Posted by Bossip Staff
This recession is so real that even experienced 6 figga niccas are feeling it:
Sitting in a bare cubicle, with her reading glasses perched halfway down her nose and typing away on a laptop she’d brought from home, Lois Draegin looked a bit like the extra adult wedged in at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving.
This accomplished magazine editor lost her six-figure job at TV Guide last spring and is now, at 55, an unpaid intern at wowOwow.com, a fledgling website with columns and stories that target accomplished women older than 40.
“The Women on the Web,” or WOW, needed Draegin’s magazine-world wisdom, and she needed their guidance through a maze of technology that was as baffling to her as hieroglyphics. In a search for a new job in the media, she had suddenly found herself techno-challenged. She didn’t know a URL from SEO.
It wasn’t until she was teamed up with Randi Bernfeld at WOW that she understood the obsession with terms such as search engine optimization (a method to increase traffic to a website) or used Google Trends to pick story topics and write a uniform resource locater (Web address).
“She’s my mentor,” Draegin said of 24-year-old Bernfeld.
“No, she’s my mentor,” Bernfeld replied.
They were working at adjacent desks, and most often it was Draegin who was asking Bernfeld questions across the barrier.
Joni Evans, former president of Simon & Schuster and chief executive of WOW, has recruited several other victims of the downsizing in publishing as interns — her site’s way of doing good in a bad economy.
“I think of this as a very WOW model — women helping women, bringing us all back to our true ethic of empowering each other,” Evans said. She is one of five founders of the site; the others are columnist Peggy Noonan, “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl, advertising executive Mary Wells and gossip columnist Liz Smith.
Draegin took the internship at WOW as a creative way to fill out her resume while waiting out a collision of bad events that has stalled her career: She is in a media industry that was in a free-fall even before the recession took hold.
Other laid-off workers are attempting to be inventive by using newer social networking tools like LinkedIn and Twitter to find jobs. Some are even employing what Betsy Werley of the Transition Network calls the “extreme consulting model.”
An internship?? This recession is some bullsh*t. Somebody MapQuest the directions to Africa ’cause we’re blowing this joint. SMH