Category Archives: Job Prospects

I keep running away to New York! – Affinia Manhattan hotel review

It really is a shame that one of the greatest cities in the world is only a few short hours from Boston – a shame for my wallet that is. Luckily this ‘biz has a couple perks and I was able to return last weekend for a quick little romp. I brought the boyfriend this time and was planning on some serious sightseeing and only having the laptop open for a couple of hours. We enjoyed wine-ing, dining, an off-Broadway play and my first trip to the strange yet fascinating Guggenheim Museum.

Before all that though, let me sing some high praises for the Affinia Manhattan Hotel. While I wasn’t on official assignment, I till was looking at this place with a writer’s eye and was totally satisfied with what I observed.

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Right off the bat the lobby is insanely impressive, if not a little daunting. What better way to a girl’s inner Audrey Hepburn though than chandeliers, right? The front desk staff were top notch and super helpful in getting me all settled in. I took the old school elevator up to the 23rd floor and was met with massive hallways and dated carpets, but the room itself was fresh and fun.

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I like the idea of not feeling confined to the bed when staying in a hotel, especially when I have writing to do. There was copious amounts of space to stretch out, from the comfy chairs to the sectioned off office space with a desk and countertops. And a fridge! I loved London and all, but having a fridge is key, even for some chilled water to grab in the middle of the night. No silly mini bar either to shove over – just a big, cold space for my own snacks and drinks.

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My temporary home office came with indulgently soft pillows – a few picked from their famous pillow bar, where you can choose the right style to best suit your needs (from hypoallergenic to pillow iPod docks!). Two big windows open up to the streets below, letting in plenty of light. Each wall had pretty gray, black and white flowers and accents to give the space a unique touch of style.

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Yes, the bathroom was super tiny. But hey, welcome to New York. To compensate for lack of elbow room, there was plenty of other superb amenities -including full size bottles of their bath products. For someone like me with a lion’s mane of hair, this was crazy appreciated, as I often have to hound the poor housekeepers for extra conditioner.

Overall I only have a few little gripes about the Affinia, which makes me fear I’m getting snotty and spoiled, but I digress. One, it was LOUD. There was a fire station below is I think that constantly had trucks raging in and out. A necessary evil of course, but it did make me think twice about staying in the dead center of Manhattan (in contrast, the Hotel Americano in Chelsea was much quieter, but a totally different and modern scene). Two, it was tough finding some cute bars and restaurants within quick walking distance. This really is not the Affinia’s fault, because it’s right next to Madison Square Garden, making it a high traffic and commercial area I suppose.

No real complaints, though – I adored Affinia Manhattan and was happy to lay my head to rest there for the long weekend. These short trips to NYC are getting a little addictive – I might have to reign it in and wait a few months until the next venture to repair my broken bank account.

Have a favorite hotel in Manhattan? Or just a really memorable stay anywhere in the world? I’m always up for future recommendations!

Freelancer Tip #2: Have no shame when starting out. Of course be smart and try to avoid those shady online projects without a contract just for the dollar signs, but also be willing to put in the work when opportunities arise. I literally fell over myself when I thought I had met a legit editor, and ever since I’ve been handsomely rewarded. Yes I had a few sleepless nights, but it was well worth this NYC trip and all the future adventures I’m bound to have. Don’t make traveling the goal – building a good reputation and portfolio should be the aim, and the trips will eventually fall into place.

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Next stop: Zoo York City

There will a little adventure to be had in New York this weekend! I scored tickets to the New York Times travel show and couldn’t be more thrilled – thanks to the people at InTheKnowTraveler and a Lithuanian tourism company I’ll learn more about when I get there. It will be hectic and nuts, but I’m thrilled to be a part of it all.

Not only will I be at the conference for a couple of days, I scored a stay at the Hotel Americano, which may just be the hippest place to be in Chelsea. It will be fantastic, I’m sure, to have such a charming, sleek home base with all the work&play I plan to do!

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Oh yeah. Swanktastic.

Luckily enough Gary was free this weekend and will be joining me for support and to take notes when I forget. It will be fun to be a team again – he’s looking for memorable places to drink and be merry as we speak.

A little anxiety is creeping into my plans which I’m trying to keep at bay – mostly because I couldn’t find a lot of motivation this week and I’ma bit swamped. Hopefully I can get word to paper tonight and tomorrow so I can focus on the task at hand in new York this weekend. Fingers crossed.


Hitting the streets!

After a year and a half at the content writing company, I’ve decided to navigate my own waters and become the captain of my own ships. I thanked them for the opportunity and moved onto hopefully bigger and better things, taking the skills I learned with me. What a ride. Most days I would pump out 4,000 word a day, answer client communications, peer-edit and maybe squeeze in a meeting or two. With some proper vacation days, regular hours or wages, this would be tolerable, but unfortunately, we did not receive any of that. One day, in a cloud of anxiety and way after the sun went down, I looked around my office and thought, enough. I know now what to do and what’s expected in this writing world, I should cut out the middle man and do it myself.

And that’s what I did.

So now I’m back to being unemployed sort of. But I feel much more in control of the situation and excited about my future. Already I landed a few gigs through a great freelancing website that seems to be wonderfully easy in finding fun projects. In two days I crafted a funny blog on how to get your ex back as well as a post on teen confidence. One of the best parts of this new venture? Both of these short assignments paid 5 times as much as any story I wrote for the big content writing mill.

Now, all I need are a few more jobs…!

Job Hunt Tip #7: Following up is essential. ESSENTIAL. When you compete for attention, having your name come up a couple times in e-mails helps. A short, friendly and professional inquiry after your initial application doesn’t hurt at all.


The worst is over, now we wait.

After driving past the exit not once, but twice, and then paying forty stupid dollars for parking downtown, I survived the day of interviews.

How did they go?

The first was brilliant. I think. I love offices in re areas. This one used to be a big mill, with it’s original wooden floors contrasting against clean, white partitions. The guys who talked with me were great, super down to earth and seemed to really enjoy their job.

There’s nothing worse than an interviewer who says, “Sigh, well this is a pretty good place to work, I guess.” Sure, I can’t be wicked picky at this point, but things like that make me want to just not bother either and cut my losses.

I digress. The questions were easy and we flowed well. I just can’t tell yet if I’m qualified enough. Everything seemed fantastic but I always fear some top shot is going to flounce in after me and declare years of experience, thus sweeping up my dream spot.

The second place was in the city, also a gorgeous setting. But this threw me through a loop, even though should have seen it coming. The damn tests. These days, with such huge pools of applicants for positions, some jobs will just test you until you break. For this content writer job, before I even spoke to a live person, I was in a conference room taking a common knowledge test, an editing test and a current events test. AND, in my pare time next week I have to take another 90 minute test writing demo articles. Oof. I understand companies want the best of course, but you really need to have your game face on when walking into these situations.

I hear from the first one next week, so now I wait and sweat it out.

Aaaaand wait.

Job Hunt Tip #4: I like answering interview questions on the fly so it doesn’t sound too contrived. I think companies can smell a script a mile away. On the other hand, know what position you’re applying for inside and out. The interviewer will probably hint or mention any sort of test too, so make sure you brush up on whatever skills they require!

Music Motivation: Every Day by Girl Talk


Interview-time. The suspense builds.

Interviews are a rush. I’m so wildly excitied to land one then I feel nausous right up to the very second I shake hands. After that though it usually goes well. We chat and shmooze and I answer questions and it’s over before I even know. Total Rockstar.

Wednesday I definitely have one interview, maybe two. The guaranteed one is for a bigwig company and a shiny Editor position I’m pretty curious and pumped about. I’ve learned a nasty and realistic lesson though. It’s really hard to not fall into fantasies of fat salaries and new work friends and your future, perhaps dashingly handsome boss giving you a flashy smile because you just found a way to save the company millions… well, you get it. I now see that an interview sometimes feels like you’ve won the job lottery, it still could mean very little. It could be you and 100 other candidates. Sadly even, the position could already be internally filled. You just never know.

Now dry those eyes. Come on, cheer up. For me, the one thing I can count on is even though I have no plans for five years from now, I know I won’t be where I am now. I maybe in a new job or living in a new place. Maybe I’ll chop off all my hair or finally take those salsa lessons. I know my car won’t last that long, so I’m sure I’ll be driving something different, or maybe I’ll be walking to work downtown.

Anyways, the point is things are going to change. If nothing else I know that I won’t let myself fall into a dull void. All those things I mentioned I can change myself, whenever I want.

Some, like my future dream job, are just going to take a second to get in gear. And when it does, I’ll love looking back on this time. I’ll think, maaaaan, remember when I was living paycheck to paycheck, zip tying my bumper back to my car after that jerk hit me? Remember when I those hideous shoes to work everyday because they were cheap and comfortable? But, remember how I still managed to travel a bit? I still got to see the ocean from my bedroom every morning at sunrise?

There’s time. Plenty of time.

But right now, I need to find those pumps that scream I’m your girl for this job.

Job Hunt Tip #3: What to wear?! Wear your best. No one’s going to think you’ve overdone it unless your ballgown train gets stuck in the elevator door. Then you may have to re-evaluate your choices. Otherwise, zip up that suit and own it. If and when your get hired, then you can drink in the company vibe and dress accordingly. I think this especially appeals to twenty-something on the job beat for the first time. Make sure your suit (guys or girls) fits well too so you look polished and mature. I’ve seen a kid swimming in this blazer and thought, wow, will they really hire this 12-year-old?

Music Motivation: Elephant Gun by Beruit


A teeny cute little ray of hope.

I snagged an interview today. This is the second one that’s come up in the last few months, so obviously I’m foaming in the mouth to talk to some real people at a real company. Time to shake out the wrinkles of that suit and get my game face on. Bring it.

Sometime this week or next I’ll strut into that office. I’ll say hey you, office writing people, move the hell over. I’m here, and I’m desperate to use my noggin. I’m about to implode actually with all this creative buildup in my head, so get ready. And don’t judge me too harsh, I just came from a job cleaning bathrooms and throwing crayons at kids 723 times a day. It paid the bills, but it’s time to do what I’m destined to do. Write. WRITE! Right?

So it’s not an offer for a how-epic-am-I column in Cosmo, but it’s something. Seems like SEO writing for businesses, or some sort of blurb-y news writing. We shall see. In the meantime, I’ll keep tossing jobs into my virtual job cart.

I try not to expect anything, then just be pleasantly surprised if it all works. Is that a pessimistic or optimistic view? Having low expectations so everything seems great all the time? Ha, I have no idea. I’ll stick to it for now while I psyche myself up for another work week ahead. That’s not really work. But it is. But it’s not.

I’m unemployed. Sortof.

Job Hunt Tip #2: It may seem obvious, but try to find a name. Find a name at that company your dying to work for. It’s painful for you to write a silly “Dear Sir, or Madam, or Canine, or whatever…”, so I suppose it’s just as painful so someone to read it on your cover letter. Won’t they be surprised if they see their own name, or even someone they know, right at the top in the sea of Sirs and Madams? Surf around LinkedIn or Google and see if you could even contact HR for a little assistance.

Music Motivation: Stay Close by Delorean


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