Friday, July 29, 2011

"I wish I had your eBook when I was laid off"

As the eBook exposure grows, I've been hearing from readers that they wished they had my book when they were laid off. These are the best words that I ever could ever hope to hear. Mind you, I don't want anyone to be laid off or feel like they were lost when they got their pink slip. I'm just happy that my eBook covers the right topics and is informative.

The other comment is that it's funny. I wanted to have a light-hearted approach because seriously, anytime you hear about unemployment, it's gloom and doom. Let's have a laugh. We deserve it.

So, if you're unemployed and want tips on how to manage your debt, get discounts on your bills, sell things on eBay, learn about volunteering and how to afford hobbies, buy my eBook. If you want to read about some hilarity like how I got on the ESPYs red carpet and gave my phone number to a guy that was on a TV show and many more, buy my eBook. If you have a friend or loved one who needs an unemployment got it: buy my eBook, "FUNemployed: Finding the Upside in the Downturn." Available at Amazon, iBooks (Apples version of iTunes for books), Barnes and Noble, Sony, Diesel and BookieJar.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amma Mia

"Do you want to go see Amma? She gives you a hug and a blessing," asked my friend.

"Oh, is that the spiritual mother? How much does that cost?" I suspiciously responded.

"It's free," she explained.

She said the magic words and off I went on my adventure to the LAX Hilton to meet Amma. Knowing little about her, I quickly learned that she has many devotees and is somewhat like the Dalai Lama of India. Her hugs are supposed to be transformative.

We got there at 4pm, got out tokens at 7 (it's like your number in a deli line), listened to Amma speak from 7:30-8:15 and then waited. While the celebs went in to get their hugs first, we toured the Amma bizarre and took in the lentil eating, patchouli smelling, barefoot people waiting to meet Amma.

For the record, I'm a designer clad, daily showering, delicately highlighted blonde who believes in no shoes, no shirt, no service.  But being a frustrated, unemployed yet overworked-in-trying-to-generate- book-publicity-and-therefore-sales person, I need all the help I can get.

I was pushed into Amma's massive bosom at 1:45am. She whispered, "My daughter," six times in my ear, put the beads I was holding ($3 in the Amma bizarre) around my neck and I was pulled away. That was it. I felt nothing. Except exhaustion. And awe that Amma had been hugging for hours without a bathroom break (she's reportedly gone as long as 22 hours. Now that's a miracle.)

The next day, still nothing. When I got my mail, I received a tax refund check (it was mailed to an old address from 2 years ago despite the address being correct on my filing and wasn't supposed to come for another 2 months). I got a call from a recruiter. I felt like things were starting to go my way for the first time in a very, very long time.

All I know is that in the month since seeing Amma, I feel lighter, more positive and open. I have more courage in everything I do. Perhaps her hug absorbed my bad juju. Or maybe I just want to believe. Either way, I'm not questioning it. I just say, "Amma Mia!" as I lovingly touch the blessed beads that I now wear daily.

Amma travels the world giving free hugs while spreading her message of love and peace. (I promise it's not a cult). If you're interested, check for more information.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free is the best way to be. Or at least discounted.

When you get laid off, you don't get a handbook. You aren't given much instruction at all. You know that you need to file for unemployment. Sign up for COBRA. Then, you're off in the wind.

By reading some of the inserts in my bills (I had time on my hands), I discovered that you can get discounts for your utilities (like phone, gas & electricity). Many states have these funded programs so that you can save 10-20% on your bills. You need to fill out some forms, but hey, you've got the time.

I also worked with my credit card companies to get arrangements set up where I could pay less per month than when I was working. It's all about keeping your nest egg for as long as you can.

These are some of the practical things that I learned (and wrote about in my eBook). But, this is FUNemployment. Now that some of the logistics are in place, let's have some fun.

Twitter is one of the best places to find out about free events in your city or town. It is a great place to post information about free events, especially when they need people to come. That's how I got to go to The ESPY's red carpet. I also got to see "How Do You Know" with Reese Witherspoon at the red carpet premiere. I met Joan Rivers after a taping of E!'s "Fashion Police. Jane Fonda's DVD launch party? Yep, all from Twitter. Follow people who post about events (they're easy to find) and you can get entry to a lot of great events for free or at least discounted.

Fun doesn't have to be expensive. But it's a must have. If you're unemployed, be FUNemployed even if only for an afternoon. It'll be a much needed relief.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Stint as a Guest Post-er

I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to guest post for two blogs. The first of which is up! Check it out on Smart Unemployment, a site that offers invaluable information for the unemployed.

Oh yeah, buy my book.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The spaghetti's on the wall

In this economy, if you're unemployed and you want to survive, you need ingenuity and flexibility. Wearing lots of hats, sometimes multiple on the same day, is also a must. Result: hat head and static-y hair aside, it's stressful, exhausting and...inspiring.

I recently tallied the number of jobs that I've applied to since my last full-time freelance gig: 506. Number of companies who've expressed interest/interviewed me: 37. Number of offers: 0. I could take it personally. I could think there's something wrong with me. Or I could be at a crossroads. Actually, not a crossroads. The universe could be holding a gigantic invisible forcefield between me and the advertising path. (I've also been trying to go horseback riding for months and every time it falls through. Invisible forcefield #2. Hey Universe, it will make for a good post!)

I can't dwell on the why. I can only keep moving. I apply to jobs daily. And then I work on my freelance project. Or I do publicity for my eBook (if you haven't bought it yet....Just Do It. Links are to your left). Publicity is a full time job. There are some exciting interviews in the can that I'm hoping will start a snowball reaction. I've also done some guest blogging which is pretty cool. I may have the chance to write an article soon too...which would be good. I also completed a secret writing project which I loved doing and of which I can't wait to do more. Technically, I'm employed by no one but I have 4 jobs. I just need them (or 1) to start being lucrative.

I don't know what my future holds but instead of being frustrated, I'm feeling excited. I know what I want to do but I also know what makes the most sense. All I know is that I'm throwing a lot of spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Job Searching Is Like Dating. On Reality TV.

In my job search, I've felt like a contestant on The Bachelor. Vying for the love of a kinda swarmy guy (or job in this case) with lots of other contestants. It can be maddening, make you paranoid and break your heart. You do your best, get in shape (or research the company) and brush your hair. You show up for that interview nervous and hopeful, maybe with your palms sweating. You think, this could be it. I've found the one.

You walk out, drive home and can't wait for them to call. You think, well, it'll be a few days before I hear of anything. You relax. Talk to your friends, tell them that you think you've found a good one. And then nothing. Inexplicably, you didn't get a rose. And it keeps happening.

Unlike dating where you can take a break, job searching doesn't end. You have to keep at it and you have to walk in fresh and positive every time.

Just think about it this way: the good news is that you're not embarrassing yourself on national TV by crying about someone named Bentley who said really terrible things about you.

Speaking of not embarrassing oneself...I have been super lucky to get a few blogger interviews to promote the ebook. It is hard work promoting it but I am proud to share them with you!

From my hometown:​7/06/unemployment-is-fun/
From the UK: http://morgenbailey.wordpress.​com/2011/07/05/blog-interview-​no-44-with-non-fiction-short-s​tory-author-and-poet-kerry-qui​nn/
And beyond: Interview With Kerry Quinn Literary Agent Reviews | The Agent Rater