For those who have been under the COVID-19 cloud, I was let go from Third Door Media in April due to, well, a COVID-induced restructuring. It’s always tough to unexpectedly lose a job; I have been through this once before during the recession in 2008. But this time the word “challenging” does not suffice.
A job search can feel like zero value for a ton of work.
Actually, let me step back. That’s not entirely true. I have connected and reconnected with dozens of colleagues over the last four months, and have gotten to know some fantastic new friends. I have become more involved and I have networked in the past few months like I never have before. Searching for a job is grueling, thankless work. For years I have been fortunate to have had my work come to me naturally, and frankly dismissed the tedium and hard work that is involved in a job search, especially in such a competitive market. It’s easy to be complacent and think you can find a position right away.
Back to marketing consulting.
During my job search, I have had so many wonderful colleagues offer support, and ask me, “Why not do your own thing?” Well, after four months of looking for an in-house gig, I decided to embrace consulting again. I have not stopped looking, but now I’m ready to work more than ever. After so many hours of outreach and preparing for interviews, I realized I can share a lot more if I opened up and offered my marketing experience and knowledge to help organizations, rather than hold out for that perfect opportunity.
I’d like to take a moment to thank these fantastic humans.
Stephanie St. Martin
And yes, Guy Raz.
About a month ago I had follow up appointments and scans at Dana-Farber. It was totally uneventful (we like that) but I had an exchange with my oncologist that stuck with me, and since it’s International Women’s Day, I thought I’d write about it.
A bit of context first…
Last year, toward the end of my treatment for stage III breast cancer, I learned my oncologist Dr. Y was moving to Seattle to be closer to family. I was devastated, at this point we had built a rapport and considered her my rock during treatment. I congratulated her of course, and asked her how many of her patients does she need to tell; she said 900 (!!!) but not to worry, because my new oncologist Dr. P is wonderful and I will be in excellent hands. During the week of the 2016 election I had my first appointment with Dr. P. It was hard to avoid any commentary of political news, she and I were both in shock and exhausted by the lack of sleep with concern over the election outcome. But I left there feeling good, she was my people.
Now back to my recent appointment…
Dr. P and I were catching up and I mentioned that I recently sent a card to Dr. Y. It had been two years since my diagnosis, and I wanted to thank her. Dr. P smiled and said that’s wonderful, that she and Dr. Y still talk and see each other regularly at conferences. They always share a hotel room.
I looked up at her. Women who work and travel together have a close trusting relationship, personally and professionally. I consider the women I travel with as family away from home, the friendly faces that offer to get coffee, share Band-Aids for blisters and walk each other back safely to hotel rooms. It’s a sisterhood. Dr. Y didn’t have to refer one of her 900 patients to her friend and colleague, but she did. I realized in that one moment, I have two oncologists, not one.
So here’s to the tribes of women who have worked, traveled, lived, laughed, cried and taken care of each other.
As a breast cancer patient (I’ll always be one) this is my first Pinktober. I’m two weeks in, and here’s the thing… wearing pink “for awareness”, without taking any other action, is NOT the same as fighting breast cancer.
I love football. Yet when I see the NFL’s carefully crafted marketing and spending on pink merchandise that could go toward finding a cure rather than “create awareness” of a disease that pretty much everyone already knows about drives me just as crazy as this election cycle.
It’s not just the NFL, smaller businesses are blinded by the NFL’s success and capitalizing on all things pink. Here’s an email I received from AWMA, a martial arts gear supplier. The irony here is that the sport helped get through some of my darkest days going through breast cancer treatment. Obviously they aren’t the only ones.
Now, to be very clear, I have no trouble when using pink as demonstrating support. Our local youth football league sold pink shirts to parents of players. My kids see this, and they know that their teams have their backs. They also take action beyond “awareness.” And for the six or so years we’ve been part of youth and high school football, I know of five mothers diagnosed with breast cancer whose kids play. One passed away last year from Stage IV – she was an oncology nurse, helping others with breast cancer.
My dojo family demonstrates support the same way. They take action, and go beyond Pinktober – the DFMA tournament is held in June.
What I have a problem with are the businesses that sell the pink shirts and the pink belts knowing that they are for Pinktober. Why not donate some of the proceeds? Another idea is to increase prices, even by a dollar with the commitment to finding a cure.
So please think beyond awareness. Take action. As a friend of mine says “Pink responsibly.” Actions don’t have to be big:
Because here’s the reality – I’m not considered cured until I die of something else. And I’m not the only one.