To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I talked to a few people at work about the feasibility of offering brown-bag lunches on Fridays with a job-search theme. Everyone was favorable so I'll bring it up at the supervisor meeting tomorrow. The idea is that this is not company-sponsored, so we won't put up notices and hourly people will have to clock out for lunch as usual. And of course it will be strictly voluntary. The reason for doing this is that some people get a frightened look on their faces if you even ask about their resume, and I'll bet they haven't done one in years, if at all. I'm thinking that as the clock ticks closer to the company closing (some time next year) the stress levels are going to get unbearable. If people feel that they are making at least some progress toward replacing their job, maybe it won't be so awful, for them and for the rest of us.

I think putting pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard, and starting to create a resume from scratch is probably a daunting task for some folks. Scary to even start, because what if you end up with something so lame that nobody would ever hire you. So I think on the first Friday we'll just write sentences about what we are doing and have done on the job. The branch manager gave me a list of "action words", verbs like "train" and "implement" that might help a person remember job functions and achievements and also help word them. Then we'll pass our lists to our coworkers so they can remind us and be reminded themselves of things that are left out. This will be a nonthreatening way of dipping our toes in the water, and hopefully somewhat confidence-building. (I, of course, already have a kick-butt resume but I'll still go through the exercise.) Next week maybe we'll talk about resume formats, what personal information to put and where to put it, and so forth. After that people ought to be able to put something together. I thought one Friday we could have a panel discussion with those of us who conduct job interviews talking about specific things that interviewees have said or done that have turned us on or off. We can go through the list of questions that you can expect to be asked at one place or another, like "what are your weaknesses" and so forth. How to research a prospective employer so you can ask intelligent questions, and how to customize a cover letter. The branch manager gave me some material also on how to figure out what you really want in a job. I know at least one person who has decided on a complete career change. For people who have drifted into these jobs, this could be a very positive thing.

So we'll probably kick this off on Friday and see what kind of response we get from the employees.

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