Tuesday, September 8, 2009


PROS is the mandatory carreer counseling I have to go to in order to get my check. It stands for "Project Re-employment Opportunity System." What does that mean? They made up the title so it would make a nice acronym. Who cares? Then just call it "Pros" if you want it to be "Pros." Why do the letters have to stand for something? Does anyone know what AT&T stands for? No, but we all know what AT&T does.

I'll give away all the secrets the instructor had for us today. Maybe someone can read this blog and say "I don't have to go to PROS! I read Christina's blog that filled me in on everything they teach." She gave us an "assignment." Oh god, really? I looked around the room and knew I would be one of the few who actually did it. Here it is:
Make a notebook to track your job-search progress. Here are the sections it should have:
  1. Skills-list all the skills you have acquired since your very first job. Uh, is counting items at the Ross fitting room a skill?
  2. Finances-list your financial obligations for one month, then figure out the hourly cost. This is the wage you should be looking for. ok, can't wait to see that.
  3. References-list 3 professional & 3 personal references. Here are some tips for references: call and check that the phone # works; ask the person's permission to use them as a reference; tell the person of your important job skills and how they fit into your career goals; elimnate & replace anyone who you may not be sure of how highly they will speak of you. Duh! I seriously had to find a babysitter to hear this?
  4. Schedule-make a work schedule for yourself and attach assignments for each day of the week. For example: Monday can be the day you go to the library and check the classifieds. Make copies of any jobs you see that pertain to your career goals. Um, some of us might actually GET the newspaper. Write your cover letter and update your resume. Should I include PROS under "education" or "certification?" Make sure you research any company you apply to. On Tuesday you can dress for an intervew and hit the streets with a stack of resumes in tow. Don't forget two black ink pens-preferably the erasable kind in case you make a mistake on your application. It's important to apply in-person at the begining of the week. Employers tend to think those applying at the end of the week are not really serious about getting hired. So go Monday or Tuesday. That's a new one! Wow, I learned something today! On your applications, make sure you write something on every line. If you can't answer it write "n/a." Leaving blanks will make the employer think you are uncooperative. On Wednesday you can research companies, job sites, products, mission statements and make sure to use that information in your cover letter. So are these the companies I'm going to bother next Tuesday? Thursdays are for making phone calls and refreshing your resume. Again, what am I going to add or update if I haven't had a new job since the resume I wrote on Monday? Fridays are for miscellaneous activities. Beach day.
  5. Newspaper-keep track of jobs you found in the newspaper. List the job#, requisition#, paste the ad to the page. List the date you applied and how.
  6. Internet-document the jobs you applied for online.
  7. Networking-this is considered how 80-85% of out-of-work people get jobs. List friends, family, and former collegues. Contact them and ask them to keep an "eye out" for jobs you might be qualified for. Cuz they have nothing better to do.

Ater this, the instructor went through some agonizing packets of information. The first was "Self-Management Skills" and the second "Job Search Techniques." They were both full of blanks to fill-in for self-discovery. Of course she didn't give us time to do these exercises during class. It would be our homework. Yes, homework! I'm a teacher and I love homework! The third packet was "Labor Market Information" and a miracle happened: she couldn't get the PowerPoint to work! So she sent us home early! But we're not off the hook: we have to go back tomorrow and see the presentation before we do the stuff scheduled for tomorrow.

Who can I text tomorrow during class? Everyone is working. Oh, I know! I can use my phone for some "networking."

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe "PROS" didn't prep anyone on how to deal with "Pros" who become your boss who are completely corrupt/ not to mention incompetent. No "gold stars" from me. wink wink...