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Pressed For Sucess: Support When You Need It Most

August 2, 2009

http://pressedforsuccess.blogspot.com/2009/07/pressed-for-success.html

Pressed for Success is a job search group that began on December 1, 2008, with three members. Today, we have over 60 members with 14 success stories.

Following the job club model recommended by Tory Johnson of Women for Hire, we meet to network, share resources and provide mutual support. We have three types of meetings. The first is a meet and greet. At these meetings we all have a chance to introduce ourselves and say what type of work we are looking for. Other members are encouraged to offer leads and other useful information. The second is a meeting where a professional speaks to the group on various job search topics. We have heard from HR managers how interviewing skills, how to have a successful phone interview, how to write a resume that gets noticed and a career counselor spoke on how to network efficiently. The third type of meeting is a workshop. Members have thoroughly researched a topic and presented the material with an interactive format. One such workshop was how to use Linked In for a job search. We were all able to sit at a computer and follow along on a computer and on a smart board.

The meetings are on Monday evenings, which seems ironic in that it is the day people with jobs begin their work week. We also begin a week of work trying to find work. Although finding work is a full time job, like a full time job we don’t spend 24/7 looking. We need to do other things to have a healthy and positive outlook. Monday begins the work week for us with a renewed sense of purpose. By having heard speakers or attended a workshop, we armed with new tools in our tool chest. Since all meetings end on a positive note, we are energized and are feeling hopeful for the week ahead. We have been given a lead for a contact, a company to look into, or new skills to use.

We have been adopted by Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. The Directors of the Alumni and Career Services Offices have been supportive of all our efforts. They provide moral support and some special events. The Alumni office sponsored a Speed Networking event. We were included in the guest list even though only a few members are actual alumni of Merrimack College.

When a group of seven members had an idea for a Career In Transition Conference, they approached the Alumni and Career Services Directors. With their support, the group was able to host a conference for over 80 job seekers with 6 speakers. The committee was able to find speakers willing to present their material for free, local businesses to donate food, and gift certificates as prizes. It was a very successful event, planned by people who had not worked together before and in only six weeks.

We never know where the next lead will come from or who will be the next success story, but we arrive each week hoping that something good will come of the meeting. We do know that we have a support system that cares deeply about our success. A new job is only one contact away.

In the coming weeks, I will share what we have learned and what progress we are making. Have a good week and happy job hunting.

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