Friday, December 3, 2010

Chanukah Bloggah

This post was to be sent long before Cyber Monday ended, so, here's wishing you and yours a belated, wonderful, bargain-filled, not-getting-caught-by-the-boss-while-shopping Cyber Monday! So, now that it's Chanukah - the candles long burned out; gigantic incredibly soft, plush kitty/pillow/opens to a rug toy given to my little girl; latkes nearly burned, but the artichokes well steamed for my little one; and as she snores's time to write!

Gee Larry, why the 1994 Nancy Kerrigan picture? First, why not? But also, her infamous whine, "Why me!?", came to mind for me recently after a very tough miss - not being chosen for an excellent, unique, and challenging job I wanted, oh I really, really wanted it, awfully bad ("why not me!?"). They chose someone else...but after sending some thank you emails for the excellent opportunity to be included as a candidate...I must say I'm pretty amazed at how fast I jumped out of that deep funk. What a huge change in perspective for me from just two years ago.

It's a given, but maybe I should mention that I'm always happy to help anyone in their networking efforts, job search, business development, etc. For that reason, always feel free to connect with me on Linked In at: and I'm happy to help, forward a connection request, etc.

"Holiday" parties. They're here. What do we do about it. For those still in a job search, it's a great opportunity to get out there, make new or renewed connections. Before you go, have a look at this article written by Phil Rosenberg of called "10 Job Search Holiday Party Fails"

Now you're prepared, right? Hopefully you've got a full stack of business cards are a few interesting events to check out!

Thur. Dec. 16: Chicago Social Media Club Holiday Event "Lessons Learned" Tickets are pretty reasonable if purchased by Dec. 15. Mad Men themed dress is encouraged, with prizes for the most creative.

Tues. Dec. 14: The BNC/SYNC Holiday Party... Again, discounted tickets until Dec. 13.

Wed. Dec. 8: The 9th Annual Acronym Bash...this event is excellent, but costly. For those in marketing, advertising, and PR industries.

As always, your comments, debates, disagreements, thoughts, encouragement, forwards and followings are very welcome. If you're here in Chicago, I hope you enjoy the snow that's allegedly on its way!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aunt Rosalie's Stuffing

It’s November. Thanksgiving is just 5 days away..snow is itching to start falling on us (have we seen our last 60 degree day in November?)…Irish coffee season is under way…college basketball has featured some excellent match-ups this week, for those of you that don’t wait until March to follow it.

And, each year, about now is when I hear “it’s horrible looking for a job during the holidays”; “I’ll take a break until after the new year”; “nobody is interviewing for the next few weeks”. I always think of the incredible scene from the film, “Kramer vs. Kramer”, when Dustin Hoffman has to find an Advertising Agency job in one day.

Share your thoughts here about searching during the holidays. Do you turn up the effort? Do you take a break for a few weeks? Does the search during the holidays bring your mood down in the midst of so many happy people celebrating?

Among the pieces of wisdom I’ve picked up during these job searches I’ve gone through is this: Every month of the year can be seen as a really bad month for job hunting, and I also firmly believe that every month of the year can be seen as an excellent time to be hunting. I can see either side’s point of view. Your thoughts?

A new blog worth looking at has begun. The writer is very sharp, wise, funny, and a good friend. It's called "Career Chatter", and here's the link: Have a look and let us know what you think of it. You can also find it in Twitter at: @Career_Chatter

More homework for you - a nice article about using Twitter for your job search can be found in US News and World Report at:

Finally, yes, even here: Interesting Thanksgiving trivia, I know, it's almost a requirement this time of year. Share with us yours, or even a quirky (I know, rhymes with...) memory. Here's something I picked up that I absolutely don't remember learning 1,000 years ago when I was in school: Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and a magazine editor, is credited with being most responsible for making Thanksgiving a national Holiday!

Here's to a very fun, happy and safe holiday for you all! I look forward to your comments,


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When we last met here..

Today is November 10, and my computer tells me it's 66 degrees outside. In Chicago. In November. What? As someone said to me at a networking event last night, "this is the new normal". On her mind wasn't weather - she was talking about the economy, the part time jobs we endure as our job searches continue. For me, it means I'm a bit tardy since my last posting here.

My networking has picked up lately, so it's timely that this morning I was forwarded this column from which is a good reminder for us all when we network. Please comment, share anecdotes, tell us your thoughts about the no-no's listed in the article:

Some of you might be thinking, "Ok Larry, so...where have you been since the last posting?" One of the reasons for the huge gap in posts on this blog: working 3 part-time jobs. Ok, maybe it's more an excuse, than a valid reason. Those who are also in a job search, please update us, tell us how your search has been going. I've heard all kinds of opinions lately about the job market: it's turning, it's much better, it's the same...what about for you?

And for those still in the hunt, I can't recommend strongly enough pursuing part time work at Trader Joe's. Like Starbucks, Trader Joe's offers health care benefits to those working 20 hours per week. And reaffirming my belief that "you never know"...there are many, MANY interesting and wonderful people to meet when you work there. And if I may pause for a crucial endorsement: their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups...only one word aptly describes them: PERFECT!
Last: for those of you in marketing or those interested in networking and social media...The University of Chicago Marketing Roundtable's monthly FREE meeting is on Wed. 11/17 at 6pm. You do not have to be a U. of C. alum, and's FREE! The topic this month: Work Your Network: Relationship Building Strategies for On & Offline Sales Success. Two experts speaking, networking before and after, at the Gleacher Center.

Enough of an update, there will be many more posts soon. Please share with us how the end of summer and alleged change in the job market has affected your job search bringing you more bites? If you're fully employed, is the pace and work load as insane as ever?

We look forward to your comments, opinions, challenges, new followers, and please always feel free to share this with everyone in your network.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Following Up, The To Do List, and Other Scary Thoughts

Once again, it's been a very long week since my last post. Just another curse from managing to keep my 4 part-time jobs alive. While the job search To Do list doesn't seem to get any smaller, it's now joined by a pair of new To Do lists from a couple of the part-time positions.

I wonder what you best do you chip away at your To Do lists? Carry them with you? Create a new one each day? Keep them electronically? On paper? Post it on your mirror, your fridge, your pc's screen? Reward yourself?

Please: comment on this post, share your thoughts, I'm curious what works best for you all. This blog has leaned a bit too one sided, let's share our thoughts and start some discussions...

Had my second conversation this week about following up (job leads, networking contacts made, returning calls, deciphering the notes made on business cards, promises made...). Both of the people I discussed this with were roughly my age (the wrong side of 40+), and we shared our observations about the piling up of follow ups - seems almost inevitable. We also noticed how many younger folks (generation x, or y, or whatever you want to call them - i.e., the ages we wish we were again now that we have all this wisdom!) seem to have a strong aversion to following up, especially when it comes to the job search ("I don't want to be a nuisance"..."they promised to call me in a week").

Again...what do you think? Are they, or you - depending on age, so different from some of us older workers? Comment, criticize, agree, yell, debate...let me (and all of us) know your thoughts please.
A final thought - it's summer! Time to be outside, especially in Chicago (the suffering is over, for a few months at least), we need to go pick up our Blackhawk Stanley Cup Championship gear - we have so much to do, but now's not the time to let your "networking" guard down. Two of my part time jobs were found due to networking. Simply put: we can't ever stop networking. So, find a great place outside to meet with these people, but try really hard to resist "taking the summer off". It's indoors, but on Tuesday June 22, 6:00pm - 9:30pm, a great monthly networking event to attend is the BNC's After Hours - learn more, register at:

and now, your turn!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Census, Part Time Work, And Much More Part Time Work

Gosh that was one LONG week since my last "weekly" post. First, some key events coming that need to be shared. Then, an update on me, and thoughts, if there's space and time.

The Windy City Biz Bash is quickly approaching!
June 3, 5:30 - 8:30pm at The Murphy, 50 E. Erie Street, Chicago
This is BMA Chicago's (Business Marketing Association) annual gala and fundraiser. Register by May 20 and save almost 20%. It's worth it!!

Another event worth attending is BNC's (Business Network Chicago) monthly BNC "After Hours" event. Engaging speakers, very interesting people with whom to casually network, a short speednetworking session if you choose, and great food in a fantastic location downtown. The next one is set for Tuesday May 25, 6:00 - 9:30 pm. Interested? Check out the details at

This heads up for those that are way too overloaded with work, family, no spare time - and never were able to send in your Census form. When the U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, please, be kind, because it might be me (and it will take less than 10 minutes out of your day!) Apparently patience pays off (sometimes) - more than a year after applying, I got the call to work part time for our government for a few weeks, they even chose me to be a "Crew Leader Assistant" (or, CLA...having been in corporate America for years, I thought I knew the overuse of acronyms all too well. Ha, not even close Larry, welcome to your government's alphabet soup!) Want to learn more? Check out the Census site at

Fundraising: for over 30 years, this has been very important to me. Having raised over $21,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other important causes during my too brief marathon career, I understand how tough it can be to raise significant money at times. For anyone connected to nonprofits, schools, teams, or any worthy cause - you are in luck: I have a wonderful, risk-free fundraising vehicle (pun intended) for you, especially if your contributors are located anywhere near: Palatine, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Melrose Park, Naperville, Tinley Park, Crestwood, Glenwood, or even Joliet. Want to know more? send a comment to me, or contact me at It's a great idea that people love!! No calories are involved, I promise you.

During the job search, we're often tempted (or pushed) to go outside our comfort zone (anyone up for some insurance sales?). And we tend to hesitate, procrastinate, worry, rationalize why it's a bad idea to leave our chosen profession. Well folks, it just may be worth the risk (this, from someone who happily avoids risks, except on the tennis court) and you may be pleasantly surprised. I've jumped far outside my comfort zone, and, so far I'm still here. From retail, government work, tons of volunteering, committee work, leading networking groups, and now, gulp.....sales! Even the dreaded word "commission" enters this picture. As always, I firmly believe and encourage us all to think: "you never know...."

I look forward to your comments, new followers, and always feel free to forward,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." - Herman Wouk

Dear Readers,

The Herman Wouk quote in the title above tickled me. He's long been one of my favorite writers. If you've never read any of his Pulitzer Prize winning work, you're missing out (a huge understatement). There's a really nice piece on him in the April 19 issue of Newsweek. (at right, in Jerusalem, 1955)

Why not have a look if you're not familiar with this American treasure:

Ok, marketing folks in Chicago: both those in transition and you that are blessed with full time employment and regular paychecks. Perhaps you've recently been to networking events that were crowded, had a speaker or two, sometimes interesting and fruitful, sometimes not. Sometimes costly.

Here's one that is very low key, very inexpensive, includes free appetizers, and hosted by...your favorite blogger. The next AMA (American Marketing Association) Downtown Meetup will be this Friday, April 16, 5:30pm at Pazzo's, 311 S. Wacker, in Chicago (across the street of the Sears Tower ). I'll be hosting three more after this week's Meetup - May 17, June 21 & September 20. Besides the very relaxed, friendly, and easy networking, we'll run the "Hot Seat" format.

What's the Hot Seat format? Hot Seat allows you to leverage the room full of marketing experts to get some free consulting on your current marketing challenges. Or, if you're in the audience it's an opportunity to flex your brain and show off your skills. The marketing challenges can be related to a specific campaign, job search or even a new idea you'd like to evaluate. You can fudge the names to protect the guilty, but please keep these to real-life situations, not theoretical scenarios.

Hot Seat volunteers have two minutes to lay out the case, followed by one minute of clarification questions (if needed). Then you have a fast and furious three minutes where the audience offers their best tips to solve your challenge.

Interested? Want more information? Send me a comment to today's blog post, I'll be happy to tell you more. Or you can go to: to learn more, and you can join this Meetup group (free). Currently the group has over 1,000 marketing professionals. But don't worry, the restaurant's room only holds about 30 people.

As always, I anxiously welcome your comments, thoughts, alternate views, ideas for blog discussion, and questions. I continue to hope that you find these posts worthy of forwarding to your network, retweeting, facebooking, and that you become a follower of this blog.

Readers: I will moderate all comments posted in order to prevent what most of us consider to be very inappropriate, offensive language, as well as block unwanted spams.

Meanwhile, it's 75 degrees in Chicago, in April, and if I'm not mistaken, my running shoes are whining for me to take them out for a quick run. I hope your tax season ends nicely, wasn't too painful, and that your tax returns are all nonfiction!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part Time + Part Time + Part Time = ?

Dearest Readers -
We made it! The last day of March - Holiday Season has arrived - happy Easter and Pesach to those who celebrate; San Diego's artificially flawless, cloudless, wonderful weather arrives in Chicago (and it's not even a cruel April Fool's Day gag); Only five short days until the SMACK of fastball hitting leather is heard in baseball stadiums across America (I'm long a believer in what Thomas Boswell wrote, "Time begins on Opening Day"); Dreaded Duke is in the Final 4 (yawn), but so is Butler (who?); and for me, the last day of March arrives with yet another part time opportunity plopping onto my plate. I'm thinking it's time I find a much larger plate.

Those still in a job search: keep the U.S. Census in mind - apparently they still need our help. It's some decent money for the short term, it gets you away from your computer, your phone and outdoors, and you're supporting our Constitution - all at the same time! I hope if I knock on your door in the coming weeks wearing my cool Census Worker lanyard, you'll answer it. I took the very easy test over a year ago, was turned down last summer, but got the call today. As I firmly continue to believe and preach: "You never know".

For a very long time I've been a firm nonbeliever in new year's resolutions: the gym gets way too crowded for a month (just for a month, since most resolutions fade by February); often they're alcohol-induced; created by peer pressure; and usually they're not serious, heartfelt, well thought out goals. Not to mention my greatest aversion to them: they're trendy! Nobody ever liked my "resolution" very much, so, I've stopped sharing it.

However, now the very serious, long, marathon-like drama known as the baseball season begins. A season sure to be full of joy, disappointment, ups, downs, records broken, and yes - boredom (for many), and a scandal or two. For me, well, I honestly fully expect my character-building, long suffering and heartache to continue to grow due to my stubborn loyalty and love for my Orioles and Cubs.

So, now that both the first quarter and the winter is over - no more excuses, now would be a great time for us all to set some practical, six month long (or, 162 games long if your brain works like mine) goals. I hope and welcome you sharing these real, achievable, measurable, serious, silly, and perhaps life changing goals in your comments to my blog.

Stay outside if you can, take a longer lunch out there if you're employed, see all the joyous faces! And know that it's the weather, or the holidays, or maybe that baseball hasn't started yet in Chicago!!

I look forward to many comments, followers, and the Final 4!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Filling Your Calendar

The list of to do's during the job search is bottomless. Trying to fit them all into my small (nonelectric) day planner? Good luck. They call this leather-bound burden "Pocket Sized". Pockets that large simply don't exist. But for me, if it's not committed to paper, it'll never happen. Besides the calls, follow-ups, 1 on 1 meetings, classes, part-time job schedule, more calls, more searches, online applications, there are plenty of networking events to attend.

Here are some upcoming events, not just for those in the job search, that should be very worthwhile attending. On Friday, April 23 is the second Business Networker's Expo & Social Media Fair. See all the details at A very good friend is the co-founder and it takes place in Buffalo Grove at The Arboretum Club from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. There will be a variety of speakers covering various angles of Social Media. The afternoon's keynote speaker is Emmy Award winning Chicago sportsbroadcaster, Bruce Wolfe. He's also an attorney, video blogger and his presentation should be highly interactive and lively. His sense of humor and take on things is right up my alley, so if you can stomach'll love Bruce.

Another event is the monthly Chicago Booth Marketing Roundtable, usually on a Wednesday night toward the end of the month, at the Gleacher Center (University of Chicago) downtown. It's located between the Tribune and NBC Towers. This month's Roundtable is March 31, and the topic: Seizing the Advantage - Recruiting Marketing Talent in Today's Tough Environment. There will be a panel featuring three executive recruiters who specialize in recruiting marketing professionals. I know two of them and they are excellent. Each month the group is made up of really high quality people, mostly employed, many are connected to the U. of C., but you don't have to be an alum to attend, and best of's free! For more information, go to:

Meanwhile, proving how incredibly tiny this world is. Last week I was sent a job posting for what looks like a great position as a Marketing and Sponsorship Manager. First step: rather than be in the pile of 800 resumes, I try to network my way toward the hiring manager. Yesterday at my part-time job, while chatting with a customer, I quickly learned that she is the person they are replacing! A long story, but just incredible. Chicago - it's so tiny!

This blog puts an abrupt end to the brief sidetrack I allowed to carefully focus on and follow my Terrapins in the ncaa tournament. The pain from the heart-crushing loss (a desperate, long 3- point shot as the final buzzer sounded) is just beginning to numb.

Once again, I hope you get something out of this blog, and hope you sign up to follow me, forward it to those you know that would appreciate it, and please, I look forward to hearing your comments on this two way conversation we're having.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and play your music loud.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A very temporary back seat

The job search - we know it's never ending, more so than ever in this wonderful job market. But today happens only once a year. A special day.

The search, our jobs, our kids, our plans for today...they must temporarily take a back seat, just for the morning....because, it's upon us. There is no longer any time to procrastinate. The deadline is staring at us all in the face. This is too serious to ignore. I hope you will be strong, have courage, tax your analytical skills...sharpen your pencils (always love the 'throw back' references) and just get it done...and get it done soon folks:

Fill out your ncaa men's basketball brackets and get them into your office pools or online sites!

Pick your underdogs, your cinderalla(s), your favorite uniform colors, silly mascot names (a turtle?), think of schools that happily hover just under the radar (a school named Maryland, as well as some others). Or, make it easy on yourself, and blindly pick Kansas to win it all, surrounded by the other 3 top seeds. It's too easy to pose the question for you about who you think will win it all, so I won't.

Yes, today will be in the 60's in Chicago, and it's only March. However, true to form, and as predicted 3 weeks ago, this weekend we may get snow (it is Chicago, after all). But it's time to break away from all the 'shoulds' for just a short while, consider the injuries, upsets, streaks, bitter rivalries and biases such as, by how much will Notre Dame lose; just how far do I send, gulp, Duke (led by a boy from Northbrook!) in the tournament?
Have fun you all!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Pilot, Preseason, Practice, First Attempted Post

Welcome to "Labow's Last Search" blog...both to you and me.

As the job search continues, I'll share thoughts, ideas, suggestions, links, and perhaps a well-edited, slightly out of control, rant here and there. One of the goals for the post - to somewhat lighten our burden. Of course we've been told over and over: looking for a job is a full time job. Actually, no it isn''s much more demanding than a full time job. It can be endless, since unlike you and me, the blessed (and dreaded) internet never sleeps. And it often lacks what we have on our jobs - a boss. Deadlines, demands and reviews all come from within.

However, it does come with benefits, in theory at least - more time with your children; more time to work off the extra 10 lbs.; more time to learn, read, think, self-examine and reconnect. And, plenty of time to network...lots of time for this.

The first couple of posts will be experimental, the direction it takes is unknown as of now. I welcome your comments, always. Keep your eyes open for my next post, very soon.
Try not to 'should' on yourself too much during the search, stay positive - fake it if necessary, and give yourself credit!