Staying Positive

 Photo Credit | Dennis McCoy - Sacramento Business Journal
After you hear the bad news, you go into an initial state of shock, then you pull yourself together, get organized, get motivated, set a goal and make every effort to reach the prize. That is my story, my plan and my hope.  After being laid off in September I did not know what to expect, I was in a state of panic, yet had a calmness come over me too, I had no idea what to do next, I packed my things, reached out to my network of business contacts and friends, updated my resume, searched for jobs, applied to jobs and waited.  Now, although I have not heard the words "you're hired," I have a plan, I am taking action and I am staying positive.  I wake up daily with a purpose, I look for jobs, I keep in touch with my network (with calls, in person and through social media),  I try to attend at least one networking event per week (SacTweetUp, PlacerBizTweetUp, SPRA luncheons/mixers and IABC luncheons), I carefully choose the jobs and companies I apply to, I make sure to do my homework before meeting with a new company or individual and perhaps most importantly I exercise daily for my mental and physical well-being.  All of that has helped me stay positive and focus on my goal ... landing a full time job at a world-class company.

Since I am in the public relations field, I have also taken a few additional steps to keep my skills relevant and build my network.  First, I joined the Media and Marketing sub-committee with Citizen Voice and have helped to plan and gain media attention to a fund-raiser (Swim for Life) and organized debates for the June Primary election.  Second, I have gotten myself in and on the news at least three times on purpose.  The first "on purpose" occasion happened as I was going to the Bay Area and saw a Sacramento Bee request for someone on CalCOBRA, the second was with News10's Suzanne Phan about using social media to find a job (check out this story from today's Sacramento Business Journal about the same subject) and most recently, I was featured in the Sacramento Business Journal for using networking as a main tool to meet people, find job leads and get interviews. For those wondering about the times I have been in the paper that were not on purpose: a picture of me playing soccer on Easter Sunday in Mexicali about 10 years ago that was in the Sacramento Bee, a story about me buying a house in Roseville that was in the Sacramento Bee in July when the reporter contacted me after seeing some of my Facebook status updates and I just found out that there was a picture of me at the Placer Business Tweetup in the Roseville Press Tribune (working on getting a copy of that now).

What does all of this mean?  It means, and I say this every time, that social media works for PR professionals and journalists, just like it works for businesses.  When a reporter saw that I was having painting parties at my new house, he contacted me to see if he could use me as a source, when I saw on Twitter that the Sacramento Bee was looking for someone on CalCOBRA I contacted them, when I was at Social Media Weekend I met Suzanne Phan and we started to talk about doing a story about using social media as part of a job search, Suzanne and I then both saw a Tweet from the Sacramento Business Journal about a story they were working on, I attended a social media networking event and was photographed.  It really is amazing to see how seamlessly social media has worked its way into our lives and I can only imagine what is to come.  In fact even Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives sees the importance of social media, they will be back in Sacramento filming and not only did they contact the normal outlets (Sacramento Magazine for sure and guessing the Sacramento Bee), but a local blog www.SacFoodies.com.

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