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.