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Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

Thank you!Over the past few months, I’ve had to rely a bit on others. I emailed contacts for job leads, asked to have my resume sent out, asked for people’s time and understanding, and for recommendations. During all these favors, the majority of people have been beyond willing to help. Sure, you get a few here and there who can’t be bothered, but by and large, people want to help.

One of the jobs I am waiting to hear back from was never posted online. I only knew about it from person A, who put me in touch with an old co-worker, person B (the job). Person A has never met me and only knows me through a mutual connection. When I was first laid off, I contacted everyone I knew for help. A got back to me and said A’s ears would be open. Two weeks later, A had a job lead for me, and I had an interview and new prospect. Even people you’ve never met before can answer your questions and offer advice and connections.

You should never, ever be shy about asking for help, but you shouldn’t just keep taking it without paying it back, or forward. I might never be able to help person A (or maybe one day I will), but whenever you wonderful readers ask me questions or students get in touch with me for advice, I take the time to help them. It makes the world go round, it’s good karma and it really brightens that person’s day.

This holiday season, make sure you carve out time to help others and thank those who helped you. The holidays are a great excuse to network, too. Be sure to send cheerful notes to your contacts and wish them a happy and healthy New Year. A little note like that can go a long way.

Till tomorrow,
C

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supermarketA big part of surviving a layoff (after acceptance) is seeing where you stand financially and cutting back accordingly. When you are trying to cut back on spending, money spent on food is the first to go. No more ordering in or going out to eat twice a week, no more skim lattes and those morning egg sandwiches are going to be home made from here on out. But what about at the supermarket? If you always end up spending more than you planned, check out these tips I wrote for Cheapines.com on avoiding food shopper’s remorse:

  1. Go on a full stomach. Rule number one of successful food shopping: Never go hungry. I don’t know the exact statistics behind it, but you are way more likely to grab items off the shelf that you don’t need, (read: Oreos) when your stomach is rumbling.
  2. Take a detailed list. Another way to stop grabbing things you don’t need is knowing what you actually do need. Don’t just write, “milk, eggs, cheese.” Knowing exactly what you are there to get—skim milk, Laughing Cow light spreadable cheese and a dozen large eggs—will also help prevent you from grabbing chocolate milk, two dozen eggs and Monterey Jack on top of what you really needed to get.
  3. Let go of brand names. I love Honey Nut Cheerios. But my local store’s brand of “honey Os” is just as yummy and a buck and a half less (sorry General Mills). I also get store brand bread, milk, eggs, cheese, turkey, jelly—basically everything I can. If you bought 15 items of store brand products and they were all $1 cheaper than the originally brand, that’s $15 in your pocket, no life change necessary.
  4. Don’t be too trusting. Always check the unit price to determine if you are really catching a sale, or if your supermarket is just making it look that way. Let’s say Welch’s Jelly is $3 per 16 oz and Smucker’s Jelly is $2 per 16 oz. If Welch’s is on sale 2 for $5, Smucker’s is still cheaper by $.50 per jar. Don’t just trust a sale sign, look into it for yourself.
  5. Watch the register. Good Housekeeping recommends staying on top of each item at the register. Since stores’ sales often change weekly, their scanners are constantly being updated. Just because Welch’s was advertised as 2 for $5, doesn’t guarantee the scanner isn’t going to ring it up at $3 per jar. Watch as items get scanned and don’t be shy to point out the mistakes.
  6. Make two trips. This one comes from Good Housekeeping, too. When you are food shopping, don’t head down the personal-care aisle or look for other non-grocery items. Get what you came for and avoid paying for convenience by stopping by a pharmacy on your way home for that mouthwash that would have cost you an extra buck at the supermarket.

Till tomorrow,
C

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ear
(Ok, failed attempt on posting twice in one day. But I was so close…)

Yesterday, while blogging to you about what job articles you should check out, I was hanging in Montclair State University‘s Audiology Department with my ear-loving pal, Raia. She needed some extra observation hours, I’ve got some free time and before you know it, people were prodding my little ears with foreign tools (the good news is I actually woke up on time, so there was no need for Raia to throw pennies at my window).

According to trusty source Wikipedia, an audiologist is “a healthcare professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular system portions of the ear.” That means (most simply speaking) that they deal with inner ear balances issues (think vertigo), deafness, hearing loss, aids and implants.

A second year audiology student was playing with my ears and testing my hearing for about 40 minutes while Raia observed the whole shebang. Since I’m as curious as a cat (a fine characteristic of a good journalist if I do say so myself), I asked a whole bunch of questions from “What is this in my ears? It really itches” to “Explain why you used this specific pattern of words for me to repeat—what do these particular sounds indicate?” My intense curiosity prompted the actual audiologist in the room to suggest to Raia that I apply to the program.

Although this was quite a nice compliment and I love the cochlea as much as the next guy, I can’t help but think such a drastic career change six short months after graduating college is not a good idea. Sure, I went to college thinking I was going to be an M.D., studied pre-med (and cried myself to sleep three weeks into Bio 101) and have dealt with medicine and science in my real life, my whole life (I have a parent with a chronic disease), but does that mean I’m to abandon my editorial dreams and give it all up for the ear? Yes, it would fulfill my desire to help others but what about media?

I shrugged off the audiologist’s and Raia’s compliments on my research abilities and intelligence. Then earlier tonight I was doing my nightly tweets, when I stumbled upon U.S. News & World Report’s Best Careers 2009. There it was—audiology—in slightly large, bold print. Was this a sign?

It’s scary to see the media world morphing and collapsing faster than any of us can comprehend, but as silly as it may sound to others, I know I’m not going anywhere. I’m riding this crazy storm out. People still need the news. People still want information. As long as there is that need, the media will stick around in some form or another, and I truly believe that.

No matter where you are in your career, have you been thinking/fantasizing about doing something else in this economy? How are you handling it?

Till tomorrow,
C

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Dad and Grandpa, Thanksgiving

Dad and grandpa in their Yankee caps on Turkey Day.

I definitely fell off the normal schedule wagon. Ever since Wednesday, I have been all over the place and barely getting anything resembling normal sleep. I had that early meeting Wednesday (when Raia threw pennies at my window) and didn’t get home till late that night. Thursday I was up nice and early to cook (successfully I might add. I’ve yet to blog about my mediocre-to-crappy cooking skills) and helping Dad out with the meal. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving—everyone was healthy, happy and glad to be with each other. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Later that night (and early this morning), I went Black Friday midnight madness-ing with my boyfriend Andrew, his brother and Raia. I was disappointed Burberry didn’t open till 7, but I nabbed a few good deals, walked around with a muff (wait, what? See photo) Me and the muffand I think everyone had a nice time (there weren’t even that many crowds to fight through!). The only problem was the whole getting to sleep at 7am thing. I slept till 1:00pm today. I am a bum.

I spent the rest of today vegging out, relaxing, making innovative creations out  of my leftovers and hanging with my Mom. I feel terrible I didn’t do more job  work, but I think I needed a couple of days off from the search. I had to put things in perspective, clear my head and get myself back on track. Tomorrow is back to the grind.

Don’t feel guilty about taking a break and some time for yourself, especially during the holidays. Don’t sleep in till 1pm everyday and watch marathons of True Life (not like I did that today or anything…), but it is OK to relax once in a while, even if you are unemployed.

Till tomorrow,
C

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Phase 2

I’m done apologizing for my lack of posts. I don’t know what is wrong with me–I think I am losing motivation. I need projects or I get restless, so I have created one for myself. I am entering Phase 2 of the job process.

Phase 1 was using sites like Ed2010 and MediaBistro to find jobs. This is a nice method but I need some more human contact that doesn’t just result in an edit test.

Phase 1.5 was getting off my butt. I bought magazines I don’t normally read like Glamour, Portfolio, O, Nylon, Cookie and Vanity Fair. I found I liked Vanity Fair a lot and was intrigued by Glamour. I attended a magazine conference to meet people as well as a publishing seminar. Still need more human contact.

Phase 2 is meeting my peers. I have some friends in high places but as Garth Brooks delightfully sings, friends in low places are good company to keep. I need to talk with people in my boat–people working the lower-on-the-masthead jobs, people trying to get jobs and the people I might eventually be working with. I am going to some networking events, one particularly geared towards EAs and interns, and I’m excited. All my friends are in business, one is in medical, some are going to be teachers and the others are kind of floundering around. They are all great but I need to talk to some people who understand what I’m going through.

I’ve also been thinking (probably like everyone else in the universe) that I want to write a memoir. I think mine would be best in the form of essays. I’ve already got a lot of material–getting kicked out of the San Diego Zoo, numerous study abroad experiences, my pal Alana beating up a guy after my 21st birthday party, my pops and I looking for jobs at the same time, several childhood tales involving parental craziness and flying shoes and a whole bunch of others I haven’t brainstormed yet. I’ve heard you can’t use anything for your book from your blog (as in I cant divulge all the details of my ridiculous life on the net if I want to make into a book that sells), so I can’t go any further about this topic, sorry kids.

On the bright side, things are in the works. Several things at that, so once I get any news I shall let you know. By the way, Phase 2 includes blogging more. I know that sounds like almost the exact opposite of human contact, but I am counting my readers as people that I might eventually have real-world contact with–like employers and even some friends in low places.

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