Looking Back on My First Year as a Manager

I’ve been a systems manager for a few years now. But last March, I also started managing a person!

For those keeping track of the timeline, that’s right. I became a new manager at the start of a global pandemic. 😬

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My team doesn’t know what I do.

A story about that time I sort of got in trouble at work…and the thing I realized I wasn’t doing in my role.

I sort of got in trouble at work recently.

Don’t worry – nothing actually offensive took place on my part. My job isn’t in jeopardy, I’m not on probation, or anything like that! But I had an exchange with one of my directors, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve definitely made a mistake in my role. Let’s dive in.

Anyone who manages a database knows that the job has it’s less-than-glamorous moments. Not that anyone would call this work glamorous…which is precisely why I love it.

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We all need to do better in our team meetings.

There’s more we can all be doing to make those team meetings more effective.

Okay, let’s get into this. Confession time.

When I first started working, I LOVED meetings. They were my chance to hear from folks higher up the chain about what the heck was going on at my org! Plus, I wasn’t that busy…back then.

4 years later & everything’s changed. I’m a seasoned grump that has way too much on her plate, which means I’m dodging calendar invites like Leon from the Matrix. If that’s even his name. Is that his name?

Anyways.

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How to Leverage Your Impostor Syndrome

Many of us will experience some form of imposter syndrome at work. Here’s how to re-frame it, so that you’re more productive & effective in your org.

Let’s talk about impostor syndrome, gang. Because although this blog is constantly offering advice about how to do well….like most, your girl suffers with this one from time to time!

Impostor syndrome, for those who don’t know, is a phenomenon driven by feelings of failure, inadequacy or incompetence. Psychology Today describes it as “a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

What makes impostor syndrome different from your average unconfidence (inconfidence? disconfidence?) is that it even happens to folks with a track record of awesomeness. Imagine the smartest person you know confessing they feel like a fake, and you get the idea.

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How to Pick Your Battles at Work

Check out these tips before you walk into that meeting, principles blazing.

Working for a nonprofit organization, you learn how to pick and choose your battles.

There’s the small stuff – like deciding if you should tell your peer about their less-than-stellar proofreading. Or sending a mass email about the office microwave.

But as you progress in your career, bigger battles fall onto your lap. You might find yourself convincing your org to work in a new way – be it around technology, your mission, or ethics.

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How to Say No At Work Without Jeopardizing Your Job

Tips for tactfully exercising your “No”.

Boundaries are important as we grow in our careers. The more we’re able to do, the more people want our time.

That’s why one piece of advice seems to stick: saying no at work.

Which makes total sense. There’s only so much you can do in one day. Learning to say no is a matter of necessity, because it’s impossible to yes all the things.

There’s just one problem. Just saying no isn’t always an option. Depending on the environment, it can put your reputation and employment at risk. Even unicorns get fired.

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