Hanging on to priorities: Staying focused at work and on the job search

The rough road of my professional life continues.  I had hoped to have an easy summer, particularly in August, since it is one of those months when people make an effort to take advantage of the last few weeks of the summer to step out and away from the office.  Well, so much for that.  I was busy, and so were many people around me.

If you’re new to my lil’ blog, you may not know I am like many people who are part of the “lean and mean” business set-up.  I am a Department of One.  I churn out what I can as a marketing chick with zero help.  I am a few months shy of my 8-year mark where this has been my life.  It is one of those scenarios where at first you are seemingly promised support and then, of course, the excuses begin (if there isn’t outright silence) as to why they cannot deliver.

If you have a job, even under tough daily circumstances, you hold on to it.

So, my priorities last month:

  1. Begin scheduling meetings with recruiters recommended by friends and other industry colleagues; and
  2. Launch two more social media presences I had been hesitant to do since they would be two more items of responsibility to add to all the other items I am already responsible for.

Cut to this month — 8 days in.  I have had one meeting with an executive recruiter thus far.  The meeting went well.  This person has years of experience.  I appreciated the candor — and this was important since the last thing I needed was someone yes-ing me to death and not being realistic.  One of the things suggested was I include certain bits of information I had purposely not included in my resume, specifically, graduation dates and all jobs held.  At a certain point in a career, I question whether it is advantageous to include everything from your entire work history.  There are jobs some of us may have held that have no bearing on our career path and would have zero pertinence in what we do, so why include it?  As for graduation dates, the very real issue of age discrimination exists.  True, I may not be seen as “old”, but if a company can hire someone 15 years younger and willing to take a fraction of the compensation I am requesting, why in the world would they look my way?

I have tossed and turned about pros and cons.  What should I divulge and what should I hold off on until I actually get an interview?  There are no easy answers and no one-size-fits-all.   It isn’t a matter of “hiding” things, but simply making sure that the critical roles I have held, directly related to my career, are front and center on my resume and not some “job” I may have had years ago.  In my mind, including things that are not important simply takes up precious real estate on a 2-page resume.  I have no qualms about including everything on my LinkedIn profile; potential employers can easily find what they want.  But, the very real issues are pertinence and space, and in that order.

August also had me launching two more social media presences for my company.  We already had a LinkedIn Company Page, but we now have a Facebook page and Twitter account.  These may be a bit tougher to deal with but with concerns from The Suits about the company’s “lack of visibility”, after going through a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis, joining Facebook and Twitter made sense.

Cut to today — what should be my peaceful Sunday.  I happen to check our Facebook page, and I will admit, I am at my rope with criticisms from people who have a lot of say in this world but offer no substantive solutions.  The message could not have been more off-putting.  One of those people who decide to dish nastiness and proclaim their comments to be “friendly” thus buying them a pass for the behavior. Of course, I immediately jumped on their Facebook page.  “Hmmm…”, I thought.  You have a personal photo in your header but the website you include links to your life as a professional; you have less than 50 likes and the photo in your header is seemingly older than the photo used as your Facebook icon.  Am I being petty?  I don’t think so.  If you are going to dish it, make sure your sh*t is together.

I believe in the this:  People living in glass houses should not throw stones. 

From where I sit, other companies who have similar types of Facebook pages do nothing greater than what I had only begun to do for our company out of the gate.  And the implication that just because this person “liked” our page would somehow mean we should be grateful…Um, not.

I am still seething.

Every day, I realize I have less and less patience and my fuse is short.  If this was not my company’s Facebook page, I would have told this person to go f*ck themselves.  However, professionalism dictates.  So, I replied with a simple two-liner, which was very gracious but took every ounce of energy to write.

If I had the wherewithal to be an entrepreneur and work for myself and be as abrasive as I wanted to be, I would do it in a heartbeat.  For now, however, my priority is to stay focused at work and in the job search so that 2014 does not find me stirring and repeating.  And yes, I am already worrying about 2014.

Life coming full circle or simply special things happening at the right time? (Part 2 of 2)

Within the last two weeks, two extraordinary things happened.  One was a completely unexpected re-connection I had with a friend after 30 years, thanks to Twitter (see, social media has its positives) and the other was meeting up with my “foodie” partner-in-crime, @SingleGalNYC, for dinner.

This is part 2 of a 2-part post.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was great to catch up with @SingleGalNYC over dinner and drinks.  But, I couldn’t help but I can’t deny some really unusual coincidences that took place in less than a week.

  1. We were in a restaurant that had the same name as my old elementary school and high school.  Hm?  If you followed my totally unexpected 30-year re-connection thanks to Twitter, between the initial viewing of the video to the time we sat at the table, only 5 days had transpired. Five days. The wheels began churning on a Monday and on Friday there we were seated in a restaurant with the name of both schools where my long-lost friend and I had spent our formative years.  Coincidence…?  It didn’t stop there.
  2. When I arrived at the restaurant, @SingleGalNYC was already waiting.  On the way to our seats, I realized I’d received an e-mail — “Strange,” I thought.  I hadn’t heard the usual alert when a new message dropped in my inbox. A quick look…it was another e-mail reply from my long-lost friend.  What are the chances that I’d get an e-mail from her at the same time we’re in this restaurant at this time?
    Completely unexpected.  But there’s more.
  3. Over a year ago, I met @SingleGalNYC and fellow RickyFans (shout out to my chicas y chicos!) in person after we had been following each other on Twitter.   We were all gearing up for evening on Broadway.  It was the first night of the previews of EVITA and Ricky Martin was cast in the role as “Che”. The restaurant where we met?  Havana Central — almost directly across the street from where we were seated.  And when I say “almost directly across the street”, I mean, we could hear the music of the drums from the live band coming through the windows.

Havana Central _ Marquis

This was too much.

One friend I “lost” 30 years ago re-appears in the same week one of my newest friends and I are seated in a restaurant with the same name of the schools my “old” friend and I attended and we just happened to be almost directly across the street from the restaurant where we met over a year ago.

Isn’t there a belief of some sort where life as we know it is pre-determined for us even when we don’t know it is, and that one thing truly leads to another to another to another?

If I hadn’t launched this blog after years of people encouraging me to “write” or “start a blog”, I wouldn’t have gotten to this point — at least not like this.  I launched the blog, my BFF’s husband suggested I join Twitter — I did — a year an a half ago, I then “met” @SingleGalNYC which then led to an in-person meeting, I then discovered someone on Twitter who was an alumnae of my old high school, she tweets about a video — which I just happen to see at the right time, I view the video, and there she is, my long-lost friend who I hadn’t seen in 30 years!  And here we were, @SingleGalNYC and I, seated in a restaurant across from the one where we’d met over a year ago.

Wow.

Believe.  Never give up hope. Have a little faith. Things happen — good things happen — when you least expect them to happen.

What do you think? Was all this pre-destined?