Help Wanted: Staying Nimble

Thursday, February 11, 2010

After years as a television reporter for WJLA-TV in Washington, DC, Andrea McCarren was recently let go for financial reasons. To her surprise, she found herself turning to social media to find connections both spiritual and practical, and charted a new course back to work. She's founded a new website, Project Bounceback, to share stories of hope and resilience during tough economic times.


Andrea McCarren

Comments [10]

Pat from Brooklyn will not return job search results in date order. Expect to slog trhough 40 pages of jobs in random order, that you've probably already looked at.

Mar. 15 2010 01:26 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

Hello, I think it's a good idea to be proactive as well. My job search has not borne fruit. I do talk to people and I do the right things. Still, I have found nothing.I use the public library and somtimes there is very little time to go to Facebook and LinkedIN. I think that is my biggest frustration. At this time I cannot afford to havea computer where I Live.Eugenia Renskoff

Feb. 11 2010 04:39 PM
VIKTOR DUPONT from Manhattan

Seen "Up In The Air"? BL: Haven't been as upset since She Who Must Be Obeyed, Dame Walker, reassigned Steve Post and Rum, Romanism (the Pope invades the U.K. in September), and rebellion!
You did attentive listeners a disservice by making light of the "Blizzard" of '10.
A great-grandfather took the (elevated) train toward Port Chester from the city in 1888. He survived on Whist and whiskey in the train. Those who walked in the snowdrifts did not.
When things cleared, Blizzard of '88 rail commuters were taken down by Ladders.
Meanwhile, in '10, the barometer fell precipitously overnight; it fell as I wrote this.
WNYC-fm lured the unsuspecting into shoe stores and out into Union Square.
The appleknockers and the Vermonters know the Feds will clear their highways home; they take defense Interstate highways deriving from the Eisenhower era.
Why didn't you replay a Hiram Monserrate /state Senate segment if you desired to flesh out the Longuers?
The Courts closed for the weather, so Montserrate's attorneys' injunction appeal was delayed and in subsequent appearance the state Senate's action was not enjoined because, the judge said, the Senate is not sitting.
And the governor calls for a special election before St. Patrick's Day.

Feb. 11 2010 03:16 PM
Cecilia Pineda Feret from New York, NY

I have helped job hunters with their job search since 1994. These days I am the Online Marketing and Community Strategist for Havana Central, a growing 3 unit Cuban restaurant company here in NY.

The tools have changed, but the concept for marketing yourself AND a business remains the same. Now you have so many online tools to establish your credibility, experience, level of knowledge. You are not supposed to be REPLACING face-to-face or other networking with the online version. You use the online to strengthen the others types that exist.

Here's a tip: The Answers section on LinkedIn is not just a resource for those who want to ask a question. It's also a place for you to look up keywords in questions and for you to show that you "know your stuff." When your answer gets repeatedly chosen as the Best on questions you respond to, you look like you know what you are talking about and your credibility is increased and endorsed in that area of knowledge to potential employer/client.

Feb. 11 2010 12:26 PM
Brook Allen from Glen Ridge, NJ

I think it is very important to be proactive and not expect anyone to reply to postings looking for jobs.

Rather, it is important to establish relationships with people, and the conversation needs to be, “How can I help you?” not “How can you help me?” One way unemployed people can help those with jobs is to be eyes and ears on the market. Ask to meet people who are working – but don’t ask for a job – rather talk about the state of the industry, and offer to share what you learn.

I have found LinkedIn to be very useful, but not in the way most think. I use it to expand the number of people I help, and I do not send emails through the system, but rather find where the person is, and then call them directly on the phone (a little searching might be needed). 90% of the time people are very receptive to talking – they joined LinkedIn and nothing has happened (because they did nothing to make it to happen). As long as I am not selling something, or begging for a job, I am treated as if we belong to the same fraternity.

I hired someone recently, and decided to help the 19 candidates I did not hire by asking on LinkedIn if anyone would care to grant a job seeker an interview. Nearly 50 people said they would be glad to help.

To help people find projects to keep them busy and to expand skills and contacts, some friends and I started:

(a blog / free / no ads) One subscriber contributed an article that speaks to this very point entitled: “Why do people say “NO” when you just want to ask a question?”

Anyway, I wish everyone luck. If you develop the right attitude, a period of unemployment can be the most fulfilling time, when you can meet so many more people than when your days are spent at the salt mines.

Feb. 11 2010 12:04 PM
Caitlin from Brooklyn

I was laid off last summer, and posted somewhat regularly on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that I was job hunting, and a couple times I asked whether anyone knew someone at a company I was applying to. I found for the most part that people didn't respond to those updates. They expressed sympathy but it didn't help with job leads. I got a PT temporary job when a family member recommended me to her old colleague, and I landed my current freelance job through real life social networking via social sports. I found talking to people face-to-face about my job search was much more fruitful than having a one-way conversation in cyberspace.

Feb. 11 2010 11:36 AM
D. Jeannot

Thanks so much for this really helpful and informative segment.

Feb. 11 2010 11:32 AM
ursonate from boston

I think it's really important to build up your network before you've been laid off if you can. The last time I left a job I was able to get the word out that I was available and had leads before I even got home that day.

Also I think of LinkedIn more as the results of networking rather than a place where I go for networking.

Feb. 11 2010 11:28 AM
inquisigal from Brooklyn, NY

Andrea's story is interesting, but I think it's unique. Most people - myself included - when they get laid off take a time out to re-group and recover from the lay off, especially if the lay off was from a very stressful and time consuming job.

I don't use Facebook for networking at all, as my respect for and interest in Facebooking has waned, as I just don't have the time to check up on people's day-to-day lives; I prefer to email or call people I'm truly "connected" to. As far as networking, I would be more prone to use, as it's much more professionally-oriented.

Feb. 11 2010 11:23 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

I've been job hunting for about a year & a half. Regardless of social media or job sites etc, the job hunt seems to bottleneck when it reaches HR or agency headhunters. They either don't have full job descriptions, or are not sure how to fill the position. So I've had lots of interest from headhunters, only to be told a week later that the 'scope of the job has changed' or 'that they are re-evaluating what they need for the job'. Endless misinformation.

Best luck I've had is working freelance, but that has it's own problems these days.

Feb. 11 2010 11:17 AM

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