With many of the people who attended their job-seekers’ support group over the past year having found employment, Sheri Brown and Carol Einhorn are launching a new round of workshops for people in “career transition.”
The intrepid duo who run the Economic Response Initiative of Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey will hold sessions on Monday mornings at the headquarters in Elizabeth, starting on Sept. 13, and on the first Wednesday evening of each month, starting on Oct. 6, at the JCC of Central New Jersey in Scotch Plains.
Their programs are funded by the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey.
“We keep losing people, and getting new people, so we’ve decided to go back to the basics,” explained Einhorn. That means, in addition to a roster of speakers, they will conduct discussions on resume-writing and interviewing, networking, and the ongoing challenge to sell oneself.
“Not that we’re kicking anyone out,” Brown put in. “The people who have been coming are welcome to continue.”
And many will. The group had become more than just an employment seminar. Einhorn said, “It’s a very important part of what we’ve been doing. These are very bright, articulate people, and they are very focused on action, so it’s a positive atmosphere. When you’re not working, you miss having colleagues, and we provide that. It’s a way to stay engaged with other people.”
For all the success that their clients have seen, the job climate has changed less than they would have hoped when they started the group last year. “The economy isn’t yet creating that many jobs,” Brown said. “Getting a job takes time and hard work and a lot of networking. You need to be constantly exploring new ways to network, and that’s what we work on.”
‘Beat the odds’
They also believe that when times are this tough, finding your way alone, by trial and error, just isn’t practical. They stress the importance of working with other people, rather than sticking to books, blogs, and other Internet advice sites.
With that in mind, they have invited Lisa Chenofsky Singer, a certified coach and motivational speaker from Millburn, to address the first session of the Elizabeth group, on Monday, Sept. 13.
Her topic is “It’s all about attitude.” She will teach participants techniques and exercises to help them face and appreciate their own reality and build resilience, so they can tackle the job search with an upbeat outlook.
Stan Elson will speak to the group the following month. An outplacement consultant and longtime trainer in the financial industry, he will provide tips on making the most of every networking opportunity. That know-how has evolved through personal as well as professional experience; he said that in the course of his career, he has secured for himself 13 full- and part-time jobs through his own networking efforts.
In Scotch Plains, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, the first speaker will be Abby Kohut, a recruiting expert from Springfield who goes by the name “Absolutely Abby.” Her topic will be “Job Searching 2010 –— How to Play and Beat the Odds.” She has written books, been interviewed in the media, and issues biweekly letters on her website, all geared to helping job seekers set themselves ahead of the competition using social media and other avenues. Her mission, she said, is to help one million job seekers in 2010.
Kohut wrote to Einhorn and Brown, “The days are gone when having a resume printed on special paper with a fancy font on it will get you noticed. In today’s job market, you have to network your way into companies using face-to-face connections.”
Breaking into the job market with no prior experience can be even tougher than finding a new way to re-enter it. Einhorn and Brown will also conduct a seminar — in conjunction with Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties — for those who are new to the workplace on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Temple Har Shalom in Warren. In addition to them, the group will also hear from Michelle Tillis Lederman of Executive Essentials and Elise Prezant of the JFS of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties
Brown and Einhorn counsel clients one-on-one, but they stress that the workshop sessions are not about psycho-therapy. “People do discuss some of the emotional issues they’re dealing with, but the focus is on action,” Einhorn said.