Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reflection: How 9/11 Changed Me

Every year, around 9/11, I check in on Rosemary A. Smith's story. She is the victim from the World Trade Center attacks whose story changed me most. I have mentioned her before.

This year, I found silhouettes of victims. This is Rosemary's.The photostream below is by Flickr User Becca, who holds all rights to the work shared below.


On Sept. 8, 2001, my husband Tom and I attended a wedding outside Boston. Members of the wedding party later described having to run from the smoke coming from the 9/11 attacks.

On 9/9, we flew home and Tom pointed out the World Trade Center twin towers. I think we were in an airport shuttle. It was the only thing he pointed out from the NYC skyline during our ride. I remember looking at the towers and longing for the city. We had moved from Boston to Fort Worth several years before, and I think we both missed living and working in Boston. I looked at the towers until I couldn't see them anymore.

We were all changed on 9/11, but the story that influenced me most is the story of Rosemary A. Smith. Rosemary worked for Sidley, Austin, Brown, and Wood, a law firm in Tower One. I'm not sure if it's the law firm connection or that she wanted to open her own business.

But the connection does not really matter. I draw strength from her story because she also was working in the World Trade Center during the 1993 bombing.

After that bombing, Rosemary did what I might have found impossible: when her company reopened, she walked back into the World Trade Center and went back to work.

At age 61, she still had dreams. She was a chocolatier and wanted to open her own candy store.
I think of Rosemary when I get on a plane. She had the strength to go back to work.

Whenever I need strength, I think of Rosemary walking back into that building in 1993. I think of her still following her dreams. If she could do that, I can find strength when I need it most. Rosemary's story made me stronger.

Do you have a story that makes you stronger?

Saturday, August 09, 2014

My Latest Obsession: Learning to Sew

This summer, I am learning how to make bags. So far, I have made a bunch of zipper pouches. A few weeks ago, I made little reversible messenger bags.

I followed a pattern designed by Amber at Crazy Little Projects  What I love about this pattern is that Amber says it's the first time she has designed a pattern on her own. She provided a PDF of the pattern, and it was fun to try someone else's original design.

These were super-easy to make.

I made this one for my six-year-old daughter. Even though the bag is reversible, she decided she only wants to use the cat side, and so she picked a vintage button from her grandmother’s collection to use as a closure.

Messenger Bag for my daughter Ava

Monday, July 21, 2014

Career Building: 3 Things to Do This Week:
Find a Good Boss During Your Next Job Search

Figuring out if a potential boss's management style jives with
your working style is important, and with these tips from
experts, just might be doable before you begin the job.
If you are in the middle of your career and thinking about finding a new job, this week’s tips are for you. For this job search, you are no longer looking for your first job, the job that gets your professional life started, the one that provides money for your car payment. This time, you are looking for a job that will let you give back to your profession.

You have read the job descriptions, tailored your cover letter, and sweated over whether you feel like the perfect candidate for them. This time, take a little time to ensure the relationship is more mutual. That the job you are interviewing for is the right job for you—not just the job you think is right for you based on what you read on paper. Below are three things to consider when you search:

Will this boss help your career?

The Muse challenges you to ask about management style and to check out the boss when you interview. Career coach Michael Seaver recommends straight-up choosing a boss instead of the job. He writes, “By focusing on who your boss will be above most other criteria (e.g. total compensation, responsibility, advancement opportunities, location) changes how you pursue jobs and how happy you’ll be once you select one.”

Ask a potential boss questions.

For this search, you not trying to get your foot in the door as much as you are looking for a place where you can do good work. You already established your career. This time when you interview, prepare your own list of criteria for evaluating an office and its manger. Ask a potential boss about their professional background and to take in the office d├ęcor.

Conduct your own "reference-check" 

In some situations, David Reese recommends checking references of managers. He admits this might be appropriate for only senior management, but conducting a stealth reference check might also work. Do you know anyone who is or has worked for this manager? The idea of trying to figure out whether you will have chemistry with a future manager is an important one, especially if this job search is not just a job-changer, but a career-changer.

Managers are looking for people who will help achieve their goals. You want to find a job where helping a manager will also help you boost your career, too.


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