Kelly Connolly is a professional who works as a Service Sales Representative for the Industrial Machinery & Equipment company, Otis Worldwide. The company was founded in 1853 and is based in the United States. Kelly holds the position of Non-Manager in the Sales Department and is based in West Palm Beach. You can follow her on LinkedIn. She can also be followed on Twitter. To find out more about her, visit her website or check out her LinkedIn profile.
The relationship between Matty Connolly and Kelly Connie was a complicated one. Despite their love and mutual admiration for each other, Kelly and Matty were unable to commit to one another, and Matty knew this. Kelly, who worked as a reporter in a major New York City newspaper, wanted to get close to Matty, but she could not risk hurting her reputation in the process.
As a child, Matty was intrigued by the sounds of the uillean pipes. He met some uillean pipe players at a feiseanna in Co Fermanagh. The Rev. Bernard Maguire gathered five uillean pipe players, including Matty, and formed a group in Knockatallon. The group later went on to master full sets. Matty played uillean pipes for a variety of occasions, including house parties. He also joined many feiseanna and social gatherings. After college, he traveled to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician.
We met Keidra Chaney at our summer salon a few months ago and she is a total gem. While we spent the evening chatting about social media, how we utilize it for our business and our personal connections, we couldn’t help but feel that Keidra was ahead of the curve with her tips on how she tries to handle it all (her past career experiences may play a role). So when she mentioned that she’s begun to shift her focus away from Facebook, we were all ears. Read on to hear more about why this trailblazer is aiming to take meaningful relationships offline, phasing away from the dominant and sometimes overpowering social network and loosening the hold it has on us all.
My relationship with Facebook has been a constantly evolving, quite often frustrating one, much like being in a relationship with a really entertaining, but needy, intrusive and annoying person. I’ll cop to the fact that my perspective has been largely colored by having a mostly transactional connection to the social network, not long after I joined I was using it on a professional level, working as a web content manager, and then a social media community manager at a Chicago university.
Too old to be a part of the original cohort of Facebookers who created their first account as college undergrads or high school students, I was still mostly ahead of the curve. (At the time – roughly 2005 – one could only get a Facebook account with a verified college e-mail address.) Living a dual life on Facebook for so long has been a blessing and a curse. Facebook has reconnected me with old friends and former co-workers and it’s helped me maintain real-life friendships with people who have moved away. I’ve even met awesome new people thanks to Facebook (though Twitter’s been way more fruitful when it comes to making new real-life friends.)
But the new social order that FB has created has its own headaches– intrusive updates to the algorithm where you see posts from friends of friends that you don’t care about, getting ugly pictures at cocktail parties tagged, dumb political flame wars with crackpot exes, passive aggressive fights about party invitations. And when you work in social media marketing there’s more headaches – accidently posting a personal update to a business page, moderating other people’s dumb political flame wars during your day off, constantly using the word “engagement” for things that have absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s impending marriage.
Until very recently, I’ve had little experience with Facebook solely as a personal network. It’s long been such a necessary part of my career that I never really thought about what it would mean to choose to leave, for good. But now I can.
After several years of working as a social media community manager, I’ve recently shifted my career focus back to my original career goals of writing and editing, meaning for the first time in years, I have no Facebook business pages to update, no ads to buy. I’m able to leave Facebook at my own choosing without it majorly disrupting my work life.
And yet it’s not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I’m hardly some Facebook social butterfly; I have 600 Facebook “friends” and I would say only a quarter of them are people I see in real life terribly often. Yet as I started to weed down my Facebook friends list, and plan a hiatus for myself, I found it was much more connected to my personal life than I gave it credit for. Casual friends and acquaintances that I primarily connect with on FB, will I be able to keep up with them? Those Facebook groups I moderate, who can I hand them over to? Where will I go for my daily updates about the Dillinger Escape Plan? What if I miss an awesome event because FB is the only way I’d hear about it? And it actually annoys me to admit that Facebook is so much a part of the meaningful connections of my daily life that I would actually miss it if I left. But I still want to loosen the networks hold over me. I want to eliminate a lot of noise and focus more intently on the real-life relationships that FB helps to maintain, and perhaps move FB away from being the nexus of those relationships.
BUT IT’S SO EASY TO STAY. I know that’s the appeal of FB and why even as other networks come and go, FB continues its dominance. I’m still figuring out how to change my relationship with FB and the people on it and how to redefine my relationship to social media now that community isn’t a part of my professional identity. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Forth Follow Up: Kelly O’Brien of Ideaction
Kelly O’Brien came to our Summer Salon and, man, am I glad she did. I met Kelly at the launch party for her incredible, award-winning venture, Ideaction Corps, which brings together teams of talent (individuals and groups) to partner with organizations working to change the world. She’s the real deal. As she spoke, I knew I wanted to ask her to attend an event. I assumed, though, that everyone always wants her to attend everything ever and that it must make her be mindful and intentional about her time. It turns out I was right: She’s looking for more than just networking. She’s looking for the deep dive. Here are some of her thoughts on what’s more powerful than networking. -Julie
I’m blessed that many people reach out to me for career advice. Meeting with others to talk about our professional journeys is one of the highlights of my days.
Usually the initial connection is initiated by a referral. On occasion, it’s someone who found me on the interwebs. Most always, they reach out and say they are currently networking, or seeking advice about networking, and I was recommended to them as someone they should talk with about networking.
And here is my response: stop networking.
Networking does not express your greater potential, nor honors the greatness in others. Sure, casting a net may yield some fish, but wouldn’t you rather swim in the ocean? If you are interested in following the true path to your purpose, in my experience, connecting with the right Guides means knowing and being yourself.
Knowing myself is an ongoing quest, but I know a great deal that is helpful. For example, I don’t enjoy bowling, or board games or Match.com. I’m not really in my element at the Union League Club or formal boardroom presentations or after work “social” business events. I HATE PowerPoint.
Conversely, I LOVE breakfast. I am much happier outside v. inside; warm v. cold. Inspiration comes to me during runs and walks and in unstructured idea-sharing conversations.
So I schedule breakfast meetings and find opportunities to participate in daytime small group conversations over lunch. I often walk or bike to my appointments. Obviously it’s impossible to avoid completely the things I don’t like to do as much. I’m a consultant, so PowerPoint is not exiting my world soon.
But I do find that when I participate in activities that I genuinely enjoy, I’m happier, my creative energy is full force and I am meeting and attracting people who complement and grow this power. It’s like a magnet.
When I am being Kelly, I offer people insight into my true gifts. People who want to work with these gifts (or date them!) are attracted to me. It’s also true that trying to stick myself to people or paths that are not attracted to me is usually a dead end.
If you seek genuine leads, the kind that inspire you, hire you and get you, just be you – they will come.
What you seek is seeking you. – Rumi
Of course it helps to recognize Guides when they present themselves. Not everyone runs around talking about his or her passions. So be curious, ask questions, and pay attention. Identifying people that expand your horizons and your opportunities means you need to know them too. Not what they do, or how they do it, but what they are about and who they are.
Asking people to reveal themselves is an amazing way to gain insight and direction. What gets them excited? Who do they live for? What do they dream about doing? How did they get where they are? Pay attention to how their answers make you feel– your emotional responses are guideposts in your journey. Often the qualities we react most strongly to in others lie within us, consciously or unconsciously.
One of the things I loved about the Forth “event” (which I don’t even feel like calling an “event” – another clue you are in the right spot!) is that it started with these kind of questions. It dove right into the stuff that you want to know but are afraid to ask and reveal on a first date.
Every place and every person is an opening for inspiration if you are a seeker. You don’t need to pack your calendar with new events, just the right ones. Talk with your cab driver, the woman in the seat next to you on the plane, your best friend’s mom. Don’t define your relationships as “work” and “personal.”
A few clues that can help you spot if you are fishing instead of swimming: If your search has become a job, you may not synching it up with things you love. If conversation is uncomfortable and your experience is a chore, ask yourself if you are really being you or trying to please someone else. If your calendar is draining you, and you feel like you can’t keep up with all the events–you might be fishing.
Recently I was at a party with a friend and some of her clients. When introducing her client to another person, my friend introduced him as “her client.” Later, the client said to me, “I hope someday she will introduce me as her friend.”
When we stop viewing people as fish, and start relating them as friends, our universe expands- personally and professionally. Dive in and swim.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WORK / LIFE BALANCE, WE JUST GET MOMENTS
Let’s not fool ourselves, there is no such thing as a work / life balance for working mothers. It’s a tired old story, so why do we keep asking the question? Instead of balance, what if we were only allowed small moments, like a 2 minute song, and that’s all we get until our kids are in kindergarten? If that was the case, and we all recognized that’s it, I think our expectations will be set in reality, at least until kindergarten, which for me is in 2018.
I have four kids, two of my own and two step-kids, a husband, a business and Forth Chicago. Everything right now is work. Everything needs 100% of me, especially my 1 year old daughter. My mom called me on Sunday to ask me how I was doing. I went into how everyone else was doing: my son put my phone in a cup of water last week, my daughter’s elbow popped back into place at the doctor, and the car battery was no longer dead, things were looking up! At the end of my rant, she asked again, “Well, Lisa, how are you?” And I said, “I think I have pneumonia.” Really, I thought I did. I was so tired, but the last thing on my mind was me. When you are so busy fulfilling the needs of others, your life is work and balance comes in small moments.
HERE ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS THAT HELP ME RECOGNIZE SMALL MOMENTS OF BALANCE AND PURPOSE BEFORE DIVING BACK IN:
- Dance. Dance like no one is watching, because they aren’t, they are looking at themselves, not you. I love going to Feevah which is a mix of Zumba and hip hop. You can take classes here, or Juan teachs 2x a week at the Oak Park, Illinois FFC.
- New Age Music. Music has an extreme effect on me. I grew up around it, my dad is a bluegrass musican, and I use to be a club kid. Now I am much more tame and have a library of New Age instrumental music that has birds chirrping and brooks bubbling. Bonus: it calms down small children. Try David & Steven Gordon’s Musical Healing.
- Community. Surround yourself with people you look up to and you can call on for help. Forth is that for me, so are other mom’s, my step-mothers group, my church, B-School and my family. I believe that you are the sum of the 5 people you hangout with most. It takes spirit and broken hearts to find those people but once you do, hang on to them! They will help provide a consistent push in the right direction of your teeter-tottering work life balance.
The idea of this blog post was daunting because I thought I didn’t have anything to contribute. I thought long and hard “Do I have balance?” And while I don’t have balance, I do have moments, and moments make up the the big picture depending on how you approach them. So, thank you to The B Bar for bringing up the conversation, I am excited to hear what other ladies, working mom’s, entrepreneurs and others have to say about their work life balance in the link up!
Lisa Guillot is a co-founder of Forth Chicago and is the creative director of Step Brightly, a boutique brand design studio advocating fabulous design for smart people. She’s also a lover of bright colors & twinkling lights, small gatherings & summer, loud music, family & a great glass of wine. She’d prefer a phone call to an email and almost anything to an airplane. You can find her talking about smart branding and fashionable resources here, and on twitter here.
Here are the other blogs that participated in this month’s link up, take a peek at how they interpret work / life balance.
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