Working From Home: AKA, How to Keep Your Cat out of your Zoom Meeting

Ahhh, working from home.  It sounds so dreamy, and it’s portrayed on TV as the most easily executable task there ever was.  Picture it:  the kids are off to school.  The kitchen is sparkling clean from the previous night’s family dinner, where afterwards you enjoyed a nice card game as a family. Your house is clean, smells like freshly baked cookies while you sit in your favorite comfortable chair, sipping coffee out of a nice mug that has a sentiment on it like “Mom of the Year” or “Best Dad Ever”.  What a dream, right?

Except… that is not how it worked out for ANY of us in real life.  Suddenly, we were in the middle of a pandemic.  We began prepping at Partners, just “in case” we were suddenly working from home.  Technology was checked for all employees to determine what tasks each staff member would still be able to perform with their current remote setups at home.   Lists were made of things we would need to have with us, in order to keep a smooth flow going for all Partners’ clients.

Fast forward to the second week of March 2020 – the schools in our county go on Spring Break, never to have another day of school for the 2020 school year.  We are suddenly in quarantine, and all of our “just in case” plans are now “make it happen” plans, and we are all working from home.   We all agreed: working from home is just not as glamorous as it looks on TV.

Staff meetings and client team meetings are now happening via Zoom.  Half of us have sound, no video.  The other half of us have video and no sound.  We are all looking like something the cat drug in with un-brushed hair, trying to help each other with our tech struggles over the phone.  The good news?  We all worked through it together.  In addition, we are all now Zoom experts serving the company well, as we are still not traveling currently for company or client events.

I feel comfortable sharing some of the most important takeaways I gained from our journey:

  • Stay on your routine. Set your alarms, and “go to work” like it is any other day.  Not doing this will ensure complete chaos.  Trust me on this one.
  • Schedule breaks to execute your tasks that are NOT work related. If you jump up 30 times a day to do “just that one thing”, you will lose your train of thought every single time.
  • Stay connected to your coworkers – even a simple text or phone call will remind you that you are all a team.
  • Remember the physical background of your home office and execute Zoom meetings without your cat in the room!

We have been so fortunate here at Partners to have amazing management who have guided us through this pandemic with astounding patience.  We may still be in a strange spot, but we are certainly all prepared for the future.

Ricki Romig

 

Finding Calm in Chaos

By: Kristi Spargo

I am not a trendsetter. I am not even a trend follower. I’ve been known to quit listening to bands once they become popular and although it’s 2018, I still haven’t gotten over my fear of Facebook. There is one trend, however, that has completely captivated me: mindfulness through meditation. I understand that the vast majority of our readers are Type A meeting planners, executives and generally speaking, people that might not picture themselves taking a 10-minute break in the busy association world to seek their Zen. But before commencing the hippie talk requisite eye roll, at least consider the legitimacy of this trend. Continue reading “Finding Calm in Chaos”

Tips for the Job Searcher:  How is your First Impression?

By: Ricki Sexton

The very first impression that you will give to any potential employer, is of course, your resume.  There are many things that make a resume stand out to a potential employer, and if you have a great resume, chances are good, you will get an interview and a chance to showcase yourself and your skills in person.  Here are a few tips to polish and shine your resume to stand above the crowd! Continue reading “Tips for the Job Searcher:  How is your First Impression?”

To Boldly Go Where Others Have Gone Before

By: William Ferguson

Which is more frightening to you? Being the first one to do something or following in someone else’s footsteps? Stepping into an established role brings more challenges than you might think at first. Earlier this year we partnered with a new association that was changing management right in the middle of on-going programs. This has been a very challenging, but highly rewarding, year for me. Keep reading for ideas on how to tackle taking on a position that had previously been filled. Continue reading “To Boldly Go Where Others Have Gone Before”

Your New Year’s Resolutions

By: Malarie Barineau

As the New Year approaches one question comes to mind – have you made your New Year’s Resolution(s) yet?  If not, you still have a few more days to go.

Most people make one or more personal New Year’s Resolutions but why not make professional New Year’s Resolutions too. Here are two of the most common professional New Year’s Resolutions for the upcoming year: Continue reading “Your New Year’s Resolutions”

Poor Planning Perpetuates Poor Performance

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

I don’t know about you, but I grew up a military brat.  That meant if you weren’t 10 minutes early, you were late.  It also meant the dishes were to be put in the dishwasher in a specific place and spontaneity was that you only had a day or two of notice before an event or activity.  I laughed out loud at BuzzFeed’s 25 Signs You Grew Up As A Military Brat as it explained my childhood pretty accurately.

I will never forget the 5 P’s as my dad called them “poor planning perpetuates poor performance”, or, my personal favorite, the 7 P’s “piss poor planning perpetuates piss poor performance”.  The 7 P’s were typically reserved for when I got into trouble. Continue reading “Poor Planning Perpetuates Poor Performance”

Engaging the Unengaged

By: Shelly Joines

Who wants extra work on their plate? Who wants to spend “free time” on a project that seemingly has nothing to do with their regular job function? Or even worse, who wants to step outside of their comfort zone and work on something that highlights their professional weaknesses?

Did you raise your hand? Not likely, as human nature is to stay in the comfort zone.

Continue reading “Engaging the Unengaged”

So You Want To Be A Rock Star – 6 Tips For A Great Job Interview

By Eric Thorn, Esq.

 The Front End

A great interview starts well before you get there.  Of course you want to dress well, present a clean and crisp professional image, and arrive on time.  Some say that if you get there on time you are already ten minutes late.  You may also want to Google your name and look at cleaning up any ill-considered social media posts that an employer may have access to if they check you out on the web.  And today, most do.  As you can imagine most employers won’t consider posts of photos of you passed out in the bushes right after winning a big chugging contest, or pictures of you reclining at the beach with the caption “I should call in sick more often” as a big plus.

You should also anticipate some of the more common questions; your biggest strengths and weaknesses, product or service knowledge, your previous successes, etc.  Continue reading “So You Want To Be A Rock Star – 6 Tips For A Great Job Interview”