Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year, New Hope

Happy New Year!

Or in my case, Hopeful New Year.

The Chinese Year of the Ox. I'm not sure what the Chinese horoscope for "Ox"alleges, but I hope that "resilient, strong and proud" are adjectives involved. Those words describe my wife and I and the type of year we need.

I've been unemployed for two months now. The holidays may have been jolly and bright, but finances are getting scary and tight.

Somewhat to my relief (I'm still unemployed so I ain't counting any chickens), my efforts may be beginning to pay dividends. I have a nice part-time prospect in the works with a Hickory, NC marketing firm. Offering your services on a part-time basis is not a step down, but rather a form of compromise that meets mutual business needs. You need your foot in the door to get a seat at the table...

I'm also exploring freelance writing opportunities on I think the service has good potential for freelance writers (work in creative writing, web copywriting, blogging, editing, articles and brochures are all posted frequently), but it's highly competitive and is limited as a free service. Naturally more money yields more options.

Finally, I'm constantly networking in Charlotte, working my way around the PR and marketing circles, scheduling networking lunches and calls to the best of my ability. It never hurts to introduce yourself and ask for advice from someone with more experience. Networking is a tree: Start with a seed and branch out, eventually it will bloom.

Parting piece of advice from the guy with no job: Persist, persist, persist! Not to be confused with "don't take 'no' for an answer." If a company tells you they're not interested, thank them for their time and get back with them later. However, if an email or voice mail goes unanswered, you'd better send another...and another.

Don't send the contact(s) the same thing each time though. It's like pitching in public relations. Introduce yourself and the reason you're contacting them first, then follow-up with a different piece of information (resume, experience highlights, tie-in with recent event of relevance).

Also, take the lead and suggest times to meet or talk versus asking the contact to do so. It's easier for them to say "OK" then "How about 2:00 Wednesday at T.G.I.F.'s on Charlotte Ave.?"

My wealth of advice and knowledge will hopefully translate into financial wealth in 2009, but until then, the journey continues...

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