A Few Professional + Blog Updates

I have ALWAYS been a goal-getter! Maybe it is because I am an Enneagram Type 3 (if you know you know!) and THRIVE off of being productive and combatting every bullet point on my to do lists time and time again. Needless to say, June and July 2023 were BIG and EXCITING months for me. Both professionally and personally, I have been able to reach a few of my more bigger goals that I had established around the time I graduated college in 2021. This Fall 2023 season will be a busy busy busy yet excited time for me, and I cannot wait to see what all is in store for me moving forward.

Professionally-speaking, a reached a HUGE goal of mine within my 9-5 job that I have learned to LOVE over the past two years. I started my job back in late July of 2021 at the same company that I am lucky to be with now and don’t foresee myself leaving anytime soon. Over the past 2 years, I have tried my hand at a few different things, but have landed a great role on a healthcare-based contract that I LOVE and as a co-lead of my company’s Women in Data Community of Practice (COP) that I also LOVE. One of my biggest goals since January 2022 was to become a task lead for a specialty area within a contract that I was working on. And, I am pleased to say that as of late July 2022, my goal was ACHIEVED (!!!!) as I was able to transition to task lead and subject-matter expert (SME) for a 3-person team on my current healthcare-based project part time while also serving as a SME for another 7-person team on the same contract. I am extremely proud of myself for reaching this major career milestone of mine that I have been working towards for the past 18 months.

If there is one thing I have learned since starting my career is that careers are not like going to high school where you’re starting at the bottom and within 3 years you’re on top of the world essentially ruling the school. Career progression is A LOT slower than progression within one’s high school and college years. Careers take much longer than in high school or college to progress and *even* decide the direction you want to take. And, careers are decades-long experiences for many of us, as opposed to the standard 4 years of high school/college. Careers are unique to each of us, too, and the directions that we may choose to take. For myself, I want to take the leadership route with my career. Leadership is one of my biggest passions that I am blessed to have gained during my college years. One of my favorite leadership roles in college was being the President of the Canaday Math & Computer Science Club! And, well, my passion for leadership via the support of my employer (which I am SOOOO grateful for!!) has allowed me to apply for and get accepted into … the Ignite Young Professionals Class of 2024 cohort via the Leadership Center for Excellence in Arlington, Virginia. The Ignite Young Professionals Program’s purpose is “to expose participants to skills, ideas, and established area leaders, offer a space to explore personal and professional leadership development, and catapult emerging leaders into situations that create value and impact” (here). The other day, I took the DISC Management profile assessment as apart of preparation for Ignite Young Professionals AND let’s just say that I am VERY excited for the program to begin in October (!!). And, in late July, I networked with a cohort classmate in Old Town Alexandria which was a great opportunity to connect pre-program. In addition to Ignite Young Professionals, I will also be getting a human-centered design certification via a company-hosted course in October-November. I have been REALLY excited to take human-centered design and would’ve done it sooner if it weren’t for a busy spring/summer project season. Needless to say, I am really excited to grow and develop both personally and professionally and am extremely grateful for those in my network who helped me to get there!

While I won’t share much now, on the professional end of things, I have been working on figuring out a way to achieve a longer-term goal of mine. And, I am SO excited to say that within the last few weeks, the start of that goal is starting to come into itself. This goal of mine, even though I won’t say what it is now or anytime soon, is a big goal of mine that I know will set me up for success moving forward. Alongside this goal, one of another HUGE goals of mine that I will mention is to get my Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Ever since I was in my undergraduate years at Meredith College, I knew that I wanted to go to business school and get an MBA. The other day, I had my first discussion to learn about an MBA program and begin to decide which program and which program format may be the best fit for me. It is a REALLY exciting process, nevertheless, that leaves me feeling nothing but excited (and a *bit* overwhelmed!) for what’s all to come.

NOW, having reached two career milestones within the past 2 months, I have *surprise* become more and more busy in my professional life. I LOVE being busy professionally and for me that means scaling back on my travels via traveling less but for longer periods when work is less busy and enjoying more things locally, prioritizing self care more so, and ensuring that I meet ALL of my deadlines. I get a ton of fulfillment from professional development, and while I am adapting to it all now, I am also enjoying despite feeling a bit more overwhelmed than usual for the time being. SO, what does that all mean for the blog?! WELLLL, I have many many many blogging goals moving forward! I plan to post a bit less here on the blog aka this website, but be more intentional about it all. Moving forward, this platform will focus more so on things to do in the Washington, DC area, whether it be restaurants, cafes, bars, activities, day trips, and shops. I will ALSO be sharing tons and tons of travel content when I do travel, too. And, *of course* home decor, fashion (including my monthly work outfits of the day round-up’s!), and some hosting content in between will be shared, on occasion. My main focus has been finding fun things to do and sharing them with others while adding a sprinkle of confetti and pink wherever I go – The Pink Chickadee style!

I am ALSO please to say … that some of my BIGGEST goals in the blogging world of things are coming into fruition! While I will not say A TON at the moment, I will mention that I am extremely excited for what the future holds for me and my incredible platform that I am happy that YOU are a part of.

I have been dreaming up some BIG goals in both my blogging and professional worlds. I have always been someone who is a proud “hustler”, while also enjoying and emphasizing the importance of a work-life balance. AND, I am beyond excited to see lots of my hard work begin to pay off. Here’s to an exciting and fun, yet busy Fall season!!

XOXO – Katie <3

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