Career Makeovers & Inspiration

Escape Fantasy #17 — Become A Bartender

May 22nd, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

tomcruisecocktail“Maybe I should quit the rat race and get a job tending bar on the beach in Mexico.”

I hear variations on this fantasy all the time — especially from corporate refugees under 35. From a cramped cubicle in Corporate America, the life of a bartender can seem pretty sweet and carefree. Especially if you’ve just watched a late-night TBS screening of Tom Cruise in Cocktail.

And if you happen to be between jobs right now and looking to make a few bucks, you might be thinking that you could do worse than get paid to make cocktails.

This thought might have occurred to you while crying into your beer and watching your favorite barkeep work the crowd and pocket plenty of large bills and phone numbers.

At a hot club, you could earn $1,000 in a single night behind the bar.

So let’s look at the realities of that bartending fantasy. Is it really possible for a corporate escapee to make a living behind the bar? Are you cut out for the bartending life?

I asked Rocco Romito, experienced bartender and founder of bartending job site, to share some expert advice for aspiring bartenders:

Pam: Is bartending a good way to make money during a recession?

Rocco: Bartending is a great way for someone to make extra cash during a recession. People normally drink more than usual during two types of situations in life. When you’re celebrating something, there is almost always liquor involved.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for us bartenders) , people also drink excessively when they are depressed.  Every night, there are people out there  drowning their sorrows in cocktails after losing a job, leaving a relationship, or just having a bad day.  I think we’ve all been in this boat at one time or another. The way our economy is right now, I’d say this is happening even more than in times past.

Pam: What kind of training/experience do you need to get a bartending job?

Rocco: A lot  depends on where you want to work. There really is no minimum experience required to get a job as a bartender. You can go a long way with a great  personality and people skills. read more…

Career Advice from Einstein — Is This Your Miracle Year?

May 18th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

einsteinIn 1905, Albert Einstein wrote a series of papers that changed our view of the universe forever. Historians refer to Einstein’s 1905 as annus mirabilis, the miracle year. In one year, Einstein discovered the special theory of relativity, the quantum theory of light, and the groundbreaking equation E = mc2 (and these are just the highlights…read more about Einstein’s Miracle Year).

He did all of this while working a 40-hour week as a clerk in the Swiss patent office. For those in career transition, the most interesting part of this story is what Einstein was doing before 1905.

Einstein as Office Drone

I already mentioned that Einstein was working as a patent office clerk — not exactly a job suitable for a genius. Well, the famous physicist didn’t even land that clerk job on his own. A friend had to pull some strings for him because Einstein’s university grades were so low (one teacher famously told him that nothing would ever become of him).

Einstein was barely making enough money to support his wife and young child. And in 1904, he was passed over for a promotion to patent clerk second class.

Luckily, the young genius never gave up on his passion for physics. Whenever he had a spare moment during the workday, he would jot down notes and hide them in a drawer that he jokingly called his department of theoretical physics. read more…

Work Life Balance for Entrepreneurs — Tips from Tevis Trower

May 1st, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

tevisheadshotThis week, we welcomed work life balance expert Tevis Trower to join us on Corporate Escape Artist Radio. Tevis is a corporate escapee (she is a featured expert in my book) and the work life balance expert for Web MD. She is also the founder of Balance Integration, a company that provides yoga classes and training for corporations.

Tevis shared the story of her personal journey and offered lots of great tips on achieving greater work life balance (even though she prefers the term “happiness at work”).

She shared some special advice for entrepreneurs. Those of us who work for ourselves can’t blame “the man” for our burnout anymore — we have to take responsibility for maintaining our own work life balance.  That’s not often an easy task when you’re trying to build a business that you’re passionate about, especially in a challenging economy.

Listen to Tevis on Corporate Escape Artist Radio. (Corporate Escape Artist Radio is the fourth segment, starting at 11:30, but there is plenty of good stuff in the other segments as well)

Learn more about SolutionzLive, the BlogTalkRadio network that hosts our show, and all of their other great programs.

Learn more about the lovely and insightful Tevis Trower.

Tribeca Film Festival — Movies and Career Change

April 27th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

city_island_still1This week, I’m running around Tribeca covering the Tribeca Film Festival for and interviewing filmmakers for another project (more on that soon). I am an unabashed movie geek and I love being part of the film fest scene and seeing the latest work from the world’s greatest filmmakers.

In the future, when I am feeling overwhelmed by the time and work that go into writing a book, I need to stop and remember how much more time and work (and money)  go into making a film (especially any film that miraculously overcomes the many obstacles and actually appears in a theater near you). At least I don’t have to raise millions of dollars and hire a cast and crew for every book project. I have great respect for all of  the filmmakers who are showing their babies at Tribeca this year.

Check out my coverage of the festival. My latest review is of City Island, a new movie starring Andy Garcia as a prison guard who dreams of a career change.

Career change continues to be a popular movie theme. Filmmakers know that work is one of the central dramas in any life.  I saw another example at the premiere of Serious Moonlight (with Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell, and Justin Long). Timothy Hutton’s character hates his job — which is one of the factors that ultimately leads him to the point of being duct-taped to a toilet (stay tuned for the review if you want to know more). The movie is directed by Cheryl Hines from a script written by the late,  great writer/director Adrienne Shelly, who was tragically killed in 2006.

Review of Me 2.0 by Dan Schawbel

April 10th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings


I just finished reading Dan Schawbel’s new book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and it more than lived up to my high expectations.  Me 2.0 is the first book about personal branding written for the millenial generation by one of their own.

The focus is on using social media strategies to make a name for yourself — an area where many of us could use some expert direction (I’m talking to you, LinkedIn-phobes and Facebook-abusers).

Dan has build his own powerful brand as THE personal branding expert for Generation Y and Me 2.0 will show you how to create your own brand and use it to change your life.

It’s not just for the millenial generation. I spend most of my days coaching and training people of all ages in career transition and they’re all looking for the best ways to leverage tools like blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I just spoke at a conference this week and the Q&A session was dominated by people trying to get a handle on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Me 2.0 gives readers  an overview of Personal Branding 101 and then goes through Dan’s four essential steps to creating and building your personal brand. The book is packed with valuable information and practical tips. Beyond that, I just love how Dan’s passion for his subject shines through in every chapter.

There is a lot of buzz out there about personal branding right now.  Dan Schawbel does a great job of breaking the concept down into actionable advice for members of Generation Y and everyone else who’s ready to leverage 2.0 to reinvent themselves.

And if you’re not ready, you better get ready! As I tell my coaching clients, the worst thing you can do in a competitive market is sit back and let other people brand you. Me 2.0 will show you how to take control of the brand that is you.

Learn more about Dan Schawbel and Me 2.0.

Dr. Barry Miller on Corporate Escape Artist Radio

April 7th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

Today on Corporate Escape Artist Radio, we welcomed career guru Barry Miller.  As the head of career programs for alumni at Pace University in New York City, Barry offers advice to students and graduates in transition on a daily basis.

This morning, he talked about his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, social media, and much more. Listen to Corporate Escape Artist Radio with Barry Miller  (Barry’s segment is the fourth one, starting at 11:30)

Now you can benefit from Dr. Miller’s expert advice without traipsing all the way to Lower Manhattan.

Hot 97 Street Soldiers

April 4th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

This Sunday (4/5/09) from 9AM until 10AM, you can hear me on Lisa Evers’ Street Soldiers show on Hot 97 FM. We’ll be talking about how to find a good job in this challenging economy.

We taped the show last week and had a great time in the studio. I was one of three career experts offering advice for Hot 97 listeners and for Rachel, a job hunter who joined us in the studio. One of my fellow guests is a business owner who is currently hiring for well-paying positions and can’t find the right candidates. He’ll talk about what he’s looking for, the employer’s point of view, and how to score an interview with his firm.

Our host Lisa Evers is a reporter for Fox 5 NEWS and a former Guardian Angel. She has been hosting Street Soldiers, a #1-rated public affairs radio show on one of New York’s hottest stations, since the 1990s.

We covered lots of topics during the one-hour show, focusing on practical advice and strategies. I love doing radio, especially with a great host who asks smart questions. Tune in and check it out if you’re in the NYC area this Sunday morning.

Marketing Advice from Corporate Escape Artist Shannon McCaffery

March 24th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

bob-parsons-and-shannon-mccafferyToday on Corporate Escape Artist Radio, we welcomed marketing expert Shannon McCaffery. Shannon specializes in helping entrepreneurs develop and implement all of our brilliant ideas.  Check out the recording  (listen live or download to iTunes) here: Corporate Escape Artist Radio with Shannon McCaffery (Shannon’s segment is the fourth one, starting at 11:30)

Shannon shares her own escape story (it took four layoffs to finally chase her out of Corporate America) and lots of great advice on building and marketing your business with Facebook, Twitter, and other tools. Shannon is a former Fortune 500 marketing director and now sells her services as “The Marketing Implementer.”  She helps her clients actually act on all of those great ideas on all of those to-do lists.

If you’d like more marketing tips from Shannon, you can sign up for her free newsletter.

Shannon also directed us to Bob Parsons’ (CEO and Founder of 16 Rules for Success in Business & Life.  It’s a great read. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, check out Rule #3: When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think.

Thanks again to Shannon and my co-host Chicke Fitzgerald at Solutionz Live! for another  enlightening show.

Photo of Shannon McCaffery and Bob Parsons courtesy of Shannon McCaffery

Listen to Corporate Escape Artist Radio with Sherrill St. Germain

March 18th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

For those who missed  Corporate Escape Artist Radio with financial planner Sherrill St. Germain yesterday, you can check out the recording (listen live or download to iTunes) here: Corporate Escape Artist Radio with Sherrill St. Germain

Sherrill shares financial planning advice for career changers and entrepreneurs during the 11:30 segment (the last one).

If you’d like personal advice from Sherrill, you’re in luck. On the third Friday of every month, Sherill offers free one-on-one consultations on her Career Change Hotline. The first 12 people to call in this Friday, March 20th between 1PM and 3PM will get free 10-minute consultations with Sherrill. Get more information about Sherrill and the Career Change Hotline.

Thanks again to Sherrill and my co-host Chicke Fitzgerald at Solutionz Live! for a very enlightening show.

Are you interested in joining us as a future Corporate Escape Artist Radio guest? Let me know.

Focus on Finances on Corporate Escape Artist Radio

March 17th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

sherrillonbikeTune in at 11:30 AM EST today for our weekly Corporate Escape Artist Radio show on BlogTalk Radio. This week’s guest is Sherrill St. Germain, founder of New Means Financial Planning.

Sherrill left Corporate America to start her own business as a financial planner and now specializes in advising career changers.

Sherrill will talk about her own career transition and financial strategies for launching a business or making a career change in the current economic environment.

Listen live and call in with questions for Sherrill.