Editor of your favorite magazine or web site: You need to keep up on skills, but your book and conference budget went away with the job. Fortunately, many IT magazines and web sites need book reviews, and the reviewer keeps the book. It's pretty easy to trade your writing for free books. Just pick a new book you want, then write (and proofread) a query to a magazine or web editor, including a link to something you've written online. If your writing is decent, and you picked the right editor and spelled his or her name right, the book is yours, compliments of the publisher's publicity department. Since it's a book you need about a topic you're working on, your honest evaluation of what the book offers someone in your position should be good enough to get you invited back to write more. The next step is getting into conferences. If your chosen magazine or web site likes your book reviews, pretty soon you won't be picking up an "exhibits only" pass with the rest of the job seekers-attend your next conference in style as a member of the Media.