Bait and Switch

The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

Barbara Ehrenreich

Metropolitan Books

There’s all sorts of useful information being offered, which I struggle to commit to my notebook. Ask people to give you their contacts, and when they do, write them thank you notes by hand, on nice stationary. Get a fountain pen;
ballpoint won’t do. If you can’t get a real interview, at least ask for a 20 minute “contact interview” aimed at prying contacts out of people. Write to executives who are profiled in business publications and tell them what their company needs at this stage, which is, of course, you. Tell them how you’re going to “add value” to their firm. “Stand out. You’ve got to be the banana split.” Wear a suit and tie or female equivalent at all times, even on weekends, and I pick up a warning glance here: my sneakers have been noted. Network everywhere. One fellow landed a job thanks to networking at a 7/11 on a Saturday morning; luckily he had been fully suited up at the time.