Do you have a habit?
Well, let me rephrase that. Do you have a bad habit that you’d like to change?
Whining, nail-biting, gum smacking, slouching, procrastination, gossiping, saying “like”, like, a lot. There are many bad habits to have and those are just a few of them.
In the New Year, everyone is interested in self-improvement. Resolutions are made, gym memberships are opened, and everyone and their brother goes on a diet. That’s why it’s both a perfect time and a not-so-perfect time to commit to breaking a habit. On one hand, it’s a new year! Everything is fresh! Everyone wants to try something new! On the other hand, breaking habits takes commitment. With other resolutions on one’s plate, habit-breaking may fall to the wayside.
It’s amazing how far a year can take us! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating about how 2012 panned out and how I want to shape 2013 for myself. In the midst of all of that self-reflection, I recently surpassed the one year anniversary of me doing something that was incredibly huge for me on both a personal and professional level: I quit a job that was a terrible fit for me in a town that equally not right for me.
Want to know a dirty little secret? Quitting my job was probably one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my adult life. I’ve regretted my decision exactly zero times. In removing myself from that job, I was able to do a few very awesome things: I was able to move closer to my friends and family, I was able to switch into a career path that more closely aligned with my long term goals, and I was able to severely reduce the amount of stress in my daily life.
Want to know another dirty little secret? I didn’t have a full-time job lined up before I quit. However, I did secure myself a part-time freelance position in my new field and I was armed with the knowledge and confidence that this path would be better for me in the long-run.
My decision to leave my job was not one that was made hastily. It was made after months of thought and research and planning. I couldn’t have successfully pulled it off if I hadn’t done the following things.
Money, money, money! That was the topic that was on my mind for the beginning of my trip to the West Coast. Well, it was much more than money that was on my mind: it was the current and future states of financial services and how technology is going to impact the space in the coming years.
In general, I’m a big fan of conferences. I find them to be a great way to keep on top of trends, meet new people, and learn a lot of things in a short amount of time. In going to these two conferences and participating in them, I also found that I’m a big fan of speaking at them.
This was the first time I had attended any financial services conferences (let alone participated in one), so I thought I would share some key takeaways and observations from my experience.
The next week is going to be quite a doozy, dear readers.
As life may have it, I’m going to be hitting 6 states in the next week and a half (counting NY and NJ, which I hit every day anyways).
My travels begin with a stint in Philadelphia, where I’m meeting up with friends to celebrate one of my friends passing the bar last week. As most of our reunions go, it should be quite fun and, as usual, packed with surprises.
After we have celebrated to our hearts’ content, I’ll make my way back to NJ for the night in order to rest up for the part of my travels that I’m perhaps most excited about: Tour de West Coast.
I graduated from grad school almost 1.5 years ago.
I was one of those people who went straight from undergrad to grad school without taking a break. I loved school! I very much enjoyed being fed assignments and due dates and specific things to focus on.
As nerdy as it is, the day we received our syllabi each semester was probably the most exciting day of the semester for me. I could plan! I could color code my planner! I could start learning!
It’s been quite the exciting week for me. I told you about the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge last Wednesday. Thursday I traveled to DC to attend some preliminary events for the awards ceremony. Then the awards ceremony itself was held on Friday morning. Believe it or not, I won the Grand Prize! It was an unbelievable experience and I’m so honored that I had the opportunity to present my app design as a finalist.
Here are the exciting highlights from the event:
A while back, I decided to try doing something that I had never done before. I entered an app design challenge: the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge.
The MyMoneyAppUp Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department in partnership with the D2D Fund and Center for Financial Services Innovation, is a contest that encourages people to come up with ideas and designs for mobile applications that can help Americans shape and control their financial future. With an interest in personal finance and a background in design, I decided to give it a try.
I had been wanting to gain experience in mobile, but had not had many opportunities to do so leading up to my decision to participate in the challenge. After learning about the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge, I knew I had to participate. I figured that no matter the result, submitting an app design would be an interesting and challenging new way to stretch my brain.
Fast forward a month or two and I finished an app design proposal and submitted it hours before the submission period ended. I was hopeful when I submitted my app, but had no idea how many people would participate or the other types of proposals that people would submit. To my surprise (and excitement!), I received an exciting email one afternoon: I had been chosen as one of 8 finalists for the app design competition!