Tag Archives: job hunt

On the hunt…

After taking some months off and dipping into the savings account, I have started to look for work again. It’s not going to be easy. I have been voluntarily out of work for almost a year. I loved not working. I finally got to bond with my daughter. Something I barely had time for when I was working 50 hours a week. My family as a whole is in a much better place but it’s time for Mommy to go back to work. Besides needing the money, I need to feel like I can contribute again. Doing stuff for my family is great and rewarding but there is something about doing the same thing at a job.

I really enjoyed being a journalist but did not like the journalist lifestyle. There is nothing better than breaking news, but as you know, breaking news happens 24/7 which means you are on call 24/7. I didn’t mind it at first but once I had a child it changed. I don’t want to explain to my daughter that I could not make her softball game because there was a triple homicide in Oakland that I had to stay at work for. Not great dinnertime conversation. When speaking to “up and coming journalists,” I tell them that being in journalism isn’t a job or career, but a lifestyle. You have to be willing to work odd hours, weekends and nights for little pay. Your family will never understand why you miss every holiday to work but it’s the nature of the business. It seems that I hit 35 and my love for the business was being trumped by my love for my family. Once I put my family first over my job, it was over for me in journalism. I am finding I am OK with that decision.

Now what do I do next. The logical place for me to go is PR. I did venture into PR back in the height of the dot-com craze. I did enjoy it and being able to work on a wide variety of clients. I think PR has changed since I was last working in it. When there were massive layoffs in journalism a couple of years back, lots of former journalist went into PR. Some succeeded while many others failed. I think many agencies are reluctant to hire a former journalist since they may have not had much success when they have done it in the past. It’s understandable. Journalists many times feel that PR is the dark side and don’t think very highly of PR people. Then they go into PR thinking they can do it so much better than everyone else and find out it’s a lot harder than it looks. So I am left in the quandary of applying for PR jobs and trying to convince an agency to take another chance on a former journalist.

I am not just applying for PR jobs. Being an assignment editor for so long, I know that I could make one heck of an administrative assistant. It’s almost exactly what I do as an assignment editor, minus the blaring police scanners and breaking news. It will be a big leap for a company but you never know.

The biggest hurdle for me is to convince someone to give a chance in a somewhat entry level position. If you look at my resume, I have over 20 years of experience. I think it scares some potential employers off. I might become bored in an entry level position. That is so not true. I want to start from the bottom and learn and work my way up. I have been doing TV news for so long that I need to learn something else.

So I am now updating my resume and trolling Craigslist, Indeed and LinkedIn hoping the right job will come along. So don’t be alarmed if my resume comes across your desk real soon. Take a chance and see what a former journalist has in her bag of tricks.

Stop taking advantage of job seekers

I have been on the job hunt for about two months now and it has been a frustrating process. I spend about half my day, trolling job posting websites, Craigslist and LinkedIn looking for a job. I have applied to over 25 companies. I have heard back from some, others I just get that nice automated response “thank you for applying.” I have had several interviews. Some have gone well and some not so well.

My most frustrating aspect is that people take advantage that I am looking for work to use me for some free advice. Here is the scenario. In four different job interviews now, two with companies and two with PR agencies, I have been brought in on the disguise of an interview when all they really wanted to do was run PR pitches by me. They were asking my opinions on how the pitches were crafted and if I would change anything. Of course I offer up my suggestions and how I might tweak it. One company had me meet with five different people from their Marketing office to run all different type of pitches by me. I was there for over 3 ½ hours. I played ball and offered up my advice hoping it might lead to a job offer. The very next day, the company posted a news release with almost an exact duplicate word for word of what I suggested they do. At first I was proud they used my advice but after a couple weeks of not hearing from them, I started to feel used. Three weeks later, I received a call from the HR representative of said company saying they were going “another direction” and thanked me for my time. Boy, did I get used on that one.

I would be fine if that happened just once but I have had it happen at two other interviews. PR agencies who told me they were looking for account executives and then had me rework pitches and press releases that I see a week later being sent out. If you need help, I will come in on a freelance basis and charge $45 an hour. Both of those companies didn’t even have the courtesy to call me and tell me they were hiring me. They just don’t return my calls or emails.

My latest interview was a doosey. It was for a company looking to add someone to the PR team. I was told to be at the interview at 10am. I arrived at 9:45am to no one at the company. At first I thought, did I get the day and time wrong? Am I in the right place? I called my contact that set up the interview (she was a contract HR person who worked from her home.) She told me she confirmed the interview and they location but didn’t know why no one was at the office. She called me back 10 minutes later to say they were on the way and would be there soon. At 10:15am, the PR team arrives with Starbucks in hand. They never apologized for being late. The interview was your custom interview until I got a chance to ask questions. I always ask in an interview, what do you like about working here and what do you wish you could change. I am always surprised in the responses I get but I never expected what I got from this group. It turned into a 20 minute bitch fest on how much the company sucks and how they treat the PR team like crap. Here were three bitter people who hated their jobs and they were trying to sell me on coming to work for their company. No thank you. I ended the interview as fast as I could and got out of there. There is no way I want to work there.

I need a job. I want a job. I want to feel productive again. I am like thousands of people looking for work and it’s just a sad state that some companies will take advantage of people. Even sadder is that these people including myself really need a job and will put up with the BS that these companies are dealing out.

So I continue on with my search. I have signed up with a temp company hoping they can get me some temp work. Hope they come through soon. In the meantime, you can find me trolling Indeed and LinkedIn for jobs.