“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

It's often said that at a certain age—49, if you believe this article—women become invisible. Having hit that number in April, I'm realizing there's definitely some truth to it. 

But invisibility is not always a bad thing. For example, when I trip over a sidewalk and no one points and laughs, I call it a win. I can devour the chips and guacamole my son thinks he's effectively hidden in the back of the fridge, and I'm so unnoticeable, I won't even make the shortlist of suspects. So, there are definitely positives to going through life unseen.

Recently, however, I discovered that, in addition to becoming invisible, I'm also completely forgettable. Here's how I found out...

As I mentioned in my last post, I took myself out of the running for a full-time …

Knowing When to Drop Out of the Interview Process

In March, we lost singer/songwriter Kenny Rogers. When the country crooner cashed in his chips amid the height of the pandemic, it prompted a few people to note that "The Gambler" really did know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

I recently found myself confronted with a situation that made me ponder the fine art of knowing when to bow out.

It began when I was contacted via LinkedIn by a guy from a startup looking to fill a writer/editor/public relations role. 

Initially, it sounded appealing. (Subtext: When the monthly cost of healthcare coverage for a family of five is more than the average U.S. mortgage payment, you can convince yourself that almost anything sounds good.) And, with many of my other gigs drying up, I agreed to an informal chat. 

This casual conversation felt more like a grilling as the interviewer asked dozens of questions about my background (the answers to most of these were evident from my LinkedIn profile, but "whatevs," as my teens …

Here We Go Again!

First things first: Hi! It's been a while. If you've made your way here, chances are you may be at a career crossroads (or you're related to me). Either way, welcome, thank you, and I truly hope you're doing okay in spite of everything 2020 has thrown our way. 

For a while back in March, which seems like a whole other millennium, I thought my husband and I might make it through this relatively unscathed work-wise. But if history has taught us anything it's that if you suspect you may lose your job, you probably will. 

Still, I mused, what were the odds that my husband could be laid off three times in less than seven years? Turns out, they were pretty damn good. 

In the weeks leading up to his most-recent dismissal, my husband had been busier than ever. I viewed this as a good sign—even as I noticed him bracing for the worst. After meals, I spotted him making lists of monthly expenses while frowning the way my mother does when my brother tells her he doesn't believ…

Still Not Over It...

I write a lot about unemployment. (Did you just grumble, "No kidding!?" I heard that.) Not just here, but for The Muse and other sites as well. 
I draw on my personal experience but I also interview career coaches or other experts who offer their insight on a variety of work and unemployment-related topics. Frequently, my pieces are a combination of both.
Often, when I share content on Twitter or LinkedIn, I imagine readers groaning and thinking, "Jeez, would this woman get over it already?" 
And, yes, I hear you. It's been five years since my first layoff and about 18 months since my second. And, yes, I've moved on, and thankfully, we're in a much better place. I've picked up some new freelance clients, and my husband has a full-time job with health benefits — the holy grail. So, needless to say, we feel extremely fortunate.
But that said, after you've been "downsized," "right-sized," "impacted," "restructured,&qu…



After much deliberation, consternation, and clearing up a few misunderstandings, I decided to attend the writing conference in Italy that I wrote about back in April. (It turned out there were rooms still available at the hotel where the workshop is being held, and there will be group transportation from Rome to Recanati, so I can stop worrying about pitching a tent on a hillside or ending up in Sicily.) 

I've taken on a lot of additional freelance work to avoid having to start a GoFundMe campaign (but thank you, Rose, for supporting that idea!), which is why it's taken me a while to write this post.

Plus, maybe it's that notorious old spoilsport known as "mom guilt," but it feels wildly self-indulgent to leave the country during the summer and jet off in an attempt to recapture the kind of creativity that goes beyond trying a new taco recipe. 

When I tell people I'm going, I hear that imaginary record scratch, like, "Wait, really? Alone?"…

Is It Time to Hit the Restart Button On Your Career?

As I mentioned in my last post, sometimes you can meet some real losers through the Internet. (I'm sure this comes as no revelation to anyone who's tried online dating.) But, on the flip side, every once in a while an interesting opportunity arrives in your inbox via cyberspace.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the assistant to Kristin Hiemstra, M.Ed, ELI-MP, founder and president of The Art of Potential, about participating in an upcoming Career Seekers Summit she's hosting.
Much like when Elise Runde Voss, chief executive officer of UpScored called me a "thought leader" and asked me to write about the game-changing career platform she'd developed, I once again experienced a looking-over-each-shoulder "Who, me?" moment. 
Of course, I enjoy writing career features for The Muse and hope that some of the hard-won wisdom I've acquired after losing two jobs within four years helps others. Yet, especially after pondering that "losing two jobs wi…

A Weasel Lurks in Boonton

Thus far in my freelance career I've been fortunate to work for people who are professional and trustworthy. While I've tried not to take this for granted, it wasn't until a real weasel came along that I remembered how incredibly fortunate I've been. (Not quite as eloquent or dramatic as Madeleine L'Engle's: "Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light," but same principle.)

It's not that I haven't been approached by grifters, I have. Just recently, a man reached out to me after finding my resume on The first time he contacted me he said he was from one company. In a subsequent email, that company name changed but the role stayed the same. Curious to find out what it was all about, I responded with my rates, as requested, and he told me he could pay exactly half. Um... 

When I remained firm, he began to badger me, sending emails that read: "Just try it! It'll probably take half the time you think …