Wednesday, June 10, 2009

But we add a fresh perspective...

From personal experience, I've definitely realized being young in the job market right now has definitely been tough when you're up against people who have had a decade of more experience than you. But being in the tough job market right now definitely tests the strength of personal character not only in the skills you DO bring to the table, but also that yes as cliche as it sounds, a fresh perspective to companies may be forgetting that is important to their business.

As companies adapt to the changing environment, so do young professionals as myself have to adapt. We're in that gray area of no longer being the college hire that you use that low expectation to their advantage and blow everyone's socks off and a veteran with years of experience. Rather, we're in that gray area having just enough experience to not make the cut of college hire programs yet not enough experience to qualify for some of the positions out there.

But as members of the Generation Y where we like things happen, and we want them to happen fast, its almost against our nature to deal with things such as the ambiguity of the job market. We immediately look to the safe confines of graduate school where we can at least buy off another 2-4 years from the gloom of the current recession. But, I think now is the time to really make things happen, because if they do, it is so much MORE rewarding. Putting more effort into the job search, and sucking up to the fact that I may no longer be working for one of the biggest companies in the world may have finally hit reality, but its definitely prepared me to look forward to the future that when I finally DO find the right fit, it would be so much more rewarding and might just change someone who might learn something from those who have paved the road before. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My No Bandwagon Vacation, Destination: Hawaii

Meet the 4 guilty parties of the No Bandwagon Hawaiian Vacation of 2009:

From Left to Right: Ms. Contextual Strategist, Ms. Dole Pineapple, Mrs. Fish, Ms. Handholder

What makes a No Bandwagon Vacation:
All parties must be within their mid-20s. Agenda must include going out, some relaxin in the sun, funny jokes, and some pondering of how wonderful it is to get away from the everyday humdrum of life.

For my Hawaiian no bandwagon vacation, I had the pleasure of going to the island of Oahu for 6 days and 5 nights. Through the fabulous finding skills of ms. dole pineapple, we managed to get a cheap flight and hotel package and scored a partial ocean front view at the Marriott Waikiki Beach.

While most of the plan was to get some Vitamin D, we managed to fit some activities in here and there:

  • Hanauma Bay Snorkeling

  • Surfing at Waikiki Beach: "Stand in front of my belly, don't worry I'm not trying to touch your butt," Tony the surf instructor.

  • Drive to the North Shore, seeing the Banzai Pipeline
  • Germaine's Luau (which was highly discounted due to Ms. Dole Pineapple's ability to dissuade the "COOL" timeshare saleswoman)
  • Late nights out on the town: the W and Oceans 808

And on to my favorite part: the FOOD
in Waikiki we were lucky to sample: ( I will later supply my Yelp reviews of my favorites, but for now I have italicized them)
  • Ono Hawaiian Foods - authentic Hawaiian food with kahlua pork, beef stew, taro leaf wrapped around chicken
  • Sansei Restaurant - sushi
  • Blazin' Steaks - $6 entree plates with large portions
  • The Beachhouse - amazing scenery outlooking the ocean at the Westin Moana Surfrider Hotel
  • The Tiki Room - chill bar with live singer and food appetizers
  • Haagen Dazs - enough said
  • Sushi King - reminds me of home sushi
  • Puka Dog - hot dogs with a whole new twist with toppings such as lilikoi, papaya; think of hot dogs catered to those with a sweet tooth, featured on Anthony Bourdain's show

in North Shore my favorite foods of the trip included:
  • Giovanni's Shrimp Truck - the infamous truck with plates heaping full of shrimp
  • Matsumoto's Shaved Ice - shaved ice brought on a whole another level with the sweet flavors of lilikoi, melona guava to your ordinary strawberry, lemon, grape for those who like to play it safe

We love Hawaii!!! I will have to go back. Aloha!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who are we without money?

I'm not sure where it came from, but I remember someone saying that you can't do anything without money - you can't buy a house to live, you can't eat, you can't do anything that would make you happy.

When did society rear us to believe that such beliefs are THE beliefs? Does money really buy you happiness? Happiness comes in so many forms. To some it might be that next $2000 Louis Vuitton bag that they've been saving each paycheck for to buy. To others it might be that big house on the nice suburban lot they've been eyeing at forever.

The problem with both of these things are that they act as living proofs or status symbols that their owners have made it, earned it, whatever IT is. The elusiveness of what IT signifies is that it is what first society measures as a sign of success, and secondly to what that person strives themselves to be measured against. But just as money may provide nice things, it also has the potential to provide a sense of complacency in life. What do I mean? Sure money can buy you the LV bag, but once you have that LV bag then what? Another one? A car, a house? Are you just going to go up the totem pole of status signifiers until you've made it? Money has the danger of creating a sense of security and complacency that when you reach the top you've made it. You're at the top of the ladder and as long as you have money, you're golden. What else is there to strive for? There are only so many Bentleys and penthouse apartments you can buy until they just become another thing on the list.

Complacency at the top is all about being comfortable at the top, and forgetting about what it took to get there and remaining to be appreciative of the effort that it took. That's why when people fall to rock bottom from the top, they lose themselves in the process. They've built up their identity around success measured through material things, that they've neglected to realize that happiness is a journey and a process. It takes hard work. And more importantly it is a continual process. Once it is achieved, it can be lost again, and you have to work to earn it back. A perfect example of this is what one of the richest men in the world is doing, he started a philanthropic organization to help others. He could have done a flat one-time check to the organization of his choice, but by starting his own organization, I think he's really managed to leverage his assets in a positive way that will provide a great source of happiness even when the money runs out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An epidemic

Everywhere I look it seems that everyone is getting married, just engaged, pictures posted of another wedding on Facebook.

This bitterness may sound like the ramblings of a 50-year-old divorcee, but nope, I'm the fresh ripe age of 22. Yes, count them - 2 decades plus another 2, that count as my first anniversary of a new job and "growing up."

What does it mean to be all grown up nowadays? A paying job, 9-5 workday with evenings to yourself, a high stack of bills in a new city all by myself. Welcome to the good life! ... or not, as exciting as it sounds - I'm still missing the biggest piece of the pie, I've apparently missed the whole getting married bandwagon.

Girls, young girls, are getting married earlier than ever. Engaged in college, married and with kids by 24. MTV even has a show dedicated to this new trend, "Engaged & Underage," documenting the struggles young couples face stepping into this newly dubbed ritual passage of your early 20s?! COME ON!

This new trend could be due to the fact that we are a generation expecting promotions and more responsibility than our 20 year old parental counterparts in the 70s or 80s once did. You can't blame us though, with the average house cost at $450,000 - do you really expect us to be able to afford our first house by the time we're 30?! No. We want all the goods and we want them now.

Thus, everything that's supposed to happen: the job, marriage, kids, house etc is all compressed to things we should accomplish in our early 20s. We need to start working earlier to able to live off the money we save for ourselves in 401k and not rely on some falsely promised social security plan that will be sucked by the generations before us.

Might as well enjoy life now and save and sacrifice later when we can't physically do it anymore. We are part of an epidemic of feeling as though our lives will expire much earlier than before. That our happiness is tied to our financial success, products of a society of materialism and the status quo...