By Bob Presley
At this writing, news outlets are reporting that 6.7 million jobless workers are drawing unemployment benefits in America. The unemployment numbers are above 9%, approaching 10%, and growing every month. We are being told that the economy is showing some slight improvement, but that unemployment will likely get worse before it gets better.
An old joke that is not all that funny asks, “What is the defining difference between a recession and a depression?” The punch line: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose your job.” But, the above unemployment numbers are nothing to joke about. Even though the Texas unemployment rate is better than the nation as a whole, many of our Houston and Ft. Bend County neighbors are without a job, and they’re hurting.
In response to that need, several volunteers in the Sugar Land area have joined forces to do whatever they can to help their jobless neighbors, and have taken on a descriptive name for their organization, “The Job Search Survival Team”.
Mickey Mixon, coordinator of the group, explained the group’s aim. “During these hard recessionary times, with more candidates competing for fewer available positions, it is imperative that those in the job search scramble learn to effectively communicate their experience, skills, accomplishments and personal attributes in order to ‘sell’ themselves to potential employers. Our aim is to equip each participant in the program with the necessary skills to accomplish that goal. And, because we are all unpaid volunteers, all Job Search classes are completely free of charge.”
Participants are offered instruction on everything from development of their “elevator speech”, to networking and telemarketing skills, researching prospective employers, the writing of their resume, job search planning, interviewing and other skills related to finding a job. The entire curriculum of classes can be completed over three successive half-day sessions, which are conducted each Wednesday morning, 9am-Noon. Classes are repeated for the benefit of new participants, who may join the group at any point in the process.
Upon completion of the suggested class work, each participant is then encouraged to join an ongoing “Job Search Support Group”, which affords him/her the opportunity to discuss, network, share job leads and gain support and encouragement from other participants.
Sugar Creek Baptist Church has donated the use of its LYF Center, 13444 Southwest Freeway, just south of Highway 90A, and next door to Bally Fitness Center. The weekly meetings are held each Wednesday morning, and are open to anyone wanting to learn ways to make their job search more effective. Pre-registration is not necessary. Doors open for registration at 8:30am, the Job Search Survival classes and the support group are conducted from 9:00am till Noon.
For more information, email the Job Search Survival Team at: JobSearchSurvival@gmail.com or vivit http://www.jobsearchsurvival.com
About the Author – Bob Presley
In a professional career spanning more than 40 years, Bob gained extensive experience in radio and television communications, advertising, sales, sales management, marketing and business coaching. He retired from CBS Radio in 1997 as General Sales Manager of CBS-owned Houston radio stations, KILT and KIKK. In addition to his Job Search Survival duties, Bob serves as a SCORE volunteer and teaches a Bible class at Sugar Creek Baptist Church. He and his wife, Coeta, have 2 children and 2 granddaughters.