Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Etta James - Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying

How have I missed talking about Ms. James? This morning I heard, "Don't Let the Sun Catch ..."  and was drawn into the coffee rich voice. I zoomed all over the internet trying to figure out who was singing this song. 

First I found a Ray Charles rendition, but he didn't have the lyric credits. All roads kept leading back to the British group Gerry and the Pacemakers. Surely these Beatles rivals in the early 60s weren't the originators of this soulful blues song? I was gobsmacked to find they were.

No crying here today. And the sun is out. We had a storm blow in late yesterday evening. I made it home from my day "out on the town" just before the deluge started. There were weather announcements about hail and high winds - which ratcheted up my fear about another tree falling in my yard - but the storm blew in and out fairly quickly. And left no damage behind at Chez Mit.

So - a beautiful day here and once again no reason to avoid exercise. Although I have. I got up this morning, showered and ate breakfast thereby putting off the exercise portion of my day. I think I'll do it mid-afternoon - to take advantage of this glorious 70 degree weather.

Yesterday was eyeopening at the job seeker group. I don't think it will be a waste of time - it certainly was energizing. Since it was my first time, I went through the orientation process and we were given some specific things to do to increase our viability and networking success. In fact - they say networking is the key to job placement these days. 

Anyway - I am signed up to get their yahoo-group notifications (some employers seek prospective clients directly from the group), joined their LinkedIn group, and ordered business cards.

Remember me ordering business cards back in July? Those cards are for writing and meeting internet contacts. They are great cards - I totally love my line "Internet Lurker" listed below "Writer, Chef, Jazz Enthusiast". But don't list my name - or my professional contact information - and I'd never hand them out to a potential job contact. So I went back to VistaPrint and ordered 250 "free" cards (after paying the $5+ shipping charge for the very slow (and thereby cheapest) 21 day delivery option).

These new cards list my name, eMail addy, and cell phone number - but in the company name place I wrote Analyzing ~ Strategizing ~ Implementing. Originally I had a first line listing "Project Management/Training" - but I realized it made me kind of nervous to have that specific of a job title or goal listed. I mean, if I meet a potential job connection contact, I don't want to restrict my opportunities to project management or corporate training. I think listing the three skills is great eye catcher though. No matter what type of job I get - that's what I want to be doing and the skill set I want to be using. I also decided those skills should be the first thing people see, my "brand" if you will, even before they focus on my name.

Then - down at the bottom of the card, where there's room for a web address or message I put the line "Meeting Customer Needs Ahead of the Curve; Not After the Fact" I think that says a lot about my attitude, style, and modus operandi.

Of course, I had to choose from their stock designs. There was a great one with curves in it, but the placement of info didn't work with my eMail address or tagline - and although I loved the look for it's color (chocolate brown and lime green) and creativity (the swooshing curls) I was worried maybe it wasn't professional enough - or too "girly". I finally went with a layout that is a two-tone blue design on a white background. 

In the center of the card, on the left-hand side are three small blue circles intersected with a parallel line running across the card left to right. In the upper right corner (yes, I am making my "finger L" to figure out if it's on the left or right side) is "Analyze ~ Strategize ~ Implement" in the largest font.  Just above the line, is my name, in the bottom right is my eMail addy and phone number. Originally I had my address listed - and thankfully I woke up and thought - "No one needs to know where I live!" and removed my physical address. If they want to contact me, they can eMail or call. I am so happy I had that realization. I can't believe I was almost ready to print cards with my address on them. Talk about asking for trouble!

Then centered at the bottom - the catch phrase, "Meeting Customer Needs Ahead of the Curve; Not After the Fact". I think it's a very clean uncluttered looking card.

Another thing I found out yesterday - lots of businesses are only listing jobs for 8-24 hours before pulling the listing. This means you need to be looking daily at your target businesses. And if you caught that - I said "targeted businesses". Universally they've found few real placements happen via Monster, Career Builders, and recruiters. Which has always been my hunch. So - time to develop a list of who I'd like to work for ... which sounds very time consuming. I'll still make sure I have a strong/up-to-date resume on those other places - but I don't want to expend the majority of my energies there.

In passing they mentioned that job searching was the same as being asked by your former employer to make a business plan. It needed to be the top priority (although balanced with other commitments/responsibilities) and set short-term and long-term goals. I like that idea (Of course! Strategizing! Analyzing! Planning!). So in addition to my daily "To-do" list I'll make a weekly one - then a monthly one - and then one for where I intend to be in 3 months. I think this will help me focus on my long term and short term goals and use my time most wisely.

Some things to consider for long term are returning to school for an MBA, working towards a Project Management certification - and ... I dunno. I am not convinced at all about these two long term considerations. However, this is the year of "consider" - and so I shall.

Finally - writing class went well. Although we didn't review what I'd written I was happy with the work I'd done. After class I mentioned maybe trying to put together a couple of freelance articles on cooking/agriculture/environmental stewardship - and the instructor and another classmate were very encouraging. So - that is another thing to consider. 

Do I want to spend time pitching writing ideas? Yes and no. Yes I want to write. Yes I want to get better. Yes I'd like to submit so I can begin "building a platform" or writing credentials. But - I want this to come after the job search and after the novel writing. I've been so busy so far, I am hesitant to add something else on my plate. However - if it brings in money ...
Okay - that's it from me today. (I guess that's quite a little bit, isn't it?) Onto lists and research and job search logs.

1 comment:

mamie said...

I adore Etta - flew all the way out to LA one year to hear her in a small theater. And it sounds like she didn't catch you crying, nor did the sun. Keep the faith, baby.