Monday Motivation

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

Barack Obama

UREC College and Career Ready Program

This spring the Career Center will be conducting career preparation workshops for high school students as part of the Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation’s program College and Career Ready.

The program is open to all high school students in grades 9-12 and offers interactive enrichment workshops in ACT preparation, college readiness, campus tours, academics, career exploration and more throughout the academic year. The program is still accepting participants. For more information, visit the UREC website.

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Gearing Up for Your Job Search

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You’ve  just (re-)entered the job market and are ready to get started and find that next job. Before you call everybody in your network, scan all the ads, and send out an email blast with your resume, stop, step back, and get organized.

before activating your job search: The Checklist

What kind of job do you want?

The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it will be to find it. Clearly define what your strengths are, what contributions you can make to an employer, and what your job search goals are.

Are your resume and LinkedIn profile up-to-date, up-to-standards, and in sync?

Don’t just add your last job to the same old resume you’ve been using for years. Brush it up, do some research into prevalent resume styles, and get input from others. Resume styles and technical requirements — such as applicant tracking systems — change! Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile convey the same message. If you’d like expert help, contact us at the Career Center.

Is your online and phone presence free of incriminating evidence?

Google yourself to be aware of what pops up if a potential employer googles you (most of them will). Check the photos on your social media accounts. Check your voicemail message. It should be short and crisp, along the lines of “You have reached Jane Smith. I can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message.” No music and positively nothing like “Yo, I’m too hung over to answer the phone right now, leave a message”.

Is your email address professional?

If you have an email address like hotmama@yahoo.com or worksucks@gmail.com, don’t use it for your job search. Create a new professional sounding email address like janesmith123@ymail.com that you only use while job searching.

Last but not least, be organized.

When you are out of work, it is easy to lose track of time and just go with the flow. Give yourself a daily schedule. Keep track of all your calls, contacts you made, and applications submitted. Schedule hours for job searching and schedule time for self-care. Looking for a job can be lonesome and easily veer into negativity. Make sure you have a support system in place, carve out enough time to meet with friends, exercise, and do other things that make you feel good!

Written by Anne Nowak, Certified Job and Career Development Coach.

If you’d like expert help with you job search, contact the Career Center for assistance.

4 Podcasts to Inform and Inspire

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Podcasts are a great way to expand your knowledge and to stay inspired — listen during your commute, while you exercise, or on your coffee break!

WORKING

A glimpse into the day-to-day work of professionals from different fields. Guests include a landscape designer, makeup artist, forensic anthropologist, and book editor. Produced by Slate and hosted by Adam Davidson.

Episode spotlight: How Does the Director of Presidential Correspondence Work?
Fiona Reeves and her team at the White House process all the citizen mail that the president receives. Reeves explains how she selects the ten letters that are delivered to President Obama each evening and shares a few memorable letters received during her eight years as director of presidential correspondence.

THE CHASE JARVIS LIVE SHOW

Each episode is a conversation between Chase Jarvis and a different creative influencer, including entrepreneurs, artists, and authors, who discuss their professional and personal journeys, life philosophies, and habits for success.

Episode spotlight: Brene Brown: Rising Strong in a Digital Age
Brené Brown, a shame and vulnerability researcher and author, breaks down what it means to live wholeheartedly, the opportunities found in allowing yourself to be authentic and vulnerable, and how to rise after failing.

THE $100 MBA SHOW

Daily 10-minute episodes covering a myriad of business aspects, from hiring staff to online marketing and personal branding. Hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Episode Spotlight: Five Reasons Customer Surveys Fail
Tips to get the most out of your customer surveys, from creating the right questions to implementing a plan of action based on feedback.

NOTE TO SELF

Conversations about what it means to be human in a digital age and how technology impacts our lives. Produced by WNYC and hosted by Manoush Zomorodi.

Episode spotlight: When to Stop Looking for a Better Date or Restaurant
Can algorithms help us make better decisions in our daily lives? Host Manoush, her sister Gitta, and show producer Jenna Kagel experiment with applying the “optimal stopping” algorithm to counter the paralyzing problem of too many choices, in this instance, when it comes to dining and dating.

Written by Thien-Kieu Lam.

Sisters in Search: How Participating in Job Clubs Improves Your Job Search Outcomes

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Too often, the job search is a lonely activity characterized by a “fend for yourself” attitude, which can lead to “there are just no jobs out there for me” exasperation. To combat the feelings of defeat and isolation while job searching, the Career Center has revived the tried-and-true concept of job search groups, aka, job clubs. We are currently conducting the fifth job club since we started in 2010.

The concept of job clubs is not new. It originated in the 1970s and has since been studied repeatedly and in different settings. Each study has shown that job club participants have better and faster job search outcomes than job seekers who work on their own.

Our main motive is to provide a safe, supportive space and fellowship with like-minded job searchers while at the same time teaching job search skills. Our groups run for 12 weeks and meet once a week for up to three hours. Each meeting starts with a check-in, where participants share their job search activities, successes and missteps of the preceding week. This provides an opportunity for participants to vent frustration, share joys, and ask each other for both advice and networking leads.

The second part of the session consists of a weekly topic where participants learn important job search skills such as job search strategy, resumes, interview preparation, networking and informational interviews, development of a personal brand and elevator pitch, salary negotiation, dealing with rejection, managing personal finances, how to start your own business, etc.

So, after 12 weeks participants are walking away with resumes, elevator pitches, interview and networking strategies, active LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and greater financial literacy. But most importantly, they have established a true professional support system and even some new friends. They have more confidence to tackle their search. In fact, many participants leave the group before the end of the 12 weeks because they have found employment in the meantime.

Besides finding employment, the most important outcome of our job clubs are the participants’ newfound feelings of confidence and hope. Being able to help other participants with networking leads and/or advice during the meetings contribute to their overall well-being.

A testimonial from a previous participant of an all female group sums it up nicely: “The topics have been valuable, but the group support has been great. It has been a confidence builder. It has been helpful, when brainstorming, to give back to the others too … we were sisters in search.”

Written by Anne Nowak, Certified Job and Career Development Coach. 

Excerpted from “Sisters in Search: Improving Job Search Outcomes through Job Club Peer Support,” by Anne Nowak, which appeared in NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence, at www.ncda.org. Copyright © June 2016. Reprinted with permission.

To learn about start dates of future job clubs, check the events page of our website or join our mailing list to receive monthly updates on upcoming workshops.