subway crooner extraordinaire

 

A passerby captured subway crooner Damon Scott performing a cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You” the other day at the 86th street station.  Apart from the simple and moving soulful rendition, Scott remarks at the end, with a smile, “Have a good day- and don’t let nobody ruin it for you.” I think we can all stand to learn a valuable lesson from Scott- one that we have to remind ourselves of from time to time: we are in charge of our own happiness, and the path our lives follow.  Whether it be in love, friendship, a career, or leisure- no one is responsible for your satisfaction except for you, so take charge and take care. 

I’ve been in my fair share of tedious jobs, enough to recognize the value of the genuine enjoyment Damon gets from performing.  He’s not filling Madison Square Park or making millions (although he does collect a good chunk of change from some generous passer-bys), but you can hear the smile in his voice.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating: do what you love and love what you do- the money will follow.  So much emphasis is placed on the income generated by employment rather than the section of your soul it fills.  Not every job will be your dream job, the majority of them might be far from it, but if you’re progressing toward a career goal, it’s worth the struggle.  What I’m trying to say is, don’t let whatever it is that makes you tick lie stagnant: nurture your creativity, engage with the world.  If you need that extra push to get you moving, watch Damon Scott again and try not to smile.

Make moves, do you.

each one teach one

Way back when, wrapped up in the throes of “What color is your parachute?” I encountered a section toward the end of the book entitled, “Each one teach one.” Devoted as I was to discoveering exactly which shade of crazy my particular parachute might be, I dutifully plowed through the chapter.  Really? I thought to myself, I’m having a hard enough time just trying to get my own life together, how could I teach anyone how to do the same? As the months have gone on, and employment has followed, I’ve found myself obsessing less about the color of my parachute than simply being grateful for the fact that I have one.

As my own anxiety about unemployment has waned, I have become acutely aware of friends and acquaintances experiencing the same emotions I did just a short time go. Whenever possible, I offer my advice, guidance, enthusiasm, and above all, positive reinforcement. Looking back over these conversations, as much as I’ve helped others I’ve helped myself. Simply reiterating the sense of hope and perseverance I feel about the road ahead reinforces them for me, and I feel a renewed drive to make the positive changes I’m encouraging in others. So, each one teach one? Perhaps it hasn’t turned out to be as selfless of a mantra as I originally thought, but it’s certainly helped more than a few people move along in the world!

oh captain

Quote

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

If nothing else, take from this poem the command to master your own fate, to captain your own soul.  In life and in your career, it’s important to take stock of what it is you’re looking for, and to go out and actively seek it.  Sitting around and waiting for something great to happen never helped anyone- so start working toward your New Year goals!

pursuit of happiness

 

As the holiday shopping frenzy descends upon New York and the rest of the world, let’s take a minute (with Kid Cudi) and remember what’s really important: the pursuit of happiness.  Take a cue from an artist who pioneered the ability to succeed independently of a big label, and go after your dreams.

let Rachel help you out

Rachel Bilson Style Expert for Piperlime – Style News – StyleWatch – People.com.

If you’ve started a new job and you’re struggling to decide how to dress appropriately without getting lost in a sea of grey, beige and blah, you could do worse than to look to the ever stylish Rachel Bilson for some fashion inspiration.

Rachel Zoe’s turn as a guest editor for Piper Lime has been publicized the world over- but it somehow slipped past me that Ms. Bilson has been working the same gig.  I tend to avoid Piper Lime if I’m really struggling to decide what look I want since their site is really full of pieces from all over the map, BUT, the guest editor picks really narrow it down for you!  Rachel Bilson pulls off sophisticated cool like no other, and what better look for a corporate casual work place than hers?

So ladies, head over to http://www.piperlime.com and check out Ms. Bilson’s picks for this season- you’re sure to leave with more than a few ideas of how to fill your Monday through Fridays!

keep it together!

It’s getting harder and harder to pretend winter isn’t fast approaching- what with the noreaster this past Saturday and all.  Even though the sun is out in full force today, cold and flu season is upon us!  Any time you’re under additional stress, you’re more susceptible to catching a cold.  The last thing you want when you’re headed into an interview is to be pulling wadded tissue out of your nose or stifling a dry cough.  The best thing you can do to try to avoid getting run down and sick is to take a little time every day to take care of YOU! Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, take a hot shower, and try to RELAX!

Just a few suggestions to help ward off winter sickness (and tips for what to do if you do get sick):

Make a great soup!  It’s easy, requires very few ingredients, and can last for a few meals, especially if you freeze the remainder.  I just tried a great recipe I found on Whole Foods for Split Pea-Sweet Potato Soup.  Even though it tastes just like those horrible for you “cream-of-such-and-such” soups, it’s TOTALLY healthy, and packed with vegetables and protein!

Go for a walk! Head over to central park, down to the Hudson River, uptown to Riverside, take the ferry over to Williamsburg and stroll around.  Get OUT of the house and get some fresh air and sunshine.  Just make sure to bundle up!

Turn off all the lights when you go to bed!  The flicker of a muted TV, the glowing screen of a computer in the other room, the blinking of a cell phone charger- these are all small sources of light that really seem to add up to a fitful nights sleep.  Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, clean, and a comfortably cool temperature.  Avoid dragging your laptop into bed with you!  The bright screen and stimulation of the internet will add on to the time it takes you to fall asleep after you close the computer.  Don’t work against yourself, sleep is one of the best defenses against sickness!

So you lost the battle and you feel a cold coming on?  I always recommend herbal tea and zicam (or any generic zinc tablet) at the first sign of a cold.  It seems to cut down on my symptoms, and at the very least I feel proactive.  Juice some oranges, climb into bed at the earliest hour possible, and spend some energy trying to get better!

If all else fails, and your nose is STILL leaking like a fire hydrant on the day of that important interview, make SURE to use GOOD TISSUES!  I kid you not, people, use Puffs with Lotion, use whatever the most expensive box of paper for your mucus is your can find, and make sure it has LOTION in it.  With a little mucinex or afrin (to dry up your sinuses right before an interview so you’re not leaking), you can probably manage to look pretty presentable, but NOT if your nose is red and peeling from using rough tissues fifty times a day.

I hope some of my followers have ceased to read my blog (IE: are now EMPLOYED!). Good luck to everyone else as we head into the colder months- at least you won’t have to worry about being sweaty when you walk into an interview, right!?

C. Coolidge with a helping hand

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

– Calvin Coolidge

via Persistence Quotes – BrainyQuote

Listen, all you fellow unemployed, there is almost nothing as valuable in your quest for a career as sheer and undeterred persistence.  You must be relentless in your search, in networking, in finding and using resources, in perfecting your resume, crafting your cover letter, and finally in securing an interview.  Lest you feel your plate already too full, there’s more.  Once you’ve gotten the interview, and aced it, you MUST follow up, and keep in contact!  It’s hard to know how many candidates you’re competing against, so don’t let your great first impression be forgotten!  Whether it’s a simple question of scheduling or perhaps your curious about a company’s involvement in other areas of your interest, DO email your contact.  Your continued interest will be proven, in a much more interesting way than sending essentially a second thank-you note.  Any opportunity you have to remind a potential employer not only of your existence, but more importantly of your ability to succeed beyond any other candidate’s capacity, is one you should SEIZE! 

Getting a job is really a form of sales, if you think about it.  Your selling your skill set, your ambition, and you have to do so in much the same way that a sales associate might: be direct without being pushy, be confident without seeming overly aggressive, and above all, leave your potential employer with the impression that you are, of course, imminently capable of all the job requires.  DETERMINATION, as Calvin Coolidge so eloquently remarks, is OMNIPOTENT.  So get out there and carpe diem!