Written by Miriam Spinner
I know how it feels. I was there not knowing how to job hunt after an extended time in the workforce. And, it isn’t fun. This time might seem incredibly difficult. But, believe me, in the long run, you will remember this transition period as a lightening rod in your career path. I knew one thing: if I my job strategies were the same as in the early 2000, this journey will last a long time.
So what is different?
Kevin Dumcum told us how to re-think how we search for our next opportunity with “Ten Lessons”.
Lesson I – Recognize that job loss is traumatic
It seems like a normal day – in the beginning. You get the call from HR, and you start to feel your heart pump real hard. Research shows that losing your job has similar traumatic ranking as the death of a loved one. You will likely move through a series of emotions – doubt, fear, anger, shame, sadness and finally empowerment. Kevin tells us we will have good days, and not-so-good days.
Take time to process your emotions so you can move forward and inject positive energy in your job search.
Lesson II – Understand how companies think
Companies don’t exist to provide employment. They exist to create profit for their shareholders, right? Companies are affected by the economy such as a technology disruption or mergers. They can’t guarantee job security, so don’t take it personally.
Separate your self-worth from your company’s collateral damage of cutting costs. You define you, not the company!
Lesson III – Control your own career path
It is your choice to protect yourself with re-tooling your skills, or seizing a new career path. When you lose your job you are tempted to grab on to the next opportunity, and ignore the warning signs. Give yourself permission to hold out for a good fit if you can, and try consulting, a bridge job or even a side hussle.
Don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire.
Lesson IV – Take care of yourself
You sleep until 9:00 am day 1 after you received your pink slip, and you open up the computer to apply for jobs. Go for a hike instead. Discover what calms you. Embrace the hobbies that you love.
You need to recharge – but with the right balance of work and play.
Lesson V – Decide what you really want
Kevin tells us that when he was laid off he reviewed the job boards and applied for jobs he thought he could do – an office manager, maybe an HR role (I can do that!). But when he hit submit, he knew it wasn’t a good fit.
You have been given a gift to think about your career, and to course correct. Think about your values and challenge yourself – What do I really want to do?
Honor where you are now, and take the opportunity to determine your purpose.
Check out these resources to help you:
✓What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles
✓Self-directed exercises – visual representation of what you want to do
✓Strengths Finder – identifies top 5 strengths; $15.00 assessment; 45 minutes.
✓Myer Briggs – identifies your personality type; 3 versions
✓DISC – free option with Career Connectors
✓ONetOnline.org – government site; tells you what is required to be successful
✓CareerOneStop.org – provides hiring trends in your area and average salary
✓Phoenix Business Journal – list of companies by number of partners, sales, and more.
✓BestCompaniesAZ.com – compiles an engagement survey for local companies.
✓Arizona@Work – government owned; resume writing workshops; interview skills
✓Goodwill – private; 18 career centers
✓Library – multiple resources at no cost
Lesson VII – Find all the jobs
Is clicking “apply” over and over helping you reach your job searching goals?
Check out the resources below for better job search strategies:
✓AZJobConnection.gov – state wide; apply for jobs directly on the company site
✓Job Boards – Indeed; Careerbuilder; Dice; Simply Hired; Snagajob
✓LinkedIn Jobs – Recruiters post positions on LinkedIn first!
✓Social Media – If you are not on it perception could be that you are hiding something, or you don’t know how to use it. Use it wisely!
✓Google – enter “jobs” and a list will pop up!; Use the Chrome browser
✓Facebook – enter “jobs”
✓ Job Fairs – Tips: 1 )Ensure you ask “How do you see me fitting into to your organization?” 2) Get to know recruiters – they know each other! 3) Know yourself and the problem you want to solve
Hidden Job Market
Some positions are never posted. Maybe someone put their notice in recently, or the organizations want to keep the position private.
Find your target companies that you know and like.
Networking is an important part of your job search strategy. But, attending happy hours or just showing up will not help you when you are not clear on what you want.
Kevin provided 3 surefire resources for networking.
✓Networkingphoenix.com – has an amazing calendar of events. Some are fee based vs. member associations.
✓Belong to a professional industry association. As them “Can I attend if I volunteer”?
Let them now you are in a job transition. How about volunteering at the registration desk
(easy way to meet people!)
✓Facebook events – professional groups and social groups. Find something you enjoy.
Lesson VIII – Volunteer
Kevin suggests it is good for the soul. It can help you gain skills, and you can put on your resume, secure a letter of recommendation, and even introductions.
Lesson IX – Expect rejection
Kevin found a contact on LinkedIn that reported to the hiring manager of a market research organization that he had an interest. He secures the first interview, and kills it!
But the scope of the worked changed, and they wanted someone at the VP level. After 2 minutes, the opportunity evaporated – poof!
His backup plan was to work in an area that he had experience – a call center. He was thinking “ I just need to have my foot in the door”. There were no openings.
Kevin recharges himself through quiet time. He forced himself to network (uncomfort zone for sure), and volunteered to help present marketing events for job seekers. He also volunteered for homeless shelters to help people secure jobs. He looked up nonprofits, and was engaged with Career Connectors in the beginning of the launch. At the end of the event, Jessica Pierce shared with the group a list of job openings. When Kevin heard Goodwill, it registered. He contacted them and was hired!
Lesson X – Success breeds success
“Get hit and keep moving forward!” Rocky
DES has multiple divisions, and the top 5 active are 1) Aging and Adult Services 2) Benefits and Medical 3) Child Support Services 4) Development Disabilities, and 5) Employment Services, Job Training, Disabled Veterans . There are 2700 team members, and $4 billion is invested annually. The culture is about helping people, so they look for candidates that care about humans.
Know your Job ID
Know the close date
Know your contact name, number and email, and follow-up.
Use key words in the beginning of your resume
Contact Nancy at AZStateJobs.gov, and for open positions. Currently this includes Paralegal, Budget Analyst, System Testing Analyst, Mainframe Applications Engineer, Payroll Supervisor, Special Investigator, QA Analyst and many more.
Robin Ersland, Talent Acquisition Sourcer
HonorHealth is a nonprofit and has deep community based programs. They employ 12,000 workers. They are affiliated with Desert Mission and NOAH services. Employees are passionate caregivers, and they value a top patience experience. HonorHealth has stellar health care benefits, including onsite childcare services.
There are currently 500 job openings including Applications Analyst, Chief Information Security Officer, Case Manager, CT Technician, Surgical Technician, Behavioral Health Counselor and more. Go to www.honorhealthjobs.com for more detail.
Department of Economic Security/Unemployment Insurance
Jim Sorenson, UI Client Advocate Manager
Every state has their own legislative rules and laws. States outside of Arizona may pay more unemployment compensation. If you worked outside of AZ, you may want to apply for unemployment in a different state. If you received severance, unemployment compensation eligibility starts the week post the last week you receive severance. For example, if you received severance for 6 weeks, you are eligible at week 7. Benefits are up to 26 weeks in a 52 week period.
Check out the WIA program for eligibility.
Do you have more questions? Click here for more detail.
Thank you, Jim for singing your original song entitled “What are You Waiting For”
Inspired by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, WOZ U specializes in technology and career-based programs designed to get people into the workforce quickly and affordably. Led by higher education experts, students will learn the skills necessary to take flight within the technology industry and receive a certificate of completion upon graduation.
Sheila Coulam, Director of Operations for Career Connectors, reminded us to download portraits, and for no-cost resources check out the event recap and career advice blogs.
The next Career Connector event is on Tuesday, February 27 in Gilbert, AZ. Keynote speaker Cary Pfeffer will speak on “Telling Your Story”.