When you have less experience….

November 12, 2009 at 11:51 am Leave a comment

My post the other day about “more seasoned” job hunters evoked responses not only from that group but from younger, much less experienced workers saying that finding a job in this market is no picnic for them either! Those with less experience — mostly in their 20s and early 30s — say that while their salaries are often considerably lower than older workers, they are being laid off, too, sometimes a few times within a few years just out of college or grad school. Also, they suffer disproportionately from last-in, first-out syndrome.

And it can be tough for this group of job hunters to land, even with lower salary expectations, because of a lack of experience and a smaller network than those who have been in the business a long time. Also, there is usually a great deal of financial pressure for younger, laid-off workers as their shorter tenure tends to translate to less severance or separation pay, and they haven’t had a chance in life to amass a solid nest egg for emergencies.

Hiring experts have some specific tips for this group of job hunters. Much the same as with older workers, it starts with thinking about the stereotypes that employers might have about younger workers so that you can combat them. My stereotype list (and make up your own!) would include: don’t know enough about the subject; haven’t paid dues; untested; suffer from a sense of entitlement; don’t take direction well; consider older bosses to be nags; spoiled; want too much time off; distracted; immature; spend too much time on social-networking sites and other on-line distractions; spend too much time gossiping with other staff members; sloppy; rely too much on the Web for sources and reporting; work needs to be reworked by more veteran staffers.

*Hiring experts and recruiters say that job hunters in this group should take some steps to work against these stereotypes, including:

*Play to strengths. Turn some of these stereotypes on their head — instead of being viewed as immature and not paying dues, show potential employers that you are adaptable (especially to new technology and new forms of journalism) and have “fresh eyes” with which to view assignments. This can be a strong selling point. And the fact that younger workers are completely at home with social-networking sites and can see the possibility of how this form of communication can help media companies can sometimes help them shape a job.

*Use lower salary expectations and flexibility to your advantage. Be careful not to undersell yourself — you still need to make a living and want to be paid what you’re worth — but there are simply more openings on the lower end of the salary scale. Also, flexibility — such as in hours you can work, lack of child-care responsibilities and being able to move close to work for commuting ease — can mean a lot in this job market. Consider relocating if you can; that always opens more doors. But do a careful check with friends in other markets to make sure the jobs are there — D.C. is actually a much better market for journalism job hunters than many other cities right now, believe it or not — and that the cost of living is not significantly higher.

*Go beyond your established network to reach out. Because you haven’t been in the business terribly long, your work network may not be as large as you’d like. But use your other connections — alumni, affinity groups such as sports or hobbies, those who have mentored you, contacts from high school or your hometown who have been successful, your family’s contacts — to their best advantage. When a well-connected mentor says they want to help, absolutely take them up on it without embarrassment. Older, more experienced mentors are often willing to lend a hand because someone helped them at this stage of their career and they want to give back. You can do the same for someone else someday. It also makes them look good when a sharp young journalist is hired by a contact of theirs, who then owes them one!

*As with more seasoned workers, find free-lance and contract projects — and perhaps a part-time job — while job hunting to help pay the bills but also to establish your competency in areas outside of your core experience. This may be able to help a less seasoned worker fill in the gaps of their resume, and could lead to work in a new field.

*New grads hoping to land in the journalism world have particular challenges in this job market.  One career expert passed along a good tip: when taking a part-time job (which many new grads are doing to support themselves while hunting), find jobs related to your field in any way. For instance if you decide to wait tables at a restaurant to pay the bills, find a restaurant where journalists hang out and tell your story to them as they eat — and drink! Get to know some of the crowd and pass along your resume, saying you’d be willing to do some free-lance work (or even volunteer occasionally if you can swing it) to show them what you’re worth. If you’re trying to land a PR job, offer at your part-time secretarial position to help with the office’s advertising and marketing efforts — again to show them what you’re worth. Use your computer skills to help the boss when he or she has technical difficulties. You may even be able to create a professional position based on your skills and knowledge.

The following link has some good advice for new grad job-hunters:


*As always, some job leads to mention today….

*The first is a re-post of a Web manager job with Medill in D.C., with some new information, including the possibility of the opening becoming a full-time post at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

The Medill School of Journalism National Security Journalism Initiative seeks a Web site community manager with strong production, writing and editing skills. The ideal candidate will have experience in social media, participatory media and interactive journalism. The focus of the Web site is on national security, defense and civil liberties with the purpose of improving journalistic practice and increasing public engagement. The community manager will help launch the Web site and other outreach tools to bring together interested parties.

This is a part-time position of at least two years’ duration and can be based in either Evanston, IL, or Washington, DC. If based in Evanston, there is a potential to become a full-time position.
* Launch, along with the co-directors of the program, the week-to-week editorial strategy for the new site
* Help develop the tone and the voice for the site and any associated programming
* Maintain and produce the site (A working knowledge of HTML and CSS, as well experience with audio and video production, is essential) .
* Grow and expand site traffic and audience engagement.
* Seek out and execute meaningful editorial and content partnerships
* Supervise social media and other audience development strategies.

Please send cover letter and resume to natsecji@gmail.com

*The next set of D.C. communications and management openings (with a link for more) is from the Washington Network Group:

Washington Network Group

WNG Job Announcements


November 10, 2009


Here is the latest edition of our WNG Job Announcements posting.


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Share this newsletter with your colleagues via links at the bottom of this message.


*Job Title : Director of Development and Communications

Organization : Bright Beginnings, Inc (BBI)

Job Location : Washington, D.C.
Company URL : http://www.brightbeginningsinc…
Salary Range :
Job Description :


Deadline: December 4, 2009

Founded in 1991, Bright Beginnings, Inc. (BBI) addresses the social and economic problems faced by the District of Columbia’s homeless families by providing infants, toddlers and preschoolers with free, year-round reliable, quality childcare in a safe, nurturing educational environment, preparing these children to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and supporting parents as they stabilize their home lives. Located in the historic Perry School, Bright Beginnings serves 128 children daily.

Bright Beginnings is currently planning to open a second center east of the Anacostia River to serve an additional 100 children, primarily in Wards 7 and 8, where the need for comprehensive educational services is greatest. The $5M capital campaign to support this center is currently in the silent phase.

The Director of Development and Communications (DDC) position is newly created to align strategic development with the scope and vision of the institution. The Director of Development and Communications will direct and implement fundraising efforts, specifically major and individual-donor, corporate, and foundation and government fundraising, as well as communications and outreach for BBI. The position provides an excellent opportunity to build and shape the growth and vision of this respected, evolving organization, and its incumbent will be part of the senior management team.


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development and Communications will provide leadership, direction, coordination and management of a comprehensive fundraising and communications program that secures financial resources from all donor groups. The Director will be expected to design, implement and manage an integrated development plan. Coordinating with BBI leadership, which includes the Development Committee of the Board, s/he will strategically plan and manage the development operation to meet short- and long-term fundraising goals; maintain relationships with donors and the Board of Directors and work hands-on to cultivate and solicit donations. The Director will also be responsible for heightening the visibility, strengthening the reputation of and furthering BBI’s mission through a coordinated communications effort. It is planned that the Director will initially have six staff reports — a Development Coordinator, Communications/Outreach Coordinator and Development/Outreach Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator and two part-time interns. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


The Director of Development and Communications will provide senior leadership in all development activities, including:
– Establish short- and long-term development goals, strategies and tasks.
– Develop and implement fundraising strategies and appropriate follow-up action, including solicitation materials, correspondence and reports as necessary to promote donor participation, recognition and cultivation.
– Develop strategic partnerships with corporations and the media to leverage BBI’s visibility; and organize cultivation events to deepen those relationships and engage BBI’s donor base.
– Diversify funding base by creating new revenue streams.
– Identify, cultivate, solicit and expand the number of individual annual, major and planned giving prospects and donors.
– Identify and pursue new sources of corporate income and partnerships.
– Manage the federal and District grant-seeking process, including grant identification, proposal writing and grant reporting.
– Collaborate with the capital campaign consultant and Board committee on strategic and tactical asks.
– Manage and build the annual and on-line giving programs.
– Direct and coordinate foundation fundraising efforts.
– Maintain a fundraising database.
– With BBI’s Executive Director, serve as a key liaison with the BBI Board.
– Act on behalf of the Executive Director as requested.

Communications and Marketing:

The DDC will also drive an integrated communications and marketing strategy that supports the overall development goals. Responsibilities will include:
– Develop and oversee a communications and marketing plan that targets external audiences and donors and articulates BBI’s mission, vision, programs and accomplishments.
– Coordinate communications and branding strategy with fundraising and programmatic efforts.
– Identify opportunities to heighten awareness of BBI by generating press coverage.
– Create and produce or manage production of all collateral materials, including website, annual report, periodic newsletters and letters to constituencies from the Executive Director, donor materials, etc.
– Serve as a spokesperson and external representative for BBI when appropriate.

Qualifications and Personal Characteristics:

– Bachelor’s degree and minimum of eight to ten years’ hands-on development and communications experience with demonstrated effectiveness and success in individual and major gifts fundraising.
– Demonstrated experience and accomplishment in fundraising from individuals, foundations and corporations.
– Committed to, enthusiastic about and able to articulate the mission and programs of Bright Beginnings, Inc., with an abiding respect for the homeless population it serves.
– Previous experience working with Boards of Directors required.
– A track record of leading a nonprofit through demonstrated growth in revenue and mission expansion. Capital campaign experience preferred.
– Outstanding verbal, writing, editing and research skills. Detail-oriented and exacting with a creative bent.
– Adept at budget development, accounting and financial reporting.
– Ability to interact credibly with high net worth individuals, corporate and foundation executives.
– Ability to represent the organization in senior level meetings and to be an effective ambassador for its mission and programs.
– Poised, pro-active, self-assured, organized and energetic self-starter with the willingness to work hands-on to develop and execute a variety of fundraising and communications activities.
– A strategic thinker, goal-oriented, collaborative, motivated to complete tasks and succeed.
– Ability to be a hands-on implementer, a team player and a skilled manager and motivator of others.
– Ability to make decisions, prioritize, manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, hectic environment.
– Mature, self-confident and flexible with a sense of humor.


– A competitive salary and benefits will be provided.

How to Apply :

Bright Beginnings, Inc. is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status or sexual orientation.

Please submit a position specific cover letter and resume to (Ms.) Lee Crane Wood, strategies.for.growth@gmail.com or fax 703-765-1125 by December 4, 2009.

Applications will be accepted until a final candidate is chosen.

Contact Information:

Lee Crane Wood
Strategies for Growth
Fax: 703-765-7765
Em: strategies.for.growth@gmail.com

*The following sounds like a good management opening with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Job Title : Director of Institutional Advancement
Organization : Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Job Location : Washington, D.C.
Company URL : http://www.cbpp.org
Salary Range :
Job Description :


The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a national policy institute, has a national reputation for its unique capacity to blend rigorous, timely analyses with activities designed to enable policymakers, the media, and other non-profit organizations to make use of its work.

The Director of Institutional Advancement works directly with the organization’s leadership and Board of Directors to raise an annual budget of over $20 million and grow the Center’s endowment. The Center’s support is provided by private and family foundations, donor advised funds, and individual donors. The Director will direct all aspects of the Center’s development work, including identifying, developing, and implementing strategies for approaching and cultivating new sources of support, maintaining and augmenting support from current foundations and individuals, and building a program to cultivate individual donors. The Director manages a staff of four, including seasoned professionals in foundation fundraising.

Qualifications for the position include at least ten years of relevant experience, a successful track record in development, and experience with both foundation and individual donor fundraising. Candidates should have exceptional management experience and writing and organizational skills. Facility in understanding and discussing a wide range of policy issues is desirable.

Compensation: Salary commensurate with experience with excellent benefits, including comprehensive health and dental insurance and retirement benefits.

How to Apply :

To apply: Send résumé with cover letter to: harrod@cbpp.org

*And the final listing is for a media relations director for the American Lung Association in D.C.:

Job ID : 091022.3
Job Title : Director, Media Relations
Organization : American Lung Association
Job Location : Washington, D.C.
Company URL : http://www.lungusa.org
Salary Range :
Job Description :


The National Headquarters of the American Lung Association is seeking a Director, Media Relations. Develop and direct the execution of media relations strategies for American Lung Association. Build visibility around organizational advocacy and policy change priorities, including some of the most important public health issues facing our nation: tobacco control, air pollution and lung disease. Work with the press to highlight other mission-related activities, including life-saving research on the causes and treatments for diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema and asthma; and education programs such as asthma management and smoking cessation.


Direct all media relations activities at the American Lung Association and works proactively to secure coverage of the organization in print, online, radio and on television. Develop media relations strategies and plans to advance advocacy and policy issues; develop and oversee media outreach calendar that identifies media outreach activities; collaborate with regional communicators to ensure coordinated nationwide press outreach. Develop and implement new media strategies to complement traditional media relations outreach. Oversee media relations deliverables, including press releases, media alerts, fact sheets, position statements, letters to the editor and op-eds. Partner with the advocacy unit to develop targeted communication deliverables in reaction to breaking news and/or opinion pieces. Oversee and proactively manage all national media relationships for spokespersons within the organization; book and schedule interviews; respond to press inquiries; and update key messages and talking points when appropriate. Develop and implement crisis communication strategies. Respond to crisis communications needs with appropriate strategies and deliverables. Cultivate and expand media contacts; build targeted media lists and oversee relationships with reporters that cover mission-related areas. Review and write/edit components of American Lung Association publications.


Bachelor’s degree with six to eight years experience in related field. Writing and editing skills essential. Experience working with Congress or an advocacy organization is highly desirable. Ability to assimilate information from a variety of sources, analyze that information and recommend courses of action to be taken. Ability to plan, organize and effectively present ideas and concepts to groups. Ability to work under deadline pressure. Ability to multi-task, manage multiple deadlines, take initiative, research and understand business practices and processes. Ability to work successfully with senior leaders.

The American Lung Association is dedicated to a diverse workforce.

Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

Good luck on the hunt out there!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

How to handle word of your layoff Ending the week with odds and ends….

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