3/01/2012

Pick Me! Pick Me!


So here you are, a brand new college graduate,  brilliant person stuck in a dull job, young mom looking for part-time work, retiree hoping for a challenge,  unemployed and desperate, or like me, a woman who will be graduating her last homeschooler and is considering re-entering the job market after a looong time away.

This isn't the best job market we could wish for.  There are lots of people out there with skills as good as or better than ours.  So what is it about us that makes us shine, that makes us the best possible choice for a job?  How do we even start this process?

Like many life transitions, a job search requires  a lot of work, thought, some help and, my favorite thing, a plan.  Here's how we can begin.

  • Our first step is to take a personal inventory.  What actual skills and abilities do we have?  This doesn't mean paid employment.  The question is, what do I really know how to do?  Am I an excellent swimmer and diver, am I multi-lingual, do I know how to landscape?  It might be helpful to make a list of every talent and ability you possess and then ask people close to you what abilities they think you have.

  • Next, we should list jobs we've held in the past and try to recall every task and responsibility we had  in those positions, what skills we gained, what our job description was and any special projects we completed.  Did we ever have any of our suggestions implemented?  Did we add any extra value to that position, bring more business to our company, design a new way of doing something?

  • We haven't necessarily been paid for all of our work experience.  So what types of volunteer work or internships have we held?  Treat these like paid jobs and again list everything just  like you did in the step above.

  • Now, looking at all of our work and volunteer experience, let's assess what we are qualified to do.   I came across a helpful article by Wendy Boswell on About.com called The Top Eight Job Search Engines on the Web.  As the article states, it lists the most used job search engines and includes descriptions about each one and the services that each provides.  The search engines list jobs by professions or categories.  So start looking at the fields you believe you're most qualified for and see if your skills match up with currently available jobs.

 We're feeling a little more confident now because we have our long list of skills and abilities and we have looked at job search engines and have, hopefully, found some jobs we could apply for.  But let's have a dream moment.  What have we always really wanted to do but have never pursued?  What's our dream job?  It's our moment to temporarily throw away practicality and imagine that perfect job.  
Is it really possible for us to be hired for our dream job?  Let's consider what we can do versus what we would like to do.  Maybe this is the big push we've always needed to pursue our dream.  In order to make the dream happen we have to be honest with ourselves.
  • Do we have the necessary qualifications for that kind of work? 
  • Do we have to take classes or get special training and would that be feasible based on our current needs and life situation? 
  • If we have years of accounting experience, but our true passion is horses, what types of jobs are available that would allow us to work with horses and what kind of training do we need?
  • Are we willing or able to make the sacrifices to make our dream  job a reality?  Our biggest concern might be the need to put food on the table, so dreaming of being a rodeo clown might not be possible.  Not right now anyway, but maybe when we do get the bread and butter job we need, we can take whatever is the first step to making our dream job our real job.

Just a few more things we need to think about with any kind of job search.

Are we willing to re-locate?  Some areas just have more jobs available than others and we might have to consider moving.

Also, who do we know that might be able to help us find work, neighbors, co-workers, Facebook friends?  Most of us know a lot of people and we shouldn't be shy about letting them know we are looking for a job.  This is still one of the most popular ways people obtain jobs.

There is so much more to explore about job searches, such as what salary we can expect, self-employment and free-lance work, and generating multiple sources of income.  All topics for future blog posts.

Are you looking for a job?  What steps are you taking?  What would be your dream job?








58 comments:

  1. AhHah!! I found You! Sorry about the link glitch - ;-{ - I just caught up on the last several of your posts which I've not had time to read this week - and, as usual, I am moved to 'hear your heart' through your words! (You must be eaves-dropping on My heart...) Thank You for sharing and I do wish more women will find You!! Hugggzzz

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  2. I have been home since 2008 and maybe, after the kids are in school, I may consider pursuing my dream job. I've always wanted to be an optometrist. For now, I'll dream about it and pray that an optometry school opens closer to my home. Unfortunately, relocating would not be an option for us.

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  3. I like how you put think about your dream job in the list. Too often we put limits on ourselves! Why not go for that dream job. We may fall short, but we may end up in something similar or that will help us get there one day.

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    1. We never know how the Lord will work in our lives. I'm learning to not be afraid to dream.

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  4. I wish more people would reach for their dream job. I get to do mine part-time and totally LOVE it! Singing professionally and making music to help people feel joy makes my life complete, even if I don't get to do it as much as I like. :) Great post!

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  5. Boy - the biggest what if at then end of years of homeschooling - something I fear myself. This was a great post, although I'm in total denial that the end of being a stay-at-home-mom may someday come. Thanks for the encouaragement. Great post!

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  6. Job hunting is my hardest job -- I'm grateful to not be in that position right now. I always wanted to be a teacher, but by the time I got my teaching degree I had kids, and the only thing I really wanted more than being a teacher was being a mom. Now I get the best of both worlds being a homeschool mom. We'll see if I STILL want to be a teacher when my kiddos leave the nest...they may have worn it out of me by then!

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  7. Great post! You had me at pick me! pick me!

    You gave some thought provoking questions and things to think about. Very very good post.

    Thanks
    Pamela
    Still Dating My Spouse
    http://www.stilldatingmypouse.com

    Stopping by via the 100 comment blog hop!

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  8. I am always on the look out for new clients for my VA business, but not for a job. I like working for myself and the freedom it gives me and my family.

    Thanks!

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  9. I am an advocate for being self employed. I too am a homeschool mom and while I have not reached your crossroad (I still have 6 at home), needing an income has been an issue since our company folded 4 years ago.

    I don't know all of your personal details but I would like to suggest something to you. Why not consider what you would love to do if money were not an object? Work toward turning that into a business venture and in the mean time work from home? Or find a job outside that relates to that?

    Have you considered helping other homeschoolers? Not sure if that is of interest to you but you are certainly qualified to be a coach. I am graduating my first homeschooler this year and it is a scary thing. Many of us need support, coaching and help with the high school years.

    Just food for thought.

    I list a weekly work from home job list on my blog you may be interested in and I would be glad to offer you a free 30 minute brainstorming session to help you figure out what to do next, that is my gift and my passion!

    Let me know! Good luck to you!

    Stopping by from the 100 Comments event.

    Lisa

    http://www.AsToldByLisa.com

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    1. Great points Lisa! Being a consultant for other homeschoolers seems like it would be a great way to use your skills! Lisa, I will need to check out your list...

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  10. I'm really happy with my current job but I guess my dream, dream job would be to be a full time writer. Job hunting is really a difficult process, I'm sure many people will get something out of of this post. Thanks!

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  11. Good advice! I went back to school as an adult leaner and was lucky the job I wanted is not common and there aren't many qualified people in my area. Having those qualifications saved me because I am not good with job interviews. I do feel more confident now and would do much better if I were looking for another position in my field.

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  12. Excellent post! Finding a job is hard work, especially if you haven't worked outside of the home in a while. My children are no longer at home, and I now work from home. I am working to make money of course and help pay the bills, but sometimes I want to get out of the house and work with the public again. I have dreams of doing something that I really like and making money from it, but I haven't took that leap yet. This post has made me stop and think about what I really want to do. Thank you for visiting my blog! I will be back to read more from you. Thank you for sharing this post!

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  13. good advice for job-seekers. It is tough out there, that's for sure.

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  14. Great advice for those that are seeking a job. I am getting ready to head to college now that my twins are a bit older. It will better myself and them and that's what drives me to complete my goal. I'm not sure as to what my "dream job" is but I know it'll be better than the dead-end ones I tend to pick up.

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  15. This is great advice. I became a SAHM not entirely by choice in '08. I'd been blessed with tremendous opportunity. I'm at a different place in my life now. I'm prayerfully waiting for me dream job to find me. As is said in the old spiritual...."I wanna be ready..."
    Peace and good to you.

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  16. My dream job I think would have something to do with me staying at home working on my blog and as a freelance writer. I would love to be able to see more of my family and have another child :)

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  17. This market has not been good. We're in the same search too =(
    Good luck to you!

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  18. Stopping by from the 100 comment event. :)
    Lovely post on a topic that many need help with...you listed a number of great tips for job-seekers. It's so important to put your best face forward...and inventory your skills and passions...the luckiest people are the ones who love what they do!
    Hope you will stop by and visit me: http://www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

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  19. I can't even think of all the skills I have done. I created my own job instead of looking one. Also ask family and friends who own a business or work for a company if they are hiring. Do "free" freelance work to showcase your skills and abilities.

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  20. I like my jobs but would LOVE to work part time!!! That is my dream! I just feel like it's unrealistic to find a good part time job that will pay what I would like.

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  21. I've been looking for a job for over a year. In the meantime, since nothing's happening, I'm teaching myself some basic Photoshop, web design, and sewing. I am also working on selling my creations in order to create my own income.

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    1. I can't tell you how much I admire you for choosing to learn new skills as you look for employment. The more marketable we make ourselves, the better chance we have of finding work. I wish you all the best.

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  22. Fortunately both my husband and I got jobs in this environment, but he was out of work for a bit, so we know how it feels. We ask why we aren't good enough, etc. Thanks for your tips! Hope it helps someone with their job search!

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  23. I currently have my dream job as a stay at home mom. But my husband has been seeking a ministry job for several months. It is hard when you can't find fulfillment in what you do. Thanks for the tips.

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  24. I really do think that feeling good about yourself helps you do better in the job market. I think too often we, especially women, sell ourselves short. Play up your life experiences...my raising six kids proves that I can multitask!

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  25. A great resource for those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. Or for those who have been at the same job for an extended period of time and find themselves out of work.

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  26. I am living my dream as a wife & SAHM, and know that I am so blessed to be able to enjoy this job without having to work outside the home to support our family. If a need would ever come for making income, I would love for it to be from my home in some type of cooking/baking line, or with my blog.

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  27. I have been looking for part time work since my son is finally weaned. Explaining the absences in work has always been the detriment. Thank you for reminding me about listing all the things I have done in this time away from traditional work.

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  28. I am not job hunting at this point... but my dream job would be a part time one that allowed me to do some creative writing, and maybe some travel on occasion! :)

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  29. I think my dream job would be travel writer mother. Which is sort of several jobs in one but all things I love. I'll have to ask myself the questions you posed and see where the answers lead me.

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  30. I really like this post. I think all the time about what I would love to do as a dream job. Right now, I'm fortunate to be able to stay at home with the kiddos, but I do sometimes worry what I would do if I had to re-enter the workforce.

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  31. I love being able to stay home with my kids ... but I would love to have a career as well. I will have to take some time to reflect and figure out what my "Dream job" would be, and how I can make it a reality!

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  32. I strongly dislike my job, but feel like it is pointless to try to look elsewhere right now. :( I think my dream job would be to run a non-profit organization.

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  33. What a great post. Last year I made a plan to blog full-time and so far, so great!

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  34. I'm glad that you encourage others to look for their dream jobs! If we keep working and praying, I truly believe God will place us in the place he wants us to be. Best wishes on your search!

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  35. My dream job would be one where I could work from home.

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  36. It took me several years to really know what my dream job is and I'm happy I'm finally doing it. I still have to upgrade myself professionally though but I have to wait for my kids to be some couple of years older.

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  37. My dream job would be something at home, either blog design or full-time blogging.

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  38. I especially liked that you included something about making sacrifices to eventually get to the dream job. Sometimes I wonder if we are willing to sacrifice for the greater good- even our own greater good. :) Good reminder.

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    1. Thanks Emily. Even as I was composing that post it struck a chord with me too. Am I willing to sacrifice to get what I want? I'm not sure. Food for thought.

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  39. Thank you for the post. I just recently got laid off. I am thinking about working from home. I am also trying to start a tutoring business, but have been advertising for the past six months and haven't got any clients. It is very discouraging. Thanks for the tips! I found the book Now Discover Your Strengths to be very helpful.

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    1. The book you mentioned sounds really interesting, I'll have to take a look at it. Regarding tutoring, you might want to check the local homeschool group on your area, they might allow you to put in ad in their publication. I've homeschooled a long time and since we can't all be excellent at everything, I know homeschool parents often look for tutors or people offering classes in areas in which we parents aren't proficient.

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  40. I'm working towards having a successful etsy shop (SewMona). It's something that I've always wanted to do and I finally decided to go for it!

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  41. Thank you for this post! I don't like my current job but I feel stuck because the current state of the job market. These questions have really made me think.

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    1. I pray that a job you really love will come your way. Keep looking and let people know you're looking for a different job, you just never know which of your friends or acquaintances might hear about a job you'd love.

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  42. I love these questions. I'm heading into a transitional time, and these are great to think about.

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  43. Thanks for the helpful tips! My husband is looking for a second job and I may be joining him too at some point. Good things to keep in mind.

    Christy
    www.alivinghomeschool.com

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  44. Enjoyed reading your post. I am not looking for a job, but looking for motivation to do the job I already have. I help out with the family business when I can. what I do is not in my giftings. But this is where I must be.

    Visiting from 100 comment event

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    1. It is really difficult having to work in a field where our naturals gifts don't mesh. It takes courage, stamina and determination to stick with it. I pray you receive the motivation you need.

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  45. You know what is weird about jobs today? Everyone is going to online applications. I really don't think you can truly get good employees by how folks answer some questions online.

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    1. The online aps can be a real disadvantage. I don't think you can really assess a person until you meet them face to face.

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  46. I think very few people land their dream job. most people just work because they're driven by need.

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    1. While I agree that most people work because they're driven by need, at jobs they don't particularly enjoy, there is no reason not to dream and try to make their dream become a reality.

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  47. This is a very helpful post!! Thanks so much for researching and writing this. I'm loving what I'm doing and my husband is trying to start a business - that is also hard to do in this economy!

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  48. Thanks for the helpful post! You have mentioned some things that people should think about for their dream job. :)

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