When life gives you lemons, make champagne

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I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at work…so much so, that I literally didn’t believe it and told myself to forget about it. I thought it was just me going mad. But it kept happening and continues to happen.

I’m being treated differently because I’m a girl. 

People are not intentionally being discouraging (I hope) but it is really starting to show.

I was hired as a graduate engineer a the same time as my colleague who is also a graduate engineer, for the sake of this blog let’s call him John. John seems to be sailing his way through work, people respect him no questions asked and my boss praises him highly. And in his defence, he is an excellent engineer I don’t doubt it for a second.

But so am I. 

I put in 200% everyday. I’m putting my all into my career, not just to get noticed but because I’ve worked so hard to get here, I’m not going to back off just yet. It’s just, the men at work are making my stroll up Mount Snowdon into a trek up the Himalayas. Which would be fine if John was treated the same way, but he isn’t.

When I first joined the company I was set the task of an efficiency project in the manufacturing department. The ideas I had to make improvements varied but were all viable but colleagues in the department insisted I couldn’t handle such a big project on my own. Two colleagues laughed in my face…I tried to laugh it off with them but couldn’t see what was so funny.

I managed to get my hands on the project in the end and have successfully taken control of it making a substantial saving for the company. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of myself and I’ve shown by example that I am capable. Great right? No.

That was just the base camp to the Himalayas. That was just 200 men telling me I’m not capable of doing my job and now I have to head to the next camping point for my next project. 

At first I thought they were just being so cynical because I was new, then it dawned on me that I’m the only one they doubt and continue to doubt. How strong do I have to remain and for how long to gain the respect of everyone?

Is there a better way around this?

I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am now. I was actually thinking last week “I’ve made it! I’ve finally made it, I’m a success”. Oh boy, I’m just getting started.

What’s the title all about? When life gives you lemons, make champagne. 

Various people in the company have told me that my personality doesn’t fit the stereotype of an engineer. I agree, I think I’d excel rapidly in a career in marketing or HR where my social, networking and communication skills would prove extremely useful. But why do something I know I’d be good at? I want a challenge. I love engineering, it’s completely out of my comfort zone.

So why make lemonade when I can make champagne?

cojm2:

Demand a plan…

Originally posted on theGrio:

The National Rifle Association held a press conference today and demanded the access to guns be protected in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s vice president.

Hours later, a PSA was released featuring celebrities urging a plan to increase gun control.

Among the celebrities in the video were Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Beyoncé, John Legend, Jessica Alba and Victor Cruz.

In the video, the celebrities list multiple mass shootings, from Columbine to Virginia Tech, in an attempt to draw attention to the issue of gun control.

Follow Marquise Francis on Twitter @mKfly

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The List

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At work, I like to know everyone. And I mean EVERYONE.

If I’m in the canteen and I see someone I don’t know, I’ll do what I can to introduce myself, or get myself introduced via another person. I love to meet new people, I enjoy the process of getting to know them, finding out what makes them tick. I also enjoy unleashing my personality onto them and letting them soak it all up.

Though I’ve made it sound like a technical transaction, it’s much more natural in real life!

Recently, I met a sales rep who comes to our company frequently and managed to get introduced fairly quickly. My ‘transaction’ with him has been a little different to others I’ve experienced. He’s intrigued by me and my personality, so much so that he asks me lots of questions. As if he is trying to get to the root cause of a problem. Except for…each time he asks another question, he finds himself getting further from the root cause.

He was baffled. So, I explained.

I’ve built up this level of self awareness over time, can any of you relate to this? Self awareness in that, I can choose the way I talk to people to get a particular type of response. For example, if I want co-operation from somebody at work, I have a particular way I will speak to them and certain words I’ll use. It doesn’t stop there though, that’s short term. Long term, I have committed myself to various people, building certain types of working relationships with them so them begin to trust, respect and enjoy working with me.

Well, me thinking I’m all high and mighty didn’t realise this self awareness marlarky would come back to bite me in the arse. Gutted.

About 6 months ago when I was back at university, I worked in a local student pub. We were organising a speed dating night for charity whilst in the pub one evening and some young guys overheard us planning. We got talking to them to note some of their ideas and ended up having a few drinks with them for the rest of the evening. Just for a laugh, one of them offered to “practice” the speed dating on me. I figured, this should be a funny…why not!

We sit down ready to talk, someone puts a timer on for 3 minutes and off we go. He asked me “What’s your favourite film?”, to which I replied “…I don’t know”.

Next he asked, “What’s your favourite type of food??”, to which I replied “…I don’t mind”.

As he continued to ask me questions, I’m sure you can guess what my answers were. A wide selection of “I don’t know”, “I don’t mind” and “Why don’t you answer that question?”.

My first thought was, holy cow…I’m a bad date.

Upon reflection later than evening it dawned on me, that I have come to such a point of self awareness, that I have adapted all of my likes and dislikes to suit everyone around me. I don’t know what I do and don’t like because I always don’t mind. I was quite discomforted by this thought for about 5 minutes. Then I drank a few more glasses of wine and completely forgot about it. Well, at least until today.

I explained this self awareness I’ve accumulated over time to the sales rep, he was flabbergasted and disgusted by this. He insisted that it was no way for a young lady to live her life! And so, he told me to make a list of all the things I like and all the things I don’t like. I am to slowly build this list up and make sure I spend more time doing the things I like and yes you guessed it, less time doing the things I dislike.

Easier said than done my friends.

I’ve thought about it for the past three days but haven’t put pen to paper yet (or finger to keyboard). I’ve seen him everyday this week, each day he pops his head into my office and says “have you made the list yet?”. I reluctantly reply, “no, not yet…!”. I even had my manager come and ask me about “The List” and whether I had compiled it yet as he was interested to see if I could do it or not.

I’m aware that these people do not read this blog, however, I thought this would be a great way to start “The List”.

Things I like:

Beyonce Knowles

The cheese on the top of pizzas

Seeing the sun rising and setting

Things I dislike:

Made in Chelsea (for those of you who don’t know, it’s a TERRIBLE British television show. A bit like Jersey Shore…I get dragged into watching it sometimes)

Friends who aren’t really my friends (leave me out of things, aren’t very nice to me etc)

Peeling potatoes, what a ball ache

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll see what I can add to that in the next few weeks.

Ciao x

Would you share a secret with me?

secret

For those of you who live in the UK I’m sure you will have heard of The One Show. For those who have not heard of it, it is just a British television show which features topical stories. Today I saw a story about a man, Frank Warren, who started up PostSecret:  http://www.postsecret.com/

You NEED to check out the site. It’s brilliant on so many levels. I listened to him speak and he said something along the lines of it being easy to share happy moments with friends and family but it’s unnatural to share your deepest or even darkest thoughts.

What I really love is that it is anonymous, so there are no strings attached. After sharing something that is  hidden so deep down, you will  find that it feels like a huge weight has been taken off your shoulders.

I know I don’t have many followers on here, but if you read this post, would you share a secret with me today? Though it’s technically not anonymous on here, I don’t know who any of you guys are!

Let me start off with a secret…and hopefully I will get some responses.

(I want the brutal, honest truth, no judging here).

Here goes…

I fell in love when I was 18. I had my heart broken and now I don’t think I will ever love someone like that again. I’m scared I’m going to be alone forever.

SO.

What’s your secret?

Writers block…already!

Parents = Incredible

Parents = Incredible

 

 

It’s funny, when I started this blog up I had SO much I wanted to say. So much to talk about, so much to share.

Since I’ve joined I’ve tried to write many posts and then moved them to the trash without posting them.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me?!

In my head I was going to be a blog queen, blogging away every evening with my DRIVE. The things that motivate me through life. Not that you should need motivation in life, but I feel like this is just the beginning for me. It’s strange, I just have this fire inside me which is pushing me along a path…I’m not really sure where to.

That’s part of the problem. I need to find a destination and then start paving my path to get there.

The majority of my DRIVE comes from my parents. Two very hard working, humble, kind and selfless individuals who have given up everything to make sure I could go to study at university and create a solid foundation for myself. Even while they are still struggling. I’m still angry at myself for not appreciating this more in my younger years.

My dad works 7 days a week, early starts, late finishes. Mum works five days a week, cooks, cleans…looks after us all. The usual super powers that mums have.

They both have spent their whole lives struggling to get by. All the same they’ve always made sure we went on holidays as children, down to the sea side. They never forced religion down our necks, they gave us a choice. My parents have taught me by example to be a generous person, to help others and to love my friends and family.

Unfortunately they work so hard all the time, trying to pay off bills and get by, that they never get to go out and have fun, go to nice restaurants, travel to see different parts of the world, have city breaks. Since starting my new job I’ve had a whole line of travelling opportunities with work which I’m so grateful for. But when I see these places, I get sad knowing my parents haven’t seen it and that they might never see it. And there it is. My DRIVE.

I want to be successful.

For me success will include being a good person. Remaining humble, kind and caring. But also to be financially successful so that I can give my parents the world on a plate.

I can’t stand the thought that they will work until they retire, having done nothing, seen nothing. I know they’re happy together but sadly haven’t had the best luck. They’re the kind of people who just give, give and give and expect nothing in return. But it’s time that someone gave to them.

I feel like I’m on a journey to make a great life for my parents, the way they’ve created great opportunities for me so selflessly.

…I can’t believe that was the result of writers block! It feels good to get that off my chest.

I can’t wait for the next one.

Anyway, work tomorrow so I’d better get to sleep. One step closer to the ultimate goal.

I love my parents.

Ciao x

Working life

This is my first blog. I’m not really sure how it works. But I was recently inspired, reading so many articles and blogs on LinkedIn from people I look up to and I’ve learnt a lot from it. I just found that because they’re such important people, I can’t reach out to them and discuss their article. 

So I figured…why not write my own ideas down and hopefully over time, I will be able to discuss my ideas with others. 

Another reason for this is to log my time at work in my new job, not only for others to read but for my own personal reflection. So that I can learn from past mistakes and maybe gain inspiration from others. 

I’m bored of life. I’m not sure how this will make it better but it surely won’t make it worse. 

So WordPress made out that it was obligatory for me to write a first post, now that it’s done, I’ll put more thought into the next one.

Ciao. x