Career coach Marcia Grubel gave job seekers tips during a career strategizing workshop.
Having a hard time in this economy?
Career counselor and coach Marcia Grubel says these tough times aren't changing, so to survive first you must change yourself and your way of thinking.
"This workshop is less about technology and more about mindset. There is an old mindset and a new mindset," Grubel told attendees at Thursday night's "Career Strategizing for Challenging Times" workshop. The presentation was the last of Grubel's three events offered at the Rye Free Reading Room through the WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service of the Westchester Library System.
According to Grubel, today's career path to success is no longer a progression supported by hard work but a cycle of challenges followed by endings and transitions leading to new beginnings.
"Employers are now not only interested in what you know but how you learn and how you've grown," she said.
Along with outlining actionable tactics like networking, research and planning, Grubel emphasized that shifting your thinking is equally important. "To be successful now you need a portfolio of skills and a resume to go," which she defines as selling your assets into the marketplace.
In a departure from many career workshops, the demographics of the audience varied, from young people seeking early career advice to those starting over on a new career path.
Katherine Valone of Rye, a college freshman at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, came to the workshop for advice that would help her stand out in a difficult marketplace. She is hoping the workshop will give her the tools to put her ideas and education together and figure out "how to shine."
A soon to be empty nester from Mt. Kisco, who'd stayed home for years raising her children, said the workshop was part of her commitment to do something once a week in support of her job search and desire to pursue a new career in special education. "This is my time," she said.
Most others were, as would be expected, unemployed and actively seeking new opportunities. Looking for ideas on reemployment pursuits one transitioning gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, appreciated Grubel's perspective on the job environment.
"I like her emphasis on mindset," he said. "I like the leitmotif of changing your old mindset from a career being a cradle to a grave endeavor, to now having to continually re-invent yourself and become cognizant of your skills and competencies to create a brand."
Quoting from Thomas L. Freedman's "The World is Flat," Grubel emphasized that to compete in the new, global economy people have to "Connect, Compete, Collaborate and Innovate." Grubel said that for the older worker, this new way of thinking and being is not easy but it can be done.
Managing yourself comes down to "Confidence, Preparation, Repetition, Taking Small Steps and Learning to Fail Gracefully." "Confidence," she said, "is knowing you can handle what comes up and courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway."