March 2, 2009
Networking for the Newly Unemployed
by Gini Graham Scott (www.workwithgini.com)
Now that layoffs are
increasing, a new type of networking is emerging that echoes the pink slip
parties held during the dot.com bust -- though now unemployment has been hitting
just about every type of industry. Besides pink slip parties, there are
unemployed groups forming all over, where people can provide each other with
support, job tips, help with resume writing, and more.
One such group is the Unemployed Social Network, which, with some irony I
think, was started by the founder of the Future Millionaires of Santa Monica.
However, after getting little response to the Future Millionaires and a growing
response to the Unemployed group, including a feature on a local news show, the
founder, Jeremy Erickson, has decided to focus on building the unemployed
group. And he has found his own niche in serving the unemployed market -- by
writing resumes. He has invited meeting participants to bring their resumes,
cover letters, and portfolios to work on them to make them better, and has
announced his availability as a coach and mentor to help them.
Plus he has suggested a series of rules for getting employed. Among
them: "Get off your butts...talk to people...build a great looking
resume...network, network, network...and send out as many resumes as you can per
day." He also advises playing the numbers game, doing what you can to stand out
to get the attention of the employer, and don't lose hope.
Besides these unemployed groups, I've discovered a growing number of
business networking and entrepreneur groups which include many of the unemployed
-- and often these small businesses and start-ups are a good source of jobs and
opportunities, as well as being founded by the formerly employed. And all types
of groups -- from social to business groups -- are sponsoring pink slip and
unemployment parties -- a sign of the times.
So how do you find such groups? Check if you have a local networking
group such as MeetUp in your area. If you do, put in some relevant search
terms, such as "unemployed," "networking," "entrepreneur", and "jobs" to see
what groups in that category exist in your area. Another source of such groups
is Craigs List. Look for your area, and then check for community and other
types of group in that location.
Then, start going to these events. Bring business cards, and if you don't
have them yet, you can get them made up for about $45 dollars from various
online business card printers like Vista Print. Work on a resume highlighting
the skills you feel are most salable, along with the jobs that are most
relevant. And be ready to adapt your resume to the job you are interviewing
for, which is easy to do now on a computer. Just rearrange and change your copy
as appropriate, and keep copies of these different resumes, so you can easily
print them up or e-mail them to prospective employers. Also, be willing to
lower the salary range you are looking for, so you can jump aboard some of these
new start-ups that are just leaving the station. They commonly can't afford
very much to start, but many of them will grow into a powerful engine of the new
economy, opening up even more opportunities in the future.
And if you’re an employer, such events are a good way for start-up
businesses to find well-qualified employees who are willing to start at a lower
than usual salary just to
working. I know first hand, because I've started to go to such groups myself to
hire a few administrative assistants, and I've quickly gotten dozens of resumes
from people eager to work again.
For more ideas on how to achieve what you want, you can see some chapters
from my books Want It, See It, Get It (www.wantitseeitgetit.com).
* * * * * * *
January 25, 2009
Yes, You Can Find or Create More
Work in Today's
by Gini Graham Scott (www.workwithgini.com)
Even with the new hope inspired by Obama's
election, pragmatic reality is setting in as more and more banks and stores are
affected by the recession, and the unemployment rate rises. Most recently,
it was up to over 9% in California, about 7% throughout the country.
However, deep recessions can prove to be a land of opportunity, since many
people who can't find work are looking for other ways to make money. Thus,
this can be a better time than ever to think about your skills, what people need
today, and find a fit between what you offer and these needs. For
example, hundreds of new entrepreneurs went to Obama's inaugural with products
with slogans and images of Obama and racked up big sales. And so far the
marketing of the Obama brand, as marketers refer to this phenomenon is
So what might you do to appeal to today's market? Think of start-up
possibilities you might launch yourself -- or look into direct sales programs
you might represent with products or services people might need and want.
Though be cautious of scammers promising riches through pyramid schemes.
Look for companies with solid products or services that people really do want to
buy, aside from any money making opportunities. Since so many people
are out of work now, this is an especially good time for starting a new business
with talented people you can employ at lower than usual starting wages.
In short, if you can't find work for yourself right now, consider creating your
own company and work opportunity for others. As Charles Dickens once said
-- "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...it was the
season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it
was the winter of despair." Well, this is all of these things right now,
but if you choose, you can make it the best of times, the season of Light, and
the spring of hope."
So take some time to ask yourself some questions to decide what you want to do
to choose the best, the light, and the hope:
- What kind of skills and talents do I have? List your strongest ones and
prioritize by ranking them from 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest) which you would most
like to use now?
- What do people especially need now that they aren't getting from other
companies or individuals?
- How can I apply my skills and talents to providing products or services to
help others fulfill their needs and wants? Do this for each of your top
skills and talents first; then go on to the next highly ranked group for still
- What steps can I take to develop, promote, and provide these products and
services? Create a list of steps to take.
- What do I need to put these steps into action, such as employees, materials,
and contacts with other companies or individuals?
- Finally, put these steps into action. Start now by taking the first
For more ideas on how to achieve what you want, you can see some chapters from
my books Want It, See It, Get It (www.wantitseeitgetit.com).
And to help you have fun doing this, see Enjoy: 101 Little Ways to Add Fun to Your Work Everyday (www.enjoythebook.com).
Or you can order the book
December 29, 2008
Thrive In Today's Tough Times
Graham Scott (www.workwithgini.com)
Today, as the financial upheaval ripples through the
economy, more and more employees are affected, and for those still on the job,
there is increasing stress. Employees and managers alike are asking
themselves if they'll be the next to go, just as company owners are asking the
same question of their companies. So there is more of a survival of
the fittest game going on than ever, as employees and managers struggle to stay
in place and not be ousted. So what can you do to not merely survive but
even thrive in these tough times? Here are some thoughts that come
immediately to mind, so you feel less stress whatever happens and are more
likely to come out ahead.
- Do some relaxation exercises, so you feel less tense and anxious, which will
enable you to better cope with everyday activities and perform at your best.
- Notice where the points of tension are at work and think about what you might
do to smooth things over, whether that involves talking to someone or taking on
extra responsibilities. Then go do it.
- Be willing to work harder and take on extra responsibilities even if you are
not being paid more -- or are even being paid less. When things
improve again, people will remember and you will reap the rewards accordingly.
- Remind yourself that other people are even more badly affected by the
financial meltdown than you, and consider volunteering to help those who are;
you'll feel much better for being of service to others.
- Create a wish list and imagine you have achieved your wishes. Then,
imagine what you might do to achieve them. Just thinking this way
will help you not only feel better but put you on the path to getting what you
- Think of what you can do to brighten up your day and others' day at work with
some little fun activities. Then, seek to put these in action.
You'll help in dispelling the mood of doom and gloom that pervades many
workplaces to day, and your initiative can help you not only stay on the job but
get ahead at work when the good times come back.
For more ideas on how to achieve these ends, you can see some chapters from my
books Want It, See It, Get It (www.wantitseeitgetit.com)
or Enjoy: 101 Little Ways to Add Fun to Your Work Everyday (www.enjoythebook.com).
Or you can order the book