List of Jobs I do For Free

It’s funny the topics that get discussed when financial bloggers get together to chat over the holidays, but jobs I do for free did come up in our discussions, and the list is quite extensive, in my case.

I’ll only hit the top 5 list of jobs that I will do for free:

  1. {this line intentionally left blank}
  2. {Blank line intentionally}
  3. {No information on this line }
  4. {No job here}
  5. {this line intentionally left blank}

I have to admit it was a hard list to compile, it took hours. There is a plethora of menial crappy tasks that I would gladly do without charge, but I hope I have hit the high points.

No, I am not talking about my volunteer activities, or the fun things in my life, but the “jobs” in my life.

Jobs I Do For Free ?

If you are doing jobs for which you should be compensated. If you aren’t doing it out of the goodness of your heart, you should be paid, it’s that simple.

Is this tome a “job“, not really, more of a cathartic rant than anything else.

Enjoy your time off, from your Job. If you are looking for a job keep this in mind as well, you should get paid.


Job Hunting Tips

For those who have not been following me on twitter you have been missing out on some helpful (if not sarcastic) job hunting tips that I learned throughout my job hunt a few years back.

Save up to 50% on life insurance.

Christmas Wishes from the Past

I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:

I have been on both sides of the interview table, so I have interjected a lot of my own pet peeves to this list for candidates that I have met and wondered what they were thinking when they showed up to my job interview.

They are worth a read, and many of them are applicable to all jobs (and some are me being a smart ass). Some of the best Job Hunting Tips:

314Always wear clean underwear to a job interview but never show them to your interviewer either
41Tell someone you are using as a reference before you use them, “… who? That Idiot? I would never hire them!”, could be your reference. Ensure all your naked photos are well hidden on your social media as well.
271Be Precise, e.g. “When I invented the Internet, I was working at…”, no one likes vagueness in job interviews
666Be complimentary with your interviewer: “That outfit doesn’t make you look nearly as fat…”
69Hygiene is important, always shower before your interview, ensure there is no green leafy things in your teeth either.
13If anyone asks you about your religious views, claim to be a Druid or a follower of Zeus
44Humor has a place but don’t do the Uncle Buck mole bit if interviewer has one (don’t be a twiddler)
313One answer that always gets interviewer’s attention “Why the f*ck would you ask me that?”
535Scents make you memorable at an interview, but don’t eat bean burritos 2 hours beforehand, you are too memorable then
345Arguing with your interview about technical issues is OK, but will you being right (in your opinion) get you the job?
478The more the interviewer talks, the better you are doing, except if they are yelling about your lack of skills
87The only person you can “throw under the bus” in an interview is yourself, don’t blame others, explain why
101It’s good to seem to know a lot, but very bad to appear to be a Know-it-all , keep that in mind
311Network more with people who have jobs, not as much with folks who are also looking for jobs
444Over 80% of jobs are found through “connections” and “contacts”, so get out and interact with folks!
665When interviewer asks “Any questions”, do not ask, “What are your sick leave rules like?”, first.
3Think you are indispensable? You may be, until you are dispensed, start looking for jobs before you are dispensed.
129At the interview be sincere (once you can fake it, you are in)!
37Be agreeable but not a suck-up (unless that is what they want, then be one), be yourself once you have the job
333Don’t answer question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” with “Doing your job, or better your boss”
Not sure these are all completely on the level, but you never know.

Foolproof Job Hunting Tips

Hope these help, stay tuned I do have some more coming.


Job Hunting Hints: Dress for a Job Fair

Not a Day at The Beach! For a while I was thinking that I might actually start a blog about the job hunting tips I learned whilst I was unemployed, but it never really got off the ground, and I have a hard enough time making sure I have new(ish) content for this blog, so it died a quiet death, but I do feel I have a few useful hints (IMHO) for folks, so I will be sprinkling these tips in over the next little while.

This current post triggered from another blogger posting 6 Tips for Working a Career Fair, which is one of the places you should be frequenting, if you are looking for a job. These events are effectively cattle calls, and don’t expect to get a job when attending this kind of event, but you might make a contact or meet someone you know who may help you out later, so I think attending these are not a complete waste of time.

The New York Times Store

I have worked these events from both sides (candidate and hiring company), and I can assure you of a few things that will quickly get your resume and contact information, moved to file 13 very quickly (look this up, it’s an old Mainframe term):

  • Simply dumping your resume on the desk or table and walking away. I don’t care if you are not a “people person”, you need to at least introduce yourself, say hello and attempt to have at least a 1 minute talk with who(m)ever is working the booth. If they give you the brush off, that is fine, maybe don’t leave your resume, but YOU are looking for the job, not them.
  • Arrogance, that is not well founded, is a killer for me. If you are good at what you do, but act like you don’t want my job, and you pretty much tell me that, I’ll grant your wish (i.e. I will lose your resume). You can be confident, you can be sure of yourself, but it is a fine line between that and arrogance.
  • Simply show up and start taking the “swag” from the table before talking to anyone. Yes, it is supposed to be free stuff, but come on, you need a free pen that bad?
  • Dress like you are going to the beach.
Flip Flops
Great for Squashing Bugs, not so much for Job Fairs

That last one is my personal pet peeve. I have had other recruiters tell me that it doesn’t matter to them if potential candidates are dressed extremely casually, but it does to me. If you show up wearing “flip-flops” (or thongs to my Australian friends), jean shorts and an unbuttoned shirt, what am I to think? I am most likely standing their in a “business casual” outfit, and you are saying to me, “I am this good that I don’t need to dress up to get this job”, or worse “your job is so unimportant to me that I can’t find a descent outfit and some shoes to find out about it”.

I did have one young woman walk in dressed like this, and I asked her, “… were you off to the beach today?”, and when she gave me a blank stare back, I explained my point of view, to which she walked away without leaving her resume (oh well).

What Should You Do ?

Go to the Job Fairs, make connections, collect cards from folks, talk to other folks to find out how they are searching for jobs (but remember don’t spend too much time talking to other unemployed folks, they don’t have jobs, you should be talking to folks who DO have jobs). Please dress like you want a job (not want to go to the beach).


Jobs and Job Fairs (again) and Random Thoughts

When I was job hunting (many years ago), I dropped by a Job Fair in Ottawa, and was astounded to see the number of people at this small job fair and also by the fact that I knew so many of them. It drove home hard just how many folks are looking for jobs right now. The other fact that had me thinking was that very few (if any) of the exhibitors wanted resumes, they were simply talking about their company and wanted candidates to submit their resumes to the company website.

This means no one will read resumes after this show much (they may have a bunch sent to them electronically, but my guess is they will simply add them into their job database and forget about them).  HR rarely reads resumes sent to them directly, they wait for software to “screen” candidates for them.

The important point to remember that if you are job hunting, you need contacts to get jobs. The number I have heard quoted is 75% of jobs are never posted, they are filled by folks that the company knows about from internal contacts.

Another free piece of advice, talking to other Unemployed folk, is not networking. Talk to people with jobs, they will know of jobs where they are or who might be hiring, unemployed people rarely know that and can’t help you that way.

Random Thoughts: Financial Apocalypse Over? (April Fools!)

The financial blogging world this week had an eclectic cross-section of articles but some that I enjoyed were:

A final job hunting tip, if you are lucky enough to find a job, remember those who are still looking, and help them out as best you can as well!


Job Hunting Update

Part of the log I kept during my year of unemployment after being laid off from Nortel, in 2008.

For those following on with my saga of looking for a new job, this week is my last pay cheque from my former employer. As of September 30th I will receive my severance and officially be unemployed, which is starting to cause a little bit of apprehension on my part, the entire looking for a new career thing is frustratingly slow at times, and it is very easy to get into a “funk” thinking things are just not going to happen, but I have learned a few important things.

Networking is Key

Very few people find and land new jobs simply by applying to jobs on job boards, or in newspapers. Unless you have a killer resume, which somehow slides through every screening program, you are going to find your next job through contacts, friends, former co-workers or people you meet through those contacts.  No, you should not be walking up and down your street with a sandwich sign saying, “Looking for work!”, however, you should be talking to people in your Network about jobs and where they think there might be jobs, and who they know.

From my network, I have already got an interview at one of the companies I have targeted as a good place to work, and others are going to follow. I have also been given other contacts from these friends, so my network is expanding with new people that are going to help me find that new job.

Don’t Panic

That is good advice for many reasons right now. The whole economic condition seems to be going into the toilet these days, with stocks and such, but just like in the stock market, in job hunting, you can’t panic either. It’s good to appear interested and a little nervous at an interview, but if you show up and can’t string two sentences together without sounding like a blithering idiot, that is not going to help much.

Fear is a good motivator, but it cannot take over your thinking processes. Selling all your stock right now may not be the best thing to do (unless you are holding some very dubious stocks), suddenly making a career change, simply because you haven’t had any interviews, is also maybe not the best thing in the job hunting world.

Big decisions like changing your career need to be thought out and not simply jumped at because you think your old skill set is unusable or is not going to get you a job.

Relax, take it easy and keep a positive attitude, is all I can advise, for both your finances and for job hunters.


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