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Snow on the roof

Yesterday I re-visited an old blog post of mine called "Snow on the roof."

The posting was a meditation on an expression about virility in old age that goes something like this: "Though there may be snow on the roof, there is still fire in the furnace."

At a networking meeting this morning in Flemington sponsored by Jewish Family Services, I thought about this saying again. The session was on the topic of strategies for older job hunters.

One of the speaker's points is that today's job market is very different. Some employers are realizing the value in hiring someone who has a little "snow on the roof," meaning someone who has experience, seasoning, and wisdom.

One of the keys, however, is that the job hunter has to believe in herself and have self confidence. And not fall into the psychological trap of thinking "I'm too old therefore no one will want to hire me."

In a cavalcade of great ideas presented by this morning's speaker, there was one gem that I'd like to amplify: networking.

Every job hunter knows about networking and why it's so important. But do they do it?

From talking with other job search coaches, we believe that the most avoided task in a job search is networking. Why? It is hard to do! You have to put yourself out there into social situations and use your people skills like talking and listening. These require high levels of energy and emotional intelligence. Unless you are an extravert, networking will sap you.

The result is that many job hunters fail to glean the benefits of networking. And their searches stretch on and on.

Here's a suggestion for all of you shy job hunters: Start your own networking group!

How? At your next support group meeting, listen as everyone introduces him or her self. Take note of every one that is like you in some way. For instance, at this morning's meeting, there were at least five people in Finance and Accounting.

When the formal part of the meeting ends, gather those folks to you and sit for a few extra minutes. Say something like this, "Hey. We are all Finance and Accounting types, right? Why don't we support each other? I suggest we meet once a week to check in with each other and give each other ideas, leads, and moral support. Are you with me?"

How will you benefit? By forming such a small ad hoc networking group, you will be creating a safe place to practice your networking skills!

Try it. Let me know how this goes.

Note: Here's the link to my blog: http://learningvoyager.blogspot.com/2006/02/snow-on-roof-theres-expressi...

Posted on Terrence Seamon on Thursday February 20, 2014

Terrence H. Seamon is a consultant who provides leadership and team development services to organizations. His book Lead the Way explores the challenges of leadership. Additionally, Terry is a job search and career coach whose book To Your Success provides a motivational guide for anyone in transition. His third book, Change for the Better, provides leaders with a guide to initiating, and navigating through, organizational change. Terry co-founded and co-moderates the St. Matthias Employment Ministry in Somerset, NJ. His free whitepaper on job search and transition, called "Galvanize Into Action," is available by sending him an email request. He can be reached at thseamon@yahoo.com and via his website: http://about.me/terrenceseamon