17 March 2019

Vegas! What happens here...

Well, Las Vegas is fun, but not where I want to be.

Why is that you ask?

What I like about Las Vegas

I like the Vegas Valley. Is very easy to navigate around (once you have a car) and so much fun to explore. The people who planned the city kept it very simple - a grid! Once you memorize the main thoroughfares, getting around is simple. Even without the GPS or the iPhone map - is rather hard to get lost within the city. Get your bearings by looking for the Strat during the day, or the Luxor's light at night. Never get lost.

The people of Vegas are nice, for the most part. I met some really sweet people at the International Market (awesome place for all sorts of foreign foods - especially Asian!) who were very helpful. I also met a lady at a used-car dealership who gave me some insight on the areas to avoid and some tips of scouring through the want-ads. I learned quickly how to read the scam artists, and for the most part didn't see much of the druggy or homeless crowds - although was told they are rampant in areas.

What I don't like...

The one failing I found is the job market. Granted, there are jobs to be had - many of my friends from Hawaii who moved there quickly gained employment... as hotel workers. That is the one industry I want to avoid. After the experiences in Hawaii, I decided I would return to my passions in graphic design and marketing. Therein lies the rub with seeking jobs in Vegas. Most every position I applied to as a graphic designer would not hire me without certain experience in the gaming industry. And not the kinds of games I'm used to. In Vegas, "gaming industry" translates to "gambling industry". I don't have a problem with gambling or that particular industry at all - however my "lack of experience" in that arena is a glaring flag for corporate recruiters.

A sordid, but typical tale...

I did have one pretty interesting interview for an executive role in marketing with a retailer who - of all things - operates kiosks and small shops in almost all of the casinos in the Vegas Basin. It was a bit serendipitous how I got the interview - and a challenge to draft ways by which the firm would grow outside of the casino business.

I did a couple of week's worth of research on the business itself - into its history, mission, growth. I dug into the import industry, kiosk branding, retail penetration, expansion to niche markets, and luxury goods. Considering I was bored and jobless, I was working on this for the majority of the time. I started drafting a presentation complete with market analysis of various areas (from Beverly Hills to Honolulu to New York City) and complete SWOT into each area. I even did some digging into the South and how the company's product and mission would fit into the ultra conservative ways of Atlanta. I began looking at ways to diversify the channels for reach into other markets, and it hit me. If I do this, and do it well, the company could still not hire me, but would use my research and work to move forward.

At that point, I sent the interviewing executives an email with an overview of my progress, and a request for a proposal guarantee. Not many know or even understand what that is - and I found myself explaining it to these executives.

Similar to a bid bond, the proposal guarantee is a legal document stating that if what I submit is accepted and will be used, that I would be awarded the role of the Vice President of Marketing for the firm. Not really a security that I will perform the work, but more of a promise to hire should this company accept my presentation. It is a legal contract, and one I learned about in Business Law (thank you Kitty Kamaka!) that should be used more often.

When the interviewing executives understood what I was asking for, they balked. They insisted that I produce my presentation, then they would consider a proposal guarantee. That is not how it works - nor how I play. I asked if they would reconsider, especially since I do not have any sensitive information about their firm (marketing plans, budgetary limits, financial records) so my proposal would be a bit general, but still relevant to the growth of the business into the targeted market areas. They demanded I give them my presentation without any assurances. Essentially, they wanted me to put forth all this effort without any recompense.  I replied with, "Thank you, but no thank you." and refused to communicate with them any longer.

Moving on, literally.

That was the last straw for me. Combined with the deadline my cousin and I agreed upon for hanging out at her place - it came time to leave. I love my cousin dearly, and her hubby is da-bomb! Made some awesome friends and visited with other friends... but the time has come to go.

So, as quickly as a dollar disappears into a casino, plans have been formulated to head eastward.