Saturday, December 10, 2016

What are you willing to pay?

I know I must have mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again. I belong to a (job) social network called TeamWork Online. It's not a social network like Facebook or Twitter. It's a job board like Monster and CareerBuilder.

TeamWork is an interesting site if you want to get into sports, but you have to try your might to be able to get a job (what else is new??). I once knew a guy who said he got a job with a local (Minor League) ballpark through the TeamWork site. I have to admit, he was a lucky guy because everything he did within a couple years fell down to finding such "need" online. Whatever he was looking for (housing, job, etc) was all done via the Internet and even though it was all submitted by chance, his first run at applications ended with fulfilling the intent.

Why am I writing (#1)? I get emails about networking events every couple weeks from the site. It's a "pay for the job fair, stay for the game" deal, and the average attendance price is under $90. However, some of these career fairs aren't so hot, and you're left wondering why you came. Sure, the game is an added bonus, but if you're not interested in seeing X vs Y, but wanted to apply to the company, it's almost a wasted effort.You could have stayed home to apply. Like every career fair I've been to (as well as some my friends have gone to), the outcome is always the same: the businesses send a body to represent them, but the body always says "Sorry; not hiring. Please leave us your card, though!" or "Here's a paper application. We'll bring it back to the office and hand it to our HR Rep". Sometimes it's "apply online. We have no other information". That's when the question becomes "why are you here then? Just to get people's business information to get an email list going?".

I remember how people complained at the New England Revolution event. It was great to go and experience that, but a good 70% of the job seekers didn't attend the game immediately after the Q&A forum. There were some who stayed, and I actually caught up with five guys at the end of the game. They said they only stayed because they were already there and paid for the ticket. But had they not had to pay, they would have left long before the players took the pitch. They didn't see the point in the networking event since the businesses that were there, weren't hiring. These guys didn't like soccer, but wanted to apply to whomever was going to have a table. Truth be told on this: there were also limited businesses there. It wasn't marketed so great.

The same was for other sports events I went to. The only "good" one was at Fenway Park. I had met a few friends there and we walked the table lined concourse. It was free entry and no game that day, so you had to ability to have a relaxed conversation with someone from the team or business. Truth be told, they all said the same thing - not hiring; check website. Leave a card or resume. I felt like there was some positive conversations as well as potential networks, but where no one was really coming to set interviews or make time with people, it again, was a wasted effort. I could have taken cards and made a valiant effort to win people over via email (and I actually made the attempt at a few), but the reality is, HR people are looking for specific types of worker bees.

What's my point (#2)? Getting back to the price per event topic, I had gotten a Celtics email two weeks ago, and wanted to write about it. Too little too late now, as the event is over (it was last night), but I had emailed some friends regarding the price of entry. Tickets start at $110, and had a $12.95 processing fee. I did some research and it was balcony level seating, Celtics vs Raptors (Raptors won over Celtics, 101-94). The network event was for 75 attendees / first come first serve, and it was solely a Celtics forum - no other businesses would attend. At that point, you have to wonder where your money is going; balcony level seats don't cost that much and usually you can walk around the stadium and find better seating arrangements. Someone's pockets will be nicely lined by the end of the night, given the fact it's 75 times (essentially) $123.

To give some examples of other events, I know Daytona is up there in price (over $100), but outside of NASCAR, everything is a drop in the hat. Miami Heat is having a network event this week. I have to admit that I don't follow much sports, so I don't know the Heat's standings to be able to explain why they are "so cheap" in comparison to the Celtics' (The Heat will be playing the Washington Wizards). For "$40 - $50" (plus $8.89 processing fee), you get a ticket in the "400L" area of the arena. From an image search of the arena, it looks like it's a balcony type level. I'm not sure; I have never seen the Heat play, nor have I been to anything else there. So in this meeting, you're seeing executives from the Miami franchises (Heat, Dolphins, Marlins) plus other top tier people from other companies. The New Orleans Pelicans are having an event; game is against the Pacers. Tickets cost "$40 - $60" and are "in the Balcony and the Lower Level Sections". Same thing with New Orleans related executives. To round the year out (there are plenty more fairs not mentioned), and bring us into January, the "most expensive" event is for the New Jersey Devils (against the Florida Panthers). The price ranges from "$76.22 – $100.68" and the lower end has a $10.34 processing fee, while the higher end is $1.34 more. Researching the difference, the "seats are located in the upper and lower levels of the arena. The VIP ticket provides a $10 food voucher that can be used once the game begins". I don't know the area the Devils play in, so I'm thinking the level concourses are different in what concessions are available... and ten bucks is nothing for food. That could be a beer and a hot dog if you're lucky. Haha.

If anyone is interested in trying their luck, all events are here.

All in all, I do have to admit it's quite the experience to attend these things. Yes, it's a networking event; you get to meet people and sell yourself because you just never know who you will meet and if they will have a need for you to possibly freelance another skill you may have. Yes, the added bonus is the excitement of the game. But end the end, if you don't want to rely on a freelance gig, then these might not be for you. Or if you are one of the lucky ones to be able to walk out at the end of the night saying "I did well and I can't wait to check my email", then tell me what my friends and I are doing wrong; how do you get a full time gig in a major market, doing what you want to do, and not worry about selling some side skill that is potentially unrelated to the current job?

Until that happens, I'll continue doing what I'm doing and hope my occasional snail mail / email self marketing works, and I find a place I can love to be in.


See Also:

(aka music listening to under "price we pay" keywords):

(aka "other" keywords under "price we pay"):

NOTE: I did not get paid by TeamWork Online to write this blog entry. I am labeling it under my "Jobs and Employment" and "Networking" label, as part of what I'm finding for work in this world these days. No business / person has sponsored this entry. The Amazon links are part of me being an Amazon Affiliate.