I meet a lot of people in my work as a career coach at Bevill State Community College. My peeps are folks over 50 who are looking for a job. There are a lot of people who say they want a job, but when it comes down to doing what it takes they fall short. Job hunting can be hard work. Experience has taught me that the candidates who succeed are the ones who approach their career search like a job. Organization, focus, and perseverance are the keys to success.
I recommend that each candidate have a career search folder. The folder allows a candidate to collect news and magazine articles about career-related topics. It should include a calendar for keeping track of appointments, job club dates, career fairs, and other employment related events.
It’s also good place to keep a contact list, one that contains the names and addresses of former co-workers or professionals the candidate has dealt with in the past. Elected officials, clergy, and hairdressers are also great resources when looking for a job. No career search folder would be completed without copies of your basic resume which has contact information, as well as sections that describe your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
A job-search checklist keeps the candidate on track ...
1. Links to online job databases.
2. Websites of companies of interest.
3. Networking opportunities.
4. Resources for free training or funding to help pay for needed training.
5. Visiting the local Alabama Career Center is key. The professionals there are trained to help a wide-range of job candidates with their job search.
6. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for any volunteer opportunities which could add value to a resume.
I know from experience that it’s not easy treating a career search like a job. It would much easier to stay home and watch reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show” on TV. But while watching is an enjoyable pastime, it won’t pay the bills or put food on the table.
A majority of the people who came through the BTW 50+ program at the college this year and who did their homework, a have found jobs. Almost 70 percent of them have jobs.
I toured a local manufacturing plant today and they are constantly searching for employees. The human resource manager told me they pay a decent wage and pull full medical, dental insurance. But she said they are not running at capacity because they can’t get people who will show up for work. I’ve heard the same things from other area employers.
There are jobs out there, and we here in the BTW 50+ program at Bevill State would love to help you land a good job, but you have to do what it takes to get one.
Rick Watson is the coordinator of BACK TO WORK 50+ at Bevill State Community College. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can register for a free workshop by calling 855-850-2525.