OUT OF IDEAS
Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I have applied to many jobs and often dont get responses. When Im able to get a response from an insider, Im told that I dont meet ALL of the qualifications for the position. These are dream jobs Ive wanted for almost 20 years!
When I was in my 20s, I was told to get a Masters degree and I could get the position. Well, I have two Masters and still feel like thats not enough. Have times changed that much? My experience and education have improved, but financially Im back where I was 20 years ago. Should I now pursue a PhD?
Call me Overwhelmed, Depressed, Tired and Trapped
A: Dear Overwhelmed, Education at any level guarantees no job. The all-qualifications explanation is a put-off.
Its time for a New Years overhaul to garner fresh contacts and fresh channels into your next position. Throw yourself into situations where youll meet the kind of people youd like to work around.
Are you active in local chapters of professional associations? Join and make yourself visible by becoming membership chair or working with the person who recruits speakers. If youre interested in positions outside your area, attend conferences and participate.
Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I am 46 and recently lost my job because of downsizing. Ive always been considered a top performer. I worked for this company over 13 years.
The last year they tried hard to get us to leave. We now know it was so they wouldnt be responsible for severance packages. We all stuck it out, although they were very verbally abusive. I had to sign a agreement not to take legal action or Id forfeit my package.
Id love to work at home. My last job paid about $75,000. Do you know any stay-at-home jobs that arent scams or can you advise on how to find a real stay-at-home job? Please help.
A: Dear Homeward-bound, Your resume reflects lots of skills that would overqualify you for most existing home-based businesses. Convert those skills into home-based consulting. Youd be excellent at helping virtual employees who need to be guided to meet objectives. Since you enjoy public speaking, charge for it and do more of it to create visibility.
If this strategy seems risky, get a traditional job and negotiate a telecommuting schedule, but wait until youve accepted an offer.