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This View by Nancy LeMay
Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at

Hunting for your head: A DotCommentary

I'm looking for a job. I'm not unemployed, mind you, but like all good freelancers I'm constantly on the lookout for the next thing. I've had some recent encounters with job-hunting in our modern I'm-so-wired/wireless-I-can-trade-stocks-while-in-the-lotus-position-in-my-ashram-in-Moombai-world.

There are many ways in which the computer has helped to connect people; I've written about a couple of them in this space. But we continue to hear expressions of frustration when people still need a human being to help them solve a problem, and find that computers have been put up as a barrier to prevent this. Job hunting has been deeply influenced by the personal computer, and not always to the advantage of the job hunter.

Now, having said that, let's look at the up side- this won't take long. Say you're moving to Oatmeal, Nebraska, and you want to know what your job prospects are before you make the big leap. The personal computer makes this possible.

Need to get a sense of the trends in your own, or another industry- what software do I need to learn this week? Do I really need to commute to Barstow to advance my career? A scan of the job listings in sites like Creative Planet or are a quick way to do that.

My premise, however, is this: it matters not whether the economy is good or bad. Let's face it, job hunting is terrifying. There is just nothing about it that induces feelings of pleasure.

If you have the assistance of a headhunter, someone who perhaps has a clue concerning the jobs you might be interested in, and also some insight into whether the job is worth having, then maybe you have a fighting chance of making the right match. How do you know if you're wasting your time when the job listing is on a database with thousands of other jobs? Who wrote the job description in the first place? A job counselor just might have this little bit of vital information: was it a paper-jockey HR guy or the person to whom the jobholder will report? Who are these people at "HepCats DVD House" or "RGBWorldTV" anyway? Do they have trance music blaring over the loudspeakers all day? Are they the latest flavor-of-the-month, under-capitalized bricks and clicks flash in the pan? I know that I, sitting at my computer at home having a cup of tea, (trying not to feel overwhelmed), don't know any of this.

As I write this now it all sounds vaguely quaint, somehow 'last century'. You know the argument we so often hear about the new conventions of the personal computer revolution: "young people who grew up with this stuff take it for granted"... Well...duh.

But in spite of what you see when you look around the average newsroom these days, the baby-boom generation is still 'the pig in the python', if I may be so socioeconomically graphic.

I'll be 45 in September and my age group remains, at the very least, a large force of people who maybe are not quite ready to be a faceless mass of resumes filed in a database somewhere.

Everybody needs somebody sometime-thank you, Dean Martin... It may be that all of us will simply have to adjust to having less and less support in our lives at the times when we need it most. With fewer corporations sending fewer people to conventions like PROMAX/BDA, there is buzz that even these great networking opportunities are going the way of the velociraptor.

Experience tells us that this vacuum too will fill itself, perhaps by organizations like ATAS holding job fairs (anyone listening)? Or smaller, ad hoc gatherings within industries- a job rave, perhaps? 'Face to face' beats 'graphical interface' any day, especially when people need to accomplish important things, like the sometimes life-changing decision to take a new job...

About the Author

Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at