Getting A Foothold On Your Career

In an uncertain job market, here's how to stay optimistic about your future

have that, but I would never have it if I didn’t start somewhere.” Allmond hit temporary agencies, Internet Websites, and relied on word of mouth. “Then someone suggested I go to the Urban League and meet with a career counselor.” Snell King helped tailor her resume to highlight her experience in P.R., and eliminate jobs, like nursing, that were unrelated to her pursuits. “He even sent it out to his contacts,” she beams.

“Finding a job, in any economic climate while you’re unemployed, is an extreme challenge, but it’s not impossible,” states Hal Gieseking, a Williamsburg, Virginia-based career expert and author of 30 Days to a Good Job. “Connecting with an expansive support group is invaluable,” says the job coaching veteran.

But there are other approaches. According to Bryant Howroyd, young professionals must understand that it is important to learn the language of their area of pursuit. Every industry has jargon. “They are not bringing a significant amount of expertise [to the position], so they have to be able to hear quickly,” she says.

“New hires with little experience can identify with anxiety,” Lowe insists, “but the greatest challenges facing today’s new entrants to the workforce, include showing that they are aggressive, technologically skilled, adaptable, and able to multitask.”

Allmond understood. She marshaled her network through friends and the Howard Alumni Association, and with King’s efforts, earned a job in the charitable field at Services for the Underserved (SUS), a 22-year-old agency that offers assistance to the elderly, disabled, homeless, and terminally ill. “I went through three interviews to be a case manager, and then I was hired instead as a development associate,” says Allmond who has worked with SUS for about six months now. “They noticed that I could handle multiple tasks, had excellent writing skills, was computer literate, and able to do the job of at least two people. Before, I had no choice but to be a little overworked, yet it turned out to be a blessing.”

You never know what other positions are available and not advertised within a company. Your interview must show that you can handle not only the job for which you are applying, butwhatever job that may arise.

Presently, Allmond is “raising the public’s consciousness about SUS’s message” by planning special events that lure generous donations. Her new levels of assertiveness have her feeling more confident about her career journey.

Brian Pittman Washington, D.C.
Age: 26
Profession: systems engineer at New AgeSystems
Degree: bachelor’s of science in computer science from North Carolina A&T State University
Passions: travel, basketball
Diversion: was considering going back to school to get a history degree and teach
Future goal: to own his own business
Motto: “Never accept anything at face value.”
Marital status: single

Stacy Mitchell Atlanta, Georgia
Age: 30
Degree: bachelor’s of science in biology (pre-medicine) from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina
Profession: claims adjuster for Montgomery Insurance
Original career plan: to be a doctor
Passions: reading fiction, listening to jazz
Survival tactic: “I’m aggressive about making a difference every day.”
Badge of honor: working with a nonprofit organization, teaching HIV education
Motto: “One day at a

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