Is it age discrimination or your job search strategies?

A client who has been a successful job seeker in the past came to the office today to lament that she really thinks her problem is age discrimination.

She hasn’t hit 50 yet and successfully completed an Associate Degree in Business Management to add to her arsenal of career achievements.

Is networking part of your job search strategy?

Her email to schedule the appointment gave me a clue as she said she was going to have to start networking and working with her contacts.

Upon finishing her degree, she had launched into a sales role that was primarily commission-based. Though she believed in the product, she found it hard to get on the phone to contact people to schedule appointments to discuss her product and services.

After interviews with competing companies providing better training than her current position, she decided sales is not what she wants.

Think about what things made you happy in past career positions

I told her that her happiest moment in her career was a role during school when she led a non-profit organization and positioned it for a special event.

Brought on board in February to start recruiting the volunteer force of 1200 for the event held in July. Successfully achieved the goal of recruiting the full volunteer force before Mid-June.

I suggested she look at a job that evoked the same excitement. Perhaps she could find something that would connect her with event management or other non-profit work. She answered that two different network connections encouraged her to get involved with a new community project as a coordinator. Two people suggested she hurry to get her resume to them because she would be perfect for the job.

Is it age discrimination?

Even though she was convinced it was age discrimination, she conceded not using her network was doing the most damage.

The reluctance someone feels when making calls is worse if you don’t thrive in a sales role. The same reluctance is what job seekers feel when they contact network contacts or follow-up with someone they know.

It is very easy to blame something else when you have to do that hard thing. Studies show that even a difficult economic time, the successful job seeker uses their network to get access to the hidden job market. Are you making the effort to use your network?

P.S. This client landed the position as a Coordinator of a new community resource. She made a difference in this project and is frequently seen in as the media spokesperson for the project. She enjoys the new challenge.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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