Wedding Industry Networking Event 7/27/10

Tonight the hubs and I headed over to the Marriott Lafayette Yard in Trenton, NJ to meet up with our good pal Michelle Lawlor, owner of Lucky 17 Photography to check out the NJ Wedding Industry Networking Event. I had been invited by my good friend Erik Kent, owner of NJWedding.com. The go to source for any Jersey Girl bride-to-be.

I chatted a bit with Erik about the event. Here’s what he had to say.

I even ran into Denise Taylor, owner of Great Looks 4 Less. They are located in Mercer Mall, right off Route 1 in Lawrenceville, NJ. Great Looks 4 Less specializes in ethnic hair and offers a wide selection of services and products. Stop by and check them out.

I also met the women of Anywhere Childcare. They specialize in special event childcare & babysitting services. They provide children with a kids reception while the parents are at the “adult” reception. How cool is that? Check out my brief interview with the ladies.

We truly had a great time networking with all the industry professionals tonight.

NJ Unemployed Officially Launched

As you know from my previous posts, I have been forming an NJ Unemployed group. Well it’s official! My NJ Unemployed website has officially launched. Please take a moment and check it out. Additionally, there is also a NJ Unemployed LinkedIn group, Facebook Fanpage and Twitter page.

My mission is to bring the NJ Unemployed community together. We are all in this together. If you have any ideas for the site, please feel free to contact me.

Busy Day Today

Had a very busy day today! For someone who is not employed, it’s amazing how busy I am. The exposure from PARADE magazine’s “What People Earn” project, along with my segment on “The Early Show” has kept me super busy. It seems as though I’ve become an “unemployed expert” which is a bit funny if you think about it, since I’m currently unemployed.

I woke up this morning to an email from someone who saw me on TV and wanted my advice on a few things. We corresponded throughout the day. I then spoke on the phone with a LinkedIn contact of mine who also saw me on TV and is aware about the PARADE project. He wanted to know more about what I’m doing with everything. We discussed social media in great detail and we discussed the possibility of me developing a social media strategy for a group he is working with, as well as social media as education for his group. Potential job? Quite possibly.

I then spent a good portion of my day connecting with people on LinkedIn. I reached out to some connections by email through LinkedIn, asking them if based on my experience they might be able to connect or “introduce” me to some of their LinkedIn connections. I also reviewed people that are part of various groups I belong to on LinkedIn to look for potential networking opportunities. I found a good amount and reached out to some myself and asked to be introduced to others. With that, I received a lot of positive responses. A woman with a very well read blog is interested in interviewing me and writing a blog about me, which is very cool. Another individual is interested in scheduling time to chat with me about what I’m looking to do and how he might be able to help me.

I spent a lot of today on LinkedIn, but I really feel strongly about it. It is a great tool to build your network and make connections. As I always say “It’s all in who you know.”

Connect with me on LinkedIn

“The Early Show” with Katie DeVito

A CBS producer contacted me this past Friday asking if I would be interested in going on “The Early Show” on CBS to speak about being unemployed and how I’ve been using social media to try and secure employment. Being that I’ve been involved in theatre all my life and even majored in Fine Arts, this was a no brainer. I gladly accepted and did a brief interview on the phone with a CBS producer.

My segment was scheduled to air Monday, April 12th at 8:18am with Lamar Graham, Executive Editor of PARADE magazine (as I’ve been working on the “What People Earn” project with him). Not only was I excited to be on TV, but was thrilled to meet Lamar, since PARADE had given me this fantastic opportunity. View previous posts to learn more about the project. The CBS producer told me a car would be picking me up at 6:15am, I would arrive at “The Early Show” studio at 7:30am with a scheduled air time of 8:18am. Perfect!

I called my career advisor Fred Ball to tell him the exciting news. He was thrilled for me and was more than happy to offer some on-air advice, as he has been on TV promoting his various books before. I’ve been an extra in films, commercials and done live theatre, but a live TV interview was new for me. I promised myself I would go to bed at 8pm Sunday night. Like that really happened. I couldn’t sleep to save my life.  I had every possible question in my head of what they could ask me. Not to mention, what if the car can’t find my house, what if there’s traffic. Reminding myself not to say “um”, “ya know” or long extended pauses if I have no answer.

Monday morning my alarm went off at 4:30am. I was ready to go and hopped out of bed. While the night before I was so anxious and my tummy was in knots, I woke up with a calm about me. I was ready! The car arrived early and was waiting for us, we hopped in the Cadillac Escalade (which was super comfy) and headed off. When we arrived at the studio, we got out of the car to be greeted by an “Early Show” staffer who showed us the way. He brought us into the green room where I met Lamar and the VP of Communications at PARADE Christie Emden. I was brought into hair and makeup and they touched my makeup up a little bit and gave me a nice blowout. The blowout relaxed me. Oh I forgot to mention the whole time I was in the green room, I kept staring at this man saying to myself “that’s the animal guy, what’s his name, he’s always on Rachael Ray”.

Lamar & I in the green room

The green room

On set. Almost show time.

Shortly thereafter we went on to the set. I was surprised how they really make use of all the space in the room. Each wall was set up for a different thing. One wall had a kitchen, another some chairs, another the animal guy (his name is Jarod Miller). We waited a few moments and then Lamar and I were ushered over to 3 chairs. Turns out Harry Smith was going to be interviewing us. Harry walked by and said hi to us, but was doing a segment outside first. He came back in, sat down and welcomed us. I told Harry that this was my first TV interview, to be a little easy on me. He assured me there was nothing to be nervous and I would be fine.

And 5,4, *,*,(finger point). We were on. Harry introduced Lamar and then myself and jumped right in asking me how long I’ve been unemployed. Watch the interview here. The interview was much easier than I anticipated. Once I sat on the couch I was fine. I felt comfortable with all my answers .

 Harry chatted briefly with us after we taped and I tried to convince him to get on Twitter.

(L-R) Lamar Graham, myself & Harry Smith

We went back to the green room for a sec and then were told our cars were there. We walked out, hopped in a car and were sent home. We arrived home around 10:30am. In and out. I’ve received such positive feedback from my segment. I had nothing to worry about. I actually had a blast doing it. With any luck I’ll get another opportunity. Who knows? Maybe professional speaking is in my future? News anchor?

The Early Show

As you know, I’ve been working with PARADE magazine on the “What People Earn” project. Please Become a Fan on the “What People Earn” Facebook Fanpage.

PARADE pitched their story about the project to CBS’s “The Early Show”. Since I had been chatting with PARADE about my job search, employment history, social media and the NJ Unemployed networking group I created, they thought I would be a great candidate to go on “The Early Show” and discuss how I’ve been using social media and networking in my job search, as well as my NJ Unemployed networking group. As I’ve mentioned, the NJ Unemployed group started as a way for individuals who are unemployed in NJ to come together, share experiences, stories and struggles. I plan to bring in employers looking to hire, as well as presenters to speak on resume writing and business etiquette to the group as well.

“The Early Show” producers agreed that social media is a great way to network and hopefully gain full-time employment. So on Monday, April 12, 2010 between 8:00am-9:00am EST, I will be discussing social media and unemployment, as well as the “What People Earn” project. I hope you will tune in. If you are one of the lucky ones who are employed, set your DVR!

PARADE Magazine

Ok, so good things are happening.

Recently my friend Hilary (whom I met through social media) forwarded me an email from PARADE Magazine. They were looking for individuals who are currently unemployed for a story they are working on. PARADE was looking for 5 individuals from all over the country to follow for the next 6 months during their job search. I immediately responded to the email and guess what? I was selected as one of five people whose search will be chronicled. How cool is that? I’m so excited.

PARADE will be providing each individual a career advisor to work with us on a weekly basis to help us find a job. We will each be introduced in the hard copy magazine, as well as online. Following that, we will have weekly conversations with our career advisor which will be documented in the online version of the magazine at http://www.parade.com.  We will also be posting daily status updates on a Facebook page.

I can’t wait. Not only will this be great exposure for me and will help me land a job, but through my daily Facebook updates, I hope to be able to help other individuals who are unemployed and let them know they are not alone. We are all in this together.

I plan to write frequently on the process so stay tuned.

In addition, make sure you check out my friend Hilary’s website http://www.mrsmonj.com and on Twitter @mrsmonj. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be having this experience.  Thanks Hils!

Social media really is a wonderful thing!

Why an NJ Unemployed Tweetup?

Why an NJ Unemployed TweetUp?

I sent out a tweet on Twitter asking who else was unemployed in NJ and received an incredible response. I figured I had to do something.

When I received this response from my Twitter followers that so many are unemployed in NJ, I felt the immediate urge to do something to help the situation. How can I put a positive spin on being unemployed? Society has given unemployment such a negative stigma. Why not turn it into a positive.

So in an effort to help the community and change the stigma of unemployment, I decided I was going to host a TweetUp. I thought about when and where and figured during the day would be best, since we all have no jobs to go to anyway. It’s an opportunity to get out of the house and do something. Where? I secured Panera Bread in West Windsor on Route 1 since it’s central, easy to get to, plus inexpensive (hey, we have no money). I reached out to everyone that contacted me about their unemployment and let all my followers know about the event that I had set up using Twtvite.

This first TweetUp will be a way for NJ Unemployed Twitter users to get together, share experiences and stories and find a way to help each other. I have tons of ideas for upcoming TweetUps which include inviting employers looking to hire, inviting press, etc. This is an opportunity to turn something that is perceived as negative into something positive.

I’ve received a few responses so far and looking forward to more people signing up to attend. If you are interested in attending the first ever NJ Unemployed Tweetup on March 29, 2010 at Panera Bread in West Windsor, NJ please visit http://twtvite.com/NJUnemployed and make sure you follow hashtag #NJUnemployed on Twitter and myself @kdevito.

If you are interested in hosting a NJ Unemployed TweetUp at your establishment or are interested in press coverage on this story please contact me.