It’s odd, really the things that keep us going. And when you’re looking for work, this becomes even more important as it’s so easy to get discouraged. Why does learning a new skill lift our spirits? Because we feel productive, excited, unstuck. Here’s what happened to me. In the midst of recreating my work life after being let go a few years ago, I learned to knit. I started with really simple small projects, then tried harder things, and am now a master mitten knitter. I give them to family and friends. I knit while watching the news and find I’m relaxed. I take pictures of everything I make and love to think of my son wearing warm alpaca mittens or our grandkids out in the snow with their hands protected by the mittens I made them.
So add something fun to your job search. Something unexpected. Who knows where it may take you?
Take at look at this New London Day article about my Boomers Back to Work Class: http://www.theday.com/article/20140531/BIZ02/305319971/1044. We mature adults have to be smart as we look for work.
For anyone in Eastern CT or Western RI, please join me at the Waterford Public Library on June 3. I’ll be talking about how to look for work so that you get over obstacles and beat out the competition. We’ll look at how to sell your skills and attributes successfully, why you need structure, what’s in your tool kit, as well as a short section on interviewing. On the 17th, I’ll be back at the library focusing on how to interview effectively. Please see the Events tab of my website for details: http://JeanBaur.com.
Take a look at my post that was just published on Tory Johnson’s site: Women for Hire. And please let me know if this has been helpful. “Seven Tips for Negotiating Your Salary,” has been posted on the Women For Hire site. You may view it here: http://womenforhire.com/advice/seven-tips-for-negotiating-your-salary/
Confidentiality in job search is a tricky issue. When you’re asked why you’re looking for a new opportunity do you really have to say that you and your last boss didn’t get along? Of course not. In preparing this important answer be positive about you’ve learned at your last organization and show excitement about your goals. This usually gets you past this one. But when you’re networking, how much should you share? Should you tell other people who may have similar credentials about the great contact you just made? I suggest not as it’s hard enough as it is and you don’t need to increase the competition. So come up with a general statement such as, “I’m exploring some opportunities in health care and would be happy to tell you about them when things are a bit further along.” This shows you’re active but doesn’t hand that contact to another job seeker. As career coaches we’re always urging our clients to network–which is good advice–but just be careful to network in ways that don’t hurt your chances of landing a great job. And it’s wonderful to be generous–to pass on leads that you don’t want or to share information about associations, networking groups, and so on. Just remember, your number one job is to land a job so be careful how you network.
In the middle of the snow storm yesterday, I got to thinking about ways to get around the frustrations that bad weather can bring. If you’re traveling, have an interview, plan to attend a networking event, this wild winter may be getting on your nerves. But here’s another take for job seekers: help a neighbor shovel a walkway or driveway, make muffins, plan an indoor project that you would enjoy (I just learned how to knit mittens and can’t tell you how proud I am of my efforts!), invite another job seeker over for coffee or tea and work on your search plans together. It’s amazing how energizing it is to share what we’re doing, and of course it helps keep us on track. Two more storms in the forecast–hope this helps you look forward to them!
After teaching my Boomers Back to Work! class for CTWorks! I received an interesting email from one of the participants. She was making doll clothes–something she had done 25 years ago-and wondered if it was “wrong” to be doing something that made her feel alive and fulfilled. I told her “No!” And then we brainstormed about ways this could be part of her search plan and how she might be able to sell her product. Never turn away from the things that you enjoy doing–but learn how to balance that with the practical side–how are you going to make money? Create a written plan, get feedback on it from others, and see what happens. Making things is almost always rewarding. Let that be part of your search.
Check out this helpful article in Business Insider Australia: It Takes Just 3 Seconds To Make A Brilliant First Impression. They quote me and mention my new book, “The Essential Job Interview Handbook.” Interviewing is like theatre–you’ve got to look the part.
I had the great pleasure of talking with Will Eisenbrandt recently for a podcast on the challenges of panel interviews. In my book, “The Essential Job Interview Handbook”, I call this “One of me, so many of you!” Listen to our chat and learn how to ace even this high stress type of interview: http://www.networkedwealth.com/jeanbaur/
There are many myths out there that stop job seekers from finding work, and one of them, for us Boomers, is that we’re too old and no one will hire us. Listen to my recent podcast with Andy Asher of BloomerBoomer and see what you think: Listen.
There are a lot of strong reasons why companies need seasoned employees. And by the way, don’t use the word “old” in talking about yourself. I prefer “mature” or “seasoned.” Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?