Be Your Own Business

Growing up I was always involved in a number of extra curricular activities, from ballet to piano, track (short lived but I did it).  In college, I held a leadership position in my sorority, worked in the career center and was  a tour guide.  Now outside of my career, I am the Vice Chair of a non profit organization which tends to take up a lot of my time, in addition to my hobbies of working out and cooking, and pretty robust social life.

At work, I manage people, time and projects, but why has it been so difficult to apply this concept to my own life?  In my industry, we work with our clients to understand business goals and objectives, shape our strategy accordingly, and use our learnings to inform and refine future strategies. What are the “buckets” or areas that we need to focus on going into the new year? Where can we improve and what is our approach for getting there?  From an executional standpoint, what is each person’s role in making sure those goals are achieved?

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I have a lot of buckets: work/career, blog, apartment/housekeeping, exercising, socializing, dating, nonprofit. Taking a look across these buckets, what are my goals and objectives? What needs to be improved in order to get there and how do I go about that from an operational standpoint (i.e.  how do I need to spend my time?)?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the way I manage projects in the workplace are related to how I prioritize my buckets.  I know I want my own apartment in about a year or so which requires a certain level of financial means which in turn is shaping the way I approach my career. Does that mean a new position? If that’s the case, what is my next move?  Does that mean reviewing my accomplishments and advocating for a raise?  Does that mean learning new skills proactively?  So far, I’m already putting some practices into place, I’ve started my blog, rewritten my resume, and have started looking for free networking events on meet up.
Operationally, small sacrifices on a day to day basis may mean turning down an invitation for drinks to save money one night.  But that also means I can get home and answer emails for my Armenian group.  Staying in the city on a weekend instead of jet setting off somewhere, means I have time to run my errands, exercise, grocery shop and prepare food for the week.

If I’m willing to pass on something, then maybe it isn’t a priority for me at that given time (or I simply can’t afford it) if it’s the latter, then I usually find a way to make it work either by finding a cheaper way or by waiting waiting until I can.  But the point is, I’m learning to identify my own wants and needs which are indirectly affecting the financial decisions I make and vice versa. As someone who has always been a people pleaser, it’s been an empowering and insightful process and even more so to see how these choices and decisions are going to impact my future.

Before embarking on this process, I was letting life choose me.  I had been laid off twice during the years of financial crises, and felt like I lost control of my career.  When I lost control of my finances, all of my goals seemed out of reach and unattainable.  By rediscovering my wants and needs, I know that I can forge my own path based on decisions I make in my every day life.

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