Saturday, March 14, 2009

Can church attendance help those looking for a job?

Can church attendance help those looking for a job? If you watch CNN Money or saw its news post on AOL, you may have seen the story of Michael Butler, 42, who found his next job in church.

Ah, the media. They want to help those who have lost a job get their next gig as quickly as possible. What's missing in the headline of the AOL story is the real fact that Butler noted the change in the economy nearly six months ago.

He knew that the real estate industry in Dallas was not doing well, so he looked at his skills set and began to network with his friends. With a well established network, he alerted people to his capabilities and asked for help with getting his next job. He also took part in a free job search program at a local church.

Bryan Massey, the author of the soon to be published eBook "The Market For Me -- Surviving Job Loss and Building a Lifetime Career Network" would encourage everyone today to think of career management as a chess game. For those who fear that their job could be terminated, it's time for them to think like Butler and read Massey's book. As someone who has worked independently for eight years, I know that a good network is the best way to build my business.

I have depended on my LinkedIn profile, this blog and the use of Twitter to show my skill sets. Despite the skepticism of my wife, Jackie, a high school science teacher, social media has helped me demonstrate my communications capability.

But of course, my wife is a tenured school teacher. She has a job, and despite the economy, she is in high demand especially since she's a science teacher. For now, she doesn't need to be networking for her next job.

However, most of us need to begin thinking about our career paths. Our days of working one or maybe two jobs are behind us. We're going to move from job to job or contract to contract. If more Americans understood this and began to understand the value of networking, a loss of a job or a contract will not serve as the end of our careers.

Instead, those career changes can become a springboard for something new and fresh. Steve Butler understood the dynamics of the workplace. It's time for more of us to understand that the rules of work have changed considerably.

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