Ask Me: The Career Edition

There’s a bit of a trend with this month’s Ask Me questions that hasn’t happened before. I don’t think my career is that exciting (even though I get to do some fun things), however, someone obviously does.

MC-Ask-Me-Career-3What are the best gifts you have both given and received?

Received? I’m bound to insult some people here, I’ve been given so many well-thought out, gorgeous gifts. My favorites are intangible. I detest celebrating my birthday so the discrete little acknowledgments mean more than anything showy could ever. Also, just things like a hug or text when things are bad, and most of the time people don’t know they’re bad. A raw potato in the mail comes close too.

Given? I am the person who forgets birthdays and wants to cancel Christmas. I’m writing this on Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday and that’s an occasion I can support – no gifts. The most fun that comes to mind is an anonymous plush goat to Kathleen.

“Self-care” is a popular idea that both you and I are freaking terrible at. Have you found any new things to do that check this box?

Nice try at sneaking an f-bomb in. My friend, Eileen, is my go-to here. She makes self-care a priority, not like my after-thought and I’m learning a lot from her. Some of it’s little things like listening to your body and planning ahead. Developing fibromyalgia pushed this too. The day I was too tired to stand and moving was agony forced me to take things slower. Oh, and healthy eating helps there too. Yeah, it’s not that structured, but I’m getting better at it.

Do you believe productive procrastination is possible? If so then is it better than unproductive procrastination?

This kind of links with the previous question. Is it procrastination or is it creative thinking time, or taking a step back to tackle the project full on? I suspect I engage in both productive procrastination and unproductive procrastination and realize which I’ve done too late.

Are there many people who get bored and send you a barrage of questions all in a row?

No, Nelle. Just you.

Who of the many people you have sat in the mentor chair for (even just for a little bit) has taught you the most? Also – do you agree with my assumption that mentees teach mentors?

Yes! We all learn from everyone and everything, even if it’s what not to do. Or maybe especially what not to do. I’m not sure I believe in knowledge or people as a hierarchy. Some people have more knowledge or experience in some areas than others.

Oh, you wanted names? Ben and Chris in Queensland taught me a lot, including how excited 15-year-olds can be at 6 am on a Saturday when they’ve stayed up all night building a website. Nelle reminds me that being scrappy is good. There are others, but I’m concerned if the list attempts to be exhaustive I’ll forget a single person and they’ll be upset. Let’s keep it this length.

Tell me the most useful things you’ve learned in business while freelancing/subcontracting/whatever you call your employment strategy. Tell me now.

Oh, sheesh. Demanding much? I’ve learned a lot about organization, quickly using Google to discover anything, and myself. I think I’m better keeping freelancing as a side hustle because while I’ve learned the organization tactics etc, I’m not the best at executing them. That’s why I’m a marketer and not a project manager. A big thanks to project managers.

I’m curious to see if next month creates a question theme. If you want to ask me anything, check out the form. Links to previous Ask Me stories are there too. The rules are that you can ask literally anything (anonymously) and I have to reply. Personal, weird, random. Bring it on.

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