For job seekers, there are many benefits to attending the bimonthly meetings of the Central Kentucky Job Club.
But mostly, said panelists at the May 28 meeting, Job Club gives attendees a sense of community, a support group for job seekers.
“It was my lifeline to talk with human beings,” says Anita Brubeck ’83 CI, one of the panelists on hand discussing their Job Club success stories.
What Brubeck, who was downsized after a 25-year career, found at Job Club was a whole network of people going through the same thing she was.
“I networked with people. And through Caroline (Caroline Francis, director of Alumni Career Services) I learned all these other avenues I could use to help find jobs,” says Brubeck, now a proposal coordinator at Marine Solutions. “It didn’t get me the job I have, but it helped me improve my process to find a job. I learned how to redo my resume, how to network.”
Job Club is a collaborative effort between the UK Alumni Association Career Services, UK Human Resources Staff Career Development, and UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Fayette County Cooperative Extension, created to help those unemployed and underemployed with their job searches.
Lisa Donnelly, ’90 BE, a personal banker with 5/3 Bank, began attending Job Club two months before she was laid off. Coming to the meetings helped her get everything in order when she was finally laid off in May 2018.
“I was unhappy with my career, and I had a feeling it was about to end so I stared attending,” she says. “And during that time I had my resume updated. Caroline worked with me on my resume so after I got my pink slip and I walked out of my position, I was very confident.”
Even if someone doesn’t find their job through Job Club, just meeting people who may know someone who knows someone that is hiring is important, panelists said.
Joe Gazala, currently a Technical Product Manager with OpenText, says going to Job Club helped him get out of the house, which was so important when he was laid off after 17 years with one company.
“It was a breather just to get out of my basement and meet people and connect with others facing similar problems,” he says. “It’s kind of like belonging to a community and I appreciate their help and encouragement. Sometimes you may learn a few new tricks for your job search.”
“Networking and sharing information was very good especially during such a challenging time. Because we all are searching for jobs, I may find a job that’s not good for me, but it could be a good fit for someone I see at the Job Club. In addition, learning about things such as resume layouts, LinkedIn profile formats, and interviewing techniques was also very helpful. In short, I really appreciate Job Club and its staff for providing such a service to our community.”
Brubeck says coming to Job Club also helped her get rid of the feeling she was a failure.
“I know that feeling. You feel like you’re alone, you feel like you don’t know where to turn. You’re devastated by losing something you loved,” she says. “You ask yourself, ‘Now what do I do, where am I going?’ So this helps you find out there are other people here that can help you get through it, all you have to do is ask.”
Donnelly says the support people get from other attendees and staff gives you the confidence to get out and find your next job.
“It’s a support group. That’s the biggest benefit. But there are also recruiters that come, they have speakers that are in HR, and it’s just wonderful networking,” she says. “It’s great because you are meeting people in the same position you are in. And a big thing is, there are job leads at the end. You meet people that Caroline has lined up to speak. It just gives you so much support.”
Brubeck has three “Ps” when it comes to advice for job seekers.
“Prayer, patience and perseverance. Every day just pray the right thing comes along at the right time. Have patience to know that it will — and have perseverance to just keep at it day in and day out,” she says. “Don’t let up until you accomplish your goal. And just keep that positive attitude to show you are not going to be stopped by this.”
Donnelly says make sure you have an updated resume, use LinkedIn and let as many people know as you can that you are looking for a job.
“Network. Don’t be afraid to tell everyone you need a job. Don’t be shy,” she says. “You have to get over the feeling that you’ve been rejected. You have to go network.”
— Story by Hal Morris