Today I am starting a new column that I’m very excited about. It’s called GSD: Young Profesh Edition and is inspired by Meg Biram’s Get Shit Done (GSD) series. Meg interviews inspiring entrepreneurs and professionals on how they manage to lead their crazy, hectic lives and do it with poise and grace.
I always look forward to reading Meg’s interviews, but lately, in my own confusing life, I’ve found that I crave to hear from young professionals going through similar situations to mine. Am I the only early 20s young professional who is struggling? How do my peers cope with the never ending circus of real life and real responsibility?
And with that I present to you the first interview in Dose of Dash’s GSD: Young Profesh Edition.
Name: Kathryn Dennett
Profession: Data Management Associate at logistics company, blogger (I Get A Bit Obsessive), and poet.
Are you currently doing things that you think will be a part of your life/career long term?
In terms of my day job, not really, but all experience is good experience, right? And I do think that database skills will probably be helpful no matter where I end up in the future. Outside of work I’ve started recently trying to be more organized about my blog and my poetry, really starting to think of them as responsibilities rather than a hobby. Because ideally going forward I would love for writing to be my actual job.
What motivates you (to go to work, to do what you’re passionate about, etc.)?
My main motivation for my writing (because what motivates me to go to work is a combination of the paycheck and social obligation) is the desire to create a blog/a poem, etc. that I would want to read.
The people in my life are my biggest motivation really, when I look at my calendar on a Sunday night the things that get me excited to start the week are events (and non-events like watching The Bachelor) with friends/visits or calls with family, etc.
How do you balance your work life and your social life?
I’m lucky in that my work life as far as my day job goes really does stay at work. And one of my best friends works with me so I can feel like I’m being social even on days when I’m so tired that all I can do is go home and veg out in front of a soap opera. But now that I’m writing more in my non-work hours it has been a little harder to schedule time for that versus time to go explore the city/out with friends. Part of what I’ve tried to do with my blog is build that in, inviting friends on “weekly adventures,” etc. But honestly, the balance can be exhausting sometimes.
When you have a lot on your plate how do you handle it?
Not always well, to be honest. My mom would say by calling her and crying, but this is another thing I’ve been trying to focus on lately. I’m a list person so even though it might seem like a waste of time during a busy day I do really try to map out what needs to get done and what would be great but can be pushed off. And I’m trying to be better about keeping “going to yoga/the gym” on the “need to” list, because it really does help me regain perspective.
Have you had to cut down on any activities or a certain lifestyle that you haven’t had time for since college?
It really goes in cycles. I would say I go out/drink less, but sometimes that’s just not true. The one thing I would say is that I watch a lot less TV. Mostly because I don’t pay for cable anymore. I know that sounds like a humblebrag, but honestly I kind of miss it.
How do you keep your apartment clean during the week?
When I do it’s because I did a massive clean on Sunday night and I like to maintain that as long as possible. Basically by trying to actually put stuff back where I have decided it belongs. But honestly most of the time my place hovers on the line of “lived in” and “messy.” When I’m tired household chores (dishes especially) are the first things pushed off the list. I live alone so I can get away with it.
Best way to relax after a long day of work?
I always try to read on the train home if my brain isn’t too fried. That way I don’t feel bad about the fact that a good weeknight at home is definitely catching up on Days of Our Lives (as long as I don’t have writing or something else planned). Or a long catch up call with one of my out of town friends.
Favorite post-work hangout and/or drink?
I don’t really “go out” during the week all that often, but when I do it’s usually for Soup & Bread at The Hideout or something like that. My go-to mid week drink is a Guinness. Cocktail-wise, it’s a Tom Collins.
What is your go-to, homemade meal?
I am the laziest cook. I love baking, but that’s more of a weekend stress reliever than a practical mid week activity. Honestly I eat a lot of pasta and Lean Cuisine. Lately I’ve been branching out from my go-to Newman’s pasta sauce and making breaded chicken chunks (I just buy the Progresso Italian breading in the can) pan fried in olive oil (or canola) and mixing them in with noodles or veggies. Not the healthiest option maybe, but a change of pace for me.
Do you have a quick and easy work-ppropriate outfit formula?
I work in a pretty casual office, so my usual go-to is dark jeans and a button up with a blazer or a cardigan (it is freezing year round in our building) and boots or ballet flats. If we have clients in the office I go with opaque, black tights and a short-sleeved dress with a cardigan.
What tools or apps can you not live without?
Stitcher Radio – podcasts are a lifeline for me when I’m doing spreadsheet work and they help keep me informed about movies/music/culture stuff I might want to write about, also WordPress, Google Maps because I’m perpetually lost/afraid of being late, Twitter for publicizing and entertainment, Orbit Sweet Mint gum, Diet Coke and tea. Also Google Drive (especially the Docs), where all my drafts live so I can get at them anywhere.
What music pumps you up to GSD?
Garth Brooks. And other country music with a fast beat. I know it’s an odd choice, but it always works for me. “Do What You Gotta Do” has been a recent favorite.
Best advice you’re received?
Wow, that’s actually really tough to choose. I think it might be from my mom: “Playing the game doesn’t make you a bad person.” I have a problem with ‘selling’ myself at work, especially because I’m not sure it’s the career I want long term, and I was really beating myself up about my first round of annual reviews. She said this, and I’ll be honest it took a little while to sink in, but it’s become a bit of a mantra. Some things are a means to an end and that’s normal and OK. I need to remind myself sometimes.
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Want to participate in GSD: Young Profesh Edition or know someone who would be great for this column? Email me!