Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Pros of Job Seeking

When it comes to job seeking, are there really any pros? Mostly it seems like a lot of cons, right?

By pros, I mean Professionals--no, not the chronically unemployed who manage making a living at looking for work (huh? Nobody does that, silly). Professional Job Seekers are the recruiters and staffing experts of the world. See, they are employed in the field of finding jobs--for you and me. Better still, they also find the people to fill the jobs (again, you and me) for employers.

What wonderful matchmakers they can be, taking so much of the pressure off either side of one of the most important interactions in business: putting people to work, trusting people to perform for your company, finding the place and the people with whom you will spend a third of your life working side by side with, trusting people to deliver the conditions, the pay and the benefits they said they would for the work that you've done for them. It's no game, matching employees with employers, for either side.

That's why Pros can make such a big difference. If you feel at all amateur about your job search, consider working with a recruiter or staffing service. I truly believe there is someone for everyone.

Job seekers can benefit from the remarkable strengths of Manpower, the worldwide Fortune 150 Company with a 60 year history and over 400,000 job-providing customers. Originally a temporary staffing service, now a sophisticated employment services organization, Manpower offers training programs at every career stage and placement services in numerous fields, from industrial to professional. And despite the name, they help women, too.

For 20 years the recruiting and staffing pros at Paladin have been making matches in the creative, marketing and communications arenas. They work both ends of the transaction, and develop in-depth relationships with their clients and the talent they represent. If you are a job seeker in advertising or marketing, either client-side or agency side, you might want sign on with a placement agency to help get you in front of hiring managers. I myself have just done so—with Paladin, so here is my nod to them. The website has a job posting section as well as the useful advice in the knowledge center, linked below.

IT remains a hot field for employment, and you don’t have to be a programmer, consultant or engineer to take advantage of all the hiring opportunities, either. Data entry personnel, switch technicians, cable installers, even phone center staffers can find positions listed at this #1 ranked technical staffing and services company. Of course, if you do happen to speak Oracle or Java…well, the next question might be, where would you like to live?

Where to Find Work
Here’s a simple idea that just about anyone could find interesting: according to the website, you can “get local jobs delivered to your InBox, free.” Sound good? A free service that has put thousands of people together with new positions sounds good to me. Signing up may be a good thing To Do.

Note: Look into staffing and recruiting agencies  based firston the number and type of opportunities the company can offer you, and second, the actual person/people you will be able to work with. There are plenty of good recruiting agencies out there, but it’s key for you feel your job interests and requirements will be addressed, and that you form a good connection with the pro who will be going to bat for you out there in the market!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The 6 Stages of Non-Wages

Have you heard of the stages of grief, sometimes called the stages of loss or mourning? It is said to be a universal pilgrammage for grieving people; and so it seems to be a healthy thing, to move through these stages, and get "stuff" out of one's system so healing can take place and life can progress. I guess it also makes sense, that when you "lose your job" you might go through something similar to a mourning period. It's not a person that is lost, so I don't want to make as dramatic of a statement as grief, per se, to describe some of the feelings we go through being unemployed. But hey, if the act fits, maybe I should stage it.

According to experts, the five or seven stages of loss tend to range from the initial shock and denial, all the way through anger, bargaining, depression, and usually the experience is said to end at acceptance. We can see how some of these natural responses would be likely in the realm of the recently laid-off worker. For someone who had worked a very long time in a certain business or for a certain employer, I'm sure the effects are harder still to deal with. Many people truly love what they do, and they center a good portion of their life around their job, and spend a lot of time at their company and/or with the people at their company.

However, in the case of the unemployed, we have to be very careful about how long we catch ourselves lingering in some of the stages of grief. Because, unlike mourning the loss of a person, being unemployed isn't really a permanent situation. A job, unlike a person, can be replaced. Maybe not exactly the same job, but for all intents and purposes, one can resurrect one's work life.

So, for example, let's tread gingerly around the depression stage, shall we? If you feel the blues set in, that's understandable, but get some help, pronto, because you need confidence and energy to get out there in order to solve the cause of the depression stage in the first place. Meaning, you need to put your best foot forward to be re-employed. And if you're unemployed long enough to get to the acceptance stage, well... hmmmm. This is a bit perplexing. You must accept the loss of the old job, yes. That's all there is to it, though. Not to be harsh, but the fact is, it's gone. When it comes to employers, we're making room for the new.

I started this blog using the analogy of zombies and the scariness of being re-animated once bitten. You know, I gotta admit, zombieland has almost happened to me here over the last couple of weeks. The old fleece robe I banished two months ago has re-appeared as of late, sometimes remaining on my body until mid-afternoon. Loaded with cat hair. I noticed this as I sat here by the computer recently.

Actually, "noticed" is rather gentle. I kind of panicked. Because, I mean, I know I've gone mousy with my blonde, but really, has joblessness turned me this gray, this fast? Plus how much hair am I losing now? Turns out the "good news" is that it was gray cat hair all over my robe, not mine, in bad lighting, which made it so I couldn't tell for a minute there. Yet, I didn't really...get up. You know, to look closer. Until later. When I got food.

Eww. So, fortunately for me, I'm managing my stages fairly quickly. Like that Lazy/Crazy Stage I just passed out of. I washed that hair right out of my robe, and that grey right out of my day, and by that afternoon I had been called for a really great job interview.  Funny how that works. Making room for the new.

Here's how I've found my Six Stages of Unemployment to be--all bearable, very natural, and quite usable for strengthening and self-improvement. Remember, we're kicking ass and finding inner peace this year. That's not a stage, it's a promise!

Stage 1: Chin Up I was optimistic and had a lot of energy to make the most of things. I set out to be a model of how to be laid off and still be okay...better than okay, actually: to thrive.

Stage 2: Sad I missed people I worked with, even though I knew them less than a year--I missed the idea of knowing them longer. One gal just got married and she sent pics. I cried over her happiness and wished we worked together during this, since we were there for her engagement, etc.

Stage 3: Settled I felt I should enjoy this time and maximize the heck out of it, undertaking many projects, being domestic, working on writing a novel, reading, getting taxes done, lunch with friends and family, cooking more and being more present with the home life and personal goals. Good.

Stage 4: Cranky I began to have my nose out of joint a little, with the low response to my resume submissions. Why are they not calling me back for interviews? Don't they realize/I'm doing every thing right? Increasingly hurt inside and irritated outside that I'm hardly being given a chance.

Stage 5: Lazy/Crazy Onset of zombieland syndrome; hairy robe sightings (went out to mailbox in said robe one afternoon), online job search efforts less frequent aka "not worth it," daily plan to do yoga and work on novel and update this blog consistently ignored. Greek yogurt spoiling in fridge.

Stage 6: Nervous ... but Sane. This is the honest stage, where I come back from the brink of zombieland to tell you the truth. I haven't been unemployed long enough to feel desperate, but I can see how that could become Stage 7. I also don't have small children, or elderly parents I must support, and my husband still has his job and insurance. But I need to work, plain and simple. I need wages. We have obligations we must meet and goals we feel strongly about, as well. And there's a guilty feeling in all this, too, even though I know it's not "my fault" my company laid me off.

So, yes, I'm grateful we have family and a home to help us through when we need it, if it comes to that. I've said it before: I'm a lucky jobless person. I have enough for food, a computer, electricity, etc. However, I'm still nervous. I'm owning this stage. Just know this: I'm not letting this stage own me!