Oh My – Traveling the Yellow Brick Road to Employment

This week I posted a researcher / admin job on Craigslist. Within 90 minutes I had 75 resumes. Here are 14 things that came to mind when reviewing responses to my listing:

  1. Put your employment objectives at the top of your resume but make them about serving your employer not about YOU. Employment is not about you, it's about an agreement to deliver services for $$.
  2. It's not a good idea to have typos in a resume. I rejected those immediately.
  3. Write in complete sentences and check your grammar and punctuation.
  4. Put a greeting with some info into the email. With 75 resumes there was no way in heck I was going to read a resume without an introduction.
  5. Remember to attach the resume.
  6. At least try to match your qualifications with the job description. Please.
  7. Do not write about your interest in learning to do the job. I need an assistant not an intern.
  8. Do not suggest you would love to work in my organization and know all about it because, you do not: It's Craig's List, I'm under cover!
  9. Include references.
  10. If you have a new job every three months, explain yourself.
  11. Respond early. I opened the emails in chronological order and some early responders where eminently qualified.
  12. Do not send a sexy seductive picture (yep, someone did that).
  13. Do not make me guess your abilities. There's too much competition. You have to make me want to hire you based on your qualifications.

It's tough to make the transition from one field of work to another (eg, retail to administration). Think about how your old / current job keep you the right skills for you new job and explain it in a cover letter. Be creative yet honest.

The Hopi and Their Jewelry

Hopi Silver Overlay Jewelry

The jewelry of the Hopi has a style distinct from that of the other Native Americans. The Hopi are known for the use of silver overlay, which utilizes a technique of fusing two layers of silver. The eye-catching and often elaborate design is on the top layer, while the bottom layers serves as a base.

It was not so long ago that the Hopi developed this technique. In fact the Hopi were not much into the making of silver. In their relative isolation on the northeastern Arizona high plains, or mesas, they were somewhat firewalled (so to speak) against external influences. Even their interaction with other Native Americans was limited.

Silversmithing of Native Americans

So while the Navajo learned and developed their silversmithing skills, a technique brought to the south-west of the American continent by the Spaniards, and which was then taken up by the Zuni, the Hopi were still practicing their own artistic heritage based on weaving and pottery. They were also adept at the making of kachina dolls, for which they deservedly remain renowned.

Time, of course, would not stand still, and even reliably isolated communities began to open up. Trading and commerce grew and the Hopi through their interaction with the Zuni exposed them to the craft of silver jewelry, at which the Zuni were now skilled. Lanyade, a Zuni, learned his silversmithing from the Navajo, and began to sell his silver jewelry. He travelled among the Hopi and Sikyatala became his student in 1898.

Sikyatala

Sikyatala is credited to be the first Hopi silversmith. It is reported that while Lanyade was at the Hopi reservation for four months, making and selling his silver jewelry pieces, Sikyatala was studiously observing and learning from the master at close range.

Sikyatala then began to use the technique of making silver jewelry. Other Hopi also began to follow and emulate the work of Sikyatala. In time the Hopi developed their own style, that of using overlay silver.

Hopi Silversmiths Paul Saufie and Fred Kabote

This technique did not so much evolve as was created by the Hopi silversmiths Paul Saufkie and Fred Kabote who were involved in a program at the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1938. After World War II the Hopi Guild was formed to encourage a program of silversmith training .

The designs of the silver overlay jewelry of the Hopi were also unique in that they adapted designs from the old broken pottery pieces of the 15th and 16th centuries. New motifs were also incorporated by the Hopi Guild, including kachina symbols.

The cross-currents in Native American jewelry nowdays mean that there are cross-influences as well. And different styles from the different currents may well find themselves evident in any piece of modern American Native jewelry.

But the fascinating development of Native American silversmiths and their crafts, in their different streams of artistic design, does not entirely obscure the original creativity. The silver overlay technique was the creation of the Hopi, even if it may now be employed by others.

Michael Kabotie

In ending, it may be noted that the work of Fred Kabote was continued by his son Michael Kabote (also spelled 'Kabotie'). Michael Kabotie recently passed away at the age of 67. He was a trail-blazer in the Native American fine arts movement, both as a Hopi artist and jeweler. His paintings were well-received, depicting traditional Hopi life. For a number of years, he also tapped the Hopi overlay technique at the Idyllwild Arts program in Southern California.

Pros And Cons Of Being A Tattoo Designer

Tattoo designers are one of the most well paid jobs in the industry. However, it is not that easy to a successful tattoo designer. Unless you really have the passion for the art, you can’t be very successful. Here are a few pros and cons of being a tattoo artist.

Pros

Being a tattoo designer has its pros, especially if you love your profession. It is satisfying to see your creativity getting inked on someone else’s body. It is interesting to note how people trust you completely as far as their safety and looks are concerned. If you take your jobs seriously, you will have a large number of clients following you. Even though there will be competition, you will be able to set your own mark in this niche.

Moneywise, like any other business, tattoo artists have highs as well as lows. When you have those ‘high’ times, money flow is fantastic. And it will be your good money managing skills that will help you in the end.

Before you become a full-fledged tattoo designer, you need to be an apprentice of an established tattoo designer. Most of the established tattoo designers love to help the youngsters. You will spend time cleaning and sterilizing their equipment or simply helping them to modify the designs. In the beginning you will be required to create designs on leather. Later you will be asked to work on human skin. This entire process will make you come close to the world of tattooing.

This is a life-long career, which will bring satisfaction to you. Your self-expression is at its best, and if you are giving quality work, your clients will be impressed and come back to you.

You get to meet like-minded people, people who are amazingly artistic and creative, who will have their opinions but would appreciate that you have the right to be in this industry.

Cons

Being a tattoo designer has its share of cons. Establishing yourself in the industry as a recognized artist can be a cumbersome uphill journey. Competition is very high. There are so many aspiring tattoo designers that you will be surprised to know, and creating your mark amongst them would not be an easy task.

Besides that there are so many expenses to take care of. For example you need to maintain sterilized equipment, you have to source and maintain equipment, you have to source all your drawing and art material. If you want to be a custom tattoo artist, then you have to always keep looking for great designs and either modify them or just practice your own skills by drawing, drawing and more drawing!

While money flow may be really good when the business is in boom, it may dwindle during holiday seasons when people go out of the town. It is at this time you have to manage your money in a way that you sustain your business as well as yourself. At those times you would love to ink any person who comes to you, as business is slow.

Overall, if you want to be a tattoo designer, patience is key to it.

Power of Branding and Freedom of Poetry

Maya Angelou once said (I'm paraphrasing) '' the purpose of all life is to be able to live like a poet one day. '' She went on to say that since poets already live like poets, their lives were not a postpone project, but the-ultimate-goal-realized by default.

How many times we have heard of those retirement dreams … the narratives that inevitably start with '' one day I'd like to … '' and continues with a description of one idyllic state or another … a beach house in Key West … playing golf eight hours a day in Arizona … buying a summer house in Florida and moving for good … writing (ah, at long last) that great novel, the chapters of which are lying somewhere inside those moldy cardboard boxes in the basement … to take the oath of chastity and join a monastery or a yoga ashram … take that trip to the Far East … or maybe even to throw itself with passion into a cause that is much larger than one's own limited life, like a political party, a crusade, a fund-raising juggernaut perhaps … on and on.

But underneath it all the aim is to arrive at that sublime state of inner peace and gentleness, something ill-defined but real, fuzzy but warm, a feeling that we feel is our birthright. Underneath it all we do not all point the gyroscopes of our lives to that nebulous state of elation and redemption that we sometimes refer to as '' poetic ''?

The rest is mostly a life-long process of branding ourselves as a desirable product in this increasingly globalized and fickle marketplace.

A brand is a total image with a price, a consistent package with defined and perceived borders. We are engineers. Attorneys. Machinists. Singers. Doctors. Teachers. Experts. Go-to guys. Ministers. Project managers. Historians. Curators. Tank drivers. Chefs. Shrinks. Plumbing … and, yes, Poets. Poets come in branded varieties as well. There is even a '' Poet Laurate '' for the whole United States (for the last few years we were extremely fortunate to have Billy Collins and Stanley Kunits and Ted Kooser as the PT Person).

All branding by definition shuns contradiction and ambivalence like a plague.

Fuzzy logic is fine for hi-tech digital cam-recorders but not for the experts that command healthy speaking fees. CEOs and four star generals are not expected to wear their troubling questions on their sleeves. Researchers at NIH do not get grants and doctors for not knowing what to do in the face of a new virus strain.

If things do not make sense outside a certain framework, then a branded professional knows how not to step outside that framework. A brand provides reproducible solutions to carefully-worded questions. Existentential panic does not command a premium price on the capitalist auction block.

Poetry, on the other hand, is a vulnerable exploration into everything that is left out by branding. It has no guarantees. No guidelines.

You can certainly encourage people to write poems. But I'm not sure at all if you can '' teach '' how to write poetry with the kind of money-back-guarantee bravado that is commonplace for a successful brand.

It is the only Odyssey that each person has to take all alone, go out and wander in the world, meet his demons, take them on one by one, beat them and return home victorious … only to do the same all over again the very next day.

Poetry, to use an analogy that Billy Collins has used in an Alaskan Quarterly Review interview, is like finding something curious sticking out from the sand in a desert and removing all that sand to discover the rest of the intriguing object. In that, poetry represents a vast freedom to rediscover all that is hidden from or by power.

Poetry raises all the in-between states and ambiguities censored by branding. So it is subversive by default.

However in that subversion there is also a deep affirmation of the most basic human value of all – freedom. That's despite the only thing branding can not buy and sell in the marketplace. A brand's power depends only on consumption. Poetry, on the other hand, is free the moment it is produced.

Our world needs more poets get into branded power play. Certainly someone like Leopold Sedar Senghor, a poet who became a statesman, will be remembered for his uplifting and dignified approach to international conflict. And conversely, I hope more branded professionals get into poetry as a way to humanize the market place of good and services.

What if the United Nations held a Poetry Workshop for one day of the year, with mandatory participation for all heads of state?

What if everyone in the world voted for the best Power Poet of the year through the Internet and the winner was declared on Valentine's Day?

Or what if Fortune 500 companies had poetry classes for their managers? Would not that be the ultimate out-of-the-box thinking and problem-solving bonanza on stereoids?

And what would happen if before one country attacked another, the presidents and top generals from both sides were forced to lock themselves in a room and write at least one poem, expressing why they hate the "other guys" and why they must fight? What if those poems were then distributed to the citizens of both nations and the world? Perhaps they would still go on and fight. And otherwise, just a tiny little shivering perhaps, they would not.

Without poetic abilities, branding easily degrades into a repetition of the past. If you are building a bridge, repetition of the past experience might actually be a beneficial discipline since no one wants to re-discover trigonometry every time there is a river to cross.

But in much more complex affairs of the heart, of which I consider international politics to institute just a small subset, the vulnerable freedom of a poem could be the only thing standing between our endangered humanity and the discovery of our birthright freedom – and even perhaps salvation.