Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thanks for the feedback!

Just a quick note to thank all of you who responded to my last blog with wonderful feedback. Many of you alerted me to the fact that, not everyone's success is well received, even www.dooce.com had some serious repercussions initially! I guess it's safe to say that it's all ok because she is now doing wonderfully.

As for me, I am going to continue to plug away at my fine line between honesty and necessary constrictions in the blogosphere. With time, I'm sure I'll be able to come into my own and be very happy / hopefully successful!

Hope you all are having fabulous days, thanks again for reading and Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Do you want your blog to be completely honest?

I know that people have blogs for several different reasons and some use the blogs on a professional platform, while others type in brutally honest opinions on life that may or may not be the best idea if they don't want to anger any of their loved ones, or work colleagues. Yet, I'm starting to think these are the blogs that become successful.

I've been studying some successful blogs lately to figure out which traits make them so popular. I think that many personal blogs, which may inevitably become business blogs as well, hold very authentic material where readers appreciate the brutal honesty and relate to it. For example, a wildly popular mommy blog, www.dooce.com was featured recently on Oprah and tells the tales of the REAL sides to being a mom. She isn't afraid to let loose and say it like it really is. Now, here is the thing. Who does she have to worry about angering? Probably no one. What if, like me, you want to have a blog about life and work in your twenties. I'll inevitably be dying to tell some great stories about some jerk at work one day. Would that be a good idea? Probably not. I know it's always possible they could read the post and well, then I'd be in trouble.

So, if I want to be honest in my posts, to attract readers, yet I have to remain very constricted as those readers may not like what they see, I think I'm in a bind.

I can still write on millions of topics, but if the reader doesn't feel I am coming across as genuine, is it worth it?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

7 ways to position yourself now for the upturn

It feels a bit pointless to be sending out resumes right now and hoping for many signs of hope, simply because so many companies are not hiring. Is there anything you can do instead of sit around and wait? Yes!

Work on ways to position yourself now, so when the inevitable upturn does come around, you are ready to go. Here are 7 things to work on right now:

1) Network, network, network. Did I mention network? Economy good or bad, it's the single most effective way of getting a job. Join networking groups and go to as many networking events as possible.

2)Market yourself on the internet via facebook, twitter, linked in and blogs now and brand yourself (see previous post about Personal Branding with Dan Schawbel)

3) Do your research and target specific companies so you know who you are looking for at these networking events. Research them and be ready to talk about why you want to work for them, on a moment's notice.

4)Update your resume and have it critiqued to make sure it's perfect.

5)Seek out volunteer opportunities in your area as a resume builder. Try to volunteer in the field you are hoping to work. You never know, they may keep you as a full time employee!

6)When the time comes for you to answer why you are interested in working for this company etc, be ready with a sharp and articulate answer. It sounds easy, but practice now so you don't stumble around when the time comes.

7)When a job opens up, find ways to get there first. DON'T wait for the job to be posted on monster.com. Do you know how many resumes they are going to get? Most likely in the thousands. This can easily be accomplished though networking and that way you'll hopefully have the direct email of the hiring manager.

Good luck and let's hope companies start to hire again soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Re-inventing yourself as an adult

How many of you longingly hold onto your childhood, teenage and early twenties years for as long as you can? How many feel that you have truly come into your own as an adult and only look back occasionally at those effervescent past times? Do any of you think you know exactly who you are as a child, yet you have no idea who you are as an adult? Welcome to my world. I'd say for the past 5 years or so, I have essentially been in a quarter life crisis that I can't work my way out of.

On this blog, I write about life and careers of our fellow twenty somethings. I can spit out a load of things about my career aspirations, yet I have no idea what type of person I want to become, what kind of mother I'll be and most importantly for me, which friends I'll have by my side throughout.

See, I grew up with the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I didn't exactly live with the Partridge family, so my best friends were very important to me and they truly were like family. Growing up, I always thought these brothers and sisters of mine, would stay that way forever. We'd be at each other's weddings, we'd have babies together and while the babies would go to the same play groups, us moms would sip tea somewhere on a patio and chat. Everything felt this way until the time we were were graduating from college. (5 or so years ago) As people moved to all sides of the country, things began to change. Phone calls happened less often and life became routine without these people in my life. It has always made me sad, but I didn't realize the true heartbreak of it until some of us started getting married. I haven't been invited to some weddings that I always thought I'd be at for sure. I understand, we simply don't keep in touch enough and weddings can get very expensive. But it hurts. So, I have attempted to keep in better touch. I will send emails and call and do my best, sometimes with success and sometimes without. What can you do if it just doesn't work? Should you keep trying or just focus on the few that really matter and who do make an effort to stay in touch?

Maybe, I just need to focus on creating more exciting and happy things in my adult life, instead of wishing for the past. Perhaps my adult life isn't getting as much attention, and it's waiting for me to do something amazing with it, while always having those past memories. Can anyone relate?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Self-Analysis tests: friends or foes?

Image courtesy of ehow.com

Have you ever taken a personality or career test? What did you think? Odds are the test didn’t exactly give you a miracle. Yet, it didn’t hurt right? For the past year, I have been taking classes in the Communications Dept, working to obtain a post-graduate certificate in Communications Studies. Unfortunately, the school doesn’t offer any grad programs in Communications. I am currently taking a course called Organizational Behavior. As a piece of the course, we are instructed to take several Self-Analysis tests that help us to determine our working and learning styles. They’re strikingly similar to personality tests you may be acquainted with.

Upon starting the first test, I couldn’t be convinced I would learn a thing from it that I didn’t already know. I was mostly right; however it did get me thinking more about what I want out of a work environment and helped me to conceptualize my thoughts in a more organized manner. If I ever need to come up with an on the spot speech of what my basic needs for a work environment are, I am all set. I suppose that’s always better than stumbling around, trying to articulate them in a manner that makes sense to others. So, here we go. I have a high level of need for achievement. This I know. I always want to appear in the best light possible and hope my supervisors and colleagues sing my praises as long as I am here. I don’t know if I a perfectionist, but I may be more of one than I thought.

I have a very high need for affiliation and work best in a group setting. I think this is attributed to being a part of many groups growing up. It’s where I am happiest, and thus when I am most productive. Sure, everyone needs their independent times to focus and get things done, but generally I am a people person.

Since I am young, I haven’t been in to many situations where I have most of the power, but the few times I was, I loved it. I love supervising others and feel I am a great listener, honest and fair. This will be good for my future, I hope. What does everyone else think of these and what do you think about your own basic needs in a work environment?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Are you mad, but left with no choices?

So, my sister, just returned from a "job interview" which she started to tell me about, by saying that it would be good material for my blog. Well, hey, I never leave good material in the dust, so shoot. Yet this made me very curious to find out how it went! Quite the opener.

Laid off a few months ago, she clearly is in no position to be picky about possible interviews or jobs at this time, plus this possibility sounded like a good one. So, after driving about an hour into Boston and arriving 15 minutes ahead of her "scheduled" interview time, she was ready to go. A lovely HR woman came out and met with her, had a great conversation and then instructed my sister to wait while she went to get the other woman whom she would be meeting with.

10 minutes and 2 magazine flip through's later, the same woman arrived looking very flustered. "I am SO sorry, but it looks like she is caught in a meeting and she cannot meet with you right now; we'll have to re-schedule. So sorry to make you come all the way out here."

Wow. Now, if this were to happen to you, would you even want to go back? It would clearly leave an awful taste in any one's mouth, but when you are unemployed in this economy, what choice may you have?