Yes, it’s a great example of being persistent.
But how would you counsel someone who had tried applying 800 jobs and still could not see a flicker of hope?
Tell him or her:
“Please don’t give up?” or “Hanging in there?” or “The good thing only comes to those who wait?”
800 applications? Really? Yes, it’s not an exaggerated number – it was based on a true bitter experience of one job seeker.
No words no matter how sincere and encouraging could console this person. As if we were telling someone who barely had anything on in the bleak winter night – “keep warm” – when we knew all he or she needed was a piece of blanket or a winter coat.
This is the main reason why the Employability Workshop was created and initiated by Janice and Fourteena in November 2013; not only to accompany the skilled-migrant job seekers in Sydney’s Lower North Shore area but to equip them with employability skills and reach their potential.
Journey goes ever on – 4th time. For the fourth time, the Workshop, sponsored by the Crows Nest Community Centre, was conducted. Unfortunately, this time Fourteena was not able to join Janice due to her overseas job posting. But as it has always been our spirit – the journey goes ever on: This time Janice teamed up with Agnes and Linda, both senior business professionals, to deliver the workshop.
In the Workshop…
12 skilled migrant-participants from all over the world India, China, Taiwan, Mexico, Africa, Spain, France, UK, Ireland and Iran attended this six-week workshop. Agnes, Janice and Linda took the twelve on a journey to re-discover their skills and strengths and to inspire them to see beyond the present moment – to let them see that their career aspirations were not a hopeless dream.
The workshop was intensive, keeping the participants busy to deep dive into the Australian job search process. After each session, the participants were given assignment to help them practicing the job application skills, from analyzing job advertisement, to writing job resume and cover letter, to taking mock telephone interviews.
The end result of the Workshop, in essence was to instill confidence in them in order to trust themselves once again, and be able to present their best authentic self here in the Australian working place.
It was in the last session that they had to demonstrate their renewed capability and self by taking part in the practice interview.
Tim, a senior executive, generously took the time to join Janice, Agnes and Linda as one of job interviewers. The participants were requested to dress for success -- ready for the job interview session after spending in previous sessions how to present their best authentic professional self forward. It was serious yet fun session, and valuable day for our participants as well as for Agnes, Janice and Linda as they observed the change – what the participants had achieved over the short six weeks of the duration of the workshop.
Regaining their confidence to pursue their dream jobs in Australia
By the end of the workshop, all 12 participants felt that they have re-connected with their strengths and skills and are confident in going out to apply for jobs, and best of all they knew how to present themselves well to compete for the jobs they pursue. In fact, during the workshop, three of the participants – including the one who applied 800 jobs application! – found their first job in Australia that matched to their field of expertise -- in pharmacy, customer service and IT respectively. Their successes were celebrated and it was also an uplifting spirit to all the other participants.
And in June, three months after the workshop, three more participants have found jobs that matched their career aspirations. By keeping up in their applications, using the job search skills they have learnt from the workshop anchored by the belief in themselves, all the participants will soon have the opportunity to re-establish themselves successfully in the Australian workplace.
From Participants. The following are quotes from the participants. They shared the positive change they have experienced since participating in the workshop -- it's very encouraging to read. The skills I have learned will forever change the way I approach
"Just to let you know I have accepted a manager position and will start next week with the opening of a new restaurant in Leichhardt. It looks like a big company with big plans for expansion and I get to work with my passion, food!
Thank you so much for all your support and taking the time to help me with my job search. The skills I have learnt will forever change the way I approach looking for a job and I look forward to utilising them as my career here in Australia progresses"
"I feel very grateful and fortunate to met you. You reminded me that I am very capable, confident person and that I can also achieve things, even being in a foreign country. You gave me the push that I needed :).
You do a beautiful job by helping others and I won't be able to thank you enough ever for your kindness and support. Please count on me if someday if I can be any of help".
Note from the editor:
Janice, Agnes and Linda would like to thank Zaneta Figiel and her manager, Denise Ward, Executive Officer of Crows Nest Centre, who have made this workshop possible and successful.
This article was originally prepared on 27 June 2015 after Summer Workshop 2015.