Finally, Some Action for “Mature” Job Seekers

The photo alongside the New York Times’ story on today’s confusing job numbers – unemployment taking a big dip last month, even as the number of jobs created took a dive, go figure – was of a Job Hunters Boot Camp, with a gray-haired, worried-looking, blue-suited man in sharp focus. The caption said the event was specifically for people out of work for at least six months. That would be us!

So, I searched for “job hunters boot camp” in “Burlingame, California,” and found the January 28 event, which was sponsored by several local government entities such as the City of Burlingame, but primarily by Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Turns out this event is geared exactly for us “mature” job seekers, and this was the second one held. There are some great videos from the most recent event, including a “mature” speaker, Bernie Martinez, who got a full-time job with Virgin Airlines after two years of looking, using many of the strategies he learned at the first Job Hunters Boot Camp (mainly, he broadened his job-search horizons, looking at new industries, and he volunteered to help other job seekers, which honed his own resume and interview skills). The other video is a collection of interviews of attendees, each telling their unemployment story and how the event helped them.

Although this event was restricted to residents of the 12th Congressional District and of San Mateo County, some of the resource links on the Congresswoman’s Web site are for everyone, so check them out (scroll down the page).

And if you are a resident of the 12th Congressional District and of San Mateo County, you can sign up for the next Job Hunters Boot Camp, scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2011.

And if you’re not a resident of those areas, call your congressperson and ask if they’re holding a job fair like this one, just for “mature” job seekers out of work for more than six months. I did an advanced online search for “job hunters boot camp,” restricting the results to just .gov sites, and there have been at least two others using the exact same name, sponsored by congressional representatives, one in Colorado, the other in Illinois. There might be more with different names.

If your congressperson is not planning such an event, show them Congresswoman Speier’s press release for the January Boot Camp, outlining the event’s purpose and listing some workshops. You might offer to volunteer to help make it happen.

In any case, it’s good to see some action for us “mature” job seekers. Finally.

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