3 Things Not To Do At Night In NYC

I’m Alive!

Also, sorry for the delay. Here is a quick and simple set of 3 things you shouldn’t do in New York at night. If you are stuck at Penn Station, I sincerely apologize and encourage you to skype/call/reach out to your loved ones in this turbulent time. I wish you the best. Here we go, things that will get you mugged…er…that you shouldn’t do at night:

 

  1. Wear Red Sox gear. The saying that begins ‘when in Rome’ has never been so true as in New York: don’t wear rival teams like the Red Sox, and do not ever wear anything promoting the Eagles. ESPECIALLY don’t sing ‘fly eagles fly’ if you are out alone.
  2. Don’t wave your iPhone around. If you are on a street you don’t know (or you notice there aren’t many streetlights) don’t wave your expensive items like cellphones, wallets, mp3 players, etc. This is a great way to advertise that you are muggable.
  3. If you are in heels, have flats on hand. If you are staggering down Meatpacking on a fine Wednesday night in sky-high heels, make sure you have flats you can switch into. Why? Well assuming you are confident enough to rock stilettos on cobblestone, you probably have the super-cute outfit to match…and that kind of thing attracts attention. If you aren’t cabbing home with some hunk from the bar, wear flats in case you need to run like hell.While you are at it, always keep a spare stash of cash in your bra or underwear in case you can’t outrun them and get robbed.
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3 LinkedIn No-No’s

Hey guys! So for the weekend, I am going to share some helpful things you shouldn’t do on LinkedIn. I’ll keep it short and sweet:

  1. Don’t ask for a job. Seriously. If you are planning on connecting with an alum in a powerful position, they probably get emailed a lot about jobs, job offers, job opportunities, etc. Just don’t do it. Instead, ask them if they could give you some career advice, or maybe as if you could grab a coffee and gain some insight into life after college. Better yet, ask them about their career or their major.
  2. Don’t make your status unofficial. If you are a student, your status should be ‘student’. Not ‘philosophical goat-herder’, ‘bohemian’, and especially not ‘funemployed’. LinkedIn is for professionals, so keep it professional.
  3. Don’t post statuses you wouldn’t want you mom to see. This means no ‘Sh-ts’, ‘f-cks’, or ‘sh-tf-cks’; no exceptions. Post articles you like, articles you’ve written, or things you care about. Keep it classy.

Hope this helps! Happy job hunting!

Steps After Sandy: Tech Community Shoutout

Sandy did a lot of damage, and especially to small businesses and startups. If you have ever tried to go a day without internet and found yourself frustrated, imagine how an entire small business might feel without power.

Another great way to help those struggling after Sandy is to lend tech support to afflicted small businesses and startup companies still reeling from the damage.

To put your tech skills to work, click here

Whether its help getting servers back up, assessing electrical damage, troubleshooting WiFi, or just helping a company set up shop elsewhere, you help is needed. No tech task is too small!

Steps After Sandy: Race 2 Recover

As you might’ve noticed, I had some difficulty getting to my blog for a bit. Apologies, I’ll try and keep it up a bit better this week.

Because everyone has been effected by Hurricane / Superstorm / Frankenstorm Sandy in one way or another (whether that be mild annoyance at flickering lights or the devastation of a loss of home, power, or loved ones). It didn’t feel right to post about something trivial, so this week I’m just highlighting different relief efforts you can help to restore those affected by Sandy to normality.

Today, I’m highlighting a special cause called ‘Race 2 Recover‘. This initiative hopes to rehome displaced New Yorkers by encouraging marathon runners who were unable to attend the NYC Marathon to donate their rooms or donate money to displaced and distraught New York residents.

If you know anyone who was planning to run in the marathon that no longer needs their hotel room, please visit their website.

Similarly, if you know anyone who needs a home as a result of Sandy, also visit their website.

And most importantly, if you want to give money to displaced NY residents, …visit their website.

How To Make Me Hate Your Company

Social media has been hailed by many as the beacon of hope in dark times to bring customers to companies through engaging content and web presence among ‘the usual suspects’. Tweeting as a company, posting on Facebook, and even scheduling content to help wave the pom-poms for your company are all great starts at creating an iconic and successful brand. But like all good things, when done too often, too forcefully, or incorrectly, social media can quickly turn into a untameable monster that will drag your company to the pits of hell. Run-amok twitter handles, overly sales-y content, and bullhorned / overpromoted / overzealous status updates on products are just a few things that will make me hate your company. Here is a full list of great ways for me to hate your company:

  1. Tweet about thyself hourly.
  2. Make thy Facebook plugins massively spammy.
  3. Shove thy sales emails down my throat.
  4. Post on thy Facebook more than 5 times a day.
  5. Promote all of thy tweets all the time.
  6. Post nothing but bland sales copy on thy social media.
  7. Beg me hourly to use thy hashtag.
  8. Robotically address they customer service queries.
  9. Indifferently respond to thy fans.
  10. Hustle influencers.
  11. Conduct thyself like a human airhorn, spewing your uninteresting materials across the web and in general making a huge mess.

What can you do to make me love you?

  1. Be human.
  2. Actually respond to me when I tweet at you / comment on your social media.
  3. Actually respond to me questions and customer complaints.
  4. Show me your office, your life, ….affirm that you’re a person not a bullhorn…just don’t go too crazy.
  5. Shout me out once in a while  (show that you care that I like you).
  6. Show me special offers only sometimes.
  7. Relate to my demographic (I like music, what kind of music do you like? etc).
  8. Just be yourself. Even if yourself is a nerdy CEO of a soap company that likes Batman and PopTarts…Rock it.

The Essential Interview Kit

When you’re hunting for that elusive job, you will need to pack quite the toolkit. Whether you’re toting a plastic folder, a flashy attaché case, or a hybrid of the two, you will need a ‘kit’ to navigate job fairs, interviews, and the occasional run-in with a recruiter on the street. Sure, you may know some of the things to bring in your kit, but do you have the full she-bang to knock ’em dead? Check this handy list I compiled based on what I have heard from friends/family/colleagues/bosses/etc.

Example leather folder/attaché. Image courtesy of High Veld Promotions

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What To Expect At A Job Fair (Part 2)

As mentioned previously, you can expect a lot from companies at job fairs. But what about other job-seekers? Essentially job fairs draw in all kinds of people: some that you would expect and some that you wouldn’t. Here are five (albeit exaggerated) types you might see prowling a startup job fair:

  1. The Ivy-Leager / Tailored Suit. These will jump out very fast at job fairs, and be prepared for them as they will seem massively intimidating. Whether its their immaculately tailored suit, their monogrammed attaché case, their engraved business card holder, or the fact that their university’s shield is stamped or even affixed to their leather file folder with a brass plate, these are some intimidating folks. In most situations, their experience at their top-tier schools have awarded them with a few advantages, one being having their university on their folder (which is always, always leather in my experience) and often having incredible speaking abilities. The one advantage over a tailored-suit is often the ego of the tailored-suit: if they are humble and mind-numbingly smart, you’re just going to have to try your darndest to impress the pants off the recruiter after they meet with one of these. However if a tailored suit with a big ego comes up and annoys the recruiter, you will have a chance to put your name on the map by being the most humble charming person they have met all day. Not sure what a tailored suit looks like? Think of Obama. That fancy and impressive, just unemployed.
  2. The Casual Friday. The casual friday is an easy spot at  startup job fairs: t-shirt and jeans, girly top and leggings, or even shorts and a polo shirt are all favorites of casual Fridays. Though they may look uncompetitive in their alarming laid-back get-up, one thing to consider as you wait behind them to talk to a recruiter is that they may have extensive startup experience already. Sometimes what you dress your resume in outweighs the clothes you toss on in the morning, and in the case of many casual Fridays, their resumes are about as spick-and-span professionally terrifying as they come: whether its top-of-the-class GPAs, extensive experience at a Google/Yahoo/Spotify etc, or the ability to code in every language thinkable, beware the ironic t-shirt. Not sure what I mean by a ‘casual friday’? Think any cast member of Big Bang Theory.
  3. The Well-Seasoned. The well-seasoned or ‘more mature’ applicant pool adopt qualities of the other groupings sometimes: there are well-seasoned casual Friday, well-seasoned tailored-suiters, and even stand alone seasoned veterans of the job fair. These individuals are often in the same suit they’ve had for years and can be the most well-spoken of the attendees mainly because they’ve been through hell and high water searching for jobs. Whether it’s a former finance guy looking to switch careers, a female business analyst looking to take her talents to a young startup, or just some cooky-but-awesome coder looking to learn new programming languages these are by not mean ‘old birds’ and should not be dismissed so easily.
  4. The Dad’s Suit / Mom’s Pumps. There is nothing wrong with wearing you dad’s suit or your mother’s pumps to a networking event. In some cases, it can come off as charming. However at job fairs what you will see from these individuals are poorly-fitted jackets, too-big father’s shoes, ‘been through hell’ pumps, and well-abused business attaché cases. It’s not so much that wearing your father’s suit or your mother’s seasoned shoes is such a bad thing, but keep in mind this will make you stick out in a crowd of tailored suits and business goblins.
  5. The Business Goblin. Now I use this term affectionately, as I have heard people proudly call themselves ‘business goblins’, and what this term refers to is the game-faced well suited individual that has managed to perfect the art of looking thoroughly professional while remaining approachable. Goblins dress in just enough suit to blend in with the professionals, and just enough sass to jump out at recruiters. For women, this might mean a tastefully placed professional watch or accent piece that isn’t super girly (but exudes feminine qualities). I envision Barbara Corcoran as the epitome of femmefab business goblin, and likewise the classic Don Draper as the male counterpart.

What to Expect at a Startup Job fair

So I was recently at the NYC Startup Job fair, and had many interested interactions with several companies I shall not name. For the sake of keeping you engaged, I will share three things you can expect at a job fair. I will also share three excellent ways to stand out and get noticed at said job fair.

A startup job fair is essentially no different from any other job fair: you have small companies, big companies, companies with great set ups…some with not so great set ups…pushy people, shy people, and everyone in between. What’s important to remember is that both you and these companies are here for essentially the same reason. You want to get noticed, and so do they. Some things you might encounter at these job fairs are egos, expectations, and entertainment (no seriously, some companies give out candy). But amidst all that chaos, you can expect essentially three things from companies in attendance:
  1. Level of Formality. Depending on what type of company and how big they are, some companies vary in formality. That isn’t to say that some are “better” than others, but at a startup job fair you will definitely see a range of characters. Some recruiters will sport the tried-and-true business suit, while some will appeal to the ‘younger’ or perhaps ‘lax’ crowd with branded t-shirts and jeans. Regardless of what the recruiter is wearing, realize that they expect utmost professionalism from you: sometimes the t-shirt clad individuals can be more intimidating than those in suits.
  2. Wide Variety. At a startup job fair, more so than other job fairs, you will see a very wide variety of companies: sometimes a financial-based company will be placed directly next to a lingerie company (yes I’ve witnessed this). No matter what company you think you should apply for, be sure to check out as many as you can. Why? Because sometimes the dream job you’ve always wanted isn’t found in expected places.
  3. Egos. When you come into contact with companies at job fairs you will notice that some have a tendency to puff-up for the throngs of job-seekers more than others. Whether it’s overly elaborate displays or bold claims, some will come off as highly intimidating. The key is to stay calm, focused, and charming: charming the pants of a recruiter can be more powerful than trying to hold your ground and arguing. Remember that.

Anyways, stay tuned: Tommorrow will be what to expect from other job-seekers at job fairs!

Spiders, Mosquitos, and Broken AC

Some of you may have seen some images going up on Facebook :

 

So the short version of what’s been happening is:

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