Dancing With the Shinkansen
("What?! Gasp! Horrors! Throw the bum out!")
Whe I walked into Guilford JobLink late last week, I thought that I had reached the bottom of the barrel in my job search. I thought that the one-stop career center* was for perennial losers, ex-offenders, ex-druggies, and people who couldn't get a job any other way if it were handed to them.
I couldn't have been any more wrong.
JobLink* is actually a very sophisticated operation dedicated to doing one thing well: putting people to work. Within the center (which looks like it used to be an old elementary school) are all kinds of resources, books, videos, computers, a fully equipped and staffed computer lab, and representatives from several human service agencies. All in a fully staffed resource room.
The instructor for the workshops knows her stuff. I've learned quite a bit about job searching, resume writing and interviewing in the past three days. I'm actually looking forward to the last two workshops. She looked over several resumes that some of us turned in since Monday. She made corrections and recommendations on those that needed them. She didn't have much to recommend about mine, which meant that it was already pretty strong. However, adding what I've learned in the workshop and the few recommendations she did make, I plan to make it even stronger.
She's also not afraid to make us think, with an eye toward getting us to think on our feet during an interview. And some of the classroom discussion have been lively indeed. I've even made a couple of valuable contacts and met some really nice people. All of us have one thing in common: We want to work; we're not sitting around waiting for welfare checks to drop out of the sky.
I'm actually starting to feel pretty good about continuing my search, and possibly even getting training to change careers. I was bummed out about it before, but now things actually look a little brighter. For the first time in a while, that light at the end of the tunnel isn't the oncoming headlamp of the shinkansen**.
Plus, there have been several commenters and e-maill correspondents that have made valuable suggestions to me. Thanks to all of you who do; even if I don't immediately get back to you, trust me, I run down as many leads as I can. There are also things going on "behind the scenes" that I can't talk about yet (because they involve names), but I will.
So this is what...hope...feels like. Cool.
*I'm sure there are local centers like JobLink in other cities/states/countries. They may be called something different, but Guilford's calls itself a "one-stop career center." I just Googled the phrase "one stop career center" (don't forget the quotation marks) and got hits from several states, although I only briefly skimmed the listings.
**The shinkansen, of course, is Japan's famous bullet train.