Should an unemployed journalist have a business card?


I am looking for a job.

When I mentioned that yesterday to a neighbor, he asked for one of my business cards to pass off to a friend.

I don’t have one. I didn’t want to spend the money. I never knew what to write on one. Being young and transient, I feel like my information and location would change to quickly. …I think I’d feel uncomfortable slipping one to someone.

A good friend Neal Santos, a talented new media journalist and celebrated young photographer, keeps cards around and I’ve seen him divvy them up. What’s more, he has gotten calls from people to whom he’s given a card.

Still, every time I have gotten close to making the purchase, I’ve felt I might get a job that would it silly to do so. Even now that I am in a serious hunt for a job in Philadelphia, I’m hesitant. I envision business cards as a top down process. Someone with more power gives one to someone with less power – or in a situation of real collaboration. I have no power and, really, no means of collaborating.

Won’t my card just become the trash of a potential employer or wallet-clutter for friends?

I suppose I could print some with little more than my name, “journalist” title and address to this site. But, really?

Who has them? Who doesn’t? Does anyone have any advice or thoughts for young professionals of any flavor?

Image from Business Card CD – my editing.