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!