Change of Plan, My Job Search is Going Startup


Well, it's official. My job-searching strategy is changing. I’m going startup!

I’ve been doing some thinking about changing my job-search plan, and what the heck, I'm over halfway to my new business model. My brain is literally littered with cocktail napkins filled with business plans regarding the big change from solo artist to startup entrepreneur.

For the past few years I've been a man set adrift on the stormy sea of uncertainty, difficulties and demons that is the modern job-seeking market. I've been left to my own resources as my ship has been tossed about on the rocky coastline of life.

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Those days of fighting the sharks of industry and the titans of commerce for that good old brass ring of full employment all by myself are over.

No longer will I be known as a lonely seeker of employment -- I'm going startup. That's right, I'm getting in with the cool kids, finding me a catchy company name -- probably one that is in need of some additional vowels -- and getting on the startup bus. Rolling Stones fans, you can start me up.

What was once the realm of my personal notes and musings -- a.k.a. Xogdog's Blog -- could now be Xogdog's Power Garden. What do we make? Who cares, as long as it's SEO friendly, has Twitter and Facebook potential, and it gets me invited to all those cool meet-ups and power breakfasts that all the hip and trendy startup wizards are going to.

I want to rub elbows with those iPhone-toting geniuses who were born when George the Elder was president and who live on Red Bull shots and 5-Hour Energy chasers. I want to exude performance-enhancing tweets and wear black T-shirts with suit coats when I present my message at conferences. I want to be seeking grant money that only goes to startups, and to get on the blogging circuit for companies that have earned a zillion online Bitcoins but not a single cent of cold hard cash.

Who cares that I don't have my mother's basement to live in and work out of rent free anymore? I've got pluck. And savvy. And a fancy company name. Heck, thanks to Vista Print and Weebly, I could have business cards and a flashy website -- free.

Today it's all about the "look at me" factor, and startups are the king. Why can't XPG be the next big thing? It’s dope. I’m dope.

Unlike a lot of the folks with startups, I have more than just a fancy company name with vaporware supporting my product. There is in fact some actual there, there in my promise to deliver. I’ve always had the goods, just maybe not the right mode of presentation.

I earned my writing chops as a beat reporter back when ink on paper really meant something and have been honing those skills the past few working as a reporter/editor for several television news websites.

I started my career as a photographer who could write. Then I became a writer who could take a good picture. Back in the day, we were known as one-man-bands, but today we're multimedia journalists.

So now if you need some written, regardless of the format, shout out to us at Xogdog's Power Garden. Need a picture taken, just text us at XPG. Better yet, follow us on Twitter; connect with us on LinkedIn; flock to us on Foursquare; pin with us on Pinterest; share your images on Instagram; view us on Vine; yuck with us on YouTube; or go really Old School and like us on our Facebook page.

We'll be getting right back to you and the rest of the dial-up generation. Heck, we might even send you a Snapchat image in response if we can get our smart phone to keep its charge long enough.

Thinking about taking your job search to the startup realm?! For an inside look at what being an entrepreneur is really like, watch our web series, "Startup Revealed!"

AnnMarie Quintaglie McIlwain is a former marketing executive with Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson and consultant to several Fortune 100 companies.  Now, as Founder and CEO of, she is a social entrepreneur who connects people with the information and inspiration they need in order to get jobs and start businesses. CareerFuel is the only site that gives people what they need to know to find jobs or start businesses plus blogs and short films about real people who made it happen. 

A recipient of numerous civic and leadership awards, AnnMarie is a Board member of, was a participant in the first White House Entrepreneurial Session, the recent WeOwnIt Summit, and the first Alley to the Valley Event.  She is also a member of 85Broads and Startup America.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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