Jobseeker, are you Interconnected & Plugged In?

Photo by josef stuefer

Today I spent the day in the hospital waiting while my husband, Bill, had outpatient surgery. Since I am not good at waiting, I packed plenty of work, books, my phone, and my laptop to keep me company while I waited.


I certainly wasn’t alone. The easily accessible wifi connected me with my e-mail and my Facebook status let my network know where I was and what was going on. I talked to clients via e-mail, talked to friends on Facebook and Twitter, and two colleagues on Skype.

I designed and wrote a resume, researching information online to build the resume.

There were massive storms in the area and so I checked radar to see how soon the storm would hit. I called my son, Dan to make sure he was there to watch Teddy. Phones are pretty old school, even cell phones, but not very long ago, you didn’t even have that option in a hospital.

I listened to another family coach in a relative using Garmin GPS. Other people were using laptops too and phones, interconnected. I could watch the boards in the hospital that changed as the patient moved from pre-op, to operating, room to recovery, to their room. Before I knew it, the doctor had come out to let me know Bill was fine and the operation was successful.

How comfortable are you with technology?

Technology isn’t going away but every day I deal with job seekers who either have no computer skills or don’t have the basic programs like Microsoft Word on their computers. I understand that it is hard to invest in technology when you have just lost your job but you need to develop a plan.

The Basics of Interconnectivity

If you can’t afford your own laptop or netbook, then find a friend, neighbor, family member, or the public library to access the web and your e-mail.

If you don’t have e-mail, you need to set up a Google mail ( account at the very least. Your e-mail should be accessible from any computer, not just the one you have at home.

Why Microsoft Word? It is the most commonly used program by corporations, offices, manufacturers, and businesses in the world. Notepad doesn’t cut it. And your computer does not automatically come with Word either. You need to build some knowledge of software by talking to people who have that knowledge so that you can have the right programs on your computer.

I can’t tell you how many clients say, “Oh Word must be on my computer.” or “Sure, I have it, isn’t that what Windows is?” NO! There are alternative programs but with so many resources available for job seekers, use the one that will get you the furthest.

These are the basics of interconnectivity. Everything I talked about using or experiencing while I was waiting at the hospital builds from there. If you want to stay viable in a rapidly changing technology-focused world, you need to embrace it and figure out how to make it work for you.


  1. Ed Han on July 15, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Julie, I hope your husband’s recovery is proceeding well?

    I was stunned not long ago when my father-in-la was in for surgery and learned we could use mobile phones in the hospitals–and now, wi-fi is available too?

    I should point out that there are alternatives to Word that allow you to produce a .doc file, a solution many do not realize.
    .-= Ed Han´s last blog ..Is Your Online Branding Strategy Harming Your Job Search =-.

    • Julie Walraven on July 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

      Thanks, Ed, yes, he is doing better but I have to make sure he doesn’t over-do.

      At our hospital, yes, free wifi, you just have to agree to their disclosure statement, no fees, no account sign-up,or anything.

      I know about those – like Open Office, the link to my other post has Melissa Cooley sharing those but I have also heard that the translation doesn’t work everywhere. If you know of a reliable option, share it here. I also believe though that most job seekers should get used to Word, it’s the most common application in most business settings.

      • Michael Lunsford on July 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

        I, too, wonder about the whole “Word” thing. One of my big issues with Word is you can count on the formatting getting messed up on a different computer. Either their version is different, or their fonts are different, but you can count on all that formatting being broken pretty badly. The end result can leave a bad impression.

        My preference has always been PDF – which most computers today will let you create even without having to buy Adobe’s software. The fonts are retained, and all the formatting is predictably the same across all computers.
        .-= Michael Lunsford´s last blog ..michaellunsford- RT @melancon- I am SO making a commercial like this for the http-lafayettepubliclibraryorg http-youtube-2ArIj236UHs =-.

        • Julie Walraven on July 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

          Interesting, Michael, I agree. A client looking at a collegiate executive role was working on the online application today. Because we used track changes, which I almost never do, we had trouble getting them to turn off. He ended up PDFing the resume and uploading the PDF. He also has an e-mail to send it direct to the hiring personnel so he will do that too but yes, it would be nice if things stayed put and the same across computers.

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Julie Walraven

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