Today marks one year in New York City.

Exactly one year to the day since I flew here by myself, collected the keys from my broker in the dark, went straight to Target to buy an air mattress and other essentials, and got caught in a downpour. I remember sitting in my empty living room at 10pm on a yoga mat I’d somehow deemed to be as necessary as hand soap and toilet paper but still have never properly used, completely drenched and feeling rather sorry for myself.

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But then I changed into dry clothes and walked half a block to the neighborhood restaurant. I sat at the bar, planning to be thoroughly engrossed in my phone as I consumed two glasses of wine and the most indulgent dish on the menu. But my phone didn’t stand a chance. Over two hours I met what felt like the entire neighborhood, including a very sweet older couple who handed me a cocktail napkin with their address and insisted I “come visit anytime.” (I wish I could say I did.) And at the end of the night, I wasn’t allowed to pay for my (at least) three glasses of wine. …

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Photo: Jared Erondu/Unsplash

Silicon Valley is a magical place with some strange norms—perhaps because companies, careers, and fortunes rise and fall with such astounding speed. Here are a few of the quirky, brutal, and hopefully useful lessons I learned during my 11 years living and working in the technology industry’s epicenter.

1. There’s opportunity in what others undervalue

There’s a rigid hierarchy of functions in Silicon Valley. At the top of the pyramid sit the entrepreneurs, the engineers, the venture capitalists. The closer you are to building or funding, the more respect you get—which probably makes sense. But when I began my career in tech, I wasn’t prepared for how little respect is left over for other functions: recruiting, HR, marketing, communications, etc. …

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Saul Loeb / AP

So you have a big job interview coming up? Luckily, Brett Kavanaugh just led by example in his interview for one of the most important jobs in the nation. If these tactics are good enough for Brett, surely they’ll work for you. Even the President approved!

Just follow these seven simple steps to claim the job you’re already entitled to.

1. Hit your talking points, again and again.

Going into an interview, you won’t necessarily know what questions you’ll be asked — but frankly, that doesn’t matter. The most important thing you can do to prepare is to develop a set of talking points that you will bring up again and again and again. If you played varsity sports in high school, that is a very relevant thing to mention, especially if you’re now in your 50s. It’s also incredibly important to talk about your grades and how you had no help getting into an Ivy League institution. …


Ashley Mayer

All things communications. Beauty by way of venture capital and enterprise software. Newly in New York.

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