Tag Archives: unemployment

Remember to Thank the People Who Help You Out in Your Job Search

I have always been a huge advocate of helping people. Whether I am doing it for friends, family or complete strangers, I am always willing to lend a hand.

Recently, I have received a lot of calls and emails from people in the industry looking for PR work. Some are just out of school, some are looking for a career change and sadly, some have been laid off.

Having been out of work for over a year in 2009, I am more than happy to offer any assistance in that department. I know how important connections are and how beneficial networking can be, which is why I don’t think twice about giving back. Help was given to me when I needed it, so I like to think I’m paying it forward.

Recently however, I have found that acquaintances and people who have reached out to me because they are connected to me personally or professionally have zero appreciation for my help. Now don’t get me wrong, my close friends don’t fall into this bucket, but I find it so hard to believe that anyone that offers you help or that you look to for guidance  (especially someone you don’t know all that personally) doesn’t even bat an eye when you’re giving up your time for them.

For example, a guy I work with asked if there were PR openings in my department and if I could assist his friend Cindy with some leads I might be aware of. I was happy to help. The girl reached out to me and I sent her names of recruiters and some background info. I never heard from her again.

A former colleague asked if I could help a family friend apply to a media program my company was hiring for. She reached out to me and I submitted her resume along with a recommendation (it turns out she was also an alumna of my alma mater). I emailed to let her I had done the paperwork and gotten her resume to human resources. I also reached out to the man I used to work with to give him an update. Neither acknowledged my contribution.

A few months ago, a friend reached out to me to see if I could help her friend in his job search. I sent him some listings I knew of from PR groups I was a part of and also some tips on what helped me with my job search. He fell off the planet. When I told our friend, she seemed surprised, but it didn’t make a difference.

Look, I don’t need to be thanked for every single thing I do (hello, I work in PR, one of the most thankless jobs out there), but if you don’t know me, and if you do, but not really all that well, show a little appreciation that I went out of my way for you. I know people’s situations change and life is hectic, but you should never burn bridges. I learned that early on in my career. If someone is willing to take time out of their schedule to help you in a job search or anything else for that matter, make sure to recognize their efforts. It’s really not hard.

So to all you folks who are “networking” and “connecting,” don’t forget those that are trying to help you. It’ll go a long, long way.

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Are We Ever Truly Satisfied?

Are we ever really satisfied? It always seems like the closer we get to achieving success, greatness, or happiness, there is always more we’re looking to fulfill.

Maybe it’s because life was supposed to be a little easier than it has been for some of us. Weren’t we the generation that was going to have it all? Great jobs, 2.5 kids (what is it with that half kid – has anyone ever really understood that?), a house in the suburbs, lots of money and our best friends living right next door? I don’t know anyone in their late 20s or early 30s living that bundled fantasy right now, do you?

What I see today are friends struggling to have kids while MTV exploits pregnant 16-year-olds. Unemployment is through the roof (they’re not even hiring the unemployed anymore) and even when they tell you it’s getting better, it’s not, because who’s really getting ahead? And that house in the suburbs? It’s $16,000 in taxes and needs a complete makeover before you move in. Forget the beach house.

Yes, I sound like a cynic, I know. And I probably shouldn’t because I have a very, very lovely life. A life that I am thankful for each and every day. But I want something extraordinary, not just for me, but for everyone that surrounds me. I want those magnificent things we all deserve and have worked so hard for.  And while I don’t know exactly what those things might be right this second, I know it’s more than the hand some of us have been dealt.

So here’s to finding your satisfaction – whether it’s in your job, your quest for a new adventure, or even just to see those you love a little more. We all deserve it, so let’s figure out how to capture it and do it!

10 Friends and No Jobs. Yeah, I’m Serious.

I currently have 10 friends on the unemployment line. Can you believe that? On 10 fingers, I can count 10 people I know and hang out with who currently don’t have jobs. It’s really rather sickening.

What’s surprising about all of this is that each of us come from different industries. We’re publicists, graphic designers, customer service agents, teachers, marketers, sales professionals, bartenders, the list continues.

A handful of us have been without work for nearly a year or more. Others have just recently joined the ranks. It was never supposed to be this bad. No matter what we read, no matter how bad the economy got, it wasn’t supposed to be this many for this long.

Some of us are lucky enough to have spouses or significant others help us bear the burden of unemployment, but our family income has taken a severe hit. Others are being forced to move in with friends, downsize to smaller apartments, or borrow money from friends and family. What we all seem to have in common: we’re no longer getting ahead like we used to.

When you think about it, it’s amazing what unemployment can do to you. It takes away your money, your success, and your spirit. It beats you when you’re down and doesn’t give a shit that you’re already having a bad day. It doesn’t discriminate: it doesn’t care where you live, what color you are, or what your religious beliefs are. Bottom line, it sucks.

When 10 of your friends are in the same boat, sometimes it’s not so bad. You have each other and can understand what you’re all going through. But when 10 of your friends don’t have jobs and they need them, they want them, and they have tried so goddamn hard to get them for months on end, you start to wonder what the f*ck is going on?

How’d You Get THAT From My Resume?

Information Security Analyst. Licensed Practical Nurse. Project Engineer. Screen Printer. Speech-Language Pathologist. Intern.

Do any of these scream Public Relations / Communications professional to you? Yeah, me neither. But for some reason, they always seem to pop up in my daily job alerts.

I subscribe to a lot of job boards that automatically send you searches each day in an effort to “weed out” the jobs that don’t match your skill set or preferred job type. I have tailored these alerts time and again to meet my specific criteria.  After a year of job hunting, I have come to the conclusion that these saved job searches are a piece of crap.

I don’t know how anything in my resume would qualify me to be an Information Security Analyst. My specialties are internal and external communications, writing, and media strategies; not cyber threats and computer technology.  C’mon CareerBuilder, get your act together!

While there might be some similarities in the words in my resume and the professions listed above (can anyone say COMMUNICATIONS?), doesn’t nearly everyone have communications in their resume these days? Don’t we all possess communications skills in one way or another? Interpersonal, oral, visual, written, etc.? In this day of technological advancement, isn’t there some tool that can separate these jobs from one another? I mean, are the nurse, screen printer and project engineer getting my PR listings?

The job hunt is a daily struggle in and of itself.  The last thing any jobless person needs is a worthless job alert.  So to all the career sites out there that send automated job alerts, please do your due diligence to the unemployed and send the right jobs to your subscribers or don’t send any at all!

Today is HAPPO – NYC PR Pro Ready for Action!

I’m selling myself for Help a PR Pro Out Day (HAPPO), taking place on February 19 and April 30. Everything else I have done to find a job hasn’t worked so maybe this will help me and all my creative PR friends find jobs again and we’ll live happily ever after.

So for all you employers out there looking for a talented PR professional with nearly 10 years experience in communications, public relations and writing, you have come to the right place. Here I am! Hire me!

Most recently, I worked with the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey as the Director of Communications.  I experienced things in this role that I never thought imaginable. I traveled to disaster ravaged areas in a public affairs role, meeting with local and national media to deliver the message of the Red Cross. I was humbled by families who were impacted by disaster and built bonds with colleagues from across the nation.  I was N.J.’s lead spokesperson during two of the most notable aviation disasters in the northeast: US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River and Continental Airlines flight 3407 in Buffalo. I watched miracles and heartbreak occur within a month of one another.  And then they eliminated my department.

Whether I was on the ground or behind a desk, it was my job to make sure the mission of the organization was relayed to the public. I built a department from nothing. It was a challenge but something I am so proud of.  I did everything PR related.  Press releases, media interviews, collateral materials, editorial web content, fundraising and crisis communications, strategic planning, managing umbrella chapters’ communications; should I keep going?

Prior to joining a non-profit, which was a life-long dream, I worked with agencies in New York City handling the day-to-day duties of public relations.

In addition to my work in non-profit and media/entertainment, my industry experience spans corporate, beauty, fashion and consumer. I am also a contributing writer with a local newspaper in Essex County, New Jersey and a writer for Examiner.com

What I love about PR is bringing groundbreaking news or technology into the lives of everyday people. I like seeing an idea that seems lifeless suddenly grow leaps and bounds, all because of careful execution, determination and skill. I miss that. I miss being a part of that. Help bring me back there!

I’m on LinkedIn and Twitter and you can read my inner workings here. I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks for helping out this community. It’s been a rough year for our industry.

Why Finding a Job is a Lot Like Dating

I have come to the conclusion that finding a job is like dating. While I am not on the market for a man, I am for a job and have been for some time. And I recently realized how looking for a full-time career is just like looking for a mate.

Think about it. When you are on the prowl for a job, you try hard to find something that suits you just perfectly. An occupation you can see yourself in for a few years, accomplish goals, learn new things, have some fun. When you finally find something that might be the right fit, you make a move. You apply online, network through friends or former colleagues, make some calls, meet up for drinks; basically, you look for a way to get hooked up.  You’ve made the first move. And then you wait. You wait for an email, a phone call, some form of communication.

It’s on – they want to set a date. For an interview that is. You pick out your prettiest outfit, make sure your hair is in place and pull out those fabulous pair of shoes that have been sitting in the closet since you got laid off. You’re on time, even a little early to show your enthusiasm and dependability. You want this person to know you are a keeper! The interview goes great and they tell you the words every candidate hates to hear, “We’ll be in touch.”

You do your due diligence. You send a grand-spanking thank you note, expressing your extreme interest in the job. You make sure you aren’t too forward, as to not scare the potential suitor off, but enough to show your excitement. And then you wait again. Every time the phone rings, you hope it’s that employer. Whenever you open your email, it’s the only thing you can think about. Days become weeks and there’s no response. You reach out and send a friendly hello to remind them of your sparkling personality and interest in them. Still, nothing.

And then it’s over. Somehow you find out it didn’t work out. Through an email, a friend, it really doesn’t matter at that point. They wanted to be with someone else. You weren’t the right fit, you didn’t have the qualities they were looking for, but it was great meeting you and they are sure you’ll find someone else. All that time, energy and hope, flushed away on another company that didn’t want to be with you. But this has happened before. You’ve been dealt this hand time and again, especially in this market. It just wasn’t meant to be.  Don’t get discouraged. All it means is this job wasn’t for you and the right one is still out there waiting for you. Go get ’em tiger!

Help! My Portfolio Has Been Hijacked by City Hall

In September, I interviewed for what I thought was an amazing job. It was for the public information officer position in my hometown of Hoboken.  I met with our interim mayor at the last-minute, over a holiday weekend, and thought it went fabulously. She took my portfolio and asked for my references.

She said the position needed to be filled immediately, but weeks went by and there was no follow-up. When I checked in, I was told interviews were still being conducted. I was cool with that. The job market has changed drastically and it’s not the same finding a gig today as it used to be. Whereas two years ago, you may have gone on one or two interviews within two weeks, these days, you may go through three to five over a two month period.

As the weeks progressed, I heard nothing. Ok, I thought, maybe the position was on hold while she was running for permanent office; maybe it was canceled due to lack of funding; or perhaps it was filled internally. Whatever the case, it would have been nice to have received a follow-up, but better yet, to have gotten my work back.

I called and emailed the mayor’s office for weeks with no response. The mayor had given me her personal email but my attempts proved unsuccessful.  I left messages with people in her office who promised they would relay my concern about my portfolio but still no movement. I reached out to the mayor’s aide who at one point said he’d get me my stuff by the end of the week, only to be forgotten about.

HELP! My press portfolio is being hijacked in city hall! Ok, I am being a bit dramatic here, but seriously, I brought great samples of my work to this interview because it was something I wanted; I truly wanted to impress. In this economy, it’s sin that anyone would ignore repeated attempts to get someone’s work back. Being too busy is not an acceptable reason. I’m a resident (an unemployed one at that!) of your community; please, show me a little respect!

I shouldn’t have to write a blog to get my work back, but maybe it will work.