Archive for ‘Career and Finance’

December 27, 2012

How One Dallas Woman Came To Love Gen Y

by Samantha Shaddock

Via American Shad.

HipsterOne recent August, I accepted a job as the homepage editor for a large business-news website. The pay was only OK, but I jumped at the chance to write headlines and help direct the coverage for such a well-known publication. This company was clearly investing in its online operation and was forward-thinking in terms of social media and business models. It made all sorts of sense to sign on.

About two months later, a rival publication offered me a job for $10,000 more a year. I turned it down. Why? Because of the young people with whom I worked.

It really only took about a week on the job before I was smitten with my crew. The junior reporters and Web production team members, all of them 30 or younger, were good-natured, hard-working and full of fresh ideas. They weren’t jaded yet, and I loved them for that. The outfit that offered me this other job and higher salary was even better-known, but it was tired, older in all respects. I wasn’t the production crew’s boss yet at that point, but I knew that I wanted to — needed to, maybe — work with them. Turning down that other job offer wasn’t hard at all.

I’m so glad I stayed. This was about the same time as Occupy Wall Street became a thing, and boy, did that movement sour me on what I’d heard were “millennial” gripes: too-high student loans, not enough jobs that match their majors, an unfulfilled promise of employment after graduation. I openly scoffed at their complaints. I worked throughout college and didn’t get my official diploma until a few months after graduation — until I could pay off my debt. I wasn’t “guaranteed” a job after I’d gotten that degree. I lucked into a cheap-as-dirt, short-lived internship. After that I worked two part-time jobs — one as a low-level copy editor at the paper and another as a research assistant at a hospital. “Guaranteed” employment? Please. I counted my blessings every night that I was able to cobble together enough money for rent.

I had this idea — which I now firmly believe is false — that the young folks of the #OWS movement were entitled brats. However, my crew in New York were not that. They started working at the crack of dawn; they answered emails at all hours of the day and night; they took on new tasks outside of what they were hired to do, and did so with a smile. And, they had fresh, innovative ideas that made our newsroom better.

Eventually I became the manager of these bright young people, but even before that they taught me so much: how to use social media without seeming too much like an old fart; how their generation communicated in the workplace (gifs, in case you were wondering); what they wanted as employees (feedback and a voice of their own); that humor almost always makes things better.

When I left for Texas, I promised my young charges, tearfully, that I’d signed on with them for life — that I’d be there for them as a mentor, confidant and friend for as long as I live. I take that responsibility seriously, and I’ll tell you: If I ever were in the position to hire a dream team, they’d be on it. I miss them every single day, and I swear I never want to work where young voices aren’t respected and valued.

November 23, 2010

New York’s Starving Artists May Flee to … Here?

by Samantha Shaddock

Photo by Flickr user Vincent van der PasReal estate blogger Candy Evans recently riffed on her Second Shelters site about a possible exodus of New York artists to cheaper cities. She poses the question: could Dallas benefit from this?

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a woman who, like me, moved to Dallas from New York this summer. She asserts that it’s actually cheaper in many ways to live in New York than it is to live here. She had a large corner unit in Harlem that cost a modest $1,000 (on par with “artist” lofts in Deep Ellum and less than what my husband and I pay for our duplex, which is nowhere near the train station), and because she had no car, she had no car payments, auto insurance, tags, inspection, gas, etc. draining her bank account. Not only that, but the sales tax in Dallas is almost as rude a surprise as the city and state taxes in New York. You can certainly find cheap rent in Dallas, but you inevitably sacrifice hipness or convenience (or both) in doing so. My feeling is that most artists aren’t willing to make the former sacrifice, but maybe I’m mistaken.

I sometimes wonder whether Dallas has a strong enough appetite for art to support a true and thriving artist community. Plenty of local groups certainly are pouring a lot of money, time and energy into whetting that appetite, and it would be lovely if they were successful. Still, I wonder.

November 21, 2010

Write for Dallas Woman

by Samantha Shaddock

If you have news, advice and other information worth sharing with Dallas Woman‘s audience, we want to hear from you.

What You’ll Get

  • A platform for your writing and ideas
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What You Won’t Get

  • Paid — We wish we could offer you a gajillion dollars per post, but while Dallas Woman is in its infancy, compensation is limited to the perks outlined above.