Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Photo Published

Today I got a nice little treat, one of my pictures made it on the SFist blog seen here. Always nice to be appreciated by others. Sorry I haven't been posting as often here, but I've been busy with life!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Job!

I have managed to secure a new job at a new company with new pay and new skills to learn. I am sad to leave my co-workers, as I've always enjoyed their company. I've enjoyed working with all of them and will miss the laughs. However, I am very excited about this new prospect as my previous job didn't seem to have much in the way of a future if I stuck with it for too long, especially as I have said before, at the pay scale they were offering. The problem can be explained by the following:

When I was interviewing with one of the higher ups he said something very interesting to me, there are two teirs in any industry; Technician and Technologist. You want to be the Technologist. I was worried that I would get stuck at Technician. The problem is that there is a barrier between the Technicians and the Technologist. For starters, there must always be more Technicians than Technologists. This means that the Technicans must be paid much less than the Technologists or else the business model won't work. Also, you can only move up through when a Technologist leaves their position. Now, I don't know if you noticed, but the stock market crashed, which means that people's retirement investments crashed, which means they are going to be working for longer than ever before as they need to make up the difference. This coupled with the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives means upward mobility for the rest of us is squashed, not to mention that older people tend to say, "Well that's how we've always done it." I would say I am now at the upper reaches of the Technican status, but I am that much closer to breaking through the veil.

The great thing is that I accomplished my two goals with this company. I wanted to get into the high tech world and get a feel for the industry and key players, and I wanted to develop my network of people to help me find a new job. I can honestly say that these goals were accomplished. This allows me to walk away with my head held high.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Penelope Trunk - Brazen Careerist Blog

Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist Blog is one of the best to which I am currently subscribing. She is insightful and willing to take on the uncomfortable issues like how much oral sex different demographics receive, and today she's pointing her finger at overpaid doctors

I also found these two articles (End of the Glass Ceiling, Forget a Wage Gap) discussing gender equality to be very enlightening. These in conjunction with this article about the Gender Gaps that still exist. She has a very interesting take on how to view the problem, rather than starting with the assumption that there even is a problem. I don't know that I 100% agree with her, but I am happy that someone (especially an intelligent lady) is discussing our assumptions about the issue, and questioning what the true definition of equality really means. Do you really want to have the same life as men have had? As I posted before, it doesn't mean happiness. 

Finally, I wanted to link to her discussion of how to politely wiggle around the interview question, "How much do you want to be paid?" I made two (among many) rookie mistakes when getting my current job, I answered this question, and I didn't come back with a counter offer. When you are out there looking for you next employment, always make sure that they give you the number first, and that you always come back with a counter. The first is important because you can only undercut your value by giving them a number (because if you are high, then you might not get the job, and if you are low then you are selling yourself short). The second is important because what's the worst they can say to a counter offer? No. I just know that some of you are/will be looking for jobs, and I HIGHLY recommend that you read this post before you go into the interview.

Thank you Penelope for an excellent blog, I will be reading avidly. 

Monday, June 01, 2009

Mom is a Graduate

A couple of weekends ago, my Mom at age 55, became a college graduate, the first in her family. I am very proud of her achievement, and know how hard it was for her on many levels. She graduated valedictorian with a 3.96 GPA from Marygrove College in Detroit with a BSW (Bachelors in Social Work). I would like to take a minute to reflect on some of the hurdles that my Mom had to overcome to arrive a such a wonderful achievement this spring. 

She grew up in Auburn Hills Michigan in the farm country which was in the process of developing into the suburbs of Detroit. Fairly classic white flight region, she was the daughter of a WWII vet who came home to work for a construction firm doing bids and various other tasks. The family had its problems with the typically rambunctious kids getting the attention while my Mom just tried to keep her head down and stay out of trouble. She was the classic "good one" and manged to keep her nose out of drugs, sex, and all the other things that can so easily de-rail the teenager life. 

The problem was with society. You have this obviously intelligent girl who has a bright future, but no one to tell her that she could and should achieve the stars. In fact my Mom has told me a story about her high school guidance councillor, whom we all know can be rather hit or miss. My Mom wanted to become a teacher when she was in high school, and said as much to her councillor. The councillor (among others) basically told her, why? All you need to do is marry a rich man and you will be all set. Look out for that diamond ring, pop out a baby and go from there. It is so sad to think about how different my Mom's (and my own) life would be if that person had said something encouraging. I probably wouldn't even be alive...

My Mom has always harped on getting a proper education. I can't tell you how many young girls my Mom grilled about getting into college and getting some kind of a degree. I think that she always felt partially powerless about her employment situation, and didn't want other girls to go through the same trials and tribulations. I can remember time and again when girl-friends would come over to my place, they would always get an ear full from my Mom about graduating from high school and going on to college. She always painted it as a non-option, rather, something that you JUST DO!

Now, after a marriage, having two kids, losing one of them tragically to a drowning, a divorce, raising her niece through the trials of puberty, a re-marriage, getting her son through college, some financial distress, and the pressure of being an older student- she has done it! She has put her money where her mouth is and snagged that degree from the sky. 

I am so proud of her, I can hardly stand it. Here is to you Mom, I hope this boosts you to a profession that you have always wanted- to be a teacher. 

She has been accepted at the University of Michigan School of Social Work for the 2010 Class. UofM has a great program (ranked 2nd according to this site). She's been pretty snarky about it being "HER" school, but I'd just like to point out who went first!  =P take that mom!