Resume redesign, or crisis begets creativity

What does it take to get a good job in news (or media in general)? That’s the $4000 question swimming in my head right now.

I will even make my resume look remotely like a newspaper–complete with flag, skyboxes, sidebars, datelines–designed with copy editing principles in mind (and also inspired by Plaid’s awesome Merry Newsinator, but a bit less merry).

This started out as something to relieve the stress that has been simmering since I finished my internship in September.

Working on it was a delightful break from the monotony of checking emails, reading job boards and mining my address book for any contacts I have not yet exhausted.

As much as I hate being in this situation, I believe crisis begets the best kind of creativity, which is something I learned from this trash artist that we interviewed for our in-depth reporting project on the closing of a county’s landfill. She said that much of the best art she’s seen comes from some trauma that the artist experiences. To me, crisis forces you to stretch yourself and ask questions like “What have I not tried yet? Why not?”

Doing this also made me realize that I want to be doing something creative with my life (and getting paid for it). I know I don’t have any formal design training (i.e., a degree in graphic design or experience other than designing for personal sites and laying out dummy pages) and I don’t want to automatically call myself a designer just because I know how to use Photoshop or InDesign, but I just love it.

Or it could be just that I like big type and I cannot lie. You other type nerds can’t deny that when type is on your screen in all caps and 72 px, you get sprung.

Which leads me to further refine my ideal job: some marriage of reporting/writing and creativity/design, such as an online multimedia producer, marketing specialist, or some publication’s layout editor.

On the upside, I’m still counting my blessings. I saw the sunrise today and I took a picture, but even that doesn’t do it justice. It had  these colors:

Another sunrise is another day to get where I need to go. It’s like the rest of my life is waiting for me to get my act together and start living.

Lately the weather has been so bipolar and consequently so have I

I’ve fallen off the face of the earth temporarily. Lately, the job search has finally taken a toll on me.

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Words can’t even begin to cover the storm of frustration I’ve been fighting. Where is my job?

I have the skills set. I can do what the job entails. The only problem is I don’t have the X amount of experience that is supposedly required. Then how will I get experience if no one hires me? You want the quality work of your media organization to continue? Then invest in the future!

At the same time, I’ve been learning that what my resume contains or lacks doesn’t define me as a person or my self-worth, and I can’t give up or let myself be discouraged. Because for me, defeat begins the minute despair sets in. It’s when you stop trying. It’s when the dream dies. I hate that I’ve been so close to that.

So now, my new plan is to keep myself as busy as possible–whether it’s making smoothies and vegetable soup from scratch, doing dishes, cleaning the house, teaching my grandpa how to use a computer, etc.

I can’t have any more of those idle, listless days where I have the opportunity to sit and stew over what’s [not] happening in my life, because when has thinking about something made my situation better or done anything productive for me? I must have thought myself out of happiness and peace a thousand times and never once into it.

I’m just going to be and not think (within reason, obviously not an invitation to make bad decisions).

Speaking of good decisions, I went to the Blazers-Jazz game at the Rose Garden last night and cheered on the Blazers (yay for free tickets which had pretty decent seats from my boss) with my friend Christopher–who was actually enjoying the music and the advertisements more so than the game.

Portland lost, but it was still good to see him on so many levels because we’re kind of in the same boat. We’re both degree-holding (homeboy already has a masters degree at 22), working minimum wage, working a job that does not use our degrees, looking for a permanent position, living back at the parents’ house, toting around emotional baggage and the list could go on.

Moral of the story: I appreciate any and all encouragement from people, but it was nice to get encouragement from someone who at this point in time, could truly relate to my situation.

Rock you like a…typhoon?

By now, most of the world knows about the tropical storm Ondoy/Ketsana and the havoc it has wrecked on the Philippines. Much of my extended family lives in the metro Manila area, including my uncle, aunts and countless cousins. My grandpa, who lives stateside with us, can’t recall a time when flooding was as bad as that.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rembcc/

My uncle, who lives in my grandparents’ house in Quezon City, a city near Manila, called a couple nights ago and told us that the house was flooded and they didn’t have power.

Eventually, we learned that the basement was completely submerged and the main level was under 6 inches of water. The guest house, where one of my great-aunts lives was also submerged. Thankfully, everyone (including random cousins, dogs, maids) was safe.

Unfortunately, others weren’t so lucky.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rembcc/

I found this heartbreaking photo on Flickr–it’s a woman’s body, half-submerged in the mud in the aftermath of the storm. The small backpack she was carrying hides her face. The even worse part is that right after the photo was taken, the woman’s backpack was looted (according to the photog).

I also like how this stuff happened like 2 days ago, and now the world news media decides to report on it? Interesting. The storm was bad–some reports have compared it to Hurricane Katrina (also ironic, President Arroyo is also getting criticized for how the government handled the disaster).

My uncle said some of our family didn’t have much time before the water rose to save their clothes, so I’m going through my closet now and packing a box to send over there. I’m doing my part to help out. Do yours! Check out the Red Cross Web site for ways to help.