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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 27, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 21
Ask Michael: Staying confident in your job search
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Ask Michael: Staying confident in your job search

by Michael Raitt - SGN Contributing Writer

A good number in our community are still struggling to get back into the job market. Many are finding moderate to little success. I've heard of job searches ranging from a month to over a year. All ages are affected.

I have a couple thoughts to share, then some important information that came to me from SO&P (Seattle Out and Proud) that I think is a valuable opportunity to people who are still looking for work.

Regardless of whether you have been out of work for a few months or over a year, there are some important factors to keep in mind. First, what kind of attitude and confidence do you have? Working to keep your attitude and confidence up keeps you engaged and sets an important impression with prospective employers. I know it is hard if you've faced rejection after rejection, but it is necessary to get that back.

One way to do that is through networking. Get out and meet people and attend networking events. Find the energy and confidence somewhere and get re-engaged in the search for work. Attitude and positive energy are important.

One way to regain some confidence is through support from others. This can come from networking and it can come from finding friends who will share the task of reinforcing your strengths and skills. Resist the urge to isolate yourself. Find some people you can be accountable to and share your experiences with them. Set goals every day and share with others how you have reached those goals.

It is essential to refine your skills in order to navigate the electronic screening process that many companies now use. Some people are resistant to this and don't like it, or say they are better in in-person interviews, but there isn't much choice. If that is the way companies are doing it, then you have to figure out how to be successful at this.

Don't forget that this is a circumstance you've found yourself in. Try not to turn your situation in on yourself and start getting down on yourself. People often think that because jobs are still hard to find, there is something wrong with them. Then they get more depressed because they beat themselves up. Don't engage in that. That is a useless activity and it just makes things harder.

Here is some information that may help you from SO&P. Please read it and contact them and get as much help and support as you can to continue your search:

'Seattle Out & Proud, in partnership with our sponsor BECU, is proud to provide Seattle's metropolitan area with a new career transitioning program. This program will give the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Allied (LGBTQA) community the skills needed to effectively market themselves for job/career transitions.

This two-day workshop is geared to get you the skills you need to better market yourself to perspective employers.

This program will focus on the different stages of transitioning into new jobs or career moves by learning skills, tricks, and tips on the following areas:

1) Effective résumé writing for today's tough job market, the dos and don'ts of what to put on a résumé.

2) How to write an effective cover letter that is not a standard template, and really incorporates why you're looking for the transition, and don't duplicate what's already on the résumé.

3) Tricks and tips on how to effectively search for jobs on the internet.

4) Techniques on interviewing, and how to successfully answer tough interview questions with a meaningful answer that gives the employer what they need to make an informed hiring decision.

5) Learn the basic skills in the art of networking by understanding its value and how new social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be your new best friends (or enemies) when you're looking to transition to a new job.

To get more details on the Career Transitioning Skills Workshop, please go to www.seattlepride.org/programs.html.

Two-thirds of those actively seeking employment who have taken the Career Transitioning Skills Workshop have found a job within two months.

Michael Raitt, M.A. LMHC, is a therapist and a contributing writer to the SGN. He writes a bi-monthly column in the SGN. If you would like to comment on this column or ask a question you'd like him to write about, please contact him at askingmichael@comcast.net.

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