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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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.

Women and Sharks

I’ve wanted to address this issue for a long, long time. No doubt anyone who watches the ABC show ‘Shark Tank‘ has become familiar with the usual suspects: Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John of FUBU, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, and Lori Greinier of QVC. However, having gone through that listing, something seems a bit off…doesn’t the ‘tank’ only house 5 chairs?

Let’s count ’em…Mark, Daymond, Kevin, Barbara, Robert…where’s Lori? Image courtesy of The New York Times

For some reason, there have always been the same four men sitting in each of the chairs season after season (with the exception of Kevin Harrington in season 1, and Jeff Foxworthy in season 2). Despite the fact that both women are featured as part of the current season’s cast, the two women are never seen together on a single episode. Is this perhaps meant to be a reflection of the disparity of women on corporate boards? Though I have been all-to-ready to hop onto the couch and tune in to watch hopeful Americans see their dreams fulfilled or squashed, the gender inequality represented by the ‘lone woman shark’ had never struck me so much as it has in the current season. In this season of Shark Tank, Lori and Barbara are swapped in and out like accessory handbags while the panel of men is left unaltered: Mark is always beside Daymond, who is always beside Mr. Wonderful, who is beside Barbara/Lori, leaving Robert off in the far corner. This lineup indicates that the only apparent spot for women on Shark Tank is between Robert and Mr. Wonderful, or nowhere at all.

Panel-of-shark-tank

Image courtesy of TVEquals

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Words of Encouragement

Apologies (again) for my lateness (again). As a llama in a silly hat once said: “I’m in the wrong here, I suck”

(in case you don’t get the reference, watch the video below)

Anyways moving on, this week I want to hand out a bit of advice on keeping the faith. And by ‘faith’ I don’t mean any religious sort of faith (unless that’s your thing). I mean faith in economy, the job market, and your life in general. Here are three things to tell yourself when life gets a little too real:

  1. It’s going to be ok. No matter what is happening in your life, try to remain calm and remember that it can always be worse: if you are reading this on a computer screen, remember that there are people out there that don’t have computers or cars or food and are having a worse life than you. If you have a roof over your head, food in you stomach, and the drive to get back into the swing of things, you can and will do it. It’s going to be  ok.
  2. Karma does exist. Good things come to those who wait, and if you hang in there just a little longer, things will look up. Often when things don’t go as smoothly as we’d like them to, our first reaction is to lash out and be angry (I’m guilty of this too). Instead, just keep putting the time and energy in…and wait. You might be surprised what happens with a little time and hope.
  3. There is no harm in being charming. This might seem a bit odd in this list, but never underestimate the power of flattery. Whether its taking the time to learn what makes your boss tick, studying up the company you’ve always dreamed of working for, or even just holding the door for a flustered businessman, be prepared to have your kindness pay off. Sometimes knowing that your boss loves orchids, or that your favorite company roots for the New York Red Bulls, or even that you just held the door for a former Google executive can come in handy.

I promise the next two posts will go up in timely fashion this week!! I think 3 per week seems rather reasonable, no?

Three Reasons You Should Consider Startups

Hello again! So many readers may have noticed that I am a cheerleader for startup companies, and love the culture surrounding them. Why? Well unlike more traditional spaces, startups have a very different kind of vibe. So what are some reasons you should consider working for a startup? Here are 3:

  1. Opportunity. Unlike more traditional settings, working for startups can facilitate more learning opportunities, by offering opportunities to learn through hands-on experience. Instead of being part of a larger corporate body, small startups offer a chance to get your feet wet by oftentimes engendering a more tight-knit community of like-minded individuals. While more classic internships sometimes rely on only learning one department’s procedure, startups often allow interns to experience different department’s procedures and gain more diverse experience.
  2. Diversity: Because startups are created by a wild variety of founders (young, old, corporate, post grad, etc.) no two startups are ever the same. Sometimes in more traditional companies, their culture can be lost in corporate policy, professional procedures, and a visible ‘stiffness’ in company culture. In many of the startups I have worked with, there is a clear culture to each startup, one which is influenced by an incredible teams from a plethora of backgrounds. This leads to an engaging and diverse ‘voice’ or ‘face’ of a company, which many others can relate to and interact with.
  3. Pace. Because startups are usually new and on the rise, the pace of a startup company can be very challenging and demanding for recent graduates. While some may find the quick pace of a startup too brisk, I’ve found personally that the faster the pace of a startup, the more quickly I am able to learn and expand my skill set.

Whether you decide to try out startup culture or not, I hope your job search is fruitful and fulfilling!

Resume Revisions

Hello again! Again, apologies for delayed postings (they will be back to normal soon I PROMISE!). So having spent most of my days analyzing my resume I’ve discovered three things that absolutely do NOT belong. As you may remember, I wrote previously about the necessary interview kit. A resume is a very crucial piece of this kit, and is often the only lasting impression a company will have. This is why your resume should be concise, clean, and expertly crafted…and shouldn’t have these three things:

  1. Interests/Hobbies. If you have a passion for music, art, design, etc. leave this for the interview. Often expression the things you are passionate about are best left for face-to-face interactions and much of the context of these interests is lost on a resume. It’s perfectly fine that you love EDM, rap, or classical piano…but its not going to compel anyone to hire you on paper.
  2. High School. Essentially, unless you have 0 work experience, are applying to college, or haven’t got much else going on  don’t include your high school. Most people aren’t going to care all that much that you went to a prep school, or that you were an AP student. Besides, your recruiter (if they are clever and genuinely interested) can find that on your LinkedIn.
  3. Your GPA. Now I say this gingerly, as this can become more useful in certain contexts. Now, if you have a 3.5 or higher, are applying to a heavily math/science based job, or are top of your class, listing your GPA might be in your favor. However, if your GPA is any lower than that, you are applying for an entry-level job, or you are applying to a field in which more heavily favors hands-on experience your GPA will be little more than decoration. If someone is still interested in your GPA, by all means tell them about it. Typically, however, your GPA is only necessary for college applications and graduate programs.

You may have noticed ‘your picture’ was not listed as a thing that should not be on your resume. The reason for this is, certain countries do require pictures on resumes are standard practice. In incidences where you are applying to jobs overseas, research whether or not your picture is needed. However, on American job listings, leave your picture for your LinkedIn profile, and keep it professional.

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.

Harnessing LinkedIn

Hello Again!

Did you miss my actually helpful posts? Well good, because I’ve done away with Viral Monday and the lot, and I’m just going to stick to NYC updates and social media helps and how-tos. ENJOY!

So as I’ve been navigating today’s job market, I’ve started to pick up on some valuable networking strategies that should absolutely be at your disposal as you navigate the tricky prospect of getting hired in 2012. Previously I’d mentioned specific job sites (or job boards), learning social media, etc; what I want to really hammer home today, is how to effectively utilize one major tool for employment, LinkedIn.

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Unwanted Visitor Mishap

So I should have expected that at some point during my lovely stay in New York, that I would come face to face with a few ugly mugs. I’ve seen rats in the subways at night, I’ve sat next to smelly people on the subway, and I’ve even encountered a handful of unpleasant cat-calls…all with some respectable level of grace. However I do have one kryptonite: when I’m tired, I don’t really handle bugs well, much less cockroaches.

When I rolled in from Electric Zoo on Saturday at a staggering 3 AM, this hideous thing greeted me by jumping out from under the shower curtain, scurrying into the vanity mirror, and scuffling around the sink.

I should be noted that I was at Electric Zoo from 11 PM until close, had probably lost 10 pounds of water from dancing and screaming like a crazed fangirl, and had only had some meatballs and a hummus sandwich. My reaction to the hideous little nasty was probably more comical that effective: I sprayed at it with bathroom cleaner, yelped when it charged at me from the sink, and tried to swing at it with my face towel (not a brilliant idea in retrospect). Too exhausted to deal with it, I ended up chasing it with a plunger in the bathtub and hissing at it. I decided it would be smart to document its existence just in case, and snapped a picture of it before capturing it under the plunger. After I’d finally gotten something to eat, I managed to hit it with end of my loofah stick and promptly threw it in the garbage before taking a much-needed shower, hissing at it again, and going to sleep.