ONE NEW MEMBER joined us Friday:
- Dianne Stiefel has more than 20 years of sales experience, most recently in the mortgage banking industry.
THIS PAST WEEK, we broke into smaller groups to further network on a more intimate basis. We also discussed issues that we're encountering during our job searches with the idea of looking to address them through OCA and possible guest speakers.
Items we talked about:
Social Media - The advent of this area has been exponential, and there are many jobs in the market looking for experience at various levels. Razorfish, for example, currently has an opening for a Director of Social Media. Curator PR is interviewing candidates for a Social Media Strategist. A quick survey of Craigslist shows 64 positions posted in the past 30 days looking for some form of Social Media experience.
- Identify and contact a Social Media expert (or group) to come in and provide a primer and to discuss where this area is going with relation to marketing. Last July, Spring Creek Group did a guest appearance with OCA. I'll see if we can get them back in. Another resource might be Ben Straley, CEO of Meteor Solutions.
Building Tactical Relationships - It's one thing to work a room at a networking event, gathering cards and asking how you can help other people. But it's another with taking those 5 to 10-minute relationships to the next level, and really getting to know people. How can we build tactical relationships that we can leverage during the job search?
- Reach out to Sandy Jones-Kaminski, networking guru, to see if she can visit us and impart her wisdom.
Age Discrimination / Being Overqualified - Call it what you will, it's something many of us have encountered. We've got years of experience, but maybe more experience than the job description calls for. Or, we're pursuing a new area of interest, something we do not have as much actual experience with. And despite being very willing to take a lower- or entry-level job, we're still deemed as 'too expensive' or labeled a 'flight risk.'
Changing Directions - For several OCA members, the job search has taken us down a new career path. Graphic Designers are pursuing the web. Marketing professionals are exploring Social Media. How can we best position ourselves to employers (and to those with whom we are networking) to demonstrate the new direction we're taking?
- Contact trusted recruiters and HR reps at the companies we're targeting, to see if we can get a panel discussion lined up to tackle the two points above.
Job Search Tips - What has worked for others, for those who have been successful at landing full-time or contract positions? What did they learn from the career coaches, the job consultants? Did they spend time concentrating on networking or honing multiple copies of their resume to fit the job description?
- Contact OCA alums to see about setting up a "Reunion Show" to discuss what they've done to land their current positions.
Donna Sellers is now Director, Brand Marketing at Parallels.