Life is full of surprises! At the age of 55 I should have been calculating my 401K, planning for my retirement, or at the very least pricing lake front property to purchase for those golden years. But instead I found myself back on the job market where most of my competition looked conspicuously like my granddaughter.
I remember my very first job at a sandwich store across the street from my home. Going in at the age of 16 and filling out the paper application, asking to speak to the manager, and being handed my first work week schedule right on the spot. Then as my career advanced, writing my bullet point resume, making copies and getting the local newspaper to start going door to door to prospective employers. I had experience in job hunting. I knew the ropes, well at least I did, know the ropes – 20 years ago.
What a surprise this new job search was. Filled with all kinds of questions, apprehensions and doubts because of my age. I nervously began making calls and getting the same answer over and over, “you must apply online” or “please go to our website.” My heart twisted tight as I realized I had a great deal of learning to do if I wanted to be successful in this day of social media and internet operations. I could either give up or get busy. I knew in my heart that giving up was not an option.
The one word I was seeing and hearing over and over was “networking.” “Find a network”, “get on Facebook,” “LinkedIn is a must,” “do you have a twitter account?” Twitter! What in the world is a Twitter?! So, as I began this new world of social media and networking I was so pleasantly surprised at the doors that were open to me. The wealth of information that was right at my fingertips. The people and places I could see without ever leaving my desk. Overwhelmed? Absolutely! Amazed? Unbelievably!
I’ll never forget the day my networking paid off, when I was scheduled for an interview with the CEO of Career Development Partners, Travis Jones. Recommended to Mr. Jones by a dear friend, I wanted so much to make a good impression. I had emailed him my resume and he had brought it to the interview, it was only later that I realized he was THE professional resume writer, and mine was surly not up to par (he never said a word). We talked about everything from past experience, to future plans, of faith and family and personal struggles. It wasn’t long before I began to calm down and realize this CEO was an exceptional man with a heart to run an ethical business that made a difference in not only the employees lives, but the candidates and companies he placed for as well. It blew me away. I had never worked in an atmosphere like this. I remember leaving that interview feeling alive and excited about what my future had in store. (I couldn’t believe it, I was hired on the spot, just like in the good ol’ days).
Now, seven months down the road with my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts well in place, here I am writing my first blog for Career Development Partners. Hired at 56 to learn a whole new career has been a challenge but more than that it has been the most rewarding experience in my life. I look forward to another…., well to many more years of recruiting for Career Development Partners. The Best Place to Work in Oklahoma!