Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Job Fair - Dress the Part

Today I stopped by a job fair at the last minute after an interview.  Filled out my application, while networking with the fellow next to me.  After I turned in my application, I sat down for the 'at least an hour' wait.  With no laptop in tow to catch up on photo editing and such, I had not other option but to chat people up and people watch.

First off there were a lot of interview fashion no-nos.  Seriously, if you can't at least wear a pair of dress pants and a collared shirt, maybe you shouldn't be wasting your time, the interviewer's time, and the time of the people waiting behind you to interview.  I'm not sure if these candidates do not know that certain things are not appropriate or that he/she just didn't care.  I really wanted to say something quitely but figured it would not be received well even though I would only being saying something to help them out.  This is a list of what no-nos I saw:
  • Jeans:  Unless you are applying for a manufacturing type job then you should never wear jeans to an interview.
  • T-shirt:  Please at least wear a collared shirt or a nice blouse.  T-shirts are for bumming around the house on the weekend.
  • Stretch Pants:  Same theory as the T-shirt (see above)
  • Capri Pants:  Though not as bad as the stretch pant, capri pants are still not dress pants or a nice knee length or longer skirt.
  • Opened Toe Shoes/Flip Flops:  Your current work environment may allow them but they are not professional work attire and not appropriate for any interview.
  • Skirt with No Hose:  Yes it maybe hot out but ladies you NEED to wear hose with your skirt to an interview.  If you don't have hose, wear pants.  Also your skirt should be AT LEAST knee length.  If your skirt creeps half way or more up your thigh when you sit down, you should be wearing a longer skirt.
  • Tatoos/Cleaveage Showing:  No real explanation for this. This should be common sense folks
Second, while you are waiting at a cattle call like this what do you do, or not do.
  • Do: Talk with the other candidates - You never know what you might learn or what other opportunities might arise.  I had a wonderful time talking with a gentleman.  I learned that psychology may not be a viable field for additional study for me as the market is over-saturated in Michigan for counselors due to the fact that surrounding states have higher requirements.  Also he has a friend that is a photographer that occasionally needs an assistant.  So I gave him my card. 
  • Do: Carry business cards if you have them. (see above)
  • Do: Keep yourself busy while waiting.  Looking bored with a blank stare is not attractive to potential employers.  They maybe interviewing other people at the tables behind you but they can SEE you.
  • Do Not:  Constantly text on your phone or have phone conversations in the room.  This is just not professional at all.  Take your conversation to the hall.
  • Do Not: Talk too loudly.  Sure networking is good.  Also it is good for the recruiters to see you engaging other people.  It shows that you will adapt well in the work environment.  But talking too loudly can also be distracting to the interviews going on in the room.
My final advice on career/job fairs is to go to them even if they might not be hiring for your particular skill set.  The one I went too today is for a company branching out into the area.  As I am in the accounting field, every business needs an accountant.  The Human Resource Rep invited me to apply for an accounting position at another location.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Made in the USA Supplies

Since I have start crocheting again, I have noticed that most of the yarn is made in Turkey or some other non-US country.  Because of this I only buy certain yarns.  Lily Sugar and Cream that is made from USA grown cotton and Super Saver that is USA manufactured acrylic.  This leaves me with a very limited selection.  So I am wondering if I should feel so guilty about buying non-US yarn.

I have also been noticing where my other supplies are made,  Almost all my jewelry and floral supplies are made in china.  Now I feel even worse because I never thought about it before.

Now that I have been looking into it, I have noticed that there are not very many craft supplies that are made in the US anymore.  I don't like this one bit and I'm not sure what to do about.  But if anyone happens to know where I can get USA made floral and  jewelry supplies please let me know.  I would like to contribute to the down fall of our countries economy as little as possible.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Creation in a Funk

I got some bad news today while I was on my way to buy more supplies.  Nothing kills creativity more than bad news.  I know I would feel better if I would just work on a creative project but its hard to get motivated when I am down in the dumps.  Then I feel even worse because I didn't get hardly anything done.  Such a slippery slope.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better, more creative, more productive day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pricing - How do these other crafters make anything?!

When I price out a new item to sell, I always check to see what other people are charging for similar items.  Today I am looking up crochet belly dance belts.  This is an item that takes at least 2 hours for a basic belt so thats a minium of  $40 under my current pricing model.  How are these other sellers making anything by selling a belt for $13 to $25?!  That means they are only paying themselves $4 - $8 an hour.  Minimum wage is $7.40 right now.  Minimum wage is for brainless, talentless jobs not art and things that take skill.  I think my over 20 years of art and design expereince is worth WAY more than minimum wage.  Its really disheartening to see other sellers under cutting the market and devaluing handmade crochet items.

Here is how I price for anything I make:
  • Cost of Replacement Supplies + $15/hour labor(includes design time for one of a kind items, or a portion of design time for reproduced items)+ 15% for Overhead Costs + Etsy/PayPal Fees +/- Love Factor = Item Price
    • Overhead includes things like photo editing time, time spent promoting, marketing, tools, equipment, time/gas spend shopping for supplies, and any other indirect expenses.
    • Love FactorI also make adjustments for appeal.  If the items is particularly stunning, I will mark up the price.  If its not the best, I lower it.
  • Postage + Packaging Supplies + $0.45 per mile to the Postoffice + a little bit for my time = Shipping Costs