Saturday, September 24, 2011

Slang Language

If you've ever been at the watercooler, or any public place for that matter you might overhear some type of "slang."  In a recent article by Slate, they discussed this very subject matter.  Your teachers both in your high school, and college probably never thought they'd hear the likes of "GTL" being publicized in newspapers, or any other publication for that matter.  

Language is adaptive and it continues to mutate.  To think of the days that they had to hand copy everything into a book, this was a painstaking process.  However, they were careful to not include random words.  Slang is now in our everyday speech, and writing, it's invaded our language.  "Google" is now a verb in the dictionary.  So what does this mean for our teaching and learning? Do we as educators and even professionals have to stay current with this type of trend to ensure that we're "hipsters?" I think somewhere, the former enlightened person that I used to be is rolling over in her grave.  

What does sitting at a desk to your intellectual capacity? Does it reduce it? I often feel as though I must read additional scholastic publications to enrich my brain.  Is multi-tasking making us dumb? 

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Devils on My Shoulders

Since January, I have been flirting with a career in the education space, this has seemed to be a theme of my life.  I have two great influences in my life, my Aunt and my Mother.  While they are sisters, each of them chose a different career path.  The thing that they have in common is their drive to be successful and a fantastic work ethic.  

My Aunt & Godmother has been working for the same company for more than 25 years, where she's moved around through the ranks.  Despite not having a formal educational background, she has a decent salary, and fantastic benefits.  She's the voice of the "career professional" in my head who motivates me to achieve results in the for profit world where I currently assist my non profit clients in generating non-dues revenue.  

Then there is my dearest Mother.  She's a fantastic educator and has been ever since I can remember.  Her field requires her to stay current and her passion is to teach.  She's lucky because she too has been working for the same college for more than 25 years.  She inspires me as does my aunt. 

Choosing a path to devote myself completely to education is a scary proposition.  On the one hand it potentially provides the "opportunity" for work/life balance.  On the other hand, the hours in the classroom are not as great as those logged in an office.  However, you bring your work home with you, grading papers, responding to emails, student posts and such.  

While I have been flirting with this path in the education space, I have explored also combining these two passions.  This is a quick way to combine both of my interests and continue down the professional path of my career as a successful marketing and communications executive. 

My generation doesn't have the same desire or ability even to stay at the same place of work for more than a few years.  How do we make sense of our career paths and choices in this "economy?" Only time will tell. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Broadway's Dark Tonight

This past weekend I made my first trip to the great Midwest.  After we rushed to get to our plane with less than an hour to spare to get to our gate, we were greeted by pleasant people.  Growing up in the Northeast, you take for granted when someone is nice to you, and sometimes even look at them with suspicion.  However, the good midwest folks don't feel that way and they are generally nice people with big hearts.

Our trip was to serve two purposes, one to get me to my first professional football game, and two to see where my significant other grew up.  When we checked into the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center we were excited by the location and they put us on the 70th floor.  This is the highest standing hotel in the Western Hemisphere and the home of the GM Headquarters. Our view was amazing, and we unpacked and headed to Greektown.  We enjoyed a meal at the Parthenon, and then hit up the casino where we donated a few dollars to them.

Our entertainment began when we returned to the room and got a full detail of our neighbor's sex life.  It was mildly entertaining for a few minutes.  However, they were fighting until 4 am or later.  They woke up around 10 am (we knew this due to the paper thin walls) and their pleasant loud conversation continued.  They left for someplace and then we went back to sleep.  We slept in till 1 pm, and got up and changed rooms.  We went off to explore the Detroit metro area by car, where I got to see the various places that my significant other had lived.  We even looked at houses which there were plenty.

I think what struck me the most, was that we didn't see many people until Sunday afternoon for the Detroit Lions game.  I was told that the city of Detroit went from one that was 2 million to now only 800,000.  The previous economy was factories, where the good people of Detroit would build American cars for the nation.  The manufacturing economy is gone, and now we're a service economy.  Many buildings sit empty, and the street "broadway" is dark.  It was sad, and what they need, is what most of the country needs... JOBS.  It was sad to see, but underneath the sadness their remains hope.

It's my hope that Detroit, and other cities like it rebound, when our legislators quit their fighting and actually start doing something.  They need to create tax incentives for businesses to set up shop in places like Detroit to make it worth their while.  I am for Obama's job plan, because I want our country to be successful.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Easy Come, Easy Go

Over the last few months, I have had several friends who have landed new gigs.  On the converse side, I also have had several who have lost their job.  In a recent article, by SmartBrief, they discussed taking lower compensation in order to achieve landing that job.  What are your thoughts on this? Where do you sit?

Personally, when I took this position nearly two years ago, I can tell you that was party to a pay cut.  Is it a step back in my career? Not really, but financially, it has been.  There are many in the school of thought who think that you should negotiate your pay up front, or you'll be hurting for years to come.  I hope I haven't doomed myself!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


At my current place of employment, we haven't had raises in my two year tenure here.  I have taught at a local community college to generate additional income, as the cost of living continues to rise.  While this has helped, I am now exploring and venturing in the world of freelance writing and editing.  I have my first client meeting tomorrow night and will be happy to have the extra income coming in!

If you know of anyone looking for help writing marketing collateral, email copy, technical papers, white papers, or any other writing jobs send them my way!

Happy Early Memorial Day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Business Side of Non-Profits

Many people often have the misconception that a non-profit organization might not run exactly like a business.  The thing is that they are very similar.  As a person who has worked for both non-profits and for profits these are the differences and similarities that I see.

  • Annual Budget
  • Revenue Streams
  • Board of Directors
  • Products & Services
  • Flexible Hours*
  • Good Benefits* 
For Profit
  • Annual Budget
  • Revenue Streams
  • Board of Directors
  • Products and Services. 
  • More Rigid Hours
  • Benefits Vary. 
Why is there an asterisk next to flexible hours? Well often times you are dealing with limited resources at a non-profit, you are doing the work of more than one person and you're wearing a lot of hats.  What does that mean? Well when I was a Director of Marketing at a small trade association I stuffed envelopes, sent out mailings and ran registrations at meetings.  Would these be part of my job at a for profit? Nope.

A friend once described a for profit business to me like making a pizza.  At the for profit you have one person that puts the flour in, another that does the stirring, another that watches it rise.  The roles continue add up because the functions at for profits are limited.  Why? Because they hire people to do specific jobs because they are good at them.

Has the economy changed the make up of the for profit and non profit pizza making? Surely! I currently work for a for profit who supports non-profits (keeping up?).  There I make a lot of the pizza on my own and then get approval from the people who are in higher positions.

How do you make your pizza?