A New Life

As a recent transplant to North Carolina after working as a reporter in California for 25 years, Kelly Johnson shares her experiences as she pursues a new career in public relations, adjusts to the South, and builds a new professional and personal life.

Carpe diem

Seize the day, not the socks

Two years into my new life in North Carolina, the spare bedroom bed is more often covered with clutter than not, including a pile of mismatched socks that forever anticipates sorting. But those socks can wait because I've finally learned to seize the day.
Age makes no difference between great friends.

Ageism: Before pointing fingers, examine your own heart

As I begrudgingly eliminated from my resume any obvious indications of my abundance of years, I grew more incensed over the prevalence of ageism. Months later, though, I caught myself wrongly prejudging my soon-to-start new boss by her youth. We all have much to learn about and from other people young and old.

When should you maintain control and when do you let go?

I admit I was agitated and anxious as I approached my final day of on-campus parking for my job. This public transportation novice was to be pushed into park-and-ride. The situation got me thinking--when is it desirable to maintain control and when--if we have a choice--should be relinquish control?

Learn from squirrels: Embrace change in your career and personal life

If squirrels can do it, so can you. While we may be scared of the newness ahead, we all can hope to find the courage to leap into a new life of experiences and opportunities. When will you embrace change?

7 tips for growing your professional network and skills

How do you avoid becoming complacent in your professional life? In this blog, I offer seven tips for keeping your skills fresh and demonstrating your value in this still uncertain and very competitive job market.

To what degree does our environment define our identity?

Four months into my new life in North Carolina, I have been pondering a question — does where we live define us? To what degree are we a product of where we are from?

Embrace new life and work experiences — even miserable snow

These five months since I quit my job, traveled across the country and moved to North Carolina, I’ve thrived in the newness — whether treading through the snow, making a wrong turn on unfamiliar streets, or developing new professional contacts. With regret, I now realize that during much of the last decade and a half, I failed to embrace all sorts of potential new experiences. What’s it going to take to rouse you out of your routine? How much change do you need?

Always be networking — in person and on social media

In the 1992 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” actor Alec Baldwin's character Blake, as he pushes his salesmen to boost sales, insisted that they “Always Be Closing.” I think the crucial directive among professionals should instead be “Always Be Networking.”

Using a sabbatical to rediscover a bargain

During the last decade and a half of crazy-long work days, I missed out on much — time with family and friends, time for relaxation and hobbies, time for introspection. Until my current sabbatical, it had not occurred to me that I had neglected yet another joy — a free public service and one of the greatest institutions of a civilized society.
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