Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barely made it to LaidOffCamp

So I tried to extend my trip to NY as long as possible before coming back to SF to attend LaidOffCamp yesterday (3/3/09). Plan was to arrive late the night before. Unfortunately, there was a huge nor'easter in NY and I was not able to get a flight out until the morning OF the event. I was definitely a little disappointed, as I had been looking forward to it and had put a lot of effort into getting sponsors to support the event (and I wanted to meet these people in person!). Long story short, I did what I could and managed to get to LaidOffCamp by ~2pm. Whew...what a day of travel that was!

Even though I missed half of it, I was still able to meet a few people who I had spoken to on the phone about sponsorship. I also got to attend a few sessions. Some sessions that were particularly interesting to me were sessions about personal branding and how to market yourself - both of which I am trying very hard now to do. An "ah hah!" idea I got from LaidOffCamp was to create a video resume. Need to work on that!

Overall, this was a very positive event. Talking to my friend Vikki who is a recruiter and who attended the event as a 'hiring company' representative, she mentioned how traditional job fairs that she has attended have this feeling of desperation and urgency about them. People are frantic, frazzled, and desperate to show their resume to anyone. She called them "depressing". LaidOffCamp was anything but! LaidOffCamp had a more collaborative and innovative feel to it. I did not spend my time there handing my resume out. Instead I learned from other people about what they are doing to find work and cope with unemployment, I made new connections with people, and spent a productive day investing in my job search.

Similarly to how when you are employed, your employer might send you to a workshop to improve your interpersonal skills or some other type of soft skill - LaidOffCamp was the equivalent for an unemployed or non-traditionally employed person.

Took some photos:
Very cool space at Temple for LaidOffCamp

The session board
(made up that morning by attendees)

Sponsors and Hiring Companies

Founder Chris Hutchins working the crowd

The crazy snow that made me miss my flight

Fun video about LaidOffCamp.
There was also lots of Media coverage

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