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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Stuff I Used This Week in My Work 1-3-15

Happy New Year! This past week was lovely... not too many appointments, and some free time to step back and view everything from 30,000' as I mapped out some projects for the new year. I came across these three things that touched on things that I am directly dealing with. Perhaps they will be helpful to you....

4 Tips to Help Millennials Find Meaningful Work. What I like most about this post is that it perfectly reflects what I'm trying to accomplish in our Free Methodist Intern Program! As I posted it on various networks, it got repeated "likes," mostly from those in that 18-35 year old group. Sure, I get a little tired of "10 Best" this and "5 Ways" that, but this article is not quite so superficial. Here's a couple of sentences: "Seek opportunities that excite you and inspire you to wake up in the morning. Build a purposeful career by experimenting with opportunities you actually care about." Again, that is my goal in the intern programs that I have run and am currently running -- seeking to give chances for young people to feel the weight and experience of significant work, with all the responsibility that comes along with it. I find more and more that young adults lack work experience (for a whole host of reasons), and are often rather unrealistic about what they should be looking for.

The strong message that I took from this article (witnessed by the demographics of those who "liked" it) is that young adults are leaning more toward finding meaningful work than the mighty dollar. We can be cynical and call that a first-world problem ("Oh, that we all had those choices...") or we can simply note it and work with it. I'm choosing the latter.

How Do I EVER Conquer Email? I don't know about you, but email is the bane and blessing of my work life... sure, I love that I have far fewer phone calls to make, and time is less spent on sending an email than having a conversation. But after getting tangled in a convoluted email thread with a group, or missing an important message because my inbox was too full, or not hearing back from someone I really need to hear from "because I just don't do email" or perhaps worst of all, when my inbox has a little red bubble with 3 digits floating above it.... I just want to give up. But what are my options? Many email management apps promise they can get you to zero and do your groceries too, and I don't believe them. But I'm feeling a cautious optimism about Tipbit, which I read about recently in Fast Company magazine. Read a review on Tipbit, or just give it a spin. Others tell me that the new Google Inbox is wonderful, as is Mailbox, but they didn't grab me when I tried them. Tipbit felt different. Who knows?

How We Grieve ~ very poignant and personal podcast from Tom Ashbrook. As I have mentioned previously, I tend to listen to NPR like it's my job, given that I work from home a good part of the time. "On Point" from WBUR in Boston is a top favorite, and I was deeply moved as I listened to this 45-minute roundtable conversation led by Tom Ashbrook the host, who has recently returned after a 2-month absence that followed the loss of his wife to cancer. If you've dealt with grief yourself or are caring for someone who is, this was deep tonic. I'm saving this one for future use.

Joy and Sorrow. When it comes to Facebook, I mostly post quotes or passages that I find meaningful, rather than latest cat video (though I've been known to succumb to watching these rather quickly when they are placed in front of me!) Here is the quote I posted yesterday, and it echoes some of the lessons learned from grief that were touched upon in the On Point episode.

Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth. 
Henri Nouwen

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