Wednesday, December 22

This is not a sponsored post! I swear!

I like earning money.
I also like giving away money.

Oh the conflict!
Which is why I'm (thus far) a big fan of Op4G.

Op4G is basically a market research company with an altruistic bent.
You take their consumer surveys, and they pay you.
What's interesting though, is that they "force" you to give at least 25% of your earnings to one of their non-profit partners.
I mean force in the best possible way of course. Perhaps "allow you to be generous automatically" would be a nicer way to say that. 

Now, full disclosure time: the non-profit where I currently work is one of the partners.
So the money is going to support a place with which I do have a direct connection.
But I work in anti-sexual violence advocacy, so I'm pretty confident that it's OK to shamelessly plug on behalf of my job.

So far I'm impressed. I've filled out 4 surveys, made some money for me and made some money for the Alliance.
Best of both worlds! Woo!

The take away?
Go check out Op4G.
Sign up.
Take some surveys.
Get some money and..
Perhaps donate to the Alliance (pretty please)?

Monday, December 20

Super Bibi!

It has come to my attention that I occasionally bring casual conversations around to topics such as sexual assault, teen pregnancy, and reproductive health.

Given I deal with anti-sexual violence advocacy in my day job, teen pregnancy prevention in my freelance work, and reproductive health in my board position I wasn't exactly shocked by this revelation.

It did remind me,  however, that I spend a lot of my time dealing with (important) but rather heavy issues.

So, I've decided to post this picture of....


Because everyone needs a little levity in their life! And a tiny cat wearing a cape is pretty darn cute & funny.

Friday, December 17

Best gifts for job seekers?

Originally I was just going to post a link to an article on about the "Best Gifts for Job Seekers" and make generally nice comments about the idea.

Because really, who doesn't like getting gifts? And if you're searching for a job and feeling unusually stressed/confused/cash-strapped then a thoughtful gift might mean the difference between a total meltdown and a successful interview.

And I am going to still make some generally nice comments about the list, and then offer some comments.

So, I thought it was great that the author thought to include both practical interview and self-care related gift ideas.

After weeks of stressful job hunting, I'm sure a massage would be great.
(I'm also sure a massage would be great at almost anytime, but that's neither here nor there.)
Interview outfit-great idea.
Resume writing service- unique and perhaps helpful.

Overall, I think it's a nice list.
But I do wonder whether it's actually a list of great gifts for job seekers.

It's a list, and I'm sure job seekers would enjoy all the things mentioned (except for a fancy leather portfolio and/or I'm sure 99% of people would prefer you gave them $150 instead of a nice pen), but are the things on the list actually likely to help you get an interview or succeed in getting a job?
Not so sure.

Personal connections are often key, and I'm not sure that a snazzy new pantsuit will get you a job offer when you're competing against someone with insider help/knowledge/support.
Ditto for a new hairdo, or even a massage.
All of those things sound great, but are they really helping with the job hunt?

So my list of "best gifts for job seekers" would have a few additions:
1. Share your personal knowledge/leverage your personal connections. Instead of buying something for the job seeker in your life, help them in a less tangible but perhaps more worthwhile way. Offer to introduce them to people you know, help them set up informational interviews etc. This to me seems like the best gift you can give (extra points if you thrown in $200).

2.  Finance their trip to an upcoming conference or networking event. Conferences are EXPENSIVE, but they are a great place to meet people in the field and make connections. Why would you pay for a fancy career counselor, when the job seeker might be well aware of what they want to do/where they want to do it, but they know they need to make that personal connection first (see #1).

3. Ask them what they need, not what they want. I want on any given day to eat fancy food, and enjoy some serious pampering. When I'm looking for a job, what I need is support, support, and more support. Money is support, some of the self-care items listed in the original article are support, as are items #1 and 2 listed above.

Thursday, December 16

False Reporting in the Media (Again): Why it’s such a problem

(I'm reposting this from the Alliance blog. I spent ALL morning finding these stats, and wanted to share a little more widely).

This morning I was saddened to see 10 Google alerts and a lead article on regarding the arrest of a New York City-based TV weatherwoman. An occasional contributor on Good Morning American, Heidi Jones, was recently suspended from her job after being charged by city police with filing a false attempted rape report.
The headlines ranged from: “TV Weatherwoman Charged with Lying About Attempted Rape” (, to “Cops: NYC Meteorologist Lied About Rape” (Fox News) but the stories themselves all told the same story:
“Jones claimed a man attacked her while she was jogging on Sept. 24 and dragged her into a wooded area, only to flee when tourists approached. The same man approached her in the park two months later, Jones told police.  Police soon began to doubt her story, and Jones later admitted she made it up because she was having problems in her relationship and thought it would gain her sympathy.” (
As you can imagine, the response from online commentators and journalist has run the gamut from outrage to barely-concealed excitement.

Because really, what’s more new-worthy and ‘sexy’ than a very public false report rape story?
The problem with all of the attention and excitement is that it detracts from a very real and dangerous issue: the propagation of the myth that women frequently file false rape reports.

In fact, according to various law enforcement databases and research studies I only 2% of rape reports are later found to be false. Other studies have found false report rates of up to 5.6%–but the range of 2-6% corresponds to false report rates for other major crimes such as burglary.
Another important point brought up by a doctoral candidate and researcher at American University is that:
“A primary myth about false rape reports focuses on the belief that women “cry rape” because they are seeking revenge on men who have wronged them in some way. However, according to [studies], the reality is that the vast majority of false allegations “are actually filed by people with serious psychological and emotional problems.” And notably, people who falsely file claims usually do not name specific individuals, but instead “involve only a vaguely described stranger.” These research findings support the theory that people who falsely allege rape do so not out of  desire for revenge against a specific person, but because they seek general attention and sympathy.”
Sounds pretty familiar, right?

Ms. Jones admitted that she made up the assault because she was “having problems in her relationship and was seeking sympathy.” So really what we have here is a individual woman who is likely suffering from psychological and emotional problems.

One woman does not an epidemic of false reports make.

Yet the media attention to this case is likely to be prolonged and unsympathetic. And according to research, this type of unwarranted attention on false rape reports can be very damaging.
“Print media portrayals of rape that are not representative in the aggregate of the circumstances in which rape typically occurs may do little more than reinforce stereotypical notions of what constitutes “real rape.” The types of rape reported in the media tend to be those that have features that are in keeping with the classic stereotype of rape. Media stories may also be presented in such a way as to suggest that the victim precipitated the attack or is making a false allegation.
The same researchers also concluded that the reliance on rape stereotypes and rape myths in media coverage can ultimately have a chilling effect on report rates, prosecution, and conviction rates. They caution that:
“Stereotypical notions of rape have been found to negatively impact rape prosecution. The negative portrayal of both male and female rape victims in the press may have an adverse impact on whether such crimes are subsequently reported to the police. [Ultimately] newspaper articles that frame rape victims’ behaviour in a negative manner may reinforce rape myths and fuel public misconceptions of sex crimes, which in turn may have a negative consequences for a victim’s self-conceptions of his or her experience and the criminal justice’s response to sex crimes.”
While it’s obviously very upsetting to learn that Ms. Jones likely fabricated and then falsely reported an attack, I think it’s clear that the media attention is damaging to both victims and the general public. I think it’s a shame that we expect so little from the media; instead of framing this story in a way that addresses rape myths and the rarity  of false reports, this rather salacious approach is likely doing real harm.

Sunday, December 12

Degree= Internship?

Well thanks CNN. Your incredibly depressing article "Is an Internship the New Entry Level Job" about the plight of 20-somethings in the job market actually makes me feel better about my current work situation!

I don't think that was the point of this article, but hey I'll take it!

Really though, it's pretty dismal.

According to the report,

Full-time employment has dropped 9 percentage points among 18-to-29-year-olds since 2006, leaving only 41 percent of millennials with full-time jobs, according to "Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next," a report released by Pew Research Center in February.
In addition to feeling really aggravated anytime someone uses the term Millennial (which I find a particularly stupid sounding name), I also feel pretty sad that so many people are spending a lot of time and money for an undergraduate degree that leaves them internship! 

I also have to wonder if calling internship the new entry level makes sense.

Do employers really consider an internship a type of entry level position?

I'm really not so sure they do, especially after being told in a meeting recently that the title of "intern" is a resume killer. Is that true across the board, who knows? Might it be true in some fields or for some hiring managers, probably?

So really, is an internship the way to go?
Or is it better to volunteer in the field in which you want to be employed and take a day job to pay the bills?