Good Jobs for Three after Long, Dry Spells

Even in this dry, dry season, I know of three people, all in my job networking group, who recently got new good-paying, benefitted jobs. All three had been unemployed for one to four years, and all three landed jobs doing similar work but in new industries.

The colleague out of work for four years, now 51, had earned $100,000 a year in mortgage sales before the meltdown. He recently landed a job as national sales rep for a major solar supplier based in Spain.

The second, who is over 50, had been on staff for many years at the local public television station, working her way up to producing shows and coordinating on-air phone banks during membership drives. She had reluctantly taken an unpaid internship in her field, but in the end it might have helped her get her new job, as chief public information officer for the director of a large state agency.

How I Got My JobThe third new hire, 41, has the most interesting story. After being out of work nearly a year, he had become discouraged and depressed, but he kept going, one step at a time. Last month he attended a career fair at his alma mater, which allows alumni to attend. Early in the day, he had passed up one table because he saw the word “aerospace” in the company name and assumed they were looking for high-tech engineers, not mechanical engineers like himself.

But as the event was winding down, and he waited for a rep at a nearby table, he wandered over to the “aerospace” table – for chocolate. He and the rep started talking about the company and his background, and then the rep said, “Why don’t you come visit the company?” No promises, no guarantees for even an interview, just an offer to visit this manufacturing firm.

My colleague agreed – and took it seriously, wearing his interview suit to the site. He and four others – all recent graduates – were equally mystified about the invitation and whether anything might come of it. One by one, each was called for five-minute introductions with three different managers, including the plant manager. Even though it was late in the day, my colleague expressed interest by asking for a tour of the plant.

After all this, my colleague left empty handed, again with no promises, no guarantees, no “next steps.” He went back to his job-search and volunteering routines, back to worrying about his future.

Two weeks later, the company called him with a job offer, asking him to start the following week. They hadn’t even done a formal interview. Apparently, the firm wanted to avoid the inundation of resumes that come from any job posted online these days. So they got creative, and they must have known what they wanted.

As for my colleague, he has a long, expensive commute each day, but he is grateful to have a good job, finally. From him the lesson is, follow every lead, for you never know what might happen next.

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