In tough economic times, any kind of support is appreciated. Free career and resume counseling for the unemployed? Great! Free image and style consulting? Sign me up! And free Botox injections too?
Today, at a five-hour event at a cosmetic-surgery office near Portland, Ore., 20 out-of-work folks will see their syringes runneth over. They'll be given all sorts of targeted assistance to help them get back into the work force -- and that assistance will include free Botox treatments valued at $300 to $500.
"Your first impression is a big deal," explained Leslie Denfeld, practice manager for Oswego Spa & Laser in Lake Oswego, Ore. "If you're feeling confident and looking the best that you can be, it's certainly not going to hurt in your job search. If anything it will help, and let's face it, it's a competitive market out there."
Denfeld said the idea to offer free Botox treatments and help unemployed people with their resumes and job-interview preparedness sprang from a desire to give back. Dr. Lee D. Robinson, medical director of Oswego Spa & Laser, has been working for more than 20 years as a facial cosmetic surgeon in his community -- and that community is hurting.
In August, Oregon's unemployment rate stood at 10.6 percent -- a full percentage point higher than the national jobless rate. Many people are beginning to tap out their unemployment benefits.
So, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that demand to attend this event has been high. Oswego Spa & Laser limited the number of attendees to 20 so its two nurses could handle the Botox workload, but twice that number tried to sign up. Denfeld said the spa is hoping to accommodate the turned-away applicants at another event like this in January.
Besides receiving the Botox treatments, attendees will listen to presentations and have one-on-one sessions with two visiting consultants: a resume-writing expert and career coach named Barbara Barde, and an image and style consultant named Valerie Beset-Price. They'll also be given makeup help and gift bags containing facial cleanser, lipstick, a mirror and other goodies.
"We want this to be really nice for them," Denfeld said. "At first we thought, 'Oh, well, people are just going to want the Botox.' ... But I think they really are excited that they can bring their resume and get it critiqued and get some career help."