I’ve networked with a couple of different job clubs. I received some outplacement services when I lost my job last year and they have a nice group that meets once a month. Recently I just completed a six week class through my church entitled, Seeking Hope, Seeking Employment. This faith based program was unlike anything else that I’ve participated in thus far.
The group was lead by a man named Bob and he had an assistant named Ralph. As I understand it Bob felt a calling within his church to help others find jobs. He has a friend named John that had worked in a large company that had to displace over 1600 workers. John created a manual to help people understand themselves better to counsel them to find other employment. John presented this information in the first meeting and shared with us that through his program he was able to place all but 5 employees, who themselves determined that they didn’t want to find another job. So, the program was quite successful.
The concept is simple. Understand what you like and what you are good at and choose a career that reflects those desires. Each person in our group had the opportunity to evaluate hundreds of key skills. Then we categorized only the top ones that matched our likes into the following categories: People, Values, Special Interests, Work Environment, Growth, Pressure, Responsibility & Salary, Geography and Favorite Skills. The complete picture is called your Career Puzzle.
Once you knew your key skills in each category, you ranked them in your Priority Grid. This means that you ranked each category against every other category to determine what you wanted the most. If you wanted more Responsibility & Salary, then perhaps you were willing to give up your current Geography to move. If your Family Values were stronger, then perhaps you didn’t move and sacrificed your Work Environment, etc.
It was a time consuming exercise, but worthwhile as I got to know myself better in terms of key skills and life priorities. I’ve used this map as my compass in evaluating job opportunities. It has also helped in interviews to be able to rattle off some of my key skill in each of those functional areas when appropriate.
The good news is that many of these same concepts are covered in a book that is available to you called “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles. Buy a copy online or find it for free at your local library.
As the class was faith based, I’d like to leave you with a Bible verse. “Commit to the Lord and all your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3.
I’d really like to hear from you. Post a comment online or send me an email.
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