Coping with job loss among those in your network

February 17, 2010 at 2:16 am 1 comment

An email correspondent asks for some tips for offering real help to those in her network when they’re looking for a job after a layoff or buyout but also laments what this means for her — as she’s job hunting as well. While she, and so many job seekers, want to help those who are looking, those freshly laid-off friends and former colleagues  now represent competition for jobs!

Further, there is a larger issue here: with networking being the best-advised strategy for landing a good job, journalists are coping with a situation where an increasing number of those with whom they network are also looking…how can that be helpful in a  job search? Yet hiring experts say that even in fields like journalism where it seems that every other person has been laid off or barely survived losing their job, there are networking strategies that are effective (and can also allow you to help others):

*Think broadly, both for yourself and your other contacts. Networking is a numbers game, and the more people in your network and the more varied their contacts, the more opportunities that will result. This is also why it’s smart to continually diversify your network and seek contacts outside of journalism and in a host of other professions. They may know of openings — including in journalism — that you would never have found if you relied on the same ‘ole sources of job leads. (See Jan. 22 post, “How non-journalists can help you land a journalism job.”) Think of former colleagues (especially those who have moved on to other fields), business contacts, personal contacts, people you know through your neighborhood and hobbies, and all of THEIR contacts — especially people they have favorably mentioned in the past. And always, always at the end of every conversation ask this simple question: “Can you think of anyone else I should contact?” That open-ended query often results in another lead or two that may be just the one you — or another job-seeking friend — will need.

*Trade leads and openings. Though some of those in your network may have similar enough experience and expertise that they would be pursuing the very same openings as you, chances are you won’t be on the same glide path to opportunities all of the time. With a job-hunting friend or former colleague with whom you are close, adopt a “cone of trust and silence” in which you’ll discuss openings and be honest with each other about whether you’re pursuing them.  With positions that your contact is more likely to want and in a better position to secure, it might be smart to hold off applying — especially if they are doing the same for you and are finding you opportunities you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Though this can be tricky and may sometimes test the bounds of friendship, having a job-hunting partner is like having a workout buddy — they can help you move forward and stay focused and positive, even as you help them. And trading contacts in your network is a big part of how you can help each other.

*Stay in close touch with those in your network as they change jobs, and seek to get to know their new contacts who may help you land a job there — or in a related organization. The company where they are newly employed is obviously hiring and may have more openings in the near future. Also, fresh from a job hunt, your contact may have contacts that they now don’t need to rely on as much that they might be happy to pass along to you.

*Alternately, don’t forget others once you have snared a job. Sometimes people who kept an eye out for others while searching are nowhere to be found after they have started a new job. It’s human nature — a new position can be stressful and a newly employed person may not have a lot of extra time in their day. Yet try to set aside time (say on weekends) to follow up with those you contacted a lot when job hunting — even if they aren’t proactive about being in touch. (They may have somewhat ambivalent feelings toward you right now — even though they are sincerely happy you have gotten a job, they may feel left behind or even more frustrated about their own search now that you’ve landed.) Also, keep an eye out for opportunities in your new workplace and in other organizations you’re now in contact with in your new position, and pass them along. It’s not only the right thing to do but those who help others are more likely to get their phone calls returned in the future when they need help. What goes around comes around, don’t forget that!

*The following piece from the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News offers some interesting (and somewhat surprising) survey data and anecdotal information on office romances — a fair number actually lead to long-term relationships and marriage. Who knew? For single job hunters, you may not only be finding a new workplace, but a mate! Though this is an upbeat piece, a note of caution should still be sounded: Lawyers who specialize in employment law report that sexual harassment suits are still a growing part of their practices. Be careful out there!

(San Antonio Express-News)

Love may be in the air for Valentine’s Day, but apparently it’s all over the workplace the rest of the year.

Two surveys released this week suggest almost half of the nation’s workers have been flirting over the water cooler or sneaking off to the break room in an office romance.

In a survey by, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they were players in office-based romances compared with 37 percent of respondents in a CareerBuilder survey.

The survey got pretty specific. Almost 38 percent of those involved in office romances called it a “random office hookup,” while more than 32 percent said it led to “a long-term, serious relationship.”
Shockingly, almost 32 percent admitted to having a tryst in the office, and 6 percent said they were caughtin flagrante delicto by a third party.

But perhaps even more surprising is that more than 20 percent of these workplace hookups reach what’s often seen as love’s boldest expression – marriage. In the CareerBuilder survey, it was 32 percent.
Janet Lever, a California State University sociologist who studies office romances, said they surpass random dating as a gateway to marriage. In fact, workplace relationships could be the most fertile valley for marriage’s tender blooms.

“So they are coupling at work in meaningful ways,” said Lever. “I think that’s the good news.”

None of this surprises Carole Gary, a longtime wedding and event planner in San Antonio.

Gary, whose company is called the CoOrdinator, said more than a quarter of the marriages she has handled over the years started with workplace contact.

It may not be the same office. The man and woman could work in the same building or connect with each other for work by e-mail, Gary said. But the workplace played a role in the two getting together, and over time, romance blossomed.

*As always, a variety of leads to pursue:

*With a hat tip to, resumes for an opening for executive director of the Education Writers Association in D.C. are only being accepted through Friday, so those who are interested in this well-paying position (and they favor journalists with subject-area expertise in education issues) had better get moving:

Company: Education Writers Association
Executive Director
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
February 24, 2010
Job ID: 1144385

The Board of the National Education Writers Association (EWA) is looking for a new Executive Director. The organization’s current Executive Director is leaving after leading the organization for the past 24 years.

For the past year, the EWA Board has been engaged in a process to determine the future of the organization as the journalism industry experiences its most significant structural changes in decades. The board seeks an Executive Director who will help complete the strategic planning process, redefine EWA’s service mix for those who write and shape opinion about education, and increase the fundraising profile of the organization. Specifically, the board seeks a person who understands the challenges, but also sees the opportunities in the media realignment. As new modes of communication, new ways to aggregate and distribute information, and new voices expand the dialogue about education, EWA seeks a new Executive Director to navigate these changes and create a strong, sustainable organization.

Qualities we are seeking: • entrepreneurial spirit • demonstrated leadership ability • collaborative management style • eagerness to navigate the changing media environment • excellent oral and written communication skills.

Essential knowledge includes: • deep understanding of the critical issues in education, from early childhood education to post graduate • familiarity with the current media landscape, including social media.

Relevant experience could include: • working as a writer, editor or journalist • running a small organization or company • hiring and managing staff • creating and managing a budget, especially one that comes from multiple funding sources • working with national funders, preferably those who have an interest in journalism and/or education • success at fund raising, especially from national foundations • developing and executing a strategic plan • running high-profile conferences

Compensation and Benefits: Compensation will be based on experience as well as the candidate’s combination of the qualifications listed above. EWA provides health benefits, a 401(k) retirement plan, four weeks of annual vacation, and two weeks of sick leave.

Deadline: The EWA board will accept resumes or CVs until February 19, 2010.

Contact: Please send resumes or CVs, with a cover letter expressing your interest in the position, to: Whitney Kent c/o Lipman Hearne Inc.

No phone calls, please. Questions about the position can be forwarded to Whitney Kent at the email address above, and will be answered as received.

About EWA The Education Writers Association (EWA) is the national professional organization of education reporters. EWA was organized in 1947 by a group of newspaper reporters with the intent of improving the quality of education journalism.

Today EWA has more than 800 members throughout the United States and Canada. Active members include reporters from print and broadcast media. Associate members include school and college public information officers, writers who work for educational institutions and organizations, and other professionals with an interest in creating and distributing information about educational institutions and issues.

*The 1105 Government Information Group in Falls Church is seeking a writer/editor with a background in technology to manage the editorial functions of its Custom Publishing program:

1105 Government Information Group
Custom Content Editor
Location: Fall Church, VA
1105 Government Information Group, the market leader in the federal government’s information technology space, is seeking an accomplished editor/writer with demonstrated knowledge of technology and solid experience in this market to manage the editorial side of its Custom Publishing program.  This new position will oversee content generation and execution for the Custom Media department, an independent editorial arm of 1105 Government Information Group. The content will appear in Federal Computer Week, Government Computer News, Washington Technology and Defense Systems, both in print and online. The right editor/writer will have the desire and ability to work with clients and deliver a superior customer experience.  The Custom Content Editor will produce editorial for multi-page cu! stom reports on technology innovations, trends and contracts in the federal government requiring minimal or no involvement from a sponsor. In addition, this individual will have the opportunity to create advertorials for government marketers requiring direct sponsor involvement.

– Content generation for Custom Media reports and advertorials
– Content and style editing of content generated by freelance writers
– Schedule management and oversight of up to four freelance writers
– Work with the Director of Custom Media on new ideas for relevant and timely topics

– The right candidate must have 5 to 10 years of IT reporting and editing experience
– Sharp writing and editing skills, and a proven ability to frame stories that resonate with readers.
– We are looking for a great-idea person who can organize and oversee the editorial process.
– The ideal candidate is self directed; creative, organized and detail-oriented with excellent written communications skills; demonstrate exceptional initiative and problem solving skills; and have an enthusiasm for working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment as part of a small, directed team.

This new permanent position reports to the VP of Content and includes substantial interaction with the Director of Custom Media. It is budgeted at 30 hours a week and includes full benefits.  Please send resumes to Human Resources at

*AOL’s DailyFinance is looking for free-lance business writers:

AOL’s DailyFinance
Freelance Business Writers
Location: N/A
AOL’s DailyFinance is seeking full-time freelance business reporters/writers to join our growing roster of talented journalists. Preferred candidates are passionate about writing breaking news for the Web, have covered spot news for a major newspaper web site or wire service and can cover one of the following: economic issues, financial services, investing, general assignments and business & politics.

These positions are based remotely.

DailyFinance aims to offer the best in business and financial news and analysis. Our goal is to combine the immediacy and conversational tone of blogs with the serious reporting and financial expertise of traditional journalism, and to serve it up with top-notch online data and investing tools. For more information, please contact Latif Lewis at for more information. In the email, please have them include a cover letter, resume and recent clips (links).

*The site Seeking Alpha is looking for bloggers with expertise in technology, global markets and consumer stocks:

Seeking Alpha
Tech Blogger
Location: U.S., work-from-home
Seeking Alpha is looking to hire a full-time tech blogger. The ideal candidate will be a devoted follower of U.S. stock markets and tech stocks, an avid reader of the tech blogosphere and online media, and will write with clarity and zest. The position requires a sharp mind, nimble reflexes and the ability to remain focused while flying solo for long stretches. We’re looking for someone who is detail-oriented, has experience with HTML and web publishing, and can filter substance from fluff. We pride ourselves on nimbleness in tweaking our editorial mix, so the candidate will need to be flexible and able to adapt to change quickly. To apply, please see:

*And last but not least, the Army Times in Springfield, Va., has several reporting positions it is seeking to fill:

Army Times Publishing Co.
Location: Springfield, VA
Dynamic publisher of the only independent newspapers exclusively serving the U.S. military worldwide has opportunities for talented writers to cover military, defense industry and federal government beats. We are looking for creative, experienced reporters who are ready to write, report and think on a whole new level, and join a team that is turning heads in Washington and beyond. If you’re ready to go beyond the headlines and write stories that really matter to people, to break news and to work on enterprise pieces that make a difference, we want to hear from you. Two years professional journalism experience at a daily or weekly publication required.  Beat experience and familiarity with the defense, government, or military beats a big plus. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Serious candidates only for this first-rate team where talent and creativity are always rewarded. Please send cover letter, resume and clips to: Army Times Publishing Co., Att! n: HR Department, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159. Email: or fax to +1 (703) 750 8129. M/F/V/D

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Considering an association job How to approach a new job or assignment

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mary Aucoin Kaarto  |  February 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I’m so grateful to have been laid off twice – each layoff lasting two years – all as a single mother. They were one of the best things that ever happened to me. Once again my position was eliminated in July 2008. Rather than look for “a real job” this time, I’m devoting my life to helping encourage others who are without work. “HELP for the LAID OFF”, published in June 2009, was written during my second layoff (2002-04).

    Change your perspective!


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