24. August 2007 | Show Originial
Creative minds are funny things. They're often unorganized, random, and work best at 4 in the morning after days of not sleeping. Sometimes, they don't work at all. I blame my recent drought of creativity on this unending summer. That's another thing about creative minds -- they're fickle. When summer first began, I was the first of my friends to already have new board shorts and swim suits ready to go at a moment's notice. My, how the tide turns once you've gained a hundred new freckles, and the space outside of your perhaps overly chilled apartment becomes a claustrophobic sauna. The creative mind cannot be confined! It needs to rebel and plow through molds! It might also need coffee, free-trade of course, with non-dairy creamer.

Perhaps this repressive confinement is why we see so many celebrities and public personas in and out of rehab, going through nasty divorces, in trouble with the law and engaged in so much debauchery. Whether you love them or hate them, these people are creative minds. It takes a certain amount of ambition and craftiness to be a Britney Spears or a Tom Cruise. And then when the media gets hold of them, they become characters. We give them pet names, we give them attitudes, we give them their motivations. We confine them into these roles until at last we watch as these roles become their downfall.

I'll be the first to admit the completely unnecessary -- I love gossip blogs and celebrity news. I've been overjoyed watching as Lindsay Lohan goes through periods of enlightenment (usually coupled with asinine public announcements about how she's changed), as Paris Hilton actually does clean up her act (with not one but three books under her belt now -- really, what does the Heiress think is so interesting about herself?), and most especially as Amy Winehouse, not as ironically as the media likes to say, repeatedly says "No, no, no!" to rehab. The Wino's got some guts, even if they are a little mixed up right now. She's unapologetic, unabashedly edgy and she's also one of the most talented pop-stars out there right now.

The media has consistently chastised her marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil throughout Amy's turbulent and tumultuous summer. Their on again off again romance has been put under the microscope more often than Brangelina adopt kids. But this is another thing about creative minds -- they need partnerships that inspire them. Without husband of the year, Mr. Fielder-Civil, Amy would not have been inspired to record her second (and most popular so far) album, Back To Black. While I hope that Amy and her husband get better and continue to push out really amazing music, I will not criticize their relationship. You're my girl, Amy -- you do you.

But this brings me to my topic of this week. Partnerships! Partnerships are absolutely necessary in today's shrinking global community. Apart from the fact that eventually we're all going to know each other through someone else thanks to social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook, it's just easier to get your word out by partnering with an entity that is able to supplement your product. For example, The Employment Guide likes to collaborate with outside entities. We've collaborated with the AARP on a series of job fairs in support of the Department of Labor's National Employ Older Worker's Week (Sept. 23-29) that will help provide jobs to older job seekers all over the country. It's been alleged that Britney Spears partnered with TMZ and several other photog-agencies to generate some good ol' fashioned buzz to keep her in the spotlight. Even non-profits are getting in on the game.

The often infamous, always outrageous and unique, international non-profit organization, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), is an old pro at collaborating with celebrities that will position them in the forefront. Their galaxy of stars includes such names as Pamela Anderson, P!nk, Morrissey, Dorothy from "The Golden Girls," and even country stars like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Often these partnerships are used for shock value and to gain media attention -- but isn't that the point? When choosing who to collaborate with, it's important to keep in mind your target demographic, the message you want to get across, what the most effective way to get that message across might be, and what your partnership will offer both of you. Non-profits like to use celebrities because it gains them an amount of media exposure that would be impossible if their work was taken alone. Celebrities like to partner with non-profits because it helps their PR image. I mean, I know I was quick to forgive Janice Dickinson for being arrogant and often abrasive when I found out she doesn't support fur. That's just cute!

So, while partnerships aren't always celebrated, they're always important. One man alone can have the vision, but a team can build the connection between what you see in your head and the consumer. Whether the media likes the collaboration or not, it's important to stay true to who you are, who your company is, and always believe in your vision. Go make lovely things happen!

13. August 2007 | Show Originial
Well it's nearing Labor Day and for those of us who are still in school, that can mean feelings of utter sadness. The thought of hours upon hours listening to a professor talking about a subject that you feel won't get you anywhere in life can sometimes be frustrating. Okay, scratch that, it downright sucks. For those who are still in high school, it means you feel like you've gotten up at 7 a.m. to listen to some teacher talk about mitochondria or Shakespeare when you plan on being a business major in college. For those of us in the college world, we've made a tremendous effort to be in class by 11 a.m. after partying the night before (I know it's tough, but someone's got to do it!) and we are sometimes feel the material isn't worth getting out of bed for. The funny thing is, we all have this preconception about what we think we will and won't use when we finish school, when many students have no idea of what type of job they may get upon graduating!

If you don't know what you plan on doing after graduation, colleges provide students with plenty of opportunities to figure it out. There are literally hundreds of professional organizations (many of them free to join) that can offer better insight into what a career in a particular field might be like. There are involvement opportunities in club sports teams, the school newspaper, student government and others. Another option would be a Greek organization, which offer a combination of social, academic, community service and professional opportunities. Some Greek organizations may even have a strong alumni base in your local area, so be sure to utilize them!

Aside from college, often the best guide for people entering the workforce can come from an internship. Internships are designed to provide work experience while also building the interns resume. Of course there are always those companies who advertise internships because they need seasonal help to do "mind numbing" work. Most larger companies, however, have great internship programs set up that provide invaluable work experience.

The bottom line is: 1. Find something to get involved in. 2. Get is much out the experience as you can. 3. Prepare yourself for success in the future!

03. August 2007 | Show Originial
I was never really scared of the witch in Walt Disney's animated classic, "Snow White." I mean, she was kind of goofy. Her eyes bulged like a Chihuahua, and she was short, humpbacked, and never even popped up out of nowhere. What kind of witch is that?! Certainly she was no Maleficent -- the dragon-morphing, murderous witch from the other great Prince-Beauty-Witch trifecta, "Sleeping Beauty." That witch had spunk.

And now, Snow White may be getting some spunk of her own. Walt Disney has teamed with director Francis Lawrence ("Constantine," "I Am Legend") on a live action adaptation of the timeless children's story. The film will focus on a 19th century British girl who is raised in Hong Kong. In a very Harry Potter-esque twist, she discovers she is predestined to fight a certain force of evil, and is taken in by seven Shaolin monks to prepare her for the fight. To be honest, I'm both excited and dubious about this project. Who doesn't want to see Snow White flying through trees and getting all Oren Ishii on some hell-raising witch? (It's certainly got to be better than "Leprechaun 5: In the Hood.") At the same time, who wants to see our singing-to-animals, apple-loving, cutesy-dress-wearing tragic heroin wielding a sword? It smacks of shattered dreams and lost innocence.

Disney is no stranger to reinvention and trying different formats. In recent years they've lost interest in traditional cell-style animation, and have focused on collaborating with Pixar on films like "Finding Nemo," "Toy Story," "Cars," and most recently, "Ratatouille." In fact, that willingness (what some might call necessity in Disney's case) to try new things is what has given the company staying power in the industry. They've even tried amusement park rides as movies. "The Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy, while at times confusing and oft fraught with holes in the plot, was a swashbuckling success in the box office. It should be noted that anything with Johnny Depp in it is usually recommended viewing.

And Disney isn't the only one who has been successfully revamping their image over the years. Even musicians like Madonna are in on it. The reigning Queen of Pop has been going strong since "True Blue." She's gone from bubble pop to not suitable for television (banned from MTV even several times!) to guru and back to dance-floor maniac. Her last album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," was an immediate success and launched a worldwide tour that may or may not have featured Madonna singing while suspended on a cross. While we're comparing the two, I think it's safe to say that Madonna's "American Life" was to her career what Disney's straight to DVD shortcoming "Timon and Pumba" was to their empire. They've both got skeletons in their closets. Yet, they both seem to maintain exposure to the public.

Part of the success of these transformations can be attributed to the ever-changing staff that keeps machines like Disney and Madonna running. An organization is only ever as strong as their weakest member. More and more big companies are searching for candidates who will be able to revolutionize their futures. Recognizing that this or that approach may not be working is crucial to the success of a company, and stepping up to the plate can really be what makes or breaks you in the working world.

As a job seeker, it's important to seek out companies who will value your input. Once you've got the job, keep the ideas coming! Even if it's as simple as implementing a recycling program to collect paper cups and loose papers in a box in the break-room, your company wants to hear from you and know that you're doing all you can to keep the company moving forward. Maybe you know a way to streamline production that will cut costs and production time in half. You'd probably get a promotion (or at the very least a hefty bonus) just for speaking up.

Let's recap: Snow White's got a sword now, the seven dwarfs have become mystic Shaolin monks, Madonna's still alive, and you're the wave of the future. Break!

1