Friday, December 31, 2010

To 2011!

What up, everybody!! Can you believe that it's New Year's Eve?! I can't. I also can't believe that I left my job ONE YEAR AGO! CRAZY!!! This is has been a hard year, but in many ways, a good one. I can't feel anything but blessed and very fortunate even during the times I don't feel as good about my circumstances as I'd like.

Anyway, here's my latest vlog:

Happy New Year to you all! I wish you clarity, joy and peace for 2011!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Howdy from a Somewhat Busy Thirty-Something Nothing!

Hey, all!

It's December! Can you believe it? I know that I have been delinquent in my updates lately. Between my other blog, personal projects and consulting work (and life!), I've become quite busy. Err?! It was pretty funny for a couple of weeks because I wasn't used to having so many demands on my time.

How are the holidays going for you so far? Are you thinking about making new moves career-wise and personally for 2011?

See you all before the New Year!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have Too Much Time on My Hands?

Actually, it's the exact opposite!! I am all of a sudden kinda busy! Sorta...

Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ain't That the Truth 'Bout Lawyers?!

As a former/probably still transitioning lawyer, I loved this video. It's so TRUE and FUNNY.

If you feel the burning need to go law school, speak to a lawyer first and don't ignore their warnings! :)

Either way, this makes for a good laugh.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ranty McRanterson + Some Interesting News

I think that's my new name. I DO have an explanation for my absence. It's in the vlog. Also please allow me to rant a little in this vlog. I also think it's my 12th vlog and not my 10th. Apparently, 33 is greater confirmation of my slow descent into senility. :)

Are you enjoying fall? Do you have any tips for how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey? I just found out this morning that my in-laws are actually coming for Thanksgiving. Oy!

I hope you all are well and not too offended by me. :)

Lots of hugs!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Should I Party...

like it's my birthday?!!! Well, it is just that. Today is my 33rd birthday. Good lord, that was hard to write. Sigh....Anyway, I talk more about my birthday in this vlog.

Here's a link to my other blog where I posted my 33 things for my 33rd year. Enjoy!

I'm off to not think about the future but enjoy this great day and figure out where I am eating tonight. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just Checking In TSN Style

Hey, all!

I am checking in via vlog this time. I haven't done one in awhile. I miss them.

I'm having a very productive and rainy Wednesday here in NYC. I hope all is well in our neck of the woods.

Here's a preview of what's in the vlog:

1. Do you know WHY you procrastinate? Take some time and think about the reasons why you may put off important projects or tasks?

2. Does the manner in which a prospective employer treats you during the hiring process a red flag? (I think this has come up before, right?)

3. Entrepreneurship - do I REALLY want to do it?

Enjoy and "talk" to you all soon!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Can Do Better

So last week I totally had a public meltdown. Technically, this is my space to fall apart and not my other blog, Try Anything Once (yes, I can totally plug my own blog, thank you very much).

As I am sure you've seen here, I think it is perfectly fine to hit rock bottom once in awhile. I've been allowing myself to wallow in my own mental toilet. Yuck! I surely did wallow waaaay too much last week. Yet even before my little mini-breakdown, I think I was already on my way back.

It's not unusual for me to wallow just a tad, but I shouldn't feel this way. Why? Well, I like to think of myself as a person of faith, and I have not been exhibiting that to myself or by writing my craptastic post last week. By the way, based on Site Meter, it was the most read post I've ever had on my other blog. Can you imagine that?!

Lots of the things I've been reading lately have been reminding me to trust where I am and that God (Universe, Allah, Shiva, etc.) is working things out on my behalf. It's one of those things that I know, BUT I have learned recently that I am not doing a very good job putting it into practice.

Yet something caught my attention this past week during my church's weekly sermon. The visiting pastor mentioned that sometimes we go through trials and periods of upheaval not only for ourselves but also for others. It made me think a lot about my mother who has been unemployed for a little over a year now. (I have not mentioned it here 'cause you all know that I am relatively private). She was laid off of her job of over 25 years last year. She's having a hard time assessing what to do next after being at one workplace for so long. Unlike me, she does not have a multiple degrees or 30 plus years left in the workforce. While there are a variety of issues at work here, I know that it's been a hard road for her so far.

It got me to thinking that maybe I've got to keep myself together for her. I usually don't share my frustrations with my mother, but I feel like I've got to step it up for her (be a better role model and also perhaps eventually a provider)....and perhaps maybe I need to step it up for all of you too? Now let me say that I am no martyr or anyone particularly special. I am just crazy enough to write a blog post from time to time. I know that there are some of you out there going through job searches, having your own 30's life shifts, thinking about taking own projects and businesses, etc. I know that you read this blog. I want you all to know that I've got to be a better for you all too. We're all going to get through whatever it is we're dealing with currently. The change we seek will happen maybe not when we want it to, but it will. I think we'll all be a bit better for it. :)

Anyway, this was just a post to say that I can do better and plan to (and I have been...I've been meaning to write a post about entrepreneurship issues that I've been working through). Also feel free to call me out if I am not handling my business in terms of being forward-thinking and positive about what I've undertaken here. I'm serious! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Girl Monica

I am sure you all think that I have been doing this process of career exploration completely and totally by myself because I'm clearly doing this super well. Nope!

I actually do have some help. I've been working with a career transition coach named Monica. Could I do this whole career change/exploration process by myself? Yes. maybe. Do I want to? Not really. As I have mentioned before this can sometimes be a lonely process both because I spend a lot of my time alone but also because I don't know that many people who have done what I'm doing.

Monica was a practicing lawyer before she made the transition to being a coach. She's gone through pretty much everything that I am now and that makes her a great support system for me. She has no preconceived notions of what she thinks I should do, and she encourages me to step out and do things that are scary to me and always call me out on my stuff when I need to hear that too. It's nice having a neutral sounding board for a lot of things.

Of course the only issue with this wonderful relationship is that I have to pay for it. Monica ain't cheap. It will also eventually come to an end. Either way, I've appreciated her help.

Thanks, Monica.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't Call It a Comeback

Ha! LL would be proud! :)

Popping in to say that I have not forgotten about this little corner of my blog world.

There's stuff on my mind and a birthday just around the corner.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1 (no catchy title for this post) :)

Hey there!

I've had a very busy late May (and June will be even more busy), and so I have not been writing as much as I'd like here. I also have to admit that my inspiration has been running a little low lately. I think I may be transitioning into a different phase in my little journey, so I am trying to figure out which fork in the road to take.

One thing that has been on my mind lately is the fact that people think what I am doing is easy. Well, it's not. Maybe I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here, but this job/career path search thing doesn't necessarily mean I sit at home and pop bon bons all day yelling at Oprah (although occasionally I would like to yell at Oprah). I don't want to start out this week here on the blog being angry, but I must say that I am getting a little tired of people feeling like I am chillin' here living the good life. I've had a few "comments" both verbal and written that what I am doing is somehow cushy and carefree. I will agree about that fact that Jim (my husband, not his real name) and I are not currently worried about paying our bills. We're making it. That being said, I don't really feel like what I am doing is constitutes an extended vacation.

This is %$@^#& is hard. Why? Well....

I spend most of my days alone. Most people I know have jobs and if they don't have jobs they are in school so that they can (you guessed it) find jobs. The other people I know have found a way to start their own gigs. This process in general is also pretty lonely because I often feel that I have no one to talk to about all of this. Most people I know have no clue what it's like to do real career exploration. Doing a job search is one thing, but I am in the process of possibly reinventing myself career-wise (or at least exploring that possibility) and most people I know: 1) don't understand why I'd want to do that; or 2) have never undertaken this themselves so they don't really get it. Others are ridunkilously successful themselves, so they don't really get a Thirty Something Nothing like me who's always struggled with feeling empowered in my career.

I guess people think that watching my husband work very hard everyday while I am not in the position to help; knowing that my earning potential is slowly eroding every day that I am not doing something (starting a business or working); not necessarily seeing the fruits of networking labor, yadda, yadda, yadda is wonderfully amazing. NOT! I wish I could send these people this blog post, so that they could somehow stop projecting their own staycation/funemployment fantasies on me. This is not a vacation and a lot of times it's not fun. I'm not struggling living in abject poverty alone, but this little journey of mine has its own related issues, frustrations and heartbreaks that I wish people would find the time to think about before opening their mouthes or letting the words fly across their keyboards and onto their computer screens.

Okay. Phew! I'm glad that I got that out. :) I usually don't blog like a meany or "angry", but sometimes I think you've got to put stuff out there. Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest.

More informative and (hopefully) inspiring stuff to come.

By the's JUNE!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Be Bold!

Hey there, all!

Just some snippets from me! If you take anything from this vlog, I hope you know that you are more powerful than you realize. :)

Have a great day and go for it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Timeline of a Hiring Process - A True Story

My friends, this is is the truth and nothing but the truth. This happened to me about a week ago, and I'm still a little shocked. Not in a bad way, more like "I'm going to laugh because you all are so ridiculous" way.

Here's the story:
Monday, 6:30pm - A call from THE JOB. Can you come in for an interview TOMORROW or at the butt crack of dawn on Wednesday?

TSN: Um, hello! I applied for your job NINE weeks ago. [I said this in my head of course.] "Sure I'll come in on Wednesday at 8am."

Wednesday, 8:30am- [Middle of the Interview] Insert any ridiculously hard substantive question that you can think of for which I have absolutely NO ANSWER. Thinking I have bombed the interview, which I have to admit I almost never do (I think pretty well on my feet), I treat myself to a Starbucks. I'm also a little anoyed because I felt like I was getting a lot of substantive questions when I kept getting assured that I didn't need to have background knowledge in this particular subject area. Um...they lied.

Thursday, 6:35pm - Email from THE JOB. Please send your references. Whoa! Really? Either I'm a great bullshit artist (Thank you, expensive law degree!), or you all are a little crazy. In a few days, I will learn that it is the latter.

Friday, all day - Email THE JOB that I will send a list of references ASAP. Scramble to get references together. I didn't think I'd need them at this point, which was a bad move on my part. Have your references ready or at least have THOUGHT about them before you need them. I learned this lesson, and I am not afraid to admit it!

Monday, 9am - Send references.

Monday 11:55am - I get an email from THE JOB that essentially said this:

"Thirty-Something Nothing,
Thanks for your references. We've actually offered the job to someone else, and they have accepted. Would you like us to pass on your resume to another group here which does work that you are not interested in? Thanks again."

Serious paraphrase here, but you get the picture.

Okay, so:
1) I think I didn't really want the job anyway; and
2) WHAT THE HECK?!! I don't even know where to begin.

If you were willing and able to make a decision WITHOUT speaking to my references, then why bother to ask me for them? I never expressed that I DID NOT want the job. If you were in such a rush to fill the position, and I wasn't providing information in a timely manner, TELL ME!

By my timeline, the person to whom they offered the job, either accepted on the spot or got the offer on Friday and accepted Monday morning. I would not have accepted on the spot so......

Anyway, when I got that e-mail all I could do was laugh. I mean what else was I supposed to do? In my own sick twisted little Thirty-Something Nothing way, I'm kinda GLAD I did not have to mull over whether or not to accept this job. It's a little bit far away from many of the things I'm thinking about doing next in terms of topic area (not job function though), so I am not sure I would have wanted to go in that direction. Plus, if they handled the hiring process like this, imagine what the actual job would be like. While it would be nice to say that I have a job right now, I may just have dodged a bullet. :) PHEW!!

Has anyone had any crazy situations come up during thea hiring process for a job? Did it leave you slapping or scratching your head? I'd love to hear about them!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm Supposed to Be...

Excited, right? I got another job interview. The problem is that I am totally weirded out. Is weirded out a word? This whole thing is throwing me out of whack. Hear me talk about it in my new vlog:

That being said, I am very thankful for the interview. I just don't know what it means for my journey. Hmmm....

Have a great weekend, and let me know if you end up going to see the "Babies" movie. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm Surrounded.... Babies! (I kid you not that right now in the cafe where I'm writing this, there are about four babies with ten feet of me!!)

I never thought this would happen to me, but since September I swear the whole world has decided to have babies. There have even been a few weeks where two or more babies of friends/acquaintances/random Facebook friends have been born. In addition to inducing the usual fright, hemming and hawing and my own personal inner turmoil, my personal Baby Boom has also made me think about how having children dovetails with me examining where I am in my career exploration.

I'll let you in on a secret about me: I'm pretty ambivalent about having children. Yes...I know. I feel like at "pushing 33" I should be shouting my desire from the rooftops for a baby. I'm not. In some ways, it makes me feel less womanly or like a freak, especially when I see women five to ten years younger than me proclaiming their desire to be pregnant. Part of me wishes I could be like that, but I'm not. At this point, I'm not sure if that will ever be me, and on many levels I feel like that's a bit scary. Anyhoo, I'm not getting any younger, babies are popping up everywhere in my life, and they are not going away.

I know that I'd prefer not to wait too long from now before we take the family jump. I know that there are wonderful medical advancements out there that can help alleviate fertility problems due to age or otherwise, but I don't know how I feel about those either (i.e., time, money, emotional toil vs. why not adopt a child who needs a good home?). Are you seeing a pattern of total confusion here? By the way, there are many women who conceive healthy children out there naturally or otherwise well into their forties. Jim, my husband (not his real name), has already informed me that he doesn't want to be the old man on the playground. Luckily, we live in New York City where someone who is clearly in their 40's gets called Daddy on the street pretty regularly by young children. Even knowing that I have the option to stall starting a family, I've been told that you are never really ready to have children. Apparently we're just going to have to take the plunge at some point.

Except where does this put my careers prospects? From what I am observe children are not for the faint of heart.

HOLD UP! WAIT MINUTE! Some caveats: Just to let you know, I'm going to be looking at this issue from the perspective of being a woman since, well, because I am a woman. As much as we have come far as a society, I don't still see many men struggling with whether to opt out of the workforce at some point after having children. It's not to say that there aren't men thinking about these issues, but I find them to be rare. Also I acknowledge that this is also an issue of class. Based on Jim's salary, which is sustaining us right now, we could deal with me not working BUT that presupposes that he chooses to continue with this line of work. This is not an option for many women and their families out there who are barely to make ends meet on two salaries. I just want to make sure that I acknowledge them too.

Anyway, enter the Mommy Wars which seem to be pitting women against each other based on their choices about work. It seems like a complete and total minefield: Nannies; not being able to reenter the workforce after too much time off; the costs of childcare; crappy maternity leave policies; not feeling valued because you don't work outside of the home....ACCCKKKK!!!! I'm emotionally exhausted by all of this already, and I'm not even close to being a mother!

I'm not really sure that I want to stop working after we've started a family (of course assuming we even start one, which we will...most likely). I worry about having Jim be the sole bread winner and the pressure that it could place on him. If he wants to stop his very demanding relatively lucrative job, we'll definitely need to make changes. We don't really live somewhere cheap. I hear the antidote to this to change your lifestyle or where you live. Fair enough, but we've got student loans and a mortgage and those don't go away so easily. Plus, I already lean towards the frugal side as it is. Could I be thriftier? Sure, but not by much. I've already told you that I feel kind of uncomfortable not working now. I don't see that changing too much.

I also firmly believe that I went into all of this debt and cried a few nights during law school for a reason. I know I should value education for education sake, but much of my motivation for trying to get the best education I could was to better my financial situation. Full stop. I know it doesn't sound romantic, but it's the truth. I grew up in a marginal neighborhood with a single immigrant mother. I grew up with barely just enough, and while I don't need to live a lavish life, I want to give my children a few things I didn't have and feel comfortable doing so. My mother sacrificed a lot for us to come here, and so that I could have certain opportunities. It's not to say that I can't honor and cherish that in some other ways, but I know that I am where I am because of what she did for me.

I also know that I'm contemplating a career change...umm...duh! What happens if I decide to do something that is totally brand new to me? Can I put in the man hours needed with a small child? Should I? Slogging away at a the bottom of the totem pole at a new job doesn't sound so much fun to me...period. Add a small child and OMG! Having the emotional capacity to deal with two life changes at the same time if I had to is pretty darn intimidating.

By the way, remember that job that Jim has that allows us to live comfortably? Well it requires long hours from him. Someone's gotta hold down the fort at home, and it's looking like it will be me.

Of course all of this makes me sound like the biggest narcissist that ever walked the face of the earth, but this blog is totally narcissistic anyway, right? ;)

I say this all now, but I know that it all changes when your child arrives. Maybe I'll look down at little Thirty-Something Nothing, Jr. and throw everything out of the window. I also know that this isn't an all-or-nothing zero sum game. There are many women who work out great arrangements with their jobs allowing them to have flexible schedules and lighter workloads. That being said, from what I've seen many workplaces also are NOT flexible or don't provide the opportunities to advance and take on interesting work. It seems that flexibility is a sacrifice for other things. Sigh....for such an apparently family-friendly society that we claim to be, do we really have the ability to make choices?

Anyway, this is just me rambling about babies and career stuff. I'll leave you with the trailer for the new movie "Babies", which made me melt. The four baby star/subjects are all so cute! Maybe I DO have the Mommy gene. :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

So What Do You Do....

When people are mean to you during a networking phone call? Yikes!

That was not fun, but it was definitely an interesting learning experience.

How do you handle nay sayers and doubters? I'd love to hear your strategies! Happy Weekend!

Monday, April 26, 2010

You, Me & Everybody I Know


I think I've mentioned in the past that I hate writing hard posts. Exposing yourself to others isn't so much fun, but yet I keep at this blog anyway. So let me make a feeble attempt to write about something that is hard for me:

Comparing myself to others.

Comparing yourself to others is like the self-esteem Kiss of Death, but wouldn't you agree that it's quite hard to resist? The worst past of this for me is that I know WAAAY too many professionally successful people. My friends and acquaintances make law firm partner at 30; testify before Congress; start successful businesses and non-profits; are neurosurgeons; call the President "Barack" and not while they are on the couch watching "60 Minutes;" and are overall bad asses. Yet, here I am barely able to figure out what to do next career-wise. Did I tell you that many of these people are my age or younger? Maybe I need to meet a whole new group of people. ;) To say that I feel a certain level of inadequacy when I think about some of these people is a little bit of an understatement.

By the way, I like to not think about this as jealousy. Jealousy to me suggests that I want what others have. I assure you that I don't want to be a law firm partner (ha!). Although testifying before Congress wouldn't be such a bad thing. :) But seriously, this is more my longing for wanting to feel like I am making a valuable contribution somewhere professionally and ('cause can I have an ego for a second? Thanks!) to get recognized for it in some small way. I don't think that's too much to ask, but perhaps it is. When I see these people, I don't want their jobs or success rather it makes me wonder: When is my time?

I wish I could tell you that I have some wonderful advice about how to combat this, but all I can do is just list for you what I try to remind myself. Usually my bouts of "You're sort of a loser, TSN" go away pretty instantly, but I like preventative mini-mantras like these:

1. There is always going to be someone out there better than you at something. In other words, be humble. There is always going to be someone you might think is more successful or better at something than you are. It doesn't mean that you're not amazing. You bring something totally different to the table.

2. Be thankful for what you do have. The grass is always greener; just be happy you even HAVE grass! I try to practice thankfulness, and some days I am better at it than others. I do recognize that having a professional path is NOT the only thing in life. Hello! I've got a great family, supportive, loving husband and seem to be going through a period of abundance in life right now (even without a job..go figure!). Allow me an indulgence and let me say that I feel blessed right now. I have no idea what else is going on in these power brokers lives, and it may not be much to speak of. If anything, what I have is pretty darn good if not ideal.

3. Tunnel vision ain't so bad, but don't let it hold you back. Keeping your focus on bettering yourself AND encouraging and supporting others is really the way to go. Whenever I can, I meet with, talk to or provide networking opportunities to anyone I can. I'm motivated by the belief that whatever energy you put out into the world will come back to you. Even if it doesn't directly, I think the person you helped will hopefully help someone else creating this lovely little web of good vibes. Sorry for the cheese factor, but I think you know what I mean. And, no, I've never seen "Pay it Forward." :)

Well this wasn't so bad. I hope you all don't think I am a complete knuckle head for writing this, but I'm sure that many of us think about this at some point in our journeys.

So am I just jealous, and I don't want to come clean with myself? What do you do make sure you don't compare yourself to others?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Not So Chipper 30 Something Nothing

Hey, All!

I'm just vloggin' to say hello. I'm not so chipper today, but I miss you all. Here's a vlog to let you know what's going on with me.

If you're having a bad week in your journey, I'm right there with you! It will all be okay. Do something therapeutic! However, if you are like me and use red velvet cake to soothe, make sure you do something healthy for yourself later. :)

Also Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Personal Branding or What Kim Kardashian Taught Me about Careers

One Sunday afternoon, Jim (my husband, not his real name) and I ended up watching "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and "Kendra" on E. Personally, I am a fan of what I like to call "high end" reality TV: Top Chef, Amazing know, the good stuff. Kim Kardashian and her family and Kendra are not my usual TV fare, but their lives sucked me in for an entire afternoon that I will never get back.

The most interesting episode in our mini-marathon of "quality" reality TV was Kim K.'s trip to Vegas for "work", which consisted primarily of having her hair and makeup done professionally, then appearing at a nightclub speaking for a minute and a half, and partying. Then Kim left Vegas the next day and shot a Carl's Jr. commercial where she proceeded to eat junk food while looking sexy. Am I a tad jealous that this is her work life? Um, heck yeah! I loved how earnestly she yelled about needing to have a drama free environment in her hotel suite because she had to be prepared for "work." Mind you I am watching all of this after watching Kendra, yet another "celebrity" who I am barely familar with other than seeing her mug on newsstands. Both of these women got me thinking, "Why are you famous? Why??!!!" More importantly, these ladies made me think about the idea of personal branding.

While I don't really vibe on the whole celebrity thing I will say this: folks in the entertainment industry know how to hustle; and in the words of the ever-articulate Jay-Z, I can't knock their hustle. But seriously, actors, celebutantes, etc. can teach the rest of us a thing or two about handling our careers. They have found a way to package themselves and make themselves marketable to the point where their lives are broadcast to a nationwide for reasons unknown. Whatever career path we decide to follow, we really do need to have some form of personal branding. It doesn't need to take the form of a Carl's Jr. commercial and a reality TV show, but just like Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Kendra, we need to find ways to market ourselves as we make our way through our careers.

So what is this whole "personal branding" concept? At this point, based on what I've observed, it seems to me that personal branding is being able to articulate and cohesively sell "You" based on combination of your interests and skills. The central question for figuring out your personal brand is: What skills do I bring to the table in a certain topic area or interest category? Are you a great sports writer? Do you love Japanes origami projects and could easily plan a mass folding party? Do you have extensive knowledge of Zulu basketweaving and can speak to large groups about this topic (By the way, I have some fabulous Zulu baskets in my apartment. Love them!)?

Since this is my second go around at career change (we'll sort of), I've had to think about who I am in the work world a few times. I do have a sense of what my skills are. It's the whole interests part that gets me. I've got too many interests! Travel, food, overall lifestyle stuff, sports! Plus I've got this blog! Ack!

One thing I am more confident about is what skills I bring to the table. You should be too. If you're walking down the street or stopped a stoplight for those of you who drive everywhere, and someone asked you what you do well, would you be able to tell them? If you're wondering what your skills are, a very, very simple exercise is to think about past activities you've participated in including when you were a child (those are actually sometimes the most authentic in my book because as kids we're the most free and exploratory. We hold nothing back. Wouldn't that be cool now?). What did you enjoy about those activities? What skills were you using? Singing? Organzing and planning? Analyzing complex issues? Figuring out puzzles? Don't censor yourself either! Everything counts.

Don't worry I might do this little exercise too, even though the idea of it doesn't necessarily sound fun. Is it okay that I like to give advice more than take it? :) I am still learning much of this myself, and personal branding is so much more than what I have said here. It's such a foreign concept to me, and even I wonder if there is application to every career (people who swear by it say so).

Here are some great personal branding resources:

Once you've figure out your "brand" Gary Vaynerchuk's book Crush It is apparently the Bible of putting your brand to work.

Anyway, a big shout out to Kim. I guess :)

Have you thought about your personal brand? Does this sound like a lot of Gobbledeeguck? You can say yes. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Yep. I've been a bad girl. I've had some good reasons (at least I think they are good reasons). Check out the video, and you'll know why!

See I'm not that bad!

More to come....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Ride....

Hey, all!

Happy early portion of your week! I've got another vlog for you.

Here it is:

Also I would love to hear about ways to be productive with spring fever going around. Last week was soooo gorgeous here in the Northeast that it sort of upended my schedule. Hmmm...

Anyway, I love hearing from you, so please comment! I'll also be better at commenting back! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why I Love Europeans

While I was stumping through the career blogosphere, I came across my favorite new Euro import idea:

Well the book isn't European, but the concept is. you, Eueopeans! You give us cool things like French bread, Belgian beer, Spanish tapas, Italian gelato and CAREER BREAKS! By the way, I am fully aware that I just only menitoned food. Never blog when hungry!

So what is a career break? It can be anything from a "gap year for adults" (in the UK especially, post-high school teens will take a year to travel, volunteer or both after graduating from high school. That sounds dang fabulous too!). It's a time to travel; learn a new skill or hobby; return to school for more training or educational opportunities; or figuring out what you'd like to do next career-wise. Sound familiar?

Look, I recognize that I live in a country where four weeks of vacation is considered a luxury, but I truly hope this catches on here in the Good 'Ol U.S.A. As a matter of fact, we tend to shun gaps in a resume and often have to have an explanation at the ready for a prospective employer as to why we haven't lived in our offices or cubicles in months. There seems to be a stigma attached to stepping back and taking stock of our personal and professional lives.

While I love our go-g0 work culture, I think this attitude can be a disservice to workers.
If anything I wish we could change the culture of work in our country in order to make space for personal and professional growth. Maybe we would have less unfulfilled people like me having to search for their next gig. Hmmmm.....

Here are some great career break resources:

While some of these have an travel abroad focus and are not really about career transition, I think they are still worth a look.

Have you considered a career break? What would it look like?

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Little Something New!

Hey there!

After a yet another blogging break, I am back! This time with a little something new. I'm vlogging! I love that word...vlogging. I think we're living in certain time when we can make a new word that makes no kinda sense out of nothing.

Anyway, I figure vlogging will be helpful for me to keep going, and it will be a great way for me to connect with you all in a different way. Let me know what you think especially about your homework assignment! :)

And yes, Vegas was fun!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


That is the sound of me hitting a wall.

I've been doing this "search" now for a little over two months, and I'm going to let you know that the last two weeks have been pretty hard. I wish I could say that I have answers and that I actually totally know what I am doing here, but I don't. What's holding me back?

1. Everyone I know does the same thing - While I love my friends, most of them are lawyers, work in non-profits or are professors with a few in government and medicine. Maybe I'm not pestering them enough, but many of them don't seem to know anyone who works in a few of the areas I'm examining for my transition. Is this is a product of people in similar careers socializing together or maybe I've got an uncreative group of friends? :) Remember my disdain for networking? Well I am still getting over it albeit pretty slowly. I've got a couple of informational interview-like "talks" lined up, but there are lots of real world experiences that I want to ask people about and can't without some more contacts. I'll keep chipping away and trying to break through. Granted, it probably doesn't help that I haven't told some of my friends either. Maybe I should work on that. :)

2. I can see the good and bad in everything - This is supposed to be a good thing right? Unfortunately, my legal education has given me the ability to see the good and bad in just about every possible situation and that includes career choices. While I may find something like real estate development intriguing and do have some kind of a background in it, I don't know if I would really want to work in a career that's very numbers based. I am fighting the urge (and my bad habit) to have this paralyze me completely into inaction 'cause I surely would let that happen. I've been working through my paralysis with my "friend" Monica (who I'll describe later), but right now this seems to be the biggest challenge for me.

3. Everything seems interesting - That should make my process easier, but it doesn't. You see I was the type of kid who read the TV Guide (the articles, not the actual TV listings!), so I have always been an information hoarder. I can get interested in a topic quite easily. I guess I maybe I am exaggerating here. I don't find everything under the sun interesting, but amongst my career possibilities it's hard to distinguish between what's fun and games and what's my true next career or job. Many of the career advice pieces and books that I've been reading talk about finding your "PASSION." If I read that word one more time, I think I might keel over!!!! I actually I'll talk about passion or lack thereof (or having the same passion as everyone else) in another post.

4. I think I'm already tired - Yep. It pains me to write this, but I think I am ALREADY tired of this process, which is hysterical to me. It's only been two months! What the heck am I complaining about? Perhaps this is also a symptom of the winter doldrums as well. I did start doing this in the dead of what has been both a snowy and cold NYC winter. That means a lot of grays days, inside my apartment in my PJs trying to stay warm without very much human interaction for a long period of time. Maybe warmer weather will help? I always find reading in the park or outside in my balcony more comforting than down ten cups of tea to stay warm. I'm also going to easy on myself and remind little 'ol me that this process is also emotionally draining. Thinking about the future and not really knowing what to do next can be overwhelming and downright taxing for someone like me who thrives on direction and focus.

At this point, I'm fighting to get break through the wall. Luckily, I've got a trip to Las Vegas coming up this week to take my mind off of things. Walking around aimlessly and staring at hotel monstrosities should do the trick, right?

When you hit an emotional wall in your life, what do you do? Suggestions welcome!

P.S. Thanks for those out there who are reading. I appreciate you, and hope that you'll stay with me on this journey. I also won't take a month off again, or at least try not to. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Lie

I am a liar. Well, I like to not think about it as lying, but I have not told many people that I am no longer working. Essentially to cover my tracks, I have selectively lied to some people. I shouldn't say that I have lied really. In some cases, I just haven't really been dissuading folks from thinking a certain ideas about my job status. Hey, if you want to think that I am still traveling for work, please go right ahead. Luckily, I have not had to lie to that many people yet, but I will if I need to. Why? Well for self-protection against things like judgment, unsolicited advice and pity.

I know a lot of people in my parents' generation don't really think about things like job satisfaction. You went out and got a job; you kept it until you died or got a pension; and that was it. I'm sorry to be an older person snob, and I actually think there are people in my age bracket who are like this too; I just don't know that many of them. For many who have the blessing of a job right now, I think the idea that that you'd quit that job in Ye Olde Recession is crazy. How could I, Thirty-Something Nothing, do that to myself? Yes. I don't really want that conversation right now with anyone because I don't really feel the need to justify my actions to anyone.

I don't want anyone's unsolicited advice. EVERYONE has their own idea of what you're supposed to do in terms of job searches and achieving career satisfaction (or not needing to achieving it). Nine times out of ten they will let you know this. Everyone's got an opinion. I can't really say that I am ready to digest others opinions right now. I am still trying to figure out my own stance on what this process is supposed to be and what I really want to get out of it (simply a new job or a new career totally?).

I don't want anyone's pity. Most everyone who has told me that they admire my bravery and balls (for lack of a better word) in deciding to go through this process. I am sure I am creating a complete and total falsehood in my brain about whether or not people pity me for not having direction or a job, but it's there.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't think most people will understand what I am doing and why. Sometimes I can barely understand it myself. When people don't understand things, I find that they judge, make unnecessary comments or bring their own perspectives and emotions into the mix.

Since I'm not ready for others' "stuff" because I am still dealing with mine, I've decided to just keep everyone in the least for a little while longer.

This is all too bad because I hate lying.

What would you do if you were me? I know I have can sometimes have a warped sense of people, so feel free to call me out on it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"So What Do You Do All Day?"

Since I've started this process, I get that question a lot. A whole lot.

One of the hardest things about my transition so far has been figuring out how to structure my time. There are so many things that I'd like to do or need to do, and it's amazing how the days really do fly by. I figure time must move quickly because I am somewhat relaxed and to some degree maybe remotely enjoying myself? Pssshhh..NOT!

If anything I FEEL like I should be fitting EVERYTHING into my day. Like what? Well....

1. I should be making gourmet meals every night - That can be hard because Jim is never really home, and it's really just me. I did make a slammin' Chickpea and Tomato Risotto last night and Jim was actually home to eat it so that should count for something.

2. I should be blogging A WHOLE LOT MORE - Sorry for the self-flagellation, but I have not been doing such a great job keeping up with multiple blog obligations. I think I feel a lot of pressure to make sure that this is blog is good. I'd rather give you my best than nothing at all, but it seems that I'm getting too good at giving you nothing at all. *Hangs head in shame*

3. My home should be sparkling clean - I should be doing a whole bunch of chores and home projects that I have been holding off on but have not followed through like cleaning baseboards and sifting through old magazines and bills. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

4. Indulging in hobbies - Apparently, I am supposed to actually be enjoying my "time off." Right now in January, it's way too cold to enjoy much of anything, but I know that I need to at least find a way to fit in the things that I didn't do while I was traveling like a mad person. Some people have told me that I should go on a vacation. Ha! I wish!

What do I actually do everyday?

1. I spend time in prayer and reflection - I have not done a very good job this week, but I think this should be an integral part of my day. If my mind ain't right, this process will not be easy.

2. I read career related books - I've only gotten through What Color is Your Parachute? 2010 in its entirety, but I am also reading The Unhappy Lawyer in case you're wondering.

3. I contact people to meet with/talk to about what they do - setting up the "informational interview"....need I say more?

4. I talk to people who do things that I am interested in or think I may be interested in - This is usually anything from a phone call like the one I had this morning to a lunch meeting I had last week. One was with someone I've known in a professional setting. Another was with someone that I've never met, a friend of a friend. One was about real estate development, and the other was about political consulting, advocacy and media relations. Many times my conversations spark ideas about things and make me want to learn more about a particular type of job, person or organization, which leads me to ....

5. RESEARCH and more research - Perhaps it's an excuse to spend my days on the internet, but researching takes up quite a bit of time. I've already taken a look at jobs and industries that I know nothing about (big PR agency account executive? Whaaa?!!) trying to find out about salaries, corporate culture, qualities that employers are searching for, etc. This takes up time, but I feel like I've learned so much. Even if I never become an account executive at a PR firm or someone who specializes in social media, at least I KNOW what they do. That's knowledge is empowering to me.

6. I make sure that my home looks somewhat presentable - Are you seeing a theme here?

Yep. That's it for now. At some point I hope that what I should be doing and what I actually am doing will actually mesh. I try to remind myself that I've only been doing this for a month, but then that kinda reminds me of the fact that "DAMN! I've been doing this for a month!"

Is there anything that I should be doing that I am not currently? What are other strategies, tasks, projects or books would you recommend for me?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Neither Here Nor There

One of the hardest things about working through this career change/transition is trying to figure out my place in the work world. I was very lucky last time around to have my former boss see some type of potential in me when she hired me. That's how I ended up finding a job in something that I had never done before. I came in at a level that was appropriate for me. While definitely a reduction in pay there wasn't such a big one in terms of the level of the job itself.

I've been wondering how to deal with this issue of where I fit in again. I don't feel so inclined to start a job requiring me to start from scratch, but I also know that I don't have experience in a whole lotta not much else. I know that I've got a lot to offer, but I'm just not sure who would be interested in me and where they'd want want me to fit into their organization.

The idea of working my way up from the bottom doesn't really appeal to me. I feel like I've paid my dues already. Who wants to pay dues in their 30's? I've already made stacks and stacks of copies, answered someone else's phone, lugged heavy boxes, alphabetized the randomest documents (I've also cleaned bathrooms and served cafeteria food. Those You name, and I've done it. The idea of going to that place again makes me want to cringe. Perhapsbeing a housewife wouldn't be a bad thing after all? Another big red flag for me: Who wants to pay dues at the same time as starting a family (No, Jim and I are not there yet; but hey, it won't be too far down the pike. That's for another post.)?

Now by saying this, does that demonstrate that I really don't WANT to make the changes in my career that I really need? Am I too LAZY or too much of a prima donna to want to work my way to the top? I read this story last week about a man who worked his way up from the mail room at 65 and retired at 85. At 85, I want to be on a beach sipping some kind of tropical juice, watching my grankids play, and hopefully still wearing a bikini (dare to dream, right?). Is this the way that my career transition has to happen this time around?

I'd love to hear stories about people who have started all over career wise in their 30's and 40's, and how it's worked out for them. Do you know anyone like this?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


That is an awful title to a blog post about a person who is exploring life and career issues, but I am going to say that I HATE networking. I always have. It's not that I hate people. I'm the exact opposite. I LOVE people. I love talking to people, or I should say that I can talk to just about anyone about anything. I don't have a fear of people, BUT when I've got to ask them for something that's a whole other topic.

I've often wondered where this all came from. I will say that while I am a prety personable person I also keep to myself a lot. The only child in me can spend hours by myself if necessary. I've also had some pretty crazy experiences growing up where I was pretty isolated in school. You know the show "Gossip Girl." Well, I went to a less over the top version of that place (hey it was the early 90's in one dressed like that), except I was the poor minority kid who lived in the outer boroughs with a really strict immigrant mother. There is a clearly not a character like THAT on "Gossip Girl".

Anyway, I don't know if some of my experience there shaped who I am now in how I relate to people. I knew early on that I had to make it there by myself. I wasn't leaving with a gaggle of life-long friends. I was leaving with a diploma from a great high school. The less I felt connected to my classmates the harder I worked to make sure that I got good grades, was involved in school activities and ultimately went on to a good college. I guess I separated my achievement from the need for developing relationships. Why bother if you feel that people are going to reject you anyway?

Through the years, I've been awful about keeping in touch with many people both personally and professionally although if I've known you for years, that means that I REALLY, REALLY like you. :) Unfortunately, that now means that I have a very disjointed network. Having to break out of my anti-networking shell/rut is hard. I hate depending on other people. I hate feeling like I am begging. I hate waiting for someone to e-mail or call me back. It sucks. That being said, networking is a major part of this transition for me. I won't be able to learn more about what it's like to be Oprah or a real estate developer or much of anything else without meeting new people. Time to woman up. More importantly, it's time to teach myself that I can't survive, move forward or succeed without people.

Anyway, I would love to hear from people who have gotten to be better networkers over the years. If you've got any advice, please let me know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Being a Housewife

Yes. I am now a housewife, and I really don't know how to feel about it. I don't mean to disrespect women who don't work, and I am most definitely not demeaning Stay-at-home Moms (SAHMs), the unsung heroes of the American workforce. I barely feel like I get much done here during the day much less having to worry about dealing with a household AND little kiddies who demand your time, attention and love. SAHMs, my hats off to you! No, I mean I have now become a wife who stays home and doesn't contribute financially to the household. As much as this may be a new phenomenon, it just isn't me. And yes, it's judgmental.

I guess I have a hard time with this primarily because I feel pretty strongly about contributing to our household. Granted my work hiatus/job search is NOT a permanent solution, but it doesn't blunt my feeling of thinking I am freeloader. I know that I'm not somewhere deep inside, but I have always even the type of person who has worked for whatever I have in life no matter how small it is. I am sure many people would cut their eyes at me because I have the "luxury" of taking the time to try to figure out what I am doing professionally, butI have major guilt. I want to contribute financially to our household, and I want to work.

I've been trying to figure out where this comes from. Jim was out of work last year due to his layoff, and I don't think he felt the way I do. I will say there is a difference between actively CHOOSING to leave a job and being told to. It wasn't Jim's choice to cut off his income, but it was mine. Also let's be real here: Jim's current career/job is much more lucrative than my last job. Much more. For my last job, I definitely took a pay cut to change careers (The idea of taking another one makes want to cry, but THAT is for another post). Regardless of what happened to Jim last year, we knew we could make it because he'd saved so much before we got married not because of my job. I think I want that for myself too. I want to know that regardless of whatever happens to Jim or his salary that I can sustain us and any little versions of me or Jim that will come along.

I can't get that feeling being a housewife.

That being said, I've only been out of work for week, so maybe I need to calm down.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Faith..... the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.

Yep. I DID IT! I've decided to make the biggest, most craziest step in my professional career. I quit my job. After changing my mind every minute for a good month I decided to leave. In a way this is a complete act of faith for me. I thought to myself that I've never totally explored what I've wanted to do in an in-depth way. I've always done what was safe and taken jobs that came first just because they were offered. This time around I hope that won't be the case.

I see this as a way to let God/Allah/the Universe (or whatever you believe in) lead me to where I should be. Hopefully a path will unfold for me and God will close the doors and open the doors necessary for me to FINALLY figure out what the heck I should be doing with myself. Now whether I am completely at peace is a whole other story. When you're seeing media accounts of people who a suffering because they were laid off, I feel like a self-indulgent fool for doing this. There are many people who would love my job, no? (Although if you had my former boss, probably not)

Telling my boss was easier than I thought. I was sooooo nervous to track her down to tell her especially when I work in a place with no walls and no privacy. Then I learned a week later why she barely flinched when I told her. She was leaving herself. That's right. It was announced a few days that she was getting a promotion and moving to a different city to head a different work group. Even though I tried, I actually didn't see her on my last day. I guess I can't expect much from someone who was not interested in my growth and development, right? I think in some ways, it was her "F--- you" to me. To leave a job with nothing lined up is a public but silent way of saying that you're not happy. Maybe she knew that people would think something about her management skills (or lack thereof) at hearing me leave. Who knows?! I think she just didn't care.

I've been neglecting this blog because it overwhelms me, but I will keep trying to tell my story on a daily basis or as much as I can muster. I know I can't be the only person out there this crazy. :)