Starting week 6 was a bit of an adjustment. At the end of the week before we had an employee leave. He was on our support team which is the team I’m a part of. We went from 5 members to 4. That caused us to have to shift support hours around and adjust to having one less person.
Adjusting to Losing an Employee
All of the hours of the day are divided up. Each person has designated support hours where they are primary support. This is to be sure that there is always someone to contact during all business hours. When you lose a person everyone has to take on more support hours. I ended up with a second support hour when I only had one before. It wasn’t a huge change but others had to take on more than that in order to balance the hours.
Another thing was the guy who left was our most experienced support person. He had been at the company the longest so we asked him a lot of questions. There were plenty of other people to ask but they are much busier than he was. Especially since I was the new person losing that avenue of knowledge and help was difficult.
He also answered a lot of support calls. So now we had one less person answering calls as well. Overall it was a very big change because we had to fill in the hole of a whole other person.
After he left I realized I should probably get connected to the phone system. I hadn’t until now just because I was still really new and wouldn’t know the answers to a lot of questions. But with one less person to answer the phone, I needed to get connected! So I got connected to the phone system. I answered my first phone call and it went well! I answered other phone calls and some didn’t go as well but we persevere!
I also took on a lot more support tickets. Even if I wasn’t able to answer it I would get help and work through it with someone. Pretty much the whole week was taking on more work.
The week was full of new things and learning to navigate having one less person to do things. We ended up doing fine and it was a great week!
Week 5! Here we are. This week contained a special day for our company that happens before a new release of our software. Testing day! Testing day is where we test (obviously) different system functions to see if they work or not.
This was my first testing day since joining the company. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I also was still within my 10-day recovery period for Covid so I had to wear a mask. So here’s how the day went. I got there at 8 am and was ready to get started. We did a quick rundown of what we were going to do. Basically, we needed to go into the system and test if that function was working. If it wasn’t we created a ticket that would be sent to our engineers to fix.
So the day began. There was so much to test. Then we got Chipotle for everyone which was really good and got my energy up to continue testing. It was really hard to wear my mask because I was still recovering and also because it was difficult to breathe. I made it through the day and was really glad I came.
Apparently, that was a very quick testing day. We got through things quickly. One of the funny things about testing day was that the engineers took over support from us. We did a bit of a switcheroo where we kind of did their job and they did ours.
The rest of the week was great. I felt much better as the week went on. It was really nice to get back into the groove of things after having Covid. This week’s post will be very short but still wanted to document it!
I made it to week 4! Yes! 4 whole weeks at the company and things are going great. Insert record scratch here. Well, things were going great until I got Covid. Yep. That was super fun. So how did week 4 really go?
Monday was great. Just a normal day at the office. I felt a little off but nothing too bad. Then I woke up on Tuesday and I felt horrible. My dad was just getting over Covid so I tested. I was negative yay! So I just stayed home that day and hoped to be better by the morning. Wednesday comes around and my mom tested positive. So I test again just to be sure I don’t have it. As I’m sure you can guess it was positive. Yayyyy. Que 5 days of quarantine.
I had to quarantine in my room so I hopefully wouldn’t give it to my sisters So I spent the next 5 days straight in my room. What do you do in quarantine? Let me fill you in.
For starters, I didn’t do much work because I wasn’t feeling great. So I ended up watching a lot of TV which surprises no one. I thought I would read more because I am a huge reader as I’m sure most of you know but my brain was too tired. So there was a lot of time spent sleeping and watching exorbitant amounts of TV.
What did I end up watching? I found this great show on Netflix called On My Block. Definitely check it out if you have a chance. It’s about a group of 4 teens trying to navigate high school when they live in a rough neighborhood with gangs and criminals everywhere. It’s really awesome because it focuses on tough issues like racism and has a mainly Black and Latinx cast.
I also watched a few movies. I watched Five Feet Apart which is really good but also sad. Tall Girl 2 was fine but nothing too exciting. Rewatched He’s All That and X-Men Days of Future Past. They are both great movies. Lastly, I watched Top Gun because I had never seen it and wanted to see Top Gun: Maverick with my family. It was really good!
It was very weird to have all my meals brought to me. I didn’t like not being able to make any food for myself. Also not leaving my room was annoying as well. You feel trapped kind of like a caged animal. I’m so glad quarantine was 5 days instead of 10. I can’t imagine how long that would have been.
Getting Out of Quarantine
After getting out of quarantine it was amazing. I was so glad to be able to walk around my house and see my family. I’m really thankful I didn’t have really bad symptoms and as far as I can tell I didn’t give it to my sisters.
So week 4 didn’t consist of much work but it did make me grateful for everything I have in my life. Going into this next week it’s been nice to get back into the groove even though I haven’t been able to go back to the office yet.
As I’m already starting my 4th week at Cetec I decided to combine my week 2 and 3 documentation. I”m going to talk about networking and why it’s valuable.
I’m writing this after an awesome call about networking. I have a weekly call in a professional group I’m a part of and we talk about all sorts of different topics. This time it was about networking.
Usually, we invite outside professionals to talk about their careers but today it was a fellow member of the group getting to talk about his career and how networking has made a big difference for him. It was very exciting and it got me thinking about how I want to network for this job and with fellow professionals.
So I’m going to tell you about how in the past couple of weeks I was networking without even realizing it.
Networking in Relation to Cetec ERP
Networking is incredibly important for your career. You need to make connections and learn as much as you can from fellow professionals. I realized that I don’t actively do this. I do try and reach out to other people in my professional group and make friends like anyone would but I don’t go the extra mile to reach out personally to people asking to connect.
Now with starting my new job I haven’t been able to go out and hang out with friends as much as I used to. I have however been able to get to know my coworkers. I really have focused on getting to know them and becoming friends.
The work environment makes it really easy to do this because it is incredibly laid back and we work in an open office without any cubicles or anything. There are just desks and chairs all over and you can sit and work together. I love that everyone is able to work closely with each other.
We do try and have work events where we socialize outside of work. My bosses really try and keep a great work environment. One example is a work dinner at the end of week 3.
Here is the biggest networking opportunity I had these past couple of weeks. I ended up making some great connections! One of my bosses invited everyone to a dinner at his house. It was so much fun! I got to talk to people outside of a work setting and get to know them better.
I ended up meeting a lot of people’s spouses and partners that night and it was great! I connected with one and she and I exchanged numbers! We now talk about books all the time. I’m so glad I got to connect with people.
I didn’t realize it but I was networking that night. I met new people and connected with them. Networking can help you so much in the long run. I’m going to be focusing on networking more and try to put myself out there.
So biggest takeaway is networking. Go out there and network! Or at least go make some friends because guess what? That’s still networking! If you want to read last week’s blog post go here.
So week 1…… Wait, you don’t know what I’m talking about?! Well, let me start from the beginning.
After 3 long months of searching, I got a job! A full-time one at that. I wasn’t sure how to feel, equal parts excited and utterly terrified. But let me go back even further to how I got the job.
Getting the Job
I’d been searching for a job for quite some time now. I was applying and emailing for all sorts of different jobs like sales, customer support, and social media marketing, etc. By that time I hadn’t really been getting very far in the application process. Sometimes I wouldn’t even make it to the first interview and get rejected immediately.
Now that can be very discouraging for someone trying to start their career. But I didn’t let that stop me and I kept applying. There were some days I asked myself why I’m doing this? What’s the point? I’m never going to get a job. But then my friends and family would pick me up again and I would keep going.
So back to this job process. I got an email from a hiring manager that asked if I wanted to have a lunch interview. I’ll admit that I was kind of unsure how I felt about that. I hadn’t done a lunch interview before and that seemed scary.
I ended up asking my advisor what she thought about me doing this. She told me you’ll be fine. Even if nothing pans out at least you’ll get the practice. So I accepted and we had lunch
We hit it off and he had invited one of the newer employees to the interview so I could get his perspective on the company. It was honestly such a great interview. Afterwards, the hiring manager immediately followed up with good news. He wanted to send me an offer!
He thought I was a great fit but it was Friday so he said I wouldn’t get the offer till Monday. In my head I’m thinking “whattttt he wants to offer me a job? And “I’m going to have to agonizingly wait the whole weekend to hear back and see if this is legit or not?” I was excited but also was like is this real? I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
So I waited the weekend to see if I would get the offer. I have to say it was probably the most painful weekend of my life.
Then Sunday night. I. Got. The. Offer. It was like 11:00 at night and suddenly I had a job offer in my inbox. In the morning after thinking about it all night I accepted the offer! I was now an employee at……..
Do you want to know what the company’s called? Are you at the edge of your seat wondering? Oh well sorry, I won’t tell you till the next post.
Just kidding. I am now an employee at a small software company called Cetec ERP. I’m a member of the support team and help solve issues and talk to customers.
So after that long-winded backstory here’s how the first week went.
The First Week
My first day was spent almost entirely watching videos and poking around in the system trying to figure it out. Our software is immensely complicated and I mean immensely.
My boss told me that the learning curve is ridiculous and I probably won’t even be confident till like the 8-month mark at least. Which was encouraging and yet terrifying at the same time. But I was ready to buckle down and learn as much as I could. I spent my second day pretty much doing the same thing.
On the third day, I got to sit down with one of our support people and help him work on tickets. It was really hard and he had to explain a lot to me because I didn’t know anything. But it was great to get into the action and feel useful. I have to admit the videos were quite boring but they were necessary.
I spent the rest of my first week continuing to work on ticketing and learning new things. Because every ticket is so different you can learn something from every single one..
Partway through my second week I’m starting to learn how some processes work and how to use our software. It’ll be a long time before I fully know what I’m doing but I’m excited to keep learning.
What’s Next for Me?
So my first week went great besides the fact that it felt like my brain was going to melt out of my head the first couple of days because of the information overload. I’m really enjoying it and I’m really excited to see where I end up even a month from now.
The plan is to document every week of work. I’m not sure if that will happen but I do want to document how my onboarding process goes for future employees. But keep an eye on my blog so you can keep up with all my fun (ok might not be always fun) processes and weekly updates that may or may not be weekly.
This month, I am focusing on building my social media presence, increasing my following, and learning about the Instagram algorithm. I am posting every day on Instagram and making two Reels for Instagram a week. Want to see how my journey began? Click here.
Here’s how week 4 went!
I was able to post every day! I’m really glad I have been able to keep this up. It was a pretty challenging part of the project but it was also fun!
This week was Thanksgiving break so I wasn’t sure what photos I would be taking. There were a lot of things going on so finding time was going to be harder. Thankfully I was able to find the time and take some great photos this week.
On Thanksgiving, my dog decided to lay his head on one of my books. My dad took some quick photos and that became the photo for the day. It was really nice that it was so natural and it made it really easy. Don’t forget that you can take photos of just everyday life. I had forgotten that and I’m really glad I got that picture up.
This photo also ended up being my most popular photo of the week! It got 33 likes in one day. I think it was because it had my dog in the photo because a lot of people commented about their pets. Everyone loves cute pets! It was a different post but everyone seemed to like it. I will probably post more pictures of my dog in the future. Visit it here.
It still got 16 likes so I’m doing much better than last week. Last week my lowest post was 9 likes so I’m improving. Making my photos different and branching out definitely helped my engagement.
I almost forgot to post for a couple days and I had to rush to take a photo. I ended up with a great one I love! Visit it here.
It was dark and I realized I hadn’t taken a picture yet. I went outside and my mom turned the light on right as I was taking the picture. It turned out great!
Here’s this week’s grid!
This week I made two Reels. You can visit them here and here. The first one didn’t even get 200 views. I’m not sure why. It could have been the time or the day. I used popular audio and did the same things I have been doing.
The second one got over 2,00 views in the first 2 hours. I don’t know what changed but it was very popular. I wasn’t on Instagram for a while after I posted it which I’ve heard is effective. That helped with views I believe.
Reels are still so much fun. I really enjoy making them and finding audio. I like taking audio and doing a book spin on it to match my account. You can do that with almost every audio you come across.
I’m so glad I did this project. This week was a great week to finish on. I was able to take my Reel skills and use them to make a second Reel. I plan on continuing with posting every day and making Reels after this project is over. It was a great experience and I learned so much. Thanks for following my journey!
Want to see how my project started? Click here for week 1.
This month I did a project to help increase my social media following on my Instagram. I gave myself the challenge to post on Instagram every day for the whole month and put out 1 or 2 Reels per week. This post is about the Instagram algorithm and what I learned about it.
Algorithms are strange and mysterious, don’t you think? At a glance, it’s hard to understand them. You feel like you’re stumbling around in the dark trying to find the light. Well, all it takes is a bit of research and experimentation to understand how an algorithm works.
This week I did research on the Instagram algorithm. I wanted to understand how it worked so I could use it to my advantage for my project. I also experimented with the techniques I learned and found they were effective.
I started by looking up articles about the Instagram algorithm. Here are a few that I looked at: here and here. Basically, the algorithm shows you what it thinks you want to see. Every post you like, save, comment on, and share in your story has an impact.
Instagram evaluates your interests, how recently something was posted, your following, and time spent on Instagram. It’s kind of scary how much Instagram analyzes you and the time you spend on the app but it is helpful because it helps you see what you want to see.
How to Make the Algorithm Work for You
Now the big question is how can you make the algorithm work for you? How do you get your content out there for people to see? I asked myself these questions all month long but I didn’t really think about researching it until halfway through.
My first mistake was waiting for the algorithm to work for me. I put out content every day and just left it there. I didn’t showcase it and I didn’t try and get it out there for everyone to see. Instead, I expected the algorithm to be my friend. The people will come, I told myself. Someone will see this content and think it’s cool and follow me. That isn’t how it works.
To get people to see your content you have to be active in showing it to other people.
Here are some tips that will help you get yourself out there:
Share your posts to your story so your followers don’t miss it.
Seek out people that have similar interests to you.
Like other people’s posts so you’re on their radar.
How do I do that?
Now you’re probably thinking that’s all great, but how do I execute this? What is the best and most effective way to gain followers and show my content? Well, I’m glad you asked because that is the most important part.
The first thing you want to do is search through your hashtags. Hashtags that you frequently use give you access to other people’s posts. Look through those posts and find accounts that follow way more people than they have followers. These are the accounts you want to follow. They are going to most likely follow you back because they aren’t as concerned about who they follow just like you. I follow over 700 people but only have about 200 followers
Then you will want to like a bunch of their posts. You can go through and like posts you like or just a bunch of random ones. After that, follow them. They will get a notification that you liked a bunch of their posts and they will look at your account and will be more likely to follow you back. They have a positive outlook on your account already because you showered them with love.
It’s even better if the accounts you follow are small accounts. They want to grow their following and will be grateful that you want to support them. Like people want to help each other grow and this has worked very effectively for me. I’ve found some small accounts that have less than 500 followers and pretty much all of them have followed me back.
Another place to look for new accounts is in the comments of people’s posts. The top commenters probably comment on posts regularly. You can find a bunch of new accounts that way. If they comment it means they are active and engage with other people’s posts. You want a follower like that because then you will get more engagement.
This has been effective for my account. When I started doing this almost every account followed me back. The more you do this the more followers you can gain. It’s also important to find people with similar interests to you. I focus mostly on book accounts because that is my niche. Thankfully there are a lot of those kinds of accounts and I can keep my feed primarily book-related. Keep within your niche.
While algorithms are confusing and mysterious they can be figured out. Figuring out the Instagram algorithm was a fun journey. I wish I had thought about it sooner but I’m glad I was still able to learn about it. Anyone can implement these strategies and they aren’t that hard.
You just have to be consistent and keep looking for new accounts. Taking time to learn how something works is definitely worth it and I am thankful I had help from some friends during this journey otherwise I never would have learned this much in such a short time.
This month I am focusing on building my social media presence and increasing my following. I am posting every day on Instagram, creating one YouTube video a week, and making one Reel for Instagram a week. This post focuses on how I learned about and how to make Reels.
The Beginning of Reels
When Reels first showed up on Instagram no one knew what to do with them. It was obvious that it was just Instagram’s version of TikTok and no one really saw the point of Reels when Instagram was a photo-sharing app.
As time went on, everyone started to warm up to Reels. A lot of people started reposting their TikToks as Reels, and more and more people started taking TikTok sounds and even creating their own on Instagram to make a potentially viral Reel.
Soon Instagram changed its algorithm to boost Reels. If you didn’t make Reels, you didn’t get a lot of engagement.
This caused many protests from the Instagram community. Most people joined Instagram for photo-sharing purposes. That was what set Instagram apart from other social media platforms.
For a while, everyone had to adjust to the new algorithm. They had to learn how to make Reels otherwise they wouldn’t get that much engagement.
Making Reels was a foreign concept to me for a while. I didn’t know how they worked or what content to put out there. I made a Reel a very long time ago but I didn’t fully understand the concept.
I didn’t know how to look for popular audio or how to edit my Reels. I had to think outside the box about what my Reels would be about and what I would be doing in them.
I decided to watch a bunch of Reels and find audio I liked. I would save the audio then go through the ones I saved. This helped me think of ideas.
One of the best things about Reels is that you can take complete creative license. Anyone can make a Reel but it takes creativity to make a great one. Using popular audio and adding it to a video that’s completely different from everyone else’s makes you stand out.
For my first Reel, I used popular audio from Black Widow. The audio is about a fighting pose but I completely changed it to be about my indecisiveness about buying books. It was a popular audio that I changed to fit my brand.
Why Should You Make Reels?
You can save anyone’s audio. A lot of times they saved it from someone else’s account who took it from someone else’s and so on. Someone might even save your audio.
When saving someone else’s audio, it draws people back to their Reel and gets them more views. This also gets you more views because the other person’s followers will see your content.
If someone has watched a lot of Reels with specific audio they are going to see the same audio over and over again. Taking advantage of that is valuable because then someone will be more likely to see your Reel.
Like I said before Instagram changed its algorithm to boost Reels. Making Reels can help boost your engagement.
Plus, Reels are fun! I have a great time making Reels. I can be creative and show people books I love in a different format.
You can showcase fun parts of your personality in Reels too. Your personality can come through in the photos you take but a Reel gives you a different opportunity.
How to Edit Reels
I watched this awesome in-depth video that you can check out here. This video goes into what a Reel is, how to edit a Reel, and more. I found this very helpful and I learned multiple things I didn’t know. They do a great job showing you how to edit.
Making a Reel
After watching this video I set out to make a Reel. The first one I had made wasn’t that good and I was just trying it out. This time I was going to be deliberate and find popular audio and make my own (potentially viral) reel.
After I watched a bunch of Reels and saved some audio I came up with some fun ideas. I created the Black Widow Reel which ended up getting over 2,000 views in the first 12 hours.
The next week I created a new Reel. There is a very popular book challenge going around. This audio is book-related already. It talks about how certain book readers don’t read the books they bought before buying more. You hold up different books you haven’t read yet that you own.
This was really fun! This Reel was even more successful. I got 2,600 views in the first 24 hours and over 100 likes. My first Reel only got 25 likes.
Reels are easy to learn and I think that anyone can do it. You just have to be willing to search for audio and put in the work to create them. They really help your engagement and add something different to your feed.
This month I am focusing on building my social media presence and increasing my following. I am posting every day on Instagram and making two Reels for Instagram a week. Today I’m talking about Zapier.
What is Zapier?
Zapier is a software that links apps together. When you post something on one app it will automatically post on the app that is linked to. That is what I did for my Instagram and LinkedIn.
I was thinking of other ways to get my content out in the world, and my Instagram content on other platforms would help reach more people and get more followers.
In this video I cover how to use Zapier. I show how to create Zaps, which link two different apps together. There is an action like posting new content on one app which causes the other app to also post content. For my Instagram, I made the “action” posting new content. I then linked it to LinkedIn which would post an update on my page. I can customize what is said and link it directly to my post.
Linking my Instagram and LinkedIn was very easy and quick. It helps me get more reach and shows my posts to a bigger community. Linking my Instagram and LinkedIn also gave me an opportunity to learn how to use a new tool.
So far I haven’t really seen much new engagement from my LinkedIn posts. I didn’t expect a huge new following from this but having my Instagram posts on my LinkedIn makes it easy for me to show people them. My LinkedIn followers will see them and be more likely to follow me.
Even if I don’t get any new followers from my LinkedIn, I know how to use Zapier for future projects and can link any app I want. This helps to make systems more efficient and is really important for the future.
Want to follow my project? Visit my landing page here.
This month, I am focusing on building my social media presence, increasing my following, and learning about the Instagram algorithm. I am posting every day on Instagram and making two Reels for Instagram a week.
Here’s how week 3 went!
I successfully posted every day! Even though I’ve been able to keep up with this every week it is still a big accomplishment for me. This week I tried to take a lot more outdoor shots. I liked the idea of changing things up. So far I had mostly been taking photos on my bookshelf. A lot of them started looking very similar and I wanted to make the photos more interesting.
I ended up taking photos whenever I went to a new place. I went to a friend’s house one day and I had brought a book with me. Realizing I could take a photo in a new environment that became the photo for the day.
Getting creative with the photos was so much fun! I live right next to a park so I took some photos on the trails and in my backyard. I took one on a rock with trees in the background. Another great thing about outdoor photos is that during the day the lighting is great.
It got 28 likes in a single day. The series pictured is quite popular and I think that tagging the authors and using the series hashtags helped with engagement. I also love this picture. I like taking a picture with me in it every once in a while to change things up.
This is actually the post I took at my friend’s house for a change of scenery. It didn’t quite work out. I still really like the photo. I was thinking it would be popular because I tagged all the authors and hashtagged them too. Unfortunately, this post only got 7 likes.
Here’s this week’s grid!
My Reel went really well! I ended up getting 3,000 views in the first 3 hours! I was shocked. It was even more popular than the last 2 Reels and they were pretty popular as well.
I did tag all the authors and hashtagged them as well. That and the popular audio I used definitely helped more people see my Reel. It was very rewarding to see my Reel get so many views.
I was really happy with the Reel overall. My transitions in the video looked great and the timing was spot on. I enjoy the book challenge Reels and I will definitely be doing more of them. Next week I want to try and come up with my own book challenge and see if I can get it to trend.
Changes I Made This Week
This week I made a couple of big changes to my project. One was I stopped doing a YouTube video completely and two I focused more on increasing my Instagram followers.
Why did I take the YouTube video out? I realized that I was getting burned out. I had to create so much new content each week that my brain couldn’t come up with the ideas fast enough. Having to come up with photo ideas, Reel ideas, and YouTube ideas all in one week is a lot. I realized the best thing to do was to take out the YouTube video and focus on Instagram.
As I was deciding this I realized that I wasn’t doing enough for follower increase on Instagram. Putting your content out there and expecting it to succeed isn’t realistic and I realized that was what I had been doing. I needed to be deliberate and actually try to seek out people and followers.
Thanks to an awesome friend who challenged me and helped me come up with ways to do this I changed the way I looked at Instagram. I started to look for fellow book accounts that followed more people than followed them. Then I would like a bunch of their posts then follow them. I do this for multiple accounts a day.
I also look through book-related hashtags to help me find more accounts. Looking for small accounts can make it more personal and they are more likely to follow you back.
Also, look through the top comments on a post. If someone has commented they probably comment consistently on people’s posts and you want to follow those people. The same rules apply though. You want the number of followers to be smaller than the number of people they follow.
This new system has been successful so far. I now have 220 followers. Most of them are from the last few days when I implemented this new system. Better than a 4 follower increase each week. Want to read a more in-depth post about this? Click here. (I’ll be writing this later)
Even though I had to reevaluate my project this week it still went well. I posted every day and made my Reel.
Next week I will be focusing on implementing my new system and finishing strong. I will continue posting every day and I will add a second Reel to my agenda.