Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Breaking news: Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk fired at Yahoo

I wasn't planning on blogging this week but when i came across this news feed item on Facebook about my (virtual) friend Penelope I did a double take. What happens when a career advice writer gets fired? Well her post from today says it all.

Penelope is perhaps the most read career advice columnist/blogger on the planet right now. She's smart and controversial which makes her blog one of my daily reads. Job hunters everywhere should read her.

Its curious why the management decided to can her. Her column was one of their most popular draws on Yahoo Finance. But cheer up Penelope, job hunting season is just around the corner and I'm sure employers will be bidding for your services any day now.
In the meantime, could you put in a word for me at Yahoo? I hear they're hiring.


Anonymous said...

P. Trunk aka Big-Nose aka Clownface is a total idiot. Half of her traffic on yahoo was people looking for a laugh in the comments section. Her advice is generally reckless, foolish, or simply empty.

Ken said...

Mr. Russell,

I've had the pleasure of reading regularly Ms. Trunk's articles at Yahoo Finance as well as her blog material. There were several things working against her being taken seriously which were not insignificant.

First, as a 40-something writer, she seemed only able to identify with a 20-something workforce as if an identity crisis were at work within her. She really had nothing good to say about her generation and her writing seemed both extreme and dismissive at times.

Second, one of her recent blog posts titled "Five things people say about Christmas that drive me nuts" made some valid points but came off as unnecessarily hostile and very intolerant of Christians. This was very unbecoming of a writer of stature and her points could have been made in a less hateful tone.

Finally, when one attempts to assemble a biography of her based on her writings, the "numbers" don't add up in a "James Frey" sort of way. It's as if a lot of embellishment is served disguised as fact. For example, her own writng describes her fast climb up "the corporate ladder" in her 20's, but other online sources (including her own writing under several changed names) shows a professional beach volleyball career and late-twenties college attendance which contradicts the timing of her corporate life.

Her desire to offer non-traditional career advice after being fired from numerous jobs for incompetence, failure to perform etc etc (by her own admission) made her writing hard to take seriously and apply to real life. She became a writer after winning a contest for crying out loud.

In hindsight, Yahoo probably didn't do her any favors by placing her career advice on their financial site, either. There wasn't much relevance there. Unfortunately, she became easy to pick on due to various inconsistencies in her writing. One point she makes quite often is about the value of blogs...but it seems her own blog entries may have brought her down.

I'd like to see Ms. Trunk address the reported inconsistencies within her profile to get her back on track.

Thank you!
(I'm a cheesehead just like Penelope!)

C.M Russell said...

No need for name calling 'anonymous'. And I completely disagree with you.

Phil said...

I think it's fantastic reading the various bloggers who have been upset by the firing of Penelope. Come on, either these bloggers have never worked in the real world or they live in a dream world. PT has never given good or consistent career "advice". You would think she is 25 by the way she writes. She inflates her resume to one that is very misleading. She constantly refers to her "pro volleyball" career. She doesn't mention it lasted about 5 months during one spring/summer. Her validity as a former executive is just ridiculous.

PT never gave real useable advice to her readers. She only was setting up the recent college grads for failure. For instance, she advocated just taking leave or vacation when you wanted and without notifying your boss. She linked her blog site from the various professional columns she submitted and on her blogs she badmouthed her husband and their failing marriage, talked about flirting when you are married, how she is hit on constantly, etc. Real professional.

The only sad part of this all is that me and my fellow co-workers will no longer have a great Thursday article to read from PT. It always helped the afternoon go by. I am not going to say she shouldn't be writing, but I will safely say she should not be writing about giving career advice. She has never had one herself. And I read she is now teaming up with two young guys who are giving out career advice themselves after being out of college about one year. Real smart move. Well her cult members will buy into it. God help anyone else who falls for her advice!

C.M Russell said...

Oh, what a tangled web she weaves.

Anonymous said...

Ms Trunk was popular mainly because she offerred such inane, witless 'advice' that she outraged intelligent readers who then wrote fabulously funny comments. She will be missed like the pleasure you get from scratching a severe case of poison ivy!