Thursday, December 22, 2011

The New Great Depression

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl is a bit terrified. Terrified of what's coming down the pike. Terrified of what is going to become of us.

In reading this piece in the Washington Post earlier this week, I realized that we really are coming to the next great depression in America.

The article, an adaptation of Bruce Springsteen's intro to Someplace in America: Tales From The New Great Depression, reminisces about a book that came out 30 years ago, by the same authors, filled with pictures and stories of ordinary Americans just struggling to get by.

Springsteen writes:
That book — “Journey to Nowhere,” by Dale Maharidge and Michael S. Williamson — put real lives, names and faces on statistics we’d all been hearing about throughout the ’80s. People who all their lives had played by the rules, done the right thing and had come up empty, men and women whose work and sacrifice had built this country, who’d given their sons to its wars and then whose lives were marginalized or discarded. I lay awake that night thinking: What if the craft I’d learned was suddenly deemed obsolete, no longer needed? What would I do to take care of my family? What wouldn’t I do?

Without getting on a soapbox, these are the questions Maharidge and Williamson posed with their words and pictures. Men and women struggling to take care of their own in the most impossible conditions and still moving on, surviving.

Gentle readers, is this not the same thing we've been talking about for the past (over) three years? What happened to this country, the political rut we are stuck in, occurred be cause we as citizen's were too blinded by the glitter of a small economic boom to see failure coming. What has happened to this country has happened to this country before, yes, in the poverty and layoffs of the 80s - where manufacturing jobs started on their inevitable decline - but also in the wake of the "roaring twenties."

Extremes, dear ones, are not sustainable.

The failure that we didn't see coming - how stupid were we. Plants started shutting down in the midwest and the south. The family farm started getting eaten by the factory farm. Wages were cut in half and half again (The great book Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town, by Nick Reding details well what the loss of these types of jobs has done to our country). Towns started to die. This started in the 1980s.

But what did we do? As citizens?
Sure, we donated to FarmAid, but FarmAid still exists. Thirty years later we're still begging for donations to help the family farm. And, maybe, in some places, this is coming. And maybe, as more people really want to know where the food they're eating comes from, we'll see their lives improve. We'll see.

We bemoaned the loss of "real American jobs." We watched Roger & Me. But what else did we do?
Did we "buy American"? Maybe.
Did it help? Not so much.
Because those American cars, at least parts of them, were being manufactured in Mexico and Taiwan and loads of other places where the labor was/is cheap and labor laws barely existent.

What we did not do, gentle ones, is look at the core problem.
What we did not do is to invest in education.
What we did not do was look at spending money now to teach people to be more prosperous in the future.

My generation, Generation X for those of you who pay attention to those things, is the first generation to be, overall, worse off than the one before it. Let's not let it keep getting worse for the ones who come after us.

Let's let our leaders - the ones in office, they work for us, you know - know that we want them to think long term. That we want them to invest in education and innovation. That we want them to look beyond creating 5,000 for the next 3 years and figure out how to create 5,000,000 over the next thirty.

Let's learn a lesson from our past - for once - and push push push for an American where there is a priority placed on learning to the highest level, of the skills that will build a future and carry us forward into the 22nd century.

Sure, we won't be around to see it, but that doesn't mean it's not a worthy investment.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Gentle readers, as many of you know, at the beginning of this year, your MatchGirl joined the street team of Seth Godin's Domino Project. I believe I reflected on it for the first time in February of this year. And I got my first big jolt of inspiration after devouring Godin's Poke the Box- and wrote about it here.

The thing is, dear ones, your MatchGirl continues to be inspired and motivated by this project, even though it has officially come to an end.

What is it that's kept me so motivated?
It's keeping in touch with the other members of the street team, scattered throughout the world.
It's watching them take deep breaths and do the scary things they weren't sure they could do.
It's being part of the community.
And it's keeping the collaboration going.

Your MatchGirl is a big fan of collaboration.
Of coming together.
It's part of why she was so excited to help in the founding of Work It Brooklyn. And why she continues to encourage all of you to come together.

Through working together, we can make good ideas great.
We can make small accomplishments big achievements.
We can turn the germ of an idea into something that will change the world.

No one can do it alone, though.
I promise you that, gentle ones.
No matter who you are. No matter how big your personality. No matter how much money you have. No matter who your parents are.
Anything you do solo in this world can only be made better by coming together with other smart people. Whether they code or write or market or keep your ego in check. If they give you answers and keep your ego in line (no matter your talent) they're worth your time.

What's the best collaborative project you've worked on? What inspires you to keep connecting and collaborating? I'd love for you to share your stories with me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Your Fair Share

"Consideration for the rights and feelings of others is not merely a rule for behavior in public but the very foundation upon which social life is built.
Rule of etiquette the first—which hundreds of others merely paraphrase or explain or elaborate—is:
Never do anything that is unpleasant to others.
Never take more than your share—whether of the road in driving a car, of chairs on a boat or seats on a train, or food at the table."
--Emily Post, Etiquette

As we keeping talking about the 99% and the 1% (refer to this post to see what you MatchGirl has to say on the subject) and the wealth gap or income gap. And as we enter a presidential election year (hint: not the most important public official you vote for), and watch a crazy Republican primary taking place, it's easy to forget that life can be broken down into some pretty simple tenets. And that perhaps if we took a moment to reflect on them, we'd all be living a bit better right now.

The rule to live by, gentle readers, the golden rule, as it were, is sometimes hard to stick to, but it's the most important: Treat people like you yourself want to be treated.
Be nice.
Be kind.
Say excuse me, pardon me, thank you and you're welcome.
Hold the door for the person behind you
Stand up for a harried parent, an elderly person or an injured person on public transport.
Speak your mind, but don't be cruel.
Think before you speak.
Treat people like you yourself wish to - feel you deserve to - be treated.

And, this, gentle readers, from Miss Emily Post's 1922 Etiquette (now in its 18th Edition), never take more than your share.
Don't be greedy.

Work hard. Reap the reward. Sure.
But take what's your's.
That's enough.

Your MatchGirl leaves you with this (repeated from above): "Consideration for the rights and feelings of others is not merely a rule for behavior in public but the very foundation upon which social life is built."

Let's remember that, shall we?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tipping Point

Yesterday, gentle readers, a friend of your MatchGirl shared a link to this very cool interactive map about tipping for takeout food in New York City. Take a moment and go over to it.

You can see that it has several types of food listed and, when you click on them, you can see how popular they are for takeout in certain areas of the city. (Having lived in Greenpoint for over 7 years, the food listed as popular her came as no surprise to me. Even as the neighborhood changes in its residents, and a different demographic moves in, the options are still limited - though if you want Thai food, we've definitely got it!.) Then you see a little radio button where you can click and see the percentage of tip that was left with the people delivering the food.

It would stand to reason that the wealthier neighborhoods would tip better, no? They've more money, after all...

Well, it's not as simple as that, dear ones.

There are delivery people we tip more because we order more from their place of business.
There are delivery people we tip more because they arrive on our doorsteps at the speed of light.
There are delivery people we tip more because the weather outside is atrocious and we're so very glad that we didn't have to go out in that.

Looking at the map, you'll certainly see that some of the more wealthy neighborhoods are poor tippers. But the numbers are different by fractions of percentages. None of the neighborhoods tip more that 14% on average. It's not terrible. It's not amazing. I'm not judging. There are loads of reasons that people tip well and loads of reasons that people are stingy. I've written about it before (to a barrage of comments - people are passionate about this subject).

But, gentle readers, as the "season of giving" keeps rolling forward, and the economy keeps being stuck in first gear, let's take a moment to think about the people bringing us warm food on cold, cold nights.

And let's move that thinking to the world as a whole.

Many of us are in no financial state to be giving way bigger tips or donating way more to charity, but, as we're in a place where we are paying greater attention to what we're spending on a whole, let's just take a moment and spread a little more cheer when and where we can. An extra buck here, a warm (and sincere) smile there. Giving up your subway seat to a harried parent with little kids. Holding the door open for the person coming in behind you. They seem small. And they, maybe seem like they have very little to do with tipping your takeout guy.

But your MatchGirl, dear readers, is of the opinion that a little extra bit of warmth and compassion is contagious.
Especially at this time of year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spirit & Resolve

This is the time of year, gentle readers, when, especially when things are going great in your life, that it's hard to remember that not everyone is sharing your celebrations.

Your MatchGirl is thinking back to when she was first laid off, in November of 2008 - right after the worst birthday I have ever celebrated, right after the death of my grandfather, right before Thanksgiving. Though I spent Thanksgiving in Brooklyn with dear friends, and Christmas in New Hampshire with my family, this was a low point for your MatchGirl.

I could not go out and buy gifts for people in the way I had hoped. I was living hand-to-mouth off a paltry severance (which I know I was lucky to get), as I waited for unemployment insurance to kick in. It was a bad time.

I was single.
I felt disgusting.
I felt unloveable, undate-able and unhire-able.
The weather was damp and grey and cold.
It felt like the sun never shone.

And to make matters worse, the streets were filled with the gaiety of the holidays.
I mean, come on!
Nothing like the world rubbing it in, huh?

But here's the thing, dear readers.
It was all in my head.
I was sad and allowing myself to wallow in it.
Not being able to separate the good things in my life from the dismal feelings I had.

A year later, your MatchGirl was still unemployed. And you know what? I took advantage of it for all it was worth. Money? Who needed it? You can check out my Handmade Holiday here. What had really changed, though, was my attitude. I was certainly in no better situation than I had been the year before. In fact, after over a year unemployed, I should have been more depressed, not less.

But things change.
And you come to realize where priorities should lie. What matters to you the most (it's different for every person and I wouldn't presume to say where another's priorities should lie).

That's not to say, however, that this isn't a hard time of year for those who aren't working. Or who are working at part-time jobs. Or who are getting by - just - paycheck-to-paycheck. It's tough. It's tougher than the rest of the year, for sure.

So, this month, be generous with yourself. With your thoughts.
Take a moment to recognize how your hard work has gotten you to a great place.
Take a moment to pause and reflect on what it might have been had you not gathered your resolve and pushed forward.
And take a moment to see those around you - the unemployeds, the underemployeds, your friends and neighbors - and think how you can help them to find their resolve. To make their grey days a little brighter.
I promise it will be the best gift you can give.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Year In Review

Ah, gentle readers, as December rolls in and 2011 comes to a close, it's time that your MatchGirl started to think of all the changes that have occurred in the past year.

There are a lot.

Friends have gotten married and divorced. Babies have been born. Celebrations have been shared. Losses have been mourned.

Boyfriend started a new job just to start another a couple of month later.

Your MatchGirl got a promotion. She met some really cool people. She started speaking more. Writing more. Networking more.

The year has flown and sometimes I wonder, "What do I have to show for it?"
I'm still skint, after all.

But, gentle readers, though money is a big concern (especially living in New York; especially as we move forward and start to plan the rest of our life together and all that awesome yet pricey stuff that goes with it), it's not everything. It can't be. It shouldn't be.

Looking back at the past year, money aside, your MatchGirl has a lot to be excited about. A lot to be proud of. A lot to be grateful for.

Here are some, by no means all, of the highlights:

  • Boyfriend and I moved in together. Solidifying an already strong relationship. Moving forward into some serious, fun and terrifying territory.
  • I got a promotion. After doing all the social media for my company, without it as part of my job description, my hard work and initiative was rewarded with a change in title and responsibility (and a new desk on the "cool" side of the office).
  • The Domino Project, powered by Amazon, conceived of by Seth Godin, invited me to be part of the Street Team. Through this project, I met an amazing and supportive group of people. We share visions and projects and support each other how we can, with the resources that we've got. Some projects mean more to some than others and it all goes around. But this is a smart group of people, scattered across the globe. I'm proud to have been chosen for this project and honored and humbled to be amongst them.
  • I made some new friends. I love my "urban family" (ht Nick Ramsey), the one that has been growing since I've been in New York - the one I spend holidays with, celebrate weddings and birth announcements and crazy dance parties with, the one that holds me up when I am down - but I've been really excited to meet some new people - who work in my industry, who share my passions, who offer helping hands "just because" - and to get to know them as friends. You all know who you are. Thanks for coming into my life.
  • I celebrated. I saw friends - old and new - bring gorgeous children into this world. I traveled, and stayed home, for weddings of people who mean the world to me. I laughed at speeches by multiple brothers-of-the-groom. I cried at at least one first dance. 
  • I traveled. Not far, but to places new and old. With Boyfriend. We brought out the the worst and the best in each other. And we explored the ideas of new possibilities for the two of us, as we build our life together.
What changes has 2011 brought into your life, dear readers? What are some of the best things that have happened to you?

What do you wish for in 2012?

I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, December 2, 2011

And Then It Hit Me!

That's how inspiration is supposed to come, isn't it, gentle readers?
A bolt from the blue!
And voila! You're inspired.

Not so fast.
It's not like that. Not at all.

Sure, sometimes you'll get an amazing idea as you're drifting off to sleep at night... or in the shower in the morning... But how many of you drop what you're doing and take the time to jot that idea down? Better yet, dear ones, how many of you then go back to that scribbled note or hurriedly typed memo and do something about it?

Ah. That's what I thought.
Your MatchGirl is wise to you, you know...

For my Friday post, I remind you that after you have the great idea - that jolt of inspiration - you need to do the work to make something happen. And so do I.

So, let's get to it, dear readers.
Get a move on.
Take that notebook full of great ideas an make something happen!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've been losing it lately, gentle readers. My discipline that is.

Bear with me as I wrap my head around the balance of work, life, the holidays, and sharing my musings with you in this small space.

Your MatchGirl has always been good at managing her time and her productivity. At not needing hands to lead her. At not needing too much guidance.

That said, she has never been exactly what one would call disciplined.
To write, though, one needs some discipline.
And so it goes.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Have you checked Rookie out?

You really should.
And not because your MatchGirl thinks that you need tips on fashion, the latest cool band, or why losing your V-card is such a big deal. Those things, of course, are all covered in Rookie.(If you're my age-ish, you'll harken back to Sassy RIP and for good reason, Jane Pratt is the "fairy-godmother" of Rookie.) It's a magazine for teenage girls.

But check it out.
Check out its contributors.
Check out its founder.

Fifteen year old Tavi Gevinson made waves in the high end fashion world as a pint-sized fashion blogger three years ago. She wowed the right people and made the right connections and instead of being a one season novelty correspondent, she's still around. She's 15. And she's the editor of her own magazine.

There's a lot we can learn from Tavi, gentle readers.
She's a smart kid. But a regular kid. She has friends and fears and ups and downs and is a fairly normal teenager (save that "Rookie" empire thing) it would seem.

But, here's the thing. And here is what makes her so very different than other people. Than many of you reading this tome. Than so many people with amazing ideas. Than so many people striving to live a creative life. Than your MatchGirl.
She's brave.
She's herself.
She lives her life marching to her own drummer and holding her head high.
At fifteen, she's a lot braver than many adults I know. She's certainly a lot braver than I feel most days.

She had an idea and she put it out there.

Who knows where her life will take her, she's still a kid, after all, but she's putting herself out there - your MatchGirl knows how hard this is for the average teenage girl, as she recalls how very very hard it was for her wallflower-self way back when - and she's doing the work and she's moving forward.

Dear readers, let's take a page from Rookie, shall we?
Let's keep doing the work, keep putting ourselves out there and keep moving forward.

It's all we can do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Ah gentle readers, what a crazy week this has been.

Your MatchGirl must apologize for the lack of posts. Traveling and celebrating and wishing well ... not so conducive for blog writing. Perhaps very good for my sanity and clarity, however.
I'm sure you've already forgiven my brief silence.

And, as this is the week we give thanks, the time we spend with friends and loved ones - our families away from our families - This will be the only post of this week.

I am certainly thankful for a lot of things in my life. I don't want to take up too much of your time. I'd much prefer that you spend that time with those you are dear to you, who inspire you, who push you, rather than reading this little blog (at least this week, anyway).

Because your MatchGirl feels that we can be constantly inspired.
That we can be constantly challenged.
That we must greet every new obstacle as an opportunity.
That we must face every hurdle with a smile.

And we have friends we can lean on to ensure that happens.
And we have the strength inside ourselves to succeed.

It's a big scary world out there, gentle ones, and I am thankful I get to share my trials and tribulations - joy and sadness - with you. I hope that this tome is something for which you are thankful, as well. Knowing there is someone out there in the same place as you - with the same fears - for me, this is a big deal. Maybe it is for you, too.

So enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Next week, we'll return to our regularly scheduled musings ....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, wants to talk to you about gaining respect. You would think that if you worked hard and were good at what you did and were respectful of others that, after all that, you would get a little respect. You would think.

And maybe that's the way the world used to work, though I somehow doubt that's the case. And it's certainly not the way the world works now.

Your MatchGirl thinks about this as she goes through her daily life. As she strives to gain respect. Or at least to some level of courtesy from those around her. 

At the end of the day, gentle ones, most people are inherently selfish. They think about only themselves and about what they can get out of something, be it a job or a relationship or a business transaction. So it's not so much that the coworker not sending a deliverable or ignoring your email does not respect you. It's that they don't care. 

You'll never get respect from them because they don't posses it to share in the first place. All you can do is keep doing your best, working your hardest and treating people the way you want to be treated. They'll get it eventually. 

And the ones that don't? 
Fuck 'em.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Work For Free

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, is from a generation where few people had internships. They were the exception, not the rule. Something that the very ambitious or very connected did. Not really the provenance of the common student. But now ... not it seems, especially in NYC, to get ahead at all, one must have not one but several internships while at university.

And here is where we get to the sticky part.

Unpaid internships, while common, are controversial. To say the least.

A recent article from NPR refers to a class action suit against Fox Searchlight for using unpaid interns as entry-level employees. That, dear ones, is illegal. In fact,"the Supreme Court ruled over 50 years ago that only work done for training purposes could go unpaid. The Labor Department says companies began skirting the rule. Last year, it moved to issue six-point test that for-profit internships must pass to comply with labor laws."

In this rough job market, though, people are looking for any foot they can get in the door. Your MatchGirl certainly relates to this. It's something she pondered during the long, hard stretch of unemployment she faced not so long ago. And, at the end, it was not something that was possible for me.

But I have known people who were looking to change careers who took unpaid internships - to get some experience under their belts, to make some connections in a new environment, to get a foot in the door. For some of them, it worked out well. They have new careers and make more than they were before. The internships were a way to meet the right people and kickstart a job change. For others, it worked out not at all, leaving them still unemployed, out of money and back at square one when the internship ended

I recently moderated a panel on breaking into the tech world in NYC and the folks on the panel, all in their early to mid-twenties, were very positive about internships. They all used them to get interviews, if not their current jobs. Even interning at a prestigious place helped them to get a foothold into a world they were trying to break into - even if they mostly were fetching coffee and running errands. A high end name on your resume, as opposed to a bunch of boutique mom'n'pop places gets you further than you may imagine. When I asked these panelists what they thought of these internships, they were all very positive - very excited. They recommended that anyone looking for a job in our field take any internship that they could get. And that if, in the end, it wasn't what they were looking for, they could just leave it.

I'm not of the same generation. And I have mixed thoughts, personally, on this.

At the end of the day, a lot of companies are on really tight budgets right now. But I think there is a need for transparency. If there is no possibility that intern will ever be hired... they need to know. If there is now way that they will be doing meaningful, resume/portfolio building work... they need to know. I've been lucky to work with some very smart, capable, and talented interns over the years. But I always strived to make it a learning experience for them as well. To offer your experience to someone coming up behind you, and to help them grow into a career/life that is going to be great for them, that is worth so much more than someone bringing you a cup of coffee or doing your filing.

I promise.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Strike Terror

I'll keep it short, gentle readers. It's Friday and your MatchGirl is sure that you all have loads to accomplish today.

But your MatchGirl has spent the week thinking about her birthday wish. Though my wish for you was that you not take a passive role in your own life, I'd like to posit something else here today. Something that you need to do.

Do something that terrifies you. Do something you'd never expect yourself to do. Do something that makes butterflies swarm your stomach and your blood run cold (if even for a moment). And do it for yourself.

Your MatchGirl is doing it, too. And she promises she'll share with you when the time is right.

But for now...  what terrifying thing will you do?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Channels for Old School Businesses

Tonight, gentle readers, your MatchGirl is moderating a panel on how to use social media to promote your creative business. It's a Work It Brooklyn hosted discussion. And it's important.

On a call just the other day, a colleague asked if we were doing enough to cater to small businesses. Do digital events and social media conferences preach to the choir, or do they seem open and inclusive, and, to my mind more importantly, educational, to the public at large? Your MatchGirl finds the tech community in New York to be one that's super welcoming and inclusive. But she also agrees that conferences are often expensive and geared towards those already working within the industry.

That's partly why I'm so excited for tonight's Work It Brooklyn event. Through it, we hope to educate people on how to use social media to promote their creative business. To promote themselves. We've got an amazing group of people on board, all of whom have built their own brand and business via online social networks and non-traditional means.

This event will give you a little education on how to use social media platforms, and your existing networks, to promote yourself. The world of social media platforms is about more than looking at pictures of kids and kittens. It's about more than 140 characters of what you had for dinner. It's about more than a fucked up little kid, fresh from the dentist's office.

It's a tool. And what you do with it is up to you.

Interested? Register here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Birthday Wish

Yesterday I turned 36.

That's right, gentle readers, your MatchGirl is now officially closer to forty than thirty.
This dear ones, is a big deal.

Maybe it shouldn't be. Maybe it should mean nothing.
I mean, I look young. People mistake me for young all the time. To my advantage and to my disadvantage. And, in fact, when I mention my age and where I'm at in my life, people say things like "It's OK. You don't look in your mid-thirties."

This, gentle ones, is stupid.

Because whether your MatchGirl could pass for 26 or not, it doesn't make any difference at all.
You see, your MatchGirl is not 26. She hasn't been for a decade. And there is no going back.

Your MatchGirl isn't where she thought she'd be at this point in her life, it's true. She's on her way ... maybe ... in the right direction. She's making hard choices. She's trying to move forward as hard and fast as she possibly can. But today, she ponders being thirty-six. What that means and where she should be.

And as she does, and as she knows many of her readers are younger, she wishes you to live life to the fullest. To not wait around for someone else to offer a hand. To ask for what you need. To take a deep breath and work through all the scary stuff and jump right in to where you want to go.

The worse that could happen? You'll get rejected.
And that sucks.

But it sucks a lot harder to look back on parts of your life and wonder where they went.

My birthday wish, gentle readers, is for you to go as hard and long and strong as you can. It's for you to look fear in the face and laugh. It's that you will not be looking back and wondering which decisions you could have made differently.

Don't take a passive role in your life, dear ones. It's not OK.
And it won't get you anywhere.

My birthday wish is that you learn that at an earlier age than your MatchGirl did.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cover Letters: A Checklist

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, finds herself, as she's written here before, from time to time in the postion to review cover letters and resumes. And while she knows how stressful job hunting is, and while she knows how tedious it is to write specific cover letter after specific cover letter...  it needs to be done.

Gentle readers, the cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager (or the person vetting the resumes) sees.

Here's a checklist to help you avoid some common mistakes:

  • Did you address the letter to the right person?
  • Did you spell their name right?
  • Did you make sure to mention the right company?
  • Did you specify the job title/posting your going for?
  • Did you reference passions, skills and career goals pertinent to the job at hand?
Sure, these seem pretty simple, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't take a moment to pat attention to the detail that their cover letter really needs.

Cover letter posts are always good here at Unemployed Brooklyn. What are some tips you'd like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Work It Brooklyn: Using Social Media to Promote Your Creative Business

As you know, gentle readers, your MatchGirl spends a lot of time in her day-to-day working and living on social networks. As a social media professional, she has to spend a lot of time thinking about how people connect and communicate. As a person who loves to connect people, she spends a lot of time using these platforms for herself.

Next week, Work It Brooklyn presents a panel discussion on using social media, and non-traditional means, to promote your creative business.

I'm really excited to be moderating this panel - we've got Aaron Goldfarb, author of How to Fail and The Cheat Sheet; Kiki Valdes, painter and founder of Ownzee and OpenZine; Jeff Ramos, personal branding specialist; Laura Zapata of The Cools; Allison Robicelli of, well, of course, Robicelli's!

These are all people who have not only used social media platforms to promote themselves and their creative businesses, but who have really thought "outside the box" to make things happen for their businesses.

Next Wendesday, November 9, Work It Brooklyn is please to present this panel at Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg. For more information and to register, please check out the Eventbrite page:

Space is limited, so register (here) today!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wearing Disguises

Gentle readers, today is Halloween.
It's a day of masks and disguises. It's a day of dressing up as someone else.
Sometimes those costumes are aspirational, sometimes motivational, (sometimes just ridiculous).

But we put on costumes every day, don't we?

We show one mask at the office, another to our lover, another to our parents or long-time friends. We put on costumes to steel ourselves against a potentially very bad day. In hopes of making a day better. In preparation for the best and for the worst.

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, does this, too.

It's only human, I think.

But are there times when this can hurt us? Or, are there times when we should be wearing disguises when we don't have them on?

Your MatchGirl is thinking particularly about the workplace. The average 9-to-5 is not News Radio or Bones or even Cheers. Even if you get along very well with your colleagues, your workplace is probably not where the majority of what's important in your life really goes down. Sure, it's the place where you spend the most time. And it's so good to get along with those people that you are spending 8+ hours a day with. But do you need to show them all of you?

This is something your MatchGirl has been considering lately. When can showing too much of who you are - too much of what makes you tick - be detrimental to you at your job?

Maybe it's good to put on a mask before you head out to your morning commute.
What do you think?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ghosts of the Past

Your MatchGirl wrote here, not that long ago, about the ghosts from our pasts. The ones that come to haunt us when we are least expecting them. The ones whose voices stick with us, no matter what we do, as we carry on and keep on moving forward in our lives.

Last week your MatchGirl encountered one such ghost of lifetime past. One who has lingered in her mind - in the things she doubts about herself and in the things she touts about herself - for over a decade.

And here is what I learned:

While it's good to face one's demons, it's even better to face one's ghosts. Because while those inner demons are part of you, the ghosts are from the outside. It's harder to change how those voices affect you because you don't have any control over where those words came from to begin with.

Your MatchGirl, while not on exactly firm ground, life-wise, is at a good place to face those ghosts. She's at a good place with her relationships. She's got forward momentum when it comes to her career. She knows where she wants to go and she can see a path (fuzzy as it may be right now) of how to achieve it.

As for the ghost... well, gentle readers, he was the same person he's always been. And that was good to see. Because your MatchGirl, she's the same person she's always been, too. She's just a stronger, tougher, older, more confident version of it.

What do you think? As you move through your life, do you hear voices of those ghosts from your past? Do you let them hold you back? Or do you use those whispers to help propel yourself forward?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Army Of One

Yeah... you.

You're an army of one.

You're the person who can fix all this bullshit.

You're the person who can fix your own life.

You're the person who can stand up to the bullies.

You're the person who can make the world a better place.

It's not so hard, gentle readers, if you just think about it. You are the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. You are the person who can make the biggest difference in your own life.

Let your MatchGirl share with you a few simple ways you can make a difference in your world.

Vote - not just in the big elections. In the small local ones that effect what happens in your local environment.
Donate - time, money, clothes, blood. Whatever you have. You don't need it all. Donate it to somewhere that can use it.
Speak up - for what you believe in and for those who can't or don't know how to do it for themselves. Engaged in social media networks? Use those channels like a megaphone.

It's simple, dear ones. It only takes a few small actions to accomplish the biggest goals.

And the person who should take the first step? Why, that's you of course.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Generation Gap

By now, gentle readers, you've seen this post: Generation X Doesn't Want to Hear It (if you haven't, click that link and go a check it out. I'll wait). And you've read the comments. And the commentary. And you've formed your opinions on Mat Honan. Maybe you read it as a rant on Occupy Wall Street (personally, your MatchGirl sees how people did, but didn't think about it herself - probably since everyone she knows who is occupying anywhere is well over thirty). Maybe you read something different, something more...

I did.

Your MatchGirl, herself, is very sick of the GenY people who only speak of being GenY. As though that's their accomplishment. That they were born to a certain time. Companies need to bend to them. The world needs to change for them. They can throw a tantrum and get what they want. It's always worked that way, right?

Screw that.

I've got no problem with Millenials (GenY, whatever). A lot of you, dear readers, fit that demographic. Many of my closest friends do, as well. As do some of my talented colleagues and loads of people who I admire and respect.

But here's the difference, those people are out there. They are living their lives to the fullest. They are doing something for others. They are writing code and creating art and making music and changing the world, one step at a time. They are not sitting in their 9-to-5's complaining about how the world is not bending to their needs. They are not sitting there saying that because they are Millenial that everyone should work around them and their needs. They, in fact, don't go around singing that they are GenY from the rooftops.

They are out there.
They are doing.
They are just them.
And who they are is pretty cool.

But that's my complaint about the GenY that we see in the every day. In the media. In the comments of Mat's post.

To those members of GenY, I say: Stop whining. Start doing.

Generation X, of which your MatchGirl is a born in the 1970s, card-carrying member of, doesn't want to hear it. It's true. No one listened to our whining. No one gave us trophies or prizes or a decent living. We make less than our parents did. It's possible, if something doesn't change soon, that our children will be worse off than we are. Our idols are dead. Our high school fashions were terrible. We got a hot five minutes of fame from a book by Douglas Coupland. And then GenY got a little older and, for the most part, Generation X was forgotten.

Your MatchGirl is proud of who she is and where she's from. She's glad of things that she was able to experience, simply by the fact of when she was born. But it's not all that makes me me.

And if you are a member of GenY, it shouldn't be what you're identity is wrapped up in, either. Be you. Shine. Do good. Live well.

As to the rest?
Hell, man, age ain't nothing but a number.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fight For Your Rights

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl is an advocate for standing up for oneself. She offers you that advice on a regular basis.

The thing about advice, dear ones, is that it is always easier to give than to make happen for yourself. And while your MatchGirl has fought and clawed for what she needs in her life, she often wonders if it is really enough. Could she have been tougher? Could she have said no louder? Could she have gotten more had she just asked?

I think maybe.

So, gentle readers, I present to you a challenge.

To ask for something that you want. To say no to something that you simply do not want to do. To be tough and hold your tears in the face of adversity.

At the end of the day, no matter how wide and full of hugs your support system is, you are the one who can fix what's wrong with your life. You are the one who can make things better for you. Sure, you might need a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. But you are the one who has to make the big decisions and face the hard choices.

You are the one who gets to decide what direction your life will go in.

So stand up.

And fight for it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Want To Be In The Papers?

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl received this email last night and though she would pass it on to you.

My name is C [name redacted]. I am a student at Columbia University's Journalism School and I am also working with the Brooklyn Ink this semester. I am currently working on a story about unemployment in Brooklyn and I came across your "Unemployed Brooklyn" website. 
I was wondering, do you currently know anyone (personally or otherwise) who fits into the following categories (note: they need to fit all criteria):  
  • Lives in Brooklyn (it doesn't matter where) 
  • Is middle class
  • Has been unemployed for 2 years or less
  • Has a family 
  • Is college educated. (i.e. at least some college experience)

What do you say? Can you lend a hand to our intrepid reporter? Message me if you are able and I'll pass you along to C.

Your MatchGirl has been lucky to have received a lot of attention through this little blog. And it certainly helped me to find my voice and tell my story. Now ... I pass that opportunity on to you. Find your voice, Tell your story, and help out our friendly reporter at The Brooklyn Ink.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Gentle readers, when your MatchGirl was unemployed and looking for a new job. Looking to turn her life into a new direction, she had to learn to tell her own story.

And when you are building your personal brand, you need to figure out the best way to tell you story.

Your MatchGirl lectures you here all the time about the best way for you to tell your story. She talks about the two-minute job interview. She talks about how you can sell yourself with a soundbite. And she shares the stories that others are telling - to inspire you to action.

If you're looking for a new job, if you're a freelancer - you need to be able to tell your story and tell it well. You need to practice sharing it. You need to be able to let others know the key points about you.

People are short on time. They are short on attention. So you need to hold on to it.

And, hey ... everyone likes a good story.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What Democracy Looks Like

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl, as you know, is not afraid to take a political stance on this blog.

She's not afraid of ruffling feathers. And she's not afraid of asking you all to take a stand.

Your MatchGirl was unemployed for a year and a half. At the height of the recession. And during that time, she worked her butt off. Did she take jobs that paid $8 an hour? No. I was lucky that I was able to collect back on my unemployment insurance and get some benefits. And I knew that if I fell into a job making $8 an hour, there would be no time to look for a job to put me in the right direction. But the reason I was unemployed at all was because the banks fucked up. And the small business I worked at couldn't keep going. I was a casualty. And I rose from the ashes of that company - to push myself into a better place. To help you all get to a better place.

But the world, the one we walk in and out of every day, is not becoming a better place. Not for ordinary people.

I hope that you will all take the time, just 10 minutes, to watch this video, embedded below, by my friend Mike Gill.

When your MatchGirl first saw it, tears came to my eyes. To see the veterans, older men, who served a country they loved and who have watched it fall apart, lock arms, and insist on being the first line of defense against the oncoming police... It's powerful stuff.

"What Democracy Looks Like: The View From Occupy Boston"
from Michael Gill on Vimeo.

Your MatchGirl is a liberal person. You all know that.
I think it's fine for you to have different views than I do. I think as long as you're informed, dear readers, on the full picture, with all the facts, and not just collecting soundbites and parroting them to your friends or to those who disagree with you, that we can agree to sit on our opposite sides.
Your MatchGirl is against war. I have friends who are veterans and not only do I respect them, I am in awe of them. I could not do what they have done. I couldn't carry that passion. I also have family members who are veterans - my dad, of Vietnam, and my Grampa, of WWII - and who are still in the military - my cousin Angus joined the Marines in 1992 and still serves, including as a medic in Afghanistan.

I know people who work on Wall Street.

I know the 1% and I am amongst the 99%.

Your MatchGirl is not occupying Wall Street.
But I have friends at both Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Boston. And I'm proud of them.
They are not "lazy hipsters" nor are they "trust fund kids". They are people in their late 30s and 40s, who have worked hard, who have chased their dreams, who are finding their voice. And who are asking for a better life - for themselves and for those who will come after us.

In "An Open Letter to that 53% Guy," Max Urdago writes:
We can have a reasonable standard for what level of work qualifies you for the American Dream, and work to build a society that realizes that dream, or we can chew each other to the bone in a nightmare of merciless competition and mutual contempt.
I suggest you all check out his letter.

Because whether you want to Occupy (Wherever) or you think it's all a crock of shit, Max makes some great points.

It's all about fixing the country. And fighting to keep it a great place to live and work and raise a family.

It's all about the American Dream being about more than working 70 hours a week for just over minimum wage and not even being able to get your teeth fixed or have a regular doctor's visit.

If we really want America to be great again, we need to remember what made it great in the first place.

Revolution. Equality. And Democracy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pitch Yourself With a Soundbite

It's all about the headline, isn't it, gentle readers? As our connected society spends more and more time online, it's all about conveying your message, complicated as it may be, in the least amount of characters.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense.
And, no, your MatchGirl's not just talking about Twitter.

Think about newspapers, tabloids and those trashy magazines you just can't help but pick up when you're waiting in the checkout line. Why do you pick those up? Why are you drawn to flip through them. It's the headline, of course.

The same goes for our digital world. The Tweets that are most clicked on draw the reader in - they make them want to click the link. Your MatchGirl experiments with this all the time. She will send out the same link several times a day, with a different "teaser" or headline to draw you in. And while I'm still figuring out that formula, it's a great experiment to see what tweets are opened versus how much time is spent on those posts. (If I find a perfect formula, I'll be sure to let you know.)

Now, let's get to the soundbite.
Think about what you know about the Republican presidential candidates.
Think about what you know about the demands of Occupy Wall Street or even the Tea Party Movement.
Or, to be frank, anything that's happening in the news right now.
For the most part, unless you've done some research and due diligence, what you know about this stuff has come to you in soundbites - quick and pithy, 30 seconds or less.

People are the same way.
What you know now about your friends, it's all on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn. It's the soundbites they are choosing for themselves - it's the face they put out to the world. It's the few moments of the best of them that makes you want to read further into their lives.

And the same is true in your job search. We've talked here about the 2-minute interview and we'll keep talking about it. Practicing your pitch - whether your trying to sell yourself or your product - is the best way to get your story out there. People's attention spans are short, and no it's not due to social networks or Mtv, it's because people are, most of the time, really busy trying to figure out what will be best for them. Not you. It's because they have their own agenda. It's because while they're talking to you, in the back of their minds, they are making a grocery list, or going through their agenda for the next day... even if they are paying attention (OK. Not always, but a lot of the time).

So, practice your soundbite. Think about the 30 seconds of your elevator pitch that you want people to remember most. This is your moment to shine. And most of the time, you don't get much more than that. Just a moment.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Liberal Arts View of Technology

Your MatchGirl knows that everyone and their mother has been posting about Steve Jobs the past couple of days. And your MatchGirl, given yesterday's post, is no different.

Some posts have been received in controversy. Some have brought tears to people's eyes.. And no matter what you think of Steve Jobs the man, I don't think, gentle readers, that anyone can deny that his point of view changed the way that millions of people approach - and are able to approach - technology. And through that, the world.

A little story for you, dear readers: My grandfather owned a store in the White Mountains of New Hampshire - it was one of those stores where you could buy your groceries, your snow shovel and a new toy for your kid. It was three stories and served people from the many small towns in the area. And I remember walking into the office one day and there was a computer running the show. It was a Macintosh SE. And, while it didn't last long at the store (I can't recall what followed it), it came home with my family and I wrote term papers, mediocre short stories and my college applications on it over the next five years. I learned to play around on MacPaint and MacDraw and, later, on faster computers (with actual internal hard drives) got pretty good with Quark, too. I wrote my first emails on a Macintosh LC.

That's not really the point of this essay, though. So many of you have had a similar experience. So many of you have a first time-Mac story that is part of your personal history.

The point of that little story about the SE - that's more about my Grampa. He heard that the Mac was the best and he wanted the best. I can't recall why he gave it to us, and he's not around any longer to ask. But I do know that in 1998, when that Bondi Blue iMac came out, my Grampa, aged 78, drove two hours to the closest store selling them and took one home.

Listening to Fresh Air on NPR on Thursday night, they replayed part of a 1996 interview with Steve Jobs, where he said, to paraphrase, that he wanted to bring "a liberal arts point of view to the use of computers." He didn't want people to feel confused when setting them up or using them. He wanted them to be intuitive and part of the whole. A liberal arts education is focused on bringing all the parts of academia together to make a whole, a better, person, and, to me, it seems that's what Steve Jobs wished for Apple to bring to computing.
"In my perspective ... science and computer science is a liberal art, it's something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life. It's not something that should be relegated to 5 percent of the population over in the corner. It's something that everybody should be exposed to and everyone should have mastery of to some extent, and that's how we viewed computation and these computation devices."
It's too soon, in my opinion, to see what Steve Jobs' legacy will truly be. He's left behind some amazing innovation. He's left us looking at technology, and what it can be, in an entirely different light. But making computers something that almost everyone has, that everyone can figure out how to use, sometimes with just a swipe of their finger, that will be one of them. Making computers things that are not only great to know how to use, but a coveted and cool part of one's arsenal, that's another.

The ability to stay connected to what matters most to us - that's a pretty nice something to leave behind.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Have The Courage To Follow Your Heart

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs

image from

A Country Built On Rights

On the subway the other morning, your MatchGirl saw a sign for the Ken Burns documentary, Prohibition. And the words on it struck me, gentle readers, so much, that I thought they bore sharing here with you.

The poster posed this question (to paraphrase): In a country built on rights how could everything have gone so wrong?

Oh my.

I feel like this is the question that the people who are occupying Wall Street (and Boston, LA, Chicago, etc...) are asking. I feel like this is a question that we all need to be asking ourselves. Right now.

The unemployment rate is high.
The income gap is seemingly un-bridgeable.
The world is not becoming a better place.

I certainly don't have it any better than my parents did - in fact, when I look around, at my career, at my life - I have it a lot worse than they did when they were my age.

And things are not getting better.

There is no one who will help. Maybe there is no one who can help.

So, dear readers, I ask you this, what are you going to do for yourself? What are you going to do to make your life better - to make the lives of those around you better and richer and brighter?

Give yourself a helping hand and pull up a few friends along the way.

Your MatchGirl is pretty sure it's the only way we can make the world a better place.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Who Needs An English Major?

This weekend your MatchGirl had the opportunity to hear American RadioWorks "Who Needs An English Major?" on WNYC.

As I've been thinking, gentle readers, about the state of our educational system of late (in posts such as Jobs For The Future? Rethink Education and Higher Education Reform?), this was a special that certainly piqued my interest. As someone who went to a good liberal arts college - a small, private university in New England - this is something I think about and have some opinions on.

I spent most of my twenties trying to figure out what to do next, following my fears instead of my dreams, and not pushing myself to achieve much more than what I was doing at that exact moment. I deferred, though never defaulted, on college loans and, to that end, still have a few years of payments left to go as I approach my thirty-sixth birthday. Sometimes, this makes me crazy.

But then I think of what I got out of that education. Sure. I'm not a doctor or a lawyer. Though many of my classmates are. I certainly didn't marry my college sweetheart, I never really had one. But I learned to be different among people who were the same. I learned that standing out is not so bad. I learned to speak my mind and to question authority. I learned about the power of community and the power that can come from not only common interests, but from disparate ones.

Could I have learned these things at my state university? Sure. I probably could have. A lot of people I went to high school with went on to college in our hometown and have thrived. Though some are still treading water.

But what would not have happened, had I gone to my local university is this - I would not have learned to spread my wings and fly. The school was too close to the safety net of my mom and dad. Too close to the social life of high school. Too close to who I was known to be, not to who I could become.

I don't know if people need to go to small liberal arts colleges, they're not for everyone. They were never meant to be.

But I do know that people need to learn to jump. And that they need to figure out how to pick themselves up when they fall. For me, studying studio art, running a college radio station, booking bands and getting lost walking around Boston in 1993, these are all things that helped me learn to fly. These are all experiences that made me the adult I have become. And will guide me through my future.

Well rounded, intelligent, interested people, they are what make the world an amazing place. And they very often are products of liberal arts educations - not business schools.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Your Job Interview = A First Date

Think of it that way, gentle readers.

Those of you who've had eyes on this tome for a while now know that your MatchGirl knows of what she speaks.

You were lucky enough to get that first interview... so now what? You feel nervous and anxious and not sure what comes next. Right? Yep. That's just like dating.

Just like on a first date, you want to show your future employer the very best you. Here are a few tips to make that happen.

Dress to impress. Even if you know the place is a jeans and T-shirt kind of tech start-up, take it up a notch and dress up.

No cell phone. Turn it off. Or at least silent. Don't leave it on vibrate, you'll still notice it and get distracted. Your attention needs to be fully on the person you're with.

Make eye contact. It's the best way to engage someone. Don't stare them down, of course, but definitely hold their gaze.

Listen. Being an attentive listener will help you make a great impression.

Ask questions. As much as you are there to sell yourself, you're also there to listen. And learn. Even if you did a ton of research on the company (or Googled the bejeezus out of the date) or if the person you're meeting told you every possible thing under the sun, make sure to ask some relevant questions. It will make it seem like you were paying attention while they were speaking.

Count to three. Before you answer a question. And think about the answer. Even the most anticipated question, with the most practiced answer, might require a different approach when you're inside the conversation.

No gum. Seriously. No one wants to talk to someone chawing away on a hunk of chicle.

What are your best job interview/fist date tips?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ghosts In The Machine

As we go through this life, there is a constant ebb and flow of people we meet. Of people we lose. Of people we loved but we'll never see again.

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, has been seeing ghosts. Not the kind that horror movies and Halloween specials are made of but ghosts of the past.

Maybe visions is a better word.

It's funny because in the age of social networks, we forget how easy it once was to lose hold, to lose track, to lose contact with people. But I think it still happens. And when you come face-to-face with one of those ghosts again, it brings you back to another time and place.

Your MatchGirl writes here, often, about using social media for your job search, about the importance of networking and keeping track of who you meet - of heling others because one day they might help you. We forget sometimes, though, in our push for the next big thing - the next job, the next promotion - that there are people from other parts of our lives who have helped us grow to where we stand now.

I was interviewed recently and asked, "What do you wish you knew when you were in college?" This is something that your MatchGirl has thought long and hard about. And the answer is something that brings ghosts to mind:
I wish, when I was at school, that I had known it was OK to follow my gut. I listened to a lot of advice from a lot of people, including some who told me I could never be more than I was – that I wouldn’t make it – and I wish I had known it was OK to ignore those people. That all advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
Because a lot of those people offering advice were not professional advisors (though a couple might have been professors). They were friends and lovers. They were people who saw me the way they imagined me to be, not the way that I could be. Not the way that I saw myself. When I was in school, I was not agressive about my wants and needs, I, for the most part, kept them hidden (this is something that started in elementary school, when it was not OK to speak up). In retrospect, I guess I was embarrassed to share my dreams and to show that I could make them happen.

This certainly held me back. But it also helped me to get where I am today. And every now and then a ghost pops up to remind me of the way things used to be and the way things might have been.

I'm curious, what ghosts are haunting your progress? Are there any visions out there holding you back?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Higher Education Reform?

Your MatchGirl is worried, gentle readers. If the economy doesn't improve, unemployeds will have to take jobs that are well below their education levels, well below what they were making in the past. And those just graduating from university will have no chance of getting a foot in the door. We need more training. We need more education. We need to reform education.

We need to let people know that it's OK - maybe even awesome - to go to technical schools and community colleges and get themselves on the right path for the future. We need to let people know that university is not only for expanding ones mind, but it's a place to learn to cooperate, to get along with other people (maybe some not so similar to you)... but that it doesn't guarantee a job right out of college.

This is the hardest the job market has been in a long time and we need to be realistic in what we tell kids entering the higher education system. Your MatchGirl went to a fancy university and got good grades. She partied hard and worked harder. She did the extra-curricular activities. She graduated with awards and honors. But none of this helped her focus on what she would do with it in the future - for her future. I could do "anything" and because of this, it took me a long time to figure out what that was. And I lived hand-to-mouth in the process.

A college education is necessary. It's the only way to get ahead. To get promotions. To get in front of the crowd. But there are a lot of options today - many that were not there when I was in school - that can help put today's young people on the right path. Maybe it's time we let them see all the options available, and give them the tools to decide the direction that will be the best fit for them.

After all, the days of going to school, playing it up a lá Animal House and starting a great job the day after commencement are long over...

Friday, September 23, 2011

How Can We Make Things Better?

Yes. The amount of people living below the poverty line is growing. And growing.

The rich are getting richer while the middle class slowly (maybe not so slowly) slip down into poverty.

What do we do? How can we make things better?

Where do jobs come from?

Your MatchGirl doesn't have the answers, certainly, but she can see so many of the problems.

We're fast approaching election season - the one that people come out and vote for - and these are the questions that everyone is asking: What can you do about the economy? Where are the jobs?

Your MatchGirl is not sure that the federal government is positioned to fix this mess. Perhaps we're better off looking to our local governments and voting in those little elections - you know, the ones for city council and boards of advisors and superintendents. The ones for the people who make things work where we live...

Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Use Social Media To Your Job Search Advantage

Gentle readers, if your MatchGirl knew half of what she knows now when she was unemployed ... or ... if she was unemployed just a teensy bit later (seriously, so many Hire Me Martha copycats out there right now!), she might not have been unemployed for so very long.

Of course, without spending time amongst the long term unemployed, your MatchGirl might not have become so committed to this little tome.

Putting yourself out there on social networks is all the rage these days (goodness knows your MatchGirl practically lives on them!), so why not make it work for you?

Be an expert. You can do it. You're focused. You know a lot about your chosen field. So prove it. Get yourself on Quora, search LinkedIn discussion groups and answer the questions. On Twitter, search for key words in your area of expertise and start replying to people asking questions about them.

Be a star. Get yourself a Tumblr, a Wordpress site, a Blogger account, a YouTube channel - and start talking. Make video blogs offering advice or how-tos within your field. Your MatchGirl doesn't care if your a pet groomer, a barista or a lawyer. Turn on that webcam ans start talking. Wrangle your roommate into taking video with your digital camera. It doesn't need to be perfectly shot. You just need to say the right stuff.

Don't let others tell you you're crazy. It's a tough world out there. Competition is huge for any job you apply for. Just getting your resume and cover letter seen is like climbing Everest. Why not take advantage of all you've learned farting around social networks and websites and make them work for you?

Good luck, dear readers. Your MacthGirl knows you can do it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Follow Your Dreams

This morning, I woke up in a hotel in Bogotá, Colombia.

I'm here to represent my company for Social Media Week. And I'm stoked.

With my recent promotion, to Head of Social Media, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what got me here and where it can take me. I've been thinking about the people who have helped me along the way and what I have learned from all my experiences.

This path is my own.

No one else could have made it for me. I could not have imagined it five years ago, let alone in the mid-90s, when I was graduating from University.

Catching up with a friend the other day, I told her of the new title and she looked at me, eyes wide, and said "That is so perfect for you."

It might have taken me a long time to get to where I'm going, but I'm very happy to be on the right path!