Tag Archives: Brian Ramsay

Why Can’t I Find a Job? Why do I want to do Freelance Writing?

I have been unemployed for seven months now and I can’t seem to find a job. Now, before you tell me to just go get a job I do have a little something I would like you to take a look at.

That is how I feel almost every day. Sure, I could go work at Best Buy, Walmart, or some fast food joint, but that’s not what I went to college for. Apparently, I just went to college to be 30 grand in debt because that expensive ass piece of paper sure as hell isn’t finding me any work.

I’ll put up a little bit of my resume for you to take a look at. I have a Bachelor’s in Technical Communications and a part of that goes like this:

I can proofread and edit documents, create how-to manuals, user guides, SOPs, online help, design specifications, project plans, usability studies, white papers, and training materials and videos (video/audio editing); I wrote several front page stories for the Griffon News. I have experience with both the Adobe Suite and Microsoft Office programs along with a few other random programs; I have the ability to learn new computer software programs at a quick pace.

That’s just a small part of my college experience. I also have a Minor in Biology. That part of the resume goes a bit like this:

I can execute and complete assignments through validated procedures within Quality Compliance guidelines; I have used microscopes and performed bio-analytical methods, such as, immunological, in vivo, microbiological, molecular biological, or virological tests. I have been published in an article written by the Center for Disease Control when I helped them collect field data concerning the Heartland Virus; I have used GPS/GIS data location technology in the tracking of ticks, bats, and the endangered Western Prairie Ridge Orchid.

Now, to me, that sounds pretty damn bad ass! I mean, why in (insert person/deity here in plural form) name would someone not want to hire a guy with this kind of experience? If I were me, at some fancy company in a CEO position, looking at my resume I would be like, “Damn, we need this guy here.”

It’s about to get deeper; I have even more college experience. I have an Associate’s Degree in Theatre Arts. I even put experience I gained from there on my resume and it reads as follows:

Supervise the cast and crew to make sure they had everything they needed to do their acting jobs. I was responsible for the lighting and all other technical details of the staged play; I trained new students the skills needed to be a Stage Manager. I also wrote two plays that were successfully produced and put on stage.

With all this experience, why am I not finding a job? It’s not like I’m not trying. I have turned in hundreds of resumes. Here are a few of the places I have applied or types of careers I have applied for:

  • Altec (Many times)
  • NPG Multimedia (Many times)
  • Accounts Pay Admin
  • Border
  • Copy Editor
  • DuPont
  • Environmental/Public Works and Transportation
  • Executive Leadership Solutions
  • Family Guidence
  • FEMA
  • Academic Teacher
  • All Medical
  • American Angus
  • American Water
  • Hillyard
  • Boehringer Ingelheim (Many many times)
  • Cameron Mutual Insurance
  • CPA Firm
  • Degree Auditor for Missouri Western
  • Edward Jones
  • EMW Industrial
  • University of Missouri Extension
  • Foley
  • GPS Impact
  • Grain
  • Healthcare Services Group
  • Herzog
  • Johnson Controls
  • Kelly Lab Tech
  • Allied Arts Council
  • Mitchell Park
  • Mosaic (Many many times)
  • St. Joe News Press (Many times)
  • Nabisco
  • Nestle
  • Transwest
  • UGL Unicco
  • United Suppliers
  • J House
  • KQTV
  • Silgan
  • Test Administrator for the Department of the Army
  • WellCare

That’s not even half of the things I have applied for. I honestly didn’t intend on the list to be that long, but once I got started it was hard to stop. You can guarantee I’m going to tag all those places in this post.

After all of the frustration in months of trying to find work and getting rejection letter after rejection letter I finally decided I will just work for myself and be my own boss. How though? What should I do?

At first, I thought, “Hey, I could do YouTube videos!” People get paid doing YouTube videos. People even make a living off of it. Plus, I’m pretty good at making videos. I know I have run this one in the dirt by showing it off over and over, but it’s really the only one I have left after I got out of college. So, check out my expertise:

The only problem with this idea is that I don’t have a camera or access to the Adobe suite to edit my videos. I thought about doing some type of website crowdfunding thing, but then it happened. The entire universe came crashing down on YouTube. A lot of advertisers started pulling their ads and stopped paying YouTube because the advertisers didn’t want their ads playing on controversial videos.

There has been a big reaction on this. Some of my favorite YouTubers have actually slowed down or stopped making videos because there isn’t much money in it now. Some YouTubers have even tried to change things up to attract more advertisers. Like this one for example:

YouTube may not be the best answer right now. My next idea was to do the Freelance Writer bit. I feel as though I am getting very close to landing my first paying Freelance gig, but I’m not quite there yet.

As of today, this is unfortunately the last day I have access to a computer and internet for a long while. I don’t have a computer at the house and I live so far out in the country it’s going to cost me $400 to $500 just to get anyone to hook up the internet at my house. *HINT*HINT*WINK*WINK*SEND*ME*MONEY*WINK*HINT*

 

 

The Freelancing Noob. Will it Work?

This is the first posting I have put here on my blog since 2013. I will try to keep this first posting in four years to a minimum as I really don’t have a lot to say. I am sure this blog entry for my millions and millions of followers (COUGH COUGH *four* COUGH)  is a surprise to all, however, I am betting you have plenty of things to do in your busy lives.

 

 

Let’s get to the matter(s) at hand for me right now.

 

When I first started this blog thing, I was forced to create it in a class for college. I didn’t want to start a blog. I always thought a blog was for nerds, and actually I still kind of do. Now, here comes the big “BUUUUUUUTT” part (HAHA, see what I did there? BUTT? A joke is always funnier when you point out the funny spot and try to explain it.) I am starting to see why a blog is very important, especially for things I want to do.

 

I want to start up freelance writing. I have had my Technical Communication/Writing (I always do the Communication/Writing thing because I never really see the “Communication” part anywhere except on my degree; it seems that the first word is always followed by “Writing”) degree since May of 2015 and I have yet to use it once.

 

There just doesn’t seem to be work for that type of thing where I am located here in St. Joseph, MO. Sure, I am told all the time, “Move here, there’s all kinds of work here for Technical Writers.” I don’t really want to move though.

 

I see no reason why I couldn’t do freelance work from home for companies and write up, work on, or create white papers, grant proposals, WordPress pages, training materials and videos, flyers, copywriting, graphic design and the such. (Yeah, I’m one of those who like using the Oxford comma.) Now, do I actually have experience with any of this? Yes and no. You pay to go to college and you really only learn the very basics of all these things. For the most part, all that money I am in debt for now… I could have stayed at home and watched YouTube videos and read books. However, that’s a whole other story and I am kind of getting off track. OH LOOK! A SQUIRELL!! AND HE’S WEARONG SOMETHING SHINY!!!

 

 

In order for me to do this freelancing thing, supposedly, I have to have a website or blog going. I have read on several websites that starting a blog or a website is the first and most important thing you can do as a freelance writer. As much as I don’t really want to (HEAVY SIGH) blooooog, I can see the importance of it. How else are you going to make a web presence or have a portfolio for potential clients to look at?

 

How do I create a portfolio with no clients and no experience yet? Well, I have heard from a few people who have a prominent (important and/or famous according to google) presence on the internet and they have given me a little advice. Yeah, I’m getting ready to do a little name dropping to make me seem way more relevant in the world.

 

Now, I have just learned about these people over the last few months and they all seem to be connected in one way or another. Something cool about each of these people I am about to mention is that they will actually take time out of their day to reply to a message or question that you send them. I don’t really know if they will keep responding if you become a creeper who sends them messages every day, but each of them have responded to a question or two that I have sent. I just learned about John Espirian, from http://espirian.co.uk/, yesterday and he has already gotten back to me.

 

As I asked earlier, how do I create a portfolio with no clients and no experience yet? What do I write about in my blogs? According to Mr. Espirian in his response to me, “You could write about anything at this stage – just show you can fit a document together well.”

 

That reply from Mr. Espirian really is an inspiration and a kick in the butt motivation to get started, maybe even why I am writing this today. I haven’t had a lot of time to look at all of his advice on his page, but he does offer a lot of helpful advice at first glance.

 

How did I learn of Mr. Espirian? I was connected to him through Jorden Roper from https://www.writingrevolt.com/. She actually sent me an email saying something like, “Hey, go talk to this guy.” This girl here, she has a website that will inspire. She honestly tells it like it is and speaks like a regular person you would meet at a gas station would speak.

 

As awesome as this girl is, her advice kind of goes the opposite way of Mr. Espirian. Jorden (for some reason it seems odd, to me, to say Mrs. Roper… that sounds like an old lady librarian or something) says that you need to pick one certain niche and write about that. There lies my problem. I don’t exactly have a niche in mind. I don’t exactly have one fascination or interest in life except video games. The world seems so flooded with video game reviewers right now that I would just be wasting my time. Do I do white papers, grants, or something else? I don’t know, again, I don’t really have any experience. Good thing I got that college degree, eh? That’s doing me a whole hecka lotta good. Jorden sends you lessons through email and one of them is supposed to help you pick out a niche, but I haven’t exactly gotten to read it yet. All of the research and reading I have done for this freelance thing is overwhelming. I can put anywhere from four to eight hours a day into researching and I feel like I am only slightly closer to achieving my goal from when I started almost two months ago.

 

How did I find out about Jorden Roper? I learned of her a few months back from a guy named Bamidele Onibalusi from https://www.writersincharge.com/blog/. I found this website a few months ago and this is where I found my original inspiration to start freelance writing. At this website you can sign up to have something like a list of a hundred or so companies that will pay you to write for them. I can’t really remember why, because this was back in February and March, but that list I was sent didn’t really seem to work. Plus, when I emailed this guy I felt it was a robot that sent me a reply back. I’m not trash talking the guy or his website, after all this is the first place I found that gave me inspiration to start researching freelance writing. I would highly recommend at least checking it out.

I feel like I already wrote this part, but I have read and reread this post and I don’t see it yet. Maybe I just thought about writing it. Anyway, I should have emailed each of the people I just mentioned and asked for advertising money to get the word out to my millions and millions of followers.

I am not here to review these websites… yet. I already said it is easy to get overwhelmed reading all the blogs, all the automatic lessons you get sent, watching YouTube videos, and reading books. I am embarrassed to say that I have been doing research for two, almost three, and maybe even four months now without getting off my tuffet to do something, but I honestly didn’t know where to start. I really still don’t know where to start, but I am making an effort as of today.

Sadly, I only have all day access to the internet for another three days. After those three days, it’s going to be questionable when I will get to play on the interwebs. I have a lot of other ideas for blogs later. 1) If I get a client overseas, how do I get paid? 2) An in depth review of the websites I mentioned and how much help I actually got from the people at those websites, which I should have asked them for some money to advertise their websites on my page here for my millions and millions of followers. 3) How am I doing at finding a niche? 4) Telling of difficulties and/or successes in my search for a client. 5) Umm… I got nothing. I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Blog Post Final for JOU/ETC 224

In this class students learned how to create a blog using WordPress. Students also learned what should and should not go into a blog post if it is wanted to become professional blog.

Students learned about what a professional portfolio is, along with what needs to go into it. Using this information, students created professional webpages that can be used as professional portfolios or as a type of resume for potential employers.

Students learned of several different web design creation websites then were allowed to choose from them in order to create a website for a professional organization. There were several reasons for this assignment. One is just for the experience of creating a website. Two is to learn what it was like to work for a client in the professional world.

As to how this will be used in the future remains to be seen. For someone who has no interest in blogging, there may be no future in that. There may be a reason for having no interest in blogging. One reason is, this blogger here does not have internet hooked up at the house. So to take an hour out of the day to drive to town then return home just to blog seems a bit pointless. Especially for someone who is not starving for attention or is not surrounded by social media all day every day.

Some people choose not to have internet or even a phone because they do not wish to be connected to everything, everywhere, all the time. Maybe one day when skool does not consume my every waking moment, my mind will change on this subject, but as of now, this blogger here could really care less.

The program used to create the professional portfolio… that was a pain in the ass plus the site in all honesty, looks like total poo-poo. That is not to say a different one will not be created in the future hopefully using a different program, it is just that I am not all that happy with the way it turned out. Check out this portfolio right here. (Recently, after graduation, I lost the server I was hosting this on and no longer have the page up.)

As for what this blogger is going to do post-graduation… I got nuffin. Things usually do not turn out the way a person plans. To try and avoid any heart breakage, this guy tries not to plan too far ahead.

Honestly, I was supposed to be a movie star by now. Did that happen? Hell nah. The next goal in life was to be a voice over star. Did that happen? Hell nah. I then was a substitute teacher. Am I still a substitute teacher? Hell nah, they do not make anything for retirement. Finally, I was supposed to be graduating the nursing program next semester. Is that going to happen? Hell nah.

I am sick and tired of heartache and not being able to achieve goals I have set in my heart. I have always hated that question growing up, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Simple answer is this, “Happy.”

I have written plays that have gone onstage. I have worked with the Center for Disease Control (CDC). I have obtained a minor in biology. I have created websites. I have sang and acted in front of hundreds of people. I have been a manager or supervisor for several companies. I have just about a 3.5 GPA. I have put on a two day music festival. I have done more things in my life than most people could ever imagine of doing. All of this has made me who I am today and has made me happy. Why plan anything for the future when the future is so uncertain.

I am sure I will end up working some 9-5 job sitting at a desk like most people. That lifestyle sounds super exciting to me. That is probably why everyone does those type of jobs.

The website program used to create a webpage for a client was actually a pretty swell website. Things were super easy and laid out for you. A person could actually get paid using this program to create websites for other people. This is something definitely worth looking into for anybody.

I am completely finished with the website now. I created a website for The First Ward Bar and Grill. This was no easy task. I actually went through three different clients before finally choosing one.

Potential clients did not like the fact that they may have to pay for something (domain names or a year worth of service through a website creation page) even if the website was created for free.

Once a client is finally selected, it does not get any easier from there. Both parties have to figure out time to meet in each of their busy schedules. Once a time is agreed upon and it is established exactly what is wanted in the page, communication does not stop there.

Both parties need to keep in touch with each other in order to make sure the webpage is looking exactly like what the client wants.  This again is no easy task. With my skooling and his being a business owner as well as a father, it is not hard to imagine why it is so difficult to meet at times.

Even after the page is almost complete a person usually has to wait on  the client to send pictures or possible updates. This is where my website is now. I am completely finished but I am waiting on a few photos. I could easily hit the publish button but I want to make sure everything is top-notch in the clients eyes.

This website will be posted right here in the future, hopefully in just three to five days. So, check back here and see if the webpage is up to par for public standards.

Finally, students are required to create a Linked-In Profile to help out with their future professional careers. The link to our Linked-In Profile is to be provided here as well. Check out my Linked-in Profile.

I really have no idea what I am doing on this Linked-In thing, but I am sure over time, after looking at other peoples profiles, I will figure it out. Is this the first sign that you are old?