Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LaidOffCamp keeping me busy

Since I have been laid off, I have actually been anything BUT bored. I spend a considerable amount of time daily networking with people, looking for my next employer, and spending quality time with friends and family (I write this from NY where I am visiting my brothers and their families, whom I don't get to see very often).

Additionally, I have decided to help out by joining the planning committee for LaidOffCamp - who is hosting a San Francisco Event on 3/3/09. It's a pretty loosely defined group, where the membership requirement is only that you have something positive to contribute. I went to a planning meeting the other night and found the planning committee memebers to be young, tech-savvy, educated, ambitious, determined, positive, and fun. I need to surround myself with MORE people like that! :)

So, it seemed to me that LaidOffCamp needed help contacting potential sponsors, so I took up helping out with that. We collaboratively created a template email to send out, and targeted specific companies who we thought might be interested in attracting the attention of "enterprising and resilient...young entrepreneurs". (Also, the fact that everything for LaidOffCamp is on a wiki is brilliant. Anyone can contribute or refine, and everything we do becomes part of a "knowledge base" which can be referred to in the future)

So far the response to sponsorship requests have been pretty good! Other people have been bringing in sponsors as well, not just me but I've been talking with a few different companies interested in sponsorship, and the first to agree to sponsor the event due to my efforts was oDesk. Josh, Director of Marketing, was very generous and I am looking forward to meeting him at the event. He plans on setting up a demo of his product, which is exciting and I am looking forward to seeing it!

For me personally, it is nice exposure to be able to meet/talk to Directors and CEO's of companies. Granted, I am in touch with them as a volunteer looking for sponsorship - but you never know how that connection could turn into a job for me in the future! It's exposure I would not be getting otherwise, so LaidOffCamp has already helped me as far as I'm concerned.

It felt great to help make a difference for this event. I have high hopes for a successful event, and plan on doing what I can to help with logistics. I hope LaidOffCamp helps a lot of people connect, potentially find leads for new work, and also serve as a support group (Its not easy finding work right now!)
2/25/09 Update:
LaidOffCamp Press Release
2/26/09 Update
Thanks now to Duncan at Workstir and Kathy, John, & Hendrick at Plaxo for being LaidOffCamp SF sponsors!
2/27/09 Update
Thanks to Vikki at Apex Systems for sponsorsing LaidOffCamp SF! (Psst! They're hiring!)

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