Tag Archives: work

Mom’s Holiday Office Party

I love parties. My husband and I are actually really good at throwing them if I do say so myself. We have barbecues, birthdays, even an annual ugly sweater themed party. So when the holidays roll around, I always get nostalgic for the office Christmas (or holiday for all those politically correct ones out there) party. Free booze, raffles, food, music, and presents! However, when you stay at home, there’s none of that. Until this year.

While my daughter had a school party, my husband attended a few work parties and even my retired dad went to his old office’s party, I started to wonder, where is the party for those of us that stay home? I complained to my husband about this and presto, Mom’s Holiday Office Party was born. While there weren’t any raffles, we had food, booze, balloons, played games, wrapped presents, and watched The Elf on the Shelf. And I got a very special message from my 2-year-old CEO, which was the best part of the whole shindig. Hats off to my team for throwing me such a fun and festive little party, full of all my favorite things and people and no boring power point presentations!

 

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Let’s Cook!

I was never much of a cook. Growing up, my mom didn’t cook very much. She made things like Stouffer’s lasagna or Mrs. Budd’s chicken pot pies. When she did make a homemade meal, she hit it out of the park. Appetizers and holiday cooking like Thanksgiving and Passover were her specialities and still are today.

My husband also loved to cook. When we lived in Hoboken, he loved to whip up new and exciting meals like stuffed peppers or bolognese while I made things like spaghetti or turkey burgers. Our roles have since changed.

When I lost my job a few years back, I started to get into cooking. When I wasn’t job hunting or interviewing, I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. While Eric worked, I needed an outlet. So I started to cook. I thought it would be nice for him to have something to come home to. Plus, I felt like I did something; it somehow justified me being home all day and not working.

When I reentered the job force, I still tried to cook. Unfortunatey, I just didn’t have the same kind of time to devote to my new hobby. After working all day in the city, commuting and then getting in a run or workout, cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. Besides, living in Hoboken, there were so many great restaurants and eateries to enjoy, it was so much easier to say, “Lets eat out tonight!”

Fast forward to mommyhood and my life in suburbs and I have found a new love for cooking. At first, I was somewhat intimated, like when I wanted to try to make a cookie cake for Eric for Father’s Day. He loved it when a girlfriend of mine made it so I faced my fear, gave it a try and found surprising success. Pintrest has become a good friend of mine as I look to create new and exciting dishes for our family like a chicken, artichoke and spinach pasta bake; balsamic chicken; homemade banana bread; or lasagna roll ups.

Believe it or not, cooking somewhat relaxes me. I feel creative. Staying home, I don’t always feel like that, especially after a successful career in public relations where I was constantly coming up with new ideas and initiatives seen all across the world. Cooking has filled a little bit of that void for the time being. While my daughter sleeps and I have some extra time in between cleaning, paying bills and catching up on “The Real Housewives,” I’ve found something new to be excited and proud of again.

Men and Their (Lack of) Summer Work Clothes

With the raging heat upon us, I am trying to choose my outfits accordingly. My office is chilly, yet it’s nearly 100 degrees outside. Thankfully, I have a myriad of options. My husband on the other hand, along with so many men I pass in the streets of New York City, don’t have the same advantage.

While I sometimes envy men and their wardrobes because they’re simple and less complicated, my heart breaks for guys on a day like today (and will again tomorrow), when I think of the few options they have to wear to work on a hot summer day.

Imagine having to wear jeans or pants in this heat? How about a long sleeved, collared shirt? Or a suit no less? Most guys can’t go to work in flip flops or shorts, whereas girls can mix and match, making something out of nothing (and still look cute and presentable).

So while the heat bears down on us, and the sticky humidity ruins our hair, I have to give a shout out to all the men out there who are walking to work, commuting on buses, trains and subways, and withstanding this heat with far less options for comfort. Here’s to you boys!

10 Friends and No Jobs. Yeah, I’m Serious.

I currently have 10 friends on the unemployment line. Can you believe that? On 10 fingers, I can count 10 people I know and hang out with who currently don’t have jobs. It’s really rather sickening.

What’s surprising about all of this is that each of us come from different industries. We’re publicists, graphic designers, customer service agents, teachers, marketers, sales professionals, bartenders, the list continues.

A handful of us have been without work for nearly a year or more. Others have just recently joined the ranks. It was never supposed to be this bad. No matter what we read, no matter how bad the economy got, it wasn’t supposed to be this many for this long.

Some of us are lucky enough to have spouses or significant others help us bear the burden of unemployment, but our family income has taken a severe hit. Others are being forced to move in with friends, downsize to smaller apartments, or borrow money from friends and family. What we all seem to have in common: we’re no longer getting ahead like we used to.

When you think about it, it’s amazing what unemployment can do to you. It takes away your money, your success, and your spirit. It beats you when you’re down and doesn’t give a shit that you’re already having a bad day. It doesn’t discriminate: it doesn’t care where you live, what color you are, or what your religious beliefs are. Bottom line, it sucks.

When 10 of your friends are in the same boat, sometimes it’s not so bad. You have each other and can understand what you’re all going through. But when 10 of your friends don’t have jobs and they need them, they want them, and they have tried so goddamn hard to get them for months on end, you start to wonder what the f*ck is going on?

Today is HAPPO – NYC PR Pro Ready for Action!

I’m selling myself for Help a PR Pro Out Day (HAPPO), taking place on February 19 and April 30. Everything else I have done to find a job hasn’t worked so maybe this will help me and all my creative PR friends find jobs again and we’ll live happily ever after.

So for all you employers out there looking for a talented PR professional with nearly 10 years experience in communications, public relations and writing, you have come to the right place. Here I am! Hire me!

Most recently, I worked with the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey as the Director of Communications.  I experienced things in this role that I never thought imaginable. I traveled to disaster ravaged areas in a public affairs role, meeting with local and national media to deliver the message of the Red Cross. I was humbled by families who were impacted by disaster and built bonds with colleagues from across the nation.  I was N.J.’s lead spokesperson during two of the most notable aviation disasters in the northeast: US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River and Continental Airlines flight 3407 in Buffalo. I watched miracles and heartbreak occur within a month of one another.  And then they eliminated my department.

Whether I was on the ground or behind a desk, it was my job to make sure the mission of the organization was relayed to the public. I built a department from nothing. It was a challenge but something I am so proud of.  I did everything PR related.  Press releases, media interviews, collateral materials, editorial web content, fundraising and crisis communications, strategic planning, managing umbrella chapters’ communications; should I keep going?

Prior to joining a non-profit, which was a life-long dream, I worked with agencies in New York City handling the day-to-day duties of public relations.

In addition to my work in non-profit and media/entertainment, my industry experience spans corporate, beauty, fashion and consumer. I am also a contributing writer with a local newspaper in Essex County, New Jersey and a writer for Examiner.com

What I love about PR is bringing groundbreaking news or technology into the lives of everyday people. I like seeing an idea that seems lifeless suddenly grow leaps and bounds, all because of careful execution, determination and skill. I miss that. I miss being a part of that. Help bring me back there!

I’m on LinkedIn and Twitter and you can read my inner workings here. I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks for helping out this community. It’s been a rough year for our industry.

Stuck in Neutral

Right now, I’m stuck in neutral. I’m not quite moving forward, not quite moving backward, just kind stuck in the middle, not quite moving at all. My best friend told me this one day, and I have used the term ever since. Too bad it’s gone on for the last six months.

Believe it or not, I think a lot of us are stuck in neutral, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either. I guess it’s kind of like being content when you analyze it like this.

While not working right now has curbed me from doing things I’d like to do, such as see more of the world or buy a house, I haven’t hit rock bottom where I am living off my savings or wondering where my next meal is coming from. I feel a little like Goldilocks – everything is just fine, but nothing is really being accomplished.

For some it isn’t being unemployed, it’s being stuck at a dead end job they know they can’t leave (for one reason or another), for others, it’s being in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere.

For all the things that don’t happen in a good way, bad things aren’t happening either, so you count your lucky stars. But it’s OK to be selfish and want those good things. Sooner or later, you figure that you’ll move up the ladder because we all have to make room for the next person. In the meantime, I’ll be here in neutral until the gas pedal is ready for me to give it a go.

The Curse of the Internal Candidate

Have you ever been the internal candidate? You know who I’m talking about…the employee who is in line for a promotion or moving on the next level at their company. It’s really great for staff morale when companies promote from within; it shows a sense of loyalty and commitment to employees, but it really sucks for the folks that are applying for those same jobs and have no idea the gig has already been promised to someone else.

I completely understand hiring someone from the inside for a new position. They likely have more knowledge on the product, client or brand; they know the style of the company, office and its co-workers; and they’ve probably already been doing something similar to the job at hand for a period of time. It’s great when a corporation moves an assistant to a managerial position. Not only does it show their faith in the candidate, but it lets other employees know they can move up the ladder too.

Now on to us job seekers. It’s so unfair when we apply for a job and get called  to an interview when the job has already been given to another person. As you’re sitting there interviewing, the office manager is ordering new business cards for Johnny Appleseed, who accepted the position two weeks ago. I don’t understand the laws behind posting jobs that have been filled and I certainly don’t think it’s right to put unemployed people through the hassle and disappointment of an interview.

It takes work to interview, much less apply. You prepare, you prep, you research. You write a cover letter, sign up for the company’s job posting/HR portal, divulge your salary history.  You also take time out of your day, maybe find a babysitter for your kids, spend money on public transportation or gas. Either way, you are making an effort and the people interviewing you know all too well that Johnny starts next week and they’re just killing time with you because they have to.

I wish there was a way that companies could just let job hunters know which positions are truly available to them and which are not. It’s a waste of time for HR, recruiters and those of us looking for work. Why put anyone through the hassle of applying, let alone interviewing, when there is no hope for them? Don’t we have enough hopelessness in the job market already? There is zero reason for posting a job that is already promised to someone else. Perhaps a new law, clause or disclaimer can be created on these postings to save everyone some time, energy and frustration. Maybe something like, “Please note – this job has already been awarded to an internal candidate.” Point blank.