On anniversaries and intentions

Today marks one year since my last day at Medtronic.

I did not know a year ago that I would be in yoga school this year, though I definitely planned to practice a lot more yoga.

I did not think I would be starting a “new” career in clinical research at an Academic Health Center.

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bulletin board in Coffman Union (University of MN)

I thought I would leave clinical research behind. But something beckoned to me when I interviewed for a contract technical writing job in February. I drove through a snow storm for that interview. And it turns out I was ghosted by those two professors and did not get that gig.

But I remember the “charge” I got when I found myself in Diehl Hall, where the Biomedical Library is housed at the University of Minnesota. It was like some part of me knew I would be back. Lo and behold, I did not realize it when I interviewed, but in June I was assigned to an office cube in Diehl Hall at the Clinical Research Support Center.

Sometimes it is spooky how perfect this job is for me. I “play” best in spaces where there is room for collaboration and innovation, and that’s what is required of my role.

All I have is gratitude for the lessons this past year has taught me. And my intention in the upcoming year is to try to stay fully present to the next lessons life is about to teach me.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

P.S. I used to have a regular posting schedule here, and I may be editing some previous posts for a while instead of generating new content. This will help me have time to focus on the new job and completing my YTT certification hours. 

Have a great final month of summer, y’all living in the northern hemispheres. 

 

Saturday Share – Self extinction — fauxcroft

Chop and burn trees Pollute the seven seas Contaminate the air we breathe One day you will finally see That we are natures and earth’s disease And in the end its us who bleeds And will lead to us going extinct. Image courtesy of Pinterest

via Self extinction — fauxcroft

I felt moved to share this post from fauxcroft, who often writes profound poetry and thoughts on the nature of existence, humanity and raising our consciousness about the decisions we make.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

In syncopated time

In my dance class this Wednesday I started thinking about my life as a song or as a dance. It is an interesting metaphor, and I had to ask these questions:

What type of song would it be? 

–Syncopated, lyrical, dance-worthy, synthesized?

In what type of venue would it be played? 

–Concert call, dive bar, dance club, opera house?

What genre of music would it belong to? 

–Pop, rock, blues, jazz, classical, EDM, yoga, country, rap, Latin, samba, world music?

***

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You Tube link to Dangling Conversations (where the title of this post originates)

When I thought about my own life, I decided that while I would love for it to be smooth and lyrical, it tends to be more syncopated.

Sometimes there are some dance-able parts in there, and that makes it a lot of fun!

Other times I seem to be tripping over my own feet, struggling to keep time, and hoping to come out up right.

Generally, I enjoy the musical accompaniment of my life. The soundtrack includes Zumba, jazz (lots of improvisation), and some classical, when I’m lucky. But usually it is a syncopated rhythm, and I trip or dance along as fluidly as I can manage.

I am grateful for it all, and I recognize the value of each part of this interwoven melody, the story and the music of my life. Some of it is good, some of it is hard. And I am so fortunate to have each day to live it in freedom and with joy.

I’ll take it. Syncopated rhythms and all.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

 

 

 

Flex work – myth or reality?

Hola Amigos/as:

I am going a little rant, so pardon me in advance for doing it. Of course if you choose to read my blog, this is what you’re going to get now and then. You accept it. Maybe you even enjoy it.

Many organizations lack the flexibility they will need to thrive in a future that looks very different from the present. Or possibly I have not found the “holy grail” of flex work yet, and if anyone can shed some light on this, I will be grateful.

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Wellworth building – downtown St. Paul co-working space I tried out Wednesday, 3/13/2019.

The future of work will not have everyone working 8+ hours for 5 days a week. I am fairly sure of that, based on the research and reading I have done about the evolving workforce. But most companies still seem reluctant to take on employees at less than a  100% commitment. Not only do they want your time, they seem to want your soul.

Ideally for me, a 20-30 hour gig would be perfect. 3-4 days a week of full time work would be ideal, so I could build up the larger vision of my practice (the tagline of which is “Embody the Leader Within You“). I realize it takes time and clientele built over time to achieve my vision, and I am willing to work at it part-time for now, supplementing with a job in an organization. But most organizations either want 100% of your time, or nothing.

I was talking with a friend who is retired, and she told me she had planned to work part-time for a few months or a year for her employer. But they were not willing to consider that, after many years of full time work. When she decided to leave, they gave her 3 weeks to train her replacement and then she was gone. She is now retired now and doing all of the things she loves to do, living free and happy.

But that workplace missed out on some highly experienced and mature work. I am guessing that the Gen X or Baby Boomer manager did not properly value her contribution or may have had stereotypes about her ability to learn technology.

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Another view of Wellworth – I really like the light and the openness of this office design.

This is a sad state. I am a Gen X/cusper myself and I can often identify with the situation of millennials (Gen Y) individuals. However, in my limited experience with Gen Y versus Boomer employees, I would go for the latter every time. Mature workers show up every day and they understand that they will not receive a trophy just for doing the bare minimum.

I realize I am over-generalizing here, but mature workers know how to have a conversation. While some of them may be as wedded to their phones as the millennials, most have basic manners as well as focus and attention. They understand the subtle dynamics of social interaction, and how to adjust accordingly to circumstances.

I have worked with Boomer employees who got more done in 15 hours a week than the interns I hired who worked 40 hours a week. So please, if you are in a position to hire someone: do not rule out someone who wants to work for you for 25-30 hours a week. I will bet that that this person may be more productive in those hours than the 40 hour worker, and possibly more loyal if you hire them as well.

End of rant.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

Making it up as we go

I have been experimenting with different titles on my Linked In page lately and the results are fascinating.

Recently it occurred to me that “researcher” describes a lot of what I do best and still love to do – constantly learning and taking in new “data” while evaluating and coming up with theories about how to apply knowledge in new ways. It made me giggle when I described myself in a new way on my page. I also added my company name (which is a little generic right now, a place-holder for the freelance LLC). I suddenly I had a lot of congratulatory messages on the new job. Ha, I thought. I am just making this up, people! 

No titles can ever encompass the totality of what makes you YOU in a professional or a personal sense. When you seek employment with a company, typically titles mean something specific, and have a particular job description that accompanies them.

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Photo credit link

When you are a freelancer, or are starting a company of your own, nobody tells you what title you can have. A lot of folks like the “grand” titles: CEO, President, Creator, Founder… I like those too. But they imply a lot of things that I just don’t care to embody in my new venture. I don’t plan to have a slew of employees, so they do not apply.

I landed on “Principal Researcher” (for the moment) because it reflects a large part of what I truly enjoy, and I like it better than the generic “consultant.” But there are so many other phrases that could describe what I like to do – Creative Director, Facilitator, translator of cultural norms, etc. The “glue that holds a team together…” But since I am Minnesotan and we are taught not to brag, I’ll move right along. 😉

What’s great is that I get to make this up as I go along, and I can change it when I wish. There are NO rules! That’s liberating. I like to defy definition.  Of course, I am more comfortable with ambiguity than most, so that works for me.

What about you? What title would you give yourself, if you could just make one up?