Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another informational interview

Again, my calls for help continue. In discussions with others who are out of work and newspaper union people who have seen many newsroom employees be laid off, I've raised the issue of how to prepare for a career change from newspapers to any number of other jobs that are hiring. For example, I've been applying for positions in corporate communications, online writing and other areas where writing and editing are needed. But, as I've noted in this blog before, I've run into many brick walls and have been told that I just don't have the specific experience (such as Web writing) in the area they're hiring in.

So I've started doing many things to get around that, including informational interviews. As most people probably know, these interviews don't necessarily lead to a job, but give the job seeker a chance to explore the working world by talking to someone who is either in a position to hire or can tell you more about what they do and possibly introduce you to someone who can maybe hire you somewhere down the road. It's a great way to learn about a job. For instance, I was at AT&T Park a month or so ago, and met a marketing official there, and also talked to another marketing person there, and learned a lot about the job, even there were no immediate openings.

Lately I've been searching to talk with someone about how a former newspaper editor/reporter can break into online writing or corporate communications without having any experience in that field. Through the newspaper union in San Jose, I've found a former colleague at the Contra Costa Times, who is now in corporate communications in the Bay Area. We plan to meet next week over coffee, and I really want to pick his brain for tips on overcoming the "no experience" replies. It should be an interesting talk, and I'll update the blog after the meeting.-

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