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Inspiration: Just do it

December 14, 2011

“Having a disposable camera at all times has proved to be very useful. I feel like a jerk when I am already dressed in like, a peacoat, and I take it out to take a picture of like, a wall, but I guess it goes back to what I was saying about my handwriting above. I think at this point most creative things are pretentious or ambitious so it’s just a waste of time to apologize for trying to develop your skills or eye or whatever. Everyone is so worried about seeming hipster but I dunno, I think caring about what kind of clothes other people wear or what kind of music they like is the most hipster. I would much rather be taking pictures and writing and be way in over my head and none of it even be that good than not do anything. Otherwise, I would probably be one of those people who puts all their self-perception in what their tastes say about them since they don’t have anything they themselves make or do because they’re afraid they won’t be good at it because they believe you can’t be creative just for yourself and that someone will say they are bad at it. Which just makes you think about what your tastes say about you all the more, which is that stupid mentality of people who are annoyed by hipsters. I just wanna like what I like! Where in this world is there any passion anymore! Any commitment! Once I didn’t leave the couch for 25 hours except to go to Ihop. That took commitment.”

– by Tavi, of The Style Rookie

She’s a genius, isn’t she. Hope that left you as inspired as I am.

Direct Sales: Tips for your business

August 16, 2011

Do you know anyone who sells jewelery or Mary Kay? A friend of mine (and Lia salewoman) shared the following fun party idea. I particularly like her reasons for using models and focus on how to get more bookings, since that helps grow your business:

Theme Idea: Host a fashion show

When everyone sits down so I can tell them how great Lia Sophia jewelry is and pump them up about getting you free jewelry, I’d ask for three volunteers. Naturally everyone will say pick me pick me.  I’ll take them aside while your other guests mingle with each other and then have a fashion show. So if your sister, Vicky, volunteered I’d say:

“Vicky is a Metal Mixin’ Vixen not afraid to make a statement. She’s wearing the lovely Fame necklace that no woman should be without; stacking up two swivel bracelets that she’ll get half off with this month’s customer save plan, and sporting simple hoops, the Inside out earrings.  To add a little pizazz, Vicky is sporting the Structure ring, an elegant yet understated piece fit for any manicure.  Retail value of this look is $316.00 but pay just $191.00 for all five pieces with this month’s customer save plan. Or book a party and get it all for only $65.00!”

Or something like that.  We’ll make it fun!  And I obviously don’t expect anyone to buy all five pieces and spend that much, but it’s just to exemplify the savings plan.

1. I usually try to do something fun (fun parties = more bookings)

2. and give something away

3. I also try to do something to appeal to those thinking about booking a show

4. A fashion show shows guests that it’s ok to wear more than 1 piece of a jewelry at a time – many people aren’t comfortable with that yet.

5. For the volunteers, I’ll probably say  Thank you to my lovely models – as a thank you for volunteering, if any of you decide to book a show tonight, you can have any of the pieces you’ve modeled for $20.00.

Business Letter Format

August 16, 2011

Do you know how to write a formal business letter? For me, it’s something I have a vague idea of how to format, but end up “googling” when the need arises. Here is the basic layout I use for general business letters, appealing parking fines, and such:

Return Address Line 1
Return Address Line 2

Date (Month Day, Year) 

Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. Full name of recipient
Title/Position of Recipient.
Company Name
Address Line
Address Line

Dear Ms./Mrs./Mr. Last Name: 

Subject: Title of Subject 

Body Paragraph 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Body Paragraph 2 . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Body Paragraph 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Closing (Sincerely…),


Your Name (Printed)
Your Title


A Much Needed Kick in the Ass

July 19, 2011

Last night, a friend from out of town (and recent college grad), stayed over since she has a job interview at a local college and my fiancé and I live close to Boston. Over some wine with a few of our friends, (who are older and more removed from college and really resentful about it — sigh…) she shared with us an INTENSE binder of preparatory materials she’d put together. I kept asking her, “Aren’t you nervous about tomorrow? Don’t you want some quiet so you can review your notes or go over interview questions?,” but she was calm and cool as a cucumber.

Maddeningly, when I asked if putting together such a comprehensive packet of materials had taken forever, she replied, “No, because I put it together over time.” So simple. I tried to ignore my pangs of resentment and annoyance at her enthusiasim over her aspired career, but realize now why I’m really so miffed. I would be jealous and covetous of anyone who knows what they want to do and actively charts their course toward getting it because that is what I want — to know what I want!

All in all, a much needed kick in the ass.

Book: Lessons of a Lipstick Queen by Poppy King would be the relevant read for this “KITA” (kick-in-the-ass) themed post.

Actionable Step 1: I’m going to spend 1 hour this week just thinking about what I want to do.

To Read

July 13, 2011

Big Career in the Big City, by Vicki Salemi

Goals: Summer 2011

July 1, 2011

It’s important to regularly set goals so you have something to work towards. I like to set mine seasonally, but feel free to develop a system that works best for you. For me, just listing them out on this blog is enough to get the juices flowing (ie: getting me to think about them!) — which is often half the battle.  And then the best part: Crossing them off the list.

Career + Self-development Goals:

1. Negotiate a raise

2. Attend 2 professional networking events in July

3. Update LinkedIn account w/
– new photo
– refined job task descriptions
–  reading list
– a weekly status update
– engage weekly with groups
– plan an LDM meet-up

4. Update June job task/accomplishment sheet

5. Update resume

6. Make a daily habit of reading my industries top blogs and publications

7. Read at least 1 web design, marketing, or social media books


Q + A: Social Media

February 7, 2011

Do you have a specific job-related question? Post your question here and I’d be happy to give you my two cents! But please remember that I am not a professional job coach and am only advising to the best of my knowledge/ability. If I don’t know much about a subject, I will happily try to find someone who CAN answer your question to guest post.

>Re: Social Media Job Opps
Hi Wendy. I am currently going for my MBA in Social Media Marketing and want to do something involved with Social Media whether it be freelance or part-time (per diem). I would love some suggestions! Thank you!

– Michael N.

>>Re: Social Media Job Opps

Hi Michael,

That’s fantastic that you’re getting your MBA. What program/school? It’s really quite easy to get your foot in the door for social media, especially if you’re willing to volunteer. Non-profits are typically cash-strapped, so try getting in touch with the media or marketing coordinators for some non-profits in your area and offer to set-up and manage their accounts on Facebook and Twitter. A lot of these groups don’t have time/manpower to sit down and actually strategize on a social media level. I have used Facebook and Twitter to help promote their initiatives, special events, promotions, daily tips, and recruit volunteers. There is so much you can do.

Are you local to Boston? I interned at a Social Media Marketing company and got great experience. I’d be happy to set you up with the company owner if you’re interested. Being active yourself ON these platforms helps too, especially if you take it to engaging with social media marketing companies you’re interested in. I imagine you must be very comfortable working on most social media platforms, so it’s likely just a matter of picking some smaller companies you’re interested in, doing some competitive research to see if their competitors have a social presence, then swooping in with an offer to bring them onboard the social media wave.

Other than that, reading up can get the creative juices flowing too. I read just about every book written to date on Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Facebook, etc. (Oh, please feel free to follow me on twitter (WendyJPray) and stay on top of social media news, by subscribing to e-newsletters from places like I hope that helps.

If you have any other specific questions, please shoot me another email – or better yet, get in touch with me on Twitter.

Good luck!

Just start

January 31, 2011

“Don’t wait for ideal conditions. You’ll never find them,” they admonish.
“Begin! And the conditions you need will come to you.”

Blue Mountain Center of Meditation

I feel like a lot of recent grads are either gun shy and too hesitant to really throw themselves onto a career path or else, they’re too excited to get started and in their haste, trip. The former results in never making progress, while the latter, ultimately, results in the same.  How many of us have read a job description and then excitedly, hastily, applied?  Please remember that throwing too much shit at the wall leads to just that… shit all over the wall.  What shot do you really give yourself if you focus on quantity, not quality.

However, don’t let yourself be paralyzed by the need for perfection.  I, especially, like to research the heck out of every move I make in my life, from what vitamin brand to take to where to buy my first house.  I’ve been “looking into” grad school for almost 3 years now. When I was unemployed in 2008, I spent an ENTIRE SUMMER revising my resume, never convinced it was “perfect”.

Sometime, you need to go with your gut.  It’s scary.

I think the reason “just starting” works is because it trains you to think positively. The quote that inspired this post is all about positive thinking and faith, and isn’t that really what this is all about?  If you lack faith in your abilities, in your dreams, in your future, then what reason do you have for ever even trying? Fight it, and fight the fear of failure and just start something and what seemed impossible, suddenly IS.

It starts happening right away and as you get your head on straight and start devoting more time and brain power toward really thinking and acting on this dream or goal or activity, you’re slowly training yourself towards a new job, career, and life. Even if you end up not loving it, aren’t you in a better place having tried it. Cross it off the list and step your foot on the NEXT path.

What are you going to do today that you have been putting off?



A New Approach to Resolutions

January 7, 2011

Add some Method to Madness:
Late last year I picked up “The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin.   I didn’t love it information organization and layout– I know, snore! — but is extremely important to my ability to process and retain information, but  I love the method behind her approach to tackling her subject, happiness.

Make it Manageable:
In her book, Gretchen tackles a different aspect of happiness — I think of them as “themes” — each month and uses daily checklists to keep track of progress. Each month, a new theme and the past months’ themes are carried over.

Simple. I love it.

If you have great ambition, but lack consistent follow-through, following this method can help break up seemingly overwhelming goals into daily and monthly manageable chunks.

For example:

“I want to be a yogi in 2011” =

  • Daily, I will read 1 mantra from my meditation book
  • Daily, I will do a 30-second plank to help build my core strength
  • Daily, I will take 5 cleansing breaths upon waking
  • Weekly, I’ll go to a yoga class

Health Careers Center

November 24, 2010

If, like me, you’ve NEVER considered anything remotely close to medicine as a career option because you ruled out ever going to medical or nursing school, it might surprise you to know that are more than 100 different allied health care careers available. It’s more than just doctors and nurses folks!

Most of these careers offer job security, upward mobility, scheduling flexibility and work that truly makes a difference in the lives of others. 

In other words, the job outlook is fantastic. You want more information though, which is why you should check out this amazing resource center, developed and managed by the Mississippi Hospital Association.  On the site they provide incredibly detailed information on topics like:

  • Health care careers
  • Educational institutions
  • Healthcare employers
  • Professional Health care Associations

Visit the site to learn more: Mississippi Hospital Association Health Careers Center