Work / Life Balance and Music

Nicky Romero and Avicii recently (well a little less recently now) released their music video for ‘I Could Be The One’. If you haven’t seen it yet, see below:

In the video a woman who has become fed up with her job is at a critical ‘come to jesus’ moment and feels trapped by the judgements of the society around her. After dreaming of a life free of the stigma, redundancy, and dullness of her current life, she sets out to live the life she has always wanted.

I love this woman’s fierce attitude, but I will agree that kicking sand castles and giving people the bird isn’t really what we should all be aiming for!

Now I won’t try to say this paints a fully accurate portrayal of how to solve work/life balance issues, but it does give a very compelling argument why that balance should be struck. I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs and move to Barbados…but here are a few less caustic things this video may suggest we do:

  • Take some “me time”. It’s important to set aside time to think, to meditate, and to refresh. Just because you can throw yourself headfirst into your job with no breaks doesn’t mean you should. Some simple ways to do this? Go for a walk during your lunch break, plan out a fun date for yourself on the weekend, or maybe treat yourself to something special after a hard assignment!
  • Try new things. Maybe riding a horse down the beach isn’t your thing, but try something new! Take up a new sport, find a new hobby, or maybe even just do something that scares you. No matter what you do, challenge yourself to have a little more fun!
  • Just be ourselves. Part of what makes this video so compelling (besides the fact it is fun to watch) is how the woman is able to finally feel free by expressing her individuality and personality. Always express who you are, and remain genuine! If you are into beaches and horses and dancing the night away, embrace it and make time for yourself to enjoy those things.
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Normally I never ‘reblog’ anything. Ever. Period. But this blog so accurately summarized an issue with valid points, effective evidence, and compelling well-thought out writing…it would be a outright crime not to reblog it. Because I cannot say this any better: Rape culture is when after reading this young woman’s post…you are not sure if you want to live on this planet anymore. Please read, and leave any comments you deem necessary in the comments.

Rethink the Rant

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”

Rape culture is when a group…

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Common Blogger Misconceptions

I apologize for the sporatic postings (I promise I’ll edit faster!!)

But since I’m back in the swing of things, here’s and extra post because I’m feeling nice:

Being a blogger is a lot of fun: you get to express your opinions freely and openly, and get cool feedback sometimes when you get comments. You get to be a journalist by your own rules, and you even get to pick what topics you talk about! There are tons of different bloggers out there, and with many bloggers come many assumptions, preconceptions, misconceptions, and stereotypes. Here are some of the most common I’ve encountered:

We’re Lazy

Believe it or not, when I put up a post on my blog, more often than not it has been written as many as 3 days to a week in advance. It has undergone several revisions, and may have even been scrapped, re-written, and then re-formatted. For many bloggers that are not staff writers or affiliated with a large community or company, the blog(s) I maintain are not my only job. Personally, I maintain 2 of my own blogs, and contribute to 3 others. So I wouldn’t say I’m lazy.

We Have Tons of Free Time

Like I mentioned earlier, this isn’t my only job. Most often my blogs are written on weekends, before I go to bed, or pieced together over the course of a week. When I first started this blog, I was working social media for a start-up and wrote my drafts when I got home. Currently, I work as an associate at a PR firm, and many of these drafts are written on the train when I visit parents or at obscure hours on Sundays. We have a lot of ideas, but free time not so much.

We’re Paid

While some bloggers are paid for what they write, most individual bloggers are not paid for their work. I am not paid for anything I write here, on my other blog, or for any contributions I make elsewhere to date. Most of us genuinely love to write, and write because it’s our passion, not because we’re expecting a check. Sorry Carrie Bradshaw, I am not you.

We’re Jerks

Sometimes my opinions don’t match yours, I’m only human. If I happen to disapprove of a current event, or have a pretty hefty two-cents on a social issue, it might offend you. But then again, if writing what’s on my mind makes me a jerk, so be it.

Some Things That We Are:

-We’re humans with dayjobs just like you (and yes for a lucky few, this is our dayjob).

-We’re passionate individuals, and write about our passion whether it be food, fashion, music, or anything in between.

-We’re not all jerks. Some of us are though. We’re sorry about those ones.

-Some of us are Communications majors, and we resent being told our majors were dumb.

Also, We Think You’re Awesome

So as you check out the latest celeb gossip, cookie recipe, or album release on your other favorite blogs, maybe leave a nice comment for the pleasant human that wrote it 🙂 !

Endorse All The Things! Actually Don’t…

LinkedIn Can Endorse Your Skills Now! COOL!

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for young professionals and high-level executives alike; it enables employers to get a quick glance at your resume with little effort, allows recent grads a starting point in their job search, and now even allows you to see what skills a person has based on the new ‘endorsement’ feature. Much like a crowdfunding site or Yelp referral service this new feature has many positives, the greatest being the ability to see what people thing you are genuinely good at….or that what its supposed to do at least.

Endorse All The Things! Actually, Don’t

Though you may be tempted to endorse your friends for all the skills they have listed, you may want to put your friendship aside for a moment and assess what skills you really feel they excel with. Much like the new trend of parents wanting their kids to be ‘perfect’ and excel at everything (and I mean literally everything), I’ve witnessed a new trend of people endorsing their friends for every trait listed. The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t give an accurate portrayal oh what the individual actually excels at.

What Do You Mean?

For example, a graphic designer that is very talented at certain programs, and new to others may have all the programs listed as skills on their profile. What their profile should reflect, is a strong endorsement in the programs they excel at, and a moderate endorsement in what they are new to: this lets a recruiter know how much training may be needed, and where their strengths really are.

But I’m Just Being Nice!

Another example may be a PR hopeful who has a strong background in traditional email marketing and b2b…but that hasn’t quite gotten a handle on social media. By endorsing this person in social media, this gives the false impression that this person understands social media as well as they understand traditional marketing.

NBD, Right?

Why is this a problem? You might say, “Oh well we all fudge our resumes a little when we try to impress people” but therein lies a fundamental flaw. If you allow a recruiter to assume you have an equal understanding of all the skills endorsed highly on your profile, it could come back to haunt you: If you demonstrate that you are not actually proficient in one skill highly endorsed on your profile, it could invalidate all the skills that have been endorsed on your profile.

So Don’t Get Trigger-Happy!

How can you avoid this? Only endorse the skills you know a person has: if your friend kicks butt at networking….but not so much social networking, ONLY endorse ‘networking’ until you think they are skilled in social networking. When LinkedIn asks you to endorse 4 of your friends at the top, DO NOT click the ‘endorse all 4’ button. Look at each suggestion carefully and endorse accordingly.

Give your friends a more fair shot, and endorse accordingly! Happy endorsing everyone!

Leaps of Faith: The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

The Feedback Loop

Recently, I had a fundamental moment of clarity. For months I have been driven to find ‘the job’: the one placement with the full-time title, the dream salary, and the security of knowing I would be ‘safe’ job-wise. After taking some time to think seriously how I had been approaching my job search I realized it felt like something was missing. Perhaps stuck on a feedback loop of ‘click Linkedin profile, check salary, submit resume, repeat’, my job search felt like it was becoming stagnant. After speaking with several people and asking for some solid career advice I realized my major mistake: I was too fixated on the position, and was ignoring the real factor that should have been influencing my decision, passion.

Position, Position, Position

In college, a lot of emphasis is put on ‘the job’: perfect your resume, wear the right clothes, don’t mess up your interview or you won’t land ‘the job’. Sure, wearing the perfect black pumps might help you stand out, but even the best patent leather should never outshine your passion to be a part of a company. A fundamental shift in ideology is often needed to see past the fine print and determine “Is this where I want to be”. Granted, in this economy there is more stress put on moving out, making rent, and surviving financially….if you are reading this, you are likely a recent grad, or know one who is feverishly rifling through Linkedin in a frenzied search for employment. At the core of every decision you make, you should be able to answer the question “Am I passionate about this?” If you can confidently say “Yes, I can’t imagine being anywhere else”, then taking a leap of faith on a competitive job listing might be exactly what you should be doing. Think less about your search as a quest for a position, and more as a quest for a place that fuels your passion.

Take a Leap, Keep Reaching

If at first you fall flat on your face, don’t get discouraged. Just because you can’t work for the company of your dreams today, doesn’t mean you should give up hope: follow them on social media, read the articles they post, and keep at it. If that means going out of your way to interact with them on Twitter in relevant insightful ways, do it. If you can prove you are passionate about what they do and want to be a part of it, you might just get that chance. And if your passion doesn’t catch their attention, don’t lose faith. When you are that passionate about what you do, you never know who might take notice.

I hope this has been helpful to anyone still looking!

Catching Up

I apologize for the silence lately! Life has been getting pretty hectic, and I promise I have fresh new content coming your way!

Like many, I caught the ‘killer cold’ that passed through many offices, and have been working on some material to go up. At this point, I’m not sure where else I can help in terms of help with Twitter. I would love and appreciate any comments about what you need help with, or would like to know more about!

Thanks for being patient!

Twitter for Beginners: Step 4

Right about now you should start feeling like a Twitter rockstar: you can tweet, retweet, favorite, follow….heck you can do just about everything. So where do you go from here? It’s time to start putting these skills to use: let’s get you some followers!

Getting followers on Twitter may seem pretty easy: write a good tweet and people will interact with it. Right? Wrong. On Twitter, much of how we view accounts is a combination of tweet quality, level of influence, and relevancy to our ideals and interests. For example, Barbara Corcoran may have a ton of influence, but if you aren’t really into investing and business…you are less likely to ‘follow’ her. So how do you get more followers? Let’s find out:

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The New NRA Ad: Your Thoughts?

Recently, the NRA aired a new TV spot, which was meant to promote arming teachers and remove gun-free zones from schools. Admittedly, I first read about this in Upworthy, and was a bit dumb-struck by what I saw. Here’s what I mean:

This controversial piece has caught heat from The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Chris Christie, and nearly other news source around the country. The ad, which tells the nation to ‘stand up and fight’ not only brings the Obama children into the gun debate, but also brings more children into the spotlight again by expressing a clear dissatisfaction with gun-free zones.

Continue reading

Twitter for Beginners: Step 3

And we’re back! Welcome to step three of your basic guide to Twitter. Today I will be explaining how to use basic functions on Twitter such as ‘favoriting’ and ‘retweeting’. Let’s begin:

Overview

On twitter you will encounter a set of functions available to all twitter users: the favorite, the retweet (or RT), and reply. There are other options available, but these three will be your primary focus going forward. Replying to a tweet is as straight forward as it sounds.

Let’s look at how to reply to a tweet:

Tweet-Replyex

So here I have clicked the ‘reply’ button and chosen to commend Michelle Mangen on this cool infographic. So what I’m going to do is type in my response and hit enter.

Tweet-replyfinish

This is the result. This will not show up as part of a ‘conversation’ on twitter. It is publicly viewable, and can be interacted with by followers of both users, and by the general public.

Now, on to retweeting: to ‘retweet’ or share a tweet with your followers/the public, you will need to select the ‘retweet’ button. This should be the result:

Twitter-RTex

Once you have chosen to retweet an article, this should be the result:

Twitter-RTexdone

Another option you have is to ‘favorite’ a tweet. This ‘favorite’ will not be viewable to the general public, but will alert the user that you liked their tweet. This is a great function if you want to politely and discretely liked something without drowning your followers in replies and retweets. To favorite something, simply click the ‘favorite’ button. The result will look like this:

Twitter-Favex

Now that you know how to retweet, reply, and favorite tweets, your homework is to find up to 5 tweets you like, and retweet and favorite them. If you really like it, send the user a polite reply.

Next Week:

How to get people to follow you.

2012 in review

I thought it would be fun to issue a little recap on how this blog fared in 2012.

2012 personally was one of the most amazing, crazy, and trying times for me: I graduated college, I started living in New York, and most of all I attempted to become an employed 20-something in a challenging job market. I started this blog initially because I wanted to keep a blog of my adventures, misadventures, and wisdom I’d picked up along the way. I started typing because when I graduated, like many college friends, everyone I knew was scattered around the place and starting new chapters in their lives and facing ‘the great unknown’ where your work was no longer given letter-grades, and you had to decide how to live your life without a syllabus. I figured, if I was starting a new chapter, why not start a book …or a blog?

Since its inception, this little blog has helped me expand my ideas, tackle tough topics, and even offer up tech advice on social media practices (I don’t remember that ever being on a syllabus in college). I’m having a blast, and I hope you are too. Without further ado, a nifty tidbit about this blog from 2012 (courtesy of the fabulous people at WordPress):

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.