An author who helped displaced steel workers find new careers 25 years ago returned.
THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
By CYNTHIA VINARSKY
VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Tom Jackson believes workers are getting "ripped off" if they don't enjoy their workdays -- after all, the average worker spends 10,000 days of his life at work.
But the career development author, speaker and consultant says job seekers have to use proactive, guerrilla tactics if they expect to find the job of their dreams.
"It's not watching it happen," he said. "It's making it happen."
Jackson, author of "The Perfect Resume," published by Doubleday, and six other job hunting guides, was a Career Week 2002 speaker Tuesday and Wednesday at Youngstown State University.
The weeklong series will culminate with the YSU Job Expo job fair, set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Kilcawley Center.
A Woodstock, N.Y., native, Jackson first came to the Youngstown area in the late-1970s to help displaced steel workers find new employment after mill closings left thousands jobless.
Now, he said, he's an international consultant who charges corporations "thousands and thousands of dollars a day" for his consulting services.
First on the agenda for a job seeker, the author said, is establishing a specific job target that will combine his skills, interests and values. "If we don't know where we're going, how can we get there?"
Looking at plus side
Jackson discounted the idea that jobs are scarce or that the sluggish economy might be reducing opportunities for job hunters.
"Even if the unemployment rate is 7 percent, that means 93 percent of the population is working," he argued. "What game on campus gives you a 93 percent chance of success?"
But job seekers have to look beyond classified advertisements and online job sites, he said, insisting that 80 percent of the jobs available are not advertised.
"Get on the phone; put yourself at risk," he said. "Don't wait for something to happen. Make it happen."
Jackson said job hunters must ignore feelings of inadequacy and fear that he calls the "little me," and they must not let their past failures or bad experiences determine their future.
"The best job search looks something like this: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, yes," he said.
Acknowledging the "no's" can be demoralizing, he said, but the job hunter must remember that he needs only one "yes."
Scott Kline, a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in economics who attended Jackson's presentation, said he plans to use the tips on preparing for an interview.
Kline, a Youngstown native, said he hopes to land a position in international sales or finance.
YSU alumnus James Pirko said he attended to brush up on his negotiating skills. An independent distributor of air and water purifying equipment, he returned to the area recently after living in Pennsylvania and hopes to use the information to help him establish a new business in the Valley.