Weekend Open Thread

Gizeh Birko-FlorSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Call me crazy, but I feel like Birks are having a resurgence right now. I always see stylish women wearing them around NYC, and if I were to go on a vacation they’d be my #1 walking shoe. They’re still hard to pull off with a girly dress, but for bumming around in shorts or dresses like maxis I think they’re great. I especially like them in their metallic colors, such as this “titanium” pair. They’re $79.95 at Zappos. Birkenstock – Gizeh Birko-Flor (Titanium Birko-Flor ) – Footwear

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  1. Going for it :

    I am going to ignore my stereotypical female instincts and apply for a job at a company I really want to work for, even though I don’t have the “required” length of experience! It’s funny – my first instinct was “bummer, too bad I can’t apply.” But every guy I told about the position said “you are going to apply, right?”

    I will probably have my resume thrown in the trash, but at least I can start demonstrating a real and continued interest in this company, so when the right job comes up, I might already be familiar to them.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Good for you! And good luck.

    • I have found that generally “required” years of experience are wish lists rather than actual requirements, I frequently get interviews at places where I have less experience.

      Of course getting the job is a whole other issue — but that comes later.

      • On the other side of this, for staff positions that go through HR, they won’t even send me the application of someone who doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications. When I was writing a job description for a faculty position, the HR employment person called me up and made me change my wording about experience. They’re pretty picky. That said, we worded it pretty broadly.

    • Kontraktor :

      Honestly I’ve found so long as your experience isn’t WAY off the target, you probably have as good a chance as any. For example, if they want 5 years and you have 4, it’s probably not a dig deal and all the advice I’ve gotten has said to definitely apply to those things. I’ve gotten bites for jobs where I am 1 to 1.5 years off, so I think that’s fine and realistic. Then again, if they want 20 years experience and you have 3… well, that might honestly end up being a waste of your time. It takes a lot of time to tailor resumes, write good cover letters, and fill out applications, and I tend to be more choosey about how I dedicate my time. I’d rather spend more time on a job I was more likely to get pinged for than waste time on something really unreasonable.

      At the same time, I recently was rejected for a ‘right above entry level’ type position for somebody who had 20+ years experience. Don’t even ask me how that happened. So maybe my advice/insight is irrelevant.

    • If it’s a federal government position, don’t do it. You generally have to affirm that you meet the qualifications, and lying is a criminal violation of 18 U.S.C 1001. (Note: This doesn’t mean I haven’t been tempted. 1 month! Arg!)

      • Going for it :

        Not the federal government! Just a regular old company. And I’m not going to pretend I have the years of experience they ask for. I’m just going to hope that the experience level is aspirational. :)

        Like I said, I doubt it will go anywhere, but this is a good first step for me in going after what I want, rather than taking myself out of the running.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      My experience is that job descriptions contain a wish list that in reality, can almost never be met. If the only thing I didn’t have was a minimum number of years, but I was close, I’d apply. They want 10 years, and I have 8.5, but all of the other quals? I’m sending in my resume and highlighting my abilities in my cover letter. Do you have anyone in your network at the company or in close proximity to anyone there? Ask someone to turn your resume in – it will, at a minimum, get read, especially if you can get it to the business unit and not HR… (Not knocking HR folks, but they don’t always see things in the resume the same way as the business unit). Good luck!

    • PharmaGirl :

      For most positions, the number of years experience is not a hard requirement. I’ve been hired with far less experience than required (job asked for 5-10 years and I had barely 2) but I was uniquely qualified in other ways so I was hired with a lower title and promoted the 2 levels up to the original title within 3 years.

  2. I am wearing a floor length, red, Maria Bianca Nero gown to an event in a couple of weeks and need shoe help. The dress is fitted and strapless.
    The Pella Moda Augusta shoe looks great with it, but they are a 5 inch hell, and I am going for more of a 3-3.5.
    I will probably accesorize with gold jewelry and a pop of blue on a cocktail ring or bracelet.
    Would love some advice on shoes.

    • I would go for a gold strappy heel — you’ll have a ton of choices, metallics look great with red, and it’ll compliment the jewelry.

      • I agree, and find a clutch too. You will likely use them both for other events. I’d go to DSW and just try a bunch of stuff on and go from there.

  3. K... in transition :

    Has anyone ever written a book? I’ve been journaling my life daily for over 15 yrs and several people have asked me to consider the idea over the years. As I’m still job hunting, I’m considering the idea of doing so, with the thought that I’d go through the journals, choosing what makes sense, and writing in the missing details or the threading of the story together… the problem I’m having is choosing which of the paths to choose from, especially when I don’t have an ending in mind and I don’t know if I could be sued for telling stories about living people, even if I didn’t name names. It’s just tough to know what someone would care to read who doesn’t know me to care for that reason. Any tips/tricks from other writers?

    • Are there any writing groups in the area? Or some other sort of structured group that can give input? That seems like a place to start – maybe an independent bookstore in the area can point you in the direction of one.

    • I would look for a writing group in your area. Online peer review sites aren’t worth the time and effort invested in them (unless you’re doing something just for fun like ff.net or AO3). NaNoWriMo is in November and a ton of writing groups spring up then. (even non fiction ones)

      The best advice I’ve gotten is to just start writing (or complying, in your case). Even if you decide on the story you want to tell RIGHT NOW, you will probably go through several drafts and changes along the way. Pick the story you think fits it best right now, and if it turns out later that X or Y is the more compelling narrative, you’ll realize it in time or someone in your group will point it out. It’s alright to start without an ending,

      I have no advice or suggestions for writing non-fiction, except to consider writing fiction lol.

    • Have you ever read Stephen King’s memoir called “On Writing”? I’m not a writer (or a SK fan at the time), but it was a really interesting read on his method of writing, and what writing as a career was like for him. If I remember correctly. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book.

      • Yes! The King book is excellent, highly recommended for fiction writing. Do you know if you are interested in writing fiction or non-fiction? If it’s non-fiction, I highly recommend “Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write.” It helps you clarify your idea, your target audience, and presenting it to agents. I only recently learned that if you want to sell a non-fiction work, like a memoir, you don’t need to write the whole book first, just a proposal that you can shop around. Fiction, you just gotta go for it!

        As for writing about real people you’ve known I’ve seen this tip many times: give the character in your story an unattractive quality or feature (like a small p*n*s!) and the person will never come forward and let people think that’s true. This shocked me at first but I’ve now read so many popular authors admitting to doing that.

        • Unless you have a platform (you’re on TV, you are a nutritionist to the stars, etc.) even your nonfiction book will need to be fully written. This is especially true for memoir. It’s not a boom time in publishing now so advice like that above, which would have been spot on 5+ years ago, no longer applies, I’m sorry to say.

    • Just start writing. See what sticks, see where what you’re writing takes you. You don’t have to know the ending in advance. Worry about things like “Will this person sue me?” after you’ve got a finished product. Don’t think about whether someone will ever want to read it; write because you want to tell a story.

      So seriously–write.

    • Am not sure if this won’t attract howls of protest from the rest of the hive, but I often think this forum would provide a really rich seam for a writer. There’s narrative drama, great lines and many wonderful individual voices.

      On a more useful note though, it sounds like the short story format is calling your name.

      • Oh my god yes. I think that all the time. I will probably write at least one short story based on material from [this website] within a year.

    • I’m a novelist. If you want to write, you should definitely do so. Just understand that it is not a path to financial fulfillment or sustainability. Writers sound a lot of doom and gloom about the state of the industry, etc., and I don’t want to be negative, but if you’re thinking of writing as an alternative path to income, you’re much better off taking a part-time retail job.

      I would steer clear of the freelance writing market entirely. There are many professional journalists who’ve been pushed out of paying media gigs this past decade and are vying for those jobs, which pay peanuts. And one thing will not teach you about another. In fact, I would advise that you not bother with joining a group, learning about publishing, et al, yet. These are often things writers use to feel like they’re being productive, but the only way to be productive is to write. Just focus on your work. When you have something drafted, cast about for readers. And then, when you’re ready to find an audience/learn about publishing, post of this site and I’ll barrage you with info. :)

  4. SoCalAtty :

    4 hours until I can leave. I’m in that void between sending off a draft and waiting for notes, and my next deadline isn’t for a week. The smart SoCalAtty would get ahead on her work…but I just can’t seem to focus! Who can relate on this Friday?

    • Who can relate? Um, everybody who’s writing about shoes and Trader Joe’s frozen foods from work?

      I can’t focus either, even though I know that it means more time spent on Sunday writing the brief that’s due Monday.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Dude, this NorCal atty has been totally unfocused for the ENTIRE week. No movement, because I’m ahead of schedule and I don’t have a deadline to propel me forward (or maybe just because).

      • SoCalAtty :

        HA! Glad I’m not the only one with that issue Choc. Without a deadline looming, I’m useless.

        Jules – lol, true!

      • Oh yes. The hearing I’ve been stressing about to the point of immobility all week just got postponed a month. Now I’m sitting here thinking “I don’t really have to do ANYthing today because I now have the previously booked next week to handle it in.”

        I have a three page list of things I want to do this weekend though…(which starts in 1 hour!)

    • Yes! All I have to do today are some tax returns to review that the client has requested be done by June 30… That is so far away! I’m counting down the hours until the weekend starts.

    • karenpadi :

      I can totally relate. I meeting for today went from 9 hours long to 1 hour long, a project due Monday will take 1.5 hours instead of 9, and I’m reading this site!

      I have not left the office before 8:30 this week and billing 14 hour days. I want to go home! I’m tired! Why am I not working?!

  5. Dresses with pockets? :

    Any recommendations for where to look for summer dresses with pockets that are <$100? Petite sizes would be great too. (So far I've thought of JCPenney, Modcloth, not sure if the Target dresses recommended have pockets?) Thanks!

    • None of the Target dresses I have have pockets, but they did have a cute Converse chambray/cotton one that I tried on that had pockets. The cut didn’t work on me for other reasons, but you might check them out.

      I got a great shirt dress w/ full skirt and pockets from BR one year. And maybe Old Navy? they have a ton of summer dresses. And I think Lands End Canvas has some dresses with pockets.

      I really love pockets on dresses with full(er) skirts, why won’t designers make more poooccckkeetttsss??

    • a passion for fashion :

      i posted about this dress a wek or two ago and i still love it: Limited, link to follow.

    • Lands’ End. I have several dresses from there with pockets in petite sizes!

    • I am wearing one right now from the Limited. I think it was less than $50 on sale. They had a bunch of great dresses a few weeks ago. I am not petite though so I don’t know how good the selection is.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I have a calvin klein royal blue jersey type dress I got at Marshalls with pockets.

  6. SoCalAtty :

    I posted on the earlier thread, but I wanted to make sure anyone job hunting knew about this. Tough Mudder LLC is hiring associate attorneys (and a bunch of other corporate positions) in Brooklyn, NY. Again, if you get the job my referral fee is notification if they ever decide to hire in LA! Good luck!

  7. Constance Justice :

    I have several from The Limited. They aren’t in petite, but I am quite petite (I am 5’0″ on a good day), and I don’t think I’ve had alter any of them very much.

  8. 40 minutes until my vacation begins.

    DH and I found a good deal on a cabin so we’re actually going away away from Saturday-Thursday with our dog! So excited. Going to hike and read and watch movies and light fires and read books and relax.

    • May you have a lovely vacation with lots of relaxing time. Enjoy!

    • You’re probably already gone, but I’m sending Have Fun vibes to your vacay, T! we’ll miss you!

    • That sounds awesome! Have a good time. Toast some marshmallows for me :)

  9. Research, Not Law :

    Need advice regarding getting a pay raise.

    I was hired 2.5 years ago. The salary I was offered for my current position was less than average because I was underpaid by my previous employer. It was acknowledged by my supervisor when he made the offer, but he said it was an HR black box over which he had no control. I had naively assumed that the disparity would be corrected over time. Instead, our pay increases are entire metric-based which keeps them restrained within a tight, standardized range – so my salary has increased only at the same rate as everyone else with my position. I have had stellar performance reviews and was selected for an elite development program, but my salary does not reflect it. Now they are hiring for my same position and the posted salary range is eating at me. I’m tempted to apply just to prove a point. I see now that I’m on track to be underpaid for my entire career unless I stand up for myself.

    I am recognized as one of the best in my department, yet compensated at the lowest level (~33rd percentile). I want to request a salary increase to bring me up to ~67th percentile (~12% salary increase), but I’m not sure how to frame it to my supervisor. Help! Salary negotiations are not my strength!

  10. You guise, can I be a total downer? :o(

    I think my job is making me crazy. I have been having super anxiety and panicky feelings ever since I started this job, but lately it is just constant, every. single. day. To the point where I ended up calling in sick today, because i had a super super early phone call, but because i was so freaked about it I ended up having anxiety freaking out all night and literally did not sleep at all. And now I feel massive guilt that I called in sick when i wasn’t incapacitated or anything, i just was nauseous and shaky and exhausted and yucky. But, I feel like I *could* have gotten up and worked and just powered through if I really wanted to. And I feel guilty even complaining about this, because I feel like I should be able to just ‘deal’ and be normal like everyone else and deal with stress without totally losing it.

    So, I did manage to get a couple hours of sleep, but now I just feel even worse, becuase I still feel panicky, but also guilty on top of it. And I’m already kind of freaking out about what is going to happen on Monday when I’m even more behind because I didn’t get work done today.

    Ack, sorry for the rambly rant, I guess I just needed to get it out, and maybe have someone tell me I’m not a horrible person for taking a sick day. (and I reeeallly hope no one I know is reading this, cuz it would totally out me)

    • “i just was nauseous and shaky and exhausted and yucky.”

      It sounds like you were incapacited, to a degree, so don’t beat yourself up about it. But it also sounds like this is really affecting your life, so it’s time to get some professional advice from a doctor for possible meds and a therapist for possible coping strategies. Sorry you’re going through this, but there are ways to make it better.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      What is it about your job that is causing this reaction? This sounds serious, and grounds for quitting and finding a new job. Life is too short to feel the way you do without a VERY compelling reason and a known end date to the suffering. Do you think this is a temporary feeling, or is it a hazard of the profession.

      Also, don’t feel guilty for taking a sick day! Since you asked for people to tell you that, but seriously, you really really shouldn’t. Mental health is health.

    • zora, can you tell us what’s causing the anxiety? Is it the hours? The amount of work? Do you feel like you’re not good at your job? Are you totally stressed by what you need to do because you don’t know how to do it or are afraid you won’t be able to do it well?

      I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. All of us occasionally need a mental health day every once in awhile. It’s one day and you’re not a horrible person.

    • Forgive yourself for not being perfect. I’m sure everyone has been at a point like this at one point in their career – maybe not with this degree of anxiety – but I’d say most people definitely call in sick once in a while when it’s more of a mental health day situation. That said, I think this is a sign that you need to find some better coping strategies, and maybe a therapist is the quickest way to find what might help you. I used to have insomnia because I would freak myself out over big events and then get even more freaked out because I couldn’t fall asleep and I would imagine how horrible the next day would be. My anxiety would just increase and I felt awful and out of control. Find some ways to regularly de-stress so your anxiety doesn’t get this bad. I like to take hot baths, read, watch funny tv shows, talk to a friend, go for walks, do yoga or guided meditation podcasts. You’ll be able to figure it out too. Good luck to you, and I’m sorry your job is so stressful. It really can be difficult sometimes! Also, remember that you are not your job. You are more than that. So if your job happens to not be that great or you are not that great at your job, that doesn’t mean you are a failure at life.

    • Seattleite :

      zora, anxiety can be a vicious cycle – we start feeling anxious about feeling anxious.

      During a particularly stressful time 2 years ago (waiting for surgery amidst the middle of a divorce) I went on an anti-anxiety drug for 2 months. It was a tiny dose, taken first thing in the morning, and I was also in counseling. I’d done all the holistic/natural anti-anxiety routines, but I just needed a little help in getting over the hump.

      Don’t feel bad for taking care of yourself mentally, and don’t be afraid to seek medical intervention if you need to.

    • aw, thanks everyone for the replies to my venting, so sweet.

      And you’re helping me think through it more, which is probably good. Thanks for all the good questions, NOLA. I think that I just realized that part of the problem is I’m not sure what the problem is. I definitely feel like I don’t know how to do my job, and I don’t know what I’m doing and I keep messing it up all the time. But then what if it’s not the job, but it’s me, and I wouldn’t be able to find a job that I *can* do. And yeah, it just spirals from there.

      So, right now, it is that I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and I am not doing my job well. But what if it’s not just this job, what if it’s me? Ugh, I sound so lame and whiny writing this stuff out, sorry. I know I really do need to get professional help, but it’s been hard to find the brain space and the energy because I’m so tired all the time. But maybe this is the kick in the pants I need and I’ll get on that.

      Thanks again for letting me whine, r e t t e ‘s. You all are so great.

      • Okay, so one more question. Does anybody else think you can’t do your job? Or is it just that you have that imposter feeling?

        • Well, i think part of it is a fit problem. There are aspects of my job that I am not up to par on, but that were not really communicated as a major part of the position during the interview process. So, there are tasks my supervisor has asked me to work on.

          But I have a couple of coworkers that are friends, and they have told me that I am being crazy, and that I do a good job and that everyone likes me. But then I have the imposter feeling when they tell me that, and I think they just don’t get that I don’t know what I am doing and I am just faking it most of the time.

          So, I guess I think it’s a little bit of both. I have moments where I do something really well and I am proud of myself, but the vast majority of the time I am struggling with things that I am really bad at, and then I procrastinate to put it off as long as possible, which then makes things more of a struggle.

          • Oh, another thing i forgot to say, I feel weird unloading like this on this blog, with so many amazing, accomplished women that probably have much higher-powered/higher-stress jobs than me. But that’s part of why I feel like such a mess, because I have always been an over-achiever, and every single other job I have ever had, I worked like crazy, gave 110% and totally kicked *ss. This is the first time I have ever felt like I was really a failure at something and don’t know what I am doing. So, that’s one reason I feel like there is something really wrong going on.

          • Okay, here’s my take on this. If your coworkers/friends say you’re doing a good job and that you’re just driving yourself crazy and your boss isn’t telling you that you’re not cutting it, you’re probably doing better than you think. It’s possible that this job is just challenging and slightly above your comfort level *for now* but that’s what gives you room to grow! You’re fairly new at this right? Well, most reasonable employers don’t expect you to be able to do every aspect of your job well right away. You’re supposed to learn and grow and get experience. You’re the kind of overacheiver who has always kicked a$$ at everything so you feel like you ought to be able to do this job just as well. Give yourself a break! Try your best, learn, work on the things your supervisor has asked you to work on and try try try to relax a bit.

          • Anonsensical :

            Hi! Sorry I’m late to the party on this one. I struggle with anxiety and impostor syndrome feelings, so I have a little bit of an idea where you’re coming from. A lot of my anxiety stems from a lack of control, and so when I freak out, I have to break things into manageable little pieces that I can deal with. If I were in your shoes, I’d do a couple of things. First, I’d talk to my manager or supervisor. You said he or she told you there are areas you need to work on – what does that mean, exactly? Could you come up with a training plan so you have the training you need to be successful? Come up with some concrete steps you can take to tackle the job improvement issue and start chipping away at them. The second thing I would do is figure out if the job is a good fit for you and take steps to leave if it’s not. Start looking for jobs, brush up on your resume, make a plan for getting out in 6 months, a year, or after however long you think you need to stay there. And finally, consider talking to a therapist. Sometimes you can control anxiety by making changes in your life (quitting a job that’s bad for you, getting out of a bad relationship, etc.) and sometimes not. Good luck to you!

  11. MissJackson :

    PSA: Nordies took another round of markdowns. I just got more than $200 in price adjustments from stuff that I bought at the half-yearly sale (none of which was reduced further in the first round of additional markdowns)! If you bought online, go check your item numbers.

    • Thanks so much! I just got an extra $20 off of each of the pairs of sandals I bought.

  12. Research, Not Law :

    For the mamas:

    A coworker passed me “Just Let Me Lie Down,” by Kristin Van Ogtrop (editor of Real Simple magazine). It is flippin’ fantastic!! It’s anecdotes about working motherhood. They are humorous, compassionate, and oh-so accurate. It’s written in little snippets, which makes it a great pumping read. I highly recommend!

  13. Well, I’ve had my a** kicked all over the place this week, and I’m looking at a working weekend. My brain is pretty fried, and my stress level is pretty high. Anyone want to share their favorite way to destress when all you really have is a couple of hours? Should I just throw in the towel and run away to Belize?

    • For me, kicking some a$$ in the gym helps. Lifting weights = stress reduction. Also, reading a truly mindless novel on the treadmill helps get my mind off of my worries. I know – if you don’t work out this doesn’t make any sense. But it works for me!

    • Nap! Preferably outdoors, if that’s possible. Or cuddle a small animal. Ideally, you will take a nap outdoors while cuddling a small animal.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        DC Jenny, that sounds divine! If only I weren’t sure my cat would run away if I took him outside, I’d do it right now.

    • Silly novel in a bubble bath, with a glass of wine and a bar of dark chocolate. Repeat as necessary.

    • Research, Not Law :


      I wish I were kidding.

      A really good workout does it for me, too.

    • Go see a mindless movie and then go to the mall and get ice cream. :-)

      • Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that when I’m really down, I buy jewelry (my last purchase was black and white diamond hoops at Macy’s) and eat gelato. Theoretically, it helps.

    • Call a friend and vent. Sometimes you just need someone who understands what you are going through and is on your side.

    • I wish I could say that I go to the gym or hot yoga because those are what make me feel less stressed long term but I go to this wine bar. Takes the stress level down immediately for those couple of glasses of wine anyways.

      Try turning off everything but a good movie, healthy snack and maybe glass of wine?

      I also like playing with my dog.

    • oh my goodness, I love all of your suggestions so much!

      I love doing many of these things! The fact that I was able to come up with none tells me that it is time to step away from the computer and take a break. Pup has been guarding my home office all day, and looks like he is about ready for a break, too. (what a life)

      • Walked the dog, and picked up wine, cheese, and chocolate ice cream. You are my people. :)

  14. ooo! I actually really hate those shoes! But to each his own :)


  15. DC to NYC :

    I hope the hive can help with this one. I’m currently in a very stable job in DC (federal gov), but I want to move to NYC and work in the private sector since federal job are few and far btwn there. I have never searched for a job outside the federal gov or outside DC, and I’m not sure were to begin. Job listings, web sites of organizations I am interested in, maybe a recruiter? Note that I am not a lawyer. Also I’m wondering if my job hi t would before successful if I wa already living in NYC, meaning quit my job, move, and hope I find something. Does anyone have experience with this?

    • Do you mind if I ask why you would do this? Leaving a stable job right now for a job in the unstable private legal sector is scary business.

      Otherwise, if you’re experienced in a specialized field, I’d start by contacting a recruiter.

      • I’m not in the legal field. Also I’m interested in leaving my current job because I absolutely hate it. It is unchallenging and I never have enough work and things are just getting worse. I have already move once within my agency looking for more challenging work. I’m also really interested in moving to NYC since a lot of friends and family live there (I grew up just outside the city). DC just doesn’t do it for me. The combination of the job I can’t stand and a city I’ll never love has me running for something that I know may not be the easiest or est move in this economic climate.

        • Fair (and sorry, thought I had read you were a lawyer).

          I’d look at job listing boards and start attending networking events for your schools alumni events and just getting it out there to your friends in the same industry that you’re looking.

          Also — do a budget for how much its going to cost for you to live in NYC and try to figure out how much its going to cost to live there. So you have a sense whether you’re going to be able to afford it.

        • You are me from 10 years go…. working in a federal job that’s boring and not challenging, thinking I’d like to work in the private sector where I can be challenged, do a good job, and be rewarded (better compensated) for it. Fast forward 10 years of private-sector work where I often have the same problems, just less job security and much worse. Now I wish I had just stuck it out with the Feds. 20-something me was young and motivated, but 30-something me just wants the cake job back.* Be careful about leaving–it’s hard to get back in once you’re out of the system.

          *Epilogue: I’m finally starting a cake job w/ the state this fall –75% of my current pay but half the hours—yay!

  16. Research, Not Law :

    And one more for my husband. He’s an architect and about to send out resume/portfolios to find a new job. He’s not sure whether he should accentuate his years of experience or not, because his current job is not at the level one would expect for that many years.

    He’s 15-20 years into his career but doing the work of someone closer to half that. His career was moving along quite well up until about five years ago, when a number of economic, firm politics, and personal factors left him in career purgatory. (Details below, if you’re interested). Furthermore, firms are currently looking mainly for people with less experience.

    He’s worried that he’ll draw attention to the disconnect or be considered “too experienced” if he mentioned his years of experience as an asset on his cover letter – but he’s also worried that he’ll be overlooked by down-playing his experience level.


    • Research, Not Law :

      Details: He had been moved by a large firm to open up a satellite office, which he’d done successfully, then was stolen away by a very small firm (his current position). The firm was looking like the golden child and getting great press and projects. He was taking on more project management and was exploring the option of becoming an associate partner in his current firm when the recession hit. Development came to a grinding halt, firms all over were closing. His held on, but with only the two partners and my husband. No staff to manage, little opportunity to bring in new work as an associate, etc. It was not the optimal time to try that transition, so he stayed on with the firm with the understanding he’d move up when the economy improved. Our first child was born, so he worked part-time and was a stay-at-home dad. Then the partners started to have some serious personal, interpersonal, and legal/accounting issues, and the firm dissolved. So my husband invested his time with a firm that no longer exists, with little professional development to show for it. They would both give him great references, but he’s still left looking like a guy who couldn’t get it together – which couldn’t be further from the truth!

    • karenpadi :

      I think the recession paused many peoples’ careers so it’s not a red flag anymore.

      Why doesn’t he use something like “experienced architect with several years of experience in [insert specialty] design and project management.” That way, he isn’t saying a number that might exceed a threshold but he is conveying that he isn’t a recent grad.

      I don’t think the “gap” will come up until an interview. He’ll need a well-rehearsed response to explain the last 5 years.

    • Agree that very few people would ding an architect or other building professional for the market of the last few years. Have a think about whether he acquired any start-up/ biz development experience which might be worth a mention eg. successfully opening a satellite office sounds like a good thing he has under his belt ?

  17. Southern Summer :

    My boyfriend is doing an internship this summer in another city, and I’m thinking of sending him a care package. I need to send him a couple of ties he forgot to pack anyway, so I thought I’d add some little things like a Starbucks card, some dress socks, a little note from me, and… that’s about all I thought of. Maybe pens and notebooks, but the office where he works will surely provide all of that. Any ideas?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      How about food items from where y’all are from? You say Southern Summer, so would something like benne wafers be appropriate? I really miss food from home when I am not there.

      Will you have a chance to visit him at all? Even if the answer is no and he has friends there, you could do tickets to a cultural attraction in the city (museum, etc.) or a gift card to the movie theatre or a nice restaurant there so he is encouraged to get out.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Pictures of you, of course. :-)

    • When my SO headed off I found a massage therapist near where he lived and booked an appointment for him. I left him a paid gift certificate at a top restaurant at his new city (restaurants are super good about that kind of stuff in my experience). My SO likes gifts he can brag about to other people, your BF might be different.

      I have found that my SO tends to forget about food in packages an always goes bad (my roommates also did this so maybe guys do it alot?). A lot of homemade goodies went bad in my old house…. I would never send them to a guy ever again.

      If I was you I’d go for cheesy too and send him a picture of me in a frame. Maybe something cool to put on his desk (a four by four rubiks cube, a boxed pen/letteropener set, a business card holder, a toy, a paperweight of something from your city, whatever is cool to him… A roll of quarters is SO useful if he has a coin laundry. I love it when people sent me stamped post cards because then all the work is done and its so easy to send them back. I also like getting spices in the mail because you never have any when you move in to a new place.

  18. For ShortieK from Rose in Bloom :

    I posted a response about the Brooks Brother tote being unlined in this morning’s thread. Hope it’s helpful. I really do like bag.

  19. I have tried posting this already, but misspelled “heel” and am in moderation. (so apologies if this turns up several times on the thread…)

    I need suggestions for shoes to go with a strapless, fitted, floor length, red dress. I’m thinking a 3-3.5 inch heel. I know it looks GREAT with Pella Moda Augusta shoes, but they are a 5 inch heel.
    I will be wearing gold accessories, and probably a blue cocktail ring, FWIW.

  20. Dowdy Shoes? :

    I got three new pairs of shoes from DSW because my feet have been hurting every day after work because of my shoes. However, I fear I’ve gone too dowdy in my search for comfort. I’m only 22, so are these shoes too dowdy/old lady for me?

    http://www.6pm.com/ak-anne-klein-7fenton-navy-patent in taupe