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5 Ways Finding a Job and Finding a Man Are the Same Damn Struggle

22 May

This week, my dream job was posted online and I. Have. To. Get. It. I’ve spent the last 48 hours freaking out to all of the SR ladies and basically anyone who will listen. In an especially inspiring Gchat with Anne (thanks babe), she gave me the motivation I need. “Go for it,” Anne encouraged me. “Shark that job like you’d shark a guy at a bar.”

It got me thinking: finding a job is actually exactly like finding a man. How, you ask?

5. “I don’t want to come off as desperate” is not a thing. If you find yourself saying this, GTFO.

no really

This is a lesson I learned from job searching that I then realized applies to dating. Most of the people around me who have gotten jobs that I think were awesome and/or wish I had have done it by, quite honestly, being pathetic. You have to be honest with people about the fact that you’re looking for a job and you need their help — and a paycheck. This is not dissimilar to being single and having trouble approaching a new guy, or having trouble opening up to someone. It’s hard to show vulnerability but the alternative is waiting for things to happen to you and waiting forever because you never told anyone that you wanted those things to happen.

4. Connections matter. New boi’s roommates like you? A former supervisor is willing to drop the possible new boss a note saying how great you are? You’d be shocked how much it helps. Life is not a meritocracy. You’re IN. 

AKA, if you wanna be his lover, you gotta get with his friends.

Except don’t confuse the metaphors and get with your boss’ friends.

3. You won’t find the best ones online. Ok, ok, this isn’t quite true. (Actually, the SR ladies are stepping up their online dating game this week and although I’m a little skeptical, I’m rapidly dropping my old-school aversion to the idea.) In fact, while in the workplace you put yourself out there by getting offline (i.e. talking to people and networking and other scary things), in the dating world putting yourself out there involves getting online.

But where the similarities remain is that only looking online – for a job or for a man – does allow you to pre-select based only on what you already know. And that may mean that you allow yourself to close your mind to other options. Maybe you never thought you’d work in finance – just like you never thought you’d date an Asian guy.

2. You’re almost always more qualified than you think. Whether it’s not applying because you don’t meet all the stated qualifications or not going up to a guy at a bar because you think he’s too hot to talk to you, STOP. We ladies tend to underestimate ourselves but I promise, you’re way more awesome than you think you are…

1…..but sometimes, you might have to accept that you’re just not a good fit

How to Ask for a Raise

21 Apr

By Capitol Jill

 

I’ve come to the point in my job where I have to do a very scary, uncomfortable thing.

I’m going to ask my boss for a raise.

https://i1.wp.com/cdn4.gurl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/tumblr_mdg3d5ij9z1qbtmhy.gif

EEK!

Working on the hill is a unique beast. The pay is miniscule, but that’s expected. And I know that I will never make a lot of money on the hill. But I do think it’s time I get bumped up a bit, and I’ve decided to ask outright for it.

I’ve talked to mentors about this, and read countless articles (like this one, and this one, and this one too!). Here are the best pieces of advice I’ve gleaned from those conversations.

 

1. Practice what you are going to say – everyone tells me this first. Because it is an uncomfortable conversation, no matter what the situation, its easy to talk in circles and rush through your points. I plan on practicing in the mirror several times this week, working on modulating my tone and keeping my pace even.

2. Make them say no – This one I’ve heard from a lot of people. A managers job is to have these conversations with employees.

3. Do not try to rationalize or explain (too much) – If you’re doing a good job, and deserve a raise, hopefully the boss has already noticed your good work.

4. Use metrics and specifics to explain why you deserve a raise – my best mentor gave me this advice early on, and I have really tried to keep it in mind. Extra projects you take on, past performances you improve upon – all of these things are important in determining your salary. While you don’t need to explain in great detail what you’ve been doing, it’s important to bring up a few key points that show your value to the office.

5. If you act confident, you will appear confident.

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I’ll be making the big leap later this week, in a conversation with my boss about my work performance and ways I can improve. I’m scared, but in a weird way, I’m excited. This is a conversation I am sure I will have to have in the future, and I think that right now, it is time. LEAN IN!!

Maybe I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Wish me luck!

Have any tips for us? Tweet @stoprequesteddc!

XOXO,

Capitol Jill

Betty’s #equalpayday Reading List

10 Apr

There’s been a lot of buzz this week thanks to Equal Pay Day and the bigger question of women’s equality in the workplace. Or shall we say, “the left’s latest bizarre obsession.” Guilty as charged, Mitchy.

More thoughts on this TK, but here is some food for thought that particularly caught my attention this week:

1.
If she can do it, why can’t YOU? A great reflection on why the ‘Lean In’/’Having It All’ mantra is great for privileged women who are in the right place at the right time, but can set unfair expectations for the rest of us.

2.
I Wasn’t a Fan of Sheryl Sandberg’s—Until I Couldn’t Find a Job From the opposite viewpoint of the first article, a young college grad reflects on how Sheryl Sandberg’s credo empowered her to take the reins of her own career in an unfriendly economy.

3.
Why Women Don’t Ask For More Money A great read + listen (there’s audio too – gym listening anyone?) on the perpetual question of women asking for raises.

Together, I think these raise some interesting questions about whether the lower position of women in the economy/workplace – something I think most of us would agree exists, even if we don’t agree on how to handle it – has to do with individual initiative or structural economic and political factors. Which, of course, also underlies basically every domestic political/economic debate in our country since LBJ.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments. We’re looking forward to more debate on this in upcoming posts!

-Betty

Just Me & My Hand

18 Mar

By Stacie Smack

Note & Warning: I am not a professional. These are only my opinions based on my personal experiences. Some people would describe the following as slightly explicit.

I was reading a cosmo the other day, obviously looking for some top-of-the-line advice on all things important, and in their “456,709 tips for hot sexxx”, they included one that is fairly ubiquitous on these advice columns: “put on a show for your man by getting off in front of him”.

Now, I like to think that I’m pretty liberal and open-minded when it comes to trying new things. However, my reaction whenever I read that tip (which is literally in almost every issue of Cosmo) is that I can’t really see myself trying that.

Masturbation is a terribly private topic for women, at least based on my experiences. The proliferation of sex toys and shops has changed this a bit. We definitely talk more now about vibrators. But beyond that, it seems like an under-discussed topic. We talk about orgasms in the context of experiencing them during sex. But self-attained orgasms? Not something I’ve talked about a lot.

Why is this our reaction?

To contrast the thought, think of how boys grow up thinking about it. They start having “wet dreams” early on in their lives, which means that parents have to talk to them about what it means and what is happening with their bodies. I’m not saying they grow up to think of it as a completely beautiful process, but it’s not framed as “gross” or taboo. Simply as private.

Can you, a woman, remember having had a conversation like that? Have you heard from friends? Have you seen it in a movie? Girls are much less likely to have a conversation about masturbation. I suppose it’s a lot less obvious when it happens, and since there’s no sheets to clean, it doesn’t really require a conversation with a parent. But I am certain that a majority of you have a vague memory of waking up and grinding against a sheet and feeling “something”.

And yet, no one explained to you why it happened, or even what happened. Men normalize masturbation at younger age than we do. They grow up with it. Women sometimes don’t even discover the process until they’ve become sexually active. Our moms taught us about getting our periods, shaving our legs, and putting on make-up. We are not told that we too can experience arousal.

Think about it, we probably learn how to get a guy off before we even think about getting ourselves off. The same can’t be said about the lesser sex. Hand jobs are like second nature to so many women.

And just to make the conversation even more disjointed, think of the term “lady-boner” which men and women like to use so much. I guess it’s a way of describing female arousal. And yet, we don’t have a bone that indicates the state of being. I guess, we say “I’m wet” but for some reason, it sounds dirty. A boner is inoffensive. Sometimes funny. Being wet does not carry the same tone.

Anyways, let’s wrap this all up. I don’t expect us to talk about how we get ourselves off openly all of a sudden. I just think we should find ways to talk to our daughters about it, as something natural that is part of puberty. Don’t you think so? If guys can joke about getting hard, cumming, boning, why can’t we find an equivalent?

To bake, or not to bake?

27 Jan

by Capitol Jill

Inspired by Betty’s opus on gender politics in the office, I thought of another example of the gender issues and office relationships, something that comes up in my office at least once a month, and which I have had several conversations about.

Baking.

Or really, is it OK to bake for your colleagues?

This might seem like a really easy question on the surface. No one is going to say that baking for others is a bad thing, certainly. But does it play into the idea that women are better at cooking? That women should be responsible for making cakes and brownies for birthdays, while men are not expected to help at all? Will I be looked down upon if I bring in a cake? Will I blow my shot at the corner office if I make muffins?

These are real concerns.

Personally, I love baking for my friends, because I like to make other people happy, and I enjoy baking. The benefit of taking these things to work is to make your coworkers happy, and also to get the treats out of your house before you eat them all yourself at 2 AM in your pajamas…

Just me?

I had a conversation with one of my female coworkers about a year ago on this topic. Shes excellent at networking and work-related advice, so I really took what she said to heart. I asked her about the idea that baking, or in general being womanly or mothering, will ruin your chances at the “corner office”. (Theres a book about this, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. Can’t say I’ve read it, but we’ve all heard about it, right?)

Her question to me was, “what do you get out of it? If it doesn’t benefit you, but could possibly hurt, then whats the point?” Initially this struck me as very self-serving, but I kind of understand what she means. Bringing in sweets that I’ve made just reinforces some gender stereotypes, which I have since seen played out in my office over and over again.

Our office celebrate birthdays, and usually one of the women (often on the all-female admin staff, but that’s another story) bring in goods they have made for the birthday person and everyone to enjoy. Its almost expected — i think that most people in the office have never even helped to plan one of these parties, and certainly not the men. They just assume that someone will bake something, and I honestly can think of only one instance in which a man baked something.

*On a side note, I do find it SUPER SEXY when a man can cook. just sayin’*

Will I get looked down on as a woman, as someone who should work in admin,  and not handle meaningful legislation?

It might be subtle, but I do see that the women who routinely bake get pigeonholed into certain roles and therefore certain careers. I don’t want that.
So I don’t bake for my office. Ever. Is this the right way to handle the situation? I’m honestly not sure, but in a male-dominated field, I can’t concede any territory.

But I do miss baking.

How about you, friends? Do you bake for coworkers? Am I reading way too much into this? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,

Capitol Jill

Do I even Ask if You Want to Come Upstairs?

14 Jan

by Stacie Smack

This past weekend the #SRDC ladies and I ventured out into the cold cold winter, and decided to close down an AdMo bar (success, proven by the McDonald’s receipt Anne found in her pants pocket the next morning). After approximately fifteen minutes since our arrival, Belle had managed to get a man to sit at our booth. Despite his obvious interest exclusively on Belle, I tried my hardest to third-wheel the situation for as long as possible.

Now, if I haven’t mentioned this before, I will now. I am not shy when talking to guys (particularly that are not interested in me or that I am not interested in) to bring up the fact that I am conducting extensive research on “Men and 21st Century Dating”. Often times, this freaks guys out, understandably, since all of a sudden they become very aware that I am analyzing literally everything they do and say. Once in a while though, I get brilliant snippets of uncensored honesty. Belle’s man did just that.

Sex on a first date: yes or no?

“Here’s the thing. I’m ALWAYS trying to have sex on a first date. I also wouldn’t date a girl who has sex on the first date.”

Take a minute.
Got it?

Ladies, behold the hypocrisy of the lesser gender, at its finest.

Let’s breakdown this thought into two parts. The first is at least to me, not surprising. In fact, I would just assume that he’s probably just always trying to have sex, first date or not. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I am a strong believer of sexual drive and carnal lust or whatever. Sex is good, and we like to have it.

The second part I suppose is also fine in isolation. If he had just said that second part, I wouldn’t be writing on it. Men and women all around us can relate to this statement. So many people (myself excluded) support the “taking it slow” strategy of waiting and getting to know one another before getting to The Sex. While I can’t relate as well to this as to the first part of his statement, I respect the preference of waiting. Did he have to phrase it that way? Probably not. Does he sound like a sexist asshole by saying it that way? Probably. The point is that his alluding to talking before sexing did not blow my mind.

And so why did this comment bother me so much? Because when you put the two together, it makes no sense. It’s like putting a delicious piece of cake in front of a child but telling him he can’t have it. Unless you’re a child with a lot of self control, it’s going to be pretty hard to not eat that cake. And somehow, you’ve just put all of that self-control on ME. So you’re going to push for that cake, but without telling me, you expect me to take the cake away rather than eat it with YOU. Do you see how complicated and unfair this gets?

And I’m not saying that my pants come off as soon as a guy is doing and saying all the right things, but the reason that I don’t is because I’ve realized that if I take my pants off, he will think that I’m not worthy of dating. And that just pisses me off. Why should anyone make me feel like I’m not worthy? Who are you to make me feel not worthy of anything?

Plus, I like sex just as much as you do, and I think compatibility in those aspects is just as important as at the dinner table. I’d want to find out sooner rather than later if we’re going to get along in bed. If we had a good date, and we’re getting along, and you want it, and I want it, then why am I going to become undateable?

If the tables were flipped, if the expectation was on you to turn down first date sex, while I get to try as much as I want to convince you to have it, do you think you’d be able to say no?

The Fishing Theory

17 Dec

by Stacie Smack

I regularly wish I taped my therapy sessions. There are some real gems that come out of the conversations I have with Tito (as one would hope, given the steep fee I’m charged for those 50 minutes of uninterrupted me-talk). Because of basic common sense and because good quality wires are so expensive, I don’t tape them.

Recently, he and I established that my approach to dating is like fishing. I’ve never gone fishing but I have a basic understanding of how it works, thank you television. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into fishing, a lot of planning, and it’s not a simple task. Yet, there is a clear goal: to catch a fish.

As it turns out, when one goes fishing, one does not jump into the ocean and yell “I want fish! Come to me fish!”. This would be too direct, too noisy, and too obvious and the fish would get scared and obviously swim away.  Instead, there’s bait designed to be deceiving. The idea is to convince the fish that you want nothing to do with them – in fact you conceal the hook (what gets you what you want) to look like food (something that they want that you would never actually want to eat yourself!). You give the wrong impression and that guarantees that you’ll get the fish!

I’m hoping that by now, the metaphor has become quite clear. I spend a lot of time sitting on that big leather chair, telling him how much I want a man to fall in love with me head over heels. And as I tell him, I realize that  we go out to bars and we talk to guys and we do everything possible to seem cool, unattached, and as far from desperate as possible. We conceal what we really want so well, because we are so scared (perhaps rightfully so) that if we approach the process directly, all men will see is flutter in the water and they will swim away.

I mean, really, can you imagine what would happen if you went up to a guy and said “Hi, I’m Blah Blah and I want to be married by 26 and start having babies at 27, would you be interested in finding out if you are the one I should do it with?” Luckily for me, I don’t want any of those things. But I run out of fingers and toes if I try to count the number of girlfriends I have who do want that. And, you can bet your ass that by the time you finish that sentence, you’ll be talking to a wall.

I know I am generalizing here. Not every girl dresses “to impress men” and no woman should. But at least I know I am guilty of dressing in low cut shirts and short skirts, not just because I feel confident and sexy, but because I know that guys will notice me. I egg them on in conversations that quickly begin to insinuate that they have a chance with me. Obviously, I’m totally hiding my real intentions and desires, and instead I play on to behavior that I hope will hook them, but that gives an impression that affects their behavior towards me.

I guess, when it comes to fishing, if you get the spicy ahi tuna to bite on the bite, it’s much more likely that it will get hooked and that you’ll have something for dinner that night. The fish won’t really run away once it’s on the boat. The same does not apply to men. Just because you get them to fall for the bait, either but getting a number or by getting into your pants, it does not guarantee that you’ll have what you really wanted.

I guess the point that Tito was trying to make is that perhaps dating is not like fishing and it should not be approached as such, but for some reason both men and women have been conditioned to play games that end up looking like that.The problem is that then you spend a couple of months dating someone, and you finally feel comfortable to say “hey, let’s be exclusive, let’s put labels on our relationship, and let’s work hard on this in case it can be forever” and this will still cause the fish (man) to jump overboard. You take away his bachelor status and he realizes that he can’t breath outside of the water. He starts choking, feels trapped and jumps! Even if there are other predators in the water, at least he’s in his natural environment!

The difference is that once you catch a man, the metaphor breaks. Being in a relationship does not equate to eating a caught fish for dinner.

So what now? For starters, I’m working on being more honest. Perhaps by not lying about what I do, or where I am from, or what I like to do. Perhaps by breaking Stacie’s Rules of Dating, and responding to a text immediately rather than waiting the necessary 4 hours.

So what now? It’s obviously not all me. Betty can tell you about this much better than I can, but perhaps guys need to stop feeling life fish out of water the second that a relationship starts getting serious. We are not trapping you, catching you, or taking you from your natural environment. Are we?

I Regressed to 1775 and Found my Inner Femme Sole

29 Oct

This weekend, I went to Colonial Williamsburg to learn accurate facts about this nation’s history, naturally. Most of the things went in one ear and out the other. Most, but not all.

As it turns out, the rules in those times stated that a single woman had the same rights as a man while she was single (fun fact: voting back in those times was not a right, it was a civil duty that if a man failed to fulfill ended in a fine). I am sure that it was not as clear in practice as it was in theory, but at least it was acknowledge that women had the right to own property, a right to her own earnings, and many more. Here’s the kicker: two individuals became one as far as law was concerned in the 18th century, as in a woman lost all her rights to her husband.

The following events take place in R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse. A strapping lad (who was definitely older than the average life expectancy of 1762) led us on a tour of this tres classy establishment. In one of the rooms, he pointed to a map and asked if any of the gentlemen were interested in “land speculation”, and I decided to respond with a confident “of course”. Now, this man had to stay in character, so he said that in his times it was very possible for a woman who has been single for a long, long, long time (his emphasis, not mine) also known as a “Femme Sole” to be interested in land speculation. I obviously accepted this title proudly (and perhaps a just a tiny bit bitterly).

From there, we were lead to a dining room where we were able to sample Mr. Charlton’s coffee and hot cocoa. An older black woman told us her story of living in 1762 Williamsburg as free woman, while we sipped on very rich, dense, delicious hot chocolate. One thing led to another, and somehow I told her that I would not like to be married, given that I like my rights. She was not happy with my response.

“You can’t think like that honey. A beautiful girl like you, you would make such a great ornament to your husband”

“I can be a great ornament to myself”

“Oh well honey, that is selfish!”

“Exactly”

“You are shameless”

The look of horror on her face was priceless. She asked me what my dad would think, I  told her that he doesn’t live in Williamsburg, and then she proceeded with her story. As we began getting up to exit the Coffeehouse, this woman pulled me aside, grabbed my face with her hands, looked me in the eyes and repeated her advice “You can’t think like that honey, seriously. You should find a man and get married”.

I obviously am in a position that is NOTHING AT ALL like her character. However, I don’t want to get married. Which led to the following thoughts:

1. When the institution of marriage was established, life expectancy was less than half of what it is today. In other words, when you said “forever” back then, you probably just meant 7 to 12 years.

2. Today, we live for about 80 years.If a marriage lasted the average length of a marriage in Colonial times, our divorce rate would be MUCH smaller.

So…

3. What if a marriage was only good for 10 years (or another limited time period, the 10 is not scientifici)?

4. After those 10 years, you would have to get re-married which would force individuals to stop and think about the status of their relationships.

I don’t think this would necessarily mean more people would choose to not remarry, but don’t you think that it would allow couples to think about what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs work? It would force people to COMMUNICATE!!

This might be a radical suggestion. But as it was pointed out to me, a Femme Sole was a radical kind of woman. And I am here to shake things up.