Korean Nukes and Bird Flu vs. The Blog Binder

I have a confession to make; I love the Oprah Magazine.  I’m what my husband calls a magazine aficionado, defined as “a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime.” I included this definition because when I looked it up to learn how to spell it, the definition made me feel good about my obsessive and addictive habit of grabbing fashion, cooking, and self-help magazines every time I am at the checkout.

I devour them until my stack is too high. Then I do what a magazine suggested I do, I rip out the pages of the magazines of use, i.e. advice, recipes, pictures for my dream board, and recycle the rest.

The next step may get me committed, but I’m from generations upon generations of hoarders. I have no excuse to be a hoarder, unlike every other woman in my family. The older of the generations: it was a necessity.  Growing up with a mother from the 30s, who saves everything and taught her daughter to do the same, excuses my mother’s hoarding tendencies.  Me, I MUST, obsessively, be free of ALL clutter.

I organize each article into plastic protector sheathes, which are then placed into individual 3-ring binders, and then organize them by topic. For example, if I ever need an idea for a Thanksgiving side dish, BAM: Side Dish Binder. What about an idea for Joel’s dip competition at work: BAM: Hors d’ Oeuvres and Drinks Binder.  How do I get the red juice out of the white carpet that Joel seems to never stop spilling: BAM: the “How To” Binder.

my binder
The dessert binder.

One could argue that the number binders I have, 6, could cross the line into hoarding or obsession, but Joel’s labeled it adorable, my hobby, and it makes me a magazine aficionado. I’ll take it.

In May of 2006, I was officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  I had the disorder since I was in 2nd grade, which was ignored and written off. I was called a “worrier,” and “too sensitive.”  I was simply told there must be something wrong with me, but if anyone had truly believed it, I would have gotten the help I needed then.  Of course, I believed them and continue fighting off the stigma assigned to me.

The diagnosis was a relief, but the exclusive anxiety treatment didn’t begin until 2010 because the depression medication was “supposed to take care of it.”  Even with the individual treatment, I still worry pretty consistently.  But, hey, I’m learning self-acceptance from my magazine articles!

When the October edition of Oprah’s Magazine came out with the title: “Stop Worrying and Start Living! O’s Guide to Serenity Now,” I thought for sure I was going to rip out every single page and create a new binder.  However, this didn’t happen.

My biggest worry, right now, is one of us losing our jobs, and wouldn’t you know it, Oprah did address my biggest worry in an article titled “What if I lose my job?”  Mind you, the section on why you shouldn’t worry about asteroids, North Korean Nukes, Bird Flu or Plane Crashes takes up twice the space on the page as the article about losing the job, but I give her credit for addressing my fear.

The article, which consists of three quotes and a small introduction, begins: “You can’t control the job market, but you can shore up your future prospects by networking.  If that very word gives you agita, fear not: The best strategies don’t involve schmoozing at a conference.”

Alright, so the solution, according to this, Ashley Tate, writer of the article, is to do EXACTLY what you had to do to get a job in order to not worry about losing one.

But, it’s Oprah, I thought I’ll at least finish the article.  The 3 quotes follow:

1)      Pay it Forward by Porter Gale, author of Your Network is Your Net Worth, who suggested staying on top of news and trend articles and share these through e-mail or social media. “Your contacts will see you as tapped in and insightful, and they’ll consider you a valuable asset should an opportunity arise.”

Bull shit.  No, really, bull fucking shit.  How many times have you gotten an article from someone in your network that you actually read?  I agree with staying up on the trends, but maybe consider writing a blog post or pointing your marketing department in that direction, not sending it to your contacts.  When it comes time for hiring, your contacts will think: “No wonder that person is looking for a job, all they did was send me stupid articles all day that I never read.”

Whereas, if you were proactive and helped the marketing department or had a blog available, you could show that in your portfolio or on a contributor section of your LinkedIn Page.

2)      Show Your Support, by William Arruda, personal branding expert.  Seriously, Ms. Tate, you couldn’t find ANYONE out there with real credentials for this one?  AND, while I do agree with what he says, “endorse the skills of people you know on LinkedIn” in hopes of them endorsing you back, why would this help me not worry about losing a job?  Come on, I’m looking for real advice here.

3)      Don’t Forget your Coworkers, by Patti Solis Doyle, political organizer and adviser to the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign.  She suggests “focusing on developing meaningful relationships with your colleagues … because I know I can call on them in a few years.”

COME ON!  THAT’S IT!  I ripped the article out, not to keep it, but to write a blog. In the real world, when you are fired, your co-workers throw you under the bus, pretend you don’t exist, and find ways to distance themselves from you in every way possible in order to protect themselves from the same fate.  Expecting anything else after you lose a job is naive and bullshit.

I’m fortunate to still be friends with several former coworkers and even a former boss, but I wasn’t fired in those jobs.

Since I have the same experience and cojones as these other people Ashley Tate pulled out of the earth, the way I stop worrying about losing my job enough to sleep is to:

1)      Edit my resume and LinkedIn Page at least monthly, if not weekly, so I remember everything I am doing at my jobs. I make sure to include all my portfolio entries as well.

2)      Network in LinkedIn groups that are local.

3)      DO NOT RELY ON CO-WORKERS.  My advice, get to know your coworkers, but if your coworkers speak poorly of other people who worked there before you, be aware that the same fate will befall you.  Ignore that, and you will allow yourself to be a victim. I play well with others, but I’m also familiar with how quickly I can be thrown under a bus.

4)      In the end, be prepared for the worst but expect the best.

Through this Oprah Magazine article, I did not learn how to stop worrying and start living with the fear of losing my job.  But, I have learned a brand new list of things I can worry about that I didn’t know existed. Plus, I have a new binder I can fill: Blog Article Fodder Binder.  I’ve already labeled it with my label maker.



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