Archive | March, 2010

Monday Inspiration

29 Mar


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I Want To Be Ten Again…

15 Mar

photo byTomFlikrPhotos

I’m starting to think bad weather isn’t that bad after all. In fact I kind of like it. If you see the happy faces on everyone crowding the parks, beaches and trails the day after it rains, you’ll be with me on this. After a day of heavy rain on Friday, it cleared up in time for an absolutely beautiful weekend in San Francisco. One of my favorite places to go when it’s sunny out in San Fran, is Dolores Park. You never what you are going to see-  people walking on stilts, dressed in crazy costumes, slacklining (a new sport I just heard of), and even a group having a tea party on a table they set up. Oh the quirkiness of our little city by the bay.

The thing that stood out above all of them was a group of people playing with a parachute. It made me nostalgic for the days where I found such joy in activities as simple as watching ripples through a large piece of primary colored fabric. The days where 10 page books, a box of crayons and an imaginary friend could entertain us for hours.

Here’s some links that will bring you back:

I want to throw a party just so I can serve this as an appetizer

this breathtaking Alice in Wonderland photo shoot from Vogue in 2003

Disney + Mean girls= the perfect video mashup

how nature inspired the ABC’s

I’m not sure I’d ever leave the house if I had this indoor swing

A mere coincidence? or magic...

my favorite book as a child– good things do happen if you believe in yourself

sometimes I wish I could trade in my computer for a typewriter like this. It would make writing SO much more fun.

this is exactly what my coffee cup has been missing.

I’m seriously considering start a  skip-it exercise plan

ten ways to be the person you wanted to be as a kid

I’d rather be picnicking..

World’s largest treehouse

I want to go to the blowpop factory too.

where every kid in Stockholm should have their bday party

remember the good old days before cell phones?

I mean , does it get any cuter than this mobile cupcake shop?

Book Review: Viva Las David

11 Mar

I just finished reading Viva Lost David which was sent to me by the author Jacob Orenge. This book is a fun and exciting journey of a recent college grad trying to find himself through adventure and heartbreak. A classic a tale of a hardworking college student who spent his whole college career so devoted to his studies that he never actually took the time to enjoy the social aspect of being in college.

When he graduates he decides for once  to listen to his heart and not his head as he follows his man of the moment out to the West Coast landing him in Sin City. Throughout the book David really struggles with the common after school crisis of not wanting to become an adult but feeling the overbearing weight of unspoken expectations that come with a college degree. While trying to figure out his future David has to deal with many roadbumps including, getting his heart broken twice and dealing with family illness.

Ultimately David’s journey leads him to his next journey taking the next steps toward his future (you will have to read the book to find out what this adventure is). This is a great story for anyone who is a millennial and a fun and entertaining read! David is so relatable and it is fun to hear his perspectives on the West Coast vs. NY as I have always wanted to live there.

Other places to find Jacob at his website here and if you happen to live in NY you can catch him doing some live comedy!

Happy Thirsty Thursday all!

International Women’s Day – 100th Anniversary

9 Mar

Today is International Women’s Day and I decided to ask a few of my friends and family members why they are proud to be women and here is what they said…

  • “It’s hard to say why I’m proud to be a woman, because I don’t necessary see myself as a woman–I see myself as a person. I guess that’s what makes me proud though, that so many strong women throughout history have fought with conviction in the spirit of justice so I can see myself today as a person instead of just a gender.” – Masters Student, Columbia University
  • “The fact that more and more women are CEOs and high powered positions in recent years, having women in power” – Accounting Consultant
  • “I am proud to be a woman, we use our hearts, not just our heads with everything we do.” – Community Manager of online gaming site
  • “The strength and willpower combined with glamor and femininity of women.” – Executive Assistant at a global non-profit
  • “Seeing my managers work their butts off at work and then go home and be wonderful moms and wives to their newborns makes me proud to be a woman. We don’t have to choose anymore to be either a mom or a career woman. We can be both and incredible ones that!” – Recruiter
  • “When I worked in finance, it was totally a man’s world and I feel like I held my own. Seeing how far woman have come in the workplace that women are CEO’s of major companies that men used to run. If I hadn’t been in such a male dominated profession, I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much” – Recruiting Coordinator
  • “Being one of the few girls in my Math/Engineering/Computer Science classes in college. It made me proud to be a woman when I was at the top of my class the one who had to help my male classmates. Now as a teacher, I’m proud to inspire my high school girls that they too can excel in a male dominated field.” – Teacher, Teach for America

Today women across the world were celebrated, recognized and talked about.

Some women walked across bridges everywhere from Congo to London to demonstrate the strength we have in numbers. Others in  performed tribute dances for the women suffering in Haiti and some were listening and watching  the stories of others on the other side of the globe. As a woman in America I feel proud and lucky, I am educated and know that I can accomplish anything I want. It is hard to think about a woman the same age as me in a developing country and imagine the life she is living in comparison to mine.

All women are eager and capable, but not always given the freedom and ability to move forward in life. We as women should ban together and recognize our unique strength and endless opportunities. Then ask ourselves how we can ensure that women near and far are all given the chance to recognize the beautiful power that lies within them and somehow help them receive the same opportunity that we are given everyday to be who we are.

This video below is really moving and gets us to realize the ripple effect that one girl can have on the world. The Girl Effect is a project looking at the effect that investing in a girl has not only on a community but humanity as a whole.

Remember…”Well behaved women rarely make history” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Daily Inspiration – Happy Friday!

5 Mar

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” — Mary Kay Ash

Work it Girl!

3 Mar

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness,heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.” -Bethany Hamilton (greatest female surfer of our time)

March is National Women’s History Month and the overarching theme is “Writing Women Back Into History” where they will be taking a look into the past at all the impressive things women have accomplished.

There are a bunch of cool events and exhibits happening all across the US commemorating this month. For everyone who knows me I am a true feminist with the definition of a feminist at heart, meaning anyone who believes that men and women should have equal rights (with that definition who isn’t one?). From Seneca Falls to the first woman running for President who made it into primaries last year, we have come a long way as a gender and are progressing more each day.

In honor of this month I thought I would feature a few kick ass women who made their mark and paved the way for us:

  • Carrie Chapman Catt – Suffragette and founder of the League of Women Voters
  • Elizabeth Blackwell – the first female to receive a medical degree in the U.S.
  • Sally Ride – the first woman sent into space
  • Madeleine Albright – first woman Secretary of State
  • Mother Teresa – internationally famed humanitarian

Clearly this list could go on for pages but these are just some of the first women who broke the mold and took risks – true role models. Today our society has just as many if not more brave and confident women who are changing the world and making it a wiser place. I for one am so happy and proud to be a woman, especially in my generation I know that I can do anything I put my mind to and that there are endless resources and people to support me.

As amazing as it is to be a women in my country there are many developing countries who are still holding women back from their full potential. I believe that women have an amazing and unexplainable connection with one another, even with women we hardly know, we are all connected. There are many hardworking organizations who are leading the fight for women in developing countries to give them the opportunity to be as powerful and educated as we are in the U.S. For a full list of great organizations head here.

So I would ask you this month to do something you have never done, take a risk, make a change and be the beautiful woman you are!

How to Be a Stellar Candidate….

2 Mar

“Cool! See ya then.”

No this wasn’t a gchat response from one of my good friends, it was an email confirmation I recently got from one of my candidates at work. The sad thing is that Informal responses like this, are actually common in the hiring process. In the time I’ve worked in Staffing, here are some techniques I’ve learned that can significantly boost your chances of  being a winning candidate:

  • Convert your resume to a PDF. Thank god I have a best friend in Graphic Design, who appreciates the importance of aesthetics, and made me promise I’d never ever send my resume in any form but a pdf. Unless the company specifically requests a text or doc form of your resume, assume they want a pdf version. Trust me, I open them all day and there is nothing more frustrating than a resume that is difficult to read, and prints out in 5 pages instead of 1.
  • Respond Formally to everything: I don’t care if the Recruiter is your best friend, or if you are driving (put down the phone!) and have 2 seconds to respond to the email. Assume that every email and conversation you have is recorded and be as formal as possible. Have 5 seconds? Write, “Thank you very much for setting up the interview. I look forward to meeting you and __. Please let me know if there’s any information I can provide you.”
  • Nothing Beats an Inside Referral: Sure you might have graduated from Harvard with a 4.0 in Computer Science, have been President of your Class, started your own company and discovered a math formula. Unfortunately, there may be hundreds of other people just as successful as you applying for the same position. This is where the power of networking comes in- knowing someone that works in the company, and can refer you directly, can put you at the very top of the stack. When applying for jobs, sit down and think hard about everyone you know that works at the companies you’d like to work for. Update your linkedIN profile, and connect with people you have worked with, attended school with or met at networking events(even if you don’t know them extremely well). Instead of applying with the other thousands of people to a job on the company’s site, reach out to the acquaintance directly and have them submit you.
  • Reach out to the recruiter/hiring manager if you have any questions: You get a phone call or email saying you have an interview set up for next Tuesday at 11. But how many people, and whom will you meet with? Will lunch be provided? Will you be giving a presentation or completing any tests? These are all important questions, that it is perfectly acceptable to inquire about before your interview. Knowing what to expect can lessen your nerves and really improve your performance at the interview.
  • Let the recruiter/hiring managers know if you are interested in another position (should one open): Just because you aren’t the right person for one position, doesn’t mean you aren’t the right person for another. Make sure to thank the interviewers and hiring managers even if your interview does not go well, so you are on good terms. Let them know (if you are) that you are open to another department or position within the company.I’ve seen this several times with candidates I work with, and have also had this happen myself where you don’t get the position you applied for, but are hired for another.
  • Unless there is an emergency, do not reschedule or cancel: It takes a lot longer than expected to set up interview(s) for candidates. It requires busy executives and employees moving around their schedules and meetings to accommodate the candidate. I’m surprised how many candidates I get requesting to be moved an hour or two back, come in a day earlier, or sometimes don’t even show up. When an interview is scheduled, see it as non-negotiable and do whatever it takes to get there. Rescheduling to even a day later can ruin your chances of getting hired, as they may have found someone for the position already.

The hiring process can be stressful, but with the right attitude, it doesn’t have to be.  Be on your A-game and show them the amazing person that you are, and if it’s meant to be, it will happen.

Book Review: Naked Economics

2 Mar

I recently finished reading Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelean. Economics is definitely a field where I feel I am lacking a lot of basic knowledge mostly because I have never dedicated time to really absorbing or studying the subject. However, it is obviously very important and I thought it was time I start figuring it out!

From HMO’s to why Bill Gates is so much richer than me, by applying important real life situations to the study of economics Wheelan makes the subject very approachable and easy to apply to anyone no matter your situation. Because of this read I truly feel like I have such a better grasp about economics and had no idea how important and interconnected it was to everything in my life. I suggest anyone who feels intimidated or flustered hearing the work economics to pick up this book immediately because you will finish feeling rather accomplished and with a much clearer understanding about the way in which the economy functions.

I wanted to share with you some interesting tidbits I picked up from the book:

  • In development economics the two lacking factors, education and health are the two main things that contribute to human capital which makes individuals productive and therefore determines their standard of living. For example “Higher rates of education for women in developing countries are associated with lower rates of infant mortality” (212).
  • “Prior to the Great Depression, the United States experienced ten depressions- each worse than anything we’ve had since” (160)
  • In taking a look at financial markets and investments there are many theories. Wheelen points out that “85 percent of the mutual funds that claim to have some special stock-picking ability did worse over two decades than a simple index fund, our modern equivalent of a monkey throwing a towel at the stock pages” (131)

From this read I have a new understanding for economics and the level of importance it holds in my life and how it really is a set of tools that can improve or destroy our country. For all that I got from this book I still have a ton to learn, but I am glad that I got the basics down, baby steps.

This reminds me I have yet to do my taxes…