Working weird hours this week and everything is terrible

As of the writing of this (2:21am) I am on day 2 of 3 days working on central European time, due to a very large conference in Stockholm that most of my coworkers are attending. Officially my hours are 2am-11am, but unofficially it’s been more like 12am-12pm.

I am dizzy. My biological clock is mush.

And I have discovered that the actual worst thing about working odd hours is that you are COMPLETELY ISOLATED AND FATIGUED. It’s dark out, everyone is sleeping, and it feels like I am back in school pulling an all-nighter. I am drinking coffee and pigging out on McDonald’s because I’ve been too tired to cook. As the sun starts to come up, I put on NPR in the background just to hear the sound of a human voice even though hearing live and constant updates about this massacre in Las Vegas is making me sick and sad.

I hate this.

(BUT NOT THE OVERTIME PAY. THAT PART IS AWESOME.)

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How to get a job in DC (without knowing anyone)

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I am sometimes asked how I got my DC job. Or DC jobs, rather. At the time of writing these words, I have been living in DC for 4.5 years, and am currently on my third job in this town. In this post, I try to distill what five years of cover letters, networking attempts and disastrous interviews have taught me about trying to land a job in DC — particularly if you’re standing on the outside and looking in, with no one to vouch for you from the inside. Continue reading

‘Kindly revert’ and other email quirks

I have started a new blog.

In this first post, I would like to discuss a topic that is fascinating to me: emails, and the way we write them. I am just coming off two-plus years working at a large intergovernmental organization (DC speak: IGO) where only about 20 percent of the staff was from North America. As I transition into my new job at a small nonprofit that consists mainly of Americans, I am noticing certain phrases, quirks and patterns in my email style that were shaped not only by my years at the IGO, but also by the various bosses, interviewers, and other individuals I’ve come in contact with during my professional career. It is worth reflecting on a few of them, below: Continue reading