Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Make up for Professional Women?

I was reading an article about indicators of the struggling economy, and below is a quote from it:

"You’ve got that recession look in your eye. Total eye-makeup sales at supermarkets and drugstores were up 8.5% in the one-year period that ended on March 22. In that period, more than $260 million was spent on eye makeup – in particular, eyeliner was up 9% and mascara almost 13%, the industry says.

The leading lipstick indicator – the past trend that lipstick sales rose in economic downturns as consumers settled for inexpensive luxuries – is not holding up. Lipstick sales are down 11%. But eye makeup has replaced lipstick as the indicator, devotees of this theory say."


This gets me to think - what are the implications of make up in the professional world? Or even more specifically, what are the implications for the various types of make up (i.e. eye make up vs. lipstick?). In the book I read, "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers," Lois P. Frankel discusses the implications of wearing make up, as well as wearing much make up. Both of those, she says, are harmful to a woman's image as a professional and therefore impede on her chances of moving up the ladder.

On the one hand, make-up seems to emphasize a woman's femininity. On the other hand, it makes her more noticeable. Naturally more petite than men, women are often in the shadows. With slight help of an eyeliner or a lipstick, certain features stand out a little more, in a subtle fashion. Normally, I don't wear much make-up, but when I do, it is a little eyeliner, and a little lipstick. So what are the different effects of eye make-up and lipstick? I think a red lipstick indicates confidence and power. Bright lips draw attention to a woman's spoken words. On the other hand, eye make-up emphasizes the eyes. Eyes, the windows to the soul, can indicate a more submissive role of listening and looking, or of "paying attention" but also of an empowering act of making eye-contact, depending on the person's demeanor.

Yet, for some reason, lipstick stands out to me as a confidence indicator. Bright lipstick. I would wear a bright lipstick in court, but perhaps eye-make up is ideal for creating a warm, comforting, and trusting relationship with a sensitive client.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big Law may start to cut associate pay

So, I have heard that several Big law firms are starting to cut associate pay - to - $144,000 instead of $160,000. You won't find any sympathy here, new big law associates! As for the people who are laid off....you should know that there was no reason for them to lay you off. They could have reduced pay for everyone just a little and avoided lay offs.

That is what stinks about the minds of people in charge. It is easier for them to trim their workforce, including new associates and staff members, than it is for them to announce pay cuts. I have a very hard time sympathizing with the big firm business model, but that may be because I am missing something.

Anyone care to explain?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Loans, Loan Repayment, Public Interest work and FRUSTRATION!

As I have stated before, I have started working in the field of public interest immigration law. Being prudent, my next thought was that I should look into loan repayment assistance because that was heavily advertised in my law school and we were all encouraged to do public interest work. Bad news followed!

I missed the mark for qualifying for loan repayment assistance at my school because after making all the payments while I was unemployed I went just below the qualifying loan amount. So I was making them pay too little! Then I thought, maybe there are other programs that will help me out. I found out that federal perkins loan can be forgiven if it is not consolidated. ONLY IF it is NOT Consolidated! Well, I consolidated mine!!! So, No assistance for me because I was being too prudent and forcing myself to make loan repayments while I was unemployed, and because I consolidated my federal perkins loan.

I am very frustrated right now. I figure, if all the doors are closed, I may need to find a window, but I can't right now and it seems as if I just have to suck it up and pay off my loan little by little, unless our new President does something about it. Unfortunately, realistically speaking, that may also mean that I will not do public interest work for too long. Who wants to make little and pay off huge debts at the same time?

Lesson: Pay attention to all these things BEFORE you start law school. If you think you will work in the public interest - if there is even a chance that you will - look at the law school's requirements for public interest loan assistance. Then you know whether you SHOULD in fact take out more loans and not beg your family for financial assistance. Perhaps it will make more financial sense to NOT consolidate, and maybe more financial sense to take out those private loans with the high interest rates after all.

I hate being punished for being financially responsible, but that unfortunately, may be what happens in life. Play smart.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Four Months Later . . .

Hi again. I am sure anyone who has followed this blog has had changes in their lives in the past 4 months, and I have too. Good changes.

A year ago, when I was looking for a job in the city, a good friend suggested a job outside the city. At the time, I ignored it and went on looking and tormenting myself with bad jobs and unemployment. I decided I would try to get that job outside the city after all. So, I emailed the director of this nonprofit (mentioning my friend of course), set up a phone interview, then set up an in-person interview. All went well and I was hired! But I had a month long vacation scheduled right afterwards. I went on the month long vacation and the director agreed that the start date would be a month later.

I have since moved. To all those who are in large metro areas, I say look outside your area because that's where the jobs are! I really did not want to move and my husband really did not want to move, but we both have moved, bought a car, and are adjusting fabulously. The best part of all this is that the commute is only 7 minutes (not 90 minutes like my previous job that was in the city but involved a bunch of changes from trains to bus). Parking is plentiful. I feel much saner and more at peace with life in general.

So the plans to go off on my own are on the back burner for now. I am learning a lot, which always helps. I actually like nonprofit work quite a lot. And the pay is a little higher than in the city as an added incentive to move. How lovely!

The challenges? None compared to the challenges I just came out of.