I need an advice

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by snundturo, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. snundturo

    snundturo L1: Registered

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    Hello!
    I'm new here. I've been browsing tons of forums for an idea of what to do. I was laid off from my job about 3 month ago. I've been looking for a job since then, but did not even get a single interview. I worked as a web designer for a publishing company for the last 5 years. Looks like forums.tf2maps.net is an active forum with active members and may be someone has some experience working as a freelance web designer. May be "Maps" category is not the most appropriate for this question, but I want to try anyways to get some opinions before I go ahead with my life. I'm wondering if it is possible in the current economy to find work for a freelance web designer and make enough to pay for rent and groceries. I was able to find a small project on craigslist and I developed a website for a company. It was a small project and took me only a week to complete. I got paid $800 for 1 week of work which is not bad. Please people give me some ideas. I have 2 kids and my wife is out of work as well. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. wreckreation

    wreckreation L1: Registered

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    This needs to be moved to the Off-topic forum.

    But as to your question: I'm a software engineer, also between challenges, so I know your dilemma. It's all about networking. Networking, networking, networking. Talk to everyone you know.

    Stay in touch with all your ex-coworkers (call them to chat about every month or so) let them know you're looking for opportunities, both full-time and freelance. If you go to church talk to everyone there, let them know you're looking. Join a professional society for web designers. Join several.

    Join a job networking group (lots of churches have these, you don't have to be a member or even believe in a god).

    Hone your job search skills. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, join ProMatch (fantastic organization!), they have workshops to teach you how to network, polish your resume, perfect your elevator speech, practice interview techniques, help you figure out your value proposition (what you bring to the table), etc. If you're not in the Bay Area, try your local chapter of Experience Unlimited (similar services). Contact your local Employment Development office or Unemployment office, they'll probably have similar workshops.

    Get yourself a business card (free at Vistaprint.com, there are others). Practice your elevator speech (a 15-30 second blurb about what you do).

    Figure out what companies you want to work for, then find out the names of managers there (ask around, ask your network, ask the receptionist who answers the phone there). Phone them up and ask for 10 minutes of their time to do an Informational Interview. At the interview, DO NOT ask them for a job. DO NOT. Ask them about the company, market, competitors, etc, "how did you get to your current position"", "what have you learned along the way?", etc. (Google "informational interview" for lists of questions to ask). Ask for AIR - Advice, Information, Referrals. Information about the company and industry. Advice on how to position or move your career. And at the end of the interview, ask for Referrals - "Is there anyone else you think I should talk with?" Ask if they'd be willing to give you an introduction (an email introduction will do). Then do informational interviews with those people. And so on.

    Do enough informational interviews, and people will start to keep you in mind. A few of them will say "I know so-and-so at XYZ is looking for web designers. Give me your resume and I'll forward it to them."

    Speaking of which, your resume is NOT a list of the jobs you've held. It is a MARKETING document designed to get you an interview. It is an advertisement for You, Inc. It's purpose is to make the person who reads it say "wow, I really gotta talk to this guy".

    How do you make your resume grab that kind of attention? Describe all your jobs in terms of the problems you solved and the results you generated. PSRs. Problem, Solution, Result. The actual form on your resume is "Result by Solution" [the problem is implied]. Example: NOT: "Worked on the shopping cart application", INSTEAD "Reduced complaints to customer service by 40% by redesigning shopping cart application", etc.

    Your elevator speech should be a mini-version of your best PSR.

    Best of luck!

    Tim "wreckreation" Janke
     
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  3. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    Ive been unemployed since january.. =( so im in the same boat.

    Hopefully you find something quicker then me