Saturday, December 17, 2011

Etsy Business Card Book

During the epic job hunt of October, I was meeting and greeting so many new people that my wallet and bags were soon overflowing with business cards. (I must admit, I also have a penchant for collecting cards associated with shops, restaurants and bars that I like the look of, and these also contributed to the growing stack beside my bed.)

To bring order to the chaos, I turned to Etsy and searched for "rolodex".

Low and behold - Custom Planners and Personalized Stationary by PriaVanda.

I selected my ribbon colour combinations, and my sturdy business card book arrived in the mail a week later. 

Highly recommended.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I'm changing my Twitter name

The US is much more progressive than Australia when it comes to integrating social media into the workplace. Or at least, the places I have been interviewing and the company I will be working are certainly much more savvy about the benefits of having a socially connected employee base and a company brand with a strong social media presence.

This could be the progressive mindset of the US, but perhaps it's more to do with the start-up community of Silicon Alley I'm joining. Employees are encouraged to have a voice online and become advocates for their company, and the Big Brother mentality of monitoring employee behaviour via their social networks seems outdated and embarrassing. Perhaps there is a greater atmosphere of trust - companies have realised that the world doesn't cave in once you give your employees a voice, as long as they are treated respectfully.

Furthermore, everyone I meet just seems to "get" Twitter and the benefits of social media - I no longer have to explain and justify their value in the way I often do at home. Everyone in the US is online, whether they are the CEO of a company or a hipster weaving friendship bracelets. (FYI, my favourite explanation to a Twitter illiterate is that it's like a radio station: you can tune it to whatever channel you wish, whether you want to listen to ABC 774 or Mix 94.5. It can simultaneously be a source of news and a source of entertainment. It curates the web exactly as you wish. Connecting with people and sharing your own newsworthy links or updates is optional, and certainly doesn't have to be like the dumb updates you often see associated with celebrity twitter feeds, which get a disproportionate amount of press and perpetuate the general public's misunderstanding of the medium.)

As a result, I'm going to be changing my Twitter handle to something that is closer to my Real Life name. Until now I've kept my online presence separate from my professional identity, but the two are starting to move closer together.

In many ways I'm relieved - I'm tired of talking enthusiastically about social media but not sharing my Twitter name is because it so clearly links back to my personal blog. Why the anonymity, you ask? The professional path I'm on doesn't really need me to supplement my career achievements with a blog. And, selfishly, I want to be able to write about stuff that won't appear in a Google search of my name.

But what to do about Poppy Gets a Life? I love my little blog, which gives me great enjoyment and a creative outlet. And you know what - I'm just going to keep going with it, but I won't link to it from my Twitter account. This whole online identity thing is fluid, and will no doubt evolve further as I work through the complexities.

A tourist in my own town

Again, I've been really slack.

The cliched stresses of apartment hunting in New York nearly brought me undone, and I haven't felt in the mood to write much in the last two weeks.

The story has a happy ending though - I've found an incredible place on West 15th Street, just around the corner from the Chelsea Market. I can walk to work, and I'm near almost all of the major subway lines which is sensational. I move early January. I'm terribly sad to move out of my lovely sublet in the West Village, but it will be fabulous to settle into a place of my own.

The visa processing has taken so much longer than I expected, and with the rare opportunity to spend three or four weeks with my family over Christmas I decided late last week to fly home to Perth in Western Australia to spend the time with my family. I've decimated my Frequent Flyer points and it's going to cost me an arm and a leg to get back to NYC in early January, but it's worth it. Once I start working it will be hard to take such an extended break.

I've been hanging out with my sisters and my mum and my dad, and yesterday morning I went for a long bike ride by myself all along the coast, watching the ocean waves underneath the cloudy, stormy sky. I stopped in at one of the beach and had a quick swim, which was delightful. Unsurprisingly, after all this bonding-with-nature-type stuff, I'm feeling very zen again after the stresses of the last few weeks.

We had a huge electrical storm last night and the weather is really odd - just under 30 degrees but lots of rain, which is strange for this time of year. A friend sent me some photos of another storm that happened in Perth last week, and I've included a couple below. (If you know their provenance, please let me know).

My cycle route yesterday took me from Swanbourne to Fremantle and back again - I felt like a tourist in my own hometown, which is always kind of fun. Favourite part of the excursion: spotting the itinerant surfers in their combi van using the wing mirrors to shave their stubble into a semblance of respectability, and the old guy with the electric bike whizzing up the coast path playing Phil Collins loudly on his portable radio. Sometimes I do love this town, for all its sleepy nothingness.


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