Surrounding Ourselves With Thrivers

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Happiness, Uncategorized

by Maria Katrien Heslin ~

We clearly live in troubling, volatile times, where stress, depression and anger are ubiquitous; personal safety is precarious; incivility is commonplace; bitterness is booming; and uncertainty and unhappiness are rampant.

For many, it’s easy to get caught up in this whirlwind of negativity. We see it all over social media, in the news, and we may hear it and feel it from our friends, family and coworkers. Some of the feelings may be easy to understand and justifiable, others less so.

One of the dangers of getting stuck in the misery swirl is that too often we allow one adverse reality to impact how we perceive other aspects of life, such as our work, health, relationships or humanity in general.

It almost seems like negativity is catching. Actually, might this naysaying vortex be socially contagious? If a condition such as obesity is, then it’s likely a social trait such as negativity is too!

In fact, studies show that when one person became obese, their friends were 57% more likely than the average person to become obese; friends of friends were 20% more likely to become obese, and their friends were 10% more likely to become obese. Other behaviors such as smoking, happiness, creativity and drinking saw similar results.

Nick Cooney, in his book Change of Heart, What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change, shares that researchers suggest that such behaviors spread in part through subconscious social signals about what is normal. If the person sitting next to you is eating more, chances are you will, too. If several of your friends are Debbie Downers, you’ll begin to see that as a socially acceptable condition, and you’ll take on that behavior yourself.

The good news is, that hanging out with positive, hard working, fun, spunky and ambitious people can rub off on you too! The Jim Rohn adage that we are the average of the people with whom we most surround ourselves, is far more than lore.

And that’s such a huge part of why I’ve launched this blog “Thrivers.” Yeah, like the world needs another blog! Well, actually in these turbulent times, I think the world does need a vibrant voice of optimism, energy, hard work, positivity, fun, passion and accomplishment.

For Thrivers, I’ve handpicked a handful of writers of various ages and professions, who approach life with optimism, curiosity, energy, humor and a quest to learn, always. What’s not to like about that?!

These are individuals who love what they do professionally, or who are in the active pursuit of that work-centric joy, and who, to the best of my knowledge, don’t wallow, worry or whine excessively while they find their way.

Now this doesn’t mean they necessarily thrive 100% of the time in all parts of their lives or that they always have thrived — but they get what thriving is all about and are on a quest to grow, be happy and inspire others to do the same. On top of that, they’re all people who can write well and produce compelling articles that inform, entertain and engage the reader.

People of this ilk are true thrivers, and they are rare. I’m so fortunate to know them and to have their work gracing our blog waves. Yes, I am surrounding myself with fellow thrivers, which helps me keep thriving, and you can too. Here is a little bit about each of our contributing writers:


Hannah Goodwin graduated from Indiana University in May and this week started a full-time job in the office of Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor. I met Hannah a couple years of ago when she took my class Public Relations for Nonprofits. I liked Hannah right away. She’s sweet, incredibly sarcastic, self-deprecating, bright, inventive and determined. In her last semester, Hannah took my PR Career Success Preparation class, and she may not admit it, but given the plum job she’s just landed, apparently she learned a lot. 😉 Her first piece with Thrivers is called “It’s A Numbers Game,” which clearly demonstrates the qualities I’ve just ascribed her.


After 30+ years in fitness, Mary Yoke is pursuing her Ph.D. She is warm, lively, fit, pretty, interested and downright sparkly. She knows more than almost anyone about fitness and is writing her dissertation on people’s attitudes toward physical activity. Mary’s also a fantastic yoga teacher, who loves music and plays the piano daily while overlooking a large, lush lake. Enjoy Mary’s articles A Doctoral Candidate’s Meeting and The Motivation to Move.


Kate Halliwell is an excellent writer who just enjoyed a most enviable internship in LA at IndieWire, an online entertainment publication. She didn’t exactly sit around, filing or going on coffee runs there; she garnered more than 65 bylines! Kate also is lively and witty, and she has just started her senior year at Indiana University. Kate’s prolific on Thrivers too! Check out her articles:


I’m also thrilled to have the lovely Kelly Bush on our team. Kelly is a 30-something enjoying a new, fabulous career in the New York art world after taking a less fitting path. I met Kelly years ago, when she worked as a Teaching Assistant for my father Tom Heslin, who was an IU Kelley School of Business professor. Kelly is brainy, clever, wise, sharp, tenacious and cultured. Enjoy her first Thrivers piece.

For the moment, our sole male contributing writer is Tibet Spencer. Like the others, he is incredibly likable, funny, focused, astute and positive. He is outdoorsy and athletic, and has a natural charm about him. Tibet graduated from IU in May and has just converted his summer internship into a full-time job with an advertising firm in Indianapolis. His two Thrivers posts have been particularly popular:


Next up is Olivia Humphreys, who was chosen by her classmates to be the one they’d most like to hire, given the opportunity. She’s awesome. Like Hannah, Olivia took both my PR for Nonprofits class and the Career class, and she’s such a positive force. She characterizes herself as a relaxed Type A personality and is really bright, creative, organized and well prepared. Olivia graduated in May and almost immediately began working for a nonprofit called Centerstone. She absolutely loves her job, and in The Better of Two Goods, you can see why. Also enjoy her writing about The Importance of Craft Time at Work and Embracing My Ruby Slipper Syndrome.

 

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Brand new to the Thrivers team is Stephanie Harbison; her first post comes out next week. Stephanie is impossible not to like, despite the fact she’s so smart, sweet, funny and pretty! 🙂 She is also a great writer, who is passionate about her day job and her volunteer work. She and I met a few years ago and served as leaders of a local group, the Women’s Success Network. Watch for her upcoming piece and many more.

 


I round out the Thrivers team, and I’m a Mindful Career Coach, who helps people reach their professional mountaintop. I also teach at IU and love laughing, writing, traveling, animals and yoga. I’ll cover topics ranging from hot resume trends to mindful leadership, career success and workplace ins and outs.

So far, Thrivers is off to a flourishing start, with more than 1500 visitors in its first two weeks. We hope you’ll check it out, be inspired, learn from our experiences and share your own. Most of all, we hope you’ll catch the bug and thrive with us!

 

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Halliwell In Hollywood: Greetings From The Green Carpet

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Entertainment, Internship, Kate, Uncategorized

Hello from Los Angeles!

It’s the end of my third week here, so the halfway point is quickly approaching — way too quickly, if you ask me. Work at IndieWire is great, and the days are flying by!

Mid June in Hollywood is Emmys campaign season, and there are FYC billboards everywhere you look. FYC stands for “for your consideration,” which is a fancy way of saying, “Hey Emmys voters, please watch and vote for our show!!”

This particular FYC billboard features a quote from Ben’s IndieWire review of “The Leftovers,” which is an amazing show that you should all start watching immediately.
This particular FYC billboard features a quote from Ben’s IndieWire review of “The Leftovers,” which is an amazing show that you should all start watching immediately.

Along with the billboards, we’ve been inundated with free food, shirts, pencils, and pretty much anything networks think will make us write about why people should vote for their shows and actors. I’m not complaining, but the idea that a cup of ramen or a pencil is all it would take to sway us is pretty funny. I’m never one to turn down free stuff, though.

I don’t watch “Ash vs. the Evil Dead,” but their Emmys campaign for lead actor Bruce Campbell has been pretty fun so far. New favorite pajamas shirt!
I don’t watch “Ash vs. the Evil Dead,” but their Emmys campaign for lead actor Bruce Campbell has been pretty fun so far. New favorite pajamas shirt!

My personal favorite part of Emmys campaign season has been being able to attend some of the premieres and panels that are held all over LA. I’ve only attended two so far, but there seem to be more every week, so hopefully as my bosses see that I can handle covering them by myself I’ll be able to go to more.

The event began with a tour of the exhibit, where costume designer Terry Dresbach showed us all of her amazing creations.
The event began with a tour of the exhibit, where costume designer Terry Dresbach showed us all of her amazing creations.

The first event I attended was the “Artistry of Outlander” exhibit, panel, and red carpet at the Paley Center for Media. The event was held to honor the costume and set designers of “Outlander,” which is a romantic period drama on Starz. I’ve been an “Outlander” fan since before the show even aired (I read the first book), so I was thrilled to be able to interview the main players involved in bringing the show to life.

This was my favorite dress from the show, and it was one of Terry Dresbach’s favorites too. All of the designs and flowers were either embroidered by hand or handpainted.
This was my favorite dress from the show, and it was one of Terry Dresbach’s favorites too. All of the designs and flowers were either embroidered by hand or handpainted.

I could talk about the gorgeous costumes and sets forever, but I already did that in my write up for the event, which I’ll link at the end of this post.

It looks like I’m earnestly listening to Caitriona Balfe in this picture, but I’m really just admiring how perfect her skin is.
It looks like I’m earnestly listening to Caitriona Balfe in this picture, but I’m really just admiring how perfect her skin is.

The best part of the evening was the red carpet! Technically the carpet was green, but as I learned from my fellow reporters, any sort of carpet event like this that includes short interviews, photographers, and a press line is called a red carpet. Since it was a fairly low key event, I got about 5 minutes with each person, including the executive producers, the creatives, and the lead actors! Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are amazing in the show, especially Caitriona, and they couldn’t have been nicer. (They were both taller than me, which was amazing and unexpected, considering I’m about 6’ in heels.)

Sam Heughan’s Scottish accent briefly made me weak in the knees, but I think I pulled off a professional façade pretty well.
Sam Heughan’s Scottish accent briefly made me weak in the knees, but I think I pulled off a professional façade pretty well.

The “Outlander” event has been my favorite so far, but I also just attended another Paley Center Emmys event last night.

Since “Aquarius” isn’t one of NBC’s better known shows (and honestly, it isn’t very good), it was far from a packed house. Mostly press in the front and a few scattered fans.
Since “Aquarius” isn’t one of NBC’s better known shows (and honestly, it isn’t very good), it was far from a packed house. Mostly press in the front and a few scattered fans.

Ben Travers, the IndieWire TV Critic, had a plus one for the NBC “Aquarius” premiere and panel last night, so I tagged along for the night. We were supposed to interview David Duchovny before the panel, but he had just flown in from New York and apparently arrived too late to do interviews. I’m not really an X-Files fan, so I wasn’t disappointed, but I would’ve liked the chance to make my sister super jealous. 🙂

Gethin Anthony, who played Renly Baratheon in “Game of Thrones,” plays Charles Manson in the show. He was rockin’ the DOUBLE man bun, which is honestly reason enough why he was never worthy of ruling Westeros. He and David Duchovny accidentally dressed like twins.
Gethin Anthony, who played Renly Baratheon in “Game of Thrones,” plays Charles Manson in the show. He was rockin’ the DOUBLE man bun, which is honestly reason enough why he was never worthy of ruling Westeros. He and David Duchovny accidentally dressed like twins.

The “Aquarius” event was pretty lame, to be honest, but it was all worth it in the end because I ran into someone I used to work with in Lafayette! Taylor Gates and I worked at a candy store together in high school, and we ran into each other covering this panel for our respective entertainment news sites in Beverly Hills. Small world!

I’ve never even run into Taylor in Indiana. What are the odds?
I’ve never even run into Taylor in Indiana. What are the odds?

Overall, I’ve been loving writing up these events and can’t wait to go to more! I was supposed to cover an “American Horror Story” panel earlier this week, but it got canceled, rightfully so, because Lady Gaga wanted to go speak at a vigil for Orlando victims instead.

By the way, if you’re curious about the “Outlander” event and what Caitriona, Sam and I were actually talking about, you can read the article here on IndieWire!

Until next week!

by Kate Halliwell | @kate__halliwell | khalliwe@umail.iu.edu

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Halliwell In Hollywood: Hello From Los Angeles!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Communication, Entertainment, Internship, Job, Kate

Hello from Los Angeles!

I’ve now been here for two weeks, which thanks to work, have absolutely flown by. This is the first real breather I’ve had, so I wanted to take the opportunity to write my first post and tell you all about my internship.

IndieWire updated its layout on the day I arrived, which I like to think was in my honor. Really it was to celebrate its 20th year, but I like my explanation better.
IndieWire updated its layout on the day I arrived, which I like to think was in my honor. Really it was to celebrate its 20th year, but I like my explanation better.

I’m working for the next two months at IndieWire, which is an entertainment news website that focuses on film and TV news. The name comes from the site’s original focus on independent cinema and television, but its scope has grown in the 20 years that the site has been live. I’ve been a big IndieWire reader for years due to their smart and in-depth take on Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and the opportunity to work here was a dream come true!

My official title for the summer is “Editorial Intern,” which means that I get to do fun things like write and cover events, rather than just do research and fact checking.

It looks pretty boring in this picture, but this is where I work. IndieWire is brand new to the PMC building, so everyone is still in the process of getting settled and moving in.
It looks pretty boring in this picture, but this is where I work. IndieWire is brand new to the PMC building, so everyone is still in the process of getting settled and moving in.

Despite being an unpaid intern, I chose this internship over a paid one with The Hollywood Reporter just for this reason — I think experience and professional skills are way more valuable than being paid minimum wage to sit at a desk and check copy that other people have written. I am loving my job so far, and I haven’t regretted this decision for a second!

My first two weeks at IndieWire have been fast-paced and fun so far, and things have only picked up as I’ve gotten more comfortable with my daily tasks. IndieWire has a fairly small team, smaller than you would think for a site with their kind of reputation, but I really like how close-knit it is. I was allowed to choose between working at the New York or LA office, and chose LA for a few reasons.

First of all, I had never been to LA and a summer surrounded by sunshine and palm trees sounded pretty great.

The Penske Media Building is between Santa Monica and Westwood, and houses a bunch of different entertainment publications. Since Variety is the major PMC money-maker, they get a sign outside the building.
The Penske Media Building is between Santa Monica and Westwood, and houses a bunch of different entertainment publications. Since Variety is the major PMC money-maker, they get a sign outside the building.

Second of all, the LA office is primarily TV news based, while the NY office is the unofficial film office.

Since the Emmys are coming up later this summer, I chose the LA office because I was assured there would be plenty of Emmys events for me to cover. (This has proven 100% true already, but more on that in my next post!)

My boss here in LA is Liz Shannon-Miller, who is the TV Editor for IndieWire. She’s super nice and helpful, and she shares an office with Ben Travers, who is the Chief TV Critic.

If you’d asked me three weeks ago whether I preferred TV or film reporting, I would have said film, but they’re already converting me to a major TV geek! It’s so fun to be around people who nerd out about TV and movies as much as I do.

Pictures like this one of Berenice Bejo are all around the building, mainly on the floors belonging to Variety.
Pictures like this one of Berenice Bejo are all around the building, mainly on the floors belonging to Variety.

There are quite a few others in the LA office, but Liz and Ben are the two that I’ve been working with most closely. Steve Green, the special projects editor, is also great. I work next to Steve and one other intern, who is a LA native and is majoring in film at UC Berkeley. Since he watches very little TV and has no interest in reporting on the Emmys, we’ve been splitting the TV and film coverage between us.

Excuse the Snapchat format- Amazon brought a trailer full of food, coffee, and free stuff to the office for us and the Variety reporters. It’s pretty common practice for networks to do this around Emmys time, sort of a “Please write about why our shows should be nominated!” bribe. Hey, I’ll take it.
Excuse the Snapchat format — Amazon brought a trailer full of food, coffee, and free stuff to the office for us and the Variety reporters. It’s pretty common practice for networks to do this around Emmys time, sort of a “Please write about why our shows should be nominated!” bribe. Hey, I’ll take it.

Our daily tasks consist of a few general entertainment news stories, usually followed by a transcript or two. For those of you who don’t know, a transcript is a word-for-word document of a recorded interview. Most reporters hate transcribing, and therefore they give it to us to do. While the transcriptions are definitely the worst tasks we have to do, it’s not like we’re working for a general newspaper and transcribing interviews with normal, boring people.

Since we work with entertainment reporters, all of the interviews are with famous people, so it makes the task 100 times more interesting! To date, I’ve transcribed interviews with David Schwimmer (Ross from “Friends”), Viola Davis (an actual queen among women), Jay Duplass (“Transparent”), Michael C. Hall (Everyone’s favorite serial killer on “Dexter”) and many more! The only downside is that usually they’re talking about a show that I haven’t finished yet — so many shows and movies have been spoiled for me in just two weeks at this job!

When my eyes are going blurry from staring at my computer for too long, I tend to nip on down to the cafeteria on the 5th floor for a snack. The IndieWire office is in the Penske Media Building, who also owns Variety Magazine and a few other publications.

I’ve spent way too much time in the Variety cafeteria experimenting with different concoctions from this drink machine.
I’ve spent way too much time in the Variety cafeteria experimenting with different concoctions from this drink machine.

Since Variety is the big dog in the building, they get their own cafeteria that comes fully stocked with a breakfast spread every morning, a cereal bar, constantly changing snacks, and one of those cool drink machines. (Yes, we are allowed to use the cafeteria, although I’m not above stealing free food if it comes to that.)

All in all, I’ve been loving my job so far and genuinely look forward to every day at IndieWire! My further adventures with Emmys events will be documented in an upcoming post — stay tuned!

by Kate Halliwell | @kate__halliwell | khalliwe@umail.iu.edu

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