Posts Tagged 'blogs'

Pinkslipparty and Stone Soup!

Photo BY Hypernaut
Photo BY Hypernaut

Social media has really been an adventure for me in the past couple of years. I spent much of my free time in the fall reading and commenting on blogs that I found through Twitter. I love technology! But that is a post for another day.

This post is cutting it very close because the latest pinkslipparty in Boston will start in 15 minutes from this writing. But it will be there for the future, for all the potential pinkslipparty questions people may have in the future.

My adventure with pinkslipparty began when I saw a post by @Pistachio (aka Laura Fitton) on Twitter on the afternoon of January 9. She was announcing a pinkslipparty for the Boston area which she was putting together for that evening. She had found someone to donate a place and food and was looking for help from career services for both resources and prizes. I’ve given resume packages to church auctions and other projects before so I sent @Pistachio an e-mail volunteering to help with a donation of a resume package if she wanted. She replied that it would be great and there I was, a distant helper to a pinkslipparty half a continent away. I pointed her to the package on my very new web site www.designresumes.com and she was set.

Laura said on Twitter that it was like Stone Soup and that made me smile. I knew what she meant. She was referencing one of my favorite children’s stories, one I had seen over and over on Captain Kangaroo. Soldiers enter a village whose inhabitants don’t want to share anything with them. They suggest that they will make stone soup and then ask for one ingredient at a time. I don’t remember the order anymore but it was a carrot, a potato, an onion, until they had all they needed for the soup. The townspeople became more generous as the story went on and more trusting. I have used the analogy for Stone Soup which transcends beyond soup ingredients when I am organizing an event and want things to come together. I ask for just one thing and it expands until I have exactly what I need.

In Laura’s case, the pinkslipparty designed to help unemployed people gather to exchange ideas and just get past the feelings that come upon you when you are out of work. The pink slip party concept is explained here by Galen Moore of www.masshightech.com “Like those festivities held after the dot-com bubble burst the last time the economy crashed, 2009’s pink-slip parties are popping up to provide a jump start for networking job seekers and a petri dish for growing new startups. Perhaps more importantly, they offer shoulders to lean on for the newly laid off.”

By later in the evening @Pistachio had sent me a DM letting me know that @JamesonBull had won the package. Even before that I caught Jameson Bull’s Tweet that the pinkslipparty was awesome and he was the winner! You can see the shorter web version of the resume I created for Jameson in his portfolio.

Tonight another Initial Launch Package will be given away in Boston. I told Laura that I would be happy to help out with another donation. This afternoon I e-mailed my Career Directors International colleagues to give them a heads up on what I am doing and open the door to other donations for other pinkslipparties. On March 6, one more Initial Launch package will be given away in Chicago at the pinkslipparty that Brendan Murphy, @dendari on Twitter, is planning.

I think that this is the time that the country needs to pull together, all of us need to work together. I’m a resume writer and make my living by writing resumes but I can contribute in a small way with a few packages to help someone move forward in their career. If you are unemployed, check for pinkslipparty on Twitter or Google and you will find yourself with others who share your concerns. At the same time, people like Laura Fitton are trying to find ways to pull in the career services industry, the hiring companies, and help people move forward. Together, we will survive the economic challenges, perhaps by making our own version of Stone Soup!

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I wandered away, but I wasn’t lost

Photo by Ted Bratton

Photo by Ted Bratton

If you had been following this blog, you might wonder why I have been so silent for more than two months. You might think I abandoned the blog or that something happened to me but really neither of those would be right. I had plenty of blogging ideas and overall I’m fine. I did get amazingly busy though because of multiple factors.

I must have mentioned Wausau Whitewater somewhere in this blog before. I play so many roles that sometimes I lose track. As the Operations Coordinator for Wausau Whitewater, I am very involved in almost every aspect of the non-profit. The month of December was filled with budget item reviews and bids for vendor services and calculating how we will survive in this economy. But though the new President, Mike Schroeder, and I worked very hard, we now feel very positive about the upcoming season. Though Wausau Whitewater has its own blog  that I have also been absent from, I will from time to time report on the Wausau Whitewater happenings because it represents a huge part of my life. We’ve been working steadily for the last few months to get ready to launch the season. I have spent incredible amounts of time creating brochures, fliers, and handouts. It won’t go quiet on the whitewater front until at least October but some things are in place and I can see daylight again.

Then there was the website. I planned to do a blog post about Design Resumes website launching. There’s a story there too. I was so stuck trying to figure out how to write the pricing page that I stalled that project until it made me so uncomfortable that it showed. In between whitewater assignments, Mike wondered why I was uptight. Once I admitted that I was stuck, he challenged me to finish up that project so I would be able to move forward on others. In three days, I wrote the rest of the missing pieces to www.designresumes.com and my awesome web designer, LB Whaples, let the site go live. It launched on January 6 and started another amazing journey that has changed so much about how I do business.

After we launched the site, I got this bright idea that I wanted this blog to be part of the site. I enlisted the help of Kim Woodbridge from her Anti-Social Development, http://www.kimwoodbridge.com/ to help me port the blog to the site. I found Kim sometime ago when I was reading someone else’s blog, I think it was Kristen King with Inkthinker, http://inkthinkerblog.com/ I liked Kim’s communication style and I learned so much from her WordPress blog posts that I knew that she was the one to move the blog. Kim is all done with her part of the project and I love the fact that she rethemed the blog to match the site but at the moment, LB is both buried in work and having an issue with my server that seems to not want to make the blog porting project work right now. Kim told me I could keep blogging but I just had so much going on that I keep putting writing my posts as the last thing on my list. Kim is awesome and if anyone needs a WordPress blog assist or tips, you should contact Kim!

This post is simply a catch-up post for anyone following this blog and wondering and then I shall begin with a more dedicated posting schedule and the articles that are still in my head waiting to come out.

If you haven’t visited www.designresumes.com to see what it lo0ks like, head over there now and let me know what you think. I finally figured out that you can edit a website and you don’t have to be perfect to launch one. Thinking you have to do things perfectly really slows your progress. So from now on, you will hear from me, it might not be perfect, but I will not wander away… at least for awhile. 🙂

Are People Getting Ruder? Is it a sign of the times?

Andrew Plath, Wildlight Photography
Photo Credit: Andrew Plath, Wildlight Photography

Today I got a phone call from a prospective client. I began with a sentence or two of small talk and then responded to his question of rates. I answered that in order to answer his question, I would need to know more about him since we have several packages. I asked him to tell me about his present position and his goals. I have used that technique for a long time and it usually works very well. His answer startled me! He said, “You haven’t answered my question and if this is indicative of your work, then I can’t work with you” … and then hung up after less than 3 minutes on the line.

 

I live in the Midwest, this was a local call. I know other résumé writers have had clients that started out difficult but in 25 years, I have never had it happen to me. I usually end my rate quote with “does this fit your budget?” Though sometimes I have to work harder to get someone to trust me, the most common comment when I have finished a project is, “I am so glad I came, I feel so relieved.” I don’t even have a clue as to what field my caller was in because he never told me anything nor did he ask any question other than rate. Résumés are not a one size fits all kind of purchase. My prices range from student rates to executive rates and I have multiple rates in the middle to meet every level of a person’s career. I usually listen to the person’s story and try to determine whether there are additional issues that would affect his career, such as: was he recently laid off or is he a manager in a field that doesn’t pay well. A manager of a major manufacturing plant has different résumé needs than someone in retail management. I want to be fair. But this caller never gave me a chance. He challenged my abilities and hung up.

 

 

I debated for a bit after the call and decided to check reverse call and see if I could figure who called. Then I called back. I got voice mail and just left a message that said, “Hi, this is Julie. Someone called from this number and if you still need help, I would be happy to help you.” I didn’t and don’t expect I will hear back but you never know.

But it seems like people experience rudeness from veritable strangers frequently. Last night, I was “talking” to Kim Woodbridge of (Anti) Social Development blog (http://www.kimwoodbridge.com/) and she had just had a commenter on her blog that was very rude and she was having trouble responding to him. She was bothered by his responses. Blog writers open themselves up to responses that may surprise them. As we communicate more and more with strangers, either over the phone or by e-mail or in blogs or blog comments or by the host of social media tools that seem to be growing every day, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, do we need to be even more vigilant that we are not offending others?

When I teach classes on résumés and other career management tools, we discuss how you need to always be careful not to burn bridges. As I am teaching networking, I remind people that they need to nurture their network and keep doors open. I was surprised by my caller’s response and a little hurt, but had he called back, I would have still given him the same level of customer service and assistance that my clients have learned to depend upon.

How about you? Are you rude ever? Are you rude back? Or do you remain ever vigilant to make sure than you don’t offend others. Let’s talk!

 


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