Careers & Coffee Episode 11: Patience and persistence pays off

careers and coffee podcast

In this week’s episode of Careers & Coffee, Liz and Dan discuss re-entry into the workforce, re-entry into normal life, and how patience and persistence is your best friend when going after your next opportunity. Yes, we are having an in-person Career Fair September 16th! Click here for more information.

A couple weeks ago we attended Entrefest downtown Cedar Rapids and heard an amazing keynote from Marcus Bullock!  To watch his presentation click here and get inspired.

Full Transcript

Dan Holterhaus 0:03
All right. Good morning, everybody. Good morning, Liz.

Liz Kennedy 0:05

Dan Holterhaus 0:07
Careers and coffee. This is episode number 11. I had to look that up, but

Liz Kennedy 0:13
we’re so great at this now.

Dan Holterhaus 0:17
Experienced podcasters youtubers cool well, by being used today less. Yeah. Guess what? September 16 we’re going back to having a career fair.

Liz Kennedy 0:34
Career Fair. Oh, I pointed the wrong way.

Dan Holterhaus 0:39
So, so special announcement. Yeah, we are having a career week and that entire week 13th through the 16th culminating with an in person career fair at NewBo City Market. Downtown Cedar Rapids, NewBo district in conjunction with Meet me at the market Thursday night at Newbo City Market.

Liz Kennedy 1:01
Yeah, so you could hop on a veo, and get yourself to the career fair

Dan Holterhaus 1:07
and do some yoga and hang out and get some food. And yeah, so I’m ready. I’m excited. Absolutely. 330 to 630. Thursday night, I know we’re still what to tune last months away. Yes, three months away. But we’re excited. We’re expecting up to 30 employers, hopefully, I know, we’ve already got a few lined up and many more to come. So we’re, we’re pumped up for that.

Liz Kennedy 1:37
Yeah, I would say the employers are very excited to have an in person career fair. So I think it’s a win win. And hopefully you have a job by September and you don’t even need to come to our career fair. But it’s going to be a really great way to kind of mix with employers and the the excitement that is new Bo and just get a sense of what’s out there. So maybe you’re thinking “Oh, actually, I’m not going to return to work until the fall, and my kids are back in school.” September 16, is a little bit after that. So you have time to get people kind of settled into routines at that point. So it’s really going to be a good time. And career week is all about getting you prepped for that day in person of, you know, refining your resume and talking up your, you know, interview skills and maybe just working over your elevator pitch and, and some of those things, and we had some good feedback from job seekers who attended the spring career week, that was just virtual, about how it kind of helped them kind of get a focus when they were doing their job search. So hope will do the same for you.

Dan Holterhaus 2:45
Yeah, absolutely. And, well, we’ll put links to where you can go sign up actually, for career week, if you’re interested in doing that already. I know we’ve already had several people sign up and say they want to attend. And I just want to say real quick, there’s a reason why we ask people to sign up and we capture email addresses and names. And it’s because the employers that attend, they want to let they want to they want resumes they they want a list of people that were there. And so it’s kind of mutually beneficial, right, you as a job seeker. Want to get your resume in front of all these employers, they’re at the career fair looking for people hungry to work. So that’s the reason why we ask people to sign up. If you don’t do it on our website, where and we’ll put a link in the show notes here. You can sign up the day of the event.

Liz Kennedy 3:39
And everyone that does sign up is in and shows up to career week or career fair like in person will be in the running for $50 amazon gift card. So just a little sweeten the deal. there.

Dan Holterhaus 3:53
Fifty bucks? That’ll go a long ways on Amazon. That’s a lot of coffee.

Liz Kennedy 4:02
It depends if you have prime or not – for me $50 doesn’t go very far, but

Dan Holterhaus 4:09
alright, cool. Well, that’s enough about career week/ career fair. We just want to touch briefly today on unemployment. And, you know, obviously, you know, right now we’re in late June of 2021. We have a lot of people that haven’t returned to the workforce yet kind of post COVID maybe you bought they lost their job or you came on employed sometime in 2020. And then just, you know, for whatever reason, everybody’s situation is kind of different, but not returned to the workforce yet. Maybe are holding out looking for that right job or, you know, waiting for the job industry that they work in to pick back up a little bit more. So, we just wanted to touch on, you know, some of some of the benefits and opportunities When going back to work and having a job. And so aside from just having a regular paycheck, I have a few of these pulled up on my other monitor right now. But let’s I want to, I want to get your thoughts on having the number two thing they say aside from a regular paycheck as a benefit is a sense of identity. Yeah, so I want to get your thoughts on having a sense of identity with what you do in your job.

Liz Kennedy 5:32
That’s definitely something that when you lose a job you feel a loss of is a sense of identity. So sometimes the the sense of identity that comes with a job isn’t something you notice until it’s gone. And I think the main thing there is that it’s the recognition that you get from working somewhere with that exchange of money, you’re so you’re getting paid to, to perform a service of some kind. That exchange, just the simple exchange that’s happening there, tells yourself like subconsciously, that you have a value. And everyone has a value, whether they’re working or not. So I’m not, I’m not trying to make a statement about your value. It’s just, it’s just something that automatically comes with working. That, that you have to actually if you’re let’s say you’re a stay at home parent, you have to kind of like artificially create that sense of identity through your work as a stay at home parent, but it just kind of comes naturally when someone is actually paying you to show up because you’re not getting that appreciation. And thanks for your family for showing up every day. Maybe you aren’t maybe you haven’t really special.

Yeah, so yeah, I think that’s definitely true. I think it can go the wrong way. Sometimes when you over identify with your job, and then all of a sudden, because of structural changes, or because of the economy or because the way business went, all of a sudden, you’re out of that role. And then you feel this loss of like, Okay, well, who am I? So, I would just caution against tying yourself too closely to that job, but it is definitely a benefit to having a job.

Dan Holterhaus 7:19
Yeah, absolutely. And glancing down this list a little bit further. And this, this kind of ties in with that, especially if what you brought up is having a work life balance? Could you expand on the importance of having a little bit of a balance, maybe between what you do at work and what you do away from work? Yeah, well, this,

Liz Kennedy 7:43
This is also a tricky one, why you asking me all these hard questions, Dan? Um, there is I don’t know if there is such a thing as total work life balance, because you know, your, your sacrifice, you’re making sacrifices every day for one or the other, your life or your job. But if you don’t have enough money to eat, then you’re sacrificing that that need, you know, so I think work life balance, can, you know, if you aren’t working, and you could get over, you could over and I don’t know how to say this, you can get overwhelmed with the sense of, you know, the freedom that you have, or all the different things that you could potentially do, and inadvertently create roadblocks for yourself. But when you have the structure of work, it puts things into perspective. And like, Okay, well, I only have so much time outside of my schedule, to accomplish my life goals. And so I’m going to need to be aggressive with those goals to make them happen. I can’t just wait for them to happen. So I guess, because there’s a box there. It might help with, with a little bit of structure. That when it said, Did I that I hit the mark?

Dan Holterhaus 9:01
I don’t know. Well, yeah. I mean, there’s nothing here. It just gives me bullet points. But yeah, no, I completely agree with you. I think you touched on a couple things in both of those points, the sense of identity. Maybe not like I think these are both very intertwined, right. So it’s like a sense of identity thing. If you identify yourself as your job. I mean, we’re in you work, work, work, work, work. And then you don’t have that. You can definitely feel that loss, like you mentioned. But then you also maybe didn’t have great work life balance to begin with. And you know, at any at any given time, like you mentioned, maybe work needs a little more effort. Maybe your life away from work needs a little more effort. So I agree. Like there’s there’s definitely a pole probably at all times in your work life balance. But those two things are very closely are intertwined in my mind.

Liz Kennedy 10:03
Yeah. If If you come to the end of your work day, and you have no brain power, and you have nothing left to give, and you show up at home, and you know, that’s not satisfying either. So there’s the you just have to figure out how to manage your time and say no to some of those pressures that come at you throughout the day. And likewise, in your home life, the same thing applies. And so just having that sense of responsibility to a job, will help sometimes help set those priorities. We did have a recent story in the Gazette, which I thought was kind of interesting. And I think it might I don’t know, I related to it a little bit. It was talking about re entry anxiety, of terror tourists re entering the workforce, or maybe even those working from home. Being, you know, told basically, to report back to work now. Okay, next over, you know, and I just thought it was kind of interesting. Have you have you ever had a question for you, Dan, I mean, if you felt this level of reentry anxiety, I know, because that isn’t back yet. But we are gonna be heading back there in the fall.

Dan Holterhaus 11:22
Definitely, yeah, um, you know, working from home for so long, and I live alone as well. So, you know, last year, for majority of maybe the last 15 months, I didn’t, I would go sometimes days with kind of just seeing myself, except for maybe, you know, getting outside and going for a walk or something and seeing some people on the sidewalk. So, I’ve definitely felt a little bit of this re entry anxiety. I ran into somebody yesterday that I hadn’t seen in a couple years. And I was like, I was trying to have a conversation with them. And I was like, man, I really have become a little socially awkward, a little socially awkward, but, you know, it was just, you know, we weren’t quite sure, like how far to stand away from each other, you know, as somebody that I hadn’t seen in a while. And so, yeah, it definitely was like social events. And I know, on Monday, we had a team meeting down at our office, and just five of us. And I thought that was an amazing experience. Because we hadn’t had an in person meeting, or ever tell you what it was. I thought it was really good. to actually get off, get off of the computer, get off the zoom, zoom, zoom was great. But you know, it was good to get back in person and see some faces and be around people.

Liz Kennedy 13:01
It was interesting, too, because we’ve been on zoom for over a year. And in our meeting, we were able to have two conversations going on at the same time, which potentially is a problem, like we should really all be in the same conversation and not have them. But it’s just funny, because like that could never happen over zoom, because you wouldn’t be able to understand the other person because of microphones and ta No, and the camera and all that stuff. And yeah. So there’s definitely that I feel that re entry anxiety still, even though I have a job. And so I just wonder it must be difficult for job seekers who haven’t been working for some time, or maybe they have not been seeking a job for some time and are now starting to get ready to to seek a job for the first time in a while. So there’s that gap. And like you said, social awkwardness is set in for everyone, and all those layers on top. So I think there are many challenges jobseekers are facing right now. It’s not black and white, you know, like, Well, you know, if you listen to the news, sometimes they’ll say, Well, if people just would work, you know, we’d be better off. And it’s like, well, it’s not that simple. Like there are a lot of complicated factors that go into whether someone is seeking work at any given time. And I don’t know what the solution is. But I think I think just setting small steps for yourself, if you’re going to go on that path of reentry to the workforce. Maybe the first step is just looking at it application like what are the things that they’re asking for in the application, maybe you’re not even actually going to hit Apply today. But maybe just click that apply now button, just to see what is the very next step of the application process because sometimes it’s upload a resume. Sometimes it’s create an account. Sometimes it’s read this giant PDF and put all the information in there. It’s there’s not great uniform ways. that people can get jobs now.

Dan Holterhaus 15:01
Yeah, it’s not a one size fits all applying for a job. Yeah. Well, I want to hit on just one more thing. And I know we’ve talked a little longer today maybe than we were expecting to. But I do want to go back a couple couple weeks now we attended entree Fest, oh, yeah, conference, downtown Cedar Rapids. And I attended virtually, I think you did in person, but we are our keynote speaker. His name is Marcus is formerly incarcerated. And he talked about his path to finding a job. I don’t, I think this holds true for anybody looking for a job. But he said he got turned down 41 times. And on his 42nd job application, he was an accepted and got a job at a paint store. And he kind of talked about his story and how you relate that into starting his own business. And, you know, now he’s, you know, working full time on his own business. But I thought it was a really interesting story. And it kind of what resonated to me was kind of strength and numbers, right? Like, how do you have the ability to get turned down? 41 times, right, like, yeah, and then on that 42nd, try, you get it. And that’s just, that’s persistence and patience.

Liz Kennedy 16:25
Well think about what actors go through, right? Like, they get turned down all the time throughout their career, and they continue to try. And that’s just persistence there. You know, persistence is key. And one of the really cool things about Marcus’s story was that and we’ll share, if there’s a link to the entree Fest, keynote, you should definitely watch it because it was really inspiring for all of us. But the thing is, he used that job opportunity as a springboard for his life. And there’s, is there something unique and amazing about clerkin? paint store, he’s just selling paint, right? Like there was a very kind of simple job that he was doing. But he did it with such joy and passion, that people flocked to him wanting to buy paint from him. And then it turned into this kind of, oh, maybe there’s something there, maybe I’ve got something here. And he became a connector from between contractors and people wanting to, you know, homeowners wanting to have someone else paint and actually want to paint. And so he was able to make that connection there and then built the business off of that, and then became an entrepreneur after that. So that treating that next job, like your first job, it could be, it could be something really interesting for you, you know, just come at it with a different perspective. And if you’ve been working for a while then out of work, it may, you may feel a lot of like mental blocks about re entering the workforce. And you may come to a job interview with a lot of baggage. But if you could maybe just flip it so that you’re treating that job opportunity as potentially your your first job, just treat it like your first job. You could come at it with a renewed sense of potential that is going to speak to an employer in a way that is not going to if you bring all that other Well, you should hire me because I’ve got all this experience or you know, I’ve been doing this for however long.

Dan Holterhaus 18:28
They are. Absolutely. And just the I loved the you know, the I think the interesting thing is, it could have been a paint store. It could have been a Yeah. Who knows a furniture store could have been and the thing about a story was like he said, he was just so passionate and energetic about this, being able to go and and help people right and serve people and have a smile on his face. And I think that’s just so important. And so that’s just a really cool story. Yeah. All right. Well, we

Liz Kennedy 19:06
Yeah, we talked about a lot of things we have it’s of having a job, right.

Dan Holterhaus 19:11
The benefits of having a job? Yeah, we covered a couple things there. We talked about career week and career fair, upcoming. September 16. Is the career fair. Then we talked a little bit about Mark’s story, right? And yeah, and his inspiring message which, yeah, hopefully we can find a link to the video and share that in the show notes.

Liz Kennedy 19:39
Yeah, so just stay at it. Be persistent. And and try to come come at your job search with a renewed sense of possibility.

Dan Holterhaus 19:48
Cool. All right. Let’s do it. Thanks a lot. See you next time.

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