Living the office-less life

November 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

Many journalists these days are discovering the charms and challenges of working outside an office. Even if it’s a temporary situation, experts say there are some guidelines to follow when setting up an office in a place where you also eat, do laundry and relax:

*Don’t mix too much business and pleasure — or chores — during the working day. The obvious temptations are the refrigerator, the TV and DVD, and even the washer and dryer, especially for busy parents who think they can multitask a bit on the home and work fronts while job-hunting and freelancing. Set up a well-functioning work station and maintain a regular work schedule in your home office. A good rule of thumb to follow: If I was in an office setting, would I be doing this right now? If the answer is probably not, it’s good to stay away from those activities except during breaks in your work day.

*Make plenty of career-oriented appointments away from your home office during the work week. As noted in previous blogs, it’s a good idea to meet face-to-face with contacts as much as possible when job-hunting anyway. And such meetings will help you plan your day and keep you focused. Also, when you’re back in your home office you’ll  have less time to fritter away with distractions.

*Stay organized. Develop systems for dealing with paper, files, and reference material. Try to avoid clutter. If you had a well-organized office at your previous news organization, try to replicate that in your home office. Also develop a system for dealing with personal calls and email — a good idea is to communicate your “office hours” to family and friends, and tell them you’ll deal with personal matters outside those hours. You’re working, just not in an office setting. If you have child-care duties, make sure to get help and backup so that you’re not trying to be a babysitter and a professional journalist during your working day; you won’t do either very well in the end.

*Enjoy the freedom and flexibility a home office affords. While keeping in mind the rules in the first item (you don’t want to have too much fun during the working day!) enjoy some of the charms of working from home. They include: Casual-dress workdays every day; fewer distractions than in a busy office; no commuting time (you may gain as much as a few hours a day — use it wisely!); and the opportunity to enjoy yourself on breaks. Many who have mastered the challenges of working at home say they are less stressed and more productive than in a noisy office.

*Stay connected. It can be a bit lonely working at home, especially for those who have been in office settings most of their career. Make regular phone calls, use social-networking sites (though don’t overdo) to form a virtual workplace community and find others who are also living the office-less life w/whom you can share tips and support.

*Here are a few job and project leads:

*This is an interesting project next week in D.C. with which an ex-CQer needs some help:

Fast typing reporter needed to work as a transcriber/summarizer for a public diplomacy symposium next Monday/Tuesday, Nov. 9 & 10, in downtown D.C. It does not need to be a word-for-word transcription (it won’t be released to the public or quoted from directly) but we need someone who can type very fast — around 100 words/minute — and who can synthesize the main points as it will be used to write a white paper. You can tape record it as a backup but the acoustics might not be good. You would need to bring your own laptop.

Hours are 8:30am~6pm Monday and 8:30am~4pm Tuesday. Cleaned-up version needed about 48 hours after the conference ends, so plan for some time to work on it afterward. Pay is a flat fee of $800. E-mail liriel@visionairemedia.com if interested.

*Here is a communications opening with a good organization:

http://www.rainn.org/about-rainn/work-at-rainn/communications-manager

Communications Manager

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The Communications Manager is responsible for managing all of RAINN’s media activities. Will have extensive contact with media and help set policy and shape messages to promote awareness of RAINN to the public and key influencers. One key responsibility will be promoting RAINN’s hotlines. The Communication Manager will report directly to the V.P. of Communications.

Organizational Background

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and online @ rainn.org.) in partnership with over 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotlines have helped more than 1.3 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

RAINN is a frequent resource for television, radio, print, and online news outlets — as well as local, state and national policymakers, law enforcement and rape treatment professionals — on the issues related to sexual violence. We work extensively with the media and with the entertainment industry to provide vital information to millions of Americans each month with important information about sexual assault prevention, recovery, and prosecution.

Duties
  • Respond to press inquiries and assist reporters with research, interview suggestions and statistics.
  • Build relationships with members of the media. Research and identify story opportunities and pitch stories to outlets.
  • Monitor news relevant to RAINN’s mission and develop initiatives for new actions.
  • Lead development and implementation on media outreach strategies, including earned and online/new media for all projects, campaigns, and initiatives.
  • Drafting written materials including press releases, talking points, articles and monthly newsletters.
  • Create content for rainn.org, and RAINN’s various social networking platforms.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications
  • Minimum three years of media relations experience.
  • Demonstrated success in leading media and public communications efforts.
  • Experience in online communications and understanding of grassroots organizing through new media platforms.
  • Exceptional written communication skills and high attention to detail.
  • Aggressive, creative and innovative spirit with a deep understanding of public communications and marketing.
  • Strong personal initiative, team player, self-starter, mature, personable, and sense of humor.
  • Must be flexible with the ability to multi-task and adjust to frequently changing priorities in a fast-paced working environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Agency experience a plus.
Salary/Benefits

Salary based on experience of applicant. Benefits include health insurance, casual office environment and flex time. RAINN is an equal opportunity employer.

To Apply:

**NOTE: No phone calls, please. Only completed applications will be considered.

Interested candidates should send the following items via email to katherineh@rainn.org, subject line: “Communications Manager”

– Cover letter with salary history and requirements
– Resume
– 3 writing samples
– 3 references

*The next set of openings might be right for a few transitioning journalists willing to relocate to New York:

PSN is Hiring: Broadband and Green Jobs Advocate –
Plus Health Care Advocate and Press & New Media Specialist

Progressive States Network is expanding our staff and seeks candidates for a number of exciting positions in our New York office.  Please forward the postings below to anyone you know who might be interested.

Positions Include:

Progressive States Network is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage and value a diverse workforce, and we seek diversity among applicants.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

For instructions on how to apply, please consult the directions in each job position listing.


Broadband and Green Jobs Advocate

Goal: The Progressive States Network (www.progressivestates.org) seeks a highly motivated individual to work in a team approach in our New York office as a policy advocate working on Broadband and Green Jobs issues, our key state economic growth and job creation policy areas. The Progressive States Network is a state-based organization, the mission of which is to pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America’s state legislatures.

Job Description: Progressive States is looking for an individual to help coordinate our broadband and green jobs policies with state legislators and allied state advocacy groups across the country as component of economic recovery, long-term economic growth and equity for our communities. We see facilitating universal broadband access and adoption, including digital skills training, as a key to economic and racial equality in the modern era. And such “smart” technologies are intertwined with energy-saving policies tied to green buildings, teleheath and smart grids needed to end our nation’s dependence on oil and stop climate change. We are looking for someone who can not only help support policies across these areas of broadband and green energy, but can also help build the new political alliances supporting these policies to bridge the concerns of environmental activists, health care advocates, labor unions and community groups working for economic development and environmental justice.

The goal of this position is to build those alliances and take on corporate lobbyists in statehouses across the country and help spread policies that democratize access to the tools of democracy, economic empowerment and a sustainable economy. These policies fall into three broad categories:

  • Promoting Universal and Affordable Broadband through encouraging broadband investments, supporting education and job training programs to connect low-income communities to technology jobs, and encouraging economic job creation tied to technology investments.
  • Encouraging “Green Jobs” Policies, such as retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, deploying solar and other alternative energy sources; and supporting higher-density, affordable housing policies to discourage urban sprawl.
  • Leveraging Technology for Energy, Health Care and Education Savings in ways that link programs promoting energy-efficient “smart buildings” and tele-medicine into broadband, clean energy and health care coalitions.

The role of the policy advocate will be to coordinate policy development with national allies, help build our network of state legislators and state-based allies committed to these issues, and provide rapid response policy support throughout the legislative sessions. This will entail everything from helping draft legislation to writing op-eds to providing tailored fact sheets as needed by different states.

The position will be located in PSN’s New York office.

Additional Qualifications: While policy experience on all these issues would be ideal, we recognize that many candidates will come in with experience more in one area and will need to develop expertise in other policy areas over time. But what any candidate will need is to be self-motivated and an innovative thinker and organizer with a dedication to economic and racial justice. Excellent verbal and writing skills are an essential requirement. Relevant experience includes (but is not limited to) working in political, policy, legal, journalistic, or government settings. Advanced degrees, including a JD or masters in related fields, may count toward a candidate’s professional experience.

Background: The Progressive States Network works with legislators and organizations across the country to advance legislation at the state level that rewards work, values families, promotes justice, increases democracy and grows the economy. Backed by labor unions, community leaders, environmental groups, grassroots organizations and other individual supporters, Progressive States blends analysis and action and is working to establish a cohesive network and support system for progressive legislators in all 50 states, while building a concerted movement dedicated to grassroots social and political change across the nation. See www.progressivestates.org for more information.

Salary and benefits for this position is commensurate with the amount of relevant professional experience that a candidate has. Opportunities for advancement, travel, and additional training are available.

Progressive States Network is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage and value a diverse workforce, and we seek diversity among applicants.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Email a compelling cover letter, resume and writing sample to broadbandgreenjob@progressivestates.org. Please identify which policy position you are applying for in the subject line. Please demonstrates your ability to write about policy issues in a manner accessible to the public.


Health Care Policy Advocate

Goal: PSN seeks a highly motivated individual to work in a team approach as a policy advocate working on health care issues with state legislators and organizations around the country. The Progressive States Network is a state-based organization, the mission of which is to pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America’s state legislatures, strengthen progressive alliances, and challenge rightwing forces in each of those states.

Job Description: Progressive States Network has built a network of over 750 state legislators in forty-eight states who support fundamental progressive health care reform and the task of the health care policy advocate, working with both national and state organizational allies, is to help translate that legislative network into concrete changes in both federal and state policy. That work will include a few key policy goals:

  • Mobilize legislators and allies in support of federal health care reform;
  • Help implement the law in the states in the most progressive way possible once passed;
  • Work to assure transparency and equity in the stimulus spending in states across the country.

The organizational tools we use in pursuit of these legislative goals include a combination of broad policy support in the form of reports and weekly updates on best practices, combined with rapid-response technical support for legislators and advocates in particular states. We work to strengthen cross-state legislator peer-to-peer education and coordination, while deepening coordination of legislators and organizational allies in each state.

Because PSN works across multiple issues, any advocate should be prepared to work in a multi-issue framework and track some policy issues beyond health care.

PSN State Campaign Support: A core part of the PSN staffer’s responsibility will be to support campaigns on these issues in each state, working with local allies and legislative allies we have developed from other campaigns to find sponsors and help move the bills in more states. This help will range from drafting legislation and amendments during the sessions, writing op-eds, developing fact sheets and other resource sheets, promoting grassroots public education in support of these health care reform initiatives, and helping legislators educate their fellow lawmakers on the need for the bills.

Building National Health Care Legislative Network: A key role for the PSN health care advocate will be to strengthen and deepen our national network of state legislators and allied organization that can work consistently to expand health care for all. By encouraging more legislator-to-legislator communication across state lines, we help legislators to see a policy proposal not as some radical new innovation but as a tested policy which has strengthened the political position of their peer legislators in other states. Strengthening legislator-to-legislator coordination also encourages legislators to think more seriously about the national impact of their actions and their role as leaders in the progressive movement, instead of just narrowly concentrating on their role as legislators in their own state.

Qualifications: The candidate for Health Care Advocate must be self-motivated, as well as an innovative thinker and organizer with a dedication to a progressive, anti-racist vision of our economy and society.

Excellent verbal and writing skills are an essential requirement. Background in health care advocacy is strongly desired. Relevant experience includes (but is not limited to) working in political, policy, legal, journalistic, or government settings. Advanced degrees, including a JD or masters in related fields, may count toward a candidate’s professional experience. But most of all, we are looking for smart, creative thinkers and doers who can help build and strengthen the progressive movement in this country.  Position based in PSN’s national office in New York, NY. Occasional travel required.

Salary and benefits for this position is commensurate with a senior-level position based on the amount of relevant professional experience that a candidate has. Opportunities for advancement, travel, and additional training are available.

Progressive States Network is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage and value a diverse workforce, and we seek diversity among applicants.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Email a compelling cover letter, resume and writing sample identifying which policy position you are applying for and which shows your ability to write about policy issues in a manner accessible to the public to: healthcarejob@progressivestates.org. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.


Press and New Media Specialist

Job Description: The Communications Specialist will manage PSN’s day-to-day press activities, work with state legislative leaders across the country, oversee the production and distribution of its self-generated media materials, and contribute to the organization’s growth through formulation and implementation of long-term media strategy that helps promote an anti-racist, social justice agenda covering a range of issues on behalf of working families.

In helping to build long-term progressive power in the states, the position’s primary long-term strategic assignment will be to design and execute a comprehensive new media outreach initiative in close collaboration with PSN’s Executive Director and Online Technology Manager. The Communications Specialist will be tasked with identifying key stakeholders in the states, from policy organizations to blogs to legislators who are writing about state-level policy, and recruiting them to contribute their work to an evolving online community hosted by PSN and dedicated to the development of a 50-state grassroots advocacy and media movement.

Through this initiative, PSN intends to construct a site that not only provides a definitive source of information on state policy and politics, but that also actively facilitates collaboration between bloggers, legislators, and advocates in devising and implementing strategy for the furtherance of the broader progressive movement.

The daily responsibilities of the job will include the drafting and distribution of op-eds, press releases, blog posts, and media advisories. Close collaboration with PSN’s Policy and Outreach staffs will be necessary to translate multi-state legislative drives into messaging campaigns that move the national political narrative. In addition to the maintenance of these internal relationships, the Communications Specialist will be charged with initiating and cultivating relationships with a broad array of local, regional, and national reporters as well as managing partnerships with allied alternative media organizations such as GRITtv, Creative Counsel, and American Forum.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a minimum of 2 years experience in the non-profit communications and media field and a history of commitment to progressive social change. Above all, the applicant must be an effective people person with strong writing skills, a voracious appetite for keeping up with the news, a passion for progressive politics, and a tenacious work ethic.

More specifically, he or she:

  • Must be a strong independent researcher who can quickly master large amounts of complex technical information on a diverse set of issue areas and create succinct and compelling summaries for dissemination to the press, online media and the general public.
  • Must be familiar with current trends in online advocacy journalism and social media web applications and be able to generate innovative ideas for incorporating those trends into PSN’s organizational growth strategy.
  • Must be able to collaborate closely with other members of the staff in order to coordinate publicity efforts with the short- and long-term strategic goals of the organization.
  • Must be able to meet hard deadlines and manage multiple overlapping projects in coordination with ideologically and geographically diverse set of partners.
  • Must be an imaginative thinker capable simultaneously of generating fresh and locally-specific “hooks” out of the national news cycle and of interesting local reporters in national, multi-state narratives.
  • Must present her- or himself dynamically and speak well in public.
  • Must be proficient with HTML and general computer skills. Basic knowledge of graphic design and/or video production is desirable but not required. Basic knowledge of Drupal is also desirable but not required.
  • Must have at least two years experience in the progressive communications or advocacy fields.

Note that, given the centrality to this position of mobilizing a large movement of online advocacy journalists, this position will be as much an organizing job as it is a traditional media job. Although experience with communications, and specifically online communications will be highly valued, a knack for the craft of organizing will be given high priority in assessing which candidates to consider for the position. Position based in PSN’s national office in New York, NY. Occasional travel required.

Salary and benefits for this position is commensurate with a senior-level position based on the amount of relevant professional experience that a candidate has. Opportunities for advancement, travel, and additional training are available.

Background: The Progressive States Network seeks a highly motivated individual to work in a team approach as a policy advocate working on health care issues with state legislators and organizations around the country. The Progressive States Network is a state-based organization, the mission of which is to pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America’s state legislatures, strengthen progressive alliances, and challenge rightwing forces in each of those states.

Progressive States Network is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage and value a diverse workforce, and we seek diversity among applicants.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Email a compelling cover letter, resume and writing sample identifying which policy position you are applying for and which shows your ability to write about policy issues in a manner accessible to the public to: communicationsjob@progressivestates.org. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.


Outreach and Communications Intern

Progressive States Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and the passage of state legislation that delivers on the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.

PSN blends analysis and action to provide coordinated strategic support for a network of state legislators, their staffs and advocacy groups, in order to equip them with coherent logistical and strategic advocacy tools necessary for advancing key progressive economic and social policies. PSN is working to establish a cohesive network and support system for progressive legislators, while building a concerted movement dedicated to grassroots social and political change across the nation. Please see www.progressivestates.org for more details about our work.

PSN seeks an Outreach and Communications Intern to support work on our 2010 Shared Multi-State Policy Agenda. This year, PSN will be working with legislators from a majority of states to promote six bills that will help shape the progressive message across the country. While at PSN, the intern will learn about the inner-workings of a political non-profit, by supporting outreach and event planning projects, researching a broad range of policy issues, attending staff meetings, and helping to keep our database current. Interns will finish their time at PSN with a broader range of knowledge about progressive policy and political organizing and students are welcome to use this opportunity to receive credit.

Any candidate must show dedication to creating positive change in the states and experience in political or community organizing is a plus. Excellent verbal and writing skills and general computer proficiency are essential. But most of all, we are looking for smart, creative thinkers and doers who want to learn how to help build and strengthen the progressive movement in this country.

Progressive States Network is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage and value a diverse workforce, and we seek diversity among applicants.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to Outreach Associate, Julie Bero, at jbero@progressivestates.org.

Happy hunting to you and yours!

Jodi

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