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Old 09-29-2017, 02:07 PM   #21
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Default What Color is Your Parachute?

Hey Sunrise, What color is your parachute?! (Google it)

“What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles, is about job-hunting and career-changing, but it's also about figuring out who you are as a person and what you want out of life.” “One of the first job-hunting books on the market (1970). It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.”
I read that book back in the early 80’s. I learned to forget about sending out ‘twenty-seven gadzillion’ resumés and cover letters, reading newspaper ads, and doing all the other traditional things one thinks one must do to find a job. It’s just busy work. And a huge waste of your precious time, energy and money -- and results in lowering self-esteem when no one wants you, or worse yet, no response at all. I learned to think creatively.

Question: Before the day is done, sit down and answer Kamahido’s excellent question: What are you good at? Divide a piece of paper with a line down the middle. In the first column, write down as many things as you can think of that you do well. In the second column write down all the things you love to do. Once that’s done, mull it over... analyze what you’ve written. Envision jobs that encompass those things on your list.

There are 10 exercises in that book. When I needed to go back to work in the early '80's, I chose to do three of them. My strengths were -- good with people, strong management and organizational skills. My loves were many, but I liked working with my hands, I loved art and being around creative people. I ended up managing a Framing Shop that also sold art supplies and maintained a small gallery that featured the works of local artists!

To find that job, I looked through the yellow pages (remember those?) to locate businesses that fit my skills/loves. I “cold-called” the very first one on my list -- which also happened to be closest to where we lived. The owner answered the phone. When I asked if she had any positions open, she asked, “What are you looking for?” When I said I was willing to start any where but my strength was in management, she asked me to meet her for lunch. A week later I was the new manager of Studio West, art and frame shop!

In 1985, there was a down-turn in the economy in Denver that severely affected the Construction and Design Industry. At that time, there were 4,000 architects in the Denver area. In 1988 there were only 2,000 left, including us. Most moved out of state. We were in dire straights.

We first discussed where we might like to live. Hubby went to the library and sat down with the yellow pages from various states and made lists. We sent out beaucoup cover letters and resumés to every architectural firm in San Diego, Sacrmento, and Seattle. We didn’t get one response! Not one!

So then we put our thinking hats on, deep-sixed the resumés, and devised a new letter to send to all the architectural firms in Honolulu. (Yes, THAT Honolulu) The letter simply said, “I will be in the area for 2 weeks. (BIG FAT LIE!) If you have any openings commensurate with my level of knowledge and experience, I’m available to meet with you at your convenience.” Guess what... we got a response from every firm we sent the letter to, 12 of which set an appointment for an interview and 1 of which landed a high level position at an internationally recognized design firm in Hong Kong!

SHORT STORY - OUR SON TIM - Age 57 in 2016
Tim was a bright lad that enjoyed the social aspects of high school far more than the academic aspects. He graduated with a 1.5 GPA. Gulp. No worries. He loved cars and had no trouble landing a job as a shag boy at a local dealership. He worked his way up from there. Fifteen years later, he was making a 6-figure salary as Toyota’s top Service Manager in the Nation, for which he was awarded an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii -- for three years in a row. (I know, brag, brag, brag.)

Fast forward to 2016. Still a Service Manager at a local dealership, but also responsible to the corporation for hiring/firing employees at various dealerships around the state and the country, the handwriting was on the wall... a new boss was making grumbling sounds that caused Tim to suspect that he was in danger of being let go... due not only to age, but he was also the highest paid employee in the company.

He put the word out through the network he had built up over many years, that he was available. His reputation preceded him. After several weekend visits to different dealerships out of state, he ended up with solid job offers from dealerships in Carlsbad CA and Fort Myers FL. What can I say? He loves his new job, the up-tick in salary, and loves living in Fort Myers!!!

After their 3 children finished high school, a couple we know got divorced. It just wasn’t a good fit from the get-go. She divorced him and struck out on her own. With no experience whatsoever, the first job she took was cleaning the studio of a local sculptor. She just loved it. From there she met other artists and artist agents. Three years later, she was making a living designing and selling beautiful handcrafted jewelry!

Final note: I hope these stories help you to think creatively about your job search, Sunrise, or at least have a more optimistic view of what can happen if and when you put your mind to it!

Zany in CO
"There is no substitute for the joy a certain degree of innocence brings to discovery." - Cissy Kuberski
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:03 PM   #22
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I don't know about Sunrise, but I LOVE those stories.

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Old 09-29-2017, 04:21 PM   #23
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Default Finding work after 55 :(

Have you tried Flexjobs.com? I hate going into an office and dealing with people, and so I've basically been sending resumes to online-only places. They do a lot of flexible/part-time, contract, and permanent postings too.

ETA: also, with secretarial experience, you could easily got a personal assistant type job! That's what we call secretaries nowadays... ^_~
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:44 PM   #24
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Zany, fantastic. Love the creative outlook.
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:26 AM   #25
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Zany, thank you so much. Love all the stories.

If it was for me I would draw and paint all day, oh and make soap too. I have tried to find work on that, have not been lucky yet. Seems I will have to go back to an office, and I really don't want that. But I start a temp for a couple of days next week. We see how it goes.

But I will check that link bathgeek! I would love to be able to work from home.

Thank you everyone for all the kind and great advice. You guys are absolutely awesome, and please know I am vey grateful.

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