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Ask Ms. Judy: Sage of the Senior Job Search—Part 2

July 25, 2016
Ask Ms. Judy

Tips, Wisdom and Just Plain Old, Good Advice for Mature Job Seekers
By Ms. Judy Cherry, Career Advisor/Program Coordinator, JEVS Career Solutions for 55+

I am new to job searching. There are new terms that I am not familiar with. YIKES! What’s it all about?

MS. JUDY: For those of us who have been working for the same company for many, many years, today’s job search may feel overwhelming and so different from back in the day. Yes things have changed. Someone once said, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Let’s examine why each of the following phrases are important for you to understand in today’s job search.

1. Understanding company culture/mission statement
Technical definition: “Company culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work and includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals.”

Understanding company culture can tell you if you can fit in, identify and appreciate how a company does what it does. For example, if you are concerned about the environment you may want to know if the company shares this same value; you want to work for an employer that is committed to supporting environmental issues. Company values may be stated in their mission statement, which is often included in job postings and can be found on the company web site. Read the mission statement before applying for a job. Bring a printout of it with you to the interview. And, be sure to refer to the statement if you are asked the typical interview question, “What do you know about our company?” (Just don’t read the mission statement back to the interviewer word-for-word!)

2. Supporting and contributing to a team
There’s no question, employers want to hire prospects who will become engaged, committed employees who can work within teams. Being a team player can often involve collaborating with co-workers, learning new skills, and may offer you the opportunity to cross train in another job responsibility. That’s a good thing! Most employees want more than just boring, routine assignments. Right? People want to contribute to team processes, have a chance to offer ideas, and be part of decision-making. My advice, go into a job interview with a “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM'” mentality.

3. Displaying emotional intelligence
Emotional what? Basically, emotional intelligence (or EQ) is the ability to demonstrate personal qualities such as perseverance, self-control, and getting along with others. Have you ever thought that getting along with others was a skill? Well it is. (See item #2 above!) Employees with strong emotional intelligence are better able to adjust to change and be flexible enough to accept new responsibilities. So be sure that your résumé exudes emotional intelligence; include examples of your workplace resiliency and how you’ve built rapport with your current or former co-workers. 

4. Diverse work environments
The work environment has changed significantly today; employers are hiring workers from many different backgrounds, including varying ethnicity, race, gender, religion and lifestyle. The workplace is truly a melting pot, so you must be accepting of this when looking for a new job. Employers are routinely addressing conscious and unconscious biased behaviors by offering trainings on cultural sensitivity and awareness. Companies have realized that supporting work environments where people are valued for their contributions and work ethic, regardless of cultural differences, builds morale.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my second installment of Ask Ms. Judy! Now you can get ready and be prepared to understand company culture, become aware of the mission statement, display emotional intelligence and work harmoniously in diverse work environments.

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Be sure to check back for my next blog of Ask Ms. Judy. If you missed Part 1, click here.

If you are a Philadelphia resident over age 55 and looking for a new part-time or full-time job, I can help you. (For free!) Call me at JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ at 267-647-7137 or click on this link for more info. https://www.jevshumanservices.org/job-readiness-career-services/career-solutions-for-55/

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