Hello New Year! Meet Hyper Writer, LLC

I’ve been thinking about freelancing part-time for a long time and after completing a class recently at The Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneur Center last Fall, I decided to strike out on a new venture in 2016.

So with that, I created Hyper Writer, LLC where I will be completing freelance documentation projects. I want to convey that documentation can be exciting and interesting and not just something that gathers dust on a shelf! I also want to share my love of writing and all the energy that can be focused on helping users understand software applications either through web or mobile interaction.

Software is changing and we need someone to manage the information so everyone can enjoy learning.

As for the hyper writer herself, I have over 16 years of experience writing software documentation for individuals, recruiters and companies large and small. You can contact me at stef.whitlow@gmail.com or click my contact link on this site for more information.

I will be transitioning this site and creating http://www.hyperwriter.net with a lot more bells, whistles and the latest documentation, please stay tuned for updates coming and moving soon!

Hyper Writer is always moving:

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So what did you do in your off time?

I’ve always thought this would be a great interview question. What you do with that extra time does say a lot about how you work and where you put value.

Donald Asher, in his book Cracking the Hidden Job Market, suggests that you spend 40 hours per week searching for a job when you are unemployed. Those 40 hours include networking, interviews and applications submitted plus any additional contact you can have with someone who could lead you to a new position.

The other 128 hours in the week can be used to help with the job search as well as help you get to your next position with a confident, excited spirit. You can start exercising (walk, take yoga, lift weights), learn a new skill (foreign language, web development, graphic design), find a new talent (no harm in making a little money playing guitar at a local coffee house while you’re looking for a day job!), or revamp you network (start a coffee and careers group with others in your area who are unemployed and exchange information, attend professional group lunches, volunteer in your community.)

For me personally, I put great value in learning something new, taking care of myself so I can be more self-assured when I get to the interview, working my network, and finding a special talent to share with others. During my unemployment, I’ve volunteered for a local volunteer center and started a job networking group. I’ve also taken this time to brush up on my technical writing skills. As well, I’ve signed up for career counseling which includes writing better cover letters, interviewing effectively, and making me a more confident job seeker. I’m also taking the time to write webinars in areas in which I wish to learn more (no better way to learn than to teach someone else!)

Take time to plan your 40 hours for the job search, but take the other 128 hours to make those 40 work better for you.

High Five – Celebrating Positive Focus

“We are not going to focus on what we can’t do; rather, we are going to celebrate what we can do!”

This quote is the mantra of our yoga class and it sums up the focus of what this month has been – a celebration of what is possible.

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“We are not going to focus on what we can’t do; rather, we are going to celebrate what we can do!”

It’s been 30 days and I’ve written every day about some aspect of the positive attitude – an attitude that can be attained by giving, being happy, laughing, and helping others.

I’ve touched on aspects of positive psychology with coping skills, resilience, and positive thought.

A few posts dealt with mindfulness, personal journeys, relationships and perception.

In this month, I had some celebrations (my wedding anniversary), personal losses (a layoff) and remembered again the national losses of 9/11.

I do feel as though I have come a long way in 30 days and I do believe it takes about this long to form a habit.

The best picture of the month was attached to my post on Encouragement. My favorite post had to be the one about doing the impossible (Thanks, Walt Disney for the quote!). I put my focus on what I could do and I can now definitely be positive.

High Five – Positive Friends and Healthy Adventures

“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” – Winnie the Pooh.

Sometimes there are friends we’ve had for decades. Sometimes there are the friends we’ve had for a few months or years. Sometimes we just met them but we know they would be friends for a long time! It has been often said about me that I “collect people.” And I suppose I do. I’m an extrovert and I am most proud of my have 500+ connections on LinkedIn (Twitter and Facebook fall a bit behind this!). Which is quite fitting, I collected most of my friends from previous jobs! No matter how we were separated after working together we would exchange emails, phone numbers and social media accounts. So, I promise, if I work with you, I will be connected with you!

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Thanks to my positive, adventurous, healthy, exciting, inspiring friends.

When I lived in a larger city (I’m living rural now!), we would throw huge parties (our New Year’s Eve dinners were legendary) and I would connect everyone from different backgrounds with one another. Most common question at the party – and an icebreaker, if you will – would be: “So, how do you know Stephanie?”

Connecting with others, I learned, promotes positive thinking. Not just positive thinking but it adds encouragement and confidence-building, risk taking, and resilience to the list. Lower rates of depression, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and greater resistance to the common cold have been cited as health benefits as well.

Consider the positive benefits to both of you  of having a friend and go take them on an adventure with you.

High Five – Resilience

Thomas Jefferson stated “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

How true!

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“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

Several years ago, just as the economy was spiraling, I went through a huge downsizing. I was completely broken up by this, even though I was not one of the ones being let go, but to see how people handled it was amazing. Some were upset and crying. Some were very angry. But some continued to laugh, joke and hug everyone as they packed their desks and headed out. They didn’t miss a step. Some of us had lunch from time to time over the next few years and those people who smiled in the face of the unexpected did very well. Those who didn’t seemed to take longer to find positions, still remained unhappy and angry at the company for letting them go.

The ones who accepted the situation and moved on to their next big adventure were the resilient ones. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Being resilient helps you bounce back after surgery, illness, loss or anything else life can through at you.

A post on Healthgram details some ways to become more resilient, but I’m betting you’re already doing them.

If you’re still not sure how resilient you are, give this quiz from Psychology.about.com a try and see how what your results are.

http://psychology.about.com/library/quiz/bl-resilience-quiz.htm

Resilient people are positive people. Or maybe vice versa. Either way, you come out of a bad situation positive, and that’s the right mental attitude.

High Five – Positive Vision

“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I saw this quote and realized, I have not posted anything about my positive vision!

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“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I’ve always been fascinated by psychology, I think it started with my elective classes in college. In one class, I agreed to be a graduate student’s guinea pig (the control groups included those who did homework in silence, with heavy metal or classical music. I was in the group that had to listen to classical music and do some writing while it played. Kind of tranquil actually). I didn’t know at that point that I wanted to be more involved in psychology because I was on my way to becoming a technical writer (majoring in English).

Flash forward 15 years. I am inspired by a presentation at a local ATD meeting and learned that I enjoy personality assessments and the psychology as well as working with all levels of individuals that make up an organization. Add to this, a timely report comes out stating that Organizational Psychology one of the 20 fastest growing occupations. So I obtain my MBTI Facilitator Certification and enroll in a Psychology Masters program.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology defines the field of Organizational Psychology as “versatile scientists specializing in human behavior in the workplace. Employers hire them—either in-house or as consultants—because their expertise results in better hires, increased productivity, reduced turnover, and lower labor costs.”

There will be more posts as I begin my education and continue my research into this interesting and growing field. Until then, I will maintain my positive vision.

High Five – Hands Down!

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

**All this month my posts have been palms up and high fives but today the palm is down in a giving, handing gesture.

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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

A friend of mine was complaining about not getting what she expected from a networking event, and another friend reminded her that she needed to approach it with a selfless attitude. As in not thinking: “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM!) instead thinking “What can I bring to this event?” In other words, “How can I help you?” He said to take the world with a “palms down” approach – What can I hand to you? What can I give? Instead of the “palms up” approach indicated, “What can I get?”

Making others feel positive, uplifting people has a direct effect on your mood as well.

A post called The Joy of Giving at www.psychologytoday.com website discussed studies done involving helping others. One of the prime examples showed that those who were members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and helped other members were “significantly less likely to relapse in the year following treatment” which was when most relapses occur. Another case presented involved a home for mental health recovery where the members helped each other. The director stated “that people tend to be more stable and happy if they feel like they are benefiting people more than themselves, or outside themselves.”

My friend went to her next networking event with the idea that she would go early, volunteer to help with food, setup or wherever they needed her. And as I recall, she made a lot more memorable connections that day.

In closing, keep in mind – your palms are always down when you’re pulling someone else up.