How I Think About My Career

A person welding some metal

In a time when so much of what we know is subject to revision or obsolescence, the comfortable expert must go back to being a restless learner.

I plucked that line from A More Beautiful Question, which was one of the best books I read in 2015. The book was centered around using questions as tools to solve problems, generate new ideas, and become better experimenters.

That last item – better experimenters – is a critical point. The author Warren Berger continued with some thoughts on a careers:

…we’ll be expected to quickly adapt to using new and unfamiliar tools, as we try to construct new businesses, new markets, new careers, new life plans – using ever-changing technology, without clear instructions, and with the clock ticking.

In the past, a career was a rigid thing written in ink and followed like a set map to a destination in the future. Now, it’s a fluid idea written in pencil with erase marks all over the page. Careers are no longer a fixed path to follow. They’re constantly evolving as Berger comments.

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“No, because…” – The Benefits of Rehearsing Objections

Picture with the quote "You can rehearse a negative outcome to almost avoid it entirely."

When I first started freelance writing, I received a lot of rejection emails in my inbox. I mean a lot. I was pitching anyone and everyone that had a submission box on their site. I would estimate that 70% were either rejected or ignored.

After a short time, I started to realize the objections started to look similar. Here are a few paraphrased.

“That topic doesn’t fit with our target audience.”

“We recently published a piece just like that.”

“We only work with experienced writers.”

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Help Me Ship in 2016

A boat cruising through the water

Justin Jackson is quite possibly a mad man.

This week, I noticed he made a bold claim – he was going to launch 100 things in 2016.

Justin is no stranger to launching projects. He ran a podcast this year called Build and Launch, which detailed a new project he was working on and launching every week.

The best part about Justin’s new challenge – he invited everyone to join him in launching stuff in the new year. The result, the MegaMaker Challenge, already has over 120 participants.

I am one of those participants.

I’ll be doing a full recap of 2015 in a few days, but I would label it “The Year of Growth.” Specifically, I learned an immense amount about web development, leadership, and the nonprofit sector.

2016 will be my year to ship projects.

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How I Set Goals and Avoid Overwhelm

A girl walking through a maze on a beach

Frustrated.

That’s how I would describe my state of mind three to four months ago. I had some big audacious goals I wanted to achieve, but I felt paralyzed. I couldn’t figure out how to move closer to those goals or make any progress at all.

Sure, I would open my laptop every day and work. I wasn’t a total slug. At the same time though, I wasn’t working efficiently. I couldn’t tell you how the work I was doing would translate into the goals I wanted to achieve.

At the same time, I was overwhelmed. Having a lot to do but no clear plan to the finish line is a sure way to get me nervous.

I knew I had to turn something around.

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Monthly Review: November 2015

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

November was a bit of a rollercoaster. There were days where I felt like I really had everything under control and others where I was scrambling to get things done. I felt like I really nailed down a routine towards the end of the month that I’ll be sharing more about soon.

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Code Challenge: Simple Mode

Here’s another fun code challenge from Coderbyte:

Using the JavaScript language, have the function SimpleMode(arr) take the array of numbers stored in arr and return the number that appears most frequently (the mode). For example: if arr contains [10, 4, 5, 2, 4] the output should be 4. If there is more than one mode return the one that appeared in the array first (ie. [5, 10, 10, 6, 5] should return 5 because it appeared first). If there is no mode return -1. The array will not be empty.

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Code Challenge: Greatest Common Factor

This week’s JavaScript code challenge again comes from Coderbyte:

Using the JavaScript language, have the function Division(num1,num2) take both parameters being passed and return the Greatest Common Factor. That is, return the greatest number that evenly goes into both numbers with no remainder. For example: 12 and 16 both are divisible by 1, 2, and 4 so the output should be 4. The range for both parameters will be from 1 to 10^3.

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Code Challenge: Triple Double

Each week, I offer up a JavaScript code challenge. Want more? You can find others here.

Again, this week’s code challenge comes from my trusty favorite, Coderbyte:

Using the JavaScript language, have the function TripleDouble(num1,num2) take both parameters being passed, and return 1 if there is a straight triple of a number at any place in num1 and also a straight double of the same number in num2. For example: if num1 equals 451999277 and num2 equals 41177722899, then return 1 because in the first parameter you have the straight triple 999 and you have a straight double, 99, of the same number in the second parameter. If this isn’t the case, return 0.

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Monthly Review: October 2015

I’m going to start publishing a monthly recap at the end of each month detailing my habits, projects, and tinkerings. I’ve done this before, but it’s never really stuck. Inspired by Belle Beth Cooper’s monthly reviews (I’m mimicking her format), I’m hoping this will stick. You’ll be able to find them all here.

This month was a bit of an oddball because I was traveling quite a bit. First, I went to Park City, Utah for the Automattic Grand Meetup. It was an absolute blast! From there, I traveled down to Austin, Texas for a wedding. Then, Charlotte and I stayed in Austin the entire next week for a vacation and explored the city.

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Code Challenge: Consecutive

Each week, I offer up a JavaScript code challenge. Want more? You can find others here.

This week’s code challenge comes again from Coderbyte:

Using the JavaScript language, have the function Consecutive(arr) take the array of integers stored in arr and return the minimum number of integers needed to make the contents of arr consecutive from the lowest number to the highest number. For example: If arr contains [4, 8, 6] then the output should be 2 because two numbers need to be added to the array (5 and 7) to make it a consecutive array of numbers from 4 to 8. Negative numbers may be entered as parameters and no array will have less than 2 elements.

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