A New Year Begins

With that said, I wish the best for all of us in the coming year.  Through the ups and downs, we will prevail.  Because I am so convinced good things are coming, I will end my blog on this note.

My "Meditations" blog will continue as a general venue...Hope to hear your views on that forum.

In the meantime, the perfect job is waiting for you and I in  2010...Happy job hunting...
"We have received your application for the position of Marketing Manager-. Unfortunately at this point in time we are unable to place you in this position at this location"

Whew!  how many of these have you received? I don't know what your track record is, but I could decorate a wall with them.  Purists will tell you it is always best to go in person to deliver a resume.  That can also backfire and make one a pest.

So, the count down has begun.  The New Year is almost here.  I have also given myself a deadline of March to find "the job" or a "job."  At that time, I will call for a course adjustment.

Truth is, I would love to go back into Real Estate.  But Real Estate has start-up costs, big time.  The sphere of influence I had is history at this point.

They say life goes in cycles,  Iwait to see which way the tide will flow in 2010.  In the meantime:

 I will keep posted!

Desperate Times...Desperate Means

I just spoke to someone who is going to market medical marijuana.  According to this individual, it is "an effective way to generate income and fulfill a need."  I must admit, I would have never thought of that one.

But I suppose desperate times creates desperate means.  The government is still calling this a "recession,"  for my money, (or the lack of) I say it is a full-blown recession.  I can't remember a market like this in all my life.

I have been thinking about moving to other markets, like...maybe Alaska?  how many people could be looking for jobs there?  Or, how about Newfoundland?...I know people don't live there for the sun and fun.  Although the walruses and sea otters aren't complaining.

I wish I could be worrying about global warming instead.  It made great cocktail conversation.  As a baby boomer, I wasn't much on PLANNING.  I can remember my mother's friends always telling me as a young woman "put your money away!."  Me?  put money away?  Why, I was married to a very successful C.P.A., I felt it was a ridiculous suggestion at 35.  It doesn't sound so ridiculous today.

I could always take a "trip up the hill" to Blackhawk and try my luck.

 I am really not a gambling woman at heart.


I am looking into MeetUp.Com.  It is a wonderful venue for meeting people with similar interests that has been established in every city in the U.S.

Orginally, I researched it for Real Estate, but there is every type of group available for every interest.

The thing that stands out to me at the moment is:  I have to keep my sense of humor about this.   While hard, through the ups and downs, I have to see the comedy in it all.

Perhaps the blog will serve as a rough draft for a book?  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Thinking "outside the box" doesn't even begin to describe what I need to do to get this job done.

A White Christmas

It has been awhile since we've enjoyed a white Christmas.   I'm loving every minute of it.

What enjoyment I find in baking and cooking my favorite sweets,  marveling at the beautiful blanket of white everywhere!

The smell of gingerbread and chocolate envelope me with a warm, inviting smell; while my pine-scented Angel candles fill my living room.

During the summer, a neighbor and I watched squirrels gather branches, laboring up and down a plush, green tree outside my window while building a nest.  We patiently watched that production for over a hour, amazed at the intricacy of their work.

 I  look outside,  my eyes glance at the nest, it stands there today -the squirrels are nowhere in sight- icicles dangling from snow-covered branches. A stark contrast to the empty nest.

A noisy flock of birds signal their flight over head.  They form a perfect "A" formation as they pass.

Billy Bob Thornton's "Bad Santa" is on the flat screen and all is well within my world...

I'm at peace....at least for just today.

It's Almost Christmas..

I am sorry to say, that it is not very Merry.  I know that I am not alone in my thinking.  Many of us are struggling through the holidays.  How I hate to bring you down.  It becomes harder and harder to be happy when one does not have an income.

I have spent time reflecting on happiness.  Whoever said that happiness has nothing to do with money is not being completely honest.

 Okay, I have reflected on my spirituality, and I am "giving back" as best as one can that is in my position. My mother used to say that I had a penchant for "dragging every stray cat and dog home" as a child.  Not much has changed.  Oh, except now I am that stray cat or dog!

I have been told that life has cycles.  I think I have been through the presoak, wash, rinse and dry cycles.

Think I am ready for a change.  But the one thing that I do have is wonderful friends.  This is a constant in my life, and it is true that friendship is a cooling salve on a burning heart. It has soothed my wounds during tough times.

One of my other "bright spots"  in my life is my Great Pyrenees "Pepe",  he truly is the light of my life.  This morning I ran him through our knee-high snow and enjoyed the beauty of the crystals reflecting off the barren trees and rooftops.  It was untouched and fresh, as soft as a newborn babe.  The mountains looked like huge white chocolate ice-cream cones.  The sky is crystal-clear and bright blue this morning.

It reminds me of the light and brightness of Christmas. 

Once again:  Did I mention why I love living in Boulder? 

Back to Playing Roulette

Still more news on the unemployment front from "The Boulder Daily Camera."

The number of Coloradans with jobs rose by 6,300 in November.

State Job growth wasn't statewide, however. Labor statistics reflected Friday that the unadjusted unemployment rate rose in 52 counties, fell in seven and remained the same in five.

Boulder County was one of the 52 with rising unemployment

It's Christmas time, and I should be having fun, and sharing time with the family. Or figuring out what really killed Brittany Murphy.

I haven't got any shopping to do, no parties to attend, just concentrating on buckling down. How boring. There must be more to do than this.

Suppose I can go back to playing roulette with the remote control.

Ah, well "I won't think about it today, I'll think about it tommorrow.".

Reader Asks: Why Not an IT Job?

Thanks, but no thanks, Connie.  I think I rather be dead than work IT.  Seriously, I am about as far from an Information Technology Specialist as one could possibly imagine.

Yes, I understand that a need in my market must be filled, and it is wise to pursue the need in the market.  But remember what I said in one of my first posts about loving what you do?  This is as essential to me as the air I breathe.  It is not negotiable.

Stubborn as I am, I believe consistency is the key.  It always has been for me for the past 30 years.  Failure is not an option.

Job Heaven or Nightmare?

Living in Boulder is like living a dream.  Sunny days, snow-tipped mountains, you can almost reach out and touch them.  I have to pinch myself to believe I live in this paradise.  While the social life is fun, the town is artsy and upscale, it is not the most job friendly town for  marketing and public relations professionals.

Most of the open positions are for technical jobs, or those in the IT market.  So, couple that with the competition, living in a college market, and dealing with all the new graduates on the market each year, it makes it that much tougher to find gainful employment.

I do apply for positions in the Denver market, which is only about 25 miles from Boulder.  The commute is still a challenge, given our traffic and the snowy winters.  Even though our Colorado unemployment market (6.1%) is still better than the national average of 10%, I personally have not experienced any advantages.

Of course, Christmas and the holiday season is not the best time to find work, unless you are seeking a sales position part-time in retail.  However, all the temporary agencies have been contacted.  I have been through all the testing and endless paper work. I feel I have an advantage here, as I have my own health and dental coverage.  This is probably the best advantage I have over most other candidates.

I belong to the national and local Public Relations Society of America.  Just like every other organization or occupation, they offer their own job sites with which to research available positions.  This also is a big plus, but it is not a guarantee at landing a job.

That being said, I hope the New Year brings more promise.  At the very least, some more interviews.

Using the Media to Promote Yourself

I saw a very clever approach to promoting one's self utilizing the media.  A dog walker actually posted her name on a 14'x 48'  outdoor poster using her name and phone number.  I thought it was very clever, but questioned the cost efficiency.

Of course, in these times people are taking bold steps to find work.  The more outrageous, the better.  I spoke to previous colleague who was recently laid off .  She shared with me that she had been in the job market 4 months'  before she recently landed a job.  She set up a network of 125 employers that appealed to her.  Then, she registered with each site to email her job opportunities daily.  It was a 24 hour, 7 day effort, but it eventually paid off.

There are specific websites to look into if you are over 50: The AARP.org Job Search Engine powered by RetirementJobs.com is a free service that allows you to search for opportunities with thousands of employers nationwide. Workforce50 and JobsOver50.com are other internet resources.

Working at home is currently another popular option.  If you're a self-starter and working in your 'jammies is your style, there are business opportunities out there for virtual assistants, and data entry.

I'm making my list and checking it twice, in exploring what I am comfortable doing for work.  One constant is : Consistency is the key to my success. 

I remind myself of this daily as the stress of the holidays and many commitments begin to decend on me.

All I Want for Christmas..

There is one good thing about not working this time of the year.  The Holidays.  I am loving being able to loose myself in joy watching Animal Planet every day.  Heart-warming stories about wolves, learning about dogs on "Dogs 101."  Following my morning cup of coffee (or two, or three), I check my email and job sites for my 2 to 3 hour quiet time for allocated for job searching. 

I do feel it is an exercise in futility as I think of the hundreds of people applying for the same jobs.  Nevertheless, I carry on.  I recently read that many people have given up job searching and stopped completely.  I cannot afford that luxury. 

I have not been as diligent as I need to be.  I am affiliated with many professional clubs and organizations.  I should be networking at monthly meetings.  I am told this is one of the best ways to get an inside track on the job market.

I am not an ordinary job seeker.  While highly sociable, and can work equally well on my own or within a team, I have to work in an affable environment.  Corporate politics make me ill at ease.  I am not a confrontational person.  It takes quite a lot to get me upset. I choose to focus on tasks at hand and getting them done, rather that figuring out how to brown nose supervisors in the workplace.

Which leads me to an important observation about myself:  I need to interview my prospective employer jast as closely as they are interviewing me.

Most  think we have to interview perfectly, and hope our talents match the employer's needs.  While important, we need to find a compatible company with which to hang our hats.

I have had scores of jobs where once the honeymoon period is over, I found that the once exciting job is now being mircromanaged by panicky, unflexible managers.  Business is all bottom-line contribution in this market, true;  but what about emotional and practical support for new hires?  I don't know about you, but I have found this almost impossible to find in the workplace.

When I find my future job, I am going to ask the important questions:  How will my performance will be evaluated?  During the first three months of my evaluation, what kind of support can I expect?  Is there a "go-to" person I can approach for questions? Most employers expect one to "hit the ground running."  I believe we have to be realistic about those first three months' that we are being closely evaluated.  I plan to ask if there is any hands-on training during this period as far as company expectations in learning the corporate platforms.

I want to ensure that I am performing up to company expectations. I have also found that it is best to never over-estimate my capabilities, and tell my furture employer upfront what they can expect of me in the way of technical skills, and my approach to task and project management.

Now, back to navigating employment sites and exploring links, links and more links!

"If a Tree is Cut Down in the Forest"....

You know the old adage:  "If a tree is cut down in the forest and it falls and nobody hears it..."

This is how I am feeling about my blog.  Ah yes, it's marvelous to have a blog and be connected with the universe.  Did I say connected to the universe?  Wait a minute.  Let's see, will anybody find me?  Have I chosen the best blogging platform? 

I am now linked to Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google and scores of other web sites.  This wonderful venue we call social media is not very different from any other marketing strategy or medium.  One must know how to navigate to be heard.  It's like that tree in the forest syndrome, if it falls and nobody hears it.

I am expecting an exciting journey. While I may go off course initially, I know that getting there will be educational and interesting.

As I amble along the internet highway, I am going to share with you what I learn.  I hope you can share with me too.

Who said "you can't teach an old dog new tricks?"

Staying in the Game

I am new at this, but I have a lot to share with those over 50 in the job market. No, I'm not dead yet, and still have a pulse!

I have never been out of work for more than 4 months, but 2009 has not been good to me, as I still am one of the millions of people out of work. One month slowly drags on to the next. Oh, there are opportunities, but who can survive on $7 an hour? I know the daily line-up of television so well I can produce an audio version of TV Guide!

My background is in Mall Marketing and Real Estate; which I have worked on and off since 1978 beginning in Miami, Florida. So much has changed! It is a full time job to stay abreast of the all the marketing platforms for corporations. While everyone was getting their Certified Marketing Director designations, I was home mothering my two toddlers for much of the 1980's.

When I elected to go back to work, I was unable to find a job in Mall Marketing in Miami, Florida. I was offered an opportunity in a non-profit organization. Always believing furthering my education was essential to my profession, I got my Accreditation in Public Relations. Everything in Public Relations has also dramatically evolved with the advent of social media, Facebook, Twitter and God knows what else, it is an effort to stay on top of it all.

In June, 1991, I followed my sister out to Denver. Denver is a tough market in itself, where more people have PhD's, and generally have a higher education level per capita.

Finally, my bedtime partner is now "Excel 2007 for Dummies." The problem is, the "dummy" has to understand what he is reading to learn the program. Oh, and yes, one has to have the funding to attend a college class or be tutored.

When I took on my last job in Mall Marketing and Specialty Leasing, I was cautioned from the Regional Marketing Manager that "mall marketing is very different fom the way you remember it, it is now very aggressive and bottom-line oriented" What? no more flowery image advertising? No more casting calls and talent scouting for tabloid covers? No, just hard-core " 'sale' and ''new, low prices.."

I decided it might be time for a change. I went on to get my Real Estate license in 1999, and worked successfully in Real Estate until I separated from my husband in 2006. Real Estate is tentative at best, unless one has a large and loyal following. After 9/11 all that changed for me. My once successful track record dwindled to a closing every 4 months at best.

I have to love what I do to do an effective job. Why should it be any different? After all, we spend at least 8 to 14 hours with the same people in the same environment.

So, the question is, where do I go from here? I have always enjoyed writing and decided to start this blog as an opportunity for talented people, like you and I, to use this as a forum to share advice and tips for those in a similar situation.