Tag Archives: Job

Miss Pink Slip’s Out-of-Work Oscars, Part Deux

Yesterday I counted down the first five of 10 movies I think best exemplify the life (for better or worse) of the unemployed. Some of them are inspirational; some are cautionary tales of the highest degree. Here we go with 6-10:

6. American Beauty– Oh, Kevin Spacey and his bitter, sardonic pervy Lester Burnham! As a depressed father living in “perfect” suburbia, Lester is going through a serious mid-life crisis. He is spectacularly fired, then decides to remake his life when he becomes obsessed with his daughter’s nymphet friend played by Mena Suvari. Chaos ensues. For the unemployed, though, all that matters are Lester’s classic responses to his state of loserness: the firing, the drive-thru window debacle (“you are soooo busted”), the confrontation of his wife sleeping with the Real Estate King. But perhaps the best thing for us to recall and repeat to ourselves is what Lester tells tight-ass Carolyn as she’s bitching him out for the 100th time: “I rule!” Yes, Lester, you do rule.

Moral of the story: Well, there shouldn’t really be a moral for this one, but what the hell. Don’t let the “man” push you around!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqJ8zxV7Cjw

7. Pretty in Pink – Okay. You’re probably wondering how this made the list. Well, Harry Dean Stanton’s portrayal of Jack Walsh (father of Andie) exemplifies the perpetually out-of-work. There’s really no lesson to be learned here. I just wanted to honor the fact that while the guy couldn’t keep a job to save his soul, he really could pick out a good pink prom dress (which his daughter goes on to make into the most butt-ugly prom dress of all time). I guess everyone’s got talent. No chaos here, unless you count Blane dissing Andie for the prom.

Moral of the story: Be good at something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnBjDZ5WRME 

8. Fun with Dick and Jane – I have to admit that I’ve never seen this movie, but I know it absolutely represents our current environment. I also know chaos ensues, but I’ll quote from IMDB for a recap: “The day before Globodyne’s stock tanks, a la Enron, and its pension fund evaporates, the corporation’s CEO and CFO set up middle manager Dick Harper to be the public face of the disaster. Jobless, and with no savings, pension, or home equity, Dick and his wife Jane sink slowly into poverty. He looks for work (as do all former Globodyne executives); he even tries day labor with the relatives of their Mexican nanny. A foreclosure notice sends Dick and Jane over the edge into a life of blue-collar crime. Then, as things finally look up, the report of a looming indictment pushes Dick and Jane toward a denouement with the real criminals, the white-collar guys.” (Thanks, J. Hailey via IMDB!) 

Moral of the story: No matter what, criminal activity is not the answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubWVznIj_xg&feature=related

9. Kramer vs. Kramer – Dustin Hoffman makes the list twice with this tear-jerker about a workaholic ad man who gets laid-off, then goes home to find out his wife’s leaving him…and their young son, Billy. Chaos ensues (including a great scene with French toast), leaving Ted Kramer to embrace his role as a single father and ultimately realize that family is first in his life. He also has a nasty court battle with wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) that will exhaust you.

Moral of the story: Bad events can often make you realize what’s most important in life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmyfOquda-M

10. Office Space – This is definitely a case of saving the best for last. “Office Space” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it fully cemented Ron Livingston’s position in my top five guy list. Plus, I believe it’s one of the only great movies Jennifer Aniston has done. Peter Gibbons is the hero of everyone stuck in a shit job. Unlike most of us, he’s desperately trying to get fired and does everything in his power to do so. What happens? He gets promoted! Genius! Chaos ensues and Peter and his friends move on to a life of white-collar crime. I could go on and on and on, but why? We all know the movie by heart anyway.

Moral of the story: Never steal someone’s red Swingline stapler.

One more moral: If you get laid-off, beating the hell out of a fax machine to the tune of “Still” by Geto Boyz will make you feel like a million bucks.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gujp3PxkkNg&feature=related

Did I forget any? I’m sure I have. Let me know your favorites!

At Least Someone’s Hiring: Tiger Mistress Rachel Uchitel Gets Job at “Extra”

This morning while scanning my proud paper of record, The New York Post, I saw the news that Tiger Woods’ ho Rachel Uchitel has landed a new gig at “Extra”. Apparently, she was on the show with Mario Lopez the other night and impressed the producers so much that they’ve hired her on as a “special correspondent”.

Dear God.

From the Post: “A show source added, ‘She won’t talk about Tiger, but she talks about how she wants to find a husband and have kids. She only has a few real friends left whom she trusts. She is alone a lot and spends time with her two dogs. She seems very vulnerable.'”

Boo-hoo. My heart aches for her. Well, I guess it’s better to be paid by Warner Bros. than it is to be paid by Tiger.

What a great message Rachel is sending out to women. If your opportunities seem slim, just hook up with a married athlete, shame yourself in the national media and watch the prospects pile up.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/soft_landing_XH2tZ9zHQ2vUxTsZI3tgXP#ixzz0f8wEzcYd

FINALLY Someone Makes a Smart Decision on “The Bachelor” – Ali Chooses Her Job Over Jake

Let me say this first: I’m mortified that I’ve gotten sucked back into that vortex of smut ABC calls “The Bachelor”. But it’s SO good! In fact, on Entertainment Weekly‘s Web site, a reader commented that watching “The Bachelor” is like “eating deep fried Twinkies”. Indeed, it is.

On last night’s installment, most of the drama revolved around Ali Fedotowsky, the advertising account manager from San Francisco (or as I like to call her, “Mean Girl”). Apparently, Ali’s company stepped in and gave her an ultimatum: Her job or the show. Or for Ali: Love or Money.

From Jake’s People.com Bachelor Blog: “My heart crumbled when she told me her boss demanded her back at work. I didn’t actually think she would leave me. We talked about it for three hours that night while the poor women at the rose ceremony just waited. She actually didn’t have to be back at work for four or five more days but we were leaving the country the next morning, so she had to make a decision. I felt like she wanted me to make the choice for her, but I couldn’t. How could I live with myself if I told her, ‘No! You are not leaving me now!'”

Smart girl, that Ali.

She gracefully decided to leave the show, making her exit in the standard black limo while Jake pouted on camera, demonstrating his obvious angst. Ali knew she’d rather have job security than her ass in the unemployment line. Can you imagine if she’d stayed and had Jake pick villainess Vienna Girardi in the end? The 25-year old Massachusetts-native would’ve gone nuts and probably knifed Vienna for stealing everything and leaving her a broken shell of a woman.

We all know well that a job is hard to come by. Men? They’re like trains. Just as one’s departing, another one arrives into the station. 

What would you have done if you were Ali? Would you have chosen the potential for love over steady work and a paycheck?

Photo: ABC

Three Things the Unemployed Can Learn from the New Orleans Saints

Who ‘dat! Who ‘dat! Who ‘dat thought the Saints would ever make it to a Super Bowl!

It’s the miracle of all miracles – once the worst of the worst in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints have made it to the main stage of professional football…the Super Bowl.

I’m not going to go into all the sentiment, because likely you’ve seen it on television or read it in the newspaper. They’re calling the Saints “America’s Team”, and no franchise in NFL history has deserved it more.

If you’re unemployed and have struggled for months (maybe even a year) to land that full-time gig, you probably know how the Saints felt until this year. Since 1967, they have been the punching bag of the NFL. In fact, it took until 1987 for them to have a successful season. But after forty years of terrible records and a catastrophic hurricane, the Saints finally came out on the other side. How did they do it? And how does that apply to you and your job search? Three things:

1) Ignore the naysayers. Saints fans are loyal, to say the least. But through hard times, even those folks have turned on their beloved team.  In 1980, the Saints lost a slew games, and a local sportscaster said Saints fans should wear paper bags over their heads at games. The phrase the “Aints” became part of the local lexicon.  This team, which could have given up and eventually collapsed under negative feedback and support, pressed on and now they’re showing the naysayers what they’re made of.

If you’ve got negativity surrounding you in your job search, get rid of it. Ignore it. It won’t help anything. And believe me, if you keep going, you’ll eventually show your detractors who’s boss.

2) Ride out the storm. Loyal fans stayed with the Saints through thick and thin. And even with the Superdome lying in tatters after Katrina, the franchise got to stay in New Orleans, and the city rallied around “their” team like no other point in Saints history. 

Times may be bad, and the market may be grim, but eventually, your time will come. Try to be patient, stay positive and keep doing your best.

3) Employ some top guns. Both the team and the city used this strategy to their advantage. The Saints hired Coach Sean Payton and Drew Brees in 2006, and the rest has been history. The leadership those two have imparted on the team and its hometown have been monumental and helped highlight the talents of many other Saints players who were, frankly, under the radar.  

Sometimes you’ve got to use the right people to make you look good and help elevate you to the place you deserve to be. Don’t be afraid to find them, use them and reward them.

Finally, GEAUX SAINTS!

I Need Help for Self-Help

self-help

Being let go from your job stirs up all sorts of emotions and makes you feel like the Road Runner is circling your gut. You begin re-evaluating yourself and setting the stage for a massive self-improvement overhaul. Personally, I constantly wondered “What’s going to make someone else hire me?”, “Will they see through me?”, “Do I have what it takes?”, “Can I handle this stress?”, etc. etc. etc. It kept me up at night and created huge distractions.

I don’t know about you, but all those feelings led me to embrace a lot of self-help tools. My magazines became my guide. O The Magazine was always a source of inspiration or deep introspection. Cosmo gave me quizzes. Redbook taught me how to be happy. I also turned to the Bible, The Secretand Joel Osteen’s weekly broadcasts at midnight (I know, I know).

I obsessively checked my horoscope on every Web site I could find. I not only read the daily updates, I read the money ‘scope, the love ‘scope and the monthly and yearly horoscopes. I read them sometimes twice a day. The Web became my virtual therapist’s office, ready at anytime to provide me with endless tips and information on how I can be a better “me”.

Even though I have a job now, I still wake up feeling antsy and somewhat nauseated, and I bring that to work. So when I’m churning like a whirling dervish, I’ve been turning to what I know.

This week, I had an epiphany. After reading one too many articles about  soul searching, happiness and the “law of attraction”, I realized that I’m addicted to this crap! I also began realizing that all this “self-help” is making me a more nervous, skeptical person. Am I doing anything right? Will anything ever go right for me? Of course I am, and of course it will, but first I’ve got to return to my senses, trust my gut more than Dr. Phil and go with it! Therefore, I’ve vowed to take a step back from all this betterment and see if it creates the serenity I need. I’m trying. Really, I am.

Do you ever feel like you’ve had enough self-help and self-improvement?

GUEST BLOGGER: Ken Herron Shares 5 Things You Should Be Doing Online to Find Your Next Job

I am a marketing geek, who, like many of you, is “actively seeking” my next job.  Job hunt experts consistently tell us the best way to find our next job is in-person networking.  What they don’t always mention, however, is that maximizing our online presence will also help us to find our next job faster.

Here are five things you should be doing to increase the likelihood of being “found” online by recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers.  When you submit for jobs online, they also give people helpful information supporting your submission.

#1  Use the same version of your name — everywhere
You don’t need to understand the latest SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to know that using multiple versions of your name in your resumes, online profiles and in real life makes you harder to find online. 

#2  Google, Yahoo!, and Bing yourself — weekly
Are you on the first page of search results?  Are you nowhere to be found?  Do photos and/or videos pop up showing you wearing nothing but a hat comprised of several different kinds of tropical fruit?  You should know exactly what comes up when your name is entered into the most popular search engines.

#3  Create a Google profile
I know of no other guaranteed, real-time way to get exactly the information you want about yourself — including text, photos, and links — on the bottom of the first page of Google search results for your name.  Didn’t even know Google had profiles?  Learn more at: http://www.slideshare.net/KenHerron/how-to-leverage-your-google-profile (full disclosure: this is a presentation I gave recently at a conference on the topic). 

#4  Really use your LinkedIn profile
Having a complete, up-to-date LinkedIn profile is not enough.  Actively use LinkedIn on a daily basis for online networking.  To start, update your status to network with your connections, join groups to make new connections, answer questions to demonstrate your expertise and review LinkedIn’s job postings.

#5  Cross link
Include the web links to your relevant online profiles, recommendations, portfolios, papers, presentations and videos on both your paper and online resumes.  Always include the links to the most relevant profiles (e.g., Google, LinkedIn, VisualCV, etc.) in your e-mail signature lines and cover letters.

The Internet has exploded our job search tools from a kid-size box of crayons to a warehouse club-size tub.  Take full advantage of all the different web “crayons” available, and you will dramatically shorten your job search!

An award-winning global marketer, Ken Herron (http://www.google.com/profiles/kenherron) lives in Boston as he networks, online and offline, to find his next job.

Thanks, Ken! Keep us posted on your progress!

I’m a Piss-Poor Runner, But At Least the Stress is Gone

woman_jogging“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” — Elle Woods, “Legally Blonde”

I’ve been a ball of nerves lately. I can’t sleep. I don’t want to eat. The past few days I’ve found myself paralyzed, sitting at my desk with a queasy stomach, unable to force down my cinnamon raisin bagel and making do with my ever trusty Diet Coke. Yes, I know that makes nerves worse.

The truth is, uncertainty has taken over my life for the first time since I got my job. Granted, it’s mostly of a personal nature, and it will work its way out, but it just reminded me how tough uncertainty is when you’re finding a job.

You never know when the right contact will appear, when the right person will read your resume, when a job just for you might open. You just can never know. You can plan all you want, the pressure builds, you worry every night so much you can’t fall asleep no matter what boring SMC infomercial is on or sound machine is buzzing. You wake up every morning so full of anxiety you can’t move. 

All through my job search, running became my stress relief, my therapist, my comfort. Every time I tied my Asics, I grimaced and cursed. But, every time I returned, I was rejuvenated, sweaty, red-faced and smiling.

My stomach was fluttering all day AGAIN today, and it just occurred to me: Get off your ass and go run, Miss Pink Slip!

So tonight, I darted out around 8:30 p.m., an hour after eating a plateful of spaghetti and swaddling myself in a blanket on the couch to watch “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs. Even those episodes couldn’t rouse me from my depression. I had a nagging sense I needed to get out and move. I was gasping by mile one and doubled over from the pasta binge, but I kept going. I got home just as the sun set and took a long, hot bath. I feel like a new person.

I’m headed out of town tomorrow for a tough work week, and my tennis shoes are going with me. I know I’m going to need them.

What’s your sure-fire stress relief?