Well we’ve starting to wind up the first quarter of the year
(January through March). There are
twenty-seven days left in March, and then the year is a quarter of the way over
(where does the time go?). So the moo
will soon be entering into the Pisces constellation (March 6th), and
that means it is time to reflect back on the mini goal list that I set for the
Aquarius new moon in February.
Those goals included:
back DVDs via decluttr (nice way to make a little bit of money).
working on my transition plan (getting my value list down to say five to seven,
and then the daily steps that I should be taking to meet my goals).
my closet & the overflowing amount of clothes (maybe set up an ebay account
and sell some on there?)
So how did I do with each one?
I have a
box of DVDs to finish inventorying via decluttr to generate the order form
& mail them in. This hasn’t been done mainly because the weather has been
crazy (and I usually take the box to work and walk it to mailing and ship it
from campus). So what I may do is just break it into smaller orders (use more
boxes but hey), and do it in several trips. But this is a big thing I’m trying
to do this year, is cut back on the amount of stuff that I own.
In terms of
the transition plan, I have my key value list (see the post on values) that I’m
going to try to ensure that I’m focusing on over the next few years. Now I need
to make chart on how to ensure that I’m focusing on the values and working
towards my goals as well. I’m also fine-tuning my definition of “professional
lifestyle” and will be looking now towards different companies to see if they
match the values (determining if they match the lifestyle will require setting
up informational interviews).
In terms of
my closet & getting everything reorganized and sorted out—this is still
another work in progress. I do realize that I have way to many t-shirts (I
should probably count them and see how long I could go before having to do
laundry), and therefore I need to figure out a way to par them down. One thing
that I’m thinking of doing is the 33 articles of clothing challenge (basically
you have 33 articles of clothing [shirts/pants/shorts/whatever depending on the
season] and you rotate through those for three months, what you don’t use you
sell, donate, give away. It’s a way of thinning out your wardrobe). So there will
probably be a couple posts on that challenge once I decide to do it (probably
in the spring or summer).
So I still need to work on time management (in terms of job
searching/transitioning) and just realizing that with letting stuff go, 1) I
can earn a little money (depending on where I’m hopefully selling the stuff), 2)
I’m saving money on moving (less stuff=less space in a large moving truck=less
money charged), and 3) I can save money for trips where I can make memories
(and take pictures). But at least baby steps of progress are being made this
There are different definitions of the word value, depending
on whether or not the word is being used as a noun or as a verb. When used as a
noun (especially in terms of job searching, professional, and personal
development) the definition of value then can be considered: “a person’s
principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment on what is important in
Everyone can share certain values and then also have completely different values as well. This is one important aspect of both personal and professional development that one has to think on throughout their lives and careers. Truthfully, this is one area that I’ve always been weak on (namely because I’ve always had a hard time trying to figure out what I want to do with my degree and what direction my career should go).
So over the past year and half, I’ve read several different personal/professional development books and worked through some e-courses, and they all had one exercise in common: picking out words from a list that resonated with you in terms of both your personal life and your professional life. Some told you to pick words that resonated with both (or to have a short list that encompassed both aspects), others had you do the activity twice: once for personal and then again for professional.
So while I’m including three of my value lists (one done from a book, one from an e-course, and the other from another program). They are in picture format (love using word cloud to make pictures out of words). There are words that show up multiple times, and now it is time for me to merge these lists into one list, and hopefully then get a “core list” and an “additional” value list made from these three.
So the first list of value words came from an exercise from the book: “Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking” by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport. This was one of the first personal development books that I read last year after being laid off. It has wonderful insights and exercises for one to do, and I’m slowly starting to stop worrying about things that I can’t control and learning how to re-frame my negative thoughts into more positive ones.
This exercise had you make a list of values for both your personal and professional lifestyles (going with first your personal and then your professional). I will admit that the list for professional was shorter than the list for personal (but this is again due to me still trying to figure out the type of professional lifestyle that I would like to have).
My second list of core values come from my transition plan that I’ve been developing and modifying via of my enrollment and involvement in the Cheeky Scientist Association (which is an company/association that helps people with PhDs (and Masters) degrees transition into industry positions). This list is smaller than the other two, because I was trying to limit the list to no more than ten or twelve values (and one way I did this was by finding values that also could be considered combinations of other values together). This shorter list of values include:
Vitality (combination of health & fitness),
Synergy (combination of teamwork & collaboration),
Intuition, and finally
The final list comes from an e-course that I took on the topic of career development/searching for the right job. The actual title of the course is: Deciding your career path—even if you have no idea how! on udemy.com. I found this to be a little bit of a refresher course, though it did offer one new trick on trying to match your skills with the skills that the job posting has listed (but that is a topic for another post). This short refresher (at least for me) asked that you make a list of the values that resonated with you, and then rank them to find your top five to seven. Below is my unranked list of values that I listed (and I have them covering again both personal and professional):
So as you can see—I have basically one very large list of
values (both personal and professional), now I have to either rank them or
choose the ones that resonate the most with me to focus on during this current
When you use a program that groups or changes the size of the word depending on the number of times you have it listed, you can get a cool picture.
I’ve also realized that there are several values added to
the image that aren’t found on the list (or I’ve added in the word again); but
that I also left off hard work from my value list. This isn’t to say that I
One thing I thought of doing was grouping some together
under an overarching theme, and I think that the current theme could be
continuous improvement (which can mean numerous things in terms of both
personal and professional development). So while I’m sure that I could continue
to add to the above lists in terms of things that resonate with me, the ones
that I’m going to focus on for the next few years include:
can encompass fitness, health, and nutrition
encompass collaboration and teamwork
So I think that I need to be looking for companies that have
a sense of community, and also programs to help employees grow as
professionals. In addition if I stick with research, going a different
direction from what I’ve been doing will be another way to ensure that I’m
continuing to learn and gain knowledge.
So to summarize, I’m going to be focusing on aspects/values that will allow me to continue to grow and learn (something that I pushed aside for awhile after finishing graduate school), and become a better me. Those values again are:
Now to start looking for companies that will allow me to
focus on both these values and also have the type of professional lifestyle
that I probably would enjoy. That lifestyle I think is a mixture of both lab
work and data analysis (I don’t think I really want to be sitting behind a desk
all the time; and I do miss being at the bench and actually working on “my”
research). In addition, while there may be some long days (and/or weekends) of
work, I am duly compensated for that time. There is also an company culture
that emphasizes the balance of both work and having a life away from the
business (i.e. you don’t have to worry about checking emails after hours, on
the weekends, or on holidays). So I am slowly starting make the progress needed
for my transition from academia to industry.
So the moon is entering yet another constellation—Leo, the might lion. It’s hard to believe that we’re over half way through the year—but as much as I’d like time to slow down, I know that it won’t.
So what are some fun facts about the Leo constellation?
If you look back into Greek mythology, the lion is based off of one of Hercules’ 12 labors—killing the Nemean lion. He managed the feat by strangling the lion and then placed the body in the heavens.
Leo is the fifth sign of the Zodiac, and is considered to be a masculine, extroverted sign.
The best time to see the constellation for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere is during the spring season (namely in April just after dark).
So there are a few things that one should try to do right around the peak of the new moon: 1) Show off—basically this is a time to celebrate life, so basically it’s a time to enjoy what’s going on around us. 2) Flirt—not something I’m probably going to be doing (as again I’m not in a relationship, and right now not looking to be in a relationship either). 3) Be creative—I have been trying to stay in touch with my creative side more (weekend walks at Boomer working on my photography skills and then learning coding for designing websites). 4) Self love—again this something that I’m constantly working on (limiting the negative self talk and practicing mindfulness). And finally 5) spoil yourself—meaning indulge a little and remember “you’re a hot little number with a lot to offer the world”.
So besides moving through Leo, the moon is also going through my 10th house—which is also known as the “Career Zone”. So I was right yesterday when I though that the universe was giving me a little nudge to continue fine tuning my transition plan.
There are numerous things that one can do during this time in regards to their career, but the ones I’m going to focus on include plotting my next best career move, thereby applying for new jobs with confidence (if I see any that match my goals, interests, and skills), and generally give myself a big push forward in moving on to the next step.
So my goals for the Leo New Moon include:
Narrowing down my top choices of industry positions;
Adding more value to connections (but being strategic at the same time) to hopefully gain informational interviews soon
Determine what my “brand” is both personal & professional
Start reading more in both the business world & the scientific world; and finally
Continue working through the data programming e-courses that I’ve bought
“Moonology: Plan and Predict Your way to Joy, Health and Abundance with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland.