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What To Do With Old Biz Cards? Creative Self-Promotion At Cards of Change

So, you were laid off. You're certainly not alone. In the advertising industry alone, over 32,656 people have lost their jobs according to BNET's Ad Agency Layoff Counter.

Sure, they all rushed onto linked in, requesting references from friends, co-workers and superiors. They've joined every free online job site, are frequently checking job postings, updating their online portfolios, working all available online networks and frantically googling possible new job options. All of these things are the painful necessity of the newly unemployed.

Is there anything positive about losing your job? Well, Cards Of Change has come up with a fun user generated way to connect the recently unemployed (hopefully to the employed with power to hire). A creative way to self-promote, the site encourages those who've recently lost their jobs to upload old business cards altered to indicate their present status with a positive spin.

I simply had to join in the fun and add my own (shown below). Although it's been over 4 years now, that was my last actual staff job (and the reason I was in Detroit), and since becoming a freelancer, I was able to start this blog amongst other things that have all contributed to a more enjoyable life.

Some are creative, some are hopeful, some are inspirational, some are humorous and some are simply informative. But all are better then using old cards to stabilize a rocky table. Take a look at a few examples:

Adweek describes the venture as "Tom Van Daele, a former creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day, heads up Unknownlab, an "ideas company" launched by recently laid-off TBWA\C\D employees. One of the lab's projects is Cards of Change, an "upbeat online database" dedicated to collecting business cards and stories of industry folks who have been shown the door. The idea is to take your old business card and scratch out the contact info, replacing it with a new e-mail address along with a story of positive change."

Tom's own card is shown below:

On the site, their 'about' section reads as follows:
There's more talent out on the streets than ever before. Brilliant people looking to reshape their country, build their career and perhaps even grow your business.

Cardsofchange is a place where the glass is always half-full. A destination where all the bad news of the day takes a back seat to stories of individual success.

Our mission is to collect as many business cards and stories of positive change of people who have recently been laid off and connect them with new opportunities from potential employers, business partners and people who make the effort to look on the bright side of life.

Will it do anything other than provide good photo fodder for tweeps and FB users? Maybe not, but I can't think of a much better use for those old business cards.

Check them out, or better yet, if you've got one to share,upload it here.

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