Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I have always argued that change becomes stressful and overwhelming only when you've lost any sense of the constancy of your life. You need firm ground to stand on. From there, you can deal with that change. ~ Richard Nelson Bolles
There are many illusions in the world of work. When job loss enters the picture, humans can be fairly fragile creatures. More than just a decrease in available money, our schedule is suddenly disrupted. We no longer are going to our place of business to associates with the people who may have been our co-workers for many years. It is too easy for the unemployed person to become isolated and some become quite depressed.
Self help support groups or job clubs are one of the most effective processes available to help dislocated workers return to gainful employment. In New Jersey many of the One Stop Career Centers have Professional Service Groups (PSG). In Pleasantville our group is facilitated by the very talented, Christine Berberich, who possesses the right mix of positive attitude and organizational skills. We provide a meeting place and create a new structure, with telephones, computers, fax machines and copiers to simulate a working environment. Our participants gather, discuss viable alternatives to help one another find suitable opportunities, form committees to accomplish agreed upon tasks and provide each other with the support necessary to cope with the challenges. One of the core ingredients is for participants to learn to deliver an “elevator speech,” a short, positive pitch that sells their personality and offers their special talents. We practice these presentations week after week until they flow with perfection.
Almost a year ago, our PSG members decided to create a television show designed around these elevator speeches. We created two demo tapes and got approval from the Department of Labor & Workforce Development to send them to our local NBC television affiliate. Channel 40 was receptive to our ideas and offered up to a minute and 15 seconds on the nightly news. Wow, we were thrilled. Next we pitched the idea to our Workforce Investment Board and got the grant needed to go into full production. Pictured is the taping of one of our first segments. The first employment minute aired on April 7, 2010.
All shows are available on You Tube at the PSG Employment Minute
and on the NBC 40 website