I think this is some kind of turning point? An anniversary of sorts? Some sort of celebration is in order?
Well, I certainly am happy to be at it this long, the Blogging for such a wonderful organization like Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors!
What we will be covering in this issue:
In the Press!
Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors Meeting Times!
First off: A Job Fair in Hasbrouck Heights!
At the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton!
March 7, 2013
10:00 AM until 3:00 PM
Special Guest: Eli Amdur, Career Coach Columnist!
Early in the Recession, stories in the newspaper were already covering those suffering the effects of the economic downturn. One of the ways many coped with this terrible situation was volunteer work. For the job seeker, volunteer work can take up some time, distract the seeker from depression, and reinforce the fact that they are not useless, alone, hopeless or failures. Volunteering, of course, will not mean in instant paycheck, but it leads in to the “Pay-It-Forward” idea, one of the core concepts of Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors.
Pay-it-Forward: To act without any expectation of compensation, profit, or recognition, but to hope that the favor is passed on to help someone else.
There are two reasons a person who is unemployed or underemployed should volunteer: To fill a gap in their resume. To develop, retain, and gain skills and network contacts.
There was a time where a few were actually posting signs and notes saying “Unemployed Need Not Apply” and the reason for this was to cut down on the amount of resumes they were getting. Yes, employers were being overworked by the unemployed that were flocking to them for employment. Those that were mainly affected by this were the long term unemployed, people who had been out of work for six month, a year, two years, and you can only imagine what they thought about someone who had been out of work for three years.
While laws have been passed that prevent this sort of behavior out in the open, it has gone “underground” so to say; it’s still there, still working, still guiding employers decisions, still keeping potential candidates and productive people out of work. We cannot control other people, and kickcing and screaming about it will do us nothing. The government has done something on the issue and a law in New Jersey is on its way to Christie’s desk that would give a tax credit to a business that employs someone who has been out of work for more than thirty days. With the carrot and stick in play, something should come of this, but what can we do? What can the unemployed, underemployed do? What can we of Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors do?
Volunteering counts as a job of sorts. Yes, there are still those who will distinguish between a paying job and a volunteer job, but most employers see volunteering as a good way to close the gap, show productivity. One should pick their volunteering job strategically, with an eye toward getting one’s self out of unemployment, not just killing time. If you were a technical writer before you were laid off, aim for a volunteer technical writing position. If you were a researcher, a volunteer research position is where you should shoot for.
There are a couple of ways to get volunteer positions in New Jersey. One way is to contact the volunteer centers and offer your services. Here they are:
The other way, especially if you cannot find a volunteer job you like, is to get your phone and a phone book and call up companies you want to volunteer for in the job you want. If you would like to volunteer as an engineer, there are a host of New Jersey Engineering companies you can call. The same with computer programming, technical writing, pretty much anything. When you work for a company for free, yes, you can open yourself to abuse. They could possible just use you and that will be the extent of it. However, most companies would appreciate the help and would see that the volunteer is a driven, motivated individual, unafraid, open to challenges, and more focused on being a productive person. At the very least, you have filled a gap in your resume. At the very best, you may have secured yourself a job in that company.
When you do this, however, go in with the assumption that all you will gain is experience. Through no fault of their own, companies may not have the budget to hire you. If, after six months, you have an enormous amount of experience, but no full time job, at the very least you will have a better shot at applying for full time in another company. Write the company a thank you note and more on.
In the Press=======================================
Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors has been getting some press!
Library Meeting Locations==============================
12:15pm Hasbrouck Hts.
6:30 Mendham Twp.
7pm Fair Lawn
10am Colts Neck
7:15 Lake Hiawatha
10am Monmouth Co. Eastern Branch
7:00 Boston MA
6:30 Cedar Grove
6:30 Warren Co
(every other week)
7pm River Edge
7pm Howell Twp 2nd & 4th Thurs. 2/14, 2/28, 3/14, 3/28, 4/11, 4/25, 5/9, 5/23, 6/13, 6/27, 7/11, 7/25, 8/8, 8/22, 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/14, 12/12 & 12/26.
2pm Monroe Twp
Hope to see you!
Neighbors-helping-Neighbors USA, Inc. (NhN) is a cost-free, highly successful Peer-led volunteer support and networking group targeted to individuals who are actively looking for work and interested in reinvigorating their job search. Membership is open to anyone in career transition, including unemployed or underemployed individuals and recent college graduates in the fields of business, non-profit, and education, as well as persons re entering the job market, struggling small business owners and retirees looking for part-time or volunteer work.
For more info www.neighbors-helping-neighbors.com