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About Winklepicker

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  1. How to deal with being a manager...and where to go from here? Not too long ago (3 months ago), I was promoted to a manager role with pretty huge responsibilities. Most of what I manage, actually, is projects – but I also work with and depend on a ton of other people constantly. In many cases, people are doing work I assign out to them. I'm really struggling with certain aspects of this job that I can't stand. I think I'm writing, in part, to vent – but also because I'd like advice for the present moment as well as any insights as to where to go from here, as I don't want to be a manager anymore as soon as I can leave this role (which, I imagine, I can't leave for at least a year or 2 to have a respectable resume). I wouldn't know which direction to go from here but would like some kind of goals for my future to motivate me through however long I have to stay in this role. I don't expect anyone to solve this for me, but there really aren't any career "roadmaps" helping guide someone out of a managerial role. I don't want my previous role. But maybe a shift. Has anyone here left a managerial role and gone on to do something different? *Disclaimers: I'm extremely grateful for my job – it was a huge leap from my last role. I knew it'd open up new work possibilities in the future and that I wouldn't have been offered this opportunity with a new company. Last disclaimer: I'm also in the middle of moving cross-country, so I can't be super involved back-and-forth in this thread but will thoroughly appreciate anyone's input. I have so many freaking frustrating issues at this job, but here's a short summary of the most frustrating issues: I feel like I'm a kindergarten teacher. For real. I would never choose to be kindergarten teacher. I'm CONSTANTLY explaining and repeating *obvious* common-sense things to a ton of people all the time. These are basic things. Like company rules, processes, or basic duties that are central to the role someone is in (even someone's who's been at the company for over 10 years!). I use new ways of "educating" them (i.e., visuals) and work really hard to be tactful, but it's so freaking fatiguing, and I feel like my brains are sapping out of my head since I'm explaining (and repeating!!) such basic, common-sense things to multiple people I'm working with. I then have to follow up with these people like 20 times for just one question, as I work remotely and at a global company with people around the world. I hate having to repeat myself, and especially explaining common-sense things. I no longer have autonomy to do a timely and great job on projects. I have to depend on a ton of people for nearly every aspect of every project. I may be timely and do a great job, but I can't complete the project until these other people do their job (and do a great job, at that). And if these people mess up, or are late – or if my company requires that I go through processes x, y, z and I do but it causes our project to take a while to complete – *I* am yelled at for this. Not by my immediate supervisor, who is my advocate and understands what goes on at this company – but by everyone who's giving me projects to complete. Then they ending up complaining higher up the chain all the way to the CEO. If I had full control of the project to do myself, then great – I'd get it done in time and do a great job. But I don't. And yet everyone's mad at me. Even for the company rules (as if I created them). Hardly anybody at my company is aligned on the company rules and processes (which are very extensive and convoluted, btw) – so I'm constantly explaining them and experiencing people getting mad at me just because they don't operate according to company processes that are required. Nobody's expectations and "rules of operating" are aligned. It creates total chaos, disappointments, and frustrations. Timelines get messed up, projects get delayed, and false promises are made without referring to realistic company timelines. Sorry this post is so long. Even if no one has any input here, I appreciate the anonymous white space to vent, so thank you. Thank you, in advance, to anyone who has experience or advice here.
  2. Bravo to you for even asking the question. That will get you far, having a teachable spirit. I'm an INTJ female married to an INTJ man :-) I think there's so much variety in individuals, even within a "type" (such as INTJ), and so many varying levels of maturity/development – that it's hard to advise without knowing you, personally. But – I think that *good communication* with a love interest is one of the first things that comes to my mind as a potential weak point for any INTJ, so to strengthen that would be helpful for any relationship. I think both my husband and I were rather "late bloomers" in terms of communicating with romantic interests, so it's a good thing we ended up connecting with each other a bit later on after we both fumbled a bit/grew a bit in this area (I was 33 and he was 28 when we first connected for the long haul). Examples of where better communication skills with a love interest can increase success in relationships: -approaching a love interest/initiating a connection -not being afraid to communicate your interest in the person (and all the better if it's tactful/charming...but hey, I think for an INTJ, you're doing great to choose almost any mode of communication here, however awkward. I feel I am queen of awkward here, but thankfully, my INTJ husband needed/appreciated my awkward communication here, and I appreciated his) -you can choose to communicate instead of thinking you can accurately read the other person's mind (*avoids many problems) -you can choose to communicate instead of thinking the other person can accurately read your mind (*also avoids many problems) -you can better work through problems/conflicts that will inevitably come up (*critical) So...yes, in a few words, I'd say, work on communication skills that are needed when it comes to uncomfortable feelings (one of our weaknesses).
  3. Not quite the 11-year spread, but I am female (INTJ), and my husband (also INTJ) is 5 years younger than me. Works out great for us, we both have elements of youthful spirit plus maturity. Don't really notice the age difference a whole lot, as he feels my age, except for maybe some moments of listening to music on the radio, ha – I still like certain 80's songs :-D We probably wouldn't have connected for the long-term as well if we had gotten together before we did. I was 33 when we first started dating, so a 5-year difference was really nothing.
  4. Just wanted to respond to your post here... Apologies in advance, I didn't read all the posts. I currently run my own consulting business (biomedical writing). It's not as difficult as a few people on here make it sound. It's actually very easy to set up an LLC, if you're in the U.S., anyway. If you're in the U.S., you can look up your state's small business guide/center. Actually, some states' small business centers even offer cheap/free courses to help you get started in setting up your business. I guess, depending on what you do, it's possible you might need a lawyer, as some here have suggested – but I don't personally have a lawyer, just set it up myself. As for taxes, I hire someone to figure it out for me (as I long as I give her organized documents she needs). I only decided to start an LLC when I got more freelance work than I could handle (mostly due to work from one particular company) – so I left my full-time job to do this full-time (because who doesn't like working in slippers and sleeping until 10am?). The LLC setup works for me because it's easy, relatively cheap, and sufficiently covers me if a client goes crazy and wants to sue me or something. If you're stuck in analysis-paralysis but keep thinking you want to do this, I suggest slowly getting things started without quitting your day job. In a field like mine, anyway, there really isn't any major consequence to starting an LLC and building up your business, even if you decide to toss it later (following the appropriate steps). You can do little steps without major financial pressure this way. If you're in the U.S. and are going the LLC route, steps to set up your business might look like the following, as they did for me: -come up with business vision, goals, steps, plans (a great step to work on first – get a handle on how you want to do your business) -come up with business name -find a domain/web page name that isn't already taken that fits with your company name -reserve the domain name (if you're just starting, you can just do it all on Wordpress, including hosting, just to keep things simple) – and slowly (over time) build at least a "calling card" website that you can refer people to for your services/contact info -officially register your new LLC with your state (if you're in the U.S.) -get an EIN number for tax purposes (free – protects your privacy, functions as a SSN for your business) ...and probably a few other things I can't think of at the moment. I'd also add that motivation is key. Whatever helps your motivation, do more of that. For some, that might mean conferences, workshops, books, small group gatherings, personal health, etc. If you are an INTx, I'm guessing that some of the aspects of the job you're not going to like a whole lot will have to do with marketing, sales, and networking. But these elements are critical for running your own business. Consider ways you can strengthen these skills and help motivate yourself to do these things more, even when it's uncomfortable (I know, because I don't like these things, myself – takes a lot of effort on my part to do these things). Also...given that you don't seem to be a strong "J," I'm guessing that you may need a bit of a kick in the butt to move yourself along. Even I need that, and I'm a pretty strong "J" with lots of self-discipline. I might suggest you make yourself be accountable to someone with some kind of plan or timeline of small steps/goals. Not really sure if any of this was applicable to you...lots more I could say, but I happened to read this last thing at night, so my brain's a bit fried. Best of luck to you.
  5. I have a similar educational background to your friend. MD and MPH (master of public health). I started a residency and then left it, because... hell no! Wasn't for me. The environment sucked all the lifeblood out of me and I felt like I was in a straightjacket in hell. I can sympathize with the position your friend's in. I had a very, very difficult long stretch of being underemployed (at best) because the timing of my leaving my residency with the economy was awful. It took me a long road to find any kind of financial/career footing, and even now, I'm always thinking about growth/evolving what I do. I think the economy is not helping your friend, and I think the best thing I can advise is to keep on keep on *reinventing* yourself to get any career footing in this scenario. In this economy, I think that requires being open to looking into new avenues you didn't necessarily envision yourself doing. I'm being very vague right now, and am probably not very helpful, so...sorry for that. I guess I don't have an all-encompassing answer for someone in these shoes, because there are a lot of different paths you could go. As for my story – I am currently doing technical, marketing, and medical writing (and editing). I juggled multiple low-paying jobs while getting started in medical editing that paid me pennies for hours of skilled and hard work. I tried a couple of these medical companies (Cactus Communications and Edanz – Edanz is *way* better to work for, for the record) and just kept doing medical editing for them while doing other measley-paying jobs at the same time just to make ends meet. I got really bored in the process and started my own health/travel blog where I did research and writing just for kicks, because I'm nerdy like that. I actually turned it into an LLC company and ended up putting in on my CV. Finally, enough time passed so that my CV was starting to show over 1 year of medical editing plus 1 year of writing health blogs (plus my other research/public health work history) – and a recruiter ended up contacting me on Linkedin about a web editing role for a company that writes about a certain area of medicine. I have been in that role for almost a year now and am transitioning out now for some new opportunities with writing (which I prefer over editing). I think this economy is just a killer for anyone looking at a certain point in their career. It's like musical chairs, but the song's already over and the seats are all already filled. If there's anything I can say from the bottom of my heart to your friend, it would be to seriously understand that her difficult time finding work is not a reflection on her or her abilities or what she brings to the table. I had years (4-5) of being caught in a really awkward dry spell that really flattened me to the ground. I'm pretty sure that period changed me deeply in a way that will affect me the rest of my life. I think I can say it has been the most difficult phase of my life so far. I still struggle with the deep insecurities that come from my own internalizing the job search difficulty. I'm not sure any of that was helpful at all, but I guess I just can deeply sympathize with your friend and want to offer encouragement that she can't take it personally. Looking back, again I would emphasize the importance of being flexible with your career – and the importance of reinventing yourself to adapt to an extremely difficult economy. All the best.
  6. I've used it on my hair, too, but I understand that if you use it too long, it can dry out your hair. As for teeth--I've also used it on my teeth, it's a natural tooth whitener. But everything I've read about brushing your teeth with it seems to suggest it's not a great idea to use it on your teeth for more than a week at a time. Not sure why. Sorry, too tired to look all that up right now ha, but I hear ya--baking soda is really great for many things! I love how natural and non-chemical-y it is. Very effective, too.
  7. Leave the apartment to avoid trick-or-treaters. I feel like a grumpy jerk saying that, but...
  8. Probably writers and certain kinds of artists.
  9. Ok, so today I just got a long-sought-after job offer -- totally a home run for me. I'm trying to figure out how to handle salary/package negotiations. During initial interviews, I was asked about salary goal and tried to tactfully defer the conversation--which didn't work, so then I tried to ask if they had a salary range in mind. The lady finally named a figure--let's say "X" (dollars). I was internally floored at the amount she named (way better than other offers out there--in general and also for this role in my region). When she named that number, she sounded almost nervous of naming the number and quickly after naming it came right back with, "but we want you to feel you can live comfortably"--almost like she was apologetic for what I might have perceived as a low number. Although inside I was thrilled, when she asked me if that was close to my range, I played it cool and paused and then sort of neutrally/calmly said with a tad hesitancy that it was roughly in the ballpark of what I was after (haha). Now with today's offer--that included that "X" salary, the offer included awesome benefits and bonuses (seriously, I'm starting to get slightly skeptical of this company, it seems almost too good to be true). My questions: -should I still come back with a counter offer higher than "X"? I'm not sure I can justify the increase based on similar jobs in this region - but I could maybe get away with it from my credentials. Like I said earlier, her apologetic tone at initial discussion of this number made me think maybe they have even more wiggle room with their salary offer. -if I should come back with counter offer, and the offer is already pretty fricking darn good, what percentage higher should I counter with? -I've thought about negotiating some other things, too, in this negotiation: new work laptop and maybe even a quiet place to work, if not also my own separate work room/office, and possibly also a slight modification of my proposed title. Is it too much for me to make a financial counter offer and also put in a wish list for these other things too? I've read some advice saying not to negotiate on much more than 2 points (like salary plus one other element of the job). Would looooovvvee any advice/wisdom here. Thank you!!!!
  10. I lived in Bali, Indonesia for a while while making horrible pay (by U.S. standards) working remotely/shifting into a different industry. It was uber cheap, and I'm grateful for the experience. I have cross-cultural/overseas living in my veins, anyway, so I really didn't do it just for the money. I imagine sometime in life I'll be doing something similar again, as I seem to repeatedly find myself in long-term overseas living situations. I have to say, though, it's great to have access again to lots of creature comforts - ease of driving less than 15 minutes to the exact store/repairman/movie you're looking for, not worrying about visa issues, having good internet/air conditioning, access to certain foods/drinks, etc etc. I'm not sure what else to say about it. It's not for everyone. I think if travel and adventure's in your blood, then it will be worth the hassels/hardships involved in making it happen and sustaining life like that. You also have to be prepared for long stretches of time of loneliness/being alone before you make social connections in a location where probably English isn't the first language.
  11. Bring with you those little portable instant coffee bags. Then you just need to get a hold of hot water, which should be a lot easier.
  12. I believe a bit more in "one of the ones," as mentioned earlier. Having said that... In addition to compatibility of values/faith/intellect/humor, general comfort in his presence, and mutual passion for each other: -I can be vulnerable with him with my deepest or momentary soft spots or dark sides - fears, weaknesses/insecurities - and he shows to be trustworthy and kindly responsive to those things -time shows his relational resilience and commitment - that difficult circumstances or bumps throughout our relationship do not weaken his resolve to do whatever it takes to work through things to get back into the light/joy together - we've had our fair share already, and this gives me so much more assurance/confidence in our relationship Probably more involved of an answer than the OP called for, but oh well. Those are my things.
  13. My man has a beard. I never thought I would be into a beard on a guy until he started growing his. I find him even more attractive/hot with it, now (I should add that I found him attractive/hot before the beard, too). It fits his style, too. I also think it makes him look more mature - in a good way. I like when the sides are at least trim enough to see his jaw line shape - sometimes he leaves the chin part to grow a bit longer - it's really grown on me (heh heh... *liking* the beard, that is - not the beard, itself). Oddly enough, it's really not that annoyingly noticeable when kissing. Only occasionally it seems to find its way up to tickling my nostrils, which is kind of funny, but it doesn't happen that much. Overall - I love it on my man and right now actually prefer it.
  14. Wow, ok. I will definitely have to kill my former mindset, then. I apparently think I'm doing an expected/thoughtful courtesy but instead am just shooting myself in the foot. I really appreciate your thoughts. Henceforth...I will change my ways.
  15. I'd like to hear your opinions here, as I know there are plenty of you who either live in the UK or have worked there. I've read mixed opinions and am confused on the best approach. For UK jobs and employers, is it better to send a post-interview thank you note or better not to? It would be for a job at a publishing company. For the U.S., I've been following standard advice of sending thank you notes including a brief highlight as to why I think I'm a great fit for the job...although I'm even questioning the effect of this these days.... About UK jobs - I've read that conventional job-seeker advice is similar on some UK job boards - however, whenever I've seen this topic discussed elsewhere, it seems employees and employers alike consider this move not to be proper etiquette but rather intrusive, desperate, and arrogant. If anyone has UK experience or advice on this, I'd appreciate confirmation. It's very difficult for me to not send a thank you note, but I absolutely don't want to send one if it has the negative effect described above. Thoughts?