This Site's For You


Why an old beer commercial kept going through my head while I was creating this site, I'll never know. But there it is:  my first Working Self title is in homage to alcohol. Classy, eh? The thing is the beer commercial wording, when tweaked, is perfect - this site really IS for you.

With every single element, I questioned what you'd most want to see and what would be most useful to you. And I'll keep questioning and tweaking as long as you keep reading.

Let me give you a quick tour of the brand new FREE features around these parts:

  • I'm starting a Working Self Newsletter, to be delivered via email every few weeks. You can read details about the newsletter's features here. And here's our first-ever giveaway:  if you subscribe before midnight on July 7th, you'll be entered to win a copy of Paul Angone's hot-off-the-presses book 101 Secrets for Your Twenties!
  • I'm going to begin holding free, no-pitch webinars every month or two, to bring some interactivity into our mix! I'm tired of being behind a keyboard all the time; now you'll get to hear my voice and I'll get to see your comments and questions in real time. The first webinar is already scheduled for August 7th at 8pm EST, and is called "Nudge Your Job Toward Your Dream." Click here to learn more and to sign up.
  • In the next week or so, I'll set up a free downloads page, on which I'll offer self-reflective exercises and other Working Self original offerings that will be constantly expanding.

Plus, as always, the blog will keep rolling along and, thanks to your feedback, getting better all the time. You can expect a post or two a week; I'm aiming for quality over quantity from here on out.

As much as I love free - it's actually what I most enjoy working on - it's not a sustainable model. For the past ten years, I've been taking on freelance projects for textbook companies to make ends meet around my teaching and "pleasure" writing. My future goal is to generate more income from work I love - i.e., speaking, personal consulting, and writing about work, identity and the 20s - so that I can gradually accept fewer textbook projects and have more time to create the free products I'm passionate about offering you. (Yup, I'm an ongoing case study of the working self process that I discuss on the home page. As I should be! None of us is ever "done.")

Working SelfBottomline:  I'm going to have to be more vocal about my paid products so that I have the time to create the free offerings I want you to have. The way I see it, we'll all benefit from the success of my paid products - including personal coaching, e-courses, speaking, and e-books. They're the fuel that'll run the engine of the freebies:  the webinars, the blog, the downloads, the newsletter. It can't work any other way. Unless the scratch-off tickets my mom sends me start to pay out more than $1...

I'm not a salesman, though, so "vocal" doesn't mean I'll be loud and aggressive. By any means. My services are simply more visible and clear on this site than they were in the past. For instance, if you know anyone who might be interested, I'm running a 20-for$20 personal consulting special through July 7th, in which someone can pick my brain for 20 minutes for only $20! <Click to Tweet>

So that's the down-and-dirty of the new site. Now we can get back to the good stuff:  blog posts about work, self, and the blend of the two. In the meantime, take some time to stroll around, make yourself at home, and get a big laugh when you find the ridiculous photo of me as a two-year-old. Then come back here and let me know what you think. This site is for you, after all!

What Do You Want to Know?


So I'm in the midst of planning a number of "career/life discussion" lunches for my Bates students in the upcoming weeks. This, to me, is like getting to talk about the many forms of Swiss chocolate. And then getting to eat a bunch, too. Seeing as how these are the sorts of things WE talk about in our class all the time, I'd love your feedback. Your thoughts will help me anticipate questions and prepare ways to seed the discussion (you know, for those awkward first five - or forty - minutes when everyone is afraid to speak and people nervously pick at their plates while trying to avoid direct eye contact with me; that part is so much fun).

Here are some prompts to get you started, which, knowing you guys, is totally unnecessary:

  • When you were in college (if you've already made your great escape), what did you want to know about career, the job search, identity, figuring your way out of the black, murky darkness of confusion borne from 21 years with a clear path suddenly coming to a close? (sounds so optimistic when I put it like that, now doesn't it?)
  • What would it have been helpful to hear? (i.e., what might have cured your insomnia?)
  • What would you rather nobody said to you? (i.e., what will earn me a mental slap?)
  • What are you still sorting out, even years after college has ended?

I'm open to any and all ideas. And, who knows, they just may inspire one of our upcoming lectures. Let the class discussion begin - GO!

Designed by Brian Pfohl

One Month Milestones

Enrollment in our "class" officially opened one month ago, on February 1. Since that time, our class has had 1000 views, 100 likes, and nearly 100 official students (and a whole slew of stalkers apparently, but whatever!). To say I'm overwhelmed is an understatement. I really thought I'd be lecturing to my Morton's toe for months on end, before giving up and drowning myself in Krispy Kremes. Thank you for saving me from that fate (although is it really "saving" when Krispy Kremes are involved?) More importantly than the site stats is the community we're building here. I rush to the computer every single morning, eager to see your comments and ideas. This virtual classroom has become like my real world classroom; I'm learning much more from all of you than I'm managing to dish out.

Most of my learning happens by reading your blogs. I'm obsessed with your blogs, so much so that I think my husband believes I have some online lover. Given my new-found blog reading obsession, it's only right that, on this one-month anniversary, I share what I've been reading by accepting THREE awards. (THREE!) Here goes:


liebsterNominated by MJ at Unlost in Translation, where terrific, complicated, thought-provoking career/life grappling takes place.

To accept this award I have to answer 11 questions she posed for me:

  1. Favorite Country: Switzerland. Clean, efficient, friendly, gorgeous. Can’t beat it.
  2. Favorite color: The chestnut brown of my daughter’s eyes
  3. Favorite non-work activity: Work is fun to me (I’ve finally gotten to that point in crafting my career!), but outside of “work,” I like to take day trips around the Maine coast with my family
  4. Best movie: Oh boy, toughie. Probably “Frequency.” It got bad reviews and it’s sort of weird, but I love the idea of it.
  5. Favorite movie to watch when down: “13 Going on 30.” Makes me smile every time (don’t judge me)
  6. Favorite fiction: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  7. First thing I read every day: The time on the clock to see how long my toddler daughter has managed to sleep. Then email.
  8. Different first name: Sheesh, I had a hard enough picking a name for my kid. Girls’ names are rough. I like Rebecca because it’s pretty neutral. But maybe I’d go with Adeline to have a little more flair.
  9. Favorite TV show: The Amazing Race. Vicarious travel on a weekly basis.
  10. Tattoos: None for me (life is painful enough!), but I appreciate them as body art and personal expression for others.
  11. Favorite City: Quebec City

I also need to award the nomination to 11 blogs with less than 200 followers:

  1. Life Here at Twentysomething
  2. The Science Bit
  3. INFJoe
  4. Erasing the Stripes
  5. Beating a Quarterlife Crisis
  6. Clues to Life
  7. Ally Denton
  8. Quarter Life Crisis
  9. It’s a Man’s World
  10. My Dialogue
  11. KGalvino

And then here are the 11 questions that I would like the bloggers above to answer. We'll stay topical!

  1. What is your definition of "career"?
  2. What did you want to be when you were in elementary school?
  3. What major did you expect to have when you started college?
  4. What major did you actually graduate with?
  5. Why did you change, if you did?
  6. If you didn't have to worry about any practicalities, what career would you pursue right now?
  7. What one thing holds you back most from your dream career?
  8. Whose career do you admire the most? Why?
  9. What does work-life balance mean to you?
  10. What could be done to better encourage/support career and identity development during college?
  11. What's your current incarnation of your All I Want to Be statement?


Very Inspiring Blogger AwardNominated by Raimy at Creative Guru, where creative soul-searching lives. She's not just a great blogger, but also the MOST active member of our class and the person who has most kept me wanting to write this whole month. Without her, class simply wouldn't be the same. I think we should make her our mascot. With a little outfit and everything.

Anywho, the rules for this award are:

1/ Display award logo on your blog; 2/ Link back to the person who nominated you; 3/ State 7 things about yourself; 4/ Nominate 15 Bloggers for this award; 5/ Notify those bloggers

Here are the seven things about me:

  1. I'm allergic to chocolate. Have been since I was in kindergarten. People seem to always find this fact horrifying and incredible.
  2. One of my favorite destinations is Hershey, PA. (See Fact #1 if  you are wondering why this fact is notable.)
  3. I grew up on the Jersey Shore. No, it's not like on TV.
  4. I won a contest in the fourth grade to adopt the favorite class gerbil, Cinnamon. It was one of the proudest days of my life. (Said gerbil lived to be FIVE years old. And survived being attacked and carried downstairs by our cat. Super gerbil.)
  5. Geraldo Rivera - then an unknown - knocked on my mom's door and asked for an interview when she was pregnant with me. She told him to get lost because she thought he looked like a weirdo. That is the closest I've ever come to fame. (Lest this read as if he wanted to interview her BECAUSE she was pregnant with me, let me clarify that he wanted to ask her about a controversial house being built down the street.)
  6. Bloopers shows crack me up. Way more than they should.
  7. I am so sensitive to caffeine that simply drinking a caffeinated root beer at lunch time causes me to be awake all night. (Bummer that I craved root beer throughout my pregnancy and didn't realize that Barq's "bite" is was a long 9 months.)

And the 15 blogs I nominate for the award:

  1. On Crafting a Life
  2. Good at Life
  3. Life on a Branch
  4. Seize the Reins
  5. Sweetly Indecisive
  6. No Debt Brunette
  7. Bipedalling
  8. Habits of Thinking
  9. Things Career Related
  10. Three Sassy Ladies
  11. Musings of a Recent College Graduate
  12. Sara Perring Coaching
  13. A Path to Pursue
  14. Patrick Goonan
  15. Career Seeker’s Guide

The Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger-award1 Nominated by Ashsappley at Chaos and Words, whose perspective is fresh and confident, and who has become an amazing contributor to our class discussions. Looking forward to hearing even more from her!

For this award you're also supposed to say seven interesting things about myself but the thing is, I just did that for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. ("Interesting" and "college professor" do not mix.) So please see above if you want to find out anything vaguely interesting about me.

But now onto the good part - the nomination of 15 blogs for this award:

  1. Stuff Grads Like
  2. Counting Ducks
  3. The Thriving Creative
  4. Eunoic
  5. Cute Potato
  6. 20somethings in 2013
  7. Gently Used Foliage
  8. Jonathan Hockey
  9. Hearing With the Eye
  10. Figuring Out Fulfillment
  11. Stressing Out College
  12. Things + Flesh
  13. Mindful Stew
  14. Espirational
  15. Minding the Workplace

Thank you so much MJ, Raimy and Ashsappley! I am honored. Usually my students just give me dirty looks. This is so much nicer.

Listen up class - here's your homework assignment:  Visit the nominator's blogs first, then visit the nominated blogs. I love them all and I think you will too. And then come back here and get ready - we still have fear of failure yet to be covered. Yikes...

(And if you want a little more of a challenge, then I invite you to answer the 11 questions I posed for the Liebster nominees. I'd love to see your thoughts!)

What's Your Favorite Way to Procrastinate Figuring Out Your Life?

English: Ryan Gosling at the 2010 Toronto Inte... This class has been way too lecture-heavy so far. Let's get some student participation going (did I hear a groan?).

How about a poll? Raise your hands and tell me the go-to activity you use to procrastinate a meaningful career search (and the process of finding yourself in general).

I gave a preliminary report of the results on February 10th but the poll is still open - take it and you'll get instant results. Plus I'll do an update sometime in the future.

And, yes, I do award extra credit for creativity.

[polldaddy poll=6871965]

Ryan Gosling. Killer of many a fruitful career search. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)