Swan song: 2016 resolutions

2016

They say some of the most stressful events in life are getting married, moving, and starting a new job. We did all three in six months.

On top of that, I lost two grandparents, started traveling for work, and adopted a puppy. It’s safe to say that 2015 kicked my ass, but it was worth the fight.

This quote from the band States can sum up my 2015:

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That’s why for this coming year my personal mantra is “back to basics.” I lost my way a little this year, but I’m going to get back on track.

I listened to the Leave Your Mark audiobook by my unofficial mentor, Aliza Licht, and one of the most important takeaways was probably something she didn’t intend: Although our culture glorifies entrepreneurism and the #girlboss, there’s a lot to be said for those who invest their extra energy into advancing in their day jobs. Her story alone is inspiring. She started as a pre-med student from Long Island, and has built an empire on her work ethic and social savvy while climbing the career ladder. That’s why my 2016 includes shutting down this little side hustle, investing in my career, and spending more time with my husband & our fur baby.

But I also have some more specific goals. Here are my three new year’s resolutions for 2016:

  1. Become debt-free: 2016 will be the year I become debt-free. Luckily we didn’t go into any debt for our wedding or our move because we paid for everything in cash, but I’m still carrying around car payments and student loans. The quicker I pay those off, the more money I can add to our savings account each month.
  2. Send more love letters: Okay, maybe not literally love letters, but I believe in the power of snail mail. This year I was also inspired by Hannah Brencher and her mission to help strangers with greeting cards and love notes. (Watch her TED talk here.) I’m taking baby steps. My goal for 2016 is to send all of my besties a physical birthday card, rather than just a text or Facebook post.
  3. Actually read the books on my shelf: I am hereby placing myself on a book ban. I cannot buy any more books until I read all of the ones I currently have. I think the perfect time to start will be on our two-week Christmas break.

Thanks for everyone’s support over the past two years – it’s been a fun trip! Please keep in touch ❤️

🐥Twitter: @ryanrcaitlin

📷Instagram: @caitlinrryan

👻Snapchat: caitlinrryan

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5 people to thank in your professional life

5 people to thank in your professional life

As we gather around the table this Thursday and eat into a turkey, mashed potato, and gravy coma, we’ll undoubtedly take a moment to reflect on the basics that we’re thankful for: family, friends, food, and good health, to name a few. But even though the focus of the season is on our home lives, it’s important to give thanks to the key people in our professional lives, too.

Take a few hours over the 4-day weekend to reflect on the past year, put together a list, and start writing out little notes of gratitude.

Tip: You’ll want to get these notes in the mail by the second week of December at the latest in order to reach people before they head out for the holidays.
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Current views: November

I often forget how close we are to Thanksgiving and Christmas because I’m still able to walk Rufio wearing a light jacket. These pretty 70-degree days are definitely throwing off my internal clock. Speaking of Rufio, I feel like we’ve really turned a corner with him in terms of training – he slept through the night for the first time, he’s eating more, and we taught him how to sit and lay down 🙂 This month also marked the first time I had to leave him to go on a business trip, and I worried about my little baby. Good thing our dog walker texts photo updates every day!

This year, we’ll be staying down south for Thanksgiving and having a “Friends-giving,” and I’m looking forward to the 4-day weekend to relax and cheer on the Panthers with my two boys. However, we’re already counting down to Christmas (I may or may not have started perusing the Christmas movies on Netflix) when we’ll be heading home to New York.

Here’s what we’ve been up to this past month:

How to lose a guy in 10 days

My new nameplate at work–current theme is favorite movies. “It’s a Chinese Crested!”

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How to be the most informed girl at the water cooler

When I first enrolled in undergrad, I declared my major as journalism. I loved to write, and I loved to play anchor in front of the green screen in our broadcast studio, but the problem was that I didn’t love the news. Especially local news. I wish I did. I wish I could be the next Sloan Sabbith who is brilliant and educated and informed, but the truth was, I was more like Andie Anderson – Composure’s how-to girl – and I wasn’t passionate enough about the news to put in the work at the local level to get up to Sloan Sabbith’s level. At the end of college, I realized that I could not, in fact, live out a Kate Hudson rom-com (mostly because I had no connections in the New York publishing world, or any money to live there), and turned to PR.

With all that being said, I know that we can’t survive on information solely from girlie magazines and lifestyle blogs. I also know that staying informed is a big part of being successful in PR. But I can honestly say that I don’t have that news junkie gene to stay up on anything that doesn’t interest or affect me/a client directly. However, I do have the drive to prevent myself from becoming the Joey of the friend group – admit it, we’ve all had at least one of those moments.

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8 wisdom nuggets from Lean In

Professional Women's Book Club

This year, we started a Professional Women’s Book Club in the agency that we affectionately call CMYK – it’s based on our names, and alludes to the fact that we’re creatives. Our first pick was Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and despite how much press it has gotten or how late we may be to the party, I was still blown away at how eye-opening and world-shattering this book was. I loved it down to every last paragraph, and I happily devoured it while sticking post-it flags on passages that made me want to jump up and down on the couch while I read it because they were so relatable, so smart, or so inherently me.

Below are eight of my favorite quotes (out of the countless rainbow flags stuffing out of my hard copy) that I wanted to share here because I believe that many other women will find them beneficial and relatable. I highly suggest you pick up the book, whether you’re in college, just starting your career, or have hit a plateau. You won’t regret it.
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What I learned at the World’s Largest Webinar

World's Largest Webinar 2014

This past Wednesday afternoon, M & I attended HubSpot’s World’s Largest Webinar from the comfort of our conference room. The webinar was hosted by Dan Zarrella of HubSpot and included executives from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to provide “The Secrets to Success on Social Media.”

What I love most about events like this is that I’m surrounded by “my people.” I was able to be a part of a conversation with thousands of others who also love to geek out over their love of social media. The stream for the webinar’s hashtag, #WLW14, was refreshing so fast we barely could keep up; it was so much fun and a perfect example of why I love social media. I couldn’t believe that this was my job, that I get paid to perfect social media skills and strategy. But I do! And here are some of the best tips that I picked up from the webinar.
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