Posts Tagged ‘Job Search’

314799_4865839976057_1080256591_nYour resume must look sharp.  Your job search methods must be fresh, creative, powerful.  You need a prepared list of personal and professional references and a versatile cover letter that can be tweaked for every different type of potential interview.  And you need to network, network, network!  This was just some of the helpful advice doled out this morning by my Jersey Job Club leader, a lovely woman named Cynthia.

What is a Jersey Job Club?  It’s a helpful meeting place for unemployed people living in the Garden State, a “club” where job seekers can go to get ideas, get advice, get encouragement and, of course, network.  I sat through a 90-minute orientation this morning in a drab East Orange building staffed by cheerful and helpful Department of Labor workers and I left feeling better about my chances of winding up back in the workforce.  There were about a dozen other women in the room with me, ranging in age from mid-60s to early 30s and crossing a wide swath of the career and education spectrum.  We had all been downsized by companies looking to save money, stay afloat or just plain go belly up.  We were all frustrated and rather stunned by our current situations and while we may have been a bit depressed and discouraged upon entering the room at 10am, I believe we all left feeling positive and empowered.

Some of the unemployed women in the room had had clerical jobs in nearby schools.  Some had worked in collections.  A few had worked for lawyers or executives.  They had all been employed in what I would consider more “conventional” fields than mine.  For the better part of three decades I have worked as a freelance television stage manager.  It’s never been the kind of job for which you would see a help wanted ad in a newspaper (remember newspapers?), or on a typical electronic job-search bulletin board.  It’s not the sort of position that requires the help of a headhunter.  It’s the kind of job that you somehow manage to get in your 20s, hopefully right out of college, and then maintain and grow through internal networking.  The more you work, the more new job leads you hear.  The different and creative ways that people use to obtain their first jobs in the industry are about as varied and numerous as there are job titles in TV production, from following in a family member’s footsteps to interning or working as a page to DJ-ing a TV station’s Christmas party and asking everyone there to send over the person who hires crew members.  Yeah, that last one, that was my creative path into the land of television.  Smart, right?  Serendipitous, even.  It worked and I had a fabulous 30-year career.

But lately the jobs have been hard to come by.  I worked the Olympic games in London, Vancouver, Beijing and Torino but not earlier this year in Sochi, and I’m still not really sure why.  I’ve had a few freelance gigs here and there, but not enough to live on.  And at the start of this year I thought my troubles were over when I landed a position on the crew of an awesome new cable health and wellness show.  We were supposed to be on the air for at least a year, maybe get picked up for syndication and survive past that projection, but the show was hemorrhaging money and was canceled after eight short months.  So now I’m unemployed again and having a hard time with it.

At the Job Club today we were reminded to stay focused and stay positive.  I have a difficult time with that no matter how much I try.  I asked Alyson Charles, one of the hosts of the show I had most recently been working on, to suggest a few daily affirmations I could say to hopefully keep my mind filled with positive thoughts that would crowd out the feeling of doom and gloom I so often experience in stressful situations.  She happily obliged.  My favorite was, “I am a being of Divine light and love and my purpose here is to embody that through my words, thoughts and actions. And so it is!”  Thanks, Aly.  I have been repeating that every day along with, “Help me please, thank you,” to stay positive and grateful and attract the job I desire.  I have treated my search as a full-time job and I have been networking my butt off.  Friends and colleagues have chimed in with leads and ideas, for which I am so very grateful.  I have looked through old contact numbers and reached out to people I have not heard from in years.  And, meanwhile, I have remained open to the idea of a new career in a similar but different field.  I’m not exactly 21st-century-ready but I’m smart and I learn quickly.

One suggestion the Job Club leader made today was to create something called a visual board.  It’s supposed to be sort of like a poster that you place where you can see it daily and it should contain images that represent your goal.  I told Cynthia and the other women in the room that I have been continuously and frequently changing my profile photos on Facebook and LinkedIn and rotating through older and newer pictures of me working as a stage manager to remind myself, other people and the universe in general what it is that I have done, what it is that I DO, still.  Then I asked if that counted as a visual board.  It does.  But just to make sure, here are some more photos that I send out, with all good intentions, to affirm what it is that I am, what I do, what I want and deserve:

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Thanks for reading this blog post.  If you have any job leads, please let me know!

Image     Hello, I’m Kimberly and since I can’t seem to find a job in my field and I’m really tired of having no income, today I will be playing the part of your, um, dentist.  Yes, your dentist!  Come on in and get comfortable in the chair while I figure out what all these nice, shiny instruments do.  I’ll have you out of here in no time, what’s left of your teeth gleaming like the noontime sun!  No, that would never go over.  I’m not much of a sadist so I’m sure I’d be found out pretty quickly.  Hmmm….  Okay, hi, my name is Kim and today I’ll be your pilot.  Yes, I have logged many, many hours in the air.  Why, as a network TV stage manager I was sent literally all over the world for very cool and interesting gigs.  What?  Oh, you mean hours flying a plane?  Well, none, but I’ve seen all the Airport and Airplane movies and I’m sure I could do a better job than Charlton Heston or Leslie Nielson.  So, where shall we go today?  No dice?  Ooh, dice!  Hi, I’m Kimberly and I’ll be your croupier this evening.  Hey, look out!  Oh, I’m not supposed to throw these at people?  But, where’s the fun in that?
Think, Miller, think.  What do you do well?  You can control large groups of people.  You could be… an usher at Yankee Stadium!  A traffic cop!  An extras wrangler for Cecil B. DeMille movies!  Huh?  Dead?  Really?  Well, somebody must be still making those epic, Biblical films.  Eww, Mel Gibson?  Oh, no, I don’t think I could work with him without trying to kill him.
Let’s try this again.  Hi, I’m Kim and today I’ll be filling in for your… proctologist!  I think all I have to do is say, “assume the position” and then….  What?  Why the heck not?  My, my we’re a skittish prude aren’t we.  Your loss, buddy.  But, you see, I really do need a job.  It’s been 3 years since I’ve had steady employment.  I know!  Hi, my name is Kimberly and I’ll be grooming your dog today.  Pay no attention to the lawn clippers I have hidden behind the counter.  I promise to use them only if your dog tries to bite me.  Then my hands can be far away from the fur, see?  As long as your dog keeps absolutely still it should….  What’s that?  You want to see Candy, the regular groomer?  But I can do this, I know I can!  Nice doggie.  There, there.  No, I don’t mean PEE there!  Ahhhhhh!  Brutus, you go right ahead and relieve yourself wherever you would like.  I’ll go get Candy. Okay, here comes the elevator.  Wait for it, wait for it.  Deep breath and… go!  Hi I’m Kimberly and I’ve written this exceptionally awesome screenplay that I think you would love it’s called Nothin’ Doin’ and it’s kind of based on the story of my life and you should think The Jerk meets The Wrath of Khan with a little bit of Stand By Me thrown in and it’s really funny yet poignant and hey wait you pushed the button for the 27th floor and we’re only on 10 where are you going I didn’t get my full 30 seconds yet!  Ugh, freaking media moguls!
Come on, kid!  Think!  What else do you do well?  You tell celebrities where to go, don’t you?  Or, at least, you did.  With all that experience you could get a job as, maybe, the receptionist for a botox doctor on Rodeo Drive?  The recreation director at the Betty Ford clinic?  The bouncer for the back room at Spago!  No, I’m just not perky, sedate or burly enough to do any of those jobs.  But I’m very smart.  I could do just about anything I set my mind to.  Hi, I’m Kim and I’m your new philosophy professor.  Let’s see….  Plato was a sexist, Voltaire was paranoid and Diogenes dressed as a beggar, lived in a tub on the grounds of a temple and was called “the Dog” by his students.  Oh, hi, Dean.  Yes, I was just sharing some little-known information with my students.  Why are you laughing?  Sheesh!  These eggheads are a confusing bunch!  What?  You don’t want me to be your proctologist but it’s okay if I’m your dominatrix?  But I’ve already told you that I’m not enough of a sadist to be your dentist!  Get your act together, baby boy!  Heel!
Alright, time to get serious.  I really do need a job!  Let’s try this:  Hi, I’m Kim and I’m the stage manager.  Welcome to our studio.  Thank you so much for visiting with us today.  Coffee?  Sure, I can ask the stagehands to transfer your green room coffee into a show cup.  That way you can keep it for the interview.  Our host will be right in.  Why don’t you have a seat and make yourself at home?  Here we go, stand by please.  Yada, yada, yada.  Wow, that was really great.  I’ll be sure to take my kids to see your new movie this weekend!  Thanks again for coming in today.  Okay, crew, take a ten-minute break and when we come back we’ll do some promos.  You know, promos, like the one you just read.     Image