Buyer’s Remorse, FOMO, or Imposter Syndrome? No x 3

Three weeks ago, I started a new job. During my job search, I’d considered lots of companies and similar to when I bought new vehicles a few years go, I’d wondered if there would be any regrets, i.e. FOMO, buyer’s remorse, or imposter syndrome.

Thankfully, I’ve had none of those with my relatively new vehicles or with my brand new job.

FOMO is Fear of Missing Out … wondering if you had just waited a little longer, would something better have come along. Related to that is Buyer’s Remorse is regret about the decision you made and wondering if you’re going to like the vehicle or job.

Imposter Syndrome is again looking at the fit but in the other direction … am I worthy of the vehicle or job?

Well, after 5 years, I still love my Chevy Silverado and the ability to haul stuff whether it’s supplies for a home improvement project, helping people move, or taking old junk to the dump / donating stuff I no longer need to Habitat Restore or one of the local thrift shops. And I’m worthy of having a truck because I’ve actually used it for all those things I just mentioned. And our other car is a Subaru Forester which came loaded with all kinds if safety features because I want to do everything I can to make sure my wife is safe.

For my job, it’s the right company & job for me plus I’m the right one for the role. I had other companies with whom I was in ongoing conversations and one of those might have also been a good fit but this opportunity feels like a great fit with my background, my skills and strengths and what I like doing.

I’m getting to work remote which means being closer to family plus not only finally creating my long-planned sports room nut also having it double as my office. Now I get to spend more time with my wife and also see my sports memorabilia while doing a job I actually enjoy.

Life is good!

The Ultimate Sacrifice

As we celebrate Memorial Day, remember to honor the memories of those that made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation. And while we should be thankful to all veterans, the holiday to honor them is November 11th; today is specifically about those who died while serving in the military.

Categories: Military, Veterans Day

Next Stage of my Career

As of June 1st, 2021, I’ll be working at Bellomy as Senior Research Manager.  They’re a Marketing Research company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, although I’ll be remote from Kansas City.

I want to thank several of my past bosses:

  • Randy Crabtree at Elrick & Lavidge
  • Cathy Allin and Alex Sodek at Decision Insight
  • Kim, AnnMarie, Tracy, Jim and Michelle at The Kansas City Star
  • Andrea Rowan at excelerate

I want to thank all those that helped me to this point in my career but here are just a few:

  • Marilyn Donatello at Maple Woods Community College who helped a high school senior explore careers … yes, I picked Marketing Research as my career while still in high school
  • Dr. Steve Parker, my favorite professor and advisor while earning my Bachelor’s Degree at Missouri State University
  • Dr. Greg Allenby, my professor (Multivariate Analysis for Decision Making) during my MBA at The Ohio State University
  • the folks at USDA Forestry Services, Worlds of Fun and The Ohio State University Medical Center for providing me with some of my earliest experience as a marketing research professional
  • Bill Hartel at Hallmark Cards who shared the wisdom “If you’re not selling, you better be supporting someone that is”
  • Tony Berg at McClatchy who was more than a co-worker or boss; he has been a true friend for several years now
  • Kim Nussbaum for helping me launch MCDC/McClatchy LIFT, Kim Woods for helping me roll it out to all of McClatchy and Isaac Hindle for doing LOTS of work behind the scenes to keep it running for 6 years
  • Adam, Anna, Sally, Andy, Tekle, Ilea, Brian and many more with whom I had the privilege to work at excelerate research
  • Carlos Pelay for great collaboration on creating the Automated Research Tool (ART) that helped us make the continuous workflow a little more manageable
  • Francis Lopez for being the sole survivor within the McClatchy Research+Insights team
  • Kim and Vana as we tackled “other duties as assigned” including projects like Food Truck Friday, United Way, and Project Warmth Kansas City

I’ve already had a great welcome from the folks at Bellomy and want to thank Carolyn for guiding me through the interview and onboarding process. I am truly excited as I’m starting this next stage of my career.

Fight Childhood Cancer … 1 Cup at a Time

We’re only one week away from Midwest Lemonade Days which is a fundraiser for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Go to HyVee grocery stores in the Kansas City area between 11am and 5pm on Friday, June 4, or Saturday, June 6. Buying a cup of lemonade helps in the fight against childhood cancer.

You can also donate online through this fundraising page for my daughter-in-law, Lauren. Let’s help make a difference and put an end to childhood cancer.

Ghosts

Recently we watched the remake of Ghostbusters and my granddaughter wandered in for the scene with the giant marshmallow man so she later said that she wanted to see the movie again even though she only saw one scene.

Ghosting is something that occurs in relationships, both romantic and professional. In romantic relationships, some people ignore others which is kind of rude. This was actually mentioned in the most recent episode of This is Us.

On a professional level, there’s a lot of ghosting in the interview process. As a candidate, it’s very frustrating to not hear back from a company to which you applied. I get it that a recruiter can’t reply to every application but if it progresses to an interview (or more) it seems like common courtesy to keep the candidate informed about whether they’re still a candidate. However, I had a couple companies with whom I had multiple interviews but am assuming that I’m no longer a candidate since I’ve not heard anything in awhile.

Switching sides of the equation, how much (or little) should the candidates update employers? If you’re in final stages with one company when another one asks for an interview, do you continue? What about those with whom you’re already in process? And how does that change when you get an offer or if you actually accept an offer?

These are real questions and I’d like input from colleagues from both sides, especially those that have been involved in the process of applying or hiring within the last year.

Winning in Kansas City

It’s great to once again see a winning team in Kansas City.

As I write this, the Kansas City Royals have the best record (16-9 or .640) in Major League baseball although they’re currently losing in the 7th inning so I better go ahead and publish this or they’ll fall out of first before I do so.

I love the Royals and find watching baseball relaxing. I also enjoy football but a single loss is more painful there because of the fewer number of games. And that’s true whether we’re talking about the NFL / Kansas City Chiefs or NCAA / The Ohio State University Buckeyes.

The Royals have been to 4 World Series: they lost in 1980 and 2014; they won in 1985 and 2015. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait another 30 years for another championship. Of course, the Chiefs had an even longer drought. They lost Super Bowl I and won Super Bowl IV (both before the game was named the Super Bowl, by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt) and won the championship following the 2019 season and lost the season after the 2020 season. So those championships were 50 years apart.

By the way, The Kansas City Star released a couple of great books about the 2014 and 2015 seasons and, for some reason, I bought multiple copies. So, if you (or someone you know) is a big Royals fan and in need of some reading materials, go to Facebook Marketplace for the details: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/3949423205146767/

I hope the Royals can keep winning and return to the post-season. But, win or lose, I’m a true-blue KC Royals fan.

Categories: Chiefs, Royals Tags: ,

Make a Difference

It’s National Volunteer Week so I just want to say “Thank You” to anyone/everyone that is doing their part to make their community and world a better place.

I’ve been involved in a lot of nonprofits through the years. Several years back, I was a member of the Steering Committee for the Young Leaders Society (YLS) for United Way of Greater Kansas City and later was the campaign chair for my company. I have also served on the Advisory Board for youTheology and Project Warmth Kansas City. I also was on staff at my church and volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America. Plus, on the first Friday/Saturday of June each year, I volunteer to sell lemonade at a local HyVee in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

While those are some ways I’ve been involved, think about what cause is close to your heart.

You don’t have to do something big and splashy.

You could donate some food to Harvester’s … there’s probably a donation barrel at your local grocery store

Pick up some trash in a local park or along the road or highway

Donate to a cause.

Participate in a charity walk or a peaceful protest.

Use your voice (whether it’s in person or on social media) to lift up positivity and change as well as pushing back against hatred or misinformation.

Find some way that you can contribute to the greater good.

Save the Planet

April 22nd is Earth Day but we shouldn’t limit discussions of conservation and recycling to one day. This topic is becoming a popular one whether as a topic in the debates during the presidential primaries or proposed legislation. However, it shouldn’t be limited to one political party. Our leaders need to figure out how to make it realistic to protect our resources while also saving jobs. When proposals come out that figure out how to employ those most impacted by the changes, people sit up and take notice.

If you propose ways to shift from oil, also figure out how to help people working in the oil industry to find a way to shift as well. Look at the positive and negative impacts of each decision and be empathetic to those hurt by what is “best for the long term” so that we can find a way forward together.

At the same time, we all owe it to ourselves and future generations to figure out how to make our way of life sustainable so that we protect our planet. When I was involved in Scouting (as a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, earning Eagle and finally as an adult leader) we were taught to leave things better than we found them. If we went on a campout, we were supposed to have No Trace camping so we needed to police the grounds before we left to make sure that we weren’t leaving any trash behind but it was more than that. We sometimes did conservation projects to actually leave it better than it was when we arrived.

I’m pleased that my grandkids know how/where to recycle when they’re in our home. I love it when my wife and I take our dogs (two Huskies) for walks but am saddened by the construction that takes away trees or how often we see that others have left trash on the side of the road or pathway.

I was once on the Green committee at The Kansas City Star and we looked for big and small ways to lead to change. The biggest impact came from looking at the end rolls of newsprint and finding a way for those to be reused and also constantly evaluating the right sources of paper and ink which (along with people) were the biggest expenses in the company. We also made a change with our employees and had centrally located trash cans but recycle bins in every cubicle so that we would recycle first and throwing something away took more effort.

Let’s all do our part to make a better place for us to live.

80% effective

Two weeks ago, I got my first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine so it’s now at 80% effectiveness. Two weeks from now, I’ll get my second dose of the #FauciOuchie and two weeks after that, it will be up to 90% effectiveness. While I definitely intend to get the 2nd dose, I’m now most of the way to getting its full impact.

Which makes me think about effectiveness at work. People like to talk about putting in 110% but that’s not actually possible. If someone is putting in a 40-hour work week and has a 1-hour commute each way (or their commute is just 30 minutes but they take an hour lunch break each day) that means they’re spending 50 hours of time to produce only 40 hours work. During the pandemic, a lot of companies realized that many people could be just as effective in their jobs working from remote / telecommuting.

However, remote work isn’t an option for some jobs due to the nature of the role. For example, none of my kids has the option of working remote … retail management, sheet metal workers union and working with animals don’t lend themselves to being done from a distance.

Another area dividing our nation is the challenges with internet connections. A study was released in January 2020 (before we all went on lockdown) that listed Kansas City, MO, as the #1 city for working remote, primarily due to our outstanding internet speed … thanks to Google Fiber. So, where I live puts me at an advantage but not everyone is so lucky because they don’t have a good internet connection. When my father-in-law was briefly relying on satellite for his internet, the connection was lousy at best; as soon as he switched providers (thank you AT&T) it was much better.

Some people just need to go into the office to be productive. A former co-worker once told me that she wouldn’t be able to get anything done if she worked from home. Meanwhile, my boss at the time, told me to work remote whenever I wished because I was actually more productive when I didn’t have to worry about all of the interruptions (walk-up requests) and meetings. That was even the case when my wife was in the hospital and I kept myself busy with work whenever she was sleeping but was able to be there when the doctors/nurses showed up. However, it was nice to go into the office to use my multiple screens or to have a meeting with members of Senior Management or with other members of the local team.

Of course, when I started supporting 30 markets at once, having face-to-face interaction was less common anyway and it was nice to have a hybrid arrangement where I had an office when I needed it but could also work from home in KC … or my father-in-law’s couch in Texas.

Whether the future involves me working full-time in an office, full-time remote or some hybrid, I’ll be dedicated to fully supporting my organization and its internal & external clients. I’m just not going to say I’m giving 110% because it goes against my training in statistics.

Who are you? Employment

Since April is Diversity Awareness month, I’ve been looking at a variety of topics and how we look at them in both Marketing Research and in Human Resources. I saved employment for last because it hits close to home.

As a Senior in High School, I decided on what I wanted to do professionally. Thankfully, for more than 20 years, I have been fortunate enough to follow my dream and work in Marketing Research. Unfortunately, I’ve been unemployed since November when my former company went through one of its many rounds of layoffs related to COVID-19.

When you ask about employment, it often has full-time, part-time or unemployed. Sometimes it also includes retired or student. However, I think these options can be limiting if it’s a single-response question.

Most of the time that I was in college, I was a full-time student but also working at least one part-time job.

While I’ve worked full-time jobs ever since just after earning my MBA, I also spent 15 years where I had a 2nd job as a Youth Director which some called a part-time job; however, those of us that have been in ministry understand that it’s more of a 24/7 job … and the same would be true of teachers. Plus, for a portion of that time, I was actually working a 3rd job helping out one night a work at a bookstore. I did this more because I’d realized I’d never worked in retail and felt that was a gap in my work experience.

How about those doing “gig work” such as being an Uber Driver or Instacart? Those hours might vary greatly from one week to another. It could be a full-time job in some cases. Aren’t our options on the survey limiting?

I asked a variation on this within my blog about Geography but I’ll share it here as well. When filling out an application where they ask for past employers and want to know the location of my employer, what do I list? Do I list where I’m physically doing the work or where the business is located or where the company’s headquarters are located?

If someone is not actively working a paying job, do they still say they’re unemployed? What if they’ve given up on searching for work? Stay-at-home parents are working pretty hard; they’re just not getting paid for it. What if someone is semi-retired? They might not be old enough to qualify to receive social security or retirement from a former employer but they’ve chosen to not work at this time. What do they mark on the form?

So, this has all been about employment or lack thereof. If you’ve read this blog post (or those before it) and think I’ve posed some questions that a particular company needs to hear and think they need to bring me on board, please consider connecting me to their HR or hiring manager for the Marketing Research function.

In Marketing Research, we are trying to help our clients better understand those they serve so I want to use terms that respondents feel accurately describe them and are not offensive. Help me out by reviewing my “Who are you?” series. I’ve asked about Race/Ethnicity, Religion/Spirituality Age/Generations, Marital Status, Sex/Gender, Money, Geography, Politics, Education, Medical Conditions, Military service and Employment. This concludes my previously prepared list of topics as we celebrate Diversity Awareness month but please let me know if I’ve left out something.