Fort McCoy workshop helps job seekers develop skills
November 6, 2008
By Rob Schuette
Prospective employees seeking employment in the Fort McCoy area should become knowledgeable and develop a strategy to ensure they achieve their goals, said the instructor of a job-search workshop held at Fort McCoy Oct. 9.
Kathleen Olson of KO Employment Training and Consulting presented the three-hour workshop, which was sponsored by Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS).
Among the first steps job-seekers can take are assessing their work interests, skills and the job market for the area they're seeking employment, Olson said.
"Job-seeking is, to a large degree, a sales and marketing activity," Olson said. "The assessment is a start to identify the strengths of what you can offer to an employer."
A number of good Web sites exist to help get the search started, Olson said. The U.S. Department of Labor Web site at http://online.onetcenter.org offers a site that helps users identify their job strengths and interests and search for suitable jobs in the area.
Olson said the state of Wisconsin also has a good site at http://worknet.wisconsin.gov/worknet or the general job center Web site at http://www.wisconsinjobcenter.org.
Although these methods and networking through family, friends and colleagues are all good, Olson also recommends cold calling and visiting work locations in person. These should be done in fields where the applicants have job skills and/or experience and have identified the potential job market.
This allows personnel to show employers what skills they can bring to a job and what they can do for employers to help them earn a profit. Sometimes this may result in an employer creating a job for that person, she said.
It also allows employees to observe a potential work site to see how they fit in and what their potential co-workers would be like. Job applicants can see if these personnel have their values and how they would be treated as co-workers.
"Be prepared for some no's," Olson said. "Persistence can pay off. Make them tell you 'no' in a firm way (don't call us back) before you give up. Each position is different and has a different pool of applicants."
Bryan Clarkin, Fort McCoy Financial Readiness program manager, said ACS has a number of resources at the ACS Resource Library at ACS, building 2111, South 8th Ave., that can aid job seekers.
ACS also offers courses covering a variety of topics, including financial readiness.
The next employment workshop ACS will sponsor is a spouse Job Search Interviewing Workshop Thursday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m.-noon in building 2111, South 8th Avenue.
Members of the Fort McCoy community are welcome to visit the ACS Resource Library and register for upcoming workshops. To register for upcoming workshops or for more information call (608) 388-3505.
Military spouses seeking employment assistance can contact Clarkin at (608) 388-6812 for an appointment.
More information also is available at the Web site http://www.mccoymwr.com.