Tag Archives: career

It’s not a job, it’s a career.

ImageA little over 6 weeks ago I became a Starbucks employee.  I am going through their RMT (Retail Management Training) program and I am loving every minute of it. So far, I have completed Barista, Shift Supervisor, and Assistant Manager training.  

My manager and I devised a schedule that would allow me to work on the floor with the partners majority of the time.  She encouraged me to ask questions, talk with the partners about their experiences with the company and customers. What do they love, is there anything they think we could improve on, etc.  I was able to create an environment that encouraged open conversation and welcomed suggestions between my fellow partners and myself.  

The ability to converse openly with one another is crucial to a productive, and positive environment. This style of management and education is one that I will bring with me wherever I go, and encourage others to do.  We learn so much from one another and are able to improve everyday operations by talking openly.  

Six weeks later

Six week later, I was launched as an Assistant Manger and placed in a new store. This week was my first week and it has been a “hit the ground with your feet running” time.  I love it.  Every day I enter the store I know that today I am going to learn something new, work with people who are truly amazing and love what I do.  The key here my friends is passion.  

When customers ask me what I plan to do with my life, or when do I finish school? I respond with a huge smile saying this is what I want to do, and that I will be pursing a graduate degree in a few years with the help of my company.  

Love what you do

I wanted to work for an amazing company who has a passion for it’s partners, customers and the communities that surround it, and I have been fortunate enough to find one.  When I look into the future I see myself still working for Starbucks.  I may not still be an assistant manager but I know that this is my career and my passion.  Why on earth would I let it go?

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What Color is Your Parachute??

Have you ever heard of this book? My boss suggested I read it, he read it over 20 years ago as well as my father.

During our amazing meeting he said the best way to learn about yourself is to do a self exploration. This book helped him figure out what exactly he wanted and lead him to the job he has now. He told me to read the book, take it seriously, and figure out what exactly I want to do. Then take what I learn and apply it to my current job.

He told me that I need to love what I do, so figure it out and then do it. Of course he meant figure it out and then apply it to what I do now. By applying it to my current job I will find a drive that is natural and not forced. The drive that everyone hopes to find when they begin their career. Few end up finding it and settle.

Do I really want to settle for something because it is comfortable and let my fear overcome by ambitions?

No. So don’t settle.

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Who am I & Why am I celebrating?

I have been asking myself the same question for months.  Actually years, and I still don’t have the answer.  My name is Kelsey Douglas and I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up, only that I want to be happy and love what ever it is that I do.

It has taken me months to say that and not freak out a little in the back of my mind. A few months ago I had a breaking point in my life. I finally realized that I am so hard on myself that it is affected my life, my work and my health.  I was causing unnecessary stress on myself and no matter who was in my life I just couldn’t get out of the rut.  Finally I just had enough and came to terms with one thing. I need to fix me, fix the way I think and the pressure I put on myself.

Today I pushed back my GMAT test to the first weekend of February, and had no guilt.  I am not ready to take the test and I am ok with that. This test is an investment, something that will help me get where I want to go when I know where it is I want to be. Step one is now checked off, set a test date that is appropriate for myself.

My answer to who am I- is a person who wants to be successful in what ever it is I do with my life. I want to love my job, love where I live and make enough to support myself and then hopefully a family one day. Will I be working if I have a family? I don’t know, that is something to think about another day. Today is just celebrating the fact that I am ok with taking my life slow and figuring things out as I go.

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T-17 Days….Keep Counting or Postpone…..

Last night I attended the Forté Foundation graduate school information session in NYC.  It was the biggest eye opener/stress reliever.  It has helped me realize that I don’t need to rush and apply for Fall 2013, I only have 1.5 years experience and still have a lot to learn.  I am at the very beginning stage of this process, the test. Yes this stage is very important but it is only a small piece to a larger puzzle.

This information session went over the application process step by step and gave you not only information from a students perspective but the admission council’s as well.  I have so much to get done and doing it in such a short amount of time really puts pressure on myself and will affect practically everything.  This process is not a race, it is something that you take your time with.  The university or universities you apply to should fit your standards and you theirs.  Do you really want to invest six figures in a program that leaves you still unsure with what you want to do next?

If you can do that then please donate to my fund too, I won’t mind.

“Kelsey Wants to Go to Graduate School” (not a real fund lol)

Right now I need to:

  • Have a few more years of experience 3+
  • Promotions- you need one or two to show that you are reliable, and an asset to the company
  • Application essays- have an answer for each essay
  • Have a plan- where do I see myself after graduate school, what exactly do I want to do?
  • Be able to answer the question- why now? Why this school? Why an mba?
  • Then you have recommendation letters- the more the merrier.  But the one thing to note is that these recommendations should only be from peers that have worked directly with you, and Supervisors’ current and past.  Admission staff dis-regard recommendations from friends, family, teachers etc.
  • Extra curricular activities…do you have any?
  • Have you taken any classes since college?

These are only a few things that matter, a few things that help make this process possible.

My GMAT test is September 22nd, should I postpone this test until October?  I have not even taken a practice exam and the test is in a few weeks…..the test is $250.  Can I afford to take this test and then re-take it? That is $500, a big, huge portion of my paycheck.

Now that I know my plan is going to take a little bit longer is it wrong to postpone the test?  Ugh, what should I do????

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T-19 Days & Counting

September 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 a.m I will be taking the GMATs.  Many people take the GMATs, thousands actually.  But the idea of taking them is very intimidating!  I have come to the realization that this test and preparing for graduate school is extremely time consuming, more so than college. Yes, I know it’s just a test, but this test is the first stepping-stone to my future.

I have been using the Manhattan GMAT (http://www.manhattangmat.com) prep books; I believe there are eleven. Books 1-5 or 1-6 are all math. I have one left and not looking forward to it.  I think I may skip it and focus on the reading and writing section, one thing I know is you cant focus all your time on one subject. We all have our challenges, mine is math. No matter how much I review, and take practice problems I will always struggle.  That is one thing I figured out at a very young age.

Math +Kelsey = slow torture.

Tomorrow (Tuesday September 4, 2012) I am attending a graduate school session hosted by Forté Foundation (http://www.fortefoundation.org) in NYC. This is my first information session and I am beyond excited with a hint of nervousness. The first hour is registration and a school fair, the second is Alumnae panel and the third is an admissions panel.  So much information in just 3 hours! I’ll make sure I post about it next time.

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Work Escape

I was readying Mitch Joel’s latest blog post and instantly related to this quote, “What has our work become? I actually have to physically leave my office and go home to get my work done (many would argue that the best place to work is on an airplane or a hotel room in a foreign city, while some of us escape to the corner Starbucks or local library). “

He nailed my escape right on the head, Starbucks.

If I need to focus and get something done my first choice is to go to Starbucks, if I need references or more space Barnes and Noble is my next option. After that I just stay at home, which hasn’t really happened yet. It’s ironic how we have to leave our work space to get work done. I find that my creativity diminishes the longer I sit in one location. Everyday during my lunch break I escape my reality and go to Starbucks where I order my grande light ice chai and graba comfy chair and read. Sometimes I’ll sit there and just day dream and that is where I begin to think about what else I can do for my company.


It sounds nuts, I know. But it works for me. Ten years from now I don’t see myself working in an office day to day. I see myself sitting at Starbucks with my iPad, a book, my phone, a drink and food for when I get antsy. I am not saying I wont have a job, I’ll just have a job where I go into the office when needed, for meetings or reviews and so on and then I can go work where I want. Where I can find a spot that I feel comfortable to get lost get lost in my thoughts and just create something. Again I know it sounds crazy, but I just know its how my mind works. I can’t be sitting near a computer or a tv because I get distracted. If i just have my ipad I won’t be constantly browsing the internet, and if there is not tv then there is no distraction.

One thing that I get distracted with is people watching. Actually I wouldn’t call it watching, it’s more of observing and taking mental notes of their actions. I study the interactions between friends and complete strangers. I observe what they are wearing and the thought process behind it. If they took time or not, or are showing their personality through their clothing. One thing I love to see is a person dressed business professional except for one thing. It can be their crazy socks that show when they cross their legs or their fun cuff links.

I know I am going off on a tangent but that’s precisely what I am trying to point out. I can get lost in my thoughts and really focus and learn about people and question things which then lead to more ideas. The best way to come up with a great idea is to not think about it at all.

Thanks for reading my thoughts and I hoped you enjoying my blabbering. I’d love to hear about where you escape too and what crazy things that cross your mind during those free moments!

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Learning from the Instigator

I work a 9:30-6:00 job Monday through Friday and on Wednesdays and Thursdays I show up at my second job to work from 8-11.  My second job is working for a gym as a check in rep for the front desk.  I spend a portion of my time checking people in and running the register, and when it’s slow I spend my time reading.  I love to read, most of the books I read are fiction because I don’t think there is anything like getting lost in a book. 

During my 3-6 hours a week I read and talk with gym members.  Every night I find myself talking to at least one interesting character.  Last week one of the members I always talk with and share books with was talking about his job and how his company tries to control what their employees do.  They track the web usage and block most communication platforms (twitter, blogs, gmail, etc.).  Management is afraid that someone may leak confidential company information.  This particular gentleman is an instigator; he loves to make people question why they do something if he thinks they are wrong.  When the boss explained his reasoning behind providing employees with cell phones that don’t have text messaging a light bulb wend off in his head.

Boss: We don’t have text messaging to be an option in the plans because we don’t want anyone sending text messages out that may contain confidential information.

Instigator:  Well that just sounds stupid, what keeps them from taking out their own personal cell phone and using that?  Also who would be stupid enough to use a corporate cell phone to leak information when all calls and messages are being tracked? 

Boss: Silence

 As technology progresses and becomes more common why do some people try to fight it?  I understand that some companies need to protect themselves and their customers but there needs to be a line.  If you are that afraid that someone will leak the information then why did you hire them in the first place?  You should be able to trust your employees or at least trust the management staff you hire to find the right person.  I understand that there is always that one person who ruins everything, but should everyone be micromanaged because of that?

 *why do companies micromanage?

*Does blocking content really do anything

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