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Job Search Skills to Employ

By Tierra Ortiz-Rodriguez, MEd, LPC-Intern

Are you unemployed, underemployed, a recent college grad, career changer, first-time job seeker, re-entering the workforce after a long absence, or in some other career transition?

There’s a new thing to look out for at the Montrose Center that has our community’s health and wellness in mind: we’re starting a Job Search Support Group to help job seekers become savvier about how to gain and retain employment!

So many people are in career transition (that’s a fancy way of saying “in between jobs”) due to a variety of factors, including economic, such as downsizing and outsourcing; personal, such as medical and/or mental health problems, and institutional, such as discriminatory hiring/firing practices. Gone are the days of the “American Dream” when a person could expect to get a steady job right after school paying a living wage with health benefits for themselves and their family, and then stay in that job for thirty plus years until retirement. If only!

Today our workplace realities look a lot differently. Companies regularly cut costs by downsizing, outsourcing, paying lower salaries, and offering minimal health benefits. Even people with college degrees struggle to find good jobs due to economic factors, such as competing in the global workforce. These days people are having to patch together several jobs to make ends meet or provide supplemental income, popularly known as the “survival job.” By choice or by force, few people stay in one job for long, and most everyone will at some point make horizontal or vertical career shifts to get closer to their ideal work situation.

Whatever the case, the ever-changing nature of the work world and our personal lives makes it clear that one of the most valuable skills-sets we can develop for success in today’s job market is adaptability, which the English dictionary defines as “the ability to change your ideas or behavior so that they are suitable for different conditions, a new environment, etc, in order to deal with the new situation successfully.” The Job Search Support Group aims to do just that: to equip job seekers with the tools to find the next job, the next opportunity, the next stepping stone that gets them closer to their goals.

The Job Search Support Group is FREE and meets once every week on Fridays, from 1-2:30pm in Room 114.

The following are some of the many topics to be addressed:

  • Job search methods 101
  • Developing your pitch/elevator speech/commercial
  • Understanding the job description
  • Interview tips and technique
  • How to answer questions about your criminal background
  • How to address disability status on the job
  • How to combat age discrimination
  • Gaps in employment history
  • The importance of updating your skills
  • Transgender-specific workplace issues
  • How to manage and maximize your time
  • Professional attire
  • How to keep a job once you land it
  • Coping with mental illness during the job search and on the job
  • Dealing with workplace discrimination

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