This week I was fortunate enough to have a chance to help out at Space Day at the Texas Capitol Building. Working with members of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP) and NASA, I assisted their efforts of lobbying for funding of space-related programs to Texas legislators. It was an experience unlike any other I have taken part in, and I highly encourage anybody else who has the chance to participate in events of this nature.
During Space Day at the Capitol, we lobbied for the funding of the Texas Aerospace Scholars (TAS), the Technology Outreach Program (TOP), and the Texas Spaceport Trust Fund.
TAS encourages students from Middle School through Community College across Texas in STEM-related careers by providing unique educational experiences through distance learning and onsite workshops at Johnson Space Center.
TOP provides engineering and technology assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs across Texas.
The Spaceport Trust Fund assists Texas with developing its spaceport infrastructure projects to make Texas a viable option for commercial space companies looking to expand or relocate.
My takeaways from this event were:
- Even though it may be intimidating walking into a senator or representative’s office, they are there to listen to the people.
- If the legislator is busy, talk to one of their staffers. I spoke with a friend who had lobbied at the Texas level before in her career, and she said that the staffers are sometimes better to talk to as they have more time to get into details, and they are really the ones who set their legislator’s schedule and give advice.
- People still get excited about NASA. This is great news! When I walked into several offices, the staffers looked as if they were not thrilled with the prospect of another visitor, but as soon as I mentioned NASA and space programs, everyone in the office always perked right up and became all ears, especially with the chance to meet an astronaut at the Astronauts and Ice Cream Social.
These are lessons that I believe can apply to our everyday life, especially working in and around NASA. You never know who can assist you in meeting your goals. And even though we may sometimes lack enthusiasm for the industry of space being surrounded by it in the day-to-day, it is always refreshing to see the excitement in the eyes of people who rarely get to be a part of our world.
–The Logical Blogger
Welcome to my workplace tour. In this topic, I would like to share some photos of interesting things around the building I work in at NASA, Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. This is the home of the Crew and Thermal Systems Division which engineers the space suits, life support systems, environmental control systems, EVA tools and equipment, waste and hygiene systems, food and drink systems, and thermal systems for all vehicles and EVA. Pretty much everything that keeps the astronauts alive and able to work comes from our people.
Please send me photos of your workplace with some descriptions so we can feature it on an upcoming tour.
The history of space suits: Mercury through Gemini
Apollo through Skylab
Current space suits: Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) and Extra Mobility Unit (EMU)
Various test gloves and helmets throughout the years
EVA tools and equipment
The insides of a Portable Life Support System (PLSS) – The backpack on the EVA suit
Section of the thermal shield from the International Space Station (ISS)
Award for the development of the CO2 removal system from Apollo 13 and a model of ISS
–The Logical Blogger
- Work hard – This is simple. Show up on time, don’t leave early, and put in a full day’s actual work to accomplish your tasks. Keep personal business to a minimum.
- Act professional – Professionals follow the rules and do not engage in behaviors that go against company policy. They also treat their coworkers and customers in a courteous, friendly, and tactful manner. Make sure to dress appropriately as well as speak and write in a professional and grammatically-correct way.
- Be positive – You do not have to be the annoyingly overly cheerful office worker, but having a positive “go-getter” personality is not only good for you, it can improve your entire office morale.
- Take initiative – Don’t just stick to the basics of your job. Strive to push your boundaries to excel to new levels of success. Sign up for extra training or volunteer for new tasks that may be above the call of duty. If you finish your regular workload early, take the opportunity to do other work, learn new tasks, or help coworkers.
- Be a team player – Be aware of the workload and dynamics of your teammates. Offer help whenever possible. Also, work to help build team communication, relationships, and strategies.
- Cultivate relationships – Not only will making friendships in the workplace create a more positive environment for you, it will help build a community of trusted people you can rely on if needed. Building relationships with higher ups will also create visibility and create a potential for growth in your career.
- Be a mentor – Helping new employees learn the ropes will help build more relationships while helping you understand your role in the team. Mentoring also demonstrates your value to your team as a whole as well as your boss and company.
- Avoid gossip – It is always best practice not to get caught up in workplace gossip, rumors, and drama. These practices can not only make you lose credibility and respect from your coworkers, but it can lead to a damaged reputation and disciplinary actions from your boss or company.
- Offer solutions – Whenever possible, be part of the solution. Don’t be the person that just points out a problem without offering any possible solutions or suggestions. Companies love employees who can help with process improvements.
- Be reliable – Keep your word. Always meet deadlines. Always turn in work that is up to expectations. Employees that can be trusted to complete quality work on time without scrutiny receive opportunities for new work and advancement.
- Take constructive criticism well – Every employee receives constructive criticism at some point or another. The key is to respond professionally and gracefully. Do not take it personally. Use it for what it is: feedback to improve your performance and skills.
- Own up to your mistakes – Successful people are honest when they make a mistake. Apologize (only once) and then figure out how to fix the mistake as best as possible and offer a solution to ensure the mistake will not happen in the future.
- Ask for help – Let your team benefit you. Asking for help is not a weakness; it is a strength. It also helps demonstrate trust in your team.
- Listen – Many people have a tendency to talk more than listen. Problems arise when we are assigned a difficult task and instead of listening to clear direction, we try and talk through it ourselves. By all means, ask questions if you need to, but then carefully listen to the answers.
- Over prepare – It is better to be safe than sorry. When going into a meeting, have any and all materials you may need during the meeting. Know answers to possible questions that may come up. If these questions do not come up, it is still better to have prepared than not being able to provide an answer in a room full of people.
- Be organized – If your desk is cluttered, and you have no systems for filing paperwork or electronic documents, it can take valuable time to find what you need and take away from your actual work. It also looks very unprofessional to visitors in your office.
- Manage your time – Part of being organized is prioritizing your workload. Time is in short supply, so plan out your day or week by tasks to know which tasks to work at which times, maximizing your efforts.
- Be a leader – Leadership is not just getting your work done on time, it is helping your teammates do the same. A leader is someone who mentors, helps, organizes, and communicates for the team. Good leaders are always great resources for a company.
- Know your boss – Every boss is different, so learning to adapt to your boss’ personal styles and preferences will help you be successful in their eyes.
- Know your company – Every company is different. Learn your organization’s mission, goals, strategies, and products/services to help understand your role within so you can provide value.
–The Logical Blogger
To pump you up for the week, check out the following songs. Also, we’d like to hear from our employees and friends. If you’d like to submit some song choices for upcoming playlists, send them to email@example.com.
- The Record Company – Off The Ground
- C2C ft. Derek Martin – Happy
- Fitz and The Tantrums – Handclap
- Dreamers – Sweet Disaster
- Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
- JJ Grey & Mofro – 99 Shades of Crazy
- X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons – Jungle
- Jungle – Busy Earnin’
- Walker Lukens – Lifted
- Gary Clark Jr. – Ain’t Messin’ Around
- Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance
- Capital Cities ft. Tupac – Breathe
- The Knocks – Learn to Fly
- Josh Ritter – Getting Ready to Get Down
- JD McPherson – Head Over Heels
- The Georgia Floods – Whistle King
- Alt-J – Left Hand Free
- Wolfmother – White Feather
- Dan Black – Pump My Pumps
- Miike Snow – Animal
- Mike Doughty – Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future
- Young the Giant – Something to Believe In
- Eli “Paperboy” Reed – Cut Ya Down
- The Hives – Hate to Say I Told You So
- The Raconteurs – Salute Your Solution
- Ghostland Observatory – Sad Sad City
- Kasabian – Underdog
- Imagine Dragons – Believer
- Clutch – Electric Worry
- Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang
Enjoy and have a great week!
–The Logical Blogger
Welcome to the Logical Innovations, Inc. company blog site. We would like this blog to be a place where our employees, customers, and friends can come check out all sorts of information such as helpful tips and tricks for success, news which could impact our employees, and lots of other fun topics.
Fun is the key word. We want this blog to be an enjoyable experience that people will look forward to. With that in mind, we will have some interactive posts in which we will be seeking inputs from our employees to help make this blog truly everyone’s.
For now, please check in with us every Monday for new posts. Bookmark us, because you won’t want to miss what we have in store!
–The Logical Blogger