Growing up, my parents were able to provide a stable middle-class upbringing for me, my three sisters and my brother. I can understand now how fortunate we were not to worry about hunger, housing, or medical bills. Although my Mom made a point to show us how privileged we were — I’m from Fairfield County, Connecticut, where the “wealth gap” between rich and poor is top in the nation — I lived securely inside a wealthy suburban bubble in the booming ’90s. As I graduated from high school, went to college and began my working life, I still managed to have financial security, even when the economy tanked in 2008. Some friends, recent college graduates like myself, lost their jobs or just plain could not get hired. But me, I still got to stay inside a safe little bubble.
Then I did something that probably didn’t make sense to some people, especially those from the background that I come from: I married someone who was unemployed. Keep reading »
I was on my way to my Web Marketing class when a girl who looked about my age stopped me to ask me a very strange, life-changing question. She asked me if I watch porn. “Huh?” As a girl, I was taken aback by such a question, but her approach was so natural that I felt compelled to answer honestly: “Yes.”
“Great, would you like to come in for a focus group on women’s porn consumption and masturbation habits?” she asked.
“It pays 50 bucks and food will be provided,” she continued.
“Oh. OK. Sure, I’ll be there.”
A few months after my participation in that focus group, while my classmates and I were all struggling to find our summer internships, I thought back on the experience and how enjoyable it had been. I decided I had nothing to lose by sending in my application to a porn site. Two months later, I started my internship at Sex.com. I had some expectations, but like most unfounded presumptions, the reality was entirely different. Keep reading »
As I read the chyron “Girls Gone ‘Mild’: Book Advises Women Not To Raise Their Voices,” I was all ready to watch this Fox News segment advising women on how to carry themselves professionally in the workplace and then kill it with fire.
But as Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the author of Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit And Success, addressed “Fox & Friends” this morning about ways women can up their gravitas in the workplace, I found myself thinking, Hey, this is not such bad advice. Keep reading »
For three years, I woke up at 4 a.m. every day. I spent two days a week as a full-time student; one of those, I was at school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the other I split with one of my five weekly eight-hour work shifts. I did all of the driving in my household, which meant all of the grocery shopping and all of the car maintenance. When I wasn’t at school or at work, I was doing homework, determined to graduate with honors after three previous less-than-stellar years at a different college. On the one day off I had every week, I was usually visiting my then in-laws. Toward the end, I managed to squeeze in going to the gym three times a week as well. I got four or five hours of sleep a night, barely paid the rent and bills, and was running on ambition and self-confidence.
I was a wreck, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. Here are the life lessons I learned during my three-year stint burning the candle at both ends… Keep reading »
Could it be that plain old mental habit is the reason for gender inequality at work? According to consultant and former businesswoman Caroline Turner, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. In a blog post for the Huffington Post, Turner said that the biggest reason women aren’t proportionately represented in business leadership positions is a set of “mind-sets,” or unconscious ways of viewing the world. The most powerful and deep-rooted of these mind-sets, it seems, is the “double bind,” or the idea that if a woman channels her more feminine energies, she’ll be liked by her coworkers but not seen as a leader. On the other hand, if she allows her masculine energies to lead the way, she’s likely to be judged and disliked. What I take this to mean is that the biggest obstacle we’re up against in the workplace is essentially subconscious stereotyping. Keep reading »
This month, LinkedIn rounded up over 80 influential business leaders and asked them what they would say to their 22-year-old selves about their working lives. The participants were asked what traits they found to be most important for 22-year-olds, and adaptability and resilience came out on top. What I find kind of sad and weird is that only two percent said humility or knowledge (yes, knowleges) were most important. But hey, I guess that means that youth is the time to be brash! Surprisingly LinkedIn found that 86 percent of the influencers they spoke to are doing something they never imagined with their lives. (Another statistic that really stuck out? Only 14 percent of them had roommates at 22 ‚ how were they all affording to live alone!?).
LinkedIn also asked readers to chime in and share their two cents on life at 22. Here are a few pieces of advice us young people can learn from some of the business world’s brightest and best (and other wise LinkedIn readers): Keep reading »