First, allow me to introduce myself - my name is Gordon Dymowski, and I am the new "co-Job Stalker". As far as my background, well, that's quite a tale ...
Professionally, I have always straddled two different fields - perhaps it comes from having a computer-oriented mother and an attorney father. When going to school to earn a degree in psychology, I performed temporary office work in the summers to earn cash. Later on, I learned how to be very business-oriented while working in the non-profit social service field. In short, when I would flip a coin, it might be more likely to stand on edge.
(And when that happens, you get telepathic powers. At least, that's what an old Twilight Zone episode featuring Dick York suggested).
So when I found myself in the middle of a most recent job search after working in the private section, I found myself frustrated with well-meaning people who, when I suggested I wanted to look in the non-profit world, discouraged me with well-meaning words about how the rough economy means that non-profits lack the funds and that it might be a tough nut to crack. Although I love it when other people argue for my limitations, I prefer to do that on my own.
At one point, after struggling with straddling the non-profit and for-profit worlds, I came to a realization - maybe I could embrace both. Maybe I could focus less on defining myself by my qualifications, and more by my passions.
One part of this process has been developing a marketing plan for myself - both using extensive "best practices" in my social media presence (my Linked In profile has received major feedback, including several spontaneous contacts by recruiters) and in search (adopting some major SEO tactics to create a social media hub). Being able to promote myself not as solely a non-profit or for-profit worker, but as someone who brings value and insight, has helped increase both my job interviews as well as freelance opportunities.
My professional mission, quite simply, is to build communities one cause at a time. Drawing on my experience as both a community organizer (I'm not ashamed of that title) and social media participant, I realized that I can assist organizations in promoting and advocating for their cause.
Adopting this mission has allowed me to increase my freelance and consulting work with both non-profit and agency clients. Although I'm tempted to joke that entrepreneur is French for "unemployed", having freelance opportunities present themselves has provided a tremendous boost in confidence. Plus, it has also allowed me to continually demonstrate what I can do, which then filters into my other job search activities. If I'm seeking work that helps pay the bills, I can integrate the work that helps locate the work that pays the bills into my job search seemingly effortlessly.
Another area I have seen success is in working with recruiters, but with a twist. Recently, when talking with another entrepreneur/consultant, I had mentioned my work with recruiters. Her response was to declare that she would never work with recruiters, and that she never received any response. My unspoken response was to say that I take an assertive role in working with recruiters - trying to work with their staff, following up when appropriate, and not relying on them solely as a temporary agency. I'm fortunate to work with one very active recruiting agency, and have also signed onto two more....but those are no substitute for good old fashioned job seeking.
The only area when I am not as prevalent is attending networking events - due to an illness in my family, I often find myself either not having the time to attend or needing to cut my time short. (When I've asked that health crises accommodate my schedule, all I receive are well-deserved glares in my direction). Rather than focus on being at anything and everything, I have chosen to be strategic, focusing on events/organizations that are close to my professional mission. (It also helps to do one-on-one networking for me: I don't mind paying it forward, and ultimately, if I am promoting myself as a connector, there's one thing I really should do - connect).
So far, my job search has been relatively productive: no major leads, but I have been able to make some key connections and expand my parameters. Most of this success was due to one simple action that I had never done before - I adopted a professional (and personal) mission which I gladly chose to accept.
That is making all the difference ...
Hey, The Job Stalker readers ... Brendan Tripp checking in. As you know, I've been looking around for a way to possibly transition to having a new person writing this blog (just in case I do get that full-time job in June!), and my buddy Gordon has volunteered to pick up the slack for the time being. We'll see how this progresses, but I figured this might be a good solution ... hope you don't mind having "multiple voices" showing up in here!