Tag Archives: unemployed

Unemployed? 20 Inexpensive Ways to Show Yourself Some Love on Valentine’s Day

I was thinking of what I could possibly write that relates the unemployed and struggling to Valentine’s Day. Then, it came to me: This is a perfect time to show yourself some love and affection. And who needs that more than you?

I came up with 20 ways you can give yourself a big hug this Sunday. They’re cheap and easy…just like me. Kidding! 🙂

  1. Hit up a matinée. Garry Marshall’s “Valentine’s Day” hits theaters today. Most of the Oscar-nominated films are out, too.
  2. Download a few new songs from iTunes.
  3. Treat yourself to a small piece of costume jewelry like earrings or a bracelet. Target’s got cute guilt-free options.
  4. Take time away from your computer to dive into that cheesy chick lit book that’s sitting on your bedside table.
  5. Head over to your neighborhood chocolatier and buy a couple of sinfully divine truffles or even just a mug of decadent hot chocolate. Yes, with whipped cream. Yes, with chocolate shavings. 
  6. Invite your closest friends over to share a nice bottle of wine. This is the time to splurge on that $25 or $30 bottle you’ve been eyeing.
  7. Go to church. For the faithful, nothing is more uplifting than some quiet time with God or an inspiring sermon from your favorite spiritual leader.
  8. Join the girls for brunch at a cute café with all-you-can-drink mimosas or Bloody Marys.
  9. Let yourself be lazy. Pile up on the couch with a blanket and watch hours of Lifetime or Hallmark Channel movies. Go ahead…no one’s watching!
  10. Visit your local bookstore and treat yourself to a gorgeous magazine you normally don’t read.
  11. Pick up some new lingerie. Again, Target has cute bras, panties and nighties. Loehmann’s also has a great selection.
  12. Manicure/Pedicure. Duh.
  13. A tube of lipstick or bottle of nail polish. I love bright colors from Chanel, MAC, Essie and OPI. Drugstore brands are great, too!
  14. Take a bubble bath. My favorite indulgence by far.
  15. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers at the market. FTD doesn’t have to make a delivery to be cheered by a bright bunch of blooms.
  16. Get the kids out of the house for the afternoon.
  17. Bundle up and take a long stroll somewhere you can enjoy beautiful outdoor scenery. 
  18. Buy the best candle you can afford at a cute gift shop you normally don’t visit. Light it, take a deep breath and close your eyes.
  19. Did you cut out Starbucks when you lost your job. Not today you don’t!
  20. Have a hot afternoon of sex with your partner–it costs virtually nothing. That is, unless you forget protection!

What are you planning to do this Valentine’s Day?

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!

Dyeing for a Treat? Don’t Dismiss Guilty Pleasures

In the February issue of Town & Country, Bernie Madoff victim and former Self Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Penney discusses her upcoming book, The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It All. Essentially, one day she was wealthy; the next, she was flat broke. She had to completely alter her existence and way of living. She made lists of things she could do without and things she had to keep. One thing she deemed necessary: her colorist.

Me too, sister! Even when I was unemployed, even as I try to save money today, I don’t know what I would do without my hair stylist and colorist Rick. In fact, I have an appointment today, and wild horses couldn’t keep me away. For God’s sake, I had to reschedule it from last week and tears pretty much accompanied the call to the salon. This may sound superficial and frivolous, but good hair makes me feel good. When my locks are scraggly and my roots look like Madonna’s, I can barely look in the mirror. Give me one afternoon with Rick? I’m a new person.

Moral of the story:  Try to keep at least one treat for yourself, even if you’re struggling financially. It could be anything from a piece of Godiva chocolate to new running shoes to a pair of earrings. For me — and Alexandra — it’s hair color. These little extravagances keep us feeling human, and for that, I don’t feel guilty at all.

Atlanta Networking Happy Hour Feb. 17 at Tavern 99

From Jenny Jeansonne:
 
“As many of you know I try to help the unemployed of Atlanta as much as I can.
I host free networking happy hours once a month and post job leads.
 
My next happy hour is Wed Feb 17th at Tavern 99.
Please RSVP via the Evite: http://tiny.cc/ATLjobs
 
People can find Atlanta Job Leads at http://atlantajobleads.wordpress.com
 
If you are hiring or know anyone that is looking for qualified individuals – please have them email me the job description and how to apply.  I will post it (for free on my blog)
 
My blog and networking group began in MARCH 2009 and my blog has received over 40K visits and my networking has helped over 1000 people in the Atlanta area. And none of this would be successful without your help!
 
Thank you so much!”
Jenny Jeansonne

Cheap Fast-Food Eats for 2010

I can’t lie–I love an Egg McMuffin. It’s my favorite fast-food breakfast next to the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit. However, the chicken biscuit adds more pounds to my ass than an Egg McMuffin, so…

In today’s story by Bruce Horovitz for USA Today, Bruce announces that McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell are unveiling huge values for the New Year. This should be welcome news to all of us who are watching our wallets but still need to get out of the house for a quick treat.

When we were out of work, my UPiC (Unemployed Partner in Crime) Shelley and I used to walk to McDonald’s for a double cheeseburger meal. Sadly, it made our day.

McDonald’s is adding a dollar breakfast menu (yes, beloved McMuffin is on there!), Taco Bell unveils an 89-cent Beefy 5-Layer Burrito and Burger King adds a $1 chicken sandwich. These are just a few of the items coming to your local drive-thru in 2010.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2009-12-10-cheapeats10_ST_N.htm

5 Easy Things You Can Do For Your Unemployed BFF

When I was in the thick of unemployment, I couldn’t afford to go out to eat or have beers with my friends. I was also stressed most of the time and pre-occupied with where my next buck was coming from. I kept hearing people ask, “I know she can’t afford to go out, but we miss seeing her” or “She won’t even let us buy her a glass of wine”. In addition to all that, I often didn’t shower or change out of my pajamas.

When at the mercy of the unemployment office, the jobless can get sensitive about taking money from others, no matter how well-intended. It’s called pride. Pride can also cause them to slowly feel disengaged from their circle of friends. So what can you, a gainfully employed person, do to show that out-of-work pal that she’s not out of luck or out of love?

  1. Invite him/her over for dinner – An invitation for a home-cooked meal is a low-key way to make your friend get dressed and leave the house without spending money. Also, my UPiC (Unemployed Partner-In-Crime) and I used to make dinner for each other. We got to eat well by sharing the expense, and we had something fun to socialize over
  2. Drop by with an inexpensive bottle of wine – They may not let you buy drinks while out at the local watering hole, but home is a different matter. And go cheap so they don’t feel like they owe you
  3. Grab her for a walk or jog – A good gab session coupled with exercise is a great way to socialize, boost endorphins, get out of the house and loosen stress 
  4. Give the gift of flowers – I’m not talking bouquetboflbs from 1-800 Flowers. I’m talking deli/grocery store blossoms. And before you think you’re too good for them, I once saw George Stephanopoulus darting across 14th Street in NYC carrying deli daisies (presumably for his fabulous wife Alexandra Wentworth). Brightly colored bouquets can help cheer up any job hunter or the job hunter’s cave (read: home)
  5. Just listen – No advice. No contacts. No “what I would do if I were you…” (even though I assume you will have gone through that exercise already). Just bend your ear for a while, offer a calming smile instead of tips and end your visit with a big hug or word of encouragement

How do I know these things work? Because my friends are awesome, and they helped make unemployment bearable for me!

What a Shock…A Good Beer Summit Can Solve Anything!

beer-ledeThe newly coined “Beer Summit” has been going on for days, months, years! Since when did it become a point of “shock and awe” that a good confab over a frosty adult beverage can soothe what ails us?

If our President is being heralded as a hero for organizing the so-called “Beer Summit”, then I’m a bonafide legend. Most of you are, too! How many unemployment happy hours or Pink Slip Parties have you been invited to since the recession turned “layoff” into a lifestyle? During my time out of work, I attended and/or organized several such gatherings. Why? Because in times of crisis, people turn to the bottle. I say that in the hopes that you don’t label me an “alcoholic” or send me AA pamphlets. It just is what it is. When you have a drink and are among friends, your nerves ease, your sadness subsides and emotional walls come tumbling down. So it’s no wonder the President employed the old “happy hour” scenario to try to create some meaningful conversation among the alleged racial profiling cop, Prof. Gates and himself. 

When I got laid off (and dumped the night before), my girls and I bonded on a sunny porch over a bottle (or three) of vino. It was certainly wine-soaked wisdom that turned my bad mood around that night. We also came up with quite a few ideas and solutions for my jobless state. Let’s face it: A pop of a cork can cause keen understanding along with wise insight to gush forth like Niagara Falls.  

So, American media, quit acting like this “Beer Summit” is such a new thing. Granted, I know we’re talking about larger, more important issues of race relations, but it’s embarrassing that y’all think it’s so cool that beer is being served on the White House lawn. In backyards and bars all across America, people have been gathering for centuries to drink a pint and toss around answers to our nation’s problems; why don’t you cover that?

Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

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!

What’s Your Pleasure?

abcsAs I was finishing off my bowl of ABCs and 123s chased with chips and salsa, I saw that “Little House on the Prairie” was on. And, not only that, but it was the episode where Ma thinks Pa is gettin’ it on with the young, attractive widow for whom he’s moonlighting in order to afford some fancy new dishes for the Ingalls’ dinner table. Sadly, I had a big ol’ smile on my face at the end of the show, then got to turn it to Lifetime for my double-dose of “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs. Ahhhh…guilty pleasures. Does it get any better?

When you’re down and out, unemployed, victimized by recession, dumped and/or stuck with roots that you can’t afford to have colored, guilty pleasures can be the only thing to get you through the muck. But just because they’re called “guilty”, don’t be coy about them bringing you joy. Embrace them. Honor them. Love them.

Herewith are Miss Pink Slip’s 10 favorite guilty pleasures. These are the things that bring me glee and cause me no shame. Well, maybe they do a little. Enjoy:

  1. My many, many magazine subscriptions. Vogue, Elle, O The Oprah Magazine, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Time, Business Week, Atlanta Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, etc. The entire staffs of Hearst and Conde Nast should thank me for their jobs
  2. Horoscopes in the backs of those many, many magazines. Elle, barbieyou suck for getting rid of the Numerology page!
  3. Chef Boyardee. Ravioli. ‘Nuff said.
  4. “Touched by an Angel”. Shut up. I hear you judging me!
  5. Chili dogs
  6. El Azteca– only you Atlantans can appreciate the nastiness
  7. Romance novels of the 50s and 60s
  8. 64 box of Crayons and coloring books featuring Barbie 
  9. Seeing cheesy teen movies in the theater. I swear I was the only female in the audience of “Never Been Kissed” who’d actually had my period
  10. Show tunes(from “Annie”, “Sound of Music”, “Rent”) that pop up on my iPod while in the shuffle songs function

What are your guilty pleasures?

Mindless Movie Monday: The Primetime Edition

the-bachelorette-jillian-harrisSee, there are worse things than being unemployed. You could be starring on “The Bachelorette”. Or your name could be “Kiptyn”. Or worse yet, you could be the inaugural Bachelor Alex Michel (whom I once saw trolling a Sutton Place bar in NYC during happy hour…solo). Take your pick:

See what schmuck Jillian chooses in tonight’s “Bachelorette” finale at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Is it just me, or does Jillian look like she’s saying, “Good morning, Mr. M. Looks like you could use a cupcake!” I just got a Tracy Flick vision in my head. Can you imagine Tracy Flick on “The Bachelorette”? That bitch would be scary.