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Author Archive for Sherri Rossi

Creativity… Who are you to say I am “from Mars”?

This blog is the final post of our Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice series offered this Fall.

Creativity. The word scares me a little bit. I don’t think I am a creative type on a daily basis. Sure, I come up with some great ideas sometimes but when I think of the meaning of creative, I don’t see my picture beside it in the dictionary. I can’t draw and I can’t picture myself working in a truly, in your face type of creative role. I am more of a process person, an organization person who likes documentation a whole lot (could be my background in HR perhaps?) and who likes to help businesses link their marketing strategies to their employee success.

So, when @BonniToronto sent me the following Buzzfeed link for a job applicant test trying to filter for creativity, I couldn’t resist. I had to see if I was creative enough to work for 88 Creative. As an HR person, my first instinct was to condemn the idea because we cannot hire people based on a 5 minute quiz nor can we measure the level of their creativity (or lack thereof). First of all, some of the options did not include anything I would have chosen and that is not fair. (maybe I am so uber creative that my answers are not the norm?). After completing the quiz my result was this:

“You got: Are you from Mars? So weird, but you might fit in with us, given a little coaching.”

Initially I was a bit offended, I must say. But then I “removed my HR hat” (as my husband often recommends) and looked at this quiz from the outside. I think this quiz was supposed to be fun, and perhaps I should look at it as such. From this perspective, I completed the quiz a few more times, giving different answers just to see the results. If the goal of this quiz was to create a buzz about 88 Creative then I think they were definitely successful. I don’t think they were aiming to hire the most creative individuals based on this short quiz…as was discussed in their blog that followed their quiz posting. Please click here to read it…

In some jobs it is a necessity to be creative and the creativity that is exhibited is obvious (logos, business ideas, new product designs, etc.). Sometimes creativity is required to solve complex problems and sometimes creativity is revealed in the way we help companies to maintain a solid, happy, productive workforce. How do you measure creativity at your workplace or is it something that you feel cannot be measured? I say no way, no how.

But what do I know, after all I am apparently from Mars.

The “Art” of Dealing with Stress – Part Deux

The last time we talked in my blog entitled “The Art of Dealing with Stress in a Stressful Time” I had mentioned that I had written the NKE Exam on May 5. Let’s fast forward to July 5, 2012 at 11:30am. The results of the NKE would be emailed to me in exactly 30 minutes. Talk about stress with a capital “STRESS”.  I was trying desperately to remain calm, work hard and forget that my fate for the upcoming months would be decided in exactly 30 minutes, 29, 28… Oh who am I kidding, I wanted to vomit! So instead, I kept my cookies down and took my own advice.

  1. I went for a walk outside, around the office building.
  2. I deeply breathed in the fresh air, looked at the beautiful greenery around me and,
  3. probably the most important of all, left my cell phone in my office.

When I got back to my office the email was awaiting me on my Blackberry. The results of which would decide if I a) could celebrate and enjoy my summer with my beautiful family or b) hunker down and start the long process of studying to re-write the NKE exam in October. So I bit the bullet and read the email. And re-read the email. And read it again. Wait a minute, did that say I passed? I PASSED! When the realization sunk in I did three things:

  1. I yelled “YAHOO!!!” in my office.
  2. Then I yelled “I PASSED!!!”, while jumping up and down, my arms in the air, also while still in my office.
  3. Then I called my amazing hubby (@rossimichael) and cried my eyes out.

In those tears was the release of knowing I didn’t have to study again. But also in those tears was the celebration of knowing I had achieved my goal! I had worked hard, managed my stress, my family and my work and had been successful. The outpouring of celebration I received from those around me was wonderful. But best of all was the celebration I had with my family and the fact that they were proud of me.  I had been a role model to my kids in proving that working hard and believing in yourself helps you to successfully achieve your goals.

I have since been able to use what I have learned in so many ways.  The way I see and deal with stress at work is different. The way I try to deal with stress at home is equally different. I have also been taking more time to smell the roses and enjoy every minute with my friends and family. I have also used my time wisely in preparing my Validation of Experience portion of the CHRP certification. It has taken me a while as I have been repeating all steps for four HR positions. I submitted the information as I was typing this. Stay tuned…I will update you on the progress and if I was successful in 6-8 weeks. Let another waiting game begin…

On October 15 of this year I sent up a little prayer to those who were writing the exam. That they remembered what they had studied, that the questions made sense. That they felt they had accomplished a huge feat. Most of all that, when they finished they took a deep breath and were met with a huge hug from someone they care about (or a fellow exam writer, whichever is closer!). I hope they all did well and I also hope they have learned that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Please take a moment and let me know what you have done to deal with your stress today. What are you grateful for today? What have you learned today? Oh, and take a moment to smell the roses (or your kids’ stinky feet, if you wish). This moment will never happen again.

The “ART” of Dealing with Stress in a Stressful Time!

Let’s get something straight, I am not a talented artist. Don’t get me wrong, I can draw a mean stick figure but that’s about it. So let’s relate that to how successful I have been with the “ART” of dealing with stress in a stressful time.

I should start off by telling you about my life over the last year. At the end of August 2011, Bonni Titgemeyer and I thought it would be a great idea for me to pursue the CHRP designation. Due to the fact that I earned my Human Resources Management certificate in California (Ahhh, the beaches, the palm trees, but I digress), I had to take some additional courses at Sheridan College. The total number of courses I completed between September and April….drum roll please… 6!!! That’s right, I said 6 courses. Each semester I took one in class, one online and completed a challenge exam at the HRPA. Plus I worked 3 days a week. Plus I have 2 kids (one of which is a competitive dancer) and a loving husband. (Thank you for your support Mike. And Bonni is happy that you still like her!). All the while I was trying to maintain my sanity amidst the assignments, textbooks, exams and, finally the NKE exam which I wrote on May 5. (That, my friends, was the exact opposite of FUN!).

During all this, Bonni and I were extremely busy with multiple projects which forced me to squeeze in the required reading and studying when I could manage it. My hubby helped a lot by providing me with some time to study and finish my assignments. There were a lot of late nights and, I’m not gonna lie, a few tears.

I found these next 10 techniques useful in managing my stress:

  1. Set realistic goals – if they are unrealistic your stress becomes multiplied.
  2. Delegate tasks to others (like house cleaning!)
  3. Take a break when you need it.
  4. Go for a walk and enjoy nature.
  5. Write your worries down and scratch off the ones you cannot control.
  6. Do some deep breathing.
  7. Meditate – who am I kidding – I couldn’t stop THINKING!!!
  8. Do something totally unexpected.
  9. LAUGH!
  10. Take Control!

Over the last year I have also learned a few things:

  1. When all else is said and done, family and friends count the most.
  2. It is ok to say “no” to things I cannot manage.
  3. Although I thought my schedule was super busy before, I managed to squeeze everything else in and still get everything done (and maintain an A average!). We are stronger than we think!
  4. Children bring a smile and a happy heart – most of the time, anyways.
  5. In my situation, balance in life seemed unachievable, but with practice I figured it out.
  6. When school ended, I felt that my accomplishment was much bigger than I originally thought it would be!
  7. Flexibility in life is just as important as organization.
  8. Although I have always been a bit of a book nerd, my approach to studying has matured over the years and I am very grateful for that! But don’t ask me to do it over right now…or ever again.
  9. Life is great, especially when you appreciate everyone in it!

What would I do differently next time? Knowing me like I do, probably nothing! I deal with stress how I deal with it and I think, overall, I did ok.

What are some techniques you have used to deal with stress? Take a minute to jot them down (and feel free to leave a comment!)

Remember, when life hands you a bowl of lemons, make lemonade. Just remember to share it with your family and friends because they will always be right by your side waiting for a cup.