by Kathy Scott | Featured Contributor
I like doing contract work. It allows me flexibility and I have the opportunity to meet new people, but I always keep my options. A few weeks ago a colleague sent me an email about a content strategist position for a start-up company. I’ll call the company K. I was intrigued so I sent my resume and connected with K’s IT Designer, Daniel. I forwarded some of my work, which he liked. He then invited me to come and meet with K’s partners the following week.
The day of the meeting, it was pouring. I parked in the garage and on my way out, I ran into K’s Biz Dev guy, Dion, waiting for the rain to subside under an overhang and we had a pleasant conversation. He introduced me to a bearded man beside him dressed in shorts, a t-shirt with a baseball cap who happened to be the CEO. I say “happened to be” because he was acting as if he was in hiding. A few seconds later, he handed me his umbrella and ran out into the rain and up the stairs to the K office.
It would only be later that I realized Brad’s hurried exit was done to herald my arrival. I assume he wanted to make sure his partners were clear on where he stood. I know I must have scared him standing there with It right there in his face. I didn’t even try to cover it up. I’ve learned to live with It, but I know prejudices are out there. So there you go. It’s out there. Now everyone knows – I am 50 years old!
I would not have caught on to Brad other than the fact that he didn’t attend the meeting after our initial encounter and it was clear he was supposed to be there. Mark, the operations guy gave an excuse, said he might make it, but he never did. Mark, who was bald and most likely well into his forties, also said maybe three words during the interview. He was trying to be polite.
About 45 minutes in, messages were sent via a board behind me and they all got up and left, saying they had a meeting. It happened so fast, I barely had time to put on my rain hat, change out of my heels into my orthopedic rain boots and set my flip phone back to vibrate. I did, however, also bring my iPhone and took a selfie with the company headquarters in the background, #worstjobinterviewever, then I tweeted it and posted it on my Tumblr page. I also put it on my Instagram using the Walden filter with a dancing emoticon #live.
The Secret Knock
Age doesn’t always factor into whether one understands the social, interactive landscape. A significant demographic of Linkedin’s membership is 50 and over and they have money. According to themuse.com, the average social gamer is a 43 year-old woman. While most know that Pinterest users are women, more are in the 18-49 age group. But none of those statistics are relevant if, at the end of the day, a product isn’t attracting eyes or converting to purchases.
Age is inevitable (not a revelation), but today’s opportunities are bigger and better than ever for individuals at any age. But if you are looking for a sure way to blend in today’s hip social scene, and you are letting It hang out for all to see, I can offer a few tips that can shoot you to immediate inclusion in any youth demographic where social listening can get your finger on the pulse. And that, after all, appears to be the question of what we are capable of achieving. If business execs in the tech field think women don’t understand what motivates youth or the younger demographic, they should spend one day with us away from work. Women, old or young understand the social media market for one very key reason, we have studied the demographic far more than any researcher. We know what makes them tick and what will gain their loyalty.
For those who are looking for a crash course to infiltrate this dynamic group, I offer you a few tips and cultural appropriations.
• It’s not a headshot, it’s a Selfie and your Facebook and Instagram must have a least 30. Include a hashtag. If you don’t know what to include just use #live
• Hashtag the hell out of everything
• Follow people you don’t know on Instagram, especially celebrities. Beg them to follow you
• Know everything about Harry Styles
• Jump into a Twitter feed and profess your undying love to One Direction or any boy band/internet celebrity
• Stop using Facebook
• Put a password on your iPhone
• Don’t smile around adults
• Create a fake Vine account and follow a Magcon boy
• Read fan fiction and pretend to be disgusted
• Get a Spotify account
• Make sure your Spotify playlist is trending on your social media
• Pay hundreds of dollars for concert tix and watch the live show through your cell phone while you attempt to take pix to post
• Add your location to you cell phone and post when you go to cool places, ie. Mall #shoppingwithmybesties
• Find quiet time alarming
• Take another selfie
Kathy Scott launched Me and My 1000 Girlfriends, That’s Who! in 2011 as a Facebook community of women poised to assist each other when asked to create and distribute emails, phone calls or letters. City council members, senators and governors were recipients of communication including Florida politicians interested in creating controversial 2011 Teacher Merit Pay Legislation, which planned to tie teacher salaries to students’ grades. The move would have hurt some underperforming low income areas where many teachers most wanted to teach, but would be unable to do so with the low pay rate. The legislation was hotly debated with 1000 Girlfriends doing their best to communicate to legislators. The law was later vetoed by Governor Crist.
Scott can be heard every Wednesday evening at 7pm ET at the Women on the Move Blog Talk Radio program. She recently launched her clothing and premium design – Women’s Party of America available on her Website under the Shop tab. Her success mantra is: Failure is not an option. Connect with 1000 Girlfriends on Twitter and at Facebook.