What do you do with a BA in Journalism?

I have continued to remember my degree recently. I don’t know if it is the unemployment, or my significant other finishing his degree. But I continue to remember the song from Avenue Q called, What do you do with a BA in English?. NSFW

I however feel it applies to all writing jobs. I have a writing degree and like to write but feel like I can’t get a break because everyone feels like the can do better and some can. However, I have been writing longer than you and can judge audiences and theme to help you succeed. I’m tired of this shit. I can’t even get an interview now all of a sudden. Really November December = no interviews!  Maybe that is why that song is followed by It Sucks to be Me.

But if you notice we all follow up each other’s, my life sucks stories with something worse.  Basically until someone says, ‘I have/had cancer’ or ‘My mom died’ then you keep trying to one up the other person.  So, I guess we need to stop talking about life sucking and lift ourselves up by our bootstraps.

So, what can I do with a writing degree?

  • Write a book – to be honest I do have the spare time
  • Start a blog – CHECK
  • Write for a newspaper – look for the not dying ones
  • Copywriting – Writing about shiny things for any paying business
  • Editing – face it, not everyone knows where Speck Check is
  • Teaching – because there are bunches of retired people that want to write their epic
  • Public Relations – known, not so nicely, as Spin Doctors

All snarkiness aside these are viable careers for anyone who is a writer and has a similar training to me.  I guess on the bright side it is a list.  I know if I was in a better mood or trying to cheer someone up other than myself it would probably be much longer.  For now, it is a god list and I can always update this post on a brighter day career-wise.

 

 

Advertisements

Advice for the Unemployed

After doing years of informational interviews I was recently asked to be the interviewee instead of the interviewer.  It was a weird switch for me especially after being unemployed and laid off so many times.  But it made since at the same time because not being successful means that I get to give the hard advice.  I tried to to sound bitter but at the same time I wanted her to know that it isn’t always butterflies and bunnies in the workplace.

The advice is stuff I too need to follow myself too but now I want everyone to see it.  Hopefully those recently unemployed or laid off will take what they can from it.

First, EVERYONE should watch this video because of the wisdom that he imparts are the things that no one ever tells you.  It is a little over 15 minutes in, but well worth it.

Contact, contacts, contacts

  • Always keep your contacts fresh:  Take them out to coffee or email them quarterly.
  • Attend networking events
  • Get a mentor
  • Christmas cards/baskets = awesome
  • Join ANY and all networking groups you feel fit your needs.  YPOP, PRSA, AMA
  • Many jobs aren’t advertised so you want to make sure they know your name from somewhere positive

Metal Health is Still Important

  • Keep a savings account so you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics.  Enough for a few months at least.
  • Keep a hobby or two that has nothing to do with your job – makes you less worn out and keeps the ideas flowing

If you don’t want any one to see it then don’t put it on the internet

  • Drunk/NSFW (Not Safe For Work) pics
  • Negative former/current job statements
  • Misinterpreted comments

Life sometimes sucks

  • Watch the Conan O’Brien graduation speech – sometimes you find the best in loss
  • Someone will steal your idea – at least you know it was good enough to steal
  • Someone will fire you for what appears to be no reason – if they are looking that hard you didn’t need to be there anyways
  • You will have huge fights with other employees. – sometimes you have to fight to earn each other’s respect
  • Your plans will fail – learn from it and come back stronger
  • Sometimes people won’t just tell you what is wrong – ASK!

Communications Specific

Anyone can advertise

  • No one says it but many act like it, it may be your job to tell people the right and wrong principles and why.
  • Also, realize you won’t always win = just sit back and try to make it work
  • You may only be doing it for part of your job along with admin/project management/customer service etc.
  • But you will be measured on your advertising more than the others on average because of your degree.
  • We get laid off first – because anyone can advertise

Millenials Are Stronger Than You

I guess this blog is evolving much like my life isn’t lately.  I have been unemployed for six months now.  I have been trying to find a new job in many different careers.  It use to not be as much of a problem but for some reason this time has been hell on wheels.  Yeah, you probably think I am just one of those whiny millienials but really?!

Sob Story

Here is a sob story for you:

  1. Got out of college + had an internship for 1 month = Fired (Your not a good fit)
    • Pros – Met my boyfriend of 5 years that weekend
    • Cons – It took me a year to find another job in my field and I worked as a waitress which isn’t my fortay.
    • Also, the economy died the same week.
  2. After a failed internship at a startup + (a great internship at an agency + renewed contracts + them creating a job for me) = Laid off
    • Pro – I got some beautiful experience and met the best people in the world
    • Con – Had just moved into a new apartment the weekend before, economy still sucked, had turned down a job offer from a friend at another great agency because “I was at a great company already.
  3. Found another great startup + surgery = Laid off
    • Pro – More wonderful experience with a great company and another great title to add to my resume also, not laid off because of my surgery leave.
    • Con – Lay off part 2 makes it less, “life sucks” and a little more “you might suck”  + laid off in the middle of the summer
  4. Finally found a place I fit + Everyone I like leaving = Laid off
    • Pro – Well, finally finding a great workplace with lots to do and I thought I helped
    • Con – Everyone who was the great part of the company left.  It didn’t need someone like me even though I did so much despite what other managers thought.

After that, please people, tell me that I am a whiny millennial.  I have worked my butt off.  This isn’t all the jobs I had in the last 5 years since graduation.  I have had paying 6 jobs in the last 5 years that were in my field.  It isn’t like I haven’t tried to stay and help the companies be successful.  If you count the jobs that I took part time or was not paid for I have had almost 10 jobs in 5 years.

Please, tell me that I am not applying myself.

I’m Just Mad

I guess I am just mad at the world.  A world where people don’t have retirement enough to retire so I can’t take a job at the company because everything is filled by skilled works like my parents and grandparents.  A world where I don’t get a job until I have experience and I can’t get experience without a job.  Or an unpaid internship and living in a studio apartment on food stamps.

I have been on government assistance for most of the time I have been unemployed.  I saved money but it is never enough to cover rent, bills, and food.

I Failed

All millennial feel like we have failed to live the “American Dream” that we were sold as children.  We were suppose to have the perfect job offer within months of being out of school with a short stint as a waitress.  Not months and years of people saying, “no,” “get experience,”, or “you aren’t a good fit.”

But It Doesn’t Mean I Gave Up

But yet, I keep trying.  I get back on that perverbial horse and plug along.  Even if there are days that I yell at God and cry alone in my apartment when I see everyone around me doing something with their lives.

I go out and try for another job.  Look for the best parts of my last one to show to the next one.  Try to see what I learned at the last job as great experience.  “Always look on the bright side of life,” as Monty Python would say.

Millennials Aren’t Failures

So, no, I don’t think millennials are failures and it isn’t just because I am one.  It is because everyone one I meet is working their butts off to meet the right people.  Help each other find the best company and even give each other advice that other generations may have left out.  Yeah, we occasionally sound like the French judge at the Olympics but we are brutally honest about things from grammar to what we are looking for in a job.

It sounds silly but I still think I can change the world, even after almost 10 jobs in 5 years. That is the hope I try to resurrect every time I am met with a lay off.

Hope, that is what you can’t take away from millennials.

How to tell you have become a RPG geek

Being an Role Playing Game (RPG) geek and player I would like to go through some of the things that can prove that I am a true gamer.  Even if I am a girl.

  • You get excited to seem game paraphernalia
  • Your dice have ‘gotten mad at you’ when you start to have bad rolls
  • Playing in character can start to affect your day to day interactions with people (Rogues act more cunning in business deals, etc.)
  • There are different dice for different games, not just the game they came with.
  • You keep dice on you at all times just so that they will give you good rolls during your weekly game.
  • Start to think about bringing food to game rather than taking the customary food break because you don’t want to stop in the middle.
  • Set up dates inside a larger MMO with friends so that you always have a raiding party
  • Think about DM-ing just so you can attempt a total party kill where rock really do fall and everyone dies.
  • You think about game in terms of a whole day instead of an hour.
  • Explaining the length of time combat takes to a loved one is exceedingly hard and usually ends with, “You just need to play the game” or “you had to be there”
  • You have watched any Dead Gentleman Productions movies
  • Have referred to an absentee gamer as “Mark”
  • Have distinct opinions about Min/Max-ing
  • Have actually thought about bringing cookies for the DM/GM to get better luck/prizes that day.
  • Friendships have been created and destroyed by character decisions
  • You have switched dice in the middle of a game because “those dice hate me.”

If you have more to add to the list I would love to hear them.

Kitchen Geek

Well, I guess it is a stereo type that girls know how to cook and should really like it. Yeah, I fall into the stereotype but not in the way you might think from the movies and such.

I grew up in a household where the gender roles were swapped. This just meant that my mom loved doing yard work and my father preferred to do all the cooking. While my father is a great cook his meals tend to be, well, quick and more pantry oriented than fresh food. It has helped me save money over the years but people tend to stare at me when they ask where I learned to cook. It also didn’t help that I knew more about cooking from Hamburger Helper boxes and reading the labels on cans. But you play the hand you are dealt. However, I blame dad for helping me figure out how to make some mean nachos and breakfasts.

I like to say dad cooked more like a bachelor. I didn’t get any big family meals unless my mom or grandparents cooked. They big hearty Southern and Swedish meals just came from extended families. Beyond that I taught myself how to cook. I started with a few staple party dishes when I was in college. I was the girl who always brought salmon with dill butter. Usually went over well but when I met Vox, who isn’t a big fish fan, I had to learn a few new plates.

I started with dinners. Why? Because I was dating a wonderful guy and was short on funds. So, food stamps here I come. I went through recipes online and even learned to modify recipes for new friends with chocolate and onion allergies. Now I have at least 10 recipe books. I have at least 25 staple foods I make per year.

Including:

  • Truffles: at least 3 flavors
  • Spritz Cookies
  • Caramels
  • Sugar Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies + the modification without chocolate
  • Spiral Honey Ham
  • Herb Butter Chicken
  • Mash Potatoes
  • Strawberry Cakes
  • Various cordials

There are more but I think you get the idea.

Now that I cook so much I find myself walking slowly through kitchen sections thinking, “does that product really make it easier?” or “Man I could really use a roasting pan. I’ll start pricing.” Things that when I was younger were just the boring section of the store are now the most interesting. I look for style in my serving ware and pricing. I have learned the difference between quality and price. For instance, I’ll start pricing something at a nice place and then realize when I have looked other places that the quality is worth the price. The older I get the more often I tend to just go for the low price at the best stores.

But part of my huge Amazon Wish List are things like a new kettle, cast iron dutch ovens, cute egg timers and the like. I love trying to find great cookbooks too. Which can be hard when you look for low fat and no fish.  Then there are the geeky utensils like the Star Trek pizza cutter or the all edges brownie pan.  I even have a brownie pan that cuts the squares for you.

I guess I have geeked out about my kitchen a bit lately. I like finding stuff on reduced prices and I did that today. Nicely before Black Friday and Thanksgiving.

Once again, a thing I didn’t think was geeky but got me going some how into a full blog post. What do you geek out about that isn’t quite geeky?

You can be both

Over arching question of my adult life. Why can’t I be both? It is said I am like my grandfather who would look at options on a dinner table and say, “I’ll have a little of each.” People laugh at that story but it is true. We say you can’t have it all but in my life I have always wondered why? Why do I have to choose just one? I grew up being told, you can be anything you want in life. No one said you had to be just one thing but it was the ape in the room.

I can do Both jobs

In college I graduated with a degree in Advertising.  I took both creative and management classes because in advertising agencies you have people who design and others who arrange things with the clients.  So, I was educated in both.  However, when I was graduating from school I was told by many different professors to choose to either be a creative or management.  I disagreed.  Having also doubled majored so I knew the value in knowing both sides of the business.  Now I have worked in many different positions in both agencies and in the private businesses with my knowledge of both creative and management serving me equally well.

This experience has allowed me to have variety of jobs.  Not just doing one thing for many companies but I have worked in marketing, public relations, online media, and event planning.  Employers look at my resume now and are nervous that I have done too many things.  Something I never thought would happen.  But doesn’t that make me well-rounded?  I can do just about any communications job under the sun because of the crazy number of jobs and experiences I have had.  I truly have been lucky enough to do a little bit of each.  I have created forms so that a creative process is easier to track and I have written all the wording for entire websites.

Smart and Fat

When I was growing up in a small town I was the fat kid in my class.  I am sure you have heard the story if you read my first post.  But being the fat and unpopular girl in my class of 33 people was an issue.  There were only maybe 5 fat girls in my high school.  We were marginalized.  Some of us had learning disabilities and others just didn’t do sports like me.  So, it was assumed that because I was fat I was also stupid.  You have heard the sound of people’s voices when they make fun of you.  They make you sound dumb.

I fiercely refused to be that person.

I grew up in a family that watched History Channel, Discovery Channel and PBS every night.  We visited museums on vacations and my brother and I NEVER complained.  My mother tried to get me into a high math class because of my test scores but even the adults refused to move me up because I wasn’t the type.

I refuse to take it.

I took advance courses as quickly as I could.  I had an online Spanish class and took advanced English.  I read classics by choice like Siddhartha, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens.  I could explain Shakespeare to my fellow classmates and even outwitted a history teacher talking about the New York City draft riots portrayed in a history of the Gangs of New York documentary I had seen the day before.  I graduated with honors being ranked 3rd in my class.  I was the only person in that class to get early admissions into a major university.

I wanted to prove that you can be a plus size woman and smart.

You CAN be both

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t listen to what people say.  You can like Dr. Who and Torchwood.  You can create games and like football.  You can be a brony and be in the Marines.  I know that you can have both.  The thing you should know though is that having both also means that you may have to work twice as hard.  That is because people won’t understand your choices.  They will try to tell you how to be normal but all you have to be is yourself.

My Little Ponies

Another fandom that I didn’t ask for but was forcibly introduced to. My friends, Princess Bob and J-chan had watched the new version of My Little Ponies and thought I would like it. They knew I had watched Fruit Baskets and thought it had the same cuteness. I didn’t agree. But mostly because I didn’t remember the original series from my childhood. I remember playing with them but not any sort of obsession.

So, one night we were having a girls night and decided to pull it up on my Netflix. I was reluctant but soon got pulled into the storyline. There was something about the intense introverted nature of Twilight Sparkle that I identified with. Or maybe it was that the story lines felt really true to life. Or perhaps it was just to cute.

I remember having that moment when I was a kid dropped off at camp or as a young adult at college thinking, “I have to make friends? How? Why me? Can’t I hide here till it’s over?”  But as I watched the show more I felt much more affection for Pinkie Pie mostly because I love being the crazy one among my friends.  However, there are moments where we all feel like the each of the characters.  Shopping we can all be come a little Rarity.  At work we have a little bit of Apple Jack.  Camping a little Fluttershy.  Playing a game totally Rainbow Dash and obviously Pinkie Pie is the party animal.  While Twilight Sparkle tends to be the mother-like figure that brings everyone together.

I noticed with time that I got excited every time I saw My Little Ponies stuff.  Plushies, figurines, even cupcakes.  I just added a t-shirt to my wish list from Steve Jackson Games’ Munchkin Apocalypse.  I didn’t want it because I like the Apocalypse version of Munchkin but because I love the Four Horsies of the Apocalypse resembling My Little Ponies.  Two of my great geekdoms in one shirt.  I actually skwee’d when I saw it!

Later Princess Bob, J-chan and I went to the trouble of seeing the My Little Ponies movie in theatres.  It wasn’t showing many places but we were lucky it was close.  So, yes we went to see it in the afternoon on opening weekend.  We also enjoyed every minute of it.

Recently I even created a Demon Hunters character that had a trait where he treated My Little Ponies like a religion.  He also has a signature shirt that is always some sort of My Little Ponies shirt.  Finally, the campaign ended up taking place in the middle of a My Little Ponies convention.  It is an amazing game.  The character is also a former solider so it makes it more fun for me to be manly and love My Little Poneis and friendship while the rest of the Demon Hunters crew is very cynical.

I also played a great game at GameStorm where someone had turned figurines from the show into characters for a miniatures game of Fallout.  He called it Fallout Equestria.  It was amazing.  It was post apocalyptic and just as deadly as any other miniatures game I’ve seen.  However, being my first miniatures game I did die pretty fast but that won’t stop me from trying again I guess.

So, I guess you could say that My Little Ponies is like a cup of coffee.  It is a small pick me up after a long hard or stressful day.  I really think people should treat it more like watching old Disney movies because there are really jokes for adults and not just kids all the time.

What childish think did you give a try?  Do you have a guilty pleasure in Young Adult books or Saturday Morning Cartoons?  I would love to hear about it in the comments.