Cynopsis: Classified Advantage
Good morning. It's Tuesday, August 7, 2012, and this is your weekly issue of Cynopsis: Classified Advantage!
Beating the Unemployed Blues
You've done everything right. You have different, professional resumes and cover letters for each company you've applied to, you've practiced your elevator pitch until it's perfect, you never get an unexpected question in an interview and your answers are great, you are well informed about each company you've applied to as well as the industry itself, yet the offers still aren't coming in.
You're doing all you can and now you're getting depressed. What to do now...
You're right, you are doing everything you can, and you're doing it well. It may take longer than you hoped for, but it will come. But what you need to do now is get out of that unemployed funk.
Take a day or a half a day each week and work at the food bank, talk to someone in a retirement home, read to children, help out with special needs people, help a neighbor, rescue a dog, something, anything, that helps others.
Why? Because it's a good thing to do. And when you do good things and expect nothing in return, you actually get one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive, someone's gratitude.
Some religions believe that if you do someone a favor, you are indebted to them because of the good feeling you get from it.
Americans are often portrayed as people who eat ice cream or buy expensive things when they're feeling bad. Who knows how true it is, but these actions are almost always followed by regret.
What possible regret could you have by talking to someone who is lonely? By helping in a community project, by serving food to the hungry?
Yes, it takes away from you job search time, but if the job search is really starting to apply pressure, you won't be at the top of your game anyway.
Help yourself by helping others. You'll feel better about yourself, which will create greater confidence, which will help you throughout the interview process.
Feeling down? Help yourself by giving someone else a hand up.
We are always on the look out for more Experts to advise our readers - if you're a headhunter, job coach, career advisor, etc., and may be interested in contributing to this edition from time to time, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
We all believe we're really good at what we do. And we'd better be able to convey our special value to clients and hirers. Otherwise how will they find out?
When we discover a new company don't you, as I do, head for the About page to see what sets them apart? And typically we are told confidently how they practice their craft the way it should be done the implication being that no-one else has ever figured that out. "We love what we do," they say. "We care passionately about quality. We listen to our clients. Our clients are happy." About pages, and so many resumes, are full of worthy and unquestionable virtues.
But where this falls down is when everything claimed is indistinguishable from what everyone else in the field is claiming. Which is often.
Try this: take your name off the top and put a competitor's name there. Could they be saying the same things?
Put yourself in the mind of a hirer who sees that everyone claims the same passion for excellence, blah blah. They are stymied. How to make a choice? The "passion for excellence" language has been neutralized. It's reduced to being the price of entry. And then there are so many resumes where the language has simply been cut and pasted from the job specs. Guess how many other applicants thought of doing that!
Aha you say they will look at our chronology (or portfolio or whatever) and immediately they'll see that our department was bigger, our casting was better, how elegant our work is and so on. I am sorry to tell you this, but once you pass a certain level of professionalism, most hirers don't see the nuances you see. They look at all this and your employer or client list and they go, "That's nice - they can do what I need. But so can these 10 others, so how should I decide? How hard do I have to work to spot the real differences?"
So how can you help them make the decision to hit Reply or Contact? What do you know about what they are looking for? About who else they are looking at? About what is going on in the company? Try and intuit what your competitors are saying about themselves. How can you distinguish yourself if you don't know what you are distinguishing yourself from?
In so many cases very talented people are wondering why their career is not doing better. Well the days of just "hang out a shingle and people will beat a path to you door" are over. Getting the attention of the right people depends on more than just waving your hand in the air, it involves understanding yourself and the ecosystem you work in so you can see how to set yourself apart and convey your specialness.
Michael Pollock is President of Pollock Spark (www.pollockspark.com). He is an Executive Coach and Consultant to Creative and Media professionals. He works with people in film, TV, journalism, advertising, design, marketing, music and the Internet, bringing them the experience, techniques and inspiration to take their businesses and careers to new levels of success.
Can a very expensive suit, tie, watch and shoes actually hurt my chances at getting a job?
Yes if they are ostentatiously expensive and I assume that since you said by "very expensive" then that is the case here. It is even possible that the hiring manager may feel intimidated, which is not good. If they are not too flashy then you may get away with it, but if you are concerned about it, then moderate your plumage.
Maybe a salesperson would choose to tout his success with his wardrobe but I would hope that his sales growth numbers speak louder than the price tags on what he is wearing.
How can I stay in the loop at the office yet not be a part of office politics and gossip?
If you are simply talking about the progress of projects and business then I am sure you can meet formally or informally with managers and co-workers to find out what is going on. Ask to be included on email lists or status reports. Pro-actively show interest in developments and contribute ideas and feedback. Being engaged and constructive without threatening anyone's position is the way.
But actually I suggest that you don't totally avoid the politics and gossip. There is information in such conversations that can impact you and your position and your work and your choices. Staying unaware of it could put you at a disadvantage and you will miss out on the benefits that come from the "hive". Find the people in your office who seem to the most connected and befriend them. The valuable "network nodes" are people who can communicate between groups or departments. Check in with them from time to time and share some information yourself. That doesn't mean you have to be a destructive or disrespectful voice. Not all politics are bad.
Michael Pollock is President of Pollock Spark (www.pollockspark.com). He is an Executive Coach and Consultant to Creative and Media professionals.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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On Friday, Time Warner announced Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide will be stepping down at the end of this year. A search for a new president will begin immediately.
Honolulu-based KITV4 News welcomes former ABC News White House Correspondent Yunji de Nies beginning this September. Yunji is joining the station as Co-Anchor for the 6p news with Paula Akana and the 10p news with Kenny Choi. KITV is owned by Hearst Television.
Amy Manchester Borg was hired by Montreal-based CMJ Productions as Head/Development. Amy joins the company from Cream Productions where she served as Director/Development. She is relocating from Los Angeles.
Cynthia Turner, founder of Cynopsis Media 15 years ago, is stepping down from the company and will become Editor Emeritus of Cynopsis. Following Access Intelligence's acquisition of Cynopsis Media one year ago, Cynthia has been working with the Cynopsis team to transfer editorial management to Editor Lisa Ball and the overall strategic and business management of all Cynopsis properties to Diane Schwartz, SVP of Cynopsis Media and the Media Entertainment Group at Access Intelligence and to recently-named Group Publisher, Denise O'Connor, VP/Marketing and Sales, Mike Farina and Director/Content and Operations, Trish Pihonak. Cyn, from all of us at Cynopsis, we miss you and wish you all the best!
Meredith Ahr was handed a promotion from NBC to become EVP/Alternative Programming, NBC Entertainment. In her new role, Meredith will continue to head NBC's alternative development both internally and sourced from NBC's partnerships in the creative community. She will also have creative oversight of Universal Television's reality producers to boost the studio's lineup of productions involving unscripted projects. Meredith will continue to report to Paul Telegdy, President/Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC.
Knoxville-based Jupiter Entertainment elevated Robert Twilley to SVP/GM, effective immediately. Robert will have oversight of all staffing, legal, financial and production operations of the company's offices in Knoxville, Los Angeles and New York. Robert previously served as Jupiter's VP/Director of Operations and has been with the company since 1998.
Effective immediately, Bob Peterson advanced to VP/Station Operations by Young Broadcasting, LLC for its broadcast group. Bob will be based in Nashville and reports to Deborah McDermott, President, Young Broadcasting, LLC.
CBS Interactive China named Daisy Wei as Director/Legal and she represents CBS Corporation's first in-house counsel hire in China. Daisy will be based in Beijing and reports to Julia Apostle, Director/Legal Operations, CBS Interactive International.
Insight Strategy Group upped Ally Aleman to Senior Manager and Nathan Cooper as Quantitative Analyst. Ally has been with the company since 2011 and Nathan joined in 2010.
James Dumlao was appointed Head/Operations in the Philippines by Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia. James will supervise the company's local team in addition to all strategic operations and brand-building facets of the business. Based in Manila, James will report to Hui Keng Ang, SVP/Business Operations and Head/Asian Content, Networks, Asia, Sony Pictures Television.
CINE, the film, television and digital media non-profit organization based in Washington, DC area and founded in 1957 and its Board of Directors, has elected new leadership for 2012-2013. Mathew Tombers, Managing Director of Intermat TV will become the new Board President and Gary Lico, President/CEO of CABLEready will become VP of the Board.
Effective immediately, Larry Davis-Swing joins MediaVest USA as SVP/Analytics Director with responsibilities over the agency's analytics practice and to spur future strategies involving data-driven approaches for the agency's clients. Based at the agency's headquarters in New York, Larry will be part of MediaVest's Executive Committee and report to Brian Terkelsen, CEO, MediaVest.
Former VP/Creative and Brand Strategy at AMC Networks, Alison Hoffman was tapped by Starz Entertainment as SVP/Marketing. In her new position, Alison will oversee all facets of marketing strategy and planning for STARZ Original series. Alison will be based at Starz' Beverly Hills office.
Later -- John
John Cox for Cynopsis: Classified Advantage
Denise O'Connor: Group Publisher Media Entertainment
Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP Sales & Marketing | 203-218-6480
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