Saturday, January 24, 2009

Moving to:

Tales of an Unemployed Dad is moving to:

It's new and improved, and will continue these tales, along with much more such as resources for the unemployed and, of course, my resume.
Thanks for following since the inception of Tales of an Unemployed Dad on Sept. 11, 2008, and I hope you continue following at

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Basketball class

Took the day off from working, job hunting, and enjoyed a basketball game this afternoon at St. Mary's College in Moraga. Wanted to give Emma a taste of women's hoops, and we saw a good game as the Gaels beat San Diego in double overtime.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

What unemployed do all day

I hate to link and run, but this story about what the unemployed do all day that I wrote on today really expresses my frustration with being unemployed, and that of others. No, we don't sit around watching TV, eating ice cream. It's about looking for a job and improving skills.

I'm off to SF soon to learn more about WordPress from David Cohn, and just got off phone with AOL boss about SEO. Next week I'm going to start writing for AOL's shopping web site using search engine optimization, another skill I'm happy to add to my resume and hopefully land me full-time work soon.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Woman sells baby's name for $4,050

I write and I write and I write. Time to read it elsewhere for today:
An odd way to make money:

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Press release

After a few short press releases for Moving Arts Dance in Concord, I've now written my first full-length press release for the group, although you could consider my resume a press release. Anyway, here it is:

For more information, contact:
Scott Belding, Moving Arts Dance: 925-825-8399 or e-mail:
Aaron Crowe, public relations, 925-482-5934, or e-mail:

Meet Major League Baseball Manager Tony La Russa and get his autograph at recycling event

Sponsored by Moving Arts Dance Center & Theater, and AT&T Real Yellow Pages

CONCORD, CA, JAN. 21, 2009 -- Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and former Oakland A's manager, will appear at an autograph signing of the new AT&T Real Yellow Pages on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 1-3 p.m. at Moving Arts Dance Center, 1281-C Franquette Ave. in Concord. A suggested donation of $10 is requested.

La Russa will sign copies of the new Contra Costa County Central AT&T Real Yellow Pages to kick off the annual phone book recycling drive. La Russa and his daughter, Moving Arts Dance member Devon, are featured on the cover of the new AT&T phone book alongside Moving Arts Dance members and Artistic Director Anandha Ray. AT&T is a 2009 season presenting sponsor for Moving Arts Dance. La Russa is on the board of directors for Moving Arts.

New, signed copies of the phone books will be provided at the event.

Residents and businesses that bring their old phone books to the event to be recycled will get a new phone book signed by the manager of two World Series-winning teams, including the A's. One of his former players, Rickey Henderson, was recently voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Moving Arts Dance is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable arts organization. It is a dance company, school and theater, and has classes, workshops and shows each year.

Moving Arts Dance Theater presents a variety of dance performances throughout the year. Under Executive Director Scott Belding, its professional dancers have traveled around the globe to perform. Artistic Director Anandha Ray, who is also on the phone book cover, heads the dance company and the dance center.

Here are some upcoming events at Moving Arts Dance:

* Salon Concert on Feb. 7 and 8, titled "Beauty from Darkness" with the band Judgement Day. The shows are at 8 p.m. Feb. 7 and 2 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Moving Arts Dance Theater at 1281-C Franquette Ave., Concord. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children. Tickets on the day of the show are $25 for adult and $20 for seniors and children.

* Jan. 30 auditions for "Hansel & Gretel's House of Rock," an original show that gives dancers a chance to build their resume by performing with a professional company. A variety of parts are available for children, teens and adults, from non-dance roles through professional dance roles. Participants should wear clothes that are easy to move in and show your body, bare feet and hair back with no bangs (no baggy clothes, please). Dancers should arrive warmed up and ready to learn choreography, and arrive on the floor ready to go 15 minutes before their start time. Start times vary by age and experience: 4 p.m. for children ages 5-8; 5 p.m. for children ages 9-12; 5 p.m. for age 13 to adult who are beginner dancers and character actors; and 6 p.m. for others age 13 to adult. A $5 audition fee is required. If cast in the show, a participation fee will be required to cover costs related to rehearsals, costuming and performances. Fundraisers will be available to students to help cover their fee.

For more information on Moving Arts Dance, call the studio at 925-825-8399 or go online to

For people who can't make it to the recycling event and autograph session with La Russa on Jan. 31, they can call the AT&T Real Yellow Pages Project ReDirectory help line at 800-953-4400 for directory recycling information.

Here are the Moving Arts Dance members pictured on the cover of the AT&T Real Yellow Pages, from left to right:

* Anandha Ray, Artistic Director of Moving Arts Dance. An award winning choreographer, she holds two master's degrees in dance, is in the Contra Costa County Women's Hall of Fame, a former chairwoman of a university dance program and has more than 30 years' experience with teaching, choreographing and producing dance concerts and tours.

* Devon La Russa, assistant artistic director. Devon debuted with Moving Arts Dance in July 2002 at the Chronicle Pavilion in Concord, and is a principal dancer in the group. She performed with Oakland Ballet from 1995-2005, performing principal roles in Michael Lowe's choreography and with other choreographers. She has been a freelance flamenco artist since 2005 and is studying and performing with award winning flamenco dancer and choreopgrapher Yaelisa.

* Tony La Russa, board member of Moving Arts Dance for five years.

* Coreen Danaher, (in background) debuted with Moving Arts Dance Center in April 2006. Born in Vallejo, she studied for 10 years at Vallejo Ballet Conservatory and later trained at Berkeley Ballet Theater. She has performed with Ballet Counterpointe Rep, as a corps dancer in Diablo Ballet's Paquita, and as a guest in Professional Ballet School's Spring Showcase. She is in her second season at Peninsula Ballet.

* Paris Wages, assistant artistic director, joined Moving Arts Dance in September 2005. She has danced with several companies, including Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Winifred R. Harris' Between Lines, Heidi Duckler's Collage Dance Theatre, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera and San Francisco Opera Ballet. She has been adjunct faculty at Solano Community College since 2005.

* Mariko Takahashi joined Moving Arts Dance in 2007. She received her training at the Ayako School of Ballet, in Belmont, where she also teaches ballet and jazz. She has performed with the Oakland Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theater, Diablo Ballet, the Ronn Guidi Foundation for the Performing Arts, and Sierra Nevada Ballet. In addition to her work with Moving Arts Dance, she has had the pleasure to have dances created for her by choreographers such as Donald McKayle, and Scott Rink, and has performed principal roles in full-length productions such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, and Don Quixote.

* Maria LaMance joined Moving Arts Dance in summer 2005. She trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and earned her bachelor of arts degree at San Francisco State University. She has performed with numerous modern dance companies and independent choreographers, including Heidi Schweiker, Lea Wolf, Kate Corby and Dancers, Earth Circus Productions, Jenice Alcosta Movers and Huckabay McAllister Dance. She teaches ballet and Russian character dance at Dance Theater international and is a certified massage therapist.

* Terrin McGee Kelly (being lifted) joined in summer 2004. She has dance with Ballet Magnificat, Oakland Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theater, Theater Ballet of San Francisco, and has guest performed in and around the Bay Area. She has been an extra for Comedy Central, the the series Nash Bridges and the Matrix II. She was a participant in the Miss America Organization, holding titles over three years while she promoted her platform of arts in education, where she gave lecture demonstrations, assemblies and performances at local schools.

* Adam Aicher, ballet master, has danced with Company C and started with Moving Arts in 2007. He received full scholarships to Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Houston Ballet and received a ballet scholarship to the University of Utah. In 2003 he was invited to study under Fernando bujones at Orlando Ballet. he is a dual-certified pilates trainer, is Red Cross CPR and First Aid certified, and gives frequent lectures on dancer health and injury prevention. He has extensive experience working with all levels of dancers and athletes.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saving money at the library

In an effort to save some cash, I'm off to the library today with my daughter to check out a book on setting up a Web site. I'm going to move this blog to a different site within two weeks, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I unleash it to the public. I'm also getting some help from some colleagues, which I'm eternally grateful for. Libraries are one great way to save money, although the book I'm checking out is at least four years old and much of it may be out of date. I may have to bend and buy an updated version after I take a look at this one.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

A new president, new jobs

On this eve of change in America, about the best advice, request, plea I can offer to President Obama is to start his administration by doing everything he can to help create jobs and get people back to work. It's a difficult task, but the most important in fixing the economy and getting everything else back on track.

Green jobs are a great start, and creating and supporting green jobs that pay well and are more than manufacturing jobs are important. America should be leading the world in this area, showing what is possible.

As I, and many more Americans, continue the daily struggle to find a job, the best thing that can lift our spirits is the sight of hope that progress is being made on the job front.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Networking slowdown

Part of my job search is falling by the side as I try to earn more money with part-time work. I may be shooting myself in the foot with this decision, but I'm leaving the Success Team I started through CPC Job Connections, mainly because I don't have time to attend this networking team because of my part-time jobs. I won't go into the details of the work, but as you've read here before, I'm busy with many part-time jobs as a way to bring some much-needed cash into the house.
I talked about it with the team members a week ago, and it was a decision I didn't make lightly. I recently had to leave The Public Press because of these same time commitments, and I fear that any other volunteer work I do may have to cease for awhile so I can concentrate on making some money and still look for full-time work. The reality of now having such full-time work is beginning to really hit, and I need to do what I can.
I guess it's a decision all unemployed must eventually face: Start working and do the job search and other related things, such as networking and volunteering, as secondary parts of the job search.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time running out

Time is running out for my unemployment benefits, at least the first 26 weeks of benefits. I've got about another month of money coming in, as my limited part-time work has allowed me to extend the 26 weeks of pay another month or so. Federal extensions are next, and I'll apply for it, but I'm working under the impression that the benefits are running out and I've got to find something. Anything. I've tried so many tactics, and am still trying more, but nothing has worked yet -- at least not for full-time work with benefits, which is what I want.

It seems that almost daily I'm adding up in my head how much money is coming in from part-time jobs, and how much longer until unemployment benefits expire, leaving us to either dip into savings, borrow or whatever other things we can think of to get by. Another part-time job that offers a steady, reliable income may be what we need now. Or soon.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Finding a new home

It won't be official for a few weeks, but I'm going to move to a new site. I've bought a domain name, have a site host and want to learn as much as I can about WordPress and Web site building before I unleash it.
About a month ago a Web designer who wanted to help laid-off journalist offered to help me build the site, but he got too busy and couldn't do it. So I've started it myself and I'm getting some help from a former colleague and will try to meet with other Web designers to get tips. I mainly need help with WordPress, and expect to have enough knowledge to unveil it next month. I want it to look good and be working relatively well before moving this blog there. It will be a work in progress. It will also have much more than a blog, including tips for the unemployed, interviews and stories of job seekers, my resume and clips, and much more. And, of course, it will also have the tales of an unemployed dad in search of full-time work with a 4-year-old in tow.
Meanwhile, continue checking in here to for the latest.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

First press release

My first press release is below. I sent it out this morning to various newspapers in an effort to get people to audition for an upcoming performance. Now I've just added to my job skills, and here's the proof:

Auditions are being held Jan. 30 for "Hansel & Gretel's House of Rock," an original show by Moving Arts Dance in Concord.

Created and directed by Terrin McGee Kelly, the production will be a chance to build your resume by performing with a professional company. The show will include a variety of phantasmal characters in a dark and magical forest. It will be set to a variety of music, including rock and roll, and soft metal, and will be a treat for all ages. A variety of parts are available for children, teens and adults, from non-dance roles through professional dance roles.

Participants should wear clothes that are easy to move in and show your body, bare feet and hair back with no bangs (no baggy clothes, please). Dancers should arrive warmed up and ready to learn choreography, and arrive on the floor ready to go 15 minutes before their start time. Start times vary by age and experience: 4 p.m. for children ages 5-8; 5 p.m. for children ages 9-12; 5 p.m. for age 13 to adult who are beginner dancers and character actors; and 6 p.m. for others age 13 to adult.

A $5 audition fee is required. If cast in the show, a participation fee will be required to cover costs related to rehearsals, costuming and performances. Fundraisers will be available to students to help cover their fee.

The Moving Arts Dance Theater is at 1281-C Franquette Ave., Concord. Go online to or call 925-825-8399 for more information. Moving Arts Dance is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable arts organization. Donations are tax-deductible.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My start in PR

Add "writing press releases" to my resume and list of part-time jobs, or at least sporadic part-time work. I've started writing press releases for Moving Arts Dance, a nonprofit dance school and dance company in Concord. So far I'm writing calendar listings, but will soon write an actual press release about an upcoming event. It's interesting to be on the other side and have to try to sell an event. I think I'm well qualified by working at newspapers and know what the press needs. With this start, I hope it will lead to doing public relations for other organizations and allow me to continue expanding my job skills.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Denied again

Once again, I'm denied a job and lost out to a guy with more experience than me. It's difficult to keep your chin up after losing in a job interview, and yes, there are losers in these things. After a month of applying for this government position, an interview and a few anxious weeks awaiting a callback, calling myself and getting the final word today, I'm getting tired of this. It's depressing.

I've written about it here before, but trying to transfer my job skills from journalism to another profession is much more difficult than I thought it would be. I even had volunteer experience in a Congressman's campaign, which was successful, but still didn't get the job. I understand that other job candidates may have the exact experience the employer is looking for, but in this case and many others I'm positive I could do the job expertly. Experience is great, but job skills are also a great way to judge if someone can do the job. I gave my references, which I don't think were checked, and I'm sure they would have been great references if called.

I'm trying not to get too down on myself for not getting this job, because a dozen years of experience will probably always trump a newcomer, but I've still got to believe someone will see my transferable skills, drive, ability to do the job, and give me a chance. I don't mind starting anew again, but after six months of this rejection, I'm having a hard time finding the ability to keep going. Tomorrow may be a lot different, with some hope. That's what I, and every unemployed worker, can strive for. To keep on pushing forward and forget the offer that didn't quite make it.

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Unemployed still have to pay taxes

For the unemployed, it's a shock to learn that the IRS wants your money, even if you didn't earn a paycheck in 2008. If you earned some money -- through unemployment benefits, part-time work or pulling money out of a 401(k) plan -- among other things, then you must file a tax return. Today I wrote about this issue for the unemployed for

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Rickey Henderson

I continue writing for, and today I wrote and blogged about Rickey Henderson on and his election to the baseball Hall of Fame. I wrote about how Henderson is an iconic baseball player for many Baby Boomers, and was my favorite baseball player growing up.

The work I do for is a volunteer job that will hopefully pay off some day with stock options if the Web site takes off. Until then, I work for the site for free. It's a way to get some clips and keep my hand in writing, although I'm doing plenty of writing for also.

I think everyone should find some volunteer work that they enjoy, and while my volunteering isn't for a non-profit in the true sense of the word, it's an area I'm interested in: Baby Boomers. One hope is that the volunteer work will lead to paying work. I did some volunteer work in November for a Bay Area Congressman being re-elected, and I'm now trying to get a job with a state senator. I think that experience helped me land an interview there, and my experience and training in journalism can only help.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reality of unemployment

It's stories like the one in today's New York Times that make me want to throw up my hands and not want to read it for awhile. It's about a dad who lost his job a year ago and his wife returned to work. Fine, I can relate to that. It's reality.

The story moves out of my reality, and probably the reality of many others, when it discusses families that because of lost bonuses lost an $800,000 annual salary, and have to live on $150,000 a year. And the fantasy world of this story continues. Out-of-work husbands still live in $1 million homes. The nanny is replaced by an au pair. The family belongs to a "modest" country club and continues spending hundreds of dollars a month on kids' activities, such as soccer and karate lessons. They continue shopping at Ralph Lauren.

This isn't the reality for many families where a spouse is out of work. I hate it when the NY Times, or any other paper, writes at length about a class that isn't the norm, and that many can't relate to. I'm not saying my situation is typical, but it sure is closer. We're cutting back and while I'm home with our daughter and doing some part-time work, I continue to look for a job and worry about the future. Those families have worries, I'm sure, but it's a different world. Not reality.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tech tools

On Jan. 22 I'm attending the event below, which applies to all reporters, not just health reporters. I'm interested in how these tools can help me as a journalist, but also as a job hunter. I already regularly use Twitter, Facebook and a blog, and wonder what are the best ways to use them to their full advantage. Through my job search I'm open to remaining a journalist, probably online, but also see these online tools as things to use in my next job, whether it be in communications or elsewhere.

***** Thursday, January 22: TECH TOOLS FOR HEALTH REPORTERS

Tech Tools for Health Reporters: How blogs, Twitter, social networking, and more can improve your skills

Where: San Francisco Business Times
275 Battery St., Suite 940, San Francisco
6 8 pm
Light refreshments will be served
This event is free; please RSVP

Event details:
Whether you're a staff reporter or freelancer, you've undoubtedly heard that to survive in the media in the future, you'll need to blog, podcast, and Twitter. A few writers have become conversant in online technologies and are using them to the benefit of their careers. Many of the rest of us, though, may have experimented with a blog or used Facebook to find sources for a story, but are still waiting to see how the digital revolution is really going to help our work lives.

We'll explore this question with a panel of folks who are using online technology or helping others to do so.

Amy Tenderich, author, Diabetes Mine blog, and a San Francisco-based writer and consultant diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2003. She's using the blog as an outlet for what she's learned about the disease and a way to help others. Her blog is chockfull of information, colorful and graphic-laden and includes advertising. We'll learn more about how she developed the blog and how it fits into her career goals as a writer.

Jerry Monti, technology training instructor for UC Berkeley's Knight Digital Media Center, will discuss how journalists can and should be using online technology to further their work.

Moderator: Jan Greene is a longtime healthcare freelancer who has been waiting for her blog ( to catch fire and ignite her career. Jan, based in Alameda, has a daily newspaper background and writes for healthcare-related trade and consumer magazines and newspapers.

for more information, please contact: Colleen ParettyChair, Bay Area AHCJ or

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Ugly unemployment figures

Unemployment figures were released today, and they're bleaker than the previous month and about to get worse. The 7.2 percent unemployment rate in December is a 16-year-high and the 2.6 million jobs lost in 2008 were the most since 1945. Time for an economic stimulus.
In another effort to find a job, I'm going to the Commonwealth Club's panel discussion and job fair on Jan. 26 about "Getting Your Green Dream Job." Maybe green industries will get some of the next president's economic stimulus package and I can find work there. It's a growing field that I'd like to be a part of.
I tried to make the green movement a little more personal by getting a bid from a contractor today for solar power. Since we don't use much energy, it looks like the cost won't pencil out for our house. We also have a small roof that is shaded, so it doesn't get optimal sunlight. I'll explain all this and more when I write the story on solar power soon. I'm still doing the reporting for it. Contribute now and help keep me out of the soup line.

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The oil spill story I wrote about last month for is now running on The Public Press web site. Up until about a month ago I volunteered at The Public Press but unfortunately had to stop because of job hunt overload and my part-time work is piling up. It's nice to see they remember me.
It's also nice to create some synergy with my work for and The Public Press. Marketing myself, as I'm learning, takes many forms and getting the word out about my work, job hunt, etc. is happening on many fronts: Facebook, Twitter, this blog, WalletPop.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Art, not porn

I wrote a short post about the porn industry seeking a federal bailout today on, and the readers are crazy with comments. So many comments, not enough time to read. Read the story.

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Women earning less

Women earning 20% less than men, while more women working in service jobs -- that's just some of the job info I found on a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. I wrote about it in this WalletPop post today. And the readers are already commenting. Check out first comment about how women are less reliable than men as workers.

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Outsourcing the job hunt

This is a genius move. This job seeker is outsourcing his job hunt and will pay anyone who finds him a job 10 percent of his salary during the first year of work. I've heard about people outsourcing their lives, such as hiring someone to write thank-you letters for them, make a date, etc. from as far away as India over the phone. And I've heard of outsourcing the job hunt to India too. This idea makes me want to explore that further -- have someone else find me a job for a fee -- but only if the salary is high enough to afford it.

What interesting/odd things have you done to find a job?

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Solar power: When will it be affordable for Bay Area homeowners?

Yes, I'm underemployed

I've finally found the term for my job status: Underemployed. I wrote about it today on Go here for story.
It's a government term that means I'm not classified as unemployed, but seek work and can't find it and thus work part-time. It also applies to people with full-time jobs who have had their work hours cut to 35 hours or less per week. As I've written about many times on Unemployed Dad, I have about six part-time jobs of varying infrequency to help pay the bills. None offer health care.

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Solar power story pitch letter

I'm trying to drum up more financial support for my story on solar power. Below is a letter that will soon be sent via e-mail to supporters. Feel free to donate
Dear supporters:
I've always been interested in solar power, even when I was a kid, and I've wondered why if the sun's rays are free, why doesn't everyone have solar energy? What could be better -- free energy? The hitch has always been the initial cost of buyng the solar panels, getting the system installed and such. Now, those costs are going down, making it more affordable, and there are other ways to get solar power cheaper: Aggregating with other homeowners, leasing from a solar company. That's why I made the pitch on to write this type of story.
To explore those issues and educate people on why in the Bay Area, which is known for its forward thinking, more people don't have solar power on their homes. I'm going so far as having a solar company come out and give an estimate on my home as an example for the story. So far I've talked with power officials, a company that offers to find solar installers for you at a good price for you and others, and solar installers themselves on the issues they're facing. I'm also about to reach some solar customers to find out how and why they went solar before the many others did. I plan to include photos and hopefully some video of an installation, in this story that will detail the pros and cons of going solar.
I appreciate any contribution you can make to this project. For more information on this story, please go to the post for it on and also look at my bio if you'd like to know my credentials for doing such work. Thank you.
Aaron Crowe

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time for a press release

I just sent this out as a press release to some Bay Area news outlets, trying to market myself as an unemployment expert worth talking to on the issue. We'll see if anything happens.

January 6, 2009
President-elect Barack Obama is proposing an economic stimulus plan that would add 3 million jobs over the next two years, but it's a shortsighted plan that won't add long-term jobs to the economy, says a San Francisco Bay Area writer for AOL's personal finance Web site,
Aaron Crowe's posts on hunting for a job, such as the Obama one at are insightful and Aaron can be your news organization's expert on unemployment. With more than 10 million Americans out of work, it's an audience you should reach. Aaron Crowe, a contributor at, a personal finance Web site, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes about his job search and offers tips and insight to the unemployed looking for full-time work.
Aaron was laid off at the Contra Costa Times, a daily newspaper in Walnut Creek, CA, in June 2008 after working there for 13 years as a copy editor and assistant metro editor. He has also worked as a copy editor and reporter at other California newspapers.
Aaron lives in Concord, CA and writes a daily blog at about his job hunt and how it affects his 4-year-old daughter. Topics he has written about on WalletPop and on his Unemployed Dad blog include how to get employers to call applicants back for a job interview, how to overcome the daily struggles of the job hunt, and the best ways to improve your skills and search for a job. He's still collecting unemployment while holding down seven various part-time jobs, all of which are infrequent. His wife continues working as a copy editor at the Contra Costa Times, working nights, when Aaron takes over childcare duties at home.
Aaron Crowe can be reached for interviews at:
925.482.5934 Mobile
925.680.2557 Home

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Marketing me

The marketing of Aaron Crowe looks to get a bit interesting this week as a guerrilla job search firm has offered to help me rework my resume. If I like the service, I'll promote it here and tell my friends, family, etc. I was laid off more than six months ago and figure I might as well try something different. I'll give it a try and report what's happening here so other unemployed people can learn from it and apply it to their job search too.

I'm also busy today working on a story and a lengthy piece for WalletPop.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not-for-profit jobs growing in U.S.

I've written here before about non-profits and not-for-profits and why I'd like to work at one. I expanded on that idea for this WalletPop story about how not-for-profits need more workers than for-profit businesses, and how they pay a little more. Interesting stuff from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of my favorite places to get job data.

Due to time constraints, I recently had to stop volunteering at a nonprofit, The Public Press in San Francisco. But I'm still volunteering at, although it's not a non-profit. With unemployment about to run out and more part-time work slowly coming in, along with the need to still find full-time work, I just didn't have the time to volunteer at the Public Press as I had hoped. As you'll see from the WalletPop story, many low-paying jobs that would normally be done at a not-for-profit are instead done by volunteers for free. I can't afford that, for now.

I've also got one less part-time job than I did last year. I was going to start doing some investigative work for a company that does background checks on new hires, but their work has slowed down and I won't be needed as much as I had hoped. They still might call on me to track down some public records, but I'm not expecting much during the recession and less hiring going on at companies.

However, I added another part-time job writing press releases for a local non-profit, and will discuss it here soon once I'm certain it will be a long-term relationship. I was given a tryout recently and wrote a short press release, which I got in local papers and some online sites, and I think I did well enough to warrant more writing for them. So at least with every minus, a plus comes along.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Popeye's resume

What would Popeye's resume look like in today's world? has the answer, which I think is worthy of linking to here. He's Mr. P for purposes of protecting his identity.

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Taking a break

We went to a great movie Friday night, "Slumdog Millionaire." It's a great film that is kind of a fairytale. It doesn't have much to do with finding a job, but it's a great story that in a way shows how to continue chasing what you want in life, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

I haven't been to a movie in months, partly because we have a 4-year-old daughter and it's difficult to get out of the house for a date. But also because I've been busy with the job search. I remember months ago at a Job Connections meeting where one unemployed guy noted that after months of constantly looking for a job, he treated himself to part of an afternoon off from job hunting to go to a movie. It was a great escape and a good break, he said. Looking for full-time work can be a 40-hour week or more, and breaks like this are necessary.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Simplify, simplify, simplify

A comment was recently made by a WalletPop reader on my story about callbacks for job interviews. He didn't gain anything from the story, which is fine, and he made a point that I think is worth remembering in the search for a job. The full letter is linked to the story, but this is part of what he wrote:

"I've also been unemployed for 6 months, and I've found the simplestatement "I'm here to work, what do you want me to do?"has hired more people than the most elaborate resume or most timely call back."

I see the point and agree that too often job searchers can spend too much time on resumes and worrying about callbacks and other things out of their control that they can lose sight of the simple thing they're trying to do: Get a job. Granted, it's not easy in a recession, but there are jobs out there and it's good advice to keep it simple and not worry about callbacks. I, like I expect most people, try to learn from my mistakes and want to find out better ways that I could have presented myself to get the job. While I still plan on using as many methods as I can to find a job, maybe it's best to try them and then move on if they don't work. Let them fall by the side of the road if they don't work and see what else might work.

As Henry David Thoreau said: Simplify, simplify, simplify.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

1,000 profile views

My profiles view are now at 1,000 and counting! Thanks everyone for helping UnemployedDad hit this milestone. I haven't converted it to page views, or looked that up, but 1,000 profile views must mean something, right? And that's in less than four months of publishing (start date of Sept. 11, 2008, the evening after someone in an informational interview told me to start writing for the Web if I wanted to get a job writing or editing for the Internet).

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As I've said in previous posts, I'm not big into New Year's resolutions, but I plan on a few this year, one big, one small: Finding a career where I can have an impact, and being better organized.

I also want to make this blog more of a resource for the unemployed, and not just focus on my personal search for work. I want my job hunt to somehow help others by offering inspiration and methods for finding employment, and to also offer some humor into being unemployed.

To help do that, from time to time I may ask for your opinion on things, or suggestions you have. Many readers have been helpful with comments, and I appreciate them all. What are your resolutions, if any, for 2009 that have to do with either your job hunt if unemployed, or preparing for a future job hunt if you're now employed?

Someone recently commented on a WalletPop post that I should remember that when I do find a job, not to forget to continue all of the work that I put into finding it. Many people, myself included, started networking only after losing a job, and stop when they find a new one. With people losing jobs all of the time, not just once in a lifetime, that's a mistake I don't want to make again. I have a networking team that I helped organize through CPC Job Connections, and I'd like to strengthen it by having the group do more to help each other find jobs.

I've gotten off track. Anyway, please send me your resolutions for the new year. I'll write up the best of them in a post next week, and hopefully give all of us inspiration for change.

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