Monthly Archives: July 2009

Looking for a New Career? Seems Hair and Makeup Is Where It’s At!

jessica_simpsonPage Six in the NY Post (ahhh–one of my favorite guilty pleasures) reported today that Jessica Simpson is having VH1 fork out $25,000 per episode to have hair and makeup done for her new reality show, “The Price of Beauty”.  Shoot, if it cost me that much to be presentable, I’d be downright depressed!

So if you’re seeking for a new career direction, it looks like you might want to head on over to your local beauty school. These beauty folks in the entertainment industry obviously have a lot of earning potential.

I’m in PR, and when we work with celebrities, we often hire hair and makeup artists. I see what they make. Each time I ink my name on a $5,000 invoice for a day’s work, it makes me wish I’d considered my career path a little differently. 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all glamorous. Glamorous-sounding jobs rarely are. It’s hard work, long days and you can deal with some testy personalities, but still. $25,000? Per episode? Wow.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07312009/gossip/pagesix/no_cheap_beauty_182272.htm

http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2009/07/31/it_costs_25_000_an_episode_for_jessica_s

Are You Getting Cash for Your Clunker This Weekend?

Wish I could take advantageused-car-salesman of this, but it looks like Americans have been trading in like mad and the money’s almost run out! This weekend might be your last chance to cash in.

I can’t believe our government has become like a cheesy used car salesman:

WE’RE BLOWING THE CAR CRISIS RIGHT OUTTA THE WATER! PRICES ARE CRAZY! WE’RE OUT OF OUR MINDS! BUY NOW!

http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/30/autos/cash_for_clunkers_suspended/index.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-07-30-cash-for-clunkers-program-suspended_N.htm

Have you or are you taking advantage of the “Cash for Clunkers” program?

What a Shock…A Good Beer Summit Can Solve Anything!

beer-ledeThe newly coined “Beer Summit” has been going on for days, months, years! Since when did it become a point of “shock and awe” that a good confab over a frosty adult beverage can soothe what ails us?

If our President is being heralded as a hero for organizing the so-called “Beer Summit”, then I’m a bonafide legend. Most of you are, too! How many unemployment happy hours or Pink Slip Parties have you been invited to since the recession turned “layoff” into a lifestyle? During my time out of work, I attended and/or organized several such gatherings. Why? Because in times of crisis, people turn to the bottle. I say that in the hopes that you don’t label me an “alcoholic” or send me AA pamphlets. It just is what it is. When you have a drink and are among friends, your nerves ease, your sadness subsides and emotional walls come tumbling down. So it’s no wonder the President employed the old “happy hour” scenario to try to create some meaningful conversation among the alleged racial profiling cop, Prof. Gates and himself. 

When I got laid off (and dumped the night before), my girls and I bonded on a sunny porch over a bottle (or three) of vino. It was certainly wine-soaked wisdom that turned my bad mood around that night. We also came up with quite a few ideas and solutions for my jobless state. Let’s face it: A pop of a cork can cause keen understanding along with wise insight to gush forth like Niagara Falls.  

So, American media, quit acting like this “Beer Summit” is such a new thing. Granted, I know we’re talking about larger, more important issues of race relations, but it’s embarrassing that y’all think it’s so cool that beer is being served on the White House lawn. In backyards and bars all across America, people have been gathering for centuries to drink a pint and toss around answers to our nation’s problems; why don’t you cover that?

Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

Recession Denim: Nothing Comes Between Me and My J. Crew Skinny Jeans

brooke_shields_1Brooke Shields made herself a fashion icon when she uttered the famous line, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.”  But, would she feel the same in today’s economic climate? Would it be more like, “Nothing comes between me and my Gap low-rise boot cut stretch?”

USA Today ran a great story on the state of designer jeans in today’s paper. Until recently, the recession hasn’t dramatically impacted sales of premium denim. Now, however, uber-pricey brands aren’t seeing growth while companies such as Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler are still experiencing rising sales.

From the article: “The superpremium jean business has dropped off tremendously because the inspirational shoppers aren’t going up that high, and luxury customers aren’t buying two or three pairs anymore.” 

It has always suprised me that women fork out $100+ for jeans, but I guess when you employ the cost-per-wear formula, that results in “value” for many who wear the pants off of their J Brands and True Religions.

I love my jeans, but you do NOT have to spend $200 on denim to look like a star. I own a few pairs of Joe’s Jeans, J Brand and AG, but I buy them at Filene’s or Nordstrom Rack, where the options may be from last year, but they’re also still in style and have a price tag of anywhere from $39 to $99 – much less than retail denim-shopping-jeans-2-large-new-23443864costs. I also supplement my denim wardrobe with less expensive, yet no less fashionable, pairs of jeans from J. Crew, Old Navy and others. H&M, Uniqlo and even Target have incredibly reasonable options, too. All of these pairs still have high-end lycra technology and come in great washes and cuts.

Believe me. Less pricey jeans look just as stylish as their premium counterparts when they have a good fit and are paired with a cute top, cut-appropriate shoes and darling accessories.

Have you quit buying expensive jeans during the recession? What are your favorite cost-conscious options?

Pink Pick: Rock Unemployment!

Get your job-seeking booty on over to Rock Unemployment and visit with my friend Melanie.

RU_headerShe’s a marketing guru and has established a site for resume writing, portfolio design and job search strategies for “creative folks”. Read her blog, subscribe to her daily job search tips and see what she recommends for “cheap fun”.  Like me, Melanie just wants to inject a little fun into this drudgery we call job hunting.

Melanie also sent me her three favorite ways to re-energize your job search after you’ve exhausted everything else:

1. Offer to help others – Can you put your talents to use, to help out a friend? It’ll keep your skills from getting rusty, and you could get referrals for side jobs or even full-time positions.

2. Consider similar positions in different industries – Have you looked outside your field for jobs like yours? You may have developed highly specialized skills in one area, but also have easily transferable abilities (such as office management, filing, word processing or marketing). Check other industries and job titles to see if you match what they’re looking for.

3. Ask friends for recommendations – Using the theory of “six degrees of separation,” ask friends and family to recommend one person they know who might put you a step closer to the job you’re seeking. Then ask that person. Then the next… You’ll often find that it only takes a few steps before you’ve made a great new connection.

Thanks, Melanie! You Rock!
http://www.rockunemployment.com/

Dress for Success – Not Just a Motto; It’s a Mission

DressForSuccessLogoYou know how it feels to psyche yourself up for the big interview. You button up your crisply ironed blouse, put on that sleek lightweight wool interview skirt and jacket fresh from the cleaners, don run-free stockings and slip your feet into polished and shined black pumps. Once you’ve slung a tailored handbag over your shoulder, you’re ready to face the hiring squad head on with confidence, poise and style. There’s no way you can lose!

In the midst of all our unemployment worry, we sometimes forget there are gals on the job hunt who don’t have a dime to their name…much less an appropriate interview ensemble that makes them feel like the superstar candidate they are.

Enter Dress for Success. Their mission says it all: “The professional clothing, employment retention programs and ongoing support that we provide our clients symbolize our faith in every woman’s ability to be self-sufficient and successful in her career.”

I love this group. They want women to not only look great but also to feel confident, allowing their true personalities and talents to shine through during the interview process. What an amazing feeling it must be to send all these incredible ladies out into the world looking sharp, feeling good and ready to nab their dream jobs.

If you’re seeking professional polish and don’t have the adequate resources you need, please visit your local Dress for Success affiliate. If you’re blessed enough to have everything you need for the interview circuit, consider donating something to this worthwhile organization…whether it’s a suit or your time. They love volunteers!

See below for Dress for Success affiliate needs:

  • Interview-appropriate suits and related separates (the greatest need is for items size 14 and up)
  • Solid color blouses
  • Shoes that are suitable for the workplace. Our clients receive brown, black or navy shoes most frequently. Please no heels higher than 3 inches and no open-toed shoes.
  • Unopened hosiery
  • Unused undergarments (Note: Not all locations accept such items; please check with the affiliate closest to you before making this type of donation.)
  • Black tote bags, attaché bags or briefcases
  • Basic professional accessories (including jewelry, scarves, belts and handbags)
  • Unopened cosmetics
  • Coats and outerwear (Note: Not all locations accept such items; please check with the affiliate closest to you before making this type of donation.)

For more questions, please visit: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/faqs_home.aspx#faq1

GUEST BLOGGER: Ken Herron Shares 5 Things You Should Be Doing Online to Find Your Next Job

I am a marketing geek, who, like many of you, is “actively seeking” my next job.  Job hunt experts consistently tell us the best way to find our next job is in-person networking.  What they don’t always mention, however, is that maximizing our online presence will also help us to find our next job faster.

Here are five things you should be doing to increase the likelihood of being “found” online by recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers.  When you submit for jobs online, they also give people helpful information supporting your submission.

#1  Use the same version of your name — everywhere
You don’t need to understand the latest SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to know that using multiple versions of your name in your resumes, online profiles and in real life makes you harder to find online. 

#2  Google, Yahoo!, and Bing yourself — weekly
Are you on the first page of search results?  Are you nowhere to be found?  Do photos and/or videos pop up showing you wearing nothing but a hat comprised of several different kinds of tropical fruit?  You should know exactly what comes up when your name is entered into the most popular search engines.

#3  Create a Google profile
I know of no other guaranteed, real-time way to get exactly the information you want about yourself — including text, photos, and links — on the bottom of the first page of Google search results for your name.  Didn’t even know Google had profiles?  Learn more at: http://www.slideshare.net/KenHerron/how-to-leverage-your-google-profile (full disclosure: this is a presentation I gave recently at a conference on the topic). 

#4  Really use your LinkedIn profile
Having a complete, up-to-date LinkedIn profile is not enough.  Actively use LinkedIn on a daily basis for online networking.  To start, update your status to network with your connections, join groups to make new connections, answer questions to demonstrate your expertise and review LinkedIn’s job postings.

#5  Cross link
Include the web links to your relevant online profiles, recommendations, portfolios, papers, presentations and videos on both your paper and online resumes.  Always include the links to the most relevant profiles (e.g., Google, LinkedIn, VisualCV, etc.) in your e-mail signature lines and cover letters.

The Internet has exploded our job search tools from a kid-size box of crayons to a warehouse club-size tub.  Take full advantage of all the different web “crayons” available, and you will dramatically shorten your job search!

An award-winning global marketer, Ken Herron (http://www.google.com/profiles/kenherron) lives in Boston as he networks, online and offline, to find his next job.

Thanks, Ken! Keep us posted on your progress!

What’s Your Pleasure?

abcsAs I was finishing off my bowl of ABCs and 123s chased with chips and salsa, I saw that “Little House on the Prairie” was on. And, not only that, but it was the episode where Ma thinks Pa is gettin’ it on with the young, attractive widow for whom he’s moonlighting in order to afford some fancy new dishes for the Ingalls’ dinner table. Sadly, I had a big ol’ smile on my face at the end of the show, then got to turn it to Lifetime for my double-dose of “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs. Ahhhh…guilty pleasures. Does it get any better?

When you’re down and out, unemployed, victimized by recession, dumped and/or stuck with roots that you can’t afford to have colored, guilty pleasures can be the only thing to get you through the muck. But just because they’re called “guilty”, don’t be coy about them bringing you joy. Embrace them. Honor them. Love them.

Herewith are Miss Pink Slip’s 10 favorite guilty pleasures. These are the things that bring me glee and cause me no shame. Well, maybe they do a little. Enjoy:

  1. My many, many magazine subscriptions. Vogue, Elle, O The Oprah Magazine, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Time, Business Week, Atlanta Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, etc. The entire staffs of Hearst and Conde Nast should thank me for their jobs
  2. Horoscopes in the backs of those many, many magazines. Elle, barbieyou suck for getting rid of the Numerology page!
  3. Chef Boyardee. Ravioli. ‘Nuff said.
  4. “Touched by an Angel”. Shut up. I hear you judging me!
  5. Chili dogs
  6. El Azteca– only you Atlantans can appreciate the nastiness
  7. Romance novels of the 50s and 60s
  8. 64 box of Crayons and coloring books featuring Barbie 
  9. Seeing cheesy teen movies in the theater. I swear I was the only female in the audience of “Never Been Kissed” who’d actually had my period
  10. Show tunes(from “Annie”, “Sound of Music”, “Rent”) that pop up on my iPod while in the shuffle songs function

What are your guilty pleasures?

Just Like Us!

Palin ResigningSarah Palin. Former Governor of Alaska. Former Republican Party candidate for Vice-President. Now? Unemployed.

See? They’re just like us!

Mindless Movie Monday: The Primetime Edition

the-bachelorette-jillian-harrisSee, there are worse things than being unemployed. You could be starring on “The Bachelorette”. Or your name could be “Kiptyn”. Or worse yet, you could be the inaugural Bachelor Alex Michel (whom I once saw trolling a Sutton Place bar in NYC during happy hour…solo). Take your pick:

See what schmuck Jillian chooses in tonight’s “Bachelorette” finale at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Is it just me, or does Jillian look like she’s saying, “Good morning, Mr. M. Looks like you could use a cupcake!” I just got a Tracy Flick vision in my head. Can you imagine Tracy Flick on “The Bachelorette”? That bitch would be scary.