Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

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,


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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,

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(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,

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chalkboardI have a confession. Though I have mentioned it in previous posts, the truth is, I’m not completely unemployed. Since my job search began (1.5 months ago), I’ve scored myself some freelancing gigs. It’s still a bit away from what I was making at my full-time position, but I’m only even this far because of all the work I’ve been doing and techniques I’ve been learning.

Currently I am freelance editorial assistant at Mommypoppins.com, I write about living on a college budget at Toggin.com, I’m a writer at NewtoNYC.com on things to do in and around New York City and also a writer at Cheapiness.com, where I write about living cheaply but chicly. The only reason I’ve got these going is the same reason I’m getting more hits to this site everyday: tons of reading.

When MySpace started to gain popularity, I remember getting lost on the site for a good couple of hours. I would start on a friend’s page and end up on a teenager’s profile from Miami, reading her blog about throwing a toothbrush at her mother. This is my earliest memory of the real power of the web—jumping around from site to site and ending up far away from where I started, all while gaining something in between (from playing around with my profile to make it look like the others I was stumbling upon, I actually learned a bit of HTML).

I can still get lost for hours on the web, just not on MySpace. Let’s say I start on Twitter and read an article one of my followers posted, like 10 Twitter Tips for Traditional Media. From there I’ll click on related links and end up reading about creative ways people have landed jobs (like circling all the errors on a newsletter and bringing it to the boss saying you can fix it). Then I’ll read someone’s comment on that post, which will take me to a site that makes custom T-shirt resumes. Within an hour I’ve learned, 1- some companies are using Twitter to better customer service 2- I can send a t-shirt that says “Hire Me” to a potential employer and 3- I should be better analyzing the keywords in job postings and putting those words on my resume.

Multiply that by three or so hours a day and my brain is getting some workout. I’ve even created a couple of binders so I can print out helpful resources to highlight, make notes on and refer back to (and finally close some tabs in Mozilla). Today I learned it is OK to respond to people’s messages on Twitter; it’s not Facebook and is meant for people to form relationships. I also learned about new ways to promote myself on social networking sites and about sites like helpareporterout.com, which help find sources and experts for articles.

Learning is key to promoting yourself, really getting out there and getting in people’s faces (and sticking in their minds). What did you learn today?

Till tomorrow,

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Yesterday I wrote about using Twitter to market yourself and network for your job search. One of blogs I linked to for tips on this, JobMob, commented on the post and suggested I let you know what tips I find helpful and actually use. I’m still very new to Twitter, but these beginner methods have proved advantageous to me. Be sure to check out yesterday’s links for a more comprehensive list of ideas.

Getting Started on Twitter and Actually Being Visible

1- Find your friends. Every guide to Twitter has a different take on this. Some suggest finding Tweeters (twitter users in twitter lingo) with common interests first, others suggest following Tweeters that follow you back and some say don’t follow your friends off the bat. I found some friends first, which lead me to other friends via my friend’s followers. Your goal is to follow users and have followers, too and following your friends is a great start. (That is a lot of following…)

2- Follow your heart. After I started tweeting and found some friends, I branched out to tweeters with common interests. Since I’m interested in publishing, I followed tweeters like Anne Wayman (the writer behind AboutFreelanceWriting.com), News Recruiter which tweets about people coming and going in jobs in the media world and of course, The New York Times. I also followed tweeters out of my leisure interests as well, like the New York Giants—all work and no play would make Charlotte a dull girl.

3- Tweet a whole bunch of updates. Now that you are part of the Twitterhood, be an active member! What are you doing? I like to link to blog posts that will interest my followers, like my post on making your own way in a rough economy. I can link to articles I’ve written and want to share, sites I find helpful and even talk about an interview I’m going to go on. You can ask for advice, link to your web page and really get yourself out there by finding more followers that will have an interest in your content. A fun tweet once in a while is good too. You might be tweeting via a machine, but you are still human.

4- Auto-follow your followers. I use the service TweetLater so I can automatically follow people who follow me. This will increase your immediate community and expose you to more people. Be sure to check every once in a while for spammers and people who aren’t really contributing to your conversations.

5- Don’t be afraid of Twitter Directories. Use directories like TwitDir, Twellow and Just Tweet It to find professionals in your industry to follow. This will not only help keep you up to date with industry news, but increase your real life network once you get a dialogue going with them.

6-Take a walk around your new ‘hood. Like moving to a new place, you need to get out and explore. Twitter is still pretty new, so even though a tweeter has 11,000 followers, they are still new in town, too. Use Twitter Search to scope out what’s going on and search relevant keywords (to your interests, industry, etc.) to see who comes up, and follow the ones that stand out and offer information to you. Twitter can be a job/marketing tool and enjoyable at the same time—so get out there and tweet!

(Special thanks to Jacob from JobMob for the blogging tip!)
Till tomorrow,

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A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for Twitter. I found that after I told some of my friends I joined, a few didn’t even know what is was. For those of you that don’t know, Twitter is a social networking site that is used kind of like your Facebook status (called microblogging)—quick, 140 character or less messages that let the network in on what you’re doing.

Twitter is used by all different folks for all different reasons. Some update it with messages like “Waiting on line at the supermarket,” others like Barack Obama for example, tweet things like “Asking for your vote today. For polling location info visit http://VoteForChange.com or call 877-874-6226. Make sure everyone votes!” You can see the capabilities a tool like this has for news, media and your job search.

I’ve yet to realize utilize Twitter to its fullest when it comes to networking for jobs. It has really come in handy once (I’ve only been using it for two weeks)—when someone found my Twitter page (which links to this blog), read I was looking for a job and offered to go over my resume with me (he is a career author). This, obviously, is not only a step in the right direction for my Twitter use, but was also extremely helpful for my job search.

Here are a list of links that give advice on using Twitter to network for your job search and freelance opportunities.

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Banging out this blog entry 35 minutes before my self-imposed deadline of a post before midnight isn’t exactly getting off to a great start. No one said this challenge would be easy! I’m disciplining myself to get all these great thoughts down, even (well, especially) when I am lacking motivation.

Tonight was the season finale of Entourage. Right before the show, I was on the phone with my pal Michael talking about how I feel like Vinny Chase—once feeling on top of the world, now doubting myself without a clue of what my next move is (or in his case, movIE). At the end of the episode, Vinny scored the lead role in a Martin Scorsese film. Totally corny and ridiculous, but I am taking that as I sign that I will end up the star in my own major motion picture (read: dream career).

Next week brings some big things. I should be hearing some news, I will be meeting more people and making more connections. The fruits of my online labor have been showing—some people have contacted me through Twitter and others have reached out on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also has these new guides on how to maximize the site depending on who you are/what you are looking for. This is the link for job seekers. If you are trying to pimp your online presence, I would also suggest checking out Google’s starter guide to SEO.

Ice skating at the Pond at Bryant Park
I leave you with this photo from yesterday’s ice skating

Till tomorrow,

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