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.

“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!

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.

Unemployed Take 2

  

On February 26, 2010, I was laid off from my job. As you know, I was unemployed for a year and finally landed the job of Communications Coordinator for a company in December. 90 days later, I was laid off. So I’m back to square one again. Back to the grind of scouring employment ads and spending as much time as I can networking. I really feel that networking is the best way to meet people, share your experiences and potentially land a job.  

However, it’s always uncomfortable when you are at a networking event or party and someone asks “so what do you do”. Your palms start sweating, your mind starts racing. Why? All because saying “I’m currently unemployed” seems so negative. Maybe you fess up and say you’re unemployed, maybe you say my background is xyz, but the truth remains the same. You are without a job. It can be a depressing thing for many individuals.  

I sent out a tweet on Twitter asking who else was unemployed in NJ and received an incredible response. When I received this response from my Twitter followers that many are unemployed in NJ. I felt the immediate urge to do something to help this situation.

Where do I begin?

I mentioned in my previous post, that I have decided to write a cook book. Why not, right? I’m currently unemployed and have lots of free time. I LOVE cooking and am good at it. So where do I begin?

Last Thursday I had my mom over for dinner. She loved the Pasta with Pepperoni! I told her of my interest in writing a cook book. She thought it was a good idea and said I should reach out to my cousin (a few times removed) Bob. Bob has written a number of books and they have been published. I also learn that he is not the only published writer in my family. So apparently its in my genes to do this. Besides the fact that I share a birthday with Julia Child. I have writing in my genes. Thank goodness my mom’s cooking isn’t in my genes (hi mom).

First thing Friday morning I emailed my cousin Bob. Letting him know what my plans are for writing a cook book, what his thoughts were, advice he had and of course… where do I begin? Bob wrote me back right away with lots of wonderful advice. He highly suggested that I purchase the most recent edition of the Writer’s Market. It lists publishing companies, informs you how to write queries and much more.

Lucky for me, I was already heading to the mall Saturday to try on a pair of Kenneth Cole 925 shoes. Rumor was that they are the most comfortable shoes in the world, and everyone believes what they see on Good Morning America. Needless to say, the shoes fit horribly. The salesman said oh they stretch out and then they are really comfortable. Ok, no thank you. I ran over to Barnes & Noble and picked up the 2010 edition of the Writer’s Market so I can begin this project.

I’m very excited to begin. I have lots of ideas already and have been compiling some information already. Haven’t started the book yet though. I reached out to a number of publishing companies and magazines inquiring about who I can contact to pitch a cook book idea to, as well as any freelance editor of contributing writer positions. I received a few responses. Sent out a few resumes. Plus I received some detailed information for what to do once I have gotten a bit further with my book.

I’m very excited about my project and hope you will stay with me along the way.