Job Search: Define Your Goals

A friend of mine just landed a job. Congratulations to her as the job market is shriveling up. I won’t mention her name for fear it could cause complications at her new job but many of you know her.

She hasn’t worked for a company in 17 years, give or take, and has lived quite successfully as a consultant. However, she became enamored by the possibility of helping companies directly in her line of expertise.

She gave some thought to what she wanted to do and wrote this document, republished with her permission.


Overall function
I want to provide strategic direction that integrates new and social media opportunities for a dynamic organization. I see this function as working collaboratively with many departments and functions such as marketing, communications, PR, recruiting and retention, customer service, community management, investor relations and product development.

About new media and social media
I’m defining these terms not just as technology and communication tools, such as blogging, YouTube, Flicker, Twitter, Facebook, podcasts, social bookmarking and social networking, but also as a new realm of communications with a distinctly different culture that includes activities such as ““

    User-generated content

  • Conversations and comments
  • Personal branding and online profiles
  • Personal and personable content
  • Community management
  • De-institutionalizing of information
  • Rating content
  • Tagging
  • Link, links, links “¦ and more links.

My ideal job looks like –

  • Working across a number of departments ““ marketing and communications, sales and business development, HR for recruiting and retention, IT, customer service and PR.
  • Providing strategic direction, internal consulting and project management.
  • Interacting with staff at many levels, including executives, managers, creative teams, technical staff and admin.
  • Designing, implementing and managing projects.
  • Keeping abreast of emerging new media technologies and trends.

I am less interested in work defined by digital media maintenance, e.g.

  • Keeping a website current.
  • Managing online advertising and email campaigns.
  • Handling technical functions of a company’s digital communications.

I am more interested in —

  • Being at the forefront of new media.
  • Identifying opportunities and developing strategies using new media.
  • Designing, implementing and managing projects.
  • Internal education, integrating new media and expanding an organization’s capacity.

Company / Environment
The environment in which I want to work is an organization that —

  • Already has a strong brand, marketing department and PR component.
  • Values creative business strategies supporting both short- and long-term goals.
  • Has leadership that is open and pushing to be an adaptive and dynamic company.
  • Has leaders who know they need to do something different ““ and fast, but may not have any strategy or plans yet.

The type of organization I want to work for is —

  • A large corporation, even a national brand.
  • Military organizations and federal government, or a government contractor tasked with bringing social media functions into the government.
  • A small municipality with robust funding for creative economic and community development.
  • I am less interested in nonprofit organizations.
  • The industry in which I work is of less importance to me than the job function.

Location

  • Company location is not important.
  • Willing to travel.
  • Looking to work in a creative and flexible environment, where technology and online
    communications are robustly supported; meeting space is beautiful, and productivity and
    results are valued over face time.

Notice how she defines exactly what she does and does not want. She knows specifics, down to the detail, on the principles of her employment. She knows that she may not be able to detail specifically which company or organization she wants to but she knows specifically the role she is looking for and what she wants to accomplish.

As unfortunate as this is, the economy is growing worse and more people are looking for work. You may be one of them. Instead of hitting the job boards with dervish-like ferocity, take a day or two alone and in a quiet place and write your own roadmap.

Knowing specifically what your goals are will greatly increase your chances of finding meaningful employment where you can do what you love and love what you do.

I'm Not an Economist, But I Did Stay at a Holiday Inn Express

I’m not an economist. I’m just a pain in the ass blogger.

However, here in the United States, we are tormented by the weak dollar. In the early day of the weak dollar policy that has been one of many negative marks on the current administration, we were able to sort of laugh it off as our neighbors around the world fretted about the rising cost of doing business in US Dollars. In the US, we were able to just sit back and say, “Yeah, the dollar is weakening but it’s not all that bad, really.”

As the world around us displays, that is no longer the case. Gas prices are over $4.00/gallon everywhere, which is in turn increasing the cost of food and supplies. The credit crisis has turned a real estate boom into a real estate nightmare.

Then I read this post where Sören Zschoche pronounces, “Because whereas Europe and the rest of the world are slipping in a recession the weak dollar is helping the U.S. economy to get better through the crisis.”

While it’s true that there has been an increase in foreign investment in the U.S. Markets (it’s cheap to do!), that does not translate to a healthier economy – and certainly not a recovery.

I’m fortunate enough to be less pinched than others by the downturn. I don’t own my home. My car (sans Air Conditioning) is paid for. I am self-employed in an industry that seems to be resisting recession. Sure, I’m spending $4.07 at last check for gasoline, but outside of trips to DC, most of my driving is local. Realistically, I may be the least affected by the downturn.

However, not everyone is the same way. Everyone is feeling the pinch. People are being laid-off in droves, families are spending $1000/mo to keep gas in their cars just so people can go to work and bring home food. This is not, in the near-term, getting better.

First off, let’s be clear. The Fed has a lot of power, but they are not the ones who set the dollar policy. The Treasury department does, and that is an executive branch agency with a Cabinet-level department head. This is a Bush thing.

Therefore, nothing is changing before the election. After the election, we may see a new policy but it will take time for that kind of policy to cycle through and start effecting change.

Buckle up, folks. We have at least another 12-18 months of this before things get better.

Update: Paulette from Let Us Talk calls this a period when America is for Sale. She incriminates all Republican Presidents in the last 30 years. Not going to touch that. I disagree, but it’s certainly an interesting point.

Stocks Surge on Red Sox Victory

Stability has returned to Wall Street after Friday’s 300 point drop. Many industry experts credited unrest in Northern Iraq, surging Oil prices and uncertainty surrounding the 20th anniversary of the Black Monday October 1987 crash where the market lost over 22% of its value in a single day. Others, however speculated that the sudden downturn was the result of uncertainty surrounding the Red Sox ability to turn the ALCS around. Down 3-2 in Game 5, the series returned to Boston. However, the damage was done on Friday causing many to question the stability of the market and the Boston Red Sox.

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Weekend trading showed an upsurge in the market however as Curt Schilling and Japanese pitching sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka, also referred to by Red Sox faithful as Dice-K, put the clampdown on the Cleveland Indians to win the American League Championship Series in dramatic fashion Sunday night. Shortly after the game was won at around midnight Boston time, the Tokyo stock exchange surged ahead on the back of their native son. American markets would soon follow.picture-5.png

Many people question the connection between professional sports and finances. Some would call it “irrational exuberance“. However, there is no doubt that with the World Series now a certainty for the Red Sox, markets have responded favorably. In 1987, the market responded negatively to the St. Louis Cardinals ending up 2 games down in the World Series to the Twins. The Market doesn’t like the Twins because it’s hard to tell what is a sell and what is a buy – they look too similar!

The World Series was won by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929 but it took 10 days before the Great Depression would begin. This has been attributed to the fact that the market didn’t comprehend that Philadelphia would lose their team to Oakland eventually in advance of the “Summer of Love” when everyone moved to California.

All in all, the market has responded admirably to the win today with Tech sector stocks leading the way. An investor was overheard saying, “We gotta love these tech stocks! All the webheads were on Twitter last night talking about the Sox! Gotta go with the winner here!”

We’ll keep following this story and let you know any further developments.