Settling into a job-search routine

December 15, 2009 at 3:16 am Leave a comment

One of the toughest things about a job search can be structuring one’s time. For journalists who are accustomed to non-stop deadlines, meetings, constantly chirping mobile phones and pulsating BlackBerries,  places to be and people to see, the deadening silence of a job search can seem cruel. No other person or outside force is compelling you to do things, so you need to come up with your own structure and make that phone ring.

Experts say successful job hunters mimic the structure of their working lives through self-created deadlines, routines and networking. Though it’s not easy and at first may seem somewhat made-up, developing a structure that works for you will move your search along and help keep loneliness and self-doubt — a job hunter’s enemies — at bay.

Here are some tips:

*Develop a daily schedule and routine.  Set your hours for the next day. Then be ready at your desk — showered and caffeinated — at the set time to start on your goals. Come up with specific, measurable goals for the day and week. For instance, plan to make so many contacts via email or phone and then invite them to meet you for coffee over the next week. Figure out how many resumes you want to send out for that day. Plan to research at least two openings and follow up with people in your network about them. Also, plan projects to sprinkle out over a few days or a week — such as updating your resume and contacting potential references. Be organized — schedule these plans in an electronic organizer or calendar with reminders and daily to-do lists.

*Mix it up. Don’t confine yourself to a few days — or even a single day — of sending out resumes for jobs you’re not sure you’ll get. That’s a recipe for despair. Instead, send out a few resumes and then make a few calls to well-networked friends in a quest to expand your network. When you start to feel blue, help someone else who needs it. If you can, try to do some real journalism work — writing or editing — most days, even if it’s just organizing your notes for an upcoming project. It helps remind you why you want a journalism job (or perhaps why you may not). During my recent job search, I tried to do some each day of the following: job-hunting work; free-lance writing, editing or training (and sometimes marketing for new free-lance work or trying to get paid for completed work!); networking; and what I called outreach — helping others with their searches and writing this blog. I acknowledge my short attention span, yet mixing it up helped keep me interested and gave me things to look forward to each day.

*Form a support group. Even if it’s just a group of two or three, find a job-hunting “buddy” or two with whom you can share your ups and downs. It’s good to find someone who is at a different stage of their career or who has a different specialty than you so you can freely share ideas and won’t routinely be competing for the same jobs. If you’re social, see about forming an actual group of job hunters that meets every few weeks to swap job-hunting tales and tips. Having to report regularly to someone on the progress of your search can be a powerful incentive to make that extra follow-up call or rework your resume. And a recent trend among employment specialists has been to bring together job hunters from different professions to support one another. Some evidence suggests that job hunters who work with those outside their professions cut down their job search time because they offer tips and especially contacts to one another that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. Why not try it?

*Reward yourself, even in small ways. Giving yourself breaks from your search of a few hours or a day — especially now that you have the flexibility and freedom to do so — can be refreshing and can also give you thinking time to consider what you really want to do with your career. Try to do things for yourself — in small measures so you don’t abandon your search for long — that you didn’t have the chance to do while holding down a full-time job. And often, when you’re not expecting it, that’s just when the mobile phone starts chirping!

*And here are some new leads:

*The hat tip on the first two is to The Associated Press is looking for a Spanish language correspondent in D.C.:


Company: The Associated Press
Spanish-language Correspondent
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
January 15, 2010
Job ID: 1133267

The Associated Press is seeking an aggressive Spanish-language Correspondent to work in its Washington, D.C. office.

The correspondent will: * Write stories in Spanish from Washington of interest to the Spanish and Latin American markets * Keep the AP ahead in a highly competitive news environment * Produce wire-ready Spanish copy quickly ready for filing, including multiple news stories and writethrus daily * Develop strong sources, consistently break news and produce polished copy with minimal supervision. * Sometimes edit copy and translate English-language stories into Spanish. * Cover general news, entertainment and other subject matters in government institutions including the White House, Congress, State and Defense Departments, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Drug Enforcement Administration, among others. * Pursue Latin American angles in multinational organizations such as the Organization of American States, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. * Occasionally cover events outside of Washington * Work closely with AP broadcast and multimedia teams producing broadcast and online news for the Spanish market

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will be an excellent writer with at least five years of experience in journalism, preferably at least some of that working in Washington and Latin America. Candidates must be fluent in written and spoken English and Spanish, with mastery of news- and feature-writing in Spanish. * Additional Requirements * Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience * Strong organizational abilities * Capable of handling numerous tasks and be able to make quick, accurate news judgments * Demonstrated ability to write and report under intense time pressure * A strong team player, able to work with English-language staff, AP television, photos and multimedia, as well as editing desks in New York and Mexico City. * Flexible in work hours, including nights and weekends.

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

AP seeks to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences. We support all aspects of diversity and provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran in accordance with applicable nondiscrimination laws.

To apply for this position, please copy and paste the following link into your browser address bar:

*AHN is looking for a part-time reporter in D.C.:

Company: AHN
Seeking Washington D.C. Correspondent
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Part-time
Salary: $25,000 to $30,000
Ad Expires:
January 10, 2010
Job ID: 1111290

AHN seeks a self-starter reporter who is able to recognize and respond to breaking news about the federal government, military, and general happenings on Capitol Hill. It is critical that you be able to balance quality, accuracy, and timeliness. Articles should be concise (when required) and formatted for a digital audience.

This is a part-time contract position with advancement potential.


The successful journalist should be aggressive and able to develop story ideas and make suggestions on how best to utilize those ideas within other categories and areas You must be able to contribute short and long-term story ideas. Enterprise articles should be on-going, while news briefs should be frequent. You must also be able to submit complete packages that may include photos, video, and audio.

You must be familiar with legislative bodies and be able to translate policies and politics for regional readership. It is important have established contacts throughout the DMV area and need little guidance on further developing that base. Must be a team-player with a thorough ability to multi-task assignments, while maintaining communication with lead editors.


  • Minimum of 5 years professional journalism experience
  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in journalism, communications, media or public policy.
  • Mastery of news gathering ethical and legal issues.
  • Strong work ethic & determination to succeed.
  • Well developed contacts, sources and the ability to build a beat.

Please apply for this position online at:

*The Sunlight Foundation in D.C.  is looking for a paid intern for the winter/spring semester (courtesy of

Job Summary
Paid Intern: Researcher/Reporter POSTED: Dec 14
Hourly Rate: Open Location: D.C.
Employer: Sunlight Foundation Type: Full Time – Internship
Categories: Broadcast, Newspapers and Magazines, Online
Job Description
The Sunlight Foundation’s Reporting Group has an opening for a paid intern to serve as a researcher/reporter starting in January 2010 in Washington D.C. This position is ideal for a major in journalism, political science or public policy. Some reporting experience is preferred.

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization. It is on the cutting edge of using the power of the Internet to enable citizens to learn more about what their elected representatives in Congress are doing, thus helping reduce corruption and ensure greater transparency and accountability.
Applicants should be familiar with online news sites and the general political landscape and have good organizational, writing and Internet research skills. Duties will include some news aggregation, writing short daily posts for the reporting site and working on longer, in-depth investigative reports. Some experience in computer-assisted-reporting and working knowledge of tools such as Excel and Access is a plus.

Attention to detail is a must. Applicants should be able to work unsupervised, have a commitment to the public’s right to know.

To apply, email a resume and writing samples to Bill Allison at The Sunlight Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

*And finally, a good opportunity for someone seeking to make the switch to communications, with the American Lung Association in D.C.:

Director, Media Relations & Advocacy Communications American Lung Association

Job Location: Washington, DC, United States

Job Status: Mid Level
Salary: $80,000 – $90,000


About Organization:-

Our focus today is on healthy air, tobacco control and all lung disease, including asthma and COPD. Our mission is to prevent lung disease and promote lung health and we do that through education, research and advocacy.

The National Headquarters of the American Lung Association is seeking a Director, Media Relations & Advocacy Communications to develop and direct the execution of media relations and advocacy communication strategies for American Lung Association. Lead all efforts to 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.

Responsibilities include:

  • Lead all media relations activities at the American Lung Association and work proactively to secure coverage of the organization in print, online, radio and on television. Lead planning and development of nationwide press briefings.
  • Develop and implement communications and marketing strategies to promote the public policy messages and the policy priorities of the American Lung Association. Writes/edits public policy media relations materials.
  • Develop and implement new media strategies to complement traditional media relations outreach. Develop and oversee media outreach calendar that identifies media outreach activities. Collaborate with regional communicators to ensure coordinated nationwide press outreach.
  • Develop media relations deliverables, including press releases, media alerts, fact sheets, position statements, letters to the editor and op-eds. Partner with the advocacy division to develop targeted communication deliverables in reaction to breaking news and/or opinion pieces.
  • Oversee and proactively manages all national media relationships for spokespersons within the organization; book and schedules interviews; respond to press inquiries; and update key messages and talking points when appropriate. Serve as organizational spokesperson when appropriate.
  • Lead effort to develop crisis communication plan to be approved by the Lung Association’s board of directors; 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 including the annual report.


Bachelor’s degree with eight to ten year’s experience working with the media to gain visibility for an organization and/or on specific projects. Must have excellent writing and editing skills. 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.

To Apply:-

Interested candidates should send their resume with cover letter and salary requirements.

Good luck on the hunt!



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