Don’t Sell Yourself Short

you're going to make it, feminismMy first reaction when the new marketing director suggested that I sell myself surprised me.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” I asked.

I was being facetious. I hope.

“Because you’re not in charge of marketing and promotion,” M answered with a self-satisfied smile. She was as serious as a successful sale.

We had bonded immediately upon M’s employment as the second woman hired in a non-secretarial positon at the company.

Six months earlier, I had become the first female in the northeast office to sell outdoor advertising space.

Now, each morning when M and I arrived at 8:30, the doors of the bleak old building flew open to our new ideas, fresh enthusiasm, and bold determination tomake it” in a men’s only enclave.Mary Tyler Moore, you're going to make it, feminism Continue reading


what was I thinking?We all have times when we look back and moan, “what was I thinking?” I’m not talking about the petty times when we sign up for a half marathon or eat that second brownie.

I’m talking about a decision that tugs at our sense of values and, well, our sense of “self.”

Can you tell I’m procrastinating about revealing my marketing shame while delving into my new “writing career”? Continue reading

Breaking Down Barriers with Billboards

breaking barriers, barriers to writing careersMy career as proofreader for a feminist newsletter ended with a whimper, not a bang.

As much as I hated that first job in a “writing” profession, I still didn’t want to disappoint my boss, Pauline, a difficult woman who I grew to admire. She had no heart, but plenty of passion and skill. She even “promoted” me to write marketing brochures about the merits of our feminist newsletter.

Readership increased from 10 to 90.

Pauline forced me to write draft after draft of those brochures, teaching me how to edit down to sharp sticking points.

I sharpened my pencils, walked on tiptoe and never, ever opened the refrigerator door again (see A Towering Tongue Twisting Career Turn). careers, writing careers

I celebrated a year later when the CETA grant expired by replying to dozens of “position available” ads. I was now a free woman with a M.A. in English and a year’s experience.

Still, no one wanted me. Continue reading