- By Sudhi Oberoi - Feeling anxious about your job search? Not sure what steps to follow? Overwhelmed by the information available online? Fear not. MIT Spouses & Partners Connect (MS&PC) has the right set of information for you to streamline your job search and also keep you motivated in the process.
Moving to a new place is a big change affecting both your personal life and career. That is why understanding the professional setting of a new city or country makes the job search process less tedious and more structured. However, finding the right set of directions is challenging, as the internet is flooded with all sorts of suggestions.
To help its members learn the specifics of the US job market, MS&PC organized a special 21 day “Power Up Your Career” challenge on Facebook. Members were invited to complete a range of tasks that would help them be prepared at each step of their job search process. Jennifer Recklet Tassi, Program Manager for Spouses and Partners Connect, says, “There's so much information out there about job search - you could be completely overwhelmed and not know where to start! I think over the years we have been able to curate that a bit.”
Thanks to infamous research by Dr. Maxwell Maltz conducted in the 1950s, most people nowadays believe that habits are formed by doing something for a minimum of 21 days in a row. The organizers of the “Power Up Your Career” challenge took their spin on this popular belief and spread the challenge across 3 weeks.
Career Connect Kick-Off Conference
The challenge was announced at the Career Connect Kick-off Conference on September 29th, 2017. It went gradually from understanding career development in the US to learning the ways of preparing for it and keeping yourself ready for the next steps. The 21 days of the challenge included tasks like polishing up one’s LinkedIn profile, learning key ways to create an American style resumé, understanding informational interviews, getting ready for job interviews, figuring out minimum salary requirements in your field, and much more. All tasks were equipped with links for interested people to learn more on the subject. The challenge also included many MIT resources that the MS&PC community can make use of to leverage their careers. “You can't control your opportunities but you can control your readiness”, says Jennifer. She also added that the challenge was designed to give people time to focus on themselves, push their boundaries and get ready to seize an opportunity when it comes.
Snapshots of the challenge tasks from Facebook Group
The challenge is useful because it keeps all the materials for career development in one place for the benefit of the MS&PC community. Although a small group of people participated in the challenge, Irina Rasskazova, communications manager of the challenge, feels that this is a good start and that next year more people will be motivated to join. Jennifer and Irina collected feedback from participants and non-participants to improve the challenge and answer the immediate needs of the community. Based on the feedback, they plan to pause the challenge around weekends and holidays in the future, so people can take a break or complete the tasks they missed during the week.
This year the winner of the “Power Up Your Career” challenge was Desiree Citro. She completed the most tasks and won a free session with a career coach, Tad Mayer. Desiree moved with her husband to MIT in August, 2017 from Italy, where she was working with an apparel corporation. Speaking about her experience as a participant of the challenge, Desiree says, “This was a great opportunity for me to test the American job market. In order to be ready for a potential job, I started going to the Career Connect workshops and joined this challenge, which helped me finalize my resume and pushed me to actively prepare and look for a job”.