Category Archives: Life Hacks

[Wedding Wisdom] The Name Change Game

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Just imagine – it’s the most wonderful day of the year, or  more accurately one of the best days of your entire adult life: you’re married! You did it! The two of you did it:  you tied the knot, threw the bouquet, did that dance, celebrated with your loved ones – and by now, you should have a shiny new marriage license to prove it.  So, now what? Ah, yes – for some the next steps are simple: go on, keep living and keep loving.  But for most others, there’s a litany of legislative shit to take care of before you actually have a new last name. Most things in life, we want to learn and retain for a lifetime – but when it comes to planning weddings and anything related to it – you gotta figure you’re only doing it once, but when it comes to following the rules – it’s important that you do this one right.

As soon as you bring your signed marriage certificate back to the county of your choosing, make sure that you retain enough copies of your official wedding license so that you don’t mind momentarily parting with one for a few weeks.  Most courthouses will let you get multiples for a discount from the get-go, so score a few for good measure – you never know where else it’ll come in handy, or the multitudes of reasons you’ll need to have it at your disposal.

First thing first, updating the most legal version of your name in the eyes of the government: dealing with the social security administration; this is the one that matters the most, closely followed by your drivers license. The good news: it’s free, and you don’t really have to go into their office (unless you want to). The bad: You’ll be without a copy of your marriage license and a government issue document with your old name on it for verification purposes, like your drivers license, state identification card or passport. Or, you can wait in a 2+ hour line.  The choice is ultimately yours, but I’ll give you a hint: I mailed mine in. Within 2-3 weeks, I had a new SSN card – and within 2 more weeks I had all my documents back in my little paws. Next, either make an appointment or brave the queue of your local DMV with a copy of your wedding license and your old drivers license.  As a warning, you’ll have to forfeit your old ID with your former name so kiss it goodbye so you can say hello to your new moniker.

Before you even have your signed document in hand, you can give your auto and home insurance a call and let them know that your marriage status has changed – most likely you’ll start seeing a discount in your fees immediately (cha-ching!).When it comes to your employer,  know that most companies and their health insurance programs have a 60 day window where you can add your spouse to your current coverage if you’re looking for an upgrade in that regard. Then make sure you reach out to your bank, your utility accounts and your employer and make sure that your new name has been updated in their systems; sometimes they’ll ask for a copy of your marriage license, others all you’ll need to do is send them a scanned version.

Last, but not least – your social media accounts!  At last – on to the fun part!  If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, you can add a “Mrs” in front of your name, if you use your last name – time for a little upgrade, and on Facebook there’s an option for people to search for you by your former name as well.

Or, maybe all that hullabaloo isn’t really for you – you’re digging your old name, it’s been tried and true – and that’s beautiful! Over the last decade, there have been couples here and there that have defied the conventions of marriage and created their own traditions: hyphenated names, the husband taking the wife’s name, and even creating a brand new last name that means something to the couple.

The name change game affects all married couples, simply because choosing to not update your name is still a choice; either way you play it, it’s an adventure you choose for yourself.  So, what are you going to do with your last name?

 

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[Life Hack] Bring Your Color Schemes and Dreams To Life

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Life is like a canvas, and with each moment we fling technicolor paint onto it over and over again, haphazardly layering abstract vision onto linear paths; the continual result is a personal universe, vibrant and blossoming to the brim with color.  Fortunately, coloring the rest of our lives from our apartments, homes and dorm rooms to websites  and weddings is a bit more straightforward.  While an affinity towards individual colors is a simple formula of RGB, choosing the breadth of a color scheme can become slightly overwhelming – especially, apparently, if you’re me.  Every time I pick two colors I enjoy, then try and settle on a third I’m reminded that two is a party but three is definitely a crowd – so you have to choose right.  Enter: the internet.

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Thanks to some technological geniuses, there are a variety of apps that make the process essentially dummy proof and in the midst of my (re)search for help, I found a treasure trove of answers.  I was trying to paint two birds with one brush, looking to re-do the office in our apartment and wrapping my head around a color scheme for my wedding. Each came with their own monsters.  Back when I was a kid, my mom was redoing the inside of our house and after pouring through scraps of carpet and paint swatches for the living room and her room – she did, at that time, what I fathomed to be unthinkable: let me decide how I wanted my room to look.  Looking back on it, I’d have to say that light blue walls with pink door trim and a lavender carpet still stands as an eccentric expression of my fourth grade mind, a decision that I relive every blue moon when I go back home and visit. As for picking colors for my wedding, let’s just say this – though I’m most certainly a novice at this wedding game, I don’t plan on staying one but I do plan on doing this wedding thing only once – and doing it all sorts of right.

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For the wedding inspired, Wedding Wire has an insurmountable repository of resources – which includes a very simple decision tree for wedding colors.  Personally, I think they’re a good place to start, but beyond being a great jumping off point it’s nothing to write home about.  Instead, I would lean towards a tried and true favorite – AdobePaletton or ColourLovers, well – when they’re back online.  With Colour Lovers – you can create a personal profile, save your palettes and browse for ideas.  On the other hand, Paletton offers multitudes of preset ways to break down the color wheel – Tetrads, Triads, and Adjacent Colors – in addition to Freeform, plus you have the ability to export your information. I have to hand it to Adobe though, their site is beautifully ergonomic and allows you to upload your own images to create an easy breezy color scheme, but Paletton has my attention.

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The discovery of a stunning color combination is one thing, but an active and informed direction is quite another.   Kiss your interior decorating color woes goodbye because bless their hearts, the good folks at Sherwin-Williams went ahead and made a color app for their collection of paints called Color Snap for iOS.  You can also access the database via Android, or through their website.

For the iPad lovers, go and get your paws on ColoRotate – where you can work with a 3D render of the color scale to find your perfect palette. Even better? It can sync up with Photoshop.

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For good measure, if the curioisity is getting at your cat – try a book on color therapy, or Chromotherapy, and understand the colors on a more intuitive, intimate level.

What sort of ingenious methods have you used to curate your perfect color collection? Let me know in the comments below!

[Life Hack] Booking A Fun Filled Getaway for Your Crew

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We all have them, those days that go so erroneously wrong that you’re not just committed to the fact you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, it actually – literally -feels like you woke up on the wrong side of Mercury Retrograde. Thankfully, that all ended on February 11th and according to Punxsutawney Phil, we’re* going to be suffering* through another six weeks of winter.  For the record, those asterisks are to denote that we is the Royal, East Cost, we and suffering is because I’m empathetic; I live in California, we watch winter from TV while we tan; anyways.   Last December, my friends took me on an impromptu road trip to Big Bear – it was my first time really playing, hiking, reveling and flat out dancing in the snow and I simply couldn’t get enough.  And to boot, I was reveling in a bit of pre-Retrograde good luck: the company I’ve been contracted to for work was bought out, and in the happiest of mishaps, I woke up with a some extra bounce in my step and cash in my bank account.   If an adventure with just a few friends was fun, an adventure with more was obviously better – so I immediately started plotting our escape from LA. It might sound a little silly, but I’ve never in my thirty years of living planned a getaway for more than two people – so this was an adventure in more ways than one and I’m eager to share my do’s – and don’ts! – of booking a group trip.

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Photo by Jimmy Eid

Being the first time I’d ever secured a trip for a group of more than two, I was more than a little nervous. Sure, when I’d gone to Avila Beach the year before I had a group of seven with me – but I’d taken over another friend’s booking, and as it turns out I only got to witness the easy part.  Considering the state of the economy and current wages, I abide by the principles of  ‘Balling on a Budget’ and I do it well.  Next time you want to secure a cabin rental for a group of 6+, there’s a few ways to do it.  The incredibly rote way, would be a Google search on “Location” + “Group Cabin Rental”; but if you want to get more bang for your buck, there are a few sites that feel like striking gold.  We all know that  AirBnB is a hip, happening, wonderful resource.  From single room to entire home, you can rent based on your necessity – but for large groups, the options dwindle down or are exponentially expensive. Three equally wonderfully options are FlipKey, VRBO and Home Away.  FlipKey has spotted luck depending on your Metro, so obviously the more obscure the more difficult; and for the last two, I’m a huge fan – so it’s no surprise to me that they’re actually tied to the same information hub.   If you’re looking to book an entire cabin or house, these are the sites that you want.

Location, Location, Location

Sandy beaches, blossoming blue skies and sunny dispositions – that’s my vacation personality, so when it came to booking a Winter vacation – I had to do some crowd-sourcing.  Don’t get me wrong – I definitely  have fleeting fancies of being a snow bunny, at least for a night or two.  When you’re planning your group’s getaway, you’re not only taking your preferences into consideration – but you’re taking a simple random survey and through intelligent data analysis, you’ll find the best options.  Yes, I got all statistical on you for a second but for good reason – you at least want some people to come; right? Make sure you pick a vacation, or staycation, spot that has plenty to do for the whole family.  When we were in Big Bear, there was skiing and snowboarding for my snow kittens, a hot tub for the ones who preferred to stay warm and a national park just moments away; we had DJ equipment, photography gear, mood hoops, Cards Against Humanity and Mood Hoops – literally something for every personality type.

All My Party People In The House

Last, but most definitely not least – your crew!  It’s not a party without the posse, but be sure to set some ground rules before you go because let’s face it – money and friends not only don’t mix, but have the potential of ruining an otherwise wonderful weekend.  If you’re fancy enough to finance the cabin yourself and have your friends pay you back, more power to you – because of my aforementioned work situation, I was finally able to do that and it took such a load off of my shoulders.  But I’ll be the first to tell you, it doesn’t always work that way – as I found out when I went to Arizona at the beginning of the month.  Alleviate your anxiety, and tell your friends that the way to secure a spot over the weekend is to drop a little down payment for the room.  From their entire deposit to a simple $20, every little bit helps in getting you back to square one – and keeps you from discussing or dealing with money on an exciting weekend away from the “real world.” If you’re feeling frisky and want to get super organized, Facebook Events are a great way to keep track of RSVPs and last minute notes, while Google Docs provides the perfect forum for shopping lists and sharing ideas.

Photo by Jimmy Eid

[Self Discovery] The 10 Things Great Minds Do For Each Other

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In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
– Albert Schweitzer 

Our twenties is a time of self-exploration and discovery. It’s a  rite of passage and mental manifest destiny we’re all forced to come to terms with once we enter “the real world” and figure out what it means to be a contributing member of the community, or on a more global scale – a contributing member of the human race. These are the years that we change jobs, cities, significant others, interests and musical taste as frequently as we change socks.  Just like there are laws of physics, there are also laws in the physics of our mentality: external change catalyzes internal change and propagates our growth as individual.  We need to remember that it’s not selfish to take an adjustment period to get reacquainted with your life, it’s honest; because if you can’t take a moment’s appreciation for your newly acquired situation – was there really a point?

As we work our way back into the folds of life, back into social circles and bar scenes – you have a unique opportunity to look at things with a fresh perspective. Sometimes, that perspective pulls you out of prior relationships as it pulls you into new ones – and it’s helpful to know what qualities to keep around in a person, and what to avoid.  I’ve seen (and read) a heaping dose of articles on toxic friendships lately, and just like a regular friendship – that’s a two way street, too. Whether it’s actively toxic, or passively toxic (read: enabling).For a toxic friendship to persist, both parties have to be engaging in toxic behavior.  If you’re an emotional hypochondriac and sit there using those traits as a litmus test, solemnly and discretely analyzing your relationships – you’ll probably think there’s at least one person in your world that’s ‘detrimental to your existence‘.  Instead of trying to find the negative, I want to look at the positive; if small minds tear each other down, great minds should build each other up. So, I’ve come up with a little list of qualities that you should both look for in others and manifest in yourself.

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The 10 Things Great Minds Do For Each Other

1. Encourage Growth

A good friend not only accepts you for who you are but challenges you to become the person you want to be (not the person that they want you to be) by allowing you to challenge the limits of  your comfort zone.

2. Focus on the Positive

Life follows a stereotypical pattern of twists and turns that translate into a sine curve of highs and lows. We need to both celebrate our victories and acknowledge when things aren’t up to par – but unless you’re actively working on improving something in yourself, marinating on the negative isn’t going to get you anywhere but stuck in a negative feedback cycle.  And they’re as equally detrimental to ourselves as the people around us.  Humans aren’t magnets. Negative doesn’t attract positive; positive attracts positive; you’ll get back from the universe exactly what you put into it.

3. Allow You to be Wrong

As a species, we don’t have all the answers yet – so it’s silly to think that any one individual does, either. We need to allow ourselves to be wrong in the pursuit of what is right – through empirical evidence and healthy, intelligent debate with our peers.

4. Laugh With You, Not at You

First things first, your friends should have a sense of humor.  If they don’t, there actually might be something wrong with them and you should probably should just stop talking to them all together.  Anyways, I digress. Funny happens all the time and I’ve actually laughed out loud at myself before, but when a friend actively pursues a facet of your life for their enjoyment, it might be time to cut them loose.  A good friend can find humor in the moment, but knows how to let it go and not project the humor onto you.

5. Emotionally Supportive

When life turns sour, it helps having people around that bring over vodka when all you have are lemons.  But, depending on the situation – some friends might become Negative Nancy and have nothing nice to say, a few will turn the conversation to their life and their problems (which of course, still matter – but this isn’t the time or place for it) and others will simply dip out of your life.  The positive influences in your life will find a way to give – whether its their ear, a shoulder to cry on or a couch to sleep on and silence is golden, especially when someone is at their most vulnerable.

6. Give Space When Necessary

When Galileo discovered that there was a flaw in the geocentric model, there was an uproar.  Sometimes, when people come to the realization that the world is about more than just them, they react the same way.  Everyone has a personal universe to deal with that we simply can’t know everything about.it.  We have to learn to respect boundaries and allow the people in our lives to cultivate their own worlds.

7.  Brainstorm Solutions

One of the greatest things about having a group of peers is that you get to constantly crowdsource solutions. Is your boss being too hard on you? How do you train for a marathon? Should you move to a new city?  These are all things we deal with in our life and we should feel confident that we can reach out to the people in our lives in search of our own answers.  A good friend will engage you and play devil’s advocate to get down to the root of your question.

8. Constructive Criticism

It’s okay to have an standpoint on a person, and often there’s a time and place to voice it – but unless you can find a proactive way to express it, you should probably keep it to yourself.  If you’re forming a negative opinion on someone’s life, make sure it’s not a mirror that you’re holding to your own.  Instead, take a step back from the friendship and really examine what’s bothering you.

9. Value Time

Time is valuable, and other people’s time – doubly so.  A good friend understands that everyone has their own time table and own rate of life, we simply don’t all move at the same pace in life.  So, when it comes to hanging out and getting together – they’ll let you know when they’re running late and are conscious that your time matters, too.

10. Inspire Greatness

We’re all made of stardust, and I truly believe that within each of us – there’s something amazing.  When a beautiful soul meets another, they burn brighter together – just like when two candles meet.  They listen to your ambitions, goals and lofty visions. Instead of diminishing you, or them, they’ll encourage you to chase down your dreams and convert them to reality.

I hope you guys all have friends in your life like this, because I know I do.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art….
It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
– C.S. Lewis –

[Life Hacks] Moving On Up

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There are thousands of reasons to move, but only one important one: you. It sounds selfish, but who else is going to make your adult life their priority?  Whether it’s a new job, a new development in your relationship or your lease is expiring and you have the itch to jump neighborhoods, a move is (or should be) 110% about what’s good for you as an individual; I know mine is.After I graduated from UCSB in ’08, I had an executive decision to make: apply to grad school and pursue a career based on my field of study, or listen to that voice in my head that’s never stopped dreaming.  So I packed up my troubles and followed my heart to LA, which led to an incredibly hectic, and admittedly not very well thought out, move to my first apartment in Koreatown by myself.  And please believe – I say that not to harp on myself, but because I should have had more of a plan. Between my lack of income and unfamiliarity with the city, it might not have been the best choice – but it did a beautiful job of reminding me to define my intentions and embrace the reasons why I live my life. Every damn day, I wake up blessed that I listened to that small tinge of inspiration that I’ve always held onto, because it’s brought me exactly where I am today and I couldn’t be any happier.

As I prepare for fourth move in five years I have a snazzy mental inventory that I can refer to –  I know what I love having around (people, amenities like bars, markets and a gym within walking distance, and last but definitely not least freeways) what I’m willing to deal with (like volume, messiness and a general level of respect), what I’d like to avoid and what I really consider a priority (my relationships, my profession, etc) – 

 Work Life: Even though I do most of my work from home, one of the perks to my move is the decreased travel time to the office.  Because it’s Los Angeles, it doesn’t make sense to give you the mileage so just know that currently – the drive time ranges from 30-50 minutes depending on traffic, and the second I move that’ll drop down to a mere 15 minutes. Oh, yes!

Social Circle: The majority of my social circle resides out of Southern California and is mostly scattered up the Western Coast of the United States; but for the friends that I do still have in Los Angeles, most of them are living pretty on the East Side of town and I cannot wait to join them!

Love Life:  First things first, I’ve never lived with a significant other; this is the first time my love life has evolved to the point that it simply makes sense to live together.  We spend pretty much every waking moment together, and lately we’ve both felt like we just have a really well furnished storage unit on the other side of town.  Don’t get me wrong, it was all fun an games until we factored in travel time and traffic.  Los Angeles is one of the few places where you can actually be in a long distance relationship with someone who lives in the same city as you, and I can’t wait til we start a new chapter in the relationship.

Moving is like an earthquake: you can prepare, prepare and prepare for it but there’s simply nothing as chaotic or physically draining as an actual move.  So here are a few tips to help =)

(1) Before things start getting crazy, review your lease and get your “30 Days Notice” to your landlord ASAP to ensure a seamless exit

(2) If possible, try and get a small overlap of time where you have both places; moving out and moving in are a lot less stressful if they don’t happen simultaneously

(3) Consider the pets – are you combining furry, four legged families? If so, get a strategy together for how the animals will get acquainted.  Another idea to consider is shampooing or deep cleaning the carpets to get any layers of pet hair out before you bring more in.

(4) Submit your change of address form to USPS to get the mail moving to your new abode

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(5) Color code your furniture so you know what’s moving, what’s getting stored and what you can toss; personally, I’m a huge fan of the Stoplight method

(6) Give your closet a heavy dose of reality and finally get rid of those capris/bellbottoms/high-waisted shorts/crop-top that you one time could have worn to that strange party but you never did so now it’s just staring at you with an ostentatious look, taking up precious closet space.   Limit the nostalgia items to five or fewer and get into the groove of getting rid of things – it’s good for the soul, I swear!  I love donating mine to friends, because at least I can still get some vicarious enjoyment out of the object, but if you’re feeling adventurous – try your hand posting your duds on Tradsey for some serious cash.

(7) Whether you’re moving with friends, or in with a significant other, take a few moments to make the new place your own.  Maybe that means hanging up brightly colored tapestries, or covering the fridge with drawings from friends – either way, make sure you put your mark on your spot, both early and boldly.

(8) Last, but certainly not least, get lost.  Maybe not literally, but take some time out of your day and explore the neighborhood – find a new bar, some yummy hole in the wall food, an art gallery or a park fit for a picnic; you never know what’s just around the corner!

My New Hood
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Our fridge is an ode to our creative friends; I love it.

[Workin’ It] The Interview Questions You’re Not Asking

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When I became part of the ‘working world’ after college,  one thing that my parents incessantly drilled into my head is that even though I’m out of school, the schooling is never done.  Every day is a fresh opportunity to learn and  I should always be looking to evolve on a personal level and improve my employable skill set. And even if you’re not looking to get out of the enterprise you’re currently in, it’s always important that you’re fresh on your interview skills.

As it currently stands, a lot of high level positions that took people lots of time, sweat, energy – and not to mention tuition and housing – to achieve are the ones being taken away. These jobs were considered redundant based on new technological equivalents that cost significantly less than manual labor.  On a personal level, over my last three years working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, I’ve seen a fair amount of turnover just at the Walt Disney Studios; in just 2 years, I’ve seen thousands of coworkers get laid off.

An interview is a two-way street; the interviewer is simply directing the traffic.  For as many questions as you’re answering, make sure you ask the interviewer some back – not only is it demonstrating that you’re paying attention, but it shows genuine interest in the role as well as the conversation.  Before you ask, be prepared!  Do your homework on the company and make sure you can’t answer any of the questions through a simple Google search.  Finally, when you do get your opportunity to shine – remember that yes and no answers don’t facilitate an evolving conversation, so make sure you build your question to create an open-ended inquiry that moves things along.

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The 9-5

Get the basic 411 on the position

What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?

Keep in mind that these skills might not be part of the job description; for extra brownie points, ask about the personalities of the team that you’d be working with.  Are you a good fit in all fronts?

What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?

Everyone in every position faces challenges – what makes us unique are the ways we choose to conquer them.  Keep an open ear to the problems offered and see if you can donate a solution during the interview.

How has the position evolved over time? If it’s a new position, why was it created?

This is an essential question in my book, to understand where you’ll sit within a new company it helps to understand the history and importance of the position within the company.

Development of Professional Skills

How will this position help you evolve?

How will I be trained?

 Who’s going to train you and are you going to be part of a training group? Are there initial classes you’ll be required to take?  Extra credit points for this one: are there courses you can take during your time at the company that you can get accredited for?

Are there opportunities for advancement within the position?

Not saying you should be thinking of leaving this position (that you haven’t gotten…) already, but it helps to know the trajectory of a position – it especially helps to know right off the bat if there’s no room for growth (a deterrent for someone like me.)  On the flip side:  can you become a group manager or even reach the director or Executive Director position?  All good things to take into account.

Why is this position available and where is the last person who held it now?

It helps to know the turnover rate of a job:  do people in this role have high visibility across the company and get hired on in another department?  Or, did they get fired for doing something foul?

Get To Know Your Interviewer

Time to flip the script and get to know your interviewer. 

How has the company and your role within it evolved since you’ve been here?

Has the company branched out into new verticals or have they been stagnant?   This is a great way of determining how the company, as well as other positions besides the one you’re applying for, have evolved over time.

What gets you most excited about the company’s future?

I don’t know about you, but hearing someone excited about the company they work for makes me excited about the prospect of working with them as well.  If they’re not excited about the company, that could be the red light you need to get yourself out of there.

Your Teammates and Company Culture

There might not be an i in ‘TEAM’ but as colleagues have told me, there happens to be one right in the middle of the ‘A’ hole so it helps knowing the personalities you’ll be interacting with on a daily basis.  And then there’s the company culture itself – is it laid-back or high-stress? It helps to know exactly what you’re getting into on all fronts!

How’s the team rapport?

Remember how strong teams are and realize that they might have just lost a pivotal player.  You might want to understand how close-knit the group you’re about to infiltrate is and how well they get along; this will preemptively prevent you from stepping on people’s toes.  And then there’s the chance that your soon to be colleagues are social butterflies that Happy Hour like no-one’s business – this is nice to know as well and might get you excited about an otherwise mundane jo

Who will I work with most closely and which other departments work most closely with this one?

One thing I like knowing is how many people I’ll directly be interacting with on a daily basis – maybe I’m going to be a self-started and micromanage my own tasks, but maybe my daily schedule is riddled with team-meetings and conferences and there are specific people that I’ll want to build special work relationships with.  Simply put, how self-sufficient is this position and who will you be interacting with.

What is the company and team culture like?

I’ve never been one to hang out with work associates outside of campus, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want that – I’d love to take part in team building workshops, volunteer opportunities and work related courses and it helps to know off the bat if those are available.

What are the Next Steps?

When you step out of the door, the interview is over – so make sure you wrap things up with your interviewer and ensure they have everything they need to move forward effectively.

Can I answer any last questions for you?

This is your final shot – so ask away.  A few of my favorite questions are how I can make myself more competitive for the position and if they would keep me in mind for additional openings within the company.

What are the next steps in the interview process?

Maybe there are additional forms to sign, or other people to talk with once you’re out of the interview – but you won’t know unless you ask.  I always get in touch with the team that orchestrated the interview to let them know how it went and double-check that I’ve crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s.

[Self Discovery] Let Carl Jung Tap Into Your Subconscious

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Leave it to me to be enthralled by online personality tests but come the fuck on, how could you not be.  One of the best things about the internet is the infinite amount of information (and misinformation) at your fingertips.  Pair that with humanity’s never-ending semi-narcissistic quest to understand yourself and – voila – more personality tests than you could shake a stick at.

As with anything free, you get what you pay for and c’est la vie.  That said, online personality tests range from interesting to absolutely ridiculous.  For every applicable test from Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud there are no kidding at least a hundred tests that label you with an anime character or your 80’s theme song.   Now, nothing against the amusement and entertainment of the ridiculous tests that help you blow off steam and share some laughs – but at the end of the day, my version of self improvement stems from something a little more substantial.  Personal growth and self-evolution should be a natural part of life, not something we whimsically run and hide from and only pay attention to when absolutely necessary.

When I was a young, impressionable high school student – one of my best friends approached me with a personalty test that I still use to this day.  It’s short, sweet and simple – just the way these personality inventories should be.  Little did I know this test came from the mastermind of Jung himself, but it completely makes sense when you consider his background in art and color therapy. Now, I haven’t used it in a very long time so this will be just as fun for me as it will for the rest of you.

This is a great test for a lazy night at home with your significant other, a family vacation or simply a lazy afternoon at the office.  Put simply, as humans we’ve sprawled the seas and marched across the world so the last feasible manifest destiny is of the mind – and what better way to get to know the world around you than getting to know yourself just a little bit better?  So, whip out a pen and a piece of paper and write down the first thing that comes to mind for each item – then hit the jump to see how you stack up.

1. First, name a color. Any color.
1a.

2. Now think of three words that describe that color.
2a.
2b.
2c.

3. Name an animal. Any animal.
3a.

4. Now think of three words that describe that animal.
4a.
4b.
4c.

5. Name a body of water.
5a.

6. Name three adjectives describing it.
6a.
6b.
6c.

7. Imagine you’re in a room. All the walls are white and there are no windows or doors. In three words, describe how that room feels to you.
7a.
7b.
7c.

Follow the jump once you’re done – then the fun part begins!

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