Professional Job-Seeker

A cover letter from the old Kristen.


Dear HR Person at Your Awesome Company,

Hi! I’m Kristen. I’m a professional job-seeker who has spent nearly 6 months of the last 5 years unemployed. My longest stint of unemployment was 3 months. My shortest: two weeks (booyah!).

I consider myself to be an expert at the following: Checking 4 times daily for the perfect job, applying for jobs on LinkedIn at 3 a.m., interviewing well, knowing all the third-party recruiters in the area by name, and tweaking my resume often.

If you offer me a job with a decent salary, I’ll more than likely take it, because my biggest fear is remaining unemployed. I feel immense pressure to keep my home and my car, provide for my family, and not go into bankruptcy. 

Thank you for your consideration,



Seriously, y’all…. that was my mindset until recently. Of course I’m still wanting to find a job. Of course I still worry about my financial obligations. But what I’ve recently let go of is the FEAR. I’m no longer scared of the what-ifs. I’m no longer tied to a certain salary. And I know in my heart what I’m good at and what I can offer. And I have complete faith that things will work out for me.

napoleon-hillA book I can recommend to help you through a tough time, and achieve a breakthrough in your life: Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill.

Napoleon Hill is long gone from this world, and this book was written in 1938. The catch: it wasn’t released until 2011, when we were in the throes of our latest economic downturn.

Fun fact: Hill is known as the father of today’s self-improvement book category. This book is as relevant now as when it was first written. I’m not even finished with this book, and it’s already changed my mindset. If you’re feeling challenged in life, do yourself a favor, spend the $9 on Amazon and read it. I wish my dad was around so that I could have him read it and share his thoughts with me.

Have you read any Napoleon Hill books? Any other self-improvement books that you would recommend?


Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose: Reigniting My Passion for Social Media

I’m unemployed. My husband is unemployed (but nearly done with school to become a front end web developer). We’re in debt. We have a lot of financial obligations.

Normally, in this situation — and I’ve been faced with it before — I would commence to FREAK THE F*CK OUT and take the first job I could get that somewhat matched my salary expectations and experience. Because I was motivated by fear: fear of creditors, fear of not having a place to live, fear of not having a car, fear of not having a professional identity.

This time, though, it’s different. This time, there is some real clarity about what it is I need to do.

If you time-travel back 6 years ago, to 2010, I was reveling in my passion: social media and social journalism. I was executive director of the Alabama Social Media Association. I was managing social media at, Alabama’s largest news media website.

I’ve since veered off-course. After moving to Orlando, I held positions in the digital space, but none of them involved social media to the extent that it was my entire job. And the past two years have been somewhat of a nightmare for me, working in digital agencies in Atlanta and Orlando. There was no social media, no community engagement, no digital content for me to work on directly, just managing digital projects for clients that I sometimes didn’t even morally feel right working for. It was anxious, soulless busywork — for me, at least.

So now, I’m setting out to course-correct. The work I enjoyed the most is the work I was able to do in Alabama, teaching journalists to engage on social with their readers and viewers, and engaging with them myself. Whether I’m working with local news media, a web-only operation, or something on the national level remains to be seen, but it’s what I want.

Writing, editing, teaching, mentoring, analyzing, tweaking, improving, and creating great content is my passion. I’m not sure how, exactly, I veered this far off course, but I’m glad to finally be back, to be myself again, to really feel again.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity like this in your career? What did you do about it?


A Better Career, a Healthier Life

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

It’s been a tough few years for me.

I blogged a little bit more about my situation over at Medium earlier today. (Feel free to read, then come back here.)

How have I really gotten where I am? I think it’s through a series of poor decisions based on money, a big dose of fear, a bit of bad luck, and what I thought I really needed to be happy.

But as we all know, money doesn’t buy happiness. Happiness is felt through doing what you love and loving those who love you.

True happiness doesn’t come from impulse shopping, impulse eating, or how many likes your latest post gets on Facebook or Instagram.

For me, true happiness comes from what I love: my husband, my family, my dog, chiefly; but also doing what I love. And for the past several years, I haven’t been doing what I love. No wonder I’ve been dealing with anxiety, weight gain, and so on.

What I love: teaching and mentoring. What I love: Writing and creating. What I love: Genuine conversation. What I love: How social media can bring so much of this together.

Until now, I had all but quit creating, teaching and mentoring. I was working in a stressful agency environment that only exacerbated my anxiety. Sure, I’m organized and communicative, but I hated the agency-client relationship. I wanted to make genuine connections with those I worked with. And let’s face it, that’s hard to do in that kind of workplace.

So now, I move forward, fresh. Money no longer motivates me. I’m no longer led by fear of not being able to pay my debts, or lose my earthly belongings. I still aim to take care of myself and my family, but I have to let the things that truly make me happy guide me.

What do you love? Are you doing it?