Monday, July 31, 2017

“Where Do You See Yourself In X Years?”

At any job interview, this is the question I hate the most. It’s an open ended question, so there’s supposed to be no right or wrong answer, but on the contrary, there actually IS a wrong answer.

We’re asked this question as if we’ve mapped out our career and life path 5 to 10 years out. Not everyone has an answer to this question. We’re not certain where our future takes us. Things also change over time, so your plan could be severely altered in a way that needs to be adjusted so that instead of a 10 year plan, it’s now become a 12 year plan.

My simple answer as an aspiring software engineer is that I have no idea where I see myself in my career years from now. All I want to do is work and continue learning so that I have a relevant skill base that will take me anywhere. Surprisingly, that is a wrong answer. I can tell from the body language of the person interviewing me. I can recognize the tone in their voice shift over the phone, clearly unsatisfied with my answer. Then they proceed to question my answer, as if criticizing it is going to give them something solid.

Every company focuses on loyalty because they want you to believe in their vision and support them for as long as possible. Therefore, if your answer is, “I want to continue learning,” their response will be, “Well, what happens if you’ve learned everything at our company? Will you leave in order to pursue a new learning opportunity”? They will respond with such scorn and disbelief and wonder why their time is being wasted on someone who could potentially leave their company in 1-2 years instead of 5-10 years.

So am I supposed to apologize for wanting to learn things at a company? Or should I reevaluate where I want to be in my career years down the road? Why can’t the desire to learn be an acceptable answer for people? It’s the right attitude, correct? I just want to work, simple as that. Make some money, potentially retire by 40 and whatnot. Win the lottery.

You spend too much time planning your future, you’ll never have time to start working towards it in the present. Plain and simple.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Why I Am Not A Coach

It’s something I’ve never felt I had to write about explaining myself because it is a career path I never considered. Since I am now displaying my life much more in internet writing, I felt this might be something people would want to read. At least for those who know me, it’s possible this is of interest.

I fell in love with running at age 14, where most high school kids are actually introduced to running by participating in cross country or track & field. I was not a natural athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess I liked being what I thought was a good athlete in these sports. I was average at best, but a contributor in the sense I scored the occasional point in a competition.

It’s funny because I remember some people in high school in disbelief that I wouldn’t be competing in college. Those are the people who aren’t seeing the real picture. A 4:48 mile doesn’t get you in the door in Division I, it’s almost a charity to let you walk on in Division II with the expectation you’re most likely going to be cut, and you’re probably in the top 7 on a Division III team. I also destroyed my legs to the point I wake up in pain every single morning. Sacrificing that much to be an average athlete in high school (yes, in the grand scheme of things a 4:48 mile is pretty average in high school)? Well, that’s another explanation for another day.

Now that I’m starting the fourth paragraph, I guess I could explain why coaching has never been in my life view. First off, I work a 9-5, so coaching is unrealistic because you can’t fully invest in your athletes, high school or college level. That’s just the simple, cop out answer though because it’s so easy to say.

The real answer is this. I’ve talked about how I destroyed my legs in high school to the point that trying to even jog produces unbelievable pain. 2 rounds of PT in a span of 5 years treating a problem that no specialist has any idea to what’s going on was a waste of money. If I can’t keep my own running body healthy, how am I expected to keep the bodies of high school athletes healthy? Now I’ve designed my own coaching philosophy as kind of a “what if”, but I feel I couldn’t go through with it. I have knowledge that could be useful in coaching, but at the end of the day, I have no confidence that I could produce athletes with results and that I’d ultimately break them. They’d never see their true potential due to that. I understand injuries come with sport, but mitigating that is a result of good coaching and smart athletes. Could I coach well? I have no idea and I’ve kept myself out of trying for this very reason. Plus the 9-5 thing too. Scheduling is so unrealistic.

I will admit, however, during my time volunteering at my high school track team, there is a sense of satisfaction watching athletes do well. Definitely enough to break some of my own rules in order to make coaching happen. Who knows if it’s in the cards for me? Something to really think about as time goes on.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Time to Reload

I’ve been blogging since 2009 I guess. On and off a few topics here and there about life, life values, running, video games, suffering through college, the whole nine yards. No series of writing as consistent as what I’ve been doing lately.

May 2016 to April 2017.  What does that mean? It’s an 11 month journey of different bits of writing. 55 bits to be precise. This would be 56, if I decided to count it.

It was a test of consistency and to see what kind of audience would be interested in the types of writings I produced. Definitely a good experiment with so many lessons learned from it. My brain is one of the most fascinating things to me and by writing 55 posts over the course 11 months just to see what it could come up with was exhilarating, to say the least.

They stemmed mostly from life experiences because who doesn’t want to read about what someone thinks of their own life? It’s way better than reading someone’s opinion on politics or the state of the U.S. economy, but that’s my opinion. It is just statistically, topics that could draw from my life experience or thoughts drew in the most readers. Anything else drew less, or none.

What types of life experiences are we talking about? Well, if you’ve frequently kept up with my blog, you’d know they were more negative than positive or neutral life topics. More dry humor to go along with that negativity. Not that they were cries for attention because this is the internet, they’ll know when you’re desperate. I write mainly to get the thoughts in my brain out and when I share it, the people who read them are the ones who want to read them.

I’ve written about so many things that I’ve learned what I like to write about and what I don’t. I think it can be easily seen what pieces of writing was forced, basically making my brain think of things that it really didn’t care about and as a result, a very short, disorganized piece. I know what you’re thinking, it could so easy to just scrap something like that from existence. Why share it? Well you never know if a piece of shit writing could still draw an audience. It’s about trial and error. Just like life.

So what’s next for little ol’ me? Well, a break is definitely needed for my brain to recharge. Think of more interesting topics to write about. While it’s great not having a hard deadline to post stuff (because let’s be real, my audience isn’t that big), consistency is the key to, well, consistent writing. I think it’s important to have a backlog of topics so that you can write them all out in multiple sessions, then tweak them when it’s almost time to shove them out the door. That way it’s more or less scheduled until your next break. I don’t have to think about scheduling for a while. Until I feel comfortable I have a good amount of topics.

So if you’ve read stuff over the course of 11 months, thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back when I start up again. Feel free to reread some things or read something you haven’t. If you haven’t read anything, well, you’re probably not even reading this right now so I’m basically talking to a wall. Go read something. Reading is good. Knowledge is power.

Also, LinkedIn is basically the worst place to post your own blog. Literally no one will click your link. I’ve seen the metrics. I’ve had like, 2 clicks being sourced from LinkedIn. People on LinkedIn only care about writings that are directly posted on LinkedIn. You’re shit. People are trying to expand their internet presence on multiple platforms and no one wants to click the link. Maybe that’s not a LinkedIn problem, but more a people problem. I guess people on LinkedIn suck, myself included.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Could I Live Without?

Without having to cut my nails every couple of weeks.

No seriously, I want to live without having to cut my nails every couple of weeks. When will we as humans evolve to a point where this isn’t necessary? Same thing with hair. Why can’t we just tell our body that we want things a certain length and it stays that way. Let’s be on the same wavelength here.

As for anything else that is truly relevant, this might be a little difficult to think about. I’m sure there are plenty of things I am living without right now that I’m perfectly fine with, but I can’t think of them. Food and water are essential, so I definitely can’t cross those off. I can live without a bike. I mean, I mostly have been for years. I can’t remember the last time I actually rode one.

I can probably live without cable television. I mean, so much stuff is online anyway, so what’s the point of paying for it? I probably don’t even need a TV either. I can watch most stuff from a computer monitor with no issues. Quality of the video isn’t even an issue either. As long as I can watch it with relative clarity, I have no complaints.

I’m not sure of anything else though. My brain has run out of thoughts.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Deep Talks

This is one of my favorite activities in the world. I’ve been told I’m a really good listener and I tend to agree with the people who tell me that. To have someone you can just spill beans to whenever and know it won’t leave the room (whatever room it might be, physical, digital, etc.) is something special.

I am able to select 2 or 3 people I can spill my beans to. I’m appreciative of that. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know my brain has some issues to iron out. It’s always good to bounce my frustrations out with someone and they can either relate to it or find some way to get me out of my current funk. As serious as they get, it has funny moments as well. It’s mainly because I get the opportunity to use my memory and talk about some great moments of the past. Even the specific details no one would remember.

As much as I pride myself in being a good listener, sometimes I wish people would abuse that quality of mine more. I know talking to someone about the things that trouble you require a great deal of trust between you and the person you’re talking to. It’s hard to come forward to someone you vaguely know. So to those who know me, let me listen! If all you want me to do is absorb your words, I’ll do it. I don’t have to say anything. Giving advice is not required in this type of talk, but I will say, deep talks are great when they go two ways.

Let’s figure out our problems together. We’re all friends here.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Productivity and Organization

I think we as humans in this day and age, it’s in our nature to procrastinate. There is no getting past that. With the improvement of technology, I think it helps us procrastinate even more. Or it just makes us look stagnant as we point and click to use the Facebook app.

We never seem to have enough time to do anything we want. Even the stuff we don’t want to do (like homework), there isn’t time for our brains to get working and get it done in a timely manner. We want to be productive, but the limited hours in the day just don’t allow us to do it all the time. As a high schooler it was what, 6-7 hours of classes, then if you were in clubs, band, chorus, or a sports team, that’s about 2-3 hours. By the time you get home, you’re rushing to eat and shower. When it’s time to do homework, either The Simpsons or American Idol is on, so you want that one hour of relaxation. When that’s done, you’re doing homework from 9pm to who knows when. It’s tough. College was probably even tougher. As much as you want to be great at academics, there are so many things you want to test your social boundaries with. Time is of the essence. Productivity is when you feel you’re getting the most out of your time. There is some undetermined time to productivity ratio with each activity and we all want to meet that. It’s hard. We’d rather be eating ice cream while sitting on the couch watching a soap opera.

Organization is another thing. Being organized is an important part of being productive, I believe. It allows for less time to be wasted when you’re investing in an activity. Organization as it’s own quality, I think it’s important to have as a good practice. I see too many people with stacks of papers on top of their desks, looking for the set of notes they just took an hour ago. Or how they can’t recognize the clean clothes from the dirty clothes because they’re just sprawled all over their bedroom floor. To me, organization is important. It keeps me in check, helps me remember where things are. It’s something I pride myself in. It certainly helps with adapting to quick changes in work and life.

Be productive and organized. Don’t waste time. I’ve only got 15 years to live anyway.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Time Management

This is one the important qualities to me. Managing what you do with your time is key because we really don’t have a lot of time to do anything, nowadays. It’s basically wake up, work, come home, two hours (roughly) of free time, then sleep. Repeat that for the days ahead.

When you have the time to do what you want, how do you organize that together so that your free time isn’t wasted? Fortunately, it seems as if your entire life was built on practicing how to properly manage your time. You continuously run through the motions to make sure your time is fully invested on what you want to do, instead of being a complete bore.

To me, time management is a process. It’s about listing the things I really want to do first, so that I know that the use of my time is a success. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out. I’ve mostly got into a funk where I’ve been too tired to use my free time and would rather just sit and be bored and attempt to nap. Though we all know I am mostly incapable of taking a nap at any point in the day. It takes a red eye flight and job interviews to get me to take a nap, which entails falling asleep while trying to eat my dinner.

I mean, at the time of writing this, I should probably be going to sleep, but instead, I’m here, writing some mindless babble. I’ll evaluate if it’s a good use of my time eventually.