Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting my Ducks in a Row

Ever since I heard Jane Pauley's presentation on “Practical Inspiration”, I can’t stop thinking I need to “Get my ducks in a Row” or at least break out of my comfort zone.

In the January 2009 issue of Oprah Magazine, Dr. Phil states the term comfort zone is used inaccurately. He says:

A comfort zone is actually a stagnation zone. You’re stuck because you’re afraid to take a risk. People often tell me the scariest risk is admitting that what they have isn’t what they want. They’re afraid to acknowledge that it’s time for a change because they’re scared to death about making it happen. Quit pretending what you have is okay if that’s not the case.

So here is the new plan for the rest of 2009 – I am going to do one thing each week to push myself out of my stagnation zone with the intent of “Getting my Ducks in a Row”.

Here are a few examples of what I will be working on:

1. I have to actually network when I attend networking events. Last week, I went to an event in which a speaker was presenting a topic I was interested in. I arrived late, sat at the student table in the back of the room, and left immediately after the presentation. I didn’t talk to a single member of the organization. Though it wasn't a total waste; I did enjoy talking with the students, this behavior is no longer acceptable. I have to push myself to make at least one professional contact when I attend these events.

2. I have to actually pick a book when it’s my turn to make the book selection for my new book club, rather than suggest someone else make the selection. This club (or book gathering as my fellow members like to call it) is different from book clubs I’ve joined in the past. The members are well read, actually read the books and discuss them at the gatherings; Oprah book selections are frowned upon. It is a little intimidating, since I typically read non-fiction; I am having a hard time coming up with an adequate fiction selection. I thought of choosing Steven Millhauser's Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen Stories which is one of Citizen Reader’s current selections for her Book Menage. It would make a great selection, but I’d feel as if I were cheating if I also selected it. Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum is another possibility, except doesn’t the title alone sound a little too Oprah. I’d really like to introduce them to my favorite genre, non-fiction, especially one that reads like a novel, but I'm having trouble coming up with a good one. Does anyone have a suggestion; if so leave it in the comments.

3. I need to update my resume with quantifiable accomplishments. Both of the recruiters I work with have been encouraging me to do this for quite some time. They want me to add things like “Implemented blah, blah, blah which saved the company mucho bucks over the past five years."

4. I can no longer just send out my resume; I have to actually go to the interview if invited as well. I have been known to decline or cancel an interview at the last minute in the past.

So there you have it ~ my new focus for 2009 "Get my Ducks in a Row".


  1. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Hi Savvy!
    Well, I don't think it would be cheating to pick the Millhauser--especially if you're going to join us for the Menage too. (I would just call that working smarter, not harder.)

    I've heard great things about Kate Atkinson. I also really liked Catherine O'Flynn's "What was Lost," as well as Stewart O'Nan's "Last Night at the Lobster" (which was also fun because it was short. I love short books). Good luck with the book club AND the networking!!

  2. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Thanks CR, I knew you'd come thru for me.

    Also, thanks to Den for recommending Dean King's "Skeletons on the Zahara" as an NF selection.

    After reading this month's book club selection, Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" (Ick) making a selection no longer seems quite so intimidating.