7 Nov

This weekend, I went to 11 countries and flew through the halls of Hogwarts, twice.  I ate french onion soup in France (because it seemed deliciously appropriate) and drank butterbeer and pumpkin juice in Hogsmeade. And I did it all in 27 hours.

It was the best 27 hours I had in a long time.  There really is nothing like a little Disney World and Universal Studios to cheer you up.  When you’ve confronted dementors, acromantulas, and dragons (and only screamed a little), the job hunt doesn’t seem that bad.  MORAL: go have some fun because it’ll rejuvenate you to deal with the bigger issues in your life.



October’s Unemployment Statistics

5 Nov

Welcome to my new internship. I write for this financial website, angling to be the number one in it’s field through clever SEO wrangling and easy to read, consumer friendly articles.

I didn’t write this one, but October’s unemployment statistics are in. Pat yourself on the back, 151,000 jobs were added to the US economy, but don’t get too excited, unemployment is holding at 9.6 percent. The two sectors that benefited the most were education and health services and retail.

Don’t worry if you are still (like me) among the unemployed, though. Obama said he would not rest until “everybody who is looking for a job can find one.”

So trust the president, I guess, and we’ll all be out of this mess in no time.


4 Nov

Is your field shrinking or growing over the next decade? Find out with the Future-Jobs-O-Matic machine put together by public radio’s Marketplace. This little gizmo of a website also lets you play around with similar careers or just other careers within a field. Alright, like most of these prediction engines, it’s a little simplistic by not listing perhaps the exact job you’re looking for but I think it’s a pretty slick tool that interprets some of the predicted jobs growth numbers for the next decade. Give it a go.


Practice What You Preach

4 Nov

I’m an adult literacy tutor, and I have five students total.  I don’t actually spend the majority of my lessons teaching anything–most of my time goes towards convincing my students that yes, they can read/write/spell if they’d only try.  That’s the thing with adult learners: they’re insecure, have low self-esteem, and zero faith in their abilities.  They hide behind a wall of “I can’ts” and “I don’t knows,” because that’s more comfortable to do than mispronouncing a new word or incorrectly answering a comprehension question. Since they think they can’t, they’d rather not try, especially if it means protecting themselves from failure.

I constantly tell them that “I can’t” is the worst thing they could say when trying to learn. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy–if you think you can’t, then you won’t.  I often suggest, “Why not tell yourself that you can, and see what happens?”  Then they try again, and 9 times out of 10, they correctly (if hesitantly) sound out a word or correctly define vocabulary.

Lately, I haven’t applied this sentiment to my personal life.  When it comes to job-hunting, I have a serious case of the “I can’ts.”  Rejection has been the theme of the last nine months, which has led me to believe that “I can’t” get a job, period.  When I don’t have the “I can’ts,” then I’m plagued by the “I won’ts.” “I won’t apply to this, because I won’t get it.”  “I won’t network, because they won’t have any leads, anyway.”

This attitude has given me a sense of futility when it comes to job apps.  I’d rather not apply to job  if I feel like I’m ultimately going to be rejected.  And since I’ve told myself that I actually can’t get any job, I don’t try to find one, particularly because I don’t want to feel like any more of a failure.  Does any of this sound at all familiar???

When I realized I was big fat lying hypocrite, it helped pull me out of my funk a little.  I don’t think I can be a good teacher if the attitude I’m trying to instill in my students is totally absent from my approach to life.  The best teachers lead by example.  It’s unreasonable for me to expect self-confidence in others when I don’t have it myself.  I need to tell myself that “Yes, I can a get a job, I’m just not trying hard enough.”

Not only will this mantra guide my job search, but I hope it’ll pack more punch into my lessons.  If I really believe anything is possible and all goals are within reach for everyone, then my students will pick up on it.  In other words, I’ll be the conductor of the Positivity Rainbow express, and I want you all to come aboard.

Fifth Time’s The Charm

2 Nov

On Thursday I will begin my fifth internship. I am crossing every finger and toe I’ve got that this fifth one is my last. Even in this economy, five seems a bit excessive, right? Whatever practical skills needed learning before I was job-ready have been learned, and at this point I am doing the work of an employee without the title or pay.

This new venture is with AD:60, a startup ad agency in DUMBO, Brooklyn. I will be doing basically the same thing that I do for the New York Press (write blog posts on current news, longer articles aimed at consumers and some videos to provide visual spark) except this time I’m writing for a financial website.

Anybody find the humor yet? I must have sold myself pretty damn well (not knowing a lick about finance and all) for them to be “very impressed with me.” I think when they asked me how I felt about writing for finance, I said, “A writer’s job is to sound passionate and knowledgable about stuff that they are neither passionate nor knowledgable about.” True enough. And when I consulted with my friend Diana, who actually works in the finance world, she claimed that the entire industry is the blind leading the blind. Which also makes sense given our current economic straights.

So maybe I am qualified to write for a finance blog after all. And maybe, just maybe, two or three months down the road this tiny startup will need another full time employee. Please let the fifth time be the charm …

Dr. Seuss and Me

1 Nov

In 2005, when I graduated from high school, I, like millions of other kids, got the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”  It was given to me by my favorite teacher, and she left me an inscription.


Can’t wait to see all of “the places you’ll go!”  You’ll change the world, you’ve already changed mine…Have a great life!


Mrs. Clary xxoo

Upon receipt of this gift, I enthused how much I loved it and gave my teacher a big hug.  Then I, like millions of other kids, packed the book in some random drawer, and forgot about it for the next five years.

Sometime in March, I was digging around in my memory chest (what, you don’t have one?) for an old photo album, and I saw the book.  I had totally forgotten I owned it, and couldn’t remember the story at all.  So I read it, and it made me cry.  I guess I was particularly discouraged that day, and a candy colored book filled with nonsensical words and an A-B-A-B rhyming scheme was the pick-me-up I needed.  The inscription from Mrs. Clary was so nice to see–maybe I’d forgotten my potential, but she didn’t.

I keep “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” on my desk, and I reread it every so often.  I’ve had Hang-ups and Bang-ups.  I’ve been caught in a prickle-ly perch, I’ve lingered at the Waiting Place, and I’ve heard the Hakken-Kraks howl.  But when I hear that 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed that I’ll move mountains, and what’s more, that my own mountain is waiting patiently for me, a high flying Mind-Maker-Upper, how can I stay in a Lurch or a Slump?

I’m sure the rest of us have our little, random pick-me-ups too.  Some of you may like that new Katy Perry song about lighting the fireworks you have in your chest that are brighter than the moon, moon, moon and will make all your adversaries go “Oh! Oh! Oh!” as these fireballs shoot from your heart.  Whatever, I can’t judge.  When it comes to feeling good, you need what you need.  I would be embarrassed that a children’s book is my source of inspiration and motivation, but since it’s written by Dr. “My books are filled with allegories for war and Hitler” Seuss, I feel slightly better about my maturity level.

In case some of you haven’t read it, here’s a little video of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” narrated by John Lithgow for you to watch.  (All the brainsy and footsy people are doing it.)

Craigslist Housing Special, Part 2

31 Oct

Continuing my great exchange with housing scammers, I give you the latest email… note the Nigerian phone number at the end:


Thanks for your prompt response to mail and it’s my sincere pleasure writing back to you.I do appreciate the whole time and effort you have really shown to rent from us and telling me more about you.I must confess that you really sound like the type of tenant we have been praying and fasting over to come our way,we will be glad to have you as our new tenant to be,if only you will agree to work with us directly and promise to take proper care of the apartment for us,which is the most important thing to us.

We have everything intact in the apartment and all the utilities are intact,I will like to tell you that you have nothing to be worried about if you really willing to rent from us.The keys and the document are with my husband in ( west Africa  ),my husband made me understand that he will only commence on the delivery of our apartment keys/documents to the new tenant via DHL courier service,after we have come to an agreement and after confirming the upfront advance deposit payment.My apartment is a private apartment,you will have the access to my apartment,as soon as you have my apartment keys/documents with you.

The rent per month still remain $800 including all the utilities like electricity, water, wireless Internet, satellite TV, air conditioning,dryer, washing machine, Telephone , Washing machine,security and heating.You can bring your things into the apartment if you wish,we have an extra space for that,more so I want you to have it in mind that you dealing with a God fearing and responsible folks,I give you my word that you will never regret from renting from us if only you will believe in us.I believe God has a way of working out things if only we can put our trust in him.You will have the access to move into my our apartment,as soon as you have our apartment keys/documents with you.

My husband wish to have some relevant information from you if you are ready to get this going,so you are expected to carefully fill out the form below or just simply reply back with answers to the questions.My husband will use the details to commence on the delivery of our apartment keys/documents to your address,and also to use it to prepare for the documents to your name.

1) Your Full Name?
2) Your Full Address & Phone Number?
3) How old are you?
4) Are you married?
5) How many people will be living in the house?
6) Do you have a pet?
7) Do you have a car?
8 ) Occupation?
9) What is your religion?
10) Do you smoke?
11) What date you intend to move in?
12) For how long you will stay in the place?

Answers would be greatly appreciated,so that my husband can use it for the shipment of our apartment keys/document to you.Attached are more photos of the apartment,fully furnished and well decorated .Thank for being so honest with us and God bless you too.You can reach my husband (Mr. Wale Morris) anytime on 0112347056585995 or +2347056585995.

Mrs. Kathy Morris

I wonder who actually lives in the house that this person is trying to scam-rent me?