If there’s one good thing to be said about angst, it provides excellent creative fodder. To everyone who’s commented, tweeted, emailed recently – I shouldn’t be surprised when these things resonate. Nobody is special. Pretty much everything in the human experience is universal, and someone’s been there, done that.
This week’s links
It’s been an emotional week around the world. But as Prudence says, let sadness be turned to love, fear to peace, paralysis to purpose.
Zen and your finances
Myers-Briggs personality types in the personal finance blogosphere
A daughter’s tribute
What are your weird frugal habits?
A healthy way to aspire to a better life
You have enough
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That girl with the weird name, Essena O’Neill, has been blowing up the internet, ripping the lid off life as an Instagram celeb. Normally I’d be part of the cynical backlash, but right now, her original point is resonating so hard with me.
It’s really embarrassing to admit, but there’s this girl I know through mutual friends. She’s younger, hotter and a makeup artist to boot, and constantly posts amazing selfies. We aren’t Facebook friends, but every so often I look her up, stalk her profile and come away feeling terrible about myself every single time. Call it self-flagellation. And while I rarely click into the Discover tab on Instagram, when I do it’s always filled with girls showing off their perfect bodies – clearly these aren’t straight up photos, but they just feel so much more real than, say models in magazines. And I’m 27 freaking years old. I’m so glad this stuff wasn’t around when I was a teen.
Social media is awesome, but it definitely goes two ways.
The dream of disposable income
Gratitude in the face of failure
What are you REALLY good at?
Being a feminist earning less than her partner (the polar opposite of my problem) or stuck in a gendered marriage
Let me tell you a little story about how blogging gave me the confidence to negotiate my worth.
I remember the first time I ever made any money off my blog. I was astonished that somebody would pay to place content on it. Blogging – still the easiest yet hardest thing I’ve ever done to earn money.
From then on, it was a slippery slope, I admit. There was a time when I accepted way too many sponsored posts.
But despite that, I still didn’t say yes to everything. I was reasonably picky. There were some compromises I just didn’t want to make.
I started negotiating, somewhat regularly, with potential advertisers. It was easier than I thought. Faceless people behind an email address. A business transaction. If they didn’t want to pay my rates, that was fine. No deal. There are plenty of other advertisers out there who can, and do. I don’t need your money.
I’ve lost count of just how many email threads with stingy lowballers I closed off with ‘if your budget increases in the future, feel free to get in touch’.
And if my blog is worth more than that, then I’M certainly worth more than that.
Turns out that was really good practice for real life.
And that is how blogging helped boost my confidence, leading to my first actual pay negotiation.
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It’s Labour Day weekend! With any luck I’ll be off to the Coromandel soon; it’s probably too much to hope for good weather in October on top of that. But dreams are free.
Enjoy this week’s links
Do what you love is the ultimate individualist myth, one that normalizes a world in which most people have jobs that are just barely this side of tolerable, because if we are special enough, hardworking enough, and love the work enough, we will make our way to the top.
Renting is lethal:
Every year people die prematurely in winter in New Zealand, a phenomenon unheard of in the coldest parts of Europe and North America, where houses are built and heated to protect people from winter cold. People are more likely to die in winter in New Zealand if they live in rental housing, because it is likely to be older and in poorer condition than houses which are owner occupied, and which provide more protection from the cold.”
The GATE approach to networking:
Give: The most important point about this is that you give a true gift. Something you provide with no expectation of return. You find someone who you want to help and you help them in the best way you can.
Ask: Make a commitment every day to ask for something that you need. There are people in your life who are waiting to help you. Take the time to let someone know about a challenge you are having or something you could use insight on. Acknowledge what you still need help with and reach out.
Thank: Take the time each day to identify someone in your life who has done something for you and give them a clear account of how they have helped you. Say thank you in a meaningful way and make sure that the other person understands the value they added to your life. All too often we thank people in less than three sentences. We can do better.
Experiment: Every day look at your existing social systems and try something new. This could be as simple as choosing to use a different location for your one on one meetings or changing the language you use when you greet someone. In all of our social interactions there are hundreds of variables. Experiment and find new ways of interacting.
Thoughts for the week:
It’s amazing how powerful inertia and fear of change is.
It’s amazing how long people can tolerate living in limbo.
This week’s links
Ask yourself the hard questions
When financial fatigue gets the best of you
Class mobility, decision fatigue and budget failure
The times when you need to say no
What exactly makes a happy marriage?
Marrying for money
And on a lighter note:
What happened when I tried being white (oh how I relate! Today I love my straight hair and my weirdly shaped eyes, but not that long ago I was obsessive about my lack of lashes and flat nose)
Confession: I’m a bit of an employment snob.
My career so far has seen me alternate evenly between working for big brands / household names versus smaller organisations.
I’ll admit, that prestige, or instant recognisability, has been hard to leave behind. It’s so easy to say, I work for X and have a stranger understand right away, rather than have to go into an explanation of the company. Giving that up was definitely a factor I considered.
This week I was part of a strategic planning session around sharpening our mission, if you like – in order to guide our work, and also (fringe benefit) enhance our employment brands (yeah, I hate myself a little bit for having just typed that sentence). I’m 150% behind what we do and am stoked to really see it gaining traction.
Fittingly, this week’s links are all about career, fulfillment and getting ahead:
The changing nature of creative careers
Forget about finding your passion – ask yourself these questions instead
When personal problems spill over into your job performance
Every writer should read this when feeling low
Two questions that guided a journey from poverty to Yale
As tagged by Revanche.
- What’s the best thing you’ve purchased or been given in the past six months?
New handbag. SO overdue.
- What’s your favorite snack? (No one gets to say fruit.)
But I love (some) fruit! Probably not my favorite, though. Honey roasted peanuts, then. Or any form of chips.
- What form of exercise do you hate the most. (“All” is a perfectly acceptable answer.)
Let’s go with all. Particularly any form that involves equipment/machinery.
- If you could afford/manage to live anywhere, where would it be?
Right where I am, only owning instead. (A crash pad in NYC wouldn’t go astray, either.)
- What’s the geekiest hobby or pastime you have?
I don’t know, tracking my money?
This week’s links
An astute blogger recently noted that she knows of no couples with a female breadwinner that are 100% okay/happy/comfortable with that. And with the recent implosion of the only other couples I know who also fall in this category … well, this piece on the dilemma of the powerful woman resonated
We can’t afford to buy in our cities; that doesn’t make us entitled millennials
Such wise words by a commenter on this piece about knowing when to quit: “There are 3 components of our careers, the work we do, the people we work with, and the money we make. We need to be happy with the majority of these things. ”
Lots of good stuff to dig into in this series on the future of work
Sometimes it’s nice to have nice things
It’s okay to love money
Storytelling vs staging your life (on social media)
I’m too old for wayyy too many things
Just a wee gem of relationship advice I came across recently that I wanted to share…
If the current trouble/conflict/problem were to immediately resolve itself, would you then still want to leave at that point?
Such clarity, it made me cry.
This week’s links
Most of this is going over my head. But lots of smart people in the comments discussing house prices and the NZ situation.
Things I won’t be telling my future kids
Lessons learned from a breakup
Musings on money and marriage
A financial gut check
Why some people seem to have it all
Advice for people in their 20s
Don’t let your resume be a roadblock to your career
Navigating friendships as your finances change