Hello, Prairie Eco Thrifter readers! I’m Jana, one of the newest staff writer, and I’ll be focusing mainly on career tips, advice and telling stories from my own varied career.
Here’s a bit about me: I have a Bachelor’s degree in both Criminal Justice and Sociology and I also have a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy. In the 11 years since I’ve finished my Master’s I have been: a reintegration social worker, a juvenile probation officer, a contract manager, a communications and policy specialist and now, I’m a case reviewer. I also teach college part-time in addition to working on my freelance writing career. I think it’s safe to say I’m pretty confused about what I want to be when I grow up.
Please don’t let that hinder you from following along. In my 11 years, I’ve been in every imaginable job situation. If you’ve been unemployed, I’ve been there! If you’ve been unexpectedly fired, I’ve been there! If you’re stuck in a job you hate, I’ve been there! If you’re in a job you love but you can’t get it to pay you more, I’ve been there! If you love your coworkers but are burned out from the job, I’ve been there, too! Through those situations, I’ve picked up a lot of useful information that I hope will help make your career, whatever phase it’s in, smoother than mine.
Also, with all those jobs, think of all the time I’ve spent interviewing and preparing for interviews! We’ll discuss different phases of the interview process (with a focus on government employment. Trust me, though. If you can handle that process, you can handle anything) and how you can best succeed in an interview.
Not only that, we’ll cover the importance of communication, including meeting conduct and using email effectively (in other words, we’ll discuss what not to do. Not that I have experience with this). Written communication is especially important if you make a living online (like I hope to do one day) or if you’re pitching an idea to a company, your verbal skills are essential. Just like having a professional appearance is important, using professional communication is equally important. Especially tone. Tone can make or break a conversation even more than the actual words can.
But wait! There’s more! Throughout my career, I’ve had to assess different office environments and atmospheres and I’ve been able to develop an informal checklist for what I do and don’t look for in an office. For instance, working at IniTech would not be for me (neither would Chatchki’s) but somewhere like the Daily Planet would be great. There are key indicators that you can use to tell, before you even start a job, if an environment will be a good fit for you. I also know what kind of supervisor I need to be successful at work and I’ll give you the warning signs of a bad boss (not that I’ve ever had one of those).
And if you’re unhappy at a job, desperately wanting to leave for either another office environment or self-employment, I’ll talk about how to do that in stealth mode. There is nothing worse than telling people you want to leave or you’re going to leave and then failing at your endeavors.
Finally, we’ll discuss everything else that goes into your career: commute, benefits, coworkers and the pros and cons of socializing with them, time management, striking a work/life balance. All of it. We spend so much time at work, we don’t realize how all encompassing it really is. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ll talk about that, too.
So that’s it. If there’s anything that you’d like me to write about or if you have any questions you’d like me to answer as a post, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m looking forward to getting to know you. I hope I don’t disappoint!