Goodbye, #J360

Over the course of this semester, I’ve blown up my friends’ timelines on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve tweeted 330 times, posted on instagram 59 times, posted on Facebook 47 times and LinkedIn 46 times. The kicker? I’m not done yet.

Oh, yes. I still have to finished my social media posts for this week. I’m sorry to annoy you. But despite your irritation, integrating social media posts into my daily and professional lives have enhanced my skills as a public relations professional.

Before my #J360 class, I considered myself as a “watcher” on social media. Rarely would I post anything. On occasion, I would like a funny tweet or two. The accounts that I followed were just friends from college or high school, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, this class also forced me to step out of my comfort zone and connect with PR professionals on various platforms. Thus, increasing my available network.

It’s been a goal of mine for the past couple of years to establish a personal brand on social media, but I never found the time. This class acted as a catalyst for that. It built in time for me to achieve that goal. Now, I have a consistent personal brand across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

While improving my social media presence was a big benefit, it pales in comparison to what I learned through creating this website. WordPress fluency is a skill that many employers look for in potential candidates. It’s a skill that I had yet had a chance to delve into before this class. WordPress is relatively user friendly, but connecting pages and developing the homepage posed challenges for me. Those challenges were solved with a lot or trial and error (emphasis on a lot).

Not only did this blog teach me valuable website-building skills, but it helped me rediscover my love for writing. Writing is what led me to pursue PR. For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing, so much so that my friends and classmates come to me for editing and writing advice. Previous to this class, my passion for writing peaked my senior year of high school when I wrote bi-weekly sports columns. Being able to tell someone else’s story in a conversational tone was a passion.

However, my passion dwindled my first few semesters at college. I still wanted to tell stories, but each paper I wrote felt like a task rather than an opportunity. The blogs I’ve written for this class and on this blog I have put my heart and soul into. I will admit, some blogs mean a bit more to me than others. This site is titled, “Walking the Wire,” because I don’t ever want to shy away from hard to talk about topics, like those mentioned in “I’m fine.”

Many of the blog topics this semester were assigned, primarily the communications oriented topics. I will continue to post a mix of professional and personal blogs, but I’m excited to really make this site my own.

Taking Up Arms: The Feminist Movement

Don’t be too skinny, but don’t be fat. Be assertive, but don’t be a bitch. Make sure to dress cute, but make sure you don’t look like a slut. You might make a man want to rape you.

According to Sky News reporter Stephen Dixon, women who wear short skirts when they go out with their friends are responsible for the sexual assault that occurs. Apparently, the woman provoked that man into raping her for wearing an outfit that makes her feel confident in her body.

People like Dixon are the reason why feminism is a necessity in today’s society. Feminism is no longer just a fight for political rights. It’s a fight for females to gain respect from men, women, and the government.

American feminists have been in a constant struggle with the government since they began the women’s suffrage movement in 1848. Women have had to fight for the right to vote, to be accepted in the workplace, paid maternity leave and for equal pay. While progress has been made with the government, women are still not considered equals.

Since 1923, the National Women’s party, a feminist group, has been trying to push the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) through congress. The ERA would guarantee that women and women are paid equally based on qualifications, not gender.

According to Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by men on average, despite being the primary source of income in over 40 percent of homes. Women have earned the right to make as much as men. Feminism is the voice that makes that known to society and lawmakers.

While feminist groups attempt to advance legislation through congress, they also do what they can to make sure women are free to be who they want to be. The phrase “like a girl” has had a negative connotation around it for as long as it’s been used. In a study conducted by Always, a feminine product producer, 72 percent of girls feel as if society as limits that hold them back.

Based on these findings, Always launched an advertising campaign aimed at boosting the confidence of women and young girls. The first commercial aired during the Super Bowl in 2014, meaning entire families were exposed to its message. After seeing the influence and success of the “#LikeAGirl” campaign, Always created a sequel to “#LikeAGirl,” called “Unstoppable.” These campaigns reached over 85 million people. The negativity that once surrounded that phrase has since began to disappear.

During the 2016 presidential election, a video leaked of President Donald Trump saying, “Grab ‘em by the pussy.”

This comment about women sparked an uproar from men and women across the globe. At the Women’s March 2017 in Washington, D.C., around half a million people from all over the world to protest Trump’s election. Feminists of all backgrounds stood against the rape culture Trump promoted in the election. At the rally, feminist and Navajo Nellis Kennedy-Howard held a bright pink sign that reads, “1 in 3 Native women are raped.”

“We don’t want to promote rape culture any further than the problem that we already have,” Kennedy-Howard told Huffington Post, “and this president is not doing a very good job of modeling that type of behavior.”

Similar to the gender pay gap, feminists are taking up the fight for paid family leave, including paid maternity and paternity leave. Only 13 percent of employees in the private sector are able to take paid family leave according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A hundred years ago, society believed it was a woman’s job to have children. However, 77 percent of private sector business don’t offer paid maternity leave. But if a woman doesn’t want to have children, society judges that decision.

“The gender revolution has been a one-sided effort. We have not pushed hard enough to put men in traditionally female roles—that is where our priority should lie now,” Richard Reeves and Isabel Sawhill wrote in a Brookings Institution report.

Feminism is not about just fighting for women’s rights. It’s about equal rights for all, regardless of gender, skin color, sexuality or religion. While the general feminism population fight for shared interests, there’s intersectionality within feminism.

“There are many, many different kinds of intersectional exclusions ― not just black women, but other women of color,” Kimberlé Crenshaw told the Huffington Post. “Not just people of color, but people with disabilities. Immigrants. LGBTQ people. Indigenous people.”

The feminist movement isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Rather than shrinking, the movement continues to gain momentum. Women who wear short skirts are not provoking men to rape them, but comments like the ones made by Trump and Dixon provoke feminists to take up arms.

Inside the mind of a hiring manager

Go to college. Graduate. Find a job. This is what society expects from people in their late teens and early twenties, like me. But, how do we find our first job? What do employers look for in their ideal candidates?

I find myself in a unique position. I’m a senior about to start searching for my first “big kid” job, but my current job is to overhaul IUPUI Campus Center and Student Experiences’ on-boarding and hiring processes. This position has made me privy to some insider information about what characteristics employers are searching for.

I’ve sat through numerous amount of interviews since I began this position in May. Some of them have been really good, and some of them I thought would never end. Today, I want to focus on the good ones; the ones that made me remember why I love this job.

As I reflected on the resumes I reviewed and the interviews I conducted, I noticed that the candidates I couldn’t wait to hire had three things in common: passion, curiosity and individuality.

Be Passionate.

Listen, I’m not saying you need to love every aspect of a job, just be passionate about something. The jobs I tend to hire for aren’t super fun. Most of the jobs involve a pretty hefty amount of manual labor. It’s safe to say I have never interviewed a candidate who said, “Moving furniture around and setting up rooms is my favorite thing to do.”

So, what do my ideal candidate for this position say? There is no perfect answer to this question. There won’t be for any job. Whatever your passion is, do your best to connect it to the position you’re being considered for. Do you love to help people? Do you love being a part of a team? Whatever your passion is connect it to the position, and articulate that throughout the hiring and interview processes.

Be Curious.

This is an instance when curiosity does not kill the cat. I want to see candidates who are hungry to learn as much as they can. I want candidates who are genuinely interested in my organization and what it stands for. And maybe this is selfish, but I want candidates who are at least somewhat interested in my thoughts about the job and how I obtained my position.

My point is, come ready to ask questions. But don’t just ask the basic questions. Show me that you really put some thought and time into it. I promise that you can wow me, and any other hiring manager, with a question we aren’t expecting.

Be You.

I know what you’re thinking. Everyone says this, but it’s true. Organizations don’t just hire based skill sets. They hire based on personality. They want to see if you’re a good fit for the team. So before you freak yourself out preparing for an interview, just take a deep breath. The most important thing to remember is to let your personality shine through.