LAC's 3 Blogateers: Introducing Melissa & Paul!

Drumroll please . . . I'm thrilled to introduce my two new LAC writing partners this week! As I mentioned in my year-end round-up post, as I prepare to launch a website under my own name in the coming months (I cannot WAIT for you to see it!!), I am bringing on two new writers here who are seasoned in different aspects of the after college experience.

We will each post 1-2 times per month—nothing too overwhelming—with a goal of bringing you even more targeted, original content than I'm able to provide on my own.

After much consideration about who and how many people to bring on, I chose just two — Melissa Anzman and Paul Angone — each of them because I deeply respect their work. Both of them are funny, wise, and insightful, and are committed to high-quality and insanely useful writing. AND both are still walking paths of their own, willing (and excited) to be open with all of you about their own ups and downs — a major must-have for this blog.

Introducing Paul Angone

From Jenny: Paul is a hilarious, heart-felt writer whose post, 21 Secrets for Your 20s went uber-viral (45K+ pins and 15K+ Facebook likes), and landed him a book deal which he will tell you more about in future posts. His posts are full of personality, totally relatable for those seeking in a variety of areas after college, and he's not afraid to ask and answer the big questions -- and share his bumps and wins along the way. 

{Enter Paul, Stage Left}

My name is Paul Angone, pronounced (An-go-knee), and I am an author, speaker, entrepreneur, story-teller, humorist, new dad, and creator of

But the Me me beyond titles is someone who is hell-bent on honestly discussing what’s really going on in our emerging adult years, guiding and inspiring others to rock their 20’s with more awesome than they know what to do with. My debut book releases this upcoming Spring 2013: All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! and my 21 Secrets for your 20’s ebook is free and ready to be taken into a good home.

I grew up in Colorado, have my degree in Communications Studies and a Masters in Organizational Leadership, and I live in Los Angeles with my beautiful wife and our two baby girls.

I’ll change all plans to watch a rerun of Saved by the Bell or Boy Meets World. When I really laugh it sounds like I’m hyperventilating and people run for help. I've driven the same Honda Civic since I was a senior in high school. And I learned the hard way that the Freshmen-Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle-Cincuenta. (dang you, office birthday parties).

[youtube id="v08i8w-E2xM"]

Questions & Answers

1. Why do you write? And why for those living life after college? I write for those experiencing life after college because it was so dang hard for me to find my life after college. I was traveling a lot for my job and started writing alone in motel rooms to try and make sense of what I was feeling and thinking. Because it was either write or watch another rerun of Friends while introducing myself to yet another vending machine down the hall. I started writing not to find any answers, but to just discover the right questions.

2. Love the name of your book and website — All Groan Up. How did you come up with the name? Honestly, it came to me years ago and I did nothing with it. I called my first blog Graduwait (clearly, puns are big for me) and all my 16 1/2 readers loved it. But when I was thinking of this new site for twentysomethings stuck in the void, my wife and I wrote down maybe fifty different names on a piece of paper, and All Groan Up rose to the top like a goldfish looking for a meal. All Groan Up just seem to encapsulate the hardship and hilarity of living life growing up, but not yet grown.

And it's punderful. So that's a plus.

3. What do you miss most about being a kid? Recess. And eating a pillowcase full of Halloween candy without gaining a pound.

4. What's been the biggest mistake you've made in your 20's? My biggest mistake was thinking I shouldn't make any.

5. What's one thing that you hope people will think at the end of each post you write at Life After College? Thank God I'm not alone.

Paul Angone is the creator of All Groan Up, a community for emerging adults searching for self, faith, and a freaking job. Snag a free copy of his ebook 21 Secrets for your 20’s and follow him at @PaulAngone.

Introducing Melissa Anzman

From Jenny: Melissa has years of in-depth HR experience under her belt, then struck out on her own last year to launch Loosen Your White Collar with the aim of helping people fall in love with their work again, whether that means figuring out how to advance within your company, or make the leap to a new one.  Her posts are sharp, insightful, relatable, tactical and action-oriented -- and she's created a fair-many templates in her time, so you know she has a place in my heart!

{Enter Melissa, Stage Right}

My name is Melissa. I’m a reformed corporate drone and Chief Career Officer (career coach, writer, and speaker) at Launch Your Job.

I’m a Gen Y solopreneur and former Human Resources leader, helping people fall in love with their jobs and understand how Human Resources really works. I became a full-time solopreneur in May 2012 and have since self-published two books: How to Land a Job and Stop Hating Your Job, while helping others get ahead at work and learn how to launch.

I am an avid book reader — like several books a week avid, I’ve had an ebook reader since 2004 (starting with the eBookwise through my current device – Sony PRS-T1), my favorite color is purple, I have a black cat who thinks he’s a dog (he plays catch people!), traveling on my own is one of my guiltiest pleasures, I have lived in seven cities in my post-college life,  I’m a huge football fan, and a secret Sprint Cup NASCAR enthusiast (probably not that secret anymore). And yes, I am addicted to paper and pens, coffee houses, and taking photographs.

[youtube id="UFy3upO_K_I"]

Questions & Answers

1. What can possibly be so exciting about Human Resources? When I first fell into HR, I thought it was pretty boring too - documenting people transactions, asking the same questions over and over again to candidates, and being ignored by other employees. But that was before I realized that a “good HR” can be so much. It’s about people: understanding human dynamics and making the biggest possible impact.

I like witnessing, evaluating, and ultimately understanding how people react in different situations; how motivation works; what people really think and feel in relation to work; and why people... settle. But more than all of that, I like being the “center spoke.” HR gets a ridiculously cool insider’s look of the company, senior leadership, and how things happen.

2. What does Loosen Your White Collar mean? It’s a play on the old school Blue Collar/White Collar job designation. I picked the “white collar” side of that equation because we are typically the cubicle/office dwellers who take ourselves way too seriously. And yes, I was one of them. It’s time that we all remembered that work is a part of our life, not all of it—hence, loosening that collar!

3. What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in high school? It’s really bad...and I have so many embarrassing moments from high school -- thanks to being a klutz (I know that “college” is the more obvious option, but this is way more embarrassing). I fell backwards down a flight of stairs right as passing period started in the most occupied (for seniors) hallway. Seriously. Backpack on, propelling me backwards and upside down, with more people than I’d like to acknowledge, watching me. Let’s just say, it wasn’t cool... at all. Luckily I wasn’t the cool kid, so it didn’t matter much...other than a few jokes for a week or two after. I also fell in the middle of the cafeteria in front of the senior bench...

4. What’s your favorite “quitting” story? I am awesome at quitting jobs, also known somewhat as a job-hopper. My favorite quitting story is from college (see, I told you I would eventually relive those years). I was working as a Resident Director at my dorm and had a different opinion than our Regional Property Manager about...rules for Halloween. So I quit two days before the biggest night for our dorm and moved all of my belongings out within 24 hours. It’s my favorite story because I a) quit over a principle; b) had to relocate my living space in a short amount of time; and c) I wasn’t in the real world yet, but I learned very quickly how important having a steady income can be.

5.  What do you hope readers at Life After College “learn” from you? That I have made more career mistakes than most, and I am still standing to tell the story! But more than that, it’s okay to take risks with your career; stepping outside of your comfort can bring you amazing results; going against the flow is possible; and HR really is the gatekeeper (and how to get around/through them!). And remember that success is hard-earned in your career, never entitled or given randomly.

Melissa Anzman is the creator of Launch Your Job  where she equips ambitious leaders with practical ways to grow their career. She is the author of two books: How to Land a Job and Stop Hating Your Job. Follow her @MelissaAnzman.

You'll be hearing from Melissa and Paul with their first posts in the next two weeks. Let's give them a very warm welcome to the LAC Community in the comments!