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Posts Tagged ‘Kit Harrington Hayes’

Being the metaphorical, word game, pun-loving person that I am, using idioms and well-known phrases as my blog entry titles just seems to fit.

For those of you not familiar with the idiom “the whole kit and caboodle,” it means “bunch, lot aggregation, collection, accumulation, assemblage – several things grouped together or considered as a whole.”

I chose that as the title for this post for two reasons. The career counselor that CBS has arranged for me to work with is Kit Harrington Hayes. Since we talk about lots of things pertaining to my background, my growth, my journey, I guess that means she’s the “kit” and I’m the “caboodle.” I am incredibly fortunate as we have connected on lots of levels as I mentioned in my first post. Below is just a bit about her taken from workforce50.com to which she is a regular contributer:

Kit Harrington Hayes, founder of LifeWork Design, is a Life and Career Transformation Consultant who has been counseling and coaching adults in transition for 25 years. Author of Managing Career Transitions (Prentice Hall, 2000), Kit is known for her compassion, intuitive style, real world perspective and market savvy.

Kit founded LifeWork Design in 2006 with a mission to empower people age 50+ to create lives of engagement, passion and contribution. She has attracted a range of clients who are redirecting their careers, rebalancing their lives and discovering new opportunities for fulfillment.

That sounded like just the person I need!

Within 20 minutes of finding out from Audrey Gruber that I had been selected to be the 55+ representative in the CBS Early Show piece on unemployment in 2009, Kit had called me to set up our first meeting which would be Monday, January 26 at her office in Arlington, MA, about 70 miles (or an hour and a half on a good-traffic day) from Dover.

Our first visit was spent talking about the CBS piece (with neither of us having complete knowledge of what we had gotten into), looking over my resume, and answering lots of questions. Through our chatting, we found out that we had supported the same candidate in the election and had interesting stories to share. There was lots of laughter and even a couple of tears. My first impression was confirmed! I’m in good hands!

I had indicated a willingness to be a guinea pig when it came to assessments. I would do whatever Kit thought would be helpful to me specifically and also take any that might prove to be jumping off points that would help others.

That being said, Thursday found us in Kit’s living room (which is painted a similar color to mine, by the way), cameras rolling (more on that in another post), and Diana shuffling cards. This particular activity was designed to sort through things that were meaningful to me and then sorting further to what were the most important, taking a stack of about 25-30 cards and whittling down to 5 (though she did let me have 6).

We managed to ignore the camera as we chatted and I shuffled, my making a few comments along the way that may or may not get air play. My cards ended up being: facilitating change, seeing possibilities, solving problems, instructing people, bringing out potential, and adding humor. I did request substituting the card “bringing joy” since the broader term sums me up better. Sometimes you can be joyful in the midst of tears). For those of you that know me, I hope there are no real surprises here.

We, of course, did more work on the resume. I have been most intrigued by the process and how some simple modification changes its effectiveness.

Kit suggested that I take four part-time teaching positions and combine them into “one” position as Adjunct Faculty with four locations. That was another “aha.” Those part-time positions concurrent with my full-time ones were important as they demonstrated my experience teaching adults.

Her suggestion to combine them did a couple of things. First, it gave emphasis to the WHAT rather than the WHERE. (Now titles are listed first on all employment.) Second, more emphasis is now placed on my full-time employment that was getting lost in the long list. Lastly, because I now had FOUR entries instead of EIGHT, the “academia” was not quite so prominent.

Lessening the prominence of “academia” was very important. One of the stumbling blocks I feel I am encountering (in addition to the whole “age” thing) is the fact that “corporate” America cannot see past “teacher” and completely ignores my skill set (and thus my application). My previous employment history layout had reinforced that problem.

We did a similar readjustment to my education. I had tried to emphasize the fact that I am a life-long learner; but the list of graduate work was probably working against me as well. So now I have my M.Ed., my B.A. and a note that I have additional graduate work in technology, administration, and grant writing.

I had moved from a chronological to a functional resume when I was RIF’d in 1993. (RIFs are “reductions in force” which is the educational term for layoff.) Since so much of “teacher” appears redundant to the non-academic eye, I thought it made sense to look at what I did both vocationally and avocationally and describe those experiences following with a listing of employment and education. As I was majorly involved in doing desktop publishing at the time, it made sense to also use this as a portfolio piece. So my “brochure” was born. It always got a “wow” response when presented.

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However, there have been many changes since 1993 with RESUME READERS being among them. ON LINE APPLICATIONS are another. Anything in a landscape orientation like mine DOES NOT WORK with a resume reader. Add to that the fact that when uploaded to a website (and most applying is that way now), the subsequent printouts made at the company lose the impact that is gained in the mail or hand delivery.

Even in the best of circumstances, there’s flipping of paper involved in looking at the skill and trying to figure out where it came from. And I had to admit, it was definitely suffering from TMI – too much information.

We were updating the information to be more quantifiable and eliminating anything that was repetitive or extraneous to have cleaner and more-action oriented statements. I was doing myself a disservice in preventing my accomplishments from being seen.

As much as I loved my unique format, IT HAD TO CHANGE!

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