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!

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!?

research research research!

It seems sort of obvious, but it’s INCREDIBLY important to research the company you’re interested in working for.  I don’t just mean visit their website and read their profile, I mean treat researching like a game, you vs. the interviewer.  The best offense is a good defense, and an interview should be an offensive affair on your end.  Not only should you be prepared for every question you might be asked, but you should also have prepared questions of your own to ask of your interviewer.  Whether these relate to the company itself, your role within the company, your job’s potential for growth, a typical work day: whatever it might be that you’re genuinely interested in knowing, use the interview as an opportunity to decide if the company is a good fit for YOU.  Getting a job is like getting into a relationship- both parties should be assured of their mutual compatibility, so do your homework!

The other important benefit of researching a company is that in the course of your research you might uncover an important “in” to the job you want.  Whether it’s a direct email or phone number to a hiring manager or contact, or discovering a networking connection you already possess, researching every avenue never hurts.  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, company official website, company blog, intern blog, client profiles- do it ALL. You won’t regret it!

In other interview related news, today I had another group interview, this one with a totally different dynamic than the first.  This was a second round interview, so obviously they had culled potential candidates, and the conversation really reflected that they had chosen people with a certain commonality.  With a group of three link-minded individuals, myself and two men, the interview was much less static question-and-answer, and much more intelligent conversation.  Topics flowed from art and design to ethics and public relations easily, and I felt a sort of comraderie with my fellow interviewees.

In a situation like this I think the “showing-off” of first round interviews is less important, since candidates have already been evaluated for the most important qualities.  Just be your best self, stay positive, and let the cards fall where they may.  One tip I have to offer is not to lose track of the fact that you are trying to secure a job.  While an interview like this might seem more relaxed and fun, you’re still on the line for a job offer, so remember that!

dilemma

 

Nelly and Kelly got it right when they wrote a song about a bad situation that will probably work out perfectly in the end and called it, “Dilemma.”  I’m not kidding.  On the same token, when we (non pop-stars) find ourselves in similar situations, it’s often difficult to move beyond the stress of it and see the positive. What I’m trying to say here is, I got another interview (!!) .  It’s for a job that’s maybe less “impressive” than the last, but at the same time it’s perhaps more relevant to what I’m finally recognizing as my true passion(s).

As I’m sitting here wringing my hands hoping the first employer doesn’t get back to me before I have a chance to talk to the second, I’m trying to come up with a game plan that doesn’t involve me settling for whichever (if either) hires me.  What that means is, once again, that all important self-inventory process comes into play.  I’ve done a lot of reflecting, and now that I know what makes me tick, I need to figure out how to make it work for me in the working world.

I read a book last week that helped me a lot in terms of determining which interests to actively pursue, and some smart ways to go about it.  If you haven’t read it, definitely check out, What Color Is Your Parachute? – it is, as it claims to be, a job hunter’s BIBLE.  Cannot believe I didn’t devour all four hundred pages sooner.  A big thank you for bringing it to my attention to my aunt Susan, who recognized my total flailing (and failing) as I tried to answer the all important, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I’ll post tomorrow in more detail about that gem of a resource.  For now, good night and good luck!