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Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Happy New Year!

Lovely Galley readers, I missed you while I was away, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed not being plugged in constantly. I needed a break from searching and reading and though I feel guilty about it, I’m trying not to.

Many folks say they don’t make New Year’s resolutions because they don’t keep them. Well, I’m making some that I can keep. Don’t make resolutions so outlandish you could never reach them, but at the same time, there is nothing wrong with shooting for the moon. As the poster in my sixth grade classroom said, “even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

New Year’s Resolutions for those looking for a job and freelancers (I’m doing these too!):

1) Be happy and stop feeling guilty. Be yourself, even if you were laid off. Smile, watch your favorite shows, make your favorite dinner; don’t think every waking moment needs to be devoted to your job search. All work and no play is no good, even if your work is not bringing a paycheck home every two weeks. Do not feel guilty about enjoying yourself, this will not only make you miserable, but it can hinder your job search as you become more and more resentful of your situation.

2) Stay motivated. The position you applied for has been cut, and three of your clients can’t afford you right now. It’s rough and it’s not pleasant, but you can’t let it keep you down. Wallowing and pitying yourself will get you no where. Fall and get back up as many times as it takes. Talk to those around you, visit message boards and vent in your journal when you need to get all that disappointment out. It is normal to be upset, but you still can’t let it get the best of you.

3) Do more for your search. Sending out a pitch letter every two weeks and occasionally leaving your house to go to a networking event is only putting in 50% effort. If you want to see real results, you need to get out there. Tweet 10 times a day on Twitter, attend every free webinar in your field, go to networking events and events that could be networking events (like a reading from a book that was just published about your field—the author and the participants are all potential connections).

4) Use social networks to their fullest. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can bring you new fans and friends, but they can also land you new assignments and score you full-time gigs. Take the time to learn what makes these platforms tick. Get started here:

8 Ways Twitter Can Build Your Freelance Business

10 Traits of Highly Effective Twitter Users

10 Ways to Use LinkedIn

This wont be the last time we talk about these resolutions. I’m going to keep you posted on how I am doing with them every few months, or if something comes up (like me falling off the wagon or reaching a new audience, whatever comes first). I want you to do the same. You don’t have to broadcast it to the world, but every month, revisit your resolutions and give yourself your own progress report.

Here’s to a fabulous 2009! (It can’t be worse than 2008, right??)

Till tomorrow,
C

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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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bookEveryone seemed to like my reading suggestions last week, so let’s keep this new feature going. When I search the web for content, I’m looking for writing advice, where to find gigs, increasing my network, career advice, ideas for this blog, media trends and news, ideas for freelancing and budgeting, and ideas for the clients I already work for. This explains the random range of articles that I’ll feature on “What to Read.” Keep sending me what you are curious about, and I’ll keep finding awesome and educational reads. Here is double the amount from last week’s “What to Read,” from giving gifts with meaning to networking tips and 100 places to find a job.

  1. Social Media Predictions 2009– Exactly what it sounds like and you can download a sweet .pdf. Hint: Web 2.0 is about passion and quality, not quantity (though that is important, too).
  2. How to Blog and Grow Rich– Makes it sound easier than it is, but some helpful tips.
  3. Are all Bloggers Journalists?– A very personal and interesting take on this endless debate.
  4. How to Give Gifts Unconditionally– A very sweet take on cheap and thoughtful gifts (and just in time for you holiday procrastinators).
  5. 8 Job Interview Tips– They are a bit obvious (like looking the interviewer in the eyes), but these gentle reminders are still key interview rules, and this article is nice crash course.
  6. How to Update Your Resume– Again, some are gentle reminders, but all are very important. These tips (like preparing a separate resume to tackle salary history questions), are a great place to start if you are beginning to revamp your resume.
  7. Personal Branding Lessons from an Advertising Exec– Great tips like, “Define and articulate your vision, mission, and message” and my personal favorite, “Learn and grow professionally.”
  8. Top 100 Blogs– If you are trying to get a new job, freelance write or blog, you NEED to be reading these. This is what the world is talking about.
  9. 100+ Places to Find a Job– Comprehensive list of sites to find gigs ranging form education to tech. Lists career building sites as well, and explains briefly what they all can do for you.
  10. Networking Tips– Been following @DailyCareerTips on Twitter. This is last week’s roundup. My fave: “When asking to network, don’t ask for appt convenient to you ask for a time that is “amenable to them across the next few weeks.” If you are on Twitter, I would follow them!

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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lightbulbWhat I think separates this blog from others about jobs and freelancing is that I am learning with you. I can’t claim to be an expert, but I can talk about my experience and what works for me (oh what wonderful things the web is doing to journalism?).

As you know, I’m taking an online freelance writing class through Ed2010.com. During tonight’s lecture, several students asked the instructor where to look for ideas, and he anecdotally answered with tales of walking into places and having story ideas almost hit him on the head. While that’s great for him, I understood where these students were coming from.  Though I’ve come into a setting and seen story after story walk by, when I sit down and say “OK, I’m going to develop some freelance pitches now,” I clam up and my mind goes blank.

Although the simple answer to “Where do you get story ideas from?” is everywhere, what works for me is focusing on when the ideas come.

5 Tips for Finding Stories

1- Write ideas down when they come to you.
I don’t know if you carry a notebook, put everything in your Blackberry or keep an insane system of organized post-its—but whatever you do, document your ideas when you get them. A twenty minute subway ride and two smelly passengers later, and that idea is long gone.
2- Document the ones that don’t make sense. When an idea hits you, its not always in its finished form. As a matter of fact, it hardly ever is (for me at least). You won’t see the whole picture right away, so jot down these ideas and come back to them later to flesh them out during a brainstorm session. These are valuable and can often lead to my best ideas—don’t toss them in your brain trash!
3- Please read the news. I can’t tell you how many students in my college media classes wouldn’t be remotely knowledgeable on major news stories. What’s in the news is what people want to know about! Now Ex-NY Giant Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg. The more interesting angle? The possibility he was carrying a gun because these diesel football players are scared they could get robbed in the bars and streets of New York City. Everyone wanted to know about Burress, so the story was covered from all angles. From reading the news you won’t just learn the trends of what is being covered, but you’ll see what isn’t. You’ll learn to distinguish what is actually lacking coverage and what people just don’t give a damn about—all vital information when you are trying to come up with ideas to pitch to an editor.
4- Open your eyes and ears. Make sure you aren’t just going about your day without noticing everything that goes on around you. If you overhear people ordering at Applebees and discussing how the calories listed on the menu deter them from ordering salads, that’s a story not to be ignored. Jot it down and flesh it out later.
5- Learn from ALL your experiences. Things happen to you all the time that are potential story ideas. A few months ago, I was going to my best friend’s sister’s wedding. I wasn’t in the bridal party, didn’t want to wear a little black dress and was so confused as to what to wear as a result. During last week’s freelancing class, a student pitched a story on what to wear to a friend’s wedding if you’re not part of the bridal party— everything from clothes to shoes to hair and jewelry, and to all different types of weddings (beach, church, etc). That’s a killer idea and it was right in front of me just a few months ago.

Till tomorrow,
C

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With my friend Alana at the Statue of Liberty

With my friend Alana at the Statue of Liberty

I was watching the Hulk tonight with my family, and instead of just enjoying the sound of the green man himself running through my living room (thanks to our crazy subwoofer), I was thinking about New York City. How many films have been made about New York, or take place in New York or completely destruct and demolish the twice-named town?

The Hulk was no exception (though there was destruction in Brazil and Virgina as well). As good green guy Edward Norton fought the evil green guy—the one that looked like the Hulk swallowed a stegosaurus and some fish skeletons—on the streets of Harlem, I thought about a New York that wasn’t featured in the movies. With all the problems of the “global economic meltdown” and job losses affecting this city, will we still be the star of flicks and the “capital of the world” (as one nice Italian street merchant once told me while painting my face for Carnivale, in Venice)? Would he still think that 50 years from now?

If you work in NYC or anywhere for that matter, you may find yourself trying to find work just for health benefits, living in fear of the pink slip, job searching after being laid off or contemplating a buyout offer. Though I usually concentrate on life after lay off (hmm I should copyright that phrase), some of you have written to me asking about buyout offers. If you are looking for some sound advice, check out Jenny Cromie’s (the voice behind The Golden Pencil) article on Evaluating a Buyout Offer, which appeared on Mediabistro.com this week. She talks to others about what they have done, tells you the 13 questions to ask yourself if you are considering a buyout offer and gives clear and detailed wisdom on how to handle making the decision.

Till tomorrow,
C

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sickI know this is a cop out post, but I’m sick and looking at this screen is not making it better :(. I can tell you though, that if you have freelance work to do and you are sick, it is not fun. I have to play catch-up all day tomorrow to make up for the rest today.

What do you do to stay on top of your work when you are feeling under the weather? I obviously need to be schooled in this topic.

As to not have this post completely useless, I read two articles in the WSJ this morning that not only reiterated how many people are walking unemployment stats like myself, but really made me think about how many people are being affected and are suffering.
1- The Human Toll of the Credit Crunch
2- Job Losses Worst Since ’74

In addition to my vow to post once a day, I vow to be a useful source to this community. Stay awhile, take your coat off and take a look around the site. Many, many more helpful posts to come.

Till tomorrow,
C

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