2020 Work Vision

My resolutions for this year are career-focused

In a city like DC, the sky’s the limit when it comes to opportunities and growth

With the arrival of 2020, many people are sharing their New Year’s resolutions. This isn’t something that I have done in the past, but with this being the year that I turn 30 (woohoo!) and am thinking more and more about my short- and long-term goals, I decided to set some career resolutions.

It has been almost 3 years since I finished grad and law school, so I am still a very junior professional. I’m not even entirely sure what I want my long-term role to be. To give a quick rundown on my journey thus far, I am not a licensed, practicing attorney because I have chosen a non-traditional path of working in public health law. I realized at the very beginning of law school that I have no interest in going to court or representing clients. Instead, I want to work on national health policies and research.

In 2017, my first job right after graduation was as a Regulatory Counsel at FDA. I landed this position after being named a 2017 Presidential Management Fellow. Since March 2019, I have been a Privacy Analyst in another HHS operating division, the Administration for Children and Families.* These experiences have helped me come up with my 2020 resolutions.

Listening to music during my commute distracts me from the ridiculously tall escalators at some of the DC metro stops

Write Something

The last time that I published anything was in my third year of law school. Since then, I’ve had a lot of ideas for public health law topics to write about and submit for publication. But I haven’t put pen to paper yet, always finding an excuse to delay writing. This year, I want to write something, whether it’s a journal article, issue brief, or a website blurb. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Taking the first baby step will help me get back in the habit of writing.

Get Into Academia

The idea of teaching has always interested me. I would love to bring my passion for public health to the classroom and help others learn. It’s time for me to look in earnest for adjunct positions, community teaching opportunities, and anything else that can give me the teaching experience that I’m seeking.

It sucks when my cute work outfit is overshadowed by a toilet

Take a Professional Headshot

This should have happened a long time ago. Selfies in the office bathroom aren’t going to cut it, and my current LinkedIn photo is from a vacation. I need to get a professional headshot done by an experienced photographer. With all of the different photoshoots I have done over the years, it’s ridiculous that I have put this on the backburner.

Read More

It’s easy to get bogged down and only read on my subject matter when it is directly related to work. This has been especially true this past year because privacy law is a monster, especially in the realm of human services research. But I want to start reading for pleasure again. My goal is to read at least 5 public health related books that have nothing to do with work. If I want to become a subject matter expert, then I need to be holistically engaged in the subject.

That feeling when you want to read a book for fun but have to parse through the Privacy Act instead

Decorate My Desk

This may seem like a silly resolution, but I have been at my current job for about 10 months now and have yet to personalize my desk. This is partly due to the fact that I telework fairly often and partly due to me being pregnant most of the year (why decorate when I’m about to go on a 4-month maternity leave?). But work really is better when I feel comfortable in my environment. So when I return to work, I plan to put some photos and memorabilia on my desk. I also want to set up my tea station which will hopefully help curb my Starbucks addiction.

My hope is that these resolutions will help me grow in my work as well as keep things interesting. May 2020 be good to all of our careers!

*My blog is a reflection of my own personal opinions and not those of the US Federal Government.

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