments will be determined by the strengths and weaknesses, which are largely based on your ability to adapt, you displayed during these trying moments.

Like the ability to adapt and still work cohesively with varied sets of personalities, and surmount challenging situations, mastering new tasks and taking on new responsibilities by applying what you already know to these new duties validate the value you add to your division, and thus to your company. Broadening and adapting your skillset will equally extend your professional opportunities at your present company and beyond.

Being able to adapt to all three of these things shape the professional opportunities that collectively impact the bigger picture: your long-term career path. Sometimes, people get stuck in the trees during challenging situations, but successful people can adapt and get the full view of the forest.

That said, why not bolster your office skills by trying Webucator's free monthly Microsoft Office training course?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Airport encounters: NYC

Sitting in La Guardia Airport terminal, waiting for my flight:
My sneeze interrupted the 8 a.m. silence, only to be followed with more (this time offensive) silence. Not one ‘bless you’!


Accidentally drop driver’s license between the two rows of connected seats. Literally have to climb and dangle my body through the gap to retrieve driver’s license because nearby occupants tried to ignore (during the silence) the unmistakable sound of a driver’s license-type card fall onto the ground, and were too rude to kick my driver’s license back over to me.

Standing on NYC's High Line in December 2013 for my NYE trip

Monday, May 26, 2014

Solo sushi picnic

On Friday I left work early for some “me” time. I ordered some sushi from one of my favorite sushi restaurants, and leapt over to the grassy area across the parking lot overlooking the man-made pond and two splashing fountains, unrolled my yoga mat, and plopped myself down. After contemplating whether or not I could finish my second roll, I decided to pack my things up and head back to the car. I turned around to find an SUV parked facing me. Young female driver in the driver’s seat, shades on. Probably Instagramming a selfie. Had she been parked there the entire time?

Drawing by Tony Ma

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

You have to watch this! Brooklyn couple Danny and Annie tell the true story of their 27-year romance, from their first date to Danny's last days with terminal cancer. It's heartbreakingly romantic.

(Via A Cup of Jo)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Q&A: Understanding your children

"Joshua Littman, a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, interviews his mother, Sarah. Joshua’s unique questions and Sarah’s loving, unguarded answers reveal a beautiful relationship that reminds us of the best—and the most challenging—parts of being a parent."

Q&A from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Avoiding gym newbies

Early January means the annual invasion of the gym newbies. I've written about how frustrating it is at times to muster the will to get up, change into workout attire and step foot onto the gym floor with leggings that hug every curve ... Only to find all machines occupied by said newbies whose well-intentioned resolve will taper off as the weeks go on.

So, this year I decided not to step foot into my usual gym until the third week in January. My coworker, who recently pumped up his exercise routine to stave off health concerns that come with age, warned me that it'll be hard to jump back into a workout routine after a few week's stagnation, but I'm sure I'll be fine. Just keep those croissants away from me!

Hey, there's always the Corporate Gym in the meantime, right? I hope I don't run into any IT guys this time around :(. Maybe I'll even venture into a weekend yoga class or two.

Jane St. during my New Year's trip to NYC. I'm holding a bag of cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Oops! :)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Recap

One perk of having a personal blog is that scrolling through old posts is much like flipping through a yearbook documenting life's present worries or celebrations. This year I focused primarily on honing my skills at work, but my goal is to make some attempt at a decent work-life balance in 2014. 

Overall, despite life's typical ups and downs, 2013 was a good, memorable year and I hope 2014 will be even better.

Here are my favorite posts this year:
  1. What Duncan taught me: Remembering my most loved pet
  2. Spot me: Corporate Gym review: A self-deprecating review of the Corporate Gym
  3. Work anniversary: Celebrating 1 year with my first job out of college
  4. Leap of faith: On the importance of finding a company that is the right fit for you
  5. Saturday spin: My take on unexpected life moments (and the corollary)

My sister (Amy) and I during her October wedding