Jeannie Fennell is optimistic by nature. She is also realistic when it comes to the energy it takes to search for a job. She encourages job seekers to find a balance between looking for work and still living their lives.
Fennell is a former recruiter, employment manager and college career counselor. She now operates her own company called Lifeworks.
“I do this whole talk about making sure you have some things to do that have nothing to do with the job search. Learn something new, do something fun, get rest and get exercise. That is so critical because looking for a job is very stressful and it is very draining,” Fennell said.
In her practice, she is seeing some good trends. “First thing people want to know is are you seeing more people getting jobs?” Her answer is yes. “It definitely is a slow growth, but it is a growth. Just the other day someone e-mailed me and said, ‘I’ve been unemployed two years and hardly gotten any interviews and now I’ve gotten three.’”
That said, there is still one major area where Fennell says many job seekers need to focus: “Most people say, ‘I’ve been really looking. I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes.’. And I say, ‘Wrong.’ What people don’t understand is there are more jobs out there but it is just like it’s always been and more so. Eighty to 90 percent of all jobs are filled by somebody who knows somebody.”
In other words, get out and beat the bushes. And most important, never underestimate your connections. You don’t know who your friends or former colleagues know until you ask. “They may find something for you. Or at least someone for you to talk to,” Fennell said.
I’ll give you an example. A co-worker recently mentioned she was writing a letter of recommendation for a friend who was applying for a job. Ends up, I knew not only the applicant but also a member of the board that oversees that employer. Again, this is proof that in your job search, it can end up being a small world.
Fennell is also seeing more of her clients finding contract work. Others, she says, are starting their own businesses. Whatever direction you decide, she reminds you to strike a balance: “At the end of the day, when you’ve had just one more rejection, it really helps to say, ‘I’m going to do this tonight. Have something to do.’”
Learn more at www.lifeworksonline .net .