November 5, 2009

5 Men and an Idea.

Nothing worthy is built in a day.

But it has to start somewhere. A single idea. A shared vision. A few good men. And a means to make a go of it. Starting a company is no small feat by any stretch. Many have begun such a work only to fall short and fail. The key is to get up, dust off, and try again. Wiser, perhaps.

It's amazing what can happen when men consolidate and rally around a collective vision larger than any singular, individual interest. Once the spark is lit, watch out. Energy flows. Confidence grows. Drive and determination win the day.

The result?
A chance at success. An opportunity to shine.
No guarantees. No promises.

September 25, 2009

Keeping My Wits About Me.


Love this time of year. Although in Houston one is not likely to see significant color change or feel an extreme temperature drop. But it does dry out a bit, and the mosquitos eventually go away and hide for a couple of days. All the same, it's a nice change from the scorching summers.

The fall also reminds me that time is indeed rolling on, and my job search continues as it has for a significant part of the past year. I've remained busy in a myriad of ways, and I am utterly grateful for the opportunity to reassess, regroup and re-prioritize. In many ways, it's been an invaluable time of growth and a rekindling of the important aspects of life.

I remain steadfast in the hunt. Being idle -- which often leads to discouragement -- is not part of the equation. I have found that the best way to counter disappointment is to get up and find something to do. Someone to help. An issue to solve. A project to complete.

Above all, I press on -- counting those closest to me a sincere blessing. Waiting, as well, for the day I start a full-time contribution to the working world again.

Head up. Eyes focused.
Today is another day -- and I am thankful.

June 29, 2009

Transferrable Skills.

Ok, so you're job searching for the first time in a while and suddenly come to realize that you no longer want to do the same thing you've been doing. You'd like to explore new interests or passions. But what about all that experience you have in your particular field? Won't it all go to waste? Won't that mean starting over at the bottom; beginning from scratch?

Of course not. Well, probably not. At least not necessarily.

The key is identifying the skills you already have; the ones you actually enjoy using and building your job search around those. May take a while to list out those particular skills, but you must do it. It's the first step (and probably the most important) of your new job search. Done well, the skill identification exercise will help direct you every step of the way, confirming skills and talents that can be used in a host of functional areas. Listing out your skill set will help you decide between one particular job and another, acting as a "filter" to gauge the appropriateness of any particular job opportunity. Remember, the goal of your search this time around is to find something you both enjoy AND can do well. It may take some time. But take it. You may not get another chance.

Reinventing yourself is not hard. Transferrable skills make it a snap. That is, if you have transferrable skills.

Hint: Everyone does.

May 26, 2009

The Ideal Job.

Does it exist?

On the one hand, I envy those who go to work each day excited, rejuvinated. In fact, I know of many who absolutely love what they do. Well, I know a few.

On the other hand, it's hard to ignore the plain fact that the vast majority of people get up each day with a sense of boredom at best, depression at worst.

Where do you stand on the issue? Is there a perfect job for each of us?

If so, then we job seekers should strive to the utter ends of the earth (literally, if necessary) to find the ideal gig for which we possess both the skill and the interest, even if it means extending our search for weeks, months or even longer.

If it does not exist, we should come to grips with the practical nature of life (that work is indeed work), stop wasting time and merely find a position that is somewhat suitable, even if it is far from ideal, or even enjoyable.

To the extent that it may be possible to find that perfect job, I'm willing to search long and hard. But like most, I do not have endless resources to prolong the search beyond reason. Reality (and maturity, I would argue) is recognizing that when the bills come due, what is "ideal" in a job search and what is "necessary" are two very different things.

Only you can decide what is best for you -- and what you can live with. Life is short. I would hate to spend a large portion of it in mediocrity.

Press on. But let's be wise. Maybe our next job is just a stepping stone to something else. Something better.

We can hope.

April 30, 2009

An Important Clarification.

Last month I stressed the importance of networking in any job search. Nothing new there. The notion that we all need to step back from the computer on a regular basis and actually engage people is fundamental, and really the only time-proven way to find a job. But I do have a crucial caveat to the point. My own experience over the past few weeks has underscored the need to make this clarification. Otherwise, precious hours -- days or even weeks -- can be lost in the pursuit of our next position. Here is the clarification:

Networking needs to be relevant. that it? Yes, that's it. May sound elementary, but I'm amazed how many folks (including me) set out to network in places and with people from whom we receive little insight or encouragement in ways that truly help move our job search forward.

Networking opportunities must be practical. They must be targeted. They must be planned and researched. There must be method to the madness. Otherwise, that's all it is -- madness.

Yes, we have all heard how the more people we meet the more likely we are to find ourselves one step closer to landing our next role. At the same time, just meeting scores of contacts is not the end game. It's meeting contacts who can actually help us (as we, in turn, help them).

Don't sign up for every networking event. Pick and choose wisely. At the end of the day, the goal is not to have a drawer full of business cards, it's to land a job.

Smart networking is the key.

March 15, 2009

Ignoring the Headlines and Pressing on.

Looking for a job? It can be downright ugly in this current market. But the only other option is to close your eyes and bury your head in despair.

Not gonna happen. Not for me, and not for you.

Life is too short to wallow in discouragement and self pity. Yes, times are indeed tough in the job market these days. And finding a new opportunity is like finding a single needle in a very large haystack; all while multiple pitchforks are stabbing and thrashing for the same needle.

But find it you must.

Stay busy. One phone call to the right person. One conversation at an opportune moment. One door opening in the strangest of places. A window opening with just enough of a crack to slip through.

Be ready. Be active. It's about networking. It's always about networking.

And not giving up.

February 1, 2009

Partnering in a New Business.

Who we are:

Ex Nihilo Creative

Say what?

\eks-knee-he-lo\ adj. or adv. -- latin: from, or out of nothing.

What we do:
We are a one-stop shop for creative services; content and development.

So, what does that mean?

It means we specialize in creative communications; everything from logo development to fine art illustration. Photography to film. Special effects to motion graphics and animation. Copywriting to art direction. And much more.
How we can help:

Let us help you break through the clutter.
Stand above
your competition.


January 21, 2009

Turning 12.

Where did the time go? My son seems to have changed overnight! It's unnerving. Have I done all I intended to do with him by this age? Have I prepared him adequately for the world he will one day inherit? Have I trained him with skills that will serve him well in years to come? Not completely. But we are a work in progress. And today is a new day.

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

January 15, 2009

When "marketing" fails.

"Marketing" is a woefully inadequate word to use when marketing.

It’s a catch-all for any number of job descriptions. And rightly so, for the most part. But nine times out of ten the word refers primarily to “sales”. Fine. If you are after a general sales job, just mention “marketing” to prospective recruiters and employers; you’ll be ok.
But the word can also be very misleading; being used to describe any number of vague job opportunities. Be specific in your search. Or be prepared to wade through a sea of dead-end leads. If you are after something specific within the marketing portfolio (e.g. research, product management, communications, metrics, etc.), be precise. Ask questions. Clarify your search.

Then get to the business of marketing yourself appropriately.

January 7, 2009

Blogging for Food.

Blogging, by and large, has not been on my "to do" list. Who has the time? And what good reason do I have to do it? Then it hit me like a stack of corporate restructuring documents.

It's a tool. A means to an end.

I am job searching for the first time in many years, so it might very well be beneficial; especially if it will help in the marketing! If maintaining this blog gets me even one step closer to landing a new gig, then it's worth it.

Yes indeed, I will blog for food.