Untamed Waves of Unemployment

20 12 2009

photo by anthony goto on Flickr

Anyone who personally knows me can attest that I’m relatively an optimistic person and try to find the brightness in a gloomy day. But lately I haven’t been seeing life through my rose-colored lenses. I wouldn’t be honest with my readers if I said that surfing the untamed waves of unemployment has been easy; its been quite the opposite, extremely hard and even depressing. Its been close to a year and I’ve been on countless interviews; too many to even provide an accurate count. I’ve grown accustomed to the basic intro questions that most if not all employers tend to ask, “So what made you apply with us?” Ahh…I need a job and benefits please! I’ve developed a great sales pitch and learned to sell my skills with so much fervor that I’ve been frequently asked, “Wow, you did so much for them, why did they let you go?” Ahh…cause no one is expendable! I’ve learned to interpret body language from the firmness of an introductory handshake to the uncomfortable nods during the spiel of a resume. Always gracious even when it shouldn’t be displayed, I’m thankful for all the opportunities bestowed. And I’m so appreciative when I get a follow-up whether it’s welcoming me to a second phase or acknowledging me for my interests. So although I’m thoroughly seasoned and have learned to score interviews during this recession, I have yet been assigned.

If you’ve been on the same boat as me and it feels like it’s a never-ending sail, my advice is to try to hold on although things look bleak. If you’re spiritual, pray; it always gives me release when I cast my burdens unto God. Keep reminding yourself about of all the blessings that you currently have. I’ve heard some complain about those weekly unemployment benefits but they truly are blessings! Give yourself a break from the job-search grind but don’t give up, keep applying and going on those screenings; the right one will present itself soon.


Has Project Runway Runs Its Course?

12 12 2009

Project Runway‘s new advertisement caught my attention instantly with the backdrop of glittering lights that NYC is renowned for. The new season’s punchline is returning back to its roots in New York, NY! Whoa…did I miss a full season already? As a PR enthusiast, I was completely disheartened when Bravo lost the battle with Lifetime over one of my most coveted shows. Let me be honest…when I think of Lifetime, I think of those mommy movies with commercials, not a hot fashion exhibition! I still gave it a look-see once…maybe twice and it immediately lost my attention. Dare I admit…Bravo’s Housewives of Atlanta took over my Thursday 10pm slot! So this caused me to wonder…has Project Runway run its course? Many reality shows have shelf-lives of about 3 seasons and after that, it would take something monumental to grasp my interests and something else to sustain it. For instance, I was completely devoted to Tyra & America’s Next Top Model when it first appeared and I was so excited when Eva-the-Diva won!. After that, I didn’t even tune in for the finales let alone the antics of Janice Dickerson. Which season did she get booted off again? But Project Runway was different and had my attention throughout all of its years on Bravo…I just didn’t care for its new home on Lifetime. To me they took a hot show and made it lukewarm. I heard that the show’s viewership was at a devastating low which is a strong indication that it’s headed towards the end. Will returning to New York be the necessary change that can accelerate it’s poor ratings? Only time will tell. I will be checking it out on January 14, 2010 at 10pm.

I’m Not My Hair

2 11 2009

Shani 003

I was recently perplexed when an audacious relative confessed that although they loved my hair, I would have found employment if my hair wasn’t natural. I was also urged not to dye the color and believe me, I wasn’t considering a radical change…a light auburn would do. They advised me to get a wig and wait to get a job before I did anything else to my hair. Normally I’d let unsolicited or negative comments just roll off my back since becoming thick-skinned but since it was served from a relative, it caused me to wonder; am I being judged by my hair? During this volatile recession, I’ve become a seasoned pro with all the many blessings of interviews but I haven’t secured anything permanent as of yet. Was there any validity to my relative’s statements? Did it matter that I was highly qualified with years of experience or that I was impeccably dressed and could strike a pose if a camera was avail? Are businesses still intimidated by Afrocentrism in this day and age? Did President Obama not signify that change has come from what we were accustomed to? Naivety isn’t clouding my judgment, I know that I’ve been turned down for some assignments just based on the color of my skin; and I still proudly fill out the voluntary ethnicity questionnaire on applications. Prejudice and discrimination is still rampant among us but it doesn’t shatter my pride nor make me regretful of going natural. I’m proud of who I am; black, intelligent, and definitely beautiful! I shouldn’t have to straighten my hair or cop a wig to be socially accepted for a position at an organization or otherwise; that would falsify my natural essence. So I’m listening to the candid advice that my fore-mothers instilled in me which is to always be myself and if something is meant for me…it is ultimately mine.

Good Hair, Did Chris Rock It???

22 10 2009

Chris Rock

Okay, this is my third post and the last time I’m revisiting Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair.  And after all the talk shows visits and my friends’ recommendations, I was hyped to see what Chris had unleashed about our haircare. I have to admit that I was NOT astounded.  In fact, I was very disappointment with his edutainment about African American rituals. You may find this to be shocking but hear me out first! Here are the pros: Yes, it was informative when he did the scientific experiment with sodium hydroxide (but on the real, anyone who perms their hair already knows about scalp burn and has experienced it at least once); Uncovering children getting perms at extremely tender ages was just sickening, (And it makes me appreciate my momma putting her foot down and making me wait until I was 12); The Asian connection in supply/demand for our products was an eye opener, (Come to think about it, I’ve seen them running most of the beauty supply stores in my neighborhood). Now the cons: Chris basically tapped on the perms and the weave industries; he didn’t represent for the natural sisters, (Having a few celebrities with their natural hair would have broaden the topic…would’ve loved to hear from Michaela angela Davis, Janelle Monae or Solange to name a few); Visiting all types of salons (Let’s face it, many of us visit both the Dominicans and upscale salons); And what the heck does the bedroom scene has to do with hair??? (Okay, maybe a little, Nia Long is on top…Wow! But going into the inappropriate made Chris lose viewers especially those who were the stem of this documentary…the youths). So these are my thoughts let me know what you think!

A Poetic Thought With Chantel A. Jonson

8 10 2009

Chantel A. Jonson is a gifted writer of poetry and I was given the glorious opportunity to review her second work of art, Thoughts, Desires, Passions: A Collection of Poetry. I found her poems addressed realistic issues with a graceful candidness that makes you feel as if you are having a conversation with a trusted friend. Chantel has a way with words and I discovered my reflections in many of her pieces. Always thought-provoking, her poems resonates honesty which spoke volumes to me and made me linger for more. Here is my favorite:

In Those Quiet Moments

In those quiet moments

When you trace my lips with a curious index finger

My heart raps against my chest

The haze of passion inebriates us both

Too strong, too weak, too conscious, too dazed

A caress, a tiny breath escapes

An embrace, a desperate plea for comfort

Trust, curiosity, confession, as barriers are strained

Reckless release of inhibitions and adventure unfolds

To love, to lust, to care, to bond, to desire

Emotionally naked in the eyes of this lover

Soul exposed willingly giving its disclosure

Is this the memory we will have as the mark?

Will we stop here and wonder what should’ve been?

What could’ve been?

Regardless of what even the next second my hold

This moment is already sealed in time, in our hearts

Forever spoken in the voice of silence.

Excerpt from Thoughts, Desires, Passions: A Collection of Poetry by Chantel A. Jonson

Recession Doesn’t Equal Depression

24 09 2009
photo by jonbell has no h on flickr

photo by jonbell has no h on flickr

With my 9th, 10th, & 11th interviews approaching next week, I feel it’s time to reflect upon my travels on securing employment during the recession. First, I want to say that recession does NOT equal depression. No doubt it’s a challenge and at times it could make your future appear to be bleak but that’s not looking at things positively; (it’s looking through half-empty glasses). Look at the bright side, recession can change your life for the better. It can make you revisit your aspirations that were hidden behind career obligations. I rediscovered my passion for the written word, created 3 blogs, and I’m now looking forward to becoming a freelancer. So my recession has added to my skills by giving me the time to hone into my craft. It has also trained me into becoming a great interviewee; I’m not going to stop until I hear the magnificent words of YOU’RE HIRED. I’ve learned the art of selling myself which in turn has helped me with my writing; investigative reporting, here I come!

Throughout my journey I have hit a few speed bumps. I didn’t show enough enthusiasm on phone interview and didn’t get to the second round, I was corrected on my cover letter during a meeting, I even arrived at an appointment fifteen minutes late. OUCH! Believe me arriving tardy for the party was the ultimate blunder that I hope to never experience again. It really wasn’t my fault, I blame NYC traffic. Controlling it is a challenge for our Mayor. I left my house 1 1/2 hour early and still arrived late, (heard that Sex and the City was taping at the Plaza and traffic was backed on 5th, Lexington, & Park). I arrived frazzled and sweating; totally lost my cool, calm, and collectivity. After I explained my lateness to my interviewer with a twist of humor, I engaged him further with my charm. I had him laughing and smiling within seconds during our time together. In closing he told me he would get back to me the proceeding week. Did I get the job? Heck no! But I did receive a personal note from him and I realized that I would have been his first choice if I hadn’t come late. So I had to chuck that one up to experience. That position wasn’t for me. My grandmother used to say, “if something is for you, it cannot be un-for-you.” Her words hold validity to my situation. When the right position comes along, I will know because I will be hired!

Tyra, Keeping It Real?

9 09 2009

Did you see her? Well if you were like me, you’ve missed Tyra Banks debut her “real hair” on the September 8th Season 5 Premiere of her signature show. With a new time (at 4pm) and new channel (CW) this is going to happen regularly for me. BIG Oprah Winfrey fan here so you know where my dedication will be. No problem folks thanks to You Tube. To be honest, this snippet of her show was all I needed to see that Ms. Banks is keeping it real with us. It was actually refreshing to witness Tyra reverted back to her normal state minus the tracks, weaves, and wigs. I thought she looked great performing her famous strut and captivating the audience with a 360 degree view of her damp tresses. But for some reason, I feel this version of Tyra will not last too long. Think about it…Tyra has been rocking her hair accessorized for so long and being in front of a camera with an array of outfits, her hairstyle completed those looks; especially on America’s Next Top Model. I hope I’m wrong on this one because I would like to see her continue to dazzle us with new hairdos. Do you think she will continue to rock her real mane or will she be tracking back? Share your thoughts, I’m all ears!