(As seen in AM NY and on AMNY.com on 10/23/09)
Elizabeth Scholander, of Brooklyn, lost her job at Citibank last year. As she began her job hunt, she stumbled onto her first pink-slip party.
“It was pretty much a job fair,” said Scholander, 25. “But in a relaxed, social setting, held in the evening. I loved the idea and wanted to start doing these ‘pink-slip parties’ myself.”
Her party-planner idea slowly blossomed after she took a city-sponsored course on entrepreneurialism. She created a business plan, a Web site — pinkslippartynyc.com — and a desktop alert widget that helped people keep up with her developing venture.
Scholander is among the growing number of unemployed workers in the U.S. turning to unorthodox resources to connect with potential employers.
“It’s all about social networking nowadays,” said Edwin Duterte, the founder of pinkslipmixers.com. “This is something different with a twist.”
His mixers also include workshops that teach attendees how to update resumes, write good cover letters and succeed on job interviews.
Networking Morning Sing uses karaoke as an icebreaker. Out-of-work professionals congregate with job recruiters on bustling New York streets or in karaoke bars with the hope of singing their way into their next job.
As for Scholander, her tale does have a happy ending. Shortly after creating her Web page, she found a job working as a real estate agent. Now, she uses her site’s LinkedIn page to post job openings in her office and other businesses in her social network.
“That’s where my story ends — for now,” she said.
Aaron Adler, Aash Jethra and Eric McCarthy contributed to this story.