Gail Pierris on Unending Determination

By Karen Loew

Published May 21, 2013, issue of May 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Gail Pierris, 62
New York City

Gail Pierris
Courtesy Gail Pierris
Gail Pierris

Job: Executive assistant to the business manager of DC9, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

Previously: Executive assistant at the New-York Historical Society

Pierris has degrees in museum education and art history, and has worked in everything from travel and publishing to finance. She enjoys the perks and challenges of being an executive assistant, but was laid off from her last job due to budget cuts; the role was given to a junior employee.

Out of work: “I was unemployed for eight months. It was not a vacation. I was on the computer and I was interviewing. I got anywhere between one and five interviews a week. They’re shopping — it’s a buyers market. Age does play into it, but I don’t talk about my age; I talk about my experience.”

Looking ahead: “I started as temp to perm at DC9. You prefer to be hired because of the benefits. I’m expecting to get on payroll. Basically I’ll stay there and grow with the job. They’re getting comfortable with me and I’m getting comfortable with them. I’m learning and adapting.”

Advice for job seekers: “There is ageism, but I don’t let it stop me. Color your hair and get your nails and makeup done. It doesn’t matter if you’re not 25. But you have to look professional and contemporary. You can look nice at every price point. Take all the dates off your resume. I refuse to let age stop me. I have the experience and skill set.”

Jewish community: “Going to services on Friday night is uplifting because you’re surrounded by a community of nice people who only wish the best for you. It’s basically unconditional love and support. I’ve been a member at Brotherhood Synagogue for five years. I know the women that run the Brotherhood Networking Group. When I was out of work last time, I went to a couple of meetings and met the resume man. It was the best $250 I ever spent. My resume has stood me well.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.