The Traditional Job Board

These days job seekers tend to fall into one of two categories; those who use technology with comfort and those who don’t.

Imagine if you will, the typical person who, without computer skills, stands in front of a bulletin board looking at printed off job postings. Can you visualize that person? Great. What do they look like? Old? Computer illiterate? General Labourer perhaps? Young and tech-savvy?

There are good arguments to be made for having or not having a physical job board in an Employment Centre with paper copies of job postings. In 2020, it sure isn’t the environmentally responsible thing to do when job seekers are largely self-directed and have the computer skills necessary to access job search websites. The wall space those job boards occupy might be otherwise used to promote training opportunities, workshops, government programs and local events too.

But in my opinion, the argument for the traditional job board with its paper job postings has enough merit that I align myself with those who advocate for its use. One of the first things I did when I began with my employer was to look upon their existing job board and read its contents. It contained a single 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper with perhaps 20 job titles on it with a job ID number. Job seekers were to look at this single page, be attracted by the job title and then take the initiative to either look it up on a computer or walk over and ask for details from staff. Environmentalists would no doubt, have cheered on this minimalistic presentation as only one sheet of paper was generated.

That first week I sat from a distance and watched the flow of job seekers in the Resource area. Job seekers came in and some never even noticed that single sheet of paper on the wall. Those that recognized it for what it was, would move to it and stay an average of 6 seconds. A job title alone wasn’t grabbing or sustaining their attention. They then left immediately or sat down at a computer.

So at the end of the first week, I removed that single list of job titles and replaced it with 20 sheets of individual, full job postings with qualifications, responsibilities, rate of pay, hours involved and application instructions. Then I sat back a second time and observed. What I saw was what I predicted; the flow of traffic to the board increased, the people stayed browsing jobs longer, and most importantly, they often focused on one job for a few minutes and fully read the requirements.

So who were these people? Remember your vision of the person standing at the job board? See how well that image matches with who I saw. Ready? Good. I looked to see young people in their late teens and early 20’s all the way through to people in their 50’s. There hasn’t been any gender-specific issues either. In other words, people of all kinds are drawn to the board and looking.

I’ve also noticed Employment Counsellors and Job Developers who work out of their offices 1:1 with job seekers are escorting those they work with to the board and are looking at the jobs together. I’ve seen them remove a posting, photocopy it and replace it, then go back to their office. When they emerge some time later, they’ll often pause at my desk and introduce the job seeker and tell me what kind of work they are looking for and what they’ve just applied to.

For me personally, the real benefit has been seizing the opportunity to engage in a low-risk conversation with those browsing the job board. “Hi there. See anything of interest?” Or, “What kind of work are you looking for?” Whether it’s a closed or open-ended question, a conversation is initiated, and as we know, a conversation once started can lead to good things.

Now sure the postings will eventually end up in a recycling bin. Well, most of them. Some will be taken by the job seekers themselves or as they are about to expire, might get cut up and used for scrap notepaper and then eventually recycled. Some might even make their way into a Resume Workshop and used as examples of where to get the content for a resume.

Like many other things, the traditional job board will fall in and out of fashion. At some point, I or a colleague might look to better use that prime real estate for some other idea to engage visitors. I’m old enough to remember an unemployment office where there were rows of boards with rows of file cards, each hand-typed with a brief job posting and ID number. It must have been labour-intensive for those to be created and placed behind locked glass units.

I suppose the ultimate question of whether or not a job board is useful should be put to job seekers themselves. So what do you think? What would be helpful to you as you job search?


A Job Search Daily Plan

Have you ever gone for a walk and found yourself seeing things you’ve missed despite passing them everyday in your car? I know I do. I see peeling paint on wooden garages and patterns in the bark of long-lived trees. I smell freshly cut lawns more intensely and oddly enough the occasional but intense odour of a laundry exhaust. Yes, when I slow down and pay attention, things come into my consciousness that I realize are there all along, I’ve just been missing them.

Looking for work is similar. While your employed, you may look at what jobs are out there, but it’s only when you turn to job searching with more intensity that you see opportunities anew.

It’s understandable I suppose. I mean you don’t always inform your network that you’re open to moving on to something else because part of you dreads having to explain over and over again why you’re looking. The urgency isn’t the same either. No, when you’re working, especially full-time, your focus is split between the job you’ve got and the next one. When you reacquire those 7 or 8 hours a day that your job used to fill, it’s like the world slows down and more options suddenly appear.

An excellent decision when job searching is to commit to it. Well, if you’re goal is to find work rather than go through the charade of looking for work; and there’s a difference. The people who go through the illusion of job seeking can occasionally have success, but the statistics reveal the odds are low. Like a lottery, you often hear of the big winners, but we know there are an awful lot of losers whose stories are every bit as real but not told.

Now the people who commit to a job search see and ‘feel’ the job search differently, similar to my experiences of walking around a neighbourhood rather than taking the car. Just as you take in more when you walk, you’ll find more employment opportunities when you slow down and open up those jobs and read what they are all about. When you reach out to connections as a committed job seeker, you open yourself up to online calls, virtual meetings, maybe grabbing a bite and diving into the conversation about where you’re headed. You have the time to take a course that your previous working life kept you from doing. Your perspective changes on what your priorities are and you appreciate things you previously took for granted.

A healthy exercise to undertake when you’re out of work but committed to finding employment is to establish and maintain a focused routine. ‘Focused’ being the key. Waking up late, casually browsing jobs for 15 minutes and watching television might be a routine yes, but not a job search focused one.

A focused job search could look like this:

Wake up, have breakfast, shower and dress. Go for a walk around the neighbourhood for 30 minutes, clearing your head. Once home, sit down in your dedicated job search space – your ‘office’; and job search. This I’ll expand shortly. Mid-morning, grab some fruit and water the houseplants or read a chapter of a book you’re enjoying. Take 20 minutes. Back to the job search. Around noon or so, have lunch and for an hour, do whatever makes you happy. No more than an hour and a half at most though. Back to the job search. Mid afternoon, get up and get out and go around the block; maybe grab the mail down the street but get some air and a change of scenery. Late afternoon, document what you’ve done with your job search and perhaps get back to people you found were unavailable in the morning. Wrap up with some ‘me’ time before having to start making dinner. Enjoy your evening and feel good about what you did during the day.

As to the job search, what I don’t mean is endless scrolling on multiple websites, looking at the same jobs over and over again. That’s not job searching, that’s trolling.

Job searching needs to be stimulating if you’re to keep at it, so break it down into activities. Here’s some but not all the things you could do – all job seeking focused.

Contact your local first aid provider and sign up for First/Aid and CPR. It will add to your resume and fill two days in the next week or so. Define your existing skills and do it on paper, not in your head. Of these skills, determine which you want to use in the next job. Determine what companies you’d most like to work with and start researching their online content. When you know them intimately and know how you would fit in, send them an expression of interest letter even if you don’t see jobs posted. Create or update your online profile in the social platform of your choice; the one you’ll use. I’m a LinkedIn guy myself. Reach out to colleagues and get recommendations if they are willing posted on your profile. Articulate your brand and your value. Who are you? Why would they want you? Update the resume of course and get it looked at for areas to improve by booking a meeting with an Employment Counsellor or Coach.

This is but the tip of the iceberg. Good job hunting my friend!


Launching From The Job/Career Rut

Yesterday, I blogged about the Career Rut. Today, I’d like to continue with some thoughts on escaping it’s hold on you and moving forward successfully.

The big challenge for many is once having come to the decision that they want something different than what they are currently doing, the immense challenge becomes WHAT to do. The only thing that’s become clear is what is no longer wanted.

This is a period of flux, of uncertainty and should be both anticipated and embraced. After all, you’re stepping away from what you’ve done in the recent past (or perhaps present) and you’ve been using skills you’ve mastered and understand to do the work you no longer love. As your energy has previously been poured into that work, it may have drained your energy reserves sufficiently that of consequence, you’ve not been able to look with enthusiasm at what might come next.

When we were children and in our emerging teen years, if we were fortunate, we had parents and role models who encouraged us to do different things. They exposed us to arts and crafts, sports, reading, music and took us places to see interesting things. Simultaneously, they stoked our imaginations with the idea that we might be anything we put our minds to; the world was ours to explore.

How ironic it is that now as adults with expanded skills and experiences behind us, that we feel diminished in our choices; conventional thoughts limit our options, and we tell ourselves, “I can’t do that!” Those same role models of our past now worry that we’re going to make some regrettable decision to quit our stable employment for the uncertainty of something new.

What you know however, is the mental anguish, strain and stress of your current unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. To save yourself from growing increasingly bitter and despondent, change must happen. And I say, good for you! Save yourself!

If you know what you want to do then by all means get going! If the career you have in mind requires additional education and retraining, go for it and consider your time preparing for this new role as an investment in yourself. Well done.

If however, you’re feeling just as stuck, now wondering what it is you should do, there are things you can also do to move forward. One key thing is to assess not just what skills you have, but determine what skills you have THAT YOU WISH TO USE NEXT. These are highly probable to be transferable skills; ones you can apply to various occupations and jobs such as organization, punctuality, communication and interpersonal skills. You may have job specific skills you decide to either leave behind or take with you too. These are the skills you acquired and developed in your past role such as a software program, driving a specialized vehicle or teaching a specific subject. Complete an inventory now of the skills you have and emphasize the ones you want to use moving forward.

Now it truly depends on your mental state as to your next step. You might be very well served in looking for a short-term job rather than a career, that stimulates your need for something new. One that you can handle well and be successful at to reinforce your self-worth, yet one that you can walk away from when your longer term career objective reveals itself. Purely as an example, suppose you look to drive a school bus. There you would use communication skills, punctuality, organization and certainly interpersonal skills; the very transferable skills you earlier identified you want to use moving forward.

The thing is to look at a variety of jobs and envisioning yourself in those roles, determine what might be appealing. Driving your bus would distance you from the overseeing, micromanaging boss you want to avoid. It might give you that independence to work, yet still come with responsibility and perhaps the gratitude from riders and their parents would fill a void you only dreamed of in past roles where you were unappreciated.

Breaking free of the rut you’re now in is exhilarating, uplifting and liberating. You’re free!

Next up, you may decide that your short-term job turns out to be just the answer you wanted. Equally possible, you may decide that with your mental crisis of being in a rut over, you can now see with greater clarity what you might truly like to move to next. Had you stayed in your previous role, that clarity would never have come about.

The right time to leap forward and find new employment shouldn’t be determined by the market, when your mortgage or car is paid off or after the kids are all in University. The right time is when your inner voice that you’ve been listening to for some time finally gets through and tells you this is the right time.

Career Counsellors and Mental Health Counsellors are options you might want to have conversations with. Share what’s on your mind with people you trust because you might find that sharing illuminates possibilities.

Launching Yourself From A Career Rut

It doesn’t happen to everyone of course, but if it should happen to you, well, you’ll appreciate the paralysis it can bring on. I’m speaking of the dreaded Career Rut.

This is the phenomenon that occurs when you feel trapped in your job; mired in the routine of going in day after day, week after week with an absence of true passion or satisfaction in your work. It’s more than just annoying. Left unchecked, it can fester and grow, robbing you of happiness in how you spend the majority of your working day and soon becoming your prevailing worry outside of working hours. It brings on apathy and feelings of hopelessness. It steals self-esteem as you feel annoyed with yourself for not doing something about it and changes how others view you too. And physically? Make no mistake, you’ll feel aches and pains, headaches, feel overtired and sleep more to ‘turn off’.

Have you found yourself wondering more and more often, “Is this all there is?” “I don’t  know what to do with the rest of my life but it sure isn’t this.” As the days go by without a plan for change, tension rises at about the same rate your patience with others around you drops.

It’s important to get what’s at the source of the problem and accurately define it.  I mean you have to separate going through a short phase of needing some additional stimulation in your work versus that persistent, all-encompassing feeling of being stuck; unfulfilled.

Give yourself credit for one positive; there’s a problem and you’re consciously aware of it. That’s the good news. Now a question to ask of you – and it might sound trite – are you happy? Oddly enough, there are some who are quite happy to carry on going in to jobs they no longer have the least bit of satisfaction doing. They’re willing to trade personal happiness for money, benefits, seniority or vacation time. The trade off is one they rationalize as worth it and they do their best to convince themselves that this is just the reality of work; that it’s called work for a reason, that feeling motivation during your work is a joke.

Okay so if you’re not happy. The next thing to ask yourself is whether you’re willing to do more than just long for change; for change is what’s required. You can hardly expect to carry on in the same job with the same behaviour day after day and magically come to feel better about yourself. Change in such a situation is critical.

Change of course can be scary. There’s an element of risk as you move from what you know intimately to something new, and with anything new comes uncertainty. This however is about YOU; this single life you’ve got to live and spend. Maybe you’re feeling out of control; bound to carry on with your ‘responsibilities’, your ‘commitments’ and your ‘obligations’. Congratulations on being accountable.

Your choices when you’re in such a state are:

  1. Do something completely different with a new organization
  2. Do something similar but with a new organization
  3. Do something different in the same organization
  4. Quit and retire from work altogether

Doing something similar elsewhere from where you work now is fine if you determine that the role itself has appeal but the organization is what’s robbing you of your happiness. You might even take on a mentor or leadership role if you bring a great deal of experience and insight into a startup.

Quitting outright might be the answer if you’re on the cusp of retiring. However, when you’re in your 40’s, that short-term satisfaction of walking away may prove to be a delusion as you still find yourself pondering, “What to do now?”

Thinking you’re happiness might be rekindled in a new role where you work now? This is dependent on whether the company is large enough that the opportunities exist and whether or not your education and experience actually qualifies you in some other role.

So you’re left pondering the leap to another role completely and making a fresh start with another firm. Let me tell you, this is invigorating and stimulating; like jumping off the security of a dock into chilly waters. It can wake you up, jolt you out of your lethargic state and energize you.

To make a leap such as this, you’ll need to take stock of your skills, experience, interests and courage. Practically speaking, access your financial security, your comfort with risk and the impact on others where there’s family involved. Have conversations and you may find your ‘old’ self is missed and they’ll stand behind the change you’re contemplating if it brings you happiness.

As soon as possible, complete a self-inventory of likes, interests, education, experience, transferable skills and start looking with fresh eyes on jobs out there. Tap into your LinkedIn and personal network for advice and leverage these folks as a sounding board.

What you do is up to you. If and when you change and embrace the risk or remain securely locked in the rut is yours and yours alone to choose. We all evolve over time and our interests change. It’s not truly uncommon to feel the rut; but it is uncommon to actually take the initiative to do something great and save your mental health.

How I Started Networking With LinkedIn

Buy a tablet, computer or laptop these days and you’ll immediately start installing apps so you can connect to people. Buy yourself a new phone and one of the most important things you’ll do or ask the salesperson to do is transfer all your connections so you don’t lose any. We use these apps to connect to the people in our social / professional networks.

Long before we had such technology; and some readers might have difficulty imagining those days, you’d have to resort to dialing up a contact on the phone. You were limited in the people you could connect to based on who you physically met in most circumstances or to whom you were introduced by a friend or colleague.

Times certainly have changed. The world is our community; our global village as Canadian Marshal McLuhan, a Social Media Theorist, predicted. Connecting with someone in another city, another country, another continent is just as easy as connecting with someone who sits across the lunch table in your workplace. And even though we’re living in 2020 with these enormous abilities to connect, the question for many still remains, “Why would I want to?”

Why indeed. I remember my early days as a LinkedIn member. It seemed to me I had a choice back then of either cautiously sharing the bare minimum of information to protect my identity from people I didn’t know, or immerse myself in this platform and by doing so, determine if it was all it was cracked up to be. I reasoned that if I only shared the barest of information on myself with respect to my previous employment, aspirations and connected only with people I knew personally, I wouldn’t be able to confidently assert whether it was effective or not. In other words, I was setting myself up to say, “I made a profile, but I don’t use it because I don’t see any benefit in it.”

Guess what I hear a lot of people say when I ask them in 2020 if they have a LinkedIn account? “I made a profile, but I don’t use it because I don’t see any benefit in it.”

Oh I started of course connecting to people I knew personally. As I did so in those first few month’s, I remember seeing many people I didn’t know who came up as suggestions. Some were in my field, working in places near and far. It occurred to me then that I could possibly benefit from exposing myself to these colleagues working in other organizations; people in my line of work or closely related to it. So I clicked on some of the suggested contacts, and found myself welcomed by Dale and Aaaron in Australia, Gayle in Collingwood Ontario, Bonnie in Wisconsin, Don in Seattle, Martin of the UK, Rupert in New Zealand and Stephen in Ottawa. My online network was growing.

Oddly enough, one day my LinkedIn account was frozen and I was contacted by an Administrator with LinkedIn who advised me they had been alerted that I was connecting to people I didn’t personally know. What? Isn’t this how we expand our circle of acquaintances and professional colleagues? I replied with an email stating as much and honestly felt that if I was to be restricted in connecting online with people I knew personally, it was of some but little value to me. It was unfrozen immediately and I continued expanding my network.

Soon I noticed people were reaching out to me; many in careers related to mine and some with backgrounds entirely foreign to my own career path. The obvious questions I had were, “Why would they want to connect with me?” and “Why would I want to connect with them?” Valid questions. Not always, but most of the time, I accepted those connections. After all, if I connected, something good might happen and if I didn’t I guaranteed nothing would. And as an Employment Counsellor, perhaps people might be reaching out to me for support and help advancing their own careers. Well it was a possibility.

I’m glad I made all these decisions because I’ve been introduced to and met some fantastic, kind, wonderfully giving people who have stimulated my thoughts with their work and yes, some that have expressed thanks for my thoughts for which I’m grateful.

Just last week I had an online chat for 45 minutes with a very dear colleague I met through my blog and LinkedIn. It was our first actual face-to-face conversation where we heard and saw each other. Guess what? It was beautiful. It was like that friend you speak to once in a blue moon and pick up right where you left off in the middle of a conversation; easily and naturally. Bella is a talented, highly skilled and considerate person; a valued connection I’d never have the pleasure of having in my network if I hadn’t made the decision to connect with her years ago when we were unknown to each other.

My advice is to network. It’s how we learn, how we grow and how we help others. It’s not called SOCIAL media by accident.

What’s your experience been? Have you met someone for whom you’re grateful? Someone you’d otherwise not know?

Job Searching During Covid-19

Looking for work under normal circumstances is challenging. There’s resumes and cover letters to write, people to find and network with, interviews to prepare for and attend, traveling costs, phone calls to make and of course lots of time spent in front of a computer monitor trying to find the right jobs in the first place. That sounds like an exhausting process to undertake – especially when exactly how long you’ll be in job search mode isn’t known.

Now throw in the Covid-19 pandemic. Remember when it was just beginning? Nobody knew (or knows) exactly the length of time this pandemic would or will run. Will it be over by the end of this year or drag on well into 2021?

Living through 2020 hasn’t been easy for most people. Even if you’ve remained healthy, you’ve been forced to make changes to your every day routines. Shopping more online and using curbside pickups, having dental and optical appointments postponed, seeing your doctor over a computer monitor, more home cooking and far less eating out. And missing family. With every change, there’s a hit to your mental health; just another small stressor that forces you to adapt from your norm.

It’s scary for many to think of job searching at the best of times. If you’ve lost your job in 2020 however, you’ve likely felt it harder to reverse your fortunes and find employment. Why? Well, you either fear exposing yourself to people you don’t know who could transmit the virus to you, or you’ve had to learn how to meet and be interviewed over a computer screen.

Having had conversations with some unemployed people, I’ve found some put off the job search in the Spring because they thought the pandemic would be over quick. Why risk exposure? Then it dragged into the summer and these unemployed people ‘took the summer off’ to enjoy what they could. Don’t judge them too harshly; it may have preserved their mental health. With the rising numbers now in the fall, those same out-of-work folks are writing off 2020 entirely and looking to job search in 2021.

Some readers will feel that these unemployed people are likely the kind of people who are looking for excuses not to job search; and the pandemic is convenient. Like I mentioned earlier though, I can understand that protecting one’s mental health as well as one’s physical health is what they feel they are doing. To be blunt, people have died; a lot of people have died. Being out of work is pretty small compared with exposing oneself to a deadly virus and leaving loved ones behind for a new job at minimum wage.

Yet, despite the world-wide pandemic, people are looking for and finding work; employers are still advertising, interviewing and bringing new employees on board. The prudent thing is to be responsible and smart as you job search or hire. Take the time to look and you’ll see business owners being extremely mindful of increasing their safety measures. Hand sanitizer and facial masks are the new norms now, as is the 6 foot distancing rule. Handshakes are out, and while it’s taken some getting used to, we demonstrate that we are in fact a higher species when we adapt without exaggerating, “how simply impossibly inconvenient” these new norms are.  Those that complain about having to put on a mask to enter a store to shop for 10 minutes should try working as an employee and wearing a mask for a 7 hour shift.

Job seekers have had to learn how to use Zoom, Teams or Skype and mobile phones are no longer luxuries but mandatory items of business. Working remotely has happened in companies where it would not have been thought possible less than 6 month’s ago. Adapt or go under.

Those who do job search at this time are doing so in innovative ways, networking via LinkedIn and WhatsApp. Can you imagine the problems we’d all have had the pandemic hit when we had no cell phones? It sounds ironic and odd, but in some ways I believe we’re closer to people than we were before the pandemic. Truly, we care more, we reach out more and we collaborate more in remote team meetings etc.

Maybe we’re healthier too? With less cars on the road, maybe we get out to ride bikes or take walks more often. Maybe we take in the sun in our backyards while in team meetings rather than sitting congregated in office spaces without windows.

There are advantages to seize if you’re job searching if you look for them. When you are interviewed, you can have all kinds of resources on your desk that you couldn’t take to an interview. You’re in the sanctity of your own home and you never have to worry about wind-blown hair or excessively sweating in scorching sun before arriving for your interview.

You have to decide for yourself when it’s the right time for you to job search. Just saying, “Not now when there’s a pandemic” isn’t good enough though, because people – a lot of people – are having success doing so. Whether it’s right for you personally is another thing and it’s okay if now isn’t the right time. On the other hand, being safe as you job search has always been good advice whatever the year and whatever the circumstances.

Take care people.


New Job…Early Days

Here’s some of the factors I found adversely impacting my recent job search:

  1. I’m in the middle of a world-wide pandemic
  2. My in-person networking is severely impacted due to social distancing and the government advice to stay home and refrain from gathering
  3. I’m 61
  4. To strictly follow conventional advice of only putting the last 10 years of employment on my resume, I’d have a single job to show for the decade
  5. There’s the belief of many that, “no one is hiring”; in fact, companies are downsizing and only going to a remote workforce

Let me share with you the factors I surmised as opportunities for me to exploit during my recent job search:

  1. What’s happening around the world doesn’t impact on my job search to the extent of what’s happening in the local area where I live, and numbers here certainly don’t come close to the hundreds or thousands reported in other areas.
  2. I’ve developed over time a large network of contacts; some local where I’d enjoy working and many of whom I know via LinkedIn. I’ve also had the good fortune to work with some excellent co-workers in my previous job; people who stand by me and support me in my current job search. I believe in the mantra, “Make a friend before you need a friend”, and so for me to go knocking and ask for recommendations and references wasn’t going to be difficult; my past co-workers who were more friends to me went out of their way to volunteer themselves as supportive references.
  3. I’m 61! Yippee! What an advantage my age is now with a diverse and rich history of work in sectors of Recreation, Social Services, Retail and Youth. How fortunate I am to have experience on the front line, middle management and the executive level. How great is it that I’ve spent time working in non-profits, for profits, with the Province of Ontario, 2 major municipalities, been self-employed and more than all this put together feel just as enthusiastic and engaged in my life as I did decades ago.
  4. I bucked the trend and went ahead putting my full 41 year year employment history on my resumes! Yep, I didn’t want to suppress anything I did that I felt was relevant. After all, all the potential job seekers I am going to work with in the future are going to benefit from my own experiences.
  5. If the prevalent way of thinking is that, “no one is hiring”, that’s to my advantage as an invested job seeker! Less competition means more opportunities for me during the pandemic.

Where I began was with my most recent colleagues. These are the people who know me the best, and so it became natural for me to reach out and ask them if they’d write me a recommendation which I could display on my LinkedIn profile. Check them out if you like; these are the opinions of others attesting to my skills, strengths, abilities and character. Not only do I value these treasures, I went further and supplied printouts during an in-person interview for the competition I won and the job I hold now. Are you using this effective tactic? GET MOVING PEOPLE! IT WORKS!

Okay, so I had some strong supportive recommendations from my peers which not only helped me prove the abilities I have, they also helped bolster and strengthen a fragile psyche; the mindset I had as a job seeker.

Next I took some online and inhouse courses. I took a First Aid / CPR course in person and took some courses online pertinent to my field. These efforts did two significant things; gave me a feeling of accomplishment and diversified my job search. The last thing I wanted to do was spend 7 hours a day only browsing websites for jobs and sending in applications.

I went for walks too. Yes, I got up, showered, had breakfast and went for a 45 minute walk around the neighbourhood and a shorter walk – or 2! – later in the day. Again, it broke up the job search, allowed me to feel good about breathing fresh air and when I returned home, I’d launch with renewed vigor into the job search.

I’ve been employed now for 8 days. I’m an Employment Counsellor yet again but this time in the community I reside with a 4 minute commute by car instead of a 1 hour commute. I am finally in a position to support local jobseekers and I’ve met some wonderfully kind people who have welcomed me without reservation.

Honeymoon phase? Absolutely!

My age is an asset and not a liability. The pandemic changes how we live but doesn’t mean we stop living. Employers ARE hiring and they never stopped as it turns out.

Come on people; be happy for me and share in my success story. I’m not just sharing this because of my continued happiness and success; I’m sharing because our shared experiences are how we bolster and support each other. Like me, YOU too can be successful and more so, you deserve it!