Monday, March 1, 2010

The Trials and Tribulations of Looking Younger than Your Actual Age

I'm no stranger to dealing with surprised people who find out that I'm about 5-10 years older than I look. I'm pretty used to it, but every once in a while, it gets under my skin when people react strangely.

This afternoon, I walked into a Verizon Store to check out some new phones and I asked if I could look at the BlackBerry and the Palm Pre. Instead of cordially walking me over to the section with those on display, he reached behind his desk and gave me 2 phones that looked as if they'd been collecting dust for a few days. I was surprised by this, but took a quick look and asked him to tell me when I'm eligible for an upgrade. He asked for my phone # and my ID. (not sure why he needed my ID)

He then looked at my ID, looked up at me, looked at the ID and looked back up at me as if I had 3 heads. He had a look on his face as if he couldn't believe his eyes. I asked him what was wrong and he replied "You were born in 1981? I thought you were about 18 or 19 years old. I can't believe it."

Ya, Ya, thanks. Can I have my ID back now? It's no surprise that he thought I looked younger, but did he really have to look at me as if I'd just pulled a monkey out of my pocket? I mean, really! Not to mention, if he knew my real age, would I have received better customer service? Perhaps I would have received an actual sales pitch to buy a new phone rather than the lame attempt to reach into his desk for them?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kell on Earth: Where Production Meets Reality

Image courtesy of

Kelly Cutrone, owner of People's Revolution, has just launched the newest phase of her reality tv career with Kell On Earth, a reality show on the ins and outs of a typical day at her hectic firm. Kelly is by no means new to the cameras, as her firm's also appeared on MTV's The Hills and The City. Yet now the show is focusing on her firm alone and there seems to be no end to the drama, the tears and the stress. (Would BRAVO have it any other way?)

Yet, even in reality television, there has to be some element of production. So, I wonder how much is (I don't want to use the words not real, as I do think there is a lot of reality here) but "highlighted" or "exaggerated"? More importantly, from personal curiosity and for the other twenty somethings out there, do you think you could survive in this office, with Kelly as your boss? My answer is yes and no.

From the Kell on Earth view of the world, there is never ever enough time, some last minute disaster always happens and no matter what you do, you'll probably get screamed at for it. Not to mention, spoken to in a very "valley girl" sort of voice about how you aren't pulling your weight. "I mean, oh my god, like, this is, like, ridiculous, like I can't believe you aren't like doing your job." Can you guess who this is? ALL the girls at the firm...

I'm actually trying to get a job at a PR agency right now, and I'm well versed from previous PR experiences that the job can get pretty out of control, hectic and overwhelming. It comes in waves depending on launches and events etc. However, I can't help but think that if your firm is run well, you are good with time management and your firm isn't short-staffed, you should be able to sleep at night and complete daily cleansing activities etc. I know they started the filming during fashion week, so that's probably why we're seeing the sleep deprived train wrecks with dark circles. (and dare I say it, No make-up! Oh snap!) But there is a fashion week is many cities and they seem to cover all of them. We'll see what else Kelly's got in store this season!

All in all, it's exciting to watch, yet also stressful. Kelly is portrayed as a horrible boss, but a great mentor at the same time. The girls who work at her firm have to be thick skinned and not take anything personally. AND most importantly, as Kelly always says "If you have to cry, go outside!"

What you do all think?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy HAPPO Day!!!

Good Morning PR Professionals! I feel that today will be a great day. Why? Because thanks to HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out) many PR Pros across the country will be getting connected with great jobs or finding great talent for their open positions.

I was lucky enough to connect with HAPPO's Boston Coordinator, Doug Haslam, (@DougH) on Twitter and be invited to be a part of this movement. I was then asked by HAPPO to write a creative blog post about my job search for prospective employers. I've been searching for a PR job for a little while, so being asked to write a "pitch" about my search should seem easier to me, but it's actually a bit daunting. So, here we go.

I'm a very eager, young professional in Boston, MA who is hoping to find a great career in PR and really "hit the ground running" once I find it. I've always been a very creative, big-picture thinker and I want to become part of a team full of smart, passionate people. I've held several positions and internships where I've proven my PR and Marketing skills. These have included being the Marketing Assistant for a local children's theater, heading up the PR Campaign for a non-profit breast cancer organization and currently working as the Administrative Assistant for an Educational Non-Profit. I have a good non-profit background, but am not necessarily looking for this field specifically. I have very transferable skills and can take them anywhere. My hope is to find a position where I can devote 100% of my time to this and be surrounded by the best in the business so I can learn as much as possible. Please take a look at my LinkedIn profile to view more on my background.

You can connect with me here on my blog or:
Twitter: abernst

Friday, February 12, 2010

Don't let your job / lack of job determine your happiness

With the number of people lately who have been laid off, or who are simply in jobs that don't give them the satisfaction they desire, it leads me to wonder if our happiness is purely dependent on the jobs given to us, or if we can somehow create our own sense of happiness in this arena regardless of the actual conditions.

I was reading this article on the Careeralism website and it helped to affirm my thoughts that no matter what, we are in control of at least a bit of our career happiness. If you're unhappy between 9 and 5, there may be other opportunities to fill in the gaps of disappointment. Take a class in your field of interest, network, volunteer. But don't let others bring you down. Don't let job rejections make you feel that you can't be happy. As this article states, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. See link to article below.

5 Ways to Take Control of a Job That's Not Working
By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Tai Goodwin

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm afraid of getting old

Pic courtesy of

I don't know why, but the thought of aging really freaks me out. I know it effects everyone and it's just the natural progression of life, but I can't bear the thought of someday turning into a frail, wrinkly old woman who can't see well.

This isn't to say that I would rather not live until I get there. I certainly want to experience everything that life has to offer, but I enjoy doing it as a young person and I don't want to give that up.

Perhaps it's because I've just entered my late twenties and before I know it, I'll have hit the big 30. Wow, just saying that is scary. As a kid, I thought I'd always be a kid and an adult life was a far-away place that wouldn't effect me.

When I hit my thirties and forties, will I have to stop dressing young and start wearing mommy jeans? No way. I know plenty of thirty, forty and even fifty-somethings who still dress like they're 25. Phew. At least I can hold on to that. When I'm 80 will I have to give up tennis for cards and start complaining with the other little old ladies about our latest medical grievances? I hope not.

And having kids? That's a entire other story that I'm terrified of. I know there are many wonderful things that lay ahead and some say the best times in life are yet to come. I'm excited, but still a little terrified.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Decorating your apartment

Photo courtesy of

This morning I attempted to do some much needed decorating in our apt, specifically in the bedroom. Since we moved in this past September, the bedroom has left much to be desired or lacked some "flare" as some said. I used to think I had an eye for interior design. Well, I do not. I also have no skills whatsoever in hanging things on the walls or putting up curtains.

When I tried to put up the curtain rods, I was pretty set on doing it myself and not asking my boyfriend for help. Especially since he was sitting at his desk with his head buried in work. I thought I could seamlessly and quietly put them up without a problem. Ha. I may lack the skills, but more importantly I lack the height. Within 30 seconds, I managed to almost fall off the chair and the hardware went flying. So my boyfriend had to intervene. Since he was busy and had to interrupt his work to put up curtain rods, he joked that he'd do it for $30. I hope he was joking, because I'm not handing over that money.....

Ok, so the curtain rods were up and I was able to easily slide on the curtains. Presto, our room was transformed. Now for a few pieces of artwork. I know how to put some nails in the wall and hang up frames, no problem. Pat saw what I was about to embark on and he skeptically began asking me how I'm going to go about the process. "Well, I'm going to nail the picture hanger into the wall and then proceed to hang the frame on it."
"Ok, but you need to find a stud first or the nail will fall out. The stud finder is over there."

Long story short it was an hour later and I was using every other method I'd read about to find the stud, other than using the malfunctioning stud finder. I was about to give up when I called a trusted friend on the situation. They informed me, that you don't necessarily need to hang a frame right on a stud, only if it's very very heavy.
Thank goodness and with that the pictures were up. Only time will tell if they stay. And by the way, if anyone is interested in some interesting facts about wall studs, give me a call. I spent an hour researching them. grrr..

Next up, my dream is to go to IKEA and buy all the pieces in the HEMNES white. SO pretty....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Working with recruiters on the job search

Have you ever worked with a recruiter or "head hunter" as they're sometimes called, while on the job search? Have you found them helpful?

I've been on the job search 2-3 times since college and my overall consensus is that they can be good for temporary work, but when it comes down to needing that full time placement, they're not exactly the best.

During my latest job search, I consulted several recruiters in my desired field of work with the thought that it couldn't hurt. It didn't hurt, but it did waste my time. Of the 3-4 recruiters that I contacted, 2 of them actually got back to me and they seemed to bark opposite opinions at me.

One told me I don't exactly have the skills that a marketing professional would look for in a candidate, the other said I did have the right skills yet suggested that I fabricate my title. "Now wait a minute, I don't think you can do that" I exclaimed as she stood very seriously in front of me. "Oh, sure you can. People do it all the time. You have to spin your resume." Somehow, her suggestion didn't strike me as spinning, but more like lying. So, after that appointment, I gave up. I decided that in a semi-healthy to healthy economy, recruiters may be able to help you with temporary work. Yet if you're looking for someone reliable to find you the permanent job of your dreams, you're better off on your own. Anyone agree or disagree?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What’s a “Tweet-Up”?

This is the response I’m likely to receive upon telling anyone who doesn’t actively use Twitter that I’m here to attend a tweet-up. (a meet-up of those who converse on Twitter) Luckily, I actively use Twitter so if there’s ever a situation when someone drops the lingo on me, I’m good to go and don’t run the risk of looking foolish.
This past Thursday evening, I attended a tweet-up that wasn’t my first, but it was the first where I had a hand in organizing the event. Back in December, I attended the Mass Conference for Women where 6,000 area women came to hear career speakers and network with each other. Being that there were so many women there, I didn’t feel that I networked in the ways I had hoped and didn’t make nearly the number of connections I was hoping for. Yet right after the event, some women started to converse on Twitter and I wrote a blog post on the event. This blog post was re-tweeted out to other users and before I knew it, I had several friends from the event that I hadn’t actually met there. I wanted to continue riding this momentum, so I suggested that we hold a post-conference tweet-up to give us a chance to meet in person and rehash the conference. A handful of women were interested and I found myself helping to plan the event and brainstorm future events for Mass Women.
Not only was I able to work with great women to make this event happen, but I also worked closely with the brains behind “Boston Tweet-Up” (@bostontweetup) a man by the name of Joselin Man who keeps an online calendar that lists Boston area tweet-ups and promotes them. When we asked him to post our event on his calendar, he gave us invaluable information on the best ways to create and promote our event. I cannot thank @JoselineMane enough!
I’m very excited to plan the next and continue to meet wonderful, smart women in the Boston area!