Party Your Way to a Job

If you’re out of work, get up, get dressed and mingle over cocktails Tuesday night. It could make you feel better and get you back to work.  Welcome to a pink slip party.

After selling out the first Fairfield County Pink Slip Party in February, and OperationsInc. are holding a second one.

It’s a chance to mingle with recruiters, career consultants and 299 other people looking for work while eating free hors d'oeuvres and sipping discounted drinks. (Note sip, not gulp, if you want someone to hire you.)

“If you look at an event like that, this is a job fair,” David Lewis, founder of OperationsInc said. But it’s in a more comfortable setting of a bar rather than a large room in a hotel.

“You relax it a bit when you put it in a pink slip venue,” Lewis said.

Instead of jockeying for a position, people are networking.

This event, like the last one, will be centered on Fairfield County, an area of the state hurt most by the Wall Street debacle because of its proximity to New York City.

And it seems this was a good place to host a party. There was room for 250, but at least 100 more tried to pre-register and 65 people called the Black Bear Saloon, in South Norwalk, the day of the event to see if there were spots available, Lewis said.  If you plan to go to the next one, sign up soon. You have to pre-register to attend -- details below.

“What we saw this last time around was a pretty healthy mix (of people),” Lewis said. There were people who work in administration and marketing, architecture and IT."

“There were a fair amount from the architectural field,” he said. “That’s a very depressed area right now because there is not a lot of building right now.”

There were also many people who worked in senior management, people who became expendable because companies are looking for people who can not only lead but also contribute, Lewis said.

“People who retained a role in the top of the organization and directed the day-to-day work but were not doing it,” Lewis said. “The sense I got was that (these) people were not strong enough doers.”

What should you expect?

In this economy, success is based not on getting people placed but getting them in front of the right people.  

“Success definitely comes out of getting an interview at this point,” Lewis said. “We know that every recruiter interviewed people in a formal setting (after the event).”

However; since the last party, a couple people Lewis knows of have landed positions.

Be prepared: The party will be crowded and you’re only going to get about two minutes with a recruiter. Have a 30- to 60-second story of who you are and what you am looking for, Lewis said. Say something that will cause the recruiter to put you in the pile of people to follow up with.

Network: The connections you make could help you land a job. Most people have interviewed for a job that wasn’t right for them but it will be right for someone else, so, pass information along during a networking event, Lewis said.

“Sharing that information will get you sharing in return,” Lewis said. “You need to go into these events knowing that information you come across is of value and if you are willing to share it, it will come back to you.”

Pre-register: “We don’t have the ability to take walk-ins. The only way to manage it effectively is to pre-register,” Lewis said. “I think there is something for everyone there.”

Community: “Being in a community of people who are in the same boat you are in, it’s not a misery loves company (situation.) People do smile at these events, get energized by these events. …  It is a positive experience,” Lewis said. “You can and will come away with something good or great out of it.”

If you cannot make this event, don’t worry. More parties could be coming, including one on April 21.

“Clearly there is a need for them,’ Lewis said. “We’re just trying to figure out how often we can run these.”

Other facts:

When: Tuesday, March 24, 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: The Black Bear Saloon, South Norwalk

Cost: Tickets are $10. Paid online via Credit Card or PayPal.
You must pre-register at  

Who will be there? 

  • News America Marketing
  • STAR 99.9
  • Aflac
  • Fogarty Knapp & Associates
  • Barnum Financial Group and more
  • Career counselors will give you tips and help with resume advice and there will be people from companies that are hiring.
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