Growing “Wiser” in Your Job Search

11 Jun

I recently attended a local career transition group and I was amazed at the number of smart and talented professionals in the room. The group is run by wonderful retirees who are dedicated to helping people find jobs, and to support them through their career transition. They have come up with a sort of blueprint for job searching in this economy, and based on experience they know what works.

As I was sitting in one of their training sessions, I was struck by the irony that the very retirees who were doing the training might be discriminated against if they themselves were looking for a job. It isn’t uncommon to see articles about how to get a job if you are over 45 or even over 40? Really? How can 40 be too old when people work well into their 60s, 70s, and even 80s? When did we decide as a society that people couldn’t be retrained to do different jobs or continue to grow in their careers?

I am someone who always wants to be learning, and I don’t want a position where I know everything. I always want to be growing in my career and learning new things. So, it is confusing to me that some employers seem to want to hire people who have already done the exact job that they are hiring for. Where is the opportunity for growth?

I am someone who has always taken on new challenges and just figured out how to “get it done” if it is something that I haven’t done before. I like the challenge of figuring it out and learning something new. I don’t want to be fit into a box, and maybe that is some of the struggle in trying to make this career transition. I am smart and talented, and I figure out how to get stuff done.  So, it seems as if the career transition shouldn’t be this difficult.

But, it has been very difficult at times, and at times you start to question your value. What value do you bring to an organization? How do you sell yourself to an employer? How do you market yourself? I do know that at the end of this process I will be better at  job searching and networking, and better equipped to help others go through the process. Of course, I would rather be improving my skills in something other than the art of job searching, but hopefully I will have the opportunity to help someone else in the future to use what I have learned.

A wise friend helped me think of how to reframe this transition time as gaining wisdom that will allow me to help others in the future. Wisdom not only related to the job search, but wisdom about life transitions, resilience, and faith. So, I will continue to get “wiser” as this career transition rolls on, knowing that someday the lessons that I am learning will be valuable to others.

photo credit: angela7dreams via photopin cc

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2 Responses to “Growing “Wiser” in Your Job Search”

  1. Jane Forry June 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Part of my job search sanity has been looking forward to reading this blog! Many times in this adventure I have wished I could stop learning to be ‘wiser’ and once again have job security. But, it seems, I am not yet wise enough! I have had several situations where propective employesr have told me that the position went to someone who did the exact position at a previous place of employment. They went on to assure me that I was highly qualified and were sure I would find employment shortly. But, that has not yet occured. I also like the challenge of learning new skills. I even completed a master’s degree in the time I have been job searching. I situation I find myself in now is, after one year with the master’s degree, I am over-qualified for the positions I had before, but underqualified in time qualifications for my new skills. However, that is slowly turning around because I have been using those skills volunteering at organizations which will recommend me to employers. Yes, I am far wiser than I even intended to be!

    • Savvy Career June 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Thank you Jane! Yes, I agree that it would be nice to have job security, and not have a need to grow any wiser! I understand the challenge of being overqualified for some positions and overqualified for others. I just try to keep reminding myself that the right position for me will come along eventually, and I can’t control when it happens. Congrats on completing a master’s degree! I hope that you volunteering leads you to the type of position that you are seeking. You will find the right job for you. It will happen!

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