Staying positive through avoidance

October 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

I’ve paid so much attention lately to “do’s” that I thought, for a change, it would be useful to get some advice from career experts and a psychologist about some things to avoid while job hunting. The goal is to stay focused and upbeat so the general rule is to stay away from those activities and people that are likely to distract and depress.

Their tips, and some of my coping strategies, are to avoid:

*Time wasters — and that includes people. The presumption is now that you’re not working in an office full time that you have all this time on your hands. And while you almost certainly have more flexibility in your schedule than you did previously in a busy journalism job, you need to structure that time effectively around job hunting, free-lance or contract projects and networking. If an activity doesn’t fit into one of those categories during your working day, try to avoid it — or give it just a few minutes. And some necessary activities — such as connecting on social networking sites — can turn into major time wasters if you’re spending inordinate amounts of time there. It may be nice on a sunny day to take up your always-available friend for a round of golf or shopping but just watch how much time you’re taking away from your search. Keep a log of weekday activities and time spent on them if necessary. It may be eye-opening.

*Negative friends or family members. We all have them, those in our lives who may be well-meaning but can’t seem to stop themselves in every conversation from saying, with equal parts pressure and criticism, “So…find anything YET?” (And the implied message: “Think you’ll ever work AGAIN?”) Ugh. Who needs it? Best to try not to talk often to these people while in the midst of a job hunt or to focus conversations on other topics. It doesn’t mean you’re abandoning the friendship, you’re just putting it on hiatus for a while because it doesn’t aid your mental health right now. If it’s a spouse or partner that is the “nattering nabob of negativism” (RIP Spiro Agnew) that’s a trickier situation. In that case, my psychologist source advises a “Dr. Phil-like chat” first letting them know that they’re not helping (they may not realize it) and giving them examples of what would be useful. Find upbeat folks who give you support and make those your job hunting comrades-in-arms.

*Overindulging. Everything in moderation is an especially good guideline while on a job hunt. You’re more vulnerable now to such things as too much drinking, eating unhealthy food and playing too many online games. Know your weak spots and take steps to avoid giving into them. Also, be careful regarding otherwise healthful activities like exercising. Unless you’re planning on switching careers to become an athletic trainer, spending hours and hours in the gym every day won’t help advance your job search.

*Focusing too much on the past, especially on frustration and anger over a layoff. It’s natural to have negative feelings about a layoff or job loss — especially if it was unexpected and handled badly, which unfortunately is happening more and more with journalism purges lately — and psychologists say we need to “process” these feelings before we can effectively move forward. But by dwelling on this you’re robbing yourself of time and energy to advance your career in a meaningful way, which is the best way to put the job loss behind you. Here’s something that works for me: Every day, for 10 minutes (okay, some days it becomes 15 minutes) I let myself think about the way I lost a job I loved and performed well, and how unfair it seems. (I’ve found it’s good to do this while exercising, as it ramps up your speed!) Then I let it go for the rest of the day. Knowing I’ll allow myself the next day to have those 10 minutes is like a little safety valve. Develop your own strategies for dealing with this but don’t look back too often, or you won’t be able to move past it.

*I’ll end this work week with a few job leads. An email correspondent with a broadcast background asks for more radio and TV leads so I’m including a few I’ve found — is the hat tip on these as they have the most complete listings. Please keep ’em coming — the goal is for all of us to help each other land well!

*NPR in D.C. has several openings but this one looked esp. interesting for someone with at least some broadcast background:.

Company: National Public Radio
Supervising Senior Editor, Tell Me More
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
December 3, 2009
Job ID: 1115368


Supervises selection and scheduling of guests for Tell Me More. Supervises preparation of air material and is responsible for editorial integrity and quality of air product. Makes assignments and provides editorial guidance to program hosts, production and editorial staff. Monitors programming and provides critiques. Content for digital media is an integral part of NPR’s product, and this position is expected to contribute audio and digital material. Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience. Required: At least six years of journalism experience. At least one year in broadcast journalism. Demonstrated writing and editing skills. Proven skill in identifying and scheduling guests for a talk show. Proven ability in pre-interviewing guests and planning a question line for live and taped interviews. Knowledge in a broad range of topics appropriate for a national talk show. Ability to work quickly and efficiently under deadline pressure. Ability to edit breaking news for live programming. Proven ability to supervise, coach and develop less experienced staff. Proven ability to work effectively with minimal supervision. Experience maintaining high journalistic standards under deadline pressure, including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness. Demonstrated skill in oral presentation. Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system. Demonstrated understanding of sound organizational development, management and supervisory principles. Preferred: Managerial experience in supervising editors and producers. Significant skills in planning and scheduling in a union environment. At least three years of broadcast journalism experience. Familiarity with blogging and Web 2.0 functionalities.

Submitting a resume online at a job site could cause valuable screening information to be missed.

Please apply directly at:

*The good folks at C-SPAN need some technical help:

Company: C-SPAN
CSPAN Is Seeking Two Field Techs
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
November 30, 2009
Job ID: 1114677

C-SPAN is seeking two Field Technicians to effectively perform field production operations including camera, audio and lighting, and who can contribute to our integration of new technologies across multiple platforms.

Candidates should have a good knowledge of new technologies in a multimedia context.


  • Sets up and operates ENG cameras, audio and lighting for single camera and multiple camera productions.
  • Stays abreast of and assists Field Department with integration of new technologies.
  • Sets up and understands the operation and signal flow of fly packs.
  • Sets up and operates portable microwave transmission gear.
  • Routes and patches permanently wired Capitol Hill rooms back to C-SPAN and knows how to use fiber transmission lines around Washington, DC.
  • Follows safety procedures with equipment.
  • Completes running logs and shoot sheets.
  • Drives vans and minivans in the metro area.


  • Consistently watches the network and follows public affairs.
  • Demonstrates commitment to producing a quality, cost effective product.
  • Adapts to changing priorities.
  • Demonstrates dependability and initiative.
  • Represents the network professionally in actions and appearance.


  • Experience in video production including use of digital video cameras and professional sound equipment.
  • Prefer strong computer skills with PCs and Mac, non-linear editing, video compression and video streaming.
  • Functions effectively with a team.
  • Communicates effectively and professionally.
  • Flexibility with changes to work schedules, assignments and occasional travel.
  • Strong curiosity and willingness to research and employ new technologies and new applications for existing technologies.
  • Ability to lift and carry items weighing up to 40 lbs.
  • Frequently required to walk and stand for extended periods in time and in a variety of weather conditions while performing job.
  • Bachelor’s degree in related discipline.
  • Must possess an adequate credit rating to qualify for receipt of a company-issued credit card.
  • Must provide a current Motor Vehicle Record from the state that issued applicant’s drivers license and hold a valid drivers license.

Send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to EOE

*And for our brethren laid-off or bought-out from a sales force, here is a radio sales job at WTOP/WFED Radio that may be interesting:

Company: WTOP/WFED Radio
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
November 11, 2009
Job ID: 1108318

SALES ASSOCIATE: Are you ambitious and looking to grow & learn? Do you want to begin a career in broadcast sales with a strong company that offers support and training? Bonneville International Corporation, Washington DC home of WTOP and Federal News Radio, is looking for a talented professional who would like to join our nationally ranked sales department as a Sales Associate. This entry level position will assist the sales department in all of their duties…and subsequently will grow into an Account Executive position. 4 yr. college degree preferred, Microsoft Excel, PP & related computer programs a plus. Complete application at link “inside wtop” ..follow instructions from there. Resumes not accepted without an application. EOE

Happy hunting, and have a restful weekend!



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Networking tips from a pro Odds and ends for the new month and new work week

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