Friday, August 7, 2009

New Strategy for Finding Work

As I've said before, finding a job is the key to my success. I'm glad the government has extended unemployment benefits but I don't want to have to depend on that. I would much rather have my work income, it's more money and I can get back on track with my personal and family goals.

Sometime ago I saw on the news a report about unemployment, who is unemployed, how it's affected them and what some are doing about it. In that segment they featured a Fashion Designer who was out of work and a bit stressed about it. They featured a woman who decided to intern again so she can start-over again, a young man who decided to take a job for a lot less money than he was making before and a man who was used to working at an Executive level who was now working janitorial jobs. I thought that was so interesting. What I realize is that the longer you are without a job the less demanding and more flexible you become. I am a member of the Bryant Park Group. A group of fashion industry professionals who have all been laid off from work. It's amazing. There must be at least 100 members and I can safely say that all of them without question are an impressive group of professionals who are all experts at something. Some of the members I've met I admire, and I think "wow now she seems really smart, how come she still doesn't have a job?". Outgoing, resourceful, professional and smart. Yeah, some of them have been unemployed for 1 year to 1 1/2 years, now contemplating their next move and should they relocate, and how are they going to pay their next mortgage or rent. And there are others that are slowing drifting and starting to get used to just some time for themselves, and do whatever they want when they want. Maybe some yoga in the morning or travel a bit, yeah I guess that sounds nice but that's not my situation. I need and want to work.

So now I'm thinking about contacting some of my favorite fashion companies and offering to work 6 months for free, just volunteer. For instance. I've worked for 8 years in the menswear industry but I'd like to branch out and work in the women's industry as well. No company will hire me for women's design because I don't have that experience even if I can sketch up some nice designs for women. Unless they get to work with me and experience my work ethic and dedication they'll never know. So I figure I can volunteer, set my own terms like hours and what I want to get out of it. I can probably work a 10-4 M-F schedule or whatever for free in exchange for assisting in anything necessary within the women's design department and participating in all fit sessions, line presentation meetings, participation in line preparation, colors, research etc... I can help them out with their tech packs, presentation materials, ANYTHING. The goal is to gain a new work experience that I might not be able to get hired for and branch out into other areas so I have more options for employment. And you never know. I've freelanced many times doing basic design work and more often than not I've received countless job offers for more advanced positions, but that was then..., and this is now. I haven't been able to freelance since being laid off, thus my new approach.

Ok so what do you think? I'm also thinking about getting back in touch with my former employer and seeing what their status is and if they would be willing to re-hire me. Hey you never know! In addition, I emailed Gen Art and replied to their ad for volunteers during this September's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I hope they call back. Overall I think this is a good plan because it's better than not doing anything (not that I'm not doing anything, I'm raising my daughters) but at least it'll keep me in the Fashion Industry and who knows what other doors will open up for me. This plan does require a bit of letting go of pride and ego but sometimes you have to be willing and able to recognize when you are down and get back up. I'm not too proud (anymore), it's ok. This plan also has it's challenges, like childcare. The fact that I won't have paid job means I can't re-hire my babysitter to take care of my girls while I'm not home. She used to come early in the morning before I left and would leave my home when my husband or I arrived home. It worked out great. I would have to figure out how to get my two girls out early in the morning and take them to my mother who would hopefully agree to watch them. Agh, lets see what happens.



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