Up until six months ago I lived in a box. Metaphysical to be sure, but a box nonetheless. My box kept my frame of reference focused on about a ten year span of my current life. 

Several months ago, I, like many of you, was pulled onto Facebook. While still not a huge fan, it has blown out  the back of that box and renewed amazing old friendships. While infrequent reunion trips back to college would loosen up those memories, they would safely return to their stored spots as soon as I pulled into my driveway. Facebook has a way of  merging bits of my past into my day-to-day present. A bit spooky at times, but cool…..

Then a few weeks ago, I bravely toddled over to Twitter to see what that was all about. Let me tell you, it can be a mind blowing experience. Within a few days my universe had expanded beyond my initial obsession following Demi/Ashton or Michelle O’s outfits into reaching out to new, wildly varying “friends”. Connections made with writers I had been following for years as well as fellow bloggers have seemed to open up an exciting future. 

So, between the Facebook past and my Twitter future I find myself sliding seemlessly from rewind to fast forward as easily as TiVo moves my favorite recorded shows. My new friend at Adventures In Ecommerce refers to this at the Fourth Dimension. Instead of feeling the weight of all of this, I feel weightless as if floating in space. A Twilight Zone that is truly freeing, as if that old box can’t contain me and my dreams as easily as it once could. To infinity and beyond……

Anyone else?

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No, no, it’s not that I think I am a great blogger. Nor a juicy target for advertisers or bigger gobbling blogs to devour me for millions. It all goes back to Cloris Leachman.

For those of you who have not been with me since the beginning, an “early” post discussed the age gap I was struck with when Cloris Leachman’s name came up (before her Dancing With the Network Stars entry.) Basically, the younger girls did not even know who Mary Tyler Moore’s neighbor was-if this applies to you, please stop reading!

Anywho, I cleverly went to Google Image and posted a favorite picture of Mary, Phyllis and Rhoda at the end of the blog. Click “Publish” and that was it. Two comments and several weeks later it was forgotten.

Then, as any new blogger does several times a day, I was on my WordPress Dashboard hoping to see a few more visitors to my site, when the strangest sight caught my eye. The graph showing daily visitors had jumped so high, it would have meant cardiac arrest on a heart attack victim’s monitor. 

What was up? Had I been discovered? I could see it was coming from Google Image and sometimes had Cloris’ name attached to the search. Did she die? (Sorry Cloris!) It took my brother-in-law over at Without A Net to tell me she has just published a tell-all book. 

And now my heroine Mary Tyler Moore is making the rounds spiking the searches even more. So, here I sit, the girl formerly happy with 50 visits a day. Last few days-1,479 and 902!

So, all you blog gurus, is there something I should do about this to take advantage? I am sure they are just clicking through my site, but it is an interesting bait that I had not thought about before. I guess I should specialize in Cloris gossip dirt and 1,479 might hang around with me for a while!

So whose photo should I insert next? How about The Material Girl?

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How strange is it that I couldn’t wait to come tell all of “you” how my “Put Up or Shut Up” went??? Is it wonderful, since my world is so blogishly expanded now or  am I a 12 year old girl alone bonding with her diary? Whatever…..

So do you want to know how it went down or what I wore? The PowerPoint went over very well-a bit unnerving as I was pitching to the heads of the agency about their own agency. But when you get where I/we are in this world, it takes a lot to really get ruffled.  I admit it was great to get this engine roaring again. A bit rejuvenating, I must say.

So, it’s a short-term consulting gig with great potential to be lengthened. Great people, great organization. I guess I work for myself!

And most importantly, here it is:

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Put Up or Shut Up!

March 25, 2009

Yes, Big Interview Day has come and gone. It went really well, I think…… Many pleasantries back and forth, shared sensibilities about the challenges at hand. Inserted all the alluring lingo I could manage into one hour-PowerPoint, Blogging, my Client Base, TweetDeck. Much nodding about collaborative opportunities that we must explore. 

And then, she says, “There is a ‘test’ to pass.” I am still nodding and smiling, but processing……. A test?!

Initial reactions in no particular order: Sure, I will do anything. What did she just say? What did I agree to do for free? I have to do what I said I can do? 

I think I was smiling while all of the above raced through my brain.

So, they request that I prepare a sample PowerPoint (one of the communication devices I “specialize”in) to pitch a new campaign they are working on. Just  an “opportunity to see if we are on the same page”. Really, it does make sense. An outside consultant would probably provide something similar to get the business and this “relationship” we are working on is consulting-like.  

And isn’t this what many of us have been waiting for-a stop to endless pre-screening applications and blab, blab, hypothetical blab during hard to earn interviews? Just a chance to do our stuff and make a difference. 

So off I go to focus and pound away. And probably spend a few too many minutes thinking about what I should wear…..

 

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Sitting in a waiting room this morning captive to the pre-selected TV channel (thank God not Jerry Springer), I saw a piece that could inspire many of us. The “Today Show” was featuring several interns doing work in NYC. The difference was they were not bright faced 20 year olds, but instead “women of a certain age” as a fellow blogger Karen Knott might call them. They were all very capable journalists facing a changing workplace and needing updated skills. Sure, it took a lot of guts and they were offering their services for free, but really, ingenious.

Think about it this weekend-who could you call upon to pitch this idea? It should be well thought out and approached in the same way any business proposal would be presented. Great exchange though-you offer your enthusiastic work ethic in exchange for exposure to new skills, an elimination of the dreaded resume gap and an opportunity to make some amazing new contacts. In this tough economy, you might be exactly who someone could use right now!

Let’s get going…….

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Big Interview Day

March 17, 2009

Khaki dress?    Nope?

1980s bow tie?    Nope?   

Fancy black suit?   Yup!

All your good advice and wishes?  Right in my back pocket!!

All the best luck of the Irish to everyone today with an opportunity ahead of them!

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Enough already…. Okay, I’ve moaned a bit about poor me. Aren’t there 5 stages of something? So I spent some time in shock. Apparently the Big World did not hold its breath for 20 years eagerly anticipating my return. I’m over it and ready to take matters into my own hands!

Having spent time on these boards I know I am not alone-you might either be right along with me or a few steps ahead. So how about we pool our resources and come up with some things we can do on our own, rather than whining about what the world is saying we can’t do . 

I am determined that I can switch careers. I’ve been told my whole life that I’m a PR natural. I just need to get some wind beneath my wings so to speak.

My friends who have been most successful at re-emergence have gone big by going back to school. I just don’t want to do that. I still have haunting nightmares of trying to pound my way into mysteriously locked buildings for finals. 

Instead I’ve put together my own graduate degree which I hope has set me on the right path. I have invested a bit in myself  to attain my MBF-Masters in Becoming Fabulous!

I’ve taken an amazing series of online courses at  MediaBistro.com all taught by sharp PR pros and walked away with an extensive working portfolio. I’ve also attended advanced seminars from  Sponsorship.com and The Donors Forum.

I have found all of this just put a more formal spin on much of what I’ve been doing on my own for two decades. But now I am more current with buzz words and trends. I’m shaving rings off my tree trunk circles.

I got over any trepidation about newer computer skills-lifelong PC girl went out and bought myself a Mac-and it’s mind blowing. Roamed around Borders a bit and brought home “Powerpoint in 24 Easy Lessons”. Guess what-I’m pretty darn good at it!

Then there’s this whole Blog thing-a world of people out there have no idea how to set this up-I plan to find them and offer my most proficient services. Of course there’s my LinkedIn page and now I am somehow Twitting from the Tweetdeck as well!

In other words I have replaced the hours I was spending staring at online applications and turned them into actual experiences to show for myself. Later we’ll talk about actually putting it into use.

I’d love to hear from you on what you have done to get yourself ready. Let’s go the party together!party-11

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