To Newsjack or Not to Newsjack?

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Baskin-Robbins just received a rare opportunity to capture the national spotlight thanks to the satirical website The Onion. In an article posted June 1st, the same day Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Fair, The Onion reports Baskin-Robbins’ apparent support of the transgender community. When I saw this article pop up on my Facebook feed, I thought it was an actual article about their support of Caitlyn Jenner until I saw the URL. That got me thinking, would a savvy member of the Baskin-Robbins social media jump on this opportunity? More importantly, should they?

Trans issues have been in the spotlight recently, and it’s been signaling a positive shift in the attitudes of Americans. A grab for attention would rightly be seen in a negative light, but for Baskin-Robbins, the work has already been done. Send out a tweet confirming The Onion article and say “nice to meet you Caitlyn Jenner!” While I don’t know the position of the company on these issues, it represents an opportunity to insert their brand in a national conversation in a positive way.

And they could do it in 140 characters or less.

How to Get a GoPro Hero4 for 20% Off

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Sure the new GoPro Hero4 has some amazing specs, but I wasn’t too crazy about the price jump. Fortunately, there’s a way of getting it for $400 instead of $500. First, become a member of REI if you’re not already. Second, a few times a year REI members can purchase one full-price item for 20% off. Use that to buy a GoPro Hero4 Black. Or whatever edition you would like. I purchased my Hero3+ for $300 using the 20% coupon and my 10% membership dividend.

No, I don’t work for REI, I just like shopping there.

How to be Unemployed

There’s more to being unemployed than searching for a new job. You have nothing but time; use it for self-reflection and improvement. Focus on all the things your job made you neglect, like your personal relationships, your health, and your hobbies. A lot of people can’t find enough to fill the time they find themselves inundated with. Here’s six things to focus on if, like me, you’ve lost your job.

  1. Sleep. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and let yourself wake up without an alarm. It may take a few days, but your body will adjust to it’s natural rhythm. I’ve found sleep for about seven and a half to eight hours without setting an alarm. Also, learn to take naps. There’s a time mid day when you naturally feel your energy slump. Try napping for a little bit when that happens.
  2. Exercise. Get back into a good workout routine. My work schedule at my previous job varied enough that I couldn’t have a set workout time. I’m using my new free time to get back into a workout rotation that will become habitual. Get back in shape!
  3. Eat better. Enough of the fast, prepared meals! Slow down, cook from scratch. Find a couple recipes and learn to make them well. Sorted Food is a great place to start for easy recipes.
  4. Read. Head down to your local library and get a membership if you don’t already. Read fiction and non-fiction. Become an expert on a subject. Read the latest popular book so you’ll have a little something extra to talk about when you go on a job interview.
  5. Hobbies. Use your newly acquired free time to focus on your favorite hobbies. Mine are photography and music. I’m spending a bit more time taking pictures and developing film, and practicing guitar and piano. What hobbies do you have? What would you like to take up?
  6. See your friends. I never been one to go out with co-workers after work. I’ve done it, and always enjoy it, but I don’t see the point when you spend up to forty hours a week in someones company. I’m lucky if I see my close friends ten hours a month, let alone in a week. When you’re unemployed you can spend more quality time with the people most important to you.

When you’re unemployed, it’s important to look for new work, but it’s also important to develop ways to increase your value to a future employer. Don’t you want to hire someone who’s read interesting books, bicycles, kayaks, cooks from scratch, brews their own beer or cider, plays music, and values time with close friends? Sounds way more interesting and valuable than someone who only sits in front of a computer screen looking for work.