Brazen Careerist Party in Washington, DC. Thursday, Nov. 11, 7pm at Lounge 201. You’re invited.

I always had this huge fantasy about how Brazen Careerist would sell for ten million bazillion dollars, and I would use the money to fly everyone I know to a huge party at some fun destination.

This is not that party. But we will be celebrating the company’s recent move to DC, which is one step closer to the company ruling the world. I can say ruling the world now that I am officially not trying to do that myself. But I’m still excited for there just to be a Brazen Careerist party.

Wait, I just noticed that there are very few opportunities for links in this kind of invitation-to-a-party post.

I have this friend who is constantly bugging me to link to her. And I say, “Shut up. My readers are not stupid. They are going to see a random link to you and think, “Penelope’s blog is going to hell.” Also, people sometimes complain to me that I have too many links to random stuff, and mostly I think, “Just don’t click on the links if you don’t like it.” And then someone reminds me about all the research I write about from Barry Schwartz and Dan Ariely about how too many choices drive people crazy, incapacitating them.

So I’m going to link to Melissa now. So she shuts up about how I need to link to her blog. Here. Melissa is a genius. She is God’s gift to whatever she wants to rank high in SEO for. [I will insert that link later. When she finally decides what she wants.] And please, do not send me email requests about doing this for you. This is the last time I’m doing this, ever.

Melissa will not be at the party, because she works in Hong Kong, but in the past I have not been averse to linking to things that have no relation to my post.

Like, also this link is one I’ve been sitting on for a while. The book is The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor. When he taught positive psychology at Harvard, it was the most popular course among the undergrads, which is what, initially, got me thinking about happiness.

The best part of the book, though, is that there’s a big chapter on willpower, which is actually what I think all of happiness hinges on. Achor says that humans do not do well depending on willpower to get something done. We have very limited willpower and using it exhausts us. We’re much better off putting stuff out of reach. So, for example, if you love to eat bagels, you should put them in the garage. You need the difficult thing to be 20 seconds away because that’s the effort that is too much for you to handle. We know that because if you park in front of the gym, you still might not go it. It’s still 20 seconds away. But if you’re standing in front of the machine, you’ll get on.

This is why, at the party, if you want any bread you will have to walk twenty seconds away from the party to get it.

The book is full of interesting facts. Like, here’s another one: If you want to do something for a break, like watch TV or surf the Internet or look at porn, all those things feel good for a half hour. After that, they start making you feel tired. So we should have some automatic timer or something to stop us at the end of a half-hour. Maybe this means sit-coms are good for us, because they’re in half-hour increments.

Any other blogger would have written a ten-line post about how there’s a party and you should come. I just learned this week, though, that I am way more talk-y than a normal person. I know that often, people with Asperger’s don’t know when to shut up. In a profile about me the The Mail, a British journalist wrote that one of the notable things about me is that I repeat myself. How do people know when to shut up? I don’t know. But I got a little insight this week, because I lost my voice. And my house got a lot quieter. In a good way. Now I worry for the kids that they have nightmares of me telling them something over and over again. I mean, I know it happens. The farmer said just the other night, on Halloween, “you’re talking too much.”

I know that’s important to listen to. So I did. I stopped talking even though I thought I was giving essential advice about saying thank you after taking candy. But maybe I had already said it 400 times.

Anyway, I lost my voice and I realized that the farmer was happy. He needed a break from me talking. Everyone was happy that I lost my voice. So it doesn’t surprise me that it’s taking me 1000 words to invite you to the Brazen Careerist party.

But you know what? I am not really sure how I fit in. What will it be like being in DC with my company when I don’t know really how I fit in my company? Do you want to know what career change looks like? Come to the party.

But also, I am happy that it ends up that the research from Achor’s book seems to fit in. Because I think that book is to this post what I will be to the party: Not quite pertinent but interesting enough to make people glad they’re there.

You have to RSVP because I think it’s not that big a space. Or something. I want to tell you please come celebrate with me. Rah Rah. But really, I’d just really like to meet some of the people who read this blog. So stop by the party. Please.

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44 replies
  1. Chris
    Chris says:

    Washington, D.C. is a far piece from the Hoosier state. Which is really too bad, because I truly would love to meet you and say thanks in person.

  2. Doug Mitchell
    Doug Mitchell says:

    Rats! I live here, eager to help build the community and will be out of town that day.
    I hope a meetup group is started out of this gathering. Have fun! Next time…

  3. Irina I
    Irina I says:

    I love all your links. I love that in one article they’re all different. It’s like you’re weaving a story between all those bits of information. That’s what you do and that’s what makes your blog unique and intersesting.

    Please keep doing it.

  4. @TheGirlPie
    @TheGirlPie says:

    Thank you for 994 words that made me feel understood. (I’ll curse you as I ponder what to do about it all.)

    I look forward to Brazen Careerist maybe taking its New House Party on the road and winding its way over to the left coast…? You’d fit in just fine, at least for the night.

    Thanks + curses, too, for writing a post that makes writing look so easy, when I know that nothing this good is that easy.


  5. Christiana
    Christiana says:

    I’m in, I’ll come to your party! I read your blog, and would love to see what career change looks like. Though, honestly, I’d really like to see what it’s like for me to change careers.

  6. Ken
    Ken says:

    When’s the party coming to the farm?

    I’m much closer to that and I would love to see that little Wisconsin town freak out with all of us Penolopephiles.

  7. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I totally agree with you about willpower being the source of happiness. Connecting that with your whole interesting vs. happy theory/study/whatever, I believe that willpower is the link between the two. To be interesting or happy you need to be doing things and to do things you need willpower.

    Anyways, thanks for the link to the book, as well as mentinoning the 20second thing. I may try that…

  8. GloriaPatch
    GloriaPatch says:

    I also love your links – I only sometimes click on them but I appreciate that they’re there and that you’ve bothered to put them in. It must make the blog much harder work to write.
    I wish I could come to the party but I am in the UK. I hope it is fabulous and that you post some pictures.

  9. Harriet May
    Harriet May says:

    I really want to come to your party. I want to meet you, Penelope, and I want somewhere to wear shoes not appropriate just for the dog park (although even at the dog park I don’t wear shoes appropriate for the dog park).

    Also, I love links.

  10. Sally
    Sally says:

    Penelope, I don’t have Asperger’s but apparently I don’t know when to shut up. So they tell me. When they can get a word in. And I repeat myself–I wish I had nagged less or gotten more laryngitis while my son was a teenager. But he still loves and appreciates me–there, I already said too much.

    I also wish I could come to the party and meet you because what I love about your blog is that you are 1) so honest and 2) therefore very lovable. You will be pertinent at the party, I assure you.

    My half-hour is up. I feel better. I am having a horrible career change and it totally sucks, but somehow it’s sort of okay. Now I am going to use my willpower to sign off and wish you happiness at the party.

  11. Irving Podolsky
    Irving Podolsky says:

    In an era where information is generally manipulative, or blatant lying, your blog is a reassuring beacon that somewhere, SOMEONE is shining honesty out to the world. Yeah, sometimes you’re painfully honest and sometimes repeating your personal truths stretches your word count. But your sincerity always keeps my engaged and wanting more.


  12. Jess @OpenlyBalanced
    Jess @OpenlyBalanced says:

    Darn! If I still lived in DC, I would RSVP yes for the party and apply for a job with Brazen Careerist. Since I don’t, I will just send wishes for a fabulous party, $10 million bazillion sale or not.

  13. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “Not quite pertinent but interesting enough to make people glad they’re there.”
    “Rah Rah.”
    I think you double as the cheerleader and mascot here.
    I (and many other people) would find it difficult to separate you from the Brazen Careerist brand.
    The term mascot (from Wikipedia – one of your favorite sources to link to) – €“ defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – €“ colloquially (informally) includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name.
    Go get your pom poms Ms. chief evangelist and enjoy yourself. :)

  14. Margaret Goerig
    Margaret Goerig says:

    Drat. I am in DC now but I won’t be by next Thursday. I’ll have to meet you another time, maybe next year when I swing through Minnesota to Chicago. As for you fitting in, I think founder of the company counts; don’t you?

  15. Vicki Travis
    Vicki Travis says:

    I love DC and would come love to your party – it would be a blast to meet you. I live in Kelowna, British Columbia and I am working that day, so the trip would not be possible. I would love to hear about, I am sure all your fans who are not able to be there would love to hear about it, too and if there are pictures, let’s see them!

  16. Elizabeth O'Malley
    Elizabeth O'Malley says:

    I am a regular reader, like so many others I would love to come, but I live in Austria, and as I was just in DC last week for job interviews (!!) I can’t come back yet. I also think “Founder” or perhaps “Madame Founder” would be an adequate way for you to fit into the company. “Honorary Director for Life”??? Many possibilities. All the best, and enjoy the party.

  17. James
    James says:

    You link to a blog that has one post in four months? And that post just talks about how you and Melissa talk a lot, and not even a quick blurb about who she is or why I should read her blog/follow her? I think you need to help her with her marketing :)

  18. Amy
    Amy says:

    I haven’t been this bummed about missing a party since 7th grade. (and I’ve missed plenty, believe me!). Unfortunately, I have to work at my ‘real job’ Thursday, which is in CT, otherwise I’d be there. No kidding. I guess it is not meant to be so I’ll just have to believe that whenever our paths DO finally cross, THAT will be reason to celebrate. (for me anyway…)

    Thanks for the invite! Wishing you and the entire BC team much continued success.

    Amy Parmenter

  19. Mona Karaoui
    Mona Karaoui says:

    I read ur blog all the way from Lebanon- and I wish I could swing by DC to celebrate with you- u’re such an inspiration- keep up the absolutely wonderful work!!

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Really? From Lebanon? I think I will tell Ed that I have a huge following in Lebanon and we should have our next Brazen Careerist party there. How cool would that be?


  20. Carol Saha
    Carol Saha says:

    It’s not an asperger’s thing, talking too much, it’s a female thing. A study was done in a schoolyard and the little girls said about a 1000 words to the boys 100. Or something like that I don’t really remember except that girls talk a lot more.
    I tell my kids the same thing and then my boyfriend gets mad at them because he thinks they aren’t listening to me when in reality I’m just saying the same thing over and over. I’m working on it.
    Also, watch The Amazing Race sometime and watch the boy/girl teams and how much the girl talks and the boy doesn’t listen. I think that’s another reason we talk so much, we aren’t sure we’ve been heard. And everyone wants to be heard.

  21. Shelley
    Shelley says:

    Maybe it’s because I write about people who were forced to spend 24 hours a day exerting their willpower, but I found it, oddly, a relief to see the statement that we have only so much, and using it for too long exhausts us.

  22. Sinead Stack
    Sinead Stack says:

    hmmm … so I clicked on the links to Melissa’s blog. I don’t get it – seriously uninspired … I even went back to double check …

  23. Jake
    Jake says:

    I am forwarding the party link to my DC friends–you should have plenty to talk to them about, as we were in grad school at American when we first read your blog (a post about not going to grad school). Next time you are in Iowa I would love to chat!

  24. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Hi Penelope…….Your party sounds like fun and it will give you a break from the farm. (Which we ALL need, whatever your “farm” may be). In my flight attendant days, I would bid a DC trip just to go to your party. Alas…..I’ll be on my “farm” on Thursday. Have FUN & then come back & tell us what a great time it was.

  25. Jen
    Jen says:

    Please follow your own advice to not link to anyone else’s blog at their request. I wish I hadn’t clicked on this one in this post.

  26. Jim Collins
    Jim Collins says:

    Living in the mountains of western North Carolina gives me a wonderful edge on sanity. I’m not sure I could even navigate the streets of DC. Put me on the list for the DVD! I love traveling virtually. Much success to you, Jim Collins

  27. Laura
    Laura says:

    Darn, I wish I could make it! There are so many things going on in DC this week (including FotoWeek – check out some exhibits while you’re here, Penelope). I hope you throw another party soon.

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