What’s the Path for the Unemployed and Networking Adverse?

I immigrated to Canada 14 years ago, found a job in project management in 2008 but lost it in 2009 during the recession. I tried to upgrade my education by learning French. Already I had my English level assessed at band 8. But no opportunity came my way. Depressed, I got a security guard license and started working as a concierge at a condo building. My supervisor who had become a friend of mine, decided to move to another city about six months ago. Soon, I felt myself unwelcome by the new management and quit my job. Now at 66, I don’t know what to do. I’m not very outgoing and feel shy to ask for favors from strangers. Is there any advice that you can give?

Ann-Z-newFor starters, in the future rather than quitting, I would strongly encourage you to speak with your superiors if you feel that they are not happy with your job performance so you can improve it, rather than quitting.

Moving to another country and learning a second and then a third language takes an immense amount of courage and intelligence, so I would not short-change yourself. You obviously have a lot of attributes, and should make a list of all the positives that you can offer an employer. Then do searches on the internet for the types of jobs that require those skill sets, and go about trying to contact the hiring managers with the goal of gaining an interview. Most important, I think you need to change your mind-set to think of finding a job not as asking a stranger for a favor. In fact, it is exactly the opposite!

Not everyone is an extrovert and comfortable approaching strangers but when a company has a hiring need and you have the skills they are looking for, you are not in any way asking for a favor but rather offering a solution to their needs.

Hold your head up high, and be confident in your abilities. Gather letters of recommendation if possible from your friend that you used to work for and any other former employers if possible. Also consider asking for letters of recommendation from people who interact with you, emphasizing that you are reliable, dependable and pleasant, assuming that is the case. If not, starting today, make it a goal to be the kind of person that people that interact with you will be happy to endorse.

While you are looking for work I would also suggest volunteering someplace, so you can enlarge your circle of contacts, and gain people that will vouch for you when you get to the background check stage. It has been my experience that the more you help others, the better you will feel about yourself.

You have moved to a different country and took on the arduous task of learning new languages to improve your life, and I have every reason to believe that you can find yourself a new job where you will gain satisfaction as well as a paycheck.

Ask Ann,

Have a question you’d like a recruiter to answer? Write to me at AskAnn@execunet.com

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999.

ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country. With a team of 15 talented recruiters, utilizing the very best high- tech tools available, ISC can produce highly qualified candidates for companies with hi-volume recruiting needs.

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