Career Path – Who Creates the Path?

As the economy continues to struggle, companies continue to reduce cost, shuffle leadership and RE-ORGANIZE.  The dreaded re-org.  Personally, I have experienced two within one year, completely out of my control.  Decisions have been made regarding my career path that did not involve my input in any way, shape or form.  And, word on the street is, another re-org is in store for our department.  In a climate where people are lucky to have employment, have we completely lost the right to choose our career path?

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, an MBA, 10 years of experience and other certifications relevant to my field of expertise, I feel that I have put in the time and effort to be able to determine what position I spend 40 or more hours a week in.  While I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be working for a company that is going through change in order to be more competitive in the marketplace, I do question the need for a forced restructuring without input from current employees.

The effects I have observed from our re-organizing/layoffs have been:

  • Lack of morale.
  • Decreased productivity.
  • Increased stress.
  • Reduced ability to be empowered.
  • Lack of trust in organizational communication.
  • Increased work load.

I firmly believe in change and improving processes.  To encourage the current work force to be empowered to drive this change, I would think including them in a restructuring effort would be beneficial to the employee and the company.  A  healthy respect for management and senior leadership is crucial to the success of a company, but employees are also a necessity.  Why not offer them the opportunity to help shape the organization for a profitable future?

Would it be detrimental to a company’s well-being to offer the following?

  • Training in process improvement and project management.
  • Cross functional teams with employees who have chosen to participate and the tools necessary to complete a project.
  • Interviews with current employees to understand their career interests/goals and to also allow a manager a few minutes to observe and interact in a one on one setting.
  • Simple recognition/encouragement for goals met or change that has increased productivity/reduced costs.
  • Leadership development programs for employees to engage in the new leadership style.

Have you been through a recent re-structure?  Have you noticed a positive or negative reaction from fellow employees?  Please share.

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Thinking of coming back to the blogging world……………………………….  Just thinking at this point!

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Business Casual — Finding My Style

Every night I put together my outfit for the next day.  I go to work and realize that I dress somewhat frumpy.  I do believe that contributes to my rather frumpy mood at work.  Will better clothes improve my attitude towards my job?  If not a spike in productivity, maybe at least a boost for my non-existent self-esteem?

Whenever I go shopping, I look only for sale items and stick to stores like Old Navy and Target.  My clothes wear quick and end up looking pretty shabby after a few weeks.  My wardrobe consists of random pieces that don’t necessarily mesh well together.  I think I need a stylist.  I have a style, I think.  I would prefer not to wear stuffy, boring old office gear. 

  Image Copyright Catherine Yeulet

Button down shirts are OFF LIMITS due to the huge gigantic spaces left open by barely fastened buttons.  A few years ago I had a manager comment on my clothing, advising that I stick to the dress code requiring collars.  Of course, this manager was a man, without a chest that requires double letter support gear!!!!!!  I’ve since realized that, for women, there are many different appropriate options for work attire that do not include a collar.  But, I always have that comment in the back of my mind when I’m selecting a piece for my work wardrobe.  

I’ve pretty well established what I will not wear.  The question remains, what do I do?  Where do I go to find clothing that is work appropriate, well made and stylish (to me)?  Are there stores with personal shoppers that don’t charge 5 trillion dollars for a pair of pants?  Is the show “What Not to Wear” still on air?  Is there anyone out there that wants to sign me up??   I recently saw this shirt on The Pioneer Woman’s website.  I think it’s a decent example as to what I think my style might be.

TPW_6995

I need help, soon.  I’m most concerned with the lack of spring/summer clothing in my closet.  Any tips or suggestions you can provide for a short, curvy lady?

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Healthy, Quick and Easy………My Favorite!

One of the most difficult things for me is finding time to plan a dinner menu for the week that consists of healthy, quick meals.   I also prefer not to repeat the same week after week.  I’m definitely not great at menu planning for healthy eating, but this recipe is AWESOME!!!  It was especially delicious today with snow falling outside.  Mmmmmmm.  Thanks Rachael Ray for your Vegetable Stew (Giambotta) recipe!!!!  I honestly have never been able to prepare one of Rachael’s 30 minute meals in 30 minutes, until this one!!!!!  Rachael Ray to me is Julia Childs to Julie Powell, she really did get me excited about cooking a few years back.  The analogy might be a bit exaggerated, but close.  I have most of her cookbooks and LOVE them.  Anyhow, I promised to share things that were helpful to me in my everyday life and this recipe is something that is helpful to me today.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus some to drizzle
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 chopped, 1 whole cracked from skin
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 eggplant, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable
  • 1/2 cup torn or chopped basil (10 to 12 leaves)
  • 4 (1-inch thick) slices whole-grain crusty bread
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino

Directions

Preheat broiler.

Heat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, bay, chopped garlic and onions and let them sweat out while you prepare the rest of the veggies. Work next to the stove and drop as you chop, in order of longest cooking time: potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add tomatoes and stock and cook 5 minutes more, to heat through. Turn heat off and stir in basil.

Char bread under broiler and rub with cracked garlic then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, top with cheese and pepper and return to the broiler for 30 seconds to brown cheese. Serve cheese whole-grain toast with bowls of vegetable stew.

 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/vegetable-stew-giambotta-recipe/index.html

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Filed under Cooking, Organization

Working From Home……………..I Wish

A relative of mine has my dream set up for her office.  She works from home.  Jealous, yes.

My current position requires a phone, computer, desk, stapler, 3-hole punch, Post-Its and of course meetings.  On non-meeting days, I would much prefer a home office near a coffee pot flowing with non-office grade coffee (I’m a serious coffee snob).  I have to wonder, as my cubicle is in a vacated hall, why in the world is this not an option?  ESPECIALLY DURING A BLIZZARD!!!!

While I understand that I work in a fast paced production environment, the majority of my work is completed via my laptop and phone.  I will soon be moving to a building completely removed from the items that I purchase.  I do want to attend meetings, participate in projects, but I also want to concentrate on the daily tasks that I am required to accomplish to keep material on the shelf.  One day at home, in a comfortable atmosphere, would really allow me to eliminate certain distractions and get the more tactical tasks completed.  In a time of layoffs, limited raises and a poor economy, I realize that employee satisfaction isn’t a top priority for companies.  But, I do believe offering the option to work at home or even a more flexible work schedule (4 day work week) would help to improve morale for employees working hard to maintain the same level of service provided a year ago with two times the number of employees. 

Am I the only one who feels that there should be more opportunities for working from home?

Does anyone out there work from home?  If so, are you productive?  Do others feel the option to telecommute should not be an option?  Please share!!

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Filed under Brilliant Ideas, Working

Still Feeling Sorry for Myself

The following are things that were taken from my car while parked at the YMCA on Thursday evening.  While attempting my first Zumba class, which I loved, someone or someones decided to shatter the driver’s side window to my car and steal my purse.  Sure, I left it on the passenger seat for the world to see, but, I’m still angry.  I’m certainly angry with myself for being so careless, but am definitely more angry with the fact that people think it’s their job to invade people’s things and lives this way. 

  • Brand new wallet.
  • 3-year-old Coach purse
  • 3 credit cards
  • Visa debit card
  • Address of dear friend who I need to mail our New Years card to
  • Keys to the cabinets of my desk at work
  • Lip gloss (2)
  • Lipstick
  • Coupons
  • Passport
  • Case to the Movie Julie and Julia
  • My child’s report card and grade sheets
  • Pens
  • My check book
  • My Driver’s License
  • Photos that I love
  • MY WEDDING RING

I know I haven’t listed everything.  It seems that I remember something different every few hours.  I’m angry, frustrated, sad and creating my plan to stalk the YMCA parking lot this week.  Not really, well, kind of………ok, not really.  Anyhow, here’s hoping for a better blog post in a couple of days when I am definitly going to STOP feeling sorry for myself.

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My Home Away From Home

I’m alone in cube world today.  Due to the inclement weather, I do not have a cube mate.  And, due to recent moving of departments, I am completely alone in my entire hallway.  So, I’m looking for some company today whilst working away in buyer land!!!  Sharing my workspace with the world today in hopes of getting back some pics of other work spaces.  Maybe, just maybe, this will cure my loneliness.  Please share!! 

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Something Has Got to Give

Typically, I go to bed at midnight.  I wake up by 6:30 am.  For the most part, I’m tired, suffer from head aches and stomach aches throughout the day.  Every now and again, the evil migraine headache hits.  Even worse than all of the physical issues, is my attitude towards the kids and husband.  While I believe that every post for me will involve my feelings of guilt, I will try to only mention it once in this post.  I feel guilty for being tired grumpy.  It’s the kind of tired that exists when the level of exhaustion you have reached allows you to function only on a level that will allow you to meet the needs of your children.  If husband is in the way, “Let me help you”, he might get pushed.  That or we might have a nice, sweet discussion about how tired I am and him helping will only make things worse.   This occurs at least on a weekly basis in my home.  My OCD issues aren’t welcoming to other family members helping with the cleaning.  So, what I thought for today’s post, is a game of sort.  I will list my nightly routine for everyone to review and critique.  I do all of these things EVERY night of the week.  This is what is keeping me up until midnight or midnight 30.

  • Get home and put dirty dishes from work in the sink.
  • Greet crazy Addie doggie and give 2 yr old hugs.
  • Check w/the 11 yr old to get started on homework.
  • Help husband finish making dinner and get the kids set to eat.
  • Eat
  • Wash the kid, clear and wash the table. 
  • 11-yr old finishes homework, husband hangs w/the baby. 
  • Mon, Tues and Thurs - 11-yr old goes to swim team or basketball.
  • I do dishes – OCD – a lot of dishes.  I start with putting everything in the dishwasher.  I hand wash the items that need hand washing.  I clean the counters and stove top.  I then get a new wash cloth to hand wash sippy cup lids, pacifier lids and then my coffee cup.  I then wash out my coffee maker pieces.  Whew, that takes forever!
  • I give the baby a bath.  Dad dries and lotions him up.
  • I put a load of laundry in.  I wash and dry a load every night.
  • 11-yr old takes his shower, brushes his teeth and takes meds.  Goes to bed.
  • After kids are in bed, I finish any dishes left, put laundry away and move the newly washed load into the drier.
  • Either husband or I does a quick vacuum in the kitchen table area and in the kitchen.
  • I take a shower because I can’t stand to go to sleep w/out a shower.
  • I set up the covers on the bed and check the alarm. 
  • Iron any clothes for the next day at work.
  • Plug phones in.
  • I have checked FB probably 5 times because I’m so addicted, but am checking it once before bed time while eating my bowl of cereal.  Eeek, it’s a wonder I’m gaining a few poundolas.

And midnight is here and I’m tired.  Ready for the cycle to start again.  Everyday the same.  Something Has Got to Give!  I received a comment on a previous post that 8-9 hours of sleep is a must.  So, I’m going to try to let go of a few of my nightly routines to get to a 10:30 pm bed time.  I’m not doing very well tonight, as I felt a blog post was in order.  But, there is hope for jumping into bed before midnight.  Progress. 

Am I insane?  What am I doing wrong?  What do I stop doing that would allow me to maintain my sanity?  Too much, not enough?  Do my other working mom friends and acquaintances have a 10 o’clock bed time ritual down to a science?  Help this Rush Hour Mom get to bed earlier!!  Thanks again for reading, I can’t wait to hear all of your stories and possible suggestions for meeeeeee. 

I haven’t even mentioned trying to sort through and pay bills one or two days a week.  We are ignoring our budget and that is NO GOOD!!!  There, I mentioned it.  ICK.

Sincerely.

RHM

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Filed under Brilliant Ideas, Guilt, Marriage, Organization, Sleep, Working

Does Balance = Guilt?

Things I feel guilty about DAILY:

  • Missing quality time with my children during the day.
  • Getting frustrated with my 11-year-old over something, always.
  • Spending $$$.
  • Getting to work late.
  • I don’t call my Grandmother and Grandfather near enough.
  • I don’t keep in touch with my close friends as much as I’d like too.
  • I spend way too much time doing dishes when I should be paying more attention to my children.
  • Cleaning just does not get completed like it used to.
  • I’ve gotten angry with my husband because I do want to stay home with my baby and home school my 6th grader.
  • If I don’t work, what kind of retirement will I be able to provide for my husband and I?
  • I want ME time.

Last weekend, after keeping my 11 yr old for an evening, my sister asked me…….”Don’t you ever just need you time, time alone?”  I explained to her that the reason I keep such late hours is to have just a tiny bit of ME time.  A huge rush of guilt overwhelms me if I try to have ME time while I should be spending time with my family.  I do spend a little time here and there, shopping.  That seems to be my activity of choice when I’m alone these days.  I don’t even like to shop, it’s just quick and easy.  

Guilt will likely be a popular topic for me and this blog.  I’m not even Catholic, and I am constantly wrestling with guilt.  I guess my father is Catholic.  Maybe he passed the guilt thing down to me.  Anyhow, today, I wrote down all of the things I tend to think about everyday.  As a working mom, I feel that I miss out on so much with my boys.  While my 11 yr old is in school all day, I really struggle with what I miss out on with my 2 yr old.  I had a week of vacation during holiday time and enjoyed being with them both so much.  It was so difficult to be back at work on Monday.  I missed making breakfast with my little Bear and listening to all of the new words and sentences he is using.  I played a board game with my 11 yr old one evening.  I always tell him I don’t  have time because I have things to do to get ready for work the next day.  I just wish life could slow down.

Do other working ladies feel this way?  Am I alone?  Am I unhappy in my job, making me feel more guilty about missing my home life?   I was so excited to land the job that I have, buying leather, carpet, fabric for the interiors of a some pretty amazing aircraft for Cessna Aircraft Company.  I think I’m great at what I do, I hope I am, so then why the discontent?  Why was I so incredibly happy last week at home?  Do women work because they want to or have to?  I believe I’m a combination of both.  I am extremely proud to know that I can support my family on my own, if ever necessary.  I do feel a great sense of accomplishment when I meet a goal or make it through a more challenging work day.      

I hope other working moms find their way to my blog and can share their thoughts and experiences with these issues.  Any suggestions for providing balance while not indulging in a big, giant guilt sandwich would be greatly appreciated. 

Sincerely,

Rush Hour Mom 

P.S.  I wasn’t even sure how to organize my thoughts regarding guilt today.  More to come, I’m sure.

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Filed under Children, Guilt, Working

Rush Hour Mom – The Working Mom Project

 

Happy New Year and welcome to the Rush Hour Mom blog.  I’ve always thought New Year’s Resolutions, Schnew Year’s resolutions, BUT………I sort of have one.  I’ve been wanting to join the world of blogging.  I spend entirely too much time following 5 trillion different blogs.  Why not put one more blog out there, right?  Should I start a food blog?  I have to know how to cook, so, no!  I could start an I’m a super crafty lady blog.  I have to have time, so, no!  Do I have any special skills?  What do I have to offer the blogging world that isn’t already offered?  Drumroll please………….NOTHING!  Really, after a couple of weeks of brainstorming, I can’t think of a single, special, unique, new idea for a blog.

The Working Mom Project –  I’m a working mom.  I consider that a seriously huge project.  I’m starting this blog in an effort to organize my thoughts and reach out to other working moms.  I’m hoping that in publishing my thoughts, feelings, guilt, sense of accomplishment, frustrations and many other ups and downs, that I will find similar stories from other women.  There are so many women who I find inspirational for so many different reasons.  Women who have amazing ideas for everyday life or for raising their children or for taking care of themselves.  This blog, hopefully, will provide insight into the hectic life of a mom who tries like heck to keep up with life while maintaining a full-time job.  As I learn how to be a part of blog land, hopefully, this blog will be able to also provide useful info to other awesome ladies, maybe recipes, organization tools………..etc.  You can also expect to see multiple photographs of my adorable children and maybe even a couple of my handsome hubs.

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, foo foo, laa laa…….I’ll try to figure out how to connect all of this together with my blog diggity dog!! 

I’m so glad you’ve visited my very first blog post.  Please return ASAP!!! 

Sincerely,

Rush Hour Mom

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Filed under Children, Working