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Expert Panel Helps Fairfield Job Seekers

As the economy slowly returns to a point where more jobs are being created, those looking for employment may have to be ready to adapt to a “new normal,” according to a panel of experts at Fairfield Main Library on Monday night.

The event, attended by about 50 people and hosted by State Rep. Tony Hwang (134th District, Fairfield-Trumbull), was titled “Perfecting Skills in a Changing Job Market,” and focused on how the recession has caused many jobs to disappear forever.

“In this new economy, some jobs are going the ways of the typewriter repairman and milk delivery people,” Hwang said.

As a result, the experts advised that job-seekers continue to educate themselves and try and shift their skills to fill new positions that will be opening.

Joseph Carbone, the president of The WorkPlace Inc., Southwestern Connecticut’s Regional Workforce Development Board and part of the CTWorks program, said this recession is unlike any others.

“This is not going to be a simple move back. Everything about the workforce is going to be different,” Carbone said.

Along with adapting job skills, Beth Carter, a career coach, said that “your calling card is your resume,” and advised putting metrics on the resume showing exactly what was done at past jobs. In addition she advised to always be prepared for an interview, able to talk about skills, a past company’s culture and past company’s organization.

Chris Russell, founder of fairfieldcountyjobs.com, advised using social networking tools, especially job boards and LinkedIn to make connections and find hiring managers to pass a resume to.

A difficult part of job loss is the mental aspect and Dorothy Timmermann, the executive director of the Fairfield Counseling Center stressed the importance of mourning the loss of a job and then moving on, and being willing to seek help when needed.

“Envision a new normal,” Timmermann said. “No forest fire burns forever and the inner qualities and gifts you will receive from this will not be clear until you are on the other side.”

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