This week’s Business Week just hit the stands, and what do you know? My blog is featured.

Lindsey Gerdes wrote a great summary of my blog, proving to me that other people can write a better summary of our work than we can write ourselves. (Yes, this is why you should hire someone to write your resume.)

Anyway, for you Business Week readers who are stopping by to check things out, Gerdes highlighted these posts:

Navigating the quarterlife crisis

How to turn down a job offer

How to manage your image

The first person to congratulate me about the piece in Business Week was Joyce Lain Kennedy.

This was no small moment for me. She was my silent mentor for years. I say mentor in the loosest sense of the word because (violating one of my own pieces of advice) I never contacted her. I thought she was too big to pay attention to someone like me. (Note: Don’t ever do this. Try contacting everyone. Most people will give you advice if you ask a specific question.)

Joyce Lain Kennedy is the most widely syndicated career advice columnist in the country. Probably in the world. Newspaper syndication is very complicated. Not that you shouldn’t try it. You should. But beware, because people like Kennedy have been there forever and sit on small empires. I studied her patterns, trying to figure out syndication. And, to be honest, I studied her column topics trying to figure out what the heck a career advice columnist writes about.

The problem was that I started out writing about my own career. Sort of like a well written diary. But then my company went bankrupt in the dot-com crash. Business 2.0, the magazine that was running my column, told me I was no longer that impressive — unemployed and pregnant did not look good. So I took my editor’s advice and stopped writing about myself. (Well, I tried to. You can imagine how hard that must have been.) Instead, I started writing straight-up career advice, like how to write a resume.

But my ideas ran dry after two or three, so I started stealing Kennedy’s topics: How to interview, how to write a cover letter… They are all classics, all good. She is a pro. I would write them the way a non-pro would write them — adding, for example, references to sex at the office that my editor would delete.

So then, five years pass, blah blah, and here I am, receiving an email from Joyce Lain Kennedy herself. And she sent her book to me. Autographed. It’s Resumes for Dummies. And it’s on a special, sentimental spot in my bookshelf, next to this week’s edition of Business Week.

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17 replies
  1. michael gibbons
    michael gibbons says:

    Penelope — congrats on BW and the sweeter surprise. Key component of mentoring seems to be networking – not the old kind — with a drink but now with a comment,a link,an email. You may not know it but you blog, therefore you mentor to us all!

  2. Dave
    Dave says:

    Congratulations. I know it’s a huge deal to get recognition from the people who matter to us. I don’t want this to sound negative; my intent is a compliment…I’ve never heard of Joyce Lain Kennedy. Reading your stuff, I don’t feel I need to.

  3. Tamar
    Tamar says:

    Yikes! This is wonderful news. I hope hope hope you are not too famous to talk with me (even better than emailspeak) when we are at BlogHer Business ’07 Conference in NYC mid-March! Mentor, shmentor, you rock. And thanks for the wonderful messages all these years you’ve been an online resource on holistic careering. Mazal tov!

  4. Dale
    Dale says:

    Fantastic achievement!

    I agree with Recruiting Animal, your personal writing is the stuff that I connect with most.

  5. Tom Morgan
    Tom Morgan says:

    Wow! You have definitely arrived as far as exposure to business executives. Many of the case studies in my MBA program came from BW articles.

    Apparently all that practice and practical experince you have is paying dividends.

    The best part of your blog is your writing style. It feels like we are old friends sitting around sharing experiences.

  6. cindy@staged4more
    cindy@staged4more says:

    hello & congrats! i just want to say that i have been enjoying reading your blog and your insights. you have a great writing style that i throughly enjoy reading. it just excudes great and warm energies.



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