Things are looking up!

It has been a bit exasperating! And it is probably why neither I nor my friends have updated this blog for awhile.

Our carreer center has undergone some changes in personnel, Patty has moved north to Poway, Joanne is gainfully employed and Carolyn is working part time. I am still looking for that perfect job…..

But, as I write this there may be a change in the wind for me.  I received word yesterday that I should expect an offer of employment!  Yippeee!!!

I forwarded by references and now I wait.

Downside: I will have to relocate and see my family on weekends.  Upside:  A new adventure awaits.  I am so excited!

How to prepare:

1.  I have a niece who is a police officer in the city where the corportate offices are. I contacted her to find out what the crime rate was in the area.

2.  I stayed in a hotel twice to get the feel of the city.

Found a Starbucks

Sushi Bar and a Trader Joe’s .  I am all set!

3.Toured three different apartment buildings on my way to the third visit.

4. Met with my career advisor to discuss negotiation tactics.

cost of living….did you know that San Diego’s cost of living is 33% high than the average in the United States, but Orange County’s cost of living is 43% higher?!

DARE TO COMPARE COST OF LIVING!

The last interview lasted five hours and I met 11 different people from 5 different departments.  They all seemed like great folks that knew their jobs well.  My job would be to help them do them even better!

Will it happen?  I am hopeful!  I would leave Blossom in San Diego and only get to see her on weekends……Realistically, there is still a chance that this offer will fall apart….But, if all the planets align, all the ducks are in a row and all the rest of those perfect scenario phrases come true, I will be headed 90 miles north in the next couple of weeks.

Until then…..I am going to Las Vegas for some much needed R&R….Wish me luck!

Posted by Michelle

Find that Perfect Job or Any Job?

This has been an interesting journey AND it is not over yet!  The question posed in the title of today’s blog is a valid one, I think, if one has been on the search for a while. 

Personally, I think we can do both.  I am continuing to search for the perfect job while taking every opportunity to network and get my foot in the door at my dream job.

Today I have an interview for a temporary, part-time position as a data entry clerk.  Now, bear in mind that I had data entry clerks report to ME in the past. 

However, I also found out that a management position will become available at the same location.  HMMMM!  It would not be the first time that I have turned a temporary position into a full time position.

A few years ago, I was employed by a temp agency.  One of my assignments was to “fill in” while the organization searched for the perfect candidate.  I watched as prospect after prospect went into the “room” for an interview.  It took them three months to decide that their perfect candidate was the one scheduling the appointments!

Will this be another one of “those”  opportunities?  Who knows?  But, it will give me a chance to decide if WE could work together.  Maybe this will be the one, maybe not. 

In the meantime, I will have met some new and exciting people and spent some time at a well respected Organization in San Diego.

By the way, NETWORKING played a role in this interview.  They contacted me after having talked to someone at an organization that I had an interview with several months ago.  We had both decided that it would not be a good fit, but she would keep me in mind for future spots.  AND SHE DID!  Not at her non profit, but another one!

It does still work to work the connections and never assume that the adage “When one door closes, another opens” is not true!

posted by Michelle

Miracle Job – Hope For All Job Seekers

There is nothing better than a quiet Saturday filled with B-rated cataclysmic weather movies. Tornados filled with aliens, earth ravaging lightning bolts, run away ice bergs, and earthquake rocking megaliths. While Chicago is blown away and Stonehenge is shook to the ground, New Yorkers are burned, frozen and toss about like rag dolls.  How many of you job seekers feel like New Yorkers? Certainly, at times I have felt discouraged, negative and isolated. However, just like any disaster movie there is a sunny blue sky morning after.

As Michelle affectionately (I hope) puts it, “another story?”  So what is the point of this climate filled saga?  Just like the morning is sure to come, so is a job.  No one knows how long it will take, how hard you’ll have to work, what you’ll have to learn, or if it will be a dream job. But, nevertheless it will happen.

After a year, I finally got a job.  (Loud applause and cheers!)  I call it my miracle job.  Why? Somehow among the millions of resumes a contract company found mine and a few weeks later, I began working for a company that only “other people” do.   I have worked for smaller businesses and it has been my desire to work for a larger company with people I can collaborate and make a difference.  I am grateful for this opportunity and determined to make the best of the 10 month gig.

For all of you still seeking a job do not despair. Keep working hard.  Know your story and want you really want.  Throw it into the universe and believe it will happen.

Stay Positive.  Stay Focused.  Stay Connected.  Out there is your miracle job,too.

                                                                                                       Posted by Joanne

Do Not Go it Alone

I believe that if you hear the same message repeatedly, you best sit up and take note. “Somebody” (God, the Universe, your Inner Wisdom, etc…) is trying to tell you something! Maybe you notice these meaningful missives because you are already at attention… but do not get me started on that debate (I suffer from an extraordinary ability to argue with myself.) So, for the sake of argument (or not arguing with oneself in my case), let’s just say you are currently reclined and clueless. Stay with me, it gets more focused from here on out.

Case#1: One recent Sunday morning, I was attempting to latch onto my Food Network fix when I had accidently tuned into Joel Osteen. According to the onscreen guide, Joel was not actually scheduled to be there, he just was. Eerie coincidence? Perhaps! I have not been inclined to listen to Joel preach before, but here I was and the message grabbed my attention. Joel made an impassioned plea to for us to reach out beyond the path of least resistance to help others see their own inner greatness. Call people what they can become, not what they are or have been because most people will not reach their full potential without someone helping them. Made me think long and hard about how I can positively impact others so thank you, Joel Osteen. Whose path can you change believing in their potential? If you know someone who is going through a job or life transition, you might be able to help them see what they cannot…and that could make all the difference!

Case#2: I revisited a Speaker/Career Counselor last Friday (who shall remain unidentified) that I had seen and liked before. While I did glean additional tidbits, I was distracted by his/her admission on several occasions that she/he really did not like people all that much (at first it seemed a joke of sorts, but then it was mentioned so often and emphatically) and did not care to assist people personally unless said help was really not required. Whoa! I wanted my money back but then recalled the talk was free. This particular speaker did also mention that he/she wanted to grow her business and seemed a tad perplexed about the lack thereof. Note: at least pretend to care if you are trying to build your business as a Career Counselor!

Case#3: As Michelle mentioned in her latest blog, we attended a seminar at The Boardroom San Diego http://www.theboardroomsandiego.org/ this Tuesday. Tim Tyrell-Smith http://timsstrategy.com/blog/ spoke about how it is so important to have a focused job strategy the foundation of which depends upon maintaining a positive and helpful attitude. Whew! The misogyny of last week was over and Tim heartily subscribes to helping your fellow job hunters/career changers along the way. I highly recommend you check Tim’s website/blog/free downloads/new job search software. He likes people.

Going forward, I want to share with my fellow “transitioners” any knowledge/insights I may into their strengths. Maybe while purposely looking for the excellence in others, we will become more in tune with our own awesome potential…or someone else will “call out” our greatness for us! Do not go it alone…the journey is better shared.

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” – Kalu Kalu

-Posted by Patty

Searching for Work? Time Flies By!

It is sometimes difficult to keep up as the hands of time continue to go around and around.  This journal of our activities to find a job keeps us connected to all who are also searching or interested to see how we are going about our search.

Last week, for instance, I attended a job fair with Patty and Carolyn.  Nothing new there, right?

Wrong.  There was a man taking pictures of people’s shoes!

 When I asked him about it, he told me he was a staff photographer for the local newspaper and he was getting a “new angle” for an article about job fairs.

Interesting man!

We talked about his photo journalism career, the first amendment and about the job market.  At the end of the conversation he asked if I had a business card.  Now granted, all I have a card that I created on my home computer, so out it came.

On Sunday I received a call from a staff reporter at that very same paper!  She wanted to know how I felt about the unemployment rates falling reports since I, and my friends, are still looking for work.  She asked my opinion!  Who knew that a casual conversation could lead to something like this?  Now, I don’t know if my story will ultimately get into print, but it was fun and exhilarating to be asked.

And it made going to that job fair worthwhile!

Last night, I was fortunate enough to secure tickets to a mayoral candidate forum.  They were there to tell an audience of nonprofit managers, executive directors, etc. how they would treat them once they became mayor.  Since that is an area of interest to me, I found it most insightful. Although, the jury is still out on a couple of candidates, it certainly narrowed my field.

We all know that politicians will tell you what you want to hear and there were several missteps in the facts and figures.  I am able to talk to others about it. I was also able to enjoy the company of some wonderful friends and personal supporters AND

It helped me further define what I am looking for in our next Mayor!

And then today, our Tuesdays with Blossom weekly meeting took place at another networking event at the San Diego Boardroom, http://www.theboardroomsandiego.org/. To get there we had to drive about 20 minutes and none of us had not been “in traffic” in a while. Whew, don’t miss that part of being employed!  The speaker, Tim Tyrell Smith, had been a connection of mine on LinkedIn and I had known he would be a speaker.  He had driven 90 miles!  Who are we to complain?

We had heard much of it before, but it was a fresh approach.  Tim has some great strategies, hence http://timsstrategy.com/blog/.  We came away with hope and gratitude for someone agreeing to help all of us find that perfect job.  Don’t settle.  It is out there!

As I was talking to Tim at the end, I looked over and saw someone that I had worked with over 10 years ago!  Again my cheesy business card came into play.

I really need to get some better cards!

 I will meet with him in the next week or so and tell him how we started a blog….

Now my next goal, find the usefulness of twitter—-mwohlers1!

Posted by Michelle

Field Trips and Career Searches!??

Do you remember when we all looked forward to field trips?  There were field trips to the zoo.  There were field trips to the art museum.  There were field trips to gourd farms and to pumpkin patches.

We still like field trips!  It is just the locations and topics of conversation have changed.

Last week the Tuesdays with Blossom crew went on, not one, but two field trips!

The first was to Brandman University for a workshop on
Career Vision by Jamie Beck!

She made sense!  It seems that career vision asks us to look at our career options instead of career choices.  For instance as a child, you decided you wanted to be a doctor. But then, surprise, life gets in the way and you are unable to fulfill your goal of becoming a doctor.  A career option would be to become a nurse, a surgical technologist, an x-ray techonoligist, a dietician, a medical assistant, an orderly or a receptionist in a hospital or doctor’s office. Your choice of becoming a doctor may have changed, but the goal to pursue a career in medicine did not!

If Jamie returns to San Diego, I strongly suggest that you try to get to one of her free workshops.  Check her blog, http://blog.careervisionbyjamie.com/, for helpful hints and remember to keep your own options open.

The second was to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the
Work at Home Expo

None of us wanted to buy an Italian Ice food truck or sell jewelry to our closest friends and relatives and though this field trip did not elicit the same “I wonder” response that the field trip to Brandman University did, all was not a total loss.  The Small Business Association provided information and handouts. http://www.sba.gov/about-sba-services/what-we-do.

We also picked up a schedule of events sponsored by SCORE.  If you are considering heading into a “DIY”  business, SCORE’s workshops and assistance could prove invaluable.

“SCORE is a national organization of active and retired businessmen and women who volunteer ther expertise with small businiesses as well as new business  start-ups.”  www.score-sandiego.org

While we search for the perfect job in the perfect company, perhaps it is time to discover our own career options rather than career choices.

And, if we decide to go into business for ourselves, we will have the tools to
DO IT RIGHT!

posted by Michelle

It’s All in a Day’s Work

Work, you say! But, you are not employed!

Being unemployed is work!

Looking for work is a full-time job!

In the last few months, I have:

  • Changed my resume to meet today’s accepted formats several times depending on the position and workshop.
  • Updated Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
  • Made friends with my cell phone…..email, text, voicemail.
  •  Found a career advisor.
  • Added my name to job lists both inside and outside of my industry.
  •  Added volunteer activities.
  •  Researched, researched, researched the job market.
  •  Continued to stay positive.
  •  Taken some online courses.
  • Increased my vocabulary through Words with Friends.
  •  Joined a job hunt support group.
  • Stepped out of my comfort zone and asked for help.
  •   Learned about blogs.
  • Learned to lunch with those who may know someone that knows someone.
  • Kept abreast of changes in my preferred organizations.
  • Received a Notary Public commission from the State of California.

Read A Lot of Books!

And

Realized I Could Make Due With Much Less!

Thankfully, there is nothing good on day-time television!

Who has time to watch it!!!

I have also sent out several resumes and, even, had a few interviews.

There is an upside to all of this!

As a result of not having a strict 9-5 schedule, I have made new friends, been able to greet my husband of over thirty years at the door each day, been a bigger part of children’s lives, attended grandparent’s days and awards ceremonies for granchildren and have been able to spend time with an aging parent.

We continue to search for employment.

We will send the resumes, update the profiles, find volunteer opportunities to keep us busy, do our best to keep our heads above water. When in doubt we head to a place where everyone knows our name (no, not the neighborhood bar) and realize that right now,

TODAY,,,,

There is time to stop and smell the flowers

!

posted by Michelle