*image from Bayside Church - Career CoachingAs my search continues for the perfect job I decided to try out Bayside's Career Coaching program. A four-night series of 2 hour classes on everything from God's role in our lives and during difficult times, to developing a personal marketing plan, networking, interviewing and perhaps most importantly how to stay positive and motivated. What did I learn? Well I learned that I was actually doing a lot of things right, I had a consistent brand ("MrAndrewBradley" is everywhere after all) I had reached out to lots of friends from various companies letting them know I was looking for work, I was applying to jobs, I was going out on interviews and wasn't giving up. All of that helped me to stay positive and realize that I am not alone in my job search. I was also reminded that I needed to keep expanding my network by meeting with even more people and arranging "informational interviews" with CEO's and other managers to learn more about their firms/businesses and in turn have more people out in the community helping me to look for a job (since people in their networks might be hiring that I do not know). Since the class I have already met with one PR firm and will be meeting with another soon to discuss core business models, clients and their approach to social media. As far as being motivated to keep looking daily, they gave out a sample point system and a goal of reaching X amount of points a day. For example applying to a job off of Craigslist.org is 5 points, going out on an informational interview and making new contacts/networking is worth 15 points and having a "real" interview is worth 20. So once you get to your point goal, you can be done for the day, or you could go for extra credit.
All of this came with a great binder full additional resources and information and access to a weekly meeting to go deeper into some of the topics discussed in the whirlwind of a class ... best part only $20. I know some people have asked "how can a church charge for something?" ... my answer, they are not making a profit, all of the people teaching and organizing the class are volunteers, the small fee goes towards providing amazing resources and a very full binder. I would dare anyone to go to any career coach and find a better deal than $20, let me just say you would have to add at least one zero, probably two for anything remotely close.
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Articles about the program:
"Religion and unemployment: God help the jobless - Churches are helping victims of recession," The Economist, 2/18/2010.
"The Conversation: Everyday people reveal recession's true impact," The Sacramento Bee, 12/27/2009.
"Job Front: Local Churches reach out to jobless," The Sacramento Bee, 6/1/2009.