Starting Over—A Different Path & A New Vision For The Future

The following blog details how I ended up reinventing and building myself from the ground up. I’m sharing only part of my story as it relates to my career path and a little bit about how my personal life got derailed and took my job with it. This blog is also about the realization that I could turn my love of travel into a work style that would allow me to enjoy life in a whole new way—one that I had never imagined before. Admittedly, life is so much more complicated than the following few paragraphs can relate, but I certainly hope you do at least. 😉

Who am I you may ask? Well, my name is Cheryl Redick and I enjoy making a difference by delivering solid results in all aspects of graphic design, marketing and office administration. The world of graphic design and marketing is always advancing and developing exciting new ways of communication. I enjoy applying my design/marketing communication skills to my knowledge of customer service, which also engages my skills in office administration.

Dream Big & Make It Happenhttps://pixabay.com/ 2018

After leaving my fiancé, our house, my garden and the design job I loved I found myself in, what can only be described as, no man’s land. My future was uncertain. I was doing temporary administrative jobs just to get by because the design job I had (when I was living with my fiancé) wasn’t giving me enough hours/money to make it on my own. Basically, I lost everything that I loved and brought me joy. The vision I had for my future and the security of my retirement was now uncertain and I had to start a new life, a new dream.  What came next was planning the rest of my honeymoon. The trip gained more detail and as I made decisions, about the places I would go and the places I would stay, it started to seem like less of a honeymoon and more like my own personal adventure. Europe is where I went to think about my new life and what it might look like moving forward.

It was a sunny day in August when the plane I sat in carried me across ‘the pond’ and landed in Dublin, Ireland. While in Ireland I went to a World Heritage Site called the Brú Na Bóinne and communed with 5,000-year-old fairies. It was here when the rest of the tour group continued on around the corner and I stood there by myself that I felt the presence of the people that walked there a thousand years before me and I saw a glimmer of the magic from the fairy mounds—as the locals referred to them. I felt something bigger than myself and I knew I would be okay. I picked a sprig of clover, pressed it between two cards in my wallet and turned the corner to rejoin the group of fellow tourists.

Bru Na Boinne, Ireland Cheryl Redick 2017

My trip then took me to Germany and into the Swiss Alps of Switzerland, where I rode a type of zip-line called ‘The First Glider’ backwards up a mountain. I was terrified, screaming and swearing all the while feeling sorry for the people beside me listening to my cries. But, more importantly, as scared as I was I did it and on the way back down the mountain, hurtling at a record (80 km/hr) with the strong wind in my face, I laughed with joy. My trip ended in London, England where I was knocked back to reality because when I recalled the first time I’d been to London, England in my late 20’s and on my honeymoon with my now ex-husband—the parallels could not be ignored. The fact that I should have been there with my second husband on our honeymoon started to settle in, but instead (20 years later) I was alone, with no job or career to speak of, no money and no home with all my belongings packed away in a storage locker back in my hometown where my reality awaited me upon my return. Not exactly where/how my 28-year-old self, envisioned I’d be in life by middle age.

Swiss Alps, SwitzerlandCheryl Redick 2017

More than a year has passed and I’m still trying to ‘make it happen’ but as Elton John once said: “I’m still standing”. More importantly, I’ve had a chance to take stock and accept my reality and come up with a new plan, a different plan. I now have a new dream because ever since my Europe trip I have been hit by the travel bug and I’ve decided to incorporate my love of travel with my career. I’ve taken another look at self-employment and made that my new mission. I already have two clients and presumably, a third is coming aboard. The third client is good news of course, but it comes from the disappointment of not getting my ‘dream job’ working as a virtual real estate assistant (to clarify a virtual assistant means working from home). Instead, they offered me design/marketing piece work as it becomes available. This holds much promise and I plan on filling the spaces in between driving for Uber Eats. Uber Eats may not be remote work, but I’m still my own boss and eventually, I plan to have all my days filled working remotely doing interesting tasks from transcription to graphic design (including social media) and everything in between. The future holds much promise…

Has anyone else reinvented themselves? I’d love to hear your stories and I welcome any advice you may have as it relates to my new journey.

Cheryl Redick Blog Signature

Do You Have A Stalker? Social Media Security—Are You At Risk?

Social Media Security, Social Media At Riskphoto by Geralt | Pixabay

Recently, my Facebook account was hacked because my password wasn’t strong enough. Something I intended to change, but never got around to it. After that, I was under attack as this person or persons attempted to log into every account they could find or suspected that I had—including sending me a threatening email asking for Bitcoin. I changed all my passwords to the point that now I don’t even know what they all are. It was extremely stressful, created a lot of anxiety and I had difficulty sleeping. It is unfortunate, but this is the world we now live in and even if you have no money for anyone to steal they can steal your peace of mind.

To make matters worse I went to a movie not long after all this happened, but I got my movie times mixed up and instead of ‘Mama Mia 2’ I ended up seeing ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ (a movie I didn’t know much about). The movie showed a group of friends getting together on Skype to play board games. But, one of the characters kept receiving Facebook messages from the previous owners account on a used laptop he picked up and before you knew it they were all sucked into a terrifying journey, including me. What I normally would have found terrifying about this horror film I did not, what made me squirm in my seat is the people watching/stalking the bunch of friends using the internet, Skype and social media.

Ways To Protect Yourself When Using Social Media

Protect Yourself Using Social Media5 Threats To Your Security When Using Social Media

I worked at an alarm security company for a few years and one of the things they warned against when using social media, was not to post pictures in real time when you are travelling and away from home. This signals to a potential burglar that you are not home and that your house/apartment is fair game. I found this article ‘5 Threats To Your Security When Using Social Media’ that offers some excellent information about protecting yourself. Interestingly, enough the article also talks about being wary of clicking on shortened URL’s, which is one of the tools of the trade as a social media marketer. But, luckily it does explain how to get around that such as hovering over the URL so you can see the full URL, checking the shortened links or using a link scanner.

Has anyone else had this kind of experience? Do you have any advice to offer? If so I would love to hear from you!

cheryl redick blog, graphic designer London Ontario

Facebook LogoDo you know if you have a social media stalker? Are you at risk?  My latest blog will share with you five threats to security when using social media. https://goo.gl/bYX3MX

LinkedIn IconDo you know if you have a social media stalker? Are you at risk?  My latest blog will share with you five threats to security when using social media. https://goo.gl/bYX3MX

My First Time…Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge, Say No More… Just Kidding! I’m Talking About Facebook

1970's technology, advancements in technology

Paste Magazine | pastemagazine.com

Throughout my life, I’ve had a lot of first times. I’ve been lucky enough to experience an extreme shift in technology advancements. The year I was born the digital wristwatch was launched. That blows my mind. Think about it—up to that point you didn’t just look at the time you had to tell time.  I was probably only five or six when companies started using the modern technology of a fax machine (but now it’s becoming more obsolete by the day). I still remember going to the store to buy eight tracks. Lord only knows where all my Beatle albums landed after I had to replace all my albums with cassette tapes and then replace all my cassette tapes with CDs. Any guesses what year I started using my own personal cell phone? 2010. I was 40 years old when I got my first cell phone. How crazy is that? Now I don’t even have a landline. And somewhere in between cassette tapes and cell phones I started using a computer and guess what? There was no internet on that computer! But, the internet finally popped up on one of the computers I was using. Suddenly, there it was, Facebook staring me right in the face (pun intended).

Having Fun With facebook, having fun with facebook

I remember how fascinating Facebook was. In fact, not many of my friends knew about it and I was the one that encouraged them to join and become friends on my page. It must have been early 2007 and I was doing a temporary job where I didn’t know anyone. Luckily, I was still able to feel connected because my friend Keith and I would message each other throughout the workday (on our breaks and lunches) using Facebook Chat. It felt great to be connected. So much fun! When I went to Vancouver on vacation I could message my friends in an instant, easy peasy. Does anyone else remember playing the very first game on Facebook? That’s right! Pirate Ship. So many major advances in my lifetime, too many to count really. But, I do remember my first time on Facebook. How fantastic it has been to stay connected with people, especially ones, that are far away. One of my best friends lives in Vancouver and she posts pictures and videos of her life and her son all the time on Facebook. Her son is only five years old and it’s so fantastic to be able to stay connected and not feel like I’m missing out. I’m literally watching him grow up on Facebook. (I’ve only met him once)!

 The Evolution Of Social Media:

social media evolution, social media

History Cooperative | historycooperative.org

I did a little research and found some interesting tidbits. I always thought that Myspace was the first social media site where you could add friends, but turns out that happened in 1997 with a site called ‘Six Degrees’. In fact, it was the very first social media site. To see more of what I learned about the evolution of social media check out the history cooperative. Has anyone else found some interesting tidbits about social media or remember their first time with social media? Was it good, was it bad?

cheryl redick blog, graphic designer London Ontario

Facebook LogoAdvancements in technology since 1970, the evolution of social media, and having fun with Facebook are the topics discussed in my latest blog. To learn more about these topics including my ‘first time’ check out my blog! https://goo.gl/zzr4g2

Google Plus IconAdvancements in technology since 1970, the evolution of social media, and having fun with Facebook are the topics discussed in my latest blog. To learn more about these topics including my ‘first time’ check out my blog! https://goo.gl/zzr4g2 #1970s #socialmediahistory

I Need A Job Like Yesterday! Did You Know Social Media Can Help With That? (And Not Just LinkedIn)

Looking For A Job, Using Social Media To Find Employment

Looking for a job is difficult and nowadays ‘pounding the pavement’ has a whole new meaning. Sometimes I wonder if it may have actually been easier, back in the day, when in order to get noticed by an employer, you would just mail, fax or deliver your resume by hand. Simple. Yes? Perhaps, but there is a lot to be said about the excitement of building your own brand, getting noticed and getting a job that is a good fit not just for you, but for your prospective employer. I’ve recently come to the realization that social media can play a big part in a job search. Whether you’re rejoining the job force after a long absence, an entrepreneur looking to acquire more clients, a student fresh out of school, or perhaps you’re ‘in between jobs at the moment’. Any of these would be a good excuse to have a closer look at yourself, who you are and what you’d like to project to the rest of the world. Social media can help you do just that in order to get noticed, stand above the crowd and shout to the rest of the world “Here I am, I have passion, I have skills and I can help YOU.”

Looking For A Job, Using Social Media To Find EmploymentHaving said all that, the goal isn’t to stand out to every employer or customer. There’s no point in having a company that has a dairy farm calling you and asking if you’d like to milk their cows (when the mere thought of doing such a task makes you want to hurl). The goal is to find where you can make the most impact. To know who it is you would like to get noticed by and cater to that audience. Just an interesting little side story I’d like to share—during one of my job hunts I applied to work as an administrative assistant at a dairy farm. During the interview, it was mentioned that if I got hired they would want me to ‘shadow’ the workers in the barn for a week (in the middle of winter too!). I smiled, nodded and maintained a professional manner for the rest of the interview, but really my heart was sinking at the thought of such a task. I started picturing myself wearing my Johnny Fluevogs standing out there in the barn, shivering/sneezing (allergies) on top of a cow patty. I thought, “I applied for an admin. job right?” So, as you can see it’s not just about honing in on a specific field, and like I said, social media can help you stand out to the right people.

Let’s Get Down To The Nitty Gritty:

As I said before, I’ve only just come to realize the potential of social media and how it relates to a job search and building your personal brand, but I have thought of some ideas and gathered some resources of where to start. Firstly, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile I would suggest building one. I’ve literally been asked to come in for a job interview on more than one occasion by prospective employers looking for someone to join their team/company. Also, I personally know people who have found a job that way as well. Additionally, if you do have a specific company or companies you’d like to work with this would be a good time to do some research, see what social media channels they are on and then follow them. Not only will this let you see what the company culture is like, but it could give you some ideas of where/how to create your own marketing campaign to get noticed. If you don’t have a specific company in mind, that is fine too because you can apply the same strategy, search different companies and learn about them.

Resources:

I’ve recently been reading some excellent articles that will give you some fantastic ideas about using social media for your job hunt.

Well, I hope this will get you started and land the job of your dreams! Good luck and please let me know if these tips help. Also, if you have any thoughts about how the job search has changed over the years, I’d love to hear about it! Do you think it’s better, easier the same?

cheryl redick blog, graphic designer London Ontario

LinkedIn IconLooking for a job is difficult and nowadays ‘pounding the pavement’ has a whole new meaning. Social media can help with that (and not just LinkedIn). To find out how social media can help you, please read my latest blog:  https://goo.gl/5ZKrVV

Twitter LogoLooking for a job is difficult and nowadays ‘pounding the pavement’ has a whole new meaning. Social media can help with that! To find out how social media can help you, please read my latest blog:  https://goo.gl/5ZKrVV #jobtips #jobseekersSA #jobsearch

Looking For A Job, Using Social Media To Find Employment

Is Social Media Damaging Your Company’s Brand?

small business, social media dangers, new to social media

A few years ago I was employed by a small business who had a customer/client that was running their own small business as a social media expert. My employer and this particular client decided to swap services. Seemed like a good enough idea at the time. I was brand spanking new to the social media industry, but it became worrisome to me when I started wondering if I knew more about social media than the social media expert that my employer had exchanges services with. Things went from me having thoughts of “funny thought they’d have known that,” but not a big deal. To “how the heck could they NOT know that?” I started to wonder why I wasn’t running my own social media business because I would at least stand a better chance of doing things like…oh…let’s say not ruining my customers business and reputations.

Initially, the social media expert didn’t know small things like that you could create a username for Twitter with capital letters in it. It seems like a small detail, but having customers who can easily read your Twitter handle (as Martha Stewart says) ‘is a good thing’. For example, which is easier to decipher? @marthastewart or @MarthaStewart (you be the judge).

The next thing I noticed was the social media expert using a program that would automatically grab images from the internet when a search string was applied. I thought that seemed really odd, so I went online and did a search for the image that had been posted on my employer’s social media page/s and low and behold it was just a random image with obvious potential copyright infringements. So, I immediately removed the image and replaced it with one from a free image site that I commonly used (I sometimes create my own unique images by drawing, cropping or combining multiple images, as per the image above). Also, it’s important to note that with some of the free image sites, you still need to read all the terms and conditions because often in order to use an image you’ll need to give accreditation to the author. Okay, now on with my story… I then notified my employer of my findings and told the social media expert that he could get fined for such things—I’ve heard of people getting fined $5,000 (although I don’t really know too much about fines and consequences). Perhaps, one of the peeps reading this blog does?

Here’s A Fantastic Site For Free Images:

download

Finally, bigger, embarrassing and loss of potential customer issues starting popping up on my employer’s Twitter feed. For instance, an image of men wearing no shirts with the Twitter message saying something to the effect of ‘when you get caught doing lines of coke in the bathroom’. This happened because the social media expert was relying on a program to do all their work and that program operated by using a string of words/word to do a search and then automatically posting. My employer immediately asked the social media expert to post our apologies and that an error had occurred. Luckily, these string of mishaps did not damage my employer’s reputation or brand. Their reputation/brand remained in tack in part (I’m assuming) because their Twitter account was so new they only had about eight followers. Also, they sent out an apology tweet within 24 hrs and finally they had an excellent reputation in the community, to begin with. Again, perhaps one of the peeps reading this has additional input?

One of the takeaways I learned from that experience is that you can do a lot of harm if you use social media incorrectly. It takes a long time to build up a company or person’s brand and only moments to tear it down. Has anyone else experienced the incorrect use of social media, be it business or personal?

cheryl redick blog, graphic designer London Ontario

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I would love to hear from you! Are you a small business? Or are you new to social media? Check out my latest blog about my journey into the dangers of social media and let me know what you think!  https://goo.gl/tV7go2

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small business, social media dangers, new to social media