Category Archives: Job Hunting

The Fancy Food Show

One of the perks of having a family in the food industry is that I get to tag along to major trade shows in the nation. This weeks adventure was to the Fancy Food Show in DC. So I hopped on the metro and headed toward’s China Town and the Convention center. The Fancy Food Show is a massive exhibition for gourmet food producers. Think along the lines of independent chocolatiers, olive oil specialists, brewers associations, mom and pop BBQ Sauce makers. If you can dream of food, you will likely find it here. Two floors, two blocks long, lined with companies trying to spread the good word about their products by giving you samples. Could you ask for a better day out? I don’t think so.

Of course, I went as a rep for the family company: doing research and offering info to possible customers about our services. I may not have told you this yet, but I am not set on working for the family. The goal is to get a job in DC, away from the family, in the world of publishing and media. So far the search has been tough. But, going to the Fancy Food Show allowed me to do more than work for the family biz. Turns out, these types of events also bring in many different types of media businesses like indpendent publishers. I went armed with resumes and prepared to woo whoever I could. Often you will find that the larger companies at these shows send the run of the mill sales person. But for some smaller businesses you will get the chance to chat it up with the CFO or CEO of a company.

I ate my way through the show, sampling international delicacies, crazy modern snacks, and good ol’ mom and pop recipes crafted by the family to perfection. Stomach full, I networked and put my best foot forward to meet some people. I walked away with two job suggestions and the card of CEO of a production company.

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Hometown Networking: Affordable “Net-Zero” Homes

On Tuesday I went to a professional meeting with my dad. The plan was to network and try to get my name and face recognizable with some professionals in my hometown. That networking event led to another one. In my hometown there is a real estate project that is really pretty cool. affordable, downtown family homes that are entirely off the grid. This project is the first of its kind in the NATION! And I got an invite to see them on the day of their grand opening.

These homes have a number of features to lower the costs of living for the residents and to function in an eco-friendly way. Each home is equipped with geothermal heating and solar panels to provide energy without being plugged into the grid. That means no electric bills! They are also filled to the brim with energy-efficient lighting and appliances. In the end these houses are not only built out of eco-friendly materials, but are designed to be entirely efficient.

Each house comes with a an ipad as well. Why, you might ask. Because they are the new smart house. Temperature, security, internet, etc can be controlled from your computer. Say you have a friend coming over, the rain is pouring down, you are running late, and they got locked out of their car. Normally they would have to wait, shivering on your porch, waiting for you. Not if you live in one of these houses. You can use the camera installed at the front door to verify that it is your friend waiting, soaking wet on the porch. It streams video to any authorized pda, smart phone, or computer. And then from your computer, or whatever you have on you, you can unlock the door remotely to let them in. It is a new age for homes.

All this sounds expensive right. It’s not. You can buy the three bedroom family homes: complete with multilevel master bedroom and a basement for only $290,000 before government rebates. Or, you can but a three bedroom town home, similar to the family home sans the basement, for $250,000. Those prices are before government rebates. In today’s eco-conscious market, the government offers rebates for homeowners who purchase or build homes that are eco-friendly. The difference in price goes from $290,000 before rebate to $260,000 after rebate.

I got to see all of this because of some networking and I got to remind some professionals in my area that I am here, looking for work, and ready to see what’s going on my hometown. And, I got to learn something pretty cool. I may have found my dream home.

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Using Your Connections

I am a big believer that there is no shame in using your connections. It really is all about who you know and who they know in today’s job market. So in my own job search I put myself out there an asked to shadow my dad at a town council meeting. Some might think it is a bit shameless to mooch on your parents connections. I don’t think so. My parents, in particular, are well connected in my home town. Their connections are broad and reach far. It would be silly of me to ignore the wealth of networking available to me through them.

The meeting itself was focused on real estate development, something I know very little about. However, the board members were a hodgepodge of professionals: freelance writers, artists, journalists, architects, city planners, and business owners all came together. It gave me an opportunity to introduce myself to all of these people, and show to them that I am the go-getter type that has the balls to ask to shadow my dad in professional setting in which I am the odd man out for sure. It paid off in the end. I passed off two resumes: one to a local newspaper and one to a local businessman. It also got me an invite to a town event where dozens more local professionals will be gathering. There you go, the art of using your connections starts in the home.

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