Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Job, New Attitude

Dear Ladies of The Steps,

There were several moments in the last four months when I felt sure that things would never turn around for the better. Finally, the universe has pleasantly surprised me. I am headed back to the grind, back to work, back to reality.

Ironically, my new job has more to do with the ideals I founded myself on in college than any of the other jobs I've had. And I've had a few. I spent the last 2 years after school searching for the job that would jump start my career, only to settle for the jobs that offered instant gratification, instead of a lasting sense of accomplishment. I realized that was the case more often with my friends and colleagues than any of us would like to admit. A bittersweet truth that reiterates this year's theme: money trumps all.

The entire reason I veered from jobs related to my college major (journalism) after graduation was because I quickly learned that the pay scale was less than desirable. I felt I could use what I'd learned and what I was willing to learn to break out into marketing and advertising. As it turns out, I was able to, but only at the small price of completely losing sight of my goals. I forgot about the girl I was in college, the girl who actually loved school because I learned to be passionate about something. All this time I've known that the passion was still there, just buried under layers of disappointment over where I'd led myself.

While my new job is all thanks to a friend (as it turns out it IS all about WHO you know), I brought a part of myself to those interviews I hadn't seem come out of me in a long time. I see now that it was because this opportunity embodies everything I've been looking for. I will be able to use the skills I've developed in the last 2 years of working as well as feel personally invested in the job on a daily basis. And let's be honest, we're not always connected to our work the way we wish we were. What's funny is I was always trying to convince myself before that I loved my job, that it was exactly what I wanted even though I always woke up dreading the day ahead.

Now, I am almost relieved that I lost my job, and spent the last 4 months confused, concerned, and lost. If for nothing else, because I can't wait to go to my first day of work and start over with a new attitude.


Blake, "The Steps" Contributor

Monday, July 20, 2009

To Be or To be Anonymous

Check out this Link.

It’s been over a decade since the Internet exploded onto everyone’s PC’s and it hasn’t really slowed down since. With the efforts of MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter the Internet, and I’m stating the obvious here, has become the marketing tool of the millennium. With the simplest click of a mouse and a few taps on the keyboard, a social media marketing world is opened up to you, and it’s your playground to enjoy. So why are some of us afraid to come clean? Why do we hesitate to take off our disguises and take credit where credit should be due?

I too was anonymous on the Internet with one moniker for both my blog posts and Tweets, which only a few people close to me knew. Granted I’m not a super sleuth private investigator, nor were my blogs and tweets of great controversy, I just felt more comfortable behind a disguise.

However that did nothing for my social media presence - unable to market or brand myself. In truth, there was no future without “me.”

By having an alias, or even just being anonymous, is actually doing a disservice to your potential leads and authenticity. It closes the door on opportunities you could act on as yourself and shuts out possible future employers. Being yourself on the Internet allows your work and your connections to prove your viability as a social media guru and create a name for yourself AS yourself.

Granted, all posts shouldn’t be one-sided. There are arguments for opting to use an alias or being anonymous. A safety concern is high up there, as well as your personal content. Depending on what you write about, tweet or share on your Facebook wall may or may not be what a potential employer wants to read. There has been many a firing because of an employees leaked Facebook profile and also for posting offending material on a social media outlet.

The possible solution, create a professional and personal account for the social media networks – giving you the ability to be yourself on both counts—your professional self and your behind-closed-doors self. The proverbial doors can still open and you don’t have to worry about not putting “yourself” out there.