After losing a job in the industry, some job seekers may be tempted to throw
themselves a pity party...but we've got a better idea.
How about a job shower? The competitive nature of today's job market rewards
job seekers who are creative, and a job shower is an innovative way to expand
your job prospects. Not to mention, you may be drawn to stay in the industry
because of all of the great people you've come to know, so why not tap into all
of that goodwill?
So let's get started on planning your job shower! If you've ever planned a
baby or bridal shower, the same tenets apply. First, you need to create a
"Career Registry" by identifying specific ways your guests can assist you in
your career search. Think of it as your career search wish list and include
items such as:
a detailed description of your dream job and positions
that interest you,
a job lead you've heard about but you need
someone to provide a contact at that company,
assistance getting an interview with one of your
a barter service to help you with your headshot,
resume, or portfolio,
a list of legitimate prospects or contacts,
a job lead, project or consulting assignment
that fits your skills set.
Be as detailed as possible in your registry, and don't be afraid to expand
the possibilities to take your career in a completely new direction. In fact,
now is a great time to consider applying your experience in a different
capacity. Many employers welcome a fresh perspective and novel ideas to help
them survive these turbulent times, and your background in one discipline may
be just what they need to revitalize their strategy in a completely different
functional area. So jot down anything and everything you'll consider as the
next step in your career path. And if you've decided to start your own business,
your registry can include ways guests can help you by identifying funding
sources, business planning resources, leads on office space and such.
Next, decide if you want to host a virtual party or a real one. If your
network is geographically widespread, a virtual party is ideal. There are
several helpful Websites for virtual party planning including www.myvirtualpartyspace.com,
MySpace or Evite.
If you're really tied into your local community, plan to gather your guests
for some serious face time. There's no need
to rent a hall, hang streamers or hire a professional photographer. All you
need is a comfortable place to gather and converse with your guests.
Once you've got the date, time and logistics in place, you're ready to
develop your guest list. Your job shower is a great opportunity to reconnect
with bosses, mentors, colleagues and classmates from years past. You simply
never know where your next job may come from, so leave no rock unturned! Just
be selective by inviting only those folks who are in a position to help fulfill
your wish of finding your dream job and employer within the industry.
When you extend your invitations, don't be shy about stating your needs and
directing them to your career registry. Let them know what a gift it would be
if they could provide you with any assistance.
After the event, decide on a suitable "party favor" for those guests who
attended your shower and delivered meaningful gifts. You can offer an hour of free consulting
time, or volunteer for a few hours at the nonprofit group of their choice. You
can also personalize your party favor to the recipient: pet sitting, house
cleaning, gardening, or whatever else that person needs assistance with in
their lives. Your party favor is a nice gesture to show your guests how much
you appreciate their assistance in your job search.
The best benefit of throwing yourself a job shower is that
you are in complete control: You choose the date, decide on the guest list, and
detail appropriate gifts. Let the party begin!
Got a career search
question? Ask CTHRA!
Who better to answer your job search questions than a
community of 1,500 recruiters, hiring managers and human resources
professionals from the industry? Send your questions to CTHRA with "Ask CTHRA" in the subject line
and we may feature the answer in an upcoming issue of Television Careers.
Lisa Kaye is a board member and Compensation Committee co-chair for the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association, and the founder of www.greenlightjobs.com.