50 Days to 50 Years: Day 12, SweetSalt with Susan Baker and Mihret

20 07 2016

“Treat every connection, communication and collaboration as part of a continuous relationship.” ― Kim Chandler McDonald, Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy

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It was so great on Day 12 to reconnect with The Escape Hatcher Susan M. Baker, and her little girl Mihret at SweetSalt in Toluca Lake.

I met Susan through Douglas Welch, a friend and new media professional. Both Susan and Doug were pivotal parts of the career group I used to run called Tuesdays with Transitioners, and it was through New Media Mastermind, a group that Doug formed which included myself, Susan, Jennifer “Jungle Jenny” Michaels, Danielle Gruen, and Tracy Pattin, that the first CareerCamp in 2010 was born!

Doug, Susan, Danielle and I were the first co-chairs, and the Congregational Church of Northridge, which sponsored Tuesdays with Transitioners, was the location. That was an exciting time, where we spearheaded three other Careercamps (L.A., South L.A. and Santa Clarita). We had a great time in the Mastermind group learning how to use new media to better promote ourselves and our endeavors, bouncing ideas off each other, and seeing how we could be instrumental in helping each other’s visions come to fruition. Susan also ran a group called Nohopreneurs, which brought local entrepreneurs together for lunch and networking.

Both our lives have changed tremendously over the last six years. In 2010, Susan was in the process of adopting beautiful Mihret from an Ethiopian adoption agency, and had her in arms that next year. So for Susan, careers and reinvention took a back seat to new motherhood (of course). For me, the Yoga reinvention happened, and life has been a series of rollercoaster rides, a few of which I am still on.

Susan was beautiful and glowing, so motherhood definitely suits her. Mihret was energetic and curious, as any six year old is, and exceptionally gorgeous—modeling should definitely be in her future.

SweetSalt was a new find for me, and I will be back! Not only was the Duck Confit sandwich quite tasty, but they have natural sodas that rival any you would find in the grocery store.

We caught up on our lives, discussing Yoga, travel, what was happening with the reinvention industry, writing, relocation, and education. Susan was involved as a volunteer at Mihret’s school, and I discussed my role on the CAAN National Board. She wanted to be an example to Mihret and emphasize through action the importance of education and being involved in its potential to change lives and allow students to flourish.

I enjoyed the meeting of minds, particularly in the area of careers and reinvention. Susan is exceptionally smart and resourceful, and it hearkened back to our time in the Mastermind group—with the addition of interruptions from a bright and bouncy six year old.

Thank you, Susan, for being a part of my 50 years: enriching my life with connection, vision, and also being a shining example of reinvention and new beginnings in the second half of your life. I hope we get the opportunity to collaborate again one day soon.

 

 

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50 Days to 50 Years: Day 22, Talking Careers and Reinvention with Markell Morris

10 07 2016

“Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it,
produce it and give birth to it.” — Meister Eckhart

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The magic of Twitter. I try to tell those who are searching for work or looking to transition to a different career to get on this social media platform, and start engaging. The 140-character limitation not only sharpens your communication skills, but it refines your voice, and allows people to get past the noise and the memes. Yes, like any social media platform, there are fools, and junk, and people who only wish to waste your time. Some of the nice features on Twitter are the mute and block functions, and the ability to filter using hashtags—so you only see the information you want to see.

Which leads me to one of my Twitter contacts and how a simple tweet turned into a meet up and a future workshop on social media and careers! I first met Markell Morris through my work with CareerCamp Intl (see my asthegirlturns.com website for more info on that). At that time, she was a career counselor with UCLA, and she was a Tuesdays with Transitioners speaker back in 2010. Since then, we have kept up with each other peripherally on Twitter, and she is working on growing her own career coaching business.

Fast forward to 2016, and my recent work with Elizabeth House. Markell saw my tweet about the seminar I was doing that Saturday, and replied to it, asking whether it was a webinar format.

 

From this interaction, we arranged to meet each other and talk about this concept in greater detail. We met at Portos in Downey, and it was a productive and delicious time—love Portos’ food! We are now planning “How to Get Work to Come to You”, a webinar series on using social media and technology to not just look for work, but let those interested in hiring discover and hire you for that work.

From this single meeting, to my work at Communities Digital News, to other opportunities, I can testify to the benefit of allowing yourself to be active on social media in order to position yourself for work. There is a strategy and a manner in which you have to go about this, but it can be successfully done. Once Markell and I have the bones in place, I will be promoting the seminar so that people can learn these strategies and let the work they want find them.

Love serendipity, love networking with like minds, and really love Twitter.

 

 

 


 





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 41, CAAN Connect!

21 06 2016

“Respect for people is the cornerstone
of communication and networking.”
— Susan Roane

A fabulous time was had by all at the 2016 CAAN Connect! The West Coast chapter of Columbia College Chicago’s alumni association has held this networking event for years, and it has always been rewarding and enjoyable for the attendees.

West Coast Director Sarah Schroeder, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Chuck Lira, and Coordinator of Special Events Amanda Clayton did a lovely job setting the space with awesome catering (with a bar!), and a spacious setup where alumni and entertainment industry executives could conduct their 15-minute speed networking sessions.

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My role as an alumni board representative was to help out at the check-in desk and interact with the alumni to ensure they were having a pleasant and productive experience. Interacting with the other alumni gave me insight into what an impact this type of event can have on one’s confidence and career, and how much the work of an alumni association can impact both. Alumna Abby Sherman (BA ’79) said, “I have to say, Columbia really steps up for its alumni.”

He shoots, he scores! Rim shot. I felt quite proud in seeing part of the vision of the alumni board coming to life and being affirmed by the very alumni we seek to serve.

Speaking of pride, Hallie McPhee-Johnston, another alumni said, “”I’m proud to be a part of Columbia. I really care about our school, and what we do to help each other move forward. This event was great! I made a lot of contacts, and I have a lot of work to do to get things out to people; but I am very pleased.”

I encouraged Hallie to apply for the 2016-17 national board—I hope she does!

My other role as just another alumni coming to network was also satisfying. I met this great husband and wife writing team, Anastasia and Joshua Basche, who I suspect will be the next Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife, Braindead).  We had a fascinating conversation about the Chewbaca mom and her viral video, and discussed actual artistic effort versus socially-driven content. We exchanged cards and I look forward to getting together with them soon.

My pitch materials were a big hit! One executive said they were very professional, and felt it represented who I am and what I had to offer. Another executive from a literary management agency was disgusted that my last literary agency told me that they had to drop me because I didn’t have a platform. She complimented me on the fact that I took the dishonest feedback and did something with it: I now have a platform that cannot be denied! All in all, I received solid information and direction from each one, and can incorporate or move forward because of it.

The evening ended with a delightful conversation and a failed attempt at using Facebook Live! with Lydia Rodriguez (’07) and Roberta De’Mesme (’90). These women met at work and found out they both attended Columbia. Not only is their friendship delightful, but they are encouraging each other in moving back towards creative endeavors. That’s what networking is all about: sharing knowledge, opportunity, and encouraging each other in our goals and strengths. I look forward to seeing Lydia and Roberta’s podcast come to life and go viral. I let them know I would be honored to be a guest one day.

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50 Days to 50 Years: Day 44, Education and Reinvention

18 06 2016

CAAN Board 2015

“To be changed by ideas was pure pleasure. But to learn ideas that ran counter to values and beliefs learned at home was to place oneself at risk, to enter the danger zone. Home was the place where I was forced to conform to someone else’s image of who and what I should be. School was the place where I could forget that self and, through ideas, reinvent myself.” ― Bell Hooks

In 2015, I was elected as a member-at-large for my college’s national alumni board. My masters degree is from another “name” university, but my heart and loyalty will always be with Columbia College Chicago, where I received my undergraduate degree.

The bond is strong for a number of reasons; primarily because the tools and experiences I received at Columbia are ones that I use over and over again to increase my personal currency and vocational knowledge across all the industries in which I interact.

From Columbia I gained huge lessons on finding my unique voice, sharpening and honing all my skills, and pursuing my craft with authenticity. As I move forward in years, I understand more and more what a really phenomenal education it was on many levels. As part of my board role, I have had the opportunity to share this with prospective students and with other alumni, and it has been a joy.

Which is why I am looking forward to CAAN Connect, a speed pitching event for the Columbia Los Angeles alumni. Entertainment industry executives volunteer their time to hear Columbia alumni present their projects, and many have gotten help, work, and representation through this forum.

I have attended two CAAN Connects, one as an alumni pitching a project, and the other as an alumni volunteer helping others. This time will be a hybrid of both: representing the alumni board and helping the attending alumni, and also getting the opportunity to pitch As the Girl Turns to two of the executives who specialize in representing influencers and brands. Over the last eight years I have skirted the edges of both arenas, and my desire is to cement myself and take my influence and brand to the next level.

So today has been preparing my biography, projects, and pitch materials to present in a few days, and it has been satisfying seeing the big picture representation of my body of work. I hope I can translate that satisfaction effectively into my speed pitch.

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CareerCampSCV 2014 is happenin’!

12 07 2014

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Another CareerCampSCV is in full swing! The Girl did a Breakout session on ”Blogging Effectively”, then did a regular session on “Social Media and Your Career”!

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Refueling with some lunch and ready for two afternoon sessions: “10 Things to Do While You’re Looking”, and a repeat of the Blogging breakout session.

Always an awesome time of learning, contributing,  and inspiring!





In My Orbit…

16 04 2012

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s been so much floating in my universe, that it has been hard to know where to begin to write. Of course, that results in not writing about anything, which is no solution either. So I have decided to begin categorizing all of my happenings under certain headings within “In My Orbit” (borrowing shamelessly from Douglas Adams, one of my favorite authors). It gives me an excuse to write more, and not feel torn about what to include and/or exclude.

Life

“We have no control over when or how we die, but we do have control over how we live.” — from Fried Chicken and Sympathy

My world has recently been impacted by the death of two dear people: a wonderful man named Jack Gilbert, and my cousin, Ricky Morgan.

Jack Gilbert, 2011

They say dogs know a good person, and dogs and cats loved Jack. Captured by his good friend and mine, Sarah Lucy Beach.

I met Jack Gilbert through Premise, an entertainment industry prayer fellowship. He was one of its leaders, both in role, and in example. I left Premise for a time, and it was due to Jack’s encouragement that I chose to return. Jack shaped lives through his deep commitment to Jesus Christ, and his teaching of screenplay writing at places like Warner Bros., Act One, Azusa Pacific University, and Columbia College Hollywood, among others. But he impacted through his quiet presence, his wisdom, and his delight of the arts, literature, and especially Casablanca! He delighted in bringing people together, whether it was a prayer group, writer’s group, book salon, or a movie. Jack was a great listener, a solid mentor, and from my relationships with others who were his friends, an excellent person. He embodied a life well lived, and his passing has left a huge void not only in the entertainment world, but many lives.

I didn’t know him half as well as others did, but he left a great impression by the weight of his presence and his life. Jack was always a man of grace, nobility, and gentle strength. What I would describe as “Meekness”. Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jack did inherit the earth, not through a powerhouse position or personality, but by just being, Jack. Now, he has received his ultimate inheritance! It’s bittersweet. He is in Heaven, which is awesome for Him, but the world has lost a tremendous presence and talent. But like all who leave a legacy of righteousness, their work and worth continues, long after they have left this earth. I know that will be the case with Jack.

His close friends and family held a private funeral service, but because of the wealth of his life through his investment in people and the community, there will be a more public memorial in May, that I plan to attend. The older I get, the more deaths I face, the greater importance I place on honoring those who have passed on.

My cousin Ricky died suddenly on Good Friday, and it broke my heart. He was a favorite, and more like another brother than a cousin. Ricky lived with us for a time when I was younger, and he and my brother Theodore were constant companions and running buddies. I probably heard more than a six-year-old should hear about the misadventures of young adult men, but I enjoyed being the mascot. Unlike my sisters, Theodore and Ricky liked my company, and they treated me like a person, rather than a kid who was underfoot.

Mike (left), Aunt Allene (middle), and Ricky at the Foxx Family Reunion, 2005. R.I.P. my cousin.

Ricky was hilarious. He had a sharp wit, a great laugh, and a radiant smile that charmed everyone. Ricky, his mother (my aunt) Allene, and his brother Mike moved on to Northern California, and his absence left a huge hole in my young life. When I moved to California in my adult years, I was able to reconnect with him. He had since moved to Southern California, and with my sister June and her daughter Gabi, we went to visit him and his then-wife. I was writing Fried Chicken and Sympathy during that time, and he was able to share stories, give insight, and piece together some family history that had been missing.

The last time I saw him was at our Foxx Family Reunion in 2005. He looked rested and happy, was his usual chipper and hilarious self, warm, welcoming and loving, as always.  I still cannot believe he is gone, and it is still up in the air about whether there will be a service or memorial where the rest of the family and friends can mourn his loss.

Whether that happens or not, Ricky knew Jesus too, so I will see him again in Heaven, where we can laugh together.

I am thankful for the personal impact of both these men, and that through their death, as well as in their life, they continue to instruct. As Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days,that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I am more attuned to counting the cost of my life.

The Universe

Part of the counting of my days is my work with job seekers and career transitioners. One of the ways I do this is my participation (and sometimes chairmanship) of CareerCamp events in Southern California.

CareerCampLA is coming up this Friday, April 20 from 9 am to 12 pm, at Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles, CA 90044.  Do I need to say it is well worth your time? Trust me, it is.

The day is geared toward “Building the Career That You Deserve” through workshops, seminars and breakout sessions. The agenda is set by the attendees, so you get your most burning questions answered. CareerCamp is a positive event focused on you and your needs in developing your career.

What I love about CareerCamp is that it’s NOT a job fair, but a workshop designed to hone your skills and give you the information you need to make the next step in your career. That next step may be starting your own business, or changing careers–it’s less about enabling and more about empowerment. If you want to be empowered to make the changes necessary to discover your career direction and life’s passion, then register here.

Everything

My world has been transformed by Yoga, and now I am able to lead others through its transformative work. I teach classes at CorePower Yoga in Sherman Oaks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also teach a Soul Flow class in Northridge on Thursday nights. The Monday 12:00 pm class, and the Soul Flow class are only $10–you can’t get out of Starbucks that cheaply, and its positive effects are better and last longer!

Like the CareerCamps, it is a privilege to help others on a journey of discovery that moves someone closer to their authentic self, and offer inspiration that helps them get a better handle on their purpose in life.

Speaking of that… time to rocket off to CorePower for my Monday classes. Hope to see you around my universe.

 





In My Orbit…

29 10 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the weekend of All Hallow’s Eve. For you 99 percenters, that’s Halloween.

For certain Christians, this holiday is anathema, while others celebrate, preferring not to toss out good clean fun and fond memories of Halloween’s past for superstition and misplaced hysteria. Thanks to a friend, I got to thinking about those past Halloweens, and how they made a positive impact in my life. So I decided to reclaim the day in my own way. Read about it on my Examiner page: My return to All Hallow’s Eve.

I get to spend the rest of today hobnobbing with women professionals for At The Helm: Women in Biz 2011. Alaia Williams of the Entrepreneur Connection has created an event that will be the talk of the town! A full day of networking with entrepreneurs and industry leaders, engaging in panel discussions geared toward the business person, and a host of speakers from all across the spectrum.

At the top of my list: my friend Susan M. Baker (The Escape Hatcher), Lizzy Shaw (Lizzy Shaw PR), Nailah Blades (Polka Dot Coaching), and Lisa Steadman. But I am particularly excited about the energy and ideas generated when like-minded people come together. You’ll be hearing more about this when it’s all said and done.

Happy Saturday, and Happy Halloween!