Mar 6, 2017
SimplyKaterinaRose is finally up and running! Look forward to new posts each week!

Tag: responsibility

What is success

What does success mean to you?

Is success owning the fanciest car? Is success buying a house on the water? Getting that corner office in the company you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into for years? What is the definition of success to you? How much does it differ from your friends; your family? Your coworkers?

Success is, by definition, a favorable or desired outcome. Many think of it as the attainment of wealth or favor.

My summer was a crazy one. Besides changing jobs, which you’ll learn more about in another blog posting coming soon, I had the chance to lead a group of co-workers through a program called P3. P3 was, essentially, the best thing that has happened to me since starting my professional career almost five years ago.

What is it? P3, which stands for “purpose, passion, and principles,” was started at Whorton Business School as a way to get the conversation flowing between students around the idea of success.

Being a participant, and then a facilitator, was a fantastic experience.

We began by talking about our families and how those closest to us helped define success while we were growing up. For me, as a student, the only measure of success was getting good grades. My parents were both school administrators, and my siblings all became teachers. I had to prove myself. Some of my peers saw success as being active members of church groups or having lots of friends.

Our families guided us and the moment we were out on our own, that all changed. Rules were gone. We no longer had that safety tape guiding us on a set path.

The sessions then began to dive more into the idea of happiness and how happiness can be a measure of success. We talked about the various things we were strong at, where we struggled, and what we hope to accomplish in 15 or so years.

Each week was a different prompt, a different reading in one of two books. We looked at various articles online or shared new ideas through Slack to keep the conversations going between sessions.

In total, I participated for two quarters of the year. Defining success still wasn’t easy for me… until just the other day.

I was sitting at home after a long day at the new office, watching the news and eating dinner, when an email popped up from a former P3 participant that I had facilitated. The email was short and sweet… a simple thank you for bringing her through the program and just being a part of the discussion. She said that she continued to apply what she had learned from P3 in her day-to-day and that, to me, was the moment that I knew I had been successful. For me, I had been successful as a facilitator and as a participant. It felt amazing, and it lifted my spirits.

I later learned that there had been hundreds of layoffs from the company and that it had been a terrible day for everyone. I am so grateful that I was able to be a light during such a trying time and that is what success means to me.

Sunrise at work

Balancing work and life and why we need it

We all take our jobs seriously. It’s a daily grind and, though hopefully, you love your job, it can become taxing when you don’t take time for yourself. I know I struggle to step away from the office and take vacations, even when my manager asks me repeatedly to do so.

So why does he keep pushing me to take time off? Why is it so important?

If work consumes your life, you will, eventually, burn out. It is inevitable. I work in a creative field for a living, and that area requires my artistic side to stay always plugged in. Writers get writer’s block. Designers lose inspiration to design. Constant meetings, deadlines, and expectations begin to weigh us down, no matter what our job is. Taking a step back to breathe is key to survival in the adult world.

Oh, it’s hard, there’s no doubt about that!

The constant thoughts and concerns begin running through my mind when I take time off become: if I’m out, will I become a blocker? Will my developers understand the designs that I have given them? If I’m out and my team receives design feedback, when will I find out? Who will defend the work that we’ve done? The list goes on and on.

To truly step away and relax, to find that proper work-life balance, think about some of the key ways you can leave the office and feel that your team can handle your absence for a day or two.

  1. Give your team ample notice. At the beginning of each sprint cycle, I look at my schedule, and if I have appointments or vacation planned, I inform the team. If I know that I’m going to be on vacation for a longer period, say a week out of a month, I’ll send out an email at the beginning of the month with my plans and how people can reach me.
  2. Review your work a few days before you leave. If my designs need to be vetted by higher-ups or some people haven’t seen it yet, I try to plan ahead and get it in front of them before I leave.
  3. Ask your team if they need anything before your planned time off. I always check to see what’s coming up the pipeline and if it looks like designs are going to be needed, I review with my team
  4. Turn off your work email and enjoy yourself!



So here’s my question to you! What do you do to make sure you find that perfect work-life balance? Have you been struggling with this? Let’s figure it out together!