Category Archives: Beginning Times

Assessment

I’ve been blogging since mid-August, and things have been running fairly smoothly. A wide variety of people have visited, over 300 since the very, very beginning. Since I have turned this into a conversation about my thoughts on marketing and job hunting, about a little over 200 visitors have checked it out. First, thank you. Although I truly have no clue who is actually reading what I have to say, I hope it is pertinent, and at the very least entertaining. I feel I’m starting to develop my voice a bit and find a niche where I feel comfortable challenging norms, and informing others of my ideas.

With that said, I recently interviewed for a positing that would have been dealing with eCommerce. This digital space is a crucial part of marketing today, and I’m surprised how little I’d heard about it during college. It’s not like the Internet/shopping online is a new thing, but I’ve never really had any formal schooling on how to best utilize this space. Where are the universities and colleges on this front? There needs to be some kind of curriculum to train students to succeed in this realm. It is the future.

Combine this space with social media, and there is a totally different marketing mix than what today is still seen as traditional. When will terminology change to reflect how marketing happens today? I know terminology is just words we use to describe, but I feel it is crucial to adapt and evolve to better serve the next round of marketers. It’s not that I feel neglected; rather, it is I could have been better prepared for what marketing really is now. I know all the archaic methodology–a great thing to know and learn from–but I was not cutting edge as a result of my schooling, I became cutting edge through natural curiosity and a willingness to take it upon myself to learn.

-J


Funday Friday

The week is over, it’s time to relax and celebrate a successful chunk of time. Why not? Doing everything you did during the week is deserving of some downtime, some dilly-dallying, and maybe even some…donuts? Even though it may not be a stereotypical celebration, ie. birthday, anniversary, graduation, whatever, it is still incredibly worthwhile. All work and no play makes Joe a grump.

Thus, a break we shall take! No job hunt stuff, no advice giving, just some good fashioned, down home, things I find fun and entertaining.

First, Facebook. I’d have to say it could very well be the first wonder of the digital world. The gems it holds are fantastic. They can be fleeting, but they are well worth it when you unearth their glory. Various statuses, picture posts, and links continuously entertain me. The things people share in an incredibly public forum amaze me, and I revel in the brilliance [or lack there of] people demonstrate on a daily basis. Regardless…some people’s kids. I’ll share one gem with you via my girlfriends News Feed–it went something like this: “Have you ever seen those Dr. Scholls orthopedic kiosks at Wal*Mart? Now, think of the people of Wal*Mart who have stood on that thing. No way you’ll ever get me on one of those.” BRILLIANCE. Wish I had thought of that!

Second, people who walk around in Cherry Creek Mall. This mall is the uppity, snooty, high-end, mall of malls in Denver. The clientele is amazing. These people walk around with their head so high in the sky, their necks look like the aboriginal people who wear coils around their necks to make them longer. There is a total lack of common courtesy. The snobbiness this mall espouses is fantastic . It is always fun to dress normal [jeans, t-shirt, and a hat] and watch people look down their noses. Talk about cheap entertainment.

Lastly, the “Zombie Kid Likes Turtlesyoutube video. Talk about priceless. I know when I celebrate, this kid somehow always makes an appearance.

I hope you enjoyed my deviation, and, for the record, “I like turtles.”

-J


‘Just Waist!’

I’m waiting in a tailor shop listening to some Eastern European talk show on the radio. The tailor, Chester, is very direct with his ideas regarding how things should fit and how he intends on fixing them, despite his thick Russian accent. ‘This comes in, that’s tight enough, too long, that works, I’ll fix this, and it will be good.’ Mind you, I’m a spectator in this whole process, it’s my girlfriend who actually gets to converse with this wonder of a man. Personally, I don’t know how much I’d trust his fashion sense as a direct result of the fact his shop is attached to his house [he had a lovely china collection] and he wore moon boots. Think Napoleon Dynamite and you’re right there with me. Regardless of his personal fashion, the craft Chester has perfected is something every job hunter should aspire to.

If you are searching for a job, effort is required. You cannot consistently do the same thing, over and over, expecting different results [the definition of insanity]. Instead, every hunter needs to tailor their approach for each specific job they target. I understand this is taxing and requires immense effort, but if you truly want to be employed quickly, it is well worth it. Think as if you are actually hunting for your next meal [in many cases this primal analogy isn’t too foreign]. Depending on how big of a meal you want, you need the right tools. Hunting rabbits requires a snare or some sort of small trap, but you wouldn’t use the same trap and snare if you were hunting elk or bear. The same rule applies to tweaking resumes, cover letters, and applications for various jobs. Each position is unique in every company; they may have the same titles and comparable job descriptions, but all companies are different.

Thinking a standard resume for every position you apply for is all you need to earn a job is naive. Taking the extra bit of time to tailor, is a necessary step to get closer to being a successful candidate.


Phone Tag

I have many fond memories of tag from my youth. Running around, trying to avoid the “it” person, and often getting yelled at for getting too violent [rocks were thrown and people were tackled]. Honestly, the premise of the game is a bit twisted…you run around trying to avoid a person like the plague–such a great thing to inculcate kids with. Regardless, I loved it back then.

Nowadays, I play a different kind of tag. It involves phone calls, texts, emails, tweets, and Facebook chats. There are so many different avenues to contact people today, it can be difficult to truly get someone’s full attention. This could be just a beef with society’s ever-connected approach, but the fact of the matter is technology is here to stay–get used to it. As a result, I’ve found myself driven to nerdom in order to keep up, and remain relevant at the very least. This isn’t terribly difficult for me considering I’ve grown up with social media; however, it is a totally different game in the job hunt arena.

The biggest thing, with regard to all of these different forms of communication, is to be savvy of all of them. Knowing how to use Facebook and twitter is great, but knowing how they can be used as tools to aide a business and help it be successful is better. Not to mention, having a professional presence on each of the platforms is crucial as well. As Ron Burgundy says, “stay classy” and things will work out much better for you, rather than posting your latest drunk adventures.

-J


Blizzards: Often Predicted, Consistently Uncertain

For the second week in a row, the meteorologists [aka guessologists in Colorado] are predicting copious amounts of snow along the front range. I’m not one of the people who finds the snow annoying at all–I welcome it. I look forward to the crisp mornings with picturesque landscapes covered in a pristine layer of snow. How can you not love that? Well…if its predicted to be a blizzard, that changes things a bit.

Blizzards are way more dangerous than a typical snowstorm. The swirling winds, drifting snow, and obscuring vision creates a recipe for disaster if you happen to be caught outside. Job searches can be like a blizzard. They are predicted, yet they can be better or worse depending on how the different aspects of weather interact. Maybe everything falls into place and the hunt is very easy, or it takes 6 months to a year, and it’s Struggle City. Just like anything else, it’s difficult to see into the future.

Despite the fact people may predict your job search to be trying and arduous, it may be just the opposite. However, it’s best to err on the safe side, expect the worst, and put forth the effort to get to a place you want to be.

-J


Halloween…Just the Last Hurdle Between Me and Turkey

I’ve never been one to get crazy about Halloween. Do I dress up, enjoy a pumpkin patch & corn maze, eat too much candy, and have a trick or two? Yes. However, I’m not the type to get into the goriness, the zombieness, and put strobe lights in front of my house. Despite my favorite family on Modern Family being that type, it just doesn’t…do it for me. Halloween is a necessary formality to pass through in order to get to the World Series of holidays.

Why do I feel so passionately about Thanksgiving? It is a celebration of the things I love most–family, friends, and food. [I’d be lying if I didn’t include the last one] These three F’s are all I need to survive in life. Getting around a huge spread of mashed potatoes, bisquits, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, corn, salads, the all important turkey [preferably deep fired], and lastly a homemade pumpkin pie, with all the people I care about in my life, is fantastic.

These people are the ones who keep me strong and help me in my fight to be employed. They advise me, humble me, encourage me, and often times are just there for me. I anticipate this Thanksgiving to be the best I’ve ever enjoyed–despite my predicament. I have such a solid support system I can only succeed; without it, I’d assume I’d be in a much different state–probably miserable.

What type of support do you need in order to be successful?

-J


Lessons Learned

Life is full of lessons. Cliche as it is, I was reminded of it last night. Everyone has limits and it behooves you to know those limits and consider them moving forward. Although this event is in no way, shape, or form related to my job hunt, I was still able to draw a connection [albeit much later].

Knowing who you are as a prospective candidate is crucial in getting a job. If you don’t know you, how can you inform others? Many people think they know themselves inside and out, like the back of their hand. Well, can you describe the back of your hand to me right now without looking at it? It’s incredibly complicated despite the fact it’s attached to your body. I see my hand everyday, yet I couldn’t paint a definitive picture of it simply using words. [I guess I have a beef with the idiom…]

Regardless, it’s necessary. I know a standard interview question is , ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’ but the standard leadership, communication, and team play are just that–standard. Really dig deep within yourself to find some meaningful, concrete examples to answer that question. Who knows, maybe that extra bit of putting yourself out there will be the deciding factor of getting selected over someone else.

Consider that lesson learned.

-J


Waiting is not the same as Patience

Today, I was sitting outside a specific store in the mall, one oft surrounded by a bunch of guys loitering aimlessly, killing time, until their significant other returns from the abyss [I bet you can’t guess what store I’m referring to] regardless, I was waiting. While I was waiting I goofed around on my phone, checked Twitter and Facebook, and otherwise accomplished nothing.

The fact I was waiting brought to mind the juxtaposition between waiting and being patient. Waiting is totally apathetic. You sit, like a lump on a log or a princess in a tower expecting someone to rescue you. Patience is an active waiting, similar to active listening. I immediately thought of my job search, and my approach to it. Motivation is a crucial aspect to patience and requires effort in order to eventually find success. Currently, I find myself very motivated to find some form of gainful employment doing something I enjoy. I’ve taken a couple risks to explore what I like, and so far I’ve struck out–at least I now know some new things about myself.

I’d like to say I’m being patient, rather than waiting. I’m working everyday, submitting applications, doing phone interviews, researching the companies I’ve applied to and companies I’d love to work for. I feel what I just listed is the active part of waiting…patience.

-J


Movember

The world is a dark and dangerous place, but there are incredible bright spots which make me chuckle a little bit to myself and help me get through my days. One small, seemingly unnecessary and juvenile ‘light’ in my life is Movember.

My roommates have recently become inspired to participate in this…event, for lack of a better word. What is it you may ask? Why it is a commitment to grow a mustache throughout the month of November. I’m sure there are celebrities doing it for gobs and gobs of money, but I feel it is something to provide a release valve on the pressure cooker that is a job hunt. Using this kind of technique brings to mind a recent movie. Zombieland was full of rules,and one was “Enjoy the little things.” I think this is something consistently lost in the business world today. Everyone is so focused on the bottom line there is a lack of enjoying family, friends, and…mustaches.

Maybe my mustache will afford me some semblance of accomplishment while I continue my search. Once it gets going, I’ll have to post a picture or two.

-J


Glorious or Inglorious Return

During the past few months, time has flown by and countless things have changed. For one, I’m back on the job hunt–this is similar plenty of other people in the US and abroad. Despite the uncertainty and instability associated with unemployment, there is a comfort level [oddly enough]. I don’t quite understand why, but it literally scares the, for lack of a better word, CRAP out of me. I’m beginning to understand why people get sucked into unemployment and fail to continue their drive towards gainful employment.

I want this blog to semi-chronicle what I go through in the process of getting an opportunity to earn a living. There will be a daily post and if there are questions/ideas/suggestions/support/whatever, I’m all ears.

Let’s get this show on the road!

-J


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