ANSWER: They both have to spread more seeds than they can ever use in the hope that some will sprout.
A client, L, emailed me asking my opinion if she should go to a career expo, sponsored by Women for Hire.
L asked: “Are these meant for younger women (L is 54 years old)? How can someone with an unusual res: ume like mine (meaning a chronic illness interruption) make it worthwhile to attend? What do I do if I get into a conversation about my last job and my chronic illness comes up?”
FYI, Women for Hire describes itself: “Women For Hire career expos are high-caliber recruiting events that enable talented women in all fields to meet directly with recruiters and hiring managers from top employers. Whether you’re an experienced professional with several years of experience under your belt or a graduating college student,these one-day events are an ideal chance to launch or advance your career.”
When you’re looking for a new job, you have to spread as many seeds as possible. It is like planting flowers that way. You see what sprouts and pay attention to the strongest seedlings. This is especially true, when your career doesn’t fit easily into a 20 second elevator pitch. You have to spread wide and deep.
I don’t know if this particular expo targets younger women. But, I do think that it’s difficult for most people to make valuable connections at most job fairs/expos. My guess is that it’s easier to be successful here if you’ve taken a linear career path and fit easily into a snapshot profile.
So, when you’re debating whether to go or not to a job fair, ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I a Myers Briggs “E” – an extrovert who is comfortable presenting myself and talking with others about me?
2. Can I describe what I’ve done, where I’ve been and what I’ve done quickly enough to hold the attention of someone with a short attention span?
3. Is there something I can learn here? Would it be useful to learn about what kinds of traditional jobs are “out there” in my region (because non -traditional jobs don’t typically show up in this venue?
4. Would it be useful just to get out of the house and meet people — and if so, can I tolerate the feeling that this might lead to nothing.
So, what about these events? I’ve heard many people say that these events are waste – and my guess is that’s true for at least 80% of the people who go.
Have you gone to a career expo with good results? Do you find chronic illness makes any difference here? What works for you?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com