Monthly Archives: March 2009

Freelance Side-Gigs

With the state of our economy, many are considering alternative ways of earning an income, while maintaining their industry expertise and credibility. Freelancing seems like a viable option, but I wonder if its really “all that” and is it for everyone?

I’ve heard a lot about freelancing lately, so I asked several people about their freelancing experience on various sites (Elance.com, Guru.com, Helium.com, Gofreelance.com, Squidoo.com, Bintro.com & other sites).

Bob Kalsey
Writer, Director; Owner, Bravura Films, Inc.; Communications Consultant shares his guru.com experience:

” I’ve been registered at guru.com since March of 2003 and have not won a single contract from that site. Is it me? Perhaps. In the last two years I’ve responded to bid requests 34 times; 28 of those times the posting expired with no award. Only 6 of the projects were awarded to any bidder. Few of my responses to bid requests were actual bids. Most were requests for further information about the project (not one of which were answered), and some were advice to the requester. I receive a couple of bid requests a day from guru.com and rarely is there one I can take seriously.

Guru.com does not have a “writer” category, but lumps writers in with translators. So about half the requests I receive are for translation services. This is a real fault of the system, but the company has ignored my suggestions that they make a change. Most of the other requests are from people who have a “great blockbuster idea” for a movie — and want someone to write it for them in exchange for a small percentage of the mega-bucks they expect to make by selling the screenplay to a producer. Others are from people who want a writer to collaborate (for free) on their life-story for a sure-fire best-seller. Some of my responses to these “employers” have been to suggest that their notion of how the film and publishing industry work is seriously flawed.

Maybe I’m unkind. But it’s this kind of ridiculous freelance opportunity that results in so many of the bid requests expiring without award. The bid awards I’ve read about at this site have all been ridiculously low, likewise the budgets specified in the rfps. One recent job posting was for a series of twenty 2-minute video scripts for some on-line movies. The total budget was “under $250.” Doesn’t seem worth the effort even to respond to that posting. I had some hopes for Guru.com, but now I view their Project Notifications only for amusement.

Links:
http://www.bobkalsey.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ramesh Kumar
CTO chimes in with his experience on the topic:

“I experimented with elance, guru and rentacoder.com. Rentacoder was very user friendly and could bid successfully for some projects, in personal front. ”

(were you reasonably compensated?) “No. The rates are far below the realistic prices. The people quote prices that are not feasible for any genuine person. They may be offering as this is extra and not main income. Whatever comes extra may be fine. ”

(Would you freelance again?) “If prices are reasonable and if the buyers see the merit of the coder and their experience, it would be better. Most of the buyers seem to be interested in the lowest bids. And there are some fraud buyers, who take the work and dispute saying that they are not happy and the site even supports the buyers. ”

(Which freelancing jobs/sites would you recommend to others?) “None”

“Ramesh The Human Search Engine”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Megan Lynch
Creative Consultant at Audio Messaging Solutions, LLC has used Elance…

“I use Elance for side work. I’ve made some extra money there, and the overall experience has not been too bad. It is a lot of work to search through projects to find serious buyers and then formulate winning bids, but I think I’m doing pretty well so far.

“I have had some buyers balk at my bids, but a couple of times I’ve convinced them that they’re better off paying a higher price for better quality. There are a LOT of low bids and many come from outside the U.S. where the dollar is worth much more. The rates are also very dependent on the type of project. I always take time to explain to the buyer exactly why I’m bidding what I’m bidding. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they’re looking for the cheap way out.”

“The best thing about using the web for freelance work is that I can work when I have time. My least favorite thing is that I can’t rely on any kind of steady income from it. I suspect that if I were to make a concerted daily effort I would be able to generate a more steady workload, but since I have a regular 9-5 that’s not really feasible.”

“I would recommend Elance to others if they have enough time to figure out the best methods of the site. There is money to be earned but you really need to be able to spot the buyers who look for quality over price/quantity.

Links:
http://mconcept.elance.com

I’ll share more Freelancing Experiences in my next post!

Your Comments are Always Welcome!

Happy Networking!

-Terry

Job Spot Seattle Founder
“Seattle’s Exclusive Online Job Network Since 2006”

LinkedIn Groups:
Job Spot Seattle: http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1236757
WoVEN: http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=978307

Put The “Fair” in Job Fair!

Roller Coaster

Job Searching is a Roller Coaster Ride!

 
Oh, the fun to be had at the County Fair! 
 
Hanging with a big group of your closest friends, scarfing down Cotton Candy, Shish-ka-bob, and fried Twinkies, laughing and screaming simultaneously as you brave the Scrambler, the Zipper, the Edge, Shooting Hoops and air-gunning tin cans to win that stuffed panda that’s bigger than you! Good times!   So what does this have to do with “Job Fair’s” you might wonder?
 
…..

Like most, when I think of going to a Job Fair as a job-seeker, I don’t get that “fun” feeling. So, why call it a Job Fair if its not going to be? In my opinion, job fair’s can be fun or at the very least, entertaining and social.

 

Job fairs have gotten a lot of negative press lately;  with stories of  “too many” job-seekers and not enough jobs and lines going down the street for people trying just to get in.
Possibly true for those events, but don’t give up on job fair’s completely.  When you hear of one, just go! Even if you don’t get an interview, call back, or job offer right away, going to a job fair is a great way to network and bond with other “job challenged” professionals like yourself.

Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a job fair as a job-seeker; never had a reason. The job market’s always been good for my industry. (recruiting, staffing and career development).  But the market’s changed. So, I’ve adjusted my job-search techniques and added more in-person networking events….that includes job fair’s.  

I was excited about going to WaMu Center’s Career Services Job Fair on 3/25, but part of me thought it might be depressing having so many other “job challenged” folks in one place.

To the contrary, it was a motivating, empowering, and bonding experience! In addition to seeing other recently laid off WaMu colleagues, I met with several potential employers!

Some Seattle-area Staffing Agencies in attendance were:

iMatch
Kelly Financial Resources
Wimmer Solutions
Ajilon Office
Accountants Inc.
Comsys
Hansell Tierney
Volt Technical Resources
Volt Services Group
Creative Circle
Law Dawgs

E-mail me if you’d like contact details/names for any of these companies. (e-mail @ post end)

Fun to be had; more than I expected…

Besides potential employers, I saw many former WaMu co-workers. It was a reunion of sorts; everyone getting together like old times! It was a bonding experience; we were all in the same boat; actively “looking” for work. We exchanged greetings, business cards, and caught up with each other on happenings since our recent lay off.

 
The Outcome:

Did I get a job offer yet? No, but I did have fun meeting other professionals and seeing co-workers and handing out my home-made personal business cards. I felt accomplished after exchanging numbers with potential employers.

Job-seeking is a process, similar to dating (and eventually getting married). I didn’t get a marriage proposal the same day I met my husband. It took time. Finding a quality job takes time too!

For now, I’ll stay patient and positive, stay in touch with my network and (try to) stay away from negative news.

See you at the next event!  The Career Fair on April 22 at WaMu Center.

 

Join me on Job Spot Seattle on LinkedIn or check back soon for more info on the event.
As Always, Happy Networking!
– Terry

Got The Job Fair Blues? Just Go! You May Find The Un-Expected…

Lately, I’ve heard a lot of negative about job fairs. Particularly how there are “too many” job-seekers and not enough jobs at the events.

That may be true, but even if you don’t get a job right away, going to a job fair is a great way to network and bond with other “job challenged” professionals like you! That being said, I was excited to attend WaMu Center’s Career Services Job Fair on 3/25.

In addition to seeing other recently laid off WaMu colleagues, I met several potential employers!

Some Seattle-area Staffing Agencies in attendance were:

iMatch
Kelly Financial Resources
Wimmer Solutions
Ajilon Office
Accountants Inc.
Comsys
Hansell Tierney
Volt Technical Resources
Volt Services Group
Creative Cirlce
Law Dawgs

E-mail me if you’d like contact details/names for any of these companies. (e-mail @ post end)

The Un-Expected…

Though I was excited to attend the job fair, part of me thought it might be depressing having so many other “job challenged” folks in one place.

To the contrary, it was a motivating, empowering, and bonding experience!

Besides potential employers, I saw many former WaMu co-workers. It was a reunion of sorts; everyone getting together like old times! It was a bonding experience; we were all in the same boat; actively “looking” for work. We exchanged greetings, business cards, and caught up with each other on happenings since our recent lay off.

What’s Next?

Did I get a job offer yet? No, but I exchanged numbers with potential employers.

Job-seeking is a process, similar to dating (and eventually getting married). I didn’t get a marriage proposal a week after meeting my husband. It took time.

Finding a quality job takes time too!

For now, I’m going to stay patient and positive. I’ll stay in touch with my network and (try to) stay away from negative news.

I hope to see you at the next event! The Career Fair on April 22 at WaMu Center.

Join me on Job Spot Seattle on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1236757

or check my blog again soon for more event details.

As Always, Happy Networking!

– Terry

job.spot.seattle@gmail.com

WoVEN’s Going National!

Exciting things are happening at WoVEN! On Friday, 3/20, I received and accepted an invitation from http://www.yourmilitary.com/index.php?what=about to appear as a guest on their July, 28th radio talk show.

During my 30-minute show appearance, I’ll share WoVEN and its mission on a larger scale! The show topic centers on WoVEN, so it will bring high visibility the cause and hopefully spark further member and investor interest!

Timing of the show allows me to share the career workshop I’m co-presenting along with Hire America’s Heroes President, Marjorie James and WorkSource Veterans Program Manager, Debbie Denton at the Women Veterans Summit in September.

Event details can be found at this link: http://www.dva.wa.gov/women_vets.html

That’s all for now, but I’ll keep you posted of new updates!

Semper Fi!

– Terry

WoVEN Launches on Blogger!

http://www.women-veterans-empowerment-network.com/

Considering an Invitation from http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yourmilitarylife to be a guest on their 7/28 Talk Radio Show to share WoVEN…

WoVEN – Women Veterans Empowerment Network!
var tlxSoundEmbedSrc=”sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/j0388540.wav”;
var tlxSoundLoop=true;

WOVEN – Women Veterans Empowerment Network; An empowering networking forum consisting of U.S. Military Women Veterans, Active duty, Reservists & Retired.
Mission Statement: Empowering women from all branches of the U.S. Military during transition and throughout their civilian careers by providing access to career services, professional resources, strategic networking & special events.

Founding Site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wo_VEN/
Online Networking Forums: http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=978307 & http://woven.plaxogroups.com

(C) 2007 – 2009 COPYRIGHT // WOVEN – WOMEN VETERANS EMPOWERMENT NETWORK // TRADEMARK & DESIGN – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Join WoVEN’s Ranks on LinkedIn!

Sharing: TwitterJobSearch.com for Job Posters and Job Seekers!

I shared details about TwitterJobSearch.com being launched yesterday,
Job Posters: Get your Jobs Posted (indexed) on TwitterJobSearch.com by Tweeting your Job!

For Details, visit:

TwitterJobSearch.com Tips @ http://www.twitterjobsearch.com/static/add-jobs

Happy Networking!

– Terry (Twitr_Recruiter on Twitter.com)

Job Spot Seattle – http://job-spot-seattle.blogspot.com/

LinkedIn Groups:

http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1236757http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=978307

The Best Job Ever!

Most of us, including me, want to “love” our jobs because its where we spend most of our time (life). I’m always curious to hear about people’s jobs and how they got into their field because everyone’s story is different and interesting!

In my ongoing research of jobs and industries I reached out to gain insight on this topic from other working professionals with the following questions:

1. What’s the best job/title you’ve ever had?

2. What were your key responsibilities in the role and which did you enjoy most?

3. What education and/or certifications were required to qualify for the role?

4. If your “best” role is your current role, is it a result of strategic career planning?

5. If yes, did you partner with a mentor or career counselor to develop your plan?

Final Question:

6. What advice would you give others with an interest in pursuing the same job/career?

Here are a few responses:

M. Joyce McMenamin – “Chief-of-Quite-A-Lot” weighs in, keeping it short and simple with her reply:

“I’ll answer one of your questions.

Q: What’s the best job I ever had? A: All of them.”

– Thanks M. Joyce!

Cristina Gibson – Operations Manager at Protocol Communications shares:

“My first job, my boss always said find something to do so you always look busy no matter what, best lesion I every got and it gave me work ethic.”

– Great advice Cristina!

Nelsene Toriano – Engineering Consultant gives insight about his experience with start-ups:

“The best job I ever had was with a start-up because it allowed me to do whatever to complete the objective. The next best job is the one I have now…a start-up of my own. For the same reasons. I felt corporate america stifled me.”

– So true Nelsene, many find corporate America isn’t for them. Congratulations on your starting your own company!

Felicia Hsieh – Project Manager, Web Programmer, Marketing Manager, and Jack-of-all-Trades shares her work as a Sr. Project Manager at AT&T:

“My best job as a Sr. Project Manager was in leading the first successful nationwide DSL service deployment at AT&T CERFnet from scratch in 6 months. My team built out the networking infrastructure and developed a complete customer-facing service offering. Kudos goes out to my team, who deserves the credit for realizing this network.

I love being put in dynamic environments because it puts all of my experiences and knowledge to the test. My education had a moderate contribution to the success of the project, and it was my willingness to try something new that I found this opportunity.”

– Felicia, you seem to bring a lot of positivity and empowerment to your role and the roles of others, as evidenced by your willingness to acknowledge your team and work enviroment! Thanks for sharing!

Denise Cicchella, MBA, CIA, CFE, FLMI, ACS, – Director – Construction Audit at Control Solutions International shares why her best job is her current job:


“My current job is my best one. My boss believes in me, I have the freedom to run the show, within realms of good business sense, and no one is overlooking my shoulder every step of the way. I did not look for my current job, they looked for me. The fact that I wrote the book on my area of expertise was really what sealed the deal for me.


I admit it is also one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had but the stress is a good stress. I have to be professional at all times. I do public speaking in my job and I thought that would be the hardest part but I have come to really enjoy it and it is a new fave of mine. So if anyone needs a speaker, check out my profile and please let me know.”

– Denise, it sounds like you’ve got it all; thanks for sharing!

Ron Borland, Process Management Consultant at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Details his best job experiences, shares insight and some helpful advice for others:

“Terry,


I’ve had a wide variety of jobs, frequently working multiple jobs concurrently. In many cases I was not actually hired for a specific job, but because of my attitude. I have now had five full-time jobs where one of my first tasks was to define the job I’d be doing. It’s been a blast!


Two examples: I was hired the day after my first interview with the company. When I showed up for work, my new boss asked me what I knew about a topic. I admitted I knew nothing at all about it. He told me to research it and bring him a paper in one week detailing how I would modify what we were then doing to incorporate the best practices I learned about in my research. When I presented the paper, he told me to go do it. That became my job for the next year.


For another job, the day I reported to work, my new boss showed me to my desk and then told me he was leaving for two weeks of vacation that same day. When I asked him what I should be working on while he was gone, he told me he was sure I’d find something to do and left. When he came back I presented him with a marketing plan for the department and information about new areas where the team could really add value to the company. Both my recommendations were implemented, and I was given the task of expanding the department’s scope of operations to match my recommendations.


Now for the funny part, in neither of the above cases did my official job title have anything to do with what I really did during the first year of my tenure with the company.


The positions I’ve enjoyed most were not the result of mentoring or career planning. They were due to the fact that I have had such a broad work experience in many fields and am able to take what I learn in one situation and apply it to others.


I am also very good at translating between tech speak and business speak, so am frequently put into postions where my primary role is to make things work more smoothly for others.

My advice to anyone wanting “the best job ever” is to learn as much as you can about as many things as possible.


Stay fairly current in five or more diciplines.


And, above all, be flexible: Be ready to change direction at a moment’s notice. The world will notice and appreciate the fact that you are the one who makes necessary and positive change really happen.

– I couldn’t agree more Ron, thanks for sharing!

Jon Van Volkinburg, Chemical Engineer, Biotechnology & MBA Candidate Weighs in with his thoughts, touching on each point decisively:

“1. What’s the best job/title you’ve ever had?

Associate (current title) – My primary duties are of a chemical and process engineering nature, but my general job description is “whatever we need you to do and whatever you feel needs to be done.” There’s not many of us here, so, in general, if you aren’t doing it then it’s not getting done.

2. What were your key responsibilities in the role and which did you enjoy most? When I was a “Chemical Engineer” as well as “Process Technologist” my duties were to develop, improve, and troubleshoot pharmaceutical processes. That was a lot of fun. I do that now to some extent, but I do that and more. Still, I like figuring out how things work (or why they are broken) and the fix and improve them. This includes the businesses as well as sophisticated machinery.

3. What education and/or certifications were required to qualify for the role? Chemical Engineering degree, the rest was learned by doing; project management, quality engineering, and statistics were some of the skills I had to develop. In order to contribute more I am working on my MBA.

4. If your “best” role is your current role, is it a result of strategic career planning? My current role is my favorite, and it was not a part of strategic planning. I was laid off from my last job and not many people want to hire an engineer getting an MBA, since it sends a mixed message. They either want an engineer or they want an engineer who has his MBA.

5. If yes, did you partner with a mentor or career counselor to develop your plan? When I was laid off I met with career counselors to help define a career path. Unfortunately, those paths were not available at the time I needed a job and still are not available due to the economy. However, I have continued to meet with them and have found mentors in my current role. This has lead me to reevaluate my career objectives and the manner in which I wish to utilize my education and background. I think that sometimes we need to figure out how to make opportunity with what we have rather than plan out a path and follow it. Career management should be a dynamic and ongoing activity.

Final Question:

6. What advice would you give others with an interest in pursuing the same job/career? Be patient, network, and get involved in the industry learning as much as you can. In general, for anyone pursuing any job/career it is important to never stop learning and growing as an individual, strengthening your offerings. “

– Great info, Jon – Thanks!

Hamish Taylor – Consultant & Coach shares the satisfaction he finds in his current role:

“…my current one. Always was and always will be as I make the most of the opportunities. Must say that I prefer what I to do today to what I did before, but again that was always the case as well – that I believe is defined as progress. What is consistent is that I enjoy working with smart people – both as colleagues and as clients, so them I say a big thank you!

Regards Hamish.
Links:
http://www.shinergise.com

– Thanks Harnish and everyone for your insightful replies!

Now, a little about my best jobs!

Out of sheer luck, my first role after The U.S. Marine Corps was Front Office Coordinator at a San Diego Staffing Agency in 1997. Little did I know that my acceptance of that $8 an hour job would be my foot-in-the door opportunity to my lasting career in the Staffing & Recruiting Industry!

Active Duty marine was my best non-civilian job. I gained diverse experiences from the military! I sometimes miss the excitement of firing live rounds on the rifle range and running 5-7 Miles a day in combat boots and camoflage fatiques with fellow marine platoon members.

My memories of being a marine are surpassed by my passion for recruiting, social online media, networking & keeping up with the latest industry-technology!

That being said, Being a Recruiter is the Best Job Ever!

As Always, Happy Networking!

– Terry
http://www.linkedin.com/in/recruitertah