As you know, we have a bevy of all-knowing, fabulous friends who we call on to bring their unique P.O.V. on a variety of local topics to our blogosphere. Today’s post is compliments of Katie DeVito: a Hamilton resident, a writer, and the founder of the unemployment networking group NJ Unemployed. Here, Katie chats about how becoming unemployed gave her the brilliant idea and the opportunity to completely change the course of her career—and her life.
In February 2010, I was laid off from the company I was working for due to downsizing. After officially becoming “unemployed,” I found that I had more time to do what I wanted than ever before, and so I spent my days searching for jobs, networking through social media, and writing for a variety of blogs and magazines. Then, I decided to send out a “tweet” on Twitter to ask who else in cyberspace was unemployed in New Jersey: The response was astounding. I was definitely not alone and suddenly I felt the need to take some sort of action. I wanted to bring all of the struggling, New Jersey-based unemployed masses together to share their stories, their experiences, their struggles. And before I knew it, NJ Unemployed was born.
Not long after I created NJ Unemployed, I was selected by Parade magazine as one of five individuals who would be paired with a career advisor and have their job search chronicled for three months. Parade saw what I had created with NJ Unemployed and loved the effect it was having within the community, and invited me to appear on CBS’s The Early Show to discuss social media and unemployment. What I thought was my 15 minutes of fame on the small screen soon led to a number of other newspaper articles and opportunities.
When President Obama was scheduled to visit New Jersey to discuss the economic crisis, a Washington correspondent contacted me to inquire about NJ Unemployed and ask what my take was on the economic crisis as well as the President’s visit. As you can imagine, my fingers and toes were crossed with the hope that I would be able to attend the roundtable discussion with the President, but needless to say, it wasn’t meant to be. At least not yet … you just never know what tomorrow will bring.
Today, NJ Unemployed is going strong and through it, I host social events and educational seminars to help job seekers get one step closer to landing that great, new gig. If you are interested in checking out what NJ Unemployed has to offer, take a look at the calendar of events to see what’s going on in the coming months; read relevant articles from career experts; or become a featured job-seeker on NJ Unemployed (you also can follow us on Twitter, of course). You never know what you’ll find—or what the future has in store.
Katie DeVito is a life-long New Jersey resident and the founder of the social media and PR consulting company Katie DeVito, LLC. She formed the networking group NJ Unemployed to bring together individuals who are unemployed in New Jersey to share stories, experiences, and struggles. She lives with her husband in Hamilton, New Jersey. Check out her NJ Unemployed website and her blog, or connect with her on Twitter.