Join us as we follow one man’s journey through the windblown plains of joblessness. Meet Todd Beeby, a recently laid off NYC-based writer/creative director.
Cue the classic ‘Loverboy’ tune, modified for the recession: “Most Everybody’s Working for the Weekend!” I’ve gotten some guff in the comment section of these blog entries about how I’m a hack, not talented enough to keep my job, that I have poor penmanship, and am too good-looking. I respectfully disagree. Still, some folks had valid points that perhaps I should take this opportunity to find a new profession or a more meaningful outlet for my energies.
But that is what’s so challenging about unemployment: you KNOW the time off is a good thing in that it gives you time to reflect – that maybe, just maybe, there’s something BETTER for you to be doing out there. But the prevailing thoughts (90%) revolve around paying the bills, especially in expensive cities like NYC; thus regaining “corporate tool” status becomes practical and necessary. But is that such an awful fate? As much as we might knock our jobs day-to-day, there’s still something about them that we enjoy (beyond the paychecks). For me, it was the camaraderie, unified sense of purpose, and free color copier. Does what we do (or did) have much meaning outside of our little world of advertising? Not really, but you have to admit, it can be a pretty amusing way to make a living. So how do those of us on parole get back inside the jail?
We all know that in these tough times, open job positions are scarce (unless you’re a Somali with solid piracy skills). How can you stand out in a growing crowd of job-hunters? With UNconventional job-hunting strategies, that’s what! After all, we work in a creative industry where goofiness, childish behavior and unprofessionalism are actually rewarded. So let’s put some of that creativity advertising is known for into finding a job! It’s a fact that all advertising is responsible, truthful, and never exaggerates a product’s efficacy. That said, using the products an agency sells to sell yourself can be a brilliant way to get noticed! Consider these bold, clutter-busting, in-your-face (yet TOTALLY unproven) self-promotional methods:
- Douse yourself with TEN bottles of AXE Dark Temptation chocolate body spray, stand outside Crispin’s offices and wait for their creative recruiter to walk by on her way to lunch; you’ll be irresistible!
- Road trip! Buy a BMW and drive it straight into GSD&M Idea City’s lobby, taking care to avoid humans, and drop off your portfolio; you’re the Ultimate Self-Promoting Machine!
- Cover yourself in spray adhesive and roll around on a floor covered with Skittles. Hang out in TBWA/Chiat’s reception area and scream, “That Skittles guy touched me!”
- For the lady creative: ‘trim your topiary‘ (wink, wink) in front of JWT’s New York HQ with your favorite new product: the Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women Bikini
- Dress up in an oven costume and have passersby slide Quizno’s ‘Toasty Torpedoes’ into your ‘opening’, that’ll sell you to those Nitro Group higher-ups
I offer these solid-gold ideas free-of-charge, but they’re just the beginning. Put on your thinking cap, peruse those agency reels and come up with your own! Will I do any of the above to get myself a job? Let’s just say I’ve never been good at taking my own advice.
A sincere good luck to those out there looking for work, and especially those brave enough to go off in a different direction.
- Todd Beeby is an “Under-Utilized” copywriter/CD based in NYC. If you would like to reach out to Todd, you can connect with him here.