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The Professional’s Job Search Creed – 3 of 10

November 21st, 2006

This is part of a series where I’ll introduce 10 points of a creed, and comment on them. The series is summarized as we go (see bottom of post) and you can link back to the commentary on any of the 10 in that summary.

This third point is rather interesting, and I wouldn’t have followed it if you gave it to me right after I got laid off:

3. I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week.

Ok, let’s get the proprietary out of the way, and then we’ll go more general. The Professional Career Workshop is usually a 2-day workshop that is sponsored by the LDS church, and it is always free. It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are, and stays focused on career/employment issues for the professional. There are locations around the world that offer these workshops, you can go to LDSJobs.com (which switches to ProvidentLiving.org) and then in the upper right click on Locations to find the office closest to you (this link might work, until they change it). Just call the number, ask if and when they have a professional career workshop, and sign up to go. They people there are mostly volunteers so be nice.

Alternatively, you could ask a recruiter or university career counselor if they know of any workshops. Sometimes the workforce services (state agency) has workshops. You just need to specify that you are a professional so they don’t put you in the “this is a computer… that is a mouse…” workshop.

I avoided this like the plague for 6 weeks. Why? Because I was busy getting a job! What could these people tell me (after all, I have been a General Manager and hired tons (ok, a few) of people in my short career), I had a tech degree, and an MBA… etc etc etc. I figured I knew pretty much how to get the job done. And I worked my tail off. When people suggested I take 2 days out of my search to go to this workshop I said “I’m too busy looking for a job to take 2 days off!” And thus I went on, fruitlessly, pounding away at the job boards in the wrong way.

What a waste of time that was.

I seem to remember Abe Lincoln said something like “If I have 6 hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend 5 hours sharpening my ax.” Feel free to correct the quote, but you get the point – don’t go swinging like a crazy person for the entire 6 hours! Figure out what the tools are, optimize them, and then use them the way they were designed! If I would have gone to that workshop earlier I would not have had all of the emotional stress that long-term unemployment brought, as I would have optimized my time and the resources available and found gainful employment.

So go find some kind of workshop where you can learn about the processes.

With regard to the weekly networking meetings, I had an interesting experience last week. I went with a buddy of mine (a network contact and good friend) to a marketing association monthly meeting. WOW! What a terrific networking environment! There wasn’t talk about jobs, and everyone was seated pretty much the entire time. But it was a loosely structured discussion and it was a great opportunity to get to know others, and learn about their expertise and passion! If networking is about building relationships then this was a perfect environment as we talked about best practices in affiliate marketing and learned how we could help others, or others could help us… it was a very friendly and synergistic forum. There were only about 20 people there, which helped make it more cozy. But the discussion and relationship building was rich!

I go to another weekly networking event that is full of job seekers (professionals and executives), and that is rich also, but this was very different. Both are super valuable to me, for different reasons. The question for you is, what forums do you go to? With what frequency? What are the types of people that go?

If you are unemployed and/or seriously looking you need to go to at least 1 event per week. Even if you have to pay to get there, go at least weekly (I know many folks locally that go to as many as they can, which might be 3 – 5 per week). If you are not heavily looking right now, you should be going to at least 1 or 2 events per month. Let this be an opportunity to “cross-polinate” with other in our out of your industry. Develop relationships, help others, share passions. But get out there. If you get the pink slip the last thing you want to think is “I should have been going to that meeting, but I didn’t make time. I don’t really know anyone locally that might be able to help me.” As Seth Godin said, it is the wrong time to network!

Wow, I didn’t expect that one little sentence to produce so many thoughts. But I gotta run to a network meeting RIGHT NOW – it starts at 8am! What network meeting are you going to this month?


Running List:

  1. I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here)
  2. I will network for contacts, opportunities and more market knowledge; making at least 10 networking contacts each day and working towards at least 10 interviews each week; with at least five of those with decision makers. (read the post here)
  3. I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week.
  4. (haven’t done yet)
  5. (haven’t done yet)
  6. (haven’t done yet)
  7. (haven’t done yet)
  8. (haven’t done yet)
  9. (haven’t done yet)
  10. (haven’t done yet)


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5 Comments »

5 responses to “The Professional’s Job Search Creed – 3 of 10”

  1. Fred says:

    This was excellent blog today. Too bad everyone can’t have the expertise of Ron Campbell and the group in Sandy, Utah however. They are great! We all need to keep our saws sharp!

    Fred

  2. Jason says:

    Hey Fred, you let the cat out of the bag :) :) Yep, this list came from a weekly networking group in Sandy, UT (right by Salt Lake City), and facilitated by Ron Campbell. As far as I know the list itself was refined by multiple people – which is one of the benefits of having a networking group. If you are in a job search or networking situation you can avoid a lot of mistakes by getting peer input (aka, join a group!), and you can quickly tap into “best practices” like what I’m seeing in this creed.

  3. […] I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week. (read the post here) […]

  4. […] I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week. (read the post here) […]

  5. […] I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week. (read the post here) […]