RSS feeds are one of my favorite online tools, and I’m finding that most people don’t know what they are or how they can be used. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication… so, does that help?  Probably not :-)  Let me explain with an analogy about mail delivery.

You’ve Got Mail

Every day, the mailman* collects mail from everyone sending you mail, and delivers it to your home.  What if there were no mailman or post office?  Well, that would mean you’d need to go to each person’s house and pick up your mail and bring it home.  And since you have no way of knowing if someone has mail for you, you waste a lot of time stopping by everyone’s house just to see if you have mail.

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Now that Tweetdeck is integrating more social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Buzz, Foursquare, MySpace), I’m guessing there will be a name change soon. Ideas? Take this poll!



Click here for the results so far.

Note: This is a version of a post I made on the Wall Street Journal online blog on  August 4, 2009.

I can’t continue to write for the Wall Street Journal “Laid Off and Looking” blog Rachel Levyanymore, because I have a new job! I will be the Director of Marketing and Social Media at Second Time Around, a consignment clothing retailer with 19 stores in 8 eastern states (MA, NH, RI, ME, CT, VT, DC, NY). Second Time Around’s owner, Jeff Casler, recently got venture capital funding from Generation Equity Investors, so is slated for more growth in the coming years.

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Note: This is a version of a post I made on the Wall Street Journal online blog on  August 4, 2009.

I was delayed in writing this post for the WSJ blog, because I was hoping to be able to write about a job offer I was expecting to have. It didn’t come. It still Rachel Levymay, so I haven’t lost all hope, but it sounds like the company may be unsure whether or not to hire for the position. Sound familiar? I have been hearing this more and more lately with the poor economy. Either the company advertises for a job, and then decides they aren’t hiring any more, or they restructure the job in the middle of hiring because they are trying to accomplish more with less, or they just decide to put the position on hold.
So not only do we (laid off folks) have to deal with the stress of being out of work, and an unknown financial future, we are also impacted by the uncertainty that companies are feeling themselves. This makes it tough, and honestly a bit emotionally trying at times.
The way I have combated this is to try to not get too excited about a job until it becomes a reality. I talk about potential jobs with my friends and family, but try to not go into too much detail. The more we talk, the more excited I get, and the more they ask questions. “Did you get the job?” “When will you hear back?” “Did you hear from them yet?” “What are the next steps?” “Did you follow up with them lately?” It’s supportive, but for me, more and more talk brings more and more excitement, and consequently more and more disappointment when it doesn’t work out. So, no more detailed discussions for me!
The other way I have combated this becoming too emotionally trying is to continue plugging away, even though I have a good feeling a potential job will work out. Don’t stop. You need to keep going until you accept the job, or even the day you start your job. In this economy, anything can happen, and stopping not only wastes time if it doesn’t work out, but emotionally it makes you more invested in the opportunity you are waiting on. Keep many balls in the air, and don’t be “monogamous” until you get the offer, because you know the company certainly is not.

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So, I’m finally back to work after being out of a job for a year. Overall, my year was tough, but I learned so much about social media, networking, and basically just reinvented myself professionally.  Now, the rubber is meeting the road, and I’m back to work.  I started my job at Second Time Around last Monday, so it’s been a full 2 weeks.  So, I am more stressed or less stressed than I was when I wasn’t working?  Yes :-)

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I am pleased to report that I have accepted a new full time job! I will be the Director of Marketing and Social Media at Second Time Around, which is a consignment retailer with 19 stores in 8 eastern states (MA, NH, RI, ME, CT, VT, DC, NY).  Second Time Around (STA) recently got venture capital funding from Generation Equity Investors, so is slated for more growth in the coming years.  I got my offer on July 16th, which oddly enough is the one year anniversary of me being out of a full-time job.  What an odd coincidence!

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Note: This is a version of a post I made on the Wall Street Journal online blog on June 17, 2009.

A few months, I was asked a question by a potential employer that I couldn’t answer “What do you think of what we are doing in social media?” I couldn’t answer it not because I didn’t know what he meant, but rather, that I hadn’t actually looked it up. Although social media is the area of marketing I am Rachel Levymost interested in, I was still stuck in my old ways of researching a company… by looking at their website.

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Note: This is a version of a post I made on the Wall Street Journal online blog on June 2, 2009.

When my position as the Director of Marketing at the JCC Rachel Levywas eliminated in July, it was a complete surprise to me. It was just as the economy started going south, but I didn’t foresee it affecting me so close to home so quickly. Looking back, I wish I had been more prepared rather than being stuck like a deer in the headlights. Here’s what I would have done if I had been prepared.

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Note: This is a version of a post I made on the Wall Street Journal online blog on May 12, 2009.

Twitter seems to be all the rage these days, especially since it made headlines with the Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Rachel Levybattle, and more so when Oprah joined. But, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about Twitter, the two most common I hear are that it’s a young population using Twitter, and that people are sharing just the “mundane details of their lives.” Neither of those is true. In fact, 76% of Twitter users are over 35. And, while Twitter can be about the mundane details of people’s lives, for the most part, it’s about people connecting with others who have similar interests. For example, since I’m interested in Marketing and Social Media, I follow people who are also interested in the same, and we share information on topics relevant to us. I have learned so much from interacting with people on Twitter since joining in September.

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Note: This is a version of a post I made on the Wall Street Journal online blog on April 28, 2009.

One of the biggest changes for me since I lost my job is being at Rachel Levyhome a lot instead of at an office filled with people. I’ve gone from chit chatting in the hall and having lunch and laughs with coworkers, to being home alone, sometimes all day. In addition to the financial stresses that come with being unemployed, I think this is why a lot of unemployed people get depressed. But for me, I don’t think it has really impacted me in a negative way.

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