COMMITTEE SPOTLIGHT: “What Have You Been Doing?” What to Tell the Hiring Manager…

By Kenneth Hitchner and the Marketing Committee
Picture yourself at your next job interview. You have just sat down in front of the hiring manager. You recite some variation of your 30-second pitch and begin to weave your Challenge-Action-Result (CAR) stories into the discussion.
Next, the hiring manager asks you the question that will determine whether you will be hired. He knows that you have been in transition for more than six months and presumes that your skill-sets have started to diminish in value.
The $1,000,000 question
“So what have you been doing with yourself since you’ve been laid off,” he asks.
“Well, I’ve taken this time to make myself more valuable in the workplace,” you reply with a straight face.
The hiring manager lifts his head and sits back. For the first time in the interview, he is no longer thinking about what he will have for lunch. “How do you figure being laid off has made you more valuable?” he asks in a bewildered state.
During your transition, you had planned your work and worked your plan. When all the structure in your life seemed to have disappeared, you took the initiative and created a new one. And now, it’s your time to turn uncertainly into opportunity.
“Once I was laid off,” you say, “I quickly identified my major skill sets. And then I analyzed my industry and the specific job listings to determine what employers would value.
“I joined the Professional Service Group of Central New Jersey so I could join its committees to help me maintain my existing skill sets and learn new ones. I also went back to school to learn new skills and the latest technology in my field.”
“Ironically,” you add, “I probably could not have accomplished this feat had I been in the workforce, but now I am ready to help my next employer take their business to the next level.”
The hiring manager quickly processes your logic and smiles. He likes your story. And you start your new position next week.

Your next move

To make this story your own, join one of PSGCNJ’s committees to maintain your value in the workplace and fill the gap on your resume. And if you plan properly, you can make yourself more marketable.
A brief description of each committee, along with the skill sets they provide, follows.

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