Q. I have worked for the same company for 22 years. The company has changed in the last two years and it is not for the better. I do not have a resume but I do have several advanced degrees. I am afraid of interviewing and job hunting. I need to make a change, however. Where do I start?
A. First, let’s change your perspective. You have been with the same company for 22 years. Few can claim that in the current job market. This is a positive.
Second, start writing a resume. Look on monster.com and other sites for samples. Your first draft will be just that, a draft. Ask a few trusted friends or family members for their input. Sometimes all of us get too close to a document and lose the ability to truly assess the result.
Always have an up-to-date resume on hand. Every January, I take a peek at my resume and make sure it represents my work history.
Third, make networking a priority. Have a cup of coffee with a colleague. Get active on LinkedIn. Attend an industry event within the next month.
Fourth, develop an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a 1- to 2-minute summary of who you are professionally and where you want to go. Practice it so it sounds natural and complete. Ask others to critique your elevator pitch. Feedback is a gift. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback, it helps you understand another individual’s perception.
Five, practice interviewing. Google common interview questions and practice responses. Your fear will dissipate with practice and experience. Few of us are stellar performers the first time we try to complete a complicated task or process. You will become more confident with experience.
Lastly, you can do this. There will be bumps along the way, but that is part of the journey. Few journeys are stress-free and easy.