Thursday, December 28, 2006

See Ya Later, 2006

Had my last interview of 2006 today; got through it despite a bad headache caused by a stiff neck. Still waiting on a couple of job-related e-mails, but it's looking likely that I won't be back in work by January 2nd.

Tomorrow is another day though, so unless I post something, wishing you all a great 2007!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Party Break

Christmas is over, turkey for the next 15 lunches, New Year's Eve on the way. Let's have a break to find a job!

Just completed a telephone interview, went well, downtown tomorrow for a face-to-face chat.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It was a jungle out there today as I made my way to Mississauga through the rain and craaazzyy Canadian drivers for the morning interview. Got back and made a telephone interview appointment for next Wednesday with another company.

There's other stuff going on behind the scenes though.

So, nothing left to say this week except Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Day Out In The Sun

I'm in a good position at the moment, personally, so decided to leave the computer den behind and venture downtown on a beautiful sunny official first day of winter.

First port of call was lunch with a freelancer who used to write for me at Silicon Valley NORTH, now a good friend. Very skilled and dedicated, so if anyone needs a good tech writer give me a shout and I'll pass it on. (We said 10% commission, right Pat?)

Then onwards for a job agency meet. Very interesting; I met all the top people there -- some I'd met before, some only by e-mail -- and we discussed some possibilities. I know for sure that I took myself out of a few vacancies they had, but they didn't suit my skills and personality. Others could be coming along soon though, so might lead to a nice opportunity.

Then a quick stroll in the sun took me a few blocks where I had a Guinness with someone who used to be in the SAS (Special Air Service) and a tour of the members' club where they meet. Very interesting indeed. Amazing to hear some of the stuff that goes on.

Got home, did a quick tour of duty of my own around the job boards, pretty sparse today... all the recruiters are off Christmas shopping I expect.

Interview tomorrow morning, last one before the holidays -- time to research the company.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Johnny C's Juicy Jobs Of The Week

[Weird title, huh? Not if you've listened to any of the podcasts it's not, but this is a family-friendly blog.]

First order of busines today was to fax my invoice for a freelance article I wrote recently. That will be featured on a website to be launched very soon. I accepted a lower freelance rate than normal for two reasons: (1) It's a new launch, so will have the heck promoted out of it and my name gets a nice boost, and (2) The subject matter pertains to a situation that could help me big time, so by losing a small bit of cash with the lower rate it could reap much larger dividends in the future. Time will tell...

Also found out that a few ex-colleagues are reading my blog. Thanks chaps, much appreciated! Still feels like I'm there with you playing Xbox games in the kitchen instead of making the company money. Good memories. Oops, too much? [Insert ironic smiley icon here, not sure what intricate combination of commas and semicolons to use for that wry facial expression.]

So, here's a few tips for anyone else out there looking for a new job. In no particular order. You're welcome.

Be Patient
Unless you're the only person in the whole world who can do your job, you won't get a response to your application the next day. Sometimes not even for a week. Be patient, send it and forget it. They will call you for an interview if they're interested. Move onto the next application and remember that you haven't got a new job till you sign that contract. All the talk and negotiation is just part of the game.

Salary Is Not Taboo
I always ask the salary range in the first interview, or even on the phone when I get called if possible. It's better not to waste people's time if it's not in the range you're looking for. I got strung along years back through three interviews before finding out it was a salary that was much too low for my experience. Only made that mistake once.

Pack, Not Pad, Your Resume
There's two camps on this. The "one-page bullet point resume" or the "three-page detailed resume." I have tried both ways in the past, and have found that the latter gets more response. Put your profile, relevant experience and accomplishments at the top for the "HR scanners" who want that quick hit of info. But include the rest further down. Don't leave them guessing, or force them to make an extra phone call to fill in the blanks. Make their job easy and lay it all on the line when you apply. Takes a while to put a full resume together, but it's worth it in the long run. My opinion only, and I know people will disagree... but it's my blog.

We Want God To Work For Us
No they don't. Most job descriptions list all the qualifications that the ideal candidate will have, for example, God. Don't be put off applying just because you don't have skill #29 out of 40. The ideal candidate doesn't exist. If you have 75% of the skills the company is looking for, it's worth going for it. They will train you or outsource the rest. But be realistic. If it stresses "Must speak Spanish" and you don't, then you're going to look a right tool when they ask you to phone the sales office in Madrid and translate for the CEO.

Negotiating the final offer is a game of tennis. They lob an offer at you... you take a step back, think about the return... and lob the ball back with a spin on it. Unless you're extremely lucky -- or the person in the first tip that is the only one who can do that job -- then you won't get all you ask for. You have to compromise and look at the big picture. Make sure the offer is a fair one, and feel good about it, otherwise you will resent the company as having put one over on you when actually start the job. It's only downhill from there. You gotta work for a living, so at least enjoy it and feel like you're being aptly rewarded. You'll do a better job too.

Send Two Applications
When you apply, if it's just an or e-mail then use that, but also research someone at the company who heads the department you are aiming at, and cc them the e-mail too. [Risky if the person you cc doesn't realise it's their job you're applying for. Oh well, that's business life, and means HR aren't being discreet enough if that happens.] All the "hr" and "info" applications will go into one slush pile, but hopefully yours will be rerouted through the company and get noticed. This tip worked for me recently actually... but I aimed for the boss of the company as a long shot.

Get A Life!
Don't spend all day in front of the computer looking for a job and panicking. You'll be running around the Internet like a headless chicken. Have a system and stick to it. Get out, grab a tea, hit the gym -- don't feel guilty that you're missing opportunities, they will be there tomorrow.

[Disclaimer: By having read all the above confirms you agree that a new job is not guaranteed. You can't not agree because you've already read this sentence, thus agreeing. So you can't sue me. Good luck!]

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sometimes 2nd Is Good

2nd interview today, also got a late e-mail last night for an interview on Friday.

How come the week before Christmas has been the busiest yet? Yeah, I been a good boy Santa, bring me a job.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Britney Spears Is Not Person Of The Year

I just wanted you to know that. I also wanted you to know that it's also a blatant linkbait title, as "Britney Spears" and "Person Of The Year" are the top two searched terms on Technorati today, so will bring me some extra traffic on a quiet Monday.

So, plans for this week. Got the 2nd interview call I was waiting for, so that's tomorrow, followed by another interview somewhere else. Busy afternoon downtown.

The business profile article I recently wrote for a new website that's launching soon has been accepted, just negotiating a fee for that. Was under the assumption it might have led to something more permanent, but that's to be discussed too once the site launches.

Waiting on a follow-up call from Friday's interview, hopefully will lead to a 2nd.

Back downtown Thursday to see a job agency. All the events this week will probably be the last shake of the dice before the holiday period.

Checked my stats today again, getting quite a few referrals from Meaghan -- thanks! (Charlie Parker looks cool.)

On another note, my travel website is being featured in a book that's coming out in the UK soon. They e-mailed to check some details... apparently it was in the last edition too and I never even knew.

Today's dreadmill album was The Charlatans. [Little-known Make Johnny Cash factoid #26: We had a friend in the UK -- Dave Collins -- and his brother Mark was in the band. Never got free tickets though.]

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Snip

Too busy to post yesterday, just chilling tonight and spotted who Time has chosen as its Person of the Year: You.

As I mentioned a few days ago, it's now Web Who.0.

Full article.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Digg You, Man

I always write the blog entry in my head during my daily hour on the treadmill. Or "dreadmill" as I call it because I hate exercise. (Thanks, Miss Kittin, for the awesome mix to get me through.)

Today I was thinking about how tiny the Web really is. My stats have been excellent since the Metro article yesterday -- I now know that other people apart from my mum and Greg Hughes are reading it -- and I have a job interview tomorrow as a result of it.

The irony? In the article I talk about readers in Australia knowing someone in Canada... but somone who used to run a pub just down the road from my condo spotted me, and sent me a lead. Talk about a small world!

My job agency meeting was postponed today, so I had time to analyze some of the blog's stats. It's quite surprising some of the companies that are checking it, totally unrelated to my field. But that's great too, they might know someone. As for Australia, there is a reader there too so if you DO happen to have a cousin who works in media HR in Canada, then give me a shout.

I also noticed some referrals from Digg, which is useful too. [If you don't know what Digg is, then I have two possible responses: (1) Move along, there's nothing to see here; or (2) I can help you with that.]

An e-mail arrived today asking which PR company I worked for, and what product I was stealth marketing?

Sorry man, I'm real. I am not a Lonelygirl15 looking to make a quick buck. Forget the "Make Johnny Cash" moniker; that's just a catchy URL, easy to remember. Ignore the Google Adwords on the left; that's just code I already had from my other website... and I made a whopping $3.50 from it today which I splurged on a sausage and egg lunch at a terrific greasy spoon.

People who know the real me know that I am not an in-your-face personality. In fact, I'm more a behind-the-scenes shirtsleeves-rolled-up person. But when circumstances change, like... umm... UNEMPLOYMENT... you have to do what makes you feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes and lay it on the line.

In fact, the Metro article yesterday was only the 2nd time I've ever been in front of thousands of people. The other time was when I appeared on (don't laugh) Jonovision in 2001 to talk about cheap travel in Israel. Scariest experience of my life actually. No crowd tougher than a teenage audience.

And while writing this someone else just called with an opportunity, but it was a night shift. Appreciate the call, and thanks, but I like my work/life balance too much for those hours.

So, all in all, a cool day. Looking for more traffic once the article is posted on the Metro website and has a clickable link.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Good Morning, Metro Readers

As a former editor, I know what makes their job easier. You contact them, offer a unique story with a nice angle that's tailored to their publication and target market, supply a source, even a photo too.

So that's what I did the day after being laid off. I got in touch with the Canadian media and offered them 800 words to fill part of the careers section in their respective publications. Told them about my blog, job search efforts and would they be interested?

Metro stepped up to the plate, and today's article is the result. Much appreciated guys! Free ink for you, and free PR for me.

So, if anyone out there likes my initiative, attitude and determination to get back into Commuter Land with my own copy of Metro to read on the TTC then please contact me at the e-mail on the left. Thanks.

Download article as PDF.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Web Who.0

October 9, 2006 was the day that "Web 2.0" became "Web Who.0."

That was when TechCrunch confirmed that Google had acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion. No small change, especially as the video-sharing site had no apparent revenue stream.

So what do I mean by Web Who.0?

Things had moved on since cool new sites sprang up -- normally ending in "r" like Flickr, for example -- with blue and green logos reflected in a shiny white background with nice rounded corners. Internet group hug.

Anything could be done on the Web. Applications were shared, people logged in and corrected information using Wiki software and the Web was once again one big community, run by the users and not the corporations. They had to scramble to keep up and adapt. Rupert Murdoch saw the light a while back and snapped up MySpace for a -- with hindsight -- bargain price of $580 million, now valued at around $6 billion [his words]. Even though millions of people use it every day, it still looks shit.

But that's not the point. The point is that people don't care how something looks or works, they just want to see themselves on it: "Hey, Grandma Scratchett, this is Timmy. I just uploaded a funny video of me falling in a puddle of water on YouTube, come and check it out! 234,754 other people have!" Web Who.0.

Or: "We're a new band called Satan's Sweaty Socks, totally cool and the NEXT BIG THING! Come and hear some of our music on MySpace. Even Lindsay Lohan and some dude called Tom are our friends, they linked to us!" Web Who.0.

There was an article I spotted yesterday about Metacafe shopping themselves around for a buyer. They value themselves at around $300-$500 million. Just a figure thrown out there. The question is who will buy them, not for how much. Web Who.0.

I joined Web Who.0 by setting up this blog. It's about me. Using Blogger, no big deal, there's lots of free blogging applications out there. Who is this guy? Why should we read his blog? What is he doing? What has he done? Who links to him? Who subscribes to his RSS feed?

And the all-important one... who will he be working for next?

"RECRUITERS are stealing your IDENTITY"

Interesting post on Craigslist, seems a very all-encompassing statement. There is a police e-mail, but take that with a pinch of salt. Sure if a genuine employee they would have given a bit more guidance.

"beware if you send your resume to these so called recruiters. they post jobs that don't exist, it's called phishing. your info is then sold on the black market to the highest bidder. do not reply to any 3rd party ads, only directly to the company you are applying too. email:"


Monday, December 11, 2006

2nd Interview

Been invited back for a 2nd interview, excellent. Trying to arrange it for Thursday afternoon as I'm downtown for an agency meeting in the morning so can just head there after a Subway or Tim's.

Friday's brainstorm was great. Think I bonded well with the techie as it's the first time I met her, and that's half the battle before starting a new project. We actually mulled over the idea of a 2nd site too, so will probably get started on those this coming Friday as side projects.

Have been playing phone tennis with another job agent for a while. Finally got to speak to her today, but unfortunately the opportunity involved dealing with a lot of advertisers, so it wasn't for me. I can build it, but you gotta sell it!

Friday, December 8, 2006

The Million Dollar Kid Is Back!

No, not me. I wish. The guy I mean is Alex Tew, he of the Million Dollar Homepage that caused one of the biggest viral buzzes on the Internet since it started. "Buy a pixel advert? Are you crazy?!" He made a cool million bucks.

I mention him because he just launched Pixelotto a few days ago, and has already sold $127,000 worth of ad space. The hook is that people who don't buy ads also have the chance to make a cool million. You'll have to check the site to sign up. I have.

"So, John... why are you mentioning this in your job search blog?"

Thanks for asking. I interviewed Tew for an article at and was very impressed with his attitude. He was on the verge of making a million, doing -- let's be honest -- nothing. All he started with was a unique crazy idea that people initially laughed at, then jumped straight on once they saw how fast it exploded. There have been many impersonators since, but the original is still the best.

On the phone he was very relaxed about the whole thing, had no ego even though his site was No. 1 on the Web for a while. He was a Brit too and we all know they're a cool tribe, right? ;-)

[If you ever see this Alex, how about donating a few spare pixels to my blog, old mate? Old pal. Old buddy.]

I hate to use that phrase "think out of the box" but that's what he did. I say why put yourself in a box in the first place? Too confining. That's one of the reasons why this blog exists -- to try a new approach to getting a great job. I haven't seen a blog like it, and if there is one out there, by all means let me know so I can mention it.

I'm not an Alex Tew. I won't make a million with this blog. Would be nice, but that's not the point. But I admire him for trying something new to achieve the desired result, and I am too.

Good luck, Limey!

So, other matters...

The good news is I have another interview lined up at a cool company. Bad news is it's not till the 19th. Ah well, wish it was sooner but other people's schedules are not as, well, free as mine at the moment. Good job I have Messenger open to feel connected to the workforce, otherwise I'd go stir crazy.

A guy called JT contacted me to add my blog to a new feed that's launched. I appreciate the personal touch, so here's a plug for that: Outpost Earth.

And now I'm off downtown to meet a former colleague and his coding guru for a few beers and a brainstorm on our new website to be launched soon. Very unique, and there won't be a pixel ad in site.

See you Monday, have a great one.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

A Monster Amount Of Spam

Just searched Monster, and got the following results:

It's very frustrating to see the same job repeated a few times, day after day. Monster... please! Check your code to stop this, or hire me to come and sort it out for you. Also it doesn't look good for C4 Marketing Solutions who may not be aware that it looks like they're spamming the job boards. But if they are? Hmmm. Not a good form of marketing, if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Two Agency Calls

Got two agency calls while out running some errands. Made a meeting time with one for next Thursday, waiting to hear back from the other (a great online opportunity).

Short blog today... gotta head downtown now for the first Christmas party of the season. Lot of media people will be there so I can relax and network at the same time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Planning Ahead

Busy one today. Had to answer a slew of questions for some "John PR" that I'm working on. To that end, had to get in touch with a former contributor that used to write a column for me, get them involved, then take some photos.

Also set a meeting for Friday with a friend and his former work colleague. Been mulling a new website idea for a while -- it's very unique, nothing out there like it -- so need to sit down with them and get a plan of action going. Very excited about it! Won't be my full-time day job, but something to do on the side. Who knows? It might explode and be my full-time job, we'll see.

Turned down a "can't pay you but please get involved" offer. Loved the site and subject matter, but need to put my energy into finding something to pay the bills at the moment. Left it on good terms though, so might still contribute in the future once I'm back on my feet.

[After all that was sorted out, planned some Friday night research into drinking a Guinness or two.]

Monday, December 4, 2006

Let's Just Back Up A Bit

Got my most important task of the day out of the way early... posted Christmas cards to my family and friends in the UK so as not to miss the deadline -- they'd kill me!

I chased up a media lead that I thought might have been history, but the contact is interested in talking to me about something, so that looks exciting. More on that if it happens.

Sent an article I'd written to a freelance journalist that used to write for me at Silicon Valley NORTH. He might be able to use it fully for another publication, or as the starting point/background research for his own article. Would be great PR for the person profiled, and good for me too if things progress as I hope they do.

Final task was to visit and download all the work I did there, and convert to PDF format so that they're easy to e-mail as writing samples. I've already done that for all my older work. Then I converted all my references too, and sent copies to a spare e-mail address as a free off-computer server. Realised that if my PC got fried I would lose all that hard work and history, so took the time to archive it.

I decided not to link directly to any of that stuff from this blog -- but they're all available for any serious potential employers that want to see some of my editorial work, and references.

A Shout Out To Fred Langa

I'm mentioning Fred Langa for one reason: traffic.

He has a tech e-newsletter called The Langalist that has over 150,000 subscribers. If you link to him, he adds you to a forthcoming issue and there's an explosion in your stats. I have linked to him for a few of my other websites in the past and the results were excellent -- so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Most of the readers are in the US, but one thing leads to another sometimes. Plus, it gives me a great boost in the Google rankings.

[So, welcome Langalist readers! Pass my blog details onto your HR person, thanks.]

Friday, December 1, 2006

Reading Between The Lines

There's a lot of stuff you can say in a resume, whether it's one page of bullet points or a 10-page masterpiece (that won't all get read by the way), but that doesn't tell the whole story.

The personality of the person applying for the job is important too. Will they be a good fit for the role? Will they get on well with the team already in place? Do they say one thing to you and mean another?

A work ethic is something that you can't write down... it's something that you should already have built in. My work ethic is very high -- but you expect me to say that right? This is a job search blog after all. ("Nah, we thought you'd say 'I'm bloody lazy and only want a job because daytime TV is crap.'")

Here's some extra info that you won't see on my resume, just to fill out the profile...

Contrary to popular opinion, in England our parents don't send us up to clean chimneys at the age of five, and we don't live in a cardboard box "bah tha side of t' road." (Thanks Monty Python.) But I did "start work" when I was around nine. I used to get up at 6 a.m. for a newspaper delivery round. It was only about 30 houses I delivered to, but when you're a kid it seems like a real job.

Come rain, shine and snow, I did that for about two years and earned the grand sum of three pounds a week. Saved up for comics, toys and a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer which -- in those days was like the Xbox 360 or PS3 -- and had the 48k of memory I thought would last forever. Christmas was good because there'd be an envelope stuck to most of the doors containing a few extra pounds from the customers... all apart from Mrs. Brown at no. 32, cheap old biddy. (She had a hair sticking out of a mole on her cheek too, funny what you remember.)

Anyway, started our version of high school at 11, and outgrew the newspaper round, but was really into earning extra cash apart from the pocket money my parents gave me. So I started a part-time job two days a week after school and Saturdays. That was in a greengrocers (grocery store) just stacking shelves, making sure the fruit and veg was fresh, that sort of thing. Stuck at that for a couple of years too.

So, high school finished at 16 and I was thrust out into the real world. Through my dad's friend (already networking!) I started as a messenger boy working in a London stockbroking firm. I had to carry stock certificates and other documents across the city, menial back office duties and -- my all-time favourite job -- clean out the coffee machine. Cool!

After the fifth time of spilling coffee dregs down my 1986-style light grey suit and yellow tie, I decided enough was enough and asked the company to pay for me to attend a class after work once a week to become a "real" stock dealer. They were the whizzkids of Thatcher's Britain at the time, gelled-back Gordon Gecko hair and Porsches, and I wanted in.

So, took the class for two months, failed the exam the first time, passed the second -- and I became a junior dealer on the desk. Of course I was everyone's whipping boy, always are in that high-octane, big-pressure monied environment, but it was cool, fun and exciting. I was very naive though, and didn't understand the way the world worked...

One day a partner upstairs in the hallowed halls had a bit too much gin and tonic at lunchtime, and screwed up a big order that put the company in a lot of financial trouble. Of course, being the new kid on the desk, I had to phone around the markets and clean up the mess. I was pissed off that I had to work double hard to clear up that guy's mistake who had been in the biz for years, and made some comment to a colleague about "the old fart being drunk again" or something. Of course, that comment wasn't taken well -- even though it was true -- and I was told not to repeat stuff like that. [Blogs are great, aren't they?]

From that moment I realized it was them and us. One set of rules for certain people, and if your face doesn't fit or you don't play the game, then you're screwed.

I was out of there at 19, strapped a backpack on and saw the world -- well -- Australia, Asia, The Middle East and a lot of Europe anyway. Best education is life education, and it changed me as a person. I wrote a book about two years in Israel too.

Went back to college at 24 to get my journalism career underway, which is what I'd always wanted to do anyway, and the rest is all on my resume.

I now bring a wider outlook to my career and always look at the big picture in situations. I take a deep breath before making major decisions, I'm not quick to judge people, I speak my mind (which offends some, but at least we both know where we stand), I always rely on my instincts and make sure that anything that has my name on it is the best it can be before it goes out the door.

So, that's all the extra stuff that doesn't include words like "synergy," "process management" and the classic "let's run it up the flagpole and see how it flies."

But, I can still say more in an interview situation. Hint hint.

Have a great weekend, see you Monday back in the job search trenches.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two Good Responses And A Surprise Call

Well, a quieter day today, took a breather and relaxed a bit.

Got a good response from the company I interviewed at on Monday. It was worth thinking about the feedback I sent them yesterday, as the guy said that I was in tune with what they needed for the role, and what I could offer. He mentioned I'd get a more formal e-mail on Monday. Looks promising.

Also the person representing the new website I pitched yesterday's article at contacted me, and really liked my writing style. Said she'd consult with the rest of the team and get back to me. Also looks promising.

I sent my resume to another job agency; they had similar opportunities on their books that I'm looking for, but nothing that stood out as something I'd want to tackle the coming Canadian winter to get to every morning. Will keep my eye on their list of vacancies.

Also got a surprise phone call last night from someone I made as a contact at my former job; am helping them to get more business for their company, which in turn would lead to something very exciting for me in the future. Again, sorry to be vague on all these leads and contacts, but I have to use discretion for myself and for the people and companies I am pitching, interviewing at, helping, introducing, meeting, being helped by etc etc...

It's all good though, and I am very confident that things will work out for me in a positive way sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Man In Black

I got an e-mail this morning asking why I chose the URL "makejohnnycash" and the relation to the singer.

Actually there is no relation or association... he was the Man In Black -- I want to be the man in the black. Subtle difference, but good question!

Busy writing an article on-spec today, a profile of a business person, so had to research, write, check facts, 1st draft, 2nd draft... blah blah blah. Happy with the final result, just got that off to the "client" and now I'm back in job search mode.

Thought about my feedback to Monday's meeting, wrote what I could deliver for the company, and got that off to them, so awaiting a response from that.

Applied for a writing position with an agency, checked their website first to get the vibe. The "About Us" section is always important to see if it's the sort of place I'd like to be in. The client list was impressive too, and the "Crew" section had people dressed up from the 70's -- cool! My resume is in their hands.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday Talks

Was back in Toronto this morning for my second meeting of the week, and after that killed some time having lunch with a mate before heading to Front Street to have a coffee and a chat with a member of the media. Not a job interview, but something that could lead to a big spike in hits for this blog next week.

Talking of hits, thanks to the three people in Canada and one in Portugal that regularly read my job search musings. And my aunt in Birmingham, UK.

Got home and re-contacted a job agent that had a prospect for me, but after chatting about it, wasn't the kind of role that would give me job satisfaction. Invited him to LinkedIn for future opportunities, which is where he found my details actually, so it does work. There seems to be a lot more people jumping onto LinkedIn now than way back in the ancient days of 2004 when I first signed up. That's an age on the Web.

Another reply came in for what would be -- I was right -- a part-time online gig. They are keen for me to get involved and it does look like fun, with a great subject matter. Asked about how it would work, equity opportunities and a few more questions before I commit. Will hopefully get a reply tomorrow.

Am about to write an on-spec profile about a cool guy who is very smart in the online world. This is for a soon-to-be-launched website that is looking for section editors, so worth a try. The phone call about that was positive and piqued my interest. Good to keep my writing hand in and not get stale.

I had a final task of the day, which I am now going to put off till tomorrow, as I'm tired and don't want to screw it up as it could lead to a job offer if I say the right things that the company wants to hear. That doesn't mean I will say what I think they want to hear, but what I think they need to hear, for the good of the company and whether I can deliver. All ambiguous and confusing I know, but that's the negotiation game, right?

Forget that "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, son!" cliche. Better to wait and make it count than rush it half-assed. So you meet the deadline, but the end result is crap. Not worth it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday Meeting

Busy day so far. Headed into Toronto for my morning meeting. [I won't go into details of any of these interviews/meetings out of respect to the people and organizations that I'm talking to.]

I actually got a response to my YouTube masterpiece at the weekend. There's a new site being set up and the woman e-mailed me with some details about writing for a demographic that I'm familiar with. The rate was too low, so explained more about what I was looking for. E-mails back and forth... got her number, and just phoned for a chat.

Applied for two positions about 10 minutes ago. One is for a funky website that looks like a LOT of fun, cool subject matter -- but could be a part-time gig, we shall see.

The other is definitely a full-time role, company confidential (but I have a good idea who it is), another sector I now have a lot of knowledge about, so worth a try.

Followed up with another job agency, debating whether to re-contact a media person -- they might be busy, will wait another day so as not to hassle -- and also mulling over an idea to get more traffic for this blog.

Been out of work a week now, time flies!

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Determinator

What a great way to end the week! First... The Determinator?

Well, you have to be very determined to find a new job fast, and the most famous cinema icon that never gave up was The Terminator, so put the two together and you become The Determinator.

Thanks to Colleen for answering my e-mail of yesterday, and giving me a tip about a networking group and ways to improve my blog. This week has been about getting all my ducks in a row, and now that's about done, I can start going out into the sunshine and meeting people rather than stuck in cyberspace.

Three great bits of news. I had someone see my Craigslist ad and liked what they saw, so got in touch. After a brief e-mail exchange it looks like a VERY cool company, so I have an interview lined up there for Monday morning.

I also contacted the owner of a company I found that seemed to have a very positive attitude. I sensed that from the way the website was set up, and the message that came across. Anyway, he replied to my "What's going on?" e-mail and -- lo and behold -- I'm back in Toronto on Tuesday morning to meet him. Notice I say "meeting" and not "interview" for this one... there could be a way to move forward, maybe not, but it's exciting and I'm looking forward to that one too! I will follow any lead, no matter how ambiguous, as you never know what will come of it.

And, lastly -- yes, I said it's been a great day -- I just checked my e-mail and someone from an agency has contacted me with a possible opportunity. I phoned and left a message, excited to hear what comes back.

As you can tell, I am feeling very mellow and relaxed about my job hunt as things are starting to happen after only four days, so my gym music this afternoon was ambient, trance, lounge-type tunes that got me though an hour on the treadmill.

It's the weekend = two days off to recharge my batteries, and as The Determinator would say: "I'll be back... on Monday to hunt down those jobs!"

Make Johnny Cash -- The Movie

Five minutes of shooting on location in my living room with a total budget of $0.

Written by: John Carson
Cameraman: John Carson
Producer: John Carson
Director: John Carson
Music: John Car -- OK, can't push it -- Pink Floyd

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Be A Guerrilla, Not A Monkey

Got my Record of Employment in the mail today, cool, one less worry.

Spent the morning contacting the local and national media via some guerrilla marketing pitches, good response... watch this space!

Applied for two suitable jobs; one was a maternity leave vacancy for a year. Not ideal -- because I'll be in the same position in 12 months -- but I like the job description, I know the company and sometimes these temporary contracts turn into permanent when the new mum decides she just can't bear to be parted from junior after a year by returning to work.

The other was for a content management position at another large media company. My instincts tell me it might be a slightly more junior role than what I am looking for, but it's worth an e-mail to find out.

Lunch was a Subway and an episode of Iron Chef America that I taped as I love great food, but can't cook.

Shirley Manson and Garbage on shuffle mode got me through my gym session, then it was back to the job hunt.

I went through my list of agencies that I've signed up for in the past, and refreshed my resume with a separate e-mail to notify them that I'm back in the game and to please keep me posted. Chatted (via Google Talk) to a former freelancer that has written for me before -- he was applying for an opportunity that I spotted too on Craigslist, but wasn't my thing. I wished him luck and we agreed to swap leads. (BTW, if anyone needs an excellent writer to cover poker then contact me and I'll pass your details onto him.)

Just scanned the job boards one last time. Today's hunt is done. Chinese food on the way...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm A Job Ninja

More networking today. Got a reply back from yesterday's two contacts... nothing going unfortunately, but at least my name's in front of them for any future openings. One of my wife's colleagues has also sent my contact details to a friend of his. (Thanks, Mr. Benzo!)

Applied for two jobs. One is working for a massive website that would be a great fit for my skills, but I know there'll be a lot of competition for the position. I mentioned this blog in my job application... so if anyone from there is reading, I can be ready for an interview at a moment's notice. You have my details!

The second application was for a non-profit organization which is also an area that I'd like to get into. Be good to help people in my career path for a change. I know someone who does that and the job satisfaction is immense, so we'll see. I have a feeling the role is for someone less experienced, but I could be wrong as the ad was quite ambiguous.

I should stress that even though I want to get back to work asap, I'm not just applying for anything. No point. Not good for me, or for the company when I leave after three months due to being unhappy.

At lunch I watched a documentary called The Secret which explained how to achieve results by visualizing what you want. I think that started two days ago when I began this blog. It was very philosophical and made me think. I've always been a pro-active job-hunter anyway, but it was very interesting to learn new techniques.

Gym time: Music of choice included Echoes (Pink Floyd), Starless II (Craig Armstrong), Mmmnn (Grandadbob), Hoops (The Chemical Brothers) and Without You -- DJ Roog & Greg's Big Room Mix (Chew-Fu Phat).

After having done some research, my next task today is to send unsolicited e-mails to around 15 websites that have content similar to what I've done in the past, and see what's going on. [Disclaimer: That is no way spamming them as I will not be using the words "Nigerian Prince," "viagra" or "free screensaver" at all.]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Aim Of This Blog Is To... Make Johnny Cash!

Hello there.

My name is John Carson and I was laid off yesterday as the Managing Editor of That sucked. But, I took the blow, and now I'm getting right back out there to find my next great opportunity. I used to do a lot of viral marketing at, so, what the hell -- I'm now marketing myself!

I am very good at finding cool content -- mostly before other sites -- and I work bloody hard. I don't high five and I'm not a "yes man" but at the end of the day, that's better for the success of the next company I work for.

Anyway, enough with the chit chat -- let's Make Johnny Cash!

Firstly, please take a look at my LinkedIn profile for details of my career to date:

Secondly, feel free to contact me with offers in the Toronto, GTA, Mississauga area, or telecommuting. My direct e-mail is makejohnnycash @

Thirdly, grab a cup of coffee and check back as I will be updating this blog as my job search progresses.