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Sometimes This Feels Like Summer Camp

You ever get that feeling? I do. Sometimes this feels like job search summer camp. And, these days, I feel like a camp counselor.

job search summer camp

Not because I have any special skill like boating safety, swimming or arts & crafts. And it’s not because I have some special standing (counselor vs. camper) in relation to you.

And maybe this isn’t the best analogy. But like a lot of the analogies I ponder, this one has not left my head. Swirling around like day-old, stinky soup in the camp cafeteria.  Except I don’t think it is a stinky analogy.

So why has this one around job search summer camp stuck around?

Probably because I was a camper back in 2007, earned a few badges, and have now taken those skills and a few new ideas. To try and help today’s campers make it through successfully.

I think it is also because I am so conscious of your entries and departures.

When I welcome someone new to the LinkedIn group, Facebook fan page or Twitter feed, I recognize that they are likely in transition. Or when I meet a new person at a networking event.  Some new to the search and others just new to me.

And then there are the departures. Some post an arrival announcement. Letting us know they have arrived successfully at their next great role in life. The really smart ones will share their successful strategy with others in their announcement. Or they might write up a more complete list of their job search advice to share with others.

Others just leave. Quietly transitioning out of their search period. They roll up their sleeping bag while everyone is at another event, pack away their flashlight and head on home.

Finally, there is the group that arrives at a new job but decides to stick around to help others or to just keep networking. They’ve heard that our career paths will be forever changed by this recession. The knowledge that a lay off can come again – perhaps within the next few years – will keep them close. And it’s great to stay in touch with everyone.

No matter how you view your job search summer camp experience. Today, tomorrow or six months after arriving at your new job. I hope that you will stay in touch.  With me. With others in your new network.

We might be able to help each other some day

So when camp ends (it will) and you hop in the car and begin to negotiate the dirt road out to the main highway.

Look up as you pass under the carved wooden sign.

And smile.

After all, you made a few new friends, learned some new skills and are now safely back on the main road.

No more job search summer camp food for you.

Thanks Anna Maria Liljestrand for the photo via Flickr.

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Work and Life

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