Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thanks For The Advice, But I'm Not Deleting Any Facebook Photos

A young woman in college raised a topic of much debate on NPR this afternoon. She explained that her advisor told her she needed to take down all her pictures on Facebook that she wouldn't want an employer to see. She then complained about how she really didn't want to delete them. The consensus on the show seemed to be that no, you don't have to delete all your pictures, but employers don't have to hire you either.

Why are we still talking about whether potential employers are going to Google you or check out your Facebook profile? Why are we still talking about deleting Facebook photos at all? Whether they're going to check you out or not, you should protect your online identity as if they are. Which is why I'm not deleting all my "incriminating" Facebook photos or censoring my comments. I'm reading the privacy policies and protecting my account to make sure that only my friends can see my photos and details of my account.

Facebook is personal. It's the one social network where I keep in touch with family and friends across space and time. It's the one place I can talk about a messy family drama divorce; learn about my sister's engagement in Italy; commiserate with hungover friends; share and laugh at pictures of our recent beach trip. If I want to know about the intimate details of your life and want you to know about mine, then I'm gonna let you know: with a friend request. If not, don't worry, I might just connect with you somewhere else (email? LinkedIn? Twitter?).

Point being, it's personal. Why would you even let a casual observer such as a potential employer peruse your personal Facebook profile? That's like letting someone you barely know walk around your house uninvited. Put a lock on your front door (a.k.a. go set your profile information & search privacy settings)! Then you silly little college students don't have to get mad because you had to delete all your SBY2K10 photos.

Take what others advise with a grain of salt. Be your own advocate. Do your own research. BE SMART.

Sidenote: Facebook privacy aside, if you're an employer that won't hire a normal 20-something who goes out for drinks with their friends on the weekends or has pictures of themselves at a party, I probably don't want to work for you anyways. No hard feelings :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sex Week at The Next Great Generation

I write for a website called The Next Great Generation where Millenials write about everything and anything related to their generation. This past week (February 15th - February 21st) has been "Sex Week", which means all featured articles relate back to Gen Y sex somehow. Although all 21 articles are worth reading, I thought I would share some of my favorites (read: does not mean I agree with all of the authors) and the ones with the most interesting debate in the comments in case you don't have time to read all of them!

For Guys, The First Date Is All About Sex by Armando Samuels

Bisexuality: The Punching Bag Orientation by Lauren Schumacher

Sex, Stigma and STDs by Carlee Mallard - Hey, that's me!(But I really did think it was pretty good)

My Decision To Take A Lover by Alex Pearlman

The Perils of The Perpetually Single Gen Y Female by Valeria Villarroel

And some of the articles that gave me a good chuckle:
The Interview: Elle Magazine's E. Jean Carroll by Gillian Maffeo

Rated Y-17: Gen Y's Top 10 Erotic Gems in Film and Television by David Ricaud

Requirements for a Sex Life Worthy of a Major Motion Picture by Lindsay King

I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I have this week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Is "interesting" Anyways? College Was.

I'm three years out of college now. I find myself looking back at my life and the former college-lives of others around me and can't help but feel like most of us were much more interesting people in college.

I look back at pictures from college:
I look back at my resume and notice a laundry list of activities, accomplishments, projects, research interests, and course completions. Tutoring. Mentoring. Ushering. Photographing. Editing. Traveling. Dissecting (pigs). Personal Assisting. Reading. Researching. Writing (like, a lot). Crushing. Loving. Organizing. Leading. Perfecting. Exploring. Freaking (out).

Yea, we do a lot of freaking out in college. We don't know what life is going to look like post-college or how we'll support ourselves (if you haven't been already). So when I got a permanent full-time job I stopped freaking out. I got immediately comfortable with my (relatively) stress-free life. But I look at my life since starting this job 1 year and 7 months ago and life just doesn't seem as interesting. Of course it's mostly all my own fault. I mean, it's my life and it's up to me to make the most of it. But it seems to me that the general population with permanent full-time jobs were much more interesting in college. We get so content just collecting the paycheck every month that we spend our free time going to bars, restaurants, watching TV, and going on the occasional vacation. Is that interesting? Is there more to it?

I find myself wanting to talk to people about my past or my future instead of my present. But am I still that person from college that I think was so interesting? Was I really ever that interesting to begin with? Am I still interesting and I don't know it? What is interesting anyways: popular, exciting, creative, foreign?

Note: After posing this question Sunday night, @ElleLaMode responded with some ideas of her own. You should check out her perspective over here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's a Free Market For Spreading Ideas

There are four major idea-sharing events taking place between March 3, 2010 and March 23, 2010 in the Raleigh-Durham (Triangle) area. They're all free. They're all aimed at engaging the local community thought leaders with the rest of the community through presentations. They're all one-night events coordinated by a local (unpaid) team.

But they each have their own origin and consequently a different path for achieving essentially the same goal: sharing great ideas. You may not be familiar with any of these events (in which case you need to start finding a local event in your own community right now) or you may already know about all three (and heck, there's probably even more events I don't know about yet). Either way, each event has a unique brand, so it's inevitable that they're likely more popular in certain circles than others.

My point in creating this terribly geeky venn diagram (well, honestly I just wanted a reason to make another venn diagram) is to bring all the options to the table, point out their quirks, have other people expand on their unique value (fill in the missing pieces of the venn diagram in the comments people!), and help people discover their niche - where they fit - in the idea sharing event market.

Because if anything, this proves that there's really a free market out there for idea sharing events. There's probably even more popping up out there every day. We're in the information age, and it shows. People want to get together, connect, and share ideas and there's definitely not a monopoly on that.

But this also shouldn't be a competition. The leaders for all events should be supporting each other this month, throughout the year, and for years to come. Don't forget that we're all working towards the same goal.

Have you been to any of these events? What did you like or dislike about each one? If you've helped to organize an event, how have you worked together with other similar events? Do you think it's better to have multiple (smaller) events for the same purpose to should they all combine into one really GREAT BIG event?

To learn more about these events and/or to find an event near you:

And to register for the events in Raleigh this March:

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 2010 Monthly Goal Meetup

I learned something about goal-making and goal-keeping this month. People don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions because they aren’t items that you can easily check off your list. They are too broad and too ambitious. Making long-term goals still have their place, but they don’t belong on a monthly goal list.

Therefore, I’m scratching January’s goals for now and starting fresh with February. This doesn’t mean that my January goals don’t apply anymore or that I’m going to forget about them, but I’m just going to move them to some storage area in my head where I can check up on them from time to time.

This goal meet-up is most useful for me when making goals that I think there’s some chance of achieving in a month’s time frame. This is real life practice for making goals and achieving results.

February onwards:
  1. Do my taxes! I stole this one from a fellow "goal-meetup-er", but I haven't done it yet and this is definitely something I should get off my plate before making any life changes...
  2. Arrange my first tweetup in the Raleigh-Durham area. I'm doing this with Brianne (@bevilliano) and we're both really excited to start meeting our first tweeps.
  3. Up the blog frequency. I've already written my first article for The Next Great Generation that should be up around the middle of the month, but I'm aiming for at least 2 posts there per month and about 6 per month over here. I've never really cared about post frequency before, but I have a feeling it could only benefit me to write more frequently (duh)!
  4. Take on a part-time job. This will probably be the most difficult one to take on considering the full-time job I already have and everything else going on in my life. But I think this will be really good for me to get out and about with people more often. To learn more about what I love and hate. And to get my mind thinking in another direction.
  5. Keep having fun. And by this I'm referring to having fun despite the horrifically cold and snowy winter this southern region has been experiencing. A few things in particular I want to do:
    • Watch every episode of LOST. I can only watch it for the first time once!
    • Looking forward to the fondue Valentine's day dinner with my girlfriends (we're all single at the same time for the first time ever really. Crazy!!!)
    • So excited about "The Art and Culture of the DJ" by DJ Radar performing at UNC-Chapel Hill's Gerrard Hall. My sister works there and she says I'm going to loooove it :)

To participate in the meet-up:
1. Post a list of your career/life related goals for February, along with your checked off January goals if you’d like, on your own blog.
2. Go back to Brazen Careerist and leave a link to your post (*If you don’t have your own blog, feel free to share your list in the comments to join in!)
3. Then, check out everyone else’s lists as they leave comments - click their links, visit their blogs, say hello, meet, greet and support each other because that’s what it’s all about!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Employers & Applicants: Both Sides

There's something I need to get off my chest because I'm not sure what or how to think about it. The issue is weeding out potential employees in not-so-nice ways. Example:
You are hiring 60 temporary employees for an upcoming project. The staffing agency recruits and hires a little more than that (we'll say 70) just in case some people don't accept the position or quit in the middle of the project. Then the training sessions are scheduled. New employees are informed that if they want this job, they will need to come to an 8-hour training session on either Superbowl Sunday or Valentine's Day (both of which are on Sundays). On top of that, if there's inclement weather that day and employees cannot leave their home that day, the training session will not be rescheduled. If they cannot attend the session for any reason, their employment is terminated.
Part of me feels that this is completely justified from a business standpoint. After all is said and done, we only want employees that really want to work for us and have shown us that nothing can stop them from getting this job. We only want the best of the best and since there's such a large applicant pool we can do that.

But I overheard a coworker say something to the effect of "Well, they're all so desperate for a job that they'll come anyways" in regards to new employees coming to a training session during/after a snow storm. It hit me as terribly insensitive. These are real people too. I pride myself in being able to see both sides of a situation and when I looked at it from each side I didn't like what I saw. From the employee's perspective I saw a hard-ass employer who doesn't care about its employees' lives outside of the job (there's no rule stating employers can't be considerate). From the employer's perspective I saw selecting for only the most desperate individuals looking for work.

I really don't think that it's good hiring practice to select only the most desperate applicants. Desperate does not equal the best. Some of my best staff have not been good because they were desperate; they were good because they were interested and they showed me they were interested. There are better ways of selecting the best of the best who really want this job. We should be giving every applicant a fair chance at showing us their stuff. We should be weeding out based on lack of results during or after a training period, not leaving it to circumstance.

What do you all think? Any Hiring Managers out there who deal with these issues? Can we be nice or considerate to applicants and still test their dedication to the job? Would you rather hire someone who is so desperate for the job they'll show up no matter what or someone who you know you'll get results from when they do show up?