Here is how I did it:
Yesterday, I brought lovely brownies to Acton and on Wednesday, chocolate chip cookies to Westford job seeking groups. I wanted to go to Littleton, but there was no meeting this week. Why did I bring these? For a sugar fix? No…
As many of you know, I got laid off from the insurance industry in Oct. 2011. At that point, I knew that I did not want to work in the insurance industry any longer, so I went to the state career centers and took the various career assessments. After much introspection, I decided to pursue the path of career coaching, especially when I found I was naturally coaching people in job seeking groups and at the career centers.
My first step was to meet with my career counselor at Fitchburg State, where I joked that I would like her job. She kindly told me that was not possible, as she was not retiring for many years, but encouraged me to go on informational interviews. I followed her advise, meeting with more than a dozen directors of career services in Worcester county. Two months later, Eric Saczawa, of Becker College, called me to ask if I was interested in an internship. This was the hidden job market at work, as his intern left during a busy spring semester, and he did not have time to post the job. Fortunately, it was a paid position, but only covered babysitting and gas. This job was to last three month job, but lasted almost 1.5 years, as the director liked my work and the office needed extra help. An additional benefit of working part-time was that my unemployment lasted longer, as I did not access every dollar each week.
This past June, I was laid off from Becker, but continued volunteering in the career advising field, leading the Leominster job seekers, presenting to various job seeking groups and power networking (inspired by Eric Ross). I went to a few job seeking groups a week, but also chamber events and meetup.com networking meetings. At one meetup.com in Worcester, I meet a young woman who was looking for event planning jobs. We agreed to meet for coffee to find out more about each other. I encourage each of you to look for events that give you a chance to network with people who are working as well as go to multiple job seeking meetings.
How did I get this job offer? Well, I had set up job alerts to locate career counseling jobs in Worcester County through Simplyhired.com, which checks all job boards and company job sites, however, I did not find about this job through the internet or job alerts. I found about this job though my connection I mentioned, from the meetup.com group. Job alerts are not fool proof, as they never pulled up this job. I applied that night, and got a call the next day for an interview. My contact found this job, because she was looking for jobs in non-profits. When she was looking at the YWCA site, she found this job and because of our growing relationship, she knew I was looking for a job in career counseling.
My advice to you for your job search is to Network, Network, and Network. Read my blog for more ideas on how to successfully network, informational interviewing, etc.
Thank you and I hope wish you much luck in your search. Please let me know if there is any way I can help. Maybe I can help make a connection. I want to stay connected with these job groups, and hope to visit next time as a speaker.