Keeping up on Good Habits

By: Knoel Kambak In sitting down to write this blog post, I was met with writer’s block and the unfamiliar feeling of not having my thoughts easily flow onto the computer screen. I realized I am really out of practice when it comes to writing anything for purposes outside my profession. I know this process should be much easier. What happened?

Way back when I was a college student and even early on in my career, I had access to multiple outlets for composing my thoughts on matters outside the business world. Now after years of typing emails to clients and colleagues and drafting numerous professional memos, letters, process documents and so forth, my routine has pushed me away from time I devoted to more creative pursuits. Now’s as good as a time as ever to reverse that trend. This post is a first step in me getting back in the (good) habit of avoiding routines, the first of three good habits I’ll discuss that can help improve your day-to-day experiences:

  1. Avoid routines. Think about your typical work week. How much of one day’s activities are the same as the day before? Or are your weeks fairly interchangeable when you look at how you spend your time (work, sleep, eat, etc.). The downside of routines is that your mind tends to dull and you may miss a creative spark or new way to approach a problem as a result.

To snap out of the routine, find something you can change in your daily routine, whether it’s the route you drive into work, the time of day you break for lunch or what establishment you select for happy hour (e.g. the Elk’s Lodge on September 3rd). It does not have to be a major change in your routine, just something that keeps your mind active and thinking about things in a new way.

  1. Have goals and a plan. This seems pretty straight-forward, but you would be surprised how many people do not keep this practice up. You should draft a list of short-term goals (for the next year or two) and long-term goals (5 years and beyond) related to your job and life outside of work. The short-term goals should be consistent with and support the long-term goals. Your goals can be as aggressive as you want to make them, mainly avoid making them too easy.

With your goals now in place, you can plan how you will achieve them. You don’t necessarily have to write this part down, so long as you know what you need to do to succeed. Most importantly, make sure you review and update your goal lists to see what you have accomplished, and what may need revising.

  1. Stay positive. Your rate of success in life will not be 100% (but if it is, send me an email because I have lots of questions for you-) so you will need to be able to deal with something not going your way. The best approach here is to maintain a positive attitude. People tend not to enjoy spending time around someone that has a negative attitude and focusing solely on what went wrong excludes what went right, or at least what was headed in the right direction.

Help us Avoid the Mid-Year Slump!

By: Corinn Ploessl We’re halfway through 2015 (That flew by, right!?) and Magnet’s Board of Directors and committees are hard at work planning what’s coming next. The first 6 months of this year brought us many successful events: YPWeek Wisconsin, our first book review (and a second, and now a series!,) a Community Connection with Habitat Young Professionals of Madison, a Madison Eats Food Tour and our 9th annual golf outing. We want to keep the momentum going and avoid any break in the awesomeness!

Despite the amazing programs that have come and gone, I know there are still many of you we haven’t connected with yet! We want to see your new faces amongst the familiar ones. Therefore, we want to take a moment to ask you all: Is there something you want to see Magnet host, a speaker you’re dying to hear from, a skill you’d like to learn more about, or a new venue you’re dying to get to? We want to hear from you! We always appreciate it when our members get involved and make suggestions. We want you to own your membership – you get out of Magnet what you put into it.

Tell us what you want to see happen in the second half of 2015 by emailing We’re happy to hear from you and look forward to keeping our events fresh and innovative!

Be "On Par" With Your Golf Course Attire


By: Taylor Kohlmann With our annual golf outing quickly approaching, we thought it would be a good time to share some tips on how to dress your best for the golf course. So whether you’re a frequent golfer or a golfing newbie, check out these rules on appropriate apparel. And be sure to sign up for #MagnetsDayOff at Pleasant View Golf Course on Friday, June 19th.

For men, appropriate attire typically means a pullover shirt with a collar, polo shirt, sweater, windbreaker, fleece, or vest. Avoid tank tops, t-shirts, or shirts with inappropriate words or images. Pants or shorts made of linen, khaki or cotton are appropriate. Be sure to tuck in your shirt, and maybe even polish off the look with a belt. In most cases, jeans and athletic shorts are not acceptable on the course. In terms of footwear, if you don’t have golf shoes, most places prefer you wear soft spikes or a good pair of tennis shoes.

For women golfers, try out a polo (tank or tee) with a skirt, skort, Bermuda shorts, or pants. Make sure your skirt, skort, or shorts are an appropriate length; typically that means near your fingertips. Avoid gym shorts, short shorts, or cutoffs. If it’s a chilly day, grab a sweater, pullover, or windbreaker to stay warm. Footwear can be a golf shoe, soft spike or good pair of sneakers. Stay away from street shoes with a heel because the heel could make an impression in the green.

Check out these looks for some inspiration:

womensgolfattire womensgolfattire2 mensgolfattire2

What Will You Accomplish in 2015?

By: Corinn Ploessl

2015 is upon us. Now is the time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year. Typical New Year’s resolutions include dieting, losing weight, saving more money or quitting a bad habit. I challenge you to think outside the box this year – to make one resolution to better yourself and our community. Maybe it’s to volunteer more, or meet new people, or get involved in an organization.

I recently read an article on how we, Millennials are drastically changing the workforce and in 2015 we’ll make up more than half of it! The article testifies that Millennials are strong contenders in our chosen fields. We’re willing to adapt to change and are excellent at expanding our networks. We’re constantly thinking ‘big picture’ and are quick to react to help companies stay competitive in a fast-paced environment. We’re creating a name for ourselves in the workforce and it’s wise to create goals to reflect the change we want to see.

As Millennials, we are often pegged with the stereotype of being “lazy.” We grew up in a time of being connected with a few clicks of a button or taps on a screen. We have vast knowledge and resources at our fingertips. Let’s break the stereotypes and prove those people wrong. Our generation is full of go-getters and do-gooders. We can make resolutions that will make a difference and that’s what I challenge you to do. If you want to lose weight – that’s great and I wish you good luck with the dieting, but I hope you’ll find a way to get involved and give back in 2015.

This Week's Magnet Roundup: Declutter Your Life and the Most Creative People of 2014

Feeling overwhelmed? Here are six ways on how to explore more and commit less and still be effective.  

We’ve all been there at a networking function—what to talk about? Here’s how to master the art of small talk.


5 skills everyone needs—and yes, you can master them.


Read about Fast Company’s roundup of the 100 most creative people of 2014.


Gain an insight in business and negotiation with 14 tactics to read people’s body language.




This Week’s MAGNET Roundup: Increasing Happiness at Work

Avoid burning out. Maintain an effective P/PC balance.

Want to get ahead in your career? Check out these five tips for motivation.

Eight hours a day is a long time to sit motionless at your desk. Check out these 29 exercises you can do at or near your desk to get you moving.

Understand the difference between being an effective worker and being a busy worker.

You spend a lot of time at work. Make sure you’re as happy as possible there.



High-Tech scoring system to make debut at MAGNET Golf Outing


A brand new golf scoring system will make it's debut at the MAGNET golf outing on June 24th. Teams will be able to send a simple text message that will automatically update the live scoring system. Anyone with a web browser on their smartphone will be able to view the current scores and standings of all the teams participating. For those that will be having too much

fun to text their scores in, one of the golf outing assistants will be traveling around the course throughout the outing with an iPad and will be able to enter scores or edit incorrectly submitted scores.

The system was conceived and created by a team of local developers (who are also MAGNET members) which include Will Robus and Steve Brown of Thetasphere, LLC, and Stuart McIntosh of Mill City Group. The system leverages a text to web service called Twilio, a database platform called Filemaker, and standard web programming languages.

Upon sign in at the outing, each team will be given a 4-digit PIN number. After each hole is play

ed, a team member simply sends a text with their PIN, hole number, and score. The system checks what was submitted and either accepts it or rejects it with an explanation. All sores are managed via an iPad by the outing assistant.

Check out this image of the live system on an Iphone:

For the more experienced golfers, we are hoping this will amp up the competition.  For the less serious teams, this is a fun new twist on social outing, that should help you remember what

hole you had the best shot of day that gave your team the great score.


You’re Social - So are We!

By Steve Van Dinter

As I write this, I’m currently soaring some 30,000 feet over the great state of Indiana but that’s the beauty of the world we live in.  Airplanes now connect us to the rest of the world as easily as Facebook connects us to our long lost friends and colleagues.  And for the more than 100 million people who access the site from mobile devices, those connections are all within a finger’s reach.

So since you’re always on Facebook, so are we!  Magnet is proud to have a strong presence on the social networking site.  Make sure to search for “Madison Magnet” and “like” us.  It’s the quickest and easiest way to stay on top of the latest events, find out what other young professionals are doing, and see photos from our last event.

Speaking of photos, did you know we have a Flickr site dedicated to Magnet?  Just go to and have a look around.  Even if you missed the last big event, you’ll feel like you weren’t completely left out!

Are you tweeting?  If not, you should be.  It’s one of the best ways to cut through the clutter of communication.  Since each tweet has to be roughly 140 characters or less, the information is concise, compact and comprehendible.   If you are on twitter be sure to follow Magnet.  Just look for @madisonmagnet. And don’t forget if you have a smartphone like an iPhone, Android or

even a tablet device to download the twitter app.  This way you can be part of the conversation no matter when or where it happens.  If you are tweeting from an event be sure to use Magnet hash tags like #magnethappyhour or #magnet. It’s a way to easily keep track of what we’re all tweeting about.

Well that’s it for now.  We hope you are enjoying the new site.  And don’t forget to stop by and check in on our blog.  From technology to interview tips to networking and etiquette we’ll cover it all.  If you’ve got a topic you would like to blog about, let us know.  Just email