Saturday, June 25, 2011

Economic Ironic

Since I was laid off from my ad agency job, I've had fun. I've also hustled...I got three freelance projects on my own, became an eBay seller and wrote a book. To potential employers, it should say "I'm a problem solver who created my own jobs when there weren't any. And I'd be an asset because there is no way any of these things would've happened if I wasn't driven."

Unfortunately, potential employers are seeing it more like this, "Wow. She's been outside the agency system and has found other work and interests. I don't know if I could've survived in her shoes. She'd be a strong employee. One who might take my job. I'm better off with the person who is sad and has been dying to get back to their life from before."

If you can sense my frustration, you're on the money. You see, I'm a New Yorker. who interviews like a New Yorker. I want to show them that I'm the best. That's how you get a job in NYC. I should know, I've gotten plenty of them. Even after 9/11. (At one point, I felt like a professional job interviewer.) With competition being what it is, I thought my "best" approach and deep pre-interview research was the way to go. Nope.

This theory is not just in my head. I saw a recruiter and she said, "All of these interviews and no offers?" And at the end of our interview, she said, "You're great. I can see that you could be intimidating. Whatever you do, don't say anything about the book. We have to find the right company and/or boss for you. Someone who isn't sensitive to their job security." Huh?

My theory is that some people who retained their jobs during the downturn are scared. They've been afraid of losing their jobs for two years and don't want anyone who can come in and shake things up. I get it. But at least two of those agencies have seen clients scale back on their assignments to start working with other agencies. If they're afraid to step out of their box...hiring wise and creatively then this is precisely why someone like me is needed. I'm not here to take. I'm here to ADD. Some fresh blood may do some good.

We know that the economy has messed with a lot of people's heads as well as their finances. I just didn't think it also applied to those that never received a pink slip. I call it Economic Ironic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Conan the Inspiration

"Your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention." 

Never has this been more true than for the unemployed. Getting laid off is demoralizing and while not necessarily one person's failure, it is quite common for the laid off to feel like they failed. I certainly did. The difference is what you do with it. If you're FUNemployed, you try new things, get yourself out there, follow your heart and in the end, just may reinvent yourself. I never would've thought that I'd write a book but that's certainly what I just did.

This quote is from the Dartmouth commencement speech delivered by Conan O'Brien. Funny for the first 15 minutes, at minute 16 until the end, he speaks of his public firing, his beard and his reinvention. Granted he is still a talk show host and comedian, but during his unemployment he joined twitter, did a comedy tour and played guitar. He could be a "FUNemployed: Finding the Upside in the Downturn" case study.

Watch the YouTube video because I can't do it justice. You'll laugh, you'll be inspired and just may try something new today. All hail CoCo!

Monday, June 13, 2011

High on Yoga

Given my love for anything free AND yoga, I was excited to take a free class at a new studio in Hollywood. It was also in walking distance so I would save on gas. I thought I had hit the FUNemployed jackpot.

On my way there, I had to look carefully for the sign which was not easy as I passed a house full of trash and shady characters who looked like they traded in illegal substances. I quickly passed and realized that my destination was right next door. Ruh roh.

I climbed some stairs, oblivious to the store below. I went in and it was not your typical yoga studio. A guy with a lot of weird face piercings was washing something in the sink...which doubled as the front desk. I wanted to leave but figured that I hauled my yoga mat for 10 blocks so I might as well get my yoga on.

The class was very slow and remedial. Ok, it was free so I really shouldn't complain. They turned the heat up and it started to smell like weed. Since I'm living substance free, this was not a reason for joy. And then I thought, oh god, is this above a weed dispensary? WHO OPENS AN EXERCISE STUDIO ABOVE A WEED STORE? Dudes with lots of piercings. High-ons who want to be in shape. Those who want to kill time in between drug deals. People who live in trash houses.

Oh the life of the FUNemployed...chasing every free deal like a stoner chasing a blunt. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You, The Reader

I'm beginning to think about creating a video about the book in which I talk about the process of writing it, some of the challenges and of course the triumphs. As readers of this blog (and hopefully) the book, what would you like to know? Submit questions or topics in the comments section. After all, this is all for you!

Monday, June 6, 2011


I've quickly learned that writing an ebook, distributing it to major e-retailers and posting it on Facebook does not guarantee immediate sales. So, I've put on my Fedora and tucked in a white index card with the word "PRESS" written in shaky black Sharpie. Looking like a pro is the first step.

Next step, Google "How to write a press release." Ok, now that's that I've read how to do it, I need to write it. But before I do, let's figure out who to send it to and get some email addresses collected. Let's email some friends to see if they have any contacts. Ok, back to the release.

In short, that was last week. Looking like a pro, begging for help, googling, drafting.

This week, it's going to happen. Get the release out, pitch some people and get the buzz going. You know, be an imPRESSario. Then next week I can move on to a new career: laser hair removal (may need training for that though), kung fu master (my neighbors yell "HA" a lot with accompanying scuffles so i'm depending on osmosis) or TV critic (I watch a lot and am never short on opinions.) I'm also open to suggestions!