What Would Martha Do?


I’m a great admirer of Martha Stewart.  She’s an American icon of organized  housekeeping, entertaining and decorating.  She’s even tackled healthy living habits in her new publications.  So I wondered:  what would happen if she focused on job search techniques? What would the woman who once wrote a whole blog post on cleaning your handbag (and sewing a labeled drawstring bag to store it properly in your closet) and who penned the immortal words: “Group table linens by size — all tablecloths together, all napkins together. You can further group them by season (all holiday items together) or formality (casual linens on top, formal linens underneath).” This was from her “simple tips” list.  You don’t want to see the “advanced tips” list. Trust me.

So I asked the homemaking maven for her tips on job search.   After six months, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that she may not be going to reply.  Undaunted, I have channeled my inner Martha to recreate what I think she would do were she ever to find herself in a prolonged job search.  Here is my “Martha Stewart Job Search” month-by-month checklist for the first few months of 2012.  Enjoy.

 January:  Update resume. 

  • Create new custom font for the monogrammed header. 
  • Check on progress of Himalayan bamboo growing in hothouse; re-test recipe for paper manufacture (the last batch tended to retain wrinkles after unfolding.)
  • That reminds me: check with Nate Berkus about what colors the new home steamer unit for resumes will come in – I still think that metallic finishes are the new must have
  • Finish stitching tassels onto the uniform for the new resume delivery courier. Make sure staff fired the one who could not pronounce résumé with the correct French roll of the R. (note:  helpful video here.)

 February: Attend networking meetings

  • Ask for menu at chamber function in advance; offer assistance if it needs work (and it almost certainly will.) Check on shipment date of this week’s Beluga caviar, just in case.
  • Practice small talk.  These will be, after all, the “little people” we’ve heard so much about. Note to self: If there are any sports events happening in February, be prepared to discuss.
  • Check on parking at the meeting venue.  Change out fresh flowers in bud  vase in small limo just in case.

 March: Practice Interviews

  • Reschedule with Donald Trump; he seems incapable of saying “You’re hired” until the end of filming in May.
  • Pick up embossed company logo coasters for March 15 interview, in case the interviewer offers coffee or water
  • “Tell me about yourself” seems to be the most asked interview question.  Re-read chapters 1 – 4 of biography (the authorized one) before the meeting.  Remember to bring signed copy for interviewer as supplemental material.

 April: Cold call employers

  • Order new upholstery for the call center chairs; the tapestry is fading faster than expected. Return the least faded chairs to the Louvre.
  • Check the pre-recorded on hold message.  I think James Earl Jones did not give his best delivery of “Please hold for Ms. Stewart.” On the other hand, it may have been a touch of a cold.  Ask Dr. Oz to deliver some hot rum and Echinacea to the recording studio.
  • Purchase rum factory so we get the good stuff.

May:  (If still on the market) Consider government jobs

  • Purchase state agency.
  • Reorganize.
  • Repeat until I’m fully employed or the job market improves.

 Disclaimer:  The steps outlined here in no way reflect the actual employment situation of Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., or anyone else who might sue me for this post. 

 Happy New Year – Best of luck with your job search in 2012.

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