Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Working Girls!

We hope you enjoy a well-deserved day (or two) off from work and have many things to be thankful for this year!


WG1 and WG2

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Today I am Bored

Today has been painfully slow. WG2 is too busy training the new her and cleaning out her desk to talk to me about the lack of Gossip Girl last night or Speidi's recent wedding or the reasons why I want to see Twilight 100 more times. So, I'm here, at my desk, with only the internet to entertain me. It's the perfect time for a "What I Do While I'm Bored at Work" post.
  • Typically on Tuesdays I'm hungover on pizza and Gossip Girl. One of the first things I do in the morning is head over to and find their recap of Monday night's episode. Written by New Yorkers and Gossip Girl lovers, Jessica Pressler and Chris Rovzar, it is the best TV recap I've ever read. Jessica and Chris give and take away points for the realness and fakeness of the show. For your reading pleasure, here is last week's recap of the Thanksgiving episode.
  • Since moving over the marketing department, it's become more acceptable toLink listen to music while I work (I have had to answer my boss's phone in ages). Rather than waste my precious iTouch's battery at work, I listen to Pandora. Type in your favorite artist and Pandora will play that artist and artists with a similar sound for as long as you like, for free! I high recommend trying Lady Gaga radio. Pandora doesn't have rights to her music yet, but the artists that sound like her are fan-freakin-tastic.
  • My mother is most likely finished with her holiday shopping. My brother, sister and I, on the other hand, are usually at Target on Christmas Eve trying not to kill one another while trying to shop for everyone on our list. This year, I vow not to make that trip. Thanks to that may actually happen. The best part? There is a super fun personality profiler. Answer questions about someone on your list and receive great gift suggestions. Or do it for yourself and see which personality you are. I got hipster and while I'm so not a hipster, at least by New York standards, I loved most of the gift suggestions.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Training the Newbie

I spent the majority of last week making a to-do list for training the new "me". Fine, ok, I spent about half a day making the list and most of the rest of the time reading this, and this, and this (what!? I like reading blogs so sue me). 

So today was the newbie's first day. And what a day it was.

First of all, that document I made for the newbie's training was 5 pages long. I am unfortunately not exaggerating. It is only Monday and we have just gotten onto page 2. Which made me realize that I didn't think I did much at my company until I made this training sheet. Events all year long, numerous newsletters, agendas, scheduling meetings, answering phones, not to mention the other 400 things I do. Whew. A mouthful. I mean really, how did I manage to do all that and be on Gchat all day? And read blogs? And be addicted to Perez? Yea, I don't get it either.

The amount I manage to get done is apparently overwhelming. And I could see that in the newbie's face as 6 o'clock rolled around and we were still focusing on how to throw an office party. I guess I'm really making sure she knows everything. It's all in the details and unfortunately for me most of those details are up in my brain. And I really wish that we could take my brain and filter all those minute details into her brain. Don't you just wish life was that easy? 

This training day not only made me realize that I had a lot of work to do on a daily basis, but it also got me worried. In just a week I will be starting my new job in Chicago. And I think it has finally hit me. I'm leaving. I'm outta here. See ya! 

And I'm scared. In a few days, I will be the newbie in a new town, in a new city, in a new job with new responsibilities. I'll be learning the ropes from a girl who knows it all. I will be devoid of knowledge and I won't have any work friends. It's scary! 

But mixed in somewhere with all those butterflies is the excitement. I'm so ready to be the newbie. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Free career tests are my new favorite past-time at work. The latest one I found decides what your career should be by what pattern you prefer more. Squares or swirls? Apparently my choice makes me the perfect Personal Assistant. Womp, womp.
  • Always wanted to know what all the fuss was about your carbon footprint? With the help of the working women of EcoStiletto you can find out how to decrease your carbon footprint from the size of an Ugg boot into a slender Manolo. EcoStiletto helps us understand the green movement in "real-girl terms" and features green picks in fashion, beauty, and helps us continue living the good life without harming the earth.

    • According to the New York Post, Lipstick Jungle, the TV show about three high-powered working women in NYC has been cancelled. Rumors have been floating around all week (is it or isn't it?), but according to this article that was published yesterday, the crew members of the show confirmed that the show has in fact been axed from NBC. Let it go Brooke Shields, let it go.

    That's all for this week's news girls! I leave you with my new favorite girl power song of the moment Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Quirky About My Trash

It is my last full week of work at my current company. How great is it to actually say that! There are a lot of things that I'm going to miss about my job (aka some of the people and the girl at Cosi who knows my breakfast order by heart), but some things I won't miss are The New Kid and the latest thing he does that peeves me off to no end. His new favorite thing is to use my trash can for his trash. 

I know, I know it's quirky. And I know that I shouldn't hate him for needing to throw out some paper or his morning coffee. But it does. It kills me. It really kills me that he can't use his own trash can. 

I sit in a corner cubicle so my trash can is one that is readily available to everyone. Throughout the day I notice it accumulating more and more trash throughout the day. A piece of paper here, a paper clip here, a soda can, a half-eaten bagel. But then there are the times that people throw out something smelly and that really bothers me. See, I have a sensitive sense of smell. WG1 can attest to this. When we lived together, I had to run out of the room whenever she made tuna. It made me gag. 

Bananas have the same effect on me. I can't stand their smell (not to mention it really makes me laugh when people eat them in public - it just looks so lewd!). So when The New Kid threw out a banana in my garbage can a few weeks back, I wanted to punch him in the face. He has his own! Why use mine? 

I know I will never get over this quirk. It's just something I'm not good at. That little thing called sharing. My friend, Pam, and I were talking about it on Gchat the other day (while we should have been working - whoops) about how we just aren't good sharers. We don't like sharing food. We don't like sharing books. And I'm sure Pam would agree that sharing a garbage can is hard work. 

Obviously this is something I need to work on. But one thing I refuse to work on...liking The New Kid

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Feedback, Feedback, OH!

My younger sister sent me an email a few minutes before midnight yesterday. Bless her college bedtime. This is what she wrote:

"[my friends and i] were just discussing your blog
and we decided we like when there are pictures, youtube videos, links, etc
we also like the blogs titled: "while i was procrastinating at work today, i found..."
k, loveeee ya!"

It got me thinking. WG2 and I often discuss, and sometimes fight about, what we think you like about Working Girl. What posts you enjoy and comment on. Whether or not we should write more informative posts about interviews, resumes, bosses, etc. We pretty much base our arguments on your comments. But I know, I sometimes read a post on a blog, have my own thoughts and do not post a comment.

So, we're asking for your feedback. What do you like? What don't you like? Do we complain too much? Should we complain more? (Because I totally can if you want!) How do you feel about features like Ask Working Girl, Meeting Notes, Working Girl Wears or contributor posts?

Oh and Sister, I'll write a "while i was procrastinating at work, i found..." post soon!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best (Interview) Day of My Life: Part 2

In my last post, I regaled you with my giant dilemma. A dilemma, I admit, that doesn't seem so bad from an outsider's point of view. I had just found out that I had gotten into Northwestern's journalism graduate program after being on the wait list for three months.

In addition, I had just flown from New York to Chicago and had a wonderful interview with a great mid-sized company (not to mention, I met Hanson). And after I had boarded the plane to go back to NYC, they had called to ask for references. 

I was blown away. Things like this don't happen to me. Often times I will get lucky and some things will just fall into place, but never multiple things at once. I get a job, but have no apartment. I get into college, but not my dream college. You know the drill. 

So I had to sit down and make a choice. And it was a really, really hard one to make. Especially when HR called and offered me the job with a pay increase and benefits that didn't make you want to cringe (like mine at my current job), but instead made me weep with joy.

I sat down that weekend after Halloween and thought long and hard about what I wanted, what I needed, and what I could afford. 

Graduate school was what I wanted. I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. I used to write short stories about eleven sisters and their parents - the Que family (which I was convinced would make me the next Ann M. Martin). My more grown-up dream was to write for a glossy magazine and Northwestern's pricey $80,000 dollar education could help me achieve that dream.

The flip side of the dream, is the harsh reality. My father always made it clear that if I were to go to grad school that I would do it on my own and with my own money. Money, which I unfortunately do not have. Money which would need to come from loans since I don't have time to apply for scholarships or grants since I would start school in a mere two months. Unfortunately, the problems don't stop at the money. Once I graduate, the hope is to leave with a degree that will make me more money in a higher position. This is of course not guaranteed. And I could potentially wind up broke, in debt, and without a job come January 2010. Not to mention that print journalism isn't faring too well in this economy. 

The job offer on the other hand offers me the opportunity to save money (and with my raise and living in a cheaper city - I might actually be able to save for once!), the opportunity to grow and be successful in a career path that I hadn't considered at first but now have grown to enjoy, and I still have the opportunity to live near my family and Chicago friends. Not to mention I will have kick-ass benefits and get to travel! And more importantly, get paid to do so. 

I think you see where I am going with this. When I got the call last week that I had officially received the job, I told them I would think about it. But ultimately, I have decided that this job got me just as excited as the idea of grad school did. So I called them and accepted the offer and I start my new job as Project Coordinator on December 3rd. 

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I've started looking at one-bedroom apartments in the Wrigleyville and Lakeview areas. My friends in Chicago and I are planning wine exchange parties and Christmas parties and yoga classes on Saturday morning. My dad and I are planning dinners together and movies on Sundays. I'm excited to be back in my hometown. 

And don't worry, I don't plan on giving up on my dream of writing for a living. Those stories about the Que's were where I started my writing career and I think it's about time I got back to my roots and start writing fiction again. My first order of business (after filling my craving for a Corner Bakery sandwich) when I move back to Chicago is to enroll myself in a creative writing course. I would love to keep writing, but on my own terms. 

So as of last week, I gave my two week's notice at my current job and am going to be sending a letter of deferment to Northwestern (because a grad degree may be in my future - just not the immediate future). 

I am on my way to living my dream and I couldn't be happier. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • See ya People!: Time Inc. is making more layoffs due to the bad economy. According to Gawker, People Magazine asked editorial staffers to volunteer for 18 buyouts. If, by December 1st, 18 employees don't take the buyouts People will conduct involuntary layoffs.
  • Rich Girl: We believe a Working Girl can accomplish almost anything...with hard work and dedication, of course. However Sheree of The Real Housewives of Atlanta believes you just need to be rich. On Tuesday's episode, Sheree hired designers to create She by Sheree. The outcome? A glitzy (any by glitzy, I mean tacky) party to show her designs without any designs! Maybe you should your own elbow grease into next time, Sheree.
  • Working Girl Asks: Lately WG2 and I have been cutting back on shopping and take-out to save some money. We want to know, how has the economic crisis begun affecting you?
  • CUTENESS!: During a long day's work, we all need a little cheering up. Something to make us smile. That's were the puppies come in. I've watched them every day this week. Even when they are napping, I'm fixated. Enjoy:
Online TV Shows by Ustream

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let's Play House!

This evening, around our dinner table (and by table I mean counter), my roommates and I discussed the things we loved to do as kids. The conversation began with Disney World then made it's was to dolls and finally to the pretend games we just to play. 

School, doctor, dentist, office, store and even church made the this. My roommate, LP, profoundly said, "it's so weird, we played all these games when we're little because it's what we want to be when we grow up and then we grow up and we become these things and we're miserable." For the record, I was miserable playing church but when you're great aunt is a nun and your great uncle is a priest, when you visit them that's what you play.

My favorite of these games as a kid was actually playing "teenagers." My friends and I would pretend we were cool, popular high school girls with cars and boyfriends. We'd go on dates with our pretend boyfriends, shop at the mall and put on make-up. This probably explains why, at the age of 23, my friends call me a teeny bopper. 

But LP was right, we'd played office and house and love every moment of it. Now, I work in an office and have a house (and by house, I mean small apartment) and well, I don't love every moment of it. Office is not just typing at a desk and writing memo's and having meetings about who was cuter: Corey Matthews or Shawn Hunter. House or small apartment is not just cleaning and cooking. Office is doing actual work and having deadlines and a boss who you have to impress. Small apartment is actually cleaning (and paying for cleaning products), actually doing laundry and actually cooking.

Some days, I'd give anything to be a kid again. Playing games and dress up. Not having a care in the world besides finishing dinner so mom will give you dessert.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ask Working Girl

Have a work-related question? Blog-related question? Or want to know something random about one of us? Ask! Send your questions to or or just post a comment here. Now, onto this week's questions...

SingErin13 asked: I'm currently job hunting (such a daunting task), and do you believe in Internet methods, door to door resume distribution or simply the fact that you need to "know someone". This slump is reeeeally getting to me!

WG2 answered: Wow. Good question. And a hard one to answer. I think it's really just a combination of all three. There is no one method that has proven to be me a job over another. While I was job searching these past few months, I used everything in my power to try and find a job. I distributed my resume to all my family members urging them to be on the lookout for job openings. My dad sent my resume to family friends across the board. I contacted old friends from high school and friends from college. Knowing people is always helpful and in most cases, people want to help you! So don't be embarrassed to send your resume around your inner network. I actually found my current job through just checking career websites on a daily basis - and when I say daily I mean it. Apply for as many jobs as you can every single day. I have never personally tried resume distribution but I am sure it cannot hurt. And I'm sure this technique would impress your future employers! Let us know how your search goes!

Katie K asked: I currently live out in sunny San Diego, and it's getting boring. I've been here my whole life and am looking for a change. I am seriously considering moving to New York, even though it's freezing lol, and I was wondering if you have any tips? I've actually never moved to a new city so I would have no idea how to go about looking for a place or a job. I'm currently a sales assistant for a litigation support firm, so the legal field is my first choice. But starting over in a new city with a new outlook on life would be amazing.

WG2 answered: When I graduated from college almost two years ago (omg, two years already?!), I had two options. One was to find a job in New York City ASAP or move back to Chicago and move in with my dad. At the time, I was adamant that I had to stay in NYC. And I think when it comes to finding a job and apartment in NYC, you have to be in NYC. New York is highly competitive and New Yorkers like to get things done quickly. Being available for interviews at a moment's notice is important. If you have friends or family that live in New Jersey or Connecticut or even in Manhattan, ask if you can live on their couch for a few weeks while you job search. I lived with my friend's family for two months before I found a place to live, but I'm glad I was in Jersey while I searched. 

If this is impossible, you could always try applying to jobs in the New York area while still living in California. If you can fly on a moment's notice then this shouldn't be a problem. That is what I have been doing while trying to find a job in Chicago. And job hunting - oh my lanta - well, it is difficult. I'm not gonna lie. Scouring Craig's List in search of a great deal and if all else fails hire a realtor (but beware of realtor fees - they are killer!). 

Jennifer asked: In your opinion, do you think it's possible for someone to find an hourly job quickly to help them along the way while they work towards looking for that job or do you think it's best to apply to those more professional jobs before making the move? 

WG2 answered: I say apply for both! There is no harm in spreading your resume around. The more jobs you apply to the better! I know that you are looking for a job specifically in NYC, so while yes it may seem like it will be easier to find a hourly gig than a full-time one, you never know when fate will drop the perfect job right in your lap. In short, don't limit yourself to applying for just one type of job. Apply for hourly, temporary, and full-time. You might be surprised at the responses you get. 

Princess Sarah asked: A couple of posts ago I read where you had posted some Job Search Sites. I tried to find it but with no luck. My boyfriend has been trying to find a job since the beginning of October with no such luck. He got a job as a Security Guard but is working the most horrible hours ever and wants to leave and only started yesterday! He has been wanting a job in a company where he can move up if desired. This would be his "first" job out of college. If you could provide some tips, tricks, and some websites it would be greatly appreciated.

WG2 answered: With my latest job search, I became an expert at surfing career websites. Some of my favorites include, Craig's List (just an fyi - beware of scams on this site),, Simply Hired, Indeed, Media Bistro, Ed2010, and SoloGig (for temp and freelance jobs). Like I said before, every day after work and on the weekends I would check each of these sites. I probably applied for about 20-30 jobs each week and in total got about 5 responses back. Searching for a new job takes patience. I also believe a stellar cover letter is necessary. When sending out your resume, sit and think about what your cover letter says. Personalize each one to say not only something about why you would be a great fit, but something you admire about their company or how a certain technique you learned in college or at your last job could benefit you in this one you're applying for. If you put in the effort, you will see the results.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WG1 is drained by coworkers. 23 minutes ago.

Recently, a magazine at my company folded. We had an internal meeting at which we were given the news, told that a majority of the staff would soon be informed that they were losing thier jobs and told that a press release would go out that afternoon. To most of us, that meant not to say anything to anyone yet.

Moments after the meeting my coworker, Promo Girl, went on her computer and, out of boredom, checked Facebook. First thing on her Facebook news feed:

Business Boy can't believe that Magazine folded...thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their jobs. 2 minutes ago.

Seriously?! I should mention that Business Boy is Facebook friends with a overwhelming number of people throughout the company. People who had not yet heard the news, people who were possibly losing their jobs. Promo Girl called him immediately and told him to take it down. He protested for a moment before taking down the status.

Business Boy is very protected of his Facebook. After the crazy after-party during our business trip, Business Boy posted inappropriate photos of Michael Scott and the rest of us drinking and looking wasteface. Some were just flat out unflattering photos of yours truly and others, as one of my coworkers put it "the kind of pictures that could get someone fired."

Any rational employee would not have posted photos like this of their boss and coworkers. A rational employee would not have put the magazine's name in each photo caption and photo album title.

I told Business Boy that they was a lot of discussion going on about the album and that maybe he should edit them down. I didn't want to tell him what to do with his photos on his Facebook profile but someone had to tell him. He replied by telling me that, yes, they were his photos and htat he didn't tag anyone so it didn't matter.

Didn't matter? This is the internet we're talking about. It took several more conversations from several more coworkers to convince Business Boy that they pictures were not ok to post on the internet.

Two other coworkers changed their Facebook status to a comment about the folding Magazine. With social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, personal information the line between personal life and work life are thing. Work is a huge part of our lives. I spend more time at work than I do at home and more time with my coworkers than with my family or friends. But there is a line that just shouldn't be crossed when it comes to business information entering your personal life.

The Best (Interview) Day of My Life: Part 1

I have a confession to make. I have been withholding information you guys. Before you start coming at me with pitchforks, let me explain. After I didn't get the last job (or should I say jobs) that I interviewed for back in September, I was convinced I had jinxed myself. So any other leads or opportunities that have fallen in my path I have tried to be vague about. I didn't want to jinx myself again. 

Well, it seems the curse has lifted my friends because for the last two weeks I have felt like I'm in a cheesy rom com where everything seems to fall into place and the main character now has to make a really difficult decision between two really great opportunities. Apparently, I'm playing the lead character. 

Right after I got that sketchy e-mail from my last interview telling me that they were going to keep interviewing for the position, I received an e-mail from a company in Chicago asking if I was still interested in a Project Coordinator position they had open. The HR rep had thought that since I was from New York that I must have applied the wrong position on their website. I immediately called back and explained my situation. From there, I had four phone interviews each with a different person in the company. 

After the fourth call, they offered to fly me out to Chicago for an in-person interview. I couldn't believe my ears. None of the other interviews that I had gone to had offered to pay for my flight and I was convinced that this was the real deal. They seemed really interested in me! 

So I told The Boss that I was taking a personal day to go home to see my dad and on Halloween, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight out of Newark to Chicago. Bleary eyed and with major butterflies in my stomach, I boarded the plane and walked to my seat. When I got to 29F, it seemed that someone else was in my spot, so I sleepily sputtered, "Excuse me, are you 29F because I think you're in my seat?"

The seat stealer had a hat on, so I didn't realize until he looked up at me that the guy I spent obsessing over for hours and hours on end as a thirteen (and even at sixteen) year old tween was on my plane. I had just told Taylor Hanson that he was in my seat. And asleep behind him was Isaac Hanson (oh how I pined over him). 

"Oh, no, I'm 30F. I think that is your seat," Taylor Hanson said and pointed at the seat in front of him. So with no grace whatsoever, I flung myself into my seat and texted my sister (who is also a true Hanson fan), WG1, and our Fabulous Project Manager that Hanson was on my plane.

I have spotted celebrities before. In fact, my sister would say that I attract them. But I live in New York so while you may be surprised to see Keanu Reeves sitting behind you at a movie theater in Union Square, it's not exactly impossible. I've also recently spotted Penn Badgley on the street and ran into Starr Jones at Victoria's Secret. 

But Hanson on my plane sent me into a tizzy (just an fyi, Zac was no where to be found). I told WG1 on the phone later that I could have died happy and I wasn't lying. Those boys were my childhood in a nutshell. My obsession was ridiculous. I only ate red candy for a while because Taylor Hanson's favorite color was red. Wow, big confession there. 

I took this plane ride as a sign. Chicago was where I was meant to be and this interview was going to go flawlessly. 

The interview did go well. I spent two hours chatting with the Director of Sales, the current Project Coordinator, and then got a tour of the company's two floors. Since it was Halloween everyone was dressed in costume (my favorite was a full-on cracked out Amy Winehouse) and they had had a pumpkin carving contest the day before so all the pumpkins were on display in the front hall. My favorite was the pumpkin carved like a hamburger complete with real lettuce, tomatoes and mustard. 

All of the employees went out of their way to be nice to me and I had a great time. Not to mention the job description (event planning! travel!) didn't sound too shabby. I left the interview feeling confident but cautious because we all know my history with the jinx curse. My dad and I met up for lunch at Blackie's where I ate a scrumptious burger and fries. 

Then I jumped in a cab back to O'Hare airport and boarded my plane back to New York. Since it was Halloween (and I had already bought myself a costume), I jetted on over to WG1's apartment where I got drunk on champagne and had a great night out with my friends from college. As usual we ended up at some dive bar on the UES and I spent most of night dancing to Jordin Sparks and Lady Gaga

Monday morning I was still on my "I met Hanson" high and couldn't be brought down. I had met the loves of my life and had a stellar interview. And then I received a voicemail. 

Not as scary as it may seem. I mentioned a while back that I had applied to graduate school and had gotten placed on the wait list. The voicemail was from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern asking me to call them back. My first thought was that they must be desperate to get some bodies to commit to their upcoming Open House. 

So I called him back really out of sheer curiosity and was greeted with, "Congratulations! You've been accepted for winter admission!" 

I had just been greeted with the news of my dreams, but after the best interview ever I didn't know anymore if I wanted that dream to be a reality.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • I often steal Women's Wear Daily from the front desk if I'm feeling particularly gutsy and I am so glad that I did this week because otherwise I would not have known that Alexander McQueen is going to be making a line for Target. Yes, it is a fact. Scream and giggle all you want because today is a momentous day in the world of fashion. Oh, and we hear that the line is gonna be edgy and studded and tattooed. I might sleep outside the store just to get a T-shirt.
  • Is it just me or do the words 'Heidi' and 'unemployed' make you giddy? If you haven't seen the clip from The Hills of Heidi getting the axe after getting too sauced (at work mind you), you must go find it immediately. What I don't understand is why she no longer had her cushy corner office and had to vacate from a cubicle? Also, when I leave my job I hope I have more to take home than just my purse (because we all know I am totally taking that huge box of paper clips and a stack of Post-Its!). 
  • Planning on going to business school any time soon? Seems the time is of the essence. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, with the economy in a slump people are applying more than ever to go back to school and get their MBA's. 
  • But going back to business school sure has its perks! Another article in the Wall Street Journal (which is apparently my new must read) says that a lot of business schools in London will be using the 2012 Summer Olympics as a teaching tool for lessons in tourism and marketing. So if you're in the midst of choosing a business school, my advice is to hit up the UK. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Millennials Get Jobs

Apparently, us kids born between the years 1980 and 2001 have just been given a new nickname and it is the Millennials. 

My father (who is really into me making this job my future career - yay for working from home!), sent me an article in the mail the other day from the Wall Street Journal. The article was really an adaptation from Ron Alsop's new book "The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace"

And let me tell you. This "shaking" they speak of does not include moving of one's hips to music - unfortunately this shaking is used in a more negative connotation. 

In his book, Alsop speaks of a generation that have crazy expectations of how they see themselves at a company as well as in their positions. As the article says, "Employers realize the millennials are their future work force, but they are concerned about this generation's desire to shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace." 

We millennials grew up in a different era than our grandparents and our parents. We were told we could do anything, achieve anything, be anything we wanted to be. We got trophies just for showing up to practice. Even if we got C's and D's on our report cards, we got praise. And now that we're all grown up and entering the work force, we expect nothing but the best. We expect higher pay, flexible work schedules, and longer vacations. Why not? We can have anything we want and be anything we want to be. And if our employers don't like it? So what! We'll get it somewhere else. 

The article really intrigued me mainly because as I was reading it I kept nodding and thinking, 'I totally deserve a pay raise' and 'I have so many talents they could never fire me'. Growing up with a sense of entitlement ingrained in my brain apparently can have some negative effects.

The article also addressed how managers have to adapt to a millennial's mindset in order to make their inexperienced  and high-maintenance employee a more respective and effective employee. His tips to winning us over? Make sure that the job responsibilities that we explained in terms of how they will pay off for us in the end, explain the meaningfulness behind a subject, and place us in an environment where we feel like our views matter. 

Alsop also says that if we are not given enough positive reviews mixed in with our criticism, that you may as well kiss us goodbye. Because millennials are not good with negative. We like the positive and a lot of it. Sure, we can take a negative hit, but follow that up with something positive. Alsop says if we hear too much 'no' and 'not that way' that we will up and quit because "millinnials break down in tears after a negative performance and even quit their jobs". 

Have you been nodding this entire time too? Because I have. 

I am so a Millennial. And some of the scenarios that the article talked about (like a guy who had gone through 3 jobs in one year and saw nothing wrong with it) don't sound like they came out of left field. And the part about needing positive reinforcement. That fits me to a tee. 

I think what I really garnered from this article was the importance of asking for what you want and thinking you can be anything...but within reason. It's perfectly reasonable to want vacation time or more sick days, but taking advantage is bad employee etiquette. Respecting your employer is of the utmost importance, and thinking that you could potentially go from assistant to CEO in a year is utterly impossible. 

While this article does speak a lot about entitlement, I don't think it meant to discourage. In fact, I really think it aids the employer. It tells them how to deal with us - delicately. 

And while yes, I completely agree that I saw myself in the description of Alsop's "Millennial", I also think that over the course of the year and half that I have been in my first job I have grown up. I still think of myself as deserving, but I also know that to truly deserve anything I have to prove myself. And proving yourself takes a while, but once earned can take you quite far in your career. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Biggest Winner

When I told you about my drunken escapades out west, I forgot to mention one thing. 

My company gym is doing a new program called "The Biggest Winner," much like the show The Biggest Loser and what WG2 did at work in the spring. Since I've been paying $60 a month for the gym in my work building and haven't worked out in months, I thought this would be the perfect motivation to get my ass to the gym. In order to participate you need to be on a group of 4. 

So, what does this have to do with WG1 getting wasteface, you ask? 

Well, during all of the drunkenness Michael Scott mentioned that he wanted to participate in the program. I told me I wanted to also. Now, we're on the same team. Along with my female boss and another coworker. We get weighed-in once a week and will soon start bi-weekly tandem workouts.

My coworkers think this is the most hysterical thing ever. Almost every day Michael Scott asks me if I worked out or when I'm working out or if I weighed-in yet. While this a sufficiently awkward situation for me, it's also helping me to develop a working relationship with Michael Scott. 

For example, last week a coworker of mine informed me that Michael Scott's daughter was dressing up as the same thing I was for Halloween: Hannah Montana. Upon learning this, I went to his office and asked what she was going to wear. Because she's like 7, she was able to purchase a special Hannah Montana costume. Something they do not have for adults. Yes, I checked. Before the drunkenness and "The Biggest Winner" I would not have spoken to Michael Scott about it because I would have felt weird. 

So, wish me luck! I need to get my act together, get my ass to the gym and help my team win otherwise it could get really awkward. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Color My World

Can the colors that appeal to you the most tell you what you should do with your life?

Maybe my recent pre quarter-life crisis (aka liking events and realizing maybe journalism/magazines aren't the only thing I like in this life) has made me eager for someone, anyone to tell me that I was destined for marketing or event planning. Or that I was a great creative mind in a past life. 

Enter The other day I was browsing around some of my fave blogs and I happened upon CareerPath's "Color Career Counselor". The point of the test is for the test taker to keep picking the colors that most appeal to them and eventually this will tell you what profession you are most suited for. 

The results were creepily accurate. 

Apparently I'm a "Creator" - non-conforming, expressive, sensitive and emotional.  A person who needs creative workspaces and a job as an English teacher or author (aka my childhood dreams). I think I could get used to the title "Creator". Think I could put that on my business cards? 

So unfortunately this doesn't exactly involve event planning and marketing. But my runner-up personality did include the businesswoman in me. It seem my love of teals and magentas means I'm an overemotional hard ass. 

What do your color preferences say your true profession should be?