Who to Look to For Support in a Job Hunt

June 3, 2010 at 2:25 am Leave a comment

Okay, not to sound like Dr. Phil or the folks on those call-in advice shows, but one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make during a job hunt is who you’re going to talk to about all of this — the ups and downs, the frustrations, the loss of pride, and also the excitement when you snare that interview and eventually land a job.

And that person is not necessarily the same person or people with whom you share other things — sometimes a spouse or partner or a best friend is a decidedly bad choice for support while you’re job hunting. That’s because they are too close to the situation. And that means they might be worried about your loss of income or afraid that you’ll become depressed if you don’t get a job right away — so they may steer you to positions that aren’t necessarily right for you. Alternately, they may be too big of a booster and sugar-coat advice about your resume or your chances for getting a particular job, for instance.

In any case, you’ll need various types of support and advice from different corners. Here are some people to seek out in terms of support during a  job hunt:

*A trusted friend or colleague (or former colleague) who is knowledgeable about the field you’re targeting and knows you well enough to provide smart, clear-headed advice. You’ll need someone to help you look over your resume and determine if you should include that position you had five years ago that wasn’t such a good fit. You want to discuss such potentially awkward issues as whether a former boss you both know would be a good reference. That’s where you need trust. Someone in your field can be very helpful as a resource to discuss the ins and outs of your job search because they are familiar with the landscape and likely won’t offer you outmoded or irrelevant advice.

*Another job hunter who understands what you’re going through now. Once someone has landed a job, they tend not to want to discuss the fine points of resume preparation or to practice interviewing techniques. They want to focus on their new work life and frankly, they often want to forget what they’ve just been through — especially if they had a tough time snaring a new job. So try to find someone — and better yet, find several people and form a support group — who is in a related field and is at about the same stage as you in their job search. It’s obviously best not to “buddy up” with someone who will be competing for the same positions — that could get a bit stressful and it would be difficult to establish a necessary level of trust.

*Someone who has a bit of distance — literally as well as figuratively. The problem with relying on those very close to you (especially when you share living space) — your spouse or partner, or your parents if you’re just getting started in your career — for job-hunting support is that they are there to support you in so many other ways. And if your finances are connected — if they are providing you with financial support or especially if you have been the main breadwinner — they simply can’t be objective about whether you’re taking the right steps and looking at the right kinds of openings. Parents, and as a mom I get to say this, are especially risk-averse when it comes to their offspring. For example, a former colleague who was just a few years out of college when laid off called me pretty upset one evening. When I asked her why, she said she had been offered a low-paying job that didn’t make good use of her skills, and she didn’t want to take it. Why was she so upset, I asked — why didn’t she just decline the offer and be done with it? Well, she told her mother about it, and mom was urging her to take the position, even though she’d just begun her job search. Big mistake! The people with whom you share the ins and outs of your search shouldn’t be people who are close to the situation. You need to be honest with them upfront and tell them that you’re not shutting them out but that it wouldn’t be smart to rely on them for advice about your search. Then stick to that — and look for support to others with a bit of distance.

*Someone who has been a mentor to you before. Often those who have helped you with career or other professional goals have enough of a stake in your success to want you to succeed again, and they often know you well enough to provide useful advice. Yet they aren’t as close to the situation as your family, so they can be more objective. And they tend to have contacts who could be useful to you in networking and eventually, in landing a job. So be in touch with them early in your search, and keep them in the loop.

*More good news and congratulations today — Greg Giroux, who has been covering politics at CQ for more than a decade, is joining the Bloomberg Government team in D.C.  He starts his new job June 14. Greg has an amazing knowledge of political races, campaigns and elections, and is a terrific, extremely hard-working colleague. Best of luck to him in his new position — and this is more evidence that a political background can get you far in this town!!

*Some fresh leads to peruse and pursue:

*The Las Vegas Sun has a rarity these days —  an opening for a D.C.-based reporter to cover Capitol Hill:

Tough act to follow: The Las Vegas Sun is on the hunt for a Capitol Hill reporter who will have a tough act to follow. Our last Congressional reporter was named by the Washington Press Club as the best Capitol Hill correspondent in the country for regional newspapers before she was snapped up by the Tribune/LA Times. Pass the word and send resumes/recommendations my way. Those interested should be in touch with Tom Gorman, the Sun’s senior editor for print, at gorman@lasvegassun.com.

*The National Center for Lesbian Rights in D.C. is looking for a director of communications:

The Communications Director works closely with the Executive Director and senior management team to develop long-term communications, media, and promotional strategies, and to manage media relations and public education projects, publications, and campaigns. The scope of work ranges from general communications and institutional activities, such as managing media relations; maintaining the website; tracking press coverage; promotional activities; drafting, coordinating, and editing e-communications, marketing, and public relations materials; to drafting talking points, brochures, a bi-annual newsletter and annual reports. The position was established to play a leadership and advisory role in placing the National Center for Lesbian Rights as a leading voice in the national LGBT civil rights movement.

Responsibilities Include:

· Work closely with the Executive Director in developing a long-term communications plan that improves the organization’s visibility and to refine the organization’s vision and strategic plan around communications.
· Supervise the Communications Associate and freelancers, including designers and printers.
· Conduct all media relations (press releases, reporter inquiries, press conferences) .
· Work closely with the Executive Director and Legal Director to develop, frame, and pitch stories related to the organization’s work.
· Develop and manage relationships with mainstream, LGBT, trade press, and other national media outlets.
· Brief, prepare, and media train organization’s spokespeople.
· Monitor media and maintain media database.
· Manage website and online marketing initiatives, including using social networks and email campaigns.
· Maintain and provide updated content for website.
· Develop and implement annual marketing and communications plans for the organization with input from all senior staff, including possible new projects.
· Supervise brand discipline from the organization’s comprehensive 30th anniversary re-branding effort, especially in regards to visual identity.
· Draft, coordinate, and edit e-communications, newsletter, brochures, and annual report from concept through production.
· Manage updates of existing and/or creation of new print marketing materials to promote organization.
· Oversee printing, graphics, production of films, videotapes, and dissemination of organizational information.
· Work closely with the Development Director to maximize marketing initiatives targeted to major donors and membership cultivation.


· At least 10 years of communications experience.
· Exceptional writing, editing, presentation, and analytical skills.
· Extensive experience in media relations, with a talent for framing stories to suit any organizational need and convincing reporters and producers to create those stories.
· Strong organizational skills including a well-developed attention to detail and follow-through and the ability to work well under pressure and deadlines.
· A track record of making good judgments about communications priorities and management of resources.
· A deep understanding of the role the web can play as part of a comprehensive communications program.
· Supportive work style that motivates staff to deliver superior work and work well together.
· Strong managerial and strategic planning skills.
· Experience managing consultants and mentoring staff.
· Demonstrated commitment to social justice and progressive social change.

To Apply: Send cover letter, resume, three writing samples, and three work references by e-mail only to: Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights at kkendell@nclrights. org.

*Courtesy of poynter.org (for these next two openings), the New America Foundation in D.C. is looking for a new media associate:

About New America Foundation

The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. New America emphasizes work that is responsive to the changing conditions and problems of our 21st Century information-age economy—an era shaped by transforming innovation and wealth creation, but also by shortened job tenures, longer life spans, mobile capital, financial imbalances and rising inequality. ….more info

View all our jobs

Job Description

The New America Foundation—a forward-looking, tech- and media-savvy think tank based in Washington, DC—is seeking applicants interested in innovating at the intersection of online publishing, social media, and public policy. This position requires creative thinking, a solid grasp of online publishing and multimedia tools, and an innate feel for what works online today.

The New Media Associate will work closely with the Managing Editor in New America’s busy Media and Communications Department, while also collaborating with colleagues throughout New America.


•    Help administer, update, and improve all aspects of NewAmerica.net.

•    Maintain and expand New America’s presence on social media sites and across the broader web.
•    Edit, proofread, and post a variety of articles, blog posts, and other online documents.
•    Assist with audio/video production and post-production.
•    Create original multimedia content (maps, data visualizations, etc.) on a wide range of topics.
•    Train and assist colleagues with  basic web editing/production.
•    Track media hits on New America fellows and scholars.
•    Perform some administrative duties and assist at events as needed.


Ideal candidates will have these qualifications:

•    Excellent organizational skills and the ability to juggle multiple deadlines.
•    Hands-on experience with Drupal or a comparable open-source publishing platform; working knowledge of PHP a plus.
•    Video editing proficiency, preferably with FinalCut.
•    Basic proficiency with HTML and Adobe Creative Suite.
•    First-hand experience with blogging, podcasting, or other online publishing.
•    Proven understanding of social media best practices.
•    Top-notch research, editing and writing skills.
•    Candidates should be flexible, self-motivated, and enthusiastic team players.
•    Bachelor’s degree and one-to-three years of relevant experience.

Application Process

E-mail or fax a cover letter, resume, and a work sample (writing or a new media project) to: Human Resources, New America Foundation, 1899 L Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. E-mail: jobs@newamerica.net. Please state “New Media Associate” in the e-mail subject line. No phone calls, please.

Salary package commensurate with experience; excellent benefits. The New America Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

*Livestrong.com is looking for free-lance writers and consultants with a background in health, nutrition and fitness:


Demand Studios is one of the largest online writing communities that offers creative professionals the opportunity to earn money for the work they produce. The Demand Media platform harnesses the creativity of individuals to deliver valuable content and help Web sites grow by providing the community features that consumers want. The privately held company was founded in May 2006 and is based in Santa Monica, California. If you have a talent for writing or video, then a freelance career with Dema….more info

View all our jobs

Job Description

LIVESTRONG.com is looking for independent writers with experience writing or consulting on health, fitness and/or nutrition topics. To meet the increasing demand for credible and useful wellness information by LIVESTRONG.com visitors, we are looking for knowledgeable writers to join our team of freelancers and create engaging and helpful articles around the topics of their choice.

Qualifications – at least one of the following:
– Masters degree in a medical, science or nutrition field
– Accreditation in health or fitness
– Experience writing about health-related topics in a medical or health magazine, newspaper, journal blog or other health website
Position Details:
– Claim, work and submit your articles through our digital online office
– Receive expert feedback from our professional editors
– Build your online visibility with bylines and short bios on each published article
– Receive upfront payment twice-a-week for all published articles
– Write short-form 300-500 word articles
– Get paid for each completed article and expect to earn $25 – $35 per hour
Assignment Formats Include:
– How-to Articles (ex: How to Treat Headaches with Essential Oils)
– Top-Ten Lists (ex: Top Ten Yoga Exercises for Stress Relief)
– Quick Facts (ex: Benefits of Fennel Tea)
– And many others… View a sample Livestrong.com article
If you’re interested in writing for LIVESTRONG.com, please fill out an online application. Please make sure to include your resume and a non-fiction writing sample for our editorial team to review. Thanks for your interest and good luck!
NOTES: 10 openings. Telecommuting is allowed. North American Residents Only

*The BlueCross BlueShield Association in D.C. has an opening for a manager of strategic communications who will, among other duties, develop and manage a speaker’s bureau for the organization:


*And last but not least, Cultural Tourism D.C. is looking for a local college or grad student for a year-long development internship:

Development Internship
Cultural Tourism DC – Washington, DC
arts management, communications, history or other… This internship includes professional development training, opportunities for cross-departmental work to…
From washingtonpost.com

Happy hunting out there!



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