All posts tagged: Career

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In Praise of the Midlife Crisis — on a Motorcycle

The author on her Harley. (Photo credit: John Livzey) We should avoid excess risk as we age. So says conventional wisdom. After all, it takes longer to heal a bone broken learning to ski in our 50s than in our 20s. There won’t be time to regain a financial loss suffered past our early 40s if we become too aggressive with our investments. Going back to school later in life to embark on a new career seems a waste of time and energy. And don’t get me started on those folks who leave long-term marriages for the greener pastures of a new relationship. I believed all these things. Until, at age 48, I fell in love with a matte black, brawny beast of a machine. I took a motorcycle safety class as research for a book I was writing and surprised myself with the depth of feeling that burbled up. My father was dying at the time and I felt entombed in a marriage that, after 25 years, had lost all its verve. I had …

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My Half-Baked Life and the Pastry Job That Saved Me

Lani Halliday of @BrutusBakeshop (Photo courtesy of Eater.com) Last summer, two coworkers and I left our jobs running a hip and lauded bakery in Brooklyn to start our own catering and cakes company. The plan had come together organically: We shared mutual affections, bonded over grueling workdays and were all possessed by a deep desire to pull ourselves out from under the never-ending task of producing someone else’s dream to ride high on our own vision. We conspired over margaritas how we together would take over the world — or at least the New York Slow Food scene. The “plan” lasted a solid two months and eventually fell apart when a project shaped distinctly like something bigger than we could chew, coupled with an epic no-sleep, Adderall-fueled prep session flushed out our deeper natures. We pulled it off and the client was thrilled, but I was deemed both too soft and too harsh to enter into a long-term relationship with. The other partners pushed me out. My ego was left battered, but — oh god …

The Public Intimacy of Private Ink

Susan Goldberg gets inked. (Photo: Farrah Braniff) Spring came late this year, but I can tell it’s here because all of a sudden people are commenting on my tattoo. I live on the Canadian Shield; I spend at least nine — often 10 — months wrapped in multiple layers. Each year, when it finally gets warm enough to wear a tank top, I forget that much of the general public hasn’t yet seen the typewriter inked onto my right upper arm. It’s like seeing the first robin of the season. “Hey, cool! I love your typewriter!” someone will say at a bar or restaurant or on the street, usually followed up with: “Are you a writer?” And I nod and smile and say, “Thank you” and “Yes.” And then there is a bit more smiling, and I pray inwardly that they won’t next ask, “What do you write?” If you write, then you know there’s no worse question than “What do you write?” Particularly if you happen to be, say, the kind of writer who …

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Day Job: I Work for a Temporary Tattoo Company

Yng in her Tattlys. (Photo: Ace Boothby/Tattly) Yng-Ru Chen is the head of partnerships at Tattly, a company that makes artful, fun and often elaborate temporary tattoos. (We had one made for our first TueNight birthday party.) Her Tattly partner work even brought her to an easter party at the White House! We wanted to ask Yng-Ru what it was like to work for one of the coolest Brooklyn-based teams, and quiz her, Prosustian-style, on her work essentials and career history. Tell us in your own words: What are Tattlys exactly? That’s a fun question to answer. Tattly is a temporary tattoo company that adults seems to love as much, if not more than kids. All of the designs are by amazing artists who receive royalties from the sales. What exactly do you do for Tattly? As head of partnerships I work on developing clients for the custom Tattly side of the business, I oversee the events we do, I manage our large licensing properties and I create relationships with partners so that our tiny, …

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What’s Inside That Vault at Paisley Park?

Architect’s rendering of Paisley Park. (Photo courtesy BOTO Design Architects) In 2006, I walked through the front door of Paisley Park for arguably one of the un-coolest reasons ever: as a member of a team filming self-help videos for AOL. That’s because in addition to being the Purple One’s lair, Paisley Park is a production studio for hire. I wasn’t there to record soul tracks, but to tape a segment with the author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” I expected the 65,000-square foot facility to resemble a Wonka-esque factory, but the outside looked more like a shiny white office park. In the wake of Prince’s death, his inner circle is undoubtedly debating the facility’s future, including turning it into a museum. Ten years ago, parts of the inside already seemed like a shrine. Off the lobby was a hallway with a timeline of Prince’s major accomplishments, featuring larger-than-life images of his bikini-bottom Controversy years and jazzy period when he put on more clothes and dropped from pop culture consciousness. The car grill from the …

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What No One Tells You About Planning for Retirement

I put at least 10 percent (or is it 15 percent?) of my salary in my 401K every year. I contribute to a ROTH every other year (or so). I own my home — or will in 28 years. I have enough in stocks to carry me at least a few weeks. Financially, I’m not that bad off… am I? I ask this of my financial advisor, whose primary value seems to be telling me that I should save more. Disappointingly, he can’t make magic of what I have put away thus far. We meet annually to review where I would be financially if I were to retire at an age that increases with every meeting. He routinely poses questions that start with “If you plan to ever stop working…” or “If you’re serious…” My current retirement plan seems to be not to retire. But then, as I’ve seen with my parents, retirement can come unplanned and earlier than you think. They did everything right — scrimping and saving, counting their pennies and on their …

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I Went All the Way to Switzerland, and All I Got Was Chewed Out by My Boss

Seeing my hairbrush down the hall from my hotel room after a long day of not-so-helpful interviews should have been my first clue that this was not going to be the reporting trip of my dreams. In 1996, I took my first international reporting trip to Switzerland, researching the wealth of Swiss billionaires for my magazine’s annual billionaires list. My portfolio of targets included a family with vast grain holdings, a private bank, oil interests, the family behind Swatch, a cement baron, and the scion of a pharmaceuticals company that made good use of nuns’ urine. I was also asked to report on and write a lifestyle piece on the state of the Swiss watch industry, which was then rebounding from a Timex and Japanese-based assault. Getting to go on an international reporting trip was a coveted boondoggle, not that rare though in the flush 1990s when magazines sold so much advertising that editors begged reporters for more copy to fill the pages. Two fellow reporters famously went to the Far East every year for …

What It Really Feels Like To Be 25 in 2016

Before you get swept up in the nostalgia of your own quarter-life crisis (crap bosses, three roommates, teeny tiny apartment, bottle service clubs, falafel at 4 a.m., hot dates), there are some women I want you to meet. These girls are living the 2016 version, where hookups are negotiated on Tinder, the boss is just as likely to be a girl who graduated a year ahead and likes using her newfound power to make you feel small and there’s not a single boozy brunch that isn’t documented on Instagram to elicit FOMO among all your followers. So while you’ve been there, there are a few things that 25(ish)-year-olds want to clear up for the older generation about what their lives are really like. It’s Sorta Lonely “On a recent, teary phone call with my mom about feeling stuck at work, I said, ‘I need to let myself cry about this, and when I’m done crying, I need someone to pick me up and help me figure out what to do. But I don’t know who …

Aaliyah, J-Love and Britney: My 20s Pop Culture Education

When I first heard mop-topped goth girl Alison Reynolds utter this dismal pronouncement in John Hughes’ 1985 now-classic The Breakfast Club, it sent shivers down my spine. Like her, I was a teenager at the time and imagining myself in college — forget about later on, as part of the work force — was enough to make me break out in zits. But the idea of spending the subsequent 75 years or so wandering the earth as a bored, numb, jaded adult? That was downright terrifying. Today, at 44 (an age my teen self couldn’t fathom; back then, I thought 30 was ancient), I can honestly say I’m almost as unjaded, wide-eyed and goofy — not to mention, passionate about my obsessions — as I was as a teen, and I have my 25-year-old self to thank for it. That’s how old I was when I hit my stride as a teen magazine editor. I knew I’d wanted to be a journalist since age 11, but “teen magazine editor” wasn’t the specialty I had in …

Hey, Millennials: A Tunic Is Not a Dress (and Other Important Career Advice)

In the 20 years since I’ve entered the workforce (the past 10 of them at J. Walter Thompson), I have traveled the world, hung with Hollywood’s elite (and not so elite), had cocktails with the Marahana of Udaipur, sold major bling and counted stacks of moldy cash (literally, stacks) in the kitchen of an Aspen mansion on red mountain, met “The Donald” and all of his wives (yep, Ivana, Marla and Melania – at separate times for different reasons), been accompanied by one major Las Vegas CEO’s Belgian attack dogs (long story) and handled many major corporate crisis communications campaigns, brand launches, executive visibility campaigns and so on. Because of the nature of my job, some of my biggest accomplishments were keeping things OUT of the media, to protect either a brand or an executive. So when the fabulous Ann Shoket asked me to write about advice I would give to my 25-year-old self (or those starting in the work force), it was pretty simple. Today’s 25-year-olds don’t understand that Generation X “paid our dues” …

The “Vision Thing”: How to Un-See Yourself

I’m a starter. A person who starts things, makes things. I’m a little bit addicted to the blank page, the open field, the undefined future. In my career as a magazine editor, I was a part of four start-ups and led the rebirths of two magazines. I’ve written one book and am at work on another, lining up words and ideas and moving them around the page until they eventually add up to a focused emotional experience. Seeing what isn’t yet there and building it? That’s my specialty. But I want to share a secret about how to have “vision” — a talent that is generally attributed to a person’s having unusual creativity; the ability to pull, seemingly from thin air, an idea that is so relevant and alive we can’t resist it. It seems like vision is magic — yanking the rabbit out of a hat — but for me, my vision has always come from a very simple and readily available resource: seeing people in the world around me very, very clearly. Remember …

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8 Merry & Bright Home & Office Gifts

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) I had a trifecta of goals as I searched for items to include here: First, to bring you my usual explosion of patterns and brights (I am nothing if not consistent; this is my MO every year Tue Night asks me to compose a gift guide). Second, to only include items that are everyday useful because even the most workaday things in your life should be bold and fun. And finally, to feature only items that’ll run you $75 or less. Done, done and done. 1. Pendleton Bowl Pendelton is a fantastic resource for good prints and not just on their famed blankets. This bowl, in their Suwanee Stripe pattern, comes in a set of four and brings just that much more excitement to your morning oatmeal. $39.50, pendelton-USA.com 2. iPhone Case I just think this iPhone case is gloriously pretty. Enough said. $32, shopbop.com 3. Cork Coasters The fact that these playful cork coasters come in a set — but each have their own look — is pretty cool. $16, …

Is Your Office Making You Sick?

Most of us spend the vast majority of our time (about nine hours a day, on average) at work, and for a large proportion of us, work time equals office time. Offices have evolved with our job descriptions, but the essence remains the same: Every day we leave our homes to join another group of humans in an environment that is not exactly tailored to our unique specifications but within which we must live (and live productively) for the largest part of our days. The first year I left academic research (working in a laboratory) for a corporate job (working in an office), I experienced a series of strange health ramifications. On the surface, one might imagine the laboratory environment, where I could potentially be exposed to various dangerous chemicals and strange bugs on a routine basis, would be less healthy than the open-plan office I moved to. But it didn’t play out that way for me. Within a year, I gained about 20 pounds and got sick more times than I ever had in …

Can We Ban “Busy”?

Over a leisurely lunch of pasta and prosciutto, I was talking to a dear friend about how much I had enjoyed reading over the summer. My friend, a successful entrepreneur, paused and looked at me thoughtfully. Then he shook his head, looked down and said he would love to read but, unfortunately, just didn’t have time. Specifically he said he was “too busy.” I smiled. Our lunch lasted an hour and a half. Afterwards we strolled to browse menus at nearby restaurants, evaluating spots for a family dinner he was planning later in the week. He then met a friend of mine about joining a social club neither of us thought he would actually join. By the time he returned to work it would be 4:30pm, nearly four hours after he had left to meet me for lunch. My friend was making decisions about how to spend his day. They were active choices. The decision was, simply, not to read. We all have the same 24 hours in our day. Most of us are choosing …

Mandates of a Middle-Aged Man Repeller

Robin’s wardrobe. (Photos courtesy of Robin Marshall, Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) “…I didn’t want to wear a sack dress myself; I just wanted to be friends with a woman who did. She’d be smart, sophisticated, witty, and brave, and together we’d bond over this haute hoot.” John Waters, “The Dress that Changed My Life,” Harper’s Bazaar, September 2014 Shapeless sacks. These are the two words that best describe my wardrobe, according to my always-natty brother. His next three words would be saggy diaper pants (AKA, harem or MC Hammer pants). Super sexy, I know. Tunics, caftans, sack dresses, oversized shirts, drop-crotch pants – if it’s large or voluminous, boyish or boxy, it’s in my closet. But it wasn’t always this way. You see, I spent my formative sartorial years working in retail, where the number one mantra was: Look. The. Brand. So my “style” was essentially dictated by what was currently in store and what I could afford. I went from saving up my $4.75-per-hour Foxmoor Casuals paycheck to buy Sasson jeans (no Levi’s …

Swimming Upstream: Growing Up at an Alt-Weekly

Kim, while she freelanced at the Sowetan in South African. (Photo Courtesy of Kim O’Donnel) Every job is a stone upon which you step. For me, that first stone was in a creek called Philadelphia City Paper, a small but mighty body of water with a near electric current. It was publisher Bruce Schimmel’s paper then, and he had editor David Warner help him run it. Together, they encouraged me to stir the proverbial pot, to ask questions that made people uncomfortable, to speak truth to power, and to write like I meant it. We were mostly young, underpaid, overworked and totally and utterly in love with the printed thing we made week after week. I was 22. It was 1989. It was a time when you picked up the phone to talk to a source, and when out in the field you holed up in a phone booth. We filed our stories on early generation Macintosh word processors, stories that the art department (two gals who would become like sisters to me) would lay …

Ditching the “Sorry” When it Comes to Getting Paid

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) In the board game “Sorry,” two players cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You roll the dice, and if you land on a space where another player is already standing, they’re knocked back to where they started. Their progress is lost, and you’re left apologizing. “Sorry!” you say — with or without sincerity. Sorry, because I took up space that someone was using. Sorry, because I went and put myself out there, rolled the dice, and got somewhere. Sorry, I got in another person’s way. This game made perfect sense to me as a girl, because I was taught to move through the world in pretty much that same way. It was impolite to take up space, even metaphorically, because somebody else might need it. “I’m sorry,” was the all-purpose reply if I drew too much attention, made too much noise or did anything that might possibly annoy anyone. You’re not greedy if you want to be paid well. And you’re not stealing from the women next to …

Bored at Work? Adopt a Gig Mentality

Summer vacations were one of the best things about college. They provided me with a precious three-month opportunity to explore the working world without consequence – exactly when my appetite for adventure and real-world experience bumped up against the ugly reality of living wages and educational expenses. After my first year in school, I wangled a stipend to explore my passion for non-profits and the law. I volunteered at a major international non-profit sporting organization that planned, organized, marketed and led a weekend summer camp for the athletes. One day a week, I was a lackey at the county courthouse. In spite of organizational challenges, I was a veritable over-eager sponge. I had a burning desire to move faster, produce more and innovate around systemic efficiencies that were of little interest to my seasoned superiors. The whole time, my bright-eyed enthusiasm never waned. The reason? The start of the school year provided a clean break. These three months were a priceless, experience-building window that allowed me to bypass any regrets, resume concerns or awkward goodbyes. …

Money & Business: Women Who Inspire Us

SALLIE KRAWCHEK By Nicole Hamilton “Instead of retreating in the face of adversity, Sallie found a brilliant next move — helping other women build a ladder up and learn new skills together.”… Read about why she inspires us LISA SERVON By Amy S. Choi “New thinking about the urban poor and financial services is (duh) important and supremely relevant, and she’s doing it smartly and respectfully.”… Read about why she inspires us JANE BARRATT By Jessica Randazza “I admire her ability to methodically pivot in to her own venture, away from those big companies, and focus in on something she believes in. And having pursued a similar path (agency gal now at a fintech startup focused on investments, no less), it wasn’t until I heard Jane’s story that made me stop and think for the first time, “What am I doing to determine my own financial success?” Keep reading… Read why Jane inspires us SEE MORE IN 38 OVER 38: Arts, Books & Culture Food & Health Media & News Music & TV Politics & Activism Style …

7 Big Returns on My Intern Investment

An entrepreneurial artist and burnt-out mommy trying to keep her businesses going — that was me in a nutshell. My daughter was just three months old when I hired a part-time nanny and decided to return to work in my studio. If I ran to work, didn’t bathe, talk to anyone, exercise or eat, I could get in four solid hours of work a day. After dedicating myself to this schedule for six months, I saw little progress. I ended up throwing my back out and was confined to a chair for two work days. Not to mention that I was now running late on projects for the first time ever and my commission list was on hold. I knew I needed help and something had to change. Four different people suggested getting an intern. I didn’t listen at first; I’d had interns before with mixed results — they can be more of a cost than a cure. Example: I once had an intern make $300 worth of color copies from a black and white document. Yeah. However, …

On the Event of My “Canniversary”

(Photo: Kat Borosky) My boss slid two manila folders across her desk. “Well, you’re probably not shocked about what I’m going to say.” I had an inkling about what she was going to say, but it didn’t mean I wasn’t shocked. One week after returning from
 my 10-day honeymoon, I was getting the axe. * As we celebrate (ok,
 we don’t celebrate) the 5th anniversary of the 
2008 economic collapse, I celebrate (and yes, I celebrate) the 
moment I was laid off from my last full-time job — my 
”Canniversary.” Credit for that term goes solely to my friend Maura
 Johnston, who announced, on Twitter, her one-year Canniversary of being 
”shit-canned.”  (However if
 you look up canniversary in urban dictionary, it 
has a whole different meaning) It was the first time I’d
 ever been let go from a job. Ever. I’d always been that
 sit-in-the-front-row, hardworking, sleeves rolled, do whatever it
 takes kind of worker. I’d been promoted at every job I’d ever had. 
But in this particular digital editor gig, I had a personality conflict with my boss …

Being Authentic, Cue Diana Ross

“I’m coming out. I want the world to know, got to let it show.” Since 1980, Diana Ross’s rallying cry disco hit has been one of a series of earworm-y songs running on a loop in my head. (Just added: The shamelessly addictive soundtrack to Kinky Boots. Make it stop!) In our third week of TueNight.com, “Coming Out” has re-entered my brain playlist. I think because I want this site to be a sort of a coming out: a culmination of who I am, who we are as mid-life/ gen-x women, and what we love to do/ read/ experience/ share. Something like the actual conversations I have with my friends. As we progress in life, it can become harder and harder to be authentic, or our true selves — not to sound all Deepak Chopra, but it’s true.  We navigate worlds by playing multiple roles, shifting and adjusting our voice. Today I’m a financial analyst, in three hours I am a mom, tomorrow night I am a drinking buddy, consoling my recently-divorced pal. As in …

Day Job: Radio DJ

Maria Milito and dog Fredo. (Photo: Teresa Misagal/ TueNight.com) Who: Maria Milito What’s your day job? I keep people company on air. I’m a radio DJ for the New York classic rock station, Q104.3. My shift is during the workday, 9am until 2pm. How long have you been a DJ? I’ve been at Q104.3 for 17 years. I’ve been DJing a long time. You don’t like to share your age? It’s funny, I have like 20-year-old listeners who think I’m hipper than their parents and their parents are actually younger than me. And then I have people who listen to me and think they listened to me when they came back from Vietnam. But I can’t tell them that I’m not that old. So that’s why I’m always pretty generic about it. Where did you grow up? Hicksville, Long Island. My family is from Brooklyn and they did the big Italian exodus in the ’50s to Staten Island, New Jersey and Long Island. How did you get into radio? I got a Bachelor’s degree in …

Secrets of a Second-Career Intern

(Photo Credit: Donna Svennevik) When I left my last magazine job in 2008, it seemed there were exactly zero print publications left worthy to work for. I had devoted 20 years of my career to the magazine industry, but it was no secret that the field was going down the tubes. Also, If had to edit one more piece on why blueberries are a superfood, there was a good chance I would slide under the desk into a fetal position and never come out. I was burned out and my well of work ideas had run bone dry. So when a friend told me about the jumpstart she got from her career coach, I went to see him. One of the first exercises he gave me was simply to muse about my job: Turn off the censor in my head, and make a list of the places I would love to work. The first name that popped in my head was WNYC, the public radio station in New York City. I’d done a slew of …

Day Job: Baby Wrangler

Meryl Salzinger, the “baby wrangler,” helps a mom and her baby prepare for a shoot (Photo credit: Camille Tokerud) Who: Meryl Salzinger, 40s, from New York City. What is your day job? “I’m a baby wrangler.” What the heck is a baby wrangler? “The person who gets the babies or children to do what they need to do on a still photo or TV commercial shoot, all the while keeping them happy and safe.” How does your job work, exactly?  “A photographer, client, or ad agency brings me in to use my bag of tricks that get the babies or children to do what the ad requires. I try to be the first person a baby or child sees when they arrive so that I can give them a friendly, loving welcome. Then I pretty much run back and forth from the kid to the camera lens to get the expression and position the photographer needs.” How did you get the gig? “For five years I was a photographer’s assistant at an in-house studio for …